instead. Black and Blue's Orlando Magic Blog: August 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

2007-08 Magic Cheerleaders Announced\Where's Jameer's Dad?\Why I Love Orlando: Trip Preview Part 4

FURTHER UPDATE 9/1/07: A body believed to be Jameer Nelson's dad has been found by the police.
Jeez, not the greatest thing to report as I am about to board the plane, but it is still news nontheless. My heart goes out to Jameer and his family and hopefully everything works out. Orlando, here I come.
UPDATE 9/1/07: Thanks to reader Jeremy Davis for an update that the search for Jameer Nelson's dad has been suspended. Hopefully more answers come out as to what happened.
UPDATE: I will be on vacation the week of September 3-September 7th in sunny Orlando. Since I will have no internet access, the site will be on haitus for the week.

Also, I'd like to take this time to thank the readers for making this one of the top NBA team blog sites on the internet, numbers-wise. Even on slow days there have been over 300 viewers, and on good days over 1,000...which is definitely saying something since I had no idea there were even that many NBA fans who knew how to read, much less operate something as complex as a computer. According to the emails I've gotten, several readers are not even Magic fans, which is either a compliment or a way of saying that I need to mention the team name more.

My deepest and sincerest thanks to you all, and this site will only continue to grow over time.

...Grow worse and worse, that is.

-Black and Blue


They have announced the latest additions to the Orlando Magic Cheerleading Team. More than half of the roster has been changed, with several of last year's favorites gone. Returning faces for next year include Kim M., Erin, Deanna, Danielle, Kim C, Kristina, Megan C, Kelly, and Christy. New faces include Heather, Meagan P., Sarah, Rachael, Mary, Brooke, Tara, Trinity, Shana, Lacey (pictured left).

Jane, a vet of the Cheerleading corps and winner of the Black and Blue 2007 Orlando Magic Cheerleading Tournament, is gone from next year's squad. So is April, a semifinalist.

Man, the times, they are a'changin'.

-And changin' in a WEIRD way. Leapfrogging off of the previous post about Eddie Griffin being hit by a train and Charles Oakley saying he wants to play for the Magic, the summer of weird news continues: Divers are searching for the body of Magic Point Guard Jameer Nelson's father:

Divers resumed searching the Delaware River on Friday for the father of Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson. Floyd "Pete" Nelson was reported missing from
his job at a tugboat repair shop about noon Thursday. Floyd Nelson was last seen
near the water, and officials said it was feared that he had fallen into the
river just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge. Mayor Wendell Butler said the
U.S. Coast Guard and divers searched the waters until dark Thursday and the
search resumed shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.

Goodness gracious that is awful. I really hope that there is a happy resolution to this news, but when divers get involved it rarely is. I can only hope Jameer's father is alive and somewhere with no cell phone reception.

Eesh, backing away slowly from that horrible news, let's take one final glance at the city of Orlando as I pack the last of my things up for my trip there.

One attraction that I would recommend in Orlando that I feel not many people give the time of day is Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf. I am not a big mini golf guy per se, but there is definitely something neat about playing 18 holes in caves and down waterfalls. Throughout the course, there are also signs which feature interesting tidbits about Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, the two most famous pirates. You get to play a game, learn, and take in the beautiful Orlando weather all at the same time. I still carry a token from Pirate's Cove for a free game in my wallet. I have had it for a very long time, and instead of using it I prefer to keep it as a reminder that Orlando will be there for me whenever I need a break. This comes in handy when I am waiting for the New York City subway for 40 minutes and I see rats running on the tracks.

Another great attraction is Pleasure Island. This one is substantially more popular than Pirate's Cove, but I still don't feel that it deserves its proper due. The place has dance clubs, comedy clubs, animatronic characters, restaurants, bars, shops, and celebrates the new year EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Just scanning the information for Pleasure Island, all of this is only 20 bucks. That might sound steep to some of you out there, but as a guy who parties in New York, 20-30 bucks can be the cover here for only one club and once you get in you will be unable to move and will most likely pay another 15 bucks for one drink that will be served in a thimble. At Pleasure Island you have variety, and as an added bonus you can feel a bit mischievous based on the fact that you are most likely drunk and dirty dancing in what is a Disney park (with a porn movie name, might I add). There is something intensely gratifying about being drunk in a Disney souvenier shop, smiling at the smiling stuffed animals on the wall and critiquing whether Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty was a hotter character (of course it was Sleeping Beauty. Come on.)

