Real Fast & Legitimate Trash Talk!

I feel confident you were all as traumatized as I was by the counterfeit Trash Talk appearing recently on these hallowed threads! Apparently, simply because this blog is named “Emptywheel”, people named Emptywheel think they can just stroll in and post up trash. Madness, I tell you, madness!

Hmmmm, speaking of Madness, turns out it is March, and we haz some going on with the student athletes of the roundball variety. Yesterday, not one, BUT TWO, second seeded teams were upset by 15 seeds. Tiny Norfolk State, appropriately led by Kevin O’Quinn on the eve of St. Patricks Day, took out the well regarded Missouri Tigers. Then joy in the hearts of haters everywhere was ignited by Lehigh crushing the Dookies.

For the women, hate to say it, but Obama is right, Brittney Griner and Baylor look unstoppable, though I have a sentimental hope for Pat Summitt. My sleeper to watch are the Delaware Blue Hens, led by maybe the real story of the year, Elena Delle Donne. If you don’t know the story of Elena, you should. The Hens have a shot.

In NFL news and notes, the Arizona Cardinals are left at the altar again. We went through this with Joe Montana, and now again with freaking Peyton. Marcy’s anti-Peyton rap all these years was clearly spot on the money. But, hey, we get to keep Kevin Kolb. Yay. Looked like the Donkos were in the lead, then the Titans, and now the 49ers have pulled even. Who knows. I am probably joining Steve Young and leaning SF because that is the best overall chance for a championship fast, and Peyton needs to catch up to Little Bro. The Bolts have had a decent off season, but losing Vincent Jackson is tough. I still believe Matt Flynn can be a very quality starting QB, and still think he joins his old OC from the Pack, Joe Philbin, at the Fish, but the Squawks are in play. Talk amongst yourselves about all the rest of the ongoing free agency and draft news.

We all wait on pins and needles for Intrepid Emptywheel Roving Reporter Rosalind’s horse racing updates. Assuming she doesn’t get tipsy from St. Paddy’s Day, reportage on the baby shower for Zenyatta’s baby colt and the racing debut of Zenyatta’s little sister, Eblouissante is in the offing.

Of course, the real sports news this weekend is the opening of the 2012 Circus – The Formula One season! We again start down under in Oz, and both the track and the weather have been perfect and hot n’ fast so far. There are six – count em SIX – World Champions in this year’s field and on the grid in Melbourne. They all look fast too, even Michael Schumacher, who has been beleaguered by bad equipment since his comeback. Schuey came up a fast fourth in the factory Mercedes, and will be starting from the second row. McLaren owns the front row, with Lewis Hamilton looking killer on pole and Jenson Button right beside him. Seriously, and uncharacteristically, off the pace are the Red Bull boys back in the third row, Webber in P5 and Vettel in P6. As was, sadly, predicted over the winter, Ferrari is in trouble. Alonso went driveabout in the kitty litter, and bombed out in Q2; Fernando will start from P12. Felipe Massa is even worse, and is all the way back in P16. Best line, by a mile, I have heard of the new Circus season so far:

Two seasons of crashing rally cars has had no adverse impact on [Kimi Räikkönen’s] ability to speak Morse code.

If you have ever watched the Flighty Finn in a press conference, you know how spot on that is. Jeebus, I about keeled over laughing in the middle of a courtroom yesterday when I read that.

The official F1 site is here and has boatloads of great stories and helpful coverage, including live scoring if you sign in. It is worth joining for the live scoring. Old friend Brad Spurgeon has moved from the NYT to their international effort, the IHT (International Herald Tribune), but continues with his excellent on scene reportage.

The Australian Grand Prix goes off early Sunday morning/late Saturday night with coverage on Speed Channel starting at 1:30 am EST and 10:30 pm PST.

Music by The Faces. Rod is a little long in the tooth these days, but make no mistake, he, Ronnie Wood and Ian McLagan could really bring it in the day. Lite this joint up people, let there be Trash!

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
68 replies
  1. JTM says:

    No idea if this qualifies as “trash talk” but I predict that Red Bull will move their exhaust ports and/or make other nearby changes before China. Long live the 3:5 rule!

  2. bmaz says:

    @JTM: Note for the unfamiliar: This 3/5 rule discussion refers to the crafty RB designer Adrian Newey, not full black suffrage from American history….

  3. jo6pac says:

    As a 9er fan I hope they take chance on Manning no matter what Marcy says about him. The team is so close.

