Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Shorties

Continuing the white-guy funk festival theme, I saw Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at a small venue on Thursday night (I'm the white guy in this case, though several members of Shorty's terrific band are also caucasoids). The video below isn't the best quality, but it'll give you a decent sense of the vibe at a Shorty show. Two paws way up - see the man if he comes to a town near you.



And my own little shorty turns 6 whole years old today. Two paws up for her, too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I bet Rob Gordon listens to the Whitefield Brothers

Have you ever said to yourself, "I'm looking for some new music, maybe some acid jazz/Afro-funk, the type of thing Don Draper's hipster mistress and her friends would listen to after they got done listening to Miles Davis"? Probably not. Doesn't matter. You should check out the Whitefield Brothers. They're two funky guys from Germany, and their new mostly-instrumental album is "Earthology." It's in my steady rotation right now, and I'm going to dig into their first album "In the Raw" soon. Details to follow.

I know our readers want videos because reading more than a few sentences at a time is tough, but the Whitefield Brothers only seem to have one legitimate video out. The first song isn't particularly interesting, but it's only a minute long and then the second song heats things up.



They have a two or three songs featuring rappers, but the result is more spoken word than hiphop, which I guess makes sense given the throwback vibe of the album. Pretend this clip has people moving around in it while you listen:



So the next time you have people over you should throw Earthology on the hi-fi and eventually someone will say to you "This music is good" and you can channel your inner Rob Gordon and reply "I know" and they'll think you're cooler than you really are, unless they read this blog in which case they'll know I'm the source of your coolness.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

That's all it takes really, pressure, and time

It's apparently Block Quotes Day here at G:TB, and I sure as hell didn't want to miss out. Enjoy:
Netherlands: Woman tunnels out of jail - using spoon

A female prisoner at a jail in the Netherlands has escaped after using a spoon to tunnel her way out.

Tunnelling under the prison walls has long been a favourite method of breaking out of jail, but now one female convict in the Netherlands has managed to gain her freedom by digging herself out with a spoon.

The 35-year-old prisoner displayed her resourcefulness with cutlery to escape from a prison in the Dutch city of Breda, in the south of the country.

"She used a spoon to make the tunnel to escape on Sunday morning," Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, said yesterday.
I heard all they found of her was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old spoon, damn near worn down to the nub.

Sweden is the Florida of Scandinavia

I thought this type of thing only happened in Florida.


When a Swedish dope smoker's TV started talking to him and his girlfriend appeared to turn into a dolphin, he decided it was time to lodge a complaint. The befuddled 26-year-old went to his local police station to complain about the low quality of the hash he had been sold. He told officers he suspected it had been laced with LSD or some other psychedelic substance, and wanted it tested, the Local reports.

The man told police he'd never experienced similar effects in his 10 years of smoking hash. Police say the dealer could face assault charges on top of drug-dealing ones if the hashish sample turned in by the dissatisfied customer was found to contain LSD. No charges have been filed, however, since the smoker eventually decided against giving police the name of his supplier.

Show Me That Smile Again

The nature of pop culture is such, especially these days, that serious events are somehow simultaneously overdramatized and dehumanized. Media outlets turn news of the famous or once-famous into desperate theater to captivate the weak-minded and empty-lived; meanwhile, for many more people, the stories are merely fodder for tasteless jokes.

The Gheorghian Way is to neither indulge the melodrama nor to spit on a man's (potential) grave, quite obviously. But executing the latter can prove difficult. In a news story rife with mentions of "Boner," quelling a man's inner Beavis takes some doing. And as much as the sentiment of this saga should be, "I hope he didn't do anything to hurt himself," I just couldn't come away with any reaction stronger than:

Boner Stabone's dad is Chekov??? How on earth did I miss that?

The search for a missing actor in Vancouver has escalated with efforts from concerned family members and friends, and spurred even more searches on the Web.

And yet, "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig has still not turned up. Apparently, the TV star was visiting friends in Vancouver when he disappeared on February 14. Koenig was just a teen when he landed his recurring role as Richard "Boner" Stabone for the '80s sitcom, but he's 41 now. Still, his parents told the "Today" show that there is reason to worry. They said that before his absence, "he was very depressed." The Koenigs have gone to Vancouver to meet with police, and are asking for the public's help in finding their son.

Koenig's dad is Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on "Star Trek." The father's website has added a heartfelt plea for help in locating his son. According to the post, Andrew had been "suffering from clinical depression." It goes on to say that before he left his home in Los Angeles, Andrew sent his father a letter that was "despondent" in tone. More alarming, he sold a number of his possessions before his trip, and refused a job offer, saying he "wasn't going to work any more."

The younger Koenig, who appeared on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and played The Joker in 2003's "Batman: Dead End," had most recently been working on comedy and editing movies with his friend, writer/producer Lance Miccio. Miccio told ABCNews.com that the actor "suffered with depression and "would get down easily."

"He liked to go to Vancouver because it's beautiful and quiet, it's his favorite place in nature," Miccio said. "One of the films we did together, 'Living the Blues,' it's about a manic depressive musician who went to a spot in nature that he loved and took his own life. I'm not saying that's what happened with Andrew, but it has occurred to me."

According to Miccio, Koenig hated being known for his "Growing Pains" role and "Star Trek" connection. "When I introduced him to people, he said, 'Never say my dad's Chekov and never say I played Boner,'" Miccio said. "He didn't want to be known as Boner his whole life. That's something that affected him."

All jokes aside, just like that night in that frisky co-ed's dorm at Cluj University after too many shots of Ţuică, Gheorghe is hoping that the Boner appears, safe and sound.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vinsane in the Membrane

Trolling the Twitter this morning I stumbled upon this video of Vince Carter apparently hitting a three quarter court shot...while sitting on his ass. And this gentleman says he shot the video so it is most definitely real. We believe you sir.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It was just so hard to choose...

When you're presented with an article like this**, and you're me, your immediate response of course is "Tragic. Now what tangentially related clip can I embed in this post and be done with this?" To that end, I came up with these three choices. Pick a winner in the comments. Or tell me I'm a dumbass schmuck and missed some obvious ones.

An absolute classic. Was not where the Teej brain immediately went when reading this, but was the second location in my clogged cranium:



This of course was my #1 thought:



Sadly, no video embedding enabled for this one. Damn Illinois Nazis.

**I mean, how can you not be intrigued when this is the headline: "Spurned mistress drives Chinese businessman, other women off cliff; lost contest for his love"

This Week in Wrenball: Skeeeeee

And to think, we passed up an opportunity to join Shlara at a United Skeeball D.C. tournament on Friday. If it's all the same with you, we're just gonna move on.

