THE MADNESS: UCLA IS COOLEST TEAM EVER

UCLA has had a disasterous year on and off the court, but if this SI report is to be believed… UCLA IS THE COOLEST FUCKING PLACE EVER!!!

SI’s George Dohrmann broke the story that UCLA’s basketball program, which went to three straight Final Four ending in 2008, has fallen off the rails in recent years due to excessive partying, fighting and boozing, sometimes before practice.  Awesome.

Sure your friends can come over, no no I'll buy you beer... love me more

Oh this doesn’t fit in with John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success?  Well pyramids were built by enslaved Jews.  Who’s the real bad guy?

The report paints head coach Ben Howland as someone aware of the situation but unable or unwilling to control it; meaning he is the cool dad who lets you and your friends drink in the basement.  Guess who we’re siding with in the divorce?  Yeah, Cool Dad.

Reeves Nelson used to be that kid with the weird name who got kicked off the team presumably for not being European.*  Turns out he’s Tyler Fucking Durden starting fight clubs left and right and pissing on people.  Pissing!  He’s Judd Nelson from Breakfast club!**  Sure you don’t want him to mess with you, but you totally go to his party.  HE’S KEVIN CORRIGAN FROM SUPERBAD!  They are the Delta House of college basketball.  Sure no one has any faith in them, sure they are idiots, sure they are drunks, but they will drive a car into your parade and bang your wife.

*A necessary trait for a tall white guy to make the NBA.  

**Yeah, I equated Tyler Durden with John Bender.  Face it, Bender’s probably going to show random people his penis and blow up a building too.

UCLA is like the Harlem Globetrotters only replace the stupid whistling and half court shots with solo cups and dick measuring contests. What’s better than baseball?  Beer league.  What’s better than football?  NFL Blitz and a 30.  What’s better than hockey?  Kicking in a stranger’s teeth without having that whole “game” to deal with.*

*Go BU!

Can’t wait to see UCLA lose a buzzer beater because they are all doing keg stands.  College basketball, ladies and gentlemen, college.

Doesn't say "enslave Jews and have them build stuff" anywhere.

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MEDIA DUSTS OFF NOSTALGIC BASEBALL PHOTOS

Suns rise over the ballparks.

Lucky mitts are dusted off.

Pitchers and catchers report.

Familiar emotion-manipulating articles about the majesty of baseball begins.

Yes... a simpler time where crime never happened....

Baseball spring training is here and the players are not the only ones getting a head start this year.  Members of the mainstream media are frantically dusting off their old, nostalgic photos of baseball; many featuring silhouettes of legendary players leaning on bats, of an obscure team favorite laughing, a child’s first ballpark visit or, most popular, an unknown groundskeeper watering the field.

The start of the baseball season is an exciting time for those owning tear jerking photographs of the past.  “This is definitely our busy season,” said old photographer Mort Charlock.  “People don’t want expensively framed photos of an umpire ejecting Casey Stengel with the caption ‘heave ho, umpire!’  Nut now some old journalists who needs to write about baseball despite their being literally nothing to say will rehash an old article, find a familiar picture and maybe force in a tenuous connection with a memory he has of his father.”

Look as they wipe away the sin for a new generation of people who never do wrong things

More importantly, since this is the most popular time of the year for these photos, old-timey caption writers are working round the clock in their small, wooden shacks that has always been in the family, to write appropriate captions such as:

Spring Training

Doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game…

Heaven

Here we are boys!

Of course there are always the mavericks of the group.  Alaister McCullough frequently writes racy captions such as: “Let’s play hard fellows!”

Intense.

But we can all agree: every journalist wrote an article about the beauty surrounding spring training fifteen years ago and has been subbing out team names in the same article ever since.  Kind of like this one time my dad took me to my first ball game…

LINGERIE FOOTBALL LEAGUE CELEBRATES 150 MILLIONTH FAN

"It's like football only... better

Fans at the sold-out Lingerie Football match between the Chicago Curie and the New York Red Cross were treated to something extra-special this past weekend as the ten-year-old league, the most successful women’s league in the country, announced that the 150 millionth ticket holder in league history was in the audience.  The lucky fan, and the rest of the 60,000-strong crowd, witnessed an epic late season contest won by the Red Cross on a last second, 70-yard field goal by all-star kicker KeLeigh Green.

The announcement was made at halftime by league commissioner Diana Daniels.  The lucky fan was announced to be 11-year-old Rebekah Ben-Chayil, who was part of a group of Israeli and Palestinian children flown out to the game by the league for their 5th annual World Outreach Day.  In a surprise twist, Commissioner Daniels invited the 150 million-and-first fan, 12-year-old Gaza resident Hama Ayloush, down to the field to join Rebekah.  The two squealed and hugged as the commissioner awarded them signed jerseys and other gear and donated $15 million to the trip’s sponsor organization, Israelis and Palestinians for Peace.