    F-1 looks like fun for some small teams for a few races then back to the middle, I had hoped Caterham would have done better. HRT wow but then again they are starting all over but still.

  4. bmaz says:

    @jo6pac: Well, can take some solace for how strong Grosjean is for the factory Lotus. I think Force India made a grave mistake replacing Adrian Sutil.

  5. Petrocelli says:

    Bmaz !

    Thank heavens F1 has started, I’ve had to suffer several months with Toronto’s vapid sports teams and their incompetent executives.

    If Button & Hamilton can give Red Bull a run throughout the season, it will make for a great year. Can’t wait for Quebecois to tell us about the off-season modifications …

  6. Petrocelli says:

    @jo6pac: Niner fan here, as well … would love to see Peyton in SF. Dunno if Randy Moss still has it, to compete at this level.

  7. Petrocelli says:

    @bmaz: The Dude who owns Force India has been in some cosmic retrograde … his once profitable airline is in shambles, losing money out the wazoo. And he lost a very good prospect in Sutil.

  8. Bob Schacht says:

    Yesterday, not one, BUT TWO, second seeded teams were upset by 15 seeds.

    Not only that, but 4-seed Michigan was upset by low-seed Ohio (not State). I don’t know if Big Blue was looking past Ohio, but they didn’t look ready. So they end their season with 2 losses.

    For the women, hate to say it, but Obama is right, Brittney Griner and Baylor look unstoppable, though I have a sentimental hope for Pat Summitt. My sleeper to watch are the Delaware Blue Hens, led by maybe the real story of the year, Elena Delle Donne. If you don’t know the story of Elena, you should. The Hens have a shot.

    Thanks for acknowledging the existence of the Women’s BB tournament. What makes Baylor the team to beat is not just Griner, but a group of players around her who can score, and Griner’s increasing comfort with beating any double-team efforts. I concede that Baylor’s games won’t be much interesting to watch until the semi-finals, however.

    Big news right now, this morning, is about Stanford, one of the #1 seeds. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Stanford is led by the indominable Ogwumeke sisters, Mnemkadi (“Nekka”) and Chiney, who are both forwards, I think. In this morning’s game against low-seeded Hampton, Chiney bruised her knee and is out. However, Stanford is deep, and although Hampton stayed close for the first 8 minutes, by half-time Stanford was pulling away with a 12 point margin. No word yet on how serious Chiney’s injury is.

    Pat Summit’s Tennessee is only a 2-seed, in the same regional as Baylor and your fave, Delaware, a 3-seed. So to make it to the semi-finals, they have to beat both Delaware AND Baylor. Delaware is in the same lower bracket as Tennessee, however, and that should be a very good game. Thanks for calling attention to Delaware; I haven’t seen them play yet, but have heard rumblings from that direction.

    But my favorite to watch is Notre Dame, the #1 seed in the fourth regional. To make it to the semi-finals, they’ll probably have to beat the winner of the lower bracket, which will probably be either #2 seed Maryland or #3 seed Texas A&M, who took out Notre Dame in last year’s tournament, and went on to win the championship.

    So there will be many interesting games to watch before the final!

    Bob in AZ

  9. Rosalind says:

    OMFG, the things I do for you people!!! yes, I said ‘you people’, and ‘fuck’. pull up a weather map of l.a., I dare you. torrential downpours, hydro planing freeways of fun all to fulfill my roving reporter duties.

    when I made it to Santa Anita the parking cashier burst out laughing when I told him this was my first visit. he directed me forward saying turn left, park, then stay in your car. hahahaha!!!

    forced into ankle deep water to get out of the parking lot, me and my soaking wet feet are in line with my Zenyatta and baby poster waiting to get it signed. As John sirreffs the trainer has just arrived, line may be moving soon. ( hey bub, if I can make it on time, you can too. harrumph)

    cold wet roving reporter out.

  10. jo6pac says:

    @Petrocelli:
    I had hoped Sutil would have gotten a drive somewhere else and yes the Airlines is going down pilots haven’t been paid so they went on strike last week and flights had to be canceled. That hurt.

    I’m not sure about RM but they sure do need someone else that can catch the ball. I would like to see west coast offense for the first 2q then run the ball. They done will signing everyone in the off season with a couple good free agents.

  11. Jim White says:

    Gators did really well trouncing the team from the state of ten inch ultrasound wands in their tourney opener. I’m stuck in the land formerly belonging to Haley Barbour this weekend, but at least had a great fried catfish hoagie for lunch. And I have this newfangled iPhone thingy so Ican listen to Gator baseball (up 5-0 on Vandy now) and then watch the basketball later while hanging out in a horse barn.