Above all, perhaps the thing that makes me the happiest when I step off of the plane, announcing my arrival in Orlando, are the palm trees. To someone who grew up in the northeast, they still are completely alien and cool to me. In New York, the closest thing to a palm tree is a stoplight, and the coconuts from those (pigeons) taste considerably worse. I think many people who live in Florida take these beautiful trees for granted since they are around them all day. In a similar fashion, I take the time to make sure I take the maple, pine, and oak trees around me for granted.

Well, nothing left now but to hop on that plane and experience the wonder that is Orlando, Florida. This site will be on a one week break next week since I will not have internet access, but rest assured that I will have PLENTY to talk about on my arrival.

Have a great labor day weekend and week, everyone, and see you in the sunshine.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Vampire Trade Will Not Go Away\ Why I Love Orlando: Trip Preview Part 3

You know it is slow as far as news when the only notable thing is that Denver waived it's backup PG. Excitement central!!!!!!! Woooooo!!!!

Why is this even being discussed? Well, some people are hopping onto the idea that Denver waived Anthony Carter because it is a precursor to a possible trade involving the Magic. This trade, of course, is the expiring deals-for-Reggie-Evans-and-maybe-JR-Smith deal. This Reggie Evans deal shall be heretofore referred to as "the vampire" because no matter how many times a bullet is shot at it and it is deemed comes back to life. I have a feeling people will be talking about this deal in hushed tones right up until training camp and possibly after. What am I thinking? Our GRANDCHILDREN will be spending much of their days wondering if the trade will go through, searching for how Evans' stats would help our frontcourt while they zip around in their Jetsons-like hovercars.

Obviously, I am not optimistic about "the vampire trade" going through, and think that anyone who gets their hopes up for the deal to happen will wind up with two figurative giant puncture marks in their neck. In my opinion, Anthony Carter's cut most likely is just a way for the Nuggets to shed the a smidgen of the bajillions they have to unload to get under the cap.

This whole trade hoopla brings to mind something I've been contemplating lately: While the idea of getting Evans is certainly attractive, the idea of NOT getting him is also pretty darn good when you consider that we can use the money from the expiring deals next summer or (even better) trade them before the trade deadline for extra help at a problem of need before the playoffs. Either way, it's a win-win and the addition of Foyle gave us some much needed breathing room.

Continuing our week-long glance at the beautiful city of Orlando that I am visiting next week, we come upon something very important to my preview of the trip and this site as a whole: my history with the Magic in Orlando. While this blog is typically more objective and news-oriented, I'm using this week to get more personal with the readers to provide some insight into what makes this blue skull tick.

While I do not have sensational stories of hanging out with players, going to every game, or beating the crap out of Stuff The Magic Dragon, as many Orlando residents do, I have some pretty fond memories of the team. When the Magic first came into existence at the tail end of the 80s, I was really happy because my favorite city to visit finally had a team to support. The fact that I was enamoured with Epcot translated into even more interest when the team revealed it would have the Disney-esque name "The Magic". It was healthy amount of attention paid to a local city staple, but not too much to be considered a pansy team (like the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Sorry, Ducks fans, but any team that conjures images of what might be Emilio Estevez's 5th best movie is a hard sell).

One of my earliest memories of seeing the Magic in Orlando was for a game with my father during the heyday of Shaq and Penny. They were playing the Knicks, a team that was the primary competition back when the Magic were in the Atlantic division. I went into the game expecting a close game, and hoping the team would show me something special since it was my first time seeing them live. They did not dissapoint. The Magic utterly DESTROYED the Knicks, at one point actually leading by well over 40. We made friends with several Orlando residents in the stands, frequently high fiving them after big plays. The game's 4th quarter devolved into a slam dunk competition, with Nick Anderson and Shaq going bezerk. Subs like Joe Wolf (with the loudspeakers' trademark "Awoooooo!" wolf howl) came into the game as to not embarrass the Knicks too much.

-That is, until the loudspeaker guy made one crucial announcement, one that enshrined the Magic as the team I would follow for the rest my days on this planet:

"Just to remind fans, if the Magic happen to score over 130 points in a game, McDonalds has offered to give everyone in the stadium a free Big Mac."

