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August 6, 2012

Trying to Assemble the NBA Jam Roster at Lollapalooza

For the last two years, Deadspin has taken note of the “Hoopster” phenomenon where retro basketball jerseys have come on strong. Nowhere has this trend been as evident as Lollapalooza. (See past Deadspin galleries here, here, and here.)

This year, I decided to put my own twist on the subject and see how many pictures I could get of jerseys for players in the original and tournament editions of NBA Jam. The Hoopster trend was alive and well.

Whether it was in the arcade, on Super Nintendo, or on Sega Genesis, everybody my age played NBA Jam for enough hours that we could have been musical virtuosos or maybe even better athletes if we had decided to use that time more productively. The game was brilliant in its simplicity. With two players per team on the court at a time–and one sub in the Tournament Edition–games invariably hinged on who caught fire, which gave you about a 95% 3-point shooting percentage and, more importantly, enabled you to goaltend at will. (Goaltending when you’re on fire is one of those things that is immensely fun to do to someone else but HELL when the tables are turned. Between that and the maddening CPU assistance that kicked in during big leads and caused all your shots to miss, dunks to clang off the rim, and your opponent to hit full-court shots, has any game been the cause of more angrily thrown controllers?)

I grew up on NBA Jam TE and my favorite teams to play as were the Sonics and Magic. On Seattle, Shawn Kemp was an unstoppable force, like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl. His combination of speed and power was unparalleled and if you decided at the beginning of a possession that you wanted to dunk, there really wasn’t much that anybody could do about it. Gary Payton and the underrated Detlef Shrempf were able-bodied sidekicks. The Magic were good because you could alternate between playing as Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson, always having the ability to drain 3′s. The Jazz, with Stockton, Malone, and Hornacek, were always an option as well but Stockton’s comically short stature in the game made him a huge liability on D.

And how great was the announcer? Nothing was more satisfying than when he would say, “WILD SHOT!” or “TERRIBLE SHOT!” and your three-pointer would rattle in.

I ended up rocking a purple Charles Barkley Suns jersey. According to Wikipedia, Barkley and Shaq appear in the arcade game but not on the console versions. On that technicality, I’m allowing them to count. Michael Jordan, whose jersey I saw more than anybody else’s, does not count, though. I’m sure he’s devastated.

Much thanks to @JeannetteRose for sending me some of her pictures from Sunday! If you can help me round out the roster from pictures you have taken, either at Lollapalooza or elsewhere, tweet me @SportsRapport! The rosters are here and here if you need any reference:

Continue reading Trying to Assemble the NBA Jam…

July 18, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

Deep Routes

On Gawker, Drew Magary beats the shit out of Rushbiddies–a sorority rush consultancy–with words. For education and humor purposes, I can’t recommend this piece highly enough:

NYTimes: “…I don’t know too many 20-year-olds who are having a debate about economics.”

Drew Magary: That’s just the thing. You CAN be 20 and talk about economics. I encourage it. What you say might be complete shit, but at least you’re giving it a shot. You’re at college to learn about such topics, not to learn how to become a vapid pair of tits. Don’t talk about fiscal policy! People might think you have a brain!

Also on Gawker, Rupert Murdoch’s former nanny speaks out about the abusive, illegal behavior of Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng:

Deng was given to profanity-laced outbursts for seemingly minor affronts, Hsu said, often in front of her daughters. “She had a very bad temper and would get angry very easily. Once, when we were leaving the house, I forgot to bring a hair clip for one of the girls, and Wendi yelled at me. So I ran back into the house to get it, but I got the wrong one. Wendi threw it on the ground in front of the girls and everyone.” On another occasion, Hsu says, after a housekeeper turned on the baseboard heating at the Murdochs’ Arizona compound against Deng’s orders, “she went nuts—yelling, cursing.”

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

July 11, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

Deep Routes

An angry millenial writes an open letter to her parents’ generation that makes a whole lot of sense:

Quit telling us we’re not special.

Believe us, we bloody well know.

Earlier this month, Wellesley high school teacher David McCullough, Jr., delivered what was perhaps the world’s first commencement dirge to a crowd of teenagers on the first day of distinction many of them have ever experienced. Graduation from high school, he informed them, is a shiny induction to the hordes of mediocrity. McCullough even took it upon himself to remind the youth of their eventual funerals. (You know it’s a problematic speech when Rush Limbaugh loves it.) What parting words did the teacher have for those who survived his twelve-minute lesson on nihilism? The paradoxical exhortation to go forth and live extraordinary lives! Because, apparently, we can?

Here’s the rub: this speech is misplaced. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation graduating into an economy that wipes its rear end with their high school diplomas. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation who began running the rat race at age 4. It doesn’t apply to the generation that knows hard work guarantees nothing, that can’t hope to own a home before we have our own children, that pours coffee for other people’s parents for free in the name of gaining “work experience” through “internship.” David McCullough ought to have given that speech not to the graduates, but to their parents. We have not yet begun to shape the world: we are living in the one you created. And it’s killing us.

