Saturday, December 04, 2010

Weekly Picks

Steelers didn't cover, but at least I didn't have to eat my shorts.

NEW YORK GIANTS -7 washington
You know if I'm going the Redskins are going to get absolutely destroyed.

atlanta -3 TAMPA BAY
The Bucs are middle of the road, they beat the bad teams but lose to every good team they face.

NEW ENGLAND -3 new york jets
Teams tend to split these close divisional matchups

cleveland +5 1/2 MIAMI
I don't pick enough underdogs

GREEN BAY -9 san francisco

Green Bay coming off a tough loss against a very good team, San Francisco coming off a big win over a very bad team.

Last week: 2-3 (1 point)
Season: 30-30 (32 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (7-5)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (9-9)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-0)
Road Favorites: 1-2 (11-14)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (9-7)

Important Story Update

The Pinstripe Bowl actually kicks off at 3:30 PM so I will be going. Only problem is tickets are $60 for the cheapest seats, not including the rip off fees, (figure $70).
Anyone wishing to join me should contact me by Monday.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Syracuse University Cares About the Kids

Check out this PSA starring Syracuse University Lacrosse legend Gary Gait circa 1990.

And Yet They Still Can't Hit Free Throws

Pretty cool trick shot video starring Syracuse junior guard/benchwarmer Nick Resavy with a special guest appearance from Gerry McNamara

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I Would Love To Go To This

The Syracuse Orange are headed for the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
Director of athletics Daryl Gross accepted the invitation this morning. An opponent has not yet been decided for the Dec. 30 game.
It will be the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on Dec. 15, 1962, when Nebraska edged Miami 36-34 at the original Yankee Stadium.

I'd like to go to the new Yankee Stadium so this would be a great opportunity to do it without actually seeing the Yankees.
And it might be my only chance to go to a bowl game, without having to travel to a warm weather state.
But December 31 is a normal workday for me so I don't think I can stay out til midnight in the freezing cold.

Happy Hanukah

"Candlelight" - The Maccabeats
Sung to the tune of "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz
"We say Ma'oz tzur for all 8 nights
Then we play dreidel by the candlelight
And I told you once, now I told you twice
About the miracle of the candlelight"

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Are Test Drives Overrated?

We are in the process of buying a new car and everyone is saying how important it is that we drive it first. I know that sounds like a good idea and it’s like Golden’s chicken soup (it couldn’t hurt), but I just don’t see the major benefit. I can’t imagine anything I would discover in a 5-minute ride that none of the previous owners or testers hadn’t already discovered. And what could it be that would be unusual to me, that would influence me not to like the car? I could see if I were buying a tiny sports car I wouldn’t fit in. I am not very particular about things where I might object to the feel of the floor mats beneath my feet or the temperature of the air conditioning.

I will do a test drive, but I can’t imagine noticing anything during a test drive that would make me not want to buy the car, or to convince me to buy it.

Latest Lip Synch Disaster

At the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Boyz II Men performed "This Christmas." When they were done and the next act was introduced, they starting "singing" again, even though they were nowhere to be found.

Song of the Week

"Singin in the Rain" - Usher
Usher performed this at something called "Movies Rock" which celebrated the role of music in movies. It's quite well done and perfect for a day like today.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enduring Tribute to Enrico Pallazzo

Patrick Hruby of's page 2 penned a brilliant tribute to Enrico Pallazzo, unconventional opera singer, umpire and doctor.

oh my god it's Enrico Pallazzo

Enrico Pallazzo, an acclaimed Italian opera singer who achieved greater international fame by thwarting an assassination attempt on the queen of England while working as a baseball umpire, died Sunday. He was 84.

Pallazzo died from health complications at a hospital, a large building with patients, near his home.

In 1988, Pallazzo was invited to sing the national anthem before a baseball game between the California Angels and Seattle Mariners that was attended by Queen Elizabeth II. After the game's seventh inning, Angels outfielder Reggie Jackson attempted to assassinate the queen while under the influence of hypnotic suggestion.

Jackson was thwarted by Pallazzo, who fired a tranquilizer dart from his cuff link that struck an obese woman in the stands. The woman fell on Jackson, knocking him out of commission and prompting jubilant spectators to chant Pallazzo's name.

Pallazzo subsequently proposed to his girlfriend, Jane, who instead of shooting him said yes. Arab-Israeli peace talks resumed shortly thereafter.

After delivering an avant-garde rendition of the anthem, Pallazzo umpired the game. Calling balls and strikes from behind home plate, his style was flamboyant, characterized by sidestepping, pirouetting, bowing to the crowd and a Michael Jackson-inspired moonwalk. Players recalled Pallazzo as being unusually hands-on in his approach, liberal in his stance on illegal ball doctoring and possessed of an uncanny ability to determine strikes before pitched balls reached home plate, a trait that contributed to his inimitably eccentric strike zone.

Pallazzo was the first -- and only -- umpire to eject another umpire from a major league game. He also is believed to be the first -- and only -- umpire to use an upright vacuum cleaner to tidy up home plate.

Born Dutch-Irish to a Welsh father, Pallazzo began his career as a locksmith and later practiced medicine. After discovering that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's famed birthmark was actually a wine stain, Pallazzo declined the offer of a Cabinet position by President George H.W. Bush.

Pallazzo is remembered by friends for his appreciation of stuffed beavers and his desire to find good, clean love without utensils. Pallazzo was romantically snake-bitten: One early relationship ended with a tragic blimp accident, another because of his girlfriend's musical career -- she spent 300 days a year on the road with the Chicago Male Chorus and Symphony despite not being able to carry a tune; when Pallazzo bought her a harp as a gift, she asked what it was.

