American tennis prodigy Donald Young (above).

Donald Young, the Atlanta native by way of Illinois who perhaps had the greatest junior career of any American in recent memory, had his best ever win way back in 2007 as an 18 year old at the US Open, in the 2nd round at Flushing against Richard Gasquet.  It was a walk-over.  So Young was gifted into the 3rd round there that year, still his best major outcome, stormed out against Feliciano Lopez in round 3, won the 1st set, dropped the 2nd, and then dropped a close tie-breaker 7-5 in the 3rd set in which every fan watching knew that the breaker’s outcome would decide the match.  Young provided some incredible highlights against Lopez in that match, like when he backed up to the fence and then lept like his idol, Michael Jordan, to return a smash from Lopez that somehow went for a winner.

Young must have a favorable matchup with the hard serving Lopez.  The next year, in 2008, Young defeated the Spaniard at Indian Wells.  Lopez was ranked world #32 at the time, and until about 8 PM EST tonight, that meager  result was still his greatest win.  Young, who won the Easter Bowl, the Orange Bowl, Junior Wimbledon, and Junior Australian Opens was the youngest ever junior world number one, and is still the only black junior number one.  As a pro, the contrast in terms of success has been stark.  We’ve seen him play a few good random sets, and frankly, he’s lost most of those.  Going toe to toe with Nikolay Davydenko for 25 minutes and then petering out is not the mark of the coming of the next great American.  Nor is almost taking John Isner to a tie-breaker, or going 5 sets with James Blake at the Open and losing.  The best result other than the Gasquet walkover and the IW Lopez victory was probably an obscure win over Alejandro Falla.

We are big Young supporters, but he has quite honestly been making a fool out of us.  He needed to hit a home run sooner or later.  We weren’t about to press him when he was 18, and that was the last time he showed the tennis world much.  We didn’t press him at 19.  Or 20.  We even said that we thought he deserved to be in the main draw at the AO in January, having watched his ranking climb to around 100.  We feel like we were the only ones watching him.  And as tennis fans, we fully understood that he has exhausted all of his free passes into the majors.  He qualified.  Good for him for earning his way and not having to hear any talk of who that spot should rightfully have gone to.  But Marin Cilic totally dusted him in round 1, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1, ending any magic carpet ride before it began.  Young deserved to lose.  He did not bring it, could not get into points with Cilic, who dominated DY with his power, leaving the DY criticisms about his slight frame and lack of power, not only valid, but resounding.

So we were very proud to see Young defeat Andy Murray today, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in one hour and 33 minutes.  The very slow IW Plexicushion, which we feel is an utter embarrassment of a hardcourt, is not a good court for Young, in our estimation.  Sure these awful plexipaved courts, topped out with max sand to further slow an already dampened ball, have favored counter punchers like Nadal in Australia, and Canas versus Federer here, but they also can favor the very big hitter who has the power to hit through the court or still get max pop on their serve, like Karlovic today, like Tsonga in Melbourne, like Federer in Melbourne versus Murray.

Playing safe against Murray is not the strategy that’s best.  Murray is going to dink and dunk you, is one of the kings of safe play himself, but he just did not play the big points well enough today.  You are only as good as your second serve, and that’s probably Murray’s greatest weakness, after his passive style.  Murray claimed only 28% of his second balls, and was broken 4 times in the match.  Young may not have hit a ton of winners, but he surprised us with his ability to hit through the court, which kept the pressure squarely on the Scot.  In the end, Young held a 74-62 advantage in total points, despite hitting just one ace and dumping in 7 double faults.

Young played the bigger points better today than world #5 Andy Murray.  That’s a step forward for the American, who we really want to see good things happen for.  Style aside, we have always regarded Young as a very talented kid with a diverse game, and nice touch.  The pressure of being junior #1 and American prodigy status has only made more difficult his transition to the pro game, and we hope today’s win is a sign that he is finally starting to figure some things out.

