ESPN The Magazine
 Wednesday, November 1
The Pulse: The best trash talk on the web
By Andy Latack
ESPN The Magazine


Site Unseen Houston, we have a home page. Rockets fans can come to ClutchCity and reload from now until June (well, April). So what if Hakeem is old and creaky? Here, he's still The Dream. Clutch has blunt game recaps ("Jason Collier showed he has a pulse"), obscure trivia ("Who did the Rockets pick third in '83?"), tasteful wallpaper selections and a hot new historical database. Like most fan sites, ClutchCity grinds the gears a little. Quotes from the Rockets' trainer? A draft-lottery extra called "Quest for some balls"? A column about growing up near a sheep pasture? But make no mistake, this site's MO is quite different from say,'s: "No money exchanged, no bosses to impress, no asses kissed." Word.

-- Eric Adelson

So what if NBA players are taller and more talented than you are? There's nothing like calling some big lug a lazy boy from the comfort (and safety) of yours. These sites elevate the blame game.
TARGETS: Vin Baker's belly, Matt Geiger's (lack of) game, Rick Fox's hair. SMACK: LaPhonso Ellis: "God has a plan for me." HTV: "He sure does, Phons. The plan is to have you towel off KG and Wally." FOUL! Scantily clad females? On the Internet? Cutting edge!
TARGETS: All NBA players, from Adam (Keefe) to Zan (Tabak). SMACK: Yearly awards called Chucks. As in, the Acie Earl Ugliest Skills Chuck goes to...Jim McIlvaine! FOUL! Once predicted Christian Laettner would be a perennial All-Star. Guys, this is the Web -- you can take the stuff down that makes you look stupid.
TARGETS: The Mailman, DC (way too easy!). SMACK: "Georgetown centers are dropping like flies; luckily, Ewing has been dead for three years." FOUL! Did you have to tell everyone J.R. Rider dissed The Mag?
TARGETS: The WNBA, Don Nelson's penchant for unproven foreign types. SMACK: On Popeye Jones: "Looks like his head was compiled of spare parts." FOUL! Updates are slower than Andrew DeClercq.

This article appears in the October 30 issue of ESPN The Magazine.


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