Friday, October 22, 2010

Nit Picks: On time for Once

I’m actually going to get this up on Friday for once!  And at all!  Hooray me.  God, I’m mediocre.

1. I’m officially over the whole concussion thing.  Congratulations, ESPN, the NFL, and the NFLPA.  You have managed to make it so I could completely care less about the fact that these guys’ brains are being turned to ground beef on a weekly basis.  And I am an empathetic person.  It isn’t like this is the sort of thing I would usually just want to look the other way on.  The fact is, though, that I have had enough of hearing about it, and would like to announce that I officially can’t care anymore.  The worst part about the whole thing is that the solution has to be simple.  Violent, aggressive, possibly roided up 6-4 260 pound dudes are going to be, well, violent and super aggressive.  And if they weren’t I wouldn’t watch.  There is only one way to fix this.  Change the helmets.  Make them bigger.  Pad the outside (how has this not gained steam yet?).  It won’t eliminate concussions, but it is the only way to cut down on them.  So do it.  Until then, I don’t want to hear about it.


Let’s break this down, point-counter point style. 


Counter Point:


Counter point: 
Well, he, um..they could have…uh…

Jesus t*********g Christ!  What could they possibly have been expecting?  Was a giant gust of wind going to blow the ball three yards so that they could recover it?  Would the ref decide to waive the rule where the ball had to travel 10 yards if they waited long enough?  Dear god.  Get Mike Leach back here to lock those kids in a closet.  That is why you didn’t get in to UT. 

Counter Point:
It was a pretty heads up and ballsy play by the dude who ran it back.  I mean they probably didn’t expect that.


Could you please stop yelling?

I mean he is just a college kid, and we shouldn’t even really point out his name, because it wouldn’t be fair to humiliate him, but CORNELIUS DOUGLAS.  #2, the MORON in that video is named Cornelius Douglas.  He is a wide receiver from Oklahoma.  He is also the dumbest football player in division one.  He started to pick it up, then STOPPED!  HE FREAKING STOPPED!  WHY THE HELL WOULD HE DO THAT?  And he looked foolish getting stiff armed as the dude scored.  Wow. Just wow.

Counter Point:
Yeah, you’re probably right.  He sucks.                                                                                            

3.  Great Moments in American Badassary (also known as ‘Reason America Kicks Ass of the Week)

I’m in a Political Science class (for reasons that I myself don’t fully understand), where we are reading Utopia, by Thomas Moore.  For those of you that don’t know, Thomas Moore is a giant pansy (note- not the word that I used when thinking about this).  He thought that we could all just live in a world free from excess and frivolity.  But that makes him an idiot.  And that is why America is badass.  Excess and frivolity. 
Here in America, we don’t need most of the stuff that we have.  But we want it.  And we like it.  We create incentives to create stuff that we don’t need, and then let people cash in those incentives for more stuff that they don’t need.  That’s why we’re badass, and for wanting to get rid of that, you, Thomas Moore, suck.

4. My Top-25

We are now about 7 weeks into the college football season.  That means that it is no longer ridiculous to rank the top 25 division one college football teams.  Any time earlier than now, it is ridiculous to put out rankings.  Don’t tell the AP, USA Today, Coaches, Harris or whatever else, because then we couldn’t get rankings that are based upon changes in initial rankings that are semi-arbitrary and based off of stuff that happened in different seasons, with teams that had approximately 25% turnover in their rosters.  That would suck.

1. Boise State Broncos
2. Oregon Ducks
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. Texas Christian University Horned Frogs
5. Auburn Tigers
6. Missouri Tigers
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys
8. Alabama Crimson Tide
9. Michigan State Spartans
10. Louisiana State Tigers
11. Utah Utes
12. Florida State Seminoles
13. Wisconsin Badgers
14. Stanford Cardinal
15. West Virginia Mountaineers
16. Ohio State Buckeyes
17. Iowa Hawkeyes
18. Arizona Wildcats
19. Nebraska Cornhuskers
20. Nevada Wolf Pack
21. Arkansas Razorbacks
22. Northwestern Wildcats
23. Miami (FL) Hurricanes
24. Baylor Bears
25. Virginia Tech Hokies

5. A few words in defense of the above 25:
Virginia Tech looks high (no, not like Tim Lincecum looks high), but there is almost no way, as far as I can see, that they don’t run the tables and win the ACC.  They are the best team in that conference.  That conference sucks, but that still has to be worth something. 

Boise State is the best team in the nation without a loss.  That isn’t a homer pick.  It is a fact.

Ohio State and Nebraska dropped a lot based on one loss, but I just don’t think that they are two of the best 3 or 4 one loss teams in the nation.  They don’t need to be around the top 10 just because they were before they went down.

