Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nice Catch

I remember hearing about an old-time football announcer who used to call games on radio before the explosion of TV ownership. Whenever he misidentified the ballcarrier, instead of correcting himself, he would make up a lateral that never happened.
For example, "Campbell throws it to Santana Moss, Moss has it and he's running down the sideline, and he laterals in to Antwaan Randle-El and touchdown!"
And of course the second player, Randle-El in our example, had the ball the whole time.
Tom Hammond just pulled off something not quite as dishonest, but equally as artful. After a good run on first down by Curtis Brinkley, the handoff on second down went to Antwon Bailey, and Tom Hammond said:
"Antown Brink -- uh Bailey, replacing -- Brinkley and Brinkley -- will watch Bailey spin to the 50-yard line."

A Plan for the Future

The New York Knicks finally gave their fans something we haven't had in several years -- hope. By dealing Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph as well as uselss Mardy Collins for Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, the Knicks made it clear that they are going hard after free agents in the summer of 2010.
That group includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Dirk Nowitzki.
These trades enable them to do that because Crawford and Randolph are scheduled to earn $27 million in 2010-2011, money the Knicks no longer have to pay.
All three of the players the Knicks acquired have deals expiring after next year, clearing almost exactly $40 million from the cap.
That leaves the Knicks with only four players under contract for 2010-2011. That's Eddy Curry (11.3m), Jared Jeffries ($6.9m), Danilo Gallinari ($2.8m) and Wilson Chandler ($1.8m).
Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson and David Lee all come off the books after next year as well but could potentialy be re-signed.
Donnie Walsh and Mike Dantoni even admitted that clearing cap space was the reason for these moves (and the reason Marbury will not be traded this year), so you'd have to view these trades as effective in reaching that goal.
But the Knicks still have two whole seasons to play. Losing Randolph for two spare parts hurts the performance of the team. And I think Crawford was the Knicks best player, mostly because he was the one guy with the guys and ability to take, and more importantly, make, a late-game shot. But Donnie Walsh loves Al Harrington and he probably thinks he's better and more unique in his talents than Jamal Crawford.
So even if the Knicks take their lumps for two more years we at least have something to look forward to, maybe even two somethings.

We Have a Couple Years Until This Happens

But knowing Chase and the havoc he wreaks on Diesel, some day Diesel will exact his revenge, and this is how he'll do it.

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Maybe They Need Lute Olson Back

The Arizona Wildcats lost a game to UAB in the most inexplicable, mind-boggling and absolutely retarded way possible.
With 30 seconds left down 3 Arizona was at the line. The players were obviously told to foul after the second free throw.
Well instead Arizona made the first, missed the second, got the rebound, scored, tied the game and then Kyle Fogg (who just made the shot) fouled! In a tie game!
But don't worry UAB missed the front end of the 1-and-1, giving Arizona a chance to win. They called timeout and set up a play. It didn't work, they missed the shot but with only 1 second left at least they were going to overtime.
But wait, they fouled AGAIN! This time UAB made the shot and won the game.
Something tells me interim coach Russ Pennell is not going to have the interim removed from his title before he's removed from the position.
My words don't do it justice. You have to watch this (I know it's long) to fully appreciate the horror of what went on.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mrs. Poop's Miracle Cure

Mrs. Poop has been struggling this week with a bad cold, quite possibly strep throat.
In addition to being the worst patient ever (she's just used to being on the other side) she is taking some unusual steps to feel better.
She is using something called a "Neti pot."
If you are unfamiliar, this is what Mrs. Poop does. She fills the Neti Pot with water.

Neti Pot

She then sticks the spout in her nostril and pours the water in. Since everything is connected in there, the water just spills out the other nose-hole. She repeats this process on the other side then blows out about 6 tissues full of snot.
And five minutes later she's stuffy again.

This definitely sounds like something The Concierge has tried.

The NFL is Poop - Week 11

Collision Course
Right now there are two dominant teams in the NFL, the Giants and the Titans. They are 19-1 combined this season. And they seem destined to play each other in the Super Bowl. Other than one hiccup agains the Browns, there doesn't seem to be a team capable of beating the Giants. And though the Titans seem beatable, they certainly are not. They have shown the ability to win a bunch of different ways. Both these teams are set to lock up homefield throughout the playoffs. Now the last thing to worry about is how they will play down the stretch. The Titans could very well be 14-0 heading into two meaningless games against the Steelers and Colts. The Giants credit playing tough against the Patriots last year for their amazing playoff run. Will they attempt to duplicate that effort even with nothing at stake this year?

