YouTube Clip of the Day: Boom Goes the Dynamite

With the Sweet Sixteen starting tonight, we are sure to see some fantastic finishes. Along with those great finishes come legendary calls that will echo in our minds for sports eternity. Costas, Packer, Scully. These are the greats we associate with the great moments in sports history.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Brian Collins, also known as “The Dynamite Kid” (not to be confused with the second half of the 80s wrestling tandem, The British Bulldogs…easy mistake I know). I would hate to see him trying to order chinese food over the phone.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the clip, so pay attention to the following for some extra entertainment:

  • 0:20 – Collins realizes the train has come off the tracks and lets us know we’re in for a treat with the simplest of phrases: “Oh no.”
  • 0:44 – 1:00 – Collins going with the “less is more” approach, uttering nothing but a few stutters and moans for 16 seconds.
  • 2:16 – After finally seeing a player that he recognizes, Collins gives us the generic, “Reggie Miller lookin’ good”.
  • 2:25 – The now-legendary catchphrase spoken for the first time: “Passes it to the man, shoots it…and boom goes the dynamite.”
  • 3:05 – Collins pronounces “Wayne Simien” as “Wayne Summers”. Of all the things that go wrong for some reason I find this one the funniest.

Colin Talks March Madness with Rass

It’s that time of year, so I called our resident bracketologist Eric Rasmussen to dissect the 2010 NCAA Tournament. A lot of surprises so far today, so let’s see which ones Rass was able to predict.

Plus a little talk about the NBA afterwards…just for good measure.

Colin’s First Three-Way…Podcast

Colin talks to Josh Sowers and Patrick Smith…at the same time! Thanks to Skype, the three of us talk about the Olympics, NBA trades, and baseball. Not to mention a few diversions. Listen by downloading on iTunes or using the player below.

If you like what you hear, follow me on twitter @lakersexaminer.

Dunking With The Stars

I was watching SportsCenter for the 4th time today when I saw some highlights of Terrell Owens (while they were saying that he was the one pro-bowl caliber player that they wouldn’t want on their team). One of the highlights showed T.O. doing one of his least original and most low-key touchdown celebrations, the time-tested and well-received football dunk over the goal post.

Now, the goal posts in football are 10 feet off the ground (the same as a basket), and T.O.’s arm was a good two feet over the post. That got me thinking that I’d like to see him in a dunk contest. Then I got thinking about other non-basketball athletes I’d like to see in the same contest.

I think I remember hearing something about a Non-Basketball dunk contest in the 80s featuring track runners and high jumpers, but my extensive research (typing “non basketball dunk contest” into google) didn’t give me any results.

Luckily, on my trip to the gym I noticed a group congregated on a local outdoor basketball court. It turns out the Non-Basketball Dunk Contest is alive and well, and all athletes (except for basketball players of course) were invited.

There I saw some of the most amazing dunks ever displayed, which I will now recount to you in all of their golry:

 

Terrell Owens: Natually T.O. went first. He backed up all the way to the other end of the court as if he was going to take off from the free throw line. He got the cheerleaders ready on the sidelines, placed a mystery item behind the basket (a surprise for the post-dunk celebration) and began running with his 4.4 speed to the opposing basket. To everybody’s shock and amazement, T.O. took off from the THREE-POINT LINE and glided gracefully towards the basket.

He was well on his way to making it when, in mid-air, he received a call from his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on his bluetooth earpiece telling him not to complete the dunk without a $4 million bonus. T.O. ended the call, put the ball on his waist, and grabbed the rim to let himself down without dunking the ball. Of course after the “attempt” he was bombarded with questions, and he fielded them while doing shirtless bicep curls and situps on the pavement.

Score: Despite not actually dunking the ball, T.O.’s athletic display (and consequent workout) earned him a score of 40.

