January 29, 2010

The Shane Battier Replicant


They did it, guys. They finally cloned a human, and as expected, something went wrong. This SCOUNDREL is running around calling himself "Shane Batch-ee-yay" to sound more dangerous, like Stephon Urquelle.

Well you're not fooling me Fake Shane Battier.

I've been watching you ever since that mustache showed up. You're shooting inefficient shots. You're not playing helpside defense. And when you challenge shooters, you're going for the ball and not putting your hand in their face. Did you think we wouldn't notice, Fake Shane Battier? Come on, son.

Next thing we know you're going to be trying to smooth out your head wrinkles. You're fooling no one Fake Shane. No one. Everybody who knows anything about facial hair knows that the mustache is the least efficient form of facial hair. It doesn't keep your face warm and it doesn't make your head seem longer, so what's the point? The real Shane Battier would never grow a mustache, YOU FAKING FAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 28, 2010

Sean Marks Takes a Break

OH SNAP SON. Marcus you dropped that ball, man. Go get it. I'll just hang out here. Can't believe you're just throwing the ball out of bounds for no reason. Kinda wack, bro.

I'm freaking out? How? Because I'm yelling OH SNAP? Big deal. Maybe if you didn't throw the ball out of bounds for no reason I could just relax and set some back screens. Looooooove setting back screens.

OH SNAP. I'm gonna go set some back screens after you get that ball.

January 27, 2010

Mike Woodson is the Tipping Point

Y'all probably already know that Mike "Carl Winslow" Woodson of the Atlanta Hawksers shaved his eyebrows off to convince his team that he was crazy so that they would win in order to not upset their clearly insane coach. BUT did you know that Mr. Mike Woodson started a trend amongst the more style-conscious NBAers?

That is a true fact.

I found the pictures.

Charlie Villanueva was the first to try it, even before Mike Woodson did it. But people were kind of weirded out by Charlie's devotion to this look. He might have taken it too far.

Trying to show solidarity to both Charlie (both have bad contracts) and Mike Woodson (both of their cities can't believe their team still employs them), Jared Jeffries went eyebrowless. It's actually an improvement.

When all these guys started shaving their eyebrows off, Brad Miller took notice. Since he likes co-opting Black style, he adopted the shaved eyebrows look as well.

Then Troy Murphy attended the Symposium for Big White Guys Who Shoot Threes and saw Brad Miller and he was like, "nice, bro." He went home and shaved off his eyebrows because he thought that's what the whole group was doing. Whoops.

Then Troy Murphy came back to Indiana with no brows, and Earl Watson realized that his massive caterpillars needed some trimming so why not just get rid of them totally. Typical Earl Watson, always kinda messing things up just a little.

Since Brad did it, I had to do it. It's for art, guys. I might also look in to chest hair/giant hands removal. If you know anybody that specializes in that very specific area, holler at me.

As you can see, Mike Woodson is the classic "maven" from Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, a book about random capitalization. It was his daring to bring style to the court that made it okay for all of us to shave our eyebrows.

Shave yours off tonight, take a picture, and it will be posted here. Together we can shave lives.

January 26, 2010

The "Chill Out, Juwan Howard" Chronicles, Part 7

Tracking Juwan Howard's ill-fated stint with the Portland Trailblazers...

Chill out, Juwan Howard. You're just shooting a jumpshot, relax a little. Oh my bad. Let me guess, your back is tightening up. Because you're like a thousand. I guess that makes sense, unlike your continuing Team Jordan affiliation. Although I'm sure that helps out their age discrimination diversity. Maybe call up your best buddy Lance Armstrong to see how he stays so limber.

Chill out, Juwan Howard

January 25, 2010

Some Things

  • As of today I'm blogging the Olympics for Yahoo!'s Fourth Place Medal. I'm basically the Blog Costas of the Internet. That doesn't really mean anything, but it sounds kind of important. Nonetheless, Blog Costas says you should read my writing over there.
  • Additionally, I'm still writing at Ball Don't Lie, too. Read it. (You already are.)
  • What does all this mean for The Blowtorch? I don't know. You might not believe this, but these jokes I come up with come pretty quickly, so I'm hoping to continue making these jokes. Outside of during the actual Olympics (Feb 12-28 only on NBC and Yahoo!), things should still be active around here, but maybe a little slower. My fingers are just thinking out loud right now.
  • I'm on Twitter again. NETWORKING.
  • Remember that book I was writing? LOLers, me too. It's finished, but rather than settling for publishing it myself, I'm going to at least try to sell it. Why not, right? It's 2010. If that fall through, THEN I will settle for publishing it.
  • That's enough inside blogsball. Here's a picture of Harry Potter at a Lakers game:
    Photo Gallery - Yahoo! Sports

January 22, 2010

One Picture, Every Decade

I was checking out this picture of two floppy-haired bros shooting hoops against each other.

