Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grab Bag, NBA Musings, recent sports deaths, boxing, ice cream. Politics, and more

April 29, 2009

Today's "kenrel's" are old school rant in no particular order:

KERNEL 1 -- Game 4 -- Chicago-Boston. Both coaches try to lose the game. Doc succeeds. Celts down 3, Bulls allow Ray Allen arguably the best 3 point long range shooter the NBA has ever seen, and eventual Hall of Famer to get a wide open look to tie the game. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE EXACTLY??????? Double team him and then FOUL THE GUY WHO CATCHES THE IN-BOUNDS PASS!! Not to be out-done, in ot, Celts now up 3, commit worse sin. 9 seconds to go. The ball comes in to Salmons -- back to the basket -- the Celts wait for two picks to be set at the circle, Gordon goes deep, and then the hottest shooter in the league right now, Ben Gordon, our CT favorite son, gets a clean look at a 3 with Pierce flailing late at him. Here is an idea -- FOUL THE GUY WHO CATCHES THE BALL BEFORE HE CAN PASS IT. DO NOT ALLOW GORDON, WHO IS LIKE VINNIE FG MICROWAVE JOHNSON FROM THE BAD BOYS DAYS spot up for a game tieing and almost series altering 3! My lord -- how many times will I repeat this -- do not let a guy tie the game with a 3. Period. Cost Celts game 4, like it cost Calipari and Memphis national title. Has to be a way to track this -- how many times a team up 3 lost a game for not fouling versus how many times they lost it by fouling and weird stuff happening! This thing bugs me to no end -- and will now go in my coaches losing games rants.


In what is as The Sports Guy predicted a trtuly great perhaps legendary first round series, this one was incredible. The Celts had been badly outplayed. Doc could not find a working combination. The Celts down 11 in the 4th looked old and in disarray. Yet they grinded and clawed and fought and dug deep, way deep, and then deeper into the championship reserve tank. never underestimate the heart of a champion. Yes the Bulls are young and immature and that contributed but that was an old school defensive dig deep 4th quarter that allows them to likely now move on where I believe we will see the Big Ticket, KG, make his Willis Reed like heroic return to take on Superman and the Howard and Van Gundy led Magic.


I said last night in a sports bar, and poker, do we not think that the Hornets should think about firing Byron Scott immediately? Like today before Game 5? Full disclosure -- I love Byron. Huge fan. Had "onions" as Raftery says; was willing and able to take a big shot. The Lakers version with better skills than the Bulls Paxson, or the Celtics Ainge back in the day. Byron was a tough player. He took a lot of crap from the Lakers and Magic and Kareen who hazed him when he first joined them as he was replacing Debbie Allen's (of Fame lore and Felicia Rashad od Cosby lore's real-life sister) husband, the beloved Norm Nixon. B was fierce. He also led the Nets, yes, the Nets to two trips to the Finals and they have not been close since (yes Kidd helped but when you give coach criticism for the downfall should get some praise for the success). And he also let the Hornets to more than respectability with CP after all that the city of New Orleans endured. He has been Coach of the Year. he didn;t forget basketball overnight.

And with that said -- team is home to trying to even a series. They on paper have at least as much if not better talent than the opponent. George Karl while a coach I also like because he is tough, speaks his mind, and he was really tender in the Real Sports documentary featuring his son Koby who beat cancer (as did Karl himself twice), is not the greatest motivator historically, and Carmelo has not yet proven to be anything close to the leader like Kobe LeBron, a Duncan (get back to that in a moment), Jordan, Magic, KG, Bird, etc etc. and so with all that said how in the fg world did the Hornets lose by nearly 60 points?? That team has underachieved all season. But for one game, season on line arguably, this is how you lose? Its not like basbeall where sometimes the pitcher just doesnt have it and it all gets away. Or the other pitcher is just so good that try as you might you cant hit him. Basketball effort matters. Defense. Rebounding. Positioning. Heart. it actually takes a concerted effort to lose by this many points. Did the players actually quit? I mean what does quitting look like if not what happened the other night? Down 30 at the half, not even a token run? You cant fire all the players which is unfortunate, but on Scott's watch this happened. When they are eliminated I expect the owner to blow it all up. I mean that was beyond pitiful and that has to start and stop with the coach. It is one thing to lose, or get blown out but not to summon up an ounce of pride at home is inexcusable. They were humiliated. I mean anyone can be off, miss shots, but the lack of professionalism and committment is atrocious. I mean in recent days the Cowboys losing to division rivals, my beloved E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES by 6 touchdowns is a similar laydown, but sometimes in football that happens when its all or nothing; teams press, force stuff, nothing clicks and it steamrools. Often see it in Super Bowl. And the Boys were on the road. I mean bottom line, I dont want to blame Byron but he wont survive this.