I use the standings more than the AP, BCS, or any of the other polls.  Why?  Because that is literally the only accurate rating of how good teams are.  Sure, you can look at quality wins, who they lost to etcetera, and that is all well and good.  As I said above, though, the point where the other polls get arbitrary is when they base themselves off of the polls from the weeks before.  These rankings were based upon, essentially, guesswork, and should be ignored as much as possible now that we are actually learning about these teams. 

6. Can we just make a nationwide announcement that Brett Favre sent pictures of his uh…genitals, let’s say, to that chick that used to wear the cowboy hat at Florida State games?  I know this, and most of my friends know this, but it seems like there is still a significant portion of society that doesn’t realize this, and it is making my life awkward.  You see, I, like anyone who knows the story, thinks that it a, makes Favre a douche, and b, is freaking high-larious.  Unfortunately, there are some people who still seem to be unaware that Favre is a giant prick, which is annoying.  More importantly, I need people to understand the references I make to the story.  Firstly, because they are hilarious, like I said, and the story is hilarious, but there are plenty of references that I make that people don’t get, but that aren’t nearly as large as a problem.  The problem here is the nature of the jokes.  If I make a Slapshot reference in front of a bunch of sorority girls (note- this happens a lot, actually), they have no idea what the hell I am talking about and get a little bit confused, I briefly hate the female gender for not appreciating hockey related humor, and it might even be awkward for a second, but the whole thing is forgotten within a couple of minutes.  It is more of a problem for me, though, when a reference is missed, if my buddy says that we should talk trash to our mutual friend who is a Vikings fan before the Cowboys-Vikings game, and I respond by yelling across our house that we should just text him pictures of our dicks.  Out of proper context, that one needs some explaining.  So please, let’s all just get on board with this situation.

7. God the SEC is effing sweet.  I mean they BRING IT.  Constantly.  Every single week, it seems like there are at least one, usually 2 or 3 games that should only be missed if you actually have something to take care of, and something that can’t wait.  Two weeks ago, it was LSU-Florida and South Carolina-Alabama.  Last week they threw down with Auburn and Arkansas.  Next week?  LSU-Auburn.  Two undefeateds.  God, we should all just pack up and move to the deep south.  Except that it is like 94 with 96% humidity every day, and it rains all winter.  And there is little to no hockey.  But the SEC is awesome.

8. (Wrote this last week, didn’t post in time):
It is hardly a rare occurrence for columns that I promise not to appear, and usually this isn’t cause for concern, since when it comes to putting aside hours to write stuff that I get zero money and very little recognition for, I am extraordinarily flakey and inconsistent.  This week, though, if you don’t see anything here, call 9-1-1.  Immediately.  That is because I am going to the Boise State-San Jose State game at Spartan Stadium on Saturday evening.  I will be wearing my Jared Zabransky (actually, now my Jason Robinson) jersey, and I will be acting as if I am in Bronco Stadium in Boise, which is to say cheering for Boise State.  This would be all well and good, except that San Jose State may well be the worst accredited four year university in the United States (or anywhere else, for that matter).  This creates two problems.  First of all, this is a school that will let more or less anyone in, something that makes itself abundantly clear at Santa Clara University on a week to week basis, when police are looking for ‘San Jose State kids’ that may be causing trouble, or when they are responsible for break ins, fights and thefts.  This actually happens, and I am going to them.  The second problem is that at some point, I will almost inevitably feel compelled to point this out.  The combination of this revelation and the fact that I will be celebrating their team getting their ass kicked is sure to incite the rage of these thugs.  So please, do me a favor, and be very concerned if the activity on this blog ceases in the coming days.  (Note- I would be concerned that someone at San Jose State would read this and be offended, but most San Jose State kids can’t read.  /Crap, it’s already starting..I’m screwed.)

