Saturday, March 20, 2010


So this irritated me...

Education Secretary Arne Duncan: No Graduates, No Game for College Basketball

What a ridiculous load of grandstanding horseshit. How many objections can I have? Let's count!
  1. The notion that the Secretary of Education even exists as a policy-making figure is unnecessary at best, very harmful at worst.
  2. Even if we accept that the Secretary of Education is a necessary figure, why the fuck is he commenting on how individual schools run their sports programs?
  3. Even if we accept that the Secretary of Education deems it necessary to comment on how individual schools run their sports programs, did he just wake up recently? Is he really surprised to see that the focus of major-college basketball programs isn't the education of the scholarship players?
  4. Well, then, what would be the focus of major-college basketball programs? I'm guessing - and please, leave a comment if I'm off-base here - winning basketball games.
  5. Okay, we can pretty much agree that the main focus of a major-college basketball program is winning games. So what do you need in order to win games? Good basketball players.
  6. It follows naturally that good basketball players want to play professionally. Well, in order to play professional basketball in America, one has to play in college for at least one year first.
  7. Just in case you didn't get #6, I'll rephrase: The only reason most good basketball players even attend college to begin with is because they're legally prevented from pursuing a professional basketball career in America without at least one year of college.
  8. So to put a fine point on it, we'll just say that getting that required English credit out of the way isn't John Wall's (or whomever's) number one priority.
  9. How did he come up with the figure of forty percent?
  10. Does the world of college athletics need another self-righteous prick crowing about "student athletes"?

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Philosophical question #1...

So Das Boot is on Encore's rotation again. It's about 8,000 hours long, so even under normal conditions it would be impossible to watch straight through, but it's probably the tensest movie I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it (and I'm sure the four people who read this shitty blog haven't), it's the story of a German U-boat during World War II. It's tense for me in two ways:
  1. It's on a submarine, so you've got 40+ dudes packed tightly into this leaky, tiny boat under water. There's no personal space, no real shower or anything, which freaks me out considerably.
  2. The nature of submarine warfare itself. The U-boat is hunting convoys, which have large destroyers waiting for U-boats to attack (or at least show itself) so it can go after it with depth charges and guns. There's very little the sub can do except wait and hope the destroyers don't find it.
It's a war film. You want the people to follow to succeed; in this case, the U-boat to get to a safe port. But here's the thing: you're rooting for Germans during World War II. They're not Nazis, but still...thinking about it is an uncomfortable feeling. But, these men are in a near-impossible situation, under hellish conditions and you sympathize with them and root for them. And conversely, for the Allies to fail and, since this is war, to die. Obviously, I wouldn't have these feelings if the nations were reversed.

So my question is this: can one fight honorably for an evil cause? Look, when you're a German in World War II fighting on the offensive, even if you aren't a Nazi directly involved in the systematic genocide of Jews, you're fighting an offensive war that enables that genocide. Is it possible to remain politically neutral while serving an evil regime?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"Best of" lists...

So this shitty, shitty decade is coming to a close, and as a result, plenty of my favorite review sites are releasing their best-of lists. And being a shameless follower, I was planning to write one of my own. Lately, however, I've been reconsidering. What would I really have to say? Are the four (maybe) people who read this shitty blog really going to be surprised that The Wire is first? Or that I like The Life Aquatic more than others? So what's really the point of doing the work? If you want me to post something, leave it in the comments. Otherwise, fuck it.


Thursday, October 01, 2009



When we say something is "underrated" or "overrated", what is it that we mean? Well, when we rate things, the "rating" we give them is particular to the person doing the rating; Andy hates Jackie Brown, whereas I love it, so I can say that he "underrates" Jackie Brown. But when we just throw out that, say, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is "underrated", who is doing the rating? There's not some sort of independent rating agency that establishes the worth of a piece of entertainment; art isn't baseball. I also don't believe in the "wisdom of crowds" nonsense that's popular these days. Look at Flickchart; I liked The Dark Knight as much as anyone, but can you really say that it's the best movie of all time? Or that The Professional is #20? Crowds are often dumb because people are often dumb; lumping them together doesn't (always) make their choices any smarter or better.

I guess my point is that "-rated" is another meaningless buzzword. Even my example of Andy "underrating" Jackie Brown is bullshit. He rates Jackie Brown exactly correct for him. To me, it seems like he's "underrating" it. (And he is, because he's wrong, but that's another post.)


Sunday, September 27, 2009



Nothing has happened in the seven months since I last posted. That's not entirely true. I bought (okay, leased) a new car. I drove to Cincinnati. I attended weddings and a funeral. I had a nice vacation.

Now what?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I guess this makes me feel a little better about the whole thing...

Andy Richter to Rejoin Conan O'Brien as 'Tonight Show' Announcer


Sunday, February 22, 2009


Filler post #8,238...

