Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 12th Day

On the twelfth day of Gheorghe-mas
Big Gheorghe gave to me

Twelve Appreciations
Eleven fillers filling
Ten Righteous Moments
Nine Headlines We Want (in 2009)
Eight maids-a-milking?
Seven clips you-tubing
Six gifts worth giving
Fiiiiive(ish) feeeet of height
Four awful words
Three Richmond wins
Two sweet 'stache photos

And a fat guy in a jer-sey

Socrates once proclaimed that "the unexamined life is not worth living." My knowledge of the originator of this quote garnered me two cases of premium beer off Rob in 2005. Like he said this week, don't bet against me on matters of trivia. But I think there's a corollary to the great thinker's quote, perhaps by Rob's buddy H.D. Thoreau. You can't just halt at examining life if you aren't appreciating it. The wherewithal to cull out life's cherrystones from the seaweed -- hell, or to even make seaweed salad . . . now I'm getting hungry -- anyway, it's an art form and a key ingredient in ultimate peace of mind. To that end, I set about mentioning a dozen things, blog-related or otherwise, that I truly appreciate as I look back on the past calendar year. I intended to associate them via this clever new blog gadget to my Top 12 (or 20) songs of the year for Day 12 of Gheorghemas.

And then a funny thing happened . . . and by "funny" I mean "a punt in your groin with an iron boot" kind of funny. While trying to move my voluminous library of songs onto a new external hard drive, in one click of a button I managed to reformat my drive and lose 22,000 songs. Twenty two thousand. That's five years and hundreds upon hundreds of hours of fanatical devotion to completism, audiophilia, whatever you want to call it. Down the tubes. "There's a Tear in my Beer" would have been the backdrop to that night's fiasco, but alas, there was no soundtrack to my misery. Not even "The Sound of Silence."

(I have placed my faith in data recovery in the fine folks over at Drive Savers in California. I am crossing my fingers, toes . . . pretty much every crossable body part except my vas deferens. Stay tuned.)

As such, this post now represents the very last grains of my music library, a small, scattered sampler of the best tunes from the past year for your enjoyment. You should be able to listen to them here, though I have wrecked this blog's template just to get a sub-par method of doing so. I am only now getting to finishing off our G-mas segment, which kind of works even better as a look back now that the year is almost at an end.

For those keeping track, the 12 Days of Gheorghemas last 30 days.

12 Appreciations

One thing a few lame-brained mouse-clicks cannot erase is the memory of many an astounding live show I took in during 2008. It would be hard to conjure a better candidate for "best concert(s) of 2008" than a pair of mid-week March nights of Wilco in the tiny Tipitina's in New Orleans, especially considering the venue, the set lists, the extraordinary circumstances of how I was able to go and how I got there, plus the fact that I got backstage the second night. That said, concerts by Spoon, Old 97's, the Avett Brothers, Wilco again (in Brooklyn), Drive-By Truckers, and Springsteen all held their own. And top billing might not actually go to the Tip's gigs but instead the Truckers/Hold Steady gig I saw in Raleigh in November. We drove down on a Monday night -- there's very little like a three-hour, Budweiser-fueled car ride to rev a few folks up for a show -- to the miniscule Lincoln Theatre and watched two great acts that go great together. THS opened, and Craig Finn wailed away even as he reminded me of Bryan Spurrier. Then the Truckers came on and took it up a notch. Catch any of the aforementioned bands at a destination near you. (But the smaller the venue, the better. I think I'm done with stadium & arena shows until I get too old to stand.) I do love me some live rock and roll.

2008 was a reunion year for me: my 20th high school reunion and my 15th college reunion. (There's a joke involving math in there somewhere.) I walked back on the grounds of my high school for the first time in 17 or 18 years, back to the same old corridors where delinquency of all kinds dominated my time. A few weekends later I was once again roaming the W&M campus in a zig-zagged stagger, well-trod territory on both counts. The one thing I truly appreciated in both cases was the bit of time-travel performed, enabling -- dictating -- that I'd reprise the same role of class clown / fraternity social chairman that I had once upon a time. And everybody else did much the same, falling into the same old habits and falling down the same old staircases. Can't wait to get back.

Something old, something new. Just when we thought we'd scared all the icky girls out of this corner of the blogosphere with our esoteric wit and rampant juvenilia, females were discovered hanging around our parts. (Right on cue . . . cannot possibly get through the paragraph about the ladies without a genital-related innuendo.) And I'm not merely talking about Rob's wife lurking silently, trying to see what it is Rob does during "work hours" and which famous females he'd like to boink. Nor do I mean queens like Geoff and Mark dressing in login drag as their female counterparts. ("Nick the Dick" in Bachelor Party had a "counter-part," for those wondering how that would possibly be stretched into a phallic euphemism.) No, I'm talking about real live commentor chicks like Shlara (blowing by me on NBA knowledge like Robert Pack with a sick crossover) or KQ of the Queen Beaches (where music and fashion are always the passion). There was even a rumor that a blog summit between the latter and two reps from G:TB happened sometime this summer, but we can neither confirm nor deny that one. (Awww, yeah.) I for one appreciate their presence here and hope they stick around.

"New York" by Cat Power.mp3

Speaking of famous females someone would like to boink . . . uh, I mean, I have come to appreciate these ladies for each of her God-given gifts. Here's to sexy rock chicks, and may there be many more of them to come.

