By Aaron Tobinhess

As you may recall, last Wednesday night at MSG, the Knicks laid a major egg against a Clipper team that was 3-18 on the road entering that game. They looked lifeless, played no defense and, in typical Knicks fashion, shot poorly from the three-point line, and didn’t stop hoisting.  They were down as much as twenty points at one point in the third quarter.  Did I mention, this was a game against the Clippers?  It was just downright embarrassing and every player and coach should feel like crap because of the way this game unfolded (I know they made a comeback in the fourth but that doesn’t make me feel any better and it shouldn’t to any Knick fan out there).

Late in the forth quarter, as the fans grew more and more upset with the team’s performance, they chanted “WE WANT MELO, WE WANT MELO.” Fans at MSG never hide what they feel, nor should they, and hell, the Knicks fans should want Melo.  Stars win in the NBA and the Knicks have a chance to land a Star, a bona fide star for that matter, and scoring machine, in Carmelo Anthony.  Melo wants to be a Knick.  That much is clear.  So I ask the question, WHY THE HELL IS THE DEAL NOT DONE ALREADY?!!!! And if it’s not done, there should already be serious strides to get the deal done.

Carmelo Anthony sent the Knicks a wake up call this week.  He said if he is not traded than he will “strongly consider” singing the three year 65 million dollar extension because of the potential lockout and change in the CBA.  Here is the thing though, he isn’t signing that extension.  That deal has been on the table for 5 months now and if he wanted to sign, he would have done so by now.  The same logic goes for the trade to the Nets.  If he wanted to be a Net (and I don’t know why anyone would want to be a Net), it would have been done.  He wants to be a Knick.  That’s it.  The report with the Lakers is crap; same with the report with him resigning.  All of that chatter is designed to do one thing, to get the Knicks to sweeten their offer to Denver.  So I now pose the question (and at this point getting exceedingly frustrated), what is holding the Knicks back? (I would do the bold caps lock move again but it’s getting old)

The reported deal from this past weekend, involving the Knicks, the Nuggets and the T-Wolves, had the Knicks giving up Wilson Chandler, Fat Eddy Curry’s expiring contract plus his tabs at Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway etc. and Anthony Randolph (going to the Wolves for a first round pick, which would in turn, be sent to the Nuggets) for Carmelo Anthony.  Now I know he wants out but if I am Denver, why the hell should I even consider that?  That trade is garbage.  Denver needs to get something back in return or they hold on to him and hope money ultimately will win out (and it usually does) and he will stay.  Reportedly, the Knicks are unwilling to deal two of these three players to get Anthony; Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.  Read those names again and tell me it doesn’t make you want to punch something knowing that not giving up two of three, not all three but two of three, is holding this up.  It makes me sick.  I have news for you Knicks fans, Carmelo plays the same position as Chandler and Galo.  Chandler is a restricted free agent this summer and Galo the next.  If they sign Melo, Chandler is gone and Galo is gone too because the Knicks envision forming there own trio involving Chris Paul or Deron Williams in the summer of 2012.  So why are they so reluctant to trade Chandler and the Retarded Chicken? As much as I like Landry Fields (my favorite Knick right now), even he is replaceable.  Ama’re needs help.  D’Antoni is running him into the ground right now and the results (a .500 team) isn’t good enough to justify the youth movement and the Knicks standing pat.  Now I know the trade deadline is 2 weeks away and deals have a tendency to get done at the last minute, but this deal needs to happen to give the Knicks energy for the rest of the season and to keep the dream of their own mega trio in tact.

If the Knicks fail to get a top 10 player who genuinely wants to be there (unlike The Akron Scammer), heads should roll in the Knicks organization.  Now Anthony will not help the Knicks most glaring weakness, defense, but he rebounds very well for a small forward and is money in the fourth quarter.  The Knicks will have there closer and Ama’re will be free to roam the high post and drive to the basket knowing he won’t be triple-teamed anymore.  He will be fresher at the end of games and in the playoffs. This doesn’t make them a serous threat for a title now, but it puts them in place to be and it would scare the shit out of anyone who would play them in the first round.

I have never been a fan of James Dolan, but if he feels he needs to get involved to make this happen, he should.  The Knicks need to get this deal done because I have a strange feeling that if Melo isn’t traded here, he isn’t going to be here at all and that would be a disaster.  The Knicks have a chance to build something great for the next five years that will put them and the Miami Heat battling for titles (the Celtics and Lakers will both be too old.  Same with the Spurs).  You can find role players through the draft and via free agency to compliment stars but make no mistake, the stars need to be in place and if its the Knicks are unwilling to part with Danilo Gallinari in addition to Wislon Chandler, well then Donnie Walsh has really lost his mind and the ultimate disaster will happen when Isiah Thomas returns to the front office (just the thought gives me a migraine).  As a Knicks fan, I am waiting anxiously as the trade deadline approaches hoping and praying this gets done because if not, it will set the franchise back another decade.


By Phil Bausk

It’s 15 minutes until game time. You are sitting in a gym, waiting for your recreational league basketball game to start after you had a long day at the office. As you watch the previous game finish up, you need something to get your blood pumping. A day of work and a 25 minute subway ride isn’t going to get you jacked up to make  some type of noodles for dinner, much less a competitive basketball game.

This is where music and sports go together like lamb and tuna fish. Some songs get you to nod your head and give you that swagger that gets you ready for any sort of sporting event. You aren’t going to listen to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” to get ready for a baseball game (Unless you’re Alex Rodriguez). You need something that makes you grind your teeth, pound your chest, and pump your fist.