For some reason, I can't seem to get anything out of my head and into this shitty blog for the past year or so. I broke my sole New Year's Resolution (well, the one I'll talk about here anyway), which was to write for an hour a day, just to see if I have any talent for this whatsoever. That one was busted on January 3. On the plus side, that's a new record. Christ, my last post took me two hours to write four short, unoriginal paragraphs about steroids and sports. What am I, Rick Reilly? So lately I've been putting up crap like this and this and this. So thanks to Will Leitch, here's another one, about my iTunes library:

Number of songs: 8,789
Number of albums: 862
Total length: 23 days, 6 hours, 6 minutes, 58 seconds
Total disk space: 33.04 GB

Most recently played song: "My Favorite Things", John Coltrane
Most played song: "'Charu's Theme' From Satyajit Ray's Film 'Charulata'", Satyajit Ray
Most recently added album: Blood Bank, Bon Iver

First song alphabetically: "'A' (morse)", The Conet Project
Last song alphabetically: "Zurich is Stained", Slanted & Enchanted / Pavement
First song numerically: "1-10 Announcement", The Conet Project
Last song numerically: "99 Year Blues", The Anthology of American Folk Music / Julius Daniel

Shortest song: "There's a Riot Goin' On", There's a Riot Goin' On / Sly & The Family Stone (0:04)
Longest song: "Bitches Brew", Bitches Brew / Miles Davis (27:00)

First album alphabetically: A.M. / Wilco
Last album alphabetically: Zen Arcade / Hüsker Dü
First album numerically: #1 Record/Radio City / Big Star
Last album numerically: 89/93: An Anthology / Uncle Tupelo

First artist alphabetically: Aaliyah
Last artist alphabetically: Zoot Sims
First band alphabetically: The Aardvarks
Last band alphabetically: The Zombies

First twenty-five songs on shuffle:
"The Precious Jewel" / The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
"Sign O' the Times" / Prince
"I'm a Loser" / The Beatles
"Inn Town" / Whiskeytown
"Two" / Ryan Adams
"I Would Die 4 U" / Prince
"Tonight, I'll Be Staying Here With You" / Bob Dylan & The Rolling Thunder Review
"Thank You Friends" / Big Star
"Powerline" / Hüsker Dü
"Love Is Plentiful" / The Staple Singers
"The Wind Cries Mary" / Jimi Hendrix
"Why Me Lord?" / Johnny Cash
"Willie Nelson [insert 2]" / Miles Davis
"Parting of the Sensory" / Modest Mouse
"K.O.S. (Determination)" / Black Star
"Life on a Chain" / Pete Yorn
"Absynthe" / The Gits
"Walking in Memphis" / Marc Cohn
"Sample Count" / The Conet Project
"My Brilliant Feat" / Colin Hay
"Nothing Compares 2 U" / Sinéad O'Connor
"Hard Luck Woman" / Kiss
"Christmas Time Is Here" / Vince Guaraldi Trio
"The Upper Peninsula" / Sufjan Stevens
"There She Goes" / The La's
"Sara Smile" / Hall & Oates

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Sunday, February 08, 2009


A-Rod, Barry Bonds, steroids, professional sports, etc...

I was shocked, shocked, I tell you, to hear that a professional athlete competing at the highest level possible with millions of dollars at stake, would dare use a sort-of-illegal substance to gain a theoretical edge over his opponents. In my view, the only thing we can fault A-Rod for is being dumb enough to continue using detectable substances when he knew a test was coming.1

The tests were supposed to remain confidential, but were seized by your federal government as part of its $55 million prosecution of Barry Bonds for "lying" about using a legal substance. The absurd persecution of the greatest baseball player since Willie Mays has led the prosecutors to raid the home and threaten prosecution of the relatives of ancillary figures in the case.2

The story that is being conveniently ignored is former Cincinnatian Dana Stubblefield "cooperating" with the BALCO case, apparently naming fellow NFLers who also used. Like with Bonds and A-Rod, I don't really have any sort of problem with Stubblefield using, but I think the sports world's relative silence on this matter is interesting. Other NFL drug weirdness:
Why the free pass? After all, if we're just considering the effects of steroids -- increased muscle mass, ability to train longer and harder, and increased healing -- wouldn't they be far more useful in football than baseball? If Shawne Merriman is 6-4/270 and run a 4.6, he's most likely going to be a star if he has a modicum of football talent, but if you can't hit the ball or throw a strike, it doesn't matter how fast you are or how much you can bench.3 I think that it's because football has become less a sport than America's favorite soap opera, and the athletes are more actors than anything else, and everything is disposed of after the season; baseball is almost mythic, instant history. I have no proof for this, of course, other than my own probably unoriginal conjectures, but it does concern me. It should concern you too.

1. Interestingly (to me at least) is that this story is being reported on by noted moralist Selena Roberts, a reporter best known for buying in full-scale to the Duke Lacrosse rape fraud. I'm not doubting her reportage on this matter, but I'm not sure how someone who was so stunningly wrong on a major story can maintain any sort of crediblity.
2. As always with these things, I'm reminded of a quote by P.J. O'Rourke: "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
3. The career of Glenn Braggs is an instructive example.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


Movies of my life...

1980 - The Empire Strikes Back
1981 - Stripes
1982 - Fitzcarraldo
1983 - The Right Stuff
1984 - The Karate Kid
1985 - Rocky IV
1986 - Hannah and Her Sisters
1987 - Lethal Weapon
1988 - Die Hard
1989 - Major League
1990 - Goodfellas
1991 - Terminator 2: Judgment Day
1992 - Under Siege
1993 - Dazed and Confused
1994 - Pulp Fiction
1995 - Kicking and Screaming
1996 - Beautiful Girls
1997 - Boogie Nights
1998 - The Big Lebowski
1999 - Three Kings
2000 - High Fidelity
2001 - The Royal Tenenbaums
2002 - City of God
2003 - All the Real Girls
2004 - Kill Bill: Vol. 2
2005 - The 40 Year Old Virgin
2006 - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
2007 - Zodiac
2008 - The Dark Knight


Friday, January 02, 2009


TV in 2008...