It was a losing year for the Detroit Lions and, to a lesser degree, me. I lost my golf clubs in a cab. I lost the nicest pair of sunglasses I'd ever owned . . . somewhere. And I lost 22,000 mp3 files, in case you missed the several paragraphs of whiny self-pity earlier. But you know what? That's really not much by comparison. In this world economy, a lot of folks lost their job, their fortune, their shirt, their ass. Much more significantly, people lost loved ones, some of them prematurely. Rob and I have known all too well that latter catastrophe in the past decade, so for what (and who) I didn't lose in 2008 . . . I'm pretty friggin' grateful. Plus, I have a backup bag of sticks I'm using these days that's far more commensurate with my golf game.

. . . and as Rob pointed out to me, this song reminds us of more than one of those late, great comrades of ours. "Well, we ain't goin' to hell/We're goin' to the rebel side of heaven." Keep 'em chilled for us, boys. I'm elated that the memory of these cats isn't even close to fading away.

Here's to losing your fastball but still being able to muster quality starts. Like the post-heyday 97's, I've lost a few steps . . . in just about everything I do. My storied debonair good looks and winsome charm are considered fables at this point. What passed for athletic prowess is laughably outdated. I'm even a tad slower with a joke and (dare I say it) my drinking ain't what it could be. Still, like Dear Abby once told me, I have no complaints. I am what I am and I ain't what I ain't. I think most of us have graduated from glory years in many a category, and yet I'd still hold us up against most comers. Here's to hanging on for another year. (But Rhett Miller may need a divorce and a case of Old Grand-Dad if he's ever going to rediscover his Muse.)

These two guys got together for the first time in 20-some years to keep doing what they do -- making music. This August marked the 20th year that I have been getting together with Rob to do what we do -- drink beer and make fun of each other, both ad nauseum. We used to do it several times a week with a mass of dudes. Now life has relegated us to a few times a year with just fragments of our old gang, but we're still pretty lucky in that regard. Hard to believe that it was a full two decades ago that he and I (and Sentence Boy Dave) were living on a freshman hall full of random idiots, but then again, Ronald Reagan was president, the Mets were thinking dynasty, and R.E.M. was still the best band going. Good Lord, are we fucking ancient. A tip of the cap (probably a derby or some old man tam o'shanter) to old cronies, drinking buddies, the dudes, whatever you call them.

And here's to the kids. No, I don't mean my daughters; good gravy, they aren't bloggable material, nor are they permitted to visit this space until I'm long dead. No, I mean the young turks who've come on board at Gheorghe: The Blog and taken us in an array of new, silly directions. Dennis, Mark, and the artist currently known as Rhymenocerous represent the Young Guarde and have all bolstered the breadth of our output's inane quality (not to mention quantity) upon their arrival. And it goes without saying that the adoption of prodigal son and doofus overlord TeeJay once upon a time has evoked more head-shaking grins than any personnel action made before or since. May the G:TB AdSense Happy Hour occur before we're in nursing homes. For a year's worth of stupid chuckles . . . thanks, punks.

I met Jim Infantino in 1987, the summer before my senior year in high school. He was my RA during the month-long July Program at Bennington College. (Which, as an aside, had a 6:1 girls:guys ratio. The salad days, as they say.) Anyway, Jim was just a cool guy with a guitar back then, a student at Haverford College (which Rob didn't believe was a real school as of two weeks ago) spending a summer in Vermont. Nowadays Jim fronts Jim's Big Ego, an NPR-friendly, somewhat under-the-radar coffeehouse band that's infinitely cooler than the crap description I just gave it. JBE is a trio you should definitely go see live if you're anywhere near Boston (or Vienna, VA on January 22), and one the rest of you can and should hear online. Their most famous song is "Stress," and other standouts include "She's Dead," "Punk Junkies from New York," "Desperate Times," and new tunes "Sleepwalker" and "Background Vocals." For the left-wingers, "Cautionary Tale" and "WTFMFWTFAYT" should amuse. But my point in promoting Jim -- who I've only seen play and spoken to once since 1987 -- and his band as an appreciation this year is to say that I'm pretty psyched when friends or acquaintances of mine seem to have carved out a life that makes them happy. Success can be a mis-quantified thing, and without knowing enough to say for sure I'd wager that Jim and his Big Ego are doing quite well these days, even with a day job to support a music life. Pretty cool, and here's hoping that more among you reach plateaus of pleasantness in the near future.

"For Emma" by Bon Iver.mp3

I think 2009 is going to be the dawn of a new era of sentimentality in America. Okay, probably not that melodramatic, but it may mark the end of the sheer cold cynicism that has personified the nation for a decade or more. To wit, our chums over at the Wheelhouse (also referred to as "She & Him") are already exhibiting a softer side. Word on the street is that Jerry's considering making GF stand for more than "Goals For." Meanwhile, Geoff, even as he was beginning to publicly dread the Ides of April, was downright not-awful in his remarks about the president-elect. In addition, I think positivity is replacing negativity as the "what's in" buzz-vibe. Rob's been leading that charge since he unveiled the Era of Positivity at MLC in 2003. Five or six years seems about the appropriate catch-up window for the world in matters like this. "Bon Iver" means "good winter" in (misspelled) French. This winter's gonna be a tough one for a lot of people. I vow here and now to at least try to keep up the optimism and appreciation all season long, even when it becomes less than picnic-like for me.