The crowd went nuts. It was like the loudspeaker guy just announced that everyone had won a car. The score was something like 120-85 (like I said, it was a blowout) and there was less than a minute left. Almost on cue, the Magic inexplicably threw all of their starters on the floor. This game was about more than just winning now. With every possession that the Magic had in that final minute, they threw the ball out to Dennis Scott, who would jack up a three pointer. He wound up making three in a row, with only 1 point seperating the entire stadium from free food. With about 10 seconds left, Dennis Scott shot his 4th consecutive three pointer, and made it easily. The stadium erupted into a frenzy unlike anything I had ever seen, with music blaring and all of the screens announcing proudly "MAC ATTACK!", a clever pun on the popular "Shaq Attack" slogan. The players laughed and celebrated, the clock ran out, fans hugged and wept. It was a damn good day to be a Magic fan.

Afterwards, I remember going to "The Orlando Magic Fan-Attic", a hut that sold only Magic and Orlando Solar Bears (the perfectly-named minor league hockey team) merchandise. I bought as much as I could afford and left a proud man. Later, as I ate the free Big Mac I had won simply by choosing a good team, I reflected on how good life truly was and called it a day.

Now that the Orlando Magic have a new stadium deal in place (God-willing Darth Rosen doesn't bungle it all up), I can look forward to one day having a son and bringing him to a Magic game.
-And I'll be damned if we don't eat Big Macs afterwards.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Darth Rosen Sucks\ Why I Love Orlando: Trip Preview Part 2

I'm not going to spend much time on it, because the last thing I want to do is bring publicity to his evil cause, but Darth Rosen is still going to great lengths to stop the Orlando venues from being built...including the new Orlando Magic arena. The latest news is that he is attempting to get several volunteers (or 'Stormtroopers') to knock on people's doors to sign a petition to overturn the stadium vote. He would have about 6 months to collect 31,000 signatures, which is possible especially if some of the signatures aren't verified properly (aka they just toss names down to get the last thousand or so).

This guy is a selfish jackass who just wants more of the city's money to go into his own pocket. If you see one of his Stormtroopers at your door, do one of the following:

1) Shut the door in their face.

2) Smile, invite the person in, pour them some lemonade, ask to see the other signed petitions, and then promptly urinate on the papers.

Of course, do the second step at your own risk. There is a chance you could get urine on your rug, so make sure you weigh the pros and cons of such a move.

With that out of the way, let's look at some things that are far more cheerful:

First of all, the Orlando Magic shop is having a big sale on replica jerseys. Every player, including Rashard Lewis, is only 20 bucks. I am quite happy with my Dwight Howard jersey, but thought it would be good news for you guys out there who have been waiting for a sale to get one. Now is your chance to ditch that homemade one that has the drawn-on number in crayon.
Let's continue part 2 of the Orlando trip preview. It would be impossible to talk about Orlando, in my opinion, without at least spending time talking about my favorite of the theme parks: Epcot. Now I know there are a lot of people that feel the park is outdated and prefer the new feel of MGM or the traditional feel of Magic Kingdom. I am not one of those folks. Another person who shared my preference in regards to which theme park was his favorite? Walt Disney.

Walt Disney's father was a worker on the Chicago World's fair around the turn of the century and took young Walt to see the grounds. The World's fair was composed of several large buildings, each representing a different facet of society (the Agriculture building, the Humanities building, etc) and in the middle of the park was a big lagoon with an island on it. Seeing Epcot is like seeing how a man like Walt Disney would want a park to look like, almost as an homage to his father. Walt wanted to mimic the world's fair by creating a "City of Tomorrow", where all of the newest technologies in the world could be showcased (Innovations, located at the front of the park) as well as many of its natural wonders (i.e. the Living Seas Aquarium, the different countries). When Walt Disney died, everyone knew this project was closest to his heart. At right is a photo of him in front of an early conceptual drawing.

Personally, I love the park because of its diversity. You know at MGM, Universal, and Islands Of Adventure that everything is going to be movie-themed. You know at Magic Kingdom that everything is designed to look like a fairy tale. At Epcot, you have a bizarre mix of seemingly random stuff. It's like someone just said "Let's take all of the cool stuff that wouldn't fit in the other parks and toss it in this one!" You have many countries to walk through, sampling each culture like an appetizer sampler at a bar. You have an Aquarium, Science building, and Technology expo to learn. You have new rides that are there for thrill seekers (Soarin' and the Test Track) really has it all. -And for you degenerates out there, yes you CAN drink beer there! The German pavilion has some darn good beer to help you make it through the hot days.

My favorite ride, simply because of tradition, is the Norway ride "The Maelstrom". Anything that combines Vikings, Trolls, and a log flume is a recipe for a good time. Even at a young age, I remember asking my parents "Is Norway REALLY so boring that they have to throw Trolls into the ride to make it interesting?" I was too young to realize the excitement and magic that only windmills and fjords can bring.