Point Spreads are Only for the Gamblers Right?
One of the craziest plays you will ever see has cost gamblers millions. The Pittsburgh Steelers should have covered the spread by beating the Chargers 18-10. The final touchdown came with no time left as Troy Polamalu recovered an errant backward lateral. After calling the play correctly, reviewing it, and upholding it, the officials somehow disallowed the touchdown. They ruled a forward pass (an illegal one) hit the ground, ending the play. First of all, none of the laterals were forward, and the one that fell to the ground certainly wasn't. I'm not sure quite sure how, but the mistake cost gamblers millions. According to SCZA, there was a betting imbalance with the action going 2-to-1 for the Steelers. I thought spreads were designed to keep the action even, but oh well. So it seems the incorrect call, earned casinos an extra $32 million, instead of costing them $32 million. The NFL admitted the call was made in error, but they won't fix their mistake. One can't help but wonder if their refusal to do what is right comes at the behest of casinos which have already paid out winning Chargers tickets.

What Are They Teaching Those Guys at Syracuse?
Donovan McNabb, in his postgame press conference after an embarrassing tie with the Cincinnati Bengals confessed he didn't even know ties were allowed in the NFL. I know there hadn't been one since 2002 (he was in the league back then) but still, it's inexcuseable for him not to know that. And shouldn't that be one of the things you don't confess to once you do find out, just nod and say nothing. Like I did the time I found out fingernails grow from the bottom, not the top. Oh yeah, I knew that, sure I did. And one more point. Against McNabb's Eagles Eli Manning apparently encouraged Tom Coughlin to challenge a call because he knew the rule regarding a forward pass was that if any part of the passer's body is behind hte line of scrimmage, then the pass is legal. Manning knew that, but McNabb didn't know there were ties.

Game of the Week
Cleveland Browns 29 Buffalo Bills 27

Even though this game was poorly played (mostly by Trent Edwards) a number of things made it the most exciting game of the weekend. For three quarters it was just your average sloppy game but business picked up in the 4th quarter. In the first 30 seconds Cleveland scored on a Jerome Harrison 72-yard touchdown run and Leodis McKelvin returned the kickoff 98 yards to get the Bills back in striking distance. And it ended with a furious finish as Phil Dawson nailed a 56-yarder for the lead, and Rian Lindell missed a game-winner, wide right.

Game of Next Week
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

This would be a huge statement game for the Jets. They already emerged with a big win over the Patriots, knocking off the undefeated Titans would be an incredible two in a row. But most interesting about this matchup is Tennessee's ball-hawking defense against the Jets' turnover prone quarterback.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
The Redskins took an early season advantage and a favorable schedule and they blew it. For the second game in a row they had chances early and didn't take advantage of them. By the time this game turned around in the second half the Redskins should have been up by at least 14 points. Instead, they failed on so many chances, and gave the Cowboys the opportunity to get back in it. But really it all came down to the Redskins not making that one play to get them over the hump on offense. I don't blame the defense, they got worn down and pounded in the fourth quarter, but the offense curled up and died for the second week in a row.

Cheerleader of the Week
Lauren Rasys of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
She is a 22 year-old rookie who does interior design when she's not dancing for Bucs fans.

Lauren of the Tampa Bay Bucs Cheerleaders
Lauren of the Tampa Bay Bucs Cheerleaders

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Tennessee Titans 24 New York Giants 21

This game is impossibe to pick but as long as the Titans are undefeated, they deserve the top spot. Neither team is going to be fell from this spot unless they should lose in the playoffs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fa Shizzle Dizzle, Snoop Dee Owe Dubble Gizzle on Around the Hizzle

Snoop Dogg appears on ESPN's "Around the Horn" and offers some insightful commentary on LeBron James's pending free agency.

Song of the Week

"My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" - Moxy Fruvous
I heard this song a long time ago and it was so silly I fell in love with it. I never knew who sang it, or even the correct title until recently, but it makes me laugh so I thought I'd share it.
"I'm pounding the Ouzo with Mario Puzo."

Let's Sell Salads

The time-honored tradition of raising money for school activities with bake sales is fast becoming obsolete in this day and age of obese video gamers.
California has instituted strict policies about foods that can be sold on school grounds. Snacks sold during the school day contain no more than 35 percent sugar by weight and derive no more than 35 percent of their calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fat.
How do you regulate that? You can't, so most homemade goodies are banned.
Its admirable that the school district is trying to prevent their students from diabetic comas, but once again their solution serves to do nothing but punish.
Access to treats and goodies is not the reason why kids are fat. Teach the kids how to live a healthy lifestyle and let them have a brownie once in a while for a good cause.
Oh, and you know what's next? Bringing in cupcakes for a birthday party will soon be replaced by carrot sticks and lowfat peanut butter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We All Have Our Words

I cannot say cholesterol. When I say it fast in a sentence it comes out like "Clestrol." Evidently Fred Smoot can't say "extraordinary."
But that's only a small part of the wonder of Smoot evidenced in this clip.

