An unprecedented level of ownage

Fascinating: Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife, Larsa Pippen comes out and confirms relationship with Michael Jordan . . . ‘s son

It’s no secret that Michael Jordan was a pretty ruthless competitor in his playing days.  Although he seldom would admit to it, I think it was pretty obvious that winning alone wasn’t enough for MJ, but to demoralize and destroy his opponents in the process.  If the phrasing of owning others existed during his heydays, MJ probably ended his career basically having owned the entire NBA.

However, usually MJ’s ownage was limited to his opponents, most notably Patrick Ewing or any center who played for Georgetown.  It’s not to say he didn’t try to impose his will onto his own teammates present or past, but if there was always one guy that throughout his career was (mostly*) spared from getting owned by His Airness, it would’ve been the right-hand man, the #2, the Robin to Batman, Scottie Pippen.

*there are random clips out there of some exhibition one-on-ones between the two that never seem conclusive nor apparent that either were ever taking it serious enough, but MJ probably won those too

Over the last two years though, whether it was a ploy to help drive up buzz for his autobiography, or perhaps it was sour grapes over some of the narrative in The Last Dance, Scottie Pippen has been vocal and been saying some perceivably controversial things about his relationship with MJ, the Bulls, and his career in general, with not everything particularly positive.  Now Pippen has always struck me as a pretty bitter guy who holds grudges, but he’s always been pretty silent in regards to his relationship with Jordan.  But I guess after nearly two decades from their peak playing days and no real chance for MJ to extract retribution on the court, Pippen has taken the gloves off and has decided to take some swings.

But no problem, MJ doesn’t need a court or even a basketball to remind Pippen who god is.  In fact, MJ doesn’t even need to do anything himself in this case, because his son Marcus is the one doing it, revealing that he’s in a relationship with Scottie’s ex-wife, Larsa. 

Honestly, more than likely this has nothing to do with MJ at all, but by virtue of being the blood of Jordan, he still gets credit for the ownage of Scottie Pippen.  I mean, this is an unprecedented level of ownage here, because it’s not like MJ is the one nailing Scottie’s ex, but his fucking son.  Obviously, Larsa Pippen** is older, but by virtue of being a glorified gold-digging Instagram model, still looks pretty amazing with a plastic body, is still a catch for Marcus Jordan, but it’s a pretty crazy scenario where Scottie Pippen is getting owned by not just Michael Jordan, but MJ’s kid, is the one railing his ex-wife.

**a more passive ownage is the fact that Larsa never dropped the Pippen name, even in divorce, from what I presume is her means to remain tanginally celebrity, but without having to put up with actually being in a relationship with Scottie

Obviously, the chances of MJ himself orchestrating this as a means for punishing Scottie for coming at the king are very slim, so much as it’s happenstance of his son getting involved with a plastic cougar.  But it’s fun to theorize the narrative that it was.  And for a guy like Scottie Pippen, who’s always been kind of a bitch in life; being underpaid for an eon, could never win without MJ, is an infamously shitty tipper, and bitter about everything, it’s just entertaining to see him get owned yet again, but on a level that seems pretty legendary, in the grand scale of ownage.

Any team that wants to move a metric ton of merch needs to sign Steeve Ho You Fat

Today o’clock I learned that there is actually a guy on the planet Earth named “Steeve Ho You Fat.”  Normally, I’d criticize the fact that there appeared to be an extra E in “Steve,” but when your family name is somehow, “Ho You Fat,” his first name could’ve been spelled “Steeeeeevuh” and nobody would probably have noticed.

Like, I have no earthly idea how this is even possible.  The first line of defense is that “he’s French,” but obviously a name like Ho You Fat even raises eyebrows in the land of the frogs.  Digging a little deeper, it should seem obvious that French colonization probably had something to do with it, but from what I can glaze over, he’s of mixed descent and somehow has the name Ho You Fat as a family name.

Either way, the fact that he’s a 14-year veteran playing in the NBA G-League, it doesn’t seem likely that he’s ever going to get the call up to the big leagues any time soon. But honestly the fact that this guy’s name is a literal golden ticket to move a metric fuckton of merch in jerseys and shirseys should get this guy onto a roster for any team that wants to bank on his incredibly profitable name.