As awful a year as 2008 was in most respects, TV was a rare bright spot. Some thoughts:


Thursday, January 01, 2009


My best of 2008...

Explanations may come later. Note that this list is made up of things I saw/read in 2008, as opposed things that were released in 2008.

1. The Dark Knight
2. There Will Be Blood
3. The Rules of the Game
4. In Bruges
5. Once
6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
7. Pineapple Express

Honorable Mentions:
Into the Wild, The King of Kong, Rescue Dawn, Rififi, Son of Rambow

1. The Shield
2. Generation Kill
3. Mad Men
4. The Wire
5. The Office
6. Battlestar Galactica
7. Spaced

Honorable Mentions:
30 Rock, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Carrier, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, My Boys

1. Stay Positive / The Hold Steady
2. Brighter Than Creation's Dark / Drive-By Truckers

1. Tree of Smoke / Denis Johnson
2. Watchmen / Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
3. Stalingrad / Antony Beevor
4. Game of Thrones / George R.R. Martin
5. Downtown Owl / Chuck Klosterman

Honorable Mentions:
Too many to list; see my Goodreads page.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008



I'll be in the Cincinnati area from the 22nd until the morning of the 26th.


Sunday, December 14, 2008


My xmas list...

Don't know what to buy for the fat, depressed bachelor casting a dark cloud over your life? As long as you expect nothing in return except my barely concealed contempt, here's a list of things I'd like this Xmas:
  1. A nice iPod dock/speaker system
  2. A new quilt, preferably flannel
  3. A tobacco pipe
  4. Kindle
  5. HD TiVo
  6. MacBook Air
  7. BMW 325i sedan in black or dark blue
  8. Tickets to this
  9. Oh, and that guy to make a good movie again
  10. Owen Wilson to retire from acting except for Wes Anderson's films
  11. Bill Murray to start feeling better about himself
  12. New episodes of The Shield and The Wire
  13. A shitload of money


Saturday, December 06, 2008


The worst television show of all time?

When I can't sleep, I get up and channel surf in the dark until I get sleepy, which usually takes about an 45 minutes to an hour. I like to linger on the Weather Channel, especially the local weather on the 8's. The combination of elevator music, bland graphics, and computerized narration is a sure thing.1 C-SPAN is also nice, especially when they're interviewing a writer who has little to say. But mostly I just flip around.

Sometimes, though, if I'm particularly unlucky, I will catch one of Nick at Nite's marathons. When Nick at Nite first started, they played old TV shows that could reasonably be considered classic - I Love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc. In the last few years, however, they've moved pretty solely to more recent family sitcoms of rather dubious quality2: Home Improvement, Full House, The George Lopez Show, and the big one: Family Matters.

If I'm unlucky enough to be flipping around and land on a Family Matters block, any idea I had of falling asleep is over. I simply cannot turn away from this show. I sit on my couch, agape and shocked at the bizarre dreadfulness that coming from my television screen and boring its way into my consciousness. I contemplate just how something this irredeemably awful can be produced for 215 episodes3 over nine seasons4. Who watches this unironically? Why is it still in syndication, ten years after it was mercifully cancelled? Is Family Matters the worst show of all time? I think so. Consider some of the show's crimes against humanity:
I could go on and on, but I'm getting a headache just thinking about this show.

1. Well, 99% of the time. They have this show which postulates the death and destruction caused by hypothetical weather events. Once I happened to catch the one about a tornado hitting downtown Dallas, which freaked me out.
2. And also The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is of course great.
3. !
4. !!
5. See Urkel's Wikipedia page for other inventions.
6. i.e., "Grandmama" exists as an actual old woman who is awesome at basketball and also a Converse shoes enthusiast
7. See the Wikipedia page for direct crossovers. Note that Full House once crossed over with Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Boy Meets World crossed over with Sabrina, and Sabrina crossed over with Clueless and Moesha. (See for all your TV crossover needs.)


Monday, September 01, 2008


Negative post...

  1. It's very tough breaking up with someone you once loved. I mean, I loved Anchorman and especially Talladega Nights, and he has to go and do this and Blades of Glory to me. Why, Will Ferrell, why?
  2. A nemesis is basically a friendly rival; think Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
  3. That's not entirely true.
  4. That's not true either -- I've been sick of it since it started.
  5. As long as we don't have another 2000-esque freakout.
  6. i.e., slutty Kelly Kapowski.
  7. Cotton "killed fitty men," remember?

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Sunday, August 24, 2008


Positive post...

I still can't think of anything substantive to write about, so what I'm going to do is write up two posts, one positive (and probably shorter), the other negative. I'm sure you'll get the idea.

  1. This one kind of turned into a negative, didn't it?
  2. Speaking of Christian Bale, go rent Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn. Oh, and the documentary it was based on, Little Dieter Needs to Fly.
  3. Actually, you probably are, since the only person who reads this terrible blog is me, and I'm obviously watching.
  4. Probably starring John Cusack. What a douche he turned into. Hey asshole, leave your irritating political viewpoints to yourself and make another funny movie. But what can we expect from a fucking Cubs fan?
  5. Which, despite what Andy may believe, is the greatest show of all time.
  6. Lack of attention to continuity is one of my biggest TV pet peeves. More on this in the negative post.
  7. This is where you go to the negative post. I'm not done with it yet, and I'm not really done with this one yet. I may add to it, but I have to get ready for work now. (Quit complaining, this shit is free. Oh, and terrible.)

