Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Music Saturday

It's way too hot to do anything that requires effort, so we offer up some Louisiana-tinged bubblegum pop to take your mind off the ungodly temperatures. Here's The Givers' 'Up Up Up' for your toe-tapping enjoyment. Tiffany Lamson's cute-in-all-the-right-ways vibe doesn't hurt, either, not one little bit.

Friday, July 29, 2011


If he can teach our young strikers to finish like he did, we'll all be very happy with the new US Men's National Team Coach.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Breaking News

G:TB's network of correspondents comes through yet again, sending us this exclusive footage of the Redskins' war room immediately after the team traded Albert Haynesworth to the Patriots for some leftover sandwiches and a lottery ticket. Dan Snyder's the one in the tails:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Manliness: A Continuum

The Almighty Yojo recently wrote about masculinity and proposed that it could be defined along a continuum. I think that there are many dimensions to masculinity and that it is therefore difficult to define in a linear fashion. I am, of course, too lazy to come up with a multi-dimensional model for anything, let alone something as arbitrary and subjective as manliness. So a continuum we shall have.

Manly archetypes include the warrior, athlete, hunter, engineer (as in guys who can build or fix things, not Dilbert), and stud. Manly attributes include strength, courage, honor, and mustaches. Manly inanimate objects include fast cars, scary guns, loud motorcycles, brown liquor, yellow beer, sports apparel, and big speakers.

There are many other manly archetypes (father, husband, frat guy, lecher), attributes (toughness, shoulder hair, flatulence), and possessions (boats, stripper poles, taxidermy). This makes a quantitative analysis of manliness too difficult to undertake, so I will present my own personal continuum of masculinity along with a rationale. I don't profess that it is perfect or even close to accurate, and I wish others would admit the same when undertaking a similarly imprecise exercise.

Accordingly, I'm not going to come up with some masculinity points system (although points are huge), tally up the scores for various people, run some bullshit nonparametric analysis, and tell you who the manliest guys are (p < 0.05). Instead I'm going to rely on the aformentioned archetypes, attributes, and possessions, as well as anything else that sways my opinion, and present to you a continuum. I will not include any women on my continuum. It would be funny to include a female sturdily-built athlete, domineering political figure, or TV personality, but women are women and deserve their own continuum. Which I would like to see Dave assemble. There has to be a maximum and minimum to any continuum, and I was tasked with creating a continuum including both people and actions. The most male thing you can do, definitionally, is put to your penis into a woman's vagina. But "banging chicks" seems like a pretty lousy maximal point for the continuum. In fact it is nothing more than the midpoint of the continuum -- having sex with a woman is manly, but any man can do it (except for Raffie Palmeiro and Jake Barnes) so it seems like it's really only an average manly activity. And people perform more than one activity so in the aggregate they can be very masculine even if they don't have sex with women. For example, Robert DeNiro's priest character in Sleepers (but chastity is not masculine, more on this later), or Gareth Thomas. So the extreme ends of my continuum will be anchored by people, not activities.

The bottom of my manliness continuum is set by RuPaul. I don't put him at the bottom because I suspect that he's gay. Gay men can be very masculine (Gareth Thomas is tougher than anyone on the G:TB staff). I put him at the bottom because he hits none of the manliness factors. Here's an ad he did for Viva Glam cosmetics:

He also released this music video.

RuPaul is about as feminine as a man can be. And I mean that as a compliment, since he's a drag queen. I cannot picture RuPaul fishing or cleaning a fuel injector. I can't even picture him wearing something other than makeup, a dress, and high heels. Thus he anchors the bottom of the continuum.

If you want to argue that RuPaul isn't the world's least masculine exemplar, go ahead. At that point you're splitting hairs. It's like arguing over who's the world's tallest midget. No one wins.

The other end of the continuum, the epitome of masculinity, is Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV, the main character from "Magnum P.I.". Magnum is a Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran who kills someone almost every episode (warrior); played quarterback (RFQB?) at the Naval Academy, once trod water for 24 hours, and surfed regularly (athlete); he can fix cars and helicopters, pick locks, and dissemble and reassemble firearms blindfolded (engineer); and he gets a different woman every week (stud). He drives a Ferrari, wears his dad's hand-me-down Rolex, lives for free on an estate in Hawaii, has unlimited free access to his buddy's helicopter, and drinks for free at the King Kamehameha Club. He owns a gun, a Detroit Tigers hat, and a rubber chicken. He's so manly that they named extra-large rubbers after him. He has tremendous amounts of chest hair and one of the most famous mustaches of all time, behind only Chaplin, Hitler, Marx, and maybe Fingers.

I'm sure many of you disagree. That's fine, get your own continua. But you can't put someone like Derek Jeter or Joe Namath at the top of the continuum. They're stud athletes for sure, but neither ever killed a man and I doubt either one of them knows how to replace an oil filter (though Namath had a good stache). Ted Williams likely killed many people in World War II and Korea and he was the best hitter ever, but he wasn't much of a stud and he played for the Red Sox, the least manly team in pro sports (hence the "Pink Hat" nickname for their fanbase). That said, Jeter, Namath, and Williams are pretty fucking manly and unlike Magnum they really exist. In order of manliness I go Williams (war hero/fighter pilot status carries a lot of weight, especially since he volunteered for Korea), Jeter (impossibly impressive list of unattainable women; name-checked by GFK, Lil' Wayne, etc.), then Namath (loses points for the fur coat and pantyhose ads).

Other strong candidates for the top of the manliness continuum are the Duke Boys, Bo and Luke Duke. They are moonshiners (outlaw, another great male archetype). Luke was a Marine (warrior) and a boxer (athlete). Bo was a stock car driver (athlete) and got lots of tail (stud). Both can fix cars (engineer) and are so proficient with a bow and arrow that they can use them to make outhouses blow up (hunter). They have a cousin so slammin' that bootie shorts are named after her and they live in Georgia so they have no qualms about tappin' it. They have a buddy named Cooter. They're so manly that Waylon Jennings wrote a song about them and even took the time to narrate their life. Their uncle has a still in the barn. And they tear around in an orange 1969 Dodge Charger with the doors welded shut. American muscle cars are masculine as hell.

They lose out to Magnum because you need both Duke Boys in combination to reach Magnum's level of manliness. They also have a rebel flag on their car and that's bullshit.

