Yeah, But Can He Do Impressions?

Ever wonder how or better yet, who- makes all those crazy detailed collectors' toys (like MacFarlane's action figures, or MArvel and DC character statues)? Well, wonder no more. Meet Ray Villafane, who does it for a living. And before Halloween, the guy tricks out a few pumpkins for sport (like the one below).


Brodeur Hearts Avery

So, you think ol' Marty has forgotten last year's playoffs?


Not Many People Are Like "Bucci"

I love John Buccigross from ESPN. I like him for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is he is, thus far, not over-exposed as a studio or anchor guy (take note: Stuart, Chris, Scott, et al); He sticks to what he loves, not just what he knows- i.e., his words are either: a) passionate b) insightful or c) both. Too often these sports "experts" are going through the motions. "Bucci" does not.

So what does he know (and love)? He knows (and loves) hockey. Outside of the NHL broadcasts (NHL network, Vs., and NBC), there are few guys in the analysts ranks that are "hockey guys". Bucci is one. Not just because he knows the game, but because he loves the game. He's a fan first, before he is a commentator.

I bring this up because he wrote the following and it's totally, unequivocally, a hockey guy observation that is one of those, "you need to be one (a hockey guy) to get it" moments:

"Fighting also achieves one very important thing for the NHL: It makes the sport stand out in a media world of white noise. No other sport allows bare-knuckle fighting, and no other team sport allows fighting with such a small penalty as a five-minute timeout in a small box complete with towels, ice and beverages. There is even a guy in the penalty box who appears as if he could give you excellent tax advice or 401(k) reassurance."

People that don't "get" hockey won't appreciate that paragraph as much as those that do- especially those that have played the game. That's why I love Bucci. He's a total insider that can pull off being just another fan better than anybody. As long as you get the joke. I'm glad I do.


Way to Go Mr. Probst

What a statement about business versus pop culture versus world events this USOC Chairman selection is.


A FAN-tastic idea

I have soured a bit on Bill Simmons ramblings- er... writings as of late. But this segment in his latest ESPN the Magazine piece is worth of attention. The best sports marketing idea I have heard in some time.

"New Rule: Playground rules for the NBA All-Star Game. Ever since the idea of having captains pick sides started to circulate, in February, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Let's say Stern names Kobe and LeBron as captains. Right before the game we have a coin flip, and the winner gets first pick. The All-Stars line up, and Kobe and LeBron pick their teams playground-style. Imagine the drama. Who'd get picked first? Would a snubbed player end up wreaking havoc in the game? Would bad blood carry over to the rest of the season? God forbid something fun happened on All-Star Weekend."

How cool would that be? Even better would be letting 2 fans be the captains, decided by a raffle-style, free contest on NBA.com and by ballot at NBA games. What NBA fan- neigh- what sports fan would NOT enter this? It would be like the ultimate fantasy league, Xbox NBA Live, fantasy camp, half-court contest at intermission, draft/lottery pick show, All-Star voting hybrid. A sure-fire, guaranteed ploy to lure at least 5% more of the total U.S. population to tune in to at least the opening of the game to see the results.

To paraphrase Simmons- this needs to happen.