Thursday, April 30, 2009

I get it, President Obama. You're Cooler Than Me.

But for the record, though--If I were President, I would have also shot hoops with the UConn Lady Huskies.  I just would not have shot as well.  

--via The Dagger

Gil Thorp Taking On Internet Videos

Via the always enjoyable, frequently genius Comics Curmudgeon, I see that venerable "sports" soap opera comic strip is getting ready to take on the dastardly bastards that take video of people in the public arena and put them...ON THE INTERNET!

400,000 hits for a video of guy getting hit in the head with a baseball, and then catching that baseball with his cap?  That sounds pretty reasonable, actually.  I'd watch that video.  Why Thorpe is unhappy with his newfound notoriety, I'm unsure.  But I'll be following the story very carefully (OK, not at all that carefully).

No word on whether the T.A.P. Room of the Thorpuverse is related to Tapped, or whether it is just college punks making a beer pun.

I do enjoy watching old media finding yet another way to struggle against the Internets and TV in their final moments, like that deputy at the beginning of No Country For Old Men

Wisconsin Radio Shacks + 50 Year Old Men = Thunderdome!

I exaggerate:
"A worker at Radio Shack was arrested for punching a customer.

According to the police report, 56-year-old Leigh Carey was trying to return something at the Radio Shack on Clairemont Avenue.

Carey told investigators Knol wouldn't let him, so he asked to talk to a manager.

That's when he says Knol started punching him and a witness called 911."

(--via Boing Boing Gadgets)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CONTROVERSY...In America's Heartland.

Or, if you prefer, Oklahoma has an official state rock song..."Do You Realize" by Norman natives The Flaming Lips.  

If that strikes you as a rather surprisingly hip choice, you'd be right.  It has caused no small amount of unhappiness amongst some folks.

Consider, it actually took the governor making it an official order to get it to happen--the legislature decided to vote it down when it was up to them.

One Tulsa Today columnist in particular seems particularly steamed by the whole thing.  Jim Downing (not to be confused with SNL writer Jim Downie, though both write some hilarious shit.) goes absolutely apeshit over it.

First he begs the Governor not to sign the order.   After the Governor did sign it, Downing lets loose again.   The results are predictable--the conconction has about 1/3 bitter unfamous performer (I'm more talented than they are), 1/3 old overly religious reactionary (song titles about drugs and fetuse, oh my!) and about 1/3 pure crank (fans of a band with a 48 year old frontman are "teenyboppers.")

Let's enjoy some great name calling.  I haven't spotted any mention of the groups 6 Grammy nominations or 3 Grammy wins, but that doesn't mean that Jim Downing, in the interest of fair play did not mention them.  They could be in there somewhere.  I'm enjoying the nuttier parts.  Downing should hope that The Flaming Lips are not the litigious kind.

Everything that follows are quotes about the Flaming Lips from Jim Downing:

" [Their name is]  taken either from porn film or it is a pot-smoking reference

"One member had his hand amputated due to an infection from shooting heroin."  [later retracted, kind of], with "The drummer’s hand was not amputated.  I left out the word ‘almost’.  It was his arm that was abscessed.  The cover story was that it was a spider bite; probably a Mexican Black Tar or a China White spider."

"The Hanson brothers will have a more lasting musical impact in the fullness of time.  They have far more historical sense and musical ability and they are completely wholesome. "

"The Flaming lips may not be bad people, but they are shallow and thoughtless, and certainly not representative of most Oklahoma values. They don’t even play well."

"[Flaming] Lips makes dense sound collages; that’s easier than learning how to play.  And it’s nothing new – it goes back to I Am The Walrus and Stockhausen."  --emphasis mine.  He just badmouthed the Beatles!

"I understand that the Lips have matured and are not as degenerate as we might think."

In case you were wondering who Jim Downing would have picked to be the artist that had the official Rock and Roll song of the State of Oklahoma--his top three choices are J.J. Cale (reasonable), Leon Russell (also reasonable, though he wasn't exactly a hitmaker in his solo career), and Hoyt Axton, whose finest moment can be seen here:



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I wish one of you was a Hornet's fan

Congratulations to Denver, who made me do a quadruple take as I walked my daughter to to the restroom in an Outback.  I really couldn't believe the score was 108 to 50 something with about 5 minutes left.  Now that's a drubbling.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mixed Metaphors

After the humiliating dust has settled on Cutler/Sanchez, QB Jason Campbell continues to say the right things: "One thing I was kind of upset about is it makes you feel like you're a bad quarterback, someone that's not wanted or something. But at the same time it makes you a stronger person. It makes you a stronger quarterback, and through all of this it's going to help my process."

WR Randle El continues to say the right things in a special way: "he can go to the fire and come out as gold. We're just glad it's all swept under the rug, or spilled milk, at this point."

That's four mixed metaphors in less than two sentences.

I like those odds.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm not being defensive. You're being defensive.

The Washington Redbeans have loaded up on the defensive side of the ball in the 2009 draft. The 2008 defense was the team's strength (ranked 6th in points allowed, 4th in yards allowed). After these impressive additions, the unit should be dominant next year. This is very good.

The Redbeans re-acquired LG Dockery, but failed to otherwise address the offense which slumped in the second half of the year due to injuries on the O Line. Again. This should have been the team's priority and yet they ignored it completely, just like all unsuccessful teams (see also: Lions, Raiders).

Despite the line injuries, it seemed like the Redbeans were beginning to develop a stabilizing, emerging-veteran-led offense. This was completely pooped on by the asinine pursuit of Cutler and Sanchez. This nonsense has put Campbell's poise to the test. My hope is that he takes possession of his position with newfound determination.

