Thursday, July 31, 2008

Titletown USA

Valdosta, Georgia was announced as ESPN's winner for the voting of Titletown USA.   What happens in Valdosta, GA that makes it better than NYC, LA, or even Boston right now?  I do not understand how NYC can not be Titletown USA with all the sports teams that New York has and championships that they have brought back to the big apple.  

The parameters were never set forth by ESPN, so maybe it had to be an actual town, not a city.  Who knows, and who has even heard of Valdosta, Ga?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This Saturday the NY Jets released back-up punter Joe Smith, who wears jersey number 4.  Brett Favre also signed his papers to be reinstated into the NFL on Tuesday.  Could this be an omen for the emergence of Brett Favre to the city of bright lights and big buildings?  As if that is not enough fuel to fuel Jets fans fire, the Green Bay packers quickly picked up Joe Smith.  Coincidental isn't it?

You might ask, who is Joe Smith?  So I did some research and really couldn't find much.  He played for the CWU Wildcats (Central Washington) in college and signed as a free agent with the Jets last season.  In college he was a two sport athlete, playing football and baseball.  He signed with the NY Mets as a pitcher after college in 2007.  He did not play a down last season for the J-E-T-S, behind punter #7 Ben Graham.  Will they release Graham in the future to pick up #7 Mike Vick?  I'd love to see that.

Sorry you had to go Joe, but If Brett is coming to the City, C-ya.  I wouldn't even care if the Jets left Favre in there to punt.  Maybe even toss in a little fake every now and then.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knicks Making Trades

"Renaldo Balkman’s days as a member of the New York Knicks have come to an end. The “Associated Press“ reported Monday that the Knicks traded the small forward to the Denver Nuggets for guards Bobby Jones, Taurean Green, and a 2010 second round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Balkman played two years for the Knicks and averaged 4.2 points, 3.8 rebounds per game. The Nuggets will also receive money in the deal from New York. Both Green and Jones who do not have guaranteed contracts are expected to be released by the Knicks."  

Dirty Donaghy Gets His Sentence

Ex NBA referee Tim Donaghy received 15 months in prison today for his part in an FBI probe regrading gambling on NBA games.  He will also have to undergo counseling for gambling addiction upon his release from prison.  He will be sent to a normal, level 1 prison, not a anything maximum.  Because this is also a federal matter, mandatory minimum statutes state that Donaghy must do 85% of his sentence, meaning at least a year in prison.

Donaghy pleaded guilty to these charges earlier in the year and agreed to talk to prosecutors and the NBA regarding the matter.  For that, he believed he would get a lighter sentence.  However, the 15 month sentence seemed to be the opposite of that.  I believe that the amount of national attention and the type of crime that this was is the reason behind his extreme prison sentence.  The other two co-defendants in this case received a year in prison.  These were the two others that Donaghy ratted on.  If this was a normal case Donaghy might have got  the same if not more time than the other two for his cooperation.  

The magnitude of this case is what forced Tim to get this sentence.  The judge was looking to make an example out of him and scare others away from this type of crime.  After hearing what Donaghy said about other referee's I expect more referee to be found guilty of this crime.  Donaghy only named one, I'm sure there are others out there.

Fav-Rah Update

Check out to read the latest update on the always controversial, Brett Favre situation.  Click HERE to read what Favre recently discussed with the Packers organization.

Wouldn't You Like To Be C.C. Sabathia's Agent?

Instead of waiting until the team came home to meet his new teammates, Sabathia and his agent, Brian Peters of Legacy Sports, decided he should meet the Brewers on the road and hang out with them in the dugout. That initial meeting must have gone great, as CC has now helped lead the Brew Crew to the top spot in NL Wild Card hunt.

Since getting traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, CC Sabathia has gone 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA and pitched 3 complete games.  The Brewers have been streaking forward to claim the top spot since acquiring Sabathia.  Seems like a great trade for Milwaukee even if it is only a three-month, million dollar rental.

Peters and CC are entitled to $11 million this year from his contract with the Indians that Milwaukee took over not long ago.  He only signed a contract until the end of the 2008 season and will be on the open market again after the Brewers finish the season.  For the Brew Crew, it could be a short rental to help them get to the playoffs for the first time since 1983.

Sabathia has been playing great since his trade and has shown teams why they need to pick him up next year.  Leading Milwaukee to the post season for the first time in a long time would make Brewers fans happy enough, but a great showing in the post season would make CC and his agent a lot more money in next year’s contract.

