Near Perfect, Far From Perfect, and Some Dude With Balloons

Justin June 12, 2010 2

“You seen my cell phone?…What’s it look like? Like two horses fucking. It’s a phone, son. It looks like a phone.”

Did that make you laugh? Do you want more of it? Well, have I got an offer for you.

In our ongoing effort to make friends and influence people, SportsCracklePop has developed a relationship with the good folks over at Harper Collins. As a result, we recently received a number of copies of the book “Sh*t My Dad Says” by Justin Halpern.

If you don’t know the story, let me give it to you in brief. Dude starts a Twitter page, tracking the wacky shit his dad says. (That’s where the above quote comes from.) The Twitter page gains popular attention, spawning both a book and sitcom deal. The book came out last month. The sitcom, starring William Shatner, premieres on CBS next fall.

So, we’ve decided to have a contest to give away a few copies of the book. One problem, though. We’ve never had a contest before and we have no ideas. That’s where you come in. Come up with an idea for a contest and leave it in the comments section. Best idea wins a copy of the book.

Yes, it’s an invent a contest contest. I just blew your fucking mind!

Anyway, onto the review. Sports Illustrated June 14th 2010

John Wooden, Basketball, UCLA BruinsPREGAME

The retirement of Ken Griffey, Jr. warrants only a brief column in the Scorecard section of Sports Illustrated.  It seems like he’s getting short shrift all over the place. The man was the greatest player of his generation and the only one to who seems to have played clean.  Barry Bonds and A-rod get tell all books.  Griffey gets 3/4 of a page in the front of Sports Illustrated.


Remembering the Wizard by Alexander Wolff

I spoke my piece about John Wooden last week.  Alexander Woolf knew the coach. In fact, it seems they had a pretty close relationship. And while his remembrance certainly honors the man, it does not provide any new insight into his character. That might have to do with the type of person Wooden was more than the quality of journalism. Wooden lived a relatively open life and seemed to heed the message he was famous for delivering. Woolf had no skeletons to unearth from the closet.

L.A. X Factor by Lee Jenkins

It’s a tough transition from John Wooden to Ron Artest.  But Sports Illustrated went ahead and made it. Jenkins focuses on Artest’s efforts to fit in with the Lakers. He does so to the detriment of personal details. Artest is infamous, but he’s still sort of unknown. I would have liked to read more about him as a person and maybe less about him as a Laker.

A Different Kind of Perfect by Tom Verducci

Am I the only one surprised to see the word “metaphysical” appear in a quote from a major league umpire? Jim Joyce and Armando Galaragga have been feted all over the place for their  handling of the near perfecto.  Verducci finally goes a bit deeper into the background of both men. The article’s opening scene of Joyce telling his mother what happened was powerful. It’s possible my living room got a bit dusty while I was reading it.

A Cup Most Unkind by Michael Farber

First, the good news.  Farber takes an interesting  tact in writing about Chris Pronger’s impact on the Finals. He views the whole series through the prism of a player who seems a perfect mix of good and bad.

Now, the bad news. EVERYTHING ELSE.

First of all, the series ended the day before this magazine arrived in most people’s mailboxes. So, it was probably outdated by the time readers got to it. Aside from that, I’m tired (actually physically tired)  of Michael Farber’s strained metaphors.  He writes a few pieces during the hockey season, then goes full bore come playoff time. I don’t think he can handle it.

For instance:

The last time anything or anybody had such a rough time on ice, Morgan Freeman was doing play-by-play on marching penguins.

I love references to five year old French nature documentaries with American overdubs!!!


Byfuglien seemed so cowed that instead of throwing a remember-me check in the second period of Game 4 when Pronger was in a vulnerable position at the intersection of the boards and blue line, he discreetly fished for the puck in Pronger’s skates, using his CCM the way a man might poke around with a broom to reach a quarter that has rolled underthe couch. (Circumspection is not considered an attractive hockey trait.)


Later, Farber discusses Pronger’s five year old son, who refers to his father as “Da Da.” Either Pronger is a horrible father or Farber is making shit up. There is no way a five year old calls his father Da Da. Five year olds go to school and have friends and personalities. They don’t speak baby talk.

Seems Like Old Times by S.L. Price

The French Open sounds like it was really exciting. I wish I had watched it. Or even knew it was going on. COME ON, TENNIS, DO BETTER A JOB OF LETTING ME KNOW YOUR EVENTS ARE HAPPENING.  Also, I think it would be interesting to read a profile of Robin Soderling. He’s beaten Nadal, he’s beaten Federer and he has an umlaut in his last name.  Every tennis article doesn’t have to be about Rafa and Roger.

The Making of a Quarterback by Peter King

Wow, do I not care about what this article is about. It would have helped if Peter King figured out a topic before he sat down with his double tall chai machiado extra foam and wrote this thing. Is it about Tim Tebow’s learning curve? A little. Is it supposed to be an inside look at the inner workings of an NFL QB meeting? Sure, kinda. Next time, pick one and stick to it. The article doesn’t work as both.


Selena Roberts profiles the guy who crossed the English channel by floating with balloons. There was a time when Sports Illustrated featured articles about adventurers and sailors and interesting dog breeds. That time was the 1950’s.  It is now the 2010’s. Adventurers are not athletes and tying balloons to a chair is not a sport. It is a cry for help. I hear Selena Roberts is working on a piece for next week’s Time Magazine about how dangerous Polio is.


  1. bshrek June 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm -

    who wants to buy my Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card?? Exactly

  2. BREEZY July 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm -

    You should have a contest for best blog post that has a secret contest inside it. This post would win. Maybe drop it in the title next time?

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