Have Mercy, It's Percy!!

So, the Vikings completed their first two rounds of the draft yesterday and if you actually listened to the Twin Cities' local media, which very few do, you'd think the Vikings had drafted Ted Bundy (looks good from the outside, but with a troubled, murderous soul inside.) In fact, they drafted Percy Harvin, a game-changing type player who has had some injury history and a few run-ins with the Man, but who hasn't?

The various local news anchors I happened upon last night, all had some snarky thing to say about the "gamble" the Vikes were taking with Harvin. I mean, does the Saturday night anchor really think she is offering up her own opinion on this, or is she just regurgitating what the local sports media have been spewing? For example, there is local nut job Tom Powers' article this morning. Or maybe you'd prefer much more stable-minded Jim Souhan's take this morning. Just read the first couple of paragraphs, like I do, and see what I am talking about. It is so tired.

I personally welcome what Souhan calls the " pot-smoking, coach-challenging, injury hampered guy from Florida." Harvin will bring some instant impact to a team that isn't lacking in too many facets of the game right now. The Vikings are built to win now, and a guy like Harvin can help them do that this year. He will impact two major phases of the game, that the Vikings are in need of improving. That is unless he let's the inner-demons run free and ends up becoming the mass murderer that everyone is expecting him to be.

The Vikes passed on a couple of other guys who were available, like Michael Oher, but they were able to draft Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt in all of his 6'8 332 largesse in the second round. And from the half-assed research I have done on him, he was a projected first round pick not too long ago. So, the Vikes bookend the line with he and McKinney, two 6'8 300 pounders. Not too shabby.

I must return to the basement to make the final preparations to my saferoom, to wait out the world-ending crime spree that will most certainly accompany Percy to the land of peace and harmony. Peace.

Twins Beating Up Racist Iconographers

In all the NFL Draft hype and NBA Playoffs hype (which we haven't covered at all, because not a one of us seem to be able to care when we all know that the Final is about 90% certain to be Cleveland vs Lakers, with the Lakers winning in 7) and NHL hype, we've lost track a little bit on our beloved Minnesota Twins, who have been handing out some ass-kickings to the Cleveland Indians in some expected and unexpected ways.

The way Cleveland pitchers have been hurling this year, one expects to get some hits on them.  But any Twins pitcher with any sense of history knows that the Indians hit the crap out of the Twins, too.  Hafner, Garko the Barbarian, Sizemore, etc, etc.  I'm pretty sure every Twins fan in the country was aware of Hafner's power a good two years before the East Coast based media glommed onto him, simply because his bat fucking destroyed the Twins for about 3 years straight.

And so, while it was no shock to put 5 runs on the board on Friday night against Fausto, I was a little surprised that Nick Blackburn scattered 6 hits, giving up only one run in 7 innings of work

Cleveland is carrying 13 pitchers, so it was not a big surprise to me that Jason Kubelly Kubel was able to knock 2 pitches out of the park, or that Joe Crede was able to follow Kubel's second homerun with one of his own, inflating poor Masa Kobayashi's ERA by a a few points.  

But Kevin Slowey, going 8 innings deep, and even starting the ninth?  Without giving up a run?  That was surprising.  Slowey may have benefitted from some overly aggressive swinging on the Injun's part--Slowey isn't what you would call a strikeout pitcher, but he picked up 7 of them in this game, including 4 in a row. 

But another thing to notice is that the Twins (along with the rest of the league) are gravitating towards Bert "Farts and Fuck and Hall of Famer ALREADY" Blyleven's mindset--which is that pitch count is bullshit, and possibly harmful to a team.

Bert, for years, has railed, in his polite Dutch way, that pitch count is bullshit--you don't pull a pitcher after 100 pitches just because, and you certainly don't pull him after 85 pitches just because.  Slowey threw 114 pitches Saturday; Blackburn threw 99 on Friday.  The bullpen got massive rest, and along the way, the Twins in two games have outscored the Smiley Faced Injuns 12-2.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Skins Don't Fuck Up Draft. YAY

After all the talk about the Skins moving up to spend money on a rookie QB with only 16 games of experience in college, they either decided not to go for it, or were out spent by the Jets, who went up to pick #5 to get Mark Sanchez.  That relaxed the likes of myself and Andrew Wice, which was nice, as both of us were experiencing some tsuris going into this draft. 

Considering they only had one pick in the first two rounds, there was a minimum of damage or success The Drunken Savages could be considered to have.  Not chasing a QB was a good way to reduce damage.  Continuing to improve the defensive line was a great way to go after some success.

And it looks like they lucked out in getting Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo.  Or at least, the Drunken Savage management is acting as if they got lucky--is there a team who picks after #10 who doesn't grab a guy who they were shocked to find was still available?  The Washington Post quoted the embodiment of the Peter Principle, Vinny Cerrato as being shocked that Orakpo was still around.  There are some injury issues, which may have scared some teams off, and usually tend to be bullshit.  Aside from concussions, past injuries are no real indicator of future injuries.   

When the Savages picked him, someone in the cast of thousands ESPN deploys to this thing said, (I'm paraphrasing), "Skins fans haven't seen a guy on the outside of the line like this since Charles Mann or Dexter Manley."  

Couple that with the HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR signing of interior defensive guy Albert Haynesworth, that's a defensive line that has grown by leaps and bounds by getting just two dudes.  One final word on Orakpo.  He's strong.