Johan Santana could be considered an equally important pitcher to his team.  CC’s agent, Brian Peters should be in the position to ask for at least as much as Santana signed for this past season with the Mets ($137.5 million in six years).  CC did win the CY Young last season and is also a great hitter at the pitcher position.  Before he was traded to Milwaukee, he was leading all NL pitchers in RBIs (7), hits (12), batting average (.300, minimum 25 plate appearances), and slugging percentage (.475).  Whatever team is fortunate enough to pick up CC should be thinking about paying him in the range of $140 million plus for about 4/5 years.

The Indians offered him a 4-year extension worth $72 million that he turned down.  He is obviously going to get more than that now; maybe even double after his play the past two years.  Ryan Braun and others are hot right now, and the Brewers look like serious contenders.  Sabathia and Ben Sheets are a solid pitching duo and the team knows how to hit. If Sabathia wins another CY Young and Milwaukee wins the World Series, imagine the hand that Peters could be playing with in front of MLB owners and GMs.

The only thing his agent could be worried about is that he is throwing a lot of pitches lately (3 complete games), and might get tired towards the end of the season. On the other hand, Sabathia is looking very tough right now and will be earning the big bucks no matter what. As I said in the title, who wouldn’t want to be CC Sabathia’s agent at this great time?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Posada Out Rest of Season

The Yankee's starting catcher Jorge Posada announced that he will have season ending shoulder surgery.  Jose Molina, from the Molina brothers, has filled in nice for the Yanks' so far and will continue to fill that roll for the rest of the year.

Posada was activated June 5 from the DL following a 32-game absence with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff.  But he had to be returned to the 15-day DL last Monday.

Posada has been trying to heal from that shoulder all year, ever since he came to Virginia Tech for the Hokie v Yankee scrimmage.  It has bothered him costantly this season and he has now decided to put it behind him and concentrate on making a 100% recovery for next year season.

Mak The Puggle

About a year and a half ago, a friend and I drove after class to Nashville, Tennessee to purchase my first dog.  I had been looking on the Internet at puggles for several weeks now and had finally found the perfect one.  I had arranged to meet up as soon as possible, which happened to be in the middle of the week before exams late at night.  I drove eight hours each way to pick up Mak.  He was the cutest dog (in a heterosexual way) I had ever seen.  He slept the whole way back barely making any noise, and only needed to stop and pee once.  At six weeks old he was already the perfect dog.

Coming from Nashville, Tennessee I knew that Mak was bound for stardom someday.  I believe he will be my first client in the entertainment business.  He would be a perfect model for advertisements or even in commercials.  He has the cutest face and is really small.  Weighing only 23.3 lbs the puggle is a great designer brand dog and is one of the hottest new dogs on the market.  A puggle was recently on the cover of Dogworld magazine and they have been in many ads that I have seen in magazines.   I have an Absolut ad on my wall with a puggle on it.  Mak looks way cooler than that puggle.  Here are some more pics of Mak, please tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Shark Saves: The Samardzija Report

Jeff Samardzija got his first save on Sunday for the Cubbies.  Unlike Gregg Norman at The Open, this Shark (Samardzija) closed out the game for the win.   The Shark (he got this nickname while playing wide receiver for the Fighting Irish) pitched two innings for the Cubbies and instead of blowing a save like his first outing, helped the team win 9-6 recording his first career save.

The Shark threw two scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts on 25 pitches, before Jim Edmonds made a diving catch to end the game.  He improved his ERA to 2.25 with 5 overall strike outs this season on two appearances.  He is throwing great and with the return of Kerry Wood from injury looking less likely each passing day, Samardzija will likely be closing out many games for the first place Chicago Cubs.

The Road To Redemtion

The Road To REDEMPTION seems to be the slogan for this years "Dream Team."  Team USA basketball won the bronze medal in the last Olympics and are taking this year a lot more serious as they are attempting to win back the Gold medal for USA.  

Team USA dominated team Canada Friday night in Las Vegas 120-65.  Team USA outscored Canada 91-40 in the last three quarters and went on to win the game .

Carmello Anthony, Michael Redd and Dwayne Wade were the top score's for USA with 20 points.  CP-3 looked sick and had some nasty passes, as did Jason Kidd.  The team looked really strong and had plenty of scoring power.  The International game plays ten minute quarters instead of 12 like the NBA, and Team USA was easily able to get in triple digits.  
Canada is nothing great, and USA will have tougher exhibitions next week in China but for a first game, Coach K definitely has to be impressed.  The only scare is that LeBron James was sitting out nursing a twisted ankle.  

Here are some stats  and information from Team USA's website on the game.