At first blush Don Draper is exceedingly masculine. He bangs January Jones and every other woman he meets (stud). He's a decorated war hero (warrior) and according to my wife he's in fantastic shape (athlete). He hits on his mother figure's teenage neice (lecher). He drinks brown liquor and smokes unfiltered cigarettes with abandon and has such a preposterously high tolerance for drugs and alcohol that he is almost immune when someone slips him some roofies. He drives giant convertible American cars with V8 engines. He's perfectly tailored and seamlessly smooth. He's smart and cool and always comes up with the right angle to save his advertising firm.

But I think Draper isn't too manly in the aggregate. He isn't really a war hero (he's a deserter), and in fact his entire identity is a lie. He lost his mojo in season 4, ultimately resulting in the "Sad Don Draper" meme. He cheats on his wife, sexually harasses his secretaries, lies habitually, and treats his co-workers like peons. This is not masculine behavior. Women can do this type of stuff and it doesn't fit into any of the admirable masculine archetypes. Draper is still somewhat to the right of the continuum's midpoint (i.e., putting your penis into a woman).

The Sean Connery version of James Bond looks like Draper with a gun. He's a warrior, athlete, and stud who drives around in an Aston Martin killing Communists and other evildoers. Manly props to Sean Connery -- not only was he the best James Bond, he also was Mr. Universe and has a black belt in karate (athlete). Subsequent Bonds watered down the brand, making 007 less manly and thus falling behind Magnum. And he drinks vodka, which is a little fay compared to the Dukes' moonshine or Draper's rye.

Falling to the left of the midpoint are the Jonas Brothers. They are famously chaste, and chastity is not a masculine attribute. Jay-Z tooled on them in "On To The Next One" stating "No I'm not a Jonas Brother I'm a grown up, no I'm not a virgin I use my cajones." That's pretty harsh stuff. They don't drink, smoke, or do drugs; although these activities aren't limited entirely to men, self-destructive behavior is a masculine trait and it would help move them to the right on the continuum if they would get acquainted with the business end of a bottle of beer. They're from Wyckoff, NJ -- not sure which way that cuts.

AC Green is similarly situated along the continuum for the same reasons. Sure, he was a good athlete and he had a mustache (albeit a weak one), but he was famously chaste. He waited 38 years to lose it. That's just not a manly thing to do. He also participated in this video:

AC's lack of skills 'pon de mic don't help him move up the continuum. Ironically, Barry Sanders had a kid before he was married so he doesn't practice what he preaches when it comes to bringing the ruckus.

The "bring the ruckus" sketch is very masculine:

The act of bringing the ruckus is very masculine too -- not only does it involve putting your penis into a woman's vagina, it also involves making that ass tapdance. Very manly stuff.

Tim Tebow and his chastity are also unmanly. His proselytizing doesn't help him move up the continuum either. Sorry Mark.

Tom Brady is surprisingly effete. He's arguably the best quarterback of his generation, he has an unlimited free supply of Audis (and he has the good sense to drive an S8) and three Super Bowl rings, his wife is one of the most beautiful women in the world (and she makes something like $25 million a year), and everyone in New England loves him. I was at a party in Jamaica Plain one time and my friends were talking about Tom Brady's baby mama drama. One of the women said "You don't tell Tom Brady to pull out" and all the other women stuck out their lower lips and nodded their heads in vertical approval. I would trade places with him in an instant. But he isn't very manly. He's been known to wear a hairband and shave his armpits. But the thing that boots him way to the left of the continuum is: he wears Uggs. He's the official Uggs spokesman. Peyton Manning annoys me because I constantly see him hawking wares on my TV, but at least it's normal stuff like DirectTV or Gatorade. Uggs? UGGS?!? Are you fucking kidding me? You could get any endorsement deal you want, and you sign with Uggs? According to the press release:
Brady said he was excited to be joining the UGG family. "I have worn and loved the UGG brand for a long time," Brady said.
I guess he knows what he's doing, given all of the foregoing, but he doesn't rank highly on my continuum.

I can't think of too many artists (writiers, musicians, painters, etc.) who are exceedingly manly. Many rock starts get lots of trim, but making music isn't an especially masculine profession and rock stars who wear makeup aren't manly at all. In my view, the manly artists are always geniuses who battle drugs and/or mental illness and who commit suicide. Kurt Cobain, David Foster Wallace, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Vincent van Gogh, guys like that. I'll throw Jackson Pollock in the mix too even though he didn't kill himself. TR will likely take umbrage and cite the fact that porn star Savannah said that Greg Allman was the best lover she ever had. Umbrate away. Greg Allman can bring the ruckus and drink a lot, but can he fly a helicopter or make a 1969 Dodge Charger jump across a river? I don't think so.

Dave asked me to address seven activities, which I shall rank in order from least to most manly. A common trend across activities with high manliness quotients is stupidity. By that I mean very manly activities are also often very stupid. You'll see what I mean.

Streaking is not manly. Women streak all the time, like Erica Roe. Streaking was, in fact, invented by a woman (Lady Godiva). It's such a gender-neutral activity that it doesn't even belong on the continuum. It's like breathing. Streaking isn't all that stupid because if you convince a woman to go streaking with you you might end up putting your penis in her vagina later, which means it's a smart thing to do (assuming you want to get laid). So it's a smart activity that can lead to a manly activity, but it isn't manly in and of itself.

The Iron Man triathlon isn't very manly either. Women do it all the time (including the zsister-in-law). Sure it's tough. Sure it's insane. But it isn't stupid so it isn't particularly manly.

Tabasco shots are slightly manly because they're stupid. But I can see a certain phenotype of woman enjoying Tabasco shots because she'll be surrounded by and receive lots of attention from men while she does them.

Tearing down a fence and ripping out a stump are tied at "quite manly." These acts aren't stupid as a general matter, although if you undertake them by yourself without the aid of a Bobcat or similar device you're being stupid and/or cheap. I rank them as quite manly because women don't engage in these activities. A handful of women out there might do this, real Ma Ingalls types (or W&M co-eds nicknamed The Stump Puller), but overall this is manly stuff.

Eating the Grande is very manly. Only women who are competitive eaters would do this.

Ledge diving is manly as hell. Only men would do something this stupid. Scratch that. Only drunk 22-and-under men would do something this stupid so it involves both stupidity and drunkenness. Thus ledge diving is a quintessentially masculine endeavor.

