Sunday, February 25, 2007

Grimey was only partially correct....

Yes, the Billy Cole crew hit Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Yes, some members of the crew had their money stolen by "sistas" with "tactics."
No, we are never drinking Hurricanes again.

You may be wondering what exactly "tactics" are. Well, they are not, in the classical military sense, battlefield maneuvering. In this case it refers more to the use of the OTPHJ as a diversion while wallet-stealing goes on. Don't recognize that acronym? Well, I'll give you some hints. J is for job. P is for pants. O is for over. Fill in the blanks. Tim still doesnt have an ID, which makes getting to work fun for him, and hilarious for the rest of us. Sammy just sort of grunted and lamented his lost dough while driving like a 75 year old man on the way home. Also, Grimey claims that we somehow awoke in the "morning" after night 1. This is untrue. We showed signs of life around, say, 2pm the following day, but only managed to move more than a few feet without some sort of expunging bodily function at 5pm. This is how you know you're at Mardi Gras: you behave as if you are a freshman in college, with the ability to drink a whole lot more.

The good news is I made money in my first attempt at casino gambling, a whopping $170. It was cool beans for me, but Grimey's luck was not so kind. I think he made the dealer mad by trying to help me. Who knew that you were supposed to double down on 11? Not me!

If you are that one girl from Pat O'Brien's, I'm sorry. I have no recollection of what I said, but I promise I don't really think you are in high school.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Ballad Goes to New Orleans, Shows Tits


The best possible trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans involves exactly three nights. Stay more than three nights, and something bad is guaranteed to happen to you (either death, robbery, or Leaving Las Vegas-style alcoholism).

I was in New Orleans for two nights. The third night would have been helpful.

The main problem is Night #1. You are going to get annihilated on the first night, it's that simple. Especially if you are drinking Hurricanes back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

(You forget that you're not drinking Kool-Aid.)

Then Night #2 comes, and you literally have to talk yourself into wanting to drink again. I ordered a Hurricane and spent the next two hours sipping it as if it were Cutty Sark scotch, except through a straw.

You shouldn't drink an alcoholic beverage in fear. That's no way to live.

Of course, if you can just recharge yourself on Night #2, then you can physically enjoy getting hammered again on Night #3, but not to the level of Night #1. Because you've learned a valuable lesson. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

So if I ever go back to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I will make it a three-night affair. And I will not offer to show my cock to anyone.

* * *

If you are ever in New Orleans, and some random girl puts her hand on your junk for no apparent reason, congratulations! You just got pickpocketed!

This happened to two guys in our group who both stayed out after the rest of us took a cab back to the navy base (where we were staying).

This might be a crime scene.

The only remotely enjoyable part of that morning was overhearing one of the guys, Tim (not pictured), cancelling his credit card. Turns out the ladies that grabbed his wallet had already done $800-worth of damage, including dropping $500 on a hotel room.

We couldn't help but wonder if this was a classic pickpocketing scheme, passed down between generations of female thieves. Maybe it has a clever name, like "The One-Eyed ATM." Maybe they drew up sketches on a cocktail napkin to show how to pull it off correctly.

Sam (pictured) summed it up perfectly at dinner that night. As we were all sucking down waters at Bennigan's, trying to get some form of hydration back, he just lifted his head off the table and said, "Bitches, man. And their fucking tactics."

I agree.

* * *

So what did I miss? Well, Florida got pwn3d by Vanderbilt, which sucks, but really isn't too big of a deal. Unless you ask Vanderbilt star Derrick Byars.

"This is one for the ages," Byars said. "Twenty years from now, I'll be able to tell my little kids this. This is special. You can't explain it."

I think Jim Ross said the exact same thing about Undertaker winning the Royal Rumble.

I got home in time for the NBA All-Star Game, which I helped Awful Announcing get through. I enjoyed the Bill Simmons write-up of the whole weekend, especially the part where there was a false rumor that rapper E-40 had been shot to death. Now who could have predicted that?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Say, Anybody Got This Girl's Number?

This weekend, The Ballad will be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

The Latex Condor is already on location. Kiss him, he's shit-faced.

Let us know how NBA All-Star Game Weekend turns out. I'll be busy executing the boot 'n rally like Stockton and Malone run the pick 'n roll.