  12. JohnT says:

    @Rosalind:

    Storm’s over up here … erm, for now

    The last, and only time I’ve been to a track (only because the only racing they have here is harness racing … not that there’s anything wrong with that, but …) was at Hollywood Park when my Dad and I went there to buy some tickets for the Olympics in ’84 (that’s another story)

    Did Zenyatta have a colt or filly?

  13. JohnT says:

    To bring the ManningWatch / BountyGate full circle. Peyton’s neck problems began on this play against the Redskins, while Gregg Williams was their DC

    Notice how the second guy deliberately went after his head

    PS this is probably why the Skins suddenly dropped out of the Manning sweepstakes i.e. he told them to go f themselves

  14. bmaz says:

    @Jim White: Fuck Haley Barbour bubba, that is GEEZER FAVRE land, and don’t you forget it!

    By the way, I am told that if Peyton spurns the 49ers, Brett is going to offer to QB them to immortality!

  15. quebecois says:

    bmaz and all, may it be a season hotly contested… Looks good so far. What remains to be seen is which car has the best balance to pamper the tires and which car will have fast racing laps???

    The bump in the nose is and the present configuration results in the ugliest formula one I’ve seen, even worse than the six wheel Tyrrel and Vacuum Brabham…

    No predictions until may.

    Hey Petro!

  16. Rosalind says:

    @bmaz: ok, made it through the line, cup of warm cocoa heating my innards.

    After talking about Z at H’wood Park race with her trainer John Shirreffs, I asked about her kid sister, Eblouissante, apologizing for my pronounciation. He then taught me how to say it, though it took him about five tries himself to get it right.

    I then said I was a racing newbie, and wondered if Ebby’s first race would be announced ahead of time, or if it is played more low key. After laughing he said that it is supposed to be under the radar, but news will of course come out at the last minute. The one thing he would confirm is her first race will not be at Santa Anita. My newbie guess is Hollywood Park, or Del Mar.

    slowly thawing roving reporter out

  17. JTM says:

    @Rosalind: Please don’t put the initials “IA” and words “torrential downpour” in the same sentence. My daughter and I just put the slicks on the car and are headed out to heat-cycle them. I can just imagine my wife’s reaction when I call from Des Moines to say that she needs to come get us. I doubt that she’d believe me if I even tried to say that my daughter was in the back seat.

    Daddy-Daughter co-drivers FTW!

    Oh, and it never occurred to me that some might misread the “3:5 rule” comment; thanks, bmaz.

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    Prediction — Pats will sign Brandon Lloyd, a starting receiver, and LaRon Landry, a likely starting safety.

    Filling in the holes….

    Go BillBel

  19. rosalind says:

    @emptywheel: yes, twas the baby shower bash, with free posters and signings by her trainer john shirreffs, his wife dottie, and her jockey mike smith.

    no name yet for the colt, though Zenyatta is named after a Sting song, and another Moss horse, Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, was named after Sting’s son, so maybe…”Fields of Gold Tantric Sex Sumner”?

    i am home safe. showered off, drinking tea, catching up.

  20. Linnaeus says:

    @Bob Schacht:

    I don’t know if Big Blue was looking past Ohio, but they didn’t look ready.

    Maybe they were, but I doubt it. Beilein’s system gets the most out of the players he has, but U-M has been playing with a six-player rotation pretty much all season and they lack size (which will be changing soon). That means when the jump shots fall, U-M can hang with any team, but when they don’t, they can get beaten by any team. I’m not all that surprised by this upset. The early tournament exit aside, U-M men’s basketball is getting better.

  21. Bob Schacht says:

    @Linnaeus: I agree with your assessment. However, Michigan’s center, James(?) Morgan, can hold his own against taller centers (he has handled Ohio State’s Sullenberger pretty well). But this year, Michigan basically ran a 3 guard offense. That means they’re vulnerable at forward.

    Which reminds me, anyone else remember the center for the Baltimore Bullets Wayne Embry? At Height: 6-8 ▪ Weight: 240 lbs, he played some of the tall trees like Wilt Chamberlin and Lew Alcindor, but he taught me something to remember: Position on the floor can be more important than height. He maybe more than anyone else taught the pros about the importance of boxing out. I think Morgan learned something from the Embry tradition.

    Bob in AZ

  22. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: I can hear the call now:

    Rounding the turn for home, and down the stretch they come…..Coming from the back, like a well oiled machine, it’s Fields of Gold Tantric Sex Sumner. It is Fields of Gold Tantric Sex Sumner closing on and passing the field……And at the wire it is Fields of Gold Tantric Sex Sumner!!

