Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I was driving earlier when the snow was really coming down and the roads hadn't really been plowed yet. I thought to myself "wow, this is pretty bad, maybe I shouldn't drive through this."
When I left to come home a couple hours later the sun was shining all the snow that had previously made my path dangerous was gone and there was nothing but clear road ahead.

Isn't that a microcosm for life? There will be storms, they will seem difficult if not impossible when you're going through them, but when you get to the other side you will realize a) that didn't last very long and b) it wasn't so bad and c) the road ahead of you is wide open.

To me that sounds like a good resolution for the New Year: don't let anything get in the way of where you want to go.

"Here's to the New Year. May she be a damned sight better than the old one and may we all be home before she's over."

Best wishes to all my Poopheads for a happy and healthy 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Syracuse 80 Seton Hall 73

My trip to the Rock to see #5 Syracuse play Seton Hall was a success, because Syracuse won as most Poopheads predicted, but we’ll get to the game later, first I’ll describe the other events of the evening.

Trying to meet up with Nails in Newark, a city neither of us has been to very often, was actually pretty easy. What did people do before cell phones? How did you ever meet up with someone at a ballpark or arena? Maybe part of the reason I didn’t see him was that he was completely bundled up so that the only things showing were his eyes. He was dressed for an Antarctic expedition when all we were doing was walking two blocks.

When we got inside we noticed some people taking pictures next to the Seton Hall Butt Pirate mascot. But one of the picture takers happened to be 7-foot-2. It’s about that time I realized it was Luther Wright. I guess we should have talked to him or at least shouted words of encouragement, but I was trying to get a picture which he ruined by continually stepping out of the shot. Not sure why Nails didn’t offer any words of encouragement, I mean the poor guy has been to hell and back.

We actually had pretty decent seats, row 12 behind the basket. I don’t think it was actually the 12th row since there were some temporary seats and we were a little too close to the middle of the section – and therefore obstructed by the basket at times, but for $25 tickets, they were really excellent.

But the guys next to me didn’t think so. Two older Seton Hall fans (I think they were the only two who remember Frank “Pep” Saul when the old-timer was recognized not once, but twice during the game) were constantly complaining about the fans in front of them standing. It began with the regular Syracuse tradition of standing and clapping until the first basket of each half. Then it continued, even after that so they called over an usher who told them the student section (which was in front of us) is allowed to stand during the games and everyone else stands because the people in front of them are standing. But they didn't let it die with that, when the cute girl in front of them put up her arms during a free throw, the old guy freaked out started yelling at her, her brother and father stepped in. I tried to calm him by telling him it was only a free throw. He said it was bad enough she was standing the entire game, but she exasperated (yes he said exasperated) the situation by holding up her arms so he couldn't even see the scoreboard monitor.

But he wasn't the only one behaving boorishly in our section. After a controversial intentional foul was called on Seton Hall Nails screamed "that's fuckin bullshit!" That caused the 8-year-old seated in front of us and his father to turn around and stare in bewilderment at Nails. When I alerted Nails to his breach of arena etiquette he said "that's not his seat, get him out of here!"

Nails was happy to have in our section a few cute girls who must have been students on break who call the Northern New Jersey area home. One of them a few rows up had scissored a simple t-shirt to convert it into a sexy off-the-shoulder look. As far as basketball game attire goes I think she achieved her desired level of sluttiness.

There was a game going on as well, and SU won, 80-73. One downside to attending games is I feel overstimulated and I don't think I pay attention as thoroughly as I do at home. This is the main reason I keep score at baseball games, to sharpen my focus on the action.

But here's what I do know: Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell is a gunner. In each of the last two games he has taken 31 shots and leads the Big East with a conference play scoring average of 39.5. Even though his efficiency is low, Hazell pretty much single-handedly kept the Hall in this game when no one else could make a bucket. He also has huge ears.

As for Syracuse, it probably was their worst performance of the season. Defense wasn't great and Seton Hall got a ton of offensive rebounds, 23 according to the box score.

SU turned the ball over way too much -- 20 times -- half of those by Rautins and Triche and most of them on ill-advised high-risk passes. Triche and Jardine have combined to be a great duo to replace Jonny Flynn precisely because of the smart passing and low turnover total. That's something they need to get back to.

Rick Jackson didn't have a good game. After Onuaku exposed weakness in Seton Hall's interior D in the first half, SU stopped going insde.

Seton Hall did a good job sticking on Rautins and preventing him from getting open 3s.

Wesley Johnson was awesome, he does everything a team needs to win, in this one he grabbed 19 rebounds.

Kris Joseph also had a great second half, scoring on some big runouts and hitting 8 of 9 from the line despite being only a 64% shooter coming in.

The one thing that stood out most for me was SU's aggressiveness late in the game with the lead. In the past I have killed Boeheim for telling his team to sit on the ball with small leads and too much time on the clock. I've always advocated waiting until 15 seconds remained on the shot clock to start looking for a good shot. Several times SU jacked up quick shots and it almost proved to be to their detriment, but good free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the deal.

This was a game of runs (Seton Hall 27-9 in the first half which SU answered with a 14-2 before the half, then Seton Hall had a mini 6-0 run from a tie game, and SU scored the next 15 to put the game away) which made it fun for both sides. But more fun for the Orange, since we won.

My Favorite Soups

1. Grandma's Chicken Soup
This has been and will always be number one on my list. An impossible to duplicate combination of Grandma's love and her secret ingredient. Though I recently learned she used a small pot and made only half a batch. Still the best soup I've ever tasted.

2. Shaw Dining Hall's Beef Barley
You might be surprised to find a Uinversity's dining hall's soup on this list but if you've ever warmed your belly with it on a cold Syracuse day, you'd understand. But you have to get there before Josh because he had a bad habit of filling up a ladle then spilling the liquid out the side, giving himself a delicious stewy portion while leaving behind a watery mess.

3. Golden's Mushroom Barley
Fitting to the delicatessen's name this soup has a golden color not often found in mushroom barley soups. The thick cut mushrooms and thick consistency of the soup make this the better choice than its chicken noodle. But the chicken noodle does have the better menu description. It is listed as "Therapeutic Chicken Noodle (It Couldn't Hurt)". Because of that clever description I often refer to things with no downside as being like Golden's Chicken Soup.

4. Mem's Turkey Noodle
This new contender entered my list only recently thanks to a delicious batch whipped up using the carcass from the Christmas turkey. What made the most recent effort so good was the combination of cold temperatures (both outside and inside Mem and Poppy's house), the use of a very meaty carcass (not just bare bones) and Mem's decision not to skim the fat off the top (though not healthy Mem knows I like a fatty soup). A couple of caveats here: don't serve it too hot (poor Poppy almost burned his tongue) and don't give toddlers the liquid, just the carrots, noodles and meat ("spilled soup on mine bib mommy").

