Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who wishes he was in Jacksonville? >This Guy<

Guess what didn't get brought up at the G:TB staff meeting this week? Or on the Friday G:TB conference call? Yep, thats right. The weekly College Football picks column. If it wasn't for me, this column would be more dead than the Cauc Hop. Fortunately for G:TB (and Dan's Saturdays), I'm going to keep on keeping on all the way through this season with well-informed, deeply researched College Football picks.

Now, we all know that this column is anything but well informed or deeply researched, unless of course you count a wheelbarrow full of alcohol from the night before as research (which I do), but its tough to argue with the results thus far. I'm 9-0 over the last three weeks based on little more than taking the points against Florida and Alabama and then picking one other game I feel relatively confident in. That's it, that's my grand plan. A plan that's working because neither the Gators or the Tide can help from tripping all over themselves offensively, especially in the red zone. Unfortunately, Alabama has a bye this week so I'm going to have to rely on my historically terrible instincts to lead me through this week's picks.

Michigan @ Illinois (+8.5): This week's betting strategy? Bet against Ron Zook. Especially if he's leading a sloppy, downtrodden team that hasn't beaten a Division 1 opponent yet this year and has already mailed it in for the season. For all you Redskins fans out there, if you're looking to feel just a bit better about your moribund franchise, I encourage you to watch some of the Illini's home game against Michigan today. Things could be worse, you could have Ron Zook as your coach...and your AD (or owner in the Skin's case) could have already come out publicly and stated that Zook's job was safe for not only this year but next year as well. One last note: My friend Vitas had Juice Williams as his starting QB in the G:TB College Football Fantasy League. He released Williams a week before Zook decided to bench him. Ron Zook: One full step behind casual Big Ten football fans!

USC @ Oregon (+4.5): So, all we hear all week is that Oregon might be the country's best team right now but then we turn around and see that the Ducks are 4.5 point dogs for a home night game to USC. Jesus, does the fellatio of the Trojans know no bounds? I probably shouldn't be picking this game as I haven't watched a ton of Oregon since they shit the sheets in Boise on opening night, so I don't know as much about this game as I normally do when making my picks. However, these are the things I do know: Oregon's best running back starts his name with a "La" (Seriously, what are the chances of a team's top two tailbacks both having names that start with Le or La?), Matt Barkley will get blown repeatedly by Brent Musberger tonight over a 4 hour period, Barkley's "poise" and "cool demeanor" will be referenced approximately 25 times tonight, Oregon students will be so high that they'll see an image of a schooner within the uniform's of their Ducks, and by the time we all go to bed tonight the momentum for the annual "USC is the best one loss team in the country" campaign will be ramping up to epidemic levels. USC wins, Barkley comes that much closer to taking over for Tim Tebow as the most hyped player in America (it's coming next year in a big way, believe me) and the students in Eugene still won't care because they'll be surrounded by great weed and young girls in slutty costumes. Anybody else miss college?

Florida vs. Georgia (+17):
Get ready to hear an awful lot about how Georgia players feel "disrespected" by Urban Meyer's late timeouts during last year's blowouts. You're likely to hear some revisionist history by those same players as well. Many of them seem to think that Florida ran up the score on the Dogs last year. On the contrary, if Meyer had called a pass play or even a jet sweep after one of those late timeouts than I could see their point of view. He didn't, he ran it up the middle twice. Georgia flat out got their ass kicked last year. I don't blame them for not liking it. I didn't like it when Georgia kicked Florida's ass two years ago. Will Georgia be extremely motivated this year? You bet. Do I think they're good enough to beat Florida without some help from the Gators in the form of turnovers and continued problems with offensive efficiency (especially in the red zone)? No, not with that defense and definitely not with the Ginger Ninja quarterbacking the Dogs. However, I see no reason why Florida's offense is going to magically repair itself today so I'm going to continue to take the points when it comes to Florida. Florida wins...but its close (Fuck me, I am getting really tired of typing that in this space).

One last thing on Florida's offensive problems: I'm getting really sick and tired of listening to "experts" tell me that the Gator's offensive woes are a result of a lack of playmakers on the outside. It's just wrong. Florida certainly doesn't have the same depth or explosiveness it had last year at WR but the much bigger issue this year is the offensive line and pass protection (or lack thereof). This year's OLine is significantly less effective in pass pro than last year's team. The major reason for this is the way the line has been re-shuffled, specifically the move of Carl Johnson from LG to LT. Johnson's a monster and Florida's offense (and season) took off last year when he was inserted into the lineup at LG after the Ole Miss game. He, along with the Pouncey twins, solidified the middle of the line and raised the offense's overall play. Johnson excels at punishing defensive lineman and getting to the second level on run plays. He does not, however, have the quickest feet I've ever seen. Since moving full time to LT after the injury to Matt Patchan, Johnson has struggled against quick pass rushers. He gave up the sack that led to the initial hit on Tebow's concussion play and was repeatedly beat by Bequette from Arkansas on speed rushes up the field a couple weeks ago. He wasn't much better in Starkville last week either. If Florida's going to move the ball more efficiently with the pass, they have to protect Tebow better and Tebow has to have confidence in his pass protection so he's not as prone to tucking the ball and running as quickly as he's been doing of late. I'd watch out for a freshman named Xavier Nixon today to see some snaps at LT in an effort by the Gator coaching staff to solidify their OLine and, hopefully, jumpstart the Gator offense.

Matchup of the day: Georgia WR A.J. Green vs. Florida CB Joe Haden. Both are future 1st round NFL draft picks. Both are freak athletes with good size for their position who have been starting since the day one of their freshman year. Its sure to be a fun matchup to watch on the outside today. You know what else is fun? Regrettable tattoo decisions. Yep, that's Joe's little brother.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghostface Fillah: Halloween edition

Ghostface doesn't like little people. Sorry rob.

Be Afraid

In the midst of G:TB's customary frivolity and lightness, we've occasionally been called upon to man the barricades, to stand firmly against evils so great that they threaten our very existence. Mustaches, for example. And redneck Floridians.

Several months ago, we warned the world of the threat posed by the Large Hadron Collider, which was poised to create a black hole so powerful the planet would be sucked into its vortex and all matter instantaneously crushed to the size of Daniel Snyder's conscience. Apparent technical delays thwarted the LHC's nefarious mission. Or so we thought.

In reality, contend a pair of leading scientists, the Collider's chilling intent is so anathema to human existence that the power unleashed by the machine is traveling back in time to turn itself off.
In a theory reminiscent of the time travelling film Back to the Future, the theoretical physicists Holger Nielsen, from Denmark, and Masao Ninomiya, from Japan, have concluded that its discoveries could be so "abhorrent to nature" that they are coming back to stop their own creation.
Setting aside the fact that Back to the Future is entirely the wrong analogy here, G:TB encourages all good people to be on the lookout for rogue Higgs bosons dressed as politicians. The life you save may be your own. Or Linda Hamilton's.