And I was looking at it really intense style and then I unlocked the key, which isn't how that metaphor works. But I uncovered the hidden message. I think it's a Da Vinci Code thing, because this picture recalls every era of NBA basketball, except for the 1940 which hardly count.

  • 50s - non-muscular, light skinned legs, a hallmark of the early all white NBA.
  • 60s - unkempt 'power to the people' hair and ineffective headbandery recalls the Summer of Love
  • 70s - faux-tro wine and gold Cleveland Cavaliers uniforms
  • 80s - too short shorts
  • 90s - a center part and five o'clock shadow, ladies
  • 00s - pointlessly updated Los Angeles Lakers jerseys
  • 10s - this picture was taken in 2010
So basically this is the perfect picture for our times. Every true NBA fan would have it tattooed on their back, with the annotations so that it makes sense.

The NBA is a melting pot. We put in European and Argentinean chocolates, melt those chocolates together, and then after they have combined to form a nice Euro-Argentine chocolate paste we spread it on wheat toast and maybe put a little honey on top of the chocolate paste and enjoy it. Maybe we have another piece or maybe we get diabetes, we can't see the future.

"Tomorrow never knows." -- Ringo Starr
"For real." -- Trey Kerby

January 21, 2010

Offense, with Dahntay Jones

1. JUMPSHOT: Square up to the hoop. Get balanced. Knees shoulder width apart. Jump straight up, and land where you started. Eyes on the rim.

2. DRIVING TO THE RIM: Stay under control. Use an attack move. Prepare for help defenders. Make good decisions.

3. FINISHING AT THE RIM: Strength is the key. Concentration is crucial. Release the ball as close to the rim as possible. Play through the contact. Take the defender up with you.

4. USE YOUR OFF HAND: Strengthen your off arm. Jump off your inside foot. Practice until if feels natural.

5. HAVE FUN - Enjoy the game. Smile.

January 20, 2010

Darius Songaila Supports Dunking

Ohhvkaay, Vadon. Make zis doonk shot. I vill give you hand wif making of doonk. Seence you are faht mahn vith faht neck, I vill helpt to leeft you off ze grounds.

Niiiiiiice ahnd easee weeth ze doonk. Joost make a tall jump and make zay doonk.

Oh wows, Vadon. You are un GIRTHY man, Vadon. I cahn barley leeft.

I keed. I keed. Of corpse Daryus cahn leeft. Strenf!

Bot vreally, you shood mah-be loose some of yore weight, Vadon. Note goot fors yours hart.

January 19, 2010

What Is This Guy Laughing At?

Hey, I like posting up as much as anyone outside of Paul Wall, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what is so so so so so funny to Eugene Pinkoxfordshirt up there. He's just loving life. BUT WHY?

Maybe because of this:
  • Just watched the 5ooth Jones episode on his iPodPhone.
  • Found out about Skype.
  • Kevin Jonas got married.
  • Received the R. Kelly Light It Up Tour DVD in the mail and watched the part that Aziz Ansari was talking about.
  • Realized that exactly half of R. Kelly's songs are about making sex and the other half are inspirational self-help songs, which is a pretty weird breakdown.
  • Started reading The Blowtorch.
  • Is just a jolly fat man who likes to laugh.
  • Bananas.
  • One of his buddies wore a sweater that looks like the calibration screen on an HD television.
  • Farted.
  • Just likes having a good time.
  • Found out his dad had Twitter.
  • Rewatched The Happening.
  • Can't get "Day Man" out of his head.
  • Actually choking on a delicious churro.
But maybe it's none of those things. If you think you know what it is, throw it in the comments/bag.

January 15, 2010

Back In the Day

Despite my parents' warnings my sister insisted on wearing her red shirt to my fourth birthday party. Other than the trampling, it was pretty fun.

January 14, 2010

Dan Gadzuric is a Friendly Defender

Come here Jer-rreeee. Give Dan Dan a huggy wuggy wugglesons. Just a quick little hug, Jerry. Not a big dealey. Just a huggy wuggy wugglesons between two friendy wendy friendersons.

Awww, that's nice Jerry. You're letting Danny Boy give you a huggles.


Oh no.

JER-RREEEE! You dunked on Dannity Kane! That wasn't very nice, Jerry. Be a good friend, geeeeeeez.

I Got to Sit Between Dikembe Mutumbo and Steve Francis

What? What are you talking about? I can't even understand the words you're saying. You sound like Andre the Giant or like you live in a garbage can. Seriously, what?

