Friday, December 31, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Twelve

On the Twelfth Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:

Twelve Appreciations

Eleven Point Comparison of U2's guitarist vs. G:TB's Doofus Overlord,
(More than) Ten past-year memories,
Nine Clips You Tubin',
Eight Wren-based Nuggets,
A Seven Point Loss,
Six games worth watching (and picking),
Five Combined Wins,
Four Compliments For T.J.,
Three French Hens,
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well),
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album).


The time has come, the year is over; thought I’d something more to say.

We’re closing out Gheorghemas and 2010; we might miss the antics of Gmas, but quite a few of us will not miss the 365 days of miscellaneous scrotazzling that comprised this calendar year. G:TBers and FOGTB, like everyone else, had highs and lows, but with our collective’s uncannily disproportionate doses of health issues, close relatives going to the great beyond, financial woes, relationship struggles, job stress, parenting challenges, people generally being Mike Love on a daily basis, and the motherfucking griffin, I mean . . . didn’t it suck? It sucked.

All that said, Gheorghe: The Blog remains the perennial highlight, a salve to the chafe of our day to day drawers. It underscores my unfun year when I realize that I spent less time chiming in and bringing my blather to your eyes than in any year of G:TB past . . . except perhaps Year 1, which was Teejay’s one-woman stage show, “Non Sequitur: A Stream of Consciousness Thought in 137 Parts.” My absence is my loss, not yours, obviously, and Igor did little in my stead to fill the void. Vows around the New Year are like those preceding a walk of shame, but I’m promising myself to take more advantage of Gheorghe: The Blog (and the women who read it) in 2011. My condolences in advance.

Anyway, it’s time to shelve the lamentations and remind ourselves of the best things of the year, at least in the Gheorghian view. (Which is akin to gravity bong vision.) So, as I’ve done in Gmases past, I’m delivering my dozen or so appreciations for this year.

* * * * *

I appreciated turning 40. I appreciated like hell that quite a few friends came long distances to the Outer Banks to help me ring it in drunkenly. Hell, I appreciated that I lived to see 40, which for a handful of our cronies was too much to expect. And I appreciated that the good lord is still blessing me with the self-confidence to slip into (just) a bikini bottom in the middle of a party and the craftiness to wake up early and delete pictures from everyone’s cameras and phones.

* * * * *

I’ve been snoring and sleeping badly for the better part of those 40 years, so I went to the local sleep center and had a study done. The technician awoke me in the middle of the night, telling me it was “too painful to watch you breathe . . . or I should say not breathe.” At one interval, I went 64 seconds without taking in any oxygen. The paraphrased prognosis: fuck, dude, you could die. And so I just now picked up my handy-dandy CPAP machine, destined to turn my girlfriend off but turn my life around. Or so they tell me. Since by some estimations I haven’t had truly restful sleep since Rafael Santana was in the bigs, I am appreciative even of the prospect of some solid Z’s, and I don’t mean Zman and his impending shorty. (For which the G staff is appreciative as well, natch.)

* * * * *

I have, at times, appreciated anonymity. It can be liberating. Coming back as myself is, like a never-nude shedding his cutoffs, a little odd. Those of you who haven’t picked up a nifty new moniker should try it. It is so choice. And get a douchey one like Mr. Truck, they’re more fun.

* * * * *


I’m appreciative for tequila, lately. I spent a night with a brand called Corzo a few weeks back with good results (many yuks, no yaks). Last night it was Cazadores Blanco. Get some. Tequila!

* * * * *

So the year was 1994. Bill Clinton was in his first term. George Clinton was on the big screen in PCU. Gheorghe Muresan was on the Bullets. Some among the G:TB family were still in high school. And it was the inaugural season of our fantasy football league. Caveman style, where we called opponents with starting lineups and checked the Washington Post for stats the next day to see who won. I made the playoffs that year; our chum Cliff did not. Nor did he in 1995. Nor 1996. Nor 1997. And in every year since. Cliff’s team missed the postseason every single year. That’s sixteen years without making the playoffs.

12 teams in the league; six get in every year. The odds that year in and year out Cliffy would fail to make the postseason are staggeringly low. But that he did. He’d start 5-1 and miss the playoffs. He’d start 0-4, then rattle off 5 straight, then miss the playoffs. He’d tie for the last spot, be short a few points overall, and miss the playoffs. In life, there are very few things you can count on over time, but Cliff missing the playoffs was one of them. This is a guy who was nicknamed “Jim Thorpe” in college, a dude who spends more time playing and watching sports than bathing or keeping in touch with his friends. It made no sense.

Cliff analyzed, overanalyzed, and out-thunk himself every time. And missed the playoffs. He recruited “assistant coaches,” friends who’d won their other leagues, to help him out of the funk. Those friends would stay on the job a few years, pull their hair out, and quit after missing the playoffs every year. Inexplicable.

2010. Cliff was again flanked by Billy, his third frustrated resident guru. Billy had won a handful of FFL titles before languishing in obscurity aboard the cursed Cliffy vessel, and word had it he was on his way out. The duo went 7-6 this year. And . . . Cliff made the playoffs. Cats and dogs, living together. Cliff made the playoffs. For the first time in 17 seasons, Cliffy made the playoffs.

. . . and won twice, vaulting himself into the finals, where . . . Rob beat him. What a dick.

* * * * *

The Teej. I appreciate ‘im. Left my laptop in his car after the OBFT, dude FedExed it overnight to me. I forgot to pay him back the 94 smackers that cost, dude never mentioned it. I suck. Teej is cool. Preesh the Teej.