"The '59 Sound" by The Gaslight Anthem.mp3
"Fools" by The Dodos.mp3

Here's to Gheorghe: The Blog and all who visit to make it worth keeping up. Somehow in the last five years we've managed to log over 1,000 posts and many more comments about . . . not much. Life and how to live it, replete with YouTube clips, I guess. These six songs each represent one Gheorghe blogger. See if you can figure out who's who. (No, not really. This is just catch-all so I can squeeze in six other great songs from '08 and round out a 20-spot. Enjoy.)

Happy New Year, and may 2009 be the Gheorghiest year we've known to date.


It's 8:03am...

...and this is the only thing keeping me from jumping off my roof:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick, someone get rob some air...

Purple squirrel baffles experts

A purple squirrel which appeared at a school has baffled experts who are unable to explain its colour. Teachers and pupils at Meoncross School in Stubbington, Hants, were amazed when they saw the creature through the window during a lesson.

Since the squirrel, now nicknamed Pete rob, was first seen, it has become a regular fixture at the school but no one has been able to say whether the animal has fallen into purple paint, had a run-in with some purple dye, or whether there is another explanation.

Lorraine Orridge, the school's registrar, believes Pete's coloured fur looks like a school uniform. She said: "We don't think he is a mutant squirrel but he may have had a mishap around the school."
Perhaps rob is not in fact gasping for air, but instead didn't listen and ate a tainted piece of Three-Course-Dinner Gum. Yeah, that's it. Mr. Wonka is gonna be pissed.

Post Holiday Ghoogles

Hallelujah, it's a ghoogles post free of Maura Sullivan and her sappy siren song "Christmas Eve in Washington"...
  • young riders theme song extended
  • James Madison University girls
  • lawrence frank
  • randy newman ain't gonna play no god damn games youtube
  • youtube "tom jones" alive video tattoo
  • what team did George Papadapolis play football for
  • what is DH stand for [This came from the Arabic google]
  • merry christmas kiss my ass
  • uk 1970's tv themes music blogspot
  • gheorghe
  • gheorge the blog
  • "hold up" "here we go" theme song
  • game show theme songs "hand claps"
  • "Kiki D'Aire" vomit pee
  • blog lawrence bron
  • "the wheels" pittsburgh music joe tj
  • omni consumer products
  • meg bulger fsn
  • love this job more than taffy
  • hey there come to snuff the rooster
  • stan yagiello
  • mustache like johnny depp
  • bill raftery
  • keith bullock RPI
  • big wite ass
  • bassam M.Rob [China google]
  • the fabulous wealthy tarts
  • Todd Bouman
  • putana da seatbeltz
  • Shudder To Think blogspot [Japan google]
  • pauper to a pawn
  • Follow me! Follow me to freedom
  • tony parker grey pinstripe suit
  • "chase daniel's gut"
  • big ashole
  • i've been to the desert with a horse [Arabic google again...hmmmm...]
  • olden polynice diet

Monday, December 29, 2008

rob's High Horse

Yet another in a series of brilliantly conceived and poorly executed recurring features. This one was Teejay's idea.

Among the many things that inspired impotent rants this holiday season:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Losing to the no-account Raiders in a must-win situation is one thing, but the Bucs' bed-wetting had me believing that the Cowboys were in the playoffs for at least 45 minutes, and that caused a significant level of irritation.

My own lack of attention to detail

See above vis a vis my short-lived belief that the Cowboys were in the playoffs and the resulting irritation.

The ongoing George W. Bush Image Rehabilitation Tour

"I think how much he gets into the detail," Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said. "I have seen many an aide and myself I've been in that position or a cabinet secretary, go in with a very fine presentation and the president just takes it apart. People would be amazed." C'mon Condi, don't spit in my eye and tell me it's raining.

The fact that I didn't see The Dark Knight on the big screen

It looked like shit on the non-HD screen in my living room, and even then was terrifically entertaining. And how the hell are they gonna resurrect Harvey Dent for the unavoidable sequel? Apologies for the spoiler, but if you didn't know what was going to happen to Dent, then you probably shouldn't be allowed to watch the movie in the first place.

Eric Devendorf's reinstatement to the Syracuse starting lineup

But not for the reason you think. My sarcastic dig at Teejay regarding Jim Boeheim's drill sergeant-level discipline triggered a Nick Saban-based retort. Which once again reminded me that Nick Saban coaches my favorite team. Oh, but the self loathing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

G:TB's Week 17 NFL Picks: "I'm 37. I'm not old."

Twice in the last two days (and three times in the last month) Whitney's called me ('me' in this case, being rob) to serve as the arbiter of beer-fueled wagers. Let me offer a bit of guidance to all who may be otherwise inclined to bet against my larger, balder friend in matters of trivia: don't. Dude doesn't bet unless he knows he's right. Your bank account can thank me later.

Now, if the bet concerns the outcome of sporting events, feel free to risk the kids' college funds (or the dogs' tattoo funds, in Mark's case). Whitney hasn't won a sports bet since he had hair.

All of which serves as a mostly random introduction to the final NFL picks of the season and the much-anticipated resolution of the GTB/Wheelhouse Gambling Challenge. When we left our mild-mannered heroes, the standings looked like this:



Astoundingly, both mediocre inside-joke blogs are assured records better than .500. All that's left to decide is who picks up the tab at the annual (and mythical) blogger holiday luncheon. Here goes nothing.

