Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Friday, June 10, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY

Scroll down to yesterday's pic of the day for live-blogging of game 1...


Yo Tayshaun, you're gonna have to step it up on both ends of the floor if the Pistons are gonna have a chance in this series. Post the Argentine up and GO TO WORK! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Seth on Alanis singing our National Anthem...

"You know, when Lucy Lawless did that to the Star Spangled Banner, she at least had the courtesy to flash a tit."
SETH WEIGHS IN ON THE LIVE BLOG

From Seth...

"From time to time, refs will miss calls.

They'll call a string of fouls against one team that shouldn't have been called.

They'll end the game with one team having gotten a raw deal.

They'll make a call at a critical juncture of the game, then try to make it up when the game's been decided.

It happens. It's an imperfect art.

So I'm not going to say it yet. New series; the slate is wiped clean. But I'm watching refs. A few of those were a bit too obvious. A few of the calls were a little too quick. But nothing like the Miami series. So I'm watching. I'll chock any suspicion at present up to the obvious last one.

Pistons gotta come back and play better. End of story."

Personal Fouls
Det. 19
S.A. 17
AND THE WHEELS CAME FLYING OFF

Well instead of the Pistons getting it going in the 4th it was Manu and the Spurs. You have to admit they were more aggressive in attacking the basket, especially down the stretch when Manu finally got it goin'. Another thing that doesn't help is when Sheed and Rip end up having terrible games. Sheed had 6 pts in the 1st qtr and didn't end up scoring the rest of the game. That's not gonna get her done against this Spurs team. Also we could have used more aggressive play from Tayshaun. I'm not really sure how he ended up in double digits when he rarely touched the ball. But you really gotta hand it to the Spurs for shaking off the rust and stepping up their effort.
7:30 IN THE 4th QTR

Det 55 S.A. 67

Is it a coincidence that Manu Ginobili has 15 pts in the 2nd half after being inspired by a Jamie Foxx uplifting awareness piece at halftime? Should I be worried that the NBA is pimping the international player who just HAPPENS to be getting all the calls to go his way?

WTF man? W. T. F.?
9:21 IN THE 4th QTR

Det. 53 S.A. 60

Well that was another horrible call on Ben Wallace. But this time it looks like they mighta sent the wheels flyin' off Det. Det. has to be careful not to let the officiating snowball against them like in games 3 and 5 with Mia. However, it's certainly hard to maintain composure when you can't help but think David Stern is out to get you.
END OF 3rd QTR

What a defensive battle we got going here. Det only managed 14 while S.A. scored a staggering 20 to put them up 55-51. At this point Det. is only shooting 22-61 (36.1%) from the field. They are gonna need (and are due for one of their offensive runs after scoring 20, 17 and 14 in the 3 qtrs respectively. Look for Rip to get it started in he-agh.
AT THE HALF

Det 37 SA 35

If you listen to the talking heads of NBA on ABC, you wouldn't think the score would be that close. Det actually isn't doing all the little things it takes to win.

FG%
Det. 16-40 (40.0%)
S.A. 14-40 (35.0%)

Rebounds
Det. 21
S.A. 25

Turnovers
Det. 5
S.A. 8

Only 2 stats Det. has an advantage...

Blocks
Det. 7
S.A. 1

Steals
Det. 6
S.A. 2

What they need to do is get Sheed, McDyess, and Prince going in the frontcourt. They can then get a higher percentage shot, possibly stick it to Duncan on the fouls, and most of all, hopefully get more rebounds. Yeah, it's gonna be a low scoring game. Surprise, surprise TV guys, but just because Det. gets ahead, doesn't mean they can ease up like they did in the 2nd qtr. That's not playing the right way.
5:50 IN THE 2ND QTR

Looks like Chauncey 11 pts, Sheed 6 pts, and Duncan 11 pts are gonna be the go-to guys tonight. Detroit needs to stay focused against Parker and Horry, however. One blown D, and they'll burn ya good.
END OF 1st QTR

DET 20 SA 17

Looks like San Antonio has found their stride. They certainly came roaring back after Det went up 19-7. 1-10 run, ouch. You can't be giving up too many of those.

More importantly, after coming off a 7 game series, with the starters getting about 40 min a game. How long before fatigue sets in? Can Rip and Tay handle 45 effective mins?
6:05 FIRST QTR

San Antonio certainly has some rust. It's also obvious they haven't seen anybody in this post-season yet that plays defense. Check out these stats...