Not to sound racist, but in my opinion, a lot of these songs come from the urban culture, as there is a lot of angst in its music. There is a need to boast about one’s self over and over,  in order to reaffirm the fact that black culture is here to stay, even if some people just don’t want to accept it. Rappers have become mainstream over the last 20 years, and groups have been formed over those years to try and prevent rap music from being listened to by our nations youth, especially by white people.

These factors have led to the type of music we here today on urban radio stations. While some of it is brash, offensive, and degrading, there is a lot of quality rap music that attempts to get across a message that can be defended by its supporters. Artists such as Drake, T.I., Kanye West, and others have songs that are both inspiring and revolting in terms of lyrical content, though I feel they do it to try and connect with a demographic of their audience that has an affinity for the “not-so-finer” things in life and while I understand why many would oppose this type of music, I don’t think in any way should they be censored as it wouldn’t be very American to do so.

But these men have given us some of the greatest motivational music of our generation. The sports world should be very appreciate of artists like this, as it gave the NBA that confident poise that is has had ever since rap became more mainstream. Rap music and basketball are synonymous with one each other. Drake puts it best in his song “Thank Me Now” by saying, “damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous ’cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us.” That sums is up as athletes have attempted (and failed) to become rappers, and rappers have attempted (and failed) to become athletes.

So what are some of these anthems that get us strutting around the streets and hopping up and down in the locker room? I think it’s easiest to start with the anthem of one of this year’s Super Bowl teams…

Wiz Khalifa- Black and Yellow

I hate the Steelers, I hate the city of Pittsburgh, and I am skeptical of anyone with the first name Wiz, but I am giving this man credit for the Pittsburgh anthem he made this year. It has a quick pace, a good beat, and you can really nod your head quickly to get yourself amped up for a game. The song’s popularity has even sprung a remixed version with Snoop Dogg and T-Pain, so you know it has some credibility. All I know is that the somewhere in the city of of Pittsburgh, someone will be blasting this song just minutes before kickoff.

T.I. Ft. Rick Ross- Pledge Allegiance To The Swag

This is a song that I have been listening to for the past few months, and no matter what I am doing, whether it be walking from the subway to work, eating some McDonald’s french fries, or lifting weights at the gym, it always manages to get me swaggeriffic (Rappers, you are welcome to use that word).

I have to say, if it wasn’t already painfully obvious, I love this term “swagger.” It has only come about within the last few years, but it has already changed the way broadcasters, rappers, and and athletes talk. Some may thing that it is just another word for confidence, but I don’t see it that way. I see the difference between swagger and confidence very similar to the difference between Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. Coke Zero is confidence, it tastes good, has zero calories, and will get you where you want to be. However, was it picked number 1 overall in the Soda Draft??? I think not. Pepsi Max has a better taste, gets you to where you want to go and then some, and runs a better 40 time than Yamon Figurs.

Drake Ft. Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy- I’m Goin’ In

When William Shakespeare first sat down with his quill and small canister of ink, and wrote the words to his first sonnets, I am sure he knew he was spawning such works such as the lyrical adventure that is “I’m Goin’ In.” This song starts with a futuristic sound that will get you out of your seat, and then Wayne, Drake, and Jeezy spit lyrics that you didn’t think were possible to be said by a human being. Lines such as, “Making hoes wobble like a bridge in an earthquake,” and, “It’s Weezy F. Baby come to take a shit and urine,” blow your mind as you hear them, but you just don’t care because at this point, you are already swaying from side to side, getting ready for whatever you have to do next in life.

50 Cent- If I Can’t

Perhaps one of the first songs that had swagger embedded in his beat and in its lyrics. This was on 50 Cent’s first, and best, album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin.” If 50 just made this album and retired, he wouldn’t have made so much money but maybe he wouldn’t have become a joke in the rap world.  This song has the beat of how someone should walk when they are strutting with confidence and is basically telling the world, if I can’t do it, then face it, you don’t have a shot at doing it either so just give up. Well, I guess that means no one shoulder bother making movies anymore right Fitty?

DJ Khaled and Company- All I Do Is Win (Remix)

The artists adding to this collaboration of swaggitude (Call me Daniel Webster) include, T-Pain, Nicky Minaj (AKA the future Mrs. Phil Bausk), Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, and the incomparable Diddy. I mean, just look at that list and tell me you aren’t filled with swag. All of the verses are pretty solid, but that point where T-Pain yells, “And they hands go up….” That pause creates such great tension you can’t help but put your hands up, and apparently keep them there.

I know this song excluded any white people songs, so please, if you have any rock songs that you can put on here, feel free to comment and I may not consider it racist, depending on the song selection.

By Aaron Tobinhess

Thursday night, February 3, 2011, the NBA All Star reserves were named before the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic contest.

No real surprises for the Eastern Conference as all four Boston Celtics deserved to be selected; even the biggest tool and third wheel in the league deserved a nod as well. I am a big Knick fan but any one who really thinks that Raymond Felton is more deserving than Joe Johnson is crazy. Look at Felton’s numbers for the last month. To quote Denise Green, he is who we thought he was. (an average point guard whose numbers look better playing in D’antoni’s system).