And you thought G:TB was just a stupid blog about rapping muppets, futile hoops fandom and Tim Tebow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Ghoogles: Jerk Store Edition

I can only hope we were able to help at least a few of these world wide web wanderers:
  • did he just say making fuck
  • richard porcello
  • artie moreno is a jerk
  • barry beck destroyer of men
  • be set free langhorne slim blogger
  • ogie oglethorpe slapshot
  • what does William va look like
  • langhorne slim
  • "mississippi state""florida""cowbells"
  • gheorghe blog
  • a-rod jerk
  • langhorne slim christianity
  • jimmy clausen asshole
  • the 10 top high schools in Montreal 2009
  • avaya
  • joe table
  • Shaken Heads Live Earth 07 da Sidney
  • Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth!
  • It's business drunk. It's kinda like rich drunk.
  • he is extremely round
  • www. whitneypedia.com
  • pandemic vs epidemic
  • winner winner chicken dinner bing Crosby
  • Todd Bouman
  • a rod is a jerk
  • joe table
  • REAL tomato ketchup?
  • a rod is a jerk
  • pandemic vs epidemic
  • feliz cumpleanos comments with beer bottle
  • Melanie rodriguez gulfstream park
  • don't like people who hate dogs
While I'm here, how 'bout some "celebrity" news?
You can't keep good golfer and huge Mill-e-wah-que fan Alice Cooper down. That's right, G:TB fav and Callaway pitchman Alice Cooper is back just in time for his favorite holiday with this "direct-to-the-web" video entitled "Keepin' Halloween Alive".

Thanks Alice. Perhaps next time change the title to the more accurate "Desperate to Keep my Floundering Career Alive". Truth in advertising, or something.
********
And the latest from Nico Toscani...well, I mean, sometimes the joke isn't even required, right?

"The headline is true, aging martial arts celebrity Steven Seagal, a deputy sheriff for 20 years is now starring in a reality TV show called Steven Seagal, Lawman, debuting on the A&E network."

Yep, can't lie, I will be tuning in December 2nd to see this latest version of trainwreck tv.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adventures in Creative Governance

Courtesy of Think Progress, the text of California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar's letter to the State Assembly explaining his veto of a piece of legislation:


As you might guess, this tickles us just a little bit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Wouldn't Happen at Florida

Just another Homecoming at the nation's second oldest university.

For Jessee Vasold ’11, the first transgender person elected as a class homecoming queen at the College of William and Mary, the day’s events were not anything too out of the ordinary.

As a member of the court, Vasold attended the pep rally and parade. Vasold was presented at the football game during halftime.

“It was pretty normal,” Vasold said. “The only difference I feel like from anyone else was that after halftime, a reporter wanted to talk to me.”

Vasold’s selection was only the third time that a transgender person has won the title of homecoming king or queen at an institute of higher education in the United States.

Thomas Jefferson wore a wig, people. There's nothing to see here. Move along. Though the College's first TJ might have scratched his bewigged noggin at this passage:

Vasold identifies as gender-queer. According to Vasold, gender-queer is a concept that can be adopted by anyone who feels that they do not fit into traditional gender classification, or anyone who sees the gender binary as an oppressive social institution and wishes to protest against it.

“It’s kind of a political identity, while simultaneously being a gender identity,” Vasold said. “And a lot of times you might see the people … just changing from day-to-day. Some people identify as gender-fluid, so what their gender is may depend on how they dress.”

Apparently, the Embracing Diversity section of Team G:TB's Employee Handbook needs some updating. Gender-queer, huh? Well, 'to each his/her own' has served us pretty well so far. No sense changing now. Rock on, Jessee - I hope the reactionary windbags that chased Gene Nichol from Williamsburg enjoyed your coronation.

These reports you handed in, it's almost as if you have no business training at all.

"I don't even really work here."
SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) - An Illinois man has admitted banking more than $470,000 in paychecks from a New Jersey company he never worked for. Anthony Armatys, 35, of Palatine, Ill., pleaded guilty Monday in New Jersey Superior Court to one count of theft as part of a plea bargain.

Prosecutors say Armatys accepted a job with Basking Ridge, N.J.-based telecommunications company Avaya Inc. in September 2002, then changed his mind. But the company's computer system never removed his name from the payroll. Paychecks were deposited into his bank account until February 2007, when Avaya auditors discovered the mistake.
"That's what makes this so difficult."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sherm!

In which the viewing public is treated to a clusterfuck in 4 acts.

Back to the lemon cake

Langhorne Slim has a new album, Be Set Free.



It's practically indistinguishable from his last album which someone named "Rhymenocerous" dropped on us last year. It's good, but nothing new. More lemon cake, if you will.

Although Langhorne Slim isn't putting out red velvet just yet, he is on tour. I saw him last week at the Bell House, my new favorite venue. Tons of free parking, cheap good beer, really cheap good pub food, great performance space and sound system. And two women in their mid-twenties decided to make out halfway through the show while standing next to me. All this in scenic Gowanus.

Slim doesn't look like that picture on his album cover. When I went to get a ticket I asked this little tubby guy if he was in line, and it turns out he was not. He was there to headline the show. He wasn't a jerk about it at all though - he said "No, go ahead" and some superfan told me "That's Langhorne Slim" in the same tone you use when your girlfriend can't figure out which remote to use to change the channel on the cable box. He's babyfaced, about rob's height, on the verge of chubby, and he wears a stupid straw hat. At one point in the show he stripped off his shirt to reveal a white wifebeater. The "wifebeater and a straw hat" isn't a great look, but who am I to judge.

He and his band (the War Eagles) put on a great show. He sounds better live without some of the gimmicky production from his albums - he doesn't sound like he's playing in a root cellar, for example. He obviously loves to perform, and so does his band, an almost entirely acoustic ensemble including an upright bass and a tenor sax. He also loves to interact with the crowd and if you yell at him loud enough he'll yell back. When he came back out after a break and said he was done I yelled "I know you have one more left in you" and he said "We'll see." He started a song, croaked because he was hoarse, and said "I don't think I have one more in me." But of course he did, because it was an encore, and he played about three more songs. At one point I also got the crowd going with "Where Brooklyn at?!" Or at least one random member of the crowd. I never said I was cool.

Anyway, Slim's show is fun and energetic, even if everything starts to sound the same after a while. I went with some friends who aren't really into alt-folk and who knew nothing about Slim, and they had a great time watching him do his thing. So go see Langhorne Slim if you get the chance.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cowbells, pedophiles and people who hate dogs. Welcome to the SEC.

This may come as a suprise, but nobody even mentioned the weekly picks column during our weekly G:TB staff meeting. When you think about this deeper though, its really not that surprising at all. TR and Zoltan are northeastern liberal elites who care more about cocaine and Phil Collins' catalog than college football, TJ's a fat, lazy prick and Rob and Whitney are in Williamsburg this weekend trying to win a grant from the Board of Trustess at William & Mary that would allow all of us to quit our jobs and turn G:TB into the multimedia juggernaut will all know it's destined to be. Godspeed, you old assholes.

However, lest you think we've deserted you in your hour of need, I'm still here to carry the load and provide you a place to post your drunken college football related ramblings (Hey Dan!).

One more thing before I get started: You know what religion doesn't get enough credit for being total douchebags? Mormons. Yeah, I said it. We all know their religion is about the shakiest of them all (I received a prophecy from...this...hat! Yes! This magical hat!) And we know that they all secretly want 40 person families, but nobody likes to talk about their abhorrent fan behavior and (possibly) racist leanings. There are numerous cases of racial taunts being hurled at NBA players during games they played for teams opposing the Jazz in Salt Lake (you should hear the stories about the things they said to Brian Scalabrine last season...still makes me shudder)...and just this morning, I heard the crowd in Provo boo Tim Tebow. Easy there Mormons, I'm pretty sure I too could make up a new religion based on the number of "miracles" Tebow has performed if I just used the "Joseph Smith template for making shit up and hoodwinking thousands of desperate and naive people into believing in and supporting me" if I wanted to. Jim McMahon thinks you guys suck...and that's really all I need to know. Go Horned Frogs!


Clemson (+7.5) @ Miami:
If I cared about my picks record, I wouldn't be picking this game. Shit, if I had half a brain I wouldn't pick this game. Clemson is talented, schizophrenic and frustrating. Nobody knows what they will do from week to week, least of all the Tigers. But what else would you expect from a team whose coach is named Dabo? I mean, besides an oppressively heavy dose of uber-christianity uncomfortably juxtaposed with generic football phrases like "ball security" and "gap integrity"?