Cars pepper the continuum. Body-on-frame SUV's are manly because you can attach a winch to the front and do some serious froadin. Unibody SUV's are not manly because they are really just minivans with doors that open outward instead of sliding back. Any car with eight or more cylinders is manly. Manual transmissions are manly, automatics are not, and those "tiptronic" style fake-shift-it-yourself automatics are atrocious. Saturns are the least manly cars ever because you couldn't haggle over the price, you had to take whatever the sticker said. Knowing how to buy a car, especially a used car, is manly. If you bought your Saturn used then your Saturn is somewhat manly even though it's made out of Tupperware. Station wagons are more manly than minivans but not by much. For the record, I drive a station wagon with an atrocious fake-shift-it-yourself transmission (i.e., a car that isn't very manly) but I bought it used so it isn't as bad as it could be.

Someone asked me to put the Village People on the plot. That person is a pain in my ass. The Village People are six guys who dressed up like manly archetypes so that they could perform disco music, and disco is some of the most unmanly music of the past 50 years. You only hear their songs at sporting events, weddings, and bar mitzvahs, i.e., events notorious for bad music. No one says "I'm going on a long car trip, I better make sure I have some Village People tracks in my iPod." (I can't wait for Igor to tell me why I'm way off base on this. Here's a premptive retort.) I have no evidence that they actually are as manly as the costumes they wear so I have no idea where to plot them. And there's six of them, so even if I did know how manly each guy was, how would I plot them as a gmish? So the Village People are not plotted on the continuum.

And here's the continuum.

(Note that this is plotted on a log scale.)
(Also note that "Being miserably chaste" slots in between Ted Williams and ledge diving.)
(Also note that Gheorghe Muresan's Gheorgheness was too potent a confounding variable for him to be plotted.)

In Praise of G:TB's Friends

While we firmly believe that the content we provide here is more than enough to keep most right-thinking Americans (and the occasional Romanian) entertained, we do venture out from time to time to keep tabs on our friends. CAA: Life as a Mid-Major's Michael Litos consistently drops science about Colonial hoops, but he outdid himself this week with a proposal that would get league play off to a raucous start.

The idea: The CAA New Year's Bash, a "season opening hoopapalooza" that brings all 12 conference teams to one location for games on December 30 and January 1. Simple in concept, genius in terms of generating interest and excitement. (Genius may be a bit strong; would you settle for very, very cool?)

The CAA currently kicks off league play with a single, out-of-place game in December. The standings then freeze for three weeks or so until teams come back from Winter Break with a four-games-in-eight days frenzy. The Bash would mitigate the negatives from both while giving hoopheads a New Year's destination and the league an opportunity to showcase itself during a fallow period for college basketball.

Litos offers Philly as a site for the event. I don't hate the City of Brotherly Fuck Off as much as I used to, and it's a useful sop to the league's northern outposts, so I see the logic. And Philly's got great restaurants and nightlife, if you can ignore the locals. I've already pledged the entirety of G:TB's advertising revenue to the project, so we'd likely get a chance to sponsor a cocktail hour, or provide lanyards.

The only negative I see is that the idea's too good for the CAA to keep to itself. But that first year will be a doozy. Who's coming to Philly with me?

Monday, July 25, 2011

A non-Zman post

So I was reading an article the other day where someone was extremely fired up about visiting the Sesame Street set. It got me thinking...if I could have any TV set of all time as my permanent residence, what would it be...and it sure seemed like an open Gheorghe conversation to me.

So, hopefully, it's OK someone other than Zoltan or Almighty YoDave posted, because I present to you my top four choices. And eagerly await your responses in the comments.

4. Barney Miller - I'd get annoyed with all the desks, but to have the opportunity to hear Abe Vigoda whine for hours on end is worth it.

3. Golden Girls - The kitchen that embraced Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia would be a welcome respite.

2. Kramer's apartment...with the Merv Griffin set inside - I mean, come on. You'd have Japanese dudes sleeping in your dresser, and a talk show in your living room? Sign me up.

1. Taxi - Louie De Palma. The Reverend Jim 'Iggy' Ignatowski. Tony Danza starting his tradition of only playing guys named Tony. The untouchable Andy Kaufman as Latka Gravas. Can't be topped, in my humble opinion.

Official G:TB Punter Interns, Gets None

Remember Zoltan Mesko, official G:TB punter?

In a tremendous display of Gheorgheness, Zoltan got himself an internship at a private equity firm during the NFL lockout. Judging by the sound of her voice in the NPR broadcast, Zoltan did not parlay his status as an NFL baller into some summer lovin' with his cubiclemate. Which is also quite Gheorghe.

And now that the NFL lockout appears to be over, he shall continue to be our official punter in 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Music Month Continues: Sometimes There's A Man . . .

The Almighty Yojo has whipped up another collage of sound for your listening enjoyment, and if you're not careful, you might learn something (that's actually not true). This song was inspired by a man named Percy Harrison Fawcett-- and when I use the word "man" in reference to him, I am referring to his character, not his gender. Do not be fooled by his rather soft-sounding name (we might say the same about G:TB contributor Whitney . . . but we might not). Percy had some serious testosterone coursing through his body; just take a look at his mustache.

I learned about Fawcett's adventures while reading a book called The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Forest. I highly recommend the book, but it will make you feel like a pansy (except for Iron-man Danimal). Fawcett spent a large portion of his life traipsing into uncharted reaches of the Amazon, confronting hostile cannibals while searching for lost cities and treasure. Most of the men who accompanied him died, and he eventually vanished in somewhere in the jungle, never to be heard from again.

This raises the question: what does it mean to be a man? While most of us aren't as profoundly macho as Percy Fawcett, there does seem to be a vein of bravado that runs through all of us men; though each man's particular expression of machismo occupies a different spot on the masculinity continuum-- whether it be the epic adventures of Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) or the mundane daring of Tony Hawks (Round Ireland with a Fridge) or even the quest for "More Power!" of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.

But there does seem to be a common thread among these various endeavors: women generally don't do shit like this.

There are exceptions, of course-- the book The Wilder Shores of love: The Exotic True-Life Stories of Isabel Burton, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, Jane Digby, and Isabell Eberhardt recounts the lives of four rather macho and adventurous women-- but I think in this case the exception proves the rule: it's hard to find women this cavalier.