After a commercial break, the Western Conference reserves were named. Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams,  and Dirk Nowitzki were all very deserving. That leaves only three spots left.  Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. WTF? Really? No Kevin Love? Is that a joke? The only guy since Moses Malone to average 20 points and 15 rebounds a game (that happened 25 years ago by the way) not being selected by the coaches? Really?

Now I understand that teams with the best records will get multiple All-Star selections. Teams should be rewarded for having great seasons and, in the end, sports are all about wins and losses.  Shitty teams will not get recognized at the NBA’s mid season classic. That’s just the way it is. However, when a player, no matter how garbage his team may be, does something so extraordinary, he must be rewarded. This season, that man is Kevin Love. He is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds a game and has had a double-double in every game since early November. In addition, he is shooting 40 percent from three-land this season; just ridiculous.

The Western Conference is loaded with talent this season, and guys like Monte Ellis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Zach Randolph are all having great season and would have been all-stars in the Eastern conference, but Kevin Love is having a better season than all of them. His biggest problem is that he plays in Minnesota, the Siberia of the NBA, according to Bill Simmons. The team is so bad, and the fact that he goes out and busts his ass every night for a shit team that has no chance to win is pretty amazing. It is not his fault his GM drafted two point guards back to back in the draft; neither of which were Steph Curry or Brandon Jennings and signed Darko for 20 million dollars (the outrage). It is not his fault that his second best player is a druggie castoff exiled from Miami. It is not his fault that his team can not seem to play a full four quarters and actually close out a game.  It is not his fault the Wolves have about 6 average small forwards on the roster that can not hit threes. What Kevin Love is doing this season is remarkable.

The only argument against Love is that he gets sick numbers for a bad team. That might be true for scoring numbers, but definitely not rebounding numbers. Rebounding, something that I am allergic to, is all about smarts and hustle. He would put up monster rebounding numbers on any team.  He would grab 12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers. His rebounding numbers since he has gotten into the league have been off the charts (over 13 rebounds a game per forty minutes each of his first two years where he didn’t get nearly enough minutes). Lastly, why doesn’t that argument hold true for Blake Griffin?  The Clippers suck too and Love has better numbers than Griffin (for the record, I think Griffin is the one of the five best power forwards in the NBA and definitely deserves to be in the game, but so is Love).

In addition to his sick rebounding stats, his offensive game has gotten better. He has nice post moves and has a great pick and roll/ pick and pop game. Did I mention he is hitting forty percent from three this season?  He has three 30 point-20 rebound games. No one else in the league has one, and still this guy isn’t an all star?  In Reggie Miller’s voice, are you kidding me?

Love’s candidacy begs the question, who on the Western Conference should you knock off? The Spurs are 40-8 going into tonight’s game so they have to have 2 guys right? Parker loses out because the plethora of great points guards in the West, even though he is the second most deserving Spur.  Tim Duncan doesn’t even play 30 minutes a game. He is averaging 14-9 this season.  He is not an all-star this year; and I don’t care how good the Spurs are this year and how great Duncan has been over his career. You can make the argument that the Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, George Hill combo is just as valuable as Duncan this year (I do not believe that but still). Anyone playing under 35 minutes a game isn’t an all-star.  As Charles Barkley says, “this isn’t a lifetime achievement award”.  Cynics would then argue, but KG and Duncan have the same numbers and no one questions KG’s selection. KG ISN’T BLOCKING A GUY AVERAGING 20+-15 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1982-1983.

The second guy I would question is Pau Gasol.  Let me be clear, Pau Gasol is tremendously skilled.  He has all the tools, but he is so grossly overrated this season. He plays like such a pansy and disappears in the fourth quarters of games.  Gasol defenders will claim that Kobe dominates the ball way too much. Watch the tape of the most recent game against the Celtics. Gasol was getting pushed around by Kevin Garnett all afternoon.  If you are a superstar, you don’t get pushed around in a big game.  Superstars impose their will and are aggressive.  If Gasol was really a superstar, he would demand the ball late in games.  And, this is for all the Celtics fans out there; if KG doesn’t get hurt 2 years ago (an injury that takes two full years to heal) and Perkins doesn’t get hurt in game seven last year, The Celtics could have easily gone for a three-peat, which means Gasol is just another talented, all-star level player and not a “superstar” (which he has proved he isn’t). Plus, he hasn’t been the Lakers second best player this season.  That honor goes to Lamar Odom; another all-star snub. Back to Love though. There is no doubt he would still grab 11-12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers or the Miami Heat.  Now if he played with either of those teams, he would not get as many shots and score as many points, but he would still average 17 a game. 17-12 is better than Gasol and Chris Bosh this year.

The reality is that Yao Ming was voted by the ten million Chinese people who don’t watch basketball and is out with an injury.  That opens a spot for another All-Star selection. David Stern can rectify the situation by selecting Kevin Love as a replacement and start Duncan (legacy) at Center. NBA, please show this man some Love.

By Phil Bausk

Most of us start watching sports at a relatively young age. If we were lucky enough, our parents or older siblings took us to games and helped us chose which teams we would spend the rest of our lives rooting for. Bonds are formed between fathers, sons, and brothers, and one of life’s paths is carved out for us to follow diligently and loyally, though we are still in the cocoon stages of fandom before blossoming into a true sports fanatic.

As the years mature so do we, both physically (wink, wink) and mentally. We start to figure out what the important things in life are. Clearly, certain things are more important to us at different points in our lives. The opposite sex doesn’t even become a factor till the end of Jr. High School, though in today’s blow-first ask questions later society, I think the 8 and 9 year olds are getting in on the action as well.