Redskins (+3) @ Niners

Today's Washington Post was chock-full of heart-warming stories about the end of Jim Zorn's first year. Mike Wise even dropped a Rudy Ruettiger story on us. I wish I were kidding. Even a cross-country flight to play a game against a sorta hot team can't stop that a team fueled by that kind of saccharine treacle. Skins win outright.

Giants (+6.5) @ Vikings

There's no good reason for New York to even show up for this game and no good reason whatsoever to pick them. So we like the Giants in a Tom Coughlin Says 'Fuck Your Conventional Wisdom' Contrarian Special.

Cowboys (+1) @ Eagles

I have exactly zero respect for Wade Phillips' ability to motivate his team, and even less respect for Jerry Jones's recent vote of confidnce in the Cowboys' rotund head man. On the other hand, I have a lot of respect for Jim Johnson, and a whole buncha belief in the Eagles defense and its desire to make amends for the egg it laid in this season's first Cowboys/Eagles matchup. Philly ensures that Tony Romo remains winless in the postseason.

New England (-6) @ Buffalo

Dick Jauron's boys got all frisky last week to give the viewing public a tasty Broncos/Chargers Sunday night treat. But Nas will bow down to Karl Rove's mad mic skills before a Bill Belichick team loses to Buffalo with the playoffs on the line. Patriots win going away.

St. Louis (-14.5) @ Atlanta

Quoth TJ via text message, "U picked Atlanta to win by 100, right?" Hard to argue with that kind of forceful and measured logic. Although I admit to pausing for a moment when he called them the 'Flacons'.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What We've All Been Waiting For...

Hope everyone's holiday season has been treating them well. Speaking of treats, we're looking to finalize our long-awaited review of the GN'R album Chinese Democracy. It's actually going to be a lot bigger and better than we'd originally anticipated, so it'll probably be up sometime in February. Stay tuned! It will be worth the wait.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mark Doing Karaoke

No matter what Mark tries to tell us to the contrary, I imagine his Christmas Night karaoke performance went a little something like this...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Revisiting Masterpieces: Episode I - Teen Wolf

Greetings, readers. It's time to quickly steer away from Rob's infatuation with the President-elect's pecs and abs to bring you to a much more important topic: Teen Wolf. Enjoy.

The sports media has had a field day with the recent news that Greg White, Tampa Bay's second-year defensive tackle, legally changed his name to Stylez G. White to honor the character Stiles from the movie Teen Wolf. This news is tremendous for a number of reasons, one of which being it affords us a reason to pontificate anew upon this glorious film.

Teen Wolf represented a lot of things to a lot of people. First, it was Mark Holton's opus. Second, it was a break-out role for an obscure sitcom actor toiling under the shadow of Tina Yothers. Third, it featured a cameo appearance by Jerry Garcia as the werewolf version of Scott Howard's dad. But, most importantly, it featured the mindbending performance of Jerry Levine as Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski.

Stiles is undeniably the glue of this movie. He is the kind of guy you wanted to be when you were a teenager. He wears cool t-shirts (don't forget the "Future Gynecologist" shirt he sports), girls don't mind when he pours bowls of jello into their shirts at parties, he is an aspiring entrepreneur, he surfs on vans and he pulls off cool shades better than this guy. Or this guy. The snubbing he received at the 1988 Academy Awards is still talked about in acting studios, watering holes and glory holes across America to this day. Seriously, Kevin Kline as Best Supporting Actor for "A Fish Called Wanda"? Who ever heard of that guy?

The strength of this movie (besides Levine's performance) lies in its believability. The basketball scenes are as well-choreographed as they are realistic, the werewolf plot line is plausible, and the teenagers' ability to carry kegs of beer on their shoulder are all quite life-like. And the town's understated reaction to his emergence as a hairy beast is similar to what would happen in real life (if only for the extreme likelihood of being cast as the lead in the school play as a Confederate werewolf general).

(Quick sidenote - The pearls of wisdom doled out by Scott Howard's basketball coach have been mentioned before, so I won't expound upon them here, but they're awesome, hip and relevant, just like the cool pair of boat shoes I hope to see under my tree this Christmas.)

Now I don't want to ruin the ending for you all, so I'll just leave it at this: Scott Howard decides he doesn't need to be a werewolf with a headband to lead his team to the state title because he can do it while looking like Mark Price. He also pulls off the most unbelievable switch of female love interests since C. Thomas Howell in Secret Admirer by nailing the popular blonde girl and then landing the cute girl by the time the closing credits roll, despite a bowling ball throwing temper tantrum brought on by accusations of fellow wolves being shot near a henhouse. And, naturally, Stiles makes a killing selling shirts.

Hey Ladies

And here I was thinking the President-elect was a scrawny fellow. Hey, Iran - our President can kick your President's ass. Russia, well, maybe not.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 11th Day

On the eleventh day of Gheorghe-mas
Big Gheorghe gave to me
Eleven fillers filling
Ten Righteous Moments
Nine Head-lines We Want (in 2009)
Eight maids-a-milking?