If I had to rank the parks in order of preference, they would be as follows:

1) Epcot

2) Universal Islands Of Adventure

3) MGM Studios

4) Universal

5) Magic Kingdom

6) (Insert the rest of the parks here)
965) Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom just wasn't my cup of tea. Granted, I am spoiled when it comes to zoos and aquariums because I live near the Central Park Zoo and have visted the New Orleans Aquarium (two of the best in the country), but this just isn't worth the price of admission. Commercials will promote the Himilayas ride and the Dinosaur ride, and that is no surprise because those both are really the only notable things worth traveling to the park for. Other than those two things, all you are left with are a gigantic zoo with many animals that look obviously annoyed by the Florida heat.
I am also not very high on the parks I have in the "other parks" section. Sea World, Gator Land, the millions of water parks I consider the "generic theme parks" in that you can see the exact same thing on a smaller scale elsewhere in America. Just my opinion, though, as I know a lot of people love these places.
That's it for now. If you have any comments on your favorite park shoot me an email or leave a comment!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why I Love Orlando: Trip Preview Part 1

Yet another day of nothing in the news NBA-wise and things are seeming dead for the rest of the week, so let's focus our attention on something much more important...well, to me at least:

Next week, starting this Sunday, I am going to be doing my annual Orlando visit for vacation. This is one of my favorite events all year and since many of you readers are from Orlando (or are at least familiar with it since you like the damn team!), I'm going to be writing a bit about the great city that I call my second home.
As usual, when I looked at the weather for next week, every single day says "Scattered Thunderstorms". During this season in Florida, it must be the easiest job in the world to predict the weather. In fact, it looks like the weatherman just copy and pasted this text over every day:

"Scattered thunderstorms possible. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid 70s."

Wow. Now THAT'S a way to ensure you predict the weather correctly. Someone actually gets a lot of money to say, "Weather for the next 10 days? I got ya covered. It may, ya know, rain or it may not rain...who knows?...and the temperature? Well, it will probably be somewhere within this 20 degree range."

It seems like this time of year the same thing happens every day: It will be nice in the morning, have a shower in the afternoon, and then clear up around the evening. I'm sure Orlando residents will say otherwise as it can't be that way EVERY day, but when I visit it seems to be a daily occurance (cue it raining toads the entire time I am there).

Even if it does rain the whole time, at least I will be going to my favorite place in the entire world, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. This place has been like another home to me since I was young, with me spending almost every summer there. The inside of the lobby is full of trees and is amazing, the pool (which resembles a cave) is spectacular, and the hotel has all of those little gecko things running around which is quite fun. If any readers here have stayed there or even work there, shoot me an email to say hi since it is one of my favorite places in the world. I am rarely so corny about staying somewhere, but the Orlando Hyatt occupies a special place in my heart.

Staying at the Grand Cypress and having such a fun time in Orlando is precisely the reason I bucked the convention and chose to have all Florida teams as my favorites (Magic, Dolphins, and Marlins). While I am sure many of you Orlando folks follow the Buccaneers, please understand that as a kid growing up in New Jersey I had to choose between the Dolphins and Bucs since Orlando didn't have a football team. It was a pretty tough choice, considering the fact that the Dolphins were a perennial playoff team, had a hall of fame QB, the league's only undefeated season...and the Bucs had creamsicle colored jerseys, were dreadful, and had a logo with perhaps once of the most flambouyantly un-manly guys in the history of man (he had a big foppish hat and a knife in his mouth). The Bucs wound up as the team that won the Super Bowl in my lifetime between the two, but I still think that my life turned out easier because I didn't like the team with that logo. My favorite part is that the Buccaneer in the logo has one eye shut, almost as if he is saying without words "I can't even look at myself in the mirror, I look THAT ridiculous".
As for what I will be doing in Orlando, I would be remiss if I didn't of course say I will hit up Epcot, probably wind up at Jimmy Buffet's on the Universal walk, go to the Orlando Ale House regularly, hit up the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall at Millenia...whoa...I just realize all of those places serve drinks. Not intentional, but not a bad thing either!