So what does all that mean? First, it means that I'm still half drunk from last night. It also means that I think Miami is due for a seemingly inexplicable home loss. However, when you look at it, this is the kind of loss that extremely young teams suffer once or twice a season. Despite their talent, Miami is still very young and, often times, not a terribly disciplined football team. They nearly suffered a letdown loss last week at UCF but pulled out a victory based on a few good breaks and far superior talent. Clemson may not have as much talent as Miami, but they're pretty close. Ricky Sapp and DaQuan Bowers are both future pros and they'll be going up against a banged up Miami offensive line that has struggled in pass protection of late. Clemson's defense will force a few turnovers, CJ Spiller will make at least one jaw dropping TD run and the Tigers won't just cover, they'll win.




Tennessee (+17) @ Alabama: If Alabama hadn't been playing at home last week, their is a very good chance they would have lost to South Carolina last week. Despite the score, that game was very much in doubt late into the 4th quarter. Well, that is if Stephen Garcia wasn't such a terrible QB. You see, with all the talk about how much Florida is struggling lately, people have overlooked the recent offensive struggles in Tuscaloosa. Greg McElroy's play has dropped off dramatically since the early season and he's now completing just over 50% of his throws. On top of that, Alabama has only scored a TD in 16 of their 37 trips to the redzone thus far this year. If not for Mark Ingram's transformation into college football's best (and nastiest) tailback, we might be talking about the Tide offense as one of the SEC's worst. Bama's offense is unlikely to get untracked this week. Not with their #2 rival coming into town and not with Monte Kiffin having two weeks to prepare for the Tide. If Tennessee had a real QB then I might be tempted to pick the Vols outright here, but we all know that City of Crompton is far from a real SEC QB. Shit, he's far from a real Big East QB. Bama wins by a TD.

Florida (-23.5) @ Mississippi State:
I was clear from the beginning last week that Arkansas scared the shit out of me, for numerous reasons. Mississippi State also scares the shit out of me, though the reasons are far different this time around. First, Florida is fucking terrible in Starkville. The last time the Gators played in Starkville I had to work a huge George Bush political rally at the Stadium I used to work at. As if being surrounded by 10,000 right wing kool-aid slurping xenophobes wasn't bad enough, a bird shit on my head that afternoon. No really, a bird shit directly onto to my bald head. When the (Klan) rally finally ended, I made my way back to my office in time to see Ron Zook (excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth) putting the finishing touches on Sylvester Croom's first ever SEC win. Not surprisingly, this was one of the worst days of my life. The only good that came from it was that the loss to the Bulldogs was so embarrassing that it finally forced Florida AD Jeremy Foley to end the Zook era and, eventually, bring in Urban Meyer. What about the Gators' previous trip to Starkville, you say? Well, this sums it up nicely.



If you're not already aware, that game was the beginning of the Rex Grossman era at Florida. So, based on those last two results, either Urban Meyer's going to get fired tonight or Tim Tebow is going to lose his starting job to John Brantley. Well, I don't quite think its going to be that bad but it is going to be a struggle. From what I can tell, Florida's going to be without 3 of their top 4 DTs (including both starters) tonight, as well as All-American LB Brandon Spikes and pass rush specialist Justin Trattou. Florida's so beat up along the defensive front that a white kid from California name Duke will see extensive playing time tonight. Did I mention that Mississippi State has the SEC's second best tailback in Anthony Dixon? And that first year coach Dan Mullen knows the Gators' personnel and schemes like the back of his hand? And that 50,000+ drunk rednecks will be banging cowbells for 3+ hours tonight? Yeah, well, that too. I don't think Florida's going to lose tonight but I sure as shit don't think they'll cover or keep me from putting my fist through a wall at some point in the evening. Florida wins a close one.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sick Boys

So I looked behind me, and there was a bit of a skirmish. I wondered why the fight wasn't being stopped immediately, then I realized it was because one of the guys in the fight was a bouncer. Some graybeard bouncer was getting all he could handle from this skinny punk. Mostly a wrestling match, with a few awkward roundhouses meeting cheekbones on either scrapper. Lasted about 30 seconds, which is pretty long for a fight in a crowded show at a small venue. Graybeard got no help from his colleagues, presumably because they were preoccupied with the eddy of mosh that was closer to the stage. Amazingly, after the pair became separated, Skinny seamlessly slipped back into the crowd and everyone went about their business. Graybeard nodded a couple of times like "Good scrap," then turned his attention back to the fray.

We watched the show from some sort of safe haven between that thoroughfare behind me and the memories of my youth in the fracas in front of us. At 39, and 6'5", the thought I really don't need to be a part of THAT repeatedly registered in my head. My liver ached Wednesday morning, and the rest of my body thanked me for the damage being limited therein.

Social Distortion. Came on the scene in my world in 1990 when Rob and I saw the grainy B&W video for "Ball & Chain" whilst draining quarts of Old Mil on a random summer night in Williamsburg. Rob had the good taste and prescience to see the band's greatness in a 5:44 sample. We went to Patrick Henry Mall shortly thereafter, I bought some disposable band's meager pinnacle, he bought the Social D's eponymously titled major label debut. Rob 1, Whitney 0.

Ah, but I have reaped the benefits of his wisdom ever since. Short-term, as we put that disc on repeat and made it the permanent backdrop to six guys in a two-bedroom/one-bathroom shanty shack drinking cheap beer, watching every episode of Vice, playing a full season of Strat-o-matic, delivering pizza, not getting laid, and drinking more cheap beer. I've already told you what a great album it is, and it's as enjoyable 19 years later as it was back then.

Long-term, I'm grateful for Rob's musical insight as well. Tuesday night in Richmond at a damn fine venue call The National, Social Distortion came to kick my ass and take my name once again. I keep gettin' older, the moshing masses stay the same age, and Social D keeps on crankin', not missing one beat along the way. Mike Ness is still the same tatted up, slicked back 'do, axe-wielding frontman extraordinaire, bringing the heat for a furious 90-minute set of good old fashioned punk rock.

And really, who are the top dogs of punk these days? The icons haven't aged as well as their counterparts in other genres, quite fittingly. Joe and three Ramones are dead, Jello's gone politics, Henry Rollins is on my television, and Television never made it out of the 70's. Fugazi must have realized that charging $5 a show in Adams Morgan is the most decent and honorable road to poverty. And please don't mention the Pistols alongside these stalwarts.

Meanwhile, the resurgence of punk that we saw in the 90's has faded. Rancid and Bad Religion seemed to peter out, and only Green Day has really lasted . . . shedding its punkitude quite a bit along the way. The Murphys entertain, but really, for my money, there's nobody out there who's been doing it as long (c. 1978) or as consistently well as Social Distortion. I'm right, aren't I?

Pearl Jam thinks so, too. They've tapped the band to open for them a couple of nights next week at the Spectrum. The big halls aren't Social Distortion's milieu (and I should get my eye socked in for using the word "milieu" in the same sentence as "Social Distortion"), but even in the cavernous, concrete William & Mary Hall they ripped it pretty well in '91. Could be a good one.

Tuesday the band opened with a trio of tunes they released the same year that "Billie Jean" came out, then launched into "Sick Boys." Later, they took it up a notch with stuff to be included on an album due next year. Mike Ness has always had the same stage banter; it still has more F-words than Merriam-Webster's, amusing and inspirational in 30-second bursts. The band lost their longtime guitarist early this decade, but they sounded great again. My expectations were pretty high for the show, having seen them in Norfolk three years ago. Expectations superseded.