Seven clips you-tubing
Six gifts worth giving
Fiiiiive(ish) feeeet of height
Four awful words
Three Richmond wins
Two sweet 'stache photos
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

Do I even have eleven fillers for this post? Does it even matter? All this post needs to do is hold some space until Whitney unleashes his epic Day 12 (yep, no pressure Whit, none at all). Could I talk about one of my favorite fillers here, the "Fashion is Dumb" posts? Sure I can, I'm writing this gibberish. Well then, in that case, here is my holiday selection for FiD (in this case it's not so much dumb as it is an excuse to post a pic of some models in zippy clothing...and awful stockings):

rob and I even tried to disguise our (my) endless filler by giving it a fancy Romanian name, Ceai Complet. It fooled no one, but it's still an enjoyable morning diversion.

Then there's this, my favorite ceai/filler post of all time. Dave even gave me an A++ for my effort. Yet no sentence in my honor. How sad.

Is bitching about the new McDonald's "Nuggnuts"ad campaign filler? I would think yes. Trust me, I like McNuggets quite a bit (you've all seen the fat guy in a jer-sey), but even I am appalled by this. The McNugget wedding cake makes me want to vomit. Then again, is this ad campaign any more bizarre or annoying than the "Whopper Virgin" ads? I'll get back to you on that one, as soon as I figure out why I should give two shits that an Inuit villager prefers the Whopper to the Big Mac.

The Ghoogles...enjoyable as all get out, but glorified filler. I hope all the American Anthem and Christmas Eve in Washington fans can get together sometime. Sounds like a rollicking good time.

Let's not kid. The aforementioned Ceai Complet often ends up just being this blog's version of Jay Leno's Stupid Criminals bit. But in that vein it does provide our loyal following with glimpses at pillars of the community such as this clown...and this fucking moron.

Speaking of morons, Mark's home state of Florida provides enough daily filler to be it's own blog. At the very least it could be its own regular blog post (Mark, I realize you are most likely engaged in a vicious papal ballot recount right now, but that's called a hint).

So, basically, after reading this day eleven drivel you probably want to know why we don't just call this Filler: The Blog? Well, first of all, back off. It's not easy perusing Drudge each morning and pulling Family Guy clips from an episode I watched for the 690th time the night before. But mainly, it's because the rest of the editorial staff actually provides you, the dear reader, with something of substance. Occasionally. But that sure as hell doesn't mean I plan to stop bombarding you with all these exciting "posts" in the new year. You could only be so lucky...

And of course, on that note, I'm ending day eleven the only way I know going that extra push over the cliff, all the way to eleven...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

G:TB's Week 16 NFL Picks

Look at Dennis getting us, does anyone else plan to pick a game?

I like Miami -4 at Kansas City and Philly -5 at Washington. I also like long walks on the beach, being tickled just right, and potpourri. I'm Dennis, and that's one to grow on.

Everybody's favorite random drunk, Greg, is back in my neck of the woods for a week or so. And in between pissing in the lobby of the local Sheraton and telling girls he was a minor league hockey player last night, well, we talked a little football. Greg says the Bucs (-3) are locks to beat San Diego today and keep their playoff hopes alive. I say Greg is a no good drunk who may or may not make out with his brother when they're reunited over the holidays. I also watched enough Brian Griese last week to know that the Bucs don't have Frosty's chance in hell (The (snow) man did some unspeakable shit with that corn cob pipe) with him under center. Fortunately, it looks like Garcia will get the start today. So, I'll go against my better judgement and take the Bucs (-3) at home.

I haven't picked two games in some time but I doubt TJ's going to pick any games since he's likely too busy texting Rob about W&M basketball. And Rob's not going to pick any games because he's playing Littlest Pet Shop with his girls (the size of the toys finally makes him feel like a grown up). And Whitney, well, who the fuck knows what that guy is doing. Other than getting drunk on some obscure micro-brew and listening to Springsteen bootlegs whilst masturbating to tapes from this, of course. Admittedly, thats a pretty full day for the old guy so we'll cut him some slack. However you slice it, it means I have to pick another game. Hey, the Texans have been hot lately...and the Raiders have been a pile of hot shit all season long. Looks good to me. Houston (-7.5) over the Silver & Black.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 10th Day

On the tenth day of Gheorghe-mas
Six gifts worth giving
Four awful words
Two sweet 'stache photos
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

2008 was a banner year in Gheorghedom. We broke through the critical mass barrier, adding celebrated pundits Rhymenocerous and Mark to create the internet’s first mega-micro blog (defined as having more writers than readers). The multi-mentioned William & Mary Tribe hoops squad had the best postseason in school history, and our coverage led to a G:TB mention in the W&M Alumni Magazine – on the same day we celebrated George Carlin’s Seven Words. Sorry, Mom. GTB staffers met Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Litos, Extra P, and our namesake. We gained actual female readers. We dealt with the difficult issues of our time: hangovers, heightism, mustaches, and recently, in a very special GTB post, lactation. As we close the book on this eventful annum, we look forward with a renewed sense of (no) purpose and a commitment to windmill-tilting and lunatic populism. But until Baby New Year waddles into view, a brief look back at the things that tickled our sporting fancy in 2008:

Usain Bolt breaks the sound barrier. GTB's a sucker for the Olympics, and Bolt's performance in the sprint events went beyond dominant, past plaid, all the way to interstellar. His paradigm-shifting performance changed the way we think about the limits of human physical ability. Only slightly less impressive was the sychronized drum/dance/acrobatics of what appeared to be the entire population of China in the Opening Ceremonies.