On a lesser scale the once proud Pistons looked like they had little collective heart. Yet Michael Curry survived as does Lawrence Frank who is a seemingly smart hoops mind whose time also seemingly is up in NJ.


Wow. they looked old last night. And now Cuban looks like a mini-genius for replacing Avery with Carlisle. Mavs, who have far less taltent than teams that went to Finals or barely missed them in the 80s and then under Cuban outplayed, outcoached Pops. Spurs looked lost without Manu, and there was no combination that worked. All those role players that fit so beautifully during season looked like deers in the lights. Every time the Spurs looked like they had it in them to make an Alamo last stand and survie at home, the Mavs stepped on their necks. Say what you will but the often criticized Eric Dampier's public comments seemed to light a fire under the Mavs and he rose to the occasion. Tony Parker is off the charts but he missed a real wingman.


In addition, to the untimely passing of Marvin the Eraser Webster, another symbol of Knick futility, a hustle player, the fans embraced for his effort but not talent was Glen Gonderizick who died at 53 after a heart transplant. Gondo was fun to watch without any meaningful NBA talent. I remember wathcing hi mthinking here is an inpsiorational story of a guy who achieves because he works as hard as he can. In a woefully underreported story, former heavyweight champion Greg Page died at age 50 after 8 plus years with hideous medical problems too numerous and sad to recount. Real Sports did a great special on him ahwile back. Why this story didn't get more national sports coverage play is a disgrace. Page was severely brain damaged in a fight he had after his 40th birthday because he needed the money. It was insane then and now that he was licensed and is why regulation in boxing needs to be so dramatically re-done. A completely avoidable tragedy. Senator McCain's interest in this issue should rise again. This was a sad ending to a disgraceful chapeter in boxing and it a tragic reminder of what corruption in sports can result in within the underbelly of the sport. Like the NFL players fight for better retirment and wages, the same protections for boxers needs to be examined.


I admit it. I am at the age of 42, an ice cream snob. Growing up, there was Carvel on Union Turnpike in Queens, Baskin Robbins on the Boulevard, Mister Softee who would come up 84th drive, ring the bell and we would run downstairs, and the Good Humor Man at the Park in Briarwood. For each of their respective purposes, they would do. Mister Softee was my favorite because it had that funky thing it could do wit hthe chocolate dip on a cone. Carvel would do on the way home from Little League. Good humor at the Big Park would have some creative options which was ok. Mister Softee was the best for Root Beer floats, and Baskin Robbins would be the family ice cream. Pints to take home. Chocoloate chip. Rocky Road before my death nuts allergy.

So we go into Carvel the other day. Nicest day of the year so far. First, a la a trip to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, service, was dare I say a tad slow? A trianee with no supervision takes a shot at the biggest crowd of the season. I have the root beer float. Terrible. Cant actually describe it. Had no float taste. Was like combining two ingredients and not getting the blended taste. Kids had ice cream. Brett says no sprinkles and the thing is loaded not with the cute thin sprinkles but Carvel's fat wide sci fi type sprinkles. Dawn's peanut butter concoction was a weird composition. On balance a disappointment. Whats worse is the day before Brett ordered the "All Lovin, No Oven" Love it from Cold Stone, with a mix of Reeces Peanut Butter Cup and it is off the charts good, plus the guy does tricks in making it like the Hibachi guy at a good Japanese Hibachi spot. So Carvel really missed the boat for me the next day.

