Chumpservations, Vol. 19: Haunted houses, abdominal crunches, indiscreet Tweets and the trials of the nicknameless

It has been a brutal few weeks at work, so I apologize for the delay between posts… but one does have bills to pay.  Please don’t forget to enter our Super Bowl contest for fabulous prizes.

One avid reader recently suggested it was time for a new Chumpservations, so here goes.  Excuse me while I ramble….

Woe are the nicknameless

If you’re a grown man, particularly one who’s been involved in sports all your life, and nobody has graced you with a nickname yet, there might be a problem.  Perhaps you were born nicknameless.

It’s okay.  Things could be worse.

Classic nicknames like ‘Sweetness’ or ‘Magic’ or ‘Prime Time’ are no accident.  They evolve from one’s character or perhaps a particular incident from childhood.  Good ones have staying power.

Years ago, people were calling for a nickname for Dwyane Wade, as if D-Wade just wasn’t good enough.  Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal came up with Flash, which personally I never saw as a fit.  Now it appears, Wade no longer likes Flash, as if nicknames are items we can buy and sell on a whim, when we all know the only man allowed more than one nickname is Apollo Creed.

The other day I got an email from NESN asking Red Sox fans to come up with a nickname for their new first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  Why?  It’s not like we’re ever going to meet the guy.  Besides, he’s been in the league for seven years and grew up in playing ball in California.  If a nickname hasn’t caught on by now, one probably won’t.  Adrian, my friend, you are hereby declared nicknameless, although Gon-zilla is catchy.

Or how about this for a novel concept?  Maybe we should just all call him Adrian and move on.

Open mouth, export Tweet

When will we get to the point where we no longer overreact to the things athletes say?  At this rate, my guess is never.

Whether it’s via Twitter, a press conference, or some ill-conceived interview, athletes say the dumbest things.  Always have, always will.  But isn’t it a bit silly when one man’s Tweets become another man’s obsession?

Take LeBron’s latest cell phone follies.  As we’ve discussed in the past, all LeBron did was make a career move.  Cleveland just stood in his way.  In the eyes of so many, he betrayed a city, if not a legacy.  He later proclaimed the resentment surrounding his exodus was racially motivated.  His return to Cleveland last month required extra arena security.  Most recently, while his former team was getting beaten by 56 points, LeBron once again thumbed his nose at Cavs owner Dan Gilbert by Tweeting “Karma is a b****”

The good (or bad) thing about this new dawn of social networking is that any time someone says or does something silly, inane or God forbid thought-provoking, it makes news instantly.  Their actions give us insight into their character and allow us to make our own judgment on whether they should be admired or abhorred.  It also makes for good blogging.

From now on, I promise not to lose any sleep over LeBron’s, Ochocinco’s or any other athlete’s textual intercourse, if you do so as well.


You’d think living so close to Walt Disney World, the Magic would have grown accustomed to hanging out around Haunted Mansions.  Apparently not.

On a recent trip to Oklahoma City, Orlando Magic players complained the Skirvin Hotel where they lodged for the night was haunted.  They lost that evening by a single point to Kevin Durant’s Thunder.

Magic power forward Brandon Bass said he was ‘scared’ the last time he stayed there but his coach, the always witty Stan Van Gundy told reporters “What haunts me are guys like Kevin Durant. I haven’t run into a haunted hotel, just haunted arenas.”

Can you imagine being seven-foot tall and afraid of anything?  I can picture it now.  Dwight Howard in his matching Under Armour sleeping cap and nightgown, pulling his covers up under his chin and shivering at each unfamiliar knock and creak.  Or perhaps the bumps they all heard in the night were the remnants of Gilbert Arenas’ career.

Get to bed, Fred

Insomniacs like me often lay in bed, tirelessly clicking the remote on to the next channel, eventually realizing there’s never really anything on TV at four in the morning anyway. What we do find is that every other infomercial is for some abdominal-shaping, vegetable-blending, fat-burning, muscle-toning device that promises to deliver a new, shapelier me for the low, low price of $99.95

Whether it’s Chuck Norris, Christie Brinkley, Wesley Snipes or some insanely chiseled gym rat, we insomniacs are held hostage to a barrage of endless messages telling us how to get in shape.  If we were already in shape, we wouldn’t be flipping through the channels at all hours of the night.

I haven’t done a sit-up in weeks.  I rely on my superior genetics to get by.  If only insomnia were good for your health.  I’d be tip-top.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to the gym.

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24 Replies to “Chumpservations, Vol. 19: Haunted houses, abdominal crunches, indiscreet Tweets and the trials of the nicknameless”

  1. I had a nickname when I was playing ball for the Tampa Smokers back in the 70’s. I had long hair at the time and when I took off my cap one of my teammates observed that I looked like a famous clown. That’s right, I got tagged as Bozo. Like my bat the name didn’t exactly strike fear in our opponet’s hearts.

  2. Um…. Aero,

    I appreciate the honesty but I’m NOT QUITE SURE you should have told our readers that story.

    Either way, you’ll always be Aero to me.