The Wrens (19-8, 11-5) host Towson on Wednesday before heading to Wilmington to close their season against UNCW on Saturday. The calculus is simple - in fact, it's really only addition and subtraction. W&M controls its destiny in terms of securing a first-round conference tournament bye. Two wins and Tony Shaver's team completes a supremely unlikely run to a third-place regular season finish (even better if Northeastern drops its final two). One win clinches no worse than the fourth seed (he writes, thinking it to be so without confirming it - you can keep your fancy "journalism", with all your "fact checking" and "research", thankyouverymuch).

Let's be frank. Towson and UNCW stink on ice. The Wrens should run both of them out of the gym. 'Course, UNCW's already beaten W&M at home. And the Tribe has a habit of not running anyone out of the gym. So it looks like we'll grab on with both hands, grip hard, watch our fingers turn white, and hope.

Not for nothing, but having a reason to hope this late in the season is as fun as it is unexpected.

[Rob allowed me to add this cip after I pointed out to him how well it went with this post. He was apparently unaware of this artist and/or song. For shame robert. For shame.]

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's a simple game

Join me in the comments with guesses as to what put that Cheshire grin on Gheorghe's mug...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday is Ladies' Day

As promised, a little bit of eye candy for our female followers. Consider it our own tiny version of Tiger's apology. And a reminder of a time in the not so distant past when the Wrens actually played up to their potential. May such a time come again soon.

















We had to get the technical staff from Gheorghe: The Design Studio involved because of the low quality of the initial photo. We're keeping the name of the photographer anonymous out of concern for the professional reputation of her brother, a noted ESPN reporter with a number of huge stories on the performance enhancing drugs beat to his credit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lil John he always tells the truth

Vampire Weekend's second album "Contra," and its noteworthy cover art, came out a month or two ago. It's good but basically more of the same stuff they did on their first album - emo-ish songs with good shit happening on the upbeat, and they have a track or two that shows they listened to Super Cat a couple times, which was not apparent on the first album.

Accordingly, I was totally unprepared for this video featuring some of the worst form ever displayed on a tennis court, the RZA as a tennis umpire, and Lil John as a tennis coach. I know they name-checked Lil John on the last album, and it looks like Lil John knows it too. And he liked it so much ... that he got the RZA involved?

Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun from Rizoh on Vimeo.

Torah! Torah! Torah!

At the risk of continuing G:TB's slide into lad magazine territory (and really, what's so wrong with that, as long as we continue to give equal opportunity to the ladies: more pictures of Gheorghe Muresan will follow in copious quantities, and I've heard that we've got a splendid photo of me with The Teej from this week's W&M/Mason hoops contest in the works), we celebrate this afternoon winsome Torah Bright, owner of a shiny new gold medal in the halfpipe. Athletic, Australian, and cute as a button. That's a hard combination to beat.

If you're interested in winning free stuff, be sure to check out the contest MGL's running at CAA: LAMM. Conference tournament tickets and t-shirts up for grabs just for knowing a little bit about the CAA. Or pretending that you do.

The Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Airlines contretemps didn't get near enough run here in G:TBville, but Mr. Smith's always funny SModcast gives the fat man's side of the story. This is, without question, NSFW, as is every episode of SModcast.

Finally, we also commend to your attention Wheelhouse Jerry's piece today on the first week in Vancouver. Less Torah, more actual thought.

Enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration. I'll be rocking out in D.C. on Sunday afternoon if anyone's wandering aimlessly around Chinatown.

Happy Tiger Woods Apology Day

In honor of this very special day, a video for you:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back From Vega$

Well, I'm back from Vegas, about 50% recovered, and chock full of stories.

No, not really. The truth is that nothing happened as wild as Bruce's and my journey to get there. All apologies for not doing anything terribly outlandish just for the story. I guess I really am getting old.

Watching rugby was outstanding; there are few sporting events I enjoy attending more than these international rugby 7's tournaments. Seven-minute halves and 32 seven-a-side teams from around the world makes for a lightning-fast pace all around. 24 matches a day full of high-speed breakaways interspersing the big hits and amazing plays. Drinking beers from 10am til 7pm in 69-degree weather with old cronies and watching the finest athletes from New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, Australia, Wales, etc., engage in some rucking and mauling is a damn good day. I highly recommend it, and six years from now rugby sevens will be a part of the summer Olympics in Rio. Here's hoping by then NBC has relinquished its long standing death grip on the Olympic rights so that we might actually see this sport on the tube.

Samoa won the tournament, which I think is perfect considering that Girl Scout cookies made their annual debut this week. They knocked off the All-Blacks to take the US stop on the eight city tour.

So, Vegas. It was okay. I had high hopes, and either I did all the wrong things while I was there or Sin City is a soulless pit of high-dollar extravagance and visual marvel intended to rape its visitors of every last dollar. Maybe it's a bit o' both. I enjoyed my time at the craps table, but it wasn't as boisterous and fun -- and definitely not as lucrative -- as I had hoped. Bad luck on both counts, perhaps. Going out to clubs isn't my cup of Jager anywhere, and that feeling was only intensified in Vegas. Our place was pretty sweet, a 2BR suite in the Palms Place. Six guys in there kept costs within some reason and was more social than separate rooms, and I recommend that route as well.

One of the more enjoyable episodes was landing a ride back from UNLV's stadium in a limo packed with a women's rugby club from Rochester. We stopped at a Sev for more beers and drank all the way to their place on the strip. Our guys began singing the old rugby songs -- and these girls finished them. The most hilariously filthy songs -- mostly based around their vaginas -- I've ever heard, and five years of college rugby exposed me to a lot of bawdy lyrics. We got to their hotel and performed a series of girl v. guy shotgunning beers competitions directly in front of the main doors. The girls won a lot; I lost on a crap call.

We saw those same girls later at some drunken event the rugby tourney was sponsoring at the Hooters casino hotel. I joined their flip-the-cup team. They were better than I was. Dear lord, my daughters can never play rugby.

On the downside, late Saturday night I was (sounds like BS, but truly) talked into going to Spearmint Rhino, a stripclub the likes of which I've never seen. Dozens, maybe hundreds of knockout strippers were assaulting the clientele with calculated, sexy pleas for attention and all our money. I fought it off bravely for at least two dozen girls, made the mistake of buying an incredibly hot young girl a drink... and got out of there half a mortgage payment later after merely an extended discussion with "Montana" on why she should abandon her boob job surgery scheduled for today. Very shady billing process the club has; very annoying all around.