The first night there, one of my greatest feats will once again be tested. No it is not hoisting barbells over my head or beating someone in a test of wills...It involves me against a burger. Back in 2005, I somehow completed the "Headhunter Challenge" and to this day I still have no idea how. There is something called "The Headhunter Burger" at Jungle Jim's Restaurant (another place that serves drinks), and it is a monstrosity. I'll let the menu do the talking for me:

"Few have been able to finish this belt-busting burger bounty! Care to join them? Just clean your plate (that's everything but the paper and toothpick) and the next one's on us on your next visit to Jungle Jim's. A monsterous full-pound of 100% Certified Angus Beef TM, grilled ham, two lean bacon strips, cheddar and jack cheese, iceburg lettuce, tomatoes, dills, Safari Sauce 1000, topped with two olives and -- just to make it tougher on you -- a full-pound mound of world-famous fries."

That is an actual drawing on the menu of what the burger looks like. It is a pound of meat and a pound of fries, not to mention the combined extra weight of the 3 buns and all of that extra stuff. I think my arteries just exploded simply by reading that description. I am an in-shape guy, so my stomach should be nowhere near capable of actually holding that much food, but somehow I did before. Probably the most terrifying aspect of this whole ordeal: If you actually somehow eat this whole burger (and fries...doesn't count unless you do that too), you know what you win? That's right- ANOTHER HEADHUNTER for free the next time you come in! Somewhere there is a tombstone that reads "One Headhunter too many...someone eat my free one."
If I am unable to once again defeat the Headhunter, I really will not be ashamed as I will probably live at least a week longer in the end.

That's it for now. I'll be sure to write tomorrow on more plans for the upcoming trip. If any of you have any more suggestions on fun things to do in Orlando, leave a comment or send an email

Monday, August 27, 2007

Black And Blue's NFL Preview (Hey, that rhymes!)

Typically when I look at the Monday morning news there is a lot of interesting stuff to talk about. After all, there ought to be three days worth of news stories with Saturday and Sunday to report on.

Not the case this morning.

In fact, not only was there nothing going on with the Magic, but there is virtually zilch going on in the NBA as a whole. I can't really spend an entire entry talking about rumors like how Pietrus might go to the Heat, or that Reggie Miller isn't going to play this upcoming season to no one's surprise. That's just boring. I just made myself bored even writing those things.
So with a break from NBA as a whole, let's look at what the rest of the nation is focusing on: the NFL. While I write about the Orlando Magic and the NBA on a consistent basis for this blog and other sites, I have a deep affinity for the NFL. The Miami Dolphins were my favorite football team since I was little, and I feel a certain kinship with other Dolphins fans. I think it has to do with surviving through life while liking a team with those colors. If you can live through grade school while wearing a jacket that is aqua and neon orange and features a happy looking dolphin on it then you should be proud of yourself. Most people get the crap beaten out of them for even SAYING the word "Aqua".

Fun Fact: The Dolphins organization most likely put the sun around the dolphin in the logo to give bullies a handy-dandy target for which to punch. My heart goes out to those young Dolphins fans out there.
Being a big fan of the Dolphins, I view this upcoming season as an interesting one for a few reasons:

-They were really, really bad last season.
-The Dolphins have absolutely no offensive line.
-Their new starting QB was knocked out last season with a horrific concussion and was awful afterwards.
-Their defense, while still good, is aging rapidly and time is running out.
-Their new kicker, Jay Feeley, was once mocked on SNL for how bad he is.
-Their running back, Ronnie Brown, is being bashed for how ineffective he has been this preseason.
-The team passed on popular QB Brady Quinn in the NFL draft, instead taking WR Ted Ginn. Let's ask Dolphins Coach Cam Cameron how that went.

Still, I am actually thinking they will have a better record than before. With gimpy Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, and the traitorous Nick Saban, they really were doomed from the start last year. With a new coach and some new optimism, things are sure to turn around. Right? RIIIIGHT?!
Sigh. Ah well. Let's take a look at how I see the NFL shaking up this season:

Black and Blue's 2007-08 NFL predictions:

AFC East
Patriots: 14-2
Jets: 8-8
Dolphins: 8-8
Bills: 6-10

AFC North
Bengals: 10-6
Steelers: 10-6*
Ravens: 9-7*
Browns: 4-12

AFC South

Colts: 11-5
Jaguars: 8-8
Titans: 8-8
Texans: 5-11

AFC West

Chargers: 13-3
Broncos: 10-6*
Chiefs: 7-9
Raiders: 5-11

NFC East
Cowboys: 10-6
Eagles: 9-7*
Giants: 9-7
Redskins: 5-11

NFC North

Bears: 12-4
Packers: 6-10
Lions: 6-10
Vikings: 5-11

NFC South

Saints: 11-5
Panthers: 9-7*
Bucs: 5-11
Falcons: 2-14

NFC West

Rams: 9-7
Seahawks: 9-7*
49ers: 8-8
Cardinals: 5-11
*Wild Card Teams: AFC- Steelers, Broncos, Ravens. NFC- Seahawks, Panthers, Eagles