The manly streak that unites us doesn't seem to be particularly advantageous to our survival; in fact, the war, violence, fighting, stunts, piracy, gambling, crime, gluttony, substance abuse, hazing, and generally retarded behavior that men participate in every day is certainly detrimental to living a long and stable life on planet earth . . . but maybe machismo, like the peacock's tail, helps with sexual selection . . . in other words, if these behaviors don't kill us, they might impress some woman-- she might consider such excessively stupid behavior as a sign of virility and thus allow us access to what Laertes refers to as his sister Ophelia's "chaste treasure."

But I doubt it. The truth is this: there's something wrong with men, and this song celebrates it.

Sometimes There's A Man by The Density

Thanks to all my colleagues for contributing words of wisdom-- especially Stacy, who had a lot to say on this subject, perhaps because she dates the manliest of men: Ed.

Thanks also to Al Pacino, Mr. T, The Dude, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Sterling Hayden, Kevin Costner, Cheech Marin, Will Ferrell, Mark McKinney, and Kevin Spacey.

Sometimes There's A Man

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?
Do you have to walk in the jungle all alone?

Do you have to frequent prostitutes? Drink cheap beer until you puke?
Baby . . . I think so . . .

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?
Do you have to heft a rock to throw?
Do you have to bet it all on the river card? Get in a bar fight to prove you’re hard?
Do you need hair up and down your back? Grow a beard like a lumberjack?
Do you have to build a shed behind your house? Repeatedly cheat on your spouse?
Do you have to mastermind a genocide? Kill a bunch of people in the country side?
Do you have prove yourself on the football field? Travel to the Yukon to club a seal?
Buy a gold-plated Rolex watch? Grab your balls and adjust your crotch?
Do you have to buy a gun and hunt big game? Get real drunk and feel ashamed?
Swear you’ll never do it again . . . get up the next day and repeat the same.
Do you have to build an atomic bomb? Seek revenge like in Wrath of Khan?
Do you need to disarm an IED? Urinate behind a tree?
Baby . . . I think so.

Where did it go? Where has it gone?
You're feeling so low. Your essence is gone.

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?

Do you have to kill the whole pigeon flock? Merge the company, buy the stock?
Kill the guards with a stolen Glock? Learn to lay a piece by Bach?
Escape from chains by picking a lock? Put your wedding ring in hock?
Laugh real hard at Red Foxx and his dummy son Lamont . . .
Baby . . . I think so . . .

A few rabid fans asked me if I could include the best lyric that didn't make the cut, and I'm happy to oblige them:

Do you have to write a thick book like Norman Mailer?
Or step into a pitch just like Don Baylor?

P.S. I am hoping that Zman writes a sequel to this post, where he actually creates a "masculinity continuum" graphic.

If you tackle this, Zman, I would like to request plot points for the following: 1) ledge diving 2) completing the Iron Man triathlon 3) Tabasco shots 4) streaking 5) tearing down a fence 6) ripping out a stump 7) eating "the grande" at La Tolteca.

Friday, July 22, 2011

One of These is Not Like the Others

Celebrating new music by a pair of my favorite artists this month, and one from an old standby that hit me in a good place as I was rambling along the Eastern Seaboard this week. Both Old 97's and They Might Be Giants released new records this week, and while neither record breaks much new ground, fans of both will be perfectly happy to add these new tunes to their catalogs.

And I was sorta blown away by 'The Road' from Emmylou Harris' new album, Hard Bargain. Yeah, that Emmylou Harris. Go out and help the economy grow, boys and girls. Lord knows our friends in the Tea Party are counting on you.

If this video had muppets it would be the ultimate Gheorghe post

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some Thoughts Regarding the Run and Shoot That Have Nothing to Do with Mouse Davis

I lived in Arlington, VA for three simultaneously fantastic and miserable years. I grew to love a few of the area’s provincial aspects, including the John Thompson Show on 980 AM. Much like Steve “The Schmoozer” Somers, Thompson has a great radio voice, although the two sound completely different. Thompson makes a low rumbling noise, slowly and deliberately drawing out the vowel sounds.

Most, if not all, of the DC-area folks who read and write here seem to dislike the John Thompson Show, probably because they have different expectations than I when it comes to sports talk radio. Thompson knows a shitload about basketball, so when he gives an opinion it carries a lot of weight with me. Thompson admits that he doesn’t know much about any other sport, which may be a reason why others around here don’t like him. But I find it refreshing.

I remember an episode of the John Thompson Show where Thompson talked about learning from other coaches. He said that he learned a lot by talking to football coaches, because football and basketball have a number of similarities, including that one position has the ball in his hands on almost every play – the quarterback and the point guard.

Channeling his inner John Thompson, Mark recently opined during an editorial meeting that run-first quarterbacks are a lot like shoot-first point guards, and that he wouldn’t want either on his team. This inspired me to take a look at some numbers and see if this holds up.

First we have to figure out who the run-first quarterbacks (“RFQB”) are. I ran a search on for all quarterbacks with 2000+ attempts since 1990. Due to the peculiarities of their search engine, I had to go back and fill in the gaps for players who started their careers before 1990. This also means that the search didn’t include players who had more than 2000 career attempts, but fewer than 2000 attempts after 1990, guys like Joe Montana and Phil Simms.

The search gave me 61 players. I then divided their number of pass attempts by their number of rushing attempts. My logic was that PFQB will have a small ratio of passes to runs because they run first. Here’s what I got:

(If you want to get a better look at all of the pictures in this post, right click on the picture and open it in a new tab. I'm too stupid to figure out how to properly size them.)

This looks about right to me. The guys who seem like they should be RFQB have the smallest ratio of passes to rushes, and the guys who can’t run have a higher ratio. As an aside, I started with a search going back to 1920 at the start of this nonsensical project and got too many players to cleanly fit in a graph. Including those extra players didn’t change much, but there was one massive outlier. Joe Namath has a staggeringly statuesque pass/run ratio of 52.99, which is 20 more passes per rush than the second highest (Ken Stabler with 32.14). Vick is also a major outlier going back to 1920. The only players with a ratio within 2.5 P/R of Vick are Kordell Stewart, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, and two guys named Tobin Rote and Greg Landry.