Thanks to With Leather and Maxim for the pic. And Heather too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Clue: NBA All-Star Vegas Edition!

As you probably know by now, the NBA All-Star Game is in Vegas Baby Vegas this weekend. As with every major sporting event held in Las Vegas, the big question on everyone's mind is always this: which rapper is going to get murdered this time?

Personally, my money is on a Ying Yang Twin.

But it's not my job to make the odds for the likelihood of such an event. Since the police aren't too crazy about actually solving these murders, here's your chance... with Clue: NBA All-Star Vegas Edition!

For those of you unfamiliar with Clue, it's basically a board game version of CSI, determining the murderer, the murder weapon, and the scene of the crime by using process of elimination instead of DNA, ballistics, or a smoking hot Jorja Fox. It also spawned a kickass movie that turned out to be Martin Mull's best work (with the exception of Ski Patrol).


Sean "Puffy/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy" Combs: Word on the street is Diddy is itching to sample "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago... all he needs is a victim. Although he's missing a big opportunity to make this murder a task for Making The Band 4.

Kobe Bryant: Gilbert Arenas was right... an assassin has no conscience. Kobe has a track record of forcing people to do things they don't want to... in this case, "not dying."

Barack Obama: Has recently been called "clean" and "articulate," and actually dropped in the polls. What's the best way to get rid of that image? Besides attending the Daytona 500?

Charles Barkley: All I'm saying is if he disappears from the $100 minimum blackjack table for more than 20 minutes, watch your ass.

Craig Sager: I never noticed this before, and this is just pure coincidence, but Craig Sager looks a lot like Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs. "If Dwyane Wade's dad knows something, and he's not telling you? Cut off his finger. The little one. Tell him his thumb's next. After that, he'll tell you if he wears ladies' underwear."

Subzero: I blame Liu Kang completely. None of this shit would've happened if his fatality in the first Mortal Kombat actually killed people. He must have not learned that dragon shit until later.


.45: I always try and steer a customer towards a 9-millimeter. Damn near the same weapon, don't have half the jammin' problems. But some people out there, you can't tell them anything. They want a .45. "The Killer" had a .45, they want a .45.

Grey Goose Bottle: It's French, bitch. I like the added irony if a Ying Yang Twin actually does get killed with one of these... guess you didn't want that Grey Goose after all, hmm?

C-4: Plastic explosive. Very popular in movies like Die Hard, Demolition Man, Man on Fire... oh yeah, and The Last Boy Scout.

Pimp Cup: I am assuming for thirty grand on a jewel-encrusted goblet, the damn thing should be able to crack some skulls without crumbling like a Tostitos Scoop. Otherwise I think I'll just settle with the 80 Dixie Cups for three bucks, thank you twice.

Pop Rocks and Soda: Don't feed me that bullshit about an "urban legend"... when's the last time you've seen Mikey alive? Huh? You want to try it? You think you're immortal? That's what I thought.

Trident: Some people out there, you can't tell them anything. They want a trident. Brick Tamland had a trident, they want a trident.


Thomas & Mack Center: This will be the second crime to occur in this building this weekend if Nate Robinson wins the dunk contest again.

The Palms' "Real World" Suite: The Billiards Room of this game, which was always the first room I headed for when playing real Clue. Because I liked to play pool, and it had a pool table. Well, a drawing of a pool table.... Never mind.

Mirage Poker Room: Although it's probably not the smartest place to murder someone. Considering all those cameras. And whatnot.

The In-N-Out Burger: Not the one on Camrose. That's in Los Angeles. Shut the fuck up, Donny.

Inside an Escalade: I heard that if you buy an Escalade, your life insurance premiums skyrocket. You know it's pretty bad when you see an Escalade in Car and Driver magazine, and under negatives it says, "NOT BULLETPROOF."

The Desert: An old Las Vegas classic. Make sure and stop and say hello to Nicky Santoro and the hooker from Very Bad Things.

Crazy Horse Too: Here's a sidenote: If you are actually in Vegas this weekend, and you see Stephen Jackson hanging out at the Crazy Horse Too, for God's sake LEAVE HIM BE. Also, if you are around him, and you need to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, don't say, "I'm gonna go take a dump."