* * * * *

I appreciate traditions. Love them, in fact. Traditions like Gheorghemas, and like the dudes here letting me finish off the Year with Day 12 once again – even though my output resembled Luis “#1 in Your Scorecard But #25 Million in Your Heart” Castillo’s this year. Greatly appreciated.

* * * * *

Speaking of crappy teams and the crappy people who root for them, my sports teams are predominantly wretched and embarrassing – and even the Tribe has taken what I penned in this space last year and shoved it up my Haynesworth. Wren football gacks one up in the first round, Wren hoopsters . . . poopsters. But, and this is a William & Mary co-ed sized but, I’m still paying my dues. Watching every down of the Redskins, still paying for Extra Innings to watch the Mets, even as they embarrass themselves (and me) routinely. My world is the opposite of the one Dave depicted in his post (and on SoD) – the players seem to fatalistically relive their nightmares time and time again, while I forget them and move on, hoping against hope. Someday, one day, I am going to be one of these morons, and it will be worth it. Unless I die first.

* * * * *

I appreciated Jeff Tweedy uttering my name on stage (twice) in March and giving me a gift certificate to a restaurant. Tweed-meister, here’s your reciprocal shout-out. Bit of a letdown, I’m sure.

* * * * *

And finally, I want the world to know that I appreciate Clifford Ray.

Yeah, that Clifford Ray.

You know, the one who played in the NBA. The one whom the C’s shitcanned from their coaching staff this year for no good reason. The one who molded many a big man into a big stud. (Ask Dwight Howard.) The one who saved a dolphin’s life. Yeah, that’s right. (Read about it at Deadspin.)

The one who had this written about him in the Globe:


He’s had breakfast with Alfred Hitchcock in Hawaii. He’s walked with Marlon Brando on Brando’s island. Jack Nicholson has sent him text messages. Whenever
he’s in Oakland, Al Davis insists they have dinner together. He’s
sailed from Fiji to Tahiti on an 85-foot catamaran. He saved a dolphin.

One time, he got a call in the middle of the night from a friend in the music business. He had a song he swore would be a hit and he wanted Ray to hear it before he recorded it.

The friend was Marvin Gaye. The song was “Sexual Healing.’’
It’s the same Clifford Ray who appeared in the 1980 film Inside Moves – which is why I bring it up. The movie was on cable two days ago, and there was Clifford Ray (as himself). And when I saw him, I remembered all the crazy facts about Clifford Ray . . . well, not all of them, I didn’t even know some of them until I just looked him up today. The man is fascinating, a cancer survivor, and good at what he does.

And he’s 6’9”. Well, of course he is, right? I would have made it up if he hadn’t been, but he is.

But why I do I appreciate him? All that stuff is cool, but it’s something more personal.

Let me take you to the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. The year is 1997. The Bullets are playing the Nets, and – in a promotion aimed at a very fringe element – it’s 70’s Night at the game. Future FOGTB Shlara was working for the Bullets at the time, and she scored Buck and me some good seats – contingent on us dressing up. Fair enough, we’re easy.

As it turned out, there were at least four or five people dressed for 70’s Night; two 6’5” honkies stand out a little wherever they go, but you deck them out in pleather, velour, and platform shoes (what?? Of course we had this stuff on hand), not to mention my wrist cast that I had painted at Mardi Gras the week prior . . . we stood out like sore thumbs. Slightly drunk, retarded sore thumbs.

Our seats were right over the tunnel where both teams went into the locker room at halftime, so when that happened, we stood up to clap our heroes off. As Big Gheorghe was walking through, I yelped gleefully, “Gheoooooooooooorghe!!!” This blog’s namesake glanced up at me with a look that, if I had to describe it in a word, I’d call terrified. Rightfully so. A big fat guy in a leisure suit and a cast shouting your name will do that to you.

Seconds later, while still laughing at Gheorghe’s reaction, I hear Buck say, “Hey – that’s Clifford Ray. That’s Clifford Ray!”

“Clifford Raaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!”

I was sure Buck would get the same reaction, but then it happened. Clifford Ray looked up at my man, gave him a head-bob, and sent him a nod like “That’s right. Sup.”

Clifford Ray is fucking cool.

I appreciate Shlara, Les Boulez, Buck, the 1970’s, Mardi Gras, Budweiser in a plastic cup, live sports, and Gheorghe Muresan. I also appreciate Clifford Ray. And so should you.

* * * * *

I’ve been channeling the Mountain Goats’ chorus for a while: “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.” I’m nearly there, and looking for much more next year. But not before I get rip-roaring hammered again among friends tonight. It’s okay, mom; I’m a good drunk.

As Coach Dale said, I love you guys. And my team’s on the floor. Happy New Year, Gheorghizens.

So F ’10; this one goes to ‘11.

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Eleven

On the Eleventh Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me an 11 point comparison of U2's guitarist vs. G:TB's Doofus Overlord

(More than) ten past-year memories...


Nine Clips You Tubin'
Eight Wren-based Nuggets...
A Seven Point Loss;

Six games worth watching (and picking);
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.
;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album)
.




TJ has lots of nicknames. Doofus Overlord. TeeJay. The Teej. DJ Toil. Big Pasty. Greazy Bacon. Baby Peanitz. I like to call him Teedge. I don't think Teedge has ever done H, but if you put H in Teedge you get The Edge. Or a pale tweeked-out doofus with needle tracks and an empty bank account.

Maybe it would be better to say that if you take the H out of The Edge you get Teedge. Which is not to say that H is altogether bad -- it gave us "White Light White Heat" and "Waiting for the Man."





