Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wilt and The Legend of 20,000

By Brian Sachtjen

Twenty thousand. Almost every casual sports fan has heard of Wilt Chamberlain and the claim that he slept with 20,000 women over the course of his life.

Now you have to admit, that number sounds way too round and convenient to be based on any sort of truth. Where did it come from? Allegedly, he created that figure after a 10 day stay in Honolulu where he slept with 23 women. He took that rate of promiscuity, divided it by 2 to be conservative (for a pace of 1.15 women per day), and multiplied by the number of days he had been alive and sexually active (since age 15) to arrive at 20,000.

So this begs the question: did Wilt actually accomplish the feat of 20,000, or was that just an arbitrary representation of his success with women? And just for fun, where would other famous athletes and celebrities fall on the spectrum of sexual conquest? Let’s pretend that Vegas sets over/under lines for degenerate gamblers like myself to bet on - what would these lines be, and where would I put my money? With great pleasure I present to you the Durex© Athlete/Celebrity Cocksman All Stars.

The Tweener - Inaugural Edition

In tennis, a player will use a tweener to get out of a tough position. It is a shot that requires a precise amount of timing, coordination, and luck. The tweener bridges the gap between net play, recovery, and a ground-stroke rally. In this new, hopefully weekly piece, I will attempt to "bridge the gap" between things that are not at all sports related and sports themselves. If you're reading between the lines, you'll understand that what that really means is, "I want to comment on things besides sports, as well as specific things in sports that I find either hilarious or interesting. And in order to do so, I'll find a way to connect them that probably doesn't make sense at all." These pieces will be quick-hitters, and therefore should come much more often. I'll list something not related to sports, and something sports related, and do my best to connect them somewhat coherently. Enjoy.
  • Snowfall in Kansas City ---- FC Barcelona's 2013 Alternate Jerseys Starting last Wednesday, February 20, Kansas City has seen over a foot and a half of snow (with more expected overnight tonight). My sisters have had more than their fair share of snowdays, that much is certain. These storms come on the heels of one of the more shocking incidents the city has seen, as a gas leak produced a massive explosion last week, completely leveling J.J.'s Restaurant, a local favorite. My heart goes out to those individuals and families affected by this explosion. The colors in the pictures of the explosion, and the colors of murals (by Mike Savage) across the street, constantly reminded me of Barca's jerseys. Maybe because these jerseys look like fire. I don't know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ASG Roundtable

Last weekend a group of well paid athletes gathered to walk around a basketball court and throw down a few dunks.  The next night, a group of athletes that make even more money gathered to do the same thing in the NBA's annual All Star Game. Whether you're bored at work or bored at home, here is our live discussion of the event, beginning Sunday, February 17th at 8:30 PM (Eastern...of course.)

Brian: Hey there America - welcome to the first (of hopefully many) NBA All Star Game live blogs, delivered to you courtesy of Jack, Brian, and the artist formerly known as Paul, who decided to spend the first half with family, instead of making jokes about Ne-Yo and everything Russell Westbrook has worn this weekend. Jack, what's happening?

Jack: Ne-Yo actually sounds pretty bad. So bad I muted it and looked up "Let me love you" on youtube to listen to it instead. As far as outfits go, Craig Sager's jacket tonight may have won the weekend contest. He's only been on tv once tonight, but there's already an article on SportsNation entitled "Craig Sager is wearing the most ridiculous suit for the All Star game."

Brian: I saw that fake ESPN tweeted "I wonder how many pimps Sager killed in the 70s to make that jacket?" Pissed I didn't think of that myself. Anyway, I think the real question we need answered is: which All Star partied the hardest this weekend? Melo is the early favorite based on his interview, but my dark horse is James Harden. First time at the ASG, rising star, crazy beard...there's a decent chance he hasn't slept since Thursday.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Kansas Jayhawks - Finally Laying a New Foundation

I should have written this piece weeks ago.  I’ve had these thoughts all season.  For someone who isn’t a particularly avid Kansas Jayhawks fan, I’ve watched a lot of their games this season.  I watched them lose early in the season to Michigan State. I watched them beat Ohio State. And then I watched them win a bunch of games in a row and climb to the top of the college basketball rankings. 

They didn’t belong there. That’s clear now.  And I know that is how the rankings work – you continue to win and others above you lose and you get to move up. The number one team in the country has lost the past five weeks.  I understand this season is “wide-open” in college basketball.

But that doesn’t prevent some teams from being clearly better than other teams. And Kansas isn’t among that upper group.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hipster HOF: Andre Miller

It is time to induct the second member of the Hipster Basketball Hall of Fame - Denver Nuggets PG Andre Miller. In his 13-year NBA career so far, Miller has played for 5 different teams (including two separate stints with the Nuggets). He certainly has longevity, but does he stand up to the criteria for inclusion in our Hall of Fame?

As a reminder, we select for this hall of fame from on a set of questions we developed based on the Keltner List, designed to determine a player's worthiness for induction. Some of the questions are more or less necessities, others simply add bonus points and make a stronger case for the player. We have made one change to the first iteration of the list, changing question 9 from Do color commentators frequently use the terms "crafty," "sneaky," or "old-man game" when describing this player? to Do color commentators seem to think this player "always kills their team" or "plays great against us," when in reality his game is just better than the announcers expect? The first criteria applies to some HHOF (Hipster Hall of Fame) candidates, but not all of them - for some players, athleticism is part of what makes their game unique. The second criteria is a better test for players flying under the radar that are still highly effective, as local TV announcers rarely know anything meaningful about the teams they play against. If a player is "under the radar," they are a natural candidate for the HHOF.

The questions (and answers) are as follows:

1. Did this player have something unique or unusual about his game that distinguished him from many, if not all, of his peers? The better question here is, what isn't unique about Miller's game? From his no-jump set shot, to his pinpoint lob and lead passes, to his well-hidden athleticism (both in 2001 and in 2012), Miller's game has been confusing opponents his entire career. He also went to the University of Utah...huh? Check.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Wizards Sparkle

Yesterday evening I had the distinct pleasure of going to watch the Washington Wizards host the Los Angeles Clippers.  Unfortunately, 3 of the best 5 or 6 players did not play.  On the other hand, I paid $5 for my ticket, so I think I got my money’s worth. 

7:05PM – We walk in (the we being myself and two of my roommates) just in time to see the Wizards intro video. John Wall is obviously introduced last. His eyes look…blazed…and he doesn’t look terribly happy.  Not that it’s a live feed, but he just clearly isn’t trying.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Minor Tweaks to the Future of American Tennis

Sloane Stephens was the story of this Australian Open. Especially since Azarenka won and now everyone is flipping out (or at least making jokes) about how she inappropriately took a time out during her semifinal match against Sloane.  But Azarenka was in firm control of that match, and has pretty convincingly gotten past her obvious “nerve” issues over the past 18 months.  That doesn’t really excuse the timing of the time out she took nor does it mean she didn’t fake it, but it would be foolish to suggest Sloane was going to suddenly turn around a match against the second best player in women’s tennis the day after she almost botched turning it around against the world’s best player who couldn’t walk.