The Conservatory: I left this in for two reasons... 1) I'm lazy, and 2) after all these years, I still don't know what the hell a conservatory is. I can't even tell from the crude drawing. Has anyone ever had one of these in their house? Is the secret passageway to the lounge a requirement? Do you often find dead bodies there?

McCarran Airport: If there were ever a perfect place to hide a dead rapper, it would be that carpet. Remember Skee-Lo? He's dead on that floor somewhere and nobody's been able to find him yet. If only he were a little bit taller....

Thanks to for the Clue card images.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Orlando Had a Gay Center (No, Not Epcot)

My favorite basketball team of all time is the 2000 Orlando Magic.

(Some of us are too young to remember the '86 Celtics.)

You figure it's going to be a long season when your general manager gets on the microphone before the season opener and pleads to the home crowd, "Stick with us, we're going to get better."

That Magic team surprised every one that year, going 41-41 under first year head coach Doc Rivers, only missing the playoffs because they couldn't beat Milwaukee once.

The starting five on that team, Darrell Armstrong at point, Tariq Abdul-Wahad (and then Ron Mercer) at shooting guard, Bo Outlaw at small forward, Big Ben Wallace at power forward, and at center, John Amaechi.

Oh, and John Amaechi is gay. And I am not surprised at all.

Amaechi was an interesting-quote machine. He kept an online journal on his website where he rarely talked about basketball. He was definitely different from most NBA players at the time, but we all thought it was because he was British.

So surprised? No. In fact, here's a list of people that I was actually more surprised to learn were gay than John Amaechi:

  • Raymond Burr: TV's Perry Mason. He was also the bad guy in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, who tries to kill Jimmy Stewart after Stewart's character witnesses Burr banging some dude.

  • Rupert Everett: Total shocker. Have you seen Cemetery Man? He totally derailed that dead chick with the huge boobs.

  • Dave Holmes: Runner-up to the functionally retarded Jesse Camp on MTV's first Wanna Be a VJ competition, now he's doing DVD on TV on FX with some smoking hot chick. This is how life is.

  • That girl I made out with that one summer at academic camp:

  • Found out on her MySpace page years later. And I totally blame myself.

Apparently some people won't be happy until an athlete comes out during his playing career and the pushed-in shit hits the fan. Maybe said people just want an active illustration of just how homophobic today's athletes are. Would John Amaechi have been a good "guinea pig" for this experiment? Probably... but would you want to tell Ben Wallace that you're gay? That guy went to college IN VIRGINIA.

But really this should have no effect on us as fans. I can't imagine someone cheering against a player just because he is gay (gay-denfreude?). The 2000 Magic is still my favorite team of all time, and John Amaechi is still one of my favorite players from that team.

I'm still here. We're all still here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Iocane Powder is Delicious

"Nobody believed we could do it but us." The calling card of the underdog championship.

Recently used by the 2004 Detroit Pistons, the 2005 Texas Longhorns and Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2006 Florida Gators, and me the last time I had sex.

The "overhyped favorite versus disrespected underdog" phenomena played a big role in my Super Bowl bet. In Bill Simmons' Super Bowl pick column, Bill wrote:

The Bears just went 15-3, made the Super Bowl and then had to spend the next two weeks hearing everyone take shots at their QB and give them little to no chance of winning the game. They have all the makings of being one of those teams that pulls off a mild upset in a championship game and spends the next few days telling everyone stuff like "Nobody believed in us!" and "The only people who believed we could do it were the people in this locker room," followed by everyone getting annoyed that they won't shut up that nobody believed in them. But it's kind of true. Nobody believes in the Bears. That's the best motivating force in sports. It really is.
And then he picked the Bears to win.

Then Gene Wojciechowski picked the Bears. And then one of the Mikes picked the Bears. Then Unsilent Majority and practically every commenter in the gambling thread at Kissing Suzy Kolber picked the goddamn Bears (most likely because of the new hilarious mythology regarding Rex Grossman).

When it came time to make my wager, this gave me pause. Indianapolis is the overhyped favorite, much like Ohio State was, so I clearly cannot choose the Colts. However, the gambling majority are picking the Bears to at least beat the spread, if not win, so I clearly cannot choose the Bears.

Indianapolis has Peyton Manning, who until the week before had a penchant for choking in big games, so I clearly cannot choose the Colts. But Chicago has Rex Grossman, who has taken bigger dumps on a football field than Ralphie, so I clearly cannot choose the Bears.