"Shooting lights-out in their only domestic exhibition contest, six players scored in double digits, including three with 20 points apiece as the 2008 USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team (1-0) opened its five-game exhibition series with a 120-65 victory over Canada on Friday evening in the 2008 State Farm USA Basketball Challenge. Played in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,498 fans at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., and an ESPN nationally televised audience, the USA was led by 20 points each from Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks) and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat). The fan favorites also received 15 points from Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Deron Williams (Utah Jazz) notched 14 and Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) tossed in 11 points and dished out eight assists."

Bubbly The Destroyer

What would you think if you saw a 5-foot-8-inch, 135-pound, gorgeous blonde, 34-year-old personal trainer and former National Fitness Champ named “Bubbly the Destroyer?”  Sounds intimidating huh?  Well, “Bubbly the Destroyer” is only the name her husband, sports agent Bruce Horn, jokingly calls her.  Competitors and viewers of the newest American Gladiators know her as “Venom” (the stunning woman to the left of this text).

One of my favorite early childhood memories was watching TGIF and American Gladiators in the 80’s.  Watching gladiator athletes that seemed to be super-human beings, match off against normal dudes and dude-ettes like me and you is always exciting to me.  I would usually root for the contestants and hope for the almighty gladiators to slip up, so I could see something exciting.  I still wonder how many of the gladiators used or are currently using HGH or other illegal steroids (other than Beth, of course).

Last season NBC brought back American Gladiators with Hulk Hogan as the main announcer.  It is the same concept from the 80’s, except this new age version has more intense athletes and slightly different advanced events.

As one of the new Gladiators, Beth had a hard time thinking of a name that would cause her opponents to tremble.  She said in the Chicago Post, “The name ‘Galaxy,’ I thought that would be cool.” Bruce suggested Indigo, because of her blue eyes, but producers eventually went with Venom. And so Bruce became “Mr. Venom” (as NBC producers call him) and Beth’s biggest supporter. A cheerleader, even.

The article in the Chicago tribune described how “normal” this couple’s life is and how the two deal with their jobs together.  For all of you that wonder what it takes to meet and marry a gladiator goddess like Beth, the story discusses that as well.  Beth and Bruce seem extremely happy together.  The story is a great look at the true life of an American Gladiator.  It is not all just extreme lifting, roids, screaming and wanting to knock others out.  Beth shows the soft and sexier side of these so called cold, hard athletes.

Like myself, Beth and Bruce watched the original American Gladiators show.  However, when Beth watched she always cheered for the Gladiators.  Maybe that is why she became one today.  ”I used to watch it all the time … and I cheered for the Gladiators!”, Beth admitted in the article.  Now it is Bruce’s turn to watch Beth compete as a Gladiator.  He loves watching and loves helping her with her career.  They even go to conferences and autograph signings together.  What a close agent-client relationship those two must have.

Venom and the rest of the American Gladiators will be starting back again on NBC soon.  Bruce Horn will certainly be watching Venom, what about you?  Ever think about representing an American Gladiator?

This article was also posted on

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Joba Kicks Butt

New York has not lost since coming back from the All-Star break.  The Yankees extended there win streak to seven games as they inched a game closer to Boston on Friday night, winning 1-0.  The Yanks' amazing flame throwing youngster Joba Chamberlain got the win as he threw 7 innings of scoreless baseball.  

Joba is nasty and showed he has mad skills this game.  He was finally able to get a win and improved to 3-3 on the year since moving into the starting rotation.  He had  a string of many no decisions, I think it is at 8 total ND's this year.  I have Joba in both my fantasy baseball teams and he has paid off big for me but hasn't gotten many W's, not this game. 

 Joba struck out nine batters and looked smooth and nasty.  He did run into some controversy in the 7th inning when he almost hit Kevin Youkalis.  Joba threw at Youk' two times earlier this year so he thought this time was intentional and got mad.  I do not believe it was at all.   Chamberlain was just trying to pitch inside to scare him which it definitely did.  After 
this incident Joba went on to strike Kevin out.  

I just wanted to make this post to describe how nasty Joba is for a 23 year old.  He is the man and will be the man in NYC for a while.  I believe him Hughes and Kennedy will lead the Yankees to some championships, hopefully one could be this year.  The Yanks' just picked up some Pirate players in a trade and are looking to make more moves in the AL. Xavier Nady will help add some more power to the Yankees lineup and should replace Matsui and Gardner.  The Yankees also pick up another Pitcher for the improving rotation.

