The ND Sports Book Is Open!

It's Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest gambling day of the year. If you're not interested in betting on what color the Gatorade bath will be or how long Christina Aguilera will hold the word "brave" (the over/under is 6 seconds, FYI), here are some exotic bets for the rest of the NBA season and beyond:

Now that Spike Lee has directed a commercial with Dwyane Wade and Robert Rodriguez has directed one with Kobe Bryant, which director/NBA star collaboration will happen next?
  • Quentin Tarantino/Blake Griffin 3-1
  • Wes Anderson/John Wall 7-1
  • Woody Allen/Amare Stoudemire 15-1
  • David Gordon Green/Kevin Durant 25-1
  • Jean-Luc Godard/Boris Diaw 40-1

JR Smith recently tweeted that he was watching the movie "Mr. Deeds". Which Adam Sandler vehicle will he tweet about next?
  • Spanglish 6-1
  • Billy Madison 8-1
  • Little Nicky 11-1
  • Punch Drunk Love 20-1
  • You Don't Mess With the Zohan 30-1
  • None of the above, he was actually watching the original Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and is in fact a Gary Cooper fan 50-1
Which book will Landry Fields purchase on his next trip to Barnes and Noble with Andy Rautins?
  • The Stranger 7-1
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 10-1
  • The Master and Margarita 15-1
  • The People's History of the United States 25-1
  • The Novelization of "Johnny Mnemonic" 60-1

Will Zsa Zsa Gabor live to see another Cavaliers victory?
  • Yes (-200)
  • No (+160)
  • She will croak moments before Manny Harris hits the game winner (+8000)
Which former or current NBA player will donate the most money to Sarah Palin's 2012 Presidential campaign?
  • Spencer Hawes 1-3
  • Tim Hardaway 5-1
  • Carlos Boozer 10-1
  • Shaquille O'Neal 20-1
  • Adam Morrison 75-1
The President of Egypt in March 2011 will be:
  • Hosni Mubarak (-140)
  • Mohamed ElBaradei (+110)
  • Former NBA Journeyman Alaa Abdelnaby (+1200000)

Note: As sports betting is illegal in 49 of the 50 US States, The Negative Dunkalectics Sportsbook has set up an LLC in Malta. Payouts will be made in Google AdWords credits. We are not responsible for any hacking of JR Smith's Twitter.

How The Individual Anti-Matter Compilation Tracks Explain The New Jersey Nets Roster!

They all suck!

How Tree Records Post Marked Stamps Singles Explain The Rookie-Sophomore Game Starters!

If you're of a certain age and reading Negative Dunkalectics, it's likely that you also owned one or several of Tree Records great late-90s split singles series Post Marked Stamps.

Pressed in limited quantities to satisfy the exclusive desires of backpack wearing, travel journal writing emo kids everywhere, the Post Marked Stamps records came packed full of, well, rare stamps... along with some of late 90s emo's favorite bands and tunes, like that one Braid song that you couldn't get anywhere else until their discography dropped:

Well, everyone knows that the Post Marked Stamps Singles have nothing to do with the likely starters of the NBA's All Star Weekend Rookie-Sophomore game.  What this blog post presupposes is: "what if they totally did?"

(I'm also appreciatively aping a fun post over at Fanhouse: "How Joy Division Explains the All-Star Starters.")

I give you "How Tree Records Post Marked Stamps Singles Explain The Likely Rookie-Sophomore Game Starters."  And since there were only nine records, I'll throw in the Charles Bronson/Ice Nine split 7" too!