Lions Think Stafford is the New Messiah, Grant Him Ridiculous Contract

Six years.  A guaranteed 41.7 million dollars, for a draft pick?  Lions, I have some names for you to think about:

Tim Couch
Jamarcus Russell
Vince Young

A guaranteed 41.7 million for someone who has never thrown a pass in the NFL.  I think you could have obtained Jay Cutler for less.  He's been to the pro-bowl dip shits.

Vikings Experts Agree: They Need to Draft Somebody

But who should they draft?  That's where opinions start to vary, somewhat widely.

Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press, states his belief quite clearly--The Vikings Should Draft An Offensive Player Who Can Help Right Away.  Jensen gives three prospects who could be available at #22, and it should be noted that just about everyone would guarantee that at least 1 of those players will definitely not ever be available at #22.  Possibly 2 of them of them.

Michael Oher?  No way in hell he slides to the Skins at #13, but if he does, they will take him.  Eben Britton, likewise will not be available at #20, much less #23.  Sean Jensen is high if he thinks the Vikings will have to choose between those two.  His third pick, Percy Harvin, is a good deal more likely.  Percy had some Marijuana issues at the combine, and there may be a hesitancy, given the new rules, to draft for kick returners.  Harvin might be available to the Vikings at #23.

But Chad Courrier of the Mankato Free Press has other ideas--he thinks the Vikings should Forget WR, and Draft DB's.   He's not afraid to throw around names like Troy Williamson and Sidney Rice to demonstrate how bad the Vikings have been at drafting Wide Receivers.  He argues for UConn defensive back/kick returner Darius Butler.  I only have one question about that pick--UConn has a football team?  Are we sure about that?

I'll predict this--if the Vikings aren't willing to give up the 2nd round pick and considerations it would take to get Boldin (why wouldn't they?) they will be stuck with a half-assed receiving corps, a half-assed Quarterback (Tavaris or Sage) and an aging secondary.  I'd argue that without some real work on the free agency side of things, the Vikings are not going to be better than Chicago or Green Bay.  

3rd place in a soft Division doesn't usually mean success.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Capitals Are About To Break My Heart

Let's be clear, first of all.  This isn't a hockey blog.  I don't think any of the contributors to IDYFT care all that much about hockey, with the possible exception of Miwacar and Garwood.  And they are both Wild supporters.  So they don't got nothing to talk about when it comes to the post-season.  And never will.

If you want hockey, I suggest you visit the very cleverly titled I Hate Your Favorite Team (how do these bloggers come up with such clever names?)  Oops--that site hasn't been updated since January.  Instead, I will suggest an actual hockey blog, "Puck Daddy".  Regardless, my point is this--most of us of at IDYFT, including me, know more about 1995 NHL teams than we do this current batch of teams.

Why 1995 for all of us?  Because we all went to college together, and the 1995 version of Sega Hockey for Super Nintendo was one of the best fucking video games of all time.  I have yet to encounter a hockey video game that was more fun.  I've encountered more realistic, to be sure.  But more fun?  I don't think so.

Andrew Wice worked the Devils of New Jersey; he made Stephan Richter the most dangerous man in the entire league, with Billy Guerin a close second, and even Scott Neidermeyer was trouble in Wice's hands.

I loved the Capitals of that era--Joey Juneau (the Ugliest Man in Hockey!), Peter Bondra, Mark Tinordi, Sergei Gonchar (who is still in the league!), and netminders Jim Carrey/Olaf Kolzig.

Barnyard liked the Blackhawks, and even though he never learned how to pronounce his name, Jeremy Roenick starred on his team, along with Christian Ruutu.   A kid named Paddy Buckley used to show up and fuck up people with the Buffalo Sabres, back when they were a franchise.

My point (yes, there is one!) is that I don't follow the Capitals all that closely, or at all, really.  I was aware they had a bad-ass in Ovechkin, and I had assumed they were the favored team going in to the playoffs against the stupid Rangers.  But I saw that they were getting handled, and I put my hopes away for another year.  We are good at doing that in Washington (it's been, what? 10 years?  since any team in any sport made it to the Finals of their sport?  And then it was the Caps getting swept in the Stanley Cup.)

But now, the Caps destroyed the Rangers 4-0 to get the series back to 3-2.  Damn you, you stupid Capitals, for getting my hopes up.  I mean, sure, being down 3-1 means having to win 3 games in a row, including at least one in Madison Square Garden, but the Caps already won the first one, and now it is only 2 games in a row.  And hell, 4-0?  Maybe they've figured out the Rangers.   Of course they will win the next two games.  

And that's how my heart gets broken, with a team and a sport that I don't give two craps about for 9 months of the year.  Goddamnit.

Pros Vs. Joes is Back, Baby!

The regular readers of this blog know that I love me some Pros Vs. Joes.  The sheer number of words I have written about it prove the point.

And on Monday, the fourth season starts.  They've messed with the format yet again, and have some great pros (Sean Kemp!  I have they have an Impregnation Contest.) lined up.  Here's the blurb, and a promo video.  Get ready for some hijinks!

Pros vs. Joes returns to Spike TV with a new format for its fourth season. Michael Strahan and Jay Glazer join together as hosts for the new season of Pros vs. Joes 4: All-Stars. This season, the Joes will only be competing in one of two sports. The two sports featured are football and basketball. 

In football, the Joes will compete with such NFL greats as Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, NFL MVP Rich Gannon, sacking legend Simeon Rice, 2004 Special Teams Player of the Year Adam "Pacman" Jones, 2003 Co-NFL MVP Steve "Air" McNair, and 2002 Offensive Player of the Year Priest Holmes. In basketball, the Joes will face-off against such NBA legends as two-time Defensive Player of the Year Alonzo Mourning, "The Reignman" Shawn Kemp, All-Star shooting guard Antoine Walker, "Mr. Clutch" Robert Horry, five-time NBA champion Ron Harper and 3-point shooting legend Eddie Jones.