Young couldn’t hope for a kinder 3rd round matchup.  Next up will be #25 Tommy Robredo, a guy who doesn’t have the type of weapons to scare anyone.  A few years back when Robredo was in the top 10, my friends and I dubbed him the top 10 player you’d most want to play if you absolutely needed a win.  Opportunity knocks.

The ball’s in Young’s court.  Hopefully, he keeps doing something with it.

Crack (,

Newest Ranger, center Todd White (above).

Yesterday the New York Rangers acquired a much needed center iceman when they sent forwards Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller to Atlanta for 5’10” veteran center Todd White.

Let’s look at White’s career stats:

Year Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA Shots Shot %
1997-98 Chicago Blackhawks 7 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 33.3
1998-99 Chicago Blackhawks 35 5 8 13 -1 20 2 2 0 0 43 11.6
1999-00 Chicago Blackhawks 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
1999-00 Philadelphia Flyers 3 1 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 4 25.0
1999-00 Total 4 1 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 4 25.0
2000-01 Ottawa Senators 16 4 1 5 5 4 0 1 0 0 12 33.3
2001-02 Ottawa Senators 81 20 30 50 12 24 4 7 0 0 147 13.6
2002-03 Ottawa Senators 80 25 35 60 19 28 8 15 1 0 144 17.4
2003-04 Ottawa Senators 53 9 20 29 12 22 1 6 1 0 98 9.2
2005-06 Minnesota Wild 61 19 21 40 -1 18 5 10 0 1 109 17.4
2006-07 Minnesota Wild 77 13 31 44 8 24 6 8 1 1 162 8.0
2007-08 Atlanta Thrashers 74 14 23 37 -12 36 6 5 1 0 111 12.6
2008-09 Atlanta Thrashers 82 22 51 73 -9 24 12 22 1 0 150 14.7
2009-10 Atlanta Thrashers 65 7 19 26 -11 24 2 8 0 0 92 7.6
Totals: 635 140 239 379 21 226 46 84 5 2 1075 13.0

White, who was plagued by injuries last year, had a career year for Atlanta in 2008-2009, when he recorded 73 points.  Prior to that, White played for the Wild, where he got a chance to play a good deal with Rangers star forward Marian Gaborik, who the Rangers have had trouble matching with a centerman.  For that reason, some think that White could turn into a major addition to the club.

Mostly, White wants to prove that last season was an aberration. White suffered through two knee dislocations and then tore his labrum late in the season as he compiled seven goals and 19 assists in 65 games. White said his knees are not an issue and he was cleared to skate about three weeks ago. However, he has not yet been cleared for contact, though he believes he will be good for contact drills by the time the Rangers open training camp on Sept. 17.

“(The rehab) is going well,” White said by telephone. “I saw the doctors three weeks ago and I was cleared to start skating. I’ve skated a couple of times, passing and shooting. I had the shoulder surgery as soon as the season was done, that’s part of not being allowed to take contact. (The start of training camp), that’s my goal, that was the plan all along in Atlanta, to be ready.  I’ve been progressing really well. It’s just a matter of getting my strength, my range of motion is back.”

The Rangers have been actively trying to improve their offense, signing enigmatic Russian left wing Alexander Frolov last week.

White will become an unrestricted free agent after this season, when the Rangers are expected to have approximately $ 19 M in cap room.

–Crack (,

“Seest a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men.”


This page is not yet five months old, and already, we may boast of a few things.  More people have come here to read about Ecstasy than used the NYC homework helpline in 2009-2010.  We are proud to have all of you.  Especially those pill reporters who took the time to test or sample their pills, or both, and submit their findings to, and then took more time to come here and make comments about their experiences, or to exchange a kind word.

There was steamroller, who famously plugged a Blue Pokeball and then hopped in his car for a drive from Los Angeles to San Diego.

chemlover out in Texas who we must thank for reporting and testing from an important area to know about–a border area where we know a lot of pills are coming from.