Added firepower to the Yanks is always good for the playoff hunt, so is the emergence of Yankee pitching.  Joba has proven to be nasty and can take the injured Wang's spot until he returns in September.  Pettite has 11 wins and Mussina has a surprising 13 wins already.  Those three along with Rasner are pitching great for the Yanks.  This will need to continue if they hope to win the AL East or win the wild card.  Being in the post season for the 14th time in a row is on line for the Yanks this year.  With Joba throwing missiles like he did Friday against the Sox, things are looking good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Samardzija Starts Pitching

The former wide receiver from Notre Dame football, Jeff Samardzija, made his first major league appearance today for the Cubbies.  The hard throwing righty, came in during the top of the 7th and threw his first five pitches with some heat.  Throwing 91, 95, 97, 92 and 98 MPH fastballs and struck out his first batter.  His next batter got a hit and went on to tie the game that inning with 2 outs.  The 8th inning began with Samardzija sitting the Marlins down in order, 1-2-3.

Although he gave up a run, Jeff did look impressive in his debut.  He threw some curve balls, splitters and a lot of fast balls in the 90's.  For a 23 year old two sport athlete from Notre Dame I was impressed with his first outing and believe he will a solid contributor to the Cubs rotation.

Brett The Jett

The New York Jets have received permission to talk to retired Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Friday.

Apparently, the Jets and the Tampa Bay Bucs have hinted that they are interested in Favre.  The Minnesota Vikings seem to be looming large for Favre but I can not see the Packers letting him go to their NFC rival.  The Jets seem like a more favorable place for Favre, if the Pack even let him off their roster.

Favre has reportedly told Packers GM and coaches that he would like to come to training camp and plans to submit his reinstatement letter to the league soon.  Would Green Bay ever trade the fabled Favre?  If so, the green and white of the J-E-T-S, JETS, and the city of New York would love to host the Favre's.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Leland Hardy Interview

Darren had a great interview with agent extraordinaire Leland Hardy.  Hardy represents such people as Ricky Williams, Master P, "Fast" Eddie Chambers, Michigan's pride- General Motors, and can speak many different languages.  He is extremely interesting as you will see from this interview.  Darren had the delight of speaking to him recently here is how it went.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wisdom Teeth

I recently had my wisdom teeth out, and OUCH.  I did not have all four teeth impounded but still, it was painful.  I did not feel a thing until several hours after, for the obvious reasons, but I am and was extremely sore for a long time.  I did not get dry socket like many others (they say only 5% get it, but 40% of the people I know had it), but for some reason my right side and the back of my neck was hurting.  Not a fun couple of days. My suggestion is that you get the gas when you get your wisdom teeth out and that you make sure you clean and rinse at least 3/4 times a day to avoid dry socket.  I did not even have it and it was bad, I could only imagine the pain if you had it.  Anyways, enough of the 8th grade banter....

I am heading to Bronx, NY to go see a Yankee vs Minnesota Twins game this Tuesday night.  I am extremely excited.  There are less than 30 games left at Yankee stadium before it get torn down and I will be there with great seats too.   Me and my friend Kenny paid BIG BUX$$ to get tickets right behind the Yankee dug out near first base.  I haven't been to Yankee Stadium since I was about 9, so this will be memorable.  I will give you an update when I get back from "the house that Ruth built."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Shark Drowns In Brittain

The title says enough...One of my favorite golfers Greg Norman who is known for his late round, Sunday choke, did exactly that.  With a 2 shot lead he shot +7 to tie for third at The British Open.  I love Norman but come on man you gotta close out a tournament sometime in your career.  What a better time to do it than when your on our honeymoon (to tennis great Chris Evert) and not even a full time golfer.  Instead he continued his traditional routine of losing his lead on Sunday and not winning a fold tournament.

  When I was a little baby boy and watch "the shark"  he was #1 in the world and still never won a major.  I think he won two total tournaments in his great career, and he still is seen as one of the best golfers.  He is basically the sign for the American red cross and the choke as he did it constantly in his career.  At least you can see he tried and for a part time player in retirement did not do too shabby.  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Michigan Laws Crack-Down

The first "sagging" law was introduced in Virginia congress in 2005.  It was designed to criminalize "sagging" pats in public.  But here's the good news: the saggy drawers crack down (no pun intended) did not just end in VA.  Other states have flirted with the option but now officer's in Flint, Michigan will now be ordered to enforce this newly enacted law. 

Michigan, Flint specifically has a lot worse things that the police should be looking out for, besides "sagging" pants on the streets.  I do agree that it looks ridiculous, but still fines and jail time for this type of crime does not fit.  I agree with a warning first, and then a small fine if it is indecent exposure on the public streets.  As long as an individuals underwear is not showing 100% and their pants aren't down to their knee's who cares.   Just don't look at them if you do not agree with their "style."  

All over the world people do different things that some think are gross and uncouth.  Watch the history channel for a day and you will definitely find some shows that describes the different cultures across the world. What American society deems appropriate and classy could, and usually is, viewed differently across the world.