5. Outback’s Potato Soup
Outback is known for its steaks, its Bloomin Onions but not its soup. That should change. This delicious creamy soup comes with melted cheese, bacon and chives on top .

6. Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup in a bread bowl
The soup itself isn’t quite as good as Outback’s and it doesn’t have the bacon or cheese. But what puts it on this list is the bread bowl. The sourdough bread has a nice hard, crusty outside, and a delectable fresh inside made even better when it’s soggy from the soup. But beware because sometimes they don’t scoop out enough of the inside and you hardly get any soup, just a doughy bowl to eat.

7. The Manor’s lobster bisque
I haven’t been there in a long time but I still remember the lobster bisque, which had real chunks of lobster meat. Most Manor-goers forgo any kind of appetizer or pre-main course food in an effort to save room for lobster tails. But I was always shrewd enough to start with a bowl of bisque before diving into the seafood smorgasbord.

8. New England Clam Chowder in a bread bowl at the Big E
Now this one is a little tricky because as you can imagine, the state fair for all the New England states has more than one purveyor of the region’s favorite soup. I don’t recall the particular one I had, I just know that bread bowl wasn’t that great, but the soup was delicious.

9. Mrs. Poop’s Minestrone
A relatively new addition to our menu but another nice one for a cold day. It’s a very hearty soup with a lot of beans and other vegetables. Only problem, if you plan to have more than one bowl you really need a pre-emptive beano or you will be gassy all day.

10. Mama Poop’s Chicken Soup
An all-time favorite. 10th place is not high enough for the soup I basically grew up. I think this is the soup that made this entire list possible but I place it 10th maybe because I’ve had it so many times it no longer seems special to me.

Song of the Week

"Don't Let It Go To Your Head" - Brand Nubian

Good advice for the new year.
May we all have many achievements that could inflate our egos -- but don't.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Syracuse vs. Seton Hall Predictions

Tonight #5 Syracuse (12-0) plays Seton Hall (9-2) at the Prudential Center in Newark. Nails and I are going, and rooting for different teams. Syracuse is favored by 2 1/2 points. What will happen?

A Career at the TSA Doesn't Look So Bad Right Now

Richard Reid attempted to blow up a plane in 2001 with a bomb in his shoe. He became known as the "shoe bomber" and since then airline passengers have been forced to take off their shoes while going through security.

On Christmas Day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a plane with a bomb in his underpants.

The underwear bomber's tattered singed underpants

TSA workers may soon be saying "let me see that thong" to female passengers.

DVRs Are Not the Enemy

I have always said "you can't stand in the way of progress," particularly when it comes to technology. Over the years entertainment companies have tried to fight advancements they thought would kill their revenue streams.
Two examples come to mind: single-track music purchasing (downloading) and the DVR.
The companies that realize these trends are coming eventually get out in front and take over (like Apple) the ones that don't fall behind.
But as iTunes reenergized music, the DVR isn't killing TV, it's helping it.

Here's why:
-46% of people still watching commercials, even during recorded programs, according to Nielsen
-DVRs allow people to watch more than one show at once, and allow people to watch shows that are on when they are not home, or doing some other activity
-For the average prime-time network show, DVR viewers (Nielsen only counts those viewed within three days) add 10% to ratings, as much as 20% for some programs
-A surprising number of DVR users still watch shows live as they air

Some other cool DVR stats:
-33% of households have a DVR, up 5% from last year
-Fox gets the biggest boost from DVRs of the four networks
-"House" is the top show as far as DVR ratings, "The Office" and "Heroes" also get big boosts in ratings from DVR users
-Only 6 - 8% of non-DVR users flip during commericials

Part of the reason "The Jay Leno Show" is getting disappointing ratings on NBC at 10 pm is because people aren't DVRing the show very much, because the humor is topical and it's on every night

Note: Nielsen now measures ratings based on who is watching the commercials, not the actual show

Monday, December 28, 2009

How Was This Not the Biggest Story in the Country?

I recently heard a story that I could not believe I missed when it came out a few months ago. Maybe I just missed it, but someone exposed to as much news as I am probably should have heard this one, unless the liberal media covered it up.

The White House released its visitor logs for the first 6 months of the Obama Presidency. The names William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright were both on the list. Ok, annoying, but no huge deal. But wait, there's more. The White House says it's not the William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright you are thinking of. The people who visited the White House are different people with the same names.

No I am not making this up.
It was reported by ABC News, the Washington Post, the New York Times and even the White House's own website.

The Obama Administration has promised to be the most transparent administration ever. Now, I expect all administrations to lie, to cover stuff up (and no this is nowhere near as bad as lying about a reason to go to war) but it is insulting to the American people to feed us this blatant lie and expect us to buy it. I can't imagine even the most ardent liberal Poophead buying this "same name, different person" story.

As we learned with Watergate, it's not the infraction that kills you, it's the cover-up, I guess that's unless you have the entire news media rooting for your success.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weekly Picks

Another decent weak thanks to some good luck and good coaching by Mike McCarthy and Mike Tomlin. I could have done even better had Arizona not pooped the bed against Detroit. But typical of my season, I said the Raiders had a chance to cover because JaMarcus Russell wasn't playing, then the guy comes in and wins the game. Anyway, I meant to pick San Diego this week but was too late, so we'll go with these five games.

baltimore +2 1/2 PITTSBURGH
Roethlisberger won't be able to pass for 500 yards against the Ravens and the Steelers have major problems on defense.

MIAMI -3 houston
The Texans lose every single close game.

INDIANAPOLIS -5 1/2 ny jets
I think the Colts are going to be a little more aggressive going after this 16-0 season than most people think. I think Manning stays in the game long enough to put up at least 21 points which should be enough.

minnesota -7 CHICAGO
If the Vikings don't bounce back in this game Brett Favre would be reaching T.O. levels of team destruction through arrogance and selfishness. Because I think Favre is a little better than that, and the Bears defense is terrible, I expect him to have a good game here.


I have no confidence in the Broncos right now, they are 8-6 after a 6-0 start and those wins came against the Giants and Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Eagles are killing people and have a chance to pass the Vikings.

Last week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season: 33-42 (34 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (8-7)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (7-10)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (14-14)
Road Underdogs: 3-0 (11-15)
Road Pickem: 0-0 (0-1)

Luther Wright Has His Life...But Not His Toes Back

A couple years ago I posted the sad story of former Seton Hall center Luther Wright. The link is worth clicking just for Mrs. Poop's insensitive comment.

Now AOL has a Luther Wright update that updates us on the 8-toed big man's life now.

Luther Wright during better days

Friday, December 25, 2009

Joseph Isn't Good in the Sack

A controversial billboard from a church in New Zealand claims to "challenge stereotypes" about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Joseph and Mary in bed billboard

St Matthew-in-the-City Church in Auckland, which erected the billboard, said it had intended to provoke debate.

But the Catholic Church, among others, has condemned it as "inappropriate" and "disrespectful".