  23. JohnLopresti says:

    I get Sergeant Pepper mixed up with the actual calendar. However, 46 years ago today, word was Lotus’ special gift was perfect 50/50 front:back distribution of weight.

    I guess Rosalind got the south cloud which cleared north of candlestick, but something says in the sky that’s a longcloud whose trailing scuds are visible toward pt reyes.

  24. geoschmidt says:

    I hate spectator sports.. like to me.. you play or shut the fuck up… Go get in the game and play… shit head!

    but so that said… what the hell are you talking about with this, you who watch over the game… and say all that shit, make all that commontary about the plays, about the players… all that verbage about all the games and the game… while you sit there… you suck big time… That is my seat chair on you asshole!

  25. Bob Schacht says:

    Trash talk must go on!
    At the end of today, all the higher seeds won except #6 Rutgers, which fell to the Gonzaga Ladies, thus extending Gonzaga’s reputation for producing Cinderella teams. Tomorrow, I will be keeping my eyes on 1-seeded Notre Dame, and unheralded Delaware, a #3 seed vs UALR, a low seed. I expect Delaware to win, but I want to see them play, because I haven’t seen them yet. Many interesting games to watch!

    Bob in AZ

  26. bmaz says:

    @Bob Schacht: Bob, just to give you an idea, Elena Delle Donne is like Diana Taurasi with an extra half foot of height and better quickness. I have not seen enough of her, but from the clips I have seen, she is really something.

  27. Bob Schacht says:

    @bmaz: Thanks for the preview. If that is true, I should have more than one opportunity to see her play in the coming week! I think Obama picked Delaware to advance, but then lose to Tennessee. We’ll see!

    Bob in AZ

  28. bmaz says:

    @Petrocelli: You just gotta wonder sometimes. Jeebus.

    On a positive note, it has been one hell of an action packed go down in Melbourne so far. WOW!

  29. JTM says:

    Fun first race of the season, even if the effect of a Safety Car was annoying. Don’t worry; I won’t ruin it for those of you who will watch it later.

  30. Bay State Librul says:

    Federer is back, plays Eisner today.
    Eisner looks like a NBA cager at 6’9″
    Pettite pulls a Favre?
    29 days to Roger Redux.
    The high-powered legal team vs dirty little secrets.
    Keep the Texas Con Man off the witness stand.
    If he meanders, he losses.
    No disrespecting the Rocket.

  31. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Lest we forget, the Geezer did get his team to within one play of the Super Bowl. Arguably, a QB is more important in the context of the late game than is a starting pitcher. Baseball being what it is today, by the time the analog of a late INT could come up, the starter is usually long gone, replaced by a closer.

    And, FWIW, Pettite effectively left $10 mil on the table – the Yankees offered him $12.5 mil before he retired a year ago, and he took only $2.5 mil this year. I think his retirement was sincere and then he realized he wasn’t ready to go.

  32. quebecois says:

    Well, that was oddly satisfying.

    Button was on top of things, fast, efficient, no mistakes. Vettel had moments of brilliance. Hamilton was ordinary at best. Alonso was a tight rope walker. Maldonado showed poor form in the grosjean fracas, that was a shame. Happy that Schu had to retire, Sad that Vergne stayed mid pack. Webber was blah, Massa was not up to the task.

    This looks like the start of a wild year where the cars are much closer than last year. Managing your tires looks to be key, and Schu can suck exhaust fumes!!!

  33. JTM says:

    Not sure that I agree that Hamilton was ordinary at best. Maybe what’s ordinary for him has adjusted your baseline. He was holding off Vettel both before and after the SC came out. Vettel just got lucky and really only earned third.

    My favorite aspect of the race: Kimi. I held my breath during that pass late in the race. I’m glad he got away with it.

  34. quebecois says:

    @JTM:

    Hamilton at his ordinary is still one of the five most talented on that plateau of the world’s best. And since this is trash, Vettel can kick Hamilton’s ass any day in equal cars…

  35. bmaz says:

    @quebecois: Yeah, one of my main takeaways was Vettel proving he can drive aggressively from back in the pack and is not just a frontrunner, and that the talent is also real in that he can wring the most out of average equipment and still compete. I guess it is not quite right to call yesterday’s RBs “average”, but they were sure a LOT more so than at any time last year.

