Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maybe He Got Teased to Death

Actors who become so associated with a certain role that they can't find another job, or even walk down the street without being reminded of that one character they once played.
This phenomenon sent Michael Richards on a racially charged rant.
I fear it may have driven John Costelloe to suicide.
Costelloe played Jim Witowski on the Sopranos, but he was better known to his fans as "Johnny Cakes."
His love affair with Gay Yankee fan Vito Spadafore became one of the show's most enduring storylines.
New York police confirm that John Costelloe's body was found Dec. 18 in his Brooklyn home, an apparent suicide.

I love you Johnny Cakes

UFC Picks

The UFC usually saves its best card for its year-end show and this year is no different. On the card for UFC 92 is Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans, Antonio "Minotauro" Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir and Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

NOTE: I will not be able to watch the show until Monday night at the earliest. The mother fucker who ruins even the slightest bit of the action for me will get put in a Peruvian necktie. That means no text messsages SCZA. Thank you for respecting my wishies.

All three fights could main event a PPV card. I think they're all more intriguing than the main event at UFC 93, Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson.

I made my picks (complete with method and time of victory) for our Fantasy UFC game e-mail me if you want it, but I happened to see the odds on the fights and thought I would post my thoughts here.

Wanderlei Silva is a 6:5 favorite over Rampage Jackson. I'll take Silva in this one. Both guys are strikers who hit very hard. But Rampage seems to be too much of a wildman. He'd still be champion if he had a better strategy against Griffin instead of standing there and let Griffin chop his legs out. And following his subsequent mental breakdown I can't be certain how much Rampage wants to fight.

Minotauro Nogueira is a 7:2 favorite over Frank Mir.
I was really surprised that Mir this big of an underdog. I do expect Nogueira to win because he has great jewjitsu especially for a man of his size, but I really thought this one would have been a near coin-flip.

Forrst Griffin is a 7:5 favorite over Rashad Evans. I really like Evans. I think some MMA purists don't like him but he has much more skills than Griffin. Griffin is great but I'm not sure he'll be able to do any damage to Evans who should be able to the fight he wants, which is usually the recipe for victory.

TON's Golden Shower Movies Are a Little Different

During Notre Dame's Hawaii Bowl win over a Hawaii a Notre Dame player got hit so that paint came flying off his helmet. Dave Pasch's description of the play was a little misleading however.

Story Suggested by Pizza Parlor Derek
PPD texted me to tell me about the Golden Shower but I never got his text. My cell phone does this weird thing sometimes. It's on and it looks normal but it can't send or receive texts or phone calls. So I never know it's not working until I try to use it, which is usually never. When I tried to make a call and it didn't work I just turned it off, then on again, like rebooting a computer, and in came PPD's text, 2 days late.

Weekly Picks

My temporary cold streak has degenerated into a season-derailing slump. I've got one week to pick myself up before the playoffs begin and I think I have just the best bet to do it.

oakland +13 TAMPA BAY
Seems like something is seriously wrong with the Bucs. And the Raiders seem to have a good deal of fight left in them.

detroit +9 1/2 GREEN BAY
Of all the teams with their lives on the line this week I think the Lions have the most to play for. They don't want to be the only 0-16 team in NFL history. And they have played a lot of close games this season. It doesn't seem like they have given up and resigned to their fate.

chicago +2 1/2 HOUSTON
The Bears still have a chance here. It's not impossible for the Giants to beat the Vikings which would give the Bears the division title if they can win their own game. Houston is incredibly overrated.

new england -6 1/2 BUFFALO
There are a lot of teams in the league that will lose even when they have everything in the world to play for. The Patriots are not one of them.

ARIZONA -6 seattle

The Cardinals do not want to go into the playoffs like this. I expect them to do their best to restart their offense and they should win by a touchdown at home against a bad team.

Last Week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 41-39 (45 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (10-6)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (9-16)
Home Underdogs: 1-0 (4-1)
Road Favorites: 2-1 (18-8)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (9-13)
Road Pickems: 0-0 (1-1)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Race War

When Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin meet in the Octagon at UFC 92 they'll be fighting more than each other. They'll also be grappling with racial stereotypes that have existed since even before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color line. Each of them embodies all the traits (both good and bad) athletes of their race are perceived to possess.