Pros vs. Joes | |

Representative Michelle Bachman, You So Crazy!

Rep. Michelle Bachman sees the world as "upside-down" and "Alice in Wonderland" like.  That what happens when you go off your meds, and start having paranoid fantasies about the Transportation Security Administration targeting pro-life individuals at airports while Osama bin Laden "skates by". 

I'm tired of this lady finding new ways to embarass my entire state.

Why Does This Keep Happening To My Favorite Team?

"Campbell's second-half drop-off last season concerned the Redskins' front office enough that it has stepped up its pursuit of Sanchez. Campbell also is in a contract year and Washington would have to invest franchise-type money to keep him for 2010 and beyond."

I am, calmly and quietly, going to consider this analysis from's Sal Paolontonio. It's the first explanation I've heard of why this meltdown is happening, besides the obvious fact that Dan Snyder is a fool (as I've explained in hilarious fashion here and here: "fucking chickens made me mad").

Rhetorically, I need to address the organization's logic in reverse order.

1) Contract year?

Paying Campbell in 2010 will cost less than paying the #4 pick of the draft in 2009.

2) 2nd half drop-off?

First Half of 2008
record: 6-2____QB rate: 99.5____Sacks: 16____Portis YPG: 118
Second Half of 2008
record: 2-6____QB rate: 72.3____Sacks: 22____Portis YPG: 67

percentage by which things got worse

record: 300%___QB rate: 137%____Sacks: 137%_Portis YPG: 176%

Interesting how Campell's drop in effectiveness is so harmoniously tied to his pass protection's drop in effectiveness. Another year of major injuries devastated the line, especially as the season wore on. Portis's accumulated injuries snapped his MVP bid and took the offense with it.

Campbell didn't have a drop-off, the team did. Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't personally surrender 27 points to the 6-9 49ers in the last game of the season.

Somehow lost in all this garbage is the fact that Campbell improved in every single statistical category from 2007 to 2008, despite being in yet another new offense.

hidden stat:
in 2007, Campbell lost 8 fumbles in 13 games behind a line ranked 12th in sacks allowed.
in 2008, Campbell lost 1 fumble in 16 games behind a line ranked 22nd in sacks allowed.

Don't want to hate on Snyder too much, but he's destroying my favorite team. If I were able to buy the team, I would have a better staff and philosophy. Come on people, buy enough of my books and I can rescue the Washington football team!

Great Goals: Ruud Gullit

My best friend in high school, Andy, had a poster of Ruud Gullit on his wall.  Andy was a high school drunk, but his judgement when it came to soccer badasses was not influenced in any way by the demon liquor that he hid under his pillow.  Ruud Gullit was a fucking bad ass.  It has been awhile since we celebrated a classic badass from the soccer world.  Ruud Gullit was a fucking badass!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Michael Wilbon Hates America, Makes Good Points

Let's the America-Hating part out of the way first.  Wilbon says to start off his column, "I hate the NFL draft. Okay, it's not the draft I hate, actually. It's the numbingly excessive hype, the mock drafts, the same-day declaration of winners and losers, the five hours it takes to get through the first round, the pontification, the overstatement. In the last five years I've probably watched a total of five minutes of the draft. For me, it's become must-not-see TV."

HATE THE NFL DRAFT?  Worse yet, hate the 8 hours of pregame coverage on ESPN?  And the pontification?  Michael Wilbon clearly hates America, and is maybe a terrorist.  But that aside, he makes some very good points.  They are good points because I made them myself 24 hours ago, but with more swearing.

Wilbon makes his point (without using the word "fuck" once, which makes it less cool) this way:

So, I'll watch a few minutes of the first round to see if the Redskins do what they usually do, which is to say, swing for the fences. If Dan Snyder owned a baseball team he'd have nine cleanup hitters.

The smart thing to do would be trade down, come away with two projected starters, one at right tackle and one at linebacker, and if possible, add a pick that can be used to trade for a veteran wide receiver, which might actually demonstrate a commitment to Campbell and all the work he's done over the last year with Jim Zorn. Apparently, there's nothing sexy about simply going to work and getting better or establishing some continuity.

The End of An Era That I Thought Ended A Long Time Ago

Yahoo is shuttering GeoCities.  Shocking news, as I had assumed this was done years ago.

Though I do look back fondly on a Dead Pool that Garwood B. Jones put together on a geocities page, Geocities application has not been of much use to me or anyone else of late.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Economics of Stupidity and Drunken Savages

Dear Cooks/Waitrons/Hosting Units of DC/Maryland Restuarants:  

If you love the Washington Redskins Drunken Savages like I do, you'll do the right thing, and make sure that if Daniel Snyder comes into your place of employ on Saturday night, he leaves with the beginnings of food poisoning.  He can not be in the Draft War Room on Sunday.

Because all these Mark Sanchez rumors have me in a tizzy.  It can not happen.  And we can't really call them rumors.  Not with the Snyder/Cerrato gut-trust, who lack the sophistication to actually bluff anything, talking about how much they love Sanchez.  I bet they are invited to poker game after poker game, despite their awful, awful personalities.