You want to sit by Steve Francis? No. I want to sit by Steve Francis. I paid for this seat specifically because it was next to Steve Francis. I've been dying to ask him about the cuddle party he threw at the 2000 Dunk Contest. I can't help it if I have to sit next to the Princess Bride soundboard.

You played together, what, 30 games? You're no Cuttino Mobley. In fact, if you were Cuttino Mobley I would switch you seats. That would at least make sense. What are you and Steve Francis going to talk about? Bad knees? Thrilling. I'm going to stay here. You stay over there by Rick Sweatervest and mind your own business.

And why don't you relax when someone dunks it? You've seen a dunk literally thousands of times. Chill out.

January 13, 2010

The "Chill Out, Juwan Howard" Chronicles, Part 6

Tracking Juwan Howard's ill-fated stint with the Portland Trailblazers...

Chill out, Juwan Howard. Like you've never seen a dunk before. Liar. You even had one one time. Plus you were in Hoop Dreams. It's not the end of the world. In fact, considering it's DeAndre Jordan, I'd say it's not that much to worry about. Don't tear your hair out about it. Maybe next time, play defense instead of throwing a pity party.

Chill out, Juwan Howard

January 12, 2010

Celebrities Like LeBron James

It's a scientific fact that sometimes celebrities like basketball. And sometimes even pseudo-celebrities like basketball, most notably Billy Crystal. In fact, both real and kind of celebrities sometimes like basketball so much that they sometimes attend games, even in Oakland. It happened just last night, when the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Golden State Warriors. In the name of journalism, I checked in with these stars to see what they thought of LeBron James dunking a lot.
  • Christopher Lee - "No, I'm not Ian McKlellan, who is a dear friend of mine. I am Sir Christopher Lee, perhaps better known as Saruman. Tis it noble of me to mention my roles? I carest not, for I have played Count Dooku AND Doctor Scaramanga. CHARLEMAGNE!"
  • Mark Wahlberg - "Hey LeBron. That's a nice dunk. You jump pretty high. My brother jumped off a roof once. Say hi to your mother for me."
  • Lynne Spears - "Sure he's a successful child prodigy now, but just wait."
  • Andy Garcia (not pictured) - "Can I get some better seats please? Like something out of the upper bowl?

January 11, 2010

Things Mike Bibby Probably Does

As we all know, Mike Bibby is probably the worst. But how much the worst? Along with blog bro Devine, here are some things that are most likely true about Mike Bibby.

Mike Bibby seems like he would...

  • think it's funny to not flush the toilet.
  • DVR "Mind of Mencia."
  • talk about getting a motorcycle a lot.
  • always be saying, "did you see that three I hit last night?" when he knows you were watching the game because he gave you tickets.
  • have a cousin named Doug. (CONFIRMED)
  • see Tyler Perry movies to seem sensitive, then totally bag on them with his boys.
  • get bad tattoos. (CONFIRMED)
  • make his entourage get bad tattoos. (CONFIRMED)
  • insist on having an entourage. (CONFIRMED)
  • think LL Cool J should make more records.
  • know all the words to "Put It In My Mouth."
  • blow a .07 then tell everyone how the secrets to beating the system.
  • try to grow a full beard, but when the cheeks didn't fill out, tell everyone beards were wack.
  • buy the Kid Cudi record.
  • always get himself a bowl of cereal and not even offer you a bowl when he knows you love Lucky Charms.
  • put his feel up on your couch without asking if it's cool.
  • call your dog fat.
  • tell Ellen Hickle that you can't dance, right before you asked her to dance.
  • say that 8 Mile should have won an Oscar.
  • call Jay Leno and Tim Allen his favorite comedians.
  • wear cubic zirconias and try to pass them off as real.
  • buy a $10 supermarket gift card as his Secret Santa present.
  • front about everything.
Add yours in the comments.

January 8, 2010

Italians Stick Together








January 7, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Crittenton Points a Gun at Arenas

Whoa. I was just reviewing the tape I acquired through shady underground connections. I don't know how I missed it the first time I watched, but things are getting worse.

Check this out.
And Javale McGee is just smiling it up in the background. This is getting scary, guys. I never took Javaris Crittenton to be a 'point a gun at a teammate' type, but apparently he is that type. There's an old saying that goes, "You just never know with guys named Javaris." That seems applicable here. He's also not great at insults because "I'll shoot you in your surgically repaired knee" is pretty wackintosh.

January 6, 2010

1000 Words: My New Favorite Picture

Let me tell you my story about this picture.

I found this picture on Monday night, just looking through pictures because that's something I do on the reg. At first I was like, "chill out, Andre Miller. You're not Juwan Howard." And then I moved on.

But I was compelled by something to go back to this picture, and I'm glad I did. Just take a look at Brandon Roy's face. It's like his face turned half serpent-half stone because he looked at Andre Miller's crazy face.

