Posts Tagged 'new england patriots'

The 2015 Biggie Awards (& My Top 10 and Bottom 5 of 2014)

The 26th Annual Biggie Awards

[UPDATED WITH WINNERS!]

for achievements in film for the year 2014

(click on any image to see the full-size version)

A year like 2014 is precisely why I created my own awards to begin with. It’s a year when the Oscars and I disagreed perhaps more than we ever have. I dutifully watched the Academy Awards this year, as I always do, but I had little to no rooting interest, as almost none of my favorite movies were up in the categories they should’ve been recognized in. Though you’ll find quite a bit of overlap in our acting nominees, I only agree with 3 of the Academy’s 8 Best Picture nominees, and they passed gas on nearly all of their technical categories. What else is new?

I thought 2014 was a good year on the whole, but not great. Maybe a B+ if I were to grade it. The barometer I use in judging an entire year is how many movies I put on my all-time “Movies I Love” list. This year, there were 21 new entrees on that list. There were 22 in 2013 and 25 in 2012. For perspective, the most ever is 31 from 2000. None of 2014’s entries will wind up in my all-time top 100, but that’s a tough list to crack any year.

Continue reading ‘The 2015 Biggie Awards (& My Top 10 and Bottom 5 of 2014)’

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Why the Patriots MUST win Super Bowl XLVI

Hello! Before we get started, please note the redesign of the site I just put through. It’s not a huge difference (I’m not good enough with web design to create a look I really want), but it should be a little bit cleaner and easier to look at. Hopefully. I still need to figure out how to put in page breaks like almost every other good blog does, but that’s another problem for another day. If you have any suggestions on how to do that, I’m all ears. I’ll probably change the header from the Drive image eventually, but it just came out on Blu-ray, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s probably my most recommended movie of 2011, so I will continue doing my part to promote it. There are still things I want to change about the look of the site, but again, until I find someone who can totally overhaul it to the way I envision it looking, changes will be made in small moves. And there I go rambling again.

To the topic at hand. The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Continue reading ‘Why the Patriots MUST win Super Bowl XLVI’

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.

The Worst Sports Losses of My Life (And More!)

I write this because sadly, I believe the reign of consistent, multiple, championship-caliber Boston sports teams is coming to an end. From 2000-2010, we were lucky enough to see our teams win 6 championships in 3 different sports, reach the finals of 2 more and have at least 3 of the 4 major sports teams in playoff contention almost every year. I don’t have the research in front of me, but I’d be willing to bet that’s the best decade-long run any city in America has ever enjoyed. In short, we’ve been kind of a big deal. Though there were several missed opportunities along the way, Boston sports fans like me have had little to complain about in the big picture, and need to thank the sports gods that we were alive and young when all of this unfolded. I certainly don’t expect anything like it to happen again in whatever time I have left on this earth. I for one haven’t taken this for granted for a moment. We all know the highlights; the Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX, the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 & 2007, and the Celtics won the NBA title (over the Lakers!) in 2008, but this post is about the terrible lows we also had to endure. Because I just can’t get over the fact that this decade could have been (and I’d argue should have been) even better.

These are the worst losses that I personally have experienced, that I was able to watch live. This is not meant to be a definitive list of the worst losses in Boston sports history, although I think at least 3 of these would make that list as well. I didn’t become a big pro sports fan until the late 90’s, so I can’t recount the glory days of Red Sox failure, nor can I recall the joys of the 80’s Celtics.

I’m going to rank these from least epically painful to most epically painful. Anybody who hates Boston sports will be able to take great pleasure in recalling these games, but I think as our teams begin to look to the future, it’s cathartic to reflect on the worst of times as well as the best of times. Let’s face it, prior to 2001 and 2004, we were the preeminent experts in sports misery.

First, a little history about my ‘career’ as a sports fan, because everything on my list happened in the last 10 years, which may seem odd to anyone who’s been a sports fan their whole life. I grew up mostly in a single-parent home with my mom, my brother and sister. I always loved playing sports and being athletic, but other than the one organized sport I played (soccer, for almost 10 years), I didn’t understand or care about college or pro sports. I was never taught early on that I should be a fan of Boston teams, and it never occurred to me since I rarely went to any games. Even though I was a kid during some of the most important moments in the history of the Red Sox and the Celtics, I was largely unaware of any of those events because it wasn’t a big deal in my house. If my dad had been around and taught me about pro sports in my formative years, I wonder how different things would be now. Then again, as best as I can tell, my dad wasn’t then or now a huge sports fan, so it may not have been very different at all.

I sometimes wonder what would have become of me if I grew up a jock instead of a geek. I tend to think my personality would’ve gotten in the way of being a jock regardless, but given what I think of most jocks now, I’m just fine with not having gone that route. Though it’s funny now, because I do remember specific moments in high school where that door was open to me. The only thing I’m really curious about is how it would have altered my lifestyle, my career plans, etc. Hell, I might be normal, and be married with kids by now. Yeah, maybe not. Anyone who’s known me long enough knows ‘normal’ isn’t in my DNA. In the end, it was Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg who had the biggest influence on me as a kid, not Larry Bird, Roger Clemens (thank god!) or Jim Rice.

I didn’t really become a fan of professional sports until I was 14 or 15, and even then, the first team I was a fan of was not a Boston team. It was the Orlando Magic. The first pro sport I got into was the NBA, and as I began watching and learning about pro basketball, Shaquille O’Neal quickly became my favorite player. Naturally, that meant I was rooting for the Magic whenever they were on TV. Then, the Magic got Penny Hardaway in one of the most significant draft day trades ever, and that dynamic, entertaining as hell one-two punch was all I cared about for a few years. I didn’t get into the NFL until 2000 (I was just never interested in football as a kid), and oddly enough, I hated baseball until I watched one of the games listed below.