Within hours of its unveiling, the billboard had been defaced with brown paint.

The church's vicar, Archdeacon Glynn Cardy, said the aim of the billboard had been to lampoon the literal interpretation of the Christmas conception story.

"What we're trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about. Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?"

But Lyndsay Freer, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, said the poster was offensive to Christians.

"Our Christian tradition of 2,000 years is that Mary remains a virgin and that Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph," she told the New Zealand Herald. "Such a poster is inappropriate and disrespectful."

I hope all had a very Merry Christmas.

Bo Obama Barks at Santa Claus

Michelle Obama is trying to read stories to children and Bo interrupting by warning the strange man in the red suit to back away from his family.

As much I love Bo that little ham Sasha is still my favorite Obama.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Mets Fans

From Omar Minaya to you New York Mets fans, R.A. Dickey, heretofore referred to on this blog as U.R.A. Dickey.

On a related note: any fantasy baseball league that wants me as a member must institure a new rule. All but the last place owner shall contribute money to buy the last place team's owner an R.A. Dickey Mets jersey. It's sort of like Pizza Parlor Derek's paper bag but funnier.

The way this offseason is going for the Mets I can totally see Holliday going to the Red Sox, Bay to the Yankees and the Mets are left with nothing but Carlos Delgado and Pedro Martinez. Both of whom we will bitch about when they get hurt next year. I can't believe Omar missed the boat on Marquis and Vazquez.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Song of the Week

"Merry Christmas from the Family" - Robert Earl Keen

In the South, when radio stations do their Christmas marathons, this song plays once an hour.

Best NFL Films Mic'ed Up Sound Ever

NFL Films is pretty much the best thing ever, for 40 years it's been providing incredible access to NFL sidelines. NFL Films Presents is pretty much the best, most underrated show on TV right.
When Steve Sabol calls the clip of Matt Stafford getting hurt then coming back on the field as the Lions beat the Browns 38-37 the most dramatic sound NFL Films ever got, he is not exaggerating.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chase's Hero is a Male Chauvinist Pig

Turns out Mrs. Poop and I (and especially Mama Poop) have spent hundreds of dollars turning Chase into a misogynistic, right-wing autocrat.

Chase and Thomas -- two sexist pigs

According to a new study by Professor Shauna Wilton at the University of Alberta, Augustana, female characters are few and far between and the few female trains on the Island of Sodor are marginalized.
Wilton analyzed 23 episodes of “Thomas and Friends” and found only 8 female characters, compared to 41 males.
"The female characters do tend to be a bit sidelined," Wilton says. "The show comes out of a particularly historical time period when society was hierarchical and there was a blind following of authority. I want my daughter to think for herself."
The global Thomas brand of books, video games, movies and a TV series had its beginnings in 1943, when the Rev. Wilbert Awdry in Birmingham, England, started making up stories for his son, Christopher. His 26-book series recreated his boyhood fantasies of talking steam engines outside his home village of Box in Wiltshire.
Wilton concedes Thomas does include some valuable but messages but those messages include a "conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles."
Only Emily, the first female steam engine, is part of the core "steam team," and she didn't arrive in the TV series until the seventh season.
Indeed, descriptions of those characters range from the coaches Annie and Clarabelle, who are old and faithful, to Emily, who is bossy and difficult to work with, to Mavis, an unreliable, feisty young diesel engine that had a lot to learn.
Daisy, the snobbish and highly strung diesel railcar, has been discontinued, and Henrietta, the faceless passenger coach, was nearly turned into a henhouse by the station master. The peripheral Rosie idolizes Thomas and mimics him. And like Rosie, Lady is smaller than the rest of the engines, particularly in comparison to burly Gordon.

Chase is obsessed with Thomas

I contacted Professor Wilton to ask for the entire study which I received and read. I've broken down her complaints about the show into three categories.

1) The male-female dynamic. Wilton has a point here. The show’s characters are mainly males and the few females in the cast are smaller physically or dependent on the males, as is the case for Annie and Clarabel. But that doesn’t mean something nefarious is going on here. I think it’s ok for kid’s show to have a majority of male characters, or more female characters but if her point is that not only are there fewer females, but they’re also marginalized, I can see that.
2) The show breeds a fear of authority. Wilton claims the show’s reverence for Sir Topham Hatt, the conductor of the railroad, discourages children from challenging authority. Once again she has the right information but draws the wrong conclusion. Sir Topham Hatt runs the railroad on the Island of Sodor, the engines should listen to him and take his word as law. I think, and I’m sure most parents and teachers would agree, respect for authority is an important lesson to teach kids. And if they need to learn to challenge those sacred figures it would probably be pretty easy to pick that up later in life.

respect my authori-tay

3) The class system. Once again, Wilton’s analysis is absolutely right: there is class warfare between Thomas and the other steam engines (“steamies”) and the Diesel engines. But once again this doesn’t teach kids to be racists, it causes conflict which any TV show or story needs, and in the end is usually resolved with everyone working together and realizing each other’s usefulness.

In short Thomas may be a sexist pig who teaches children not to question and authority and to reject anyone different than them, but we already spent too much money on these damn toys to take them away now.

we already spent too much money on Thomas toys

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where Does the UFC Go From Here?

BJ Penn's total destruction of Diego Sanchez exposed 2 things:

1) Sanchez's skull

Here's a couple pictures of Diego Sanchez's nasty cut:

2) A major problem in the UFC right now

The champions in all five weight classes are just too good, no one can touch them.

Lightweight: BJ Penn (five straight wins as a lightweight) didn't just beat Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian he dominated them. As the great Joe Rogan pointed out, who at 155 now can be expected to challenge Penn? No one. So what's next for him? Maybe a third shot at GSP? If Rogan is right and Penn is better conditioned now then maybe I could see it. If not, will Penn keep busting his ass in training to fight guys he can beat in his sleep?

Welterweight: While there are no questions about Georges St. Pierre's (6 straight wins) training habits he faces the same questions about upcoming opponents. Dan Hardy is a good striker but I don't like his chances against GSP's wrestling. GSP has a way of taking on guys who have built reputations as pit bulls and completely taking away their will to fight.

Middleweight: That's the same thing Anderson Silva (10-0 in the UFC) has done to the middleweight division. He's even had to move up to 205 to find challengers and he's embarrassed them too. But he doesn't want to fight for the title at 205 because he considers Lyoto Machida a brother.

Light Heavyweight: Machida (16-0, 8-0 in UFC) right now rules (tenuously) the deepst weight class in the UFC right now. The old veterans who just won't quit (Liddell, Ortiz, Coleman, Couture and Wanderlei) are there along with some guys who've still got it (Henderson, Evans, Shogun and maybe Griffin) as well as some young guns (Darth Bader and my personal favorite Bones Jones). But I really don't think any of them will beat Machida because if they go after him aggressively he'll counter and kill them, and if they are too patient Machida will do enough to outpoint them because he can't be hit.

