Posts Tagged 'ben roethlisberger'

The Quarterback Name Ratings – 2011 Edition

Welcome to the 2011 edition of the semi-annual Quarterback Name Ratings. I tried this theory a couple years ago on my old MySpace blog, but I thought now would be a good time to expand upon it a bit. In essence, I believe names matter. I believe all of the great quarterbacks in the NFL The National Football League have really strong Quarterback Names. When you hear their names, you think “quarterback.” I’ve believed this for years. It’s one of those things you think about but don’t really talk about with people, at least not if you dislike being thought a lunatic. Well, I’m a proud lunatic, and now I’m sharing this particular theory with everyone.

I believe this applies to most other professions as well. “Michael Jordan” is a strong name for the greatest basketball player ever. “Steven Spielberg” sounds like a hugely successful film director. When you see “Directed by Ridley Scott” on a movie poster, that just looks and sounds right. How could “Tom Cruise” be anything other than a movie star? (Yes, I’m aware “Cruise” isn’t his birth name.) “William Shakespeare“? Writer, obviously. Barack Obama? Not the most presidential name. As such, he should probably lose his job next November. Similarly, as much as I like the guy, I can’t picture a President Ron Paul. President Paul? Nein. President Romney I could live with. I LOVE the sound of President Cain. It even works for non-public figures. If you meet a guy named Michael Horowitz, you think, “This guy’s a fuckin lawyer!” And he probably is.

One of the best examples of a name fitting the profession is with quarterback’s names. We can start by looking at some of the all-time great quarterbacks; Joe Montana, John Elway, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Joe Namath. All strong, manly quarterback names. Admittedly though, if I had no idea who “Fran Tarkenton” was, my first guess would not be “Hall of Fame quarterback.” In fact, I probably wouldn’t even guess that to be a male. But there are exceptions to every rule. More recently, you can hate on Brett Favre all you want, but it’s a fantastic, unique QB name.

Of course, this is not an exact science, and it doesn’t pan out 100% of the time. However, in my head, it just feels like most of the best QB’s in the league have really strong Quarterback Names. All of that said, here are a couple of rules I believe do apply. One is that your QB’s first name should preferably be one syllable, though again, there are exceptions. It should also be a manly name. None of this new age “Taylor” or “Jesse” crap. If your name could also be a girl’s name, and if it’s a stronger female name than male name, you will not be an elite NFL quarterback in The National Football League. Just ain’t gonna happen. The NFL National Football League is for men, not boys. As such, I can’t find a single good QB in the NFL The National Football League right now with a boy’s name. High school kids, if your first name is Joe, Tom, John, Mike, Matt, Vinny or Bill, you’re on your way. Parents, if you want your kid to be a famous football player one day, choose your children’s names wisely.

For proof of the opposite, just look at some of the QB’s in the NFL The National Football League who can’t get off the bench or who are consistently awful. You can’t tell me that guys named Brodie Croyle, Charlie Whitehurst, Charlie Batch, Curtis Painter, Seneca Wallace or Hunter Cantwell even had a chance at being great quarterbacks. It wasn’t meant to be, fellas. Guys with goofy names aren’t elite QB’s in this league The National Football League.

Even though he’s getting a lot of hype as a rookie, do you really expect a guy named Blaine Gabbert to be an elite QB? No, you don’t. “Blaine Gabbert” sounds like the owner of a used car dealership. “Come on down to Blaine Gabbert End Zone Chevy…where our deals are a SCORE!”

Looking ahead, the projected #1 pick in the 2012 draft, Stanford QB Andrew Luck, not only has all the tools to succeed in the NFL The National Football League, but he’s got a hell of a Quarterback Name. Any team that starts this season 0-5, 0-6, whatever, and needs a “quarterback of the future”, should seriously consider tanking their season to put themselves in position for that top pick next spring. ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry coined a phrase for this; “suck for Luck”, which I love so much I think I’ll just steal it a few times in this column.

So here we go, team by team, with each projected starting quarterback’s Quarterback Name Rating scored from 1-10.

In A-B-C order by city name-

ARIZONA CARDINALS: Kevin Kolb (6.5) – Let’s just say that if Mr. Kolb is one day inducted into the Hall of Fame, I’ll be more than a wee bit shocked. I hope Larry Fitzgerald and his fat new contract don’t think this is the guy that’s gonna get them to the Promised Land.

