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.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


Got Me A Ticket For An Airoplane
I Ain't Got Time To Take No Fast Train
Oh ,The Lonely Days Are Gone
I'm coming home Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

A COMING TREAT?

I was going over NBA history looking for a similar pattern where the NBA Finals unfolded with a 2-2 tie before the home team won it all in game 6. In some ways I think 1976 is the most fitting example...

Boston 4, Phoenix 2

May 23: Sun., Phoenix 87 at Boston 98
May 27: Thu., Phoenix 90 at Boston 105
May 30: Sun., Boston 98 at Phoenix 105
June 2: Wed., Boston 107 at Phoenix 109
June 4: Fri., Phoenix 126 at Boston ***128
June 6: Sun., Boston 87 at Phoenix 80


If you're wondering what all those stars mean, those are the overtimes it took to win that game. The only other time we had a triple overtime game in the NBA Finals was 1993. That year, Phoenix and Charles Barkley eventually won because Scottie Pippen got popped with a cramp down the stretch. But maybe if there is a little NBA luck on our side we could see another classic game 5 triple overtime showdown. I wonder if that would be enough to prove Dallas tuff enuff?
TUFF ENUFF?

For the Daily Rant browsers, you should give this one a read. Sure it's on basketball, but it goes beyond the X's and O's to the heart of the game and touches on conspiracy theory, leadership theory, and the shortcomings of the media. But I'm certainly not the only one with an opinion.

In the words of Seth...

The catch-word for why Miami is tied in this series seems to be "tough."

The Mavs aren't "tough" enough.

Apparently, Riley's style is "tough" and Mark Cuban pampers his nice-guy flashy flash players with a pretty locker room and home-court sideshows.

Home court sideshows aren't "tough."

The Heat's house ain't got no circus clowns. They just "pulled the white covers off their seats and celebrated in style" (Tom Withers).

I'm not sure what I saw last night in game 4, except that the Miami shots were going down and the Mavericks' shots weren't. I thought Dallas was playing great defense, for the most part, but just couldn't get the jumpshots to fall.

I'm also not sure what you should call Jerry Stackhouse's blindside attack on Shaq in the 3rd. You don't see David trying to tackle Goliath's big brother very often. But since Stackhouse threw his diminutive body at that monster when the monster wasn't looking, I guess that's not tough.

When D-Wade is making impossible shots, and the other team is taking open jumpers and missing them, the Heat win, because you're not going to beat Shaq and Zo and Posey to the rebound if Dirk Waltonstein shot the miss from behind the 3 point arc.

If that style is called "tough," then that's what it is.


Seth is right. If you look at the boxscore, the Mavs shot a lowly 31.6% vs. Miami 51.5%. Even given the rest of the statistical categories there is no place where the Heat really stand out. If they were so tough why did they turn the ball over 5 more times (18-13)? A tough team would be causing turnovers. Additionally, considering that the Mavs missed 54 shots in game 4 the Heat rebounding edge isn't that significant. The truth is, we are not dealing with a weakling team in the Dallas Mavericks. We are dealing with lazy reporters that are returning to their Don Nelson era stereotypes of a team too soft to compete for the NBA Title.

But as Seth pointed out, a soft team doesn't send their 4th best scoring option out like a goon to tackle Shaq. I was on my feet trashtalking the TV when former Piston Jerry Stackhouse caught up to the showboating Jason Williams as he lobbed the ball to Shaq for an "easy 2." Unfortunately, there was nothing easy about that one as Stackhouse schooled that lazy 350 lb ogre into the first row. Of course, since the league protects their superstars, they HAD to fine and suspend Stackhouse for that one. Truthfully, I am VERY pissed off about that call. Though don't take my word for it...

"It makes no sense at all," owner Mark Cuban wrote in an e-mail. "There have been more 'accidental' elbows to Mavs players' heads this series than is statistically possible. (Wasn't it [Heat coach Pat] Riley who said that there is no such thing as an accidental elbow?) More stiff arms to faces of our double teams, all without response from the league."

...

Before the league's decision, Dallas coach Avery Johnson said he didn't think the blow deserved a suspension, noting that O'Neal wasn't penalized for hitting Stackhouse hard enough in Game 1 that he opened a gash across the top of his nose that required three stitches to close.


If Shaq insists on calling himself the Big Aristotle, then we need to call Stackhouse Plato, because he schooled that shit out of him in game 4.

