Jim Caple still remembers the little guys

ESPN.com senior writer Jim Caple (of Page 2 fame) hung out with us last night. Sorta.

Caple, a University of Washington alum, and former writer and editor at the same college paper we worked for, came to campus and talked to some aspiring sports writers Monday night in the intimacy of The Daily newsroom.

He had all sorts of great anecdotes and was nice enough to answer all of our questions for over an hour.

Some of the highlights:

-Caple told a great locker room story from when Shaq was with the Orlando Magic. A bunch of reporters were waiting to talk to the 7-foot-1 O’Neil as he got dressed after a game. But before he finished putting on his clothes, 5-foot NY Times writer Selena Roberts got too close to Shaq and as he turned around, he slapped Miller’s face with his penis. Shaq fucking cock-slapped this poor reporter!

-We asked Caple about the sinking ship that is Page 2 and he sort of dodged the question. Go figure. But we also mentioned new Page 2-hire Jemele Hill and Caple didn’t seem to know what we were talking about. Shows how smoothly information flows over at ESPN.

-He said “clusterfuck.”

-Caple holds a Hall of Fame vote and said, as of now, he’d certainly vote in Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

-We also asked Caple about his “Back to School” columns that ran during the 2005 NCAA Tournament, where he went to different schools — like Michigan State, pictured above — and lived like a college student. He said he drank more beer during that span than he did in college. Oh, and he says he’s never playing beer pong again.

-Caple is not a reader of blogs, but does like the writing of Jayson Stark.

-He has never met Bill Simmons.

-Caple, married, reminded us just how high the divorce rate is among sportswriters.

It was a fun evening and he was a pleasure to talk to on such a small, personal level. If only he can hold Page 2 together.

Update: There’s speculation that Caple’s story about Shaq cockslapping a NY Times reporter is more of an urban legend than fact. Though we did leave out what we didn’t see as critical to the story, but perhaps is.

Shaq, in the story, was standing on a ledge to get up to his locker (or something like that). By standing on the ledge, it supposedly put the short reporter at scrotum height.

Again, Caple told us this story, it was funny and he certainly didn’t pass it off as just a myth, though maybe it is.


It’s Halloween!

The San Diego Chargers cheerleaders, courtesy of The Hater Nation

One of our favorite days of the year. As kids, we could never sleep the night before Halloween. We got to dress up, have a school parade and trick or treat until we dropped. All until we were 18!

But the grown-up version of Halloween is still great. Rather than getting candy and sugary treats, we get beer and other liquor-filled drinks. People still dress up in fun costumes — like ghosts and goblins — but now the girls go as hookers, sluts, call girls, mistresses, Paris Hilton, whores, escorts, tramps, strippers and madams.

We’re not complaining.

But we’ve always liked to think we’re more creative than that. We want to have a good costume for the festivities this year and we’re here for you too!

If you don’t have your award-winning, panty-dropping costume yet, allow us to help. Here are some ideas for costumes for that sports fan out there.

– Barbaro
A fan that “can’t bear to watch.” (Wear a losing team — say the Detroit Lions — shirt and simply put a paper bag over your head. Optional: write something on it like, “Just Shoot Me.”)
Randy Moss
-Fred Smoot (though costume requires you go around with a lady friend — who will undoubtedly be dressed like a tramp — and carry a double-headed sex toy as an accessory).
-Scott Spiezio’s red soul patch
Clinton Portis or Coach Janky Spanky
-Steve Bartman
-Stuart Scott (glass eye not included)
-The Chicago Bears (costume simply requires you wear a crown. That’s it. Because “if you want to crown ’em, crown their ass).
Chuck Amato
-Dennis Green
Chad Johnson

Us? Well, we’re thinking going as Barry Bonds. The costume is simple, really. We were just going to slap on our Giants hat, wear a t-shirt, and draw a large asterisk on it. We’ll do our best to get some photos, but no promises.

Good costume? Great. Send it our way and we’ll try to put it up on the site.

Be safe out there, folks. Happy Halloween!

In other news: New England beat the Minnesota 31-7 because the new-look Vikings couldn’t get their sea legs.

The Dennis Green Survival Rating

We’re running a new feature here at The Big Picture, called the Dennis Green Survival Rating. Because Green’s chair is so ass-burning hot, we thought we’d take a weekly look at how Green is surviving as coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Much like EDSBS’s Chuck Amato Survival Meter, the Dennis Green Survival Rating will analyze just how screwed Green is by comparing him to royalty. Why royalty? Because, “if you want to crown ’em, crown their ass.” When Green reaches the “King” level, he’s as good as fired.

Denny is fucked!

Last week, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green had a Queen Level ranking, after losing to the lowly, yet up-and-coming Oakland Raiders.

This week, Green and the Cards were no better. Arizona lost 31-14 to Green Bay and in consecutive weeks, the disgraceful Cardinals have made the Raiders and Packers look like the fucking ’85 bears and ’72 Dolphins, respectively.

Really, what’s left for the lame duck coach? He’s got to be fired any day now. But until he is, we can’t give him the King Level ranking. But last week Green got the Queen level and his survival took a ruptured-spleen size hit with his latest loss.

So what’s Green’s survival rating? We’ll give him the Queen Level ranking again, with a nudge closer to being unemployed. But there’s not much more room to go, as firing Green at this point is nothing more than a formality.

Grand Theft Auto: Seattle

We briefly mentioned this on our other site, but don’t think we realized the magnitude and downright thuggery of this until now.