SA

2-7 with a 28.6 FG%
4 Turnovers
3 Rebounds

Detroit

6 Rebounds

Looks like Wallace and Wallace have the early advantage over SA's frontcourt. But it's certainly early, and I'm not going to count on SA to suck all night.
TIME-OUT SPURS

9:39 to go in the first

HAHA!

Detroit is lookin' good at both ends of the floor. I guess SA has a bit of rust after 8 days off.
WHAT THE SWITCH?

I guess Will Smith and the hip-hoppin' Switch was originally scheduled for the Miami vs. Phoenix series. OOPS! Well, I guess they gotta do something to keep the attention of the Slamma-Jamma crowd.
STAR SPANGLED, HUH?

I heard Alanis' hair got those streaks when she was in the car accident. It's kinda Ironic, dontchya think?

Well she didn't butcher the song too much, but I'm still surprised she didn't put in any references to masturbation or the always funny abusing women.
12 DOWN, 4 TO GO

Well this is certainly a dream matchup for Tondar in the Finals. The two teams play anything BUT slamma-jamma-in-yo-face action. They play smart well coached disciplined basketball, and for any true fan of the game, this is a wonderful matchup of teams that know how to play the right way. Personally, I look for the Spurs to become a much better version of the Pacers. It will be interesting to see Duncan match up against Wallace. In addition, it will be a treat to see the best two back courts go at it. Plus with Slamma-Jamma Miami and Phoenix out of the way, Dick Bavetta and the officials should be more inclined to just let the two teams go at it.

But anyways, I will be live blogging the game so there will be more details to come.
FUNNY THING ABOUT SPORTS

From Seth...

"I was thinking, when I was a kid, the promise of something free always seemed to get me up.

Nevermind that my free prize for winning 80 tickets at Chucky Cheese's cost my parents way more than the stuffed R2D2 I took home in quarters for skee ball.

Anyway, I was remembering that at the end of the 7-game series with the Heat.

Here were the Pistons, having survived a to-the-wire game to finish a to-the-wire series in which they had to contend with big ol' Shaq, a speedy kid who can shoot, and referees who did anything but make things easy on the Detroit squad.

They'd won.

The game was over, and unbelievably, better play had won out. They were the Eastern Confernce Champions, heading back to the Finals.

Here's your hat.

When did this championship hat thing start? I don't remember the Tigers wearing them in '84, but I do think the Bad Boys had hats by '88. I KNOW they had t-shirts. I had a t-shirt.

Among things that are wholly unneccessary in sports, this sounds like a dumb thing to pick on. But the image is just so over-the-top materialistic in a moment that is anything but. What's the difference between the champions and the losers? The champions get hats.

I've heard about the security they put on the hats until the end of the game, especially a Game 7. They're so careful to be absolutely sure that no towel boy with tape-cutters can pilfer a collectors item "Miami Heat Eastern Champs 2005" hat. They're extra careful to destroy, immediately, those incorrect ballcaps.

And not just the ones at the game. There's thousands of them. When it's the Patriots versus Carolina, so the story goes, the hat manufacturers take the odds on New England and print more of those caps. But in a series like this, where nobody knows who will win, they make the same amount: thousands and thousands.

It's a hat.

Of course, you see the reason the next morning at every Meijer and K-Mart and Walgreens, etc.: hats just like Sheed was wearing Monday night have magically been stocked by opening on Tuesday morning. And to recover the cost of the lost loser's hats, they're selling at one for the price of two.

It's a friggin' hat.

It's not even a Finals champions hat. We won the East. If we lose the Finals, it's a good purchase. Otherwise.

It's a friggin' hat.

If what Shaq really wanted was a hat that said Miami Heat 2005 Eastern Champs, he could, you know, pay to have it made. It is, afterall, a hat. Trophies I get. You win, here's a trophy. If the Pistons win the Finals, and then a week later the nation goes bankrupt and our currency becomes worthless, the team can at least melt down the thing and use the gold to get food. Otherwise, it's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship that, in its uniqueness, is alone symbolic of achieving the top accolade of your sport. A worthy cause.

Just lose the hats."
SRAVE RABOL IN MICHIGAN

What's all this about?

"Authorities raided 17 Chinese restaurants around Michigan that they suspect of ducking millions of dollars in taxes and importing undocumented workers as a "modern version of indentured servants."