What about the bias in this law as well.  I'm certainly no racist, but you can not say that this law is not targeting African Americans who are in gangs or "sag" to fit in.  However you look at it, the law clearly is aimed at a specific culture.  You would never see elderly people sag, nor would you see blue blooded, white collared people sag (unless your watching the movie, Malibu's Most Wanted).  And what about ladies?  I rarely see girls sag if ever.  Does this law apply to girls who have their thongs hanging out all the time?  Technically that could be the ladies equivalent to sagging?  This law is silly and I don't know how long this should and could last on the books.   

If you were wondering how far is too far and if your crossing the line with your "sag" in Michigan, here is the graphic from the Detroit Free Press.

Left:A Class C offense, exposing a portion of the undergarment but no skin, will result in a warning.

Center: A Class B offense involves a sag below the gluteal curve, but one that similarly exposes only the undergarment.

Right:Class A violations are those in which the sag of pants and/or undergarment results in any exposure of the rear cleavage.  This offense could also result in a year in jail.

The Legality Of Sex Tapes

Technology in our time has advanced quite rapidly.  The internet is a great outlet for marketing and connects people socially, and economically all over the world.  This is not always a good thing.  Many people have been caught in approved and unaproved digital sex tapes.  These tapes have been put online for a worldwide audience to view, and in some cases they are done so without the participants permission.  As many of you know that Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and many others have been unfortunate enough to have their sex tapes leaked to the public.  Here is an article I came across titled, The Sex Tape Problem...and a Possible Legislative Solution.  This described the growing number of sex tapes in society and the kind of tapes that exist.  It also covered the legal aspects and a possible solution in the future for people who leak sex tapes.  Here are some parts from the article I particularly enjoyed.

Public distributions of sex tapes are surprisingly common. Check out the long list of celebrity sex tapes at Wikipedia. A Westlaw search for the term "sex tape" in all state/federal cases yields 29 lawsuits reported in Westlaw (I'm sure there are synonyms that would reveal more litigation that has made it into Westlaw, and of course Westlaw covers only a small fraction of the cases).

From a legal standpoint, it's easy to offer some proactive suggestions for people creating a sex tape. One, don't make a sex tape unless you can fully control it technologically (or you don't mind if the tape becomes the most-downloaded video on the Internet). Of course, perfect technological control over digital bits may be impossible nowadays; for example, some of the celebrity sex tapes were allegedly leaked by computer repair personnel. Two, if you make a sex tape and don't fully control it technologically, clearly delineate with the other party/parties the disposition of the sex tape in various circumstances, such as breakup. From a lawyer's standpoint, a written contract would be nice.  

I was recently discussing this issue with a colleague over lunch and we started kicking around the idea that maybe the sex tape problem would benefit from legislative intervention. Yes, in this limited circumstance for this specific problem, even I am willing to acknowledge that a new law might be worth considering. Our discussion covered two interrelated ideas:

1) It should be impermissible for someone to distribute a sex tape online without all depicted individuals having consented to the distribution. (We could easily extend that to offline distributions as well, but I'm just focusing on the problems of Internet publication now).

2) Intermediary online publishers should be subject to a DMCA-style notice-and-takedown scheme where a non-consenting party can provide suitably rigorous notice that the tape was distributed without his/her consent, in which case the intermediary has some time post-notification to remove the tape before facing further consequences. The notice-and-takedown scheme should also provide the poster with a counter-notification process that shifts the legal liability back to the poster and off the intermediary. Obviously, this requirement would need to override 47 USC 230. However, the notice-and-takedown scheme is essential to give the non-consenting party some effective recourse against the quick proliferation of a video to multiple sites.

Fantasy Stock Market

For all of you who like fantasy sports and are interested in the stock market, but don't have enough money to invest a lot now, here's your solution, Fantasy Stock Market.  Here you can learn the ropes of the stock market, understand the terms, and even pick out some stocks to watch for future purchase.  It's all fake money so why not try it out now before your losing real money later.  You can sign up for a 7 day Free trial, but after seven days you  have to pick a subscription package to pay for.  

Once those seven days are up, go to GOOGLE Finance and create a personal stock profile.  It is just like Fantasy Stock Market except less competitive.  It is just like keeping a regular portfolio for yourself and is also free.  I have been watching mine for over a year now.  I only wish it was real, I've chosen some good ones.  Too much Mad Money with Cramer.  BooooYa!

Stay tuned for my fantasy sports update in a future post.