 

Prince Fielder: In an effort to put his own spin on Gerald Green’s “Birthday Cake Dunk”, the 5’10” 275 pound Fielder got a ladder and balanced a box of twinkies on the rim. He then asked teammate Ryan Braun to assist him by throwing him an alley oop. Fielder backed up, then started running full-speed toward the basket (his man-breasts smacking him in the face with every step). Braun threw a perfect lob to Fielder, who ignored the basketball, detached his jaw bones and swallowed the box of twinkies (wrappers, box, and all) as the ball fell through the hoop.

Score: The judges all had an uneasy look on their faces as they hid their laminated scorecards under the table. Because the ball went through the hoop (and Fielder still looked hungry), he received a 42.

 

Brett Favre: It put a smile on everyone’s face to see the gray-bearded 38-year-old out to have a good time. He took the ball and went to the three-point line. He tossed the ball in the air, as so many dunkers do, waiting for the perfect bounce for a self-alley-oop. Favre ran up to the ball, then stopped claiming the toss was too high. He then did it again, but this time the toss was too low. He threw the ball again, caught it in the air, but stopped just before throwing the ball through. Favre continued this for about 20 minutes before people realized he was never going to dunk the ball, so they switched baskets, leaving Favre and his indecision to continue his ‘attempt’.

Score: Favre is technically still attempting his dunk, and since there is no time limit, he cannot be given a score. ESPN will be sure to update you everytime he’s close to dunking though.

 

Tiger Woods: In a surprise move, Tiger Woods, still not cleared to walk by doctors after his recent surgery, rolled his wheelchair to center court. He stood up, walked slowly towards the basket and threw down a standard two-handed dunk. The judges were impressed and gave him a score good enough to get it to the second round. In the second round, he stepped up a did a 360. In the third round, Tiger found the strength to go between the legs. And finally in the finals, Tiger did a dunk with more contortions and acrobatics than a Cirque De Soleil performance, blowing away the competition and unanimously winning the title.

Rocco Mediate was seen shaking his head and smiling on the sideline.

 

Needless to say, the contest was quite entertaining and I was happy to see that such a thing exitsts. Apparently they go from city to city using abandoned hoops, so who knows when I’ll come across another one.

Don’t Draft Russell Westbrook!

If the NBA had a haircut draft, you\'d be number 1!

***If you’re coming from Bruins Nation…please read my rebuttal on TheSportSpin.com (yes, I was wrong…)***

The NBA draft is arguably my favorite day of the year. I love seeing the start of what are promising careers for some and landmark disappointments for others (Nikoloz Tskitishvili 5th overall in 2002).

Every analyst on earth is putting up their mock drafts, so I will spare you that formality (they’re always wrong after the first 3 picks anyway). Instead I will extend a warning to NBA GM’s, particularly those in the 4-9 position in the lottery:

DO NOT DRAFT RUSSELL WESTBROOK!

I know it sounds harsh, but over the past few weeks I’ve seen Westbrook’s stock rise faster than gas prices, and I cannot figure out why. He was a mediocre college player on a team that was basically left to him and Kevin Love when Darren Collison was injured for a chunk of the season.

Yes, he’s a freak athlete and supposedly a ‘lock down’ defender with a huge wingspan (according to Jay Bilas, nobody in the draft has a wingspan under 7 feet). But I have inside information that should be good enough reason for teams to steer clear of Westbrook until the late first round:

My friend Roger, a 6-foot-3 small forward who played for two different Division III schools, LOCKED UP Russell Westbrook in a pick-up game at UCLA last summer.

Yes, I’m serious. I was there. I was on his team. It was me (former high school division V California All-State player, thank you very much), Roger, and three scrubs against Westbrook, Lorenzo Mata, James Keefe, DeAndre Robinson, and a former UCLA football player.

First of all, I have no idea why four UCLA basketball players decided to hone their skills and prepare for the season by dismantling players that couldn’t even make the B-Division championship in intramurals.