And the tour of his house is even better.

Still Not Worth It

One-point-two million dollars. That's the going rate for a fastball to the groin.
Lhyvann Felipe was helping pick up the baseballs at a batting cage in Florida two years ago when a pitching machine unexpectedly (the round was finished and its lights were off) fired, hitting the poor schlub right in the onions. And whenever onions are smashed, someone cries. And Felipe did.
He was hospitalized for several days incurring $160,000 in medical expenses.
The extra million was for pain and suffering.
I couldn't find out what happened to his nuts, but I imagine had the fastball rendered him infertile he would have gotten a lot more than a million.
So, if there was no permanent damage, just excrutiating pain, several days in the hospital perhaps an operation, was it worth it?
I say no.

Love is Blind

It looks like it is true, Jamie-Lynn Sigler aka Meadow is dating Jerry Ferrara aka Turtle aka Sal.
Evidently Meadow is a method actress because when she was working on Entourage playing a girl who likes losers, she fell in love with a loser.
I guess it does provide a little bit of hope for the rest of us regular Joes.

Some guys have all the luck, how is Jamie-Lynn Sigler dating Jerry Ferrara?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Hope My Name Doesn't Come Up

One of Mrs. Poop's cousins has just been hired to work on Barack Obama's transition team. He's also angling for a spot in the administration. That means he has to fill out this incredibly invasive 63-question employment survey. Most of these questions are of no consequence as he never had any domestic help from a foreign country working here illegally, nor does he own property, nor has he ever been convicted of a crime.
But question 20 might pose a problem:
Please provide the names and details of any individuals and organizations with which you or your spouse have been associated with which might present a conflict of interest with your proposed federal office, or have the potential for embarrassment.

I definitely have the potential for embarrassment, but thankfully not the kind of embarrassment they're talking about.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Syracuse Season Preview

After two disappointing seasons when they missed the NCAA Tournament (the only time that happened under Jim Boeheim) the Syracuse Orange trying not to make it three in a row.
Unfortunately despite initially indicating he would come back, Donte Greene left for the NBA. That leaves the Orange with a deep team, but not one with an ascendant talent. Jonny Flynn is probably the best player on the team, and his Niagra Falls buddy Paul Harris showed great strides at the end of last year. The frontcourt will be manned by Arinze Onuaku with some help from Rick Jackson.
Eric Devendorf is coming back from a serious injury to provide some fire and hopefully some veteran leadership.
Andy Rautins (also back from injury), Scoop Jardine (talented but inconsistent) and a group of promising freshman round out the bench.
I think Onuaku can be a dominant inside force as most teams don't have a big guy of his size and agility.
But SU also has the horses to run, with Harris and Devendorf on the wings and Flynn pushing the ball.
But the most important thing is that they play heady ball at the end of games. Too many times SU chokes away leads with scared late-game play. A lot of this comes from Jim Boeheim who plays not to lose in tight situations.
But avoiding the turnover, or hitting the free throw, those are things the players control, and if they could do them just a little better, they would have made the tournament both years.
And remember, before the two years of NIT play, SU had two major disappointments in the tournament, first round losses to #13 Vermont and #12 Texas A&M. SU hasn't won a tournament game since 2004, the year after the title that now seems so long ago.
While this team is full of talent, Boeheim has once again given them a tough non-conference schedule to boost their postseason resume. Unfortunately, what Boeheim seems not to understand (judging by his constant complaining), is tough games do you no good if you lose them all. And that's what SU does consistently, beat the bad teams, pull off one victory against a good team, and stockpile 8 to 10 losses against RPI top-50.
This year SU gets Florida (they could be decent), then either Washington or Kansas (big difference there) in the O'Reilly Auto Parts classic.
Also looming on the schedule is Memphis (greatly diminished from last year) as well as conference games against Louisville, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.
If SU can't figure out how to get a couple victories in those tough games the Jim Boeheim Era could possibly end with 3 straight trips to the NIT.

Shocking Display by President Bush

President Bush meets with and poses for pictures with NCAA Champions for the last time as President. In the photo with the Arizona State track team he makes the shocker.

