Thursday, December 3, 2009

Intoducing my Podcast


Check out Average Joe's Sports Podcast:


I loved watching BYU win in dramatic fashion (although I would love at least one Cougar blowout victory over the rival)

Also, Max Hall's did a good job of changing his image of a QB who couldn't win the close game to the "classless Cougar". Way to go, Max! You said what most Cougars think, but the irony is you made yourself look as classless as they come.

And Bronco, have the stones to try and win before overtime.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dear Peter King,

Dear Peter King:

Today on Twitter, you announced that one of your Tweeps would have the privilege to write 500 words in your upcoming column. Here is a sample of the story you would get:

One Sunday evening at the impressionable age of 9, I stumbled across a football game. I watched in awe as a guy named Joe Montana threw the ball to someone named John Taylor and everyone celebrated as a team called the 49ers (apparently named after the California Gold Rush of 1849) won something called the Super Bowl.

I was hooked! This Joe Cool became a poster on my wall from that moment until I graduated high school from a rural town called Benton City, WA (pop. 2,000). I became fixated with sports, sneakily watching games on my tiny black-and-white television as my mom didn't like catching me watching football on Sundays in our religious household.

While enrolled at Brigham Young University, Super Bowl winning coach Brian Billick came to talk to the communications department he had graduated from twenty years earlier before becoming a national icon. He spoke of his roots and how he became who he was.

That moment, I learned that I had a shot at becoming an intern with the NFL to fulfill a lifelong dream of working in professional sports. I changed my major to public relations and left my cushy college job to spent the next two years using my Friday nights writing articles on women's soccer with hope of building a resume worthy of the Baltimore Ravens.

Two years later, the moment for applying came to pass as I sent my resume into the Ravens. I waited anxiously. Eventually, the Ravens called for an interview. I was sure that they could feel my nervous excitement pushing through the cell phone. Weeks later, they called. I was headed to training camp 2003 in Owings Mills, Maryland.

I remember the first time Brian Billick called for my boss, Kevin Byrne. Coach Billick was boarding a plane and wanted to chat before takeoff. I was nervous, and I couldn't find Mr. Byrne anywhere. I ran all over the building with no luck. Minutes later, I saw Kevin at his desk and informed him that Coach Billick had called, and he frowned at me and told me he was in the men's room and the next time to go find him in the bathroom because he couldn't return the call until coach landed. I learned that in the NFL, everything is important.

I remember answering the phone and Joe Browne, one of the league's senior officials was asking me if Kevin was there, and I said "Yeah". He told me that I should answer questions by saying "Yes" and not "Yeah". I learned that in the NFL, old school manners are important.

I remember defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's wife would bring in cookies every Tuesday to all the staff who worked long hours and rarely saw their families during the season. I learned that in the NFL, family is important.

I remember going in the locker room after practice one evening and seeing Pro Bowl LB Adalius Thomas playing chess with a young boy as part of his community service. I learned in the NFL, service is important.

I remember Jamal Lewis breaking the then-NFL single rushing game record with 295 yards against the Browns and tossing his final touchdown into the stands. Later that week, the fan that caught the football came to the facility, met Jamal, and had the football signed! In the NFL, players aren't too important.

I remember undrafted DT Kelly Gregg getting a five-year lucrative contract extension, the first guaranteed money of his career. I asked him if he would finally replace his used Pontiac Grand Prix he drove to practice every day. He said, "Nah, it still runs fine". In the NFL, money isn't always important.

Finally, I learned that even after my nine-month ride as a PR intern was over, I still mattered. Three years later, I returned to watch a game as the late-Steve McNair defeated the pre-prison Michael Vick in a November game in 2006 as the Ravens finished the season 13-3. I was able to visit the locker room after the game (as if I still I still worked for the team and say hi to Todd Heap, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs) and as I was leaving Kevin Byrne, my former boss and forever friend) said "We won, feel free to come back anytime. You're good luck"

In the NFL, every fan is important.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Zombie Movie Trailer

Check out my roommates new Zombie movie trailer: Halloweeen 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Softball Runner-Ups

Earlier in the year, our softball team "Jim's Orphans" went from last-to-first to win our summer softball league.

For the Fall League, we came in 2nd place. The trophy was almost better than our first place trophy (except for the lettering), and the fact we didn't receive t-shirts this time.

But hey, we went from being the worst team in the league for the past three seasons to finished first and second this year with a combined record of 18-3. Yes, I will take that.

Until next spring


Monday, October 12, 2009

Pearl Jam: They Still Got It!

Let me take you back...

Freshman year in high school in 1993, I was a 14-year old in
Kennewick, WA just 200 miles away from the center of all music at the
time: the Seattle grunge scene. Nirvana was changing everything on
MTV. Pearl Jam's "Ten" was kicking trash all over. In fact, people
were anxiously awaiting their sophomore album "Vs." more than
Nirvana's album "In Utero."

"Vs." was very well received by the critics, but since it was
following up arguably the greatest rock album of my lifetime, the fans
were expecting so much more. Plus, Pearl Jam decided to stop making
music videos. Basically, Pearl Jam decided to do their own thing and
go against the social norm and Ticketmaster very early on in their
career. They started hanging out with Neil Young, and he pretty much
ruined them in the prime of their rock careers.

Granted, going with the entire mantra of rock n roll, they fought "the
man" and did what they wanted to do: perform awesome live concerts.
They have become a band for the fans, and alienated all the
fair-weather fans (like myself).

They became this generation's Led Zeppelin and will go down as one of
the greatest quintessential rock bands of our time, but with all the
secrecy and doing things their own way, they pretty much lost me by
the wayside.

I respect Pearl Jam as being the best of my time -- with "Ten" being
the best rock album I can think of, but unfortunately I didn't become
one of their hardcore fans that did whatever they could to follow them
through their own methods of communication with the fans.

Eddie, you still rock....HARD. To rock arenas the way you always wanted
to in your 40s is quite the success story. May rock and everything it
stands for still live on through you and your bandmates. Your vocals
were incredible last night!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My First Home Runs!

Let me start this out by saying: I am a terrible baseball/softball player. I never played little league as a child (not even tee-ball). When I was in 7th grade, I decided to try out for the baseball team. I was the first one cut.

When I was a junior in high school, I didn't have a spring sport to play so I asked the baseball coach if I should play. He asked if I had ever played before. I said "no". He said it wasn't a good thing to try and play this late in the game. I took up tennis. The baseball team won the state championship.

Our friend Jim is an all-star softball player. He let us play on his team a while back. I started out at 2nd base, but eventually moved to pitcher. I liked pitcher because all I had to do was throw the ball straight (like skee ball at Chuck E .Cheese). I didn't have to do any special defensive fielding, so I liked it.

After one season, Jim abandoned us to play with real players (and I can't say I don't blame him). The rest of us castoffs formed our own team called "Jim's Orphans" and we would lose about 80% of our games for the next three seasons.

For three years, I was lucky to hit the ball out of the infield and get a single. I had never even hit a double until this spring. I actually got two triples in the summer league. Well the other night, I hit a good shot right to center field. The guy misplayed the ball and I was booking it around and the third base coach waived me in. I beat the tag by a nano second and had my first "inside the park" home run! FINALLY!

Well, two at-bats later, I walked up to the plate and the pitch looked a little inside. I swung anyway (because the poor pitcher had walked like 5 people already). I knew I hit it good because I was booking it around 1st base. I look up and the ball went over the fence. I couldn't believe it.

I would have told you that I would have dunked a basketball before I ever hit a softball over the fence. The swing felt normal, I just got a piece of it. What a glorious feeling. Not one, but two home runs in the same game!

It's about time, it only took me 30 years :)


Saturday, September 26, 2009

BYU vs. Colorado State

Well, I came across a free ticket today for the BYU vs. Colorado State game in Provo. I decided that my fanhood was a stake. I'll let you know....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BYU: The Fallout

Well, another BCS pipedream already up in smoke. I had aspirations of a possible appearance in the National Championship game, but now - after the beating we took from Florida State in Provo on Saturday - we'll be lucky to get to another Vegas Bowl. At this point, I almost want TCU to beat us so they can run the table and represent the Mountain West Conference in a BCS bowl.

