We the living

8/9/09, Nike outlet in Jackson, NJ -- The day after I turned 30
If you’ve been coming here for a while, you already know that the only holiday I truly love is Halloween. But New Year’s, I’ve always at the very least liked. I realize it’s technically just another day, but it represents to me a time to reflect and measure growth.

A clean start. A fresh slate. Another chance to turn it all around. (Word to Vanilla Sky)

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Rearview mirror: The coolest, and un-coolest, athletes of the 2000’s

Top: Coolest.  Bottom: Least coolest. (Like I have to tell you) Note Reggie in bottom left holding hands with a referee

Another set of lists as part of our friends at Trumbull Island’s Year/Decade-ending Top 10 list hysteria. Here are the Top 10 coolest athletes of the decade, and the Top 10 least coolest athletes. I’m sure I’m missing some, but I think it’s a pretty good primer. I think you’ll see Nas is generally a good barometer here. Feel free to let me know some other guys I missed.

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Rearview mirror: A decade’s worth of random “celebrity” encounters

Even me, Skip? Even you, Dorn.

My friends over at Trumbull Island are putting together a pretty extensive and highly entertaining collection of Top Ten lists for the decade, and for the year. As I helped them save Christmas this year, they asked me if I had any contributions, and then suggested “Top random people I met in the ‘00’s.” In truth, I’m sort of like Forrest Gump: I run a lot, I’m decent at ping-pong and I often find myself meeting a lot of random “famous” people.

I think this is supposed to be a Top 10 list, but it looks like that’s not a hard and fast rule for Trumbull, as someone had a Top 71 list. So, I’m offering a Top 16 list. This is in no particular order. Most of them are athletes, but not all of them. Also, I have pictures with most of these people, but I don’t like anyone to know what I look like, so you won’t see any here.

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Finding value in the Swamp: Thoughts from Nets-Thunder

Battle of Titans: Hassell and Battie hassle Collison. Brook Lopez looks on in horror

When I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to get in on tickets for the Nets’ game last night against the Thunder, I jumped at the opportunity, despite New Jersey’s 2-28 record (now 2-29), and it was totally worth it. (Note: Some official SA photos are on the way)

Here are some reasons:

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The Afternoon After: Greatness randomly pays a visit to Houlihan’s

Here’s my weekly look at the week’s football action. I’ll reiterate as always that I don’t claim to have any particular insight into the game itself.

About an hour before Houlihan's, LT was at the 50-yard line at Giants Stadium

As has become my usual policy, I took in the early games at Houlihan’s, a stone’s throw from Giants Stadium. I’ve become quite a fan of their “tuna wontons,” and it’s a laid back way to go out to watch the games without dealing with a bunch of screaming maniacs.

Right after the 1 p.m. games ended, I noticed an enormous man who looked markedly like Lawrence Taylor across the bar. When I got a little closer, there was no question that one of the greatest football players of all time had shown up at my new Sunday haunt, fresh off receiving an ovation at the 50-yard line at his former team’s final game at Giants Stadium.

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Trumbull/SA presents: Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style

Note: We’re posting this as a favor to our sister site, Trumbull Island, and because it’s great (even though I have no love lost for Philadelphia). I may have some Christmas stuff of my own later, I may not. Either way – Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy Kobe vs. LeBron.

Three Philly/Christmas greats: Philly Boy Roy, Santa, The Answer

This season means different things to different people. For me, a Canadian transplant living in New York, I mostly just miss Boxing Day. Tonight is Christmas Eve, which I don’t celebrate, though I do celebrate its arrival and the opportunity to listen to my favorite holiday poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style" by Henry Livingston Jr. and Roy Ziegler.
I wanted to share the poem, which is written out below, on my Web site, but our webmaster reset the password earlier in the week and may or may not be in church, so, long story short, I’m locked out. Esoteric kindly decided to help me out.

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Master of puppets: Mayweather massacring Manny with mind games

The biggest surprise with the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather drug testing argument is that I actually at one time hoped this fight would come off without a hitch. I guess that plays into my desire to have a big fight happen for once with none of the nonsense and posturing that usually goes into this sport. But that’s unrealistic.

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The Afternoon After: Mourning glory – maligned duo elevated by tributes

Here is my weekly look at what I saw from NFL Sunday. As usual, a reminder that I’m basically a football layman, and I’ll also point out that I observed less than usual due to watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, possibly the greatest movie of all time, on Sunday.

Emotion sickness As just about everyone did, I considered the death of Chris Henry to be a real shame. Obviously, Henry had something of a checkered past, but from all accounts was attempting to get his head on straight and his life in order, something all of us can appreciate.

Being on injured reserve and away from his team, he lapsed in his decision-making at the worst possible time.

Maybe that’s why I found it especially touching to see the efforts of Chad Ochocinco and Brandon Marshall, two other quirky – to say the least – wide receivers, to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.

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Malignaggi’s fast hands – and faster mouth – highlight redemption tale

Like a terrorist, hard to capture

I’ve had an affinity for Paulie Malignaggi ever since I interviewed him back in 2004 at a press conference and informed him that I was a better fighter than he was. I couldn’t help it! The guy was so brash at such an early stage in his career, and yet completely insistent that he was the best boxer from New York. I wanted to push his buttons a little.

Luckily, the Brooklynite was as good-natured as he was loquacious, as we shared a good laugh and – thank God! – he declined to test my pugilistic abilities. (The only fights I have are with my landlady over how high to raise the thermostat)

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Beer and (self) loathing: Mets roundtable a unique experience

If I had my guess, I'd say James K. is telling some sort of Bengie Molina joke right here. Also note that he appears to have lulled Sam to sleep
What do you get when you take a bunch of rabid, intelligent bloggers fixated on one maddening team, bring them together in a quaint New York City bar and turn them loose?

Sheer magic.

Okay, that may be a slight overstatement. But the first New York Mets Hot Stove Huddle – deftly promoted and staged by Amazin’ Avenue and my good friend Will Davidian of Blue and Orange, was undoubtedly a success in several ways, most notably in figuring out a way to give the team’s most passionate enthusiasts a group therapy session to work out their fears and concerns about their favorite team, and make some new friends in the process.

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