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Thursday, August 14, 2008


The albums of my life...

I've seen this on a few blogs I read, and since I honestly can't come up with literally anything to write about lately, here are my favorite albums released in all the years I've been born...

1980 - Remain in Light / Talking Heads
1981 - Private Eyes / Daryl Hall & John Oates
1982 - Thriller / Michael Jackson
1983 - 1999 / Prince
1984 - Purple Rain / Prince and the Revolution
1985 - Tim / The Replacements
1986 - Guitar Town / Steve Earle
1987 - Appetite For Destruction / Guns N' Roses
1988 - Straight Outta Compton / N.W.A.
1989 - Disintegration / The Cure
1990 - No Depression / Uncle Tupelo
1991 - Nevermind / Nirvana
1992 - Slanted and Enchanted / Pavement
1993 - Anodyne / Uncle Tupelo
1994 - Unplugged in New York / Nirvana
1995 - Tomorrow the Green Grass / The Jayhawks
1996 - Being There / Wilco
1997 - OK Computer / Radiohead
1998 - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea / Neutral Milk Hotel
1999 - Things Fall Apart / The Roots
2000 - Stankonia / Outkast
2001 - Is This It? / The Strokes
2002 - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot / Wilco
2003 - Chutes Too Narrow / The Shins
2004 - Funeral / The Arcade Fire
2005 - Picaresque / The Decemberists
2006 - The Life Pursuit / Belle and Sebastian
2007 - Sound of Silver / LCD Soundsystem
2008 - Stay Positive / The Hold Steady

That was harder than it looked. There are some years (1980-1, 1990-1, 1997) where I was just lost looking for something I even liked. (Thus, Radiohead, who I normally can't stand.)


Saturday, June 14, 2008


Dusty Baker's lineup...

Dusty Baker just will not stop playing Corey Patterson, even though he's hitting a cool .195 this year. Like most Reds fans, I'm wondering how this happens. Here's what I imagine...

[Dusty Baker is in his office, door closed, pacing.]

DB: I'm in a quandry! Who do I play in Center Field? [Turns toward large mirror in corner of office] What do I do, Mirror?

[An image of Dusty in full uniform appears in the mirror]

Mirror Dusty: [over-laughing] Dusty! You handsome son of a bitch! What's going on!

DB: I just can't figure out what to do!

MD: What? You got this shit on lock down! You're Dusty Baker!

DB: The team is sinking fast, Mirror. My shortstops keep disappearing on me. Junior won't return my calls. Now I can't figure out who to play in center.

MD: [looks confused] That is a tough one, Dusty. Well, who's the fastest guy on the team?

DB: Well, Corey Patterson, I guess.

MD: There you go! Your fastest player plays center field, everyone knows that!

DB: Yeah! You're right, Mirror! That's one problem down. Okay, let's put the lineup together...who hits first?

MD: Your center fielder! Those are the rules!

DB: [doubtful] You sure, Mirror? He's only hitting .195, and rarely walks. Wouldn't a more logical move be to place the player with the higher on-base-percentage first, so that someone is on base when the big hitters come up later in the order?

MD: On-what-percentage? Come on, man you don't want anyone clogging up the bases! Play Patterson!

DB: [wavering] Mirror, I don't know...

MD: Have I ever failed you before? Who told you to keep wearing wristbands even though you don't do anything that makes you sweat?

DB: [sheepishly] You did.

MD: And who told you to play Neifi Perez at shortstop with the Cubs?

DB: You did.

MD: And who told you to ride Kerry Wood and Mark Prior into straight into the ground, ruining their careers?

DB: That's right, you did!

MD: And Marvin L. Bernard? He was just an below-average Giants farmhand before I came along. Now he's your butler! Did you ever dream you could have a butler?

DB: [excited] That was you, Mirror!

MD: Hell yeah it was! Now get those sweatbands on and get out there, the game started ten minutes ago.

DB: [over-laughing]

MD: [over-laughing]

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


How many different groups can Mike Myers offend?

...I'm going to count:
  1. Hindus - The most obvious group, as their religion is being raped for the sake of "comedy" and a bad karma pun.
  2. Indians - His "character" uses a stereotypical Indian accent; he sounds like a bad Apu impression.
  3. Gurus - I know the damage control is saying that Myers is making fun of phony Westerners selling Eastern religion as self-help, but there actually are gurus in the Hindu religion who actually help people.
  4. Little people - I don't know, obviously, but I'm guessing Verne Troyer is considered a sellout among the little people community. The asshole just can't stop selling out his condition for the laughs of the full-size community. And for the love of God, please, Mike Myers, just put him down. We get it, Mike -- he's little.
  5. French-Canadians - Justin Timberlake plays some sort of stereotypical French-Canadian, thus continuing the grand Canadian tradition of Quebecois oppression.
  6. Other stereotypically swarthy cultures - I actually wasn't sure what ethnicity Timberlake's character was, so it's clearly offensive to all.
  7. Romany Malco - He's the black guy in the left-hand corner, and is a wonderfully talented comedic performer (see The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Not only does he have to be associated with this mess, he doesn't even get his name on the poster.
  8. The Toronto Maple Leafs - I'm guessing they're regretting allowing their involvement.
  9. Jessica Alba's newborn child - I will assume that Jessica Alba has no shame, given her main talent lies in clearly posed bikini paparazzi shots on some beach somewhere, but her poor child now has to live with this the rest of its life.
  10. Sunflowers - The sunflower is a noble plant. Its seeds, when roasted and salted, provide one of my favorite snacks. There's a nice Van Gogh painting of sunflowers. Why Mike Myers feels the need to ruin that for me too, I can't figure out.
  11. The letter "o" - What graphic designer said, you know what? The letter "o" kinda sucks. Every damn movie has an "o". What we need is a poorly drawn cartoon of Mike Myers' character replacing that bullshit letter!
  12. The audience - Does he and the studio really think this is funny?
  13. Most of all, me.