These guys are top of the heap in punk rock, bar none.

Best of Tuesday:

"Ring of Fire" -- still my favorite version

"Highway 101", "Reach for the Sky" -- couple of killers from 2004's Sex, Love, & Rock 'n' Roll

"Don't Drag Me Down (motherfucker)" -- the lead-in was as preachy as Mike Ness gets, a funny contrast to seeing Bono a few weeks ago: "this song's about racism and ignorance . . . 1-2-3-4"

"Prison Bound" -- Love this song. I think they played this, or I've listened to Live at the Roxy so damn much lately it's seeping into my reality.

"Ball & Chain" -- Still as good as the first time I heard it.

...closed with "Story of My Life" as they often do. Fan-fucking-tastic.


These days Rob's too old for punk rock shows two hours away on Tuesday nights. Apparently I'm not. And as much as I hung up my slam dancing shoes years ago, I don't see myself passing up any Social D tours for a long time to come. Come join me. They kick some fucking ass, people.

Futile Superfan Preseason

Fresh off the underpublicized but always entertaining CAA Media Day, William & Mary received a commitment from 6'0" 170 lb. point guard Brandon Britt yesterday. Britt joins Julian Boatner, a 6-1 guard from Bloomington, Ind., Fred Heldring, a 6-10 center from Winnetka, Ill., and Tim Rusthoven, a 6-8 forward from West Chicago, Ill. in W&M's 2010-11 freshman class. We commend to you FOGT:B MGL's continuing coverage of all things CAA over at Life as a Mid Major. All the Shaka Smart, Tony Shaver, and Tom Pecora you could want, and so much more.

More importantly for this filler post, Britt's signing set off a chain of events that led Teejay to fondly recall the late Lenny Briscoe. Rest in peace, Jerry Orbach.

And bring on the Fred Heldring Era.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This Blog is Like Ziti

Ghostface has a new album, Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City.



You know how he likes to throw one or two R&B-style womanizing/coke rhymes on each album, like "Save Me Dear," "Big Girl," or "Child's Play"? You probably don't. But Emerald City is a whole album like that. You should check it out.

Of particular note is "Stapleton Sex," the raunchiest new song I've heard since "Get Low," but it's much more cerebral, along the lines of "Put It In Your Mouth" or "Gangster of Love." Two and a half minutes of coital smack talk including my personal favorite, "This ain't no R&B dick, this hood/My slow jam dick is on Thursdays." I can't wait to use that one.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Ghostface is my second favorite interview (after Charles Oakley, natch). Here's a few snippets from an interview about the new album over at The Smoking Section, the entirety of which I suggest you read when you get a chance:

TSS: Let’s say someone comes across the album in the store not having a clue what was on it. Because you know you can’t miss that green cover. Where would the music take them from a blind buy?
Ghostface Killah: It’s more mature and it’s more grown. It’s just another stepping stone for me but it goes in the archives for Ghost. And you know, I’ll catch n***** back on the other shit, street shit, whatever, whatever, whatever. Cuz I tell n***** like this: I’m a grown man B. I can’t be 25 years old all my life. There’s other shit that I wanna do. And if my fans can’t grow with me, then this album is not for you. You don’t have to buy it, you don’t have to listen to it. Just leave it alone. I’ll see y’all on the next shit.

It’s like a baker baking cakes and he come out with this red velvet shit, but n***** is so used to lemon cake, they don’t wanna fuck with the red velvet. They be like “Yo, yo, he coming out on some other shit, can’t get wit’ that.”
But it’s like, nah n****, when I come back to hittin’ that lemon cake, y’all n***** can get a slice of that shit. But right now, we puttin’ out red velvet.


TSS: And you proceeded with the album even though you
said it may cost you some fans…

Ghostface Killah: Yeah, but you know what? It’s like if I lose some fans, y’all n***** was never my muthafuckin’ fans anyways. Because only a real fan can understand you as a person. Like Mary J. Blige for example. When she [made] No More Drama, muthafuckas was trying to diss her and diss her album, talkin’ bout it’s not What’s The 411? But Mary
stopped wildin’, and being in clubs and doing drugs and all that other shit she was doing. She became a woman. And to this day, now those muthafuckin’ fans wanna try and act like they understand her now. Now they wanna be on her dick again.

And you never know man; these fans right now, they young fans… a lot of these n***** is knapsackers. And with me doing this album, questioning me and shit, I’m like “How do y’all n***** don y’all girl?” First of all, do y’all n***** got a girl? Because you not gonna understand these situations and what the fuck I’m talking about if you ain’t got no girl or ain’t never been through shit. Because on [Wizard Of Poetry] I ain’t just talkin’ no lovey-dovey smoochy shit. I’m talkin’ bout me getting a bitch pregnant…losing my muthafuckin’ girl! And my girl was the good girl! She was the one who stood by me, going to jail when she telling me to chill. NOW I’m pleading her for and shit like that. I did my girl so dirty, now I gotta another n**** wearing my robes, spraying my cologne, playing my CDs in his boxers in my muthafuckin’ crib. Now I’m lonely, on the outside lookin’ as lonely than a muthafucka. My kid tellin’ me “Yo, daddy! This n**** like his eggs well done and we watching surround sound on your shit!!!”

TSS: (Laughs!!!) I mean it does happen…

Ghostface Killah: Yeah, and don’t get me wrong, I still got the shit where I’m throwing my dart at the females — you know how us n***** do, we still shoot our gift and game and all that. It’s just all situations on some grown man shit.


G:TB: on some grown man shit. We puttin’ out red velvet. And we ain’t just talkin’ no lovey-dovey smoochy shit, we're throwing our darts too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mark, quit your current job immediately

Work Jerry found the perfect gig for you.

"A Denver alternative newspaper recently posted an ad for what some consider the
sweetest job in journalism — a reviewer of the state's marijuana dispensaries and their products."

That's right Mark, someone in the Mile (cough) High City would like to pay you to review the local medical marijuana businesses. I would say you're an extremely qualified candidate, what with your love of the reefer and your top notch writing skillz honed at that bastion of academic learning you supposedly graduated from...

Dammit, as I go to cut and paste more of the article I see the Mile High joke was just too easy, as it's basically the title of the soon-to-be-written column (unless said writer gets so high he passes out with his face in a bag of funyons).

"The Denver paper, Westword, has already has gotten more than 120 applicants, many of them offering to do the reviews for free. When the newspaper settles on a permanent critic for its new "Mile Highs and Lows" column, industry watchers say, it will be the first professional newspaper critic of medical marijuana in the country."

Had to include this as well, because I always get a good laugh at the exotic names of good bud:

"Sites such as marijuanareviews.com and weedmaps.com boast thousands of users who dish on the merits of various strains, from "White Widow" to "Afghan Gold Seal," which is cheap but one critic warns "delivers a very heavy stone with the same degree of munchies to go along with it.""

So Mark, I don't know what you're waiting for, your dream job awaits. And if you're ever struggling with writer's block, you can always look to this guy (er towel) for advice and guidance.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I don't claim to be a marketing expert or anything...

...but I've got to think there couldn't be a much worse time to promote an event like this than right here, right now (thank you Jesus Jones).

Apparently, local sports talker ESPN 980 is putting on the event at Union Jack's, a local rum joint conveniently located in the same mall that houses the Washington Capitals practice facility on the garage roof (yes, it is as weird as it sounds). In case that image is hard to read, it's going to be a super fun night of local sports talk radio and your opportunity (crazy, delusional Skins fan) to "rub elbows with none other than Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann, and Jason Campbell!"

From what I can tell, the only positive to this event is it runs from 6-9pm (it sure isn't the $98 ticket price). And you get a chance to ask Jason Campbell if he's looking forward to playing in front of 22,000 fans in Jacksonville next year.