Here’s how the numbers look graphically:

What I found interesting is that there appears to be two types of players with a low ratio: guys who run the football well and guys who aren’t good pro quarterbacks. I suspected that guys like Carr, Mirer, and Peete have so many rush attempts because they couldn’t find an open receiver, got shook, and ran for cover. Surprisingly (at least to me) there’s a pretty linear relationship between yards per carry and the pass/rush ratio (R2 = 0.72!) so guys like Carr, Mirer, and Peete really can be considered RFQB. This makes sense – if you’re good at running, you run more often:

Based on the foregoing, I will (somewhat arbitrarily) define RFQB as QB’s with a pass/run ratio of less than 9.0, giving us: Vick, Stewart, Cunningham, Young, Garrard, Culpepper, McNair, Harbaugh, Hostetler, Carr, Blake, Garcia, Gannon, Brooks, Mirer, McNabb, and Peete. Brunell, Elway, Banks, and Plummer miss the cutoff even though I think of them as “mobile” QB’s, if not RFQB, so the 9.0 cutoff clearly isn’t perfect. Luckily this isn’t a Ph.D. thesis and I’m not getting graded on it.

Now that we identified the RFQB, we need to figure out how good they are. Passing TD and INT alone fail to take into consideration the benefits and risks of RFQB, namely rushing TD and fumbles. So I made graphs for total TD (passing and rushing) and total turnovers (INT and fumbles):

I don’t think there are any majorly serious trends here. I also graphed total TD vs. total turnovers:

This graph shows that Jeff Hostetler is a tremendous outlier and the most boring QB of the past 20 years. Daunte Culpepper is the statistical opposite of Jeff Hostetler, even though they are both RFQB. Rick Mirer, Tony Banks, David Carr, Rodney Peete, and Trent Dilfer suck. Steve Young is superhuman (especially when you consider that he played before the current pass-friendly rules), while Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and surprisingly Jeff Garcia are really good.

And I draw these conclusions with because I undertook the monumental effort of calculating the win percentage for all 61 quarterbacks evaluated ( gives you a win-lose-tie record but not a winning percentage) and found that (not surprisingly) the ratio of total TD to total turnovers is somewhat tied to winning percentage:

So then I plotted the total TD:turnover ratio against the pass:run ratio:

This is a pretty random distribution. Passer rating vs. pass/run was pretty random too, although the highest rated QB’s are not RFQB, except for Steve Young:

At this point in the analysis I wised up and realized that the simplest way to answer the question at hand was to make this graph:

This looks like about as random a distribution as you’ll get. You can win lots of games with a RFQB, and you can lose lots of games with a RFQB. The same is true for immobile QB’s. So my conclusion is that there’s nothing wrong with RFQB.

There are a lot of flaws with this analysis. For starters it compares complete careers with incomplete careers. Michael Vick didn't get old and slow yet and I imagine that his pass:run ratio will increase over the course of his career. If you only look at the first eight years of Randall Cunninham’s career, his pass:run ratio is 4.47. As he got older and slower he ran less and threw more. From 1997 to the end of his career his pass:run ratio more than doubled to 9.46 (although still very low). This makes sense given that he could throw to Cris Carter, Jake Reed, and Randy Moss or hand off to Robert Smith.

Which leads into another flaw inherent in almost all football analyses: it doesn’t take into account the quality of the QB’s teammates. Check out Tom Brady’s numbers in 2006 compared to 2007:

2006 was a good year for Brady but 2007 … laser show. The main difference between 2006 and 2007 (in my inexpert opinion)? He threw to Randy Moss and Wes Welker instead of Reche Caldwell and whatever was left of Troy Brown.

The same can be said of Kurt Warner. Look for yourself. He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB with Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Marshall Faulk or with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Edgerrin James’ ossified corpse. He was merely average with Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard, and Jeremy Shockey.

This analysis doesn’t include playoff numbers and it doesn’t include any sort of clutch factor, so Tony Romo looks better than he is and Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t look as good as he is.

I’m sure you can find other flaws, if so feel free to point them out in the comments.

And as a coda to this diatribe, passer rating doesn’t have much to do with winning, except at the extremes:

We have three losers with bad ratings, six winners with high ratings, and a blob of everyone else in the middle.

Stay tuned for Part II, Shoot First Point Guards.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've been gone too long

Summer Dave and Mr. Zmom have dominated this space of late, but thought I should jump in here with this doozy. It's as Gheorghe as it gets:

Kudos to Shlara, who I believe sent me this yesterday. It can also be found here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seasick Steve is back

Seasick Steve is back with Jack White. And Alison Mosshart. And some guy named John Paul Jones.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fashion Is Stupid (New Jersey Edition)

I have only won a contest once in my life.

This is not a complaint . . . I like the fact that I have only one contest victory under my belt, as nothing is easier to remember than the things you've only done once. My "only done once" category includes, but is not limited to: riding in a hot air balloon (in the canyons of Cappadocia), eating the "thermo-nuclear" wings at Cluck-U chicken (they made me cry like a baby), and getting bubble gum stuck in my pubic hair (you don't want to know).

I've never won a door prize or a fifty-fifty or an NCAA pool. I've never won anything significant in the lottery, and my largest lottery win-- fifty dollars-- wasn't really a win at all. To explain: G:TB contributor Whitney received twenty lottery tickets  for his nineteenth birthday (one for good luck) and-- with his usual munificence-- he decided to give me one. And, of course, the one he bequeathed me was the only winner, putting me in the awkward position of "earning" some cash that I didn't really deserve. We quickly decided to spend it on beer. Problem solved.

My other attempt at winning the lottery was more absurd, but also fruitless. My sophomore roommate (G:TB founder Rob) and I had a tradition: once a semester, we would clean our room (our room was monumentally dirty-- we lost a lizard and a microwave in the tides of filthy laundry and garbage) and we would take whatever loose change we found in the wreckage and play the lottery with it. We never won.

This would all be water under the bridge, and I would be deemed lucky in love, but unlucky in contests, aside from the fact that I live in New Jersey. And New Jersey is having a pretty serious problem. And the contest I won just may contain the solution to that problem. Let me provide some background:

William and Mary has a small radio station. A station small enough that occasionally Random Idiots made the playlist. A station small enough that we could use it as a jukebox. This was before digital media, and CD's cost money. Sometimes it was easier to call WCWM and simply request the new song you wanted to hear, rather than shell out the cash for it. The request line was never busy, and the DJs were always excited to receive a request. They took the Pink Floyd lyric "Is there anybody out there?" quite literally.