However, given the league's decision, I will never support Miami or Shaq ever again. It's obvious who the league wants to win game 5. Plus with Dallas' top 2 scorers crapping the bed, it creates a situation for Miami to go up 3-2 before the series shifts back to Dallas for the final 2 games.

But truly, this is an opportunity for Dallas to show the slamma jamma media how tough they really are. Dallas finished with the 7th best defense in the NBA this year. This is remarkable considering years past when they have consistently finished near the bottom of the league. In addition, it should be known that the old days of Don (Nelly) Nelson are gone. Avery Johnson is nicknamed the Little General. He learned basketball playing for greats such as Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich. Honestly, I see a bit of the SBP in him when he is on the floor surrounded by guys all 6 inches taller than him. He calls them out and rallies them to a common cause, screaming and yelling and leading these men. Like Tondar and Hubie Brown, Johnson knows what it takes to win. It's certainly not a lack of toughness on their part. It comes down to one thing: In the last 2 games, Miami has handled themselves like the Detroit Pistons. They don't play pretty, but they know how to handle crunch time. Given that, they have converted 4 and 1/2 quarters out of 16 total into a tied series. If that ain't Dee-Troit basketball, I don't know what is.

Look for the Little General to settle the kids down. Nowitzki, Howard, and Terry will pick up the slack and we will see Stackhouse and Cuban celebrating an NBA Title come this time Tuesday. So let it be blogged, so let it be done.
SETH ON HIS 2006 TIGERS PREVIEW

From Seth...

"So far, I've been dead-on, except for my comments on the relievers. But to my credit, when I wrote that Joel Zumaya was still a AA starter and Bobby Seay hadn't been acquired. So the only surprise has been Fernando Rodney.

Remember I listed Upsides and Downsides for 20 different question marks, and said if 16 of those 20 (or 4 of 5) upside targets went our way, we'd be 90-72 at the end of the season. Well, we're meeting 4 of 5 right now, and our pace is well above that. However, I also said we'd open eyes in April and May (which we did) and cool off after the All-Star break.

Prophesy fulfilled?

I'd say "No" right now. At a third of the way through the season, our smaller sample should be + .030 to count me on target. The reason we should be ahead of pace at this point is because we've played the easier part of our schedule, so if I was right that an 80-percent upside rate would net a final result of 90-72, we should have a winning percentage right now of .586. The real tally: .642 -- well outside my margin for
error.

So it would seem that I, like everyone else, underestimated these Tigers.

What did I miss?

Well, Zumaya and Rodney are two obvious players I didn't account for. I still think the bullpen needs a real superhero closer to replace Todd Jones, but Fernando and Joel have made this weak point a strong point. Also, we've had good production from other names popping up from the minors, and some wins from guys who were used right (like Grilli) who otherwise might have been beaten up.

And therein lies the true underestimation on my part: a manager who knows how to squeeze the best from his players. Obviously, things are going right for the Tigers. But the difference between where we are now and even the most positive end of my prediction has been straight-up Jim Leyland. He's the reason the pitchers and bullpen are keeping runs down. He's the reason Pudge is happy and Magglio is coming back, and Infante feels like he has a place, and Shelton isn't falling into the pits he used to, and Vance Wilson is getting enough playing time, and Curtis Granderson is panning out, and Marcus Thames is being used right and Alexis Gomez and Ramon Santiago can help the team.

Leyland is MAKING the things we need to go right go right. He can't help injury (losing Maroth is really killing us), but the question marks he can change he has been changing for the better. And the rest -- the difference between .586 and .642 by mid-June -- is pure gamemanship.

So I guess what I'm saying is Leyland is the f---in MAN!"
FRIDAY NIGHT LYRICS

Journey - Higher Place (2001 - Arrival)

I am on the outside looking in
To a place where I will be
Let me give you what you need from me
I surrender my soul to you
And my heart is pounding
And a fire's burning
And my head is spinning, 'round and 'round again

And I try
I try to reason why
Don't you know I can't go on this way
Baby please don't walk away there is this place
Where I toss away my pride
So you can see that I'm the one
To take you to a higher place this time

Oh, I crash... and burn inside my mind
It happens time and time again,
I can't explain the way you make me feel
Oh, I know... I don't have much to give
But what I have I give to you with all the madness left inside of me
With the madness left inside of me... oh
BLAST FROM THE PAST

Here is a letter I sent to James back in November 2002. Looking back I'm surprised I stayed with that job as long as I did. But at least I like my job much more these days...