Jump Around

Many readers write in to us asking for a peek at some of our contributors. Well, here's a chance to meet G:TBers up close and personal. This video features Mark, who goes by the stage name "Brett Domino," and TJ as the lumbering, blundering sidekick "Steven." They're performing a medley of the honkiest hip-hop selections of the 80's and 90's. Enjoy.

(And Dave, we may need to invest in these things for Random Idiots.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

This is What You Get in My House When You Spill Paint in the Garage!

Quick thoughts on sporting happenings that one overtired, underslept New York sports fan has noticed. The comments selfishly relate to the underperforming teams in the orbit of my fandom.

New York Knicks
Congrats to Larry Hughes! The starting point guard of the soon-to-be worst team in the NBA* made the first shot of the exhibition campaign last night against a team from Israel. Hughes went 1 of 3 from the field, and is now 1 for 20 this preseason. It's hard to raise your FG percentage by 5% in one game, but this Knick found a way to do it.

New York Jets
I am wrong about a lot of stuff, but my prediction for the 2009 Jets is getting more prescient by the week. The call from this guy was that the team would finish 6-10 and the coach would show his true stripes as an ignorant bully who is not fit to be a leader of men. Now that we're six weeks in, the Jets are 3-3 and face the following games: Miami, @NE, Atlanta, @Indianapolis, Cincinnati. They also face "easy" games against Oakland, Jacksonville, Carolina, Buffalo and Tampa. Of course, yesterday's game was supposed to be "easy," until the shocking news came out that Dirty Sanchez had never played nor practiced in cold weather. Sounds like a terrific marriage between him and an AFC East team. Rex Ryan has the classic look of an overmatched strategist on the sideline. After every penalty or call that doesn't go his way, he finds a way to drop 4 F-bombs (short for fuck-bombs) into a sentence that displays his disagreement, much like the plumber from Ronkokama who sits in front of me at the games does. We'll spare the audience a breakdown of how terrible the attempted 50-yard FG by Jay Feely in a giant wind storm in overtime was.

New York Islanders
The soon-to-be Kansas City ice dancers are still winless on the year. Here is the first paragraph of the beat reporter's take on Saturday night's loss to San Jose: "The loudest cheer at the sparsely filled Nassau Coliseum last night came when the scoreboard showed Derek Jeter's home run against the Angels." The team now stands at 0-3-3. And I'm not even sure what those numbers mean these days. What happened to the fourth number at the end to delineate overtime losses? No need for those anymore? Things are so bad that Long Island native (and Gambino crime family member) Timmy Marls has allegedly abandoned the team to root for the Blackhawks. We all love Stan Mikita, but this is a hard pill to swallow. Bobby Nystrom is crying in his beers, between shifts at the Hempstead Olive Garden where he bartends.

Carry on with your day, gents.

*Not an exaggeration. These guys are dreadful. You can expect a preview of the putridity in the next week. You may not get it, but you can expect it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Picks, Pics, and Us Being Pricks

Another big weekend of American football contests -- and us giving you unscientific opinions as to who will win them -- is upon us. You are used to photos of college co-eds in these pages, and you'll get them once again. Well, . . . no, it won't be Florida cheerleaders, and no, no, it won't be a pair of Georgia's prettiest putting on pouty looks. This time around, you get the pride of Williamsburg, VA. Lovely ladies. (And dorky dudes.) These stills are entries in a current "Halloween & Fall Photo Contest" at William & Mary. You're welcome . . .

USC @ Notre Dame (+10)
USC is favored by ten. In South Bend. They've won seven in a row vs. the Irish by something like 690-2. The obvious (and logical) choice is the Trojans. Nope. My life partner Jimmy Clausen gets it done tomorrow. Irish win, but unfortunately that probably saves FUPA's job, so I'm not quite sure how happy I (or most Irish fans) are about that result. Oh well, he's sure to lose to BC yet again in a few weeks. Boy does Charlie miss Tommy Brady...and Hostess cupcakes. Irish cover.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins (-6.5)

A couple of weeks ago, a wise man wrote:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins (-7.5)
Take the Bucs. Dear God, take the Bucs.
A not-as-wise man countered in a comment:
I think the Redskins will win and cover this weekend. 24-10.
The wise man was right.
Take the Chiefs. Dear God, take the Chiefs.

Marshall @ West Virginia (-20)

It's a miserable, dreary, bleak fall Saturday here in the shadow of the Nation's Capital. The long, long shadow. To celebrate, I'm taking my daughters to see Spike Jonze's live-action reboot of my favorite children's book, Where the Wild Things Are. In a nod to Mr. Sendak's genius, we look just over the horizon to Morgantown, where still wilder things are. I've made a lot of money* betting against Bill Stewart's Mountaineers, so I've got no reason to stop now, even as they take on a mediocre Thundering Herd team (again with the wild things). WVU wins, but not by three touchdowns.

* Any money made by me in this case is entirely fictional, at least to my wife and the IRS. Also, as far as anyone knows, my name is Whitney.

. . . And so, the search for a new logo for the College of William & Mary is over. The two feathers were offensive to some, so they've been replaced by a more peaceful symbol. We're putting the green into the Green & Gold. The new mascot will be named Bongo, and he's a narrow, cylindrical fellow with a bulbous bottom and a penchant for mischief. We went looking for the explanation behind the "Thriller" dance record and the photos above, and I think we have found it:



It seems my threats to expose TJ's gay mating ritual with Greg have left our pale friend so nervous that he couldn't sleep this morning and thus was up and able to put up our weekly picks post. Of course, I didn't write any picks last night. Nope, I actually got drunk with my old man whilst discussing his complete and utter disgust with both the Buccaneers and Seminoles. It's actually quite fun to see my old Dad drunk and apoplectic at the state of his preferred football squadrons. If Florida State has to fire Bowden at the end of the year (please, please say it ain't so) can we at least check in on the possibility of stealing Raheem Morris from Tampa Bay? Well, at least I don't have to hurl expletives at lazy ass Gaines Adams every Sunday afternoon anymore. I really need to save all my swearing and vitriol for Michael Clayton. Believe me, he's earned my full attention.

Now, for the real reason I'm here...picks...and weed. But mostly picks.

Arkansas @ Florida (-24.5):
I've been pointing to this game as the one on the Florida schedule that worried me most since August. It's no secret that Florida traditionally struggles with SEC West opponents. Not just top tier teams either. Since I enrolled at Florida they've lost games to Ole Miss (twice), Mississippi State (twice) and Arkansas. Furthermore, this is a natural let down game for Florida. There is going to be a hangover effect for the Gators early on today. There's just no way to avoid it, not after all the hype (both Tebow related and otherwise) that led up to last week's game in Baton Rouge. Besides all that, Arkansas has a ton of talent on offense (Ryan Mallet, DJ Williams and Michael Smith are all future NFL first day picks) and Bobby Petrino can coach 'em up on offense. What does all this mean? That I'll be drinking very early today and that there's no way Florida covers the spread today. The Gators win, but only by two TDs.

South Carolina(+17) @ Alabama: It's the battle of two of the biggest assholes in SEC coaching history, which is REALLY saying something when you look back on the long storied history of assholes in SEC Football. There's a key difference here though: Spurrier is a fun asshole. He pokes, he prods and he says mean spirited things that elicit chuckles ( A couple of my favorites: "Can't spell Citrus with UT" and "Its a real shame about the fire in the Library at Auburn. I heard most of the books hadn't even been colored in yet."). Saban, on the other hand, is just a prick. He's aloof, he's a liar and he's a bitter control freak. He's also a well documented international pederast. With that said, the man is building a fucking juggernaut in Tuscaloosa. Can Spurrier and the suddenly competent South Carolina offense come into Bryant-Denny Stadium and steal a win from the Tide? In a word, no. I think that the Gamecocks keep it close for a half but the depth, toughness and discipline of Alabama are eventually too much for a young South Carolina squad to handle. Alabama wins, but they too don't cover.