Get Well Oscar Diaz

On Wednesday night Oscar Diaz boxed Delvin Rodriguez at a nationally televised event.  Diaz collapsed late in the match.  He was heading to his corner when he collapsed and was rushed to the E.R.  Oscar suffered from bleeding  to the brain and was sent into surgery.  The surgery was a success and saved his life.  He is now is a coma now, but the doctors say he will survive.  My best wishes go out to Oscar and his family. Get Well soon Oscar, best of luck.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vitamin Water 2

Ever since
my last post regarding my obsession with Vitamin Water and its health effects, I have tried to cut back with little success.  I am aware of the calories and sugar involved in this drink and its claim to be "vitamin water" when it might really be sugars and water, but it tastes too good to stop drinking permanently.  Compared to other drinks it is a little more pricey and is hard to find in cases.  However when I am in a gas station and I have to decide on a drink, I always fine myself going to the VW.  Soda is out of the running ever since I swore it off in high school, and juices all have just as much sugar and are the same price.  Even bottled water now a days costs more than sodas and juices.  I mean what is a guy to choice other than Glaceau's Vitamin Water.

The only problem is my favorite flavor ever, does not get distributed near me.  I have searched all of VA and still have not found the b-relaxed flavor of VW.  The jackfruit and guava flavor tastes almost like cotton candy to me.  Who would not like a cotton candy flavored drink?  The taste does make me wonder if this flavor has more sugar than others, but upon checking I notice that all Vitamin Water 20 oz bottles have the same total carbs, and 50 calories.  The type of vitamins and the flavors are all that differs.  So, if anyone knows where to find b-relaxed, PLEASE let me know.  Maybe when I'm an agent soon, I can get Vitamin Water to sponsor me. If Big Poppi can do it why can't I?

Cheech and Chong Hypo

 This article was posted on The Wall Street Journals Law Blog, and titled, A Ruling Even These Guys Would Love.

A hypothetical scenario: Cheech & Chong are driving down the road (Cheech is driving; Chong riding shotgun), when a state trooper pulls them over for speeding. The trooper smells marijuana in the car and, his suspicion based solely on the scent, proceeds to search both Cheech and Chong. Ultimately, he finds on Chong, the passenger, a pipe and a small bit of marijuana. Chong is arrested and charged with drug possession.

Prior to trial, Chong moves to suppress the evidence, claiming that the mere scent of marijuana emanating from the car did not give the officer probable cause to search the car. Does Chong win?

Turns out, if Chong’s in Washington State, he does. The state’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the smell of pot in a car does not constitute probable cause to search the car’s passengers. Here’s the story from the Seattle P-I. Here’s the opinion.

The court’s decision, based on a provision in the Washington State Constitution (which, in turn, is based on the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) will not bar authorities from searching a car because it smells of drugs, the court said. When it comes to passengers, though, the scent of pot alone doesn’t give probable cause to arrest everyone in the car. Officers need additional evidence that each individual broke the law.

“Our cases have strongly and rightfully protected our constitution’s protection of individual privacy,” Justice Charles Johnson wrote for the court. “The protections … do not fade away or disappear within the confines of an automobile.”

“As a general statement, it’s a step back from the direction that our government has been going as we’re veering into a sort of surveillance society,” said Alison Holcomb of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington chapter. “It strikes me as refreshing that the court has reaffirmed the values that our constitution calls for.”

Law enforcement officials said Thursday’s ruling should have a minimal effect on day-to-day policing in the state. “This is just going to require a little more investigation on the part of our officers on the street, to develop some additional probable cause,” said Don Pierce, director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Agent or Advisor, What's The Difference?

Amongst all of the discussion regarding the recruiting of high school and college athletes, the two words "agent" and "advisor" always seems to come up.  The difference between the two could mean a violation of NCAA rules and cause an agent to lose their certification.  Deciding the appropriate time to change an advisor's relationship into that of an agent can be pivotal as well.  I just finished a post on called "The Guillory Effect."  This post talked about OJ Mayo's relationship with his "runner/advisor" Rodney Guillory.  Upon researching this relationship I came across an old post on Darren's website that clarified the the two relationships to me.  Here is a section from the article titled, Agent or Advisor

"An agent is documented by the NCAA as anyone who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletic ability. That definition is extremely vague, and allows for an agent to be an advisor before any true marketing is done on behalf of friend/client.

Main benefit of being labeled as an advisor: Your friend (client) can maintain NCAA eligibility - this allows a player considering leaving college early for the pros to return to his/her college team if contract negotiations with a professional team fails. Signing with an actual agent would end friend’s (client’s) college eligibility."

