Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vintage NBA Trash Talk

Yours truly blogs here at Drive and Dish under the somewhat ignoble moniker "Trash Talk Superstar." The moniker came about in part because my original/official moniker, "Have Jump Shot Will Travel" -- which is a fairly accurate description of me -- is too long and isn't sufficiently catchy (blame the "suits" in the Drive and Dish marketing department with their graphs and flow charts).

But the moniker was appropriate in the early days of this blog. My then-blog partner, Mark Buckets, wrote fairly straightforward posts from the standpoint of the hardcore college basketball fan, and I contributed with a combination of straight basketball analysis and highly pointed (maybe even contentious and swaggering) commentary. I was, therefore, a pretty good trash talker. And people took notice ... often by calling me a douche bag or an asshat in the comments sections (which, by the way, I welcomed wholeheartedly -- being controversial certainly didn't prevent this blog from attracting eyeballs).

But some time after crossing over the threshold of the "Big 3-0," I started to mature, or at least tire of, the snarky, sarcastic, flame-throwing writing style that proliferates on sports blogs. So I started writing in more professional, almost newspaper-style prose. And I stopped talking trash.

Yet fret not, loyal Drive and Dish readers: although I'm older and my sensibilities are (arguably) more mature than they were in the early days of this blog, I can still enjoy the occasional exchange of verbal jabs. What's more, my trash talking skills are as sharp as ever -- I just refrain from utilizing them on this blog. Furthermore, I remain one of the foremost authorities on the art of trash talking on the North American continent. As such, it's my view that while there's a lot of decent trash talk out there today, the best trash talkers who ever lived roamed the NBA hardwood from the the mid 1980's to the early/mid 90's. That was the golden era of trash talking in the NBA, if you will. The following old school video, titled "NBA Freedom of Speech," offers an excellent snapshot of the legendary trash talk that flourished in the league during that time period (bonus: Dick Versace makes an appearance in the video, and Vinny Del Negro plays the "I'm Italian: I got family 'connections', if you know what I mean" card):


It appears that Youtube has removed the video. Too bad. It was reel to reel of vintage 80's and early 90's NBA footage. It really doesn't get much better than that. Oh well, it was great while it lasted.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Scouting Santa

Drive and Dish has a Christmas Eve tradition of posting detailed scouting reports on Santa Claus. This year, our advance scouting team has been either crunched for time or under the weather and, as a result, hasn't had the occasion to write up a current scouting report on the jolly old elf. So we'll have to refer all who are looking for the inside scoop on Santa to last year's scouting report.

But for those looking for a history of St. Nicholas, our 2008 scouting report contained several links to historical information on St. Nick (our 2007 scouting report took license with the history of St. Nicholas and developed a narrative that followed the man through his transformation from church father, saint and Bishop of Myra to "man-myth-legend" of European and American St. Nick/Father Christmas//Sinterklaas traditions. Finally, a new book documents the historical St. Nicholas through his transformation from Bishop of Myra to Santa Claus.