Texas(-1.5) vs. Oklahoma: I'll be honest, I haven't watched much of Oklahoma this year. I was at Florida's opener for their game against BYU and I was at a bar with friends from out of town during their loss to Miami. I've watched even less of Texas. However, I have gleaned some information on both teams based on some of the highlights I've seen and articles I've read. As far as I can tell, Texas is essentially the same team they were last year. Heavily dependent on Colt McCoy and the passing game. These things happen when you pin the hopes of your rushing attack on a guy named Fozzie. They don't have as dominant a defense as they did last year but Oklahoma's offensive line is far worse than it was last year. Texas knows they can't lose this game if they want to have any shot at the BCS Title game. Oklahoma's too banged up and Bradford's still going to be shaking off the rust from his extended layoff. I can't see Texas losing this game and I can't take another cheesy segment between McCoy and Bradford where we find out who makes the better omelet or has the more manly patch of chest hair. We get it. They're both great players and they're friends to boot! Amazing, what a story. Why don't the two of them just double team Heather Dinich and get it over with already. Texas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Errata

Errata in the Film Version of my Memoirs

I know it's a great privilege to have one's memoirs made into a feature film, and I realize that a film needs to have mass appeal and can't have the sophistication of a book, but (and I don't mean to gripe) I have a few complaints about the liberties taken with my work. First, the title. My memoir is called "Wasted Soul." Although the film retained one of the words from my title, "Waste of Space" has a very different tone. As far as casting, Rosie O'Donnell was perfect as my wife, but why resurrect a bloated Andrew "Dice" Clay for my role? I was thinking more along the lines of George Clooney (we both have salt and pepper hair and an inimitable way with the ladies.)

I am going to assume you've seen the film, and so as I set the record straight, I'm going to refer to everyone by the name of the actor that played him or her. It's easier for you—you don't have to strain your imagination—and it's easier for me, because I'm starting to forget what my real friends, enemies and acquaintances actually looked like. I guess that comes with fame. For the few of you who haven't seen the film version of my life, this will relieve any cognitive dissonance when you do—you won't have any uncomfortable thoughts like: I thought the janitor would look like Chris Cooper, not Morgan Freeman. You're welcome.

For minor characters (who may have been played by actors you don't know and therefore can't readily imagine) or characters that simply weren't in the film—and there were plenty of egregious omissions, such as my Canadian girlfriend—I'll refer to old sitcom stars, and you'll have to imagine them as they were in their prime. For example, if I say I sat down in a diner next to Arnold Drummond and Freddy "Rerun" Stubbs, you'll have to imagine Gary Coleman and Fred Berry, respectively, during their stints on "Diff'rent Strokes" and "What's Happening!," not the freakish model railroader and the sad (but still portly!) addict.

My affair with my high school French teacher is completely misrepresented in the film. First, Kirstie Alley is fat, not big-boned and athletic like Madame Pouncet. Madame Pouncet once coached a state championship field hockey team! Second, the scene in the boiler room-- when I penetrate a roll of Madame Alley's stomach fat rather than her vagina, and Morgan Freeman, the wise old janitor, who is surreptitiously watching from behind the electrical panel, says "Hey kid, if you need a road map, health class is right down the hall"-- that was completely fabricated. I did not need a road map. I had a girlfriend in Canada at the time, and we had had sexual intercourse several times. But where was she? Left on the cutting room floor, I suppose. Several times. If Madame Alley and I did anything, then it was in the back of the band truck during her prep period--but like I said in the interview in People, "I didn't do anything with Kirstie Alley, not in the boiler room, not while holding onto the tuba straps in the band van, and certainly not in the walk-in freezer in the cafeteria." Even as a teenager, how could you maintain an erection in a walk-in freezer?

The animal in the attic was not a stoat. It was a squirrel. I know stoats are scarier, but they're not even indigenous to central New Jersey. Accidental? Highly unlikely.

Although my parents really didn't let me watch R-rated movies when I was a kid, I still figured out how to curse properly. The scene in the school yard when I said to the bully, "Stop trifling with me, you yellow-bellied blowhard," and he punched me in the nose, knocking me to my knees, and then said, "Getting ready to blow me, faggot?" and everyone laughed? That didn't exactly go down like that. I talked to my friend Adam Sandler, who was there, and he said he remembered me getting a couple of good scratch marks on his arms. Also, my father, Robert Duvall, did NOT beat me mercilessly if I made noise while he was listening to classical music.

The scene where my wife left me home alone with both kids, but had her reservations? Never, while changing Chucky, did I intercept a stream of his urine with my open mouth, gargle it, and then spit it all over him to make him laugh. Even I'm smart enough to know that the uric acid would burn his eyes. That was just gross-out comedy.

I did build an automaton to model good behavior for my students; Beth would raise her hand before she spoke, and she always did her reading. She never wore t-shirts that revealed her navel or low rider jeans that revealed the top of her thong underwear (though she did wear thong underwear). She did once have a gravity-defying rack, but my puritanical wife called me a pedophile and made me reduce her to a B-cup. Automaton Beth even managed to have a social life outside of school—she was elected president of the chess club, the first time ever for a girl. She couldn't really chill at a party though, because she wasn't programmed to use slang or handle crystal meth. But I absolutely did NOT build an evil automaton named Ali to model bad behavior—nor did I make him have a raucous bout of flatulence during an exam or program him to sell drugs that he pulled out of his turban. Those were cheap and tasteless laughs. And I certainly did not decapitate Ali in front of the class with a softball bat to elicit fear and intimidation. Even with tenure, they'd fire you for that—even if it was an Arab automaton. Tasteless. No wonder the film got two thumbs way down.

The mortgage was actually a thirty-year fixed rate and the life insurance was twenty-year term. I know an adjustable rate is sexier, but using the amortization table to create dramatic irony was juvenile.

I don't drink Grolsch. It tastes like it's skunked. Total product placement. As was the Testor's model cement. Do you really think I'd start huffing glue because my roof collapsed? I bought the glue to make a dinosaur model with my son and I was checking inside the bag to see if I had dropped the change in there. The glue wasn't even open.

I researched four different roofers. Got quotes and references, the whole nine yards. The movie makes it look like I opened the yellow pages and called the first name I saw and then fell in love with Bronson Pinchot's wacky accent. Not true! The roof collapsing was NOT my fault. I did more than enough legwork for the job. And our roofer is from Portugal, not Mypos. Is this what passes for parody these days? The moral of the movie is NOT: if you don't check out your contractor then you're going to get ripped off and disaster will ensue. Or even: illegal immigrants don't know safety codes. The moral is that sometimes fate deals you a bad hand and you've got to be stoic and survive as best you can. And we did. The end of the movie? When I'm wearing a stained pair of boxers, chasing my wife amidst the ruins of our house, waving a copy of our life insurance policy, asking her why she couldn't have been hit by a falling beam? One word for that: hyperbole.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Subjunctive

In honor of Movie Month, here is a . . . song. I still haven't managed to create a viral YouTube video yet, although last night I watched the episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when Sweet D and Charlie do-- courtesy of Pathetic Girl 43 and Green Man. I love Green Man.



I'll mix metaphors here: this song is still an open book, if anyone wants to add a verse, contact me-- I think there's plenty of other countries and ethnic groups that deserve "The Subjunctive."

Listen for my super awesome tambourine playing.