There have been more than a few folks who have referenced Las Vegas and New Orleans in the same breath. I suppose it has to do with the "anything goes" mentality. I guess this raised my expectations as well, but I adore the Crescent City and Vegas simply left me wanting a little more. There's a song lyric that "New Orleans ain't no city, it's a scar." Well, after going to that town semi-routinely for 15 years, I don't feel that way at all. It's more like a cool, colorful tattoo. Vegas, that place leaves scar tissue after just one trip.

New Orleans has fantastic music in many, many places; Vegas has thumping club music and the ubiquitous sound of slot machines.
New Orleans has the best food of my year; Vegas had $300 steak dinners and several trips to McDonald's.
New Orleans has history, Vegas has history re-enacted.
New Orleans has born and raised cabbies with sad stories and good attitudes (and weirdos and freaks, of course); Vegas has import cabbies who have terrible stories about people's mortgages, marriages, and lives destroyed by the city.
New Orleans has a few shady, cheesy, gross spots in the French Quarter; that describes much of Vegas.
New Orleans needs your money but won't take it all; Vegas is intensely focused on squeezing every penny out of you.
New Orleans is supremely Gheorghey; Vegas is decidedly not.

Vegas does have hookers, mind you. Loads of them. There are little dudes on every block on the strip trying to hand you stacks of hooker trading cards. Well, I suppose they're meant to be advertisements for them, but at 2"x3" or 3"x5", they might as well be made by Topps. Somewhere in a drunken stroll on Friday, I convinced our group to stop saying no thanks to the handouts and take all they would give. In just saying yes to the hooker-card-dealers for 20 minutes, we collected hundreds. The cards then spent the rest of the trip piled on our coffee table and used for games like hooker concentration, hooker go fish (give me all your lesbian couples going down on each other... go fish), or just browsing through. Nope, we didn't call any of them. Again, sorry.

Anyway, I did disappoint the oddsmakers in at least one regard this weekend; I didn't die on my premier trip to Las Vegas, NV. I'd go again if the occasion called for it. The weekend was great because of the dudes I went with, the rugby, and yes, because of Vegas. But I guarantee there are better times to be had and actually some money to be made. Perhaps the boatload of cash getting into and out of the town colored my time more than it should've. (My flight home was cancelled, and I had to take 4 flights and pay for a Southwest ticket to get back. Neat.) But in my mind there's zero comparison between Vegas and New Orleans.

And finally, speaking of New Orleans, here's a belated clip you may have already seen, but unbridled joy from a sports play is always something I get a kick out of watching.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

From your non-sectarian friends at G:TB.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lazlo Hollyfeld is Not Pleased

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency just spent a ton of taxpayer dollars to prove something that we at G:TB knew was possible decades ago.




On the bright side, Chris Knight will finally get to wear a cap and gown.


Monday, February 15, 2010

This Week in Wrenball

Players play, coaches coach, fans get ulcers. Such is the fate of the interested spectator. Ten days ago, with the Wrens in the midst of a seemingly season-unraveling skid, we were guilty of letting our hopes flag. Today, after an improbable three-game winning streak, W&M’s 18-7, 10-5 record has them controlling their own destiny for a first-round CAA Tournament bye. Ah, we of little faith.

Saturday’s home win over CAA-leading Northeastern was the season in microcosm. The Tribe dominated a good team in the early going, building a 12-point halftime edge that became a 40-24 lead with 7 minutes to play. (Holy Crap! We’ve got the #2 RPI in the nation! We beat Wake Forest! We beat Maryland! Holy Crap!) And then Northeastern showed the resilience and talent that made then 12-2 in the league going into the weekend, scoring 9 straight points and wearing W&M down until Chase Allen’s old-fashioned three-point play gave the Huskies a 52-51 lead. (What the fuck? We lost to UNCW? Why can’t David Schneider shoot anymore? We lost to JMU? What the fuck?)

Schneider’s jumper from the top of the key bounced off the back of the iron, but Kendrix Brown corralled the board and hit a fade-away 6-footer off the square to give the Tribe the win. (Holy Crap! We beat Northeastern! We’re a game out of third place! Kendrix Brown! Holy Crap!) W&M is now 8-4 in games decided by three or fewer points – just shy of half of the Tribe’s 25 games have defined nail-biter. This may be, indeed, mean that Tony Shaver’s boys will be a battle-tested, poised bunch come March. However, it also means that W&M fans are more than a little bit gun shy.

JMU’s unlikely win over VCU on Saturday gives the Tribe a leg up on a coveted first-round vacation. And if W&M can snap George Mason’s 18-game home winning streak tomorrow evening, the Wrens would move into a third-place tie (and own the tiebreaker over both Mason and Drexel). W&M closes the season with games against CAA also-rans Towson and UNCW.

And we don’t have the foggiest notion about how they’ll finish. This Tribe team is arguably the most successful in College history, and inarguably the second-most exasperating (how, again, did the 97-98 team lose to American in the first round of the CAA Tourney?). They’re more than capable of beating Mason. And completely susceptible to losses against either Towson or UNCW.

Players play, coaches coach, and we’ll dig our nails into the edge of our seats.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Better Than a Box of Chocolates

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Gheorghe Muresan turns 39 today

God's Valentine gift to you

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dunk Contest. G:TB style.

I have not come to bash the dunk contest. The bashing of the dunk contest has become as staid and cliche as all those who bash the dunk contest claim it has become. I'm also not here to heap praise upon the dunk contest. It is not appointment viewing as it once was. In fact, it's no longer even the premier event of NBA All-Star Saturday. Sure, sometimes it generates great highlights and some buzz in the sports world but, essentially, its just another event in a weekend full of staged competitions (I'm using this word extremely loosely here). While we're here, I have a question. Has any sport-related event ever had an evolution that closely resembles that of NBA's Slam Dunk Contest? When you examine the evolutuion of the dunk contest, it's pretty remarkable. In just over 25 years it has morphed from a curiosity to a revolutionary event that changed the way America viewed professional basketball. From there it morphed into an event so watched that the NBA built an entire primetime television show (and eventually an entire weekend) around it. Then it eventually became a boring, tired event that was finally, mercifully cancelled...only to be brought back to life as a new generation of players expanded the possibilities of the dunk beyond our imagination (still Vince Carter's biggest career accomplishment). From there, it finally settled into what it currently is: A nice, fun event for players to attend and fans to watch but certainly nothing approaching the level it once resided at. But I digress.

As I said, this post isn't really about the dunk contest. It's about the dunk. The dunk is one of the most consistently spectacularly exciting plays in all of sports. No matter how many times you've seen people dunk, the next one always has the power to leave you awestruck, provided it's creative and/or nasty enough. This love of the dunk is why there will always be dunk contests. The NBA may one day eliminate it for good, but dunk contests will also exist. It's simple supply and demand.

