NBA Scrambles to Replace Player Photos During Lockout

July 22, 2011

The NBA lockout arrived seemingly without warning, leaving webmasters of NBA.com and NBA team websites having to scramble to replace content for entire sites, thanks to a stipulation within the expired collective bargaining agreement that requires images and videos of players to be removed from all NBA-owned digital properties.

However, there’s a lot of grey area in these rules, and according to the report, “different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.”

Unfortunately, webmasters are an inherently lazy group of people, and if given the option to take a shortcut, they often will.

This has resulted in some shoddy patchwork to replace photos containing the likenesses of NBA players, as in the case of this pregame workout photo taken from the Detroit Pistons website.

The webmaster has obviously swapped out the active NBA players in this photo with the Harlem Globetrotters from Scooby Doo, thinking no one would notice. And they’d have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for…well, you know.

Here’s another example. Look closely at this photo supposedly taken from this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest.

This one’s a little more tricky. If you focus your eyes on the scoreboard at the top in the background, you’ll notice that it has “Beavers” listed as the home team. Everyone knows there are no “Beavers” in the NBA. An obvious forgery.

Hey, Dallas Mavericks fans, did you enjoy your team’s improbable and inspirational run to the title? Well, I hope you took your own pictures of the downtown parade and championship celebration.

That‘s right, because they’ve all been replaced on the Mavs’ site with pictures of the winning screen from Double Dribble.

I don’t even know how to explain this one.

All I know is if the purpose of swapping out photos was to avoid a lawsuit, this one is not going to help.

Some photos have also been replaced by images of WNBA players, which has not caused as much of a stir because no one has been able to tell the difference from the old images.

The WNBA images are usable though. The league has been free from labor strife since 2003, when a last-minute collective bargaining agreement was reached that included perks like free deodorant and hair brushes following practices and games.

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Artest Name Change Raises Eyebrows, Q Score

July 15, 2011

It’s not part of his stand-up comedy act. And as far as we can tell, it’s not an homage to World B. Free. But it’s definitely for real. Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest has petitioned to have his name legally changed to Metta World Peace.

While not as disastrous of a name change as say, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for example, given Artest’s checkered past, it’s sure to cause some confusion among NBA fans.

Now you might hear announcers say things like, “A sucker punch by World Peace, and Peace has been ejected from the game!” On the road, he’ll probably be showered by opposing fans with taunts like, “Hey World Peace, you suck!”

After all, isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Artest…I mean Peace…the infamous Malice at the Palace?  Imagine if this had been the headline resulting from that night:

And it wasn’t too long ago that Artest wanted to be called by a different name, after his floundering record label, which at first glance seems to conflict with his current choice.

Tru Warier…or World Peace? Well Ron, which is it? I guess I should just be happy it isn’t “Whirled Peaz” or something to that effect.

The best thing about this whole name-changing situation for Artest is that it yields the kind of publicity and awareness that can launch an acting career. Playing for the Lakers, Artest is already on Hollywood’s doorstep. If he ever wanted to make the transition from NBA goon to big screen star, now is the time. And I think I’ve got the perfect debut role for him:

Okay, so it’s no “Kazaam” starring Shaquille O’Neal, but it’s still pretty good.


Snail Mail Makes Big Comeback with NFL Lotharios

July 8, 2011

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams made headlines this week when it was revealed that he mailed a $76,000 engagement ring, along with a pre-recorded marriage proposal, to a former Texas beauty pageant winner.

Although difficult to understand why that didn’t turn out so well, it hasn’t stopped the idea of using snail mail to make advances toward women from making a big comeback in the NFL.

Yes, it seems the ongoing lockout and looming work stoppage isn’t the only thing taking us back to 1987.  One of the primary advantages of snail mail (or “the mail” as it used to be called) is that it makes it much more difficult to have your indiscretions immediately plastered all over the internet.

That is unless JSF happens to get a hold of it. Enter Brett Favre, who learned his lesson after getting caught using a cell phone to leave voice mails and send lewd photos to sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

That lesson? No more smartphones. All you need to creepily stalk women is paper, a pencil, and a Polariod:

Favre Letter to Mistress

What’s amazing is how Favre managed to top Williams on the immaturity scale, with his proposition straight out of fifth grade.  Regardless, the informational caption on the Polaroid was a nice touch.

But Williams and Favre aren’t alone. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan found some time to slip out and do some shopping when he was supposed to be hunkered down in a war room at this year’s NFL draft.

Rex Ryan's High Heel

Apparently he couldn’t wait to share his shopping conquest with his wife, so he had them shipped overnight. Which is just one more advantage of traditional mail, namely, you can’t fit size nine wides in an e-mail.


Ripped From the Headlines: USA Today June 30th

July 1, 2011

No, we’re not referring to the latest episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Rather, it’s the USA Today sports section, which contained more cheesy headlines than usual yesterday.

Since the literary device known as alliteration is typically covered by the fourth grade – the same as the USA Today’s reading level – it’s typically one of the favorite tools in the USA Today headline writer’s belt.

Federer Fizzles

By definition, alliteration involves repetition.

Worley fills in for Phils

Apparently, yesterday’s USA Today was sponsored by the letter “F”. The real question is, however: Does Phil feel lucky?

Another staple of the USA Today headline writer is the lame pun. As you know, the women’s World Cup is going on right now. Okay, so you didn’t know. Well, just trust me, it is. That’s why you haven’t seen SportsCenter in over a week. And as a result, the following headline shouldn’t come as a shock:

Wambach still goal-oriented

You see, the object of soccer is to score goals. But that doesn’t mean a soccer player can’t have other goals, such as winning…ah, forget it.

Sometimes a headline that simply states the obvious can be the most attention-grabbing. With the NBA lockout commencing at just after midnight today, one USA Today headline writer summed up the situation nicely:

Sharing is big sticking point

Wow, that’s some tremendous insight there. Why yes, if only the NBA players and owners could learn what most of us did by fourth grade, there would be no need for a lockout.

And by that I mean how to write a really kick-ass headline that uses alliteration.