Heavyweight: This is why Brock Lesnar's illness may be the best thing to happen to the UFC. No one can beat Lesnar. No one can stop his takedowns and no one can get up once he's on top of them. And because he lost that first fight to Mir by submission when he got sloppy, he is so patient and so cautious so as not to get caught again. A winning strategy, but a boring one. But without him around there are some intriguing heavyweight fighters who could put together some big bouts (Nogueira, Mir, Carwin, Velazquez) and in time maybe Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve too.

A string of uninspiring main events will likely continue into the new year and I really don't know what fight they could book to really get fans excited again.

Rap Battle: Blitzen vs. Santa

A smack-talkin Blitzen (Lupe Fiasco) calls up Santa and starts talking some mess. Santa (brilliantly voiced by KRS-One) and his buddies, the Nike Kobe and LeBron puppets aren't gonna take that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekly Picks

The only thing I had success with last week is picking against Dallas in December so we will try that again this week.

NEW ORLEANS -7 1/2 dallas
I think the Saints are going to go strong to the wire and I think Dallas is going to fade. Plus the Saints technically need one more win to clinch home field.

atlanta +4 NEW YORK JETS
This seems just about the right time for the Jets to start breaking their fans' hearts. Not sure what the weather will bring for this one. The snow is supposed to have stopped by now but it could be cold and windy. Sanchez will probably start so maybe the wind could blow the ball to his own receivers for a change.

oakland +14 DENVER
Too many points here. The Raiders are actually pretty good when Jamarcus Russell is not starting. I think the spread would be 7 if Bruce Gradkowski were playing, so we'll see what happens with Charlie Frye but I think as long as Russell doesn't toucht the ball the Raiders will keep it close.

ARIZONA -12 1/2 detroit
The Cardinals will bounce back from a 7 turnover performance and put a hurting on the Lions then rest Kurt Warner for two weeks in lieu of competing for the 3rd playoff spot over the 4th.

green bay +2 [corrected] PITTSBURGH

The old trap game where the handicappers trap you into picking one side by making the spread so ridiculously wrong. I always lose these games but the Steelers have recently lost to the Browns, Chiefs and Raiders, how can they beat the Packers who are playing great defense lately? Not sure, but I have a bad feeling we might found out.

Last week: 2-3 (3 points)
Season: 30-40 (30 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (7-7)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (7-9)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (14-13)
Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-15)
Road Pickem: 0-0 (0-1)

Happy Hanukah From Your Favorite Mormon Senator

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is known for two things in his personal life: he's a Mormon and he's a song-writer. After years of writing Christian songs someone joked that he should write one for Hanukah. 10 years later Hatch finally did and collaborated with a Jewish singer to record it. And now "Eight Days of Hanukah" is an internet hit.

Hatch tells Imus the story of the song.

I hope everyone had a happy and joyous Hanukah.

Time's Running Out

College football bowl season snuck up on me this year and I forgot to set up our group for ESPN's bowl mania. Look for the group called "The Poop" and get your picks in today before the first game is played. You'll still be able to get your picks in after the first few games but they'll saddle you with losses.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Just Jlearyed/TallSkotted an Old Lady

I was standing in line in the bakery with the rest of the Jews preparing to make my Shabbos order: two challot and two large black and white cookies. But I noticed they only had small ones. While I was contemplating their relative circumfrences to determine whether I should order 8 or 10 the old lady in front of me ordered 8, making my decision obvious.

I ordered 9.

And I had the audacity to type this post while standing next to her. Oooh the effrontery!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of the Good Ones

Through my job I've gotten to meet a good number of celebrities and an even greater number of people who thought they were celebrities when they really weren't.

Here's how you tell the good ones from the bad ones:

When you meet a celebrity extend your hand and offer your name. If they reply with their own name as if you'd never heard of them before, that's good. Sure you know their name and they know you know their name, but if they just say hi, they're probably an arrogant pompous jerk.

This morning I met Steve Schirripa aka Bobby Bacala. I stood up and as I was being introduced to him I said "I'm Paul, pleased to meet you.". He said "Steve. Nice to meet you too."

He's one of the good ones.

During this time our teleprompter also wanted to meet him too but she was prompting. I said "Michelle wants to meet you too but you can't distract her while she's prompting."

So Steve proceeds to tickle her.

He did other friendly and courteous things during the five minutes I saw him including posing for pictures.

Note: I considered asking him to take a picture with me but I always think that's cheesy and unprofessional and maybe a little gay when you're talking about two dudes.

It's nice when you see someone on TV and develop a theory about them (in this case I thought he was a struggling actor who never got jobs because he was too fat until his big break after which he got a lot of success but never became spoiled by it) and he turns out to be just as nice and funny as you expected. Or more.

AutoTuning Kanye, Charlie and Balloon Boy

Some of the best videos in the history of the internet (not sure about the banana one) redone in newest fad, autotune.

What the Mets Should Do This Off-Season

1) Forget Matt Holliday. Never has an offensive player left Colorado (even in the humidor era) and continued to produce on a level commensurate with his performance there. He was horrible with Oakland and had one ridiculous month batting behind the Mangnanimous Pooh Holes before coming back down to earth. He's terrible on defense (see NLDS Game 2) and wants Mark Teixeira money. He's not worth it.

2) Sign Jason Bay. I know I'm against the big splash but I don't really consider him in that category, the one that will win over angry fans newspapers. He's a good solid .900 OPS guy who could easily bat 5th in this lineup. At 5-years $80 million, sign him today.

Jason Bay should be the Mets top priority

3) Sign a good pitcher to a short contract. I like Joel Piniero but I wouldn't give him 4 years. Even 3 year contracts can seem like forever (see Perez, Oliver). I really like the idea of Jason Marquis as a hometown (nice, Jewish) boy makes good story. Give him 2 years at 10 million per (that's what Randy Wolf got per year) and maybe a club option for 2012. There are several good pitchers scheduled to hit the market after this season. Even if Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee sign extensions, Brandon Webb, Josh Beckett, Matt Cain and Javier Vazquez could be available maybe as early as July for Webb.

4) Hope. If Santana is healthy and they import a serviceable number two, only one of Pelfrey, Maine and Perez needs to step up to make it a solid trio at the top of the rotation. I think they have to put Perez in the rotation as the 5th starter. He has too much ability and too much money coming to him to just give up on him. Maybe he's like a worse Bret Saberhagen. Instead of one good year, one bad year he does one good, two bad.

let's hope Oliver Perez rebounds Saberhagen-style

5) Don't give Bengie Molina three years. I'd want him for one maybe two but he's a free swinger who doesn't get on base enough. Other catchers can nearly equate his production without standing in the doorway for Josh Thole.