With that said, let’s get into it:

#4 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, ALCS Game 7 (October 16, 2003) – Also known as “the game that made me a Red Sox fan.” Like I said, prior to this, I’d always ignorantly hated baseball. I would throw out all the clichéd reasons people that hate baseball still do now – it was boring, nothing ever happened, it was too long, etc. etc. At the same time, I always knew about the Red Sox’s tormented history, 1918, and all that. I was also keenly aware that Red Sox-Yankees was one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. I hadn’t been following the Sox in 2003, but as they made this memorable playoff run, I became interested in what would happen to them. Was this the year? I thought that would be cool, but I still didn’t really care a whole lot. Actually, I remember to this day being in line outside waiting to get into Avalon Boston (may she rest in peace) on Lansdowne Street behind Fenway on Saturday, October 4 when Trot Nixon hit an 11th inning walk-off homerun in Game 3 of the ALDS against the A’s. I was standing there in line talking to my buddies when Fenway suddenly exploded into joy. It was quite an experience fucking awesome just being in the vicinity. As happy fans filed out of the park, I went about my business into the club to drink and dance to some electronic music, like I’d done so many nights before. I’d wager to say the night was even better because of the mood in the city that night. I’m willing to bet that brief moment primed me for what was to come.

As the Red Sox advanced to the ALCS, I still wasn’t motivated enough to watch, but I did keep track of the results. On the night of Game 7, I didn’t have anything else going on, so, with a chance for the Sox to advance to the World Series, I decided I’d give it a go and watch what transpired at Yankee Stadium. I didn’t know shit about the intricacies of baseball, but a Game 7 is a Game 7. We all know what happened during the game. We all remember Grady Little “allowing” Pedro Martinez to pitch into the 8th, and just how swell that turned out. It was during the game, watching Yankees fans, that I began to understand why this rivalry was such a big deal, and I slowly felt myself getting into it, and more importantly, I began hating those arrogant fucks in New York. Their presumptuousness irritated me. They expected to win and advance to the World Series, and you could read that through the TV. It seemed offensive to them that they even had to go through with the ALCS. To me, it seemed like Yankees fans expected once the regular season ended, their team should just be given the AL’s spot in the World Series. It pissed me off.

When Tim Wakefield threw that sad knuckleball to Aaron Boone, who then took it upon himself to instantly end the Red Sox season and send the Yankees to the World Series once again, something ignited inside me, like a phoenix. I realized I had just experienced one of those classic miserable Red Sox moments live. I instantly got it. The only way I can describe it is to say that there’d been a diehard Red Sox fan lying dormant inside me my whole life, and that one homerun, and seeing the Yankees celebrate, and seeing the Red Sox players’ shocked dismay in the dugout all mixed together, released that fan, woke it from its 23-year coma. I’ve been following baseball, and despising the Yankees, ever since.

Going into 2004, I certainly had no expectation the Sox would end the curse. In fact, I quite relished the opportunity to live through more of that Sox misery, except this time I’d get to experience it with friends instead of alone in my bedroom. I assumed, like everyone else, that it would be a long time to come before the Sox won the World Series, and like I’d heard so many Sox fans say before, I just hoped it would happen once during my lifetime. Would I have become a Red Sox fan if I hadn’t watched this particular game live? I suspect so, only it would have happened one year later instead. But I’m glad I became a fan after the worst of times than after the best of times in ’04. I’m glad I got to experience that pain once before the incomparable joy of October, 2004. Still, at the time, it was extremely painful. At the time, the only satisfaction I was able to get was seeing those same Yankees lose to Josh Beckett and the Marlins.

I still can’t watch Boone on ESPN’s baseball coverage today without thinking at least once…Aaron Fuck’n Boone.

I’m sorry, guys:

#3 – New England Patriots vs. New York Jets, AFC Divisional Round (January 16, 2011) – This one is still fresh in most of our minds, and it hurts because of what an incredible season the Pats had just finished going into this game. A 14-2 regular season that had seen some of the most interesting roster moves in the Belichick-Brady era. It was Belichick’s best coaching performance (done without an offensive OR defensive coordinator), and Brady, who would become the first-ever unanimous NFL MVP, had put up the most spectacularly efficient stats of his career (his 36:4 TD:INT ratio (9:1) was by far the best in NFL history). They did it with a young team (featuring a fantastic draft class playing key roles, most notably Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and the punter with the comic book name, Zoltan Mesko), with breakout players nobody else wanted (BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead) who could only have done what they did on this team. And of course, there was Brady’s epic hair.

In probably the most anticipated game of the season to that point, they’d beaten the hated Jets 45-3 at home on Monday Night Football in what I repeatedly called the single most satisfying football game I’ve ever watched, embarrassing Rex Ryan and shutting up some of their mouthy, douchebag players like Bart Scott, LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie. There was that awesome win in the snow in Chicago, another Monday Night blowout in Miami, a win against the Colts, and a sweep of the NFC North (including a W over Randy Moss and the Vikings that saw Brett Favre carted off the field after being smashed in the jaw). It was an amazing regular season, and the Patriots had set themselves up perfectly for the playoffs, getting the number 1 seed and a bye. This was a likable, ego-free team that Pats fans were immensely proud of, one that deserved win a championship.

Then the Jets came in and fucked up our hopes and dreams. It was a miserable game, one that you never felt good about as it unfolded. Even though it was close throughout, I never felt like the Pats were going to pull it together. They weren’t successful in doing anything they’d done so well the entire season. They couldn’t complete a long pass (because without Moss, they had no legit deep threats), and they could barely complete anything short, which had become their bread and butter. Tom Brady threw his first INT in 8 WEEKS (great timing) on the opening drive. There was the Patrick Chung fake punt. It was just a fucking disaster; a pathetic end to a brilliant season. Having the friggin Jets knock us out of the playoffs AT HOME like this was, how shall I put it lightly…difficult to accept. It was yet another early playoff loss (they’d been obliterated at home by the Ravens just one year earlier), and had every Patriots fan scratching their heads in bewilderment or pulling their hair out in disgust.