While sex becomes more important as time goes on, I found that school became less important as I got older. Teachers didn’t care for what I had to say and that immediately would turn me away from any class. School was just something that had to be done, not something that I cared about. One Bachelors degree later, I am where most people are, at a 9-5 job, staring aimlessly at a computer screen while trying to save some articles for when I have to make a bathroom run.

So where do sports come into all of this? I have found in my conversations with other people in life, that sports are not restricted to one time period in someone’s life. Some people have had more intense sports experiences as a child, while others didn’t get into sports until college or later. Whether its your group of friends growing up, or perhaps parents who were more involved in culturally sophisticated endeavors, a child is really only going to get into sports from an outside influence.

For me, sports were a big part of my family’s dynamic. My father taught me about the Red Sox and Celtics, my brother was, and unfortunately still is, a Mets fan, and my mother would just yell at me whenever the Yankees beat the Red Sox. There was one sport, however, that while I loved to play, I never had a favorite team to root for, and that was today’s most popular sport, football. Being that I copied whatever my father did, I was going to listen to him about which team to root for when it came to the National Football League. However, my father wasn’t really into any specific football team. He would leisurely root for the Jets and the Colts, but he was more concerned about the advancements and regressions in the sport, such as how there were no more puddles on the field, or how television announcers had become to bad over time.

My brother grew up a NY Giants fan, though he never attempted to persuade me to root for them. I think he knew that since I was always trying to beat him in sports or video games, that I would never agree to root for the Giants if he was rooting for them as well. Me and my brother are very close, and have been since I was born. I know that growing up, he let me win a lot of games we played, and allowed me to hang out with his friends, even though he is 10 years older than I am. While we did all of these things together, there is still that sibling rivalry in most families that I believe is instilled in children at birth. I could never find myself rooting for the Giants, especially as I was already geared to hate New York teams with my affinity for the Boston Red Sox.

One Sunday afternoon, I turned on the TV to see what games were on, or if  there was a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode on. I saw this marvelous stadium, with fireworks shooting as the players left a giant helmet with a big blue star on the side. I could feel the energy coming from the TV, as both teams got ready for the kickoff. One of the teams was the NY Giants that I had already loathed for no real good reason. The other was a team decked out in all white, and had a swagger (A word that didn’t exist yet) about them that i was immediately drawn to. That team was the Dallas Cowboys.

Growing up, the Cowboys won 3 Super Bowls, and while I was happy that they had won, admittedly, I was too young to truly appreciate the feat that they had accomplished during that era. For me, sports, especially football, took on a whole new meaning once I reached high school. I was playing sports at a much more competitive level and I had somewhat of an idea of how these legends of the gridiron prepared for games. Unfortunately at this time, the Dallas Cowboys had become one of  the most mediocre teams in the NFL, and I was stuck praying for some sort of reversal of fortune in my pathetic sports world (Thank you 2004 NY Yankees). At this point in my life, I was on the edge of my seat for every Pedro Martinez pitch, for every Paul Pierce step back jumper, and every Drew Bledsoe incomplete pass. This meant that sports were slowly taking over my life.

After the Red Sox won the World Series, my sports world turned upside-down. The Red Sox went on to win another championship in 2007, and the Celtics won for the first time in over 20 years, with a title of their own in 2008. Even the Chicago Blackhawks, the team I admittedly care about the least, were able to pull off a Stanley Cup victory in the prime of my sports life. While these events have helped me through certain points in my life, there is still one thing I would like to see before I hit the “Stephon Marbury” years of my career as a sports fanatic.

For the last few seasons, the Dallas Cowboys have been one of the preseason favorites to make it to the Super Bowl, or at least contend for a Super Bowl, but as the saying goes, championships aren’t won in September. Much like the rest of the Dallas media, I had fallen in love in those last few seasons with a man named Tony Romo…

Undrafted out of Eastern Illinois University, Romo subbed in for starter Drew Bledsoe during the first half of the 2006-07 season. After some early struggles, he settled down and helped lead the Cowboys to the playoffs. And then it happened…. the moment that has defined Romo’s career even to this day.

After driving his team the length of the field, Romo was in to hold the snap for game winning field goal. He fumbled the snap, scrambled towards the end-zone, and was tackled at the 1 yard-line, ending the Cowboys season. The image of Romo hunched over, grabbing his face mask resonates in the mind of Cowboys fans everywhere. As the seasons went on, so did the playoff disappointments. A disastrous 2nd half against my brother’s giants, along with a horrendous 3 quarters against the Minnesota Vikings helped strengthen the case against Romo ever becoming a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

It is easy to pin everything on the celebrity QB who dated a knockout, then a blonde sex symbol, and then dumped a fat chick, with two of those being the same person. However, Romo has done a solid job as the starting QB and I feel comfortable with him at the helm, even in games past December 1st.

The team has had a lot of questions over the last few years, such as its secondary, and how it is inexcusable to have Dave Campo as the cornerbacks coach when he hasn’t done anything positive in his entire career as a professional coach. The linebackers starting alongside All-World LB Demarcus Ware have been over-hyped since day 1 with the exception of Bradie James. Greg Ellis was over the hill, Anthony Spencer looks lost, Bobby Carpenter looked like a mentally slow Clay Matthews, and Keith Brooking needs to start taking some form of medication (Though this clip is awesome). Others have come and failed, and it leaves us all wishing Dat Nguyen would suit up and come out of retirement for just one magical season.