    We won’t ask why you were called the Smokers either. I’m sure it only had to do with cigars and barbecue.


  3. Chris

    I’m more your P90 X guy but given the fact that there’s now an MMA gym in Winter Haven I’ll give that a go. At least there I can get the chance to kick the a_s of some young punk who thinks that they know better !

    So at what point did Prokhorov give the finger salute to the idiots in the front office of the Nuggets ? The GM there Masi Ujiri shows about as much common sense as Lindsay Lohan is known to have shown while in rehab . Get the friggin’ deal done and stop pu_sy footing around !

    Now Ujiri is saying that they’re a number of teams interested in ‘melo . Yeah and there are a number of teams who wouldn’t mind having Blake Griffin on their roster as well but that doesn’t mean it’ll be happening anytime soon. Once the trade deadline (February) comes about and nothing happens then I doubt ‘melo might get his wish to live and play in the Big Apple ’til next season !

    And if the Knicks do show an interest then may well have blow up that roster in order to meet what the Nuggets are said to be looking for unless the Pistons are still willing to participate as part of a three team deal that is .

    tophatal ………………..

  4. I’d try that P90X, Al. Just not sure I’m disciplined enough to find the time.

    It looks to me like Prohkorov wants to show everyone there’s a new sheriff in town. We’ll see if that move backfires in his face. After all, which one of these modern NBA players wants to suit up for a dictator?

    I guess the main problem is that all the teams Carmelo wants to play for have nothing to offer in return. That’s why we’re looking at multi-team deals.

    Denver might just have to bite the bullet, keep him on their roster through the playoffs and then let him go. They’d only be getting expiring contracts in return for him anyway so what’s the big deal?

  5. I’ll accept the “supeior genetics” as a Thank You! Now get some sleep.


  6. Wait a minute, why is NESN trying to have you make a name for Victor. Shouldn’t they be thinking of one for Adrian?!?

    I still chuckle evertime I see the shakeweight commercials. Especially the ones where the super ripped guy shakes for 20 seconds and he says “Ok, I’m done.” like he’s tired. Cracks me up everytime…

  7. Unfortunately, pop, our superior genetics didn’t carry to picking football games either.

    Don’t forget to try your luck in the Super Bowl contest. You could use one of these nice hats to match your shirt(s).

  8. Geez, Chap.

    I guess I do need some sleep, huh. I promise I’ll work on my eight.

    Recheck the corrections in the post and thanks for not degrading me as I deserve to be.

    I do like that “I’m done” one. Have you seen the ESPN ad where Mort uses the shakeweight with this sleeves rolled up? I think it’s the one when they’re invading Dwight Freeney’s house.

  9. Chris

    The problems with isn’t with Prokhorov but the stupidity being shown inside of the Nuggets’ front office . ‘melo has yet to sign the $65 million contract extension (3yr deal) offer in order to facilitate a trade and at the same GM Masai Ujiri of the Nuggets keeps on upping the ante his mind as to what he wants in return for ‘melo. Need I say anymore on the matter ? Prokhorov took the right approach to my mind ! Nuggets’ owner Stanley Kroenke who’s the son-in-law of Walmart founder Sam Walton is an ass !

    So there are fans out there who think that Federer is washed up as a player ? How so ? Because he’s only won one major in the last year ? Or the fact that other than he and Nadal only two other players have won any of the last 25 Grand Slam major tournaments . What the hell are they watching and how do they derive of their information ?

    *Nadal and Federer have won 23 of the last 25 Grand Slam singles tournaments .

    tophatal ……………

  10. Chris

    LeBron ‘tweeted’ me this morning saying that he thinks Dan Gilbert ought get himself a plantation . He also says that he wants a film career after his NBA career is over . Film role for LBJ ….’How Not To Win Friends And Influence People ‘ co-starring Charlie Sheen , Capri Anderson , Jesse James and Brett Favre . Directed by Spike Lee and co produced by Lee and NBA Productions Inc under the watchful eye of David Stern.

    If P90X doesn’t work you can always try Five Hour Energy ? Fat lot of good it did for the Patriots against the Jets though !

    tophatal ……………

  11. Chris

    Anything being endorsed by Chuck Norris has to be take with a grain of salt as this was the same guy who backed McCain and who said that he’s the best GOP Presidential candidate that there could ever be ! Does Chuck suffer from narcolepsy by any chance ?

    So Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman says he was against the signing of Rafael Soriano because the Yankees were overpaying for the player’s services ? Did I miss something here because wasn’t Cashman in charge when they signed busts’ such Hideki Irabu , Carl Pavano , Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez the first time around then they had the audacity to re-sign Vazquez again ? Who the hell is Cashman kidding ? Merely because he disagreed with the ‘Steinbrenner boys’ over the move he thinks it right to say something . This coming from the guy who single handedly has spent in excess of $2 billion of the team’s money over the last decade. WTF ?

    tophatal ………….

  12. Al…

    Apparently Prokhorov was upset that the details of the ‘Melo trade talks went public. Perhaps he’s never heard of Wikileaks or the fact that the Cold War is over. Maybe that’s what Ovechkin was doing in the ESPN offices late at night.