6) Give up on giving up on Luis Castillo. A year ago at this time the Mets passed Orlando Hudson because they didn't want to dump Castillo. Then the guy has a great year reaching base -- getting on 38.7% of the time (though his dropped popup is one of the more infamous plays in Mets history) and they want to dump him as if he's Tiger Woods and they're a sponsor. (Note: I hate jokes like that when people on a completely different topic throw in a jab or weak analogy just to seem like they're hip to what's happening in the world. I only did it to prove how stupid and cheesy it is to do that.). Let the guy bat second behind a healthy Reyes and in front of a healthy Beltran and he'll be the least of our worries. I hate Castillo too but Master Bates convinced me the upgrade from him to Hudson is so small it doesn't even rank among the Mets top 5 priorities.

despite his one horrible moment 2009 was actually a great season for Luis Castillo

7) Let Daniel Murphy play first and bat 8th. He was horribly miscast last year as a run producer. He should hit line drives and get on base. He was learning a new position as well and seemed to show flashes. I do not want Carlos Delgado back striking out all the time and I don't want to make a long term commitment to someone else because Ike Davis is supposedly the real deal and coming in 2011.

2010 Mets lineup
Jose Reyes
Luis Castillo
Carlos Beltran
David Wright
Jason Bay
Jeff Francouer
Bengie Molina
Daniel Murphy

Starting Rotation
Johan Santana
Jason Marquis
Mike Pelfrey
John Maine
Oliver Perez

Frankie Rodriguez
Bobby Parnell
Pedro Feliciano
Sean Green
Brian Stokes

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Graveyard Dead Maam

I've heard a lot of 911 calls in my time but few are as dramatic as the one Donna Jackson of Oklahoma made when someone was trying to break into her house.

Here's a more detailed transcript of the call which shows that not only did the 911 operator not tell Jackson not to kill the intruder, she advised Jackson that she was within her rights to do so.

Jackson will not be charged with a crime because Oklahoma has a "stand your ground" law. I do however wish she had shouted to the intruder "go away, I have a gun, I will shoot you" and maybe even fired a warning shot.

Why The Mets Will Always Suck

Every off-season you can count on two things, the Mets will be coming off a disappointing season and the newspapers, talk show hosts and fans will want them to make a big trade or big free agent signing.

The Daily News contributes to the Mets problem by exploiting a small child

And if there were a third certainty of baseball's hot stove season it would be me using this space to preach a more prudent approach.

I think I am going to punch the next person who says the Mets need to make a "big splash" to win back their fans. As stupid as Mets fans are, they want a winning team. I don't think any of them are going to games thinking "I owe the Wilpons my ticket money because they made a big splash signing some past-his-prime veteran who is now on the disabled list." And if they put some good young players on the field no one is going to stay home due to the lack of the big splash.

The other fallacy we need to address is that the "big splash" wins. It's a hard argument to make right now because the Yankees became World Champs by signing everyone in sight. But Mets fans need to face facts, we can never, should never and will never spend as the Yankees do. But we don't have to. Look down the list of World Series winners before 2009, other than Manny Ramirez twice, few of those teams made a big splash, and it took the Sox five years and a lot of young players for that to happen.

Remember the Yankees kissed a lot of toads (Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi) before they found CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. And let's review the Mets recent history with the big splash: Pedro Martinez (one of the worst free agent signings in history), Carlos Beltran (I'm one of very few Mets fans who still likes this deal) and Johan Santana (they wasted two prime years already with no playoff appearances).

The Mets still have a good, young nucleus to build around (Reyes, Wright) and some good veterans who still have some years left (Beltran, Santana) so I preach measured patience.

Song of the Week

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
I have an affinity for male/female duets and in the history of the world no one did them better than Marvin and Tammi.
I do however wish the song hadn't become so overplayed in movies like its trite usage in "Remember the Titans."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Carry, A Travel and a Flagrant Foul

LeBron James gets two steals on this play, the ball, and a theft of a couple french fries from a kid in a Kevin Durant jersey.
Steal of the Night indeed.

Note: this video encapsulates a new problem I'm facing. Do I post the user-friendl youtube videos or take them directly from the source and make Poopheads sit through an ad. I decided to go with the version because I think it's the honest thing to do, plus it won't get taken down in a few hours. I like having these videos for posterity and for the Poopheads who only check the blog once a week or less. If you are a daily reader who hates sitting through 30 second ads to watch a 20 second video, blame the idiots who refuse to check this blog everyday.

Gossip Girl: Staten Island

Saturday Night Live jumps on the recent wave of anti-guido sentiment with a kind of funny skit called "Gossip Girl: Staten Island." The incredibly hot Blake Lively saves the sketch.

Proper Train/Subway Ettiquette

Any of you who take mass transportation to work might have noticed that some riders view finding a newspaper on a seat akin to finding buried treasure.
Many days I bring a paper with me to leaf through and to do the crossword puzzle. I don't like to leave my mess for other people to clean up and I like to make sure my newspaper ends up in the proper recycling bin, so I always take it with me and dispose of it on the platform.
But every night I ride in with a guy named Jose who scours the cars looking for a free paper. Would I be a more courteous train rider if I left my New York Post on the train for someone else to read?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Hanukah

Happy Hanukah from the Poops

Tim Tebow is Too Good to Be True

With the upsetting story of Tiger Woods shaking everyone's faith in mankind (except for skeptics like me who expect this behavior from everyone) many are now questioning whether there are any true heroes left in the sports world or otherwise.
You need to listen to this story about Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow walked the red carpet before Thursday night's Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show with Kelly Faughnan on his arm, creating quite a stir.
Faughnan, 20, lives in Clifton, Va., was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Thanksgiving in 2008. Her tumor was removed just before Christmas and before her surgery Kelly asked if she could go to Disney World afterwards. She also asked to go to a college football awards show to see Tebow this year.
The players were at a function on Wednesday in Disney and Tebow spotted her wearing a "I love Timmy button." An ESPN producer saw her, talked to her and asked if she would like to meet him. He ended up spending 45 minutes with her and then invited Kelly to attend the show with him.
"He truly is making a great impact on many people's lives, and I can say first hand, on Kelly's life," Jim Faughnan said.
Since he had a date on his arm, Tebow couldn't sign autographs when he walked through the pre-show on ESPNU, especially not since Kelly's gait is still affected and she shudders when she walks. Rather than go inside the building, he turned around and went back and walked through the crowd a second time by himself, so he could sign autographs for anyone who wanted one.

Tim Tebow and his date Kelly Faughnan

There are a lot of Tim Tebow haters out there, mostly anti-religious zealots. Tebow's father is a religious zealot and he reportedly preaches a literal interpretation of the Bible, which means a condemnation of gays as well as other things some find distasteful.

While religion causes a lot of trouble in the world, there is also this good side. Those true believers, those who practice what they (or their fathers) preach, live their lives by a code and practice kindness and charity.

Tebow is well-known for his missions to the Phillipines where he helps perform medical operations (including circumcisions), and of course his pledge and his 2 national titles and his Heisman Trophy make him too good to be true.

