Thursday, February 26, 2009

Magic defeat Knicks, Anthony Mason expands sideways

Stone scored free tickets to the Knicks game last night. Kryptonate vs. Superman - this time IT COUNTS! I'm all in.

On my ride from work to The Garden, the entire subway car was plastered with these Al Harrington K Mart posters for his "Protoge" shoes. ::Peterman Voice:: Men's sizes 6-14, price: thir-ty four nine-ty nine.

I've enjoyed having Al as a Knick this year, but I was caught by surprise on Day 1 of the Post-Marbury Era in New York. I just kind of went, "Woah, that was fast." So long Starbury, hello Protoge. New York has a new bargain brand hoop sneaker pitchman, and his name is Al Harrington! Just when Steph was returning to fun/batshit crazy form, too. I didn't want to be that dick (no, not "that dick") snapping tons of pics on the train, and I was a little doubtful that I got a decent shot. Then I walked up from the train and hit the street.

Well then, I guess that's settled.

Inside, The Garden was actually crowded. Obviously Dwight Howard and the Magic are a top draw, but it has been fun to watch the MSG crowd begin to reassert itself on TV this year, and that feeling was buoyed when I sat down amongst the faithful. With deep fried stadium concessions and cool, refreshing American light beer in hand, we found our seats and things got underway.

Not bad from Section 310, no?

Speaking of our section, a few minutes into the second quarter, as Stone's friend was telling us a story of the time he did a Knicks "Memory" Contest on the court at a game years ago, we saw some MSG reps and a cameraman setting up shop with a "Lucky Fan" sign. Moments later, I watched from Section 310, Row D, Seat 9 as the Knicks upgraded the lucky fan in Section 310, Row J, Seat 3. This is the closest I will ever come to a lucky seat upgrade.

Just before coming out of that same time-out, the Knicks presented of several scoreboard shout-outs. I didn't get my camera out in time when they welcomed in the greatest man, Mr. Osi Umenyiora, which is too bad, because he announced that he would be back with a vengeance next season and guaranteed a Super Bowl championship for the Mighty Mighty GMen. Then he leaped over Dwight Howard and dunked Nate Robinson. I did, however, have the camera out when they welcomed back to Madison Square Garden, current Magic Assistant, tri-captain Patrick Ewing!

At halftime, the Knicks released a bunch of little Kryptonate clones out onto the floor and they ran a game of 5-on-5. That doing anything for ya? Ehh? If not, it was Stone's joke. Much to my amazement, nobody booed the tiny schoolchildren attempting to play basketball. Not even when Lawrence from School of Rock bricked this high arching jumper. Look at his coach's face. That's not the guy you want taking that shot, is it coach?

The second time we heard, "Once a Knick, always a Knick" over the PA system, the sculpted figure of Anthony Mason graced the scoreboard screens. Then they flashed to a live feed of a manatee who was somehow seated courtside, having clearly wandered miles from its natural habitat.

Jesus Christ Malomars! Anthony Mason is effing huge! This was shocking to me for some reason, like if I were a millionaire ex-pro athlete I wouldn't get fat and go hang out at sporting events. Still, dude is a trailer.

As you can see from the scoreboard shots, the Knicks were down big this entire game, until a frantic run in the 4th quarter where they were able to pull within 2 at one point with about a minute remaining. Tough to play catch-up when you're not playing any defense and allowing the opposition to shoot 51% as a team, with 33 points from Hedo Turkoglu and business as usual 24-and-21 domination from Dwight Howard, who simply had his way with a slew of would-be Knicks defenders (Not that Superman isn't exciting, but you just expect Dwight to dominate so hard that when he does, it seems like par for the course. Also, "defense" is a very relative term when you're talking about the Knicks). Still, a very fun night at MSG. My first Knicks game in two years was definitely the most enjoyable in much longer - since Ewing and Mase roamed that floor, really. As we made our way to the exits, we watched as fans gathered round the massive Mason to pose for pictures and ask for autographs. I left hopeful that the Knicks would at least keep themselves in the playoffs conversation, and utterly awestruck by Anthony Mason's dinner table ass.

Do you, Mase. Do you.

Oh, also, Nate got fouled, Knicks was robbed.

More on last night:

Spike Lee Plays D [Fack Youk]

Magic 114, Knicks 109 [Posting and Toasting]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Quiznos (and it won't cost you a single friend)

Check it out, another fast food restaurant giving stuff away for free!