ATLANTA FALCONS: Matt Ryan (8.5) – Solid, solid QB Name. The double first name doesn’t always work, but I think in his case it does. It sounds like a guy named “Matt Ryan” ought to be a good QB, doesn’t it? This is what I mean. Bonus points for coming out of Boston College. You never know how a team is going to perform, but if Matty Ice doesn’t play in at least 2 Super Bowls, I’ll be very surprised.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: Joe Flacco (9) – This is a fan-fucking-tastic QB name, and honestly, Flacco hasn’t quite lived up to it thus far, but the potential is still there. If I didn’t hate the Ravens so much, I’d root for this guy to succeed. And if he doesn’t end up ever living up to his name in football, a “Joe Flacco” would make a great mob boss down the road. Don Flacco will make you an offer you can’t refuse.

BUFFALO BILLS: Ryan Fitzpatrick (6) – Ryan is a good start, but Fitzpatrick just isn’t a good athlete’s name. With that name, I’m not surprised the guy is a Harvard graduate, but the Ivy League isn’t known as a breeding ground for great football players, and Mr. Fitzpatrick is hardly the ideal starting QB. Here is our first serious candidate in the Andrew Luck “Suck for Luck” Sweepstakes. Bills fans, you do NOT want your team to be good this year.

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Cam Newton (7.5) – I’m not crazy about ‘Cam’, but it’s monosyllabic and comes out quick and easy. ‘Newton’ is good, but on the whole, it sounds like what it probably will be; a rookie who struggles mightily in his first year on a bad team.

CHICAGO BEARS: Jay Cutler (7.5) – Sounds like a guy who will never reach his potential, and who may actually be killed on the field because his o-line is so bad. It’s a decent name, but not one you picture coming up big consistently in playoff games.

CINCINATTI BENGALS: Andy Dalton (2) – Yeesh. A terrible QB name, and he’s a rookie on a bad team. Disaster approacheth the Cincinatti area. Sounds more like the name of an executive producer on a hit sitcom. The Bengals really need to get away from ginger-haired quarterbacks.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Colt McCoy (7) – This was a tough one. McCoy is great, but I don’t know if I’m sold on Colt, even though it is unique. If he played for the Colts, that kind of serendipity would be worth an extra ½ point or so. But a “Colt McCoy” on the Browns? Doesn’t sound like the long term solution in Cleveland.

DALLAS COWBOYS: Tony Romo (7.5) – I like the name (it even feels like a good name specifically for a Cowboys QB), but the man doesn’t inspire confidence. He can throw for a bunch of yards and has a lot of talent around him, but what has that done for him or the Cowboys to this point? I’m gonna blame it on his goofy sidearm delivery. Real quarterbacks throw overhand.

DENVER BRONCOS: Kyle Orton (6) – Orton is a good football name, but I don’t think it’s a great QB name. I like it better for an o-lineman. Here you have a guy who can put up some nice stats under the right circumstances, but you’re not counting on him to come up big in the clutch and win games.

DETROIT LIONS: Matthew Stafford (7) – It’s not bad, but it’d be better if it were just Matt Stafford. Just sayin. These things matter. It would also help if the guy could play all 16 games this year, which would be a first for him.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Peyton Manning (9.5) – If a guy named Peyton Manning wasn’t born to be a Hall of Fame quarterback, I don’t know who is.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Luke McCown (4) – I had to update this, because the Jags just cut David Garrard (6), whose name (and on-field performance) certainly wasn’t inspiring. Needless to say, Mr. McCown is no improvement. The Jags are officially on the clock in the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Matt Cassel (7) – If his name were spelled “Castle” instead of “Cassel”, it’d be a 7.5 or an 8. It’s too bad his ancestors didn’t have that kind of foresight. However, “Cassel” is a wonderful name for an unexceptional starter/solid backup QB.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: Aaron Rodgers (8.5) – Great, modern name for a QB with an excellent modern combination of pocket presence and the athletic mobility to be effective on the run. The Packers should be in good hands for another 7-10 years.

HOUSTON TEXANS: Matt Schaub (7) – He’s got half of a good name, and here again is another QB who is better at putting up yardage than he is at winning games. Plus, doesn’t “Schaub” sound more like a dentist’s name?

