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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Why, 76ers, why?

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Every once in a while, a sports fan is faced with a strange dilemma. It sometimes becomes evident that it would be much more beneficial for a team to lose than to win. This is because of the nature of the draft, particularly in football and basketball. Sure, baseball and hockey have drafts too, and the draft orders for those sports are determined in such a way that the worst teams get the earlier picks, just like in football and basketball, but because baseball and hockey have robust minor league systems, players in those sports generally take a lot longer to get to the major league level and picks are far more speculative in nature. If you root for a bad team, you often realize that late-season wins may actually be hurting the cause of making the team better. In the spirit of that philosophy, this week’s big Bad Sports story to me was the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten people going to hell

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10. People who say, “No offence, but…” and then keep on talking.

9. Telemarketers/robocallers.

8. People who prove every day that there really is such a thing as a dumb question.

7. Any dentist who tries to carry on a conversation while your mouth is chockfull of Novocain and metal torture instruments.

6. Most of the One Percent (the gang under the Koch Brothers will have their own wing!).

5. That guy in the car in front of me who’s texting so he doesn’t notice the light has turned green, and I can’t honk because it’s the city and this guy could be packin’, and when he finally realizes that the light’s green, there’s just enough time for one car to make it though: his.

4. People who say “Spoiler Alert”, then spoil the movie or show or game or whatever-it-is before you have a chance to stop them.

3. People who remember all of an endless involved joke…except the punchline.

2. Women who wear so much perfume/cologne, if they stand too long in one place, they leave a puddle.

1. Fred Phelps – the recently-deceased head of the Westboro Baptist Church who was always conducting those anti-gay protests at military funerals, as if one had anything to do with the other, not to mention the mental anguish they caused – Oh, wait…He’s already there.

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

A new, redesigned SAT is on the way

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Part 7 (of 874) in an occasional series about how standardized tests are destroying education.

The SAT is going through a redesign. For those of you who mentally autofilled the start of the previous statement with “The SAT is going … away,” I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s not going away. It’s going through changes that will do/attempt to do a variety of things. But the SAT will still be around. There’s been an active dialogue, as you might expect, about this redesign.

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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: March Madness is in full swing again

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Five years and one week ago, I wrote my first column for When Falls the Coliseum. I was going to make note of this in last week’s post, but it seemed more appropriate to call it out this week, as I knew it was likely that I would be writing about the same thing I wrote about back on March 16, 2009, and that is March Madness. The NCAA Basketball Tournament started this week, and the opening weekend provided lots of Good Sports moments. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten “Did you know…?”s

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10. Did you know that the bigger they are, the harder they’re going to hit you?

9. Did you know that the reason all nurses carry red pens is so that they can draw blood?

8. Did you know that there’s no use beating a dead horse – unless you’re into that kinda thing?

7. Did you know that while two out of three may not be bad, it’s still below 70%, so you’ve just failed your pop quiz?

6. Did you know that the best way to a man’s heart is up between his third and fourth ribs?

5. Did you know that a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it, also probably doesn’t have anyone there to see it either, which would have been much better proof?!

4. Did you know that, now that graphic designer Fernando Sosa has designed a butt plug shaped like Vladimir Putin, Sosa can just use Vladimir’s last name as the instructions?

3. Did you know that four out of five doctors think that that fifth guy is a moron!

2. Did you know that cauliflower is really just broccoli that once received a severe freight?

1. Did you know that Sarah Palin thinks “Ukraine” is the name of a construction site equipment rental business?

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Colts owner Irsay sets a very bad example

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It is a shame, but we are used to professional athletes behaving badly. Heck, I wouldn’t be able to write this column if there weren’t a world full of these people doing stupid, bad things on a very regular basis. Occasionally, it’s not the players but the coaches that are committing these acts of idiocy. Every once in a while, though, it goes higher up the ladder than that. On Sunday night, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for driving while intoxicated in a suburb of Indianapolis where he lives. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrace & culture

