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.