The Oklahoma victory got me so pumped up! That was the game I expected to lose, not Florida State. If we can beat the No. 3 team in the country in front of 80,000 mostly hostile fans, why on earth can an unranked Florida State score 54 points on us in front of 66,000 home fans?

Oh well, at least I won't have to spend my next 10 Saturdays devoted to BYU football. I wanted BCS and I wanted it on the 25th anniversary of BYU's biggest claim to fame - the 1984 National Championship. Now, we are shooting for the Mountain West "Chump-ionship"

Alas, BYU's out. USC is out. I have no idea to root for in college anymore.

The good news is, the Ravens offense is the best its ever appeared. The defense could use a little help, but I would like a deep post-season run by the Ravens very much. Coach Harbaugh and Cam Cameron have that team poised to win, and win big.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BYU vs. Tulane Recap

It was exciting to watch BYU destroy Tulane 54-3 on ESPN2 on Saturday. These first two weeks are more than I could ever ask for after last seasons "disappointing" 10-3 season. Beating Oklahoma on national television was awesome.

I ended up going to the SoCal Film Festival over the weekend with my new girlfriend, Camille. On the way, we stopped in Las Vegas and I was looking at NFL games to bet on for Sunday, but came away not putting any money on anything. The NFL is way too unpredictable in Week 1 to feel safe about any of the lines.

I'm glad my Baltimore Ravens won their season opener at home against the lowly Chiefs. It makes me nervous that we let them hang around until the final five minutes, but again in Week 1, you just don't know.

I am looking forward to the Florida State vs. BYU game on Saturday. I would like a thorough beatdown of the Seminoles on VS. I need to get rid of Direct TV because they are not showing the game and I am angry at the $90 a month we spend on them.

Oh, and my fantasy team destroyed on Sunday (thanks Adrian Peterson!)

"Dunkball" was well received by the 100 people in attendance at the Huntington Beach library. My fingers are crossed that we get accepted into the Nevada Film Festival and Slamdance.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dunkball Trailer

I know, it's backwards that we made a 90-second trailer for a 5-minute movie three months after the movie came out. But with our movie being an official selection of the SoCal Film Fest only five days away, here you go:



And of course, here is the movie after the trailer got you ninja pumped so hard you slapped your friend across the jaw! (hope it's not too much of a let down)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

NFL 2009 Sleeper Picks

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Average Joe is back after a hectic summer of uncertainty and what not. I am back working for the Z bank, and I have had the time to really think about some sleepers for the upcoming NFL season.

Once again, all the “experts” picked the same division winners as last year in all their season predictions. It drives me crazy that nobody has the guts to take a chance on their picks. In the NFL, there are 32 teams and only 12 make the playoffs. Of those 12 playoff teams, every season an average of 6 new teams make the playoffs while 6 drop out, only about 6 return to the playoffs from the following season.

I like to think of the sleeper teams that will shock people that will make the playoffs or win the division.

Last season, my team, the Baltimore Ravens plus the Atlanta Falcons were the two sleepers from the previous year. In 2008, both teams were picked to finish last in their divisions because they had finished last in 2007. Both teams made the playoffs. It has been a pretty wild offseason, and I think I am ready to make the picks of the surprise teams for this year. Last year I picked the Lions. They became the only defeated team in NFL history at 0-16. But you know what, I took a risk, and my other sleeper prediction “the Baltimore Ravens” were one quarter away from making the Super Bowl.

Here is my sleeper picks for this season:

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs: They could easily win the West now that Herm Edwards is gone. Plus they have a real QB now, and a quality RB.

NFC: St. Louis Rams: They have a quality QB, a quality RB, and a new coach which could translate into a lot of wins in their weak division.

My fantasy football team is going to rock as well. I had the second pick in the draft and here is my lineup.

QB Carson Palmer

QB Matt Schaub

WR Randy Moss

WR Greg Jennings

WR Torry Holt

WR Bernard Berrian

RB Adrian Peterson

RB Reggie Bush

RB Ray Rice

RB Jonathan Stewart

TE Jason Whitten

TE Todd Heap

K Steve Haushka (Baltimore)

Def Baltimore

I could be celebrating come January!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Go Mighty Cougars

I didn't even get a prediction up before the BYU game. It's probably a good thing, since I would have been wrong. My faith was rattled after last season, even though our expectations were a little too high.

A quick shout out to the amazing young offensive line for holding the Oklahoma defensive front in check.

A super shout out to the Cougar defense! They held the Sooners to fewer points than the Florida Gators did in the BCS title crock last year.

I would have suspected a 14-13 game after the first quarter, but for the entire game, I wouldn't have believe it. It surprised me that the Cougars won even with all the mental errors and turnovers throughout the game.

I have a feeling that Bob Stoops will lose his job after this season. Not just the Cougar loss, but all the BCS bowl games he has blown.

Also, if I were coach Mendencall, I would have taken away Mitch Payne's scholarship this past off season. He is just plain terrible.

But yes, the biggest win in Cougartown in twenty years and I couldn't be happier. I hope we stomp Tulane this weekend. The last time we played them in 2001, we put up 70 points!

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Job

Just a quick personal update:

Three days after I got laid off from Z Bank, I interviewed with a different department within Z Bank and I got the job!

So for my last post of traveling the world and being a bum and documenting the entire experience, well it's not going to happen. (it's ok though, because the other travelers that I was trying to recruit were all really too broke anyway, which is what happens when you are unemployed and have the time to kill in the first place) We hoped to get sponsors for the trip, but everything had to be planned so quickly it became very difficult to accomplish.

But I am liking my new job, a lot. I now walk to work (which is awesome), and I hope to pull a Ferris Bueller and reverse the miles off my car that my last 4 years of commuting did. I might actually have normal mileage for the year of my vehicle 4 years from now.

As for everything else, my dunkball movie will be screened at the SoCal Film Fest two weeks from tonight.

BYU football debuts on Saturday! I can't believe that the 8 months wait without football is finally over. I hope to have a prediction for BYU by then. Last year, I predicted 10-3, and I was 100% accurate (even though it hurt).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Next Movie: 30 Cities, 30 Nights, No hotels

Hooray! Today is my first official day of unemployment. I was laid off from Z bank on Friday, and I have some severance to figure out what to do with my life next.

I was told I was being laid off just after my 30th birthday, and I've been in SLC for five years now.

Jon and I had some recent success with our first movie experience "Dunkball" which has been well documented on this blog.

I have recently looked into going back to school to pursue a master's degree. I found a degree in Sports Administration from Georgia State, but failed to take the GRE in time to start this fall (terrible hind sight), but I was looking into buying a plane ticket out to Atlanta to check things out before I pack my car to spend the next 2-3 years of my life in Georgia.

Last week, Jet Blue airlines announced that you can fly unlimited from September 8 thru October 8 to anywhere they fly. I've already got trips planned to Atlanta and Los Angeles (for the SoCal Film Festival with Dunkball), and I have family in Seattle, Denver, and Phoenix that I never see, not too mention friends in New York and Baltimore. So why not?

Then a friend at work suggested that instead that I buy a pass, and try to hit 30 cities in 30 days and make an adventure full-length documentary about our travels! What a stupendous idea!