Roger Clemens and O.J. Simpson feel karma's cold kiss. Our disdain for the Texas Con Man is as long-documented as it is irrational. That disclaimer noted, there were very few stories in 2008 that warmed our bully-hating hearts more than the grotesque dance between Clemens, Brian McNamee, George Mitchell, and the U.S. Congress. And if Clemens is the object of rob's lunatic disdain, O.J. Simpson is Teejay's white whale. Ahab finally got his man.

Tommy Smyth says 'onion bag'. We've never been above a little (more than a little) 'you had to be there' humor. In an inside joke for 3 or 4, we had a spirited liveblog commentary over at Mark's old stomping grounds during the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea. Early in the match, I offered Mark a bottle of Jameson's if the word 'onion' was uttered at any time during the telecast, after Mark made mention of Bill Raftery. And during extra time, the brilliant Smyth broke off an 'onion bag', clear as day. Cracking good match despite the fact that ManU won on penalties, and an excellent waste of a few workday hours. And someday Mark may even see that bottle.

Earl Boykins and Dustin Pedroia stand tall. The 5'5" Boykins became the Italian league's highest-paid cager, while the 5'9" (give or take 3 inches) Pedroia went one better, capturing the American League Most Valuable Player award.

Alabama becomes Gatorbait. In a terrific game that may have exceeded the hype, Florida defeated Alabama, 31-20, in the SEC Championship game. In an awe-inspiring feat of prognostication that will never, ever exceed the hype that we'll give it for the next several decades, Mark and I both predicted that exact result.

David Tyree channels Lester Hayes. In a most unexpected Super Bowl, the Giants' Tyree made one of the more improbable big-game catches of all-time, pinning the ball to his helmet while Rodney Harrison clawed desperately at him. (Seriously, look at that picture. How in hell did Tyree hold that ball without a Hayesian amount of stickum?) Lost somewhat in the excitement of the catch is Eli Manning's desperate scramble to avoid a sack on the play that ultimately defined the Giants' comeback.

Hashem Thabeet did this.

Peter King finally comes to his senses.
And Art Monk finally gets into the Hall of Fame.

Stephen Curry gets his mom some much-deserved airtime. Dell, you funky homosapien. First Steph goes all Teen Wolf on Georgetown and Wisconsin, then little brother Seth starts killing fools for Liberty. All the while, you roll into arenas all around America with Mrs. Curry on your arm and a whole nation of Hokies praying you have a third son.

David Schneider wreaks vengeance. Yes, William & Mary basketball gets a disproportionate amount of coverage here. Yes, we've already covered Tribe sports at least twice in the 12 days. Yes, it's a little bit pathetic. But Schneider's jumper at the buzzer to beat Georgia State in the first round of the CAA Tournament was the best sports moment I saw live this year, and it kicked off a thoroughly improbable and dizzying 4 days of dreaming the impossible dream. And it is our blog, and you will listen to every word we say.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 9th Day

On the ninth day of Gheorghe-mas
Big Gheorghe gave to me
Nine Head-lines We Want (in 2009)

Listed below are some headlines that we, the weary masses of sports fans, hope to receive in 2009. May the gods of karma shine their light upon us.

1) Favre, Clemens* Reveal Relationship, Move to Brokeback Mountain (with Brett’s Wranglers in tow).
These two people need to go away. Nobody wants to hear about their steroids, their love of the game, their spouses, their hometowns, their strong arms or their Hall of Fame careers and/or their love of substances. Please leave now. Thank you. Remember guys - it can be like this. Always.
*Roger, not Kellen

2) Bud Selig Chokes on a Brat, Has Near-Death Experience, Relinquishes Position as Commissioner of Major League Baseball
Mr. Selig has done very little of substance to steer the league out of its strike-related doldrums. A drug-filled power surge and a combined six world titles from the league’s most storied franchises (New York and Boston) did more to bring attention back to the sport than anything Mr. Selig did. He will be known as the clueless parent who ignored the kids’ needle and pill habits, a man who decided an All-Star game tie was fair, whose qualification for the position consisted of guiding the Brewers to a generation of mediocrity. You are the anti-Gheorghe, Mr. Selig. And don’t you ever kid yourself otherwise. Ever.

3) Undefeated Team from non-BCS Conference to Play for National Title
One of the more overlooked aspects of the current NCAA football set-up is that a non-BCS conference team has ZERO chance of winning a national championship. In 2008, there were 119 Division I-A teams, 65 of whom played in a BCS conference. That means there were 54 teams with no chance of winning the title in their sport. Boise State and Utah ran the table this year, with wins over legitimate programs such as Michigan, Oregon State, BYU, TCU, Oregon, Hawaii and Fresno State. Yet they won’t play for a title. It makes no sense to have a landscape where 45% of the competition doesn’t have a chance, especially since every one of the 1,424,789 Division I basketball programs has at least a snowball’s chance at a title.
(Editor’s Note: We refuse to use the new bogus FCS initials the NCAA is foisting upon us and, in fact, denounce foisting in all forms not related to drinking, peer pressure and hitting on women).

4) Jerry Jones Goes Bankrupt, Forced to Halt New Stadium Construction (and Botox Treatments), Puts Cowboys Up for Sale.
I know very little about the current state of his finances. But I do know he’s a pompous oilman who is in the midst of building an exorbitantly expensive stadium. He’s heavily exposed to a commodity whose price has fallen 75% from its peak earlier this year, and he’s heavily indebted at a time when nobody is interested in lending unless it carries usurious terms. Lenders have started playing hard-ball with him amidst his next round of plastic surgeries, leaving him and his face hanging in limbo, as seen in the photo to the right.