Every team in the league, and a good 99% of the sportwriters in the country, know that the Redskins are looking to trade up for Sanchez, who has played exactly 16 games over the high school level.  Everyone also knows that Seattle, at #4, is going to take Sanchez.  Hey, funny but true axiom for Dan Snyder, that I learned from Civilization 4:  "Everything is worth what its purchaser is willing to pay for it"--Pubilius Syrus.  So, rule 1 should be--hide your interest at least a little bit.  You don't lower your cost when people quote you as "smitten", dammit.  And open yourself to interweb mockery.

Moving up to the 3rd spot (a spot that is expensive in terms of guaranteed money and contract already) increases in two ways--expensive because everyone now knows the Drunken Savages want Sanchez; expensive again because the agent representing Sanchez can say to the Savage Management, "This guy is a franchise quarterback.  He deserves franchise money.  Like $30 million guaranteed.  You know who says he is a franchise quarterback?  You guys did, when you traded away the store just to draft him." 

I blame this on Matt Ryan--a rookie QB who paid immediate dividends.  Snyder always looks for the quick fix, rather than let a potentially good quarterback play under the same offensive scheme for more than 1 year at a time.  

The fact that Jason Campbell has yet to play more than one year under the same offensive coordinator is also Dan Snyder's fault.  Is he a perfect fit for Jim Zorn's offense?  Not exactly, but he was showing signs of getting there.  And let's not forget--it is Dan Snyder's fault that it was Jim Zorn's offense in the first place.  He hired a Defensive Coordinator and Offensive Coordinator before hiring a Head Coach, and when no head coach would accept the terms of having their staff picked for them, Zorn went from Coordinator to Head Coach in a blink of an eye (QB coach for Seattle to Offensive Coordinator not being a big enough jump, apparently).

Snyder is a plumber who fixes a leaky toilet by fixing each piece one by one, instead of diagnosing the fucking leak.  When your plumber can't find the problem after a decade of trying, you start blaming the plumber.  

Dan said, in that the Boston Herald article I linked to above, "I’m always going to be aggressive to try to win. I didn’t buy the team for investment. I bought the team to try to win the Super Bowl, and that’s what I’m trying to do."

Hey, Dan--you are the aggressively unfixable clog in the toilet.  Hire some professionals, and get the fuck out of the way.  At the very least, stop bragging about all the money you will throw into the toilet for an unproven quarterback.  Stop Hugging the Panda.  And hey, whilst I'm getting all philosphical quotical, here's another one from my boy Pubilius Syrus:  "Amid a multitude of projects, no plan is devised"--He was talking about you, Drunken Savages.


Classy Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin

Regular readers of the blog both know all about our fun with the weird, sick shit that happens in Wisconsin.  I won't bother rehashing all of those old stories.

But to be fair, Wisconsin has non-fucked up, wonderful things that are not directly related to the natural beauty of the state.  And, no, Neil Gaiman nerds, I'm not talking about the House on the Rock.  I'm talking about Taliesin, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, near beautiful Spring Green, Wisconsin.

Except (uh-oh-- foreshadowing) today I read a post on BoingBoing (from a fellow Minnesotan) about how this beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright house is where his second "wife" (his first wife wouldn't divorce him) who he had stolen from a client had gotten chopped up along with a few other folks by a very, very upset worker:

Wright was off at work and Borthwick was dining with her two children from her previous marriage and several of the Taliesin staff. As they ate, another staff member named Julian Carleton locked them in, poured kerosene around the house and lit a match. When the diners managed to bust their way out, Carleton hacked them to death with an ax. Of the nine who sat down to eat, only two survived. Borthwick and her children were killed. The whole thing turned into a media sensation. "Murderer of Seven: Sets Fire to Country Home of Frank Lloyd Wright Near Spring Green," declared one newspaper. The Wisconsin State Journal, on the other hand, went for something a bit more Rupert Murdoch-esque (and also inaccurate), with the headline "Insane Negro Kills Five in Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Love Bungalow'".
Ah, Wisconsin!

Hey, Cool Blog, Comic Book Nerds

Jason Aaron, a totally kick-ass comic book writer (despite his love of the Pittsburgh Steelers) has a blog hosted on his very own website.  And has for awhile.  No one tells us anything.

And some really kick ass writers are contributors:  the aforementioned Jason Aaron (Scalped) , Brian Wood (DMZ, Northlanders), David Lapham (Young Liars (possibly the most fucked up book I've ever read)), G. Willow Wilson (Air) and others.  Between just the few folks mentioned, I'm telling you that's a sick amount of talent to be spending any time blogging--they've got actually, deadline-mandated writing to do.  What they all have in common is that they have books being published on the Vertigo imprint.

Oh, Star Tribune Commenters--You So Crazy

In reponse to a column suggesting reasons to go green (on Earth Day), the very first (and so far only) comment is this.  It is indicative of the quality of the Star Tribune commentin' crew that I'm pretty sure this isn't a hilarious joke:

I don't think so. It's just a ruse for moving backwards, reducing your standard of living and a slippery slope towards socialism. Every time I see 'GREEN' I see 'RED'!

posted by vortmax on Apr 22, 09 at 8:46 am | 
0 of 1 people liked this comment.

Gilding The Lily-Livered

Some of you might fondly recall the friendly Detroit Lion, "Roary." His lazy purring has continued unabated, lo these many years. Why, he didn't even stir when the Lions won their only playoff game ever (1991; Washington snuffed them 41-10 in the following game). But this epoch of gentle innocence has ended.

Hot on the heels of the worst football season in history, Detroit is ready to make some serious changes. No, I don't mean replacing the GM, coaching staff, offense and defense. I mean they're changing the logo to the fierce new Lions.20 (beta). Team President Tom Lewand explains, "The evolution allows us to present our Lions brand and visual identity in new, versatile and distinctive ways."