Let's start with the black guy, Rashad Evans. He's immensely talented and has all the physical gifts. He has tremendous speed and power and he moves so effortlessly it almost seems as if he's floating. In fact, the way he moves, coupled with the confident way he talks and acts, has earned him that other tag for black athletes, "arrogant."

Rashad Evans wins with ease

That stands in stark contrast to Forrest Griffin who despite being champion of one of the most talent-laden weight classes in the UFC is self-deprecating to a fault. Not only that, Griffin clearly lacks the physical gifts of some of his peers (a simple comparison of physiques will that you that much) and instead he gets by on guts and guile. Griffin's best strategy is often to use his face to injure his opponents' fists. Several times Griffin has endured so much punishment that his opponent wore out, and Griffin emerged from the fight with a win, and a face that made you say "if he won, I'd hate to see the other guy."

Forrest Griffin often gets motivated by the taste of his own blood

The enduring post-fight image of each fighter just as perfectly illustrates what I'm trying to say. There's Rashad Evans, casually wiping the sweat from his brow as if to say "ain't no thang." And there's Griffin, arms raised triumphantly, bloodied, but not beaten.

You've got physical gifts and arrogance of the black guy against the humble white guy who gets by on heart.
Who'll win out? Probably the guy who bucks the stereotype.

You've Got To Admire Their Ingenuity

High school kids in Maryland have invented a new game called "Speed Camera Pimping."
Here's how it works: find a teacher or student you don't like and take down his or her license plate number.
Go home and create a high quality digital reproduction of the license plate.
Print it on glossy paper and affix it over your real license plate.
Drive through a known traffic camera at a speed in excess of the limit.
Laugh when your target gets a ticket in the mail.
These pesky kids even used the same model or the same color car to make their prank more convincing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don't Forget What I Said About the Clown Car

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar added another member to their ridiculously engorged family, little Jordyn-Grace joins her 17 brothers and sisters in this nuclear (explosion) family.
I won't go into all the details again but this continues a disturbing trend of people procreating irresponsibly in the pursuit of a show on the Discovery Channel. Add the Duggars, Jon and Kate and the two dikes who each had twins to the growing list of people who became famous doing things with their uteruses they probably shouldn't have done.

The NFL is Poop - Week 16

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Teams -- To Lose Anyway
There five games pitting teams that needed to win to boost their playoff chances and against teams that were mathematically eliminated. Of those teams only the Dolphins and Bears won (and not convincingly) but the Broncos (to the Bills), the Jets (to the Seahawks) and the Eagles (to the Redskins) all lost. It makes no sense, but it should once again prove to you that those television talking heads who preach about the "desperate" team, are dead wrong.

Run Out of Town
In the Old West there would be a shootout at the corral and the losing Cowboy would be run out of town, never to return again. That's sort of what happened to the Dallas Cowboys who will likely never play in Texas Stadium again. When the Cowboys scored with four minutes left to cut the lead to 19-17, that's when the Ravens ran them out of town. Next play, Willis McGahee runs for a 77-yard touchdown. The Cowboys offense picks the defense up with a 2-minute touchdown drive to get back within 2 points. Next play, Leron McClain runs for an 82-yard touchdown. And pretty much knocked Dallas out of the playoffs an into their new billion dollar stadium.

One Game From History
The Detroit Lions are about to do it. If they can't beat the Packers on Sunday they will be the first team in NFL history to go 0-16. What's interesting about this is that the Lions don't really have a good excuse. The Tampa Bay Bucs were an expansion team. Some other all-time bad teams lost key players to injury. Sure the Lions have had quarterback trouble, and they traded Roy Williams midseason, but they're just brutally bad. But maybe this all-time worst season will encourage the owners to completely clean house and bring in a team of executives and coaches who can turn this thing around for good.

Game of the Week
New York Giants 34 Carolina Panthers 28

We would all be lucky if this turned out to be the NFC Championship game. This was a great, competitive, well-played game. Something tells me if these two teams do meet again the Panthers will spend a little more time game-planning for Derrick Ward. Ward ran for 215 yards on 15 carries including a 51-yarder in overtime that pretty much ended the game.