I've heard of people taking in Pet Mexicans, but this is a whole new untapped market of cheap labor, er, I mean rabol.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


Ahoy mateys! Who dare sail with the Dread Pirate Dar? Posted by Hello
PISTONS OVER LAKERS IN 7

From Seth...

"I finally got it, what the NBA was trying to tell us.

Shaq didn't leave L.A. He took it with him.

In the latest development yet for the NBA's most heralded franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers are spending a few seasons in the Eastern Conference, playing teams they hadn't faced since the franchise actually was situated near a lake while disguised as a historically middle-of-the-road team that's never won a championship.

As with any typical Laker game, last night's show began by introducing a gaggle of celebrities who'd come down from Hollywood for courtside seats. Then they introduced the players, a dominating center, a can't-miss guard, and some other people -- typical Laker team.

The dominating center, of course, was still Shaq, who'd led the Lakers to several championships and as far as the NBA Finals last year (when the Lakers were still in the West). Shaq fit perfectly with the Lakers, considering the team had a history of having calls go their way, and Shaq needed lots of calls to go his way in order to be effective.

Well, that ol' Laker Magic was in full effect last night, as it had been for the entire series in their rematch with Detroit's Pistons. Except instead of helping Shaq against the defensive minded Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, this time the refs were assisting him against the defensive-minded Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. And they were calling his team the Heat.

The Pistons thrive on team defense. Everyone agrees on this.

What we should also be able to agree on is that the only way to beat such defense is to: a) Match it, or b) nullify it with officiating. Look, I'm not the first (or last) to blame refs. But if they want to know why people keep saying "conspiracy" it's because the officiating in this series was horrendous, and always in favor of Miami. With the 3rd quarter winding down, the Pistons had only taken 3 foul shots. Was Miami backing off? Hardly. Most of Rip Hamilton's buckets in the first two periods occurred after he was fouled. They didn't call 'em. They didn't call those committed on Chauncy either.

By the 3rd period, the officiating gap was getting ridiculous. Shaq put the ball to the floor (which is called a dribble), picked it up, dribbled (which is called a double-dribble) and then stuffed his elbow into Ben Wallace's face. No whistle. Just 2 points for Shaq. Another trip we watched Shaq set a moving pick early, then once he got in the post, banged Elden Campbell and Rasheed Wallace with his arms (three pretty obvious calls in 3 seconds) before going up for the shot, which ended with a foul called on Wallace.

This had been the story of the series. Detroit was better, at least so long as Miami was injured. But when the officiating turned from bad to ridiculous, they'd lose their composure and collapse. Game 3 was lost in just such a manner. Larry Brown was going to make sure it didn't happen again.

Yes, the officiating was a Heat fan again, and a big one. But the Pistons knew how the refs could only do so much. When bad calls went against Sheed, a teammate was there to calm him down. When Chauncy got upset at getting slapped in the face during a jumper with no whistle, Larry Brown was talking right at him. No technicals.

And so the game remained close. Dwayne Wade wasn't himself; no matter how many charges he didn't get called on, or erroneous trips to the line he was given, Wade couldn't slink around defenders, couldn't pull up and shoot. The guy was in pain. And if someone was out there to turn Wade's pain into a heroic effort, apparently they were putting too much faith into what a guy with a rib injury can really do.

The Pistons know how to win in many different ways. Getting Rasheed Wallace involved was one of them. A gamble, considering he was the most likely to fly off the handle at the refs. He finished with 5 fouls, 2 earned. But Sheed also scored. From the post, off the rebound, behind the arc...he was involved in the offense. And that was a key to this series.

The most telling statistic is that Detroit, when it was given a chance to shoot, scored. They shot at or near 52 percent (+/- a drought or a hot streak). So while they weren't given very many chances to put points up, they took advantage of those they had.

You can't beat that.

I think we were overrestimating Shaq's leg. He could bang in the low post when he had the ball, and his play got better and better as the series went on. Usually in Laker...uh...Heat playoffs, the more Shaq has to play, the slower he is out there. Yes, he stood around on defense. That's what he does. And it works because when Rip spins into him after losing his his defender, he sees this hulking mass in his way, says "nuh uh," and kicks it back out to Lindsay Hunter. He'll miss. Anyway, if Shaq is capable of playing more minutes than this, well, at his age and physical shape, I don't believe it. If he was limited, it was Elden Campbell who did it. Elden is the difference between Shaq taking a 2-foot shot and a 6-foot shot from that post-up play. He's 80 percent on the 2-footer. He's 40 percent from 2 yards.