And how could we forget Florida’s most diligent and meticulous tester, the great kaspk, who not only has time for Pill Reports and for us, but who also videotapes his test results and youtubes them?

That’s just to name a few.  We have to thank all of you, because whatever it is that we’ve put together on this little page is being noticed.  A few weeks ago, I was contacted by’s president, who likes what we do over here, and he asked me to join forces with Dancesafe and do some writing and some analysis of Ecstasy, to track some trends in Ecstasy, to track certain pills, and obviously, to reduce harm in our community.  To put the relationship between Dancesafe and Crack in some perspective, I would refer you all to the incomparable Special Ed’s lyric, about the finder and the founder (“You was the finder/I was the founder/I was around a/long time ago”).

It is an enormous honor for me to be recognized by Dancesafe, undoubtedly the most important institution in our scene there has ever been.  I was practically a kid, going to multiple times a day, debating about my MDA pills (Sunflowers, Ones) fervently, or checking out other pills, or just scrolling through pics of pills and trying to familiarize myself with their chemical composition.  I even made a close friend through Dancesafe–perhaps the friend I respect most–on Dancesafe.

How’d that happen?  We were arguing about pills, of course.  If I never had any association with Dancesafe after that, I’d say I had won big, because friends for life don’t grow on trees.  But Dancesafe’s kid, their little boy, who would still be at Sound Factory at this time 10 years ago, or at mixed night at Limelight, is all growed up.  And for some reason, the institution has taken notice, of little old Crack and his Pokeball and Quebec amp updates, and our breakdown of’s lab results.

It’s not like we don’t have our own credentials either, forgive the lack of humble speak.  I have sat in Dr. Shulgin’s living room on Mount Diablo, and watched black hawks soar through the Shulgin’s skylight, while Sasha showed us his picture albums–looking at photos from house parties of Timothy Leary and Oscar Wilde’s sons, among others–while the Dr. asked me questions I am still contemplating 6 years later.  When I started this page, it was partly with a wildly selfish intent–to promote my writing, and the film company of my partners and me, a little outfit we call Formula 411.  Dr. Shulgin is one of our projects, Terry Singeltary Sr., the world’s foremost researcher on CJD and pryon disease, is another.

Of course, I am a bit of a historian on the New York underground–proudly so–and my fiction is defined by realism and my crystal clear memories of New York’s scene, from the 1990’s on, and it is funny and disturbing as hell.  I am very honored to bring my New York City roots to Dancesafe, and promise to represent my underground hardcore, while learning and analyzing your underground–particular talents of mine.

Hey, I can barely set an alarm clock, and straight up, I am a scientific layman, but I will analyze your pills and data every which way, so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.  My pleasure.  It’s my calling–I’ve always said it was, and now at my advanced age, when I should be thinking about golf or some shit, I am still dissecting pill reports.  Don’t get the idea that this particular layman is going to be bad for your knowledge of the scene, and that my reports won’t be chock full of information.  And Dancesafe’s, and my own scientific experts vett these reports so that any layman issues come to you with a distinguished expert’s polish.

Please follow the work that Dancesafe and I do in collaboration, as well as the work that each site does independently.  Note the links in our right panel, and take advantage of them.  The essence of Formula 411, my essence, is that of the greatest heroes of our past–the ones who put it on the line for the common good, who weren’t afraid to have a voice, despite however “illicit” the cause might seem to some–like Franklin, Voltaire, and Shulgin.

While I possess neither the wit or intellect of any of those men, I do possess a similar spirit when it comes to fighting for and preserving our rights.  Dancesafe is a vital resource to the community, and the loss of any such resource would we be a clear danger to the scene.  With your help, Dancesafe isn’t going anywhere, and now Crack has been given an invite to the party.  To their credit, they have rolled out the red carpet for me so far as well, helping me along greatly and welcoming me to an enormous degree.