Well, G:TB is nothing if not about the people. We aim to please. And nothing, in the world of dunk, pleases like a good, hard in-game dunk. In fact, when you look at the mission of G:TB, it fits perfectly with in-game dunking. Dunk contests are as much about the hype and posturing as the actual dunk. In order to be hugely successful in that format, you must take yourself seriously. This is not the case for in-game dunks. To execute a dunk upon a defender, one must lose themselves in the play and not worry about the results or what others will think. One must become the dunk. So, with that in mind, I present to you the top in-game dunks of the 2009-2010 NBA season.

Few guards have ever dunked with more ferocity or malice than Dwyane Wade...and this is among his finest.



Now, while Wade's dunk was undoubtedly sick. It's tough to beat a 6 footer (maybe) dunking on a 7 footer...and the foul.



(Mark Jackson should be ashamed of the terrible pun he dropped in that highlight. Mark, you're better than that.)

TJ's probably going to bitch about this not, technically, being a dunk. Just like he did about Dwight Howard's "Superman" dunk from a few years ago. And, technically, he's right. Doesn't matter. This is still banonkers. (While searching this dunk I came across another dunk Iguodala had on the Nets. Dude is a FREAK)



I think my favorite part of this dunk is that Derrick Rose cocked the ball back so he could make sure he dunked all over Goran Dragic. It must be nice to know there isn't a chance in hell your defender can block your shot.



(Stacey King has a poster machine? I want one.)

Finally, this is my personal favorite for a couple of different reasons. First, it's Corey Brewer and I love Corey Brewer. One of my top 3 favorite Gator basketball players ever. Secondly, its on Derek Fisher and I loathe Derek Fisher. As much as people like to blame Euros for the preponderance of flopping in the NBA, Fisher's as (or more) responsible for it as anyone. He popularized the practice of taking a charge off an opponent's spin move and probably deserves a lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood Foreign Press for all the times he's flopped after being "hit" with an elbow.



(Suck it, Fish.)

Finally, for kicks, a couple of old school in-gamers.

For TJ:



(The double point at Lister always gets me.)

One of my all time favorites, and one that's slipped through the cracks of history a bit.



(#14 dunk of all time? Really Best Damn Sports Show Period? You guys can suck my dick, period)

Enjoy the night, and the dunks, boys and girls.

Friday, February 12, 2010

G:TB's Friday Book Club

I had to change the topic from Whit's (likely-to-be) epic road trip to something I am much more familiar with these days - sitting on my fat arse and reading. So on that note...

I just finished reading Watch You Bleed, an unauthorized biography of Guns N' Roses, written by Stephen Davis, the man who wrote the epic Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods. I thought the book was a kick-ass read and I think many of you will agree. The book is salacious, but in the true sense, because these guys lived salacious lives. The sex, drugs and filth stories are not presented in a gratuitous way, like Nikki Sixx stuffing his filthy dong in a burrito to make it stink less during his month-long shower-free stretch in The Dirt, or the infamous red snapper story about Led Zeppelin and one passed-out groupie. (Not to say those stories aren't awesome. Because they are.) The back story of GnR is unbelievable because the guys lived the lives that painted the Appetite album - heroin, cocaine, alcohol, homelessness, fighting and screwing, which gives them street cred. But the band was absolutely as image-conscious as every other band playing on the Sunset Strip, from Poison to Faster Pussycat. While Bret Michaels was a pansy for wearing lipstick, Axl was somehow cool for wearing thong bikini bottoms and leather chaps while performing.

The book traces each member's journey from their hometown to the Strip and gives all the filthy details along the way. I always knew Izzy Stradlin was the secret force behind the band, but you get a lot more details about that in the book. He was apparently the coolest dude in the band, and the others admitted as much. He also went to high school with Axl, which I didn't know. (Random note: If you are not familiar with Izzy Stradlin & The JuJu Hounds, you're doing yourself a disservice. Buy this album or this one and you won't be disappointed.) The last third of the book drags as it focuses on Axl going from crazy to CRAZY over the last 18 years, but it's still interesting to revisit the band's history.

For some reason, the book has been poorly reviewed on Amazon. People rip Davis for merely stringing together source material, but that seems to be the best way to get the story, in lieu of interviews with the principal characters. And fans have nitpicking complaints about descriptions of Slash's guitar. Whatever. The book gives the back stories behind every song and lyric on the Appetite and Lies albums. And that's worth something.

Next up on the reading docket are more sober reads: Game Change, On the Brink and Yalta. I'll spare you my thoughts on them when/if I get through any of them.

Snow Thanks

It's my first-ever trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Or at least it's supposed to be. The IRB international rugby sevens tournament tour's US stop has moved from San Diego to Sin City, and the merry band of W&M rugger alum idiots is moving with it. Eight of us were slated to descend on the desert destination last night and today. Snowtastrophe '10 is picking us off like a gutless sniper.

It was obvious the DC / Midwest guys might be in trouble. What was less apparent was how Phase II (the reacharound) of this multi-fronted blizzle would take out the two dudes in the relatively snowless area of SEVA/NENC.

Outer Banks Bruce and I arrived at the Norfolk airport yesterday afternoon already knowing that our Norfolk to Cincy flight was dangerously delayed. We soon learned that there would be no way it would get to Ohio before the connection lifted off toward Vegas. Thank you, Delta. Thank you, snowstorm.

After 80-some minutes at the ticket counter trying to do the ticket agent's job for her, it was clear that this trip was in serious jeopardy. In addition to the northeast being a dead zone without options, Delta's hub in Atlanta was cancelling flight after flight to Vegas because of the debilitating 2 to 4 inches of snow expected today. Just when we thought Snowdgment Day in DC was our biggest concern . . .

She started talking to us like Saturday flights were our only option, which would have made us seriously consider abandoning the mission. At the last second, two seats opened up on the ATL-Vegas flight at 8:25 this AM. We grabbed them. Now, about getting to Hot-lanta . . .

After an exhaustive search, our agent (the anti-Scott Boras) could do no more. I, however, had an ace in the hole. AirTran flies out of Newport News, just 25-30 miles up I-64. I used my handy-dandy iPhone to book us 2 tickets on the 7:27 flight to ATL (for an additional $230 apiece). Well worth it to preserve the trip. We raced to the car.

. . . and got on 64 and hit a brick wall of traffic. 9-mile back-up and a disabled vehicle in the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Brass knuckles punch in the groin. We had an hour and forty-five minutes to go those twenty-some miles. When we ran into the NN airport, they'd just shut the doors to the plane and on our $460. [insert vile expletive here]

With this many chips stacked against us, it was time to succumb, bow our heads and do what any sane, rational pair or people would do. Rent a car and drive through the night to Atlanta.