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Chad Henne (6) – It’s Chad Henne. I don’t know what you want me to say. Mediocre name, average player at best, and the Dolphins are desperate to replace him. Do I see another Suck for Luck candidate? Yes, I do! Wow, the AFC East might be really terrible this year outside of the Pats and Jets.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Donovan McNabb (6) – Decent last name, but 3 syllable first name? A first name that should be a last name? Sounds like a guy who would vomit on the field during the Super Bowl, doesn’t it?

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Tom Brady (10) – I mean, come on. This is as classic as it gets. One of the great QB names of all-time, and he’s one of the all-time great QB’s. Coincidence? NO. Moving on…

What’s that? You just called me a homer? This is me not giving a steaming, barrel-rolling shit down a hill.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Drew Brees (9) – Strong monosyllabic first name, unique monosyllabic surname. Huge birthmark on cheek. What more could you want? (That is a birthmark, right?)

NEW YORK GIANTS: Eli Manning (7) – He’s got the ‘Manning’ lineage, but ‘Eli’ sounds like some dumbass Podunk redneck who lucked his way into a Super Bowl victory against a better team…which is exactly what Eli Manning looks like!

Google search: “Eli Manning face dumb”: 

All too easy.

NEW YORK JETS: Mark Sanchez (7) – Good first name, but I’ll be honest, there isn’t a lot of precedent for Latino starting quarterbacks in the NFL The National Football League. I like Sanchez as a QB name, but with no precedent, he’s setting the standard by himself, and the results are mixed.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: Who the hell is their quarterback, anyway? If it’s Jason Campbell (5), than the Raiders are still uberfucked. Mediocre name for a QB who will never be above average…on a team that doesn’t deserve a winning record until they find a new owner.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Michael Vick (8.5) – If he could play a full 16-game schedule without breaking ribs or a leg, and cut down his scrambling by about 50%, I think Vick could truly be a great quarterback. Unfortunately, I don’t see either happening. I for one am not worried about the Eagles being some kind of “Dream Team” this season. Gimme a break. If Ronnie Brown is a member of your “Dream Team”, you have a very limited imagination.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger (8) – Good first name, and his last name is so long, so unique, so convoluted and hard to spell properly that it actually works. But it also sounds like a guy who should probably be in prison for sexually assaulting multiple women.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Philip Rivers (8) – Solid name, solid performer for the most part, but you’re also not surprised when a guy named Philip turns out to be a whiny, sidearm-throwing bitch on the field.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Alex Smith (5.5) – I’m actually kinda rooting for the 49ers to be atrocious this year so that they get Andrew Luck, who would be reunited with his college coach. That just sounds right to me. The 49ers have a history of great QB’s, and “Alex Smith” is not up to the task, in name or in ability.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Tarvaris Jackson (4) – The problem for him is he has a wide receiver or running back’s name. The problem for Seattle is he sucks. You’re telling me David Garrard wouldn’t be the best QB in Seattle if the Seahawks signed him?

ST. LOUIS RAMS: Sam Bradford (7.5) – I don’t know that I’m onboard with the people who think he’s a sure thing going forward. He’s got a good name, but it feels like he may be another guy who just puts up lots of stats, which, in the end, isn’t all that impressive. I’m not so sure he’s a consistent winner.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Josh Freeman (7) – Rolls off the tongue nicely, but it’s sort of bland. However, if he keeps up what he did last season in the clutch, he’ll actually outperform his name, which is a rare feat indeed.

TENNESSEE TITANS: Matt Hasselbeck (6.5) – Bleck. I don’t even like talking about this guy. He had potential once upon a time, but for any number of reasons never rose above the average NFL National Football League quarterback. See? He’s too boring to even think of anything clever or funny. At the very least, he’s an upgrade over Kerry Collins and Vince Young. In theory. So there’s that, Titans fans!

WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Rex Grossman (5) – Let’s just say this isn’t the Redskins’ year. And when Grossman inevitably loses the job, I’m not sure a guy named John Beck is gonna be the answer, either. Here’s another team that should seriously weigh the merits of losing.

Let’s look at all the guys who have QB Name ratings of 8 or better: Brady, Manning, Brees, Flacco, Rodgers, Ryan, Vick, Rivers, Roethlisberger. 6 MVPs and 9 Super Bowl wins among them, and those are more or less all of the elite quarterbacks in the league The National Football League, are they not? Theory proven, I’d say.