I got my coupon, now go get yours and come back here to comment so we can settle on a Free Quiznos Day for all of my Schiff Happens peoples to get our free subs en masse (including you, random French guy I repeatedly see in the Stat Counter).

Of course, if you want to get famous from free fast food, you're gonna have to make some sacrifices.

Shaq takes his Twitter binge to another level [DUAN=Diesel Up All Night]

If your only reason to join Twitter was to follow the every move of our generation's most Shaqtastic entertainer (don't know who I could possibly have in mind), consider yourself justified. Just days after @THE_REAL_SHAQ validated his Twitter moniker by putting out an APB from a Phoenix Diner, the King of Twitteronia has outed himself to his subjects yet again, this time offering 2 tickets to the first person to touch him (yea, like, actually tag him) while cruising the Fashion Square Mall before the Suns' game in Charlotte. On Monday I praised the man for keeping it so real, and I still feel this way. However, a few hours after Shaq left the food court, things got a little bit too real. Weird, even.

The Big Shaqtus went on an early morning tweeting binge, posting a whopping 40 updates beginning at 3:13 this morning and continuing until 8:13. A large portion of his tweets were replies to a user called @Staxx09, with whom the Diesel was engaged in some sort of insomniac, pseudo-stalkerish flirt-fest that involved posting bizarre (but kinda hilarious) photoshops, creepy close-ups, and pictures of himself from Steel (which is always terrifying, let alone at 4am) and asking for @Staxx09's phone number before realizing that their entire conversation was happening publicly instead of privately via Direct Message (DM in Twitspeak). Sadly, many of the posts have been deleted from Shaq's timeline since he obviously realized their creeper status, but the RSS feed in my Google Reader tells no lies.

Deadspin said it after the mall tag post, but the up-all-night tweetfest is an even better indicator that someone probably needs to put the Big Fella in a Twitter Time Out for a day or two. Remember that Ben Wallace T-Mobile commercial where he's in the locker room on a cell phone call with his sweetie as his name is being introduced to the starting lineup? I feel like we're less than a week from this happening with Shaq on Twitter. He's already proven his willingness to take unnecessary, excessive risks with his phones in the name of tweeting, so how long will it really take for him to attempt to bring his Blackberry - sorry, Shaqberry - with him on the court? Problem is, who has the clout to tell Shaq Fu that his job is to play basketball and make hilarious commercials, not to watch the sun come up on the interwebs with tech geeks and friendless hipsters? @the_real_nash, you're the point guard, you run the show out there, right? This one is all you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This would finally give meaning to "The Garden State" [Medical Marijuana]

Many thanks once again to our friend the Sexy Armpit.

On Monday, the New Jersey state Senate passed a bill that "would allow patients with certain chronic and terminal illnesses to grow six marijuana plants or have marijuana grown for them at an authorized treatment center." So now all you folks from around the nation can stop asking me why the hell New Jersey is called "The Garden State."

The bill, proposed by Smellson's new favorite NJ state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Linden, advanced in the Legislature for the first time by a 22-16 vote. Next, it's on to the NJ Assembly, and if the bill manages to pass into law, the noble state of New Jersey would become the 14th state to allow medical marijuana.

The article also includes a list of states I plan to move to at the end of my lease that allow medical marijuana. Move over, Montana, the Garden State is sewing the seeds for a glorious harvest! New Jerseyans, the future looks bright. Pretty soon you won't have to feel ashamed when the first thing your visitors notice upon leaving Newark Aiport is that funky smell on the Turnpike.

N.J. Senate passes bill to allow medical marijuana [The Daily Record]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Where's Smelly?

As promised, here's our boy, friend of Schiff Happens, former fat kid, "that dick," and star of late night telly-vision!!!!

Looks like someone from the old neighborhood finally done up and come up. If you ask me, he's pretty easy to find, but test your eyesight and see if you can figure out... Where's Smelly Pelly? Special prize to whoever can find Max Weinberg and the Max Weinberg Seven. Like I said earlier today, I had a tough enough time finding Conan, who's obviously right smack in the middle of the thing. Jimmy Vivino is a pretty easy find. Other than that, I'm fairly useless, but I've also been slowly going blind since age 10, so you'll probably have better luck. The pic below is a bit more zoomed in, but at the expense of a few people on the outer edges. Sorry, your staff is huge (that's what she said?).

Congrats to Conan O'Brien, Smelly, and the whole shebangabang down there at 30 Rock.

