WHO IS SHE: Erin Andrews
WHAT DOES SHE DO: ESPN sideline reporter
VALUE: Eye Candy
MINUS: Asks questions about as deep as a third grader would.
COMMENT: Can you imagine the exec that wants to fire her? “Nooooo, you can’t fire Erin! She’s as cute as a button.” And about as smart.
“Like, oh my gawd!”
[i]You know how it is: you walk into a bar and see a good looking woman playing pool with the boys. It grabs your attention. If that woman happens to be kicking the boy’s asses, you’re really standing at attention, wondering how the pool babe would be off the table and under your sheets. Jennifer Barretta is that babe you yearn for.
TGR: Tell me about the mind game associated with the game.
JB: The enemy of playing pool is an active mind. You have to let your muscle memory take over. You play the game for a certain number of years, and instinctually you know what to do. But sometimes, your logical mind gets in the way because you’re over thinking. So, to play good pool, you know, if someone did a biorhythm on your brain, it would be almost flat-lined. When you play your best pool, it’s like a dream. You really don’t even remember playing.
TGR: You’re referring to “the Zone.”
JB: The Zone, or “Dead Stroke.”
TGR: How often are you in Dead Stroke?
JB: The more often you play, the more common it would be.
TGR: How about you personally?
JB: There’s varying degrees of it, but I would say at least once a week I’ll hit some degree of it. And like, once every six months I’ll hit this level that’s just incredible.
TGR: And what steps do you take to get back to that level more often?
JB: When I’m in that zone, I try to memorize what it feels like, and what I’m thinking…
TGR: Doesn’t that contradict what you said about the active mind?
JB: Yeah, but you also need to know…you need your mind to be kind of blank, so when you’re in that zone you kind of have to remember what it feels like, so, that, if your mind is thinking a lot, and you’re not playing well, then you have to somehow shut it off. You have to learn how to shut off your conscious mind.
TGR: Do you have any training outside of pool that helps you do that? Do you meditate, or do yoga or anything?
JB: I should. I know I was playing my best pool when I was working out, but lately I haven’t had time.
TGR: And can you carry that zone over into your life?
JB: A lot of people say I’m a really focused person. And a lot of times when I’m thinking about stuff and walking down the street I can just walk by people I know, I just don’t see them there.
TGR: But don’t you have to do that living in New York anyway?
JB: You kind of do. You know, it doesn’t make you a lot of friends.
TGR: Tell me about pool as an Aphrodisiac.
JB: I will tell you, that seeing someone play the game well is very sexy. But seeing someone do anything really well is sexy.
TGR: Do you have guys hitting on you all the time?
JB: Well, they all know me now. Maybe if I go to a different pool room. But I’m like one of the guys.
TGR: What about when guys to try to challenge you to a game and prove their machismo?
JB: I try to. But sometimes they are really good players and they can really kick my butt. But if some random guy comes up to me and starts barking, I’ll have to shut him down.
TGR: And how does he react?
JB: It usually takes them a little while to really understand they can’t win. Then it’s a great feeling, when you know you’ve finally broken them and they start talking bad about themselves: “Oh, I suck, and I can’t play…” I mentally break them. And if they’re getting in my face, I enjoy it. Mentally breaking down your opponent is a beautiful thing.
TGR: And how often is that done to you when you play?
JB: Every now and again it happens, for sure. But you try to minimize it, always fight. I’m pretty good at fighting.
TGR: On the pool table we’re talking about?
JB: Well, maybe both. On and off the pool table.
TGR: How about a few game tips?
JB: 1. Get a coach, that’s big.
TGR: What about for the guy who just goes out on a Friday night drinking, and to play pool with his buddies?
JB: 2. Stay down on the shot. So when you shoot the ball, you don’t want to just jump up right away. Like when you’re down shooting the ball, you want to stay down, until you complete the shot.
3. Follow through. You want to swing your cue like you mean it. Don’t just dink the balls around, follow through. If you’re going to hit it, hit it.
4. A lot of people say defensive play is coward’s pool, or whatever you want to call it. Defensive play is a huge part of the game, so don’t be afraid to play defense.
5. Practice as much as you can.
TGR: How about getting inebriated before you play?
JB: From what I hear, it makes the pockets look huge.
TGR: So, it’s a good thing for the Friday Night Pool Player to get drunk?
JB: Probably. Yeah, for the average player, it loosens them up and they’re not quite so tense.
TGR: Describe for me what gets you off about playing pool.
JB:I’ve always been really into math and puzzle solving, and things like that. When I play pool, that’s all the game is. There’s some physical…Like, I’ve also always been a tomboy, I’ve liked physical things. So, it combined the physical aspect with the problem solving aspect. And every game is like this different puzzle you have to solve. I just fell in love with it immediately.