  • Blake Griffin / Postmarked Stamps #4: "Illinois Statehood" featuring Braid "Forever Got Shorter" and The Get Up Kids "I'm a Loner Dottie, A Rebel." Unquestionably the best record in the series, I give this one to Blake Griffin, who's unquestionably the best player in the game. Like The Get Up Kids, Blake's probably destined to have a great early career followed by a steady slide into disappointment and then possibly an attempt to reinvent himself by playing in a new band that apes The Rentals.
  • DeMarcus Cousins / Postmarked Stamps #3: "Kansas Statehood" featuring Ethel Meserve  "Belated Blues" and Giants Chair "Lost Dauphin." A few teams were probably scared to draft DeMarcus because they feared his work ethic might cause him to spend a lot of time sitting at the end of the bench in a giant chair. Eating M&Ms on TV at the McDonalds All America Game didn't help his case. And just as Ethel Meserve's one of the most underappreciated bands of this era, DeMarcus Cousins has lately been one of the most underappreciated rookies in the league.
  • Landry Fields / Post Marked Stamps #1 "Brooklyn Bridge" featuring Ida "Post Prom Disorder" and the Deadwood Divine "And Where Did I Leave Off." I award the prettiest Post Marked Stamps record to the prettiest member of the rookie squad. Landry's also the NBA player most likely to attend an Ida show at some children's museum... or at least to run into Daniel Littleton in a bookstore while he's getting his read on with teammate Andy Rautins. Rautins might even ask for a Hated tape.
  • Gary Neal / Post Marked Stamps #5 "Project Mercury" featuring Haleah "Fallen Away" and Aspera ad Astra "Black in the Eye." Both of these songs are very efficient at doing what they do: making you bob your head and maybe even dance around in your seat on the bus when they shuffle onto your iPod. Likewise, Gary Neal's steady and efficient play has the Spurs and their fans upbeat about their prospects for another title.
  • John Wall / Post Marked Stamps #9 "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" featuring Hal al Shedad "Solitaire" and Rainer Maria "Pincushion." I award my favorite record in the series to my favorite rookie in the league. Like Wall, Hal al Shedad's jam is driving, intricate, and multilayered with an excitement throughout that does not disappoint in crunch time (viz., the end of the song). And I once saw the drummer from Rainer Maria do the John Wall dance, right after he wiped all the germs off a public telephone he used outside the Orpheum in Tampa.
  • DeJuan Blair / Post Marked Stamps #8 "Professional Baseball" featuring Sweep the Leg Johnny "Walking Home on the Emergency Bed" and A Minor Forest "Inter Continental Stalker." These are the toughest and most disjointed songs in the whole series. They shouldn't work, but they do... just like Blair's legs. 
  • Steph Curry / Post Marked Stamps #6 "Seattle State Fair" featuring Jen Wood "Sheltering Arms for the Birds" and Tim Kinsella "A Picture Postcard." Both of these songs were mixtape favorites for emo kids otherwise unable to serenade sweetly the objects of their affection. Curry's got a few of his own totally sweet mixtapes on youtube.
  • Brandon Jennings / Post Marked Stamps #2 "Maine Statehood" featuring Cerberus Shoal "A Lighthouse in Athens Part One" and Still Life "Looks Like Tomorrow." Half of this record's very disappointing: the Still Life side. Similarly, Jennings lost half the season due to injury.
  • DeMar Derozan / Charles Bronson/Ice Nine split 7". Charles Bronson was an exciting fastcore band that never really lived up to its potential and produced a lot of really unlistenable material -- just try making it all the way through their discography CD. Derozan's an occasionally exciting player who takes a lot of bad shots. I guess that makes Ice Nine Sonny Weems: the B-side that totally overshadows the A-side.
  • Serge Ibaka / Post Marked Stamps #7 featuring Very Secretary "Nagarkot" and Compound Red "Building." I know I've been exposed to all three of these before, but I can never remember anything about them. 
I dare you to top this, Bethlehem Shoals!

In Brief: The Horror of Cairo, and the Business of Sports Journalism

Whether we would like to admit it or not, Al Jazeera has bested our feeble, profit-minded news networks with their coverage of the revolt in Egypt. When I turned on the TV to see what angle CNN was covering the breaking story with, they were discussing the continuing domestic squabbling in Washington. A host on Fox News was conquering the topic of “anchor babies” with a Republican legislator. It was ghastly.

Online, Al Jazeera English was live from a high-rise, where some intrepid journalist was hiding his crew’s camera while the post-curfew riots began to swell beneath him. Tanks and armored trucks poured out onto the streets below.

The video was terrifying, but necessary to understand the reality of the situation. John King talking about the ramifications of this revolution with State Department officials is just a little bit harder for a journalist than making a bowl of cereal. It is nothing more than the beast feeding the beast. The American news coverage speaks to how deeply flawed the quintessentially American field of sports journalism has become, and the harder I think about it, the worse off we already are.

Every Sunday for the rest of the season, ESPN is going to show a couple basketball games on national television. Unfortunately, as blackout rules operate today, the television-viewing public has no other alternative than to watch Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, et al barely discuss a game while talking about sneakers, charitable donations, and Disney products. If it were up to ESPN, a game would be all dunks and lob passes leading to dunks. Everybody knows this: their business has nothing to do with the sports they feign covering. Regardless, this is the leading voice in sports journalism and the people who move our discussions.

For a couple nights previous to this, metropolitan Boston had the pleasure of listening to Bill Walton covering two games of a Celtics road trip, against Portland and Phoenix. This return to broadcasting for Walton has been much lauded in the blogosphere, but more for Walton’s proclivity for exaggeration than his educated, nuanced approach to color commentary. Through Walton’s lips, I actually heard the defense being described, by a source other than NBA Playbook. It was visionary. There was more than that, but I'd like to keep this brief.

This is shit that we have known for a long time, the utter ineptitude of ESPN as an informational foundation for sports. But where cable news networks have each other for competition, and at least sort of a history within the field of “journalism” to attempt to seem Real, within the world of sports journalism there is no equivalent. Despite how many bloggers ESPN buys into their “Truehoop” network (like NBA Playbook), their continued demeaning of what we could be doing as a field is evident every day.

Besides entertainment, what do we get out of Pardon the Interruption or Sportsnation? If we can start an alternative that is not reliant on the same paradigm of access and privilege, our discourse could be much stronger, more in tune with the politics we have, and more relevant to how hard these people beat themselves to entertain us. We just have to figure out where to start.