Monday, June 09, 2008


Boring, tiresome rehashes of events in my life...

  1. Jesus fucking Christ. It's been six weeks since this fucking trip and I'm still pissed off about this. It's bad enough that Texas has this idiot cowboy stereotype, but do we have to live up to it? Goddamnit, even thinking about just irritates the hell out of me.
  2. By the way, will Larry the Cable Guy just fucking go away already? I know Larry the Cable Guy hatred is not a particularly groundbreaking opinion to have, but I hold it nonetheless.
  3. I'm not going to get into the not-so-sordid details of our partying. If you know any of us, you probably can guess what happened.
  4. If anyone has any Nic updates, please post them in the comments.
  5. Jesus, that's like the understatement of the year.
  6. For an alternate picture of our weekend, check out Ryan's blog.
  7. Worst hangover of my entire life. I puked three times at the hotel, and just laid in bed with the lights off for about four hours.
  8. He stayed at Stephen's house with our cousin Michael. I can only imagine what that house smelled like after: probably a mixture of vomit, bong water, and body odor.
  9. Stephen took the crown with his nickname "Boxcar Joe".
  10. I always mistype "weeding" when I mean "wedding", but not the other way, strangely.
  11. A Nissan Rogue. Don't buy one.
  12. One little anecdote illustrating my lack of enthusiasm for Jackson: the wedding was held at the Catholic Cathedral for the state of Mississippi (the diocese of Jackson covers the whole state). The entire thing could fit into the Catholic church in the town I'm in. Yeah...they don't care for us papists down there.
  13. I'm clearly losing steam at this point. I'm sorry, I just don't have it any more, I guess.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


A heartfelt plea...

I think sometimes it seems like I wear a big sign that says, "Please fuck with me. I enjoy it." Rest assured, I do not.

I know that, to the outside observer, the person I see once or twice a decade, my little foibles are amusing. Hell, I understand. I can joke about it with my friends, and talk about it on this shitty blog. But what seems funny to you is what I like to call my "life." These are my actual reactions to things, not a bad improv sketch. I can't stress this enough: I really am this fucked up.

So please, from the bottom of my heart, stop fucking with me.

Thank you for your time.


Sunday, May 18, 2008


Dusty Baker and Adam Dunn...

Adam Dunn, as he is wont to do, hit a giant three-run home run to win the game yesterday. However, Dusty Baker, the Reds' manager, first asked him to sacrifice bunt the two runners over. Here's how I imagine that conversation going:

DB: [walking over to Dunn] Big man!

AD: [eating a hoagy] mmmmm. Hey Dusty. What's up?

DB: Look man, we're in a tight spot. We're down by one, it's the bottom of the ninth--

AD: [confused] It's the ninth inning? Man, time flies.

DB: [laughs] Big man, you're hilarious! Look, we need you to move the runners over.

AD: [opening bag of White Castles] Cool.

DB: I'm glad we're on the same page.

AD: [finishing White Castle #4] Yeah, I'm going to hit a homer.

DB: Nah, man, we need you to bunt the runners over. Manufacture runs! Old school!

AD: [eating White Castle #8] Hmmmmm? Bunt?

DB: Get them runners over!

AD: [confused] Me? Seriously? I'm 6-6, 275, I've only ever bunted twice in my entire life. I'm actually kinda unsure how to even hold the bat...[fumbles with bat] Like this?

DB: Fundamentals! Veterans! Manufacturing runs! Clogging the bases!

AD: [opening pizza box] Dusty, that doesn't even make sense. I mean, I can try, but I'm pretty sure we'd be better off if I just went up there and hit a homer. Shit, I've had 40 each of the past four years. That's a pretty long track record of success.

DB: That's why it's such a great strategy! They'll never see it coming!

AD: [finishes pizza] Well, okay, I'll give it a shot.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Jeff Keppinger and Ken Griffey, Jr....

Jeff Keppinger, the Reds' "scrappy" shortstop, fouled a pitch off his kneecap and shattered it, putting him, and more importantly, my fantasy team, out for six weeks or so. He and Ken Griffey Jr. had a long talk yesterday, apparently. Here's how I imagine it going:

KGJ: [walking into training room] Hey Jeff, what's happening, man?

JK: [sitting on training table, leg in cast] Oh hey Ken. I broke my kneecap, remember?

KGJ: Yeah, I saw that...hey, man, you okay? You look a little down in the dumps.

JK: Well, I'm out for a couple months. I can't walk, much less play.

KGJ: So what? You get to sit at home and watch TV, then get better, and come back. What's the big deal?

JK: I might not have a job when I get back.

KGJ: Huh? How do you mean?