The reason this was so painful is because I hate wasted opportunities, and this was about as great an opportunity as we are ever gonna see for another Super Bowl. Again, this was a team that Patriots fans adored. Seeing this group of players go all the way would probably have been even more satisfying than any of the previous 3 Super Bowl wins. They’d beaten almost every team in the playoffs already during the regular season (including the Jets, Bears, Steelers and Packers). I personally was very excited to see this team play in the Super Bowl at Jerry JonesCowboys Stadium football Death Star in Dallas.

The Patriots were better than that fucking Jets team, yet they got outcoached and outplayed when it mattered most. I hate that, and like I said at the time, it made me reevaluate how passionate I should get about sports going forward, because I felt like I’d just wasted 3 months of my life being emotionally invested in this team. If THIS group can’t even win their first playoff game (at home!) – if a near-perfect regular season means NOTHING – why am I getting so excited for these games? If they’d gone 10-6, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But they were 14-2, an elite team, and still were barely able to put up a fight. It was goddamn depressing. I didn’t watch SportsCenter or look at ESPN.com (or any other sports site) for a week after this game, and to be honest, I’m still not fully over it. The only consolation Pats fans got was seeing THIS the next week as the Jets lost to the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Patriots have not won a playoff game since they were 18-0 in early 2008. More on THAT a bit later. Yes, it’s coming.


Oddly enough, he’d have made the same face had they won the Super Bowl.


Go literally have sex with your own mother, Bart Scott.

#2 – Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Finals Game 7 (June 17, 2010) – As incredible as watching the Celtics beat the Lakers in the 2008 Finals was, seeing those same Celtics LOSE to the Lakers in the Finals 2 years later was doubly worse. On top of that, anytime you lose a Game 7, it’s that much more difficult to accept. This new incarnation of the Celtics’ “Big Three” understood fell well that the perception is that in order to truly be remembered amongst the Celtics greats, you had to deliver multiple championships. It now appears as though one is all we’ll get from the Pierce-Garnett-Allen tandem. I’m not among those who insist on that standard of excellence, but it sure as hell would’ve been nice, wouldn’t it? And it was certainly possible. If Kevin Garnett hadn’t suffered that season-ending knee injury in February of ’09, we may have been talking about a Celtics three-peat heading into this series last summer. And if Kendrick Perkins hadn’t blown out his knee in Game 6, most of us have no doubt that the Celtics would have again defeated the Lakers to bring home Banner 18. It’s sad that shitty luck with injuries may be what prevented this group of Celtics from winning multiple championships, but I would argue that’s exactly the case. The primary reason the Lakers won this Game 7 is because they butchered us on the boards with their size in Gasol and Bynum, something that would almost certainly have been negated with a healthy Perkins on the court.

The sad fact is even without Perkins, the Celtics should have won this game. Rasheed Wallace finally showed up, playing probably his best game in a Celtic uniform, and the Celtics were up by as many as 13 points in the third quarter (goddammit!!!). However, foul trouble, a lack of scoring and a lack of rebounding became their undoing, and we all had to watch Kobe Bryant dance around the court as time ran out. We had to watch that stupid llama Pau Gasol pumping his fists and screaming like an idiot, and we had to see purple and gold confetti falling from the ceiling as the dejected, exhausted Celtics walked off the court. It just sucked.

In particular, I hated seeing Kobe’s pride in that title, because he knew how it important it was to beat the Celtics in the Finals, especially after being embarrassed just two years earlier losing a closeout game by 39 in Boston. The title also put the Lakers just one behind Boston in all-time championships, 16 to 17. I was dreading the idea of seeing them potentially tie the Celtics this season, but thankfully, the Dallas Mavericks put a quick end to that possibility, and likely ended the Lakers’ chances at a title for the foreseeable future, with Phil Jackson likely retiring, Kobe only getting older, and big roster moves seemingly on the horizon.

The final vomit-inducing moment occurred with the horror of having to see Bill Russell on the podium during the postgame ceremonies, being forced to hand the Finals MVP trophy to Kobe in L.A. (which happened only because that trophy was recently named after Russell), surrounded by the rest of the team, with those a-hole fans having a circle jerk in the stands. This is the very definition of being kicked while you’re down. I’m surprised they didn’t bring Larry Bird out at gunpoint and have him kiss Magic Johnson‘s shoes, and then have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar curb stomp Kevin McHale American History X style on the street outside Staples Center. Was that too much?

If ALL of that wasn’t enough, Ron Artest got a championship ring. And that’s just wrong.


My reaction to this image is simple:

Surely, it doesn’t get worse than a Game 7 Finals loss to the Lakers, does it? Unfortunately, yes it does. Brace yourselves, New England sports fans. You know what’s coming.

#1 – New England Patriots vs. New York Giants, SUPER BOWL XLII (February 3, 2008)


YES!!! Oh, wait…

This wasn’t even close. It’s the worst sports loss of my life, and probably in the lives of everyone in New England who’s ever been a football fan. I hate even writing ‘Super Bowl XLII’. I typically refer to this game as “the events of February 3, 2008”. For my sake, and the sake of every other Boston sports fan reading this, little needs to be said in the way of a setup. We all remember the 2007 season. Spygate. Blowout wins early, nail-biting wins late. 50 touchdowns. 16-0. Just about everyone in the media openly despising our team.

Losing in the Super Bowl is already crushing enough. But this was a chance to go 19-0, to secure the perfect season- something most people rightly thought was impossible in today’s NFL. It was a chance to put the 1972 Dolphins’ record (and Mercury Morris‘ mouth) into obscurity once and for all. That’s something EVERY NFL fan should’ve been rooting for, by the way. It was gonna be one final EFF YOU to all the haters (fans, media people and players on opposing teams) who’d been bitching about the Patriots’ “running up the score” and about Spygate since the beginning of the season.