Now, let’s look at some backup QB’s who have good names. These teams should seriously consider giving these guys the starting jobs, based only on their names.

Tim Tebow, DEN (9) – I’ve always loved his name. He’s a winner. Kyle Orton may be a more precise, standard QB, but if the Broncos wanna win, they need to trade the blandly named Orton for some draft picks and commit to Tebow. So says I.

Matt Leinart, HOU (8) – It’s a damn shame. He’s got a really good QB Name, but apparently lacks the skill to be a professional. I liked him for the Cardinals, too. I don’t necessarily feel bad for the guy, though. He’s still a multimillionaire, and he got to live a godly life at USC, my dream school. Now that I think of it, fuck’m!

Ryan Mallett, NE (7.5) – Let’s just say the Patriots could have done a lot worse if this is the name of the Heir to Brady. Problem is, if Brady plays out his entire new contract (3 more years), I don’t know that Mallett will still be around to take the reins. Are the Pats really gonna keep Mallett on the bench for 3 full seasons? I think it’s more likely the Heir to Brady gets drafted a couple years from now. Brady’s contract runs until he’ll be 37. Brady has said he wants to play til he’s 40. I see Bill Belichick retiring from coaching BEFORE Brady’s current contract runs out, so the “Quarterback of the Future” in New England remains a mystery. Will the next Patriots coach believe in Mallett? I’d like to see what the kid can do one day (he’s drawn a lot of comparisons to Drew Bledsoe because of his size and arm strength), but I think it’s more likely the Pats trade him in a few years once other teams feel they want him as their starter. In other words, I think Mallett will be ready to start before Brady is done as the starter in New England. In other other words, I don’t see how Mallett is the actual Heir to Brady. But if anyone disagrees, feel free to tell me how my logic is wrong. Maybe you think Belichick will be here for another 10 years and will stand by Mallett. If so, I say you’re crazy.

Graham Harrell, GB (8) – I’ve always liked the name. He was a monster of a college quarterback, but most “experts” seem to agree he might not have what it takes for the NFL The National Football League. I don’t know enough about college football to understand why, but I’d like to see him at least get the opportunity to be a backup. For now, it looks like he’s on the Packers’ practice squad.

Tom Brandstater, free agent (8) – I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked this dude’s name. Brandstater. That’s cool, man. It’s unique. And with the “Tom” in front of it, that’s a winning formula. Because I like his name so much I always give this guy a boost in Madden. I think I made him the Redskins’ starter in my franchise on Madden 11. He’s been signed and cut by 4 different NFL National Football League teams during his short 2 year “career”. I don’t think he’s played a minute in the pros, but I wanna see someone give him a chance, dammit!

Finally, I’m leaning towards liking Jake Locker as a QB name, but I haven’t committed to that opinion yet. We’ll see what happens. Either way, it shouldn’t be too hard to unseat Matt Hasselbeck from the starter’s job in Tennessee if they get off to a rough start. Or, more likely, when Hasselbeck gets injured.

There it is. I realize this theory sounds a little crazy, but hopefully I’ve shown that the guys with the good names usually end up being the better players. Of course, what makes a good name is an individual opinion, but if you wanna tell me with a straight face that Kevin Kolb is a strong QB name, or that he’ll be a great player long-term, than I say you’re the crazy one. The same goes for anyone that I scored below a 7. Throwing for 4,000 yards isn’t hard to do in the NFL The National Football League anymore, so the ability to put up stats alone doesn’t make you a good quarterback.

Some quick news before we go:

-ESPN just renewed its contract for Monday Night Football with the league The National Football League, which allows them to carry MNF through 2021. The current deal was set to expire in 2013. The 8-year extension cost ESPN $15 beeeellion. Holy shit. That’s $1.9 billion per year for 17 games, or $111,764,705 PER GAME. That’s a bit excessive, does it not? They’re paying 73% more than they paid for the 2006-2013 deal, which seems…how shall I put this…FUCKING ABSURD! Have ratings climbed 70% in the last 5 years? I doubt it. So why gleefully overpay like that? Jesus. I think the NFL The National Football League may be the new Apple; a product for which people (in this case, television networks, but also us fans) will happily overpay for just because it’s the NFL The National Football League. ESPN will also add 500 hours of NFL National Football League programming, expanding NFL Live from 30 minutes to an hour, and taking Sunday NFL Countdown from 2 to 3 hours. Yes, that’s another hour of Chris Berman for your ass. Celebrate. At what point does the NFL The National Football League simply buy ESPN from Disney? [NYTimes]

I paid The National Football League $40 million for the right to post this logo on my blog for a year.