TGR: How many hours a day do you practice?
JB: I practice 6-8 hours a day.
TGR: I read that you used to practice 14 hours a day?
JB: In my past, yes I did. When I first started, I was putting in 14 hours a day.
TGR: Do you have a pool table at home?
JB: I don’t. I live in Manhattan.
TGR: Just enough closet space for your clothes.
JB: Not even.
TGR: Is there a difference between styles of pool from east coast to west?
JB: There actually is. On the west coast it’s considered dirty to play defense. They’re shot makers. They want to run out, go for the shot. It’s kind of funny, there’s a rule in 9 Ball, if you get a player to make a three consecutive fouls, they lose the game. When you play on the east coast, it’s just assumed that’s in effect, because that’s professional rules. On the west coast, it’s not assumed, and actually it’s assumed you’re not playing three fouls. If you want that as part of the game, you have to set that up beforehand. It’s considered bad manners.
TGR: How many tricks can you do in all?
JB: I’ve never really counted but I can do a whole bunch. Like… I can make like, six balls at once. Trick shots are a separate part of billiards. The same people that make all the trick parts are not the same people that play in all the tournaments.
TGR: Most money you’ve won in a tourney?
JB: Probably six thousand dollars.
TGR: Aspirations beyond pool?
JB: When I’m not playing pool any more, I would love to own a pool hall. I used to own a gym. And I was really into working out. And once I opened that gym, I never got to work out anymore, it became a job. I figure, if I do the same thing with pool, the same thing is going to happen. So I’ll wait until I retire from the pro tour.
TGR: Since you’re last name is Barretta, if you had a cockatiel, what would it’s name be?
TGR: How apropos. And what actress would play you in the movie version of your life?
JB: That’s a tough one…
TGR: What about Cameron Diaz?
JB: Ooh, yeah, I kind of like that. I love Reese Witherspoon, but I don’t think that she and I are anything alike. But Cameron Diaz, she’s a little athletic and sexy…
TGR: Yeah, Reese Witherspoon’s a little girly.
Hey, we don’t care if he can throw a chest pass the length of the court. And we don’t care if his uncle once sung about California Girls (though they are hot). And we especially don’t give two craps that Dickie V. is dying to have his love child. Kevin Love will go on to become the biggest bust of the 2008 NBA Draft, and maybe the last five.
Why? It’s pretty simple. You know how everyone questions his “athleticism?” Well, “athleticism” is short for: He’s too f-ing white! And, he is. Might have worked for him in high school, and in college. But it ain’t gonna be the same on the next level, no matter how many Big Macs he’s lost, where he’ll be going up against “athletes” far superior, and far, well, you know, than he is.
Lovester says he thinks he can be a double-double guy for his career. OK, so, if his career averages end up at 10 and 10, isn’t that total failure for someone who was drafted with the fifth overall pick?
Eighty-two games going up against the likes of Stoudamire, Duncan, Oden, Boozer, Brand, etc. Are you kidding me? No way his body is handling it. For the durability factor alone, we’re telling you right now Brook Lopez will be a much better NBA big. And the highly goofy Lopez will have a much more immediate impact on his team.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, Minnesota will win maybe, if they’re lucky, an extra three to five games next season. Though, with the “way of the west,” they could lose three to five, to ten more. Come to think of it, we’re pretty certain the Wolves will suck for many years to come (no matter how many lovely outlet passes they experience). The question is, will Steven A. Smith?
Magic 8 ball says: Most definitely. Ask it yourself.
BTW, Steven A.: It’s “you”, not “Jew”. Just sayin’.
1. Will Vegas MVP Jerryd Bayless get enough time to vie for Rookie of the Year? Sure, Portland could win the Oregon Youth Basketball League, but don’t they need a vet to blaze a trail to something, say, a little grander?
2. With the Vegas showing of the Rocket’s Donte Green, expect to hear those T-Mac trade rumors getting revved up again. Here’s an idea: T-Mac to the Blazers. Um, try Green out of the picture for Mr. Ghetto himself, Ron Artest.
3. Look out for the Wiz. No, really. With the emergence of Andray Blatche and Dominic McGuire, they’re going to be in the hunt for second place in the East.
4. Don Nelson says he loves Marco Belinelli, he just wished he’d play more defense. If Nelly gets it out of him (and you know how defensive-minded Nelly is!), expect Belinelli to be the second best Euro two-guard ever. The kid can shoot and pass.
