Monthly Archives: April 2007

Today’s Writings

I consider just how dumb Sheryl Crow is for suggesting we limit daily uses of toilet paper- and why that’s no argument for global warming denialism- in this week’s North Star Writers Group column. Meanwhile, on E-Gear, Nintendo is finally doing something about that Wii shortage– and also, Wal*Mart has NOT agreed to purchase millions of HD DVD players from China for discount sale in the U.S. The whole thing was a false rumor that started with a mistranslated Chinese press release, and just escalated from there.

Sopranos Critic Quote of the Day

“This is HBO, of course, and HBO is allowed to portray characters taking shits on shower floors, but I think it was Akira Kurosawa who said, “Just because you can show someone taking a shit on the shower floor doesn’t mean you have to show someone taking a shit on a shower floor.” (It sounds better in Japanese.)”

Jeffrey Goldberg, on Slate’s TV Club, reviewing last night’s “Sopranos.” I couldn’t agree more, though I did enjoy the episode, as I love how the season is slowly devolving to the point where we know no good ends are coming for any of the characters. But that shower scene was just NOT necessary.

Too Hot For Ted

A classic GQ piece about Ted Kennedy’s carousing from the early ’90s, written by the late Michael Kelly, was re-published this week on GQ’s Web site. TNR’s blog linked to one of the juicy parts over the weekend, about the night Ted and current presidential candidate Chris Dodd went out drinking:

It is after midnight and Kennedy and Dodd are just finishing up a long dinner in a private room on the first floor of the restaurant’s annex. They are drunk. Their dates, two very young blondes, leave the table to go to the bathroom. (The dates are drunk, too. “They’d always get their girls very, very drunk,” says a former Brasserie waitress.) Betty Loh, who served the foursome, also leaves the room. Raymond Campet, the co-owner of La Brasserie, tells Gaviglio [a waitress] the senators want to see her.
As Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table. She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken. Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair. With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair. As he is doing this, Loh enters the room. She and Gaviglio both scream, drawing one or two dishwashers. Startled, Kennedy leaps up. He laughs. Bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault, Gaviglio runs from the room. Kennedy, Dodd and their dates leave shortly thereafter, following a friendly argument between the senators over the check.

Commenters to the blog entry ripped blogger James Kirchick for failing to disclose that the story refers not to the present day but to events taking place in 1989. Which really should have been obvious- after all, Ted hasn’t weighed 225 pounds for at least a couple of decades.

NFL Draft Thoughts

I watched nearly the entire first day, including the six-hour first round, and while I can’t explain why exactly the draft is fascinating, I was glued to the TV the whole time. A few thoughts:
– The Vikings had their first good day in quite awhile. Adrian Peterson’s going to be quite a pro, and to top it off, he’s in a state where about 500,000 people have his same last name. He’s going to be a gamebreaker, and would be even more valuable if his team had any quarterback or receivers to speak of.
– Randy Moss to the Patriots- something just doesn’t sound right there. He’d better keep his shit together, because Belichick isn’t going to let slacking off slide the way Mike Tice and Art Shell did. But what a horrible investment that turned out to be for the Raiders- they trade the 7th overall pick and a starting linebacker for Moss, and then two years later trade him for a mere 4th rounder.
– Shocking, I know, but no one in Philly is happy about the Eagles’ draft, in which they traded out of the first round and used their first second rounder on quarterback-of-the-future Kevin Kolb. The disconnect comes from national journalists and analysts (including Mel Kiper) believing that the Eagles are a loaded team with few holes that is an obvious Super Bowl contender, while everyone in Philly thinks that the team is in disarray and full of glaring weaknesses. True, they could have used a linebacker or safety with those picks, but I don’t think picking Kolb is going to keep them out of the playoffs.
– Worst luck of anyone: Brady Quinn. Not only does he drop out of the top 5 into the 20s, but he STILL has to play for Cleveland.
– However, there’s one thing everyone should know about the draft: Like William Goldman said, Nobody Knows Anything. You can’t grade today’s draft today; you can only grade it in five years.


News Item: Dolan Family Interested in Buying Yankees
Seeing the mess the Dolans have made of the Knicks, I for one would love to see them do the same to the Yankees. Maybe they’ll even put the baseball equivalent of Isiah Thomas (Chuck LeMar?) in charge of player personnel, and after he loses 100 games, name him manager and then give him a multi-year extension.
Unfortunately, the facts that Steinbrenner shows no signs of wanting to sell- and that Charles Dolan’s own brother, Larry, already owns the Indians- make the Cablevision Yankees a mere pipe dream, for now. But we can all hope and dream, can’t we?

Stealing Gagne Glory

There’s a very peculiar lawsuit being adjudicated right now in Minnesota concerning what used to be two of wrestling’s Big Three.
World Wrestling Entertainment is suing a man in Minnesota named Dale Gagner, who they claim is selling unauthorized material -and staging wrestling events- bearing the likeness of the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the defunct wrestling league that operated out of Minnesota for years but folded in 1990. Its tape library and other trademarks were sold to the WWE in 2003.
Gagner, according to the suit, allegedly dropped the “r” from his last name in order to create the impression that he was related to AWA founder Verne Gagne and his son, Greg Gagne, while selling the memorabilia.
What an odd thing to do- of all the celebrities one could pretend to be related to, why the hell would someone pick Verne Gagne? Especially when the actual Verne Gagne wasn’t able to keep the AWA promotion going in Minnesota himself?
Greg Gagne’s wrestling career in Minnesota, incidentally, coincided with the Twins career of the shortstop whose name was also Greg Gagne (though pronounced GAG-nee, rather than GON-ya.) But to the best of everyone’s knowledge, the wrestler never sued the shortstop, and Dale Gagner never impersonated either of them (nor did he steal the identity of Dave Gagner, a North Star of the late ’80s.)

Hope You’re Enjoying the Season, Mets Fans

Because it’s just about to go down the crapper:

A former employee of the New York Mets has pleaded guilty to distributing steroids and human growth hormone to dozens of major league players between 1995 and 2005, several media outlets are reporting.
According to court documents obtained by The Washington Post and other newspapers, Kirk J. Radomski admitted to supplying drugs to players throughout the league and laundering the proceeds of those sales.
The Post and San Jose Mercury News are reporting that Radomski has agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroids led by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

The three scariest words: “Agreed to cooperate.” Be very afraid.