Enjoy kickoff weekend! And don’t forget that there’s something a lot more important than football occurring on Sunday: the tenth anniversary of September 11. Be sure and check out some of the coverage on the major networks, the news channels, as well as places like Discovery, History Channel and NatGeo. There’s a lot of interesting programming scheduled, and of course there will be tributes aplenty at every NFL game.

As you get older…(feat. Drake)

Editor’s Note: This post does not actually feature Drake. But if the false advertising attracted a few more readers, I win.

I’ve noticed in the last couple of years how I’ve changed as a person in certain areas as I’ve gotten older. Part of it is your natural maturation process, but the second big factor for me has been watching younger people making the mistakes that I’m not making anymore (and some that I never made in the first place). I’ve always known the person I wanted to be, but as you get older you are better able to make your actions back up your intentions, in large part because your priorities shift. I often notice now the differences in behavior between people in their early 20’s and people my age, and it makes me thankful not to be older, but to have the wisdom now to be able to control myself and make better decisions.

I find that wisdom manifesting itself now as a much better ability to control my emotions. The key to this is to simply follow your own good advice. In this case, it’s “control your emotions, do not let your emotions control you.” And that’s such a common, simple expression, but it’s true! The problem is that most people don’t have the discipline to put it into practice. With a few exceptions, anything that pisses you off in this life can be overcome with just a bit of patience. Almost all emotions dissolve over time. It’s just a matter of what emotion you’re trying to get rid of. For instance, it obviously takes longer to get over a longtime love than it does to get over one of your sports teams losing a big game. Anger is not something that you need to get rid of immediately, be it through a vengeful act that may harm others, or a reactionary act that may cause you to harm yourself. For example, when I get really pissed, 9 times out 10 (okay, maybe 8 times out of 10) I don’t kick or punch or throw anything anymore; for two reasons, 1) whatever I’m pissed at isn’t worth the potential of breaking your bones (and the time it will take for your body to heal), and 2) it’s not worth breaking yours or somebody else’s property (and the cost it will take to fix or replace it). Not that controlling my anger was ever a serious issue, but now it’s pretty much a non-factor. You will simply not feel as bad about most things that piss you off just a few hours or days later. At the very least, if you take a step back and wait, you’ll have a clear head, and the raw emotional desire you have for immediate satisfaction will have worn off, or at least subsided to the point where you can make a rational decision about how best to respond. When you’re pissed off, you rarely think, you just DO something in response. Right? Well, I prefer to think, both about the best course of action and the consequences something I do will have on everyone and everything around it. Let the other person be the one to do something stupid.

A perfect example of rationality besting emotion was this past Sunday. Following the Patriots devastating loss to the Jets, I had a bunch of immediate reactions that I wanted to spew into the world. I was emotional, and that emotion was desperate to manifest itself with hateful words and drastic action. But I knew better. I knew that even a couple days later, that emotion would subside and I could speak rationally on the subject. Truth is though, I don’t want to talk about the game. There’s no point anymore. I know why they lost, and don’t feel the need to make myself feel worse by discussing it further with anyone else. I’ve read some stuff online and listened to some Boston sports radio discussion on it, but I haven’t watched a minute of ESPN all week. If I watch even half of the AFC Championship Game tomorrow, I’ll be surprised. There will be only two people on that field that I like; Troy Polamalu and Mike Tomlin. The only Super Bowl result that will even mildly please me is if the Packers win it. I don’t want the Steelers winning their 7th. I don’t want Roethlisberger tying Brady for rings, and the thought of the Jets winning after talking all that shit all year rots my skin. What kind of world do we live in if scumbags like Ben Roethlisberger and pretty much everyone on the Jets are rewarded with a championship after being such bad people and poor sportsmen? It’s not a world I want to live in.