The game itself wasn’t short on the entertainment either, as both teams fought to maintain top seeds in their respective conferences as the playoffs draw near.  Curie quarterback Mona LeMain extended her streak of consecutive completed passes to a staggering 115 before it was snapped on a sideline fingertip interception by Red Cross linebacker Shawnee Price.  After the play, the fans, and both teams, gave LeMain a standing ovation for her achievement, the second longest completion streak in league history.

Contrary to the league’s official name, WLFL players compete in standard, if smaller, protective gear under regular sportsbras and tights—not unlike a woman’s regular jogging kit.  The uniforms feature original team colors and designs from the standard to the funky; the 8-4 Los Angeles Impression’s unis are based on Claude Monet’s 1886 Study of a Figure Outdoors, Woman with a Parasol. I caught up with SI contributor LZ Granderson, the only sportswriter present at the game, during the 3rd quarter break to talk about the league.  We chatted near the concession stand, where vendors sell organic meat dishes along with a mind-boggling range of vegetarian options.  “Yeah, they’re not wearing as much as they could.  It’s a summer league, it’s hot!” He chuckles before continuing.  They also wear relatively thin but very impact resistant leather helmets, specially developed by DuPont and made available only to the League.  Incidences of concussion are about a 10th of the NFL’s.”

"I don't care how much brian damage she got, this is still hot!"

Despite the league’s overwhelming success it receives no coverage in the mainstream sports press, a fact Granderson laments.  When pressed about it, Granderson throws up his hands.  “These girls are really good.  I know we say that all the time about all female athletes, but seriously.  I don’t know what else to say.”  He shrugs as he chews on a delicately seasoned string bean.

A former employee at ESPN, speaking on condition of anonymity, recalls the league’s start in the summer of 2002, when it was a sketchy and sparsely-attended operation run by Diana Daniels’s then husband, former Hustler senior executive Steven Daniels.  Five weeks into the first season, Mr. Daniels lost the league to the current commissioner in their divorce.  “We wanted to send Erin [Andrews] to cover the story, but when she saw the name of the assignment she blew her stack. And once she said no, none of the other ladies wanted to undercut her.”  The image-conscious network demurred at the idea of sending a male reporter, and soon forgot about the story entirely.  Meanwhile, Diana Daniels transformed the league into a silent power.  ESPN and the other sports outlets, the source says, remained ignorant of the organization’s success as they continued to believe a “lingerie football league” story was radioactive.  ESPN did not return calls seeking comment.  When asked about the league, a current major network sports personality replied, “pffft.  It’s just a bunch of chicks in their underwear slapping each other, right?”

Granderson learned about the league when Sports Illustratedsent him for a light half-pager in 2004.  “‘I know, let’s send the gay dude to the lingerie football game,’” he

They were sued by the Jaguars for stealing their jersey ideas

says with an eye-roll.  But it was amazing.  Rough around the edges back then, but there was some incredible talent.  Athletic talent.”  When he told his editors about it, he says, “they just laughed and walked away.”  The writer and CNN contributor still attends the games, but now as a committed member of the Red Cross fan base, lovingly dubbed “Florence’s Machines.”

And what does the commish think of her astounding success?  The league is very profitable, and has added  to Daniels’s already substantial fortune.  “I prefer to look to the future,” she says, sitting behind a large oak desk in her suite at the league’s Lower Manhattan office.  “There’s big interest in Canada, and we’re looking to maybe expand up there.  Everything’s preliminary at this point.”  But in the face of staggering success, are there any plans to finally change the league’s name to more accurately reflect the style and level of play, maybe get more media exposure?  Daniels leans back and smiles.  “Why ruin a good thing?”

– Rony Josaphat

HOPE SOLO FURIOUS AT ESPN BODY ISSUE

Sure the headline said “Bodies We Want” but Hope Solo was none too pleased. “They took pictures of me gardening! How dare they?!” Solo’s picture features her watering plants in the nude on, presumably, her front lawn. “I always water the plans naked. It soothes me,” said the US Women’s soccer star. “At least I remembered to do my hair, makeup and body glisten that morning. Sometimes I forget when I stand nude in public.”

This isn't special, literally once an hour

RELATED: Sports Illustrated angry to be one upped again by the World Wide Leader: “They took our swimsuit concept and took away the swimsuit. Now we have nothing. NOTHING!!!”

"Hey Jon... yeah Wednesdays amirite?"

– Mike Sweeney