Right now, I am in the process of planning and budgeting, but with my new found time off, my severance pay, and a possible 401k cashout, I could easily fund this rendezvous. Maybe I can get a few of my movie making friends involved (four people, two cameras) and see if we can make this a reality. Here is a possible itinerary:

Sept 8: Salt Lake City
Sept 9: Denver
Sept 10: Chicago
Sept 11: New York (Patriot Day)
Sept 12: Boston
Sept 13: Baltimore (Ravens season opener vs. the Chiefs)
Sept 14: Los Angeles (SoCal Film Festival)
Sept 15: San Francisco
Sept 16: Portland
Sept 17: Seattle
Sept 18: Las Vegas
Sept 19: Phoenix
Sept 20: San Diego (Ravens at Chargers)
Sept 21: Charlotte
Sept 22: Atlanta
Sept 23: Jacksonville, FL
Sept 24: Orlando (Disney World)
Sept 25: New Orleans
Sept 26: Austin, TX
Sept 27: West Palm Beach, FL
Sept 28: Salt Lake City (Pearl Jam Concert)
Sept 29: Washington, DC (Muse concert)
Sept 30: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Oct 1: Nassau, Bahamas
Oct 2: Cancun, Mexico
Oct 3: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Oct 4: Aruba
Oct 5: San Jose, Costa Rica
Oct 6: Bogata, Columbia
Oct 7: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Oct 8: Barbados
Oct 9: Bermuda

Anyway, this is just a rough draft of a crazy itinerary. I figure, if people can watch a dude eating McDonalds for 30 days straight, then they can for sure watch 4 dudes travel the U.S. and Central America for 30 days. We would try to find historical sites, beaches, concerts, babes, sporting events, film festivals, etc.

Now, we just need to find some sponsors and make the bachelor, unemployed Amazing Race happen!

Hooray for severance!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dunkball: We're published

I'd like to give a quick shout out to Jay Drew, the Salt Lake Tribune beat writer for BYU football. Thank you for mentioning Dunkball in your blog this week. You helped double the traffic to our website, and we hope this helps spread the word about dunkball. Here is the link:
http://blogs.sltrib.com/byu/2009/08/former-byu-students-win-award-for-short.htm
Thanks, and good luck this season covering the Cougs! I hope that the football team can go undefeated to help out your career!
Joe

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dunkball: Round 2

After winning the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival at Raleigh Studios earlier in the month, Dunkball is now an official selection of the SoCal Film Festival in Huntington Beach this September!
They will post the official nomination on their website in about a week.
So, we hope that the judges (and the fans) continue to like our short! Spread the word.
Dunkball forever!
P.S. We are sad to say that the real commissioner of Dunkball, Nick Prince, has officially resigned as he heads off to the University of Illinois to pursue his PhD. Good luck, and we'll miss you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jim's Orphans: 2009 Softball Champs


Finally, a post that isn’t about dunkball!

For the past 4 years, I have been a part of a softball team. It all started when our friend Jim invited us to play softball with him. Jim is a phenomenal athlete. He’s one of those guys that plays shortstop to near perfection, and he hits a home run at almost every at bat. In fact, it shocks you if the ball doesn’t go over the fence.

Despite his talents, his team “the Wilderbeasts” didn’t live up to expectations, well… because the rest of us couldn’t play. I never played little league baseball as a child, so I never grasped the fundamentals of throwing, batting, and fielding. And it’s safe to say that several of our teammates were not up to par with our captain.

Needless to say, the next season, we were not invited back to play by our star player. If I were in his shoes, and my team stunk because my buddies sucked at softball, I would have done the exact same thing. It’s the same reason my roommate Rhett has never wanted me on any of his soccer teams in the past six years.

But all of us castoffs liked playing softball and we had a good time: win or lose. So the following season, we banded together to form our own terrible team and even chose an appropriate label: Jim’s Orphans.

The next three seasons we were absolutely atrocious. Our average record was about 2 wins and 12 losses. We constantly lost by 10 or more runs. But we never lost the competitive spirit and savored every rare victory we got, and had fun no matter what.

We were the only team to bring a boom box into our dugout and play batter music for each player at every at-bat (thanks, Jon). Our fans would come out and support us, cheering loudly even through all the losses (thanks Ashley, Febee, Jaime, Kristi, Annie, Laure, Stephanie, Anna, Bekah, and all the newcomers this season).

Last fall, we played through another brutal season of embarrassing losses, but the team never complained internally, and we actually ended the note on a victory I personally guaranteed.

This spring the entire team was coming back with only one change, we lost our friend Matt, and brought in a wildcard: Maxim. We had been looking for a new shortstop during the entire winter with no luck. A week before the season, we still had not found anyone. The Sunday before our first game, we invited Maxim, who is our centerfielder’s brother. He said he would play, but nobody had seen him play, and he admitted to not playing in nearly a decade.

Two days before our first game we learned that our star player Jim, the superstud shortstop who we named our team after, could play for us. We had already verbally committed to Maxim (who we had never seen play) which led us to a small conundrum: add the star player, or stick to our word.

Needless to say that Maxim played in all but two games (coincidentally, our only two losses) and we finished the season 12-2 (12-0 when Maxim played). He led the team in batting average, always got his glove in the dirt and played excellent defense, and last Thursday, we collected our first ever first-place trophy with championship t-shirts.

I dunno if we finally gelled after playing four years together, or if the competition got worse, or if our new bat allow us to hit it out of the infield, or because our defense really stepped up, or Maxim was just that magical of a missing piece, but we got it done, son!

Needless to say, it’s been a good trophy month. First: Dunkball, my favorite summer pastime, and now: softball, my second favorite pastime.

Go Orphans!

Oh, and we got an extra t-shirt that we will give to Jim (since his new team hasn’t gotten one….yet, jk). We still have a great relationship with him, and he even plays for us when we are short a player and we couldn’t have one the trophy if he had not hit a game-winning grand slam against the second best team three weeks ago.

This is for all of Jim’s Orphans:

1B Johnny

2B Scott

SS Maxim

3B Mark

LF Cyrus

R Abel

CF Josh

RF Ryan

C Jon

P Joe

Plus the boombox, and the FANS!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dunkball: The Recap

We had an awesome time in California last weekend. It was filled with food, folks, and fun (and even more exciting than any trip anyone has ever taken to McDonalds)

Anyway, here is a link to our trip (written by the editor of Dunkball, Mr. Jon Madsen)

There is even a clip of our acceptance speech for our award.

Joe

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dunkball: We Won!

Dunkball took first place this past weekend at the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival at Raleigh Studios for Best Micro Documentary. It was the innagural festival and they really did a great job of making us feel like a celebrity for an evening with a runway, photos, interviews, and a trophy.

More information on the amazing weekend and roadtrip to come!

Thank you for everybody involved in the movie and especially to Pat Battistini for putting on such a wonderful festival!

Joe


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dunkball: Final Cut still shot

In case you're wondering, here's the editing layout of the Dunkball movie.

Each box above the line sort of in the middle is a separate video segment. The boxes below the midline are audio segments. The dots in the boxes are adjustments within the segments.

Yeah, anyway, pretty boring right? We just wanted to point out how many little boxes we were dealing with.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dunkball: Save the Best for Last!

It looks like we will be last up on Saturday night! They are grouping our movie with 3 other shorts in the final showing of the festival.
 
http://allsports.bside.com/2009/films

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dunkball: Low Rims, High Hopes



Enjoy! And please share your comments.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dunkball: The Cast

The movie premiers tomorrow. Here is the low down on the cast and crew:

Executive Producer & Director: Joe Evans
Editor & Graphics: Jon Madsen

Featured Cast:

1. Joe Evans aka Squatch: Producer, Director, and Editor. Took over for organizing dunkball the past few years after Nick went to pursue his MBA graduate degree, not his NBA degree. Joe submitted the movie to the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival.

2. Jon Madsen aka Tiny: Master editor and graphics. Although Jon actually never dunks, and he needs to be talked into coming out to play, his MAC and mad Final Cut editing skills helped make this dream come true.

3. Brad Heitman aka Black Ninja: Brad's enthusiasm and witty remarks really helped bring the Dunkball movie vision alive. Most people were concerned about dunking or "winning the tournament" but Brad understood the future of this great sport.

4. Clint Boneck aka Bugger: Clint has been a loyal dunkballer for over a decade. His humorous demeaner was tough to catch on camera, but luckily the ladies help bring out his inner ninja.