5. Is the Guy Report the only one in the known universe to question Kevin Love’s “athleticism?” A severe case of Love-kissing broke out, once again, in Vegas.
6. Jesus f-ing…Will someone please find an NBA squad for Pops Mensah-Bonsu? The dude can flat-out ball.
7. Be careful what you wish for Rodney Stuckey. You’re about to get handed a team…
8. A tail of two halves: Knicks Gallinari going to be up and down his first year: Will the Garden Faithful show patience? LOL.
9. Can the Clips’ rookie gunner Eric Gordon get enough shots in practice to tide him over during real games?
10. How many seasons will it take Mayo to get to 30ppg?
Surprise of the Summer: Russell Westbrook, Sonics (Orlando Summer League)
Sleeper of the Summer: Petteri Koponen, Blazers
Skinny Bones of the Summer: Anthony Randolph, Warriors
Part II coming next week after the Rocky Mountain Review wraps up. And you can bet there won’t be any Vegas hanky-panky going on there!
Sorry, Hot Rod, yes, you were an NBA No.1 draft pick (signing a whopping $10,000 contract), but it took you about a week to realize Elton Brand had been traded to the Sixers. You do understand this is the 21st Century, yes?
Most Untapped Talent in League: Gerald Green, Dallas
Yes, he won the slam dunk contest in 2007, but the kid has sick game to go along with the high-flying antics. Mainly, a deadly three-point stroke. If he ever gets out of his head and puts it all together, Green will go from green to, well, green, as in greenbacks.
In Running for Best Back-up Point in League: A.C. Law, Atlanta
Unrecognizable, upon first notice this summer. Remember his Pillsbury Doughboy physique from last season? Gone, totally trimmed down and ready to rock should Bibby start clanking.
Surprise of Rocky Mountain Review: Anthony Morrow, Golden State
Named MVP of the Review, rewarded with a Warrior contract. Who the hell is he? We thought you’d never ask. 411.
Skinny Bone Gunner: Anthony Randolph, Golden State
Never saw a shot, or move, he didn’t like. Nelly might actually have to teach the kid a little something about restraint. Nelly? Forget we even mentioned it. Result: Expect Randolph to try some crazy-sick moves. Don’t be surprised if the ball ends up in the third row.
Don’t Give Him the Love Just Yet: Brook Lopez, New Jersey
OK, so we picked B.Lopez to outshine Kevin Love this season. Um, we might have spoke too soon. Could it be Lopez can’t play without Lopez? Another Nets note: Chris Douglas-Roberts is going to be the Most Bang For Your Buck in the draft. The guy is crafty and will find a way to score in the L.
Best Candy Bar: Morris Almond Joy, Utah
If the always tight (when it comes to youth) Jerry Sloan gives Almond a chance this season, Ronnie Brewer is going to be spending a lot more time on the pine, or moving to the three. Almond has a sweet stroke that reminds us of Ricky Pierce, who coicidentally went to the same college as Almond: Rice. Hey, come to think of it, Almond’s shot has a little Glenn Rice in it too.
Hey! Don’t Forget Me!: George Hill, San Antonio
Nice PG skills, might make for a good back-up for TP. And we’re not talking in the bedroom. Sorry, George, no Celeb T & A for you.
Give the Kid a Job Already: Luke Jackson, Atlanta
Luke Jackson is Larry Bird -1.5. But still, you’re not getting a bad player here. Fundamentally sound with a nice stroke from three. Sure, white men can’t jump, but in Jackson’s case, he can sure shoot and pass well.
Fact: (Well, according to the NYTimes) In 2004, some 400,000 Chinese children were lifted from their homes and enrolled in 3,000 state-run schools that specialize in training kids, sometimes as young as six, for the Olympics.
Sad fact: Out of every 900 students, only one will wear an Olympic uniform.
Good news: There will always be plenty of slots left at the factory.
The universe is made up of light and dark, and everything in between. Why should it be any different with the Olympics? Super profound, we know. But here’s what we’ll be watching for:
A) The Light
Nomination: If it were winter, we’d certainly nominate Bode Miller. But since Bode is probably kicking-it at home with a fat brewski, and babe on his arm, we’ll anxiously be awaiting Bode Miller 2.0, with no clues who it will be. Wait! Are there skateboarders in this thing?
B) The Dark
Which courageous Olympian will step forward and use the platform to protest China’s abhorrent record on Human Rights?
Nomination: Someone from Team Darfur. Though, it’s one thing to sign your name up for the cause, and a whole other can of worms to put your ass in front of a tank.
Fun fact: (as of this June) 4,104 Chinese children have been named Aoyun.
Translation: Olympic Games.