That was last week.  The good news? I’m still here.  Other good news?  Boise took care of their business.  And by took care of their business, I mean that they scored touchdowns on 6 of their 7 first half possessions (that is including a pick 6 as a possession, but whatever). 
Unfortunately, it turns out that San Jose State really doesn’t give a crap about football, and the stadium was at least 60% orange and blue.  It was general admission and we sat near a bunch of the players families, and with other Boise State fans, which was easy, since the entire stadium was Boise State fans save the season tickets (not general admission) and the student section.  Anyways, so much for my dreams of getting in a fight and getting shanked by a dude who had taken his 1.9 high school GPA to San Jose State because I got a little too excited about a Doug Martin run or something.  Oh well. Anyways, I have two quick thoughts/comments about the game on Saturday.
1- San Jose State was..surprise…completely incompetent when It comes to everything, although in this case it was basic foodservice.  My brother, who bought the tickets, paid $5 extra to have a hot dog, popcorn and a drink included in the ticket.  Great,  Good deal.  The problem, though was that when we went to the one place where this could be redeemed, which was the one place in the stadium that was selling food at halftime, there was a huge line.  Fine.  That’s to be expected.  What wasn’t to be expected, though, was that when half time was over, we were in pretty much the same place.  We ended up missing pretty much the entire third quarter, waiting in line for crappy stadium popcorn and a crappy hot dog.  It wasn’t even like there were thousands of people waiting, either.  There might have been 30 people, at the most, that were in front of us in line.  Big surprise, that SJ State managed to screw something up, but I’m still bitter I missed almost a quarter of the game.
2- The best part of the game, and probably the most telling moment, actually happened before the opening kickoff.  At Spartan Stadium, both teams come out of a ramp at the northeast corner of the field.  As most teams do, San Jose State had lined up their band and cheerleaders for the team to take the field through, in a line across the field from the tunnel, to their sideline, which was on the west side.  They had left an opening for Boise, coming down the same ramp first, to go to their sideline on the east side, and so when the Broncos came down to the end of the ramp, they were walking as if they were going to head to their own sideline.  All of a sudden, though, as they were about to go through the opening, the player leading them onto the field (unfortunately, I didn’t catch the number), veered to the right, raised the hammer that leads the Broncos out every week, and led the blue (well, the white, I guess) sprinting through the surprised looking San Jose State pep squad (I’m told they also took out a cheerleader, although I missed it if that is true). 
The message was clear: we are here right now, therefore this is our field.  Unfortunately, this inspired San Jose State, and made them pissed off, having been disrespected on their own field.  They came out with a fire after that, although it turned out that Boise State was much better at football, rendering that fire useless, and the Broncos were up 7 just two and a half minutes in, despite having kicked off to start the game.

9. This is the map for the broadcast of the Cowboys and Vikings game, and it makes me want to commit a homicide.  As it pertains to football, I hate the bay area.  ALEX SMITH! BRUCE GRADKOWSKI!  KILL ME NOW!
That game was absolutely unwatchable.  Granted, it may not have been all that much more enjoyable to watch the Cowboys piss away their season to Cocky McPicturepants, but at least that would have had the basic qualities that you have come to expect from a football game.  I’m pretty sure that there was a 10 year old calling plays for the 49ers on an Xbox.  And the 10 year old was a soccer player.  If I wasn’t so busy throwing up at the fact that I see as many Giants hats every day this month as I did in the first two plus years that I lived in California (from the d-bags who called me a bandwagon jumper, along with every other Red Sox fan, when I went to a game-NOT SOLD OUT AND HALF SOX FANS BY THE WAY, in June...while we're here, this makes me hates humanity), I would feel sorry for the people who have to watch this every weekend.  I think if I were a 49er fan, I would have to watch a movie or a hockey game or something every weekend and check the games on Yahoo or or or something.  That shit was putrid

10. I would like the following people to do me a favor, and die slow painful deaths, please:  Brad Edwards, the Oregon State football team, the entirety of the Harris poll voting demographic, Brad Edwards, James Madison University, the people at Intel, Apple, or whatever company built the BCS computers, Brad Edwards, the editor and chief of USA Today (even though he has little to nothing to do with their rankings…his name is on them), the ESPN news wire, Brad Edwards and Brad Edwards. 
The reason, in case you haven’t figured it out, is that the BCS rankings came out this week, and a promise that was made to me personally (that’s how I took this anyways), was broken.  Obviously, the worst think that happened was that Boise fell behind Oklahoma and Oregon in the BCS rankings so why, you may ask yourself, does Brad Edwards take most of the hate in the above paragraph.  The fact is, I have no problem with Brad Edwards.  I like his work.  I appreciate what he does.  But last week, he told me Boise was going to be number 1 when the BCS came out.  I, in turn, told anyone that would listen that Boise was going to be number 1 when the rankings came out.  Then Oregon State lost. And Texas beat Nebraska.  And the Harris poll continued to suck.  And Boise was number three.  You made a liar out of me, Edwards.  Damn you.


It is getting a bit harder by this point in the season.  It is easier to be ahead of the game earlier in the year, when Vegas and alike are still trying to figure out the league, but these guys are professionals, and by this point in the season, they have started to figure their stuff out, and lines are starting to get tougher.  Still, here are 10 which I think the better of which can be had.

1. Steelers (-3) over Dolphins

Assuming James Harrison doesn’t quit because he can’t hurt people anymore.  (Actually, even if he does.  Are the Dolphins even good?  Aren’t the Steelers pretty much looking like a juggernaut?)