However, out of the Patriots loss I did learn one lesson, and putting it into action, I will be less excited about success in the regular season going forward, because when all of that joy and confidence can be taken from you in one 3-hour period in January, you feel pretty damn stupid about wasting September thru December being so hyped up about the possibilities and the chances of another Super Bowl appearance or win. I will be less emotionally invested in the games next year, because I’m tired of being let down. It’s simply not worth it. It’s not because I love the game, the players or the team any less. I just refuse to get that emotionally involved over something I have no control over. It’s not logical. It’s not sane. My policy for next season will be, Wake me when they’ve won a playoff game. Going 16-0, 15-1, or 14-2 is obviously irrelevant. I don’t care if they’re 10-6, so long as they go undefeated in the playoffs. I love dominant teams, but these guys haven’t turned regular season dominance into playoff success in 6 fucking years. The Patriots have not won a playoff game in 3 years, and the last time they did, the game after was the worst sports loss of my life (the tragic events of February 3, 2008). In my view, Patriots fans should be celebrating our 5th Super Bowl win this year, but instead (as I said on Facebook last week), the Patriots seem to be evolving into the pre-2004 Red Sox; purveyors of constant heartbreak. Moving on…

There are still a lot of things I want (and need) to change about myself, but it’s always good when you realize that some things have improved.

Anyway, enough psychobabble, and here’s some other random stuff on my mind this week:

*Great news this week out of Hollywood. Warner Bros. made some official casting announcements with regards to Christopher Nolan‘s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. It had previously been reported that Tom Hardy (a Nolan veteran from Inception) had been cast, but we didn’t know who he was playing. Well, as was expected, he will be one of the two villains in the film, and we now know that will be Bane. Equally as exciting is the news that the beautiful and talented Anne Hathaway will be playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I believe Hathaway is one of the 2 or 3 most talented actresses in her age range, and I love that she will now be a major part of a series of films I adore. She’s proven she’s a great actress, and she’s also proven she can be damn sexy (Get Smart). Needless to say, I greatly anticipate the first official shot of her in costume. I fully expect her to eclipse even the wonderful job Michelle Pfeiffer did in Batman Returns, much like Heath Ledger eclipsed Jack Nicholson‘s classic Joker from the 1989 Batman. And it’s a no-brainer that Tom Hardy’s Bane will shit all over that stupid thing we got in Batman & Robin. I have no idea how these two villains will be used in Nolan’s Batworld, I don’t know a damn thing about their backstories from the comics, and I’ll probably avoid any and all internet speculation along those lines. The film comes out July 20 next year, and that right now that 18 months seems like 50 years.

*There’s a new, full-length trailer for Scream 4 (or Scre4m as they’re frequently peddling it), and I just need to warn you that if you intend to see the movie, you need to avoid this trailer at all costs. I wish I had. It is the single most spoiler-filled trailer I have ever seen. It’s basically a highlight reel of all the jump scares and death scenes in the entire movie. Again, if you are even remotely interested in seeing Scream 4, do NOT watch the new trailer. It comes out in April, and I would advise avoiding all trailers and TV spots until you see it, if you’re at all interested in being surprised by anything that happens. Meanwhile, Dimension Films needs to find new marketing people.

*God help me, but I need to praise an actor for their humanitarian efforts. Mr. George Clooney, one of Hollywood’s biggest “join the cause” blabbermouths, has actually been backing up his talk recently with actions. He’s been one of those “Save Darfur/Rwanda” guys for a long time, and has actually spent a lot of time in Sudan this winter as part of the development of a program between Google and the UN to try and monitor the country via satellite imagery in order to prevent future acts of genocide. Turns out Clooney actually contracted malaria while he was he was over there (twice! as a matter of fact). All is well of course, but credit to him for not immediately running back to L.A. after getting sick. He’s certainly not faking his concern over these issues. Now, I don’t know if what he’s doing will actually make a lick of difference in the long run, but if he’s getting malaria, he’s obviously getting his hands dirty, and for that I commend him. Too bad Sudan’s population aren’t all multimillionaire celebrities who can afford to get immediate priority medical care. I for one would prefer to see Mr. Clooney and his ilk get involved with some domestic issues, but to each his own I suppose. As long as his trips over there aren’t taxpayer funded he can do what he pleases. [NY Daily News] [Clooney wrote THIS for the Huffington Post on the issue in December]

Actor Future Sudanese dictator George Clooney.