Look for our maiden voyage together very soon, as I have analyzed the latest’s lab results for Dancesafe, and it will go up early in the week.  First there, and then here.  But this collaboration is a monumentous one in that we are both totally comitted to stamping out bad pills, and speaking for myself, to put pressure on makers to come up with a better and more diverse product for us.

With the help of some friends, we’re going to shine the spotlight at the issues plaguing the scene.

Word, Solomon.

Be Smart,

Crackbillionair (,

Mardy Fish (above), the Atlanta and Newport champion (above).

Mardy Fish, ranked around world # 90 in May, has found himself back inside the top 40, landing at # 35 after winning two straight events and making the finals of 3 out of his last 4 events.

This week, Fish is the fourth ranked American male this week, improving 14 spots–the most of any American in the top 100.  Ahead of Fish this week is top ranked American and good Fish friend, Andy Roddick, who remains at world # 9, John Isner, who lost to Fish in yesterday’s final, at world # 19, and Sam Querrey, at world # 20.  Querrey is back in action this week at the Farmer’s Classic in LA.  Keep in mind that Big Sam Q had a great Olympus Series last year and won the US Open Series.  He should be tough this week in front of the hometown fans.

The next highest riser in this week’s rankings for America after Fish was Taylor Dent, up to world # 84 to world # 94 with his quarter-final loss to Fish in Atlanta.

Michael Russell, another quarter-finalist in Atlanta, is up 8 spots from world # 89 to world # 81.  Donald young finds himself up 6 spots, and back in the top 100, sitting at # 99.  Go DY!

Tommy Haas, now an American citizen, and still recovering from injury, slid one position back to # 107.  Haas dates actress Sara Foster.  James Blake slipped 2 positions to # 117, and Robby Ginepri fell a precipitous 43 ranking spots to world # 118.

–Crack (

American John Isner congratulates friend and today’s victor, Mardy Fish (above).

World # 18, American Giant John Isner played lights out tennis for the first set today, but in the end it was Mardy Fish who took the title at the first ever Atlanta Hardcourt Tennis Championships, defeating the University of Georgia alum and former NCAA doubles champion, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

A well conditioned Fish, of whom a 30 lbs. weight loss has been boasted of all week by ESPN2’s and The Tennis Channel’s announcers, had to be aided in 97 degree Atlanta heat by his new, sleeker 168 lbs. frame.  The heat index during the 2nd set was 103 and the on the court temperature was close to an astounding 150 degrees.  Fish, who played in his 15th career ATP final today, won his 5th career title, and his second consecutive title, after taking the Campbell’s Cup in Newport, Rhode Island last weekend at The Tennis Hall of Fame.

Fish made an important tactical adjustment versus Isner early in the 2nd set that seemedto turn the match around for the world’s # 49 player, who should be ranked significantly higher when he wakes up tomorrow and checks out the ATP’s latest rankings.  Isner had dominated play with his huge serve and gigantic forehand, and Fish couldn’t seem to get the ball to Isner’s backhand in rallies, and left many balls too short which Isner teed off on.  Early in the second set, Fish began to drill the backhand to the corner of the ad court, which forced Isner to cover more territory in rallies, and limited his ability to dictate points with his forehand.  The ploy turned the match for Fish, who managed to break Isner’s serve in both the 2nd and 3rd sets, as he applied more pressure to Isner and forced the big man to rely more on his weaker shot–the backhand.  It was a similar strategy to that of the one employed by Fish in last night’s semi versus Andy Roddick.

Isner must be given credit for his perserverance in his first tournament since Wimbledon, where he and Nicolas Mahut set a record in the first round by playing in an 11 hour and 10 minute match that spanned 3 days.  Isner won 4 matches this week in singles and 3 in doubles, and survived a very tight 3 sets versus South African Kevin Anderson in the semi-finals on Saturday.

As for Fish, the victory makes him the the third American to win 2 tournaments this season, behind Sam Querrey with 3 (1 on each surface) and Andy Roddick with 2.  Fish, who had dropped to about # 90 in the world prior to the French Open, has put himself in great position to have an excellent summer.  He also displayed tremendous sportsmanship, wishing John Isner luck in the 3rd set as players changed ends and prepared for the start of the deciding set.