I don’t need to rehash why the Pats lost this game. We all know why. But here’s why it was especially devastating to me. The fact that I wasn’t living in New England made it a lot worse. At least back home, I’d have people around me who were sympathetic. You guys don’t know how lucky you were to have that support network in place. Here, I’d been arguing with Steelers fans, Cowboys fans, Redskins fans, and Eagles fans all season long, sometimes teasing them because their teams were inferior (the Patriots beat all of those teams that year), other times being openly boastful about how great the Patriots were. I know maybe 3 other Patriots fans down here, and none of them were as serious about this game as I was. I had to work that following Monday, and I seriously wanted to call out. You wanna talk about a walk of shame? That’s me walking into Best Buy on February 4th. And good GOD did I hear about it. All day long for days on end. Pointing, laughing, taunting, sarcasm. I got it all, and I took it as best I could. It was adult bullying. I was the toilet water absorbing everyone’s defecation. In other words, I got shit on. And this lasted probably a week. Had I still been in New England, this would not have been an issue. Were I the religious type, I’d have asked for your prayers.

Add on to this the fact that we lost to a New York team, and above THAT it was a New York team we’d already beaten in the regular season, and the volcano of pain is now fully erupting. Again we also have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady winning Coach of the Year and MVP (as they did in 2010). Unfortunately, it seems when that happens, it’s a bad omen for the Pats’ Super Bowl chances. The simple fact is the Brady-Belichick Patriots should have FIVE Super Bowl wins right now, not 3. Instead, this era is fizzling out with disappointing playoff loss after disappointing playoff loss, and the time we have left with this historic coach-quarterback combo continues to get shorter and shorter as the gap between our last Super Bowl win (now at 6 years) gets longer and longer. Again, opportunities for greatness wasted. It drives me nuts. This one season made the Patriots one of the most hated teams in the NFL, and I don’t necessarily mind that, but if that’s gonna be the case, I’d have been much more comfortable with it with a 19-0 perfect season to hold over the haters’ heads.

And of course, just in case ending the 2007 season on this apocalyptic note wasn’t torture enhanced interrogation technique enough, the Patriots opened 2008 by losing Tom Brady for the entire season to a fucking kneeplosion, thanks to the Chiefs’ Bernard Pollard. Then, despite a breakout season by Brady’s backup Matt Cassel, they became the first 11-5 team to miss the playoffs. Life was grand.

I won’t torture you or myself with video from this atrocity, but…


One of the 18.5 BILLION times Brady was hit as he threw during the game.
Great time for the previously superb Patriots o-line to EPIC FAIL.


Catch the fuckin ball!!!
The game would’ve been OVER!!!
You FUCK!!!


Literally the only significant thing David Tyree ever did on an NFL field.

Conveniently lost in the media’s jizzing over this catch is the horrible officiating that allowed Eli Manning to even throw the pass, as his offensive line held the SHIT out of the Pats’ d-line prior to him getting the pass off. FUCK YOU!


The superstitious fans like to point out that he hadn’t worn a goddamn red hoodie the entire season prior to this game. What the F were you thinking, brah?


Well, at least he dressed well after the game. That’s a relief.


Then there were the oh-so-clever t-shirt designs.

There you have it. The worst of the worst in my 15 or so years of watching sports. I’m hopeful these rankings stand forever, as I hope to never see anything like them again. If sports truly were religion (I know college football fans here in the South would argue it is), there would be two numbers representing Heaven and Hell on the spectrum of my Boston Sports Fan lifetime: “18-1” is on one end representing Hell, and “2004” is on the other, representing Heaven. I suspect I’m not alone in that belief system.

I had originally titled this post “The Five Worst Sports Losses of My Life”, but I couldn’t come up with a fifth one that came even close to resonating as powerfully as these four. One of the other options that came to mind was last year’s Bruins collapse against the Flyers (where Philly became one of only 5 teams in the history of American pro sports to come back from an 0-3 hole to win a playoff series), but I’m not a true hockey fan, and though it pissed me off, I was more embarrassed as a Boston sports fan than I was emotionally devastated. Also, if you recall, the New York Yankees swept a 5-game series AT Fenway from August 18-21, 2006 in a horrific turn of events that is sometimes referred to as the Boston Massacre. THAT fuckin sucked, but because it wasn’t in the playoffs (though it pretty much killed the Red Sox’ hopes of making the playoffs that year), that too was more embarrassing than anything else.

Let this serve as a reminder to both haters and supporters of Boston sports; though we had a magical decade of championship glory, for every moment of jubilation and success there were equally powerful moments of heartbreaking failure that few other cities can match.

As promised…here’s MORE!

-I thought my Thor review turned out pretty well last week, but then I read A.O. Scott‘s blistering review in the New York Times. I didn’t hate the movie like he did, but nothing inspires hilarity better than when a well-spoken critic truly despises a big Hollywood movie. This stuff is so much more interesting to read than glowing praise. Here’s a quick sample, “Mr. Branagh has not failed to make an interesting, lively, emotionally satisfying superhero movie, because there is no evidence that he (or the gaggle of credited screenwriters, or Paramount, the sponsoring studio) ever intended to make any such thing.” I implore you check out the whole review [HERE].