I don't know why I spend so much time thinking about Teedge, but I guess he's my muse as he inspired the 11th Day of Gheorghemas 2010. On Day 11, Big Gheorghe gave to me an 11 point comparison of U2's guitarist vs. G:TB's Doofus Overlord.

Musical talent

We have to get this out of the way. I'm not much of a U2 fan, but The Edge manages to make hundreds of millions of dollars selling his music. Rolling Stone put him at #24 on their list of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Hardcore G:TB readers know how I feel about RS and their ranking systems, but this accolade has to count for something.

Teedge makes tens of guys groan in disapproval with his musical stylings at OBFT. Even when Teedge limits himself to playing the radio his performance is subpar.

Advantage: The Edge

Coolness

The Edge is a goddamn rock star. He's the guitarist for the biggest rock band on the planet. His band is so big that they have their own stamp. He's married to some much younger belly dancer. He's actively involved with numerous charities, and he contributed songs for the stage adaption of "A Clockwork Orange."

Teedge is ... I'm not sure what he is. His job involves sending lots of emails and attending lots of meetings, and it requires a Blackberry and pleated-front khakis. He holds the title of Doofus Overlord at what is at best the fourth-biggest Gheorghe Muresan-inspired blog on the planet. He went to William & Mary, where he hung out with me.

This isn't even close.

Advantage: The Edge

Dancing ability





Advantage: Teedge, all day

Irish taxi driving

Teedge is an accomplished Irish taxi driver, but The Edge is actually from Ireland.

Advantage: tie

Sekshul prowess

As previously stated, The Edge is a goddamn rock star married to an underaged belly dancer. Chances are he gets it done with more ease and aplomb than Tiger Woods.

Teedge is surprisingly successful with the ladies, given his physical limitations. And by that I'm not referring to his bizarre head-to-shoulder-width ratio, ghostly complexion, Shaquesque feet, or beachball belly. I refer instead to his ample supply of slim-fit condoms.



It's likely that both Teedge and The Edge suffer from the Irish Curse so rockstardom carries the day here.

Advantage: The Edge

Sartorial splendor

Teedge likes to rock a Bills jersey over festive attire. The Edge likes to wear a skully over all-black clothes.








Advantage: Teedge (the Bills jersey is an unfair advantage, even if it's an OJ jersey)

Humor

I can't find a single image of The Edge where he's trying to be funny. Teedge is always trying to be funny and typically succeeds. For instance:



Advantage: Teedge

Drinking ability and overall tolerance for inebriating substances

The Edge is a goddamn rockstar and rockstars party like, well, rockstars. But have you ever partied with Teedge? I remember the time Teedge vomitted blood and then drank a beer to settle his stomach. Even now as an old man he puts on otherworldly performances at OBFT. Even when he doesn't get the dosages right and he can't form sentences, Teedge is always up late, hanging out, in it to win it, hoping someone else will order the pizza, looking for cornhole, and losing at poker.

Advantage: Teedge

Mustache



Advantage: Teedge (all day)

Sports Knowledge

Teedge knows lots about sports. It has been said of Teedge that he:

1) Is phenomenal.
2) Knows his stuff.
3) Knows Everything.
4) Nails it.

"Nails it" could also apply to the "sekshul prowess" category above, I'm not sure, but I'm including it in this category and if you don't like it go to hell, this is my Day 11 Gheorghemas post. Go get your own.

Teedge appeared on sports talk radio three times (look under "What is Gheorghe" on the right). He is Le (Petit) Coq Sportif.

The Edge appears on the radio but only on crap stations that play pop music and he doesn't actually say anything. He's Irish so he probably only knows about soccer, which is a crap sport. Gaelic football and hurling are Irish too, but I have no idea what they entail. But one sounds like a lewd act and the other is a euphamism for vomitting. All of this means that The Edge doesn't know shit about sports.

Advantage: Teedge

Gheorgheness

The Edge is 49 years old and he calls himself The Edge. It appears that he only wears black. He hides his balding pate under a wool beanie. He doesn't smile. He takes himself very very seriously.



Teedge is a preposterous mess. He writes and Doofus Overlords for Gheorghe: The Blog. He knows Gheorghe.



Advantage: Teedge

Final score: Teedge 7.5, The Edge 3.5

And thus we have scientific proof that Teedge is better than The Edge (in fact he's twice as good, mathematically speaking), which means that under the transitive property G:TB is better than U2. Pretty soon we'll be raking in hundreds of millions of dollars and we'll have our own Romanian stamp.

A joyous Eleventh Day of Gheorghemas and happy new year to you all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To Root For The Giants This Sunday


The job of an athlete is to forget. Scott Norwood went wide right in Super Bowl XXV, but he came back the next year and kicked five field goals in the play-offs, helping his team get to Super Bowl XXVI.

The job of a fan is to remember. Thus the film Buffalo 66.


An athlete-- like a soldier-- must forget what has come before, no matter how horrifying. As General Patton so eloquently explained: "When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do." You must overcome shell shock. Be a professional. Carry on. There will be time for post-traumatic stress disorder once you retire.

Even Bill Buckner did it. After Buckner committed his infamous error and was booed out of Boston, he signed with the California Angels . . . Anaheim, the perfect place for redemption. The land where people have no past, where the sun always shines. The city that took in Reggie Jackson and made George Steinbrenner eat his words. The Angels. The land of forgiveness. For the remainder of the 1987 season, Buckner batted .306 and drove in 32 runs in just 57 games. He was obviously able to forget.


But the fans will never forget what happened. Ask Rob.