Fish’s victory today also marks more titles won by Americans in the men’s game this year than last year.

–Crack (

Andy Roddick congratulates tonight’s winner at the net, Mardy Fish (above).

World # 49, American Mardy Fish upped his meager lifetime record versus friend, American, and world # 9, Andy Roddick, by winning virtually all the big points tonight in their all American semi-final in front of a prime time crowd this evening at the first ever Atlanta Hardcourt Tennis Championships.  For Fish, it was his first win over Roddick in their last ten matchups and only his 2nd career win over the American # 1 and top seed here in Atlanta in 11 career head to head matchups.

Fish played a great match, and took more risks than Roddick, who seemed tentative and moored to the baseline, once again.  Prior to the match, Roddick’s coach, Hall of Fame coach Larry Stefanki, told reporters that he wanted to see Roddick play a lot of “first strike tennis.”  But then the match started, and Roddick got surprisingly few easy points off of his serve, while Fish seemed to take Stefanki’s advice and run with it–rushing the net 19 times in the set and claiming a whopping 16 of those points.  With Fish up 6-3 in the first set tie breaker, Roddick won two straight points on Fish’s serve, giving Roddick an opportunity to serve for 6 all in the breaker, yet Fish took the next set point on Roddick’s serve with a nice approach and a beautiful backhand volley.

It was a set Roddick really needed, but he played the set way too timidly, and the fact that he only made 2 errors in the set didn’t amount for much in the end.  Roddick also seemed unable to handle the way Fish picked on Roddick’s backhand, which he told Ted Robinson and Jimmy Arias after the match, was a weakness in Roddick’s game, a sentiment echoed by the announcers all night, who continually pointed out Roddick’s lack of pop on his cross court 2 hander.  Roddick only hit 2 winners off the backhand side in the match–totally unacceptable.

Fish took a fairly early break off of a Roddick error in the 6th game of the second set, and cruised to a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory in 1 hour and 41 minutes, despite only making 40 % of his first serves.  Though Fish served poorly in general, he allowed zero breaks of serve to Roddick, who is still looking very poor with his footwork, and who could not even dial in to Fish’s second serve.  Check out the match stats below.

For Fish, it’s another all American final, this time with Giant John Isner, who survived a tough match from top South African Kevin Anderson in 3 sets.  Fish has now made the finals of 3 of his last four events, and is in excellent form going into tomorrow’s final, which will air live on ESPN2 at 3 PM EST.

And beautiful wife Stacey Gardner was all smiles in the player’s box.

God Bless America!

–Crack (

The other giant that will be on the court in tomorrow’s semi-final in Atlanta, the world’s top South African player, 6’7 Kevin Anderson (above), who partnered to win the doubles national championship with Ryan Rowe.  Anderson played for the University of Illinois, and was a three time all America.  Frankly, he may be the college player to join the ranks of the pros with the most upside since a young James Blake.

Anderson is a shot maker, and in representing his country in Davis Cup and Olympic play, he’s gotten extra exposure to long, pressure filled matches.  At 6’7, his serve is immense, and comes from a sick angle.  I would say tomorrow’s match will be very close, go to a few tiebreakers or at least one, and could be won by Anderson, a very good hard courter.  If not mistaken, I believe both players can claim the accomplishment in having gone to the finals of their very first tournament.  Roddick was too much for Isner in the Washington final that concluded a dream run in which he beat Gael Monfils, among others.  For Anderson, it was a loss to Sam Querrey in Las Vegas, which amounted to Sam’s first ever title.

Both players like short points, attack the net, and have pretty good hands.  And whereas Isner is big off the forehand, Anderson is really pretty big off both sides, and may be a little more mobile than the sometimes lumbering Isner.  I’d say Anderson has more of a tennis build.

Look for a very entertaining match.

–Crack (

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