Tell us how you really feel, Mick

Can this possibly be real? I have no reason to believe it isn't, but this has got to make Lil' Bob Costas awful sad. It's one thing to be a raging alcoholic and known womanizer, but dropping a "Eff Yogi" is basically like a punch in the balls to the honorary grandpa of all Yankees fans.

According to Darren Rovell of CNBC's "Sports Biz" blog, "Mantle and Yogi got along just fine. But some collectors have said that when Mantle wasn't in his best form, you could get him to write almost anything." I guess this isn't that far-fetched...maybe. People have certainly been convinced to do much more asinine shit while drunk than scribbling an F-Bomb on a baseball. Still though, I find it hard to believe that nobody was sitting next to Mickey during the autograph session watching what he was doing, especially if I'm to assume that he spent his morning pounding scotches at breakfast before the signing event. From what I know about autograph signings and Mickey Mantle, I have to assume that it went down something like this:

Some time circa 1985, a middle-aged dude with a beer gut and an adjustable-back Yankees cap approaches the table at the front of the Airport Hilton conference room after an hour or more in line, eager to meet his boyhood idol. When it's finally his turn to approach the legendary Yankee, he stammers for the right words.
"It's a true honor, Mr. Mantle. I'm a huge fan. What was it like playing in all those World Series with Yogi Berra?"
Mantle, having momentarily fallen into a drunken snooze, awakens with a sharp upward head-snap.
"Yogi Bear!? That sumbitch stole my pic-a-nic basket. I had a whole case 'a Natty Lights in there!"
"No, not Yogi Bear, Yogi Berra, you know, your teammate. He played catcher."
"FACK that guy, man. Gimme this dang ball already."
"Umm, okay Mickey, whatever you say. Do you think you could sign it, '536 HRs?'"
Mickey scribbles something on the ball, slurs something unintelligible, possibly "I'll git that varmint," then passes out face-first on the table. The beer-bellied fan looks down in dismay at the inscription on the ball, not realizing that in roughly 25 years another fanboy with a beer gut will be willing to shell out $2,500 at auction for a baseball with an F-Bomb scrawled on it despite the worst economic recession since World War II.

Like everything else, this will spawn spinoffs. The Shelley Duncan "Red Sox Suck" autograph from '07 is a favorite of mine - making little Sawx kids cry, HILARIOUS! - but it doesn't feature teammate-on-teammate aggression. I'm thinking that the next logical progression in F-Bomb-inscribed baseballs would be a ball signed "Fack Youk, Manny Ramirez." If Mickey Mantle can be duped while drunk, how difficult can it possibly be to fool Manny (who already hates the Youkah as much as I do, and appears to me to be reefed up at pretty much all times)? Drunken defacers of property, I'm looking in your direction. Let's make this happen.

Hat tip to [IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS...Caught]

The Oscars, Shaq and Conan [The Weekend that Was]

Friends, it seems we've developed a bit of a pattern here at Schiff Happens:
  1. Blog a bunch of shit during the week
  2. Promise to self and/or SH Faithful to continue our unparalleled coverage and commentary over the weekend.
  3. Completely neglect weekend.
  4. Return Monday with too much to discuss and more empty promises to self and/or SH Faithful to improve weekend posting habits.
  5. ...............
  6. Profit.
On the one hand, I should have no excuse for basically ignoring this space over the weekends, especially since I have more than my share of free time during these freezing cold, winter-in -New-York lazy Sunday weekends. On the other hand, I don't get paid for this shit, so if you have a problem with my business model then step up and show me the money. Until then, Step 6 is 'Profit' and that's the story I'm sticking with. Right now, a few things that happened over the weekend.

Hail King Shaq, High King and Protector of Twitteronia I recently declared that I had joined Shaq Fu's legion of twitterputian followers in the hopes of connecting with the Big Fella whom I hold in such high esteem (shameless follow me plug). I tweeted his way a few times, not expecting any response, just to let him know that he had yet another admirer. Not two days later, the Big Tweet was reaching out to his people:

"Incredible!" I thought to myself. I replied, wanting to know how many people mob the Big Shaqtus when he posts his location like that, and moments later came another tweet:

If anyone were to doubt the realness of THE_REAL_SHAQ, clearly this post would offer definitive proof. Someone had to respond to this call to arms from the Twitter King himself, and sure enough, people did. Not long after that, Lord Shaq addressed the Twitterpeople one final time with an official decree:

To me, this is just one more example of how Shaq gets it. What other pro athlete puts himself out there like that and actually backs it up? I like to think that this is a response to my homage, albeit indirect. I reached out to the Diesel, and he reached out to the people. Of course, his most recent tweet should not be construed in any way as a response to yours truly.