But, after the Wooden Center Dream Team had won a couple of games, we had next so I figured it would be fun to say that we played against them. So I, 6-3 with shoes on, guarded the 6-8 (and hideously ugly) Lorenzo Mata, and Roger took Westbrook.

They started off joking around and throwing alley oops that went out of bounds over the basket. Westbrook got a steal and a fast break dunk where he clearly displayed his ‘plus’ athleticism.

Then a funny thing happened, we started winning.

You could see their body language getting a little more serious and MUCH more physical.

Soon enough it deteriorated into a regular old pickup game, complete with arguments, threatened violence, and three-minute long possessions.

Now, as much as I respect my friend’s game, he’s no Bruce Bowen when it comes to defense. His lateral quickness is, let’s just say, lacking. But he certainly is what we call a smart (otherwise known as white) defender.

But in a game to 11 by ones, Roger held soon-to-be top 10 NBA draft pick Russell Westbrook scoreless for the last 6 points or so, and it’s not like he wasn’t trying. Westbrook couldn’t make a jumper, and when he tried to get by Roger he couldn’t, pulling up for a crappy jumper or giving one of his patented ‘jump in the air for five seconds while I figure out what to do’ passes.

We ended up winning the game, and Lorenzo Mata tried to punch Roger in the face before the whole squad stormed off the court in disgust.

I think we lost the next game to five senior citizens but it didn’t really matter. We had our story to tell. By the time we’re in our 60s Russell Westbrook will turn into Baron Davis and Lorenzo Mata will be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

So, that’s my cautionary tale for any team that wants to take Westbrook. In any case Roger can always say that he shut down an NBA player (no matter how bad he turns out) and if Westbrook ends up an all-star we can tell everyone that Roger’s tough love caused Westbrook to work harder and take his game to the next level.

In either case, Roger just has one thing to say: “Russell, tell me how my ass taste!”

Shootout Shenanigans

he\'s lucky his team won

I have to admit, soccer has definitely grown on me. It used to be just as taboo as hockey in my household, but now I can sit through most of a soccer match (even though I don’t understand what’s going on most of the time) and I usually enjoy it.

This caused me to watch the Champions League (I don’t really know what that is) Final today on ESPN2. I knew that Manchester United and Chelsea are both from England, and that Cristiano Ronaldo is good, but that’s about it. Anyway when I turned it on in the second half it was 1-1, and, not surprisingly, the game ended in a tie. After 30 minutes of extra time (and a Chelsea player getting ejected for slapping a Man-U player in the face…only in soccer), the game was still tied. So the game went to penalty kicks.

Winning the Champions League is widely considered the highest prize for a soccer team, and now it was going to be decided by a schoolyard activity that involves just as much luck as skill. Manchester United ended up winning after Chelsea’s Nicolas Anelka was denied by goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, but it felt like they had won by forefeit or something. Even though shootouts are appealing because you actually see goals scored, it’s not the right way to crown a winner in one of the world’s most important championship games.

This got me thinking about what the equivalent of a shootout would be in the popular American sports, and this is what I came up with:

 

Baseball: If the game remains tied after 12 innings of play, both teams clear the field except for a pitcher and a batter. With the pitcher throwing his best stuff, the batter gets one swing to hit the ball and try to round the bases and score before the pitcher can retreive the ball and either touch home plate, tag the runner with the ball, or hit the runner with a thrown ball. The teams alternate just like penalty shots until a winner is determined.

So if the batter hits a line drive, the team will pretty much score (assuming the runner doesn’t tear his ACL rounding the bases). If it’s a pop fly to the infield or a weak grounder, you’re gonna see some serious hustle!

Ideal Matchup:  Juan Pierre vs. Bartolo Colon

 

Basketball: There are some pretty easy equivalents in basketball. A game of HORSE or a three-point contest seems logical. But in order to simulate the one-on-one nature of a shootout, I suggest a game entitled, “Dunk on Him!”

