Making the beautiful blk/rhetoric work

12 09 2009

who’s gonna make all
this beautiful blk/rhetoric
mean something.
i mean
who’s gonna take
the words
and make more of it
than blk/capitalism.
u dig?

Excerpt from Sonia Sanchez – Blk/Rhetoric (1969)

For some reason, I cannot spell rethoric. I mean rhetoric. Cheers, Ellen.

The blandness of NBA photo captions

15 06 2009

During a recent NT&T meeting, one of the participants suggested we look at photo captions. In his experience, newspaper photo captions are a fascinating genre because they so often miss the mark. Point taken. Presenting: a discourse analysis of NBA photo captions.

The NBA is notorious for its relentless drive towards positive self-portrayal. Lame officiating? Not an issue. Financial problems facing teams? A small hurdle. The Kobe-LeBron showdown never materialized? Our league is full of stars. With the NBA Finals in the rear view mirror, I took a quick look at some photo galleries and found, apart from the fact that Pau Gasol wears braces!?!, captions such as

[Name player] looks to [driven shoot, pass, rebound, fart, dunk] against [name player/team]
[Name player] reacts to a shot during game 2 of the NBA Finals
[Name player] shares a laugh with [name player] prior to Game 4 of the NBA Finals
[Name player] looks on as [name player] takes to the court

NBA photo captions are as bland as bran. Surely, the photo editor can do a better job with this picture than “Dwight Howard poses for a picture with American Idol winner Kris Allen”. If anything, this picture screams ‘dwarfs’, ‘towers over’, ‘overshadows’, not ‘poses for a picture’.

Where are they now? Todd MacCulloch

23 03 2009

Todd MacCulloch was a serviceable NBA center. While he may have had the athletic prowess of a key hanger, Todd understood the game and used his length well throughout his 5 year NBA career. He retired in 2003, at age 28 and having earned $35 million. Six years and 100 pounds later, he plays pro pinball. The Seattle Times has the story, ESPN the video.

© 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Todd MacCulloch © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Mourning retires, Van Lierde does not

23 01 2009

Two of my favorite professional athletes are in the news. Alonzo Mourning, perrenial NBA warrior, has retired after 15 seasons in the league. As much as I wanted Zo to make another successful comeback, this was the right decision to make. In other news, Luc Van Lierde, IM Hawai course record holder and triathlon great, has squeezed out another sponsorship deal to add a farewell tour to his tri resume. Good luck, Luc! Picture by flickr member cxfan.

Inside the Sporza newsroom

10 08 2008

Sporza is Belgium’s state-sponsored sports multimedia brand. According to its boilerplate, Sporza’s core values are: achievement, passion and participation. I’m sure all station employees embody these values, so I can only imagine how one of the newsroom planning meetings went down.

(Sports editor-in-chief) Ronald: “Okay boys and girls, let’s go over the schedule for Day 2 of the Beijing Olympics.”
(Sports editor) Kenny: “There’s the qualifying round of the gymnastics tournament.”
(Sports editor) Bart: “And let’s not forget the Grand Prix race in the Czech Republic.”
(Television editor) Fred: “Sure, but what about the redeem team in its first Olympic outing against hometeam China and crowd favorite Yao Ming? Shouldn’t we pay attention to this?”
Ronald: “Basketball? Give me one reason why we should air this.”
Kenny: “Ronald is right, Fred. It’s not like these opening games matter or anything.”
Fred: “Whaddayamean, this game is billed as one of the most anticipated Olympic basketball games in history!?”
Bart: “Are you on your period, Fred?”
Kenny (giggling): “C’mon Fred, it’s the women’s gymnastics tournament. Surely our viewers won’t expect us to air some basketball game.”
Ronald: “Okay, that’s settled then. Gymnastics from 2 to 5:30pm with motor racing highlights in between. Any other business?”
Bart: “Can Fred go to the bathroom?”

MBenga loses his religion

24 06 2008

Belgian newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad are reporting a legal battle between inimitable Belgian basketball legend Willy ‘jheri curl’ Steveniers and reserve NBA center DJ MBenga. The former accuses DJ of contract breach: as DJ’s personal basketball mentor and self-proclaimed “lifetime” agent, Willy is suing DJ for failure to pay his 10% agent fee on DJ’s NBA contracts. In return, DJ is now suing Willy – whom he once called his God – for defamation of character and contract nullification.

DJ MBenga

Call it the mother of all comebacks

13 06 2008

A 24-point comeback – the largest in NBA finals history – all but ended the Lakers’ title hopes. Who’d have thunk it?

NBA Finals predictions

31 05 2008

I got two of out three last time. Since it’s better to be right than consistent (Noam Chomsky), I say: Lakers in six (for just this once, I’m jumpin’ on the Bill Simmons bandwagon). Any wagers?

Picture by Binhbasket

MBenga means DNP – coach’s decision

30 05 2008

While my favorite NBA player from the Congo had some serviceable runs in the first round series against the Nuggets, he’s been racking up one “DNP – coach’s decision” after another in the conference semis against the Jazz and the conference finals against the Spurs. At least he’s having fun.

Kareem on DJ

19 04 2008

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a neat lil’ blog on the LA Times website. This is what Mr. Skyhook wrote about Didier MBenga: “D.J.’s athletic potential has made it possible for him to have an opportunity to play in the NBA. He is a quiet, cheerful young man with a positive outlook, and he is so thankful for the opportunity to play basketball.” Read on. If only Willy Steveniers spoke English…