Friday, February 07, 2014

But He Was Our Bumbling Idiot

If you grew up a Mets fan, you grew up listening to Ralph Kiner. He had been broadcasting Mets games since the very beginning. I'd like to say he was a great announcer who expertly imparted his knowledge of the game to the fans. But I don't want to lie about a guy just because he died.
Kiner will be best remembered for the funny things he said, even if he didn't actually say all of them.
The most famous of his malaprops is "It's Father's Day today, so to all you fathers out there, happy birthday."
Before he became a bumbling announcer Kiner was actually a great player posting a WAR of 7.5 or higher in 1947, 49 and 51. His career was cut short by a bad back though, he only played 10 seasons, averaging nearly 37 homers per.
Even more surprising was the fact that he was somewhat of a Playboy, rumored to have dated Janet Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor.

Rest in Peace Ralph, we'll miss you.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

What's The Universe Saying With This One?

By now, most of you know that I get dinner at work every night. We have a rotation of 10 or 15 restaurants. I almost always get the same thing every time we order from a particular restaurant.

But last night I decided to switch it up and order the chicken under a brick.

It was pretty good, if a little small.

I know I have never ordered this meal before. I've never talked about it before. I'm pretty sure I'd never even heard about chicken being prepared this way.

A few hours later I decided to watch the new episode of Four Courses with JB Smoove.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The View from Row Z

Syracuse did a pretty cool thing for Saturday's game against Duke. There's a "fancam" that took a huge panoramic of the Dome in such high quality that even people in the last row, and second to last rows, can find themselves, and then tag themselves in the picture.

Here's the camera shot taken the other way (with my blackberry, no zoom)

People in really awesome seats like Pizza Parlor Derek and El Greco were in really clear high-resolution.

But no one had better seats than Arli$$ aka Robert Wuhl who inexplicably seems to be a Syracuse superfan this season, and somehow got himself front row seats right behind the scorer's table.

Song of the Week

"Stick Up" - Honey Cone
Whoever wrote this song seemed to have an unfortunate grasp of the criminal justice system. But it's an early-70s gem.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII Is Poop

Worst Super Bowl Ever?
It seems that nearly every year recently we debate if the just completed Super Bowl is the best ever. We don't have to have that argument this year, but this stinker certainly has a case for the worst. I'd still have to say San Francisco 55 Denver 10 is the least competitive, but this game was nearly as bad. For almost the entire game Denver could not move the ball against Seattle, nor could they stop Seattle from scoring. They gave up 4 turnovers and just played as bad a game as you can play.

Manning's Legacy
I was one of the people saying that Peyton Manning has cemented his legacy before this game. He's one of the all-time greats, and he just had one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had leading a team to the Super Bowl for a third time. But his performance in this game was so bad, and so unlike how he normally plays that I think it's fair to reconsider whether he chokes, ok maybe not chokes, but performs poorly in big games often enough that it really is a thing and not just a random outcome or a product of facing good teams with good defenses.

Trent Dilfer Won a Super Bowl, Too
I have never been a big fan of Russell Wilson and nothing he did in this Super Bowl changed my mind. I think he is a great quarterback for this team. He very seldom makes mistakes and very often makes some great plays. But I insist that a team relying on Wilson to generate points wouldn't go very far. He needs to be on a team with a defense and a running game. That's exactly what he's got, so he's a deserving Super Bowl champion. But put him on the Redskins or the Jets, and I just don't think you get results anything like what he is doing in Seattle.

Turning Point of the Game
First play of the game, Peyton Manning comes steps up to the line, his center misinterprets the movement (just Manny being Manny), snaps the ball, it goes over his head and into the endzone for a safety. And that was it. There have been many great plays in Super Bowl history (Lynn Swann's catch, Marcus Allen's run, The Helmet Catch, etc) and there have been some memorable disasters (Garo Yepremian and Leon Lett come to mind though both of their teams won those games), but I can't think of a play as strange or as weird that had such a huge impact on a Super Bowl as this one. Based on everything else that happened I would say odds are still very high that the Broncos would have gotten creamed anyway, but after that Denver looked totally discombobulated and sunk.

Nice Super Bowl Goodell, Don't Ever Fuckin Do It Again
The NFL pulled a fast one and got away with it. They took a gamble playing a Super Bowl, outside, in a cold-weather city and it paid off. Temperatures were a comfortable 40 degrees and the weather had no influence whatsoever on the outcome or the way the game was played.

In fact, the worst part of the potential cold weather was Joe Namath's fur coat.

Note: I blame the referee for the coin toss snafu, he stepped back and stopped talking, making Broadway Joe think he was supposed to toss the coin.

If this was a one-time thing to reward the Jets and Giants and the area for building such an expensive stadium, that is ok. But if the NFL tries this again, in New York, or Chicago or worse Green Bay or Minnesota, they are courting disaster. Had Monday's snowstorm come a day earlier not only would the game have been affected, it would have been unsafe for people going to and coming home from the game. An outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city worked out, once. Once!

Picture of the Week
Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith does a confetti angel on the field after the game.

Could This Be the Start of Something Big?
Because the Seahawks are so good and so young, and because there's a history of young Super Bowl winning teams going on to win at least one more, there is talk about whether these Seahawks could be embarking on a dynasty. I say no. The quarterback isn't good enough, the defense is great, but relies a lot on turnovers which involved a huge amount of luck, and today's NFL makes it tough with free agency (even though a lot of key players are locked up) to keep a Super Bowl winning team together. I would be surprised if the Seahawks won 2 more Super Bowls in the next 5 years.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl Commercials

Maybe it was the quality of the game that soured me, but I can remember a single commercial that I actually liked.

"Puppy Love" - Budweiser

"Cowboy Kid" - Doritos

"Time Machine" - Doritos

"The Phone Call" - Radio Shack

"Dad's Sixth Sense" - Hyundai

"Gracie" - Cheerios

"Empowering" - Microsoft

"Going All the Way" - Coca-Cola

"The Spill" - Danon Oikos Greek Yogurt

"Nice" - Hyundai

"Doberhuahua" - Audi

"The Truth" - Kia

Kliq920: Then and Now

We went back 15 years later (with a lot more gray hair and pounds) to create this picture in front of our old stomping grounds. 8 of the original 11 were there, with 2 others added.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Weekly Picks

At least if I get this game right I will be exactly .500 for the season, which I guess isn't so bad.

Denver -2 1/2 Seattle
This matchup has been well-established as offense versus defense. And invariably when presented with those options (or hitting versus pitching) I choose defense. But I am going with my gut here and trusting in Peyton Manning. I think he has the tools and the weapons to at least move the ball, and score enough, on any defense. I think they will stay away from the outside and Seattle's great cover corners, and instead use motion and matchups to attack the heart of the defense. Russell Wilson doesn't make mistakes, and he does make plays, but I doubt his ability to make enough of them to keep up with Peyton Manning.

Last Week: 1-1 (0 pointa)
Season: 47-48 (36 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-14)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (20-22)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (2-1)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (13-11)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (13-13)