Yep.

And so we drove back to the Norfolk airport and rented a Chevy Impala. (Nice legroom for two large dudes.) Bruce drove the first 5+ hours to get us into South Carolina, and after a brief pitstop there for gas, caffeine, beef jerky, and a glance at the south's finest urinals, I took the wheel.

I'd driven almost an hour when the blue rollers flashed and we moved to the side of I-85. [insert vile expletive here]

By the grace of God, and perhaps because I quickly explained our ordeal with tears in my eyes (at that point, I wasn't above a good sob), the young officer explained the $165 fine he was waiving in favor of a warning and sent us on our way with a "Be safe and have fun in Vegas.". Thank you, Officer Lee.

Bruce took back over the driving in Georgia and got us here to the Atlanta airport. Eight hours, forty-five minutes. Not bad. Now here we are. Miraculously, the not-quite-tickets we were issued yesterday afternoon 450 miles away translated into actual seats. We're boarding now.

And the only threat that remains is the snowstorm just about to envelop this airport. Please, people, cross your fingers for us. At this point, we need Las Vegas.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Thirteen Worst Rock Songs of All Time

Greasetruck has produced yet another single, and I will say this about it: it is better than some rock songs. Specifically, it is better than some of the rock songs on this list.

The first step to artistic satisfaction is to set the bar low. Random Idiots was always pleased when people categorized the noises we made as "Music." And so I set the bar very low with this new song, "On the Range." All I wanted to do was write a better song than "Horse with No Name" by America. "Horse with No Name," originally called "The Desert Song," was inspired by a Salvador Dali painting of a distorted horse in a spartan land; the painting was on the on the wall of Arthur Brown's home studio.

But Arthur Brown resided in Puddletown, Dorset, on the Piddle river . . . in England-- which is about as far from desert terrain as can be imagined. Perhaps America should have written a song about elves or faeries or gnomes . . . or pubs.


And though the song has some of the most uninspired and obtusely imagined lyrics in rock history ("The heat was hot", "There were plants, and birds, and rocks, and things") I will admit that it was genius to change the name from the extremely literal "The Desert Song" to the trippier "Horse with No Name," as this opened the door to symbolic misinterpretation and ambiguity.

Here are some alternate perspectives I found on the internet: one guy claims that the song was about the band getting stoned, getting naked and then entering a restaurant and attempting (unsuccessfully) to get served. Although I have found no corroboration for this, I have reproduced it here because I find this theory hysterical and totally unsubstantiated. But if this is the case, why not actually write the song about THAT? That would be an entertaining song. Others claim that the nameless horse is actually "heroin."

My song takes place on a "range," and like America, I recorded my song nowhere near such a landscape. I'm not even exactly sure what a range is. And my journey starts in my kitchen, so again, like "Horse with No name," there might be multiple meanings to my lyrics. Also, my song is mainly two chords, which is true for "Horse with No Name," as well. I believe my song is better, but only you can judge this. To help you like my song more, I have included a list of incredibly bad rock songs. If you don't like my song, simply read the list and think about these songs. Then click on the SoundClick widget and listen again. This activity will make you like my song more, because you will subconsciously (or even better, consciously!) compare my song to these songs, and you will start to realize how much better my song is. I have included the lyrics to my song at the end of the post, but if you can't remember the words to some of these other gems, you'll have to Google them.


Now, I should warn you: these songs are awful. They are all much worse than "Brown Eyed Girl." If you skim down the list and realize that you LIKE these songs, then understand that your taste is skewed and you should never give musical recommendations to anyone (except other who like the songs on this list) and perhaps you shouldn't be allowed to listen to music, unless it's on headphones, so that others don't have to listen to what you are listening to.

1. Aqualung by Jethro Tull. A grating riff. Lyrics that wander between gross imagery and lame poetry, including lines like, "Watching as the frilly panties run." A mixture of heavy metal distortion and flute. A guy who stands on one leg and nestles his other foot into his crotch. Enough said.

2. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams. Who calls a guitar a "six string"? I hope the best days of your life were not spent with this song playing in the background.

3. Rock and Roll Fantasy by Bad Company. Yes, you have achieved your dream as a rock star, but are you so unimaginative that your rock and roll fantasy is pretty much a rock concert? Which is your job, which you probably do a hundred times a year. The jesters make it sound surreal for a moment, but they only get one line. And after recounting such a mundane fantasy, do you need to repeat what it is so much? Bad meta is the worst.

4. Jukebox Hero by Foreigner. So many bad Foreigner songs to choose from. Pretty much the same problem as "Rock and Roll Fantasy," only even more annoying because Lou Gramm is singing.

5. Abracadabra by Steve Miller. "I want to reach out and grab ya." If the song is about magic, then why does the narrator need to grope the "angel" in "black panties"? It was tough to choose just one awful Steve Miller song, as he did rhyme "superstitious" and "suspicious," and then, in Homer-esque fashion, "suspicious" and "suspicious" in the godawful "Rock'n Me," and he rhymed "El Paso" and "hassle," and "Texas" and "facts is," in "Take the Money and Run," but "Abracadabra" sucks on a higher plane than those other trite songs.

6. SSSSuuusssuuduiooiisssuuuuusu by Phil Collins. That's the string of letters I had to Google to find the lyrics to "Sussudio." There is only one way to do justice to how bad this song is:

There's this girl that's been on my mind
All the time, Sussudio oh oh
Now she don't even know my name
But I think she likes me just the same
Sussudio oh oh

Oh if she called me I'd be there
I'd come running anywhere
She's all I need, all my life
I feel so good if I just say the word
Sussudio, just say the word
Oh Sussudio

Now I know that I'm too young
My love has just begun
Sussudio oh oh
Ooh give me a chance, give me a sign
I'll show her anytime
Sussudio oh oh

7. A Day in the Life by The Beatles. Just testing you. This song is good.

8. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. Obtuse lyrics about an exotic land. A minor gypsy scale with a chromatic progression. Led Zeppelin. It all sounds good until you press play. I would rather listen to Ozzy Osbourne chewing off the head of a bat than this pretentiously monotonous dirge.

9. Saturday in the Park by Chicago. This is just a visceral hatred. I don't know why, but I think that I might even dislike the people who like this song.

11. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. It seems like the narrator is getting some kind of bodily fluid poured all over him. Possibly his own ejaculation. Plus, it's got really annoying drums and chorus.