JK: I'm 27, it's only my third full year in the majors. I was never a prospect, and I don't have a long term contract. If Janish plays really well while I'm on the DL, I might be out of a job. Plus, I'm not exactly a natural shortstop, and I'm not a good enough hitter to play anywhere else but second base, and Brandon Phillips is there. So if I lose some mobility, I'm pretty much done as a major league baseball player.

KGJ: Hold up a second. You're telling me that you have some actual urgency to come back quickly from an injury?

JK: Uh...yeah.

KGJ: And you can't just rely on your natural athletic gifts, dazzling smile, and bloated reputation to coast by on a minimum of effort?

JK: Right.

KGJ: So you're going to work hard in rehabbing the injury, so you can come back at pretty much your old level?

JK: That's the plan.

KGJ: And you actually want to come back during the season, because -- let me get this straight, because I'm having a hard time following -- you might actually lose your job if you miss too much time?

JK: That pretty much sums up my situation.

KGJ: [bewildered, shaking his head] That sucks. I can't even fathom having to go through that. When I started getting older and my body began breaking down because I've never had to take care of myself and I never developed the discipline to work hard in the off-season to supplement my natural gifts, the team just kept giving me chances and cutting me a break. I had an eight-year contract, you know? They couldn't dump me because they'd have to cut a check for $100 million, and no other team wanted me because I kept getting injured, so here for the duration.

JK: Yeah, I know.

[Manager Dusty Baker walks in.]

DB: Junior! I've been looking all over for you! Oh, hey...Joe. What are you doing in here?

JK: I broke my kneecap in last night's game. And it's "Jeff".

DB: [pauses, looks confused] There was a game last night? Is this right, Junior?

KGJ: Yeah, we actually won. You kept texting me during the game.

DB: Oh yeah! Why didn't hit me back?

KGJ: I was in right field, man.

DB: Huh. Don't recall it at all. John, you ready to go tonight?

JK: "Jeff." I broke my kneecap, remember?

KGJ: Yeah Dusty, his damn leg is in a cast. And from what he's been telling me, he has actual urgency to get back quickly, because he might lose his job.

DB: He's probably right. I'm going to start Hairston for the time being. He's a veteran. He has a proven track record of success.

KGJ: [puzzled] You mean Jerry Hairston, Jr.? The journeyman with a .255 lifetime average? That's a proven track record of success?

DB: Hell yeah. He won't clog up the bases

JK: Guys, you're not helping. I'm still pretty depressed. I'd really just rather be alone.

DB: Keep your head up Jake! Junior, come into my office, we need to hang out.

KGJ: Dusty, man, you need to quit calling me. We can't get too close. Don't you know I'm trying to engineer a trade back to Seattle?

DB: [over-laughing] Junior, you're a cut-up!

KGJ: I'm serious. I'm having my agent plant stories in the media linking me to the Mariners, and I've been giving interviews about how much I miss Seattle and how I was forced out of there.

JK: Wasn't the opposite true? Didn't you whine and complain and sulk your way into a trade, and then would only accept a trade if it were to Cincinnati?

KGJ: Yes. And?

JK: Don't you see anything wrong with that?

KGJ: Nope, I'm a Superstar Professional Athlete. That means I can say and do pretty much whatever I want, and as long as I'm not linked with steroids or any criminal activity, there will be no consequences.

DB: That's veteran presence! Junior, I don't think there's a game tonight, let's go grab a bite to eat. Jack, we'll see you later.

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Monday, May 12, 2008


Muppets + Wes Anderson =

... Sad Kermit.


Friday, April 18, 2008


I miss the hell out of Marty Brennaman...


Thursday, April 10, 2008


Stephen wants this so very badly...

...Actually, so do I.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


What are you doing on March 30?

Because I know what I'll be doing:


Friday, March 21, 2008


Hey! NCAA Live Blog '08

So for some reason the city is closed on Good Friday, so guess what? You get to suffer through this crap all afternoon. There are some issues this year: my laptop has passed away, so I'll have to pause on TiVo and run into the other room to post from the desktop.

3:03 - Karate Chimp is kinda awesome.

2:59 - It's halftime, Austin Peay 24-39 Texas. Peay has clawed a little back, but don't have a serious chance.

2:43 - I'm in Texas of course, so after a quick look at South Alabama 26-39 Butler, we're back to this crap. Austin Peay 10-27 Texas.

2:42 - They look in on UMBC 17-24 Georgetown. Will they stick with it?

2:37 - The game is in Little Rock, and the announcers claim the crowd is anti-Texas, though I haven't heard any evidence of it. Austin Peay 8-22 Texas. Pretty grim, and I have opened my book and started reading.

2:28 - It doesn't look good: Austin Peay 3-17 Texas.

2:25 - A Texas player shoots over the rim, and we get "airball" chants. I guess it's technically an airball, but it's still more impressive than falling short. We should limit the "airball" chant to only those shots. I think I may have found a wedge issue for Obama to use against McCain.

2:13 - Texas v. Austin Peay are playing now. I may lean on the fast-forward button, as this should not pose the Longhorns much trouble.

2:08 - Holy shit! WKU hits a three at the buzzer to win 101-98! Drake's handsome, marketable white men will unfortunately for CBS not be advancing.

2:06 - Back from the break as the Drake guy hits the other and the announcers seem to be openly rooting for the scrappy Drake team to win. Western Kentucky 98-99 Drake.

2:05 - I forgot to mention that one of Drake's stars is Klayton Korver, brother of the Jazz' shooter Kyle Korver. There are apparently two other brothers, both of whose names begin with a K. I dearly, dearly hope that one of them has a middle name with a "K", but probably not, alas.

