Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NBA Nicknames: The good, the bad, and the nothing special

This is completely a ripoff of a discussion that Bill Simmons had with (Zach Lowe, I think but I forget) on the BS Report where they talked about doing a column ranking the NBA nicknames in terms of relevancy. In keeping with the theme that I’m completely copying Simmons’ whole schtick, this broke down into five categories for me (in order from worst to best):
  • This blatantly makes no sense but we all know why they’re called this
  • Why did you name your team this?
  • Nothing special, this nickname could work in any city/sport
  • Good try
  • Nailed it!

This blatantly makes no sense but we all know why they’re called this

30. Utah Jazz
29. Los Angeles Lakers

Which is greater: number of lakes in Los Angeles or number of jazz flautists in Utah?

Why did you name your team this?

Quick note on this category: we actually kind of know why they named these teams the way they did. But still…. Why?

28. Brooklyn Nets
Back when they were the New York Nets, they had the whole Nets/Mets/Jets thing going. Expect a name change soon. I’m sad to say that I can’t make any more Jay-Z references when I talk about the Nets.

27. Indiana Pacers
Loosely related to auto racing. Not even slightly related to basketball.

26. Los Angeles Clippers
You have to hope that LA gets San Diego’s Channel 4, because a Clipper is actually an old ship used in the Civil War era. Can’t make that up.

Nothing special, this nickname could work in any city/sport

25-19 (tie). Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors

18-15 (tie). Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards

Broke it up into two subcategories (names I like and names I don’t). Quick notes: OKC was almost nicknamed the Twisters, which would have been awkward; Raptors was better when Bosh was their best player because he was also a mascot.

Good try I guess

14. New Orleans Pelicans
Only good if it gets shortened to Cans, because #MardiGras.

13. New York Knicks
I’m going to get a lot of shit for this, but Knickerbockers just doesn’t do it for me.

12. Dallas Mavericks

11. Charlotte Bobcats
Because there are bobcats in North Carolina. When they change to the Hornets, it will probably stay in this range. Allegedly, a British commander during the Revolutionary War referred to Charlotte was a nest of hornets. Not sure if he was referring to basketball, but I doubt it.

10. Detroit Pistons

9. Orlando Magic

8. Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is the only state in the lower 48 with free-roaming packs of timber wolves, which is a little bit terrifying. Also, #VamosWolves.

7. Miami Heat
Because it’s hot in Miami! Get it?

6. Milwaukee Bucks
This is pretty hypocritical, but I like the nod to big buck hunting. Definitely a lot cooler than the Milwaukee White Tail Deer (the WNBA team).

Nailed it!

5. San Antonio Spurs
Spurs -> Cowboys -> Hard work/Not flashy -> Tim Duncan

4. Houston Rockets
The coolest part of the Rockets name is that the nickname originated when the team was in San Diego. And then they moved to the home of NASA and it just got that much better.

3. Denver Nuggets
Originally named for the Colorado gold rush of the 1800s. Now twice as awesome because, you know, Colorado. And nuggets.

2. Boston Celtics
I love Ireland.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

I love America more. 

Ranking the Country/Rap Collaborations

I feel like the title is the only description that you really need. Here we go:

Brad Paisley & Ludacris - Accidental Racist
I'm hesitant to even put this video in the blog. Just a terrible idea that was executed terribly.

Taylor Swift & T-Pain - Thug Story
I'm a tad biased here because I love Taylor but this is a really solid song in the Lonely Island-type of genre. Not so much a rap-country collaboration, really more of a pop singer rapping. But #IKnitSweatersYo so here we are. Still better than Accidental Racist. (Sound below, link to the music video here)

Nelly & Tim McGraw - Over And Over
The song that started it all.

Snoop Dogg & Willie Nelson - Superman
#GoAheadWillie #Woo #Yeehaw #Pot

Jason Aldean & Ludacris - Dirt Road Anthem
Luda made an appearance on the worst collab ever (possibly regardless of genre) but I really like him and Aldean. The southern born/raised attitude (even though Luda has spent a decade telling us he's from the hood) works for Luda. I don't know if I'd believe that he grew up in the same town as Jason Aldean, but it's definitely a good song.