Game of Next Week
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

A lot subplots to this game. Most importantly, the winner makes the playoffs and the loser doesn't. Also, it's the last game of the regular season, in prime time on NBC. The Chargers will be looking to make up for a bitter lose at the hands of the Broncos (and Ed Hochuli) earlier this year which torpedoed their season. And finally, Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler hate each other.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
It's really nothing to get excited about but it was nice to beat a division rival and knock them out of the playoffs. In fact it makes it even more painful that at 8-7, the Redskins could have been in great playoff position if they hadn't lost games to two horrible teams (the Rams and Bengals). Even one victory in those 2 games (especially against the Rams) would be enough to keep them alive, assuming everything else stayed the same. But the real problems with this team were revealed in this game even though they won. They cannot make plays to win games. The offense can't make a key first down to keep themselves on the field. And the defense can't get make the third down stop to get themselves off the field. And that's what happened on the last drive by the Eagles that came up inches short.

Cheerleader of the Week
Alicia of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders
Alicia is one of the hottest Asian cheerleaders on any squad in the NFL. She also says she'd love to be a pro poker player, which is a plus and she can drive stick shift in 4 inch heels, which I think is a plus. However she refused to answer the key question asked to all Eagles cheerleaders "Geno's or Pat's?" Her answer was "Both make great cheesesteaks." I take that to mean "you think I eat cheesesteaks with this figure?"

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
New York Giants 21 Tennessee Titans 17

Order has been restored to this space.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Softening on Secret Santa

I have always opposed Secret Santa and pretty much any other kind of forced gift-giving. No one enjoys it and usually someone ends up getting screwed. So you can imagine my dismay when in my first day at my new job I was drafted for the office Secret Santa. Everyone in the office was complaining about it and it seemed to be nothing more than a perfunctory exchange of gift cards.
Being the new guy I didn't think it was in my best interests to recuse myself from the gift-giving so I grinned and pretended to be interested. When I reached into the bowl to make my choice I selected my own name. I had a fleeting moment where I thought I should just put the slip in my pocket and say nothing to no one. But instead I threw back my name and selected another.
With the spending limit set at $25 I asked Mrs. Poop to pick me up a Best Buy gift card for $20. The Secret Santa provided for some lively discussion around the office for a couple days, with pretty much everyone just bitching about it. But when the time came to exchange gifts the recipient of mine was very pleased, and even I made out well.
I got a $20 gift card from Starbucks. Sure, I don't drink coffee. And it was once my claim that I had never purchased anything at a Starbucks, but I've since broken that streak. I will happily share my gift card with Mrs. Poop and even enjoy a couple of Peppermint Hot Chocolates of my own. But in thanking the gift giver I was able to stir up a good conversation about coffee and working nights and it turned out this whole absurd endeavour actually served me quite well in incorporating me into the staff at my new job.

Song of the Week

"Christmas Song" - Natalie Cole
Merry Christmas to you!

Reason Why I Love Mrs. Poop #415,776

I e-mailed Mrs. Poop this picture. And all my shirts are ironed anyway.

Iron my shirt bitch

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Someone Liked What They Saw

The executives at the porn production company Black Ice evidently liked what they saw of Visanthe Shiancoe. They (like some of you) saw the NSFW picture of Shiancoe's cock and were impressed enough to offer him a role in an upcoming movie.
The company's GM said "From what we’ve seen, there is definitely a career for Visanthe in the adult industry," quite possibly in Bubble Butt Barbecue 3.

Jim Boeheim Gets Tough

After a devastating loss at the buzzer to Cleveland State Jim Boeheim takes out his frustrations on a malfunctioning microphone during the postgame press conference.

[Correction: this happened two days earlier after a win against Long Beach State.

That was the angriest I've seen him since his famous "10 fuckin games" speech.

Scariest Thing Ever

Chase just fell down the stairs.
He and I had come home from buying Mrs. Poop's Hanukah present.
She was upstairs getting ready so I put him on the bottom step and let him crawl up.
When he got to the top step I assumed Mrs. Poop had her eye on him so I went to the basement to hide her present.
Then a minute later I heard the unmistakable clomping of his sneakers on the kitchen floor.
I look up and see Chase standing at the top of the basement steps, looking like he's about to come down after me (only he hasn't mastered climbing down the steps the way he has going up).
I scream for Mrs. Poop and she doesn't answer, I scream louder and still no answer.
I run up the stairs and grab Chase and realize Mrs. Poop was upstairs the whole time.
We have no idea how he got down the steps safely.
To see if he actually has learned how to go down steps Mrs. Poop put him about five steps up and went to the bottom. On the first step down he couldn't quite reach and he tumbled down.
Thankfully Mrs. Poop grabbed him before he hit his head.
He didn't even cry.
He looked a little freaked out but not upset.
So how the hell did he get down the stairs the first time?