5) William & Mary Football Ramps up Aggressive Recruiting Techniques to Stay Competitive in Colonial Athletic Association
The Tribe has always put a competitive squad on the field, thanks to coach Laycock’s prolific offensive schemes, but the defense has rarely looked staunch by any means. The brain-trust on the Hampton Roads peninsula needs to start picking off some of the home-grown talent that’s retreating to the land of the Dukes and the Spiders. If it means dropping admission standards a bit to get a cornerback, so be it.

6) Liu Chunhong, Chinese Olympic Weightlifting Hero and Gold Medalist, Denies Rumors of External Genitalia
We all know the story of Ms. Chunhong’s Olympic record-breaking feats (previewed here and recapped here), but little has been said of the person behind the singlet. More specifically, the gender of the person behind the singlet. Let’s hope the rumblings in Beijing are nothing but malicious rumors propagated to bring down a legend.

7) Mark Cuban Buys the Chicago Cubs.
Old money hates the guy because he’s a tool, but he’s a likeable tool, the kind of guy we could relate to if we rolled with billionaires. Cuban would be a major upgrade from current owner (and current d-bag) Sam Zell. This marquee franchise needs a reason to feel good about itself these days.

8) Mitch Gaylord, Janet Jones-Gretzky to Produce American Anthem II, starring Shawn Johnson and the Hamm Brothers.
Self explanatory. And awesome. And inevitable.

9) Gheorghe Muresan Signed to 10-Day Contract by New Jersey Nets.
Yi Jianlian needs a big man to educate him on the cultural morays of America so he can continue adapting to Western culture. It would be Gheorghe’s second stint with the team, so you wouldn’t even bother telling him to stop calling Devin Harris Lucious. But seriously, what better chick magnet and wing man can Yi have than Gheorghe? Yi turned 21 on October 21st, so 2009 will be the first year when he can party it up legally in all of the two fine establishments in the Rutherford area. These two men should live together and ESPN should have a reality series about their daily goings-on, with Gheorghe leading the charge in their active days and slut-filled nights.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dunk of the Day

According to rob and Rhymo, this Josh Smith dunk is worth viewing, though the Zapruder-esque quality of the clip makes it difficult to see the first time around. The replay does it justice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 8th Day

On the eighth day of Gheorghe-mas
Big Gheorghe gave to me
Eight maids-a-milking?
Seven clips you-tubing
Fiiiiive(ish) feeeet of height
Three Richmond wins
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

We know, we know. By day eight you’ve come to expect more clever parody, but on this day of Gheorghe-mas, we’re keeping it organic. As we approach the extended eve of the birth of your…pause…favorite beat writer’s 2nd child, and second round of breast feeding classes, we thought it made sense to provide a quick public service announcement. Don't worry, it is what you’re thinking - lactation appreciation to stir into that Egg Nog and sip over the holidays. With a little whimsy sprinkled on top like ground cinnamon. Mmm, delicious!

G: TB: Fun Facts: Part 1: We like our women disease-free, busty, and cheap.

1. Breast milk is proven to reduce the risk of diseases and illnesses in both children AND mothers – most notably SIDS in infants and breast, cervical and ovarian cancer in mothers.
**Breast fed babies have a proven reduction in the onset of allergies, diabetes, and obesity later in adolescence.
**Humans are the only species that will rely on another animal’s milk for survival. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons that get fairly philosophical which we’ll avoid in this space. But, it is a fact that human babies are and will never be allergic to human milk. So, what’s the problem here?

2. Any boob guys out there? New mothers will see their bust size increase easily on average from 2-4 cup sizes when breast feeding. And let’s take it a step further - women actually burn calories by breast feeding. So, not only will your baby mama be more voluptuous, but she’ll stay trim around the edges without even releasing a latch (Note: for follow-up reading on achieving an optimal latch, please contact this gentleman for materials and diagrams).

3. Good formula is really expensive at best and deadly at worst. Not to mention getting extremely risky in the production stages – both fiscally and legally. There have been over 30 formula recalls in this country alone in the past 20 years – luckily with minimal mortal impact. China hasn’t been so lucky. They’re currently in a formula fiasco that has left hundreds of infants critically ill and dozens dead – with 20 people behind bars for knowingly skimping on production efforts to keep costs down. The Chinese black market is now swimming in breast milk.

Now that you’re armed, let’s get dangerous in 2009.

With the economy likely to struggle well into next year, let’s consider some job opportunities in the lactation industry:

1. Wet Nurse – dual income households and adoption are on the rise, convenience and biology provide the demand. Hell, you can buy breast milk on Craig’s list. If we put our minds to it, we could make the U.S. the Saudi Arabia of the mother’s milk market. I know about a billion Chinese women that are reading with interest…

2. Wet “Nurse” – a known fetish in the escort world, and it sure came in handy for Clive Owen in the little-known pulp doozy, “Shoot Em Up”. Although, I have a feeling most of these professional types don’t look much like Monica Bellucci does in that film.