So this Sunday the Giants play the Redskins. The Giants still have a chance to make the play-offs, but they need help. They need a win from the Bears in the early game. Plenty of Giants fans have given up hope. I nearly gave up two weeks ago when the Giants collapsed against the Eagles. In fact, I even announced my retirement from Giants fanaticism. But I figured out a way to forgive the team that I have essentially had a monogamous relationship with since I was five (I did have a brief affair with the Seahawks, when Zorn was passing to Largent, for obvious reasons, but that is long over).

Like Brett Favre, I couldn't give it up. I came out of retirement last week, rooting with drunken optimism, only to see the game fumbled away. And the final score, 45-17, makes me wonder if the Giants were ever in the game at all. Was I delusional? Not at all. I was rooting like an athlete, instead of rooting like a fan. A fan would remember last year's collapse against the Panthers (41-9) and give up hope. A fan would dwell on past losses and let them sour future gains. A fan would forget that life begins fresh in the play-offs. So this Sunday, once again, I'm going to root like an athlete. A specific athlete.


This Sunday, I'm going to root like John Starks. I'm not going to find out the result of the Green Bay/ Chicago game. I'm going to turn the volume off on my TV and not look at the scrolling ticker. I'm not going to let the past affect my fervor. John Starks never let the six terrible shots he threw up previously affect him. He got the ball and shot it again. And eventually they went in. Or not. But he was still fun to watch, because he appeared to be having a good time. He wasn't burdened by memory. This is how I play basketball. When I get the ball, I generally shoot it. I am a chucker. Why not? Life is too short to do otherwise (especially if I get up for the 6 AM Friday game at my school . . . my philosophy is, if I get up at 5:30 AM to play ball, any time I touch the rock, I'm shooting it). Why root differently? Life is more enjoyable as a chucker. Forget the past. Live in the moment. Enjoy the arc of the ball from your fingertips. Enjoy the game in front of you, the spectacle, especially when it is in 56 inch high-definition. Go Giants.

I never like to be this guy...

but why aren't you watching "The Walking Dead" on AMC? It's freaking awesome:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fashion is Dumb

This:

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Late Christmas Present From Gheorghe Himself

Courtesy of Oakley & Allen. Enjoy.

The Tenth Day Keeps On Giving

I thought it was the perfect time to move on from the post below:


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Ten

On the Tenth day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me (more than) ten past-year memories...


Nine Clips You Tubin'
Eight Wren-based Nuggets...
A Seven Point Loss;

Six games worth watching (and picking);
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.
;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album)
.


As I perused the archives looking for the best of G:TB's 2010 offerings, several trends emerged. Old favorites returned with a vengeance, then went away. G:TB entered a wide range of new technological realms as we dropped science 140 characters at a time and casted pods. Zman gave us musical wisdom, Mark made us smarter about football and basketball, Dave was, well, Dave was prolific. Whitney left us, sadly, but in Igor we found a more than adequate shoe-filler. TR's prediliction for the gross was offset by his well-timed storytelling, and Dennis made up in quality what he lacked in quantity. (Not really, but I remember what Thumper's daddy said.)

But the most striking thing about G:TB's 2010 catalogue will cause management to make some changes. As soon as we figure out who's been responsible for our conditioning, we're sacking that sumbitch. The truth hurts sometimes, but pain's good for you, so long as it doesn't kill you. Or something. Sadly, it's clear that stamina is an issue with our staff. Compare the quality of our content after August with that which preceded it, and it's clear that we began cramping just as football season started, gasping and wheezing our way to the finish line. We didn't post a complete thought the entire month of November. Hell, we might not even complete Gheorghe-mas.

So it's into the gym, my friends. KQ's working on a regimen to ensure that we can run through the tape in 2011. And you wouldn't want to disappoint KQ.

Despite the late-season decline, Team G:TB did deliver some excellent work in 2010. We started even before the year did,
as we celebrated William and Mary's hoops win over Maryland
in style, despite Shlara's navigational challenges, and Mark and Rob made New Year's resolutions in the comments that they both kept. Partially.

TR's
1997 letter to the late, lamented Gheorghe: The Internet Magazine resurfaced, and we learned that 13 years didn't diminish its power.

The Wrens opened the year ranked #2 in the RPI after wins over Richmond, Wake Forest, and Maryland.
For real. The apocalypse we feared did not materialize.

A fat guy and a skinny guy bundled up
and went to a Jets game, where a food porn mag broke out.

2010 was the Year of
Greasetruck at G:TB, as we dropped no fewer than 12 new tracks from our house band.

Gheorghe: The Podcast predicted the entire year, starting strong and petering out. It did, however, launch Teejay's radio career.

The late, lamented Whitney
declaimed on haggis. And wasn't the only celebrant of sheep intestines.

We delivered multiple official G:TB
Olympic previews, reviews, and overviews. Just go look in January and February.

Zman fancied himself a
Romanian ice skater.

Whitney had a
rough trip to Vegas, but at least he thought it was a mediocre destination.

Mark gave
G:TB's take on the NBA dunk contest, among several sports-related posts that were probably too good for the venue.

G:TB's not an authoritative source on many things, but our team knows music. Zman brought the goods on tunes all year long, starting with this
shoutout to the Whitefield Brothers.

The
Wrens made it two CAA finals in three years. And we waxed all poetical. There was NIT action, too.

The G:TB editorial roster expanded several times in 2010, as our dedicated readership offered us insights on
hockey (Work Jerry), the KFC Double Down (Marls), and footie (my man Otis). In general, all of these posts were better than the usual dipshittery.

The man killed Whitney.
Long live Igor

Tauntaun sleeping bag!

Z
gets all cultural up in here, and teaches us a thing or two about wooing the ladies.

G:TB sponsored our first
circus peanut diorama contest.