I have my doubts about Tebow, including his claims of virginity (I mean how does he put his hands on this girl and not take her up to his room and rip that bikini off?) and his pro potential. But I'm a total believer in Tebow the person and think we'll never find him in a hotel with cocaine and hookers or in a smashed-up Escalade at 2:30 am.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Picks

The worst season of my life. Not sure why things are going so badly but I have to keep trying.

new york jets -3 TAMPA BAY
I don't mind missing Mark Sanchez here. The guy has been terrible and with Clemens they can rely on the run exclusively which they should be able to do against the Bucs. Plus this is the game the Jets always win to get their fans' hopes up before they dash them.

NEW ENGLAND -13 carolina
The Patriots only win in New Engladn and England. I see a domination here.

cincinnati +6 1/2 MINNESOTA
The Bengals have played a lot of close games and I have a weird feeling Favre may be hitting the 40-year old's wall.

arizona -3 1/2 SAN FRANCISCO
The Cardinals look really good right now, not only Kurt Warner and his wide receivers but on defense too.

san diego +3 DALLAS

The Chargers are 15-0 in their last 15 December games. The Cowboys are a bad December team with that choke artist Tony Romo.

Last week: 1-4 (0 points)
Season: 28-37 (27 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-7)
Home Favorites: 0-0 (7-8)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 1-2 (13-12)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (7-14)
Road Pickem: 0-1 (0-1)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Miserable Weekend Update

Two footnotes to the weekend of my discontent when Nebraska, Bones Jones and the Redskins all suffered heartbreaking losses.

I watched the Ultimate Fighter Finale a couple hours late because I was watching Nebraska, and by the time I got to his Facebook page there were about 100 comments on his wall, yet mine stood out enough in his mind for him to respond.

The Redskins cut their awful kicker Shaun Suisham and replaced him with Graham Gano.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Punch Heard Round the Jersey Shore

Snooki gets punched!

Some women's rights groups are complaining MTV should not air this (I think it's on next week's episode) because it shows violence against women.

I admit it's pretty bad to punch a girl, even one as annoying as Snooki aka Schnookums aka Snickers aka Schnikers, but looking at this is pretty damn funny.

Michelle Braun Provided Whores for Tiger Woods

The latest twist in the Tiger Woods scandal involves Michelle Braun, the ex-wife of Farrell Kellener.
On the cover of the Daily News, along with a picture of Tiger Woods is this mugshot of Michelle Braun after her arrest on drug charges.

Michelle Braun's mugshot

The article claims that Woods paid as much as $60,000 for threesomes, and his favorite girl was Italian model Loredana Jolie (SFW).

She says Tiger liked the college-aged girl-next-door cuties and they said he was good in bed and has a big penis. Glad I know that.

He's Doing the Freeze Dance

Florida State offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders would be very good at a staring contest.

Evidently FSU coaches tell their lineman to stay still if they think the other team is offsides. Sanders may have taken this bit of coaching a little too far.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Which is Grosser?

I'm not saying I do either of these things but which is grosser, urinating in the shower or leaving floaters in the toilet due to the failure to check and see if a second flush is needed?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who Do You Love?

While Chase was driving his favorite Car, "Sarge" on my head and leg, we decided to ask him a few questions:

Whom do you love more, mommy or Sarge?
Whom do you love more, daddy or Sarge?
Whom do you love more, Diesel or Sarge?

True story

Song of the Week

"Chicken Fried" - Zac Brown Band
This is when country music is at its best. Down home Southern values expressed in the lyrics plus some cool fiddle playing. Plus, I also like my chicken fried.

"I thank God for my life
And for the Stars and Stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives
So we don`t have to sacrifice
All the things we love
Like our chicken fried."

Tis the Season

The Kansas City Chiefs made a ton of mistakes in their 44-13 loss to the Denver Broncos this season. A sentiment summed up perfectly in this graphic from CBS

Chiefs do everything wrong -- including a partridge in a pear tree

Story suggested by Master Bates

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Like Those Pictures of Dogs Playing Poker

I love dogs. I love poker. But I hate those pictures of dogs playing poker.

That's sort of the way I feel about this CBS ad, a mashup of "Frosty the Snowman" and some classic Barney Stinson (NPH) lines from "How I Met Your Mother."

Parents groups are outraged over this saying a childhood classic should not be used in this way, especially since the dialogue they chose is particularly racy.

Personally, I just never understand why something is funny just because it's delivered by someone you wouldn't expect like babies cursing and old white people acting black.

But I like whiny complainers and complaining whiners even less than I like unfunny jokes. So I side with CBS here and say no long-term damage will come to any children who google "Frosty the Snowman" and get this clip instead.

What Did I Do to Deserve This?

I try really hard to be a good person, and for the most part I get rewarded, except when it comes to sports. Not only do my teams never win, they usually lose in heartbreaking fashion. There were three such examples this week of people I was rooting for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It all started with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers played one of the best defensive games ever, completely shutting down a normally potent Texas offense. Unfortunately, this coincided with an historically bad performance by their offense – totaling only 106 yards. But on the last drive the much-maligned Zac Lee ran for 17 yards, and threw a 16 yard pass setting up what should have been the game-winning field goal. But here’s where they cost themselves the game. Adi Kunalic booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds giving Texas the ball at the 40. The next play was 19 yard pass with a 15 yard horse collar tacked on, putting Texas at the 26. And despite Colt McCoy’s brain cramp that almost let time run out, Nebraska ended up losing a very winnable game.

Zac Lee leveled by Texas's rush

And then I watched The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Earlier this year I declared Jon Bones Jones my favorite UFC fighter. In part because I like his style, in part because I think he’s really awesome and I got on the train early. I also like the fact that two of his brothers play football at Syracuse including the great defensive lineman Arthur Jones. And not the least of it, I friended Bones and his babymama on Facebook. When Bones was booked to fight Matt Hammill I even asked her if it was ok to make fun of a deaf guy. She didn’t answer so I didn’t make fun of Hammill. Saturday night Hammill was getting completely dominated by Jones. Jones had the mount and was raining down blows. It turns out Hammill hurt his shoulder during Jones’s ridiculous slam and couldn’t defend himself from the punches. So here’s what you’ve got, Jones pummeling a near defenseless Hammill while ref Steve Mazzagatti watches. Twice Jones pleads with him to stop the fight. Then he went into “what do I need to do to get this guy to stop the fight” mode. So he delivered 2 or 3 vicious elbows to Hammill’s face. Unfortunately, dropping an elbow straight down (from 12 to 6) is illegal in MMA (side to side elbows are ok) so Jones had a point deducted. Here’s when things got weird. Mazzagatti twice asked Hammill if he could continue. He got not answer. Hammill couldn’t hear him, and he couldn’t read his lips because his eyes were bloody and damn near swollen shut. He probably would have said no had he been able to hear because he’d been beaten so badly and had a shoulder injury. But because the fight had to be stopped after an illegal blow (Mazzagatti used video replay to review the blows, believed to be the first use of replay in MMA history), the ref had no choice but to disqualify him, costing Jones a fight he should have won.

