Monthly Archives: April 2012

NBA Playoff Preview Part 2: who’s sleeping around and who’s using their hand?

For Part 1 of our preview, CLICK HERE

Tier 3: *IT’S COMPLICATED*

These teams could win the NBA title. But they’d need a pretty big break to go their way. Maybe an injury to an opposition player, a bench clearing brawl which decimates the opponent, or a few friendly whistles from the officials. Ironically, two of these teams happen to be playing each other in round 1.

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The 2012 NBA Playoffs: who will find true love and who will be forever alone?

The past year has been pretty good to me. My Mavericks finally broke through and won a ring for our beloved German, and in the most memorable and satisfying way imaginable. My Patriots made it all the way to the Superbowl, and although the game ended in heartbreak for me, it was great to see Tommy boy on the big stage once more. Hell even Arsenal won a trophy (fuck). On top of all that, I got into law school, I started this blog, and the immortal Andrew Mulligan follows me on twitter (along with 1600 others but still). But there is still one thing that still eludes me – the love of a good woman. 60% of the writers here at Double Technicals are in loving long terms relationships, and as a passive aggressive way to show how jealous I am of them, I have ranked the playoff teams in tiers, according to how steady a relationship they have with the Larry O’Brien trophy.  I know it sounds a little convoluted but I promise it’ll make sense as you read on. Being full time students, none of us could do the preview by ourselves, so we decided to split the preview up between three of us. To do this we did a “fantasy draft” of teams we would write about, and went in turns to pick the teams in order of most likely to winning the title this year.

Here we go.

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Jack White’s Solo Album, Blunderbuss: reviewed by a White Guy

Released last week by Sony, I finally got round to picking up a copy and having a good listen today (assignments and bullshit).

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Well done Mr White [applauds]. This is White’s first solo album release on his independent recording production Third Man Records (shared with his other bands such as the Dead Weather and various other independent prodigies), and according to these guys, the album almost didn’t happen. The story goes that a bunch of songs were pulled together and then recorded for the sake of recording them, and suddenly a fully fledged LP was on the books. A bit of the magic Jack White touch and refinement and this monster was unleashed.

The album defies what I thought might have happened, with songs being pulled from all over I worried it might feel disjointed and more like a strange Greatest Hits collection rather than an album. But it’s well-rounded, nicely mixed and … just damn brilliant. White sticks mostly to lead guitar or piano on the recordings, although on I Guess I should go to Sleep, in true Third man fashion, he also slaps about on his guitar case for percussion.

Most of the material on here shifts between blues based folk and country rhythms and powerful blues-rock. White’s lyrical skills continue to astound me on every new piece of material, whether he’s telling a story or just reciting ironically simplistic sentiments, it’s all good. The album is interesting in this sense because you can hear influences from his White Stripes days, as well as his more recent bands, like The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. All are excellent bands and the album really shows his maturity as an artist. I guess you could say the maturity was really always there but this is a great artifact in testament to that maturity.

There were a few pre-release singles, including the strangely downbeat yet infectious Love Interruption, and the Stripes-esque hard rock piece, Sixteen Saltines. These really added to my anticipation of the album and I can confidently say my expectations were not let down.

[Also if you end buying a copy of the CD, have a look at the strangely funny illustrations done with the Sony symbol on the booklet. Very cleverly done.]

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Mocking the mocks: the futility of mock drafts

via ESPN Page 2

For the last few months, I click to open NFL.com and the other NFL-news websites, but there is nothing to read. For the last month at least, “mock drafts” have dominated NFL coverage. “Big Board Mock”, “Consensus Mock Draft”, “Final Mock Draft”, “Seven Round Mock”, “Superduperawesomecrazyoneofakind Mock Draft”. But here’s the truth: Mock drafts are stupid. They are pointless, inaccurate, and should not be taken seriously. But many do, despite the fact that the word ‘mock’ is half of the name.

Yes, there are NFL experts out there that scout and study the players, and write up mock drafts accordingly. They analyse the team needs, the team position financially and draft-wise, the current age of their players on the roster, etcetera. I do not doubt their expertise and their knowledge in the field, but as good of a job that the experts might do with regard to all of that, they simply do not know what any specific franchise is planning. Sure, that team needs an offensive lineman, their offensive line is getting old, they are in perfect place to take so-and-so offensive lineman with their current draft position and it fits.

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Back to back: handing out some awards for the 2012 NBL Champions

They say as hard as it is to win a championship, it’s even harder to win it again the next year. You lose guys to other teams, unable to afford their now exorbitant salaries. Guys live it up a little too much in the offseason. Guys who sacrificed for the goal of winning it all begin to feel they should be getting a little more props, more shots, more money, more minutes, more everything. And then every single night when you take the court, you have a bullseye on your back. You are the Champs, and everyone wants to take the scalp of the biggest boys on the block.

Last night, the Breakers overcame all of that and repeated as WORLD CHAMPS (of Australia-New Zealand). Congrats boys. Y’all deserve some props. So I present to you THE OFFICIAL* NBL GRAND FINAL AWARDS CEREMONY.