Rob
reached his writing pinnacle, getting G:TB published in The Atlantic. The rest of his life will be a pale echo.

The Summer of Dave kicked off early with the
first of his insightful interview series.

In which Igor explored
vajazzling.

The Teej continued his mastery of the YouTubes. I've chosen this one to represent all that was good and ohmygodisthatridiculous about the year in video.



Dave
previewed the World Cup, and so did Zman.

TR,
dude. Dude!

Dave was a force of nature from
May to September, though his fertile mind churned so quickly that he couldn't stop it before he admitted to liking Dane Cook. He nearly made up for it by rending a hole in the space-time continuum. For his efforts, Summer Dave was voted the 2010 G:TB MVP. Rest of the year Dave is on notice.

Rob turned 40, fixated on the large hadron collider and South Carolina politics.

TR learned at the feet of the master. Or at least at the
train seat of the master. Ladies were sexed.

Mr. Truck at G:TB corporate gave us our
first performance review. We're still waiting on our raises.

The Ghoogles came back!

TR ranked the
4th through 10th best baseball cards sets of the 1980s.

Teejay met Screech.

The
Zman announced the Zbaby. We don't think its Mark's.

I'm not sure that any posts in October were longer than three sentences, but the Teej did
start and not finish a new feature.

The Z
got all wordy on the Bills. Again.

One of the scions of the Internet
was mean to Rob. It's not a goddamn upset.

Merry Gheorghemas, friends. May 2011 be a damn sight better than 2010.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

To all of our friends, families and readers, the staff of Gheorghe: The Blog would like to wish all of you the merriest of Christmas days. Now go forth and spread good cheer and tidings to all those you love. And even those you loathe. Seriously, do it now or we're sending the official G:TB Elf over to kick your ass.



Believe me. You do NOT want to piss him off.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Marls was right - this is f'ing absurd

Happy Christmas Eve All
- The Dallas Cowboys

On This Day a Child Was Born

And 65 years ago, the child was Lemmy. Lemmy! 65 years!

The Young ones with Lemmy

Patrick Myspace Video

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Nine

On the Ninth Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe (once again) gave to me...
Nine Clips You Tubin'


Eight Wren-based Nuggets...
A Seven Point Loss; 
Six games worth watching (and picking);
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album)
.


As Marls put it, Gheorghe-mas was off the rails yet again.  Day Nine is "tube of you" day.  I did not get many editorial submissions, so I will post those I did...and then dish out some others all willy nilly, so to speak (not to be confused with my boy Chilly Willy, who no joke, was a straight up pimp):



Mark wanted to welcome his new coach.  This guy looks smart:



TR's email to me: "I nominate the concert clip where Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses joins Pearl Jam onstage to sing along to Hunger Strike. It was at MSG. There are a lot of clips of this on YouTube.

Yeah, there were some:



Zman rightly asked for clips of badass punter Zoltan Mesko. Obliged:




This is how I imagine @squeaky's renovation actually going:




For Dennis...we miss you bud. Don't be a stranger:




rob...this one's for you:




And Shlara, happy festivus...enjoy this classic (gang, everyone enjoy this one):




@baconbaking got a little meta with this submission, which is also quite trippy. I enjoy comment one under the video.



Happy Gheorghe-mas All.  I send you out with the best...



Big Boi vs. The Black Keys

Courtesy of Squeaky.

The Brothers of Chico Dusty (Big Boi vs. The Black Keys) by wick-it

I'm too late with this but ...

You know we are grasping for filler when we're running this extremely belated zman filler...Gheorghe-mas Day Nine is in the works, all I need is for people to actually reply to me with Day Nine content. Hell, Marls, danimal, Shlara, Squeaks...if you have any "tubes of you" you'd like to send my way for posting consideration, feel free to do so.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This is just like one of our old parties at Unit M ...

... only everything is opposite.

G:TB's 1st Halloween Party


Sorry to be late on this, fellow contributors, but it's been a hectic Fall for me. I only got one good pic from our staff Halloween party.

Rob - nice Loompa costume.

Zman - thanks for bunnying up with me.

The Teej - thanks for being the best drunken EMT I've ever seen.

Mark - nice try on the Blues Brothers outfit.

Whit - still not sure what your costume was, but I hope you didn't vomit on your blonde wig.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Eight

On the Eight Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me, eight Wren-based Nuggets...


A Seven Point Loss; 
Six games worth watching (and picking);
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album)
.


Tonight at 7:00, your William & Mary Wrens (4-6, 0-1 CAA) visit the University of North Carolina (7-4) seeking to bounce back from a disappointing 71-62 loss to Liberty. (1) The contest will be televised on ESPN2, marking the first time in history that a Tribe regular season game is broadcast on the Deuce. It is not UNC's first rodeo. (Note: as I was writing this, the broadcast was moved to ESPNU so ESPN2 can show the UCONN women's game. That sounds like about the right level of respect for the Tribe.)

(2) W&M is 3-18 all-time against the Tar Heels, 0-10 in Chapel Hill, but (3) exactly 33 years and two weeks ago today, W&M dropped the then-#2 Heels, 78-75, in Blow Gym (that was a basketball facility, guttersnipes). Coincidentally, (4) it was the first meeting between the two schools following Tribe head coach Tony Shaver's 1976 graduation from UNC. Harbinger? I hardly know her.

While both schools have strong academic reputations, only at W&M would you see the Sports Information Department boast (5) the following statistic: over the past five years, the Wrens have a .658 winning percentage (25-13) in games played between the end of the fall final exam period and the beginning of the spring semester.