5. Scott Steele aka Gimp: Scott missed the first year of Dunkball due to an ACL injury to his knee. Ever since his recovery, you can always count on Scott being there wreak havoc on the opposition.

6. Nick Prince aka U-Nick: Nick was the original commissioner of Dunkball and made sure that we played almost three times a week. Once his organizational skills left for the MBA, dunkball has never felt the same. We hope to get one final Dunkball tournament completed and film before his departure out of state as he persues his PhD in what else? "Organizational Behavior."

Other ballers:

Ricky Wagner (the one in the headband)
Michael Hintze (the blonde dude)
Jason Meyer (aka The Aviator)
Zack Neipp (aka the Green Goblin and the Black Ninja's nemesis)
Nathan Hartman (Indiana boy with mad skillz)
Justin "The Party" (the best camera work and serious lady killa)

Ladies:
Laura Durham
Lindsey Herman
Maria Merrill
Kristi Sorensen
Stephanie Stephan
Adriane Wilson

Original Music:
Dane Morrow

Special Thanks:
To all those that have participated in dunkball over the years (Neal, Devin, Paul, Scott, Mike N, Lex, Rich, Zo) and especially to Rhett Weller, who helped make this website possible.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dunkball: The Movie Premier

Dear Friends/Readers,

We are showing the premier of the Dunkball movie this Sunday night at my place at 9 p.m. Hope to see you there.

Contact me if you have any further questions,

Average Joe

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dunkball the movie: We are in!

Dear readers,

I wanted to inform you that the film Dunkball has been accepted into the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival! I am very excited to be a part of this! See below:

Hi Joseph -

Thanks again for taking the time to submit your film, “Dunkball”.

As a filmmaker, I understand the long hours, money, and pure passion put into your project to see the vision completed. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure in informing you that your hard work has paid off. I am honored to be screening your film in the inaugural year of the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dunkball: The Movie -- It's Done!

My movie is done. After sitting on the footage for almost three years, we have completed the movie! It has been submitted to All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, and I will be posting it to this blog and youtube very shortly!

Thanks for all your help Jon

Average Joe

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Am Getting Too Old For This...

Staying up until 4 a.m. playing Gears of War on the Xbox 360 on a weekday -- it’s so much fun, but oh too crazy. I’m pushing 30 years old and it ruins my entire week.

I could do it five years ago, but not today. Speaking of five years ago, below is a video of me made by MTV when I interned with the Baltimore Ravens. It aired on MTVu during the month of the Super Bowl that year (known as the Janet Jackson Super Bowl).



If you have any trouble viewing the video, here is the youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l99X4dacTYM

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Trying to Enjoy the End of the Jazz Season


This week, for the final playoff game that ended the Jazz season a group of about 20 of our friends were invited to cheer on the team along with former Jazz players Thurl Bailey and Pace Mannion along with local broadcaster David James during the Jazz pre-game and half-time show at Energy Solutions Arena as part of the KJZZ broadcast.

My friend, John Maxim, does a local movie critic show (inset link) that is edited by my roommate and editor-in-chief of this blog, Jon Madsen. He had the opportunity to plug his show on KJZZ if he brought a group of rowdy friends to help cheer on the Jazz during the telecast.

We arrived at the arena around 8 p.m. and enjoyed free pizza. On cue going into commercial breaks during the pre-game and half-time show, the stage director would point at us and we would yell and cheer for the team. It was pretty awesome!

Our friends Zo, Scott Hannah, and Cameron really made this fun, and quite funny! We did several choreographed cheers that were made up on the fly! We did a high-five cheer, a chest-bump cheer, and a run-out-of-the-tunnel cheer. Scott provided a few back hand-spring acrobatics and Jon provided some Heely madness.



After the cut from our madness, Thurl “the hurl” Bailey would still be laughing from our antics. I’ve always heard really positive stories about the former Jazz player as a genuine person, and he lived up to the rumors. He is a wonderful person (and a church convert) who really embraces his local celebrity status as an influence for good. After meeting him, I was impressed enough to even to buy his Christmas musical CD!

We didn’t stick around for the end of the game because it would be silly to have us there in case the Jazz lost. We decided that if they made the game interesting, we’d rush back over to scream for the post-game, in case we won. Ronnie Price and Paul Millsap almost made that possible, but in the end, the Jazz came up short. Such was the story of the season.

It was a weird, unlucky season for the Jazz with all sorts of injuries that cost them a lot of games and a low seeding in the playoffs. We could never really get things going all year as one player or another missed the playoffs.



Looking toward to next season, change should happen, but knowing the Jazz, it probably won’t. It looks like coach Jerry Sloan is planning on coming back and so is All-Star forward Carlos Boozer. AK47 is pretty much untradeable, and we need Millsap to stay; but the team can’t afford him. Here's how I see the roster shaping up for next year:

PG - Williams, Price
SG - Brewer, Korver
SF - Miles, Harpring
PF - Boozer, Kirilenko
C - Okur, Koufos

It appears Jazz will stick it out one more season with this team, then try to make more championship changes in the summer of 2010, when Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Kyle Korver and Matt Harpring become free agents. Andrei Kirilenko will be more easily tradable plus we will own the draft pick of the New York Knicks in the 2010 NBA draft which could be a top-5 pick.

The Jazz need a dominant big man, who isn’t undersized or European to team up with Deron Williams (who needs to lower his turnovers). Throw in a shooter or two, some defenders/slashers/rebounders and that team could win a title, not this soft, offensive-oriented team.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lily Allen, Ting Tings, Britney (& Jocelyn)

What a fantastic week! I will call it chick concert week 2009! In the past week, I went to see British pop stars Lily Allen and Katie from the Ting Tings, and the American equivalent in Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears. Brace yourselves, this gets wordy.

Wednesday April 8th: We went to see Lily Allen play at a local club called "In The Venue" in downtown Salt Lake City. Lily had a cute stage presence and as a fan, you have to remember that she is only 24 years old. She has a cute way of connecting with her fans and I personally could listen to her talk (and swear) in her cute little British accent for hours. It was refreshing to see a girl become a pop star with her music and without the typical pop star Jessica Simpson image. She’s like the girl next door who ends up really liking drugs. Her songs and lyrics were great and her voice sounded amazing live, but she ended her show with a cover of Britney Spears’ Womanizer, which is a weird choice for an encore finale.

Thursday April 9th: The very next night, we were at the same venue. But this time it was to watch a fun, electric pop duo called The Ting Tings. We decided to arrive early so that we could get great stage positioning. With a general admission show, we wanted to fight for the best position. We got there an hour before the doors even opened and were amongst the first twenty people in line. By the time the doors opened, we were within the first fifty people in because of all the line-cutters ahead of us.

We got right up to the front of the stage, which is quite a feat, considering that we had about 18 people in our group of friends. We watched the opening band called "Hot Tub" which looked like an even more ghetto version of Salt n’ Peppa. That’s right, the GHETTO-er version! It was three super nasty chicas who rapped with some of the craziest, dirtiest lyrics ever introduced. Luckily, they rapped so fast and hard, it was tough to make out all dirty things said.

They had this nasty, stinky guy who was just their dancer. The craziest part of their act was that they would jump into the crowd and get up on both guys and girls. My second cousin Jen was brushed upon by the stinky dancer guy-thing and she had this look of being violated on her face for the next hour. It rubbed its stink right up on her and it lingered. I felt so bad for her. I too was attacked and it was weird seeing dorky white guy get violated by nasty girl with unshaven armpits. Ughhhhhhhh.

After the grodiness was over, we waited for almost an hour for the Ting Tings to perform. I dunno if their dinner got delayed at Denny’s or what, but for only a two-piece band whose equipment was already on stage, they sure took their time. I was even a little angry by the time they took the stage, but I got over it as they pumped up the crowd with their first energy-filled piece. I wish Katie (the lead singer British blond chick) would have talked in her sexy British accent as much as Lily Allen did because, again, I could listen to her for hours!