Seriously, he could easily be the 13th man on any NBA roster, the guy that’s always listed as being on injured reserve, or better yet, be the mascot player that only gets onto the court when the team is either up by 20 or down by 20 in the fourth quarter.  No matter if they’re at home or on the road, the crowd would undoubtedly erupt at the sight of Ho You Fat taking the court, and people in the crowd left and right would be whipping out their phones to check on the legitimacy of his name, and if they haven’t already, they’re purchasing merch with his name on it, or running to the clubhouse store and grabbing Ho You Fat gear off the shelves.

Considering most teams’ seasons are decidedly over by December, there’s absolutely no harm for any of these teams to take a flyer on Ho You Fat and just make a mission of making as much profit through merchandise sales as possible.  If you can’t win on the court, might as well try to win in the bank instead.

The Brilliance of Players

I remember when I saw a teaser for Players on Paramount; it became apparent quickly that it was about esports, and shortly afterward, it was evident that it was about League of Legends.  And then the drama about a headcase League player blathering on about how he wants to win something before he retires.

The thing is, based on that alone, I actually thought it was something serious.  It wasn’t until I had already taken the bait and looked up what this show actually was, did I learn that it was a fictional mockumentary, and then I was like ohhhhhhh that explains why anyone would even attempt to talk about being a League of Legends champion, that wasn’t in Korea.

Upon further discovery of the series, and finding out that it was done by the same team that had done the American Vandal mockumentaries, I was sold, because both seasons of that show were brilliant, and colliding two things I enjoyed seemed like a recipe for something I would like.  Even more so when I found out that the format of the series was going to borrow heavily from The Last Dance documentary about the Chicago Bulls, which I also enjoyed immensely.

Needless to say, I was optimistic about the series, and upon finishing it, I think my instincts were pretty good about it.  As a whole, I found Players to be very entertaining, downright hilarious at many points, and having been pretty deep into the League scene at a point in my life, a lot of ohhhhhh moments at reminiscing about the scene in general.

Creamcheese is a brilliant character in the sense that he’s basically every obnoxious stereotype there is about a professional gamer wrapped into a singular package and then have the volume turned up to 11.  He’s no physical specimen, but he acts all hot shit because he plays games at a high level, and is just so unlikeable and obnoxious, but you can’t help but be amused at the avalanche of bullshit he’s just always selling.

The show makes no effort to hide the fact that they are speaking to a very niche audience, primarily League players past and present themselves.  But everyone I’ve pitched the show to, who aren’t even or never weren’t League players who gave it a shot, all seemed to enjoy the show all the same, just because it’s just that well executed.

But the show digs deep with all the references that only really long-time League players would understand, and it really doesn’t shy away from a lot of the behavioral tendencies that have emerged from internet culture and the League scene, from memes, the way that the internet piles on, latches onto jokes and references that become unforgettable no matter how much you try, etc.

But one of the most brilliant things about the show is that it’s not officially sponsored by Riot Games themselves, the developers of the game.  But their involvement in the show is unmistakable, considering almost all of the casters and commentators of the professional scene are all willing participants in the show, reprising their handles and identities.  Regardless, in doing such, Riot kind of takes a lot of the steam behind most criticisms about the game, the scene, the culture, effectively out of the equation based on their general involvement, regardless of how palpable or not.

By owning a lot of the jokes and criticisms, in the show, it takes a lot of the power away from those flinging the stones on the internet, and they’re basically controlling their own narrative of how the League scene really is, by participating in the show and letting it happen the way it does.

But all in all, it’s just a well-executed show.  It’s endlessly entertaining the way utilizes flashbacks in the exact same manner that The Last Dance does, but instead of talking about Michael Jordan and basketball, it’s talking about a bunch of video game geeks and a video game known for its ridiculous fanbase.  But it does so with a tone and seriousness that of a real documentary, and as a whole package, it’s just such an easy show to be snickering and laughing along with.

It almost makes me miss playing the game, and being a part of the scene, but with two kids in the picture, ain’t nobody got any time for any more League these days, so good on Players for coming into existence and helping me remember the good times, and all the time I’m not blowing playing game after game of ARAM.

SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS

As much of a sports fan as I am, it’s not often a topic that I really feel that compelled to write about that often these days.  I’m pretty far removed from following anything beyond a casual level, so it really take some pretty interesting things to pique my interest for me to want to write about it.