UNC freshman Harrison Barnes was a pre-season All-America. (6) As near as I can tell, all of William & Mary's players are American citizens, assuming we still claim Ohio. Tyler Zeller and Barnes are both on the pre-season Naismith National Player of the Year watch list. (7) Most of the Wrens watch YouTube videos of Muppets rapping.


After tonight, only a 12/29 guestie at Longwood stands between the Tribe and the remainder of the CAA schedule. And if early returns are any indication, the game against Carolina will serve as a bit of a breather before conference battles begin; (8) the CAA is 3-3 against the ACC (though one of those was against Wake Forest), 7-5 against the Atlantic 10, and has two wins against the Big East and one against the Pac-10. Overall, the conference is 62-36 against non-conference foes.

The Tribe comes into tonight's game a tidy 266th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings to North Carolina's 25th-place standing. Anyone else smelling a Red Line Upset?

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Seven

On the Seventh Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:


A Seven Point Loss;
Six games worth watching (and picking)
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album).


  
Because of the seven point loss the Giants suffered at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday, I have decided to retire from watching professional sports. I will not rehash the collapse, as it is to painful for me to recount, but if you watched the game you will agree that mistakes were made (Matt Dodge!) and that Michael Vick heroically persisted in leading his team, against all odds, back from a 21 point fourth quarter deficit. The Eagles scored 28 points in eight minutes. I am not retiring from watching professional sports because of the pain of the loss or the play-off ramifications of the loss. That would be immature and selfish. And the Giants still control their own destiny because they play Green Bay next week.

The reason I am retiring from watching professional sports because the outcomes of the games are meaningless. Whenever I have the desire to watch an NFL game, I am instead going to watch a sports movie. Why? First of all, a sports movie is shorter than an actual NFL game, so I won't ever again feel like I wasted three mid-day hours on the couch (unless I watch Braveheart-- which I have never seen . . . good information for the OBFT over/under game-- but Braveheart is not exactly a sports movie). More important, however, is the fact that if I watch a sports movie then I will be assured of a satisfying resolution. Either the team I am rooting for will win the big game, or-- if they lost the big game-- a valuable lesson will be learned. 

Yes, The Bad News Bears lose, but they learn a more valuable lesson-- that winning isn't everything. Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) realizes he has become a competitive monster like the coach he despised, and so plays the bench warmers and then lets the kids get drunk after the game. That is the true meaning of sports; having some fun and a reason to celebrate and drink under-age (to quote our friend Shelliott when he was on Phil Donahue: "When I played varsity lacrosse, I drank less." Donahue looked at him and said, "You said, "Less.") 

Rocky loses to Apollo Creed, but he wins the respect of the world. And the movies with meaningful losses are the exception. Generally, the scrub makes the foul shot (Hoosiers) or Braden strips for victory (Slap Shot). And I get teary eyed in the way only a sports movie can move me-- I can watch single moms with cancer die by the dozen and not weep, but show me Rudy and I need tissues. So why should I suffer? Life is too short.  There will never be a sports movie so dissatisfying and profane, a film where a dog-torturer comes back from prison and leads his team to a miraculous last second victory against the team I am rooting for (unless Todd Solondz is the director). I refuse to participate in a world where the likes of this guy experience any sort of happiness, and I'm sure he was the happiest guy in Philly yesterday, celebrating in his own unique and explosive manner.


So now you know what to get me for Gheorghe-mas. The Longest Yard. Blu-Ray, so I can really analyze Burt Reynolds' mustache.

This is why you have to love the N.Y. Post


They kept it simple with the headline (I was gonna go with "The DeSeanshank Redemption") but man did they bring it with the photoshopped dogs heads on the Giants players.  N.Y. Post Headline Writers, we salute you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Six

On the sixth day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:


Six games worth watching (and picking)
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album).


You didn't really think I was going to let Gheorghe-mas pass without showing my handsome face (and heavily tattooed body) around these parts, did you? Well, I couldn't of blamed you if you had thought that, as I've been pretty scarce contribution wise lately. What can I say? Life's been busy for me. New job, preparing for my wedding, rehabbing my body from a devastating meth explosion...I mean, injury. It's gotten to the point that I barely have time to taunt Geoff on Twitter about his sexuality. But...the Teej threatened to revoke my membership (with the new nickname and radio celebrity he's an even bigger diva than normal)if I didn't contribute to Gheorghe-mas, so despite the fact that I spent most of the afternoon drinking with Greg I decided to sit down and do my part this evening.

Remember when Gheorghe: The Blog used to pick NFL games against the boys of Jerry's Wheelhouse? Yeah, I barely remember that too. But it did in fact happen, for an entire season no less (I blame Danimal for fucking up our momentum). So, with the best NFL weekend of the year upon us, I figured I'd bring that recurring feature back (sans Wheelhouse). Enjoy, and as always, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. If you're going to bet on the NFL, bet on Raheem Morris, Josh Freeman and their matching, magic Wildcat shaped Johnsons. You heard it here first.

Chiefs (-1) @ Rams: Do you want to get drunk tomorrow afternoon? Well, you probably hate your kids. I'm not here to judge you. I hate my kids too. That's why I don't answer their phone calls and always maintain a minimum one state buffer zone. Anywho, if you want to get aggressively drunk tomorrow (I'm looking at you Igor) just take a shot every time one of the announcers makes a "show me" reference. Listen, my family is from St. Louis. I've had some very good times in Missouri. But even I'm willing to acknowledge that Missouri is a shit hole. If the most interesting thing you can say about a state is it's stupid, made up slogan (New Hampshire...you're on notice) then that place fucking sucks. And so does anything going on there. Take the Chiefs, for the last time in a long time because Sam Bradford is the truth. The Rams will own the NFC west for the next 6-8 years. Just not yet. Seriously.