Everyday that I email you is the worst day of my life. Just when I thought Malebolge could not get any worse, the flames burn hotter and still they dont consume. Yesterday we traded the black devil bojangles for the two old hellbeast witches Hecubus, and Saddlebags. I hate my life, but not as much as I will hate it tomorrow.


And to think, now I have "work at home." My how the wheel of fortune turns. What say you Hecuba Regina?
PIC OF THE DAY


It's late. I've come
to find the flower which blossoms
like a saint dying upside down.
The rose won't do, nor the iris. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

BUSY FRIDAY

Sorry the blogging has been light lately. I have been captivated by the NBA Finals. I like the way Dallas has been sticking it to Shaq. However, over the last 5 quarters, they have crapped the bed and turned this into a series.

But anyways, tomorrow is work from home Friday. I plan on getting up early so I can get an early workout in before logging onto the office. This is the first time I have tried that. So once I get all my work-work done, I plan on firing up a classic PBR/Cleaning Session. It's been too long. Some might call it a sad state of affairs that I need to drink to do woman's work. But I like to think of it as a consequence of my Cooter Deficiency Syndrome. After all, if Miss Allison isn't going to be a good girlfriend, me, the monkeys, and PBR have to take matters into our own hands.
OH THAT BIG LOTS STAFF

I've become a pretty big fan of the local Big Lots here. In fact, my favorite employee over there is the 50 year old black woman that threatens to cut her coworkers and chit-chats with me about forcing her husband to wash his hair "before he git cut." (I guess her desire to cut people kind of explains why she can only find work at Big Lots.)

Well yesterday, there was this chubby Mexican girl giving me the eye. I just had to giggle about that one before getting into Shop-Dar mode. What made it funnier was that when I tried to check out she was trying to talk it up with me. At first I showed no interest in making small talk about the pickles. So with a hint of a smile Gorda Suave asked, "So what high school do you go to?" At this I started laughing pretty good. With that it all clicked together. I wasn't the young single guy picking up shampoo, pickles, and bloody mary mix (yeah, that's for the kids), I was the sophisticated highschooler shopping like a grown up. I don't need that. But maybe next time I'll get to hear more stories about cuttin' people. I do need that.
PIC OF THE DAY


Elijah appealed to all the people and said,
"How long will you straddle the issue?
If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him." Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


"I didn't bust out of prison to be locked up in somebody's basement. I want some action!" Posted by Picasa
ONLY IN A DANNY CRAWFORD GAME

Dallas 21 22 34 19 96
Miami 29 23 16 30
98


I would also like to see a quarterly breakdown of personal fouls than the game total where Dallas committed 29 to Miami's 23. But either way you have to take your hat off to Danny Crawford for this amazing comeback. Only with him could Miami get the calls and Shaq get the no-calls. I was especially amazed how Wade never picked up that 6th foul down the stretch on his way to a 42 pt night. Truly a spectacular performance for the ages!

Though on the other hand here's Mav's owner Mark Cuban with his take on the state of NBA officiating.
PIC OF THE DAY


Another night in the studio working on their "Pot and Pan Jamboree Overture Suite in T Major" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


I'm a man without conviction,
I'm a man who doesn't know
how to sell a contradiction. Posted by Picasa
THE CULT OF CAPTAIN AWESOME BEARD

So Tres and I were driving along 17th in Nashville when a stranger waved to us. He was no ordinary stranger for this man had a beard with mystical powers that dictated that Tres kill in his name. You see when one is given an order by Captain Awesome Beard, it cannot be ignored. He is as old as time, but as young as a child. It is said that Captain Awesome Beard served with John Paul Jones in the Spanish Armada before traveling with Marco Polo via the Northwest Passage on his ship the Dream Weaver. It is named for its ability to weave death shrouds of red, gold and green, yes, red, gold and green.
BACK FROM NASH VEGAS

It was a great weekend in Nash Vegas yet again. Turns out Tres lives on Electric Avenue in the half of a duplex not condemned. It's a rather mixed bag. You see there is a tetanis shed out back that we filled with beer bottles. In addition, the bugs have been good hosts and allow Tres to stay as long as he doesn't put screens on the windows. On the other hand, there is no air conditioning or hot water. Waking up with your head soaking wet with sweat is something that I need a little more time to get used to. But if you ever need to cool down, the shower is like being stabbed with a thousand ice needles that would even make Frank and his 18 inches shrink away into nothing.

As for the rest of the visit, I especially liked the wide consumption of PBR. From "tall-boy" cans to PiBR on tap, it was like the city was paying tribute to the Baron of Atlanta. And tribute I demand!