President Bush gives us the shocker, we can only wonder if he ever gave it to Laura

Apparently they duped him by telling him it was the Arizona State Sun Devils' pitchfork.
Well played college students who will forever be immortalized in a photo holding up the Shocker alongside the President. Well played.

Why Let Him Coach The Last Two Games?

Syracuse finally fired Greg Robinson. It sure took them long enough. Honestly I'm not sure what went wrong during his tenure, but the program plummetted so low it may never recover.
The most important factor in determining who is going to win a game, is talent. And in college securing the talent is up to the recruiter, the head coach.
That must have been Robinson's biggest failing because his teams just didn't have enough good players.
His boundless optimism was grating to fans and alumni but I don't know if it had an appreciable impact (one way or the other) on the team's performance on the field.
In his four years at Syracuse Robinson went 9-35 and 3-23 in the Big East. He will coach the final two games of this season against Notre Dame and Cincinnati.
That doesn't seem to make much sense. I understand why they want to let him go now instead of at the end of the year, so they can pursue a new coach, send a message to recruits, fans and alumni. But why not get rid of him and let an assistant coach the team in what are sure to be 2 more losses?
If the simple record wasn't enough to demonstrate how bad it has been under Robinson, here a few more facts:
The Orange have been outscored 300-169 in 2008.
In 21 homes games over Robinson's first three seasons, more than 260,000 seats were not sold.
In April, The Daily Orange, reported that the football team lost money in 2006 for the first time since 1995, when athletic departments were first required to report their finances to the government.
Average attendance fell to a 21-year low in 2007, and attendance numbers are again abysmal this season. Only 27,549 turned out for Pittsburgh in September, the smallest Carrier Dome crowd in 22 years.

This face pretty much says all you need to know about Greg Robinson's tenure as the head coach at Syracuse

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chef Paul Cooks Brisket

This is by far the easiest, and possibly the best-tasting of the new dishes we've tried.
Here's the recipe, write it down:
A 2 - 3 lb. brisket (it was called a deckel in the kosher butcher I went to)
A bottle of BBQ sauce

Pour about a cup or a little more if you want, of the sauce into the slow cooker
Put in the brisket
Set for 4 hours
Walk away.
About 15 minutes before it's ready added another cup or so of bbq sauce and stir it around.

And it was so fuckin good. It really tasted like an authentic slow-cooked brisket you'd find in any good BBQ joint. The only problem was that the 2 1/2 pound cut I bought shrunk somewhat and yielded few leftovers. Otherwise it was perfect.

Weekly Picks

Thanks to a crazy spread in the Giants game we got back on the horse with another good week. Overall our percentage is 54% which is barely enough to scrape by with some winnings if you count the vig. But an outstanding 8-2 record on best bets makes this a very good season for this format.

tennessee -3 JACKSONVILLE
I still don't understand why the Titans are not getting any respect. They're 9-0 for pete's sake. The Jaguars are terrible and in the last two weks they faced teams that had 0 combined wins entering the game. And they went 1-1. Now they're against the best team in the NFL. Two reasons this is not my best bet: it looks too obvious, and the spread is exactly a field goal.

new orleans -5 KANSAS CITY
The Chiefs played 3 tough games in a row (Jets, Bucs and Chargers) and they lost all 3. I think the psychology of results may begin to come into play here. I also think the disappointing Saints need a victory here and the spread is not too huge.

arizona -2 1/2 SEATTLE
Even though they won the Cardinals played a very bad game Monday night. The Seahawks are absolutely awful. They played tough against the Dolphins and lost. So that makes this an interesting game for me. Normally I look for a bad team that won against a good team that lost the week before. Here I'm going with a good team that won but played poorly against a bad team that lost but played well.

PITTSBURGH -4 1/2 san diego
The Chargers are so disappointing and the Steelers defense looked so good against the Redskins. They're coming off a loss to the Colts but that gives me even more reason to believe they will bounce back at home.

BUFFALO -4 1/2 cleveland

I worry about picking all favorites, and I worry about picking the Bills. After their loss to the Dolphins I thought I'd stay away from them for the rest of the year. But this is more of a selection against Cleveland than a pick for Buffalo. Brady Quinn was very impressive in his debut but rookie quarterbacks are by nature up and down. I expect a down week with a couple of interceptions from the kid.

Last week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season: 27-23 (33 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (8-2)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (9-9)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (2-1)
Road Favorites: 2-0 (10-5)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (6-7)
Road Pickems: 0-0 (0-1)