On offense, the skill positions have been tended to relatively well, but the big contracts doled out to offensive lineman have worked only in spurts. Leonard Davis isn’t worth the money he is making now, and some of it should be given to Doug Free. Marc Columbo hasn’t played a good game of football in about 18 months and his career looks to be over. Kyle Kosier was an injury prone starter for the Detroit Lions…enough said.

Something has to be done with personnel selections by this team’s front office and that means that Jerry Jones has to give some leeway to Jason Garrett and his coaching staff about what players he wants to put on the field. While Jones has said he would not tinker with Garrett’s roster decisions, it is more than likely Jones’ two cents will be heard come draft day.

But again, here were are with another off-season to tease my generation, the generation that really hasn’t seen a very good Dallas Cowboys team. My generation should not be allowed to fall back on the dynasty of the 1990’s, we were too young to appreciate everything that was going on during that time. Cowboys fans, when was the last time you can remember celebrating so ferociously that you let out curse words you only use during sex or when you stub your toe? If you cheered that way during the Eagles playoff game last year, that shows how much the Cowboys have fallen since its glory days.

Now here in 2011, we sit, patiently waiting to see what Jerry Jones and Co. will do to improve next year’s team that can be anywhere from a 6 win team to the division champ. We wonder if he will go with a need at the draft, or take another game-breaker like Dez Bryant.

(Quick thought here, how awesome does Dez Bryant look? Forget about his overconfidence and his inability to respect other people, he looks like the Akron Scammer in a football jersey. He runs faster than everyone, he jumps higher than everyone, and he catches anything that his his massive banana hands. I get why some teams passed on him in the draft, but still, plenty of teams could have used a number 1 WR , I’m looking at you  San Diego and Jacksonville. Regardless of his attitude, the guy clearly had enough talent to be selected in the top 20, and I can’t remember a number 1 WR coming out of college besides Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald who didn’t have some sort of swagger problem.)

My father always told me that when you win, you act like a gentleman. You go out there, shake your opponents hands with sincerity, and then go and celebrate with your teammates. I watched the 2004 World Series with my father, and we watched something he thought he would never see in his lifetime, a Red Sox championship. We hugged, kissed, and even shared some tears with one another, but that was it. There was the excusable scream when Keith Foulke nabbed that Edgar Renteria grounder but that was it.

In 2007, there was the mandatory scream when Jonathan Papelbon struck out Seth Smith to win the ’07 series. My father called me, we exchanged pleasantries for about an hour and that was it. After the Celtics derailed the Lakers in 2008, I drove home, gave my father a kiss when he was asleep, and we spoke about it the next day in great detail. While I am from the generation of baggy shorts, coarse language, and mainstream rap music, I have managed to gain some sense of humility through my father, compared with a lot of people in our generation.

I have been blessed in the past decade in my world of sports, perhaps the most important decade of sports in my entire life. I would say I am right in the middle of my “Kevin Durant” years of liking sports, as I am hitting my prime and still have a good amount of time left before a family, a real job, and responsibility drag me away from some of the things I love. Before I fade into the abyss known as adulthood, I would like to celebrate a Cowboys Super Bowl, not for gloating or for superficial reasons, but rather so that when I watch with my kids, they can see me get emotional and I can try and teach them how to win, something that the Dallas Cowboys should be trying to learn this off-season.

By Phil Bausk

14 Major wins, over 100 professional tournament victories, hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements,and the most talked about athlete in sports worldwide.

There is only one athlete whose name resonates with these achievements, and that is none other than Kevin Willis….

Now you may be thinking, “Aren’t those the accolades of that interracial golfer? That Tiger fella?” And you’re right, in fact, I am pretty sure Kevin Willis wouldn’t be allowed on most golf courses (Not a race thing, he’s just really loud and obnoxious).

Even after his worst professional, and perhaps personal, year, Tiger Woods is still one of the most watched, loved, and apparently horniest athletes in the world today. He went through the 2010 PGA season without a single victory. He was coming off of major knee surgery, and dealing with the media circus surrounding his infidelities around his wife, Elin Nordegren, and whether or not she used Tiger’s 9 Iron to help him nail the dog leg left that put his car in the center of a tree trunk.

So after such a troubled 2010, how does Tiger bounce back? Does he start dating the safe girlfriend type? Do we see him on the cover of US magazine with a girl he met at Whole Foods who shared the same interest as him in organic protein shakes? Or does he go the other route? Do we see him partying it up with Ben Roethlisberger at the nearest college campus, and saying how his addiction is too much for him to handle?

While we are some time away from seeing reports like that, and if Tiger has his way, we will never see any reports of the sort, there is one thing Tiger isn’t able to keep from the public, his golf game. This weekend is the start of the 2011 PGA season, and Tiger takes his talents to La Jolla, CA, for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

There is a cavalcade of reporters watching Tiger this weekend to see if he has regained his form from previous seasons. They are going to take such a detailed look at his swing that they will be able to tell you if he has a zipper fly or the new button fly that has become quite trendy. (Sidenote: How can anyone wear jeans or pants with a button fly? If you are out on a Saturday night, and you’ve drank so much that you may go home with Rosemary from Shallow Hal, how in the heck are you supposed to undo a button when you need to take a 90 second long piss? It’s hard enough zipping down the fly, reaching through the boxer brief opening, and pulling Captain Planet out to put out the fires of chaos with your urine of justice. A button protecting him isn’t going to make things any more efficient. Also, I call my buddy Captain Planet because he needs many different factors and materials to be at full strength, much like the Captain did.)