The energy of the show was awesome, and the drummer Jules (a dude in sunglasses) was a lot of fun to watch. I was drenched in sweat from being right in the front, dancing, and fighting off the masses behind me. It’s been awhile since I had been in a crowded GA (general admission) show, but the tug and tow of the pit wasn’t half as bad as some of the rock concerts I’ve been to over the past 15 years.

video

Tuesday April 14th: The show I’ve put off for a decade finally came. Trust me, I am straight, but I love Britney. I’ve been a fan since I found out about her on my mission in Brazil ten years ago. I even buy her CDs and listen to them on a regular basis. I love it when people will look through my CD collection. They browse through Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Green Day, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Primus, Weezer and then they find the Britney page full of CDs. They just give me this look of "Whaaaaaaaaaa!?!?!?!?!?!?!?" I have nothing to hide. I like her music.

So, long story short, I never could afford a Britney concert when she came last came to Utah in 2001 as a poor college student. Plus, her fans were much younger back then and it would have been weird with all the 7-year olds there. The 2009 Britney is a much different Britney. She passed the "Not Yet A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" stage two husbands and two kids ago.

This concert was titled "Circus" after her new album and it truly was a circus! But first, let’s go pre-concert. I mulled over paying a premium for the tickets back when the Salt Lake show was announced. I was not spending $200 for anybody in person. The most I have ever spent on a concert was $45 and I was going to keep it close. But who was I kidding... It was Britney, and probably the last time you could see her in her twenties.

I finally found a deal where I could get two front-row tickets with no Ticketmaster charges for under $200. Now I needed a date. Who to take? I didn’t have anyone special on the horizon. Besides, it probably wasn’t a good idea to take someone I liked more than a friend to a Britney show only to drool on her while staring at Britney and the Pussycat Dolls. I joked with a few of my friends who happen to be girls (technically more correct than typing girlfriends) that whoever put out the most would win the ticket like an Ebay auction. I had some good offers, but I knew none of them would cash in.

But one of my friends took the joking around a little too seriously and she decided she wanted my extra ticket. While I was away at work, she came through and put up 32 pictures of Britney on the walls of my bedroom and made a cake with a picture of Britney and me (photoshopped) in the frosting. It was all very flattering, like an old school prom date, so Margie won the Britney tix sweepstakes thanks to her creativity and effort.


It decided to rain the day of Britney, but inside it was perfect. Right at 8 p.m. sharp, the Pussycat Dolls ran out on stage to put on a performance. I know very little about the group, but I was mesmerized by their looks, the lead singer’s vocals, and their stage presence. I even got Ashley (the hot blond Doll) to wave and smile at me. That, in and of itself, made the concert worth the price of admission!

Then the Circus started. Britney had her real circus performers put on a show to keep the crowd entertained in between acts. There were real jugglers, dancers, and trapeze artists! The quality of the stunts matched a real Barnum and Bailey circus act or a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

And then, the screaming started. Britney was coming on. The pandemonium rose to a peak at the curtains lifted and Britney came down from above on a swing singing her title track "Circus." The show was an absolute spectacle. A pure show!


About every two songs, she would disappear below the stage to change outfits, while the music blared little interlude songs and her stage dancers performed. They showcased many of her songs from her most recent albums “Circus” and “Blackout” and stayed away from the songs of her past. Even “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was all techno-d out to match her new style.

There were parts that were extremely provocative and something I would NOT want my 5-year old daughter watching (as we had a family of four with two young girls sitting right behind us). I wouldn’t let my own daughter see that until she was at least 17 or 18.

But the showmanship was spectacular from the costumes, props, lighting the stage in a ring of real fire and flames, up until the fireworks at the end. You definitely got your money’s worth because it was more than a concert. It was quite literally, a circus (minus the live elephants.)

One last note: As we were waiting for people to file out, I saw my favorite Jazz dancer Jocelyn who I met three weeks ago. I said hi, and that I recognized her from her blog on the official Jazz website. She pretty much had no recollection of me (as she shouldn’t) and we had the same brief conversation that we had the first time when I had the stones to say hi.

I didn’t try to ask for her phone number or anything but now that we have met twice, a third time would be destiny (in my stalker-ish mind) and I will have to attempt to get some digits.

Sorry, this may be the longest post I’ve ever written, but this past week summed up a decade of expectations of Britney. I hope now that I can finally move on in my daydreams to something a little more realistic.

Britney, thanks for memories...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jazz Playoff Preview

After our atrocious loss to the d-league Warriors at home on Saturday, I say the Jazz lock up the No. 8 seed in the playoffs and lose to the Lakers in five.

With that said, it will be a good thing for this team. The front office will not be content with keeping this same soft team together, and we will see some changes with this “young” team that we thought would be so good two years ago after our unpredicted run to the Western Conference Finals in 2007.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Churchball: The Final Year?

Another season of churchball has come and gone. Churchball is the annual event of awesomeness that brings joy to the cold and drab winter. I’ve been playing in the annual church leagues since I was 12. I may be retiring after this past season.

I remember my first experience playing churchball. My team has never been dominant, but I remember busting out for almost 20 points (at least that is how I remember it in my brain) back in the deacon leagues.

Once I turned 14, I was able to play in the highly competitive church leagues that were composed of 14-17 year olds. Each season after I would get cut from the high school team, the church leagues offered a bit of an escape from the harsh reality of how good I really wasn’t.

One of my happiest basketball memories was hitting a game-tying three pointer to send a game into overtime back when I was 16.

During my college years, churchball was transformed into intramural basketball at BYU (since churchball wasn’t offered). I remember the excitement of coming back to school after Christmas break to sign up a team to compete from January until March.

My freshman team, I put together a sweet team that actually made it to the Final Four. The irony was that the team was so good, that I eventually ended up riding the pine, even though I was the one that hand-picked the team. After that incredibly awkward experience, I made sure to pick a small enough team that I would get to play as much I wanted to, but those teams were never any good.

Fortunately after my college years, my singles stake at the University of Utah still participates in the annual rite of churchball, so once again I had something to look forward to after Christmas. We had some good teams these past five years, but we always seemed to choke like the Utah Jazz in the playoffs.

In 2009, our team was so bad! We lost every single regular season game and finished like 0-8, including two games where we lost as the opponent hit a buzzer-beater to win the game.

We entered the tournament in last place as the No. 9 seeded team. We were able to have a play-in game last week with the winner facing the No. 1 team in the stake if we won.

Needless to say, we finally won a game, and I was able to sink my first three-pointer of the season as the time expired at the end of the third period. Later that night, we faced the top-seeded team and we actually were able to have a lead after three quarters. In the final period, the better team won, but they were the worst bunch of jerks I had seen all season. They treated us with such disrespect (in their defense, they had beat us by 30 the first time we played them) and were talking trash even though they were losing most of the game.

In the end, we didn’t finish the game strong and ended up losing as they caught fire in the 4th quarter. It felt good to see my team finally play up to our potential in the final night of the season.

It’s been a good run, but with my 30th birthday approaching, I’m soon going to join the old man leagues, and that’s not going to be pretty.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Working" for the Utah Jazz

You know how you sign up for all those free drawings you see at the store, even though deep down, you know your odds of winning are almost nothing? Well, my perspective on all that changed this month after I mailed in my entry from a Zions Bank branch in Draper to “work” for the Utah Jazz for one game.

Last week, I received a phone call from Meikle, director of marketing with the Utah Jazz, informing me that I had won and would assist with the game night promotions staff for the Jazz as they played an upcoming important game against Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets on national TV!

The Utah Jazz, partnered with my employer Zions Bank, provided me with two tickets for the game, a pre-game meal, and a chance to work like a real employee of the Utah Jazz.

My guest and I arrived before the game and were treated to a delicious full course meal including Oreo cheesecake for dessert. The other winning entrants and I met Vice-President of Marketing for the Jazz, who explained our duties for this unique experience. I had actually met this dude a few years back as my former roommate Paul and I interviewed to become marketing interns for the Jazz. He got the job and I didn’t, but I think he just ended working a bunch of minor league baseball Bees games and out at the car race track in Tooele. yipee

During the first half, we were able to enjoy the game from our decent seats in the upper bowl.