Indianapolis is heavily populated by fucktards... you see what I'm getting at.

So I guessed wrong. At least I didn't get involved in a land war with Asia.

The one good thing that came out of Super Bowl XLI (besides the kickass halftime show) is dispelling the "bet the disrespected underdog" rumor.

Unless the overhyped favorite hasn't played a football game in 51 days.

"Hubba Hubba Hubba, Money Money Money... Who Do You Trust? Me, I'm Giving Away Free Money!!!"

So I gave away a little bit of money yesterday.

I have a friend of mine who, whenever he plays cards, says that he doesn't expect to win anything... the money he wagers is just what he's paying to have a good time. And then he bitches all night about not getting any good hands.

I'm going to go a similar route, I dropped fifty bucks to watch the most kickass Super Bowl halftime show ever.

It's been over 24 hours, and I still can't stop raving about this show. It's ridiculous. Let's break this down:

  • Here's Prince, out in conditions that would make Michigan State blow a sixteen-point fourth quarter lead. The entire time you're wondering when something will short out and catch fire. When that floor panel started lighting up and smoking at the end of "Let's Go Crazy," I thought that was it.

  • He brings in the FAMU marching band (classic) and follows up with "Baby, I'm a Star," which sounds like both of the awesome songs on the Batman soundtrack ("Party Man" and "Trust"), and then goes into "Proud Mary," a song I hate with a passion (along with "Mountain High/Valley Low"... two reasons I don't watch American Idol). But he pulled it off.

  • "Wait a minute... is he singing fucking Foo Fighters?" It's this point in the show where Prince says, "Did that just blow your mind? THAT JUST HAPPENED."

  • He closes with Purple Rain, which I have described as "the third to last song that played at your prom." When Prince's silhouette with that crazy-ass guitar hit that wavy sheet, I threw my hands into the air. Touchdown, Prince.
What can I say... money well spent.

* * *

While I was dropping my money, another person at the Super Bowl party I attended had a little better gambling night. The party host's grandfather got in on a game of squares, buying two for $10 each. One of which was Colts 6, Bears 4... meaning he won $500 for having the square for both the end of the first (14-6 Bears) and the half (16-14 Colts).

But what's even more amazing is what had to happen to pull it off... the Colts had to muff an extra point in the first quarter, which they did. And that's just for $250.

Then in the second quarter, 16-14 Colts, with the clock running down and the Colts in field goal range, the Bears recover a fumble, and I immediately congratulate Grandpa for his extra winnings. Then the Bears fumble ON THE NEXT PLAY, giving the Colts the ball back in field goal range, and I feel like an asshole. For Grandpa to win that extra $250, he now needed the most clutch kicker in field goal history to miss a 36-yard field goal.

So he had that going for him. Which was nice.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Head or Gut: The Super Bowl Bet

Peyton Manning and the Colts can keep their petty seven points.

I'm taking the Bears on the moneyline (+175).

Unfortunately, I don't have the same confidence to put money on the length of Billy Joel's national anthem. The line currently sits at 1:42, and I was willing to take the over even when it was 1:44... I would like to think that Joel would pull off some maverick move, like singing more than just the traditional first verse (preferably the third verse, where we call the British a bunch of pussies).

* * *

I watched NFL Countdown this morning... couple of quick notes:
  • With Michael Irvin's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Irvin is now the most decorated analyst that ESPN has (with the exception of Steve Young, but they still make him sit at the kid's table with Stuart Scott). Which means he would probably have to stab someone to get thrown off that network.

  • Speaking of which, Stuart Scott told Ray Lewis that they have an analyst position waiting for him.

  • Mike Ditka stated that the Bears want to win the game today by making the Colts run 50 times. Much like chocolate lollipops, I don't think that's scientifically possible.

  • There have been many terrible suits unleashed by the ESPN wardrobe, but none worse than Stuart Scott's today. Black pinstriped suit jacket, white and blue fat-striped shirt, orange tie with black pinstripes. Good job, Stu... maybe some of the epileptics in the viewing audience wanted to watch the Super Bowl this evening instead of swallowing their tongues.
* * *

DVR Live Blog of Super Bowl XLI after the game....