Jon Bones Jones can't believe Mazzagatti won't stop the fight

Then came the Redskins game, in a lost season the Redskins have been surprisingly frisky the last two weeks before blowing leads to the Cowboys and Eagles. Despite mistakes (a huge fumble after an interception that allowed the Saints to tie it before the half) the Redskins hung tough and had second half leads of 27-17, 30-20 and were poised to make it 33-23 when Shaun Suisham missed a 23-yard field goal. That gave the Saints another chance, which they used to throw a 53-yard bomb to send the game into OT. There Mike Sellers fumbled on the third play, a play so close it should not have been overturned on review. The Saints kicked the game-winning field goal giving the Redskins a loss in a game they should have won.

Shaun Suisham better not answer his door

To sum up the weekend of my discontent I will be putting flaming bags of dog poop on the doorsteps of Shaun Suisham, Steve Mazzagatti and the entire Nebraska offense.

Monday, December 07, 2009

In the Pink

Earlier this season Sports Illustrated used pink for the letters on its cover, after the NFL was awash in pink for breast cancer awareness.

A few weeks later when SI readers wrote in about the unique color, the section in the letters page was entitled "In the Pink."

When I told The Concierge about this he said "in the pink" is actual an expression meaning in good health. I think it has an entirely different meaning.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Weekly Picks

Another horrible week, but at least I got my best bet. I just can't get anything going this season, incredibly frustrating.

denver -4 1/2 KANSAS CITY
Maybe the Broncos broke out of their doldrums last week against the Giants. Even so, the spread seems really small against a bad Kansas City team. The Broncos may be one of those teams that can beat bad teams but not good ones.

houston pick'em JACKSONVILLE
I think the Texans are another of those teams. I think they are actually pretty good but they just can't close games out. This week they won't need to against a Jacksonville team that laid a huge turd last week.

new orleans -9 1/2 WASHINGTON
I know the Redskins have shown some life the past two weeks in blowing games to the Cowboys and Eagles. It won't be a last second drive that sinks them this week however. This one looks like 38-3.

tennessee +6 1/2 INDIANAPOLIS
Like I've been saying, something strange is going on here. Both teams have been playing a lot of close games recently and I fully expect the Titans to put some points on the board. I wouldn't even be surprised if they won this game.

minnesota -3 ARIZONA

Brett Favre is just playing out of his mind right now. The Vikings could be a better team right now than either of the two undefeateds.

Last week: 1-4 (2 points)
Season: 27-33 (27 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (6-6)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (7-8)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (12-10)
Road Underdogs: 0-2 (7-13)

We're Too Young to Die

I was saddened this week to learn of the passing of Janelle Dotts, a fellow alumnus of Susan Wagner High School Class of 1996.

I didn't really know Janelle all that well during high school, despite her being in many of my classes.

But I do know, age 31 is way too young.

Janelle leaves behind a 9 year-old daughter who heartbreakingly said “Mommy made the best spaghetti,” according to the obituary in the Staten Island Advance.

The Advance reports she died after a short illness, but no word on exactly what she had.

Janelle Dotts 1978 - 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

What Do You Give Me For? Airline Passenger and Mark Mangino

What do you give me for former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino and an unidentified obese plane passenger.

This picture was reportedly taken by an American Airlines flight attendant upset at the gate staff for not stopping this passenger or making him buy two seats.

As for Mangino, he was forced to resign from Kansas after disparaging comments he made to players came to light. He reportedly threatened players that if they didn't work hard he'd send them back to wherever they were from. He told one guy whose brother was shot that he could go back to St. Louis and get shot with his homeys. A player with an alcoholic father was ridiculed as well. And speaking of ridicule, this is my favorite picture of Mark Mangino.

Not a good day for the morbidly obese.

obese airline passenger
Mark Mangino

Another Take on Tiger

You've heard my opinion on what really happened the night Tiger Woods drove his Escalade into a tree.

Now let's see what Taiwanese media thinks of the incident:

Maybe we can get Special K to translate

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Peter King Gets Duped

Peter King of Sports Illustrated is not only the best football writer in America, he seems like a really nice guy. And as a middle-aged guy he probably doesn't understand the whole Twitter-verse or the juvenile senses of humor of today's young people. It was probably some 20 year-old staffer who suggest Peter answer one Tweet each week in his freakin awesome Monday Morning Quarterback column:

I'm sure King had no idea that Ivan Poon wasn't this guy's real name, but that's the problem when these things aren't properly vetted by people with a middle-schooler's sensibilities.

Worst Toy Ever

A talking toy puppy that teaches babies their ABCs has a bite toxic enough to make it the most dangerous toy on a watchdog group's annual holiday list.

The $23.99 Love to Play Puppy, made by Fisher-Price, was among 24 toys that the New York Public Research Interest Group has declared unsafe.

The Love to Play Puppy, bought at a Manhattan Toys "R" Us, contains bromine, a fire retardant that can affect the reproductive system and cause birth defects, as well as mercury, which affects the organs and nervous system, according to the group.

Forget the chemicals, the reason not to get this toy is that it's so fuckin annoying.

Teammates with Great Names

The University of Colorado women's basketball team has Whitney Houston and Brittany Spears.

Freedo and Amber will be going to a game this season to try and get their picture taken with this dynamic duo.

Muppets Go Viral

Much like the Muppets took Manhattan, they have taken the Web.
Since debuting last week, the Muppet parody of the classic music video of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been viewed more than 8.6 million times on YouTube. It's an exceptional hit for the first video posted on a new YouTube channel by the Muppets Studio, the Walt Disney Company subsidiary formed in 2004 after the Jim Henson Company sold the franchise.
A Twitter feed has also been launched. (It's mostly promotional; Kermit isn't blogging.) And a Facebook page has been started.
Muppets Studio general manager Lylle Breier said the online push for the Muppets was designed to help reboot the franchise and quickly get new content to fans.
"When the Muppets came into real popularity was the '70s. What was popular in the '70s? Variety shows -- that's what `The Muppet Show' was," said Breier. "What's the Web? It's a giant variety show. That's why the Muppets fit so perfectly. Parody has always been at the heart of what the Muppets do."
Breier said the Muppets singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" had long been an idea on the back burner, but the project only recently came together.
In it, just about every famous Muppet character makes a cameo: Gonzo and his chickens appear in silhouette; Rowlf plays piano; Beaker supplies his normal "meep-meep-meep-meep"; Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem rock out.
Animal bangs on the drums and gets to channel Freddie Mercury, singing "Mama!" He repeats it instead of singing the full, child-unfriendly line "Mama just killed a man/ Put a gun against his head/ Pulled my trigger/ Now he's dead."
It's not the Muppets first foray into online video. Several videos were released last year, most notably including Beaker singing "Ode to Joy." More than 7 million have since watched Beaker's rendition.
Breier says more Web videos are on the way. A version of "Carol of the Bells" will be released for Christmas, and a handful of other videos will follow in 2010.
The purpose of the sudden Muppet expansion is partly promotional. The Muppets have also recently made appearances on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year's holiday special, "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" has recently been released on DVD and will air again Friday on NBC.
What is more important, a new, much-anticipated theatrical film is in the works. Jason Segel ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") and his writing partner Nicholas Stoller have been writing a new Muppets film expected to return the franchise to its more acclaimed past.
"It's all part of a plan for new creative content with online, television, a new theatrical movie," said Breier. "We're bringing the Muppets back."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Own Teammate

Florida Panther Keith Ballard swings his stick in frustration after Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk scores a goal, but Ballard whacks his own goalie Tomas Vokoun in the head. Here's the actual cut from the game.