The Subjunctive

Sometimes I think I could have been a pretty good Romanian--
drink the wine, drink the beer, smoke a pack of cigarettes.
Curse the sun, curse the moon, that’s the way it always is,
when you have forty years, forty years of Communists.

Ceausescu hunts the bear-- what can you do?
drink the wine, drink the beer-- my sister is a prostitute.
Curse the sun curse the moon-- that's the way it always is,
when you are born among the folds of the Carpathians.

Sometimes I think I could have been a pretty good American.
Go to work, have a beer, buy a big TV.
Watch the cable, screw my wife, take the kids to soccer camp.
Mow the lawn, stain the deck, go shop at the mall.
Order pizza, get a dog, maybe have a barbecue.
Buy a house, lease a car, wonder where the years have gone.

Sometimes I think I could have been a pretty good Canadian--
wear the took, shoot the moose, drink a Labatt's.
Build a shed on the ice, buy a lot of chicken necks.
Case of beer, all my mates, fish and relax.

Guestie

Courtesy of FOG:TB, Shlara, a little live coverage of last night's U.S.A/Costa Rica World Cup qualifier from rainy RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. We'd have pictures from the event, but Shlara's noted for her inability to use most forms of modern technology.

Who knew that Americans liked soccer this much?

Not me. I mean, I follow DC United: I go to games and follow their progress in the WaPo. Plus, I played soccer growing up, but I'm not really tapped into the whole international futbol hysteria. And, I think that's pretty typical for an American sports enthusiast. So, it was a surprise to see so many knowledgeable, rabid US soccer fans at RFK last night.

The cold & rain didn't deter them, nor did the fact the the US already clinched the spot in South Africa.

Most of you guys watched the game or saw the highlights, so I won't recap it for you. (Note: I think she overrates us, so a little context follows. Costa Rica needed a win to qualify for the World Cup. The Ticos came out like they meant it, scoring two first half goals to reach the cusp of qualification. Not to be for the valiant Costa Ricans, as the U.S. potted two in the second frame - with the equalizer tallied in stoppage time.) But I will share a few things that probably didn't make it into broadcast:

The Costa Rica fans are passionate, and were louder than the US fans, at most points in the game, despite being outnumbered by a lot. There was a family with three generations of Tico fans sitting in the row in front of us....ALL of them had red, white & blue clown wigs on--from grandpa to the little baby.

I've been to about a million basketball games, and am always very respectful during the National Anthem, but don't really think about it. There's something striking about being at an event where an instrumental version of the National Anthem is played and the entire stadium and team sings along--its really cool. I've never been to the Olympics, but I imagine it feels similar.

The Davies tribute in the ninth minute was really moving--not sure if that came across on TV. Tons of people holding up the #9 sign and the DCU fan clubs set off the smoke signal they do when a goal is scored. I'll admit I got a little teary--but I'm a girl, and that's what we do in emotional moments.

The US team really pumped up their intensity in the second half--you could feel it. And the US fans were getting testy by then too, so maybe the team was picking up on that vibe. An old guy in front of me kept giving the finger to the refs--and he was making some other weird hand gestures that none of us recognized. And, by the second half (9pm) there were PLENTY of drunk people who wanted to see a US goal--they were REALLY rowdy.

The final-minute US corner kick goal was incredible...really fun to experience live. But the more emotional scene in that moment was the Costa Rica bench, in front of us. Those guys were despondent, it was really heart-breaking. Guys on the ground, crying; guys with their heads in their hands, stunned; guys just screaming...lots of tears. I felt bad for them.

Now that I have a personal connection to this US team, I'm really looking forward to the World Cup.

And I hope that Costa Rica beats Uruguay next month to make it there too--at least for the sake of that family in those clown wigs!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Movie Month Off to a Slow Start

While we're on the subject of the President and basketball (sort of), we've got some questions.

Why does the President wear running shoes when he plays basketball? Doesn't he know that's setting a bad example for weak-ankled youngsters around the world while blemishing the court something fierce? And why does he usually wear long pants? That's just weird. (Bonus question for Reggie Love: how does it feel to have a middle-aged man stuff your weak shit?)


Who dressed Joakim Noah and the guy to his right (Nocioni?) in the photo below? Had they been drinking?


(Photos from a pretty cool gallery of POTUS hoops-related shots at Talking Points Memo.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Air Obamas

Sneakerheads and leftists, rejoice! Barack Obama has a sneaker. I guess it was bound to happen. I don't know who makes them or if they're sanctioned by the CIC. I think they're pretty goofy.

Ghostface doesn't like them either. And his choice of words is not safe for work.

Compatible Life Philosophy

As faithul G:TB readers are no doubt aware, we believe that life's too short to take ourselves seriously. Courtesy of Fast Company, we have a new professional mantra to add to our compendium of words to live by (preposition intentionally dangled - the life's too short thing, and all). Caterina Fake, the founder of Flickr, posits that hard work is overrated, saying, "Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on." I found the following passage even more compelling:

Fake points to the salient example of Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA. They spent a lot of time lollygagging and goofing off, going to parties and bullshitting over coffee.
Interestingly, I spend a lot of time lollygagging and goofing off, commenting on G:TB and bullshitting over coffee and/or alcohol, depending on the time of day. Once, last April in New Orleans, both at the same time. I will now commence to discover something world-changing. Like a perpetual motion machine, or a cure for baldness.

(Note that I will disavow knowledge of any of this lollygaggery to my children at least until they have children of their own.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Haven't We Seen This Before?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1990 -- WASHINGTON, DC

19 Years ago, nearly to the day, the Washington Redskins lost a hard-fought battle to the hated New York Giants at RFK Stadium. It was a see-saw affair whose final result hinged on a special teams gaffe. Down 21-20 in the fourth quarter, the 'Skins defense forced a punt from their own 35. The Sean Landeta pooch punt should have bounced into the end zone, giving the Washington offense a chance to march down the field and kick a game-winning field goal. Didn't go down that way.

Instead, the punt bounded off the leg of special-teams blocker Johnny Thomas. It was recovered by the G-Men at the Redskins' 1. Though the 'Skins were able to limit NY to a field goal, they then needed a touchdown to win. Didn't go down that way.

I remember this game because I was there -- really there. One of our fraternity brothers' stepdad was the general manager of RFK at the time, so Rob and I joined him and our friend Cliff for an afternoon of all-access pass action at the old ballyard. I seem to recall Rob spending most of the day hanging in the press box near Madden & Summerall (ah, remember when we got to enjoy A-list announcers?) and Sonny & Sam, while I spent the game roaming the sidelines in childlike awe. When Jeff Hostetler got tackled on the sideline and lost his wind, Cliff and I were standing directly over him. ("Bummer, dude." He appreciated that.)

And we were precisely where we wanted to be as the Redskins were about to take receipt of the football for their inevitable game-winning drive. We were camped out deep in Giants territory. We'd be ringside when Stan Humphries led the team to victory. It was all set up for our viewing pleasure.

So when that punt came down and there was a bit of a skirmish, we couldn't tell what the hell was happening. I'm sure Rob and his bird's-eye-view got a clear and painful look at the Redskins Johnny Thomas-ing the game away, as it became known. But Cliff and I were left to wait for details, then to wonder what might have been.

As quoted in the New York Times recap: "That was the big play,'' Parcells said. ''It wasn't luck. You've got to make those plays.''

Indeed you do.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2009 -- CHARLOTTE, NC

Yeah, you already know what happened. The 'Skins blew a 17-2 lead, and the critical swing came when special-teams blocker Byron Westbrook Johnny Thomas-ed a punt, giving the Panthers the ball back deep in Washington territory.