It’s pretty simple. Instead of a second overtime, one team selects its best dunker and the other picks its best defender. Each player starts at the half court line, on opposite sides of the court. When the whistle blows, they both sprint towards the basket with the offensive player trying to dunk the ball and the defender trying to stop him without fouling. This solution will result in countless SportsCenter highlights and will take half as long as the 45 minutes of an NBA overtime.

Ideal Mathcup:  Josh Smith vs. Kevin Garnett or Anybody vs. Patrick Ewing (he got dunked on a lot)

 

 

Football: Ok everybody hates the NFL sudden-death overtime and college overtime is almost like a shootout to begin with, so we have to come up with something different…and here it is.

Each team selects an offensive player (probably a running back) to go through an American Gladiators-style Breakthrough and Conquer against one of the other team’s best defenders. For those of you not familiar with the show (the original, not the Hulk Hogan version), first the runner has to juke and get by a defender and then immediately attempt to wrestle and push the defender out of a painted circle.

Ideal Matchup: LaDanian Tomlinson vs. Ray Lewis (original AG used two Gladiators, but I think it’s fair to have just one defender required to do both)

 

 

So, in an effort to unify the sports, I suggest we adopt these tie-breakers for our major sports. They’d be a lot more soccer-like and could help bridge the gap between American sports and European sports. Or soccer could just continue playing until somebody actually wins. I guess that could work too.

There’s Nothin’ Wrong With A Little Man Love

Today I’d like to start my weekly installments of the MCOW Award, otherwise known as my Man Crush of the Week.

 

For those of you not familiar with the term, “Man Crush,” it is simply an expression of one man’s respect and admiration for another man. Often times a MC extends beyond simple admiration to the point where you find yourself daydreaming about him or feel butterflies when you hear his name mentioned.

 

Let’s get something straight (no pun intended); a Man Crush has nothing to do with sexual attraction. It’s just like in middle school when you suddenly and inexplicably find yourself attracted to the nerdy girl in class. You can’t put your finger on it, but for some reason you just can’t take your eyes off her. 

 

You don’t want to admit it and risk getting ridiculed mercilessly by your friends, so you just chalk it up to hormones and hope that it goes away in a couple days. And usually it does.

 

For example, my first Man Crush came in 2001, when the Lakers were playing the 76ers in the NBA Finals. Having not seen much of Allen Iverson (that year’s MVP) during the regular season, I found myself mesmerized when he dropped 48 points to single-handedly deal the Lakers their only loss of the postseason in Game 1 (and humiliate the self-proclaimed “Iverson-stopper,” Tyronn Lue, in the process).

 

 I don\'t think Tyronn had a man-crush on him

Iverson’s remarkable performance (and his dreamy brown eyes) left me swooning over him for about a week, at which time the crush subsided and moved on (probably to Kobe).

 

Now that you have a reference point, I would like to hand out the inaugural MCOW Award to none other than…Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard.

 

This one’s probably long overdue, as the crush hit its apex during his mind-boggling performance in the dunk contest earlier this year, which led me to use the image of his “superman” dunk as my desktop background. Howard, 6’11” 265-lbs., displayed the agility and leaping ability of a guard while bringing the dunk contest back to where Vince Carter left it in 2000.

 

 

Howard took the next step this year, becoming the most dominant big man (21 points, 16 rebounds per game) since Shaq’s glory years (yes, they’re over Shaq). He put up ungodly numbers (22 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks per game) in the first round against the “best” Toronto had to offer (cue Stephen A. Smith exclaiming “Rasho Nesterovic!”), and has now boldly taken the Magic where Tracy McGrady has never gone before.

 

After having a tough series opener in Detroit, Dwight bounced back to almost lead his team to victory in game 2. He then gave the Pistons a solid thumping in game 3, officially announcing his presence as a playoff force.

 

Add to the list of accolades that on Thursday he was named to the All-NBA First Team, and it’s easy to see why I have developed a Man-Crush on big Dwight Howard.

 

Who knows where Cupid’s Arrow will land next week.

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