So we knew that fucking number.

So when the nice young lady on the radio said she was going to give away a couple of tickets to the Duke of Gloucester Street Movie Theater, and that she was going to conduct a creative contest in order to determine who would receive these tickets, we were ready to participate.

It was radio, so I imagined that the DJ looked like this:

But it was William and Mary, and so she probably looked like this:

So the DJ told us to imagine that the Surry Nuclear Power Plant-- which is located across the James River from Jamestown-- had just melted down, and that a terrible toxic nuclear cloud was floating east towards Williamsburg. How would we get away? The routes off the peninsula are limited and the traffic would be abominable. So what would we do? She said she would take answers for an hour and the best answer would win the tickets.

It is sad for me to report that my brain has never worked faster than this moment. This was it, the high point of my cognitive career, the fastest my mind ever processed a problem into a cogent solution. It's been all downhill since.

I dialed the number from memory, so quickly that the DJ seemed nonplussed when she picked up the phone and  I breathlessly said, "I'd like to submit an answer to the contest."


"Hanging in my closet, there is a body suit made of living cockroaches. I have sewn these cockroaches together in case of such a disaster. If the reactor melts down, I will don my suit of living cockroaches and walk off the peninsula. If the radiation is too much for me and I pass out, the cockroaches will walk for me. Or swim. And, of course, cockroaches are 100 times impervious to radiation than humans, so the suit will protect me from the toxic cloud."

The DJ said, "Wow. I'm not taking any more calls. You win."

I wish I were recounting this anecdote for entertainment purposes, but sadly, this is not the case. There is a tritium leak at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey Township, New Jersey. Authorities are worried that the radioactive waste could contaminate the Cohansey aquifer, a significant source of drinking water for residents of South Jersey.

I live in central New Jersey and the leak is far enough from my home that I don't feel the need to move, but, unfortunately, we vacation every summer for two weeks in Sea Isle City, which is dangerously close to the reactor. My family is going to need some sort of protection from radioactive waste. Since we will be at the beach,  I would prefer to make us suits of a more appropriate animal . . . perhaps starfish (sexy) or crabs (funny) or jelly-fish (translucent and super-sexy) but none of these creatures have the resistance to radiation of the German cockroach. So roaches it is. I've already caught a number in the cracks of the seats of my Jeep, and I hope I can sew something fashionable enough for my wife to wear with pride and style.

Since it's Analogy Month here at G:TB, I'm trying to see my cockroach suit as something more than a comfortable, form-fitting suit of insects designed to protect me from radiation. I think donning the cockroach suit is an apt analogy for living in New Jersey. We don our metaphorical cockroach suit every day here in The Garden State, when we venture out into the densely populated, toxic world around us, and it helps us survive the sarcasm, the traffic, and the stench of the Edgeboro Landfill. But
it's worth it, because the food is great and the beaches are awesome (and if you are wearing your cockroach suit in one of New Jersey's fabulous ethnic restaurants, then it doesn't matter if you spill some of your dinner on your lap, as the roaches will clean it up for you, and if you are wearing your cockroach suit at one of New Jersey's fabulous beaches, you will have extra buoyancy in the water and as a bonus, the roaches will protect you from being stabbed by a stray syringe).

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This morning I woke up and ran a quick 3.5 miles before breakfast. Felt pretty good about myself. I'll run a few 10k races this summer in preparation for the Army 10-miler in October and the Richmond Half-Marathon in November. And I'll feel pretty good about myself.

Over the course of 11 months, Charlie Wittmack attempted to swim the English Channel, hop on a bike and ride across Europe and Asia, where he planned to summit Everest. He lost toenails, experienced exhilarating highs and moments of sublime comedy. Other times, he came close to death. In the end, he learned a bit about being a father, a husband, and a son. And I think he felt pretty good about himself.

ESPN's Wayne Drehs produced an excellent multi-media piece on Wittmack. It's available here. Check it out while you sit on your couch this weekend.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sequel Sucks Nearly as Much as the Original

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Butler and Steven Durham likely have little appreciation for irony this evening. In fact, it's fairly likely they're more than five fingers deep into a bottle of something strong after their gaffe in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens. Most reading this post already know that Judge Reggie Walton angrily declared a mistrial today after the prosecution violated his pre-trial instructions and allowed the jury to indirectly hear testimony from Andy Pettitte's wife, Laura. We don't spend much time in courtrooms, not since that unfortunate skinny-dipping/goat-tipping incident, but we suspect it's rare that a Federal judge denigrates an AUSA by calling his conduct less competent than that of a first-year law school student.

Were Butler and Durham in the mood to wax philosophical, though, they might draw some small amusement from the symmetry between today's result and that of Game 4 of the 1990 ALCS. Clemens had a lot on the line that October day, as well. He took the mound with the Red Sox trailing the Oakland A's, three games to none. He'd pitched effectively in Game 1, tossing six scoreless frames before the Sox' bullpen imploded, giving up nine runs in the final three innings. And just as the U.S. had a solid opening day in Judge Walton's courtroom, Clemens set the A's down in the bottom of the first inning of the fourth game, erasing a leadoff single by Rickey Henderson with a double play and retiring Jose Canseco on a meek grounder to second.

In both events, though, the second act proved pivotal. Clemens got Harold Baines to pop to third to lead off the second inning, but Carney Lansford and Terry Steinbach both singled, with Steinbach heading to second on a error by Mike Greenwell. The tightly-wound Clemens visibly chafed at the Greenwell error, but seemed to avoid real damage when Mark McGwire grounded to short, scoring Lansford. Willie Randolph worked a walk on five pitches (and in the movie, this is where the director employs a split screen showing the Government screening Clemens' Congressional testimony), bringing light-hitting Mike Gallego to the plate.

As an agitated Clemens received the ball from catcher Tony Pena, he began yelling at plate umpire Terry Cooney (playing the role of Reggie Walton in this bizarre shadow performance). Several of Crash Davis' magic words followed, leaving Cooney/Walton no choice but to eject Clemens/declare a mistrial. Gallego doubled off relief pitcher Tom Bolton, giving the A's a lead they wouldn't relinquish, as they swept the Sox for the second time in three ALCS matchups.

Durham and Butler certainly wouldn't appreciate this observation, either. At the time, Sox fans like me figured Clemens a bit gutless, folding under the pressure. In hindsight, it's possible that certain other factors might have caused the Texas Con Man to exhibit irrational, uncontrollable rage.