However, in the span of a weekend, three things happened and I was just kind of like oh shit, that’s something that’s interesting.  And of course they all happened within basically the same weekend, and I was out of town, so it’s not like they were anything I could take note of and/or write about right away, as if I would’ve had any free time to begin with.  But regardless, I figured I’d just make one big dick swinging sports post and knock all three birds with a single stone.

Mavs 123, Suns 90 – keep in mind that this was a game 7 of an NBA Playoff game.  I feel like I make a post about this topic every year, because it seems like every single year there’s at least one tragically embarrassing blowout game in the playoffs, which often makes me beg the question that how are NBA playoff-caliber teams getting eviscerated so badly?

To my understanding, the Mavs were up by over 40 points at one point in the game, and all I could really think that this is mostly the same Phoenix Suns team that went to the finals last year, but here they are getting trounced in the semis, in a game 7 no less, the epitome of the clutch, pivotal, where you make your money pressure cooker game. 

But instead of being a nail-biter, double overtime thriller where two talented teams refuse to budge, we have this embarrassing display of defeatism and the embodiment of giving up, which is a fair metaphor for today’s NBA itself, and the Mavs move on, while the perpetually overrated Suns begin the golf season at around the time they’re used to.

Throwing a no-hitter but still losing – this year’s Cincinnati Reds is an interesting squad.  The franchise commenced to have a fire sale and trade off just about everyone on the squad who would make over the league minimum save for first baseman Joey Votto (who respectfully became an American citizen but probably regrets it if his occupation requires him to stay on the Cincinnati Reds), and they’ve been absolutely dreadful throughout the first month of the year.

I think at one point there were like 4-17, and all I could think about was how two of those paltry four wins, came against the Braves, who aren’t exactly doing a particularly good job of defending their World Series championship in life after Freddie which I’m not still salty about not.

But then they suffer one of the harshest ways to lose a game, in which their starting pitcher literally throws a no-hitter, and they still somehow manage to lose the game.  It’s funny because I remembered the last time this happened, which was a game between the Dodgers and Angels, where the Angels no-hit the Dodgers but still lost the game.  It’s a rare occurrence and the very embodiment of failure, and I don’t think there’s going to be a more futile moment in the season for the Reds than this particular game.

Albert Pujols… pitching – Speaking of the Angels, when they released Albert Pujols in 2021, to me it was a foregone conclusion that he was headed back to the Cardinals.  Sure, it didn’t happen as immediately as I figured it would, but with the DH becoming the norm in 2022, there was absolutely no reason why the Cardinals and Pujols couldn’t reunite for the sad but melancholy but feel-good story of legend returning to where it started to finish out the career, but in the case of Pujols, not on a one-day contract, but as an actual active player.

But as is the case with lots of guys at the twilights of their careers, Pujols is definitely in it to have fun above all else.  And what better way to unwind and have some fun in a game where the Cardinals were already up by nearly 20 runs, than to take the mound himself and let everyone enjoy the fun of position player pitching?

And of course, it was as entertaining as the joy of position player pitching typically is.  Pujols was all smiles and laughter, and even the San Francisco Giants became tolerable as they took enjoyment of the situation.  The funny thing is that if this were 10-14 years earlier, I would’ve expected Pujols to pitch like Pedro because why wouldn’t the greatest player of a generation know how to pitch as well?  But instead, we have old Pujols, lobbing 55 mph lollipops, and just trying to get hitters to get themselves out; and naturally he gives up four runs in the process, but at this point who really cares?

The once demi-god was clearly having a great time, humbly getting knocked around, and the Cardinals still won the game, so no skin off anyone’s backs there.  And for a single half-inning, I think everyone could agree that baseball was never more fun than watching Albert Pujols pitching.

Good riddance, Coach K

North Carolina 81, Duke 77 F

There comes times when successful sports people call it quits, that people tend to come out of the woodwork to shower them with praise, or just show a whole lot of respect and grace, regardless of if they were a teammate, rival, competition or adversary.