At halftime, me and the other winning contestants were brought out to center court and received a plaque as the True Blue Jazz winners with the president of Zions Bank president and the vice president of public relations, Scott Brough, who I also interviewed for a PR job with Zions bank last year.

The halftime entertainer was “Rubber Boy”, who climbed into a tiny box and then did all these weird circus double jointed moves in his awkward routine. It was like a freak show, but I was trying to put myself into his shoes as he uses his unique ability to contort his body to make money, and realized that he’s just a normal person in a weird situation.

Then I put on the headset to help out with game night operations for the second half. I actually really didn’t do squat, but I was able to watch the second half standing courtside as Jazz dancers walked back and forth between the tunnels in between timeouts. I was even able to meet my favorite Jazz dancer, Jocelyn, who also writes a blog for the official Jazz website.

At the end of the third quarter, we made sure that the “Win a date with a Jazz dancer” promotion went smoothly as the Jazz dancer chose the winning dancing contestant to win a date with her, but she was shafted as he chose a pair of autographed Carlos Boozer sneakers instead! SPOILER: The “winner” was actually a plant, as "contest" was all a sham because they actually don’t want real, creepy fans to win dates with Jazz dancers. I guess I’ll have to earn my dates with Jazz dancers, psyche!

During the fourth quarter, the Jazz took control and won the game. I’d have to say it was a cool experience that I won’t get everyday. It made me really wanna achieve my lifelong dream to work for the Jazz, a dream that I had squashed out of my brain a few years back. Only time will tell, but at least I was able to re-establish a few contacts I had with the team.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snowboarding

I went snowboarding last night. I’ve never really written about my snowboarding experiences. There isn’t much to write about really. They're pretty much the same as any average Joe (pun definitely intended).

I went for the first time when I was about 15. My first experience was pretty much just like everybody else. I crashed A LOT, all the way down the hill in fact. It took me over an hour to get down the mountain. I was so sore the next day that my friends and I were smacking each other just revel in the others pain.

After about 2-4 more times, I got the hang of it. Then in college, they offered a sweet price on a season pass for students so I decided to get it my junior and senior year at school.

My junior year, I was going down some awesome treacherous slopes that we had to hike to (I improved greatly that season). While going down, I was boarding by a ravine, and all of a sudden it curved right in front of me. I crashed in the small ditch, but my board hit the other side and my knee smacked me in the mouth.

I rose from the crash and my knee was hurting. I felt around and in my mouth and noticed that my teeth were all jacked up. My front tooth was broken in half, and the tooth next to it was pushed into the canine tooth next to it! So in all, three teeth were jacked. I looked like Sloth from “The Goonies.”

The worst part about the ordeal was that my band had a “important” gig that night I missed which disappointed my fellow band members because I went to the hospital (because all the dentists were closed). They called in an oral surgeon and he yanked my broken front tooth and braced the crooked tooth to the canine so it would go back into place.

So I had to wear a flipper tooth that I could pull in and out for over a year to cover up the gap from my missing front tooth. Needless to say, I didn’t kiss any girls that year.

Cool story: I opted to do an implant instead of a bridge, but because my dental insurance didn’t cover implants, I got the first part of the implant (the post) done in Brazil. I was studying abroad during the summer in Brazil and was walking in a neighborhood, saw a dentist sign, and went it. It sounds shady, but it was a nicer neighborhood and the dentist ended up being great.

The post is when they open your gums, drill into your skull, and put a metal screw in, and close the gums. Then you wait six months to let the bone grow around the screw, re-open the gums and attached a tooth to it. I did the second part in Provo from one of the best implant dentists in the country, Dr. Christiansen. He said that my Brazilian dentist did a fine job, but when he opened my gums, the “American” screw he put in my mouth was a screw he wasn’t familiar with, so he had to jimmy rig a tooth on the screw that would fit.

But my teeth look great now, and every dentist I’ve been to since says that the implant looks great (even on the X-rays)! So the Brazilian and Provo dentist fixed up my snowboarding accident quite nice. In fact, I would have to say that I like my teeth even better now.

So, that’s my only interesting snowboarding story to share.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BYU B-B-Bawk-sketball

(100th post!)

Embarrassing. That is the only word I have to describe another BYU flame-out in the first-round of the NCAA tournament yesterday morning. As always I felt a pain of disgust on the first day of March Madness once again, like I do every season.

The Cougars played scared, tentative and weak. They never challenged Texas A&M, not once! The game was decided in the first four minutes, which should not happen in a #8 vs. #9 matchup. It was plain disgusting.

BYU needs to figure out a way to get past the first round of the Big Dance. Just like football, BYU needs to find away to get past the Las Vegas Bowl.

Maybe my expectations are just too high. Just like the Utah Jazz, I should be happy with making the playoffs. In reality, I should not think of my local teams to be ready to compete at a championship level.

But I know that type of thinking is wrong. If the University of Utah can reach and WIN a Sugar Bowl, if their basketball team can make a Final Four (like in 1998), then what is holding BYU back?

Is it trouble recruiting top athletes due to the Honor Code? Is it terrible coaching in the post-season? Just like Bronco Mendenhall, BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose will be on a short leash with fans if we don’t get out of the first-round of the tournament soon.

I’m sure the administration is delighted with these two coaches because they continue to win plenty of Mountain West Conference games and Honor Code infractions stay at a minimum, but I don’t want to lower my expectations -- especially if Utah has figured a way to play at a championship caliber level.

It makes me sick.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Joe's Jabs

Here are some quick thoughts about sports and stuff this week:

Jazz: The Jazz are riding their best win-streak in 11 years. I’ve kept quiet because I don’t want to jinx it (knock on wood). The sad thing is the NBA playoffs are too long and WAY too predictable. The best Utah can do is the Western Conference Finals, but no way the Jazz get past the Lakers and the NBA’s atrocious refs. It’s way too conspiracy theory if it is in the best interest of the league and its ratings.

Terrell Owens: I have no thoughts on him being cut by the Cowboys and then being signed by the Buffalo Bills, but I happened to be watching Sports Center when the news broke and they treated it like an earthquake just rocked New York and brought in like 15 analysts to talk about it. Dear Disney, I really don’t want to hear 15 different opinions of “experts” that are on your payroll that all say the exact same thing! The only thing that should happen from this is that reporters need to start calling him TerrELL Owens because he goes by TERRell, and I personally know that it drives him crazy.

Watchmen: I didn’t know what to think before seeing this movie because I read the graphic novel last month (first comic book I’ve ever read). But I went, and it really brought the novel to life. Jackie Earle Haley really brought Rorschach to life! Great performance, but don’t see this movie if you have a weak stomach.

March Madness: Selection Sunday is this week! BYU is making the tournament again, but like always, they will probably disappoint. I have really followed college basketball this season, and it will be an absolute crapshoot when I pick my brackets.

Daylight Saving Time: It’s so nice that it won’t be dark when I get home from work! It also signifies that it is time for Dunkball.

My Job: My Office is moving this week. Why is this significant? Not only will it be a shorter commute, but I have been working in a basement for three solid years without seeing sunlight during the day. One would think that I am turning into Edward Cullen and we all know that he is a tool! I don’t wanna be a vampire.

Bingo: My gambling problem has just gone from poker, to craps, and now Bingo. My friends and I drove 150 miles to Pocatello, Idaho to play Bingo in a dirty, dirty casino on a Saturday! It was actually a lot of fun to play bingo in a crowded, smoke infested room with all the regular locals.

Encore: Encore is my new favorite game to play in a group (besides Gears of War on the Xbox 360, of course). It’s where you pick a word, and teams try to come up with as many songs as possible with that word to win the round. The game is actually really stressful, but I love thinking about songs and lyrics for the following 24 hours AFTER you play. It makes you want to learn more music!