New, versatile and distinct. Good luck with that!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

YES! Superstars is Back!

I have long thought it was time for athletes competing outside of their sports to become again a Hot TV Property.

Deadspin has delivered Joyous News, whilst crapping unnecessarily on the lovely and talented Estella Warren--that's the star of Kangaroo Jack, you dicks!  

I'm putting my money on the team of Lisa Leslie and Dan Cortese.  Dan Cortese is EXTREME.  I predict that I'll be writing about that show more than anyone should.

(did I mention that Terrell Owens is involved?)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dear Crazy Right Wing Sports Site

Whilst the term "-30-" is well known amongst writers and editors as a way of signifying the end of an article, it really isn't supposed to show up in the final product.

Yours in Christ,
Big Blue Monkey

KUBEL Predictions

In two games with the Angels, Jason Kubel is hitting .800.  We totally expect him to finish no less than .600 for the year.  

On the last game of the season, he will hit a home run using as a bat the mummified penis of Joe DiMaggio.

Sid Hartman--"Journalist"

via the always fantastic On the Ball Blog by Britt Robson.  (You know we love us some Britt, right?)  Kevin McHale's possibly very last press conference as part of the Timberwolves franchise.  Britt was in the room, and he posted the entire conference.  

I have previously suggested that dinosaurs like Sid Hartman might be the very reason newspapers are dying--he's getting paid money, very large money, after all, whilst guys like Britt are shopping their services to any website that will have him (and apparently, hanging up his own shingle after this year).   

I will say that it wasn't Britt's intention to show up Sid--he simply reported the questions asked at the last Timberwolves press conference of the year.  Sid's questions did the rest of the work.  It is my intention to show up Sid Hartman, who is old enough that he was the sports journalist who introduced Kevin McHale to Viking great Chuck Foreman when McHale was in college.   I'm not ageist--plenty of men and women work effectively into their 70's and 80's and even 90's.  Sid Hartman is not one of those people.  As evidence, I present you with the questions he asked Kevin McHale at his final presser:

Sid Hartman: You would have been a better coach if you had [Al] Jefferson all year.
Sid Hartman: That's a fancy shirt you have on!
Sid Hartman: It looks like the one you wore when you got married.

That's it!  Those are the "questions" Sid Hartman "asked."    Britt even felt the need to state at the top of the post that, "yes, this is not a parody, those really were Sid Hartman's contributions to the event."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Was Probably Wrong About Kevin Love

I don't think I was necessarily wrong in pointing out that he plays the same position as Al Jefferson (though an argument could be made that I was wrong in that in an ideal world, Kevin Love would be playing a super-beefy small forward role).

But I think I was wrong in sounding the alarm to the degree that I did. I predicted in November that I might have to eat my words from earlier in the year.  K-Love, or "KLOVE" finished the season the right way--Rookie of the Month of March, for the following stat lines, courtesy of   "Love's 9.6 rebounds per game in March led all NBA rookies, while his 15.8 points per game ranked third. The first-year forward started 16 of 17 games, leading the Wolves in rebounding 13 times and in scoring on five occasions. He tallied 10+ points in 14 of the 17 games, topping 20 three times and recording nine double-doubles. On March 17 at San Antonio, Love tallied 17 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, the second-highest rebounding total by a rookie this season." 

HoopsAddict busts out many strange and unfamiliar stats in showing that Kevin Love is a badass, or in their terms, Efficiency Personified.  Eric Gordon showed some love for K-Love Records.  DraftExpress, whilst still showing some doubt about other pieces of Kevin Love's game, state categorically that "he is already an elite NBA rebounder."

At this point, I'm willing to say that while I wasn't wrong on the Timberwolves needs, I am willing to admit that KLOVE had a better season than I expected him to have.   Shockingly, those needs haven't changed--the Wolves still need a real center, and their guard play needs to improve--though Sebastian Telfair could still be a great point guard, if he's got people to play with.  Right now, with the season over, we've got great bench players for almost every position--Kevin Love will be great in relief of Al Jefferson (at Power Forward, not fucking Center), and could also be a big beefy Small Forward.  Ryan Gomes will be a great small forward sub--he has future 6th man of the year written all over him.  Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair are a solid, but small backcourt, and they need some talented, taller men to take over their starting roles (though both toy with a fan's heart, in that there are times, there are undeniably times, when they both look like the bee's knees.)  Corey Brewer could still be a great defensive stopper that can play the 2 or 3.   I said almost the exact same thing at about this time last year--only Al Jefferson is a locked in starter, at the 4.  Every other spot is at the very least open for competition, whilst some, like Center, is totally open.  The new GM, whoever he ends up being, has a ton of draft picks and money to play with.  This team isn't a center away from a championship, so they can also take their time.  

We all knew going in that this was going to be a losing season.   Losing, not LOST.  It was a lost season, because of Al Jefferson's injury.  We won't know how bad or good this team is, until we know that Al is back at 100%.   At this point, I think the team name needs to reflect this attitude.  It may be time to change it to the Minnesota Patiently Waiting Timberwolves. 

Controversy, Minnesota Style

Did the Head Coach of the Minnesota Footballin' Gophers use Twitter to mock a super fat Star Tribune columnist for being fat?  Did some higher up at the U of M tell that coach to delete his "tweet"?