When David Ortiz was on his retirement tour, the New York Yankees and their fans gave him a lot of respect, standing ovations showed a lot of grace.  When Derek Jeter was in his final games, the Boston Red Sox reciprocated and showed a lot of respect to the Captain on his way out.  Michael Jordan was celebrated in every city on his way out, and the list goes on for notable figures who were shown a lot of respect at the ends of their career.

But as far as Coach K goes, fuck the grace and dignity.  Good riddance to this sniveling little troll that is basically the most reviled guy in the history of men’s college basketball.  As a fan of college basketball, I for one am ecstatic that Coach K fell short of getting to go out a winner, and once again, collapsed and lost in what should’ve been one of the grandest highlights on his way out.

In fact, to some capacity, this really has been one of the best years of college basketball in my life, because Virginia Tech won the ACC Championship AKA the National Championship A, and Coach K choked in three different games which should’ve been the coup de graces on his retirement tour:

  • Lost to North Carolina in his final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium
  • Lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship/Natty A game
  • Lost to North Carolina in his final game ever, in the Final Four

And the way he lost in all of these, as a legitimate contender for success, only to fall short repeatedly, it’s the perfect way to see Coach K ride off into the sunset.  I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little worried that Duke really was going to ride some wave of do it for Coach all the way to the National Championship-B, seeing as how they managed to not suffer their typical chokejob to some non-conference opponent, but the narrative of the journey couldn’t have been written any better if it were done by Vince Russo.

Of course, it had to be North Carolina who sent Coach K packing, and of course, it had to be in their first-ever meeting in the Final Four.  Of course this had to be the rubber match of the season.

And I let out a sigh of relief that North Carolina did their job and actually put Coach K down for good.  I had a bad feeling of sports pessimism that Duke was going to get their retribution, and ride that momentum into the Natty B and actually win, and let Coach K retire as a champion, the ultimate baller way to leave a career.  A way that should really only be reserved for true good guys in sport, like David Robinson, John Elway and Peyton Manning.  Had Duke overcome North Carolina and won a Natty B, that would have exorcised all of their failures of the season previously, and Dook Nation would have been even more insufferable, if that’s even possible.

But thankfully, the good guys won in the end.  Frankly, once this game had passed, nobody will even give a shit about the actual Natty B game.  Shit, I had no clue to whom Kansas was even playing, it’s that irrelevant compared to the other side of the bracket.

Good riddance, Coach K.   And for as much dislike I have for his career, it’s because he was a good coach. It’s just he looked like a little troll goblin and always recruited obnoxious players whom his obnoxious school would make into hateable douchebags, but I digress.  I’m not supposed to be giving this sniveling goblin any respect on the way out.

Suck it, Dook. Also eat shit, Coach K

And nnnewwww: Virginia Tech 82, Duke 67 F

Lol. Oh man. Never thought I’d ever see this day ever. Frankly never thought I’d even consider this a possibility either, but here we are.  ACC champions.. of Men’s basketball: the Virginia Tech Hokies.

The literal turkeys giving new definition to cockblocking, having denied all sorts of favored basketball programs a conference title in the vaunted ACC.  A #7 seed going gangbusters and inexplicably winning four games in four days.  A title that should’ve been won by Notre Dame, or Duke.  A title game that was destined to be UNC/Duke #1,069.

All these should haves and could haves, that never did happen, all because of an improbable hot streak by a team hardly known for basketball. 

It feels like just a week ago, I was writing about clowning on Patrick Ewing, and learning that just a year ago he took an #8 seed Georgetown squad and won the Big East.  But as much as I dunk on Ewing, he’s still a reputable Hall of Famer, and it was the Big East he won, not the ACC.  Virginia Tech winning the ACC in hoops is like McDonald’s winning a bracket in coffee, McDonald’s winning a tournament of chicken sandwiches, or McDonald’s winning a competition of quality competency.  I’m not sure why I’m taking shots at McDonald’s here, maybe it’s because it’s 4:25 am the morning after daylight losings or maybe I’m getting hungry, but the point remains.

I actually checked in at a time in which I thought the game would’ve been over, only to be mortified at seeing there was still like three minutes to go, with Tech only being up by like 7 points. I don’t know, I closed the app too fast to remember.  But I was absolutely sure that because I deviated from my normal game ghosting, Dook was bound to go on a massive three-pointer spree, close the deficit, and then some other Plumlee brother would come out of nowhere to jam down some go-ahead punctuation dunk to shatter my hopes and newfound dream of seeing Tech winning the ACC in men’s hoops. 