2.  Baltimore + Buffalo Under 40

I wanted to make this pick Eagles over Titans, on basic ‘holy crap, I get +140 against Kerry Collins’ instinct, but that was overridden on, ‘wait, I’m picking Kevin Kolb to win strait up on the road’ instinct.  Instead, I will take the Ravens not to put up more than 30 against Buffalo, because there is no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing up more than 10 in Maryland.

3. New England (+125) over San Diego

Here is the Chargers dirty little secret: They just aren’t that good.  That, a positive money line, and the fact that Norv Turner appears to be actively trying to lose his job, make me want to absolutely crush the Pats on the money line.

4. Packers (-2.5) over Vikings

The Packers desperately need a bounce back after a couple of flat showings lately.  2.5 is essentially a pick em, and I think that Green Bay comes out strong.  If I were betting this game (you know, theoretically), I would even try to get that spread up to 5 or 6 and try to get a +125/+130 out of it.  I that the Packers roll here.

5. Panthers (+125) over 49ers

Dear lord I’m picking the Panthers to win…oh well.  The niners are a mess.

6. Penn St. (-9.5) over Minn.

Bad team + new coach = blowout

7. Wisconsin (+190) over Iowa

Almost 2/1 for Wisconsin?  Is this a joke?  Yes and please.  Am I supposed to be impressed by the win over Penn State (now unranked), or the one over Michigan without Denard Robinson.

8. Air Force (+18) over TCU

Air Force is the best rushing team in the nation, statistically.  TCU has put up some numbers a couple of times (although against Baylor was the only really impressive one), but their strength is still their defense.  It is a little bit scary, since the Horned Frogs are 5-2 minus 18 points, but the ground game for Air Force should be good enough to control the clock enough to keep this one close and to slow the game down, making 18 feel like 35.

9. LSU (+5.5) over Auburn

Time to pick the big boy games.  Auburn is undefeated, but they have had their hands full with the likes of unranked Clemson, Mississippi State and Kentucky.  All of those games were decided by a field goal.  This seems like a 3-4 point game, and I think LSU pulls out the cover and the game, before getting wiped out by Alabama in their next game.

10. Missouri (+125) over Oklahoma

You want a stat of the week?  Here is your stat of the week.  207-65. That is the points for to points against for the Missouri Tigers, who might just be the most dominant team in football so far this year, something that is obscured by the fact that you can’t name one player on their team.  The one smudge on that is a 3 point win, squeaked out against San Diego State, which pales in comparison to Oklahoma’s handling of Florida State, and Texas, both solid teams.  Still, I’m not overly impressed with the Horns, so in what is essentially a tossup, I’ll take the odds, and go out on a limb with the Tigers.

Class/work isn’t over yet, so screw it, let’s keep going.

Drew Magary Link of The Week

I read this junior year of high school.  It changed my life.  Four years later, I realized that the man who had written it, Mr. Magary, was now my favorite writer, who I had only began to read religiously this summer.  Life is funny sometimes (I will now kill myself for saying that, but I cant think of a better way…).  Now, an excerpt:

(please skip if you have..uh, delicate sensibilities)

“(as Rex Grossman) What’s that? I should throw a quick slant? Fuck that. That’s gay. Button hook? Gay. Flare out? Gay. Screen pass? Kevin Spacey gay. This is fucking football. You can’t just expect wins to come to you. You can’t massage that shit. You gotta grab that game by the throat and rape the ever-loving shit out of it. You think a 5-yard out is gonna win you a game? You’re a pussy. This ain’t John Shoop running this offense. Sexy Rexy’s got the arm. The dragon. You gotta unleash the dragon.”


It’s today’s mailbag!  Creative!  Let’s give the man credit for not writing a freaking NBA column to go along with his NFL picks, though.  What the hell was that? 

Half Assed Professor Quote of the Week

I go to a college that is, frankly, seems at times to be more concerned with its gardening than its professors (disclaimer- our gardening if unfreakingmatched).  It is a good school, because it is able to attract smart people, and I have had some professors that are as good as I can imagine that I would find at any school on the east coast, but I have also had some that are…less than impressive.  I can’t complain, since it is like 83 degrees every day and the average girl is like an 8, but it gets annoying.  The best way to deal with it: make fun of it.

“The great depression was tough, and it took its toll on all aspects of society, but especially the musicians.”

That’s right, professor who shall remain nameless because I actually think you are generally pretty good.  Especially the musicians.  Sure, people lost millions of dollars.  Their homes were taken away.  The banking system was blown up overnight and public finance was forever changed, but GOD DAMMIT RAGTIME WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!  Forget the bankers who are ruined, or the portfolios that were blown up, think of the string bass players!  Homeless failed musicians are going to be even more homelessier!

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