If only he'd lied about it to Congress.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Cheekiest Play In The History Of Women's Athletics (But Perhaps I'm Biased)

During the dramatic 3-1 U.S. victory over France in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup yesterday, there was a certain play that captured my imagination. And it was not Abby Wambach's decisive header. In fact, I am sad to report that it was actually a play by a French player.

U.S goalie Hope Solo had scooped up yet another long range French shot, and attacking midfielder Gaetane Thiney noticed that Solo was holding the ball in one outstretched hand, like she was hefting a melon at the grocery store. Thiney scampered around Solo, staying out of her sight, and then headed the ball out of Solo's over-sized glove towards the goal.  The Yahoo Eurosport live blog reported this about Thiney's play: "Thiney attempts to head the ball out of Solo's one hand as the keeper prepares to belt it down field. Very cheeky. A nice attempt but the ref gives a free kick." While there is some debate over whether this play was legal or not, it appears the referee made a good call. Check out the rule below. I've bolded the important stuff.


The goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when the ball is held with both hands, held by trapping the ball between one hand and any surface (e.g., the ground, a goalpost, the goalkeeper’s body), or holding the ball in the outstretched open palm. Once established, possession is maintained, when the ball is held as described above, while bouncing the ball on the ground or throwing it into the air. Possession is given up if, after throwing the ball into the air, it is allowed to hit the ground.

While the ball is in the possession of the goalkeeper, it may not be challenged for or played by an opponent in any manner. An opponent who attempts to challenge for a ball in the possession of the goalkeeper may be considered to have committed a direct free kick foul.

Still, I thought Thiney had a lot of guts to challenge Hope Solo in this manner. I saw it as a David and Goliath moment, the slender and petite Thiney pestering the intimidating giant. But when I looked up the size of the players, I found that Solo is only two inches taller than Thiney. Perhaps something else was at play in my mind. Perhaps the play captured my imagination not because it was clever and "cheeky." Perhaps it captured my imagination because Thiney looks like this:

After the play, I lost focus on the game-- which is easy enough to do, it is soccer after all-- and instead began to fantasize about what I would say if I ran into Gaetane Thiney in Paris (a city I have no desire to visit). In my fantasy I was fluent in French (a language I have no desire to learn) and it went down like this:

Dave: Gaetane Thiney! Bonjour! Je n'oublierai jamais lorsque vous dirigé la balle du barbare que géant espère Solo de part. C'était très intelligent et courageux.

Thiney: Merci, je suis flatté que vous comprendrez que jouer.

Dave: Nous pourrions peut-être obtenir un café et un croissant.

Thiney: Oui. Nous pourrions siéger sous la Tour Eiffel. Il est long et dur et instrument phallique.

Dave: Ce serait parfait. Hey, est-ce pas David Sedaris et son petit ami, Hugh? Bonjour David, aimez votre travail. Hi Hugh!

David Sedaris: Hi Dave. J'aime votre travail. Je souhaite Je pourrais écrire sentences ainsi comme vous.

Hugh: Il est vrai. Il Lit Phrase de Dave chaque jour et juste rit et rit. Moi aussi. 

Dave: Merci les gars, vous êtes trop aimable. À bientôt.

Thiney: Dave, je vous trouve très sexy.

And then Abby Wambach's terrific goal snapped me out of my fantasy just before the good part . . .

I have no problem admitting that attractiveness influences my rooting while I'm watching women's athletics. I was far more partial to Gabriella Sabatini than I was to Martina Navratilova. But here is the question I have for the female readers of G:TB: does this make me sexist? Or simply heterosexual? Do women find themselves having the same emotions when they watch men's sports?

I've had no problem rooting for some terrifically ugly male athletes: Patrick Ewing and John Kruk and-- more recently-- Dirk Nowitzki-- but when it comes to watching women play, I can't be so blind to aesthetics. I also admit that when I take a hardcover book out of the library, and the author is female, I sneak a peek at the inside of the back cover to see if the author is cute. I don't do this when it's a male author. So is this wrong? Or is it simply human nature? And then there is the real monkey wrench . . . why does gay ex-pat author David Sedaris and his boyfriend Hugh show up at the end of my fantasy? And why am I so excited that they each paid me a compliment?

Here's a translation of my fantasy conversation, in case your French is as weak as mine.

Dave: Gaetane Thiney! Hello! I'll never forget when you headed the ball out of that barbaric giant Hope Solo's hand. That was very clever and brave.

Thiney: Thank you, I'm flattered that you appreciate that play.

Dave: Perhaps we could get some coffee and a croissant.

Thiney: Yes. We could sit beneath the Eiffel Tower. It is long and hard and phallic.

Dave: That would be perfect. Hey, isn't that David Sedaris and his boyfriend, Hugh? Hi David, love your work. Hi Hugh!

David Sedaris: Hi Dave. I love your work. I wish I could write sentences as well as you.

Hugh: It's true. He reads Sentence of Dave every day and just laughs and laughs. Me too.

Dave: Thanks guys, you're too kind. See you later.

Thiney: Dave, I find you very sexy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is not a Fugazi post

In an effort to continue our Ghostface Fillah streak, FOG:TB Squeaky put me onto Wugazi, a Fugazi/Wu-Tang mashup. It's called 13 Chambers in homage to 13 Songs and Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Even if those album titles mean nothing to you, I guarantee you're familiar with Waiting Room and C.R.E.A.M. if you were a teenager in the early 1990's. At first blush these are vastly disparate videos, but the more you watch them the more similar they become. For instance, there aren't many women and all the "dancing" really just involved bopping your head and chopping your arms up and down.

(Parenthetically, the C.R.E.A.M. video serves as a potent reminder of the amazing awkwardness of the old Q45. All cars need a grill.)

So it's no surprise that Wugazi works. Right now I can only find these three tracks. I'll alert our loyal fanbase if and when more tracks surface.

Forensic Shimmy by WUGAZI

Sweet Release by WUGAZI

Sleep Rules Everything Around Me by WUGAZI

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shaolin Lumber Company, alternately titled "Finding Inspiration In Defeat: This Post Makes Me As Happy As A Perfect Double-Tapered Shit"

I returned from last year's OBFT fully prepared to write an inspired post. I got this far before the wheels fell off:
The G:TB Editorial Summit at OBFT XVII was remarkably hiphop. We got to the bottom of many rap-related questions, like:

- Who shot Biggie?
- Who shot Tupac?
- Who shot Jam Master Jay?
- Who shot the deputy?
- What are industry rules number one through four thousand and seventy-nine?