Super Bowl: Patriots vs. Saints

Super Bowl Winner: Saints
While Tom Brady and the Pats might have thought they bought themselves a superbowl this offseason, they will have a tough battle against a team that is looking better and better as time goes on. If I HAD to pick a team to win it all this year, i would say the Patriots...but as a self-respecting person I just can't do it so with that in mind I think the Saints will win it all this year.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jameer Nelson Assembles Team/Alexander Johnson Hoopla

For the second straight year, Jameer Nelson got the team together to help bond and prepare for the season ahead, all on his own dime. Some of the fun things they are doing include practicing together, doing yoga together (seriously), getting lectures from sleep coaches (also, seriously), and going to Atlantic City. That last part is one of the reasons I am quite glad that Artest, JR Smith, Charles Oakley and other malcontents didn't wind up on the team during this past free agency period, because you know a headline akin to this would have come out:

"Magic player loses 21 million in Atlantic City, shoots dealer, crashes SUV into freight train"

I've been to Atlantic City and lost money and it is tough to stomach. I can't imagine playing with the sheer amount of money NBA players have, so I hope all goes well. For some reason I envision all of the players gambling in the casino while Carlos Arroyo is repeatedly turned away for looking under 21.

With the news of a second get together, Jameer once again bolsters his rep with the team. After this past season he was hardly in a position to demand an extension, but leadership moves like this help send a sense of community and friendship. Otis' decision on whether to cave to Nelson's extension demands now rather than later just got a whole lot harder.

Other good news mentioned in the article involves Rashard Lewis getting some time at Jameer's Summer Bonanza (I will be pissed if it is called anything else). Lewis will need to make a big first impression on his new team, and if Nelson leaves next offseason hopefully Lewis will step in to be the new leader.

In other news, Alexander Johnson has signed with the Miami Heat. For those of you who don't know him, AJ was a big time college player and went to FSU. Many, and I mean MANY, Magic fans wanted us to get him...which of course means that the increasingly evil Heat had to get involved. They tried to get Rashard Lewis and nearly every other player the Magic were looking at this offseason, so when word got out that AJ was a possibility for the Magic you know what happened. Johnson is seen by many as a promising young prospect, and many Magic fans are questioning why we got Adonal Foyle over Johnson. To these people I say you never know what is going on behind the curtain. Johnson may have had his heart set on the city of Miami, or maybe he just wanted to learn under Shaq. Either way, to say our team made the wrong choice in getting Foyle would basically disregard all of the things that are unsaid in this signing. I, for one, think that Foyle was the smart choice. We have enough young people to develop in Gortat and Howard, and needed a mature and experienced presence for our big men. Overall, while Johnson might have the brighter future, Foyle definitely helps our team a million times more right now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Otis Smith Confirms Foyle And Gortat Are Signed/Mascots Are Evil

Otis Smith finally dropped the curtain and admitted that the Magic had signed Adonal Foyle. Initially, yesterday all he would say is "We are going in that direction", but today he came out and gave the reasons behind the move:

"I like him because he's a good on-ball defender and he gives us somebody with some girth," Smith said. "We have a lot of tall guys, but no one with any real girth. He's a big defender who can help us."
I am not one to critique the words chosen by others, but there had to be some better way to describe Foyle than by referring repeatedly to his "girth". That's just not right. Even if it wasn't a tongue-in-cheek mention of his private parts, it still would be calling him fat.
On top of this, Otis just has the description all wrong. Looking at Adonal Foyle, we all by now have come to grips with the fact that the best way to describe him is as an Easter Island Head on a basketball player's body. Right is a photo of Adonal Foyle, looking rather stoic after learning the Magic will sign him.

In other news, the team has officially announced that they have signed Marcin Gortat. We already knew this, but the team probably held on to this information until they signed someone else so they could save face with the media thinking Gortat was their answer at backup C. We now can relax and realize Foyle is our primary backup, with Gortat lower on the depth chart.
Speaking of Gortat, I will tell him exactly what I yell at most people on the streets: "BEWARE OF MASCOTS!" After seeing a particularly grizzly wrestling match between the Washington Wizards mascot, Sly the New Jersey Nets Mascot, and former WWE star Mick Foley during a halftime show at Continental Airlines Arena last year (yes, that actually happened), I know that mascots cannot be trusted and probably should be hunted for sport. I'm sure it will come out that Michael Vick had an underground mascot fighting ring, but this at least is justifiable.
Doubt the unspeakable evil that are mascots? Take a look at this video of Marcin Gortat trying to dunk during a halftime show over a pile of mascots and you will see the trouble they can cause!
After watching that clip, you probably thought what I thought: "Wow...we just signed this guy? I hope NOT DOING THAT was a clause in his contract somewhere."
Either way, welcome to the team Adonal and Marcin. Let's hope we can make a few more good moves before the season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, it's official. Welcome Adonal!