Top ten Irish euphemisms for having sex

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10. Shagging

9. Knocking Knickers

8. Licking the Leprechaun

7. Drowning the Shillelagh

6. Mashing Potatoes

5. Sharing a Gallon o’ Guinness

4. Putting the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder

3. Coaxing a Rainbow Out of the Pot o’ Gold

2. Knicking Knockers

1. The Wearin’ o’ the Grin

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that “Ban Bossy” is banned

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 449505: I don’t know who these people are who think they can go around banning things behind the Emperor’s back, but it must stop; therefore, the Emperor decrees that Ban Bossy shall be banned. Don’t get us wrong. This particular “ban” is voluntary. And it is for a good cause…this teaching girls to be leaders through a campaign that attempts to control language. Good idea — controlling language is a great source of power. (Someone ought to write a dystopian novel about that.) I trust these people, thoroughly. They have our young women’s best interests in mind; these ban-ers of words are like big sisters, in fact. This is so much different than “thought control” because it is good. The Emperor well knows that the intention justifies the means. But — it is, in fact, our Empire. No one shall ban thoughts or words but the Emperor.

The Punishment: Those who ban words without the Emperor’s leave shall be detained in the hot desert sun. They shall be instructed to ban the words “water,” “thirsty,” “drink” and and anyother words relating to the wetting of the proverbial whistle. Otherwise, they are completely free to ask for the crystal-cold liquid which will sit before them on a table, freshly stirred, with ice cubes swirling around, beads of cool moisture dripping languidly down its sides… They need only ask — provided they can ask within the language constraints given them.

Now, go forth and obey. 

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning (or so).

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: State hockey final ends in a tie and everyone loses

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I keep reading that this is a “trophy for everybody” world now. The lack of trophies on my desk make me think that this is just hyperbole, although it could just be that I have not competed in anything that would earn me one of these trophies just for being there. On second thought, I have several medals I received for finishing somewhere in the thousands in a bunch of races, so I guess I agree with the original premise. Still, when you get into organized sports beyond the type that anyone can just join because he or she feels like it, there is usually a distinct winner at the end, and that is as it should be. Occasionally, there are examples to the contrary, and this is where the supposed fun begins. Fun for columnists, not for players, of course. The state of Ohio held its high school hockey championships last week, and when the ice dust cleared, no one won. Or everyone won. It’s hard to tell. [Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Lego laggards

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You can do what you want for therapeutic relaxation. I’ll sort Legos. This is fortunate for me, because I have about 20,000 loose Legos in my house. I should say had, because I’m down to about 2,000, as I have, yet again, methodically gone through my boys’ gigantic plastic bin and sorted their Legos by color into gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Those guys are going, yet again, to rebuild their 70+ Lego sets – whether they like it or not. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten other names considered for Shmeat, the world’s first meat grown in a test tube

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10. Shamburgers

9. Peking Yuck

8. Barbecue Fibs

7. Not Dogs

6. Gulp Fiction

5. Faked Goods

4. Mis-Steak

3. Sloppy Faux

2. Frankenfurters

1. Spam

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Chicago high school cheats its way to a title

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When people cheat in the professional ranks, it is a shame. When there is cheating in college sports, it seems a little bit worse, since the players there are younger and are, ostensibly, still kids for the most part. Cheating at the high school level, though, takes it all much farther down a path where there can be no explanation beyond just bad people. In nearly all of those situations, of course, adults are either the ones doing the cheating or they are at least aware and complicit in some way. This week’s example comes from Curie Metropolitan High School in Chicago, whose basketball team was ranked second in USA Today’s national rankings until it was revealed that seven of the team’s players were actually academically ineligible to play.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Oscars

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10. “Look at some of those necklines! I just hope Jonah Hill keeps his thing in his pants.”

9. “Streep’s up for Best Actress? How odd!”

8. “Well, obviously the fix is in. Not a single nomination for Grown-Ups 2.”

7. “Tyler Perry should be up for Best Actor and Best Actress.”

6. “Who’s that gay blond white dude hostin’ this thing?”

5. “I hear George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are making another movie together – he’s a dentist, she’s his assistant – called Cavity.”

4. “I only hope I live long enough to see them include me in that In Memoriam segment.”

3. “There have been so many extraordinary performances – Darlene Love, Pink, U2, Bette Midler, Idina Menzel – I’m getting tired of standing for all the standing ovations!”

2. “Explain to me again why Sharknado isn’t up for anything?”

1. “This is getting so boring. I just wish Jonah Hill would take his thing out of his pants.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Secret sports parent tip: The Intensity Incantation

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O my child, in your bright tiny uniform, I use this spell to transfer my aggression, my radiant energy through the ether to you. [Read more →]