So the final basketball story is this: Dwayne Wade played like a star, limited only by Lindsay Hunter and, eventually, a rib muscle tear. Shaq was Shaq. The officials made it close. Perhaps the injury train evened that part out. But this is how you beat the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, too: let them get injured, let them get tired, let their shooter get selfish, and make your shots.

Now comes the real test, because San Antonio is, I think, the best team in basketball."
CORPORATE GIFTS

Jus' wondering, do you ever get free stuff from companies you work with? Pens, coffee mugs, golf balls letter openers and stuff supposedly used to be exchanged every time two companies sat down - a little friendly gift to keep your partner's logo ever in your mind.

Apparently, this has slowed down a lot in the recent recession, as companies sought to cut costs. Cutting corporate gifts has become so ubiquitous that even China (where a lot of them are made) is feeling the effects, according to the article my boss read. But more importantly, the American companies who put the logos on there are hurting. Several converted from corporate to political stuffs in 2004, but the companies haven't gone back to buying.

This started when I broke a great letter opener I'd stolen (he saw me take it) from my boss. He agreed, since I was opening all the PR mail we receive, to just go ask the company for another one at the next trade show. Well, they don't give 'em out anymore apparently. But they did talk his ear off over their new product, which I'm now running for them. Ironic that they're not giving out their letter openers anymore, considering that particular device has probably bought them pages of
free advertizing in our editorials. Like if I'm doing Company News, I look up their company and see what they're doing. If they have a new VP, he gets a writeup. Even the product we're running is a consequence of one simple trinket, which they're discontinuing.

Now I'll have to give the letter opener back, and I'll become some other company's sugar daddy in editorial.

Anyway, was wondering if you noticed a bit less glock the last few years."
A FACE ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE

From Pigpen...

"And to think, I get hassled by the man when I try to come back into the USA after blowing way too much cash on booze the night before...No Geddy Lee welcoming me back to D-town, yet this (obvious) psycho is ushered right in."

Couldn't anybody else see a young Bug-Eyed Earl?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

WHEW!

It wasn't done in 6, but it was done. Looks like Seth and Tondar both called one Finals team correctly this year.

Monday, June 06, 2005

COURT WARS

From Seth...


Episode I: The Fan-tom Menace



As we begin our story, a dispute has broken out within the Eastern Galactic Conference between The Pacer Federation and the planet of Detroit. In an unprovoked attack (the Pacer Federation claimed someone threw a beverage), the Federation attacked the denizens of the royal Palace of Auburn Hills.


The Jedi counsel, at time the champions of the universe, dispatched a team to settle the dispute. They were led by the strange being Yoda Brown, who preached to the Jedi that their powers must be used only for defense and always work as a team. He was a weird dude, but quite venerated. To carry out the mission, Brown dispatched Qui-Sheed Ginn and his young apprentice Otayshawn Kenobi, an alien from a world in which everyone has disproportionally long limbs.



The Jedi managed to get to Detroit and there picked up Jar-Jar Milicic for comic relief, as well as two droids, Rip2D2, and ChaunC3PO. Also on their side was Ben Windu, known throughout the galaxy for having a wallet that said "Bad-a$$ M0ther-Fukker."



Through their adventures, they met a kid whose medichlorians were off the charts. Thinking he may be the chosen one, they brought the kid before the Jedi counsel. But the counsel refused him, thinking the kid, whom people called the Flash, didn't have as much upside as Jar Jar Milicic.



The Jedi complained to the Galactic Senate, who rather than revoke the Pacer Federation's charter, decided it would make a better movie for the two sides to just battle it out in the playoffs. However, to make things fair for the 2nd go-around, they promised to remove Artest Maul, who'd led the first attack.



This was to culminate in an epic battle. However, the Pacer Federation realized quickly that their droid army had a major flaw: they couldn't shoot. That is, except for one droid, an earlier version of Rip2D2 which, as opposed to later models, came with 3-point capability.



But although the Jedi were able to defeat the Pacer Federation, in the Galactic Senate, one figure had used the skirmish to assume total power.





Episode II, Attack of the Boards



Really nothing happens in this movie, except Yoda Brown gets into lightsaber duel with the media and the Flash has a love affair with himself. Falling out of favor with Yoda Brown, Jar Jar Milicic has his minutes reduced so much you'd barely know he was in the series anymore. In the end, Otayshaun Kenobi emerges as a true Jedi and Ben Windu wins the Defensive Jedi of the Year Award. Otherwise, for all intents and purposes, we can forget this movie ever happened.



