Athlon Sports recently sought the opinions of a Major League Baseball players (more than a fifth of the league participated) on a variety of subjects. In what is hardly a surprising development, Kate Upton was named the Hottest Woman Alive. In what has to be considered bad news for the MLB WAGs out there, only 7.8 percent of the players think that 100 percent of the married guys are faithful. That must be why most players wouldn't want their daughters to date a major league player (23.5 percent, to be exact).
Shane Battier hit up Denny's after winning the title Thursday night. ... Chris Bosh almost choked on a piece of confetti during the postgame celebration. ... Taiwanese animators, NMA.tv, has posted its NBA Finals report.
Guyism.com has compiled the best GIFs, memes and screencaps from the past week.
Model Shelby Chesnes gets today's LLOD honors.
Aaron Hernandez is in deep poo right now, but at least someone was kind enough to send him an Edible Arrangement today.
New Era has made these special Mariano Rivera caps to commemorate his last season. They've provided five hats for Hot Clicks' readers. The first five people to hit me up on Twitter and ask for the cap, get one.
UPDATE: HATS ARE ALL GONE. GIVEAWAY IS OVER.
One of the most outspoken athletes in sports, Raiders punter Chris Kluwe, has written a book that will be available on Tuesday. Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities (yes, that is the title) has very little football in it. Most of the book focuses on Kluwe's pet peeves and opinions on controversial issues and societal observations. (He does have a chapter on what his day is like as an NFL punter, and it's one of the book's highlights.) We discussed all of these things on a new Hot Clicks Podcast, which you can listen to the podcast below, download it on iTunes or download it to your mp3 player.
[audio http://ht.cdn.turner.com/si/hot-clicks/audio/2013/06/19/061813.traina_kluwe.mp3|titles=The Hot Clicks Podcast=Raiders punter and author Chris Kluwe joins the show|width=600]
It's time for a little Hot Clicks State of the Union address. With the NBA season now a wrap and the month of June quickly coming to a close, we are embarking on the two worst months of the year to be a sports blogger or whatever I am. Yes, we have baseball in July and August, and that sport will provide us with lots of material, however, we are now on the countdown to the start of college football and the NFL. That means I need you guys to step up your submitting efforts Don't hesitate to e-mail links, videos, photos, Tweets, etc. We''ll probably do more pop culture and offbeat stuff over the next two months with sports slowing down, so I'm open to anything. I look forward to hear from you.
Summer is officially here. Get your trampolines and have some fun.
Today, I'm using the playlist to pay tribute to two people, for very different reasons: James Gandolfini and Nick Zaccardi.
You already know that Jimmy loves The Sopranos, and he honored Gandolfini beautifully yesterday. What you may not know is that I'm also a superfan of the show (as a northern New Jersey native who grew up in all the same towns the show was shot in, I can proudly drive the exact route Tony takes in the show's opener). Seeing as how the show made excellent use of its music, the first nine songs in this week's playlist are from memorable Tony Soprano moments, with some bonus thoughts from me. RIP big man, we miss you.
As for Zaccardi, he's leaving SI this week, and he'll be missed. So I asked him, as part of his goodbye, to pick a song to close out the playlist. He happily obliged.
As always, click any of the song links to listen, or you can just subscribe to the Hot Clicks Nation playlist on Spotify. Every Friday, the playlist will automatically change to that week’s selections, so the new music will come to you. Let me (Tom Mantzouranis) know on Twitter what you like and what you do not. (Warning: NSFW language in some songs.)
The Kinks, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" — The perfect song for Tony Soprano, in both attitude and lyrics. "I won't take all that they hand me down, and make out a smile though I wear a frown. And I won't take it all lying down, 'cause once I get started I go to town," the first verse goes. In Season 5's "Cold Cuts," Tony is jealous and bitter than his sister Janice seems to be happy and he isn't. So, of course, he pushes and pushes her in front of her family until she snaps. He's satisfied with his work.
The Chi-Lites, "Oh Girl" — Another example of Tony not being able to stand other people's happiness if he can't have it too. He's already given Assemblyman Zellman permission to date his former Russian mistress Irena. Then he hears this song in his car, gets sentimental, cries, drives to Zellman's house and beats him with a belt in front of her.
The Rolling Stones, "Thru and Thru" – This one closes out Season 2. Tony and his two families — biological and professional — joyously celebrate Meadow's high school graduation. As the group smiles and takes photos together, the happiness is contrasted by shots of Davey Scatino, the childhood friend of Tony's who gets too deep in debt to the man and sees his life fall apart because of it. Tony Soprano was a man who did despicable things to protect and provide for his family, this montage makes that plain to see.
Van Morrison, "Glad Tidings" — The climax of my favorite season, Tony realizes what he needs to do with insubordinate cousin Tony Blundetto toward the end of Season 5's "All Due Respect," and goes to where Blundetto's hiding, killing him to prevent a brewing war with New York in one of the character's signature moments. The best part? A lyric in the song played right before Blundetto is shot goes "…and we'll send you glad tidings from New York."
Otis Redding, "My Lover's Prayer" — The song opens and closes Season 2's "My Lover's Prayer," first during a scene featuring Christopher clinging to life in a hospital after a gunshot wound, and later with Tony and Carmella in bed, making up after a fight and discussing possibly having a third child. Another example of the show tying Tony's two worlds together.
Tindersticks, "Tiny Tears" — Another signature Tony Soprano moment. Tony's in a funk in Season 1's "Isabella," but he's about to be snapped out of it thanks to an attempted hit planned by Uncle Junior and his mother. This song plays as he walks back to his car with a bottle of orange juice and newspaper. Tony emerged from the attempt with his life, but the orange juice — and two hit men — weren't so lucky. A ridiculously badass scene.
Dion & The Belmonts, "I Wonder Why" — The first great Tony Soprano music moment. In the series' pilot, this song plays over the very first time we see Tony "at work" -- and Christopher come across a man who owes them money, and gruesomely beat him over this bouncy, energetic song.
Bruce Springsteen, "State Trooper" — The song that closes out the first season plays as Tony, Carmella and the kids take shelter from a wicked storm to eat a meal at the infamous Vesuvio's. He's just survived that hit, and since learned who was responsible for it. In a place, with people he feels safe with, Tony tells his kids to remember the times that were good. A.J. Reminds him of that years later, at a booth in Holsten's, right before the show cut to black for good.
Frank Sinatra, "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" — In a fever dream, Tony has the realization that best friend Big Pussy is a rat, and takes him out on a boat with Paulie and Silvio to fix that problem. This is the song that plays as the four have a final drink before Tony puts a bullet in Puss, the climax of the show's first two seasons and an event that would haunt Tony into the future.
The Verve, "Lucky Man" -- So long, Nick. Stay in touch.