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

July 8, 2012

Sample Ironic RTs






July 2, 2012

Sports Rapport Is Closed Through Monday, July 9th

I’m headed up to Wisconsin AKA God’s Country for a week and will not be doing any posting.

If you find yourself struggling to make it throughout the week without my sports and food commentary, here are some of my greatest hits from the past year:

- 25 Things Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans Can Agree are Awesome


- Badger Basketball: Where Are They Now?

- Rooting for Allen Iverson

- Aaron Rodgers Just Got Named the NFL’s Best Player by His Peers; What is His Ceiling?

- With 79 NFL DUIs Since 2007, It is Time For An Automatic Four-Game Suspension

- How Much Would 304-lb Tackle David Diehl Need to Drink to Blow a .18?

Charles Barkley Says Larry Bird Drank Him Under the Table, LeBron Haters Led By Punk-Ass Skip Bayless

- LeBron James Has ‘The Look’

- Under the Radar, LeBron James is Having His Best Season

- So Was That Egregious Pacquaio Decision Corrupt or Incompetent?

- 8 Better Ways to Spend $64.99 Than Ordering Pacquaio-Bradley

- 8 Better Ways to Spend $69.95 Than Ordering Mayweather-Cotto

- Who are the Preakness Owners and How Did They Make Their Money?


- A Day Trip to Auschwitz

- EuroCup part I; EuroCup part II

- Green Bay for Packers-Giants playoff and epic weekend

- Indianapolis for Big Ten title game

- Losing on a last-second hail mary to Michigan State

- Losing on a last-minute hail mary at Ohio State

- Madison for Nebraska, Will’s Northwoods for Packers-Broncos

Joe Paterno

- Why Joe Paterno HAD to Go

- Joe Paterno’s Complicated Legacy

- New Emails Confirm That Joe Paterno Acted in Self-Preservation to Cover Up Jerry Sandusky


- Trying the New Cantina Bell Burrito Bowl From Taco Bell

- How to Make Enchilada Pie

World Wide Wednesdays

- Via Google.

My Daily Meal Food Slideshows

- Here.

Chicagoist Archive

- On Will’s Northwoods Inn, Q101, some more.


- HuffPo long read on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado.

- On The Awl: What Return Can You Expect on That $2 Lottery Ticket?

- Sconnie Nation Keeps Growing

June 27, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

How I saw the Internet this week

Deep Routes

- My piece on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado got published on Huffington Post!

Perhaps the greatest reason for the banking issue faced by the medical marijuana industry is that the federal government has been sending mixed signals. While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s circulation of the Ogden Memo in late-2009 seemed to imply that medical marijuana policy and regulation would be left at the discretion of individual states, the federal government intervened in January when Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to 23 MMCs located within 1,000 feet of schools, giving them 45 days to close. In March, 25 more MMCs received letters.

One recipient of the first round of letters was Greenwerkz, the MMC that AIDS patient Damien LaGoy bought his medicine from. “They really believed that they were caregivers,” LaGoy says. “If I didn’t have any money at the time, they’d say, ‘Well, don’t go without. We’ll get you through until you can pay.’ And they did.” While there are two other Greenwerkz locations, its now-closed spot on Colfax was the only one that is reasonably accessible to LaGoy.

Greenwerkz owner Dan Rogers is understandably aggravated at the development, especially since he deliberately complied with the regulations that he was ultimately forced to shut down for violating. “We were sensitive for the 1,000 foot rule three years ago,” Rogers says. “We purposely only looked for dispensaries that we believed were over 1,000 feet. Our dispensary that got shut down was actually 1,300 feet away as the pedestrian distance goes. But as the crow flies–which is what the Department of Justice used to measure–we fell within that measurement.”

“I can say with 100% certainty that our dispensary that got closed never once sold to a kid or to an unlicensed patient,” Rogers says. “The distinguishing characteristic for me is that street level drug dealers don’t make those kind of decisions. I would turn people away because they weren’t licensed. You don’t get that luxury in the black market. A regulated model does work because it’s not worth my risking my business to sell to someone that is not compliant.”

Greenwerkz sent a letter of appeal to the Department of Justice but it was to no avail. Its location that provided 60% of the business’s overall revenue–which cost nearly $100,000 to build while providing social benefits in the forms of jobs, taxes, and community services–was forced to close its doors.

“There are responsible operators and we take this seriously,” Rogers says. “We want to be good neighbors and we want to do the right thing. We just need to be given the ability.” Government resources would have been better allocated in seeking out MMCs that do not comply with vertical integration regulation and/or have lax standards in making sure that they only sell to legitimate patients.