OH MY GOD.  Thank God for C.J. and her reporting skills, which have yet to confirm or deny the story.  This much we know--Pat Reusse is a fat, stupid son of a bitch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jason Kubel Hits for the Cycle

I admit that I gave up on the Twins on this one.  I don't feel like I was doing them a massive disservice after watching Jesse Crain totally shit the bed what had been a close game prior to his entry.  It was 3-3 at the top of the 7th.   By the end of that inning, thanks to Blackburn losing steam, Crain funking shit up, and a surprising Span error in the field, it was 8-4 at the top of the 8th inning.  No one can be blamed for turning that turd fest off.

But people who get paid to watch the game watch the game, and exceptional Twins writer La Velle Neal III summarized Kubel's night as well as anyone could:

He doubled in the first inning, singled in the third and tripled in the sixth. Then in the eighth, when it mattered the most, he clobbered a grand slam off Jason Bulger that brought the house down as the Twins rallied from five runs down to win 11-9.

It should be noted that with Kubel's knee surgeries, the idea of him hitting a triple seems comical.  It did require some help from Bobby Abreu struggling to dig the ball out of the wall for Kubel to huffenpuff into third base.  All the same, it fucking happened.

I'm still unsure what to make of the Twin's start out of the gate.  Their starters look great, until that one inning when it all falls apart.  They aren't hitting the way they did last year.  Obviously, it is still early.  While I'm certainly happy about the way this game turned out, I have a hard time seeing this squad, with their bullpen performing the way it is, winning this series against the Angels.

I've love Kubelly Kubelly, and it is one thing to hit for the cycle--it is another to do it whilst banging 5 RBI's, and a game winning Grand Slam.  That said, he still reminds me of the kid from About a Boy, if Hugh Grant had force fed him corn and baseballs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Comcast vs. NFL Network--Can They Both Lose?

Comcast and NFL Network are mad at each other, and have been for quite some time, which is fine by me.  Here's the nitty gritty, via the AP:  "The sides disagree over Comcast's treatment of the NFL channel. Comcast moved it to a premium sports tier that has fewer viewers than the digital TV package where the NFL Network wanted to be."

Unmentioned by the AP, but mentioned by others is that there is some possible pay-back from Comcast for the NFL refusing to allow Comcast's shitty sports network, Versus, access to NFL broadcast rights.  Versus (and the Golf Network) is owned by Comcast, and is on the basic level package.

Now, I'm an Comcast subscriber (because I have so many choices on that front) and I happen to have plunked down the extra money for NFL Network, mainly because, to my mind it came "free" with the purchase of Fox Soccer Network.  So I'm kind of equally biased, and thus unbiased.

So here are some of my thoughts:

1.  The NFL Network should be on the free tier, because it is almost totally devoid of value.  Most folks don't have the NFL Network, and I certainly wouldn't, if it were not part of the package I purchased that had other channels that I really did want.  They broadcast a grand total of what?  4 games per year?  You know what they are doing during the vast number of hours in which there isn't football?  Showing  NFL films and old NFL games.  Which is occasionally awesome.  For example, I watched a chunk of Brett Favre's first appearance for the Green Bay Packers, before the commentators knew they wanted Brett's penis inside of them, in a non-gay, manly way.  It was fascinating.  But for the most part, we're talking about replays from years ago.  Who cares?  During the season, the NFL network is sports radio, with a statistical crawl that takes up the whole screen.  It's like your Fantasy Football website, but in no way centered around your team or needs.  Just guys talking, over a phone in a breezeway of some stadium, while your website tells you exactly what your individual players are doing. 

1b.  Fox Soccer Channel, when it comes to big soccer games, receives a royal asskicking from ESPN.  Champion's League on ESPN.  EUFA on Fox.  Every US qualifier is on ESPN.  If you really want to watch Slovakia vs. Belgium, Fox Soccer Channel is where it is at.  Step it up, FSC.

2.  Comcast is made up, at a molecular level, of dicks.  If you were slice a hunk of flesh off any of their Vice-Presidents, Lawyers, or what have you, and you stuck it on a slide, and threw it under a microscope, you would see that instead of mitochondria in their cells, there are just tiny dicks floating around the protoplasm, occasionally bumping up against the nucleus (that's when Ideas happen!).   Comcast is a bad company, and it is almost impossible to admit when they are in the right, even when they are.  And I'm not totally convinced that they are here.  They claim "the cost" to bring the NFL Network would be prohibitively high if they made it free for every Comcast subscriber.  But I get Homes and Garden TV, and I bet I didn't have the option to not have it.  Am I subsidizing all the asshole who actually watch HGTV?  Comcast seems to be implicitly saying "Yes, you are.  But those douchebag HGTV watchers are subsidizing your watching of The Soup (the one half hour all week you turn on E!)"

2b.  Cable in general, has a dick mentality.  Look at Time Warner, already seeing the writing on the wall about content delivered over the Internet, and looking into charging customers for their internet access based on Bandwidth.  Skirt buying HD Cable packages, and watch Lost online on your superfast connection?  Time Warner is trying to figure out how to charge you more for that.  Comcast is no better.  You think the ads on Hulu are a minor annoyance now.  Just wait.

2c.  Cable is terrified of an ala Carte style of Cable.  Imagine paying for just the channels you actually watch, instead of  "tiers".  It is well within the technological capacity (watch how quickly they can turn off your service if they consider you an "at-risk" account and you are late with your payment) to do so, but they don't offer ala carte service, because it would significantly impact their bottom line.  Though that's not the reason they give--they say they are providing a valuable service, by serving as an "Incubator" for stations that would not get watched if they were not part of a tier, that later become successful.  They point to Comedy Central and the Cartoon Network as examples.  I hate to think of a world without The Daily Show or The Venture Brothers.  But given the success of web based shows, it is hard to imagine a world in which quality content would not find a way out to the public.