Family: Oh yeah, my baby sister just had her first baby, and so that makes me feel like the old creepy uncle that’ll never have his own family. Plus, my other younger sister is getting married on Saturday, so I’ll be the last unwed child in my family. Now if I ever get married, my wedding will feel like people cheering the fat kid on the track team as he comes in last place in the 400, sure I’ll eventually cross the finish line, but you know when you are getting the pity clap. Ha! Pity clap!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dunkball: The Movie -- It's Coming!

Last night, I had the chance to attend my first film festival. It was called the BANFF Film Festival and it featured a lot of extreme outdoor "sports." It’s a Canadian non-profit organization to endorse wild outdoor adventures.

I watched several short 10-15 minute movies on snowboarding, BMX biking, base jumping, rock climbing, and slick-roping. I even witnessed new sport called speed skiing which combines extreme downhill skiing while wearing a parachute so a person can now ski previously impossible slopes using the cushion of a small parachute. The adrenaline junkie dude that invented the sport recently died because it is still so untested and extremely, extremely dangerous.

With springtime just around the corner, my friends and I have a summer sport that we want to claim we invented to call dunkball where we get together and play outdoor hoops at the local elementary school and the 8 foot rims because we are unable to dunk a basketball on regulation 10 foot rims.

It sounds silly, but it is extremely fun and addicting and I’ve been doing it since I was about 14. We have played somewhat consistently for the past four summers and we are looking forward to playing our fifth season here in a few weeks.

We’ve also filmed quite a few of our dunkball experiences with our camcorder, and I’ve always wanted to make a movie featuring our experiences. There are already a few videos (not ours) posted on Youtube BUT I’d like to make the ultimate “mockumentary” to show how silly it is to watch a bunch of guys in their late 20s still enjoying this sport.

I recently discovered via this blog that there is a sports film festival coming up in Los Angeles on July 10th (my 30th birthday) that I could submit our video-graphied experiences of our summer exploits to. Now that I have a deadline, I cannot procrastinate this any longer.

Like UFOs, it is widely known that dunkball exists. We want to let people know that it’s okay to let the skeleton out of the closet and let millions know that it’s okay to enjoy dunking on non-regulation sized hoops. It’s just like an adult owning a pair of Heelys. Embrace it! So what if they laugh, they don’t know the fun they are missing out on!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Passing of Larry H. Miller

I have been known to be critical of the owner of the Utah Jazz. I have challenged his business practices, his spending, and his apparent shrewdness as an NBA owner. Larry H. Miller died this last Friday after a battle with diabetes. If it were not for him, the Utah Jazz would not exist.

His story is quite fascinating. I believe he started by working in the parts department of an auto dealership. He worked his way up and eventually bought his first dealership, a Toyota dealership in Murray.

He then owned another and another until his empire grew to over 30 dealerships cover more than three states. He purchased half of the Utah Jazz back in 1985 then a year later bought the second half of the Jazz. The Jazz were planning on moving to Minnesota when he purchased the team. He prevented that move.

He then found a way to build the Delta Center in 1992 and the rest is history. Stockton and Malone led the Jazz to two NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. Growing up, the Jazz meant almost everything to me, and for his sacrifices of keeping the team here, I don’t think I would be the sports fan I am today.

I have criticized him and he has criticized his own players that he pays, but that is part of the passion for the game. He was just an average Joe, who risked his entire fortune to own a team. I think any average Joe fan with just enough money to do that would take the same risk. I know I would. Owning a sports franchise is a fantasy of mine and just about any average Joe out there.

I think that is why so many people can relate to Larry and why so many people will show up to his funeral on Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena.

Larry, thank you. We are all grateful for you passion for the game and this great state of Utah.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Date at a Time

My editor-in-chief Jon recently informed me that my blog has been getting a lot of hits lately. Not for anything spectacular that I have written of course, but for my Valentine’s Day blog from last year. Sadly, it wasn’t content, but just for a silly photo that he put in the blog that received a ton of hits this week thanks to the Lovers' Holiday. Talk about cliché!

But WE DID OUR BEST, BUT OUR BEST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH. Sometimes you have to THROW AWAY YOUR GAME PLAN. Even in dating, sometimes it feels like I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF A SLUMP. But then sometimes it feels like THE HOOP IS AS WIDE AS AN OCEAN. I mean, I recently went on a date expecting to KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK, but sometimes I realize the GOAL IS A MARATHON AND NOT A SPRINT.

I think I NEED TO TURN IT UP A NOTCH. I’ve been AT THE 20, and now I’m AT THE 30, and I definitely wanna get tackled before I'm AT THE 40. I’VE BEEN THROWING UP BRICKS. I gotta stop YO-YOing at the TOP OF THE KEY, and STEP UP TO THE PLATE. I CAN’T HOLD ANYTHING BACK. I feel like NOBODY BELIEVES IN US. I feel like I have TREMENDOUS UPSIDE. My BEST YEARS ARE AHEAD OF ME. Unlike Cougar football, I JUST NEED TO EXECUTE.

I know… DON'T QUIT, DON’T EVEN QUIT. WE PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. I’ve been living FROM DOWNTOWN for too long. I gotta BRING MY A-GAME. I usually give a girl a-THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE OUT-policy. I feel that RULES ARE RULES and REFS DIDN’T COST US THE GAME. I mean, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Eventually a gap BIG ENOUGH TO DRIVE A MACK TRUCK through will open up, and all I’ll have to do is TAP, TAP, TAP IT IN. I mean, IT’S 90% MENTAL AND 50% PHYSICAL. I know that one day HE COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. Why not? DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl and Movie Reviews

Last year, I never wrote a follow up after the Super Bowl about the amazing finish between the Giants and the Patriots with The Helmet Catch.

Yesterday, the nation received another treat with yet another amazing finish in the Super Bowl once again (including WR Larry Fitzgerald’s amazing performance). Although this 4th quarter may have been more exciting, it wasn’t as iconic as last years win with a perfect season on the line.

Although I was rooting for Kurt Warner and the underdog Arizona Cardinals, the better team won last night. I thought the drama was extremely high at the end, but I also thought that officiating was terrible throughout the entire game beginning in the 1st quarter with the Cardinals having to overturn a few key calls. The refs were way too relevant and overshadowing of the drama on the field, and that is the sign of bad officiating.

Great finish, wrong result! (For us underdog fans, because let’s be honest, there is no such thing as a Cardinal fan. Not even in Arizona.)

And of course in this day of internet reporting/blogging and ESPN’s monopoly, everybody already wants to deem this the best Super Bowl ever, even though they said the same thing after last year's game.

To try and remedy this constant of people always giving way too much credit to the present, I will try to give you my five best and worst Super Bowls ever.

Five Worst Super Bowls: (I won’t use Roman Numerals because I have no idea why the NFL stubbornly keeps using these.)

5. Super Bowl 35: Ravens 34 Giants 7 – Although I am a Ravens fan, this Super Bowl was a snoozer because the Ravens the beat down that Ray Lewis and company put on Kerry Collins and the Giants.

4. Super Bowl 28: Dallas 30 Buffalo 13 – This was a boring game because it was a rematch of a blowout from the previous season. This game provided no drama. People wanted to see Buffalo finally win one, but Dallas dominated.

3. Super Bowl 37: Tampa Bay 48 Oakland 21 – Although this game was high scoring, did anybody in America care about a single player on either of these rosters beside a washed up Jerry Rice?

2. Super Bowl 11: Oakland 32 Minnesota 7 – The Vikings lose their 4th Big game.

1. Super Bowl 22: Washington 42 Denver 10 – This game was over in the 2nd quarter, and there were no stars out on the field, unless you count a young loser in John Elway. People forgot about Doug Williams way too quickly, oh wait, he was forgettable.

Five Best Super Bowls:

Wildcard: Super Bowl 43: Pittsburgh 27 Arizona 23 – This game provided tons of big plays, weird scoring, and game-ending drama yet was soured by poor officiating.

5. Super Bowl 42: New York Giants 17 New England 14 – The Helmet Catch, Brady and the Pats finished 18-1. This game would be higher if the first three quarters weren’t snoozers.