12. Kiss on my List by Hall and Oates. "Out of Touch" is also really really bad. Do you need a song to get either of these sentiments across? They seem too trivial for the medium. It's sad that more of their songs weren't like "Rich Girl," which is the best eighties tune that was actually released in the seventies. Great song.

13. On the Range by Greasetruck. Pretty bad, but the lyrics are slightly better tan "Horse with No Name." Here they are. You be the judge.

On the range . . .
I saw something strange.

There was a burning ring of fire and a pot of boiling sauce,
smoke and charcoal filled the air, I knew that all was lost.
I gasped, I clawed, I sucked and then my face fell toward the food.

I hit my head on the floor, and I finally understood--
sparks flew from the Heavens and burned above the swaying grass,
my horse spit out his stirrup, turned and gave a violent laugh--

there was a cavern full of darkness and a lady with no clothes,
a clown atop a burro with a yellow bulbous nose.
Three men were eating sausage from a rusty metal tin,
while jackals gnawed on rotted meat spilled from a garbage bin.

I smelled sadness and desire and a perfumed pack of whores.

I saw sixteen red faced devils round a fire roasting s'mores.
My dog stood on his hind legs and he pointed at the moon,
he said "now the tide is low, but waxing will come soon."

Then he ran into the blackness and I heard a low pitched growl,

and he came back walking proudly-- in his mouth there was a trowel.
He was followed by a mason wearing white from head to foot,
layered with wet plaster speckled with a blackish soot.

"I buried Tutankhamen," said the mason, then he fell,

and the ground cracked wide open and a fire sprang from Hell.
My horse it bucked, I flew, I knew it was the end,
but a chicken grabbed me with his beak and said to me, "My friend,

you have been just shy of madness, you have been inside the maze,
you have seen the darkness lit up, you have wandered through the haze,
you have climbed atop the mountain, you have seen the pickerel crawl,
you have talked to thorny cactus, you have heard the lizard's call

and now to end your journey, I'll reveal one final thing
to give your life some meaning, make your journey form a ring
several rules to live by and a final word of truth,
something you can chew on with your single gold capped tooth.

So listen like a child, like a hunter with a bow,
listen while I tell you, I will tell you very slow--
when you think that you are thinking, when you thought that you have thinked
when you pluck your ukulele, did you pluck the note you plinked?

when you touch upon an angel do you feel her gauzy wings
when you ride on through the desert, is the desert full of things
or are things what we make them-- is the desert full of sand?
Is the reason we have touching the same reason we have hands?

If I sound like Lewis Carroll," said the chicken, "then I am."

And he dropped me like a Muslim drops a slice of fatty ham,
and I fell upon my horse and this waked him from his dream
and he looked at me and said, "Now is the time when we should scream."

But I was just a cashew in a bowl at a saloon
and if you hadn't waked me, then very very soon
a hungry gap toothed hooker would have put me in her mouth
and riding her saliva, I would have headed south.

and then my horse he he whinnied, he broke my grip and rode
and I saw my house a'burning and red truck in the road.

I saw something strange.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Week in Wrenball

Mike Nesmith's mom has nothing on the scene out my window this morning. I confess that I'm in danger of cabin-fever induced hallucinations. For the life of me, I could swear I just saw a snow/tree version of Larry Sanders standing in my backyard (note the NBA-length wingspan).

At the time of this writing, tonight's Tribe/Delaware game in Williamsburg is still on. G:TB's Tidewater correspondent expresses his skepticism, however, so plan your evening accordingly. W&M scored 7 points in the final 32 seconds of their first matchup with Blue Hens to keep their splendid early-season run going. Tonight's game is a must-win if our Green and Gold hope to avoid a first-round CAA Tournament pairing.

VCU's giveaway loss to Mason last night means the Tribe (16-7, 8-5) can tie the Rams for no worse than 5th win a win tonight. Drexel takes its 9-4 conference mark on the road to Hofstra to face the improving Pride. This evening's game becomes all the more critical for W&M with conference-leading Northeastern coming to town on Saturday and a trip to Fairfax scheduled for next Tuesday. George Mason's won 18 straight at the Patriot Center, and while a gaggle of G:TBers will be in attendance, the hill, she is steep.

The Tribe closed with a 10-1 run to overcome Georgia State over the weekend and keep their slim hopes for a bye alive. Quinn McDowell paced W&M with 17 points. The Tribe is currently #52 in the RPI, one of 5 CAA schools in the RPI top 100. That, in and of itself, is the stuff of Tom Yeager's fever dreams.

W&M closes with Iona (Bracketbusters), Towson, and UNCW. Haymaking time begins this evening. Hope your power stays on long enough to follow along.

Harry Balzac Needn't Apply

We don't generally cover the foreign affairs beat here, unless Romania is involved, but one of our stringers in Riyadh thought we might be interested in this bit of international intrigue:
"In Saudi Arabia, size does count.

A high level Pakistani diplomat has been rejected as Ambassador of Saudi Arabia because his name, Akbar Zib, equates to 'Biggest Dick' in Arabic. Saudi officials, apparently overwhelmed by the idea of the name, put their foot down and gave the idea of his being posted there the kibosh."
Somewhere, John Cleese is having a mighty chortle.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Birthday Song for Nick Nolte

In celebration of Nick Nolte's birthday, I am resurrecting an awful Greasetruck song for which I created an animated video. In this video, I draw a caricature of Nick Nolte and his ersatz doppelganger, Gary Busey (and a few other celebrities, I'm especially proud of my John Polito). It is probably not safe for work, there is some profanity.





I would like to create more of these animated Greasetruck videos, but my tablet computer has been broken for months. I'm thinking about purchasing a cheap Monoprice USB tablet that will hook up to my iMac. For a few minutes, I had delusions about making a claymation video (I figured I could use my children as animators) but I just read that you need ten movements per SECOND of film to create the effect . . . fuck that.

G:TB's First Annual Greg Kihn Update (Distraction from Second F*ckton of Snow to Fall)


Add one part guy who looks like Stiles from Teen Wolf.
Combine with one legitimately great early 1980's hit.
Dilute with sea of filler that everyone over the age of 12 (except Weird Al) loathes.
Stir.
Assemble concoction into albums selling the man's band based on the way his monosyllabic name sounds. Like this, this or this.
Dump onto the public.
Repeat.

That is the Greg Kihn era in a nutshell. He started strong in the 1980's with The Breakup Song. However, his career slowly and steadily spiraled.



If you wonder what Greg Kihn is up to these days, he's back to whoring his last name in terribly cheesy ways again when he's not spinning classic rock as a DJ. If you don't believe me, go here to get your Kihncert on the Green tickets. But buy 'em quick because tickets for juggernauts like Styx and REO Speedwagon don't last long.