Pallazzo's relationship with Jane, by contrast, brought him happiness and led him to notice things he previously had ignored, including birds singing and stoplights.

Disappointed that he was unable to fulfill his lifelong ambition to die by a parachute not opening or by getting caught in the gears of a combine, Pallazzo told friends and family gathered by his deathbed to "win one for the Zipper," adding that he did not know where death would take him but that it wouldn't smell good. When a relative said that Pallazzo surely couldn't be serious, Pallazzo replied that he was and requested that he not be called Shirley.

Offered a last meal of steak or chicken, Pallazzo chose lasagna.

The NFL is Poop - Week 12

Luckily I Don’t Have to Eat My Shorts
Thanks to Steve Johnson’s dropped ball I don’t have to live up to the boastful proclamation I made in this week’s picks, though Juice was getting the hot sauce ready and put it on youtube like this famous clip. I am really shocked the Steelers almost lost this game, especially because they had a 13-0 lead early. I thought they would just give the ball to Rashard Mendenhall and ride him to victory. They tried that but he fumbled. And even though Buffalo turned it over also, they managed to put up enough points to tie the game and set the stage for Steve Johnson’s huge drop. For the record, Johnson says he was not blaming God for dropping the ball. And for the record, if he caught it, he would have praised God, so fair’s fair.

Just Ignore Him
When I was little Master Bates used to annoy me all day long. He would say things, and do things when our parents weren’t watching. And when he finally pissed me off enough that I hit him, he claimed innocence and I was the one who got in trouble. Thankfully, the NFL knows a little better. Cortland Finnegan spent all day (and the past several years) annoying Andre Johnson (and everyone else in the league), before Johnson finally snapped on him. I think Johnson was justified, but it was still the wrong thing to do, especially punching him twice. I’m glad the NFL penalized them equally, with only fines.

Here Come the New Kids
A new young crop of wide receivers has taken over the top of the receiving statistics. Roddy White is the NFL’s top receiver, thanks to the fact that Matt Ryan throws to him pretty much on every play, no matter how wide open someone else is. Brandon Lloyd leads the NFL with 1122 yards, doubling his yardage from 6 of his 7 NFL seasons. My favorite up and comer may be Dwayne Bowe. We got to know him on Hard Knocks as a rookie, now he has 14 touchdowns, including at least one in 7 straight games, and 5 multiple TD games overall. And let’s not forget Steve Johnson who practically no one ever heard of before this year, and now he has 10 (damnit, 9) touchdown catches).

Maybe I Should Start Giving the Bears Credit
Here’s what I saw from the Bears early this year: a 19-14 win over the Lions which only happened because of Calvin Johnson’s premature celebration (not a ref’s bad call, it was Calvin Johnson’s fault), a win over the Cowboys in which the offensive line looked bad, and a game against the Giants where the line got destroyed and Cutler was sacked 10 times. Then they beat Carolina and lost two more games in row, to Seattle and Washington, both very bad teams. At that point, they were 4-3, and it was reasonable to assume they were headed downhill. Instead they won 4 in a row and over that span Cutler has 9 TDs and 3 INTs. But the wins came over Buffalo, Minnesota and Miami (3rd string QB). Now they finally beat a good team (the Vick-Eagles), but now the schedule gets a lot tougher, at Detroit, New England, at Minnesota, New York Jets, at Green Bay. I can’t see them going better than 2-3 over that span which could potentially leave them out of the playoffs, since New Orleans, Philadelphia (or Giants) and Tampa Bay could also be in contention.

This is Going to Be A Disaster
Every time I have gone to a Redskins-Giants game at the Meadowlands the Redskins have gotten absolutely destroyed (except 1991 to my recollection). This year will be no exception. The Giants are very good. The Redskins are very bad (and on a 5th string running back). And I will have to put up with 3 hours of Master Bates’s Cortland Finnegan routine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Don't Call Him Shirley

There's not enough I could say to adequately express how much I love Leslie Nielsen who died yesterday at the age of 84 due to complications from pneumonia. Airplane and The Naked Gun are two of my favorite movies and it was his understated delivery that turned him into such a great comedic actor late in his career. He never really told any jokes. He just delivered his lines as inappropriately and ironically as possible. Like this one, the Leslie Nielsen classic that is being repeated most often today:

Here's another simple classic from Naked Gun:

The newspaper Frank Drebin was reading (I believe in Naked Gun 2 1/2) is another great example of the kind of understated comedy Nielsen thrived on.

It's All God's Fault

As the great Jesus Shuttlesworth once said "How come you never hear Jesus being praised in the losers' locker room then?"
After this horrible play the Bills Steve Johnson did the exact opposite.

Johnson may have had his Pedro Cerrano moment. Fuck you God, I do it myself.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hopefully I'll Have One of My Own Someday

Took a picture this morning with 2010 World Series of Poker Champion Jonathan Duhamel and his bracelet.

He was a very nice guy and the first thing I said to him was "I have a sick bad beat story to tell you." He looked kind of surprised and then I told him I was just kidding. He laughed and said he was surprised because he doesn't really get that a lot. He expected to be bombarded with bad beat stories.
Other interesting notes from our conversation:
-He doesn't know how much he actually took home. But the casino automatically withholds 30% for U.S. taxes, then, he has Canadian taxes to pay, which are higher because he is a professional, not an amateur. All told he will pay about $4m of his $9m in taxes.

-He sold a 1% piece to his best friend for $100. That guy now has $90,000.

-He gave me an autographed hat

-My blackberry takes awful pictures. I might need to start carrying a real camera