Vokoun got a cut ear but as you can see in this longer clip they carted him off the ice on a stretcher. Luckily, he's ok and was able to fly back with the team.

Song of the Week

“That Smell” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

I heard this song a few weeks ago for the first time in my life. A few days later I heard it again. 31 years, never heard it. Two weeks, twice. Amazing. Anyway, the song is kind of weird but interestingly chronicles the band's problems with drugs.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lady Killer

Since we posted the pictures of Chase with all his lady friends many of you have asked for his secret. As ZZ Top once said "every girl's crazy bout a sharp dressed man."

Chase's blazer

I Don't Have to Watch Because I Lived It

For several summers earlier this decade some of my friends had a summer house on the Jersey Shore.
The type of guido and guidette who frequented places like Headliners and DJais could not be explained, until now.
A new MTV show premiering December 3 at 10pm (special 2 hour season premiere) will attempt to chronicle the lifestyle of this strange subspecies of our culture.
Watch the trailer, trust me:

"I'm the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island."
The fact that at least one of these people is from Staten Island turns this into an even scarier version of "This Is Your Life."

the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore

Oh yeah, some people say the show is racist.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Really Happened

The biggest story in the world right is now is the mysterious car accident of Tiger Woods. Everyone wants to know what really happened, and a pretty obvious picture is surfacing.

Recent rumors of Tiger having an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel surfaced. Tiger and Elin were obviously fighting about it, maybe Tiger got a strange text.

It was 2am the night after Thanksgiving and Tiger was taking some painkillers. They had a fight and Elin went crazy, she attacked him and scratched his face up pretty good. He tried to leave the house to go for a drive. She chased him down with a golf club (oh the irony) and at some point smashed the back window.

Distracted by the crazy woman chasing him, perhaps bleeding from scratches to his face, perhaps a little foggy due to painkillers Tiger crashed his car into a fire hydrant and then a tree.

But there are a few questions still unanswered.

First, why do the Woodses keep putting off their interview with the cops? Some say they are waiting for Tiger's injuries to heal so he can blame his facial scratches on the accident and the broken glass, but if he was already treated at the hospital those injuries would likely be photographed and documented and I believe that could be shared with the police in an ongoing investigation. Another possibility is that maybe Elin has a black eye or something that would incriminate Tiger.

And the second, and more puzzling question, why would Tiger cheat on Elin, his swedish bikini model wife?

I guess the old adage is true, "everywhere there's a beautiful woman, there's a guy tired of fucking her."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekly Picks

I finally got off the schneid last week and though likely nothing will save this season it still feels good to pick a few winners for a change. There are some more games I like this week so we'll try to keep this going.

carolina +3 NEW YORK JETS
I don't see how the Jets can beat anyone right now. I would make this my best bet but I'm never comfortable with underdogs and rarely pick them as my best bet.

new england +1 1/2 NEW ORLEANS
The Patriots win this game. I normally don't believe in all the psycho-babble people regularly resort to when picking games because they have nothing intelligent to say, but with the Patriots I believe Belichick uses that stuff. I think he will use Indianapolis game, and the Saints undefeated record to get his team ready to beat the recently underwhelming Saints.

ST. LOUIS +3 1/2 seattle
The Seahawks are terrible so I figured it was a good time to play the rare home dog.

CINCINNATI -13 1/2 cleveland
Here's a theory I haven't used enough this season: good team coming off a bad loss and bad team coming off a win. Ok, so the Browns didn't win last week but they scored more touchdowns in the first quarter than they had in the previous 423 games (may want to double check that number). Either way, I still like the Bengals this season and if not for some bad lack they at least would have escaped Oakland with a win.

indianapolis -3 1/2 HOUSTON

The Colts aren't getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers. I know they've had a lot of close calls but they are still undefeated and they still have Peyton Manning.

Last week: 4-1 (5 points)
Season: 26-29 (25 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (5-6)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (7-7)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Favorites: 2-1 (11-10)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (7-11)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Marv Albert Denies Fighting With 50 Cent's Entourage

Marv Albert said Saturday he was never involved in an altercation with 50 Cent, denying Internet reports of a fight on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

According to the reports, punches were thrown after members of the rapper's entourage didn't recognize Albert, the longtime sports broadcaster who was appearing as a guest on the show on Wednesday night.

But Albert told The Associated Press he was not even close to the exchange, which he believed was caused when a member of 50 Cent's party was prevented by show security from using a phone in the room that was supposed to belong to Albert.

"I couldn't even tell you what the guy looked like or the security guard looked like," Albert said.

Albert said he even read one account that he was punched by 50 Cent, who was the show's musical guest, but insisted they never crossed paths.

"They embellish. It keeps getting embellished more than anything else," Albert said. "What do you say, it's just wrong."

Albert appeared on the program the night before he called the Lakers' home game against Chicago on TNT. The Los Angeles Times' account of the event, by a writer who was there, describes a scuffle and "a fist or two flying," but never mentions Albert being a part of it.

But the story has changed as it's appeared on blogs in recent days, with Albert saying family and friends are reading accounts that are "completely made up."

"I don't know what tomorrow will bring," Albert added. "It will be Jimmy Kimmel got punched."

Albert said he was told the whole altercation lasted only a few seconds, but it's created a few frustrating days.

"I'm sure this will be funny to me in a couple of days," he said. "It's not funny to me now, obviously."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Bates'

Much thanks to Mrs. Bates for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, for 29. Yes 29 people, count them. The only one you can't see is me, I'm under Chase.

All Master Bates did was carve the turkey.

pay careful attention to the carrot and tomatoes

Happy Thanksgiving

No sappy, cloying, whining ramble like last year just a couple words to wish all the Poopheads a happy day of turkey, football and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Slapsgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Song of the Week

"Renegade" - Styx
I recently watched an "NFL Films Presents" on how this song became an anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now they play it when they need the Steelers to rally, and they only save it for when it's really necessary to get a turnover or touchdown.