Come on, Shaq! We all know that toilet texting (or twittering) is the quickest way to lose a phone. I guess it's true what has been said through the ages: For every king, a throne. Long live THE_REAL_SHAQ, King of Twitteronia.

The reports of Conan's death are greatly exaggerated On Friday night, the world bid farewell to Conan O'Brien...sort of. It was Conan's final show as host of Late Night before he takes over for Jay Leno in LA on The Tonight Show. As Conan tore apart his set to give to the crowd, welcomed back Andy Richter and reflected on his long, strange Late Night trip, I understood his emotion, but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but think, "This is effing stupid. He's not really going anywhere - he's just moving to a different time and coast. You don't even have to change the channel!" I do need to commend Conan for his heartfelt farewell, thanks-for-the-memories address toward the end of the show, during which he became obviously choked up and revealed a side of himself that fans generally don't get to see behind his zany antics. As I've been in the habit of wildly praising celebrities for doing so, I'd be sort of a hypocrite not to in this case. However, I'm glad I'm not the only one questioning the funeral of these last few shows. Conan deserves to and should reflect emotionally over the transition, but it just doesn't affect me all that much as a consumer.
The biggest impact I'll feel from the move is now I'll be getting the inside info from Smellson on Jimmy Fallon's musical guests instead of Conan's. Speaking of which, you can totally spot our boy in the big crew photo they showed toward the end of the broadcast. I'll post a screen grab later and you guys can play "Where's Pel?" Actually, Mr. Pel had a decent story of his first and only interaction with Conan. Having introduced himself and explained his role in music licensing to Conan, Pel looked on in wide-eyed wonder as the host of Late Night smiled and said, "Oh, so you're that dick!" Nobody deserves it more than you, my friend.
As far as the actual episode itself, a few quick thoughts. I thought Will Ferrell did a great job and contained all the things I usually hate about him. Ever since Bonnaroo '06, John Mayer has delightfully surprised me - awesome job by him on his "LA's Gonna Eat You Alive" send-off for Conan. I enjoyed the White Stripes and thought that their song choice and delivery was appropriate for what seemed to be a legitimately moving moment for them and Conan, even if we know that they could have rocked Studio 6A to the ground had they so chosen. Finally, Conan played our favorite clip of all time! Better still, he introduced it as his favorite thing he's ever done. Clearly we have great taste.

The White Stripes perform "We're Going to be Friends" on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien finale.

And the Oscar goes to...who cares, you haven't seen any of this shit Every year I get suckered into the Oscars thinking I'll find something new to enjoy despite not having seen any of the movies. Nope. Wrong again. Springsteen was snubbed for Best Original Song long before Sunday night, and there were obvious shenanigans afoot as his buddy Mickey Rourke was hosed for Best Actor. Yea, I formulate opinions without seeing the actual work. Wanna fight about it? The best moments were Ben Stiller having a go at Joaquin Phoenix and Seth Rogen and James Franco's Pineapple Express-inspired look back at the year in comedy. I always preferred them in Freaks and Geeks myself.
The one silver lining this year was that Twitter made the show bearable, specifically the hilarious running commentary of Kevin Pollak. If I didn't have his sardonic, bitterness-infused, 140-character jokes to keep me company, there's no way I'm staying up late enough to see the entire city of Mumbai accept the Best Picture award for Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog, incidentally, was the only "Oscar buzz" movie I saw this year - besides The Dark Knight, but, you know, that doesn't count because it's a superhero movie. FML - so maybe it's because I have no basis for comparison, but before last night, I hadn't considered that people might have actually not liked the movie. Yet there were my roommate and his girlfriend, returning from the theater as the awards were just beginning, telling me they weren't huge fans and trying to understand what the big deal was. While I enjoyed it, it's hard to read this and not find yourself agreeing with a whole bunch of it. But that's America - we're still gonna go for the underdog love story every time.

That's why you have to root for me, America. I may be sloppy on weekends, but with your support - Please make my day and weigh in on any of this stuff. I'd truly love to hear your opinions - my underdog story will have a happy ending that you saw coming miles away but gets you all choked up anyway. And then, on that glorious day....