While the Ice Cream Cake Whale thingy for Fathers Day probably would still work, I think the only ice cream from my past that makes the grade still on the rare occasion is the Mister Softee truck. Otherwise, like Starbucks (I mean I could just order a regular cup of coffee as opposed to a fat, thin, foam, no foam, splenda, mocha, decaf soy iced, creation, right?) I sday spend the extra few bucks on the better ice cream. Or to quote Rob Lowe, a/k/a Sam Seaborn, "here's my idea, instead of buying these ships, don;t buy these ships, buty better ships. Spend the extra $11million dollars". In ice cream parlance, buy ther better ice cream -- not the old sachool, once was good enough ice cream. It is a treat after all. Find savings elsewhere -- go to the matinee, turn the lights off more, don;t run the air a few nights a week in favor of just opening the windows. But dont skimp on the ioce cream!


Ok, President Obama does a great job being accountable, and standing up and saying we made mistakes. Won't happen again. Go him. And President Bush before him would not likely have been so contrite. All a given. Here is my problem -- hypothetically, had this happened on his wacth, the media outcry would have been unrelenting, cries of profound insensitivity to NYC, victims of 9-11, the whole onslaught of criticsm. President Obama had a very limited cycle here and got the equivalent of a media pass. I think its fine that this story didnt take on a life of its own to the degree others would but anyone who doesnt thin kthere is a massive double standard here isn't watching. Personally, I have zero interest in "gotcha" President Obama. I do think it a a little scary that this was DOD. People want to be safe and secure in the knowledge that these folks won't make these mistakes.

And speaking of politics, the world will not end of course because a politician changed his spots. Specter's attempt to passd this off as he had reached the end of his rope with his party is comical. He thinks this gives him a better chance at survival politically. I always thought him an interesting political creature, with his expedient moderate positioning. But now, by being the impetus for the filibuster proof Democratic party he may get lots of support and financial backing from the White House and the Party. There was no epiphpany here. He did something politicians do. There was no honor in it. There was nothing philosophical about it as his own comments in recent months make clear. Anyway, his choice, but go easy on the nobility, please.


Who wonders how their kids can accumulate 3 weeks of laundry and nort be a little bother4ed when it is stacked 5 feet high?

Who thinks that Joe Girardi has a little too much Bobby Valentine in him without as much gravitas? He chose Ransom over Berroa at third. Ransom can't hit a lick. He chose Nady over Swisher to play everyday. Swisher has been arguably Yanks best hitter. He chose not to go with a long man and they needed one as they do every April. He chose Gardner over Melky and Gardner can't hit very well. It's the I always know more than conventional wisdom or average fan syndrome. Always have to tweak things to look smarter. He chose Jaba to start and Hughes to go to minors when by all accounts a healthy Hughes was always the better prized prospect and Jaba would be much better serving the team in the pen where he can let loose and blow guys away and shorten the game like he did two years ago. Plus, Ynaks have trouble stopping bleeding under Girardi. Torre's Yanks had lots of bad losses but rarely did they carry or linger or domino into a "thing." Girardi's Yankees do not show that resilliance as easily.

Who thinks the Mets are not really any better playing for manuel than they were playing for one of my boyhood heroes, Wille Randolph?

Who thinks it cool that Fox is showing Lie to Me and Idol over President Obama's third press conference the last few weeks?

Who wonders whether he would lose all of his dress socks if there were 4 washer dryers in the house?

Who likes to look at new house listings when the weather warms up?

Who thinks a 60-day detox program with no work in Canyon Ranch might do the trick for the never ending quest for better health and weight loss?

Who wonders why dental insurance doesn;t cover something like teeth pulls in advance of braces? I mean should insurance really be about the cleanings?

Who thinks it would be cool if someone could invent a way to rewind a song on the car radio upon you turning to it mid-song? The other day Sir-Mix-a-Lot was on 90s on 9 but we only cauth the last 1/4 of it and i was thinking if I had a magic button I could simply rewind it right there and hear it. A la a tivo like thing for the radio. These things pop in from time to time, please indulge me.