-AMUSING: The Chicago-area house that was the setting for much of Home Alone is on sale! For $2.4 million, you can own (and live in!) a piece of movie history. [THR]

-On the trailer reel to Bridesmaids was the newest clip for the second of this year’s casual sex/fuckbuddy comedies, the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis flick that’s aptly titled Friends with Benefits. But this isn’t about that trailer or that movie. I’m concerned about Justin Timberlake’s VOICE. If you didn’t know it, would you have guessed that Timberlake turned 30 this January? Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. I’m a fan of his music (where’s the next album, brah?) and I think he’s improving as an actor. That said, the dude still sounds like he’s 19 or 20. And that’s not even an exaggeration. If you listen to him now, and then listen to him in the NSYNC heyday, there’s maybe a 15% difference, if that. This guy has dated some of the hottest women in Hollywood, but apparently still hasn’t hit puberty. He’s starting to play adults now (he’ll also be seen in Bad Teacher this summer playing a grade school teacher opposite Cameron Diaz), and I’m having a very hard time taking him seriously in those adult roles. Fear not! I have a solution. Where most Hollywood stars get plastic surgery to maintain their looks, I propose Justin Timberlake undergo voice surgery or a voice transplant. Surely, this technology exists, some kind of voice-deepening procedure. They can install a miniature subwoofer in his throat to give him some bass. Right? SOMETHING has to be done. If I’m gonna be forced to watch him play adults in high-profile movies, I, as a paying audience member, insist that the man sound like an adult. And get rid of the curly hair, dude. You look 10 years younger with that shit.

-ABC has just cancelled V. For the most part, the show was average at best, but it was good enough that I DVR’d and watched every episode. I was introduced to some new actors, and was glad to see the underrated Scott Wolf featured prominently (seriously, get this guy some more work!). I also enjoyed V because I prefer good serialized TV to good episodic TV. I had originally thought the show was set up to be just one season, but then it ended on a cliffhanger, and of course that final episode was the first truly great episode of the series thus far (it had solid acting, solid action, unexpected character deaths and solid drama). What a fuckin bummer. Now I feel like I wasted 22 hours, now that I’m not gonna find out what was intended to happen next. Fuck you, ABC. And fuck Dancing with the Stars while you’re at it.

-I’ve been flip-flopping on whether or not to do a reaction post to the news of Osama bin Laden‘s death (and the myriad issues branching out as a result of it), but I found interesting the news that mere days after the raid, Disney applied for a trademark to the term “Seal Team 6.” Huh? DISNEY!? The same studio that openly doesn’t make R-rated movies anymore? The most bland, least creatively brave studio in Hollywood is gonna make a movie about this? I can understand that this story will eventually become a movie (there will likely be several movies made about it), but what does fucking Disney intend to do with it? Make a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced PG-13 action-fantasy about it? Is that gonna be the subtitle of Pirates 5? Pirates of the Caribbean: Seal Team 6? In which Jack Sparrow ventures into Pakistan seeking out terrorists so he can collect the $25 million reward the U.S. government had on bin Laden’s head? And since when can a company trademark the official name of a military special ops unit? This is baffling to me. Regardless, I’m sure it’ll be absolutely thrilling watching Osama bin Laden take a double tap to the head in 3D one day.

Mike Huckabee just announced he will NOT be running for President again in 2012. And the world rejoiced!!! I don’t have anything personal against the guy (other than the fact that it’s unfathomable to imagine a “President Huckabee”), but one can make the argument that it was his run in 2008 that handed John McCain the Republican nomination, and thus Barack Obama the presidency. In the GOP primaries, Huckabee’s nagging presence split the vote between him and Mitt Romney (their best candidate then and probably now) in several key states, so given the choice between Huckabee and McCain, the weak-minded Republicans instead were basically forced to nominate the safe choice in McCain. And look how that turned out. I’m so not ready to start talking about the 2012 election, but this was good news if you’re not a fan of Mr. Obama’s policies. [POLITICO]

-Finally, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to Bill Simmons‘ new column, which focuses on Phil Jackson as his storied coaching career appears to draw to a close. As I’ve said before, I don’t always love Simmons’ stuff (I could do without his constant reality TV show references, and his opinions on movies are painfully ignorant), but he’s passionate about the NBA, and his NBA-centric columns are always great as a result. I learned some stuff about Jackson that I didn’t know, and he even manages to make a good case against the “he only won so many titles because he had Jordan and Kobe” argument. I own Jackson’s fantastic book The Last Season (which I read on my 2-day bus trip across the country from L.A. to Myrtle Beach) and I’ve always found him interesting beyond the fact that he’s a great coach. [ESPN]

Today’s Recommended Listening is some Massive Attack for yo’ ass. This track, “Paradise Circus” can currently be heard on those new Lincoln car commercials that star my boy John Slattery. Love it. 

Things I’m Wondering

This is sort of a sequel to my “Things I Find Disturbing” post. I’ll admit the world often confuses me. People confuse me. It makes me wonder…

I’m wondering why most British actors can do perfect American accents, but the only American who can do a decent British accent is Robert Downey Jr.

I’m wondering why “I couldn’t care less” and “I could care less” mean the same thing. Seriously. This makes no sense. Couldn’t care less is cut and dry. You could not care less. Zero concern. No room for confusion there. But if you could care less, which inherently means you care a little, how is that the same as not caring at all? These are the things that keep me up late at night. That, and the voices.

I’m wondering why the word “employee” has become taboo. Now, if you work somewhere, you’re an “associate.” Is this a politically correct thing? Because that would be really stupid. Is it meant to give employees a higher sense of purpose? Because It doesn’t. Personally, I refuse to call myself or anyone else an associate unless you’re working at a law firm. You know what, giant retail chain, instead of giving me a new label, how about paying me and everybody around me properly for the work we’re doing instead? I’ll gladly denigrate myself and be your “employee” for another buck-fifty or two per hour. How about staffing the store properly when it’s busy instead of being deliberately cheap, and then acting surprised when customers walk out the door because they aren’t being helped. Oh that’s right, it’s OUR fault when that happens. If you expect fewer people to do more work and get the same results, you’d better incentivize them to buy in by paying them for the extra work that’s expected.

I’m wondering when the federal law was passed that requires all athletes to wear Beats by Dre headphones as they enter the arenas prior to their games. They’ve literally got 100% of this market.

