It’s not me; it’s you

Dear WordPress,

I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just going to say it: There’s someone else. I met her a few weeks ago at that charity function you refused to go to. She makes me feel so alive and young again. I know this is hard, but it is over between me and you.

Please don’t write, call, e-mail or tweet me. Let me and Blogger try and make an honest run at happiness.

I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

– CJ

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Phil Freaking Mickelson

This shot is so unbelievable. I don’t think I’d ever even try this on a range.

July is for lovers

Somebody sent me this last fall, but it has been a wonderful week and I feel like sharing this. Plus, I’ll pretty much post any video with a soundtrack from Sigur Rós.

Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50

Picture 1

Sports Illustrated released today its sixth annual “Fortunate 50” list, which lists the 50 top-earning American athletes in salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees. You’d probably be able to guess the Top 10 at your local pub’s Trivia Night with the exception of Allen Iverson, who grossed nearly $29 million last year.

In case you were wondering, the average earnings for the Fortunate 50 in America was $23.6, while SI’s list of the 20 highest paid International athletes came in with an average of $29.5 million.

Fortunate50Breakdown

Top 10:

1.) Tiger Woods, Pro Golf
Last Year’s Rank: 1
Salary / Winnings – $7,737,626
Endorsements – $92,000,000
Total – $99,737,626
2.) Phil Mickelson, Pro Golf
Last Year’s Rank: 2
Salary / Winnings – $6,350,356
Endorsements – $46,600,000
Total – $52,950,356
3.) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Last Year’s Rank: 3
Salary / Winnings – $14,410,581
Endorsements – $28,000,000
Total – $42,410,581
4.) Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year’s Rank: 6 (tie)
Salary / Winnings – $33,000,000
Endorsements – $6,000,000
Total – $39,000,000
5.) Shaquille O’Neal, Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Last Year’s Rank: 6 (tie)
Salary / Winnings – $20,000,000
Endorsements – $15,000,000
Total – $35,000,000
6.) Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics (NBA)
Last Year’s Rank: 8
Salary / Winnings – $24,750,000
Endorsements – $10,000,000
Total – $34,750,000
7.) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
Last Year’s Rank: 5
Salary / Winnings – $21,262,500
Endorsements – $10,000,000
Total – $31,262,500
8.) Allen Iverson, Detroit Pistons (NBA)
Last Year’s Rank: 12
Salary / Winnings – $21,937,500
Endorsements – $7,000,000
Total – $28,937,500
9.) Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year’s Rank: 10
Salary / Winnings – $20,000,000
Endorsements – $8,500,000
Total – $28,500,000
10.) Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
Last Year’s Rank: 9
Salary / Winnings – $14,500,000
Endorsements – $13,000,000
Total – $27,000,000

Thriller (64 tracks a’cappella version)

You aren’t going to appreciate this unless you watch the entire thing and pay attention. Really, really cool.

(Via The Curious Brain)

The Battle of the Babes

Controversey abound at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships

Controversy abound at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships

Here’s a fun little story.

The All England Club, the folks responsible for hosting the Wimbledon Championship, has admitted that a player’s personal appearance is a factor when considering who plays on the prestigious Centre Court.

Controversy sparked after No. 8-seeded Victoria Azarenka faced Sorana Cristea, seeded 28th, at Centre Court on Friday.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

And what’s wrong with that? Well, top-seeded Dinara Safina and the No. 2 seed Serena Williams were both demoted to the modest outer courts, while Azarenka and Cristea happen to be freaking gorgeous.

Sorana Cristea

Sorana Cristea

All England Club Spokesman Johnny Perkins told The Daily Mail that, “good looks are a factor,” in deciding court schedule. Added a source from the BBC, “it’s advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court…Our preference would be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing ratings.”

This clearly is chauvinistic, unfair and a PR gaffe for the ages. The concept of sport relies on the premise that the better player is rewarded and celebrated. Sport should never be a beauty contest, and this strategy by the All England Club is unquestionably unjust.