The editorial staff of G:TB, bringing you all the Greg Kihn news you kihn handle, wishes you a good day.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy 69th, Nick.

Tip of the cap to Mr. Nolte on his 69th birthday. Frankly, we're shocked and pleased he's still with us. With a list of acting accomplishments both long AND distinguished, Nicholas King Nolte has survived turbulent times in tinsel town and carved out a stellar, if not spectacular, film career. And he's not finished yet - what with four more movies slated for release in 2010. While it was 48 Hrs. that put him on the star map (and was his biggest paydirt at $2 Million, a somewhat surprising statistic), it was his work in a little film called Affliction that was his best performance - although Penny Hardaway, Matt Nover and Shaquille O'Neal might think otherwise...

Some "facts" about Nick Nolte the G:TB staff thinks you should know/believe:
  • From Mark (long distance dedication to Geoff) - Voted People Magazine's 1992 Sexiest Man Alive

  • From Zoltan - Turned down the role of Indiana Jones because he didn't trust Spielberg (Nolte is the son of a German farmer)

  • From TR - Gained nearly 60 pounds for his role in Q&A

  • From TJ (with bonus nugget) - His father was a second team All-American at Iowa State in 1934. He was NOT Johnny Utah's FBI partner in Point Break - that was Gary Busey.

  • From Whitney - Was a raging alcoholic until 1990 when Kathrine Hepburn accused him of "falling down drunk in every gutter in town" , at which point he publicly vowed to "get clean"

  • From Dave - Was arrested in 2002 for DUI and possession of GHB aka the "Date Rape" drug.

  • From Rob - Was arrested in 1962 for selling fake draft cards.




This was my Super Bowl Weekend

I know I should not complain, as I could have AIDS and live in Haiti, but this was me over the weekend . . . and it's safe for work.



Truth be told, it was slightly worse than a cold-- it was diagnosed as strep throat, and once I got some antibiotics in me, I felt much better-- but while I was waiting for them to work, I missed two parties and had to watch my wife leave Saturday night, all dressed up and looking good, on her way to the big surprise party that the whole town was attending. She didn't get home until three A.M. She said the party was awesome.

And, of course, I missed my friend's Super Bowl Party last night. But I was healthy as a horse last Saturday night, and so got to accompany my son Alex to see Charles Ross and his One Man Star Wars. Why couldn't I have been sick for that?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

12 Inches of Snow (times two)

In honor of the metro DC area. And rob's CD collection. And M.C. Shan.



Friday, February 05, 2010

Brevity, the Soul of Whit

Our initial effort at expanding G:TB's horizons broke new ground in the podcasting medium. And despite that, we figured it'd be a good idea to do another one.

Presenting the second episode of Gheorghe: The Podcast, in which we discuss booze, bars, and bands. At length. 48:49 worth. Admittedly, we're still working the kinks out of the format.




Perhaps it has something to do with the current media obsession with the Pentagon's review of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, or it reveals a deeper issue in our collective psyche, but we went strong on the gay in this episode. Listen for mentions of white wine, feminine sides, meatpacking, gorgeous harmonies, jockstraps, and Whitney liking it in the can.

Listen too for some top-notch production values, continued artistic use of dead air, and lots and lots of talking. Some of it mildly interesting. Here's a little taste of something our babbling couldn't possibly convey:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

World's Fastest Frozen Wren: Foiled From Worldwide Festivities?

Bobsled, or bobsleigh as the cognocenti call it, became an Olympic event in 1924. Unsurprisingly, the event involves a sled. In the sled are two or four people who hurl said sled down a frozen chute. The sledders need explosive strength and speed to get the sled off to a swift start.

That's all I know about bobsledding. I have no idea if the sledders steer the sled, let alone how they do so. I don't know how to tell if the sledders are sledding swifter or slower than they should be, if they're screwing up, or if they're doing an especially superior job on any particular run.

But I still watch the event, even though I don't know the nuances, because the goal is simple: go faster than everyone else. There are no judges, no referees, no objective points for artistic merit, no vote swapping collusion. Just speedy sleds. And fans with cowbells. It's a pants-splittingly splendid event.



I bet Brian May loves that clip.

If that isn't enough to convince you, then how about this: the US women's team includes a former Wren. Her name is Ingrid Marcum, class of 1997, and I remember seeing her around the delis and possibly Unit M. She was featured in the most recent the alumni magazine, which says she was a member of the gymnastics team and a marketing major. She's also the 2009 US National Champion weightlifter in the 75 kilo class. This might make her the most accomplished Tribe athlete from my tenure in the Burg, aside from Darren Sharper.

So here's an excuse to watch TV instead of working on your honey-do list: root for the US women's bobsled team and in turn support the Tribe.

Or so I thought. Shortly after I wrote this breezy missive, I realized that the alumni magazine described Marcum as a team hopeful and not a team member, so I decided to double-check my facts. The US bobsled federation has a women's team and an Olympic team. It appears that Marcum is not on the Olympic team. I'm sure that she is, however, rooting for the US team. As you should too.

Need another reason to watch bobsledding? How 'bout this: Gheorghe Muresan will. Romania has won 1 (one!) medal in Winter Olympics history, despite missing only the 1924 and 1960 Olympics. That medal was a bronze in ... that's right, 2-man bobsled. It stands to reason then that Romania's best shot to medal in Vancouver is in bobsled, so Gh-Unit will be watching. Join him.

Gambling? At Bushwood?

Like the salmon flocking to Capistrano, some things are so predictable as to strain credulity when a self-respecting editor deems them newsworthy. To wit, courtesy of the Wilmington (NC) StarNewsOnline:

(Wilmington, January 29.) The aroma of marijuana lingered in the parking lot, and moonshine measured three-quarters full in a quart jar on the tour bus, officials said.

But, despite citations given Thursday night to six of singer-songwriter Willie Nelson's band members for allegedly illegally possessing the substances, the concert was scheduled to go on – that was, until it was announced Nelson wasn't feeling up to playing, according to information from the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement Division agency out of Wilmington and a news release on Nelson's official Web site.

We do note with significant approval the lede stylings of reporter Shannan Bowen, whose channeling of Elmore Leonard offers a not-so-subtle signal that she's destined for bigger and better things.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sign on the dotted line...