I’m wondering what the endgame is in Afghanistan. It’s fairly clear now that the Afghan people WANT to be ruled by someone like the Taliban. They don’t care about freedom, because really, what is there in that country to aspire to have if it even was a democracy? They have no self-discipline, and they have not the desire to acquire it. I hate calling what we’re doing there a “war”, but if we’re to call it that, our presence in Afghanistan is now the longest “war” in American history, and by all accounts, only once have we been seriously close to our objective (capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda/Taliban leadership)…and that was in December, 2001. We’re at almost 10 years of having no fucking clue where these people are.

What’s the solution? If I had the perfection solution, I’d have a government job and be making a lot more money than I am now. However, the reason I’ve supported staying there for so long up to this point is the same formerly logical reason we’ve been given by our military commanders and two most recent Presidents; if we up and leave, the Taliban and other terrorist forces will seize the country again, it’ll become a breeding ground for terrorist activity, and eventually a staging ground for future attacks against the U.S. Well, I’m at the point now where I’m willing to say, “Fine. Let them try it.” Their success rate wasn’t that good prior to 2001, and it’s been even worse since. And oh by the way, if we leave, the Afghan people will be oppressed again. Can I say now that I don’t care? I care no more about them than I do about Egyptian freedom. Guess what? If you live in fucking Afghanistan, you’re oppressed by default. IT’S AFGHANISTAN. There are certain places in this world where human civilization was not meant to thrive. That’s one of em. Afghanistan is a mountain range, not a country. Let the terrorists use that barren wasteland to train on their jungle gyms and run around with AK’s. We’ve given the Afghan people enough of a chance to assert themselves and to form a responsible government, and they’ve thus far shown no collective desire to make that happen. Sigh…let’s face it, folks, there’s just never gonna be a Wal-Mart in Kabul. That’s the sad truth. Simply, it is now as it was prior to 2001…not our problem. The U.S. is not solely responsible for making life better for all people across the globe. We haven’t yet been able to give even close to 100% of our own population an overall high quality of life, so where does this arrogance come from that says we should attempt it 10,000 miles overseas? <– At the cost of thousands of American lives and billions of dollars, both of which would be better spent on American soil.

I saw this sickening statistic the other day that in 2011, at current pace, we’d spend more than $107 billion on Afghanistan. That equates to $293 million a DAY. That is unfathomable. We already know we’re spending too much money in general, so there’s yet another fantastic reason to get the fuck out of there. Save lives, save resources, and save money. The more I see of the rest of the world’s “desire” for freedom, the more of an isolationist I become from a national security standpoint.

Yes, my will to “stay the course” in Afghanistan has been broken, and to be truthful, I only wish I’d come to this realization years sooner. I admire the people (some of whom are people I know) who were saying this from the outset. It’s difficult to admit my error in judgment, but I’ve seen no viable progress, and 2010 was the worst year yet for American casualties in that country, despite our newfound “resolve” in putting even more troops over there. The blunt fact is that nation building is a waste of our fucking time, money, and manpower. We’ve got a big enough nation of our own that needs serious reconstruction. It’s high time we let other countries build, rebuild –or, if they so choose- destroy themselves. I believe we should continue covert operations in Afghanistan and into Pakistan to try and locate and destroy the inner network of our enemies, but we are not responsible for the well-being of every single person living within the borders of the countries that these a-holes operate in. I challenge Barack Obama to have the courage to stand up to the military bigwigs and use his Constitutionally granted powers to get our troops the fuck out of Afghanistan once and for all. And don’t leave behind a giant base or new embassy. And don’t leave 50,000 troops behind just because. Just. Fucking. Leave.

And if one of the things deterring the decision to leave is pride, then GET OVER IT. So what if they outlasted us? So what if they ran out the big bad Soviets and now the big bad Americans? We’ll be bringing our troops back home to the United States of America. If the terrorists want to brag about “beating” us, just walk away with your middle finger in the air and give em this one-liner, “Yeah, but you’ll still be living in Afghanistan. See ya!”


No end in sight. No hope to be found. No reason to stay.

I’m wondering why every media market has a radio station named KISS FM. It’s not THAT great a name. Really, it isn’t.

I’m wondering who it was that asked for a third Big Momma’s House movie. We really don’t need to give “Thief Cop” Martin Lawrence any more reason to continue acting, do we? NOT EVERY MOVIE THAT GETS A SEQUEL NEEDS TO THEN BECOME A FUCKING TRILOGY!!! Blame comic book movies for this trend. Honestly, when was the last time a movie franchise stopped after part 2? It doesn’t happen. And nowadays, the third movie is usually greenlit before the second movie even comes out! If you have an even moderately successful movie, and you can get a sequel made, you can probably get a trilogy. And then, even when your third movie bombs creatively and/or financially, you can wait 5 years, then convince some moron that a 4th movie is a good idea, too.


This is happening…whether you like it or not.

-After finally seeing The Room, I’m wondering what friggin nationality Tommy Wiseau is. Every bio I can find of him says he’s American, but does anybody believe that? Listen to him! He sounds like he was parented by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christopher Walken. Nobody knows anything about this guy prior to 2003. I think he was just spawned into existence by Satan with the script to The Room, and was told to cast the first 6 people he saw. I know one thing; Tommy Wiseau was not born in America. It’s not true. It’s bullshit! He was not born in America. He was naaaaaht.

P.S. I’ve had The Room Soundboard open as a tab in Firefox for 4 straight days.


What are you?