4. Super Bowl 23: San Francisco 20 Cincinnati 16 – Joe Montana drove the 49ers 92-yards in the final two minutes with a touchdown to John Taylor to cement his legacy.

3. Super Bowl 25: New York Giants 20 Buffalo 19 – The closest Super Bowl ever that came down to the final play with Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal try going wide left.

2. Super Bowl 34: St. Louis 23 Tennessee 16 – This game came down to the final play and the final yard as Kevin Dyson was tackled just short of the game-tying touchdown as time expired. Who writes this stuff, anyway?

1. Super Bowl 32: Denver 31 Green Bay 24 – Extremely underrated. Most people forget how back and forth this game was from start to finish, until Brett Favre’s luck finally ran out on 4th down of the final drive. You never felt like one team was in control the entire game.

And now, with no segue, let’s get to some movie reviews:

I recently saw the movies “The Wrestler” and “Defiance” along with watching “The Dark Knight” in IMAX that was re-released just in time for the Academy Awards coming up in three weeks.

All three of these movies were absolutely amazing and should have been up for some Best Picture considerations. I do thing that Mickey Rourke deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Heath Ledgler deserves the win for Best Supporting Actor, not just because he passed away, but because of his brilliant performance in creating a dark a twisted character in The Joker. You don’t even recognize it is the guy from “Ten Things I Hate About You” with some splotchy makeup except for maybe one or two seconds the entire movie, and that my friends is some great acting!

I can’t begin to tell you how the Nolan brothers created an amazing cop drama script and added characters from comic books fill the voids of a great movie. The Dark Knight delivered in so many ways that it should be up for best picture instead of “The Curious Case of Three Snoozer Hours.”

And here are my movies lists with the Academy Awards looming.

Five Worst Movies of 2008

Honorable Mention: Twilight: Ok, I admit I never actually saw this movie, but this seems about right.

5. Never Back Down: Although this movie was so bad, it was pretty sweet, yet it was still so bad.

4. Tropic Thunder: The comedy in this movie was way too in-your-face as Mr. Not-Funny Ben Stiller’s fingerprints were all over it. I rarely laughed while the jokes were shoved in my face. The Three Amigos had the same plot and will withstand the test of time much better than this crapfest ever will.

3. Eagle Eye: Wow, this movie was bad. It just felt like I had already seen this bad action movie a thousand times before. They sprinkled in a few car crashes to try and make it exciting, but it didn’t work.

2. Mama Mia: I don’t know where to begin, but yikes. But hey, it made a ton of money!

1. Four Christmases: I don’t think I laughed once. My main criteria for any movie making the bad list are if the movie made me angry after I watched it. This one left a bad taste in my system for about four days after I regretfully watched it.

Five Best Movies of 2008

Wild Card: Defiance. Great movie, but I don’t know exactly if it was released in 2008 or 2009. It is a really good war drama.

5. Wall-E: Jon, I actually never saw the ending of this movie, and it left me in a bad mood because I wanted to finish it so bad. But just a wonderful journey of a movie, and it still brings kids along for the ride without all the usual kid movie tricks.

4. Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr. finally gives us something that Toby Maguire, Christian Bale, and whoever played the new Superman never did: A superhero that we actually like when not in costume. Very entertaining!

3. Role Models: This movie was by far the funniest movie of the year. It’s totally politically incorrect in the right way. In fact, it was so wrong that it ended up so right. The only thing missing was a cameo by new funny man Danny McBride, but Paul Rudd filled his void quite amply. Dear Judd Apatow: Please learn from this film instead of putting your name on boring flicks like “Drillbit Taylor”.

2. Slumdog Millionaire: This movie snuck up out of nowhere and won the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. You get absolutely absorbed in the movie and when the ride is over, you leave the theatre feeling happy and telling all your friends to go and see it before wasting their $8 on any other movie.

1. The Dark Knight: The reason this one is ahead of Slumdog is because it absolutely delivered after all of the hype. All the main characters in this movie were interesting, except for Maggie (and they even fixed that in killing her off). Great script, great acting, and I still got chills after the 5th viewing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aggressive Jazz Roster Moves

So, yesterday, I berated a dying public figure to spend some of his hard earned cash before he passes away. I feel a little bit bad about it now. But I wanted to go through and make some suggestions on how to improve the injury-riddled Jazz.

Knowing the Jazz like we do, they don’t like drastic changes. They will try the wait-and-see approach when Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and even Matt Harping play together once everybody is healthy again. Then, they will do nothing in the off-season because the team cannot convince free agent NBA marquee players to come to Utah.

Since we cannot lure attractive free agents to Salt Lake City to come play basketball in the great state of Utah, I decided that we need to trade any available pieces we have NOW to surround Deron Williams with championship caliber talent. I dunno about you, but I do not see Boozer, AK, and Memo as championship caliber players. Defense wins championships and all these players are just too soft.

First, the biggest problem -- and it’s not Carlos Boozer -- it’s actually AK47. He is the highest paid player on the team and will be for this year and the following two years and he doesn’t even start and is our 5th leading scorer. It’s a little too much money for the guy who does all the intangibles. We thought he had potential to be the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, but that has just never panned out. Larry Miller has been in love with this guy for so long because in his mind, if AK47 had been guarding Jordan instead of Bryon Russell, the Jazz would have a title. Quit living in the past. We need to get rid of this guy, and fast.

My Andrei Kirilenko trade suggestions:

Trade him for an expiring contract before the trade deadline to a team that could use him to win in the playoffs this season, like for Wally Szczerbiak of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland would want AK47 skills and we would want some cap space for when the Deron Williams max money hits this summer. Done.

Next up is Carlos Boozer:

Right now, he is pretty untradeable because teams are afraid of him opting out this offseason because he has already mentioned that it is going to happen in July. So, just wait until he opts out, and then sign-and-trade him for SG Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks. Redd just tore his ACL and is out for the year in Milwaukee, but they would love to have a young power forward for the next five years. We need a shooting guard that can shoot, and as much as I love Ronnie Brewer, he can’t do that.

To replace Carlos Boozer, just resign Paul Millsap at 4-5 million dollars per year and make him the starter. He does almost everything that Carlos Boozer does at half the price, and the fans love him.

Next, trade Mehmet Okur right now for center Chris Kaman aka The Caveman of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Jazz love tall white lurpy guys in the middle, and unlike Memo, he actually plays well down low. He can block shots, play on the low block, and collect a ton of rebounds and the attention he would draw would allow Millsap to do what he does best with his hustle plays. Remember, once we acquire Michael Redd’s outside shooting, we don’t need Memo on the perimeter anymore. The Clippers would love the cap space that Okur can provide if he opts out this year or next year because the team has Zach Randolph’s awful contract from the Knicks.

So the starting lineup for next year would be:

PG: Deron Williams ($15 million max contract)

SG: Michael Redd ($15 million max contract, but AK is gone)

SF: C.J. Miles ($3.5 million a year, and hopefully a good slasher)

PF: Paul Millsap ($5 million a year and a bruiser)

C: Chris Kaman ($10 million a year, the same that Memo makes)

We could still have a good team off the bench of young developing players with Brewer (a good slasher), possibly Korver (a great shooter), Harpring’s expiring contract (and veteran knowledge), Kosta, Ronnie Price, etc.

But the most important thing about this roster is that there is no more Euro trash and soft players. These players are tougher and would want to help Williams win a title.

Please, general manager Kevin O’Connor! Pick up the phone! We Jazz fans are tired of AK47 and Boozer’s drama. We want guys that committed to winning. I hate to see Memo go, but he’s not championship material, even though it’s ironic that he’s the only one on the Jazz with a ring.

Also, I’d be ok with longtime head coach Jerry Sloan getting mad at these roster changes and retiring so that assistant coach and former Jazz player Tyrone Corbin, aka Dark Chocolate, would coach these hungry players to a title. Plus you know that this is better for the short-term and the long-term