3.  All of that said, does the NFL Network really need to exist?  Is it not, in a thunderously hamhanded metaphorical exercise, Crystal Pepsi?  Were people clamoring for extra out of market games featuring teams they don't care about?  The only time most people give 2 craps about the game the NFL Network is carrying is when it is their home team, and they find out it won't be carried on local TV.  Which it would have been, had the NFL Network not raised itself, cthonically, out of the NFL's dragon teeth.  The NFL saw a chance to create need, and as corporations will do, it went out of its way to create that need.  You live near your team, prior to the NFL Network, all you had to do was hope that the stadium was filled close enough to capacity for your team to be aired on the local TV.  If you lived far away from your favorite team, and you demand to see every game they play, you plunk down extra money on your Dish Network or your Cable and get those games.  The NFL saw some money on that, but saw a chance to keep all the money.

To sum up in a way I know I and my audience will understand--watch Ali Baba Bunny.  Hasan is Comcast.  Daffy Duck is the NFL.  Bugs Bunny is the FCC.  Watch, and discuss:

Vikings Have Almost Certainly Found Their Guy

Percy Harvin is a dynamic special teams player and would help improve a sketchy receiving corps.  He's also got bad Wonderlic scores and a love for the herb.  Sounds about right.

(That said, we here at IDYFT don't worry too much about weed or bad test scores.)

These Two Stories Are Totally Unrelated

Doc Rivers announced Kevin Garnett will probably miss the playoffs and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has a mild heart attack.

You Know What I Love? Failure and Cats on The Keys

Hence, I love Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat.  Combining famous and hilarious web videos of people failing, but having them getting played off the stage, as it were, by a cat dressed up in a little outfit?  Perhaps the pinnacle of human society.  It is all downhill from here, people.

John Madden To Focus Exclusively On Eating

It is going to be a weird year next year having no John Madden at all.  Despite all his weirdness, he is the voice my generation hears when they think football.  Joe Buck ain't gonna catch him any time soon, goddamit.

Snakes on a Plane!!!!!

No longer fiction my friends - snakes on a mother f'in' plane.

George Will Hates Video Games, Jeans

George Will wears bow ties, obsesses about baseball, and can't get basic facts about global warming right, and he's questioning my ability to vote?  That doesn't seem fair.

"Denim is the infantile uniform of a nation in which entertainment frequently features childlike adults ("Seinfeld," "Two and a Half Men") and cartoons for adults ("King of the Hill"). Seventy-five percent of American "gamers" -- people who play video games -- are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote." 

Oh Yeah, Ronaldo Did This

At 15 seconds, you'll be wondering why I recommended this.  At 30 seconds, you'll be saying, "HOLY SHIT"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ways to Make a Blow Out Entertaining

When it is 9-2 in the 6th, and your Minnesota Twins offense has not looked particularly strong all year (aside from that 12-5 abberation against the Sox), you might start to flip around on the old TV remote hoping to find something more compelling.  But then you miss the absolute fun that is Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven when they no longer have to talk about the game at hand.  I offer up two verbal recaps (without the express written consent of MLB or the Twins):

1.  Dick, I think in the 5th or 6th inning, mentioned that everyone was wearing #42 for a reason.  It was because, of course, the annual celebration of Jackie Robinson.  The lads then went into a little bit of well-intentioned specious reasoning--namely, talking about great African-American players who we would not have seen if Jackie Robinson hadn't broken the color barrier.  Famous names were thrown out there--Reggie, Kirby, Ricky, etc.  (Of course, almost all of those guys would have played in the Majors--if it wasn't Jackie, it would have been Larry Doby, or Satchel Paige, or someone else before 1950.)  But their hearts were in the right place.  And then they talked about the inclusion of African-Americans helped open the game to all nationalities--I'm Paraphrasing here:  

Dick:  "Cubans, Venezuelans, all these players from different  people."
Bert:  "A number of great players from many different countries."
Dick:  "There's been some talk about retiring Roberto Clemente's number retired like Robinson's has been."
Bert:  "And don't forget the Dutch!"
Dick:  "That's just you and Jim Kaat."
Bert:  "Jim Kaat was from Holland, New York Michigan."  (corrected via miwacar's recall)

2.  Right about the same time, just before or just after, there was a dugout interview with last night's winner, Glen Perkins.  Bert handled most of that interview, and they hit upon Bert's FAVORITE THING--which is pitching inside.  I'm in total agreement with him on that, but pitching inside is, without doubt, one of Bert's favorite things (right up there with farting).  After some discussion about Perkins' game the previous night, the discussion turned to Baker's rather poor outing tonight.

Bert and Dick both asked questions about how Perkins talks to his fellow pitchers, what he gets from them, what they give to him, etc.  It was mildly humorous work from the Fox Sports director to get shots of Perkins talking about giving his fellow pitchers some space before he talks to them, intercut with shots of fellow pitcher Kevin Slowey practically interrogating Scotty Baker in the dugout.  

But what really sold it, after a good 5 minutes of interview, in which these two shots were intercut throughout, was the final shot, with Perkins talking about how it is important to get the feedback from other pitchers, and how a pitch of your own might strike you as a good pitch until your fellow pitchers tell you that no, that isn't a good pitch.  As Perkins is discussing how he would talk with Baker at some point, but wanted to give him space (the cuts showed us, yet again, Slowey in the midst of a heavy convo with Baker)  the camera pulled back a bit, and the final joke was revealed--not three feet to Perkins' right was Baker, who must have heard everything Perkins had said.  Hilarious!
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