And while there is certainly unpleasant similarity between these two games -- it immediately dredged up the memories of that old game for me when Westbrook did his thing -- what I am noticing today are the differences.

Those Redskins were good, and led by greatness. Their opponent that day was an eventual Super Bowl winner, also led by a future Hall of Fame coach. These Redskins are awful, and these Panthers are only slightly less awful. John Fox didn't look like a genius yesterday, he just looked less out of his league than Jim Zorn. And what does it say when both head coaches are heavily rumored to be fired soon?

The points that day felt earned, while the points yesterday felt handed out like day-old doughnuts. The mistakes that day -- and there were a few -- were glaring, rare (the first 3 turnovers of the year for Joe Gibbs' offense), and not tolerated. (Stan Humphries would be benched a game later.) The mistakes yesterday? Same story, different week, different idiots.

The tenacity we saw at RFK 19 years ago has been replaced by status quo indifference. Lip service masks shoulder-shrugs and hasty retreats into spacious, elegant living quarters via luxury motorcars. Guys like Kurt Gouveia and Greg Manusky would find no refuge in this team's locker room. Neither Darrell Green nor Jim Lachey nor Earnest Byner nor Wilber Marshall would let this stuff go on for long. Chris Samuels, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, and London Fletcher . . . they shouldn't either.

Most of 1990 was played without starting quarterback (and Super Bowl MVP a year later) Mark Rypien, who got hurt in an early game against the Cowboys. Four weeks after this tough loss, the Redskins got their asses kicked at the Vet in the "Body Bag Game"; eight 'Skins got knocked out of the game, including two QB's (not counting Rypien), so they finished with Brian Mitchell under center. Bad times.

And yet the '90 squad found a way to make the playoffs, even winning a playoff game . . . against the Eagles at the Vet -- avenging the Body Bag debacle, knocking the Birds out of the postseason, and leading to Buddy Ryan's firing a few weeks later, all of which ushered in the Rich Kotite Era. Not bad, 'Skins. Not bad at all, all things considered.

To say that the 2009 Washington Redskins are bereft of the drive, focus, leadership, and playmaking ability (if not the "talent") to pull off any salvation like the 1990 team is laughably understated. And every loyal, knowledgeable Redskin fans knows that there isn't a player, play, coach, or game that's going to right the ship at this point. Sad to say.

Zoltan wrote something similar recently, but I'm pretty damn far from those free-wheeling college days of 1990. (Not as far as most of my peers, but still . . .) Meanwhile, the Redskins franchise is just as many miles removed from what it was back then, too. The difference is that while things are drastically different in my life today, they are mostly good and just a little bad in ways that are different than they were mostly good and just a little bad two decades ago. For my favorite football team, however, they are wretched and miserable these days (and for much of the last two decades) in ways that they were fantastic and fun back then. And with Captain Edward Smith Queeg Ahab Snyder at the helm of this sinking ship, the horizon's not looking too sunny.

Danny, it's not luck. You've got to make those plays.

When Genius Strikes

I've been trying to get Whitney to take up exercise for years. I think I may have finally found an answer.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I only want one thing for my birthday...

So...TJ sends the G:TB staff an email last night letting us know that there is a default picks post in the drafts section last night. So, I go to the drafts section this morning in order to enter my picks, and what do you know, TJ has labeled the post as 'default picks post', dropped all of one picture in the post and...that's it. No words, no picks, nothing. I swear to you, the man's laziness knows no bounds. Its a good thing I'm here to keep things moving on the best college football weekend of the year.

Alabama (-4) at Mississippi: This game looked a lot more intriguing during the preseason than it does now. At that time, Mississippi looked like they might have the talent, depth and experience to hang with a talented Crimson Tide team who might be the best team in America. However Houston Nutt, as he is wont to do, seems to have found a way to fuck things up in Oxford. Is it fair to blame the Rebels' collective inconsistency and underachievement all on Houston Nutt? Probably not. Am I going to anyway? Yep. Listen folks, Houston Nutt just isn't that great a football coach. He's crazy, he makes terrible in-game coaching decisions and, for whatever reason, his teams display a consistent inability to, well, play consistently smart football. With that said, I expect Mississippi to play at a high level today. For all his faults, Nutt can get his teams up for big games (see: Mississippi at Florida 2008, Arkansas vs. LSU 2007 and on and on and on) and the Rebels' season depends on this game. They're going to come out swinging offensively and give the Tide all they want behind the voices of 50,000+ drunk racists waving Confederate flags (Why would a black kid play at Ole Miss again?). It won't be enough though. Alabama is too good and too well coached to lose this game. Make no mistake about it, they circled this game on their calendar this offseason too and they'll be ready. Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram each score a TD and Greg McElroy throws for over 250 yards as the Tide rolls over the Rebels.

Wisconsin at Ohio State (-16): You know how I feel about Terelle Pryor. What you may not know if how I feel about Ohio. I loathe Ohio. I interned in Cleveland one summer in grad school and, despite living downtown within walking distance of Jacobs Field and numerous bars and working out of Cleveland Browns Stadium, it was hell. Cleveland's a fucking ghost town at night. If you can afford to live outside of Cleveland...you do. And Cleveland might as well be Athens or Rome when compared to shitholes like Akron, Youngstown and Toledo. Seriously, Ohio is hell on earth. Maybe that's why there's so much good music that comes out of Ohio (RJD2, The Black Keys, Blueprint...). Something about all the pain and suffering of having to live there must inspire greatness.

What's that? Oh. Apparently I was supposed to be talking about football. Well then...Wisconsin's a fraud. They can run the ball pretty well behind big John Clay (Do they even recruit tailbacks under 230 lbs. in Madison?) but they don't have much else to speak of offensively and Ohio State's defense is good. Very good, in fact. The Buckeyes will trip over their own feet a bit on offense in the early going but they'll eventually get it going in the second half (with the help of some turnovers created by that D) and drop Wisconsin for the first time this season. See Ohio? I don't totally hate all of you...just most of you.



Florida (-8) at LSU: I normally try and stay away from picking Gator games. I don't even pretend that I'm rational about Gator Football. I am not, not even close. I am, however, highly informed. I read everything I can get my hands on. I belong to two separate pay sites/message boards where I read practice reports, "insider reports" and the Drudge report. It borders on a sickness. Its been especially bad these last two weeks. Not just because of the Tebow situation but also because of the health (or lack thereof) of a number of other key players like Deonte Thompson, Matt Patchan, Lawrence Marsh, Brandon Spikes and Riley Cooper. Other than Patchan (out for the year with an ACL tear), all should be healthy, ready to go and close to 100% for tonight's game. That's good, because I won't be near 100%. I'm already a nervous wreck and I've got over 9 hours to go before kickoff. This is, unquestionably, the biggest SEC game of the year so far and, more than likely, the biggest SEC game of the year. Add to that, the time and place of the game and the drama and suspense surrounding Tebow and this game is just about everything you could ever ask for out of a big time college football game. As Jerry said, "nothing can beat a big college football game in the fall as a singular awesome event." And he's right. If you like football (as well as booze, food and wild parties) you want to be at this game tonight. Hell, I'd even disguise myself as Les Miles' hat in order to get into this game tonight. Sadly, I'm not as big as Les' hat, so that won't work.

So, I'll just say this: I think that Florida is the better team, with or without Tebow. I think that Florida's defense is due for a breakout game, and I think that Urban Meyer is going to have his team ready to play its most complete game of the year tonight in Tiger Stadium. Then again, its become clear to me this week that I, for all my bravado and confidence, don't know shit. I mean, Greg has a girlfriend who he refers to as his "sexy little chipmunk" and I turn 32 years old today. It's a brave new world out there kids. Gators win...and cover.