June 19, 2008


  • After 18 months with the throne vacant, the prestigious Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title was put up for grabs via reader vote earlier this week. A total of 1,617 ballots were cast between six candidates, with Keeley Hazell narrowly edging Marisa Miller for the crown. Hazell received 25 percent of the votes, compared to 23 percent for Miller, and follows in the footsteps of Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, and Elisha Cuthbert as the fourth Official Fantasy Girl in AG.com history.

    Hazell has been the favorite to claim the title for quite a while now and likely should have been handed the crown months ago, but her tendency to be photographed sans clothing oddly hurt her candidacy because many of the people who read this blog do so from work and another fraction of the audience is under the age of 18. In the end her qualifications were simply too impressive to ignore, as both the people who read this blog and the creepy loser who runs it agreed that she's the correct choice.

    After Hazell and Miller, Jenna Fischer made a strong showing by finishing third with 18 percent of the vote, followed by Kate Beckinsale at 15 percent, Mila Kunis at 12 percent, and Cuthbert at 8 percent. Cuthbert had an especially poor showing given that she's the only one of the six candidates to have held the title previously, showing that AG.com readers are either against the notion of a repeat winner or too disappointed with her post-Girl Next Door career to still take her seriously as a contender.

    As you can see, the new title-holder looks quite fetching in the OFGoAG.com crown and was graciously willing to put on some clothes to attend the star-studded OFGoAG.com banquet that was held in my mind earlier this week. Congratulations to Keeley and thanks to everyone who voted (and to everyone else who put up with this nonsense competition).

  • Clearly distraught after finishing fourth in the voting, Beckinsale is beginning to doubt herself.
  • On the other hand, Miller appears to have taken the second-place finish in stride and will clearly do her best to remain ready in case something were to happen to the title-holder. Plus, she's now decided to take over college basketball.
  • Had Kunis' secret talent been discovered prior to the voting, things may have gone much differently (unfortunately YouTube removed the video, so that screen shot will have to due.)
  • As a Timberwolves fan who always felt that Kevin Garnett was never fully appreciated in Minnesota, seeing him win a championship in Boston was pretty damn exciting. Garnett has long been criticized for not taking over games offensively, but there's far more to greatness than scoring points and it was fitting that moments after winning the championship he embraced the player who perhaps epitomizes that more than any other in NBA history, Bill Russell.

    Garnett's arrival helped turn the Celtics into the NBA's best defensive team and produced the biggest one-season turnaround in NBA history, all while he quietly led the team in scoring during the playoffs. Sure, he went a little crazy after winning the title, but showing emotion, flirting with old friend Michelle Tafoya, and then dressing up like a 13-year-old boy at his Bar Mitzvah party the next night alongside Ray Allen on Late Show With David Letterman is all part of what makes Garnett so special.

    Garnett averaged 20 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line in 26 playoff games, but as usual it was his 10.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks that went overlooked by people who equate "points" with "value." Guys like Dan Barreiro and Patrick Reusse may never see it, but hopefully most of the basketball-watching world has a better grasp of Garnett's greatness now, even if it hasn't changed from his time in Minnesota. Congrats, Kevin.
  • Along with front-office staffer Paul DePodesta blogging, the Padres are considering opening up the Petco Park press box to bloggers. During a recent interview with longtime blogger Geoff Young, Padres chief executive officer Sandy Alderson said: "We've been toying around with allowing people like yourself into the press box. I know there's a lot of controversy about that among mainstream media and so forth, but our attitude is, the more access the better." Buzz Bissinger was unavailable for comment.
  • Next time someone like Bissinger slags blogs while touting the superior standards of newspapers, point him to this news.
  • On a related note, as The Big Lead examined and followed up on, save for a select few big names even the country's top-earning sportswriters make less than the MLB, NFL, or NBA minimum.
  • The always entertaining "Batting Stance Guy" finally got around to covering the Twins:

    My favorite is the three stages of Kent Hrbek, but the whole video is pretty amusing.
  • When he's not making his living betting on basketball games, Haralabos Voulgaris is a part-time poker player who co-hosts an outstanding podcast over at Poker Road. In the wake of the NBA's recent officiating scandal, he did a fascinating two-part interview with ESPN blogger Henry Abbott about Tim Donaghy, sports betting, and basketball analysis.
  • As always on Friday mornings, you can listen to me on KFAN radio at around eight o'clock talking Twins on "The Power Trip Morning Show" with Mike Morris, Cory Cove, and Chris Hawkey. Click here to listen online and feel free to call in with a question.
  • This week's NBCSports.com "Fantasy Fix" show features me chatting Yankees with Tiffany Simons:

    Even if you're not very interested in my take on Mike Mussina and Jorge Posada, the video is worth watching if only to see how my spectacular beard compares to Jason Giambi's amazing mustache. Speaking of Tiffany, Will Carroll is apparently a big fan.
  • As a relatively popular blogger and humongous fan of Adam Carolla who gets asked to promote all sorts of worthless things here, my feelings are hurt by not being targeted to give away something that I'd actually be thrilled to support. Definitely not "good times."
  • Esquire is jumping on the bandwagon now, but Carolla fans know that he's been advocating the use of "nozzle" rather than "bag" for years now.
  • A pair of blogs to check out: Style and Sports and Twins Territory.
  • Finally, in honor of the new Official Fantasy Girl this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Legend singing a live version of "Number One":

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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