Either way, Tiger will be thrilled to see so many reporters talking about his game, rather than his game off the course. As the year goes on, reporters will bother him less with questions about his personal life, but more so about why he loves playing with Rocco Mediate, or how come it took him 3 whole months to pass Lee Westwood as the world’s number one golfer.

In a sports that lacks the sexiness that basketball, football, and even baseball have attained over the past years, golf needs Tiger Woods to excel. Not just for the sport’s popularity, but also to help elevate the play of Tiger’s top competitors. Last year, a new crop of players emerged to challenge the Woods and the Mickelsons of the tour, and showed that they are no longer afraid of the big name players. However, while ratings will be better if Woods and Mickelson are playing for a championship on a Sunday, the level of play will rise as the older generation tries to stave off the younger golfers. This creates a very interesting subplot that could group Tiger with his fellow veterans, instead of singling him out like he usually is.

Tiger has been in the spotlight for over a decade, and as I am sure part of him enjoys some aspects of that, he is competitor more than anything else. He isn’t the “diva” type and you won’t see him sitting next to Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson (Yes, its back to Johnson) on a new VH1 show. Tiger just wants to win. He wants to beat Jack Nicklaus’ record, he wants to set unbreakable records of his own, and he wants to play golf as the level he expects himself to play day in and day out. I am sure part of Tiger wants to rejoin the PGA veteran community, and hot have his on-course or off-course “abilities” exclude him from that group again.

But maybe this is a special case. Maybe Tiger is such a polarizing figure that in order to be as successful as he can, he needs to be isolated from the rest of his peers. Maybe some of his fellow golfers aren’t ready to accept him back, as many of them are family men of their own who look down heavily on what Tiger did in the past year. Is it reasonable to expect a lot of golfers to dislike Tiger for what he has done? Yes, and it’s just as possible that Tiger is in his own PGA purgatory. His limbo may be between the youngsters and the veterans, in a world where he has to get the sport back to  where it was a few years ago, without anyone else helping him, except for whoever his swing coach is nowadays.

So we are back to where we are at the start of Tiger’s career. Here is a guy who is the face of the sport, whether its his shiny grin that only Dave Chappelle can imitate, or his blank, depressing stare that sent a chill down viewers’ spines during his televised public apology, who needs to play well this season for so many reasons: To gain the respect of his peers, to get America, and maybe the world, back into golf, and for everyone to forget about his appetite for sex. He needs 2011 to help him get back on track, not just as a golfer, but as a person.

Those 14 Major victories, over 100 professional tournament victories, hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements aren’t going to help him much now (well, maybe the money will).

By Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez

For the first ever installment of the weekly Mustache Awards… Phil, please put your pants back on,. I said mustache awards, not mustache rides… I feel that no introduction is needed. My nom de plum is Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez and I will use this name from here on out as a way of masking myself from this close-friend orgy of self-proclaimed sports writers. I may be the first to admit that sports are not something that sculpted my childhood. I do not remember talking about games with my brothers or throwing the football with my dad. I grew up in a home with an uncoordinated father, three flamboyant sisters, and a compassionate mother. I am very happy to say that I was able to somehow find sports. I do remember seeing some of the greats thanks to my father taking me to games; however, he would bitch that he hates sports the whole drive home.

I discovered sports on my own. First came the pre-90’s lockout NHL (hockey has never been the same), then the NBA years when loyalty meant something,  and then the NFL, which is my personal favorite. I am slowly trying to catch up on MLB, but that is a boring, uphill battle through over 100 years of statistics. As a perceptive reader, you may be asking yourself, “If all other sports aside baseball found their way into the Jets’ heart, why choose an iconic BASEBALL figure from the popular Hollywood film “The Sandlot” as his alias?”

Here is the list of reasons, not in any specific order:

1) Baseball is a sport that all Americans should love! and i almost feel sad that i don’t have a passion for our nation’s greatest past time.

2) I love his Mexican Mustache!

3) The re-imagination of the  movie as “The Sandy Slot”. At the end, instead of the epic chase scene that we all remember, Benny pickling the beast became Benny and Smalls (who did not live down to his name) running train on James Earl Jones (the Beast was in J.E.J.’s trousers).

But enough of me for one week. Here is what you will be getting from me… A few short facts about my life, and more importantly, I will be handing out awards to the astonishing, annoying, incredible, frustrating, miserable, shocking, and everything in between that occurs in the sports related world.

Enough banter, here is this installment of The Moustache Awards:

The “Genius” Award- Andy Reid

In a press conference on April 1st, 2010, Andy Reid stated that Donovan McNabb would remain the starting quarterback in Philadelphia for the 2010 season. We know that was not the case. As quickly as April 4th, the Eagles traded McNabb to the Washington Redskins in return for a second-round pick  (Nate Allen) in the 2010 NFL Draft and a
conditional third- or fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

When I first saw that McNabb, AKA Mr. Philly (outside of A.I. when he still had cornrows and the fictional, retarded boxer Rocky) was traded, neigh, traded to a division rival, I had to ask what the hell Andy Reid was thinking. The start of the season for the eagles supported my gasping questions. Before I had the time to realize that Andy Reid was not only a strong branch that stems from the tree of NFL coaching life known as the Great Walsh Tree, or that Andy was also the quarterbacks coach under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay, The Redskins started to crumble and Reid started to look like a wizard.