Read the rest of Darrens article if you want to learn more about the difference between agents and advisor's.  This time of year is prime time for advisor's in NBA and other sports, as summer camps for young athletes are going on nation-wide.  Knowing the difference between an agent and an advisor and when to retain one can be a crucial decision for many athletes and agents.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jennings Goes To Roma

The best senior PG from the class of 2008 Brandon Jennings, recently decided to forgo his first year with Lute Olsen at Arizona and decided to play in the Italian league.  My previous post on titled Jennings Sets Precedent, Headings Overseas, explained his entire situation.  Jennings was the first high school player to play overseas and make some money instead of playing one year in college.  He is telling the NBA and its "one and done" college rule to shove off and could start a trend amongst high school stars.

The latest news on Jennings came in this Wednesday when he decided where to play.  Jennings and his advisor Sonny Vaccaro decided to sign a "three year  multi-million" contract, with a clause that allows Jennings to leave after for the NBA Draft if he so chooses.  Vaccaro would not give an exact dollar amount yet.  He decided to play for Rome-based Pallacanestro Virtus Roma in the Italian league because Rome is a central city where he can get a lot of exposure and the coach speaks English to the players.  Vaccaro said the city has an American touch to it and is welcome to American's.  Virtus Roma has declared they will Make Jennings face the feature of there team this season.  The "multi-million" dollar contract is high for one year in the Italian league but Jennings looks promising and will attract a lot of attention to Roma.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Read These Please

Ronaldinho Goes To Italy

As I hinted toward earlier in a post, Ronaldinho was looking to get out of Camp Nou and his contract with Barcelona.  Now, the Brazilian soccer great has made soccer headlines,  as he announced he will officially transferr from his former club to the red and black stripes of AC Milan.  

Ronaldinho is viewed by some as the greatest player in the game.  He has amazing foot skills and ability and can bend and swerve the ball as good as Beckham.  The Brazilian wonder will sign a deal with Milan this Wednesday for three seasons until June 30th, 2011.  Milan is paying $33.4 million for the transfer of Ronaldinho plus an additional $6.3 if Ronaldinho helps the Italian team advance to the Champions league next season.

After Barca acquired 'Dinho in 2004, he lead Barcelona to consecutive league titles in 2005-06 and its second European Cup in 2006.  He has since been injured and Barca has not dominated Europe as it did.  Ronaldinho has been seeking to leave Barcelona since new coach Pep Guardiola said that the star was not needed.  "(If) he can get back to being the player he was, perhaps we could have a rethink," Guardiola said last month. "But circumstances are not what they are. I want a strong dressing room in which everyone feels important. That's vital. If we don't look after these aspects, we'll be less strong. And if Ronnie felt this, he would be with us." Said Coach Guardiola.

Ronaldinho was a TWO TIME FIFA World Player of the year and despite his recent injuries, has a lot of football left in him.  Dinho seems to be back and healthy now and ready to plan in Italy.  He was begging Barca to let him go for years now and now gets hid wish.  I believe he will be a vital part of his new team. He should still dominate the midfield and have plenty of sick no look passes and amazing through balls.  This move will make the Italian league a lot more exciting, and should push the play up a notch.  He joins Brazilian team mates of Kaka, and Alexandre Pato at Milan.

STILL Amazed By Hamilton's First Round

I am STILL amazed by Josh Hamilton's first round performance last night at the HR derby.  ESPN analyst's as well as many newspapers are just as amazed as me.  I can't get over the fact that he hit 28 total home runs, but almost all of those homers were upper deck.  Barely any of the 28 squeaked over, they were all struck with such power, even when he miss hit the pitch it would still go yard.  

He hit 3 home runs OVER 500 ft, and hit the Bank Of America sign in the air several times.  For those of you who watched it, I do not think we will see another performance like that again by another athlete for years (unless Hamilton hits in the derby next year).  He made it look easy to hit the ball that far, but in reality Josh Hamilton is a beast.

Invest In An NFL Team

I recently read an article that claimed The NFL is worth more than the MLB and NFL combined.   Claiming average NFL teams are worth $960 million, where MLB’s average is $475. The NBA average is $375. And NHL’s average is $200.  Here is some more interesting facts along with the list of overall teams net worth.