R.I.P Eddie Griffin/Oakley Likes The Magic?/Skinner In Consideration

There's been some weird news lately.

It's not every day that you open the paper and read "NBA player killed by freight train", as was the case with Eddie Griffin last night. Sadly, I have to say that amongst all of the NBA players, I envisioned Griffin leading the shortest life after that bizarre 'masturbation in his car' incident that happened last year. A FREIGHT TRAIN though? That is quite a dramatic way to go out. It might simultaneously be the most manly and most pathetic way to die, which is saying something. On the bright side, Eddie Griffin will have the coolest story in heaven of how he died. I envision a lot of conversations going like this:
Angel 1: "I died of bubonic plague"
Angel 2: "That's cool, but not as cool as dying by falling off of a cliff."
Eddie Griffin: "I died by drunkedly driving my car into a moving freight train, in an explosive orgy of fire. They had to use dental records to even know it was me."
(A beat)
Angel 1: "So, uh, who wants to play backgammon?"

The other puzzling news centers around Michael Jordan sidekick and wooden tree lookalike Charles Oakley saying that he wants to play for the Magic. Luckily Otis is saying hell no to this already simply because the combo of Ewing and Oakley on a team would lead to...well...something that Eddie Griffin would watch in his car. Oakley counteracts this criticism by saying his bad boy ways can be used for good, such as adding a mean streak to young Dwight Howard. I'm sure that's what management wants, to make christian poster boy Dwight Howard a bruiser who gets technical fouls and cusses out fans.

That same article had some good things to say though. Namely, that the Magic are attempting to add either Adonal Foyle (which we already knew) or Brian Skinner. This made me happy because Skinner was the one name out there I was shocked to see we hadn't contacted. He is more than capable of putting up good numbers as a backup and probably would be cheap. If we get either guy, I would consider the departure of Darko aptly dealt with.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Darth Rosen Strikes Back/ Who Is The Choice At Shooting Guard?

"Darth Rosen" is back...

Like a true villain, Harris Rosen does not know the word defeat. He is acting like Skeet Ulrich, sitting up to attack after the heroes in the movie Scream say "Careful, in these movies the villain always comes back for one last scare." We just have to hope that the people of Orlando are the ones delivering that final blow to keep him out of a sequel.

This is all referring to the news that came out yesterday, detailing that Harris Rosen will try to get a referendum to prevent the construction of one or more of the venues passed in the big Orlando venues bill recently. The full description of what he is attempting to do was posted on the Orlando Sentinel website in a blog.

I would really like to add some insightful commentary into this whole mess, but I really just look at it and shake my head. Everyone hates a sore loser, and that is what Rosen is being right now. Hopefully this plan doesn't succeed and I'm going to cross my fingers that the money these delays cause are not substantial.

To switch gears to something happier, the debate all summer has been raging as to who should be the Orlando Magic's starting shooting guard. It would appear we have a bunch of candidates, but none of them really stick out and make you say "wow".

Unless I am mistaken, the potential starting SGs that we have are JJ Redick, Keyon Dooling, Trevor Ariza, Keith Bogans, and Hedo Turkoglu.

-Turk is a marginal pick even as a candidate simply because his ball handling skills are atrocious and he is pretty big for a SG. Chances are that he will start or split time at SF. I would prefer him at backup SF although the crazy possibility exists that he might see time starting at PF due to our lack of quality big men.

-Keith Bogans had a very up and down year last year and would be a tough choice over fan favorites like Redick and Ariza. He is decent at defense, but does not contribute enough on the other end of the floor to warrant starting night in and night out.

-Trevor Ariza is undoubtedly one of the most athletic members of the team and can help defensively. On the other hand, he is not one of the most gifted outside shooters so him and Nelson could form a driving duo that clogs up the middle.

-JJ Redick is the guy most fans want to start (so says over 50% of an online vote held by the Orlando Sentinel). He played well in spurts last year and is already considered one of the best shooters in the league from his reputation in college. His offensive talents are unquestioned, but his defense was a major knock coming out of school.