So I'm looking at this Brandon Roy snakeface and I start giggling. Nothing too loud, but I can't stop. I keep looking at this picture, and I keep giggling. Then the giggles turned in to full-on laughter, which turned in to dying laughter. Like making little shriek noises. My wife was sitting next to me, doing something with work, and I'm just laughing from looking at a picture because whoops that's your husband. This lasted for five minutes. Seriously.

Anyways, I still can't look at this picture without laughing. I can't even come up with jokes about it. I thought maybe a fable or something about getting this tattooed on my back would be good, but everything just pales in comparison to just spending a good five minutes laughing at this picture. But I am going to get that tattoo.

January 5, 2010

The "Word Up, Juwan Howard" Chronicles, Part 1

Tracking Juwan Howard's career-defining stint with the Portland Trailblazers...

Word up, Juwan Howard. That's a pretty slick jam that you're doing on that guy's face. I'm impressed, unlike everybody in the crowd. They're all like, "neat." Especially Gerard Butler's brother Garrard Butler over there in the first row. He's like, "SPARKLAAAAAAAAAA...oh cool dunk, better go star in a movie with Katherine Heigl's sister Cathy." But still, wicked googly, man. You're really LivingStrong.

Word Up, Juwan Howard

EXCLUSIVE: Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton Gun Fight Pictures

Through my shady underground connections I got my hands on the footage from the locker room when Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton dropped guns on each other. It wasn't easy to obtain, but the good part is that these stills I captured from that fateful night prove that this wasn't that big of a deal. Here's how the events played out.

First, Arenas pulled out one of his guns.
Not wanting to be punked, Crittenton responded in turn.
After they realized how silly they were being, they got over it and gathered around for a picture to squash the beef. Crittenton even disarmed himself, trading his gun for some throwing stars.
See, it's no big thing. Just a couple of bros with guns in the locker room. They were even smiling the whole time.

Case closed.

January 4, 2010

The 2010 Blowtorch State of This Website

There are two times a year that I thoroughly reassess what is going on with my life.

  1. The end of the year.
  2. The end of the NBA season.
During these times, for discussions relevant to this website, I contemplate the future and direction of this website. Mostly, I just try to think about how many times I can say "this website" before anyone catches on. Apparently, three.

Anyways, the year end assessment isn't new, even to this website, but it's helpful. A year, it seems, is a pretty easy demarcation for reflection. 2009 was a good year for The Blowtorch. Traffic increased about 25%, with each month other than August showing an increase from the previous year1. Additionally, RSS subscriber numbers consistently increased.

This past year also saw the debut of Trey Kerby at Yahoo! Sports, with the Phenomenal Swag column so graciously offered to me by friend of the Blowtorch JE Skeets. That column did well, even occasionally ending up on Yahoo!'s front page2. This tells me two things.
  1. The Blowtorch aesthetic is marketable.
  2. The Blowtorch is viable.
Over the holidays I did a lot of reading, and there were a few lines in things that I read that challenged me. First, from a delightfully insane GQ profile on William Shatner:
GQ: "You know," I say, "Kelsey Grammar once said something interesting about you to our magazine."

Shatner: "Kelsey's a friend of mine! What'd he say!"

GQ: "About your acting technique. He said "It's total self-delusion, and it works!"

Shatner: "Well, what'd he mean by that?"

GQ: "I think he was suggesting that you're some sort of accidental genius, someone so far up his own a-- that he somehow manages to come out the other side with something truly sui generis and brilliant to offer."

And from Chuck Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur chapter on ABBA:
"They were not attempting to replicate or refute anything else that was happening in pop; they were living in ABBA World, where ABBA Music is the only sound that exists."
Both of these passages say essentially the same thing: that to succeed, you need only to develop what works for you. We see this in Zach Galifianakis becoming hugely famous at age 40, or Jay-Z releasing Reasonable Doubt independently. Time after time, people who believed in what they were doing were right because they kept doing what they were doing, no matter who was paying attention.
Commit. Embrace. Grow.

That is my mantra for 2010, my action words, if you will. Commit fully to whatever it is being created or experienced -- ain't no half-steppin'. Embrace the triumphs and failures associated with those experiences, and learn from them, either good or bad. Grow, whether learning a new skill or developing an already present skill. There is always some way to get better.

2010 is a year for getting better. What this means is up to you. For me, it means really trying to do what I want by being who I am. Tiny, small, inconsequential personal wins governed by staying true to that idea prove that life-changing successes are possible. That's what this year means to me.

1. August 2008 was an aberration based on my legendary post "A Guide to Wearing Headbands."
2. Probably my two greatest triumphs of 2k9 were two posts on basketball shoes gracing Yahoo!'s main page.