I’m wondering when the first really good or great movie of 2011 is going to come out. I really hope 2011 isn’t 2009 all over again. We’re mid-February now, and my ballot for next year’s awards contenders is still blank. Granted, the only actual 2011 movies I’ve seen are No Strings Attached and The Green Hornet, and there are a couple movies out now (Just Go With It, The Eagle) that I’m curious about, but as each day passes, I’m thinking more and more that those can wait a few months til they’re on Netflix. I’m not going to see Sanctum (in 3D or otherwise), I Am Number Four (which looks awful), or the mothafuckin Justin Bieber movie. Last year at this time, we’d already gotten The Book of Eli and Shutter Island, which both ended up with multiple Biggie nominations. I’ll go see Unknown, but I’m not expecting anything from it. I’ll see Drive Angry (not in 3D), but only because I can’t resist the chance to see Nicolas Cage go insane again (and Amber Heard is supahot). Hall Pass looks amusing, but again, that’s probably a wait-for-Netflix (the Farrelly Brothers‘ movies are less visually interesting than a Kevin Smith flick, if that’s possible, so why see it in theaters?). It looks like it’s up to The Adjustment Bureau or Sucker Punch to be the first movie this year that I actually love, but neither one is a sure thing. Sadly, the advance buzz on Sucker Punch has not been good, but I will keep the faith. The pressure’s on, Zack Snyder! Regardless, 2011 has a lot of work to do in March and April to make up for this slow start.


Save me, Matt Damon & Emily Blunt!

I’m wondering when Matthew McConaughey is finally going to realize his full potential and focus on roles worthy of his talent. This man needs an Oscar nomination, dammit. I want A Time to Kill McConaughey back. I want Contact McConaughey back. I want Amistad McConaughey back. I want U-571 McConaughey back. And yes goddammit, I want Reign of Fire McConaughey back. Why do I randomly bring this up? Because Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is running almost nonstop on HBO right now, and if I’m flipping channels and I see it, I always end up watching about 30 random minutes of it, mostly because of the charming way McConaughey carries the film. I’m reminded of why I like him so much as an actor and how much I miss him being in great movies. He’ll be 42 this year (yikes), and after wasting almost an entire decade in completely forgettable movies, it’s time for him to stop doing romantic comedies once and for all and put his talents back to proper use. He’s a likable guy, and I think audiences would enjoy seeing him headlining good movies again. I think The Lincoln Lawyer looks interesting, but it’s probably just a small step in the right direction. I don’t know if it’s him or his agent who thought it would be a good idea to try and turn him into Mr. Romance, but somebody needs to start making sure he sees some better scripts, and soon. He needs another breakthrough part, be it in a lead in an indie film or a strong supporting part in a big studio drama (if “studio drama” isn’t an oxymoron). More than that perhaps, I think he needs a really good director to believe in him enough to give him a part that might otherwise be going to any number of other trendy leading men.

A Time to Kill in particular holds a special place in my heart. It opened in July of 1996, a month after I first began working at General Cinema in Framingham, MA. I was 16, and I must have seen it 3 times (hooray free employee movies!). It was one of the first pure dramas I ever saw at the theater. One of the things I remember coming out of it the first time was wondering who the hell this Matthew McConaughey was, because I’d never seen him in anything prior, and I thought then (and still do) that he was brilliant in the film. Turns out, most other moviegoers were just then discovering him, too. I still think he has the look and the range of talent to do just about any good role, and here’s to hoping he agrees, and cares enough about his craft to make it a priority going forward.


Still one of the best-delivered monologues I’ve seen in a movie.

I’m wondering when MTV is gonna realize there are more interesting things to put on TV than people drinking, partying, arguing and trying to have sex. Those are the 4 pillars of MTV programming. Not that I actually care per se, but admittedly Jersey Shore is a guilty pleasure of mine, and they seem to have lost their way this season with regards to what they think we as the audience will find interesting. It also annoys me because every other MTV show they advertise on Shore is people doing nothing but one those 4 things (sometimes several of them simultaneously). Personally, I don’t need 50% of each Jersey Shore episode to be about Sammy and Ron, the single most annoying, non-violently destructive relationship in the history of earth. Why are you showing us this shit? Because it’s not entertaining, and neither person is likable while they’re having these stupid, unintelligent, endless arguments. If we’re watching two people on TV, and they aren’t entertaining, and we don’t like either of them…that’s BAD TV, a-holes. There is NOTHING redeeming about them. I could rant about this for an hour, but I’ll digress for my own sanity. Let’s just say I hate relationships where it’s plainly obvious the two people aren’t meant to be, and both of them know it but won’t act on it. I hate it when people refuse to end shitty relationships because they somehow enjoy being miserable and making everyone around them miserable.

Anyway, on season 3 right now I’m having fun trying to see what’s going on behind the scenes and how they try to edit around the fact that these people were full on celebrities when they taped this part of the show last summer in Jersey. Every now and then you catch funny stuff in the background that they can’t hide, like the huge crowd that just sits and waits outside the t-shirt shop while they’re inside “working.” It’s hard to see, but in a couple shots you can tell the police have a whole section of that boardwalk roped off so the store doesn’t get overrun with fans. And almost every time they show the cast leaving the store, you can hear people yelling at them in the background. Must have been nice for business (for those who don’t know, that dude who owns the t-shirt store also owns the house they stay in). Their fame was most easily seen when literally a thousand people were watching Snooki get arrested on the beach. Most of the time that’s just a passerby event where you’d see a few people rubbernecking, but if it’s a Jersey Shore cast member being arrested AT the Jersey Shore, that’s the most important thing happening there that day. A lot of people find Snooki endearing, but I for one hope her 15 minutes of fame are over with first among this crew of reality celebrities (whatever that means). Let’s face it, she has absolutely nothing to offer the broader world, and making a living being dumb is nothing to be proud of or aspire to.

I dunno, it just seems like this season, MTV has tried to make things a little too serious, when all most of us want to do is laugh at these people. Jersey Shore is a comedy, and MTV needs to realize that as they move forward with the show (which they are, as they plan on sending the cast to Italy in season 4). The funniest, most likable guy in the house, Pauly D, is now merely a supporting player. One more thing, MTV. How in the bombastic fuck are you STILL not shooting this show in HD?! It’s the biggest show in the history of the network, and we’re stuck having to watch it in 4:3. It’s 2011, guys. Even reality shows are shot in HD now. Spend the money and buy some goddamned HD cameras. Jesus. That said, feel free NOT to shoot Teen Mom in HD. In fact, feel free not to shoot it AT ALL.