Finally, Something Worth Paying $10 a Ticket For

I have been down on Hollywood for the past 10 years or so for its seemingly purposeful refusal to make any good movies. The storyline has been taken out and replaced with either the big explosion or the completely gay romance.
But it recently came to my attention that three movies I would love to see will be hitting theaters within the next month.

First of all there's Marley and Me. Based on one of the best books I ever read (but surprisingly never added to Paulo's Book Club, Marley and Me is about life as a dog owner. As long as the horrible actors (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) don't ruin it, it's going to be an hysterical tear-jerker that anyone whose ever loved an animal, particularly a mischievious labrador will love.

On a completely different note there's Gran Turino starring Clint Eastwood. Eastwood portrays a man trying to put off old age by kicking the ass of gang members half his age. His angry at the world mentality calls to mind Michael Douglas in "Falling Down" and his lone badass crusade is reminscent of Samuel L. Jackson in "187." And if that doesn't sound good to you, then you're reading the wrong blog.

And finally, if there's one thing Hollywood usually can't screw up, it's a biopic. Pick an interesting person and stick to the script without too much embellishment, and you should have a winner. It remains to be seen if that's the formula they chose for "Notorious," about Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls aka the Notorious B.I.G. but I'm sure I'll love it anyway.

But probably the only movie I'll see in the theater is "Twilight" because Mrs. Poop has being dying to go.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Can't Find Any Reason I Won't Love This Show

I like "Friday Night Lights." I like "Entourage." I like Ice Cube. I like LeBron James.

So I think I am going to like this.

"LeBron James has partnered with O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson and ABC for a one-hour drama based on James' experiences as a high school hoops phenom. The series, described as "Friday Night Lights-meets-Entourage," will follow an inner-city 15 year-old prep star who is transplanted to a small town school and forced to come of age while dealing with media pressure, unscrupulous moneymen and the jealousy of his peers.

The pilot script is expected in the coming weeks and, if the network approves, production on the pilot could begin in the spring for a fall '09 premiere. CubeVision and James's newly formed entertainment entity Spring Hill Productions will oversee for the network, while James and Cube will serve as co-creators and executive producers."

And coming summer 2010, the kid moves to New York.

How Did a Nice Jewish Boy Get Tangled Up In This?

The greatest Jewish player in Mets history, Art Shamsky is getting dragged through the mud by his bitter ex-wife.
Kim Shamsky claims Art gave her a sexually transmitted disease after cheating on her with both men and women.
In her lawsuit, Kim Shamsky says that during their 13-year marriage Art "engaged in acts of adultery with both men and women." And these escapades included "acts of 'unprotected' sex and deviate sexual intercourse"
Kim says she was informed by her doctor she had contracted the human papilloma virus (HPV).
The suit claims Shamsky continued to have sex with her although he "knew that an individual or individuals with whom he had engaged in sexual relations had contracted HPV or that he had contracted HPV."
Kim, who says she suffered "serious physiological and emotional injury," is asking for $11 million in damages.
Art's lawyer, Pat Crispo, dismissed the entire lawsuit as "frivolous" and insisted Shamsky is free of sexual disease. "This is the act of a very angry ex-wife who has maligned him in the press."
Shamsky played for the Mets from 1968 to 1971 and batted .300 in 1969 when he platooned with Ron Swoboda.

Something About That Mouse Pisses People Off

One restaurant is getting reputation nationwide as a place where wild brawls frequently break out, often between drunken customers.

The last place you'd think I was talking about is Chuck E. Cheese, but police have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. And that's only at the Brookfield, Wisconsin location.

The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform.

Fights among guests are an issue for all restaurants, but security experts say they pose a particular problem for Chuck E. Cheese's, since it is designed to be a haven for children. Law-enforcement officials say alcohol, loud noise, thick crowds and the high emotions of children's birthday parties make the restaurants more prone to disputes than other family entertainment venues.

One look at this mouse and you want to punch someone in the face

The environment also brings out what security experts call the "mama-bear instinct." A Chuck E. Cheese's can take on some of the dynamics of the animal kingdom, where beasts rush to protect their young when they sense a threat.

Amid pressure from local politicians, some Chuck E. Cheese's have stopped serving alcohol and added security guards who carry pistols.