Most of the people who read this blog are aware that I am a huge College Football fan. Of all the types of sports I watch, I follow College Football more fervently than any other. So it only makes sense that I'm also a fan/follower of College Football recruiting. I know, I know. It's a seedy industry essentially based on tracking the movements, moods and emotions of kids in high school. I'm aware of this, and even slightly embarrassed with my preoccupation with recruiting, but there's very little chance I'm going to apologize for it. Much less quit keeping up with it. Now, I'm not obsessed with it. I follow the top prospects on Florida's list and keep up with the other SEC programs (as well as a few of the other elite programs throughout America). I don't, however, friend these kids on Facebook like many people do (Full disclosure: My only "famous" athlete friends on Facebook are Adonal Foyle and Carlos Dunlap. Contact Adonal, he'll friend you too and you'll get a chuckle out of his profile picture), I don't post "Gator bait!" or any other crap all over the message boards when a kid de-commits from Florida like so many of my message board brethren (I'm a message board reader, not a poster) and I don't hate kids that commit to Tennessee or Florida State...well, most of them. I follow recruiting because it is the lifeblood of a good college football program and I because I am fairly well consumed with Florida Football. I also enjoy following recruiting because, as Jerry once pointed out, there are a number of off the charts ridiculous names each year...I'm looking at you Lache Seastrunk. This is still this my personal favorite.

Look at any top program, and you will find two things: 1. They have a top flight coaching staff in place. 2. They recruit very well. It's that simple. You might be able to have a year or two of success with only one of these factors. You cannot, however, have sustained success with one of these two elements missing. Ron Zook's tenure at Florida is a decent example of this. Zook was only moderately successful at Florida, and some would even say disappointing. But make no mistake about it, Ron Zook can recruit his ass off. In fact, most of the contributors to Florida's 2006 National Championship team were recruited by Zook. Yet, up until 2006 many of those players (and by extension their recruiting classes) were considered underachievers. Urban Meyer and his staff's ability to mold and teach those players was what pushed them to a championship.

From that point on, Meyer has proven himself to be both a talented head coach and a tireless recruiter...and, not coincidentally, Florida's football program has become one of the nation's finest. This development at Florida is not an isolated incident. If a program has both good coaching and is consistently signing top 10 recruiting class, they will be very successful for long stretches of time. This is how it works in college football and this is not up for debate.

With that said, recruiting is an inexact science. Coaching staffs must be able to evaluate talent on their own (there are 3 major recruiting services and their ratings of recruits often vary wildly...for example), recruit balanced classes that fill needs and finally, find the right spots for their recruits once they arrive on campus. In nearly every highly rated class you will find a 5 star recruit who never develops into a star (or even a starter). Quite often, in that same class is an under recruited 2-3 star player who emerges as a star. This year's National Champion Alabama was led by a tenacious defense full of highly rated recruits. Amongst this collection of prep All-Americans was All-American corner Javier Arenas, a guy who's best offer out of high school was from Florida International. That is until Mike Shula (Rob just threw up in his mouth a little) came calling with a scholarship offer just a couple days before National Signing Day.

That's part of what makes recruiting great. You can evaluate the classes and watch film of prospects but you still never truly know about a player until they arrive on campus. Brock Berlin came to Florida as the nation's #1 high school player as well Steve Spurrier's wet dream. He left Florida without ever starting a game(actually, not true, he started his last game in the Orange Bowl against Maryland. Because Grossman got hammered and missed curfew. Ha!) after losing the starting QB job to a guy (Rex Grossman) who wasn't even recruited by Florida until he showed up in Gainesville with his game tape and asked to meet with the Head Ball Coach.

Recruiting is fun. Not only is it fun, it's important. Now that I think about it, I've come to realize how I came to follow recruiting so closely. It was Zook. It was SOOOOOO fucking clear he had no idea what he was doing during his first year at Florida that my only hope was the momentum Florida was gaining on the recruiting trail (when Zook was recruiting many of the players who would become the seniors on the 2006 National Champion team). I dove in to recruiting and started following Florida's class and going to message boards and started reading some of the articles by the recruiting gurus. When Florida signed guys a top 5 class that year, I was hooked. I've followed recruiting closely ever since. Motherfucking Zook gets me again.

So anyway. No, I won't be taking tomorrow off to watch 10 hours worth of ESPNU whilst surfing three message boards at a time, but I will be receiving texts every time one of Florida's commits faxes in their Letter of Intent. And you know what, I won't feel bad about it. If you're a College Football fan (especially one with a specific allegiance) you should care without feeling bad about it too. You know why? Florida has the number one class in the country this year. Do you know the last time Florida had the #1 class in the country?

2006. The class included some guys by the names of Tebow, Harvin, Spikes, Cunningham, James, Cooper and many, many others. Last I checked, those guys did pretty well for themselves in college. It doesn't always work out that way of course. Some classes don't pan out. Some guys get kicked out of school. Others transfer. Some just aren't as good as they're billed to be. But sometimes you watch a group of kids come in and play together for four years and make history together and change their program together. And it's a pretty gratifying feeling. Even if you didn't do anything, you feel a part of it. That feeling...it starts on National Signing Day.

This Week in Wrenball

In a year marked with flabbergasting achievements and giddiness run amok, the Wrens added another feather to their already full cap (just don't tell the NCAA) on Monday. W&M became one of five CAA schools earning slots in the televised portion of the made-for-ESPN Bracketbusters event when they were selected to play the Iona Gaels on Friday, February 19 at 9:00 on ESPNU.

The Tribe (15-6, 7-4, RPI 51*) have a little work to take care of in conference before they head to New Rochelle, starting with a rematch with Old Dominion this evening in Norfolk. ODU, who line up against Northern Iowa in one of the tastier Bracketbusters matchups, fell to Northeastern in Boston on Saturday. The Monarchs are a game behind 10-1 George Mason in the CAA standings. W&M fell, 58-55, to Blaine Taylor's squad just 10 days ago.

W&M heads to the Dirty South (I don't know what that means, but all the kids keep saying it) over the weekend to take on Georgia State. The Panthers are amongst the CAA's lesser lights, but the Wrens aren't a team that can take anyone lightly.

David Schneider's 11 of 13 night at the free throw line offset his 1-for-8 effort from the field in the Tribe's 54-51 win over Drexel on Saturday. The win elevated the Tribe into a flat-footed tie with VCU and Drexel for 4th place in the CAA. The gap between 4th and 5th is bigger than that between Barney Frank and James Inhofe, as the top four seeds get first-round byes in the conference tournament. W&M faces ODU, Northeastern, and George Mason in its final 7 games, in addition to Georgia State, Delaware, Towson, and UNC Wilmington. Anything worse than 5-2 over that stretch probably means Team G:TB is taking Friday, March 5 off work to head to Richmond instead of waiting until the following day.

Apologies for the quarter-assed effort, but the Man has had his designs on my time this week. I promise to put more ass into it soon.