*OH, HAI, January Jones! I never thought of her as hot, but she looked goddamnedfantastic at the Golden Globes on Sunday. So kudos Ms. Jones. I’ve got my eye on you. This must be her month! (BA DUM BUM!) Who’s got two thumbs and lame puns? This guy!


*I want to add something to my “Things I Find Disturbing” list. I was reminded of it early this week when Apple released their massive earnings statements, which saw them bring in $26.7 billion in revenue and $6 billion in profits (both record highs for the company) over the holiday season. And goodie for them. I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with something else. I find it disturbing that no one will point out or openly accuse Apple of having a monopoly on the  mp3 player market. I’ve thought this for a long time. The iPod has no true competitor. Sure, you can pick from a limited amount of other devices that can play digital music on them. However, if you want any accessories, or any capability to use your mp3 player with external brands and products, you have only one option. As far as I know, the Zune is the second most popular mp3 player (which is kind of like saying Boston, New York is the second most popular Boston in America).

Other than basic things like a protective sleeve and a portable charger, there are next to no options for Zune accessories, nothing to compares with what you can do with any iPod. And no, Apple whores (who can smell from thousands of miles away whenever I criticize Apple products or practices), that’s not because the Zune isn’t worthy of accessorizing. I have an 80GB Zune, which I LOVE, and which I’ve had for more than 2 years now. I will keep it as long as it functions. But god forbid I want to use it outside of just in my ears, and I’m fucked. Try searching “Zune sound dock” and see what comes up. Next to nothing. Nothing of any quality, anyway. Meanwhile, every high-end audio company on Earth makes multiple iPod docks. You can connect an iPod to pretty much anything. I can unplug one from my computer, go to the bathroom, plug it into my shower, get out and plug it into my toothbrush, finish that and plug it into my fucking refrigerator while I eat breakfast, and then take it out to any new car, which are now all built with iPod connectivity. I would love a Bose sound dock for my Zune, but I ain’t gettin one anytime soon, am I? I’m pretty sure you can buy an iPod Nano for your dog, and dog collar makers are putting Nano docks in the collars. I believe Apple has a monopoly on mp3 player accessories and portability, which as a result forces new buyers to favor iPods above anything else. It’s just common sense. If you want to do something with an mp3 player other than walk around with headphones in your ears, you better buy an iPod. I’ve been holding out, but eventually, I will have to turn into a consumer zombie, buy an iPod and use the iTunes software as base camp for my music collection. I am not looking forward to this day.

Note to Apple whores: nowhere in the above did I say Apple makes an inferior product, or that the iPod isn’t worth buying. So spare me your defenses of the Once-Bitten Fruit Logo.

I’ve thought the same thing about ESPN for years. ESPN has a monopoly on nationalized sports coverage. Sure, Fox has local sports networks in most major markets, networks like NESN and YES can succeed in their one market, and all the major networks have sports divisions, but does anyone seriously believe someone could start up another national sports-only network on cable right now and succeed? Fuck no they couldn’t. It’d be impossible, because ESPN has been allowed to buy up the rights to cover pretty much EVERYTHING sports-related you could possibly think of. As such, how does ESPN not have a monopoly? If I want to watch a daily wrap-up of national sports news, what are my options other than SportsCenter? None. Nil. They don’t exist. If you’re an anti-trust lawyer, please explain to me where I’m going wrong. I must be in error somewhere, because I’ve literally heard NO ONE else bring this up, even media people who are often critical of ESPN. So I’m either way ahead of the curve or I’m totally out of the loop.

*And because I love posting these and have fun making them, here’s a couple more Black Ops Theater videos of my gameplay: First is 2 angles of an awesome Valkyrie rocket triple kill, followed by a sweet single kill. I may have to start using this as a killstreak more often.

Next is one of me putting a hot double sticky grenade kill on some campers on Havana. I particularly enjoy the first angle where the guy I stick the grenade to gets launched up against the table. LOLZ.

P.S. If you read my “Things I Find Disturbing” post, you saw at the end where I posted that ridiculous Lil’ Wayne lyric. Remember? I posted it intending to show just how UNinsightful these rappers are. I had just clicked on a random song from his newest album and found a stupid, insulting lyric (it didn’t take long). Well, two people (both girls) posted that exact quote on their Facebook pages this week, and it didn’t seem to be in jest. I don’t know how to react to this. Should it sadden me, or should I be laughing?


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