CEC has been tightening safety rules to deter fighting in other ways. In Milwaukee, the store posted a sign outlining a dress code that prohibits what it calls "gang-style apparel." That location also implemented a code of conduct that prohibits knives, chains, screwdrivers and glass cutters. CEC is considering systemwide signs at popular games such a machine that draws digital pictures of customers to let people know there may be a time or token limit. Making the machines more expensive to use is another option, but Mr. Huston says that is "inconsistent with our value message."

In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna Township police are searching for suspects involved in a Nov. 9 altercation at a Chuck E. Cheese's outside Harrisburg. The police department gets called to respond to disputes at the restaurant as many as 15 times a year, Police Chief Robert Martin says.

This most recent assault, described in police reports, occurred after a woman in her 30s approached a 6-year-old boy who was playing a videogame. When the boy went to insert more tokens to continue playing, the woman grabbed the tokens out of his hand and told him to stop hogging the game. The boy went and got his 26-year-old mother, who walked over to the woman. The woman began screaming at the boy's mother, and another suspect, a man in his 30s, grabbed the mother by the throat and pushed her against the videogame machine. CEC employees had to pull the man off the mother. Both the man and the woman fled the scene.

In Toledo, Ohio, four women were charged with disorderly conduct after a melee erupted at a Chuck E. Cheese's there last year. According to police reports, it started when parents complained to the restaurant manager that children were loitering at the drawing machine. The children were Barbie Clifton's daughters, then 14 and 10 years old. Ms. Clifton had come out of the bathroom when she saw a woman yelling at her daughters and her friend.

That touched off a fight between more than 10 people, in which participants punched and screamed at each other. One woman removed the red rope that marks the entrance queue and handed it to another woman, who swung the metal clip attached to it at others involved in the incident.

Reginold Bell, a 45-year-old Milwaukee social worker, says that a child "assaulted" his 8-year-old son at a local Chuck E. Cheese's while the boy was playing in the Sky Tubes, a jungle gym with slides. Mr. Bell confronted the man who appeared to be the child's father, setting off an argument in which the man "used some vulgar vernacular," says Mr. Bell, who reported the incident to the police department.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spelling Bee Champion Greeted With Congratulations, a Big Sign and Irony

Seventh-grader Michael Smith won the spelling bee at Carmel Middle School in Charlotte.
He then went on to a larger bee involving students from other schools. He finished third.
To congratulate him, the next day when he arrived at school he was greeted by a giant sign congratulating him.
Only problem, his name was spelled wrong. And "congratulations" looked wrong too, but just because the I and O were on top of each other.

Weekly Picks

Another disastrous week because of one of the shitty New York teams. Games are getting harder to pick as teams with everything to play for face teams with nothing to play for, and often lose anyway. I've got to turn this around as all of my percentages have gone to shit after a hot start.

miami -4 KANSAS CITY
This is the first game that will put my theory to the test that teams needing wins to make the playoffs often lose to horrid teams just playing out the string. I know the Dolphins have a big game against the Jets in Week 17 meaning they probably have to win both to get in the playoffs, but if they do, they win the division. Unfortunately they have had a history this season of winning close against bad teams. But 4 is a small enough number to make me feel comfortable.

philadelphia -4 WASHINGTON
The Eagles are on fire and right now the Redskins are the second worst team in the league though I'm not so sure they'd win a rematch against the Lions right now.

new orleans -7 DETROIT
The Saints are the most predictable team in the league. They will go to 8-7 this week and lose to the Panthers next week to wrap up a season where they had every possible even record. The Lions have fought hard but I think they'll get behind early and give up.

OAKLAND +7 houston
When did the Texans get to be so good that they should be a touchdown favorite on the road? Last week was an aberration, they're mediocre at best. Not good enough to win by 8 over the Raiders.

TAMPA BAY -3 san diego

The most underrated team in the league versus the most overrated team. When are people going to realize that the Chargers suck and worse yet phoned in their season five weeks ago. The Bucs lost 2 straight, but to strong opponents. They'll win this one to stay alive in the NFC playoff race. If they win this one, then they play Oakland next week needing to win to get in. Sounds like a dream scenario.

Last Week: 2-3 (1 point)
Season: 38-37 (43 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (10-5)
Home Favorites: 0-0 (9-15)
Home Underdogs: 1-0 (3-1)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (16-7)
Road Underdogs: 1-3 (9-13)
Road Pickems: 0-0 (1-1)