*Not actually official

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And In Today’s Edition Of “This Is Why The Terrorists Hate Us”: Why I Love My iPod Classic

Technology is by definition constantly changing, updating and outmoding itself. However every few generations, certain items become instantly and lastingly iconic. The Model T Ford, McDonald’s “Big Mac”, the pen, and for our generation, the iPod is one such creation. However when you say iPod to people, chances are they aren’t picturing a sleek new 5th gen touch.

The iPod Classic is, for the following reasons (apart from obvious functionality and battery life claims) the most superior personal listening device of all time (of all time!)

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In defense of Allen Iverson: a fan’s testimonial

More than 30 tattoos, tightly woven cornrows, oversized clothing, recorded a rap album so explicit it was never released. No, Double Technicals has not turned into a rap forum. The above description is actually a portrayal of, in my opinion, the most misunderstood player, and my favorite player of all time – Allen Ezail Iverson. The most iconic figure to ever dribble a basketball, and if you laugh in disagreement, fuck you and stop reading because this article won’t be for you. Screw MJ’s shrug against Portland, give me that swagger step over Tyronne Lue. Once on top of the basketball world in 2001 and considered the best player in the game, somehow, my hero has morphed into a thug who is undeserving of a job. Call me a sensitive bitch, but this infuriates me. Let me provide you with some quick facts and imagine you do not know which player I’m referring to:

  • 24368 points
  • 26.7 ppg career average (6th all time)
  • 29.7 ppg playoff average (2nd all time)
  • 2001 MVP
  • 11 time all star (All Star MVP in 2001 and 2005)
  • 4 time NBA scoring leader
  • 3 time All NBA first team
  • Led his team to the NBA finals with a starting lineup that included Aaron McKie, Jumaine Jones, Tyrone Hill and Dikembe Mutombo. (Not exactly a stat, but if there was ever a “most unbelievable accomplishment” stat, this would be it)

“If your kid goes out and blows somebody’s head off because Allen Iverson has said he was going to blow somebody’s head off on wax, then you’re doing a bad job as a parent.” – Iverson told “The Philadelphia Inquirer” when talking about the song “40 Bars” on his upcoming rap album.

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NBL Grand Final Game 2: Living And Dying By Hero Ball

"Sweet 'mo, bro"

People watch sports for a variety of reasons. Some watch if for the pure aesthetics of the game: the joy one gets from watching Andres Iniesta execute a perfectly weighted chip pass into the box; the raw aggression of Blake Griffin taking on a 7 foot tall center 10 feet up in the air and then slamming the ball all over his face; or a tight spiral from Tom Brady to a streaking Randy Moss 40 yards downfield.

Others watch it for the sense of community one gets in being a supporter of a team. Those nights spent mingling with fellow fans at a pub before the match and bellowing “YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE” after a victory.

But similarly thrilling to me is watching an athlete at the absolute peak of his abilities. When they come through so often that you EXPECT them to come through every time, and then they continue to deliver above and beyond what anyone expected.

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Jackie Robinson: Sixty-Five Years On

To commemorate the sixty-fifth anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American to play major league baseball in the modern era, players in all of last Monday’s games donned Jackie’s famous number 42.

This fitting tribute was in recognition of a watershed moment not just for baseball but for American society as a whole. Robinson’s breaking of the colour barrier not only helped usher the game towards the modern, diversified form we know now, it much more importantly served as an inspiration for the Civil Rights Movement that was to come and paved the way for black athletes to succeed at the highest degree.

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God, America’s Team, and the Dallas Cowboys’ 2012 NFL Regular Season Schedule

Currently the best thing about the Dallas Cowboys…

Last week I had a conversation with a friend at the cinema, while waiting for our movie to start. We were discussing religion, all aspects of it. We discussed belief, faith, morality, organized religion, Islam, Christianity, the whole lot. About ten minutes into the conversation, I learned that my friend was an Atheist. I was troubled, not because he was an Atheist, but because of his incredibly strong conviction to believing that there was no God. So I had to ask the bone-crunching, teeth-grinding, magical question, “How is it that you are so convinced that there is no God? Why do you find it so ridiculous to believe?” As expected, I received the whole “There is no evidence, therefore I shall not believe” spiel. Before I could reply, the movie started and the conversation died.

What my friend failed to understand is that religion is not based on evidence. Religion is premised on faith. It operates outside the need to have evidence. This begs the question; what exactly, is faith? Faith is having trust or confidence in someone or something. It is the belief that something will happen, or that someone will pull through. It is based on understanding, on belief, without the need for proof and evidence.

Sports fanaticism is often compared to a rollercoaster ride. You have ups and you have downs, often in the same season, sometimes in the same game. Living a life of a Dallas Cowboys fan, I couldn’t agree more (although there have been more downs than ups lately). Year after year, season after season, high hopes and optimistic predictions are met with disappointment and shame. The Dallas Cowboys are a group of well-paid professional athletes, with some of the best training equipment and coaching that professional football has to offer. The Dallas Cowboys have the most glamorous stadium in which to play football; Cowboys Stadium. They have the largest fan base in professional American Football, and a glorious legacy of past dynasties. They are also a bunch of underachieving shits.

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