After finishing 6-10, the noise around McNabb getting benched for Rex Grossman made it seem like they finished 1-15. It looks as though Mcnabb is one and done in our nations capital. Andy Reid gets to sport two beautiful, bushy upper lips with one of this week’s mustache awards!

The “Hideous” award- Al Davis

This basically isn’t sports related at all, but i do need to warn you: If you are eating or have a child in the room please do not click on this link. I found this floating around… I honestly did not even read this article because i could not get passed his photo. Al Davis looks like a child molesting, creepy old man … Or Michael Jackson in his thriller makeup. He looks like he slammed his head for every first round draft bust this decade. Here’s the real story, Al gave the herpes to Tom Cable, who then threw a right cross and busted open Al Davis’ head. Maybe that’s why Al sent Tom home without even enough courtesy for a reach-around. I’m ending this one short because I need to vomit. Hopefully this year with his 1st pick, he’ll take another Kicker and slam his head one more time so I can eat my dinner without the fear of vomiting. Al Davis gets the gross Mustache award!

The “Shit the Bed” Award- The Cleveland Cavaliers Front Office

It is no surprise to anyone that the Cleveland Cavaliers are a worse team now than they were at this time last year. With an 8-37 record, there are plenty of places to point fingers other than towards the beach (South Beach, not the shores of Lake Erie). For me, it is simple; no matter how good a single player is, the upper management still need to be able to have a plan. The way the season is going, it seems as if the front office is treating the season like a bad storm. Since that disloyal tool deserted his brothers, it seems the biggest transaction the Cavs were involved in was them exercising the fourth-year option on J.J. Hickson. I know it must be hard for an organization to recover after losing a player like Lebron, but wait… The year after Michael Jordan decided to strap on cleats, the Chicago Bulls went 55-27. I know this is not a bench mark for how a team must play, but at the professional level, a team with the best record in the NBA (2010 Cavs) should be able to lose their best player and still compete. Please do not tell me that losing a giant Lithuanian also hurt them. I put all of this failure on the Cavs front office. I also think Dan Gilbert handled the loss of Lebron like a pissed off 16 year-old girl, who discovered her boyfriend cheating. Maybe when the season finally ends, Dan will roll out of bed and cleaned all of that shit up. This Mustache is for you Cleveland Cav’s front office!

By Phil Bausk

I looked outside my window this morning from my penthouse in the East Village (Alright ,its a 3 bedroom flex apartment with a kitchen that John Goodman could get stuck in), and I noticed more lovely snow on the ground. Over the last month or so, the city of New York has been pounded with heavy, white snow. Subways have been stopped, buses are virtually non existent, and fat people, including myself, have been racking up the points.

There are a few great things about the snowfall. Firstly, all the attractive women who have to cover up now on a daily basis seem to have more of a reason to show more skin at the gym. It makes for a much more interesting lunch break, and gives me something to look at while I am eating a Subway sandwich on the exercise bike. Secondly, with the commute to work being such a pain, I have had days in my office where I am alone without any supervision. This has led to some outlandish Gchat and Facebook conversations, which have no business being discussed by anyone. In addition, there has been the welcoming of hot chocolate to the company’s coffee machines. While it’s not going to wake me up, it gives me a small reminder about why I love winter in New York.

Finally, as I looked out my window, a growing concern came across my mind. Was I ever going to get my mail from random athletes across the country?!?!?!? I know the Post Office prides itself on delivering the mail in any sort of weather conditions, but I was worried that the vast amounts of snow that had been falling was going to deter my mail carrier from making her way to my lobby.

Well, it took over a month but I finally got my second batch of random letters from athletes. Whether they are staying at the W hotel or the Holiday Inn express, athletes need to ask a random schlub like myself about how to handle their personal and professional lives because as many of us can see from today’s media, they still love to show off their either comically large, or frighteningly small wangs.

Q: “Have I not made it painfully obvious that i NEVER want to play in New Jersey? Trade after trade falls through, I keep hinting how playing at home in NYC is the dream, and my friends, Brooklyn is not Manhattan. Is there something wrong with me? Or should I just suck it up, accept the trade, and waste 6 months of my life?”

C. Anthony Denver, CO

A: Mr. Anthony, I really am not sure what to tell you. The best advice I can give you is that whatever you decide to do, whether it be play out your contract in Denver, or bully a trade to New York, just do it with class. We all saw the backlash that occurred with The Akron Scammer, and you don’t want to follow in his selfish footsteps.

What I would tell you to do is play out your contract and be graceful in your departure from the Nuggets. Play hard every night and try and get that team back to the playoffs. While a first round exit is more than likely, if you go out fighting, the fans will not resent you and in less than a year, you will ultimately get your wish. While talks of a CBA agreement could hurt the amount of money you could get in a contract with the Knicks, your star will shine greater in the bright lights of NYC and you will make that money back faster through advertisements and appearances. This would also start a great rivalry in the east with the Heat and the Knicks, a rivalry the NBA could use. I am sure David Stern has already put this in motion by telling Mikhail Prokhorov to get the hell away from the Nuggets front office or he’ll divulge some interesting information to the Russian CIA.