    Either way, it might all be just talk and again, it wouldn’t surprise me if primadonna players see Mike’s reaction and think twice about going to play for this guy. I don’t have a problem with what he did. I just think players don’t want to be TOLD what to do, no matter how much they’re getting paid.

    I did catch that Federer-Simon match the other morning. I was surprised to learn that Simon had never lost to the great one.

    Federer’s still a dominant force in tennis but I don’t think there’s any denying he’s on the downward end of his career. Just out of curiosity, how many more grand slams do you give him?

  13. I didn’t realize you were on a Tweet-to-Tweet basis with Bron Bron, Al. If that’s the case, see if you can get us two tickets to the next Heat-Orlando game.

    And I think I’ll wait for that movie to come out on DVD, thanks. Nice to see you’re still stewing over that Brady loss.

    Question to you, sir. Will Tom Brady win another Super Bowl?

  14. Rumor is, Al, that Christie Brinkley needed to hire Chuck Norris as her bodyguard. He’s the only guy who’s ass Billy Joel couldn’t kick in begging to get her back.

    So the Yanks pay 13 mil a year for a closer when they already have the best closer in the history of baseball AND a set-up man to boot?

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

  15. Brack… You are in.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have 18 entries.

    I’ll post the final list right here on this page and keep it updated for your convenience.

    Good luck to you all.

  16. Glad I could catch that mistake! I’m sure I’ve had a few of those here and there.

    I missed that commercial with Mort. Maybe it will pop on this weekend for me to enjoy haha.

    How about the Dirty Gonzalez for Adrian? Combining his Mexican name with the dirty sanchez bedroom move…

  17. So much to say, so much space to say it. Let’s do this.

    Other athletes, just for kicks, with multiple nicknames:

    George Herman Ruth, Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, Joe Namath, Joe Dimaggio, Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson, Jerry West, Gil Arenas, Gary Payton (plus any other guy who goes by both a legit nickname and his initials… place Durant, Garnett, and the aforementioned Iverson in this camp), Charles Barkley, Vince Carter, Dominique Wilkins, Pat Riley, Ted Williams, Terry Bollea…

    My vote for a Gonzo nickname (uh… other than Gonzo): El Frijole Grande

    You do realize that by calling for an end to overreaction, you’ve just eliminated a full 99.8% of the blogosphere, right?

    And if I may weigh in on this Carmelo debate… You can blame Prokhorov because he wasn’t willing to pony up the $28 million it would cost to take on Al Harrington’s contract (thus forfeiting the only legit near-term chance he’ll have at landing an honest-to-god superstar… extension or not). Or blame ‘Melo for not thinking this thing through: a number of things would have to happen for the Knicks to have enough cap room to sign him to a max deal next year, and even then, they wouldn’t be able to sign him for more than the Nuggets. Although it may appear the Nugs’ front office is brain dead, I genuinely think they’re holding their cards in hopes of calling ‘Melo’s bluff. You see, there’s this little thing about a pending lockout… the players, per usual, have by far the most to lose (especially unsigned players). If tophatal is right, Denver would not, in fact, be passing on expiring contracts, but rather the reported package of two first round picks, Derrick Favors, and Devin Harris. Make of that (poo poo?) platter what you will, but it’s certainly better than, for instance, what the Raptors ended up getting for Bosh – a mere trade exception.

  18. Fro-B…

    Would you take on Harrington’s contract? I wouldn’t touch that guy with a ten-foot pole, even if it meant clearing up cap space for next year.

    Barring a lockout, we both know whatever ‘Melo wants, ‘Melo will get. If he really wants Knicks, he’ll get it.

    Remember, it’s a players league. The talent holds all the cards and the owners, all except Mark Cuban, are held hostage. If you don’t believe me, ask Dan Gilbert how his Christmas was.

    We’ll see if that still rings true by the end of the next collective bargaining agreement.

  19. The owners have lots of cash to sit on, Chris. For the most part, spendthrift players – with their posses and jeweled self-likenesses (ahem, Marquis Daniels) do not. Don’t forget, either, that many of these NBA owners also have NHL teams… and made a KILLING during the last lockout. The players budged first in ’98-’99 (and always budge first, right?). I don’t see how this time would be any different.

    And to answer your question, yes, of course I would take on Al Harrington’s contract to get ‘Melo (that’s my whole argument). So Prokhorov has a boatload of cap space next year. To get who, Mike Dunleavy and DeAndre Jordan?

  20. You mean the owners aren’t out blowing all their cash on bling, Fro?

    What are they thinkin’?

    I guess my point with ‘Melo v. the Nets is, as you suggested, if the Nets don’t land him, who do they get? ‘Melo is the commodity and can essentially dictate where he wants to play. Without him, the Nets can look forward to another 20-25 win season. Unless that Sullinger kid from Ohio State comes out and they manage to land him in the draft.

    All I meant about Harrington is that he’s a bust, but you’re right, if it means getting ‘Melo, I’d sign Kwame Brown.

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