I’m wondering how long it will take Bill Belichick and the Patriots to annoy me piss me off at the upcoming draft by trading away that Raiders’ first-round pick (#17 overall). No doubt they’d try to turn it into one or more second round picks NEXT year, which annoys the piss out of most Patriots fans. As always, I hope they keep that pick and use their own first-rounder (#28) as well. I like that they’re able to stockpile picks so well year after year, but I’m also on the side of those who believe the team needs good players NOW, not next year or the year after that. In this draft, I also wouldn’t be opposed, if they so choose (which they almost certainly won’t), to using both first-round picks to trade and move up into the top 10. If I recall correctly, the Pats have 7 of the first 100 picks, which is excellent in theory. But it’s only relevant if they actually USE them.

My longstanding theory is that the Patriots must cash in their chips now, while Tom Brady is still in his prime and while Belichick is still viable as a coach and has his wits about him (aka before he gets too old). Because once either of those two pieces falls, it’s likely the whole damn thing as we know it collapses around them. The Patriots need good players now, because it won’t fucking matter if we have the #1 defense in the NFL 5 years from now once Brady is old or gone, and the Pats are like two-thirds of NFL teams and back looking for consistency at the quarterback position. Unfortunately, the time when Brady isn’t MVP caliber is on the horizon, and coming sooner rather than later. And unless I’m missing something, they aren’t grooming an Aaron Rodgers-level heir to the throne like the Packers were able to do (sorry, Brian Hoyer). To that end, they need to surround Brady with as much talent as they can now while they’re still an elite franchise. That seems like common sense to me, but the moves the team makes don’t always support that logic. Having a bunch of nobodies on both side of the ball who overperform is all well and good, but from time to time, you also have to add players with elite talent to go along with the 97 role players. We need people who can make big plays when they need to be made, on offense and defense.

I don’t know much about this draft class, but I do know the Patriots’ needs. Their first priority has got to be a pass rusher, either at defensive end or outside linebacker. I’m tired of seeing our secondary picked apart because opposing QBs have all the time in the world to make a decision. I believe their second priority should be a deep threat receiver, preferably someone 6’2″ or taller. Yeah, we survived getting rid of Randy Moss, but once the “death by a thousand cuts” passing game was completely shut down by the Jets at the worst possible time, we again were shown how important it is to have that deep threat if you need it. In my dream world, they’d use some of their high picks and trade for Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, but sadly I think there’s a better chance I’m hired as Patriots GM than there is of either of those trades happening (even if it makes sense! Which it does! Argh!).

And once the CBA is dealt with, they gotta stop fucking around with Logan Mankins and SIGN his ass. Give him the goddamn money. He deserves it. Again, so long as you’ve got Tom Brady at MVP skill level, you need the best players around him that you can get. And that starts with the offensive line that’s protecting him. Mankins is one of the top 3 guards in football. You don’t let that get away when you have the money to spend to keep him. Enough with the franchise tag crap and sign him long term. Brady isn’t like Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick, who can make up for a shitty o-line by escaping pressure with their feet and throwing on the run. Brady can’t do that, so you MUST keep the offensive line as strong as possible. To that end, offensive line is the third and final major priority in this year’s draft. Pass rusher, deep threat receiver, solidify the o-line. That’s what I’m trying to do if I’m Bill Belichick. Only problem is, I’m not Bill Belichick.

-I know no one wants to hear this, but if I get it off my chest, I’ll feel better…and that’s what counts! I’m wondering why it takes twice as long to get over being sick as it does to BE sick. 2 weeks ago, I got sick for 5 days, and I’m now on day 9 of coughing and spitting and sneezing up the dead remnants of that sickness in the form of nasty globs of mucus. I’ve had enough! End it! Like I said, I’d take two or 3 sessions of puking this shit up in one day over 10 days of slowly getting rid of it. This also gets me to wondering…at the peak of your illness, how does your head contain all this nasty shit? I’m sure there’s a medical explanation, but until I hear it, I’m going with my theory that while you’re sick, your brain shrinks so that your head can fill up with mucus. This explains why you can’t think straight and have no creativity while you’re sick. Your brain is only large enough to allow you to perform the basic functions of life. This makes perfect sense to me.

I’m wondering how Dustin Pedroia continues to play baseball so well at age 45.


Pedroia at Red Sox spring training this week with a frightening combover.

If YOU’RE wondering why there still isn’t an NFL team in the second biggest media market in America, ESPN Los Angeles did an excellent feature on the efforts that have collapsed since the Raiders and Rams left town, and the two primary ownership groups now who are bidding to bring National Football League football back to that horrid sports town. A very interesting read. [ESPN LA]

There you have it. 15 random things I’ve been pondering. Like the “Disturbing” list, I’ll add to this one as time goes on and the world continues befuddling me.

Before we go, if you’re one of the 15 people who didn’t see this earlier this week, I’ll share it again. Behold, the brilliant teaser trailer to the upcoming zombie video game Dead Island, a game I’d never heard of until I saw this trailer, but one I’ll be very interesting in keeping tabs on going forward. I’m still trying to find out who did this beautiful music and whether or not I can acquire an mp3 of it somewhere.

CAPTAIN TEK WANTS

YOU

To report for duty.

It’s baseball season, bitches.


Manny Who?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ REPORTING.

 

-Now that I’ve figured out how to post audio on here, I’m gonna include some recommended listening on each post, to show off my varied taste (or lack thereof, depending on your own tastes) in music. This time around, it’s a great track of the newest Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown, and it’s called “Back Down South.” Have at it.

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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