Shaquille O’Neal is launching his own line of vodka — sensationally titled “Luv Shaq.”… We’re told Luv Shaq comes in coconut flavor, and the bottle features an image of O’Neal with giant wings.

New York Post.

I could care less about the coconut flavored vodka. It’s the “image of O’Neal with giant wings” I’m going to need. Preferably blown up and framed, hanging across from Vin Diesel and Usher Riding Into Battle on a Chariot Pulled by White Tigers.

Man, I love Shaq.

Via Catsmeat.

Friday Q&A, pt. 2: More sports

Via email, Bill asks:

What would you name the new seven-team, basketball-focused conference rising from the ashes of the Big East?

Honestly, it’s really hard to keep track of what’s happening with all this, and whether they’ll have the ability to dissolve the conference, to keep the name Big East, to keep their automatic tournament bids, and which teams they’ll be able to bring on from outside the conference. I believe it’ll be more than seven teams when the dust settles though, so you can’t go with “the Magnificent Seven” or anything like that.

If they’re all Catholic schools in the new league, maybe there could be a tie-in there, like “The Big Priest” or something. Alternately, I kind of like “The Medium Sized East.” CATCH THE FEVER!

I do. Dirk Hayhurst’s The Bullpen Gospels was great. It sort of took me a while to get into it, but Hayhurst is a very funny dude and paints a great picture of Minor League life.

Also, Joe Posnanski’s The Soul of Baseball is outstanding. I know someone will pep up and say something about Posnanski’s soft stance on Joe Paterno because the Internet, but that obviously has nothing to do with the content of the baseball book.

I mostly read fiction at home, and I’d definitely recommend Bernard Malamud’s The Natural over Chad Harbach’s recent bestseller The Art of Fielding. 

I’ve actually sponsored a bunch of baseball-reference pages, but I always snooze and let the sponsorship expire. The pages I’ve sponsored in the past are: Tommy Hanson, Fernando Martinez, Val Pascucci, the 2009 Mets, Bris Robotham Lord — “The Human Eyeball” and Buzz McWeeny.

I changed the message for the 2009 Mets a few times, but for a while I went with “Carlos Beltran: Because baserunning blunders happen more frequently when you’re always on base.” I was pretty happy with that, given the early goings-on of that season.

The Tommy Hanson page obviously had to do with his much-rumored relationship to the band Hanson. I don’t remember what I wrote for Martinez or the Scooch. Obviously the pages for Lord and McWeeny had jokes about their names.

I thought about sponsoring Jeff Francoeur’s page, but it turns out Jeff Francoeur’s page costs $265! It’s almost as much as Frenchy’s on-base percentage. It might be cool to sponsor the pages for the other Ike Davis and David Wright as shoutouts to Mets fans who click the wrong link.

Big East going south?

For my fellow Hoya fans: On one hand, we have Jeff Green’s dunk in the Celtics’ win over the Mavericks last night.

On the other, we have word that the Big East is on the brink of breaking up:

According to reports from the Providence Journal and, the seven Catholic schools in the conference are on the verge of breaking away from the Big East Conference and going their own way. Both reports said the seven schools would have a conference call with Commissioner Mike Aresco Thursday and then announce their plans within the next 24 to 48 hours….

Sources told that it “would be an upset” if the Catholic schools remained in the Big East.

When asked if the Catholics were splitting, a separate Big East source told, “It sure appears that way.”

The ongoing conference realignment has been frustrating to follow, especially for fans of basketball schools without legit football teams. But I’ve been insisting to my friends that as long as Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova stuck together, they’d play in a decent conference. I suspect it’ll still be a while before all the dust settles, but I think those basketball programs are too good to be drowned in the wake of big-conference football.

A new conference of small Catholic schools would hardly be the Big East, obviously, but whatever’s slated to exist as the Big East next year wouldn’t really be the Big East either.

As with most things, I blame Syracuse for all of this.

Iman Shumpert has incredible hair

In news this site has ignored for far too long, injured Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has incredible hair. You may have spotted him on the Knicks’ bench this season wearing a suit and a high-top fade. I can’t find a great picture of him on the sideline, but this self-portrait from Shumpert’s Instagram will suffice. Apparently he was heading to an 80s party:

Here's what Iman Shumpert looks like.

He’s also responsible for this music video, which features him using sneakers as a phone and a hat, wearing a backwards Carmelo Anthony jersey, and spending paper at the Muni-Meter:

And here’s the best ad campaign ever

It’s a video game featuring Dikembe Mutumbo and a talking-bear sidekick named Science the Bear. Why is Old Spice much better at advertising than everybody else? I don’t know, but it’s probably why I’m currently wearing Old Spice. Sorry, but I’m a sucker for stuff Terry Crews does. See you in a few hours:

(I originally had the game embedded here, but it turns out it autoplays [hilarious] music every time you open the page and it got annoying. So go check it out elsewhere.)

For what it’s worth, I met Dikembe once when he came to speak at Georgetown my junior year. Seemed like an awesome dude. My roommate and I even posed for a photo with him, one of us in each of his outstretched arms. We had such big plans for the photo, too; we co-hosted a TV show on campus cable, and we hoped to blow it up to poster size and use it on our set. But I went to college before digital cameras, and the photo didn’t come out. It looks amazing in my mind though.

Did you know that Dikembe Mutumbo speaks nine languages?

Via Scott.

Important NBA research

Spin Magazine puts together a comprehensive team-by-team ranking of the NBA leaders in rap shoutouts.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for roughly 15 years, no joke. Why? “Triumph,” one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most recognizable singles and (though not really my favorite) certainly among their most epic performances, ends with a seemingly random reference to Rod Strickland.

Strickland’s from New York, so maybe Raekwon was showing some civic pride. But it seemed funny to me that this otherwise ethereal song should end with a shoutout to a pretty good basketball player. And I’ve always wanted to figure out which athlete benefited from the highest ratio of mentions in rap songs to actual ability, but it’s not something I have the wherewithal to figure out.

Lyrics NSFW:

Via Deadspin.

The Gangnam Style video to end them all

This site has been open in its appreciation of former Georgetown Hoya hero and current Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, one of our nation’s most awesome individuals. Check out his appearance at the Pacers’ Meet the Rookies event at an Indianapolis-area shopping mall. My understanding is that no one was expecting this.

That’s impressive footwork for a 7-foot-2 man.

Via Scott.