Episode III, Revenge of the Stern



Spurned by the Jedi counsel, the Flash joined a group of aliens coached by Italian plumber Mario Van Gundy, who'd apparently taken some time off from trouncing Koopas. But Flash was corrupted through his friendship with the all-powerful Chancellor Palpatine, who was actually, in secret, the feared Sith lord, Darth Sternious.



Darth Sternious had been manipulating the Pacer Federation the whole time to gain power for himself and his offensive-minded Darth Side of the Court, which conflicted sharply with the Jedi order's reliance on defense. Sternious had also managed to bring to the Eastern Galaxy a power figure from the parallel Western Galaxy, where offense already reigned supreme: the imposing General Shaqous. Not only was General Shaqous really tough and really talented, but he also possessed the Sith ability to never get called for fouls. For example, in the middle of the game, he could turn his arms into lightsabers and run around whacking people with them. If you survived, you'd be called for fouling General Shaqous. Even Master Yoda Brown got hit with erroneous technicals when General Shaqous was on the court.



But General Shaqous wasn't enough to defeat the Jedi alone. "Always two there are," said Yoda Brown, "a low-post man and an outside shooter."



Growing close to the talented kid, Darth Sternious managed to convert the Flash to the darth side, renaming him Dwayne Wader. The darth side was tempting to the impatient Wader, for it taught that you can shoot from wherever and whenever on the court without having to pass or play defense, and that going 19 of 46 from the floor was a commendable night. Darth Sternious had also told the kid the tragedy of his old apprentice, Darth Bryant, a powerful Sith lord from the Western Galaxy who would have been the best Sith ever had he not run into some problems in Colorado. Ah, the Sith way is a lonely life.



Led by General Shaqous, Dwayne Wader, Alonzo Dooku, and a bunch of clones all named Jones (and with secret assistance from Darth Sternious), the Darth side swept through the Eastern Galaxy. It helped that Darth Sternious owned all the officials. Only the Jedi were left to stand in their way. General Shaqous managed to use his uncanny foul call manipulation ability to get rid of Qui-Sheed Gin, while Sternious managed have himseld declared emperor, with the power to directly negate Ben Windu through bad officiating. The Jedis even tried sending in a Wookie, Eldenbacca, but it was nary enough to fend off the might of the Sith team and the of the Eastern Republic combined.


They pushed the Jedi to the brink of extinction. However, while dueling with Otayshaun Kenobi, Dwayne Wader went down. General Shaqous, coughing and wheezing with age, was also slowing down.


Was this the Jedis' chance to fight back and change the tide? Or would Darth Sternious manage to re-build Wader for Game 6 and, together, conquer the Eastern Galaxy? We shall see.
THE KEN LIVES

From James...

"well Seth, you can sleep a little easier now. i went to Ken's website www.blackwaverising.com and its back online. things look pretty good for him, so i just though everyone might like to know."
SILLY FWD CORNER

From Cassady...

"THIS IS A RIP OFF ALERT... DO NOT do business with the Florida Tourist Bureau (3501 W. Vine Street, Suite 382, Kissimmee, Florida, 34741, (407) 518-1800) or its affiliates. I purchased 2 vacation packages from this company in March and lost $904. They have refused to give me a refund. What I agreed to purchasing via telephone was completely different from what I received. Good thing my Nextel phone allows me to record conversations. I then received a bootleg letter from the so called Director of Customer Service, stating that she would like to give me an incentive trip for all of my trouble. She asked that I call if I was interested in the incentive. The phone number she listed was a residence, and the person stated she has received several calls at her home for this company.

I have contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. They are investigating this company, along with the Better Business Bureau. I have decided to pursue a lawsuit, however, I cannot proceed with the lawsuit until I receive a status letter from the BBB, which should be sent in the next week or two. If you or anyone you know has been ripped off by this company please contact me ASAP. In the meantime, pass this on to everyone you know!!!

Search for the Florida Tourist Bureau online to see the other complaints about this company and go to www.ripoffreport.com to read about how they have ripped others off. Please note, this company frequently changes its name and phone numbers, so beware!!"
HIGHSCORING FLASHBACK

From James...

"The Pistons played the record for highest scoring game ever against coach Larry Brown's team, the irony!"