But – off the court, field, rink, track, etc. – we do reward and celebrate the better-looking player almost uniformly. Don’t we?

Let’s play a game. Name five ugly “superstars.” Can you even name three? Here, I’ll spot you Randy Johnson (in his prime).  Ronaldinho is pretty ugly, too. Joakim Noah is borderline disgusting, but he’s certainly not a “superstar.”

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

The ugly truth is that our superstars are attractive. Most men haven’t even heard of top-seeded Dinara Safina, but they could tell you the beautiful Maria Sharapova (unseeded) has green eyes. Soccer hunk David Beckham is arguably one of the most popular athletes in the world, and yet Sport.co.uk has questioned whether the England national team will even need him in the 2010 World Cup.

I’m not an expert in what makes an attractive male, and I probably will never be one. Still, you can’t tell me that Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or Roger Federer is ugly, can you?

Sex appeals and beauty sells. Just ask Danica Patrick.

But to fans of sport, athleticism also sells. Teamwork sells. Strength sells. The will of a champion sells.

Here’s the point: Marketability (off the court) and Sportsmanship (on the court) should actually remain independent of each other.  True sports fans want to see the best, the fastest and the strongest compete – not the sexiest.

Need proof? Look no further than last Friday’s match between Azarenka and Cristea. As Kate Nocera at the New York Daily News put it, “Die-hard tennis fans who came to the event seemed to know better,” leaving the stadium at Centre Court virtually empty. My guess is people went to watch Safina and Serena and the rest of the elite play.

Besides, they probably already Tivoed the match (on HDTV) for when they got home.

RIP Michael.

Before I made the switch to WordPress, I wrote on Virb.com. On March 5, I wrote about Michael Jackson’s return to the stage that was planned for this summer. For some reason, I feel it necessary to repost.


RIP Michael. I am truly saddened by your passing.

March 5, 2009

Long Live the King


The King of Pop is coming back for at least 10 final shows – and I know one Denver native that couldn’t be happier. No, I won’t be flying to London; nor will I be in attendance at one of these 10 concerts at the O2 Arena in July. But as billions of Christians worldwide have been waiting for the return of the Messiah, this nostalgic Gen-Y’er has been anxiously awaiting for the King to regain his throne.

Let me take a few steps back. I was born in 1986, four years after Thriller was released and – more importantly – nearly three years before MJ’s film Moonwalker was released on VHS. Don’t feel embarrassed if you haven’t seen Moonwalker; it only means your parents loved you enough to hire a sitter. I, on the other hand, have seen Moonwalker in its entirety roughly 900 times. More importantly, 899 of these occasions occurred before the age of five. (I recently found segments of the film on YouTube here and invested some of my valuable time into reminiscing pre-surgery MJ.)

Before you rush to judgment about my early-years obsession with the King, I want you to first take into consideration just how iconic Michael Jackson truly is. He has 13 Grammy Awards, is one of the few people inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and was once named “The Most Successful Entertainer of All Time,” by Guinness Book of World Records.

So cut me a little slack – I idolized one of the world’s most famous men.

As you can imagine, I grew up and learned of Michael’s skin bleaching, the wacky tabloid rumors of the hyperbaric chamber, etc., and his alleged sexual indiscretions with the kids at Neverland Ranch. Still, I sided with MJ.

For all intents and purposes, this guy was a pseudo-father figure and dear friend. Besides, at this point he physically looked so different than the Michael of Moonwalker, that it was pretty easy to separate the Jackson I loved and this white imposter.

A scandal here, a scandal there and finally we stopped hearing about the (former) King of Pop.

Here we are, more than 25 years after he dropped the original Moonwalk on the world, and the 50-year-old King has returned. Between the predictable reemergence of Brittney, the awkward revival of New Kids on the Block and inevitable resurrection of deadbeat Chris Brown, this industry loves a comeback.

So as time heals all wounds, here’s one guy who is hoping MJ’s return will be glorious.