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

June 25, 2012

Trip Diary: EuroCup Part II

What a week! I have A LOT to cover. Since I last wrote, I went to Portugal vs Czech Republic in Warsaw, Greece vs Germany in Gdansk, watched two matches in the Warsaw fan zone and an England loss at a huge sports bar in London, and had three nights where I saw the sunrise. I shared drinks, meals, and/or conversations with people from America, Canada, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Here are some of the highlights:

Czech Republic vs Portugal in Warsaw

Like Ireland vs Italy, this was a match where it was clear after about 10 minutes that the Czech Republic’s best chance to win would come from a 120-minute 0-0 tie followed by a shoot-out victory; it just looked like they could play for 10 hours and not score except via a fluky breakaway or penalty. Portugal’s goal came on a beautiful Cristiano Ronaldo header that bounced up off the ground at about a 45-degree angle and took a short hop over the Czech goalie. The timing, strength, and coordination of this goal were unfathomable:

To make it even better, the goal happened RIGHT in front of us. For this game, I was supposed to sit by myself but was struck by unbelievably good fortune. Kevin, my dad’s friend who invited me on the trip, was having issues connecting with the person he bought his tickets from on Ebay. They were supposed to meet by the stadium but the scalper’s phone was dead for an hour as repeated calls and text messages went unreturned. During this fiasco, we ran into a ticket broker from Toronto who I had met on the train back from Auschwitz the day before. He set us up with someone who had 8th-row seats which would have been between the 20- and 30-yard lines on an NFL field. These three seats ended up being in the same section as those he was supposed to buy and were seven rows closer to the field. Also, the three tickets were 150 euros cheaper in total than the two that he was supposed to buy.

Continue reading Trip Diary: EuroCup Part II

June 21, 2012

A Day Trip To Auschwitz

In Poland for the Eurocup, I had a day off from soccer yesterday. Up at 6 am after a crazy night (full story on that tomorrow…) and catching the end of Heat-Thunder, I decided that since I didn’t know when the next time I’d have the opportunity to see it again, I had to go see Auschwitz on what was really my only free day on this trip. Even though the trip was five hours each way by train, I’d do it again a thousand times over.

Once every year or two, it’s important to see direct evidence of wholesale human suffering–this can either be past or present. Ironically, there is no better cure for my own first world problems. Break-ups, career struggles, writer’s block, fatigue, clogged shower drains, and other things that seem so devastating to me are put into their proper perspective when just 70 years ago I could have been forced on a 10-day train ride cramped shoulder-to-shoulder in cabins with no food or water and arrived in Auschwitz to be sentenced to execution via gas chamber. Only pure luck dictates that my life and those of Holocaust victims are not reversed–you can’t control when, where, or to whom you’re born and the Auschwitz victims’ only crimes were existing at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Auschwitz Main Gate. Photo credit:

Continue reading A Day Trip To Auschwitz

May 23, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

How I saw the Internet this week

Deep Routes

- Yahoo’s Mike Silver caught up with Tom Brady Sr., who said that he would be “very hesitant” to let his son play football in the concussion era:

“No, not without hesitation,” Tom Brady Sr. said. “I would be very hesitant to let him play.”

Though things worked out for the kid who quarterbacked the New England Patriots to the fifth Super Bowl of his future Hall of Fame career last winter, the elder Brady believes any responsible parent should be reacting to the growing research linking head trauma and degenerative brain conditions with gravity and concern.

“Tommy did not play football until he was 14, because we didn’t think he was physically developed enough to play the sport,” Brady Sr. said of his now 34-year-old son. “It’s the same reason I wouldn’t let him throw a curveball until that age. I told him, ‘If I see you throw a curve, I will pull you right off this field,’ and he knew I meant it.

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

May 16, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

by Ryan Glasspiegel - Follow SportsRapport on Twitter

Deep Routes

- Drew Magary profiles Justin Bieber for GQ (never thought I’d see the day where Drew was connected with either of them…). Here’s Bieber’s brand new pimped out ride:

A bit later, someone alerts Bieber that West Coast Customs has arrived with his new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. So now he’s running out to the parking lot to give it a once-over. It took West Coast six weeks to trick out the van, and WCC founder Ryan Friedlinghaus is here to hand-deliver the keys.

The Sprinter is exactly the car that an 18-year-old with too much money would drive. The interior is lined with Alcantara. There are two reclining seats way in back, with bucket seats lining the driver’s side of the main cabin, as in a stretch limo. There are three hi-def TVs, a computer dock, and a fully operational recording studio along the passenger side. All that’s missing is a button that spews out an oil slick, Spy Hunter–style, to foil paparazzi. Bieber’s pals try to guess how much it costs. “Definitely not a million,” says someone. One of Bieber’s business advisers, a woman named Allison Kaye, isn’t wild about the new toy. “Oh, this just screams inconspicuous,” she says to Bieber. No response.

Everyone gathers around as Bieber tours the van. He is euphoric. So much so that he has decided to pledge his loyalty to West Coast Customs forever and to decry its rival, Platinum Motorsport. “Fuck Platinum,” he says. “Platinum can suck a dick, man. West Coast all day.” This is a different Bieber from the one who was imprisoned with me just five minutes ago. This must be the Bieber that Bieber would like to be all the time. His R-rated rant, though, draws a reprimand from Friedlinghaus. “I respect everyone’s business—it’s all love, dog,” he tells Bieber. “Dudes came from my neighborhood, you know what I mean?” Bieber is chastened. “I respect that,” he says. To atone, he invites Friedlinghaus and the entire West Coast Crew into his recording bungalow to listen to the new songs. “I’m 18 years old and I’m a swaggy adult!” he yells. “Come on, swaggy bros!”

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

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