2:04 - The "relentless" white Drake PG "never gives up" when he drives to the bucket and misses a terrible shot. Loose ball foul, Drake's guy hits one, tied at 98.

2:01 - WKU has a large Cameroonian forward named Boris who just hit two free throws. That was very "clutch", if you believe in that sort of thing. Western Kentucky 98-97 Drake.

1:58 - OT has been pretty boring until now. Western Kentucky 96-96 Drake.

1:50 - Here is Adam Morrison. So jealous.

1:48 - The announcers - including Ian Eagle, announcer of roughly 75% of the Bengals' games - just love the scrappy white PG, even as he misses a terrible shot to send the game into OT.

1:47 - Absolutely awful fucking call as WKU's A.J. Slaughter (great name) charges over Drake's scrappy white PG, Emmenecker. Tied at 88.

1:42 - WKU is losing it. Their PG turns it over on an absolutely awful no-look pass, and Drake's other black guy hits a deep three. Western Kentucky 86-85 Drake.

1:41 - Over to the Drake game, where it appears that Drake does have a couple token black guys, as one of the has a thunderous dunk. Western Kentucky 86-80 Drake, lead is 10% safe.

1:36 - And that's a final, Davidson 82-76 Gonzaga. Tennessee also pulled it out against American, 72-57.

1:33 - Curry hits two free throws, Davidson 81-74 Gonzaga. 88% safe. Nantz relates a story about how no ACC schools recruited Curry, and Roy Williams says "we missed on him". Well, here's the thing. He's a 6-3/185 shooting guard who looks smaller than that. If he had gone to an ACC school, they would have made him backup guard who only shot threes, rather than a featured scorer. It always irritates me when people talk about how much better this player or that player would have done on this or that team, when you have no fucking clue how he would have been used or how he would have developed. Would the Curry of *right now* be a great scorer on an ACC team? Obviously. But if Curry had gone to UNC or Duke or wherever and been on the bench right now, playing 10 minutes a night and only shooting threes be a great scorer? I'm guessing not.

1:31 - Oh for Christ's sake. Loose ball foul on Davidson, shooting two. 80% free throw-er misses the first and a goddamn lane violation kills the second. 27% safe now.

1:29 - Davidson player hits both free throws, but who cares? They show Adam Morrison, former Gonzaga star and NBA Lottery bust, in the stands, still with the pede-stache and with lovely, flowing, long hair. I am very jealous. Of the hair, not the Justin-esque creepy moustache. Davidson 79-74 Gonzaga, game over, even though the Bill James Lead Calculator says it's only 6% safe. That seems low.

1:28 - Gonzaga takes a rushed three by the wrong player (a freshman, and not that guy who was lights-out in the first half), fouled on the rebound. Same score, ballgame most likely over.

1:25 - Gonzaga ties it up, and finally has a good defensive possession, forcing a bad three as the shot clock is running down. Of course they can't come up with the rebound, and guess who the ball gets immediately kicked out to? Curry, who hits a wide-open three. Davidson 77-74 Gonzaga.

1:24 - Nantz informs me that not only is Gonzaga's coach a heathen Protestant, he's a Presbyterian minister. Davidson's affliation? You guessed it, Presbyterian. We're fucked. Packer relates a "hilarious" anecdote about the coach's father's Minnesota Vikings fandom, and how the sermons were pretty short when they played! Hilarious! Davidson 74-72 Gonzaga.

1:19 - Deadspin is running a much better live blog in case you're bored with me, and really there's no reason you should not be.

1:18 - Davidson 73-72 Gonzaga. Zags keep taking bad shots and are now playing a zone for some reason.

1:09 - Well, I have all meat at my house and nothing to eat tonight. Anyone reading this (ha!), post ideas as to what I should eat this evening.

1:08 - Dammit, Davidson 68-67 Gonzaga. Gonzaga is now taking bad shots. Curry has 24 (!) in the second half.

1:03 - Davidson's best player by a mile, Stephen (pronounced "Steffen") Curry has 32 after hitting a 3. Davidson 62-62 Gonzaga.

1:02 - They showed a close-up of the aforementioned long-haired, curly-headed dude, and he looks just like Danny Noonan from Caddyshack. Davidson 57-62 Gonzaga.

12:55 - American 40-50 Tennessee, and we switch back to Davidson 54-60 Gonzaga.

12:53 - American 40-48 Tennessee. Too bad, as Tennessee just has too much talent. Interestingly, Tennessee appears to be running the flex-motion offense, which I thought went out of style with the granny-shot free throw.

12:51 - They appear to be switching full-time to American 40-42 Tennessee, which is okay. I love the Lundquist/Raftery pairing. Lundquist has a great voice, and gets excited without going all Gus Johnson-over the top, which is just grating. I have no idea why Simmons loves him so much.

12:46 - They cut in on American 40-40 Tennessee coming back from a break. After all of Pearl's bitching about not getting a #1 seed I sincerely hope they lose.

12:37 - Packer keeps talking about "squaring up" when shooting a jumper as if it is some rare thing.

12:36 - Back from the half (I fast-forwarded through most of halftime), and I think Gonzaga has cornered the market on goofy-looking white guys. They've got a ginger, a long-haired curly-headed dude, and a stupid-tattoo and goatee.