I put my phone down and decided three minutes of game time that probably ended up being 30 minutes of real time was more important to get when I needed to be up at 3 am for my morning flight.  And went to bed completely expecting to see Dook winning like 79-74.

But that didn’t happen.  I awoke to see that Tech didn’t even waver or even have to bend much less actually break.  Dook was the team that collapsed, failed to close the gap and end up getting blown up in the end.  Coach K’s humiliating farewell tour continues with another L, having lost the ACC title game, after getting blown out at home in his final game on the court named after him.

Does this still count as baby luck?  It’s still within the first calendar year of #2, after all.  I got to see a Braves World Series, seen Georgia not Georgia and win a natty in football, and now a completely improbable ACC championship from Virginia Tech.

It’s a shame that I’ve become so busy for sports, because as a fan of them, this by any measure has been a pretty incredible year for my general sport fandoms, interests and allegiances.  But then again, being so balls out with them is what usually leads to heartbreaks and disappointments.  I’ll take everything as it’s happened here, and arrogantly do my written victory laps retroactively and often times after the facts.

And with that, we may resume the status quo where Virginia Tech will probably get bounced by a school nobody’s heard of like Jackson State, and hopefully the Coach K farewell tour continues with yet one more L, to hopefully another school nobody’s heard of like Creighton.

Whatever though, because right now, Virginia Tech are champions, of the ACC, and that is something to be proud and happy about.  I had a hard time picking an image to use for this post, and I was really tempted to use one of Coach K getting fed shit, but when the day is over, it was still more important to back the boys over shitting on Coach K.  Instead, here’s a mini gallery of some of the choice photos I found after the game:

Continue reading “Suck it, Dook. Also eat shit, Coach K”

Suck it, UNC

Wtf is this sorcery: Virginia Tech 72, North Carolina 59 F

Best part about this was looking for a good image to accompany this post; I found an image I liked, but even better than that was the headline from the source in which it came from.  Frankly, I couldn’t have written a better headline myself.

Obviously, with games I care about, I ghost harder than an employer ducking a candidate, and try to do absolutely anything and everything other than pay attention to the game, so that I can hopefully be pleasantly surprised when I do check in.  So other than a regrettable score check at one point in my evening, I didn’t bother checking again until I was pretty sure that the game was over, and lo and behold, Virginia Tech has continued to royally cockblock the entire college basketball scene, and spoiled yet another contender, easily defeating the vaunted North Carolina.

And everyone knows that the vast majority of sports fans really, really, really wanted a third UNC vs. Duke game, this time for the National ACC Championship, and all the storylines that would’ve come from it.  Like Coach K’s chance at redemption against Carolina after getting owned at home, UNC’s quest to feed Coach K more shit, by denying him an ACC championship on his way out, and just all sorts of other pomp and circumstance that are involved whenever UNC and Duke are slated to meet.

Yeah, no, none of that shit is going to be happening anymore.  Thanks to Virginia Tech of all schools, the ACC championship is going to be Duke vs. Virginia Tech in the matchup nobody outside of Virginia really wanted to see happen.  It’s fucking great, as far as I’m concerned.

But it also fucking sucks, because by all measures, Virginia Tech will have gotten this far in the tournament, and probably get throttled by Duke.  They’re not playing in Blacksburg, where they seem to have Duke’s number, the game will be held in “neutral” Greensboro which is obviously like an hour away from Durham.  As I said in a prior Tech hoops post, it kind of sucks to get to the finals and lose, as opposed to getting bounced earlier, because by now there’s all this hope and disappointment to be plopped down when the inevitable happens, and as much as I love to see Duke and Coach K eat shit as much as any other non-Duke alum on the planet, but they’re still ranked for reasons other than being on Coach K’s payroll, and Virginia Tech is still Virginia Tech, and failure to win a big game, is all but in their blood.

Oh well though.  Wins against Clemson, Notre Dame and North Carolina is a hell of a run for Tech, and should be more than enough to get them through the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament, where they can instead get bounced in the second round to a school nobody outside of their alumni knows where they are, like Bucknell, Abilene Christian, or St. Bonaventure.  It’s been a fun ride all the same.