Q: “Where should I play? I’m a winner, I have the tools to succeed in this league, and I have the weirdest shaped head of any player in the league. Someone should want to pick me up right? Just because I alienated one of the best coaches in football and gave up on a group of 52 guys doesn’t mean I should be penalized right?

V. Young Anywhere but Tennessee

A:It is athletes like Vince Young that piss me off, even more so than guys like the Akron Scammer and company. Vince has a decent amount of talent, as he was blessed with the ability to run, throw, and shove guys in a nightclub, yet he takes it for granted by being an immature and selfish “man,” who tries to bully others into giving into his ways. While his college coach Mack Brown will tell you he was the perfect teammate, I am sure a lot went down on the Austin campus that we do not know about.

Many athletes are able to go out and have nights of debauchery without us hearing much about it. They can also get into spats with their coaching staff and work through it, with us forgetting about it until the next guy does the same thing. VY is on strike 2 as I am concerned and if he isn’t careful, he could end up going the ways of the Akili Smiths and the JaMarcus Russells of the world. The one thing VY has going for him is his ability. While he may not put up the greatest numbers, he finds ways to win games. Vince, just do what your coaches ask you, and if you have a problem with him, don’t go crying to the owner (Who clearly has problems of his own), but use your big paycheck and see a therapist, it’s alright, most of the country does it anyhow.

Q: Dude, after we beat the Jets on Sunday, I am so excited to to down to Dallas and check out the college chicks out there. I already have my 2 Super Bowl rings, I still haven’t gotten my Texas tail. I already asked Mike Wallace to be my wing-man, but he says I’m too pushy.

B. Roethlisberger Pittsburgh, PA

A: Way to go man! One more sexual harassment accusation and you’ll become the only QB with 2 Super Bowl rings or more that won’t be invited to any Post-game parties (Except for maybe Jay Cutler, he just looks like a douche). Firstly, beat the Jets and secondly, No means No.

Q: What should I buy first after signing my new contract? A new car, a house for my momma, or Brian Cashman’s love?

R. Soriano,  Scarsdale, NY I am sure

A: In order to succeed in NY, all you have to do is have a 4 ERA, set up the game for Rivera, and not accidentally cross swords with Jeter, though I’m sure ARod would just say it “slipped.” Do those things, and Brian Cashman will only lose 40 percent of his hair.

Q: I think I finally get why David Stern made players go to college for at least one year. But hey, I’m still making more than Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.

M. Webster, Minneapolis, MN

A: You make more money than they do for now Martell…. And yes, you are right, players like you should’ve gone to college for at least a year. It is obvious to see how both the NCAA and the NBA have benefited from this rule change. So many players from Webster’s era jumped to the NBA to make a quick dollar, when they could’ve refined their games and becomes players with a longer shelf life. If not for the dumb GM’s (KAHHHHNN!!) of the world giving players like Webster and Travis Outlaw big contracts, these guys would be regretting their decisions every day. There is a whole list of guys like Darius Miles,  Kwame Brown, and others who jumped too quickly to the NBA.

The college game today is now more popular than its ever been, with twice as much TV time as it had during the early 2000s. Players like Jared Sullinger are polishing their  games so that they can contribute right away once they are drafted, which will hopefully lead to longer and more productive careers. It also allows  them to play on a better platform to help introduce themselves to the public. Not every high school star is going to be publicized like the Akron Scammer was, and the college game is the perfect place for them to showcase their talent. Assuming things stay the way they are, I can’t see Mr. Webster and Mr. Outlaw getting nice contracts after their current ones run out. Odds are they will be replaced by similar players, who had the benefit of attending college for at least one year.

Q: Can you void retirement papers?

B. Favre, Set of Wrangler Commercial

A: I am not sure, but I don’t put it past you to figure out a way how.

Q: Yo, Can I sell you my dirt bike?

R.Rogers, Durham, NC

A: I am not  touching that one, but there’s a 5% chance that I’ll buy it.

Q: When will people realize that I am the best quarterback in the league? Do I need to do a bunch of crappy commercials with a thick southern accent? Do I have to marry the hottest woman on earth, grow out my hair, and throw up a stinker against the Jets? Or do I have to hope a horrible catastrophy strikes my city so I could lead my team to the promised land?

A. Rodgers, Green Bay, WI

A: Frankly Mr. Rodgers, yes, I think you need one of those things to happen to you in order for you to get into this conversation. Obviously from a career standpoint, you aren’t at the same level as these guys. But right now, if I was picking one quarterback to win a game for my team, I find it hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers. He avoids pressure, has a strong and accurate arm, and makes pre-snap reads just as well as anyone. Even if he leads the Packers to a Super Bowl victory this season, he will not get as much credit as he deserves.

A good idea for Rodgers would be to get a list of the companies Peyton Manning is a sponsor for, and offer his services to their rival company. Next, he should go bald, marry the ugliest chick he can find, but treat her like a queen so the public can see what a nice guy he is, kind of like what Roger Federer is doing (At least I hope). Finally, while there’s not chance of a levee breaking in Green Bay anytime soon, perhaps a cheese famine would suffice as a catastrophe for that part of the country. Families would be forced to eat regular hamburgers as opposed to delicious cheeseburgers. Quesadillas would just be pita bread and chicken and Lunchables would go out of business. Barack Obama could come to town to offer his support, knowing that there isn’t much to do. Finally, this could lead to Rodgers going on an award show, and saying directly into the camera, ‘Barack Obama doesn’t care about white people.”