As first reported by the wonderful Wizard of Odds, University of Washington running back Michael Houston — he’s a transfer from Texas, go figure — got in some legal trouble a few nights ago. We’ll let the Wiz explain:

“Michael Houston, a transfer from Texas, was arrested on suspicion of auto theft. Specifically, a cab. According to police, Houston, two other men and a woman were picked up by an Orange Cab at a Deja Vu strip club. As the cabbie drove them to a McDonald’s, the woman allegedly spit on a window. When the cabbie stopped the vehicle, got out and called 911 on his cell phone, it is alleged that Houston jumped from the back seat to the front and drove away. “

Houston was of course arrested and has been suspended by Coach Willingham, who doesn’t preach auto theft, strip clubs or McDonald’s.

Pretty great stuff though. And in our backyard makes it even better! So this is what a guy does when he’s sitting out the year because of transfer rules. Go to a strip club, likely drink some drank, and steal a fucking taxi. Beats doing homework.

As for why the cabbie called 911 after the women in the car spit, that’s unknown. Seems like he jumped the gun, no?

For anyone who’s played Grand Theft Auto, well, let’s just call Michael Houston our new Carl Johnson. Like the car? Just take it.

But next time Michael, bring some strippers with you.

Hating Fox Sports Part 6: Scooter

If you’ve been able to stomach Fox’s MLB telecasts over the last few years you’ve probably had the misfortune of seeing “Scooter,” Fox’s attempt to make their game broadcasts more appealing, and apparently informative, to kids. According to Wikipedia, Scooter was designed “to explain different types of pitches with the education of children in mind.” As is the case with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, the guys behind MLB on Fox apparently don’t know a bad thing when they find it. Despite quite a few negative reactions to Scooter, Fox has kept him around.

If you’ve never seen Scooter, consider yourself lucky. He looks something like this, although apparently pictures of him don’t exist on the internet. He whooshes on screen and in an annoying voice butchers explanations of different types of pitches. He typically says something like “a curveball is a ball that curves on its way to the plate.” Enlightening.

Last night Scooter made what we believe to be his first appearance of the 2006 postseason, and his schtick was taken to a new low. This time they had Jeff Suppan’s head floating on the screen next to Scooter, and in an irritating, condescending tone of voice, Suppan explained that a change-up is a fastball that goes really really slow. Of course, if it goes slowly, it’s not a fastball at all, is it? This explanation is insulting. If they’re trying to educate children they should have said that a change-up is a pitch that looks like a fastball, but is much slower, so it fools the hitter. They could have demonstrated the various grips used to throw changeups, or shown footage of pitchers with really good ones (e.g. Johan Santana). Instead they probably went to an extra commercial break so we could have the pleasure of hearing “Our Country” for the 12,000th time of the night.

They might as well just change to name from “The World Series on Fox” to “The World’s Largest Crappy Baseball Broadcasting Party.”

Read more about how Fox Sports sucks here here, here, here and here, as well as here, here, and here.

In other news: Much to our chagrin, the “great fans” in St. Louis are continuing to imitate this.

"The World’s Largest…"

Not too many compelling match ups this upcoming College Football Saturday, but one that will gain some attention is “The World’s Largest Outdoor (Expletive) Party” between Georgia and Florida.

If you recall, both school’s presidents really don’t like promoting liquor and binge drinking, so they’re doing their best to keep the media, fans and players from referring to the game as “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party.”

Of course this has the fine folks over at Everyday Should be Saturday pretty pissed. But as wonderful as they are, they didn’t rant, rather they did something about it. They created some great t-shirts, like the one shown above, and had a great thread about some alternate names for Saturday’s game.

Some fun ones from the hilarious commenters over at EDSBS:

-World’s largest what is that smell?
-World’s largest gathering of married alumni ogling hot coeds
-World’s largest cock & tail party
-World’s largest Outdoor “The Things We Do Not Speak Of” Party
-World’s Only Reason to Go to Jacksonville
-World’s largest Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting
-World’s largest gathering of drunk, uninhibited, smoking hot sorority tail

And some of our own:

-World’s largest outdoor meeting of people who thought the South was right
-World’s largest outdoor Shirley Temple party
-World’s largest outdoor gangbang
-World’s largest outdoor gathering of former slave owners
-World’s largest outdoor marijuana party
-World’s largest outdoor congregation of Southern people

Ok, we know you readers are far funnier than we are anyway. Leave your suggestions in the comments. JMC, we expect wonders for you, being a former improv stud and all. All right, make it happen in the comments.

Cole Leinart is a bastard. Really.

Photo credit: Deadspin

As first reported by The Big Lead, (well, we first saw the story there anyway. But those guys do such bang-up work that perhaps they were the first to break the story.), Matt Leinart is the proud new father of a baby boy.

Remarkably, Young Matthew’s child is with his college sweetheart and USC basketball player Nick Young Brynn Cameron, and not his boo-boo, Paris Hilton.

Now we can’t blame Matthew too much. When a guy hears “women’s basketball player,” the first reaction is naturally this. But Cameron is no Rebecca Lobo. She’s pretty damn hot and you know the kid, Cole, will have just about every advantage in the world.

As for Hilton, well, fuck her (not literally, though Leinart took it that way). She’s too skinny, annoying and looks like she’s overly dependent on heroin. We’d go with Cameron over her in a heartbeat.

This, after all, is probably a joyous day for the Leinart and Cameron families. Leinart has a son who he can turn into a future star — a career that will likely go through USC. He’ll be like the Archie Manning of this era.

Cole was born out of wedlock and it seems that Leinart and Cameron have no intention to get married. But perhaps they should. Not like being in a relationship has stopped Matthew from getting groovy with other ladies before.

But a big day for Leinart, Cameron and Trojans fans. There are all sorts of high-fives and man-hugs taking place over on the USC campus right now.