    All in all, a pretty action packed start of the season. Two other comments: man, the Ferraris are just in a bad way and I hope they can iron out at least a few things to be halfway respectable, and I really miss Rubens.

  36. jo6pac says:

    @bmaz: Not sure I miss Rubens but I do wish Ferrari could put car out for Alonso to drive this a real waste of talent.
    I’ll try and watch the race during dinner.

  37. rosalind says:

    so, Alex Smith is predictably miffed the Niners are making a play for Peyton, with whom he shares an agent, and is off to Miami to see the sights and while there maybe also find himself a new agent.

    if Niners don’t land Peyton, and Smith goes elsewhere, what be the Niners QB options then?

  38. bmaz says:

    @rosalind: Probably Colin Kapernick, who is still raw, but might have some real promise for future. Not the QB they want to be going into next year with though. My guess is Smith in Miami may be as much about placing some impetus on Matt Flynn to get signed by the Fish as it is about Smith checking out other options.

  39. JTM says:

    @Petrocelli: Yes, but there are some conditions to said adoption.

    First, you must remain cool while reading the course notes. I’m not a very good driver, so there will be “offs,” but you cannot lose your place in the notes (because we need to keep said “offs” to a minimum).

    Second, you cannot wander away to sell your custom-made seat-cushions for Evo Xs to other drivers when it’s time to swap the wheels back for the drive home. This really annoys me. I’d be proud of your pillows, but you need to help with the wheel-changes. It’s part of being a co-driver.

    Third, you have to accept the fact that the new driver/co-driver stickers on the rear windows say “Daddy-Thing” for the driver and “Master Squidian” for the co-driver. It was too much of a hassle to get these made to change now.

    Finally, you need to weigh about 70# and be about 4′ tall. Otherwise, you won’t fit in the new front passenger seat.

    Do we have a deal?

  40. JTM says:

    @Petrocelli: Sorry. I can’t do green. That color is too strongly associated with Ken Block and I can’t stand the guy.

    But how about pink? My only fear is that this team is going to be awful and set women back to square one again in the WRC. Oh, where is Michele Mouton when we need her?

  41. Bob Schacht says:

    @bmaz:

    See what I mean about Elena Delle Donne??

    Ah, yes. Looks like a keeper. Probably needs to bulk up a little. It would be interesting to see her go against Griner. Elena is more versatile, and they might not play head to head, but still. And she’s easy on the eyes, too. And fortunately for her, she has capable team mates. But she still scores most of their points. But ESPN2 went dark for the end of the Delaware game.

    Disappointing performance by OH State with Samantha Prehalis.
    Great performance from giant-killer Marist!

    Bob in AZ

  42. bmaz says:

    @JTM: Michele Mouton was one hell of a driver. She and Lyn St. James are the best I ever saw, though I honestly think, despite all the griping about her, Danica Patrick is really earning her place there with Michele and Lyn. No, she is not Aryton Senna, but the woman can drive a car VERY competitively and can clearly do so across several classes. Phil Hill, Nicki Lauda and Sir Stirling Moss all were in awe of Mouton. Phil also held Denise McCluggage in incredibly high esteem as a driver, although that was in a far different era.

  43. JTM says:

    In case my comment about being worried that the new team of women in PWRC would turn out to be an embarrassment seemed too harsh, let me point out that they were dead last in Mexico last week, something like an hour off pace, even though they had the same car (an Evo X) as the winner.

  44. JTM says:

    Sorry. One last post on this, because I know you’re all dying to know what it would sound like to have Bibi Andersson (or your own personal favorite Bergman actress) reading you course notes during a rally. Well, wonder no more, because the answer is here. (If you just want to get to the fun part, jump forward to the three-minute point. When your co-driver says “crest” – in whatever language – you lift before or not at all. If they pull that kind of move in the Evo X, they will not finish.)

  45. Bob Schacht says:

    This just in! Because you’re all dying to know…

    Peyton Manning chooses Broncos
    Los Angeles Times | March 19, 2012 | 9:22 a.m.
    Quarterback Peyton Manning, a four-time league MVP who missed last season because of a neck injury, has informed Denver Broncos vice president John Elway that he wants to play for the Broncos next season and has asked his agent to begin contract talks with the team.

    The Broncos are expected to trade Tim Tebow, who became a phenomenon last season, leading Denver to the AFC playoffs.

    Next question: who will be the most anxious to trade for Tebow?

    Bob in AZ

  46. Bob Schacht says:

    Filling in until the next trash talk…

    Tonight’s women’s playoffs, in all 4 games, the winning team had exactly 72 points! How likely is that???

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