Jags (+4.5) @ Colts: I guess we're supposed to be interested in this game. I mean, the AFC South is on the line but are either of these teams really any kind of postseason threat? Ummm, no. Since we're here, I'd like to point out the most underreported story of the NFL year. Kasim Osgood getting tied up, pistol whipped and then jumping out of a 2nd story window to escape certain death after he was caught fishing off the company pier by the boyfriend of a Jags cheerleader. This story was widely reported but quickly fell from the headlines. As I've said in this space before, I have a friend who tends bar at a popular Jacksonville Beach nightspot that is frequented by Jags players and he gave me the full story the last time I was in Jacksonville. Let me assure you, the reports DO NOT do this story justice. Force of habit, Colts.

Saints (+3) @ Baltimore: At what point do we all acknowledge that Baltimore's defense just isn't that good anymore? The secondary is suspect. The pass rush is inconsistent and Ray Lewis is taking over for Wilford Brimley in the Quaker Oats ads next year. "Quaker Oats: They'll murder your hunger! But they'll also use your financial resources to avoid prosecution." I know, the slogan needs work, but RayRay can sell anything. Don't believe me? What other prominent athlete with a high profile felony charge is successfully hawking everything from Old Spice to Snuggies? Uh huh. While we're here, I thought I'd share what I'm buying TJ for Christmas. Obviously, it won't compare to what Greg gave him but I think he'll still enjoy it. Saints...straight up.

Jets (+6) @ Steelers: I'm not sure I believe all the sky is falling crap about the Jets. Have they looked good the last couple of weeks? Fuck and no. Are we sure Mark Sanchez is a certifiably competent NFL QB? Hell no. Shit, he's Mexican. Do you know a single Mexican in his 20s who's good at anything? Besides Rey Mysterio, of course. I'll save you the time and say...no. To be fair, the whitebread assholes who frequent this blog are about as ethnically aware/diverse as my dead Grandmother who used to brag about my family being related to Jefferson Davis. (Seriously, if I have to see another picture of @CGormley's goddammed kitchen I might fly to Boston and firebomb it just out of principle). Wow...things escalated quickly...I mean they really got out of hand. Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think the Jets D gets after a shitty Steelers OLine (save for Mike Pouncey) and batters a hobbled Ben Rapistberger tomorrow (I wasn't even trying to be funny here, it's just easier to spell 'rape' than whatever his fucking last name is) and comes away with a win. This game will be low scoring but at least we'll see some concussions. Take the Jets.

Packers (+11.5) @ Patriots: This seems like an absurdly high line for two potential Playoff teams until you remember that Aaron Rodgers isn't playing and Matt Flynn is. Let me make you some money for Xmas shopping (or for more money at the shake club on Xmas eve...you're intrigued by the possibilities...don't lie), this line cannot be high enough. New England is winning, and winning big. Just take the Pats and lay the points. Since this game now sucks, and I'm in the Christmas spirit, I'd like to pass out another gift to a fellow G:TBer. To Zman: the guy I've never met but feel like I'd have been friends with if I had been given the good fortune of being a Northeast, liberal, prep school, tennis playing, elitist as opposed to the Southern, public school, meth cooking, basketball playing elitist that I am. You gave me Curren$y. I gave you Ghostface on Twitter. You've promised me a bottle of liquor and now I give you Emancipator: Soon It Will Be Cold Enough. It's not hip hop, more downtempo, but the beats are dope and it's an album that really goes well with the winter weather. Buy it, bitch.



Bears @ Vikings (NL): Let's be honest, the only reason anybody cares about this game anymore is because it's being played outdoors in Minnesota in late December. You know what though? That's enough for me. Speaking of sports in ridiculous weather, did any of you see the Ipswich-Leicester game on Saturday? Holy shit. It was like the Raiders-Patriots playoff Snow/Tuck Rule game without any of the importance or fan support. Much like England, it was completely fucking irrelevant, but still somehow notable. Watching a game like that makes me even more angry at baseball fans than usual. You people are right, soccer players are pussies. But somehow they can manage to play a game in a blizzard in shorts while baseball players won't even get on the field in a heavy drizzle. I can't wait until I'm old and I can drink all day and baseball is as irrelevant nationally as boxing has become. In the meantime, I think I'll continue to drink all day. Take the Bears or Julius Peppers will impregnate your wife and/or daughter. Whoops, too late. Bears.

That's it. For all the rest of the G:TB crew, I love you guys and I'm not finished Christmas shopping yet so don't fucking send me a Christmas list. I'm going to get you something and I neither want nor need any of your input to do this. Except for you TR. I don't know a fucking thing about you other than you like to drink on the train. How's a toy train set made of beer cans sound? Good? Well, swell then. Wait, that's not a train set? Shit. Well fly me up to Jersey and we'll build it together. We'll even get Dave involved. He seems like he needs adults to hang out with.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Five

On the fifth day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:


Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album).


I previously mentioned my inability to refuse a request and the Panthers' ineptitude. The fifth day of Gheorghemas ties my previous ramblings together, turning non sequiturs into actual content. This, my friends, is the type of synergy that only the internet makes possible.

The 1-12 Panthers play the 4-9 Cardinals on Sunday. Their five combined wins is the lowest number of combined wins for any of this week's games, and is especially pathetic given that this week is Week 15. Writing about pathetic pro football is my specialty, which is probably why rob made this request. Unless he was being sarcastic, in which case I apologize for being so literal. If you want real football analysis, go elsewhere.

