All-Star Break time means “report card,” “rankings,” or “list/review” time for sport sites, blogs, and hoity toity TV programs! Huzzah! Why are these made? Because people love easily digestible lists, reports, or grades. NB is hardly one to disappoint their loyal readers. Is it ridiculous to grade and rank a team’s performance as if it is that cut and dry? Hell yeah! But if ludicrous en devours like this stopped us, then there would be no blogosphere, sport sites, or even SportsCenter. The grade gives a black and white stamp on a certain subject and people love stamps. To the report!
Thom Tibodeau (I am starting a campaign to get people to pronounce a “th” in his first name, since none will adhere to it in the last.)
The drill instructor runs this Bulls team with little mercy: players are yanked if they blow a defensive assignment, players who play well are rewarded with insane minutes, and god help you if you are late revelry. You get Thibs in one uncompromising ice cream flavor: Glass Shards Wolverine. There are two sides to his rusty blade: joy for his beat-you-down D and pain for players of questionable health logging more minutes than there are in a game. In the end, we all love colons and Ws. Grade: Eleventy Eight
Who are the starters on this team? It was supposed to be Derrick Rose, Rip Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah. Instead, out of the starters, we have only seen Boozer start every game (as if in a bizarro NBA world). As a member of the press, it becomes a lot of work when you have to constantly check who is starting, who is in the hospital, and who will be dressed in a snazzy suit, every single game. I like fine-tuned watches, regularly scheduled programs, and whores with consistent venereal diseases. The Bulls’ starters have nothing in common with these Judas favorites. Grade: -2.56
The Bulls boast one of the deepest teams in the NBA (or any other basketball league). In nautical circles they are known as the Challenger Deep. Their depth is so arrogant that they can pull a D-Leaguer into the NBA, give him significant and productive minutes, throw him back to the D-League hopper, wash and repeat. They don’t care. Your team is looking for competent bench player – the Bulls boast a victory cigar mascot and a defenseless teen heart throb (Scalabrine & Korver, respectively). Sure, they have my most hated player on the team (hint: he can only shoot and does not play D), along with my second and third (hint: the same asshole), but Unit: DJ TrainWreck (or the more popular moniker: Bench Mob) keep surprising you and can kill like a ninja walking with a panther wearing a Kangol. Grade: Mama Said Knock You Out!
Carlos Boozer’s Yells
Yes, Roger Daltrey has uttered, “Who the f@*% are you!” and Eddie Vedder hooted, “F@*% you, this is not for you!” over the air waves many ‘o times, but they have nothing on The Beard’s constant barrage of cussing and howls on live television. From the basic, “Shit!” aka: I totally missed an assignment, to, “Dunk his ass!” aka: a teammate should throw it down (whether or not if there is a “his” present), these yells are often the most delectable contribution from the soft power forward (note: usually an oxymoron – not the case with Booz). It single-handedly keeps him as my 6.5 favorite Bull (I think Rip will rank ahead of him eventually, thus the .5). Grade: Goddamn!
Yeah, there is only one player who gets his own category. He is the most interesting character on the Bulls. Ergo, he is my favorite player and gets his own subheading. (If you do not like it: Daltrey/Vedder you, I’m rollin’ with the New Jack crew. And I’m a blogger. B-L-O-G-G-E-R, blogger.) Plus, the Goat (notice: the lower case and not GOAT) went from starting the season sitting in fourth quarters, to pulling down his first triple-double of his career Wednesday night. He was like watching Braveheart when I saw it a bunch in the $1.50 theater during my high-school years: you had to deal with all that boring shit in the beginning in order to get to the awesome parts, where Noah dons blue face paint and slays enemies with guttural battle cries. It makes his grade difficult to assign (unlike the previous four categories), as he started shitastic and has since turned it up to nine (two down from 11). Grade: Reverse Fight Club.
I love the first half of this movie, but the second half is a hot mess (note: I do not know what “hot mess” means, but it seems appropriate here.). They had some great satire/dark humor going, then they tried to round it out into a movie and utterly failed. Grade: This has nothing to do with the Bulls.
The United Center Crowd
Lordy, do I have problems-galore with this here subject. This crowd (and us fans in general) are so damned spoiled. The Bulls completely handled the Bucks on Wednesday night and, at least on the television set, it hardly sounded like the crowd got up for it at all. Yes, the Bucks are sub .500, but this is a division rival and a decent team in the woeful Eastern Conference. All that set aside, what irks me even more is what this crowd does get up for. From my wholly unscientific research, the biggest cheers are elicited from: 3. Kyle Korver 2. Derrick Rose 1B. 100-Point Big Macs 1A. SCAL-A-BRINE! Some of this has to do with the way the UC is built, as the lower bowl (largely tourist fans) gets the most microphone play, while the upper deck’s cheers (the more faithful) gets lost in the endless rafters. Still, shame on you, fans! Get up (or down) for the everyday goodness: Taj with a throw-back slam, Booz with a rainbow 15-footer, Deng taking one out of the passing lane and hitting an open Brewer cutting up court – these are the Picasso’s of the game, while Scal and the Big Mac are the Peter Max fodder. Grade: Doom Generation
No Bulljive Reviews
We are not immune to criticism. The reviews/articles on NB have been mixed. There have been some slam-dunks, some Booz-D, some bland Deng 16-7-4 games. I seem to follow Booz the most, as I feel my best reviews are in lesser games and I fall short in the bigger contests. (I feel for ya, Booz.) I will try my best in the future, and try to win us a championship. Grade: Flying Cars – THE FUTURE!!!
No Bulljive Banners
The highlight of this blog (at least for me) has always been typing in “nobulljive.com” and seeing remarkable – if not head-scratching – banners, and DJ HatesYou has delivered again, with bells on! Last year was the raw-but enticing edition of DJ HatesYou banners. This year has progressed from Pretty Hate Machine to Downward Spiral. When even I do not know what is going on in some of these, all is right in the world. Grade: 97% (only due to 100% possibly making him grow complacent).
I am dissatisfied with my array of drinks this half season. My lack of selection has been largely due to a huge whiskey (mostly bourbon) kick. I will try to diversify, my loyal readers. As it is, my faves are as follows: Cocktail – Rolf Bird Dog: a surprisingly refreshing drink that would be perfect for a relaxing spring day (thanks, GoodluckJanine!). Straight (wonderful) Booze – (tie) Jefferson Reserve Bourbon & Redemption Rye: both of these whiskeys are without peer in their mix of Rico-Suave smoothness and flavor. I’d knockout my grandma with an empty bottle of Jefferson/Redemption to get another. (note: Why does Grace have my next bottle of Jefferson/Redemption?) Grade: Duke Ellington (you are not going to get much of a variety, but it is always high class)
And there it is, my reportlistgradethingcard for the mid season (note: the Bulls have played more than half of the season). I will end with what I believe is an apt judgement of this post, two Reagans:
Suck an egg!