Who thinks the Eagles drafting another smallish receiver is not the answer? I trust Eagles judgment on personnel but if I see Edwards or Bouldin or Ocho Cinco traded to a team for lower value I will become annoyed.

Who wonders why Harrison Ford was cast in the Sabrina re-make? Kinnear was great as was Ford's mother (played by the wonderful actress who played Tony Soprano's mom) but Ford is sooo stiff in that movie. Ruined the chemistry.

And this leads me to an abbreviated list of people badly miscast from my work-in-progress Interactive Movie Madness book which I might finish one day in retiement. A top 5 teaser if you will:

Meg Ryan in the movie where she plays an alocholic married to Andy Garcia. When a Man Loves a Woman. I mean seriously who thought this was a good idea. I understand actors and actrsses desire to not be typecast but America's sweetehart (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Youv'e Got Mail, Innerspace, Joe Versus the Volcano . . . .) playing this reckless, insane, depressed, miserable drunk. Courtney Love (a la her role in the Larry Flint sotry with Woody Harreolson) perhaps, Anglina, Halle Berre a la her role with Billy Bob in her Oscar turn. Not Meg. This was well before her awful effort to be "dark" in the movie In the Cut.

Michael J Fox as the coked out guy who reads the NY Post in Bright Lights Big City (in addition to the crazy baby story, that movie gets all types of love because his sister in the movie is hard rocking Kornfeld loving JJ -- the legendary, I hate Myself for Loving You, one and only Joan Jett!). This is Alex Keaton everyone. The kid from the fun loving Back to the Future trilogy with Wacky Christopher Lloys. Teen Wolf. Teen Wolf on Coke? Really?

Michael J Fox as the soulful soldier who sticks up against the ruthless pillaging and raping platoonmate Sean Penn in Casualties of War. I can't fully describe in words how bad this casting was. because it is a war movie I am giving Fox two spots here. And the worst par tis I love him as an actor and person. But even the best are in the worng place.

And in the spirit of Michael J Fox, miscasting often occurs when someone thinks it a good idea to take really funny, legendary funny people and put them in a war movie. Not a sarcastic or ironic role. But a true solider or war movie. So making the teaser list -- Bill Murray in the Razor's Edge. I mean there were people who thought he desrerved critical acclaim for this movie. Not me. This is Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters legend. He simply cannot pull off this serious depressing role.

Obviously Kenau being cast in anything beyond the sophomoric comedies of Bill and Tedd or the sci fi stuff where his acting makes the movie campy, would qualify as miscast. And a random thought -- I am going to name the "Belushi" award in this category for those who actually overcome being so badly miscast.

Belushi was Animal House. There really is nothing else beyond that and SNL of course. he was funny and gross and beyond talented. And he was also in a movie called Continental Divide, which showed how talented he actually was. A loner who finds romance and love and plays it totally straight. There must have been a hubndred actors who would have been more logical and on paper he seems worse than Harrison Ford in Sabrina remake. But Belushi actually gives a charming wonderful performance. hence the Kornfeld-inspired "Belushi."

I have hundreds of these. Give me yours!

Who wonders whether weight wacthers should change the last name to weight trackers? Watchers has a stalker quality to it, no?

Who wonders why their son can't enjoy the movie unless he orders the hideous buttery worst thing in the world for you popcorn?

Who wonders why there is traffic in NYC at 1230 am leaving the city?

Who wonders if the diversity and cross section of the population that attends a live WWE event is unique in the world of sorts/entertainment?

Who wonders if loving thy neighbor might conflict with other commandments?

Who wonders if Robert Downey is the best actor of my generation?

Who wonders if his fantasy team has the stuff to go the distance?

Who wonders is his kids could survive the way he did growing up if it all got taken away?

Who thinks E-360 is really well done?

Who thinks someone should figure out to invent longer than 24 hours in a day in the life, more than 365 days in a year and how we can all live longer and healthier all the time? I would do the patent and IP work for that one pro bono although I susepct the inventor could afford the fees.

Happy Hump Day one and all.



Anonymous said...

you're still 41 last I checked, no?

Korny said...

Yes. But feel 42 already. Other than the bad typing and aging what say you?