It's hard to find synergy between the Cardinals and Panthers as they are very different football teams. The Cardinals are 90 years old, they play in Arizona, and they have played in Chicago and St. Louis. The Panthers have been around for 15 years, the entirety of which they played in North Carolina. I'm hard-pressed to find two more disparate teams in terms of age and geography.

I've never met a Cardinal fan, probably because the Cardinal franchise is one of the worst in all of sports:

* Their all-time record is 486-689-39, good for a 41.4% winning percentage.
* They won 10 or more games 6 times in the last 90 years.
* They have 8 playoff appearances in the last 90 years.
* They have a 6-7 all-time playoff record (that's one playoff win every 15 years for you sociology majors out there).
* They finished with a positive point differential 9 times in the last 40 years.
* They finished with a positive point differential 15 times in the last 60 years.
* A Cardinal has rushed for over 1000 yards 6 times in the past 25 years.
* A Cardinal has passed for over 3000 yards 14 times in the past 50 years.
* In 90 years, no one has more than 42 wins as a Cardinal coach.
* They led the league in offense once in the past 90 years (1948).
* They were a top-10 offensive team 10 times in the past 40 years.
* They never led the league in defense in the past 90 years (they were 2nd once, in 1956).
* They were a top-10 defensive team 4 times in the past 40 years.
* Their best player ever is Jim Hart.



Some might say they are the Jethro Tull of pro football.

By contrast, the Panthers are only 17 games under 0.500 in their 15 year existence. They are 6-4 in the playoffs. Five Panthers have rushed for 1000 yards and 6 have thrown for 3000 yards in 15 years. Their defense has been top-10 six times, including 2nd in 1996 (their second year in the league). John Fox has 72 wins as a coach, all with Carolina.

The Panthers have clearly enjoyed more success the the past 15 years than my lowly Bills.


It's hard to find synergy between cardinals and panthers in general. Their closest common ancestor is about 340 million years old. Their primary evolutionary commonality is that their embryos are surrounded by an amniotic sac, and they are warm-blooded.

Cardinals are small red birds that eat seeds and are typically considered to be a symbol of good luck. Cardinals intimidate no one and are a rather whimsical mascot for a violet sport like football. Panthers are large predatory cats, typically called cougars in North America, and they scare the shit out of people. Guys get panther tattoos to show how rude they are. Don't mess with them. Don't mess with political parties whose mascot is a panther either. They are almost as intimidating as the Large Hadron Collider. I'm not going out on a limb when I opine that panthers are much tougher than cardinals. And we all know how important a mascot can be.




It is therefore zoologically surprising that the Panthers are the worst team in football. They have been outscored by 174 points through 13 games, which means that on average their opponents score 13.4 more points than they do. Not surprisingly, they lead the league in both this category and in losses.


The Panthers also lead the league in scoring, if football scores worked like golf scores. They have scored 164 total points, good for 12.6 points per game. Math majors will see that the Panthers have thus given up more than twice as many points than they have scored -- 164 scored to 338 allowed. They haven't scored more than 23 points in a game.


Their QB situation is complete dreck: Matt Moore leads the team with 5 TD to go with 10 INT. Jimmy Claussen chipped in a TD and 7 INT. I thought Brian St. Pierre was a MMA fighter but he isn't, he's a bad pro QB who threw 1 TD and 2 INT for the Panthers this year. Some guy named Tony Pike also threw 12 passes for Carolina, resulting in 6 completions, 0 TD, and 0 INT. As a team they have 7 TD, 19 INT, and a passer rating of 55.0. The coefficient of variance on this Testeverdesque group's passer rating is fleetingly small (only 8.5%!), as they are all rated between 48.7 (St. Pierre) and 60.1 (Pike). So at least they're consistent.

As a result, former All-Pro WR Steve Smith has done nothing this year. Smith is so bad this year that I actually cut him from my fantasy team on Tuesday to make room for Alex Smith (I have/had Aaron Rodgers (concussion), Matt Cassel (appendix), and Vince Young (mental case), daggers all around, and I traded Kyle Orton for Dallas Clark the week befor Clark got hurt, so I need to start someone in my playoff game, which I am now guaranteed to lose). Their running game suffered injury setbacks and their offense never got on track.

The Panthers' D is ranked 26th in points scored, but they appear surprisingly statistically strong against the pass. They have 16 picks and allowed 16 TD, good for 8th most and 9th fewest, respectively, in the league. But they are as willowy against the run as they are stout against the pass, and that is their Achilles' heel.



The Cardinals and Panthers have commonalities beyond their amniotic sacs and warm blood. The Cardinals are a little bit better on offense and a little bit worse on defense, but they are similarly situated suckitudinally. They also suffer from bad QB's who drag former All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald's numbers down. Their running game was beset with injuries and the offense never got on track.

Despite their facial differences these two teams are, upon close inspection, much more similar than one would think. I think the match-up is such that the game should be close, and could be entertaining (if not the greatest moment in TV ever), provided that neither coach does anything stupid (like allow either QB to throw a forward pass). I doubt weather will be a factor in NC.

I expect both teams to run the ball all day with great success, and for the game to end with a last-second FG attempt. But no one will care because both teams are God-awful and they have no fans aside from these guys. I'm taking the Panthers; John Fox's karma should be good enough for 2 wins on the season.

Final score: Panthers 24, Cardinals 23

Special bonus video:

This combines many things that I love including fried chicken, The Dukes of Hazzard, speeding cars, women in bootie shorts, cars with after-market external accoutrements, exploding outhouses, and surprisingly Gheorghe performances (this time turned in by Jake Delhomme). Merry Gheoghemas!