12:20 - The half's almost over, and it's Western Kentucky 47-38 Drake. The announcer calls WKY the "pride of the Sun Belt". The Sun Belt has pride?

12:17 - We drop in on Drake during halftime, and we have a white-out! Drake has five white dudes on the floor. They're also losing.

12:13 - Halftime: Davidson 36-41 Gonzaga. Zags are definitely better than Davidson, but keep turning the ball over. Davidson is playing too fast and keep taking early, dumb shots, though. Good game.

12:07 - I've decided to irrationally hate Davidson's point guard, who just got fouled on a three. He's very frat-tastic.

11:53 - This dude Gray is lights-out from three. Hand in his face, no problem. Davidson 17-28 Gonzaga.

11:49 - Is Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother pretty desperate, or what?

11:48 - Another Drillbit Taylor commercial. This must have been during Owen's heroin period, because he looks just half-asleep in all his scenes. *sigh*

11:45 - They flash to the other games after a commercial, and we drop in on Drake v. Western Kentucky. It's funny, all the white guys (seriously, all) when picking brackets on Mr. Tony's show, said something to the effect of "love the Drake" when picking Drake, obviously referencing Seinfeld. The black guys who came on the show did not. I think Seinfeld should be featured on the awesome Stuff White People Like, if it hasn't already.

11:39 - Another bone to pick: Nantz was talking about Davidson's non-conference schedule, and they lost to UNC, Duke, and UCLA. Well, they lost to UCLA by 12 and Nantz said that was deceiving, as they at one point had them down 32-14 in the first half. What exactly is deceiving about a 30-point swing in the score? It seems to me that a reasonable person would conclude that UCLA took them too lightly and then adjusted and blew Davidson out.

11:37 - I love Billy Packer, but this is just dumb. They're talking about all of Davidson's international players, and Billy mentions how it's surprising that Canada has the most players in the NCAA's. How is that surprising? Here, let me lay it out for you, Billy:
  1. Canada is right there above the USA.
  2. In most countries, pro teams have youth teams that start paying players around their college age, making them ineligible for NCAA serfdom. Canada does not have this.
  3. Basketball is a fairly popular sport in Canada
  4. Again, Canada is right there above the USA.

11:36 - Back in high school CYO ball, the main goal (besides fighting through their hangovers to try to play at 8:30) was blocking a shot, which we called "packing". I'm reminded of this as a Davidson player just rejects a Gonzaga post player's shot. Alas, it bounces straight to Gonzaga's 3-point shooter, who drains one. Ha!

11:31 - This game is in Raleigh, which I'm confused about, as Davidson is from North Carolina and a lower seed than the Spokane-based Zags.

11:25 - And now we switch to Gonzaga v. Davidson, for some reason. Nantz and Packer doing the game. When you've got Jesuits versus the southern Protestant school, who do you think I'll be cheering for?

11:23 - American is hanging tough so far. I'll give Pearl credit, though, I like the way his teams play. The running, trapping, high scoring stuff I always dig, despite my objections to his cheesy persona.

11:20 - Bill Raftery's doing this game as well. I do like Raftery; he's got a little schtick, but it's not overpowering. He seems to have a brain at least as opposed to, say, Dick Vitale.

11:14 - We're getting American v. Tennessee first. Verne Lundquist is doing the game, and he's great. Not so great? Bruce Pearl. What a fucking clown.

11:00 - I imagine this is what Stephen looks like when he's at work, minus the goatee of course:

(Stolen from Cracked.)

10:57 - Mr. Tony is done for the day. Break until the games start.

10:52 - Did I mention how happy I was that blogtober ground to a halt?

10:46 - I think I liked The Duke on the old ESPN show better than Brendan. Brendan just does silly news that Tony can riff off of, whereas The Duke was just a perfect straight man for Tony, giving real news (okay, sports news anyway) that Tony can point out the absurdity of in opposition to the rest of the ESPN crew worshiping the news cycle and treating it as if it were Walter Cronkite talking about Vietnam or something. Which also may explain why the radio show is no longer on ESPN.

10:33 - Some writer friend of Tony's (okay, that doesn't exactly narrow it down, but I don't know who this guy is) is on talking about the Duke game last night. It always confuses people that I don't watch the games of teams I am a fan of. Well, first of all, I don't like caring about things I can't control. I get upset and stressed out, and over what? Some fucking game? There are real things that I can (and will) get upset over, so why add one more thing onto that fire?

10:26 - Oh Christ, fucking American Idol talk. Fast forward time. Oh, Andy doesn't like The Wire, but American Idol gets two big thumbs up. Go figure.

10:23 - I always skip through Brendan's live reads. Need more coffee.

10:22 - Shut up, Joe Barber. It was called Cloverfield, and it was good, you idiot.

10:21 - On the show is Joe Barber, and he's a terrible middlebrow, but I'm inclined to believe him about Drillbit Taylor. That looks like shit. I think Owen Wilson, in addition to needing a hug, needs a new manager. Or barring that, just to work with Wes Anderson full-time.

10:17 - As you may know, I'm 85% of an atheist, but that other 15% is Catholic. So I'm fasting today, and I will be cranky.

10:16 - Games start in an hour, so I'm drinking coffee and listening to today's Tony Kornheiser Show.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008



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Sunday, February 03, 2008


So I'm conflicted...

I have several opinions on the Super Bowl:
1. What happened to the Rodney Harrison story, BTW? If a Red Sox had tested positive, we'd never hear the end of it.


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