3. Lactation Consultant - like a therapist, but with even less medical education and experience.

4. Sports Medicine – in the fallout of the steroids era, sports trainers, dietitians and chemists have been looking for an all-natural substitute to give professional athletes that edge they clearly need. It’s been discovered that breast milk, when broken down to its essential elements with specific proteins and vitamins isolated then remixed, will give similar effects to that of any anabolic steroid.

Merry Gheorghe-mas to all!!

So That's What Jodeci Has Been Up To

This may be a pathetic ploy to insert some new labels into the bowels of G:TB, but it's hilarious nonetheless. I thought that Jodeci was finished after K-Ci and Jo-Jo took off and became famous as a duo, but I guess they are still available for weddings...

Antonio Pierce's wife and Mets sportscaster Jocelyn Maldonado was having none of it when a Post reporter showed up at her house for a comment about her husband's alleged hijinks. See, before Pierce and Plaxico Burress went to a nightclub (where Burress shot himself), they went to Head Quarters strip club where Pierce was taped canoodling with a mysterious woman. Maldonado slammed the door in the reporter's face after saying, "That's not even him." Still, the Post claims it was—and that the woman later drove Pierce and Burress to the hospital on the fateful night. The strip club video is also given more romance novel treatment in today's Post, which recounts the play-by-play of how the Giants lineman "leans in to kiss her while briefly stroking her buttocks." We wonder if he tried that move on Maldonado at their Maui wedding in May while '90s R&B group Jodeci played their hit "All My Life" as the couple's first dance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: On the 7th Day

If we didn't get a seventh day up soon, I feared Gheorghe-mas might be headed the way of Chrismukkah (look how confused Whit is in the corner). So in attempting to save Gheorghe-mas I asked the editorial staff what they'd like to see from my go-to source of content/filler...

On the seventh day of Gheorghe-mas
Big Gheorghe gave to me
Seven clips you-tubing
Fiiiiive(ish) feeeet of height
Three Richmond wins
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

Mark might have been granted two clips, but he had to get all mouthy:
"I'd prefer both but I know you are a busy and important man who's flooded with literally tens of requests for content per month."

I was sent two excellent commercial choices (well, actually three, but we'll get to that in a moment). This one just beat out the Avis "I stack cheese" ad.

Whit was really excited about this one, something about we should have more sports on this blog. I don't know, I wasn't really listening.

Dennis went fresh and topical.

Rhymo-O really brought it with this, well, I don't know what this is actually.

And on this seventh and glorious day of Gheorghe-mas, how else could we finish?


Presented without comment

Monday, December 15, 2008


Gheorghe: The Blog offers our sincere and humble regrets for the dearth of remotely interesting content over the past, well, five years or so, really. But especially of late. There's no particularly compelling excuse, other than the fact that we're fairly lazy and unusually busy. Mostly the former, though.

The 12 Days of Gheorghe-mas will almost certainly continue soon, and we may even make it all the way to 12. In the interim, we commend to you Wheelhouse Geoff's agonized Redskins take, even as we wish it were more agonized. That team's not worth the words wasted on it.

Also, this paddleball game:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

pick some games jerks

the minimalist version...

yeah, you heard me

okay, assmunch, we like the steelers on the road getting points (2.5) in baltimore.

Lions @ Indianapolis (-16.5)

I'm picking this game only because all of my G:TB colleagues told me not to. That and Dan Orlosky is starting at QB again against a Colts D that's tasted chicken blood again.... Danny will also be on a short leash apparently due to his inability to hit open receivers in practice against no defense. Oh, and the Lions are also not going to play Daunte again this year (for fear that he might throw 2 more TD's at which point a $1 Million dollar bonus kicks in), so it'll be Drew Stanton if things get really ugly. From there it becomes Randy Johnson at 6 AM after a night with his pal Johnny Walker...Colts by three TD's: 28-7.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-3)

The Bucs have managed to go from a potential division clinching game on Monday night (since two wins over Carolina would've effectively given them a 2 game lead in the NFC South) to a possible playoff elimination death match in 6 days. This is quite an accomplishment, even for a franchise with such a storied history of losing and underachievement. Did anybody else read Peter King's story on Derrick Brooks in SI a couple weeks back? For that matter, does anybody even subscribe to SI anymore? ( I had since 4th grade and cancelled it this year. Now I just steal it from my gym. Its a week old at this point, but its not anything in there is groundbreaking news these days anymore. Not with the talking picture boxes and the email machines).

Yeah, I know, Peter King is an idiot and a bit of a nancy boy for my tastes too but, when given the right topic/subject (colonoscopies anyone?), he can be a hell of a reporter. King did a great job of profiling Brooks' weekly routine and mental preparation in order to help explain why he's remained one of the NFL's most consistent and a prolific linebackers despite being older than a number of assistant coaches in the league. It's my guess that Brook's mental preparation, as well as that of his defensive teammates, will help the Bucs' defense rebound after being embarrassed by Carolina last week and lift Tampa to a crucial division win that keeps the Bucs in the thick of the playoff hunt. Atlanta's been a surprise this year and Matt Ryan's far exceeded expectations for most of this year, but he's due for a down game and Monte Kiffin, Brooks and Co. feast on young, inexperienced signal callers. Even with Jeff Garcia possibly out (torn rectum) and the looming possibility of a drunken Brian Griese lobbing balls to the Atlanta defense, I'll take Tampa and the points in the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

and because we have to, we'll take the giants +3 and the eagles -14. suck it, trebek.