Florida Georgia Line & Nelly - Cruise
I love everything about this song. The original version of Cruise is one of my favorite songs of the summer, and Nelly is awesome in general. I think the FGL guys are just not-redneck enough to make it believable that they would hang out with Nelly. And let's be honest - who wouldn't want to party with Nelly and Florida Georgia Line? (Side note: awesome music video. Classic no plot/hot girls/look at our cars video)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ESPN Poll Question Rundown

If you remember the podcast days (we're working on bringing it back to life - but we'll see) then you remember that my go-to move was just to go through the ESPN.com poll questions and make fun of how the votes broke down state by state.

Well guess what? I'm doing the same thing here, but in blog form so you can see the maps for yourself when they are relevant. (Quick note: there were 18 today so I'm skipping a bunch. Ain't nobody got time for that.)

1. How do you feel about the Yankees' decision to play Alex Rodriguez during his suspension? (OK with it/Not OK with it)
This is a pretty hard "Not OK with it" for me. The MLB supposedly has "a mountain of evidence" against him, so he's going to lose the appeal eventually. Do you really want him representing your team any more than he already has? As a Phillies fan, I can't say I'd want him on the field if he were a Phil - but that's kind of how I've felt for the past four or five years.

4. Tony Stewart broke his leg competing in a sprint car race. What do you make of drivers racing in extracurricular events? (Good way to keep sharp/Too much risk for injury)
Does Tony Stewart not normally race in sprint car events..?

6. If you were/are a Jets fan, would you listen to Rex Ryan's pleas to stop booing/jeering Mark Sanchez? (Yes/No)
Quick: what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mark Sanchez?
Mark Sanchez butt fumble gif BUTTFUMBLE
I'd boo the shit out of him. Let's see what NY/NJ says:
The lesson: everyone hates you, Mark Sanchez

7. The NFL wants to penalize players who taunt opponents by spinning the ball. What do you make of the NFL's rules on celebrations? (Too harsh/Just right/Too lenient)
Let me start out by saying that anybody who thinks the NFL's policy on taunting is "too lenient"(6% of people who voted) is a "fucking dickhead." I miss the Owens/Johnson/Moss/Horn days of wide receiver celebrations. Gronk spikes. Flips. Salutes. Dancing. That's what makes football great. "Hey I just scored on you so for the next ten seconds you can suck me."

Anybody know what the policy is in the Arena League?

10. Kansas coach Bill Self said that the NBA would tempt him were an opportunity available. Would Self succeed as an NBA coach? (Yes/No)
I said no and the nationwide response was split 50/50, but the more I think about it my actual response would be "in the right situation, yes." From what I gather, he's an awesome teacher and he's really good at coaching college-age kids. Kansas is a fairly legendary program, but I'm sure that Self being the coach helps attract high-quality talent like Ben McLemore, Thomas Robinson, and the Morris twins.

You know what? I'm all in on Self in the NBA. Give him a young team that needs to grow together quickly. Sixers! Where you at!

11. Who will win the PGA Championship? (Tiger/The field)
It's the field. Don't be foolish.

12. What do you make of the Patriots and Eagles holding a joint preseason practice? (Good idea/Bad idea)
Racism! Murder! Dog fighting! Spying on opponents! Tonight on Smackdown!

In all seriousness, they're playing each other in Philly for the first preseason game so it probably makes sense logistically. I'm surprised either of these coaches would agree to it, though. Chip Kelly's system is supposed to change the game and we all know how hypocritically private Bill Belichick is. Maybe this is a sign that they've tempered their expectations for success and are buying into the NFL community more than team success.

Nah, it's about money. Definitely about money.

13. Would you want your team to draft Johnny Manziel in the first round? (Yes/No)
For me, it's a resounding yes. For America, it's a resounding no. 81% no and not a single state said otherwise. Texas, Philly, and New Jersey were slightly higher than the nation (looking good, Mike Vick and Mark Sanchez!) but nobody went any higher than 26%. I guess the "first round" bit is what's doing it - and that makes sense. But from a business perspective, he's worth more than a first round pick; he's bigger than the game. I have this fantasy that the NCAA suspends him (for making $7500 selling his own autograph) and he joins the Arena League and turns the Philadelphia Soul into Philly's fifth-biggest team (To the Union.. Gareth Bale is available if you want).

Side note: check out Jay Bilas' twitter rant from today. He really has a point - the NCAA needs to get its shit together on the issue of paying its star athletes.

That'll do it for today. I'm off to try to raise $170 million to bring Gareth to Philly.