Taking this all into consideration, and having flip-flopped all summer about it, I believe I have my choice:

Trevor Ariza.

(Covers head to shield from garbage Redick fans throw)

Don't get me wrong, I really like JJ Redick. He has been working really hard to get more playing time this season and performed more than admirably in the summer league. The one thing I worry about is how his game mimics that of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, both of whom will already be on the floor. All three are largely outside shooters who can't play defense, rebound little, and see themselves as scoring options. The sheer amount of low percentage shots on the floor at one time puts a chill down my spine. If Redick can somehow prove himself to be a quality assist, defense, and rebound guy then he definitely would gel well in the starting lineup (I'm holding out hope), but for now it might be wise to go with someone with different things to offer than Rashard and Lewis.

Personally, I think Ariza's game really would compliment the other players on the team. If you look at the lineup of Nelson, Turk, and Rashard, the things that scream out to you are the fact that the team doesn't play defense well, doesn't rebound, and lacks athleticism to a certain degree (Rashard is the exception here). Those attributes are exactly what Ariza brings to the table, and if the Magic DO decide to play Rashard at PF then another rebounding option is a must out there. On top of this, Ariza is a free agent next offseason and will undoubtedly try to go elsewhere if we don't give him a shot to start. It is worth seeing whether he can be our long term solution at SG before we invest a lot of money in him or let him go.

Magic management has a tough choice to make between these two, but in my opinion either way they go it will translate well in terms of ticket sales. Why? Redick is obviously a huge draw because of his name (the media will make a big deal about him starting) and Ariza will create a buzz with his highlight reel dunks and moves.

Of course, this entire conversation will be pointless if the rumors are true and JR Smith is added to the team, but we can wait until that day comes. For now, I would be happy with either JJ or Trevor being out there, but just can see it working better with Trevor.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Foyle To Be Signed By Week's End?

A few sources are reporting that Adonal Foyle might be in a Magic uniform by the end of the week. These sources are the radio station 740 the team, as well as a few message board posters around the internet who claim they have insider information. Word is that the thing holding up the trade is the Magic wanting a one year contract while Foyle wants two.

Seeing as how the options within the Magic's price range this summer are limited to:

1) Adonal Foyle

2) Players that shouldn't even be in the league at this point (I'm looking at you Khandi-man)


3) A ball of lint

- I am happy at the prospect of Foyle potentially coming aboard. He provides our team with a veteran presence down low, and best of all he looks sorta like those statues with the big brows that reside on Easter Island.

Gaining Foyle would mean that we would replace our big man rotation of Howard, Milicic, Battie, and Outlaw with Howard, Foyle, Battie, and Gortat. I am still holding out hope that a deal can be reached for Reggie Evans to further solify that bunch.

Speaking of the Evans trade, I did not include Garrity in that list of big men above since the Magic have been trying to include him in a variety of trade scenarios. The Orlando Sentinel said that it's likely he will play this season in Orlando, but I'm thinking that there are enough teams that want expiring deals to work something out. -Call it the wild optimist in me.
Hopefully we'll hear something soon. Otis Smith should be returning from his vacation any day now so hopefully he gets on the phone and makes something happen.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The votes are in and the winner of the 2007 Orlando Magic Cheerleading Tournament is none other than...JANE!
The voting went 13-12 this past evening in favor of Jane, with her winning the overall week's vote 46-44.

Jane received quite a bit of fan support, with many members of the Orlando Magic Website Forum pushing for her, and many fans naming her as their favorite right at the beginning of the competition. NYCMagicfan from made the bold prediction that Jane would win right from the get-go, and displayed photos of her to show his support to other members of the site down the stretch:

Now that the competition is over and I no longer have to be impartial, I can say that Jane, Megan and Deanna were my picks to win from the start. It was nice to see one of my choices win.

The long road to the Cheerleading Tournament Championship comes at an interesting time for the Magic cheerleaders. They have their annual auditions less than 24 hours from now, so the pressure is once again on squarely on their shoulders. Good luck to them all.

So once again, congrats to all of the cheerleaders who took part in this tournament. Most of all, thanks to all of the fans of the website who took the time to vote, email your preferences, and checked in to see the results. This certainly made the summer a lot more interesting and helped get the website to reach new heights of readership. The Orlando Magic Cheerleading Tournament will be a fixture that the site will undoubtedly bring back next year.

Have a great weekend and congrats to Jane!