Sure, we picked the USA to capture Gold after watching them trounce the first few also-rans in exhibition games. But after witnessing them struggle against Russia, and especially over Australia (Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi!), we’re doing an about-face. And here’s why:
Sadly, it’s the same problem we spoke about, oh, four years ago.
It’s simple: The USA is made up of a collection of superstars. Note: a collection of superstars is not a team, nor does it look like they ever will be.
The truth is, it’s not natural: to ask these guys, who star on their respective teams, to come in and be role players. Especially when they’re not even sure which roles they’re supposed to fill.
“Hey, let’s just put all the talent in place and see how it shakes out.” – Team USA theory No.1
Guess what? It ain’t shaking out too well!
Sure, they all say they’re willing to sacrifice. But how the hell can you teach an old dog a new trick? Namely, to give up their bone for the good of the team. In mind: yes. In instinct: no friggin’ way. You CANNOT re-teach instinct to someone like Kobe, LeBron or Carmelo.
This is why the world has caught up to us. At least in basketball. Because they’re coming to the court with roles clearly designated, their proper hierarchy in place. Team USA has no clue on this one. And don’t look for them to get one between now and the Gold Medal game.
What could turn it around? One thing.
He’s the born leader of this team, and you better give him the rock, and re-assign Jason Kidd to the bench (waving towels), or this team is going to be toast.
If Paul leads (and he looks raring to go), believe us, the rest of the troops will fall into place.
Second in Command: Dwayne Wade. He’s the only other dude who is really bringing the energy, and he should get the nod over The Big Three.
If you can get those cats to give up the ego, and allow this to happen, and pray that we won’t be sorry we didn’t come with another true center, Team USA has a chance.
Without the adjustments…well, don’t even come home, fellas. Yeah, a lifetime of fried scorpions and seal penis would suck. Hard. Fortune cookie say: You be pukin’.
Patrick Mills from Australia is the next Tony Parker, but he’s the 2.0 version. How about we just call him “Blow-by.” I imagine Kidd/Paul/Williams didn’t even get a license plate #.
That’s right: Fist Bumps. Better get with the program McCain. This generation is all about using a computer and Fist Bumps, but we digress, and now return you to our regular Olympic roasting of China.
We’re sorry, but Gilbert Gottfried wasn’t available as a guest commentator, so you’ll have to just accept these words from our 14-year-old Korean neighbor Gerald…BTW, he is a US citizen.
Hey Guys! It’s Gerald!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I’m Kooooooooorean, bitches. Anyway, here’s my question:
Which country adopts the Fist Bump, and which doesn’t? First, let’s look at the team’s most likely to adopt the good ole USA Fist Bump.*
You know these blimey bastards are with us no matter what we do. Odds are they’ll try to reach across the aisle and “bump” an American or two. Hint to Americans: Don’t let ‘em. These are the British. They have weird hair, bad teeth and are likely to have life-size statues of Margaret Thatcher in their living rooms. Did we mention the horrible brie cheese and pigeon fetish?
That’s right. It’s odd to have to adopt our own custom, but we feel it’s bound to happen. Note to selves: Remove rings.
And here are out two odds on favs NOT TO adopt the fist bump.
Because, really, who has time to adopt a Fist Bump when you’ve got a war going on. Bravo, Russia, bravo! You’re definitely Putin the Olympian “One World, One Dream” theme to excellent use.
Remember Grass Hopper: Never bite the hand that feed you. Nor the seal penis. That was a joke. I just like saying: “SEAL PENIS.” I’m not sure how it would taste, the SEAL PENIS, but I’m pretty certain there’s as much of a chance of a Chinaman/woman adopting a Fist Bump, as there is of one of our boy’s eating, well, SEAL PENIS. As long as he’s not Korean.
Legend has it that NBA TV anchor Fred “Mad Dog” Carter started using the bump when he played for the Baltimore Bullets in 70s. The other legend, well, we have evidence below, so we’re kind of gonna go with them: The Wonder Twins!
It’s good to be an American citizen with the weaponry at our country’s disposal (if it ever came to that).
Because we could not imagine the USA doing a damn thing against China if it came to hand-to-hand combat. Did you see those motherf….the moves? The precision? Bob Costas getting a woody? Simply spectacular (not you Bob. And especially not you Matt).
Our kudos to the host — and all their puppets. Let’s hope they continue to make art (and cheap products), not war.
P.S. If anyone attending the opening ceremony was high…wow, what a show. The only thing missing was the Twinkies. Unless you smuggled those in as well.
“Psst. Psst! You wanna buy some Twinkies, man? I’ll give you half price off on the seal penis if you do.”