  • The New York Yankees are the only non-NFL franchise in the top 27. The Mets, Red Sox and Dodgers are the only other MLB franchises in the top 40.
  • In the NBA, the New York Knicks are the most valuable franchise despite being horrendous for the last several years… proof that market size and hometown are the key influencer. The top four teams (Knicks, Lakers, Bulls and Pistons) are four of the most storied, winning franchises.
  • Baseball has the biggest disparity from top to bottom while the NFL - a league known for its parity - is pretty flat… so the least valuable team, the Atlanta Falcons, can still be competitive. This is also interesting because the Falcons have fallen terribly after losing Michael Vick - one of the league’s most marketable players.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are the most valuable NHL franchise and rank 57th overall at $413 million. That’s over two times the league average.
  • The Boston Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins are worth 1.45 billion combined… less than the Dallas Cowboys.
Rank Team Current Value 1 ($mil) 
1 Dallas Cowboys 1,500
2 Washington Redskins 1,467
3 New York Yankees 1,306
4 New England Patriots 1,199
5 Houston Texans 1,056
6 Philadelphia Eagles 1,052
7 Denver Broncos 994
8 Chicago Bears 984
9 New York Giants 974
10 Cleveland Browns 969
11 New York Jets 967
12 Baltimore Ravens 965
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 963
14 Kansas City Chiefs 960
15 Carolina Panthers 956
16 Miami Dolphins 942
17 Pittsburgh Steelers 929
18 Green Bay Packers 927
19 Tennessee Titans 922
20 Seattle Seahawks 921
21 Cincinnati Bengals 912
22 Indianapolis Colts 911
23 St Louis Rams 908
24 Arizona Cardinals 888
25 Detroit Lions 870
26 New Orleans Saints 854
27 San Diego Chargers 826
28 New York Mets 824
29 Buffalo Bills 821
30 Boston Red Sox 816
31 Oakland Raiders 812
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 811
33 San Francisco 49ers 799
34 Atlanta Falcons 796
35 Minnesota Vikings 782
36 Los Angeles Dodgers 694
37 Chicago Cubs 642
38 New York Knicks 608
39 Los Angeles Lakers 560
40 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 500
41 Chicago Bulls 500
42 Atlanta Braves 497
43 San Francisco Giants 494
44 St Louis Cardinals 484
45 Philadelphia Phillies 481
46 Detroit Pistons 477
47 Seattle Mariners 466
48 Houston Astros 463
49 Houston Rockets 462
50 Dallas Mavericks 461

Braun Representin'

Ryan Braun from the Brewers represented the Brew Crew' and the Jew crew well.  He hit 7 home runs in each round to end up with 14 total.  He needed only two more to advance to the finals against Hamilton.  Several of his shots went upper deck as it looked like he was barely swinging.  He also had his Agent, Nez Balelo of CAA pitching to him.  CAA is starting to show up every where (CAA Gets Involved In Soccer). 

As Darren said in Okay We Realize His Agent Is Pitching To Him, is true.  The announcers and broadcasters said it two million times throughout the derby.  Although I would love to be in Mr. Balelo's situation, pitching in the MLB All-Star game for a client, the announcers were annoying by mentioning it so much.  The fact that a 71 year old, little league coach was pitching to a former crack-cocaine addict, who hit 28 home runs was much more amazing than Braun's agent pitching for him.

2.36 Miles, O My!

Despite hitting 28 home runs in the first round and setting a new MLB record for HR's in one round, Josh Hamilton still LOST the home run derby to Minnesota's Justin Morneau.  All of Josh's home runs together, covered over 2.36 miles of distance.  Hamilton hit 28 homers in the first round, and then faded out during the final two rounds to Morneau.  Hamilton beat Bobby Abreau's previous record of 24 in 2005.  Hamilton hit 35 total yard (2nd most in derby history to Abreau 41), while Mornea only hit 21, but the scores reset the final round, where Hamilton only hit 3 to Justin's 5.  

Not to overshadow Morneau's derby win but Hamilton was Obviously the man.  He looked like he could go forever in the first round.  He had several runs and was distracted many times.  He was stopped by several tea mates (Ian Kinsler and Milton Bradley) and Big "Forever Injured Wrist" Pappi, and was even interrupted by several other All-Stars kids for autographs and and drinks during his at bats.  What a show he put on, although he lost he certainly stole the show in the Big Apple.  Hamilton is a great story, coming back to dominate this year after serious drug addiction and problems.  He really is a remarkable story.  

His smooth easy swing seemed to launch every ball in the upper deck or hitting off the big screen in center field.  At one point Hamilton hit 13 straight homeruns.  He even caused two fans to run into each other and get run down by the police for chasing after a ball that was hit on the black tarp part of Yankee Stadium.  Oh, did I mention he was getting pitches from a 71 year old high school batting practice pitcher. The first round he threw at least 80 pitches, his arm must have been tired after the first round.  That could have effected Hamilton's final round numbers.

I do still have harsh feelings for him for dropping his agent because he was Jewish and went all religious after his addiction.  He can still be Christian and have a Jewish agent.  Read my post, What Would Josh Hamilton Do?