I'm kidding. The Summit was preposterously unhiphop. About a dozen white guys between the ages of 32 and 40 piled into a historic landmark on the beach in North Carolina to drink yellow American beer and play cornhole while listening to classic rock. And they all went to William and Mary. A golf foursome consisting of Lindsey Graham, Rupert Murdoch, Andrea Bocelli, and Richard Posner might be more hiphop.

We did, however, ponder a post-worth problem: If the Wu-Tang Clan decided to field a baseball team, what would be the proper batting order, assuming that the order is based upon each MC's flow and not his batting prowess.

This issue is about as important as the ethics of time travel. I can't wait for Chuck Klosterman to rip us off.

After deliberation with the rest of the staff (just Mark really), I arrived at the following lineup:

ODB - high on base percentage as he's a basehead
Inspectah Deck - doesn't take anything off the table, adds value now and then
Raekwon - the start of rap's murderer's row
GFK - the most productive guy in the crew, Pretty Toney bats cleanup despite calling himself "rap's Derek Jeter"
GZA - bats ahead of Meth solely on the strength of Liquid Swords, I won't argue if you swap them
Meth - could move up in the order if he'd put the pipe down; rap's murderer's row ends here
RZA - likely a much better manager than player
Masta Killa - meh
U-God - mah

Cappadonna pinch hits.

For some reason I decided to do a little internet research into this issue because something told me it wasn't completely novel. That's when I found this: a fantasy baseball game pitting the Wu-Tang Clan against Bruce Sprinsteen and the E Street Band.

I was desolate and abandoned the post, leaving it to rot in the "drafts" folder. Another OBFT came and went and the post remained festering like a blister in the sun that is our works-in-progress. Teedge, in his role as Doofus Overlord, asked me to revist the post.

Which brings us up to date.

I considered tearing apart the "Flip Flop Fly Ball" analysis (U-God leads off?! Raekwon has no hits?! Ghostface bats eighth?!? EIGHTH?!??! And although I appreciate the humor in Bruce pitching/Patti catching, there's no way Springsteen bats ninth.) but the rest of their site is pretty cool and even a bit Gheorghe. Who the hell am I to rip someone else's efforts at making a humorous mix of sports and music?

In fact, through Flip Flop Fly Ball I found this NFSW gem:

I plan to figure out how to work the phrase "perfect double-tapered shit" into at least one conversation per day ... without actually talking about a bowel movement. Hence the title of this post.

Thank you, Flip Flop Fly Ball, for giving me new purpose just as swiftly as you took it from me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Ghostface Post Involving Potential Copyright Infringement

Remember Mos Dub? Max Tannone is back with another remix called Ghostfunk, fusing Ghostface Killah's lyrics with African funk beats. I don't know whether any of the samples were cleared. If you're willing to run the risk of roiling the wrath of Jack Urbont, you can download the whole thing here.

Ghostfunk by Max Tannone

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Jack Urbont Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit

Jack Urbont is an 80-year-old guy who wrote the theme songs for a bunch of TV shows, including Mission Impossible, Mannix, and Video Vixens. He also wrote the theme for the Iron Man cartoon:

Not nearly as jazzy as the Spider-Man theme song, but it may soon become incredibly lucrative for Mr. Urbont. All of you (and by that I really only mean Mark and maybe Dave) recognize that this 23 second song appears in its entirety at the beginning of Supreme Clientele, Ghostface Killah's magnum opus and quite possibly the greatest hiphop album of the 21st century.

Mr. Urbont just caught wind of Supreme Clientele, which came out over 11 years ago, and he isn't happy about it. I know this because he filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York in which he alleges that he was not paid for the use of the song.

Here is the complaint. Ghostface Killah's real name is Dennis Coles. So when he pays taxes, gets a driver's license, opens a bank account, buys a house, etc. he goes by Dennis Coles. If you sue him you bring your complaint against Dennis Coles. Which Mr. Urbont did. But throughout the complaint, after first referring to "Dennis Coles, p/k/a 'Ghostface Killah,'" Urbont's lawyer simply calls him "Ghostface." It's fantastic.

Even more fantastic is this preemeptive strike against a laches defense from paragraph 32:

Urbont is over 80 years old and would not normally encounter the Defendants' rap music in the ordinary course of his dealings in the music industry or otherwise.

I suspect Ghostface may have a statute of limitations defense, unless a claim accrues each time an album (or the song) is sold. I'll leave that analysis to the professionals.

My favorite claim is Urbont's count of unfair competition, which in a nutshell is:

Defendant Ghostface is also known by the name "Tony Starks" which is a take-off of the name "Tony Stark," Iron Man's real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants' use of Urbont's "Iron Man Theme" gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it.

I love this because (1) there is no Iron Man, so he has no real name and true identity; (2) Urbont didn't create the Iron Man character so nothing was misappropriated from him in this regard; (3) Ghostface released an album titled Ironman in 1996 and refers to himself as Ironman or Tony Starks in all his albums, including "The Pretty Toney Album," indicating that Mr. Urbont didn't dig too deeply into GFK's discography; and (4) what substantial commercial advantage could possibly accrue to GFK in 2000 by tying himself to a pre-Robert Downey Jr. version of a comic book character? Comic books aren't cool and they certainly aren't hood. If anything it took a real badass like Ghostface to turn a nerdy comic book into something with street cred.

The best part of this case is yet to come: discovery. I salivate at the thought of getting to review Ghostface Killah's emails over the past 11+ years. And can you imagine what his deposition will be like? I envision a transcript peppered with "C'mon son," "Nah mean," and "Word is bond God."

I eagerly await Mr. Coles' Answer. I'll keep you posted as the case develops.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Classic Rock Up Your Ass Friday

I expect a slow day here at G:TB. In an effort to increase post-count and to provide Doofus Overlord-approved filler, here's my write-in entry in Classic Rock Shootout.

Steppenwolf has but a few hits in their catalog, but they get a fair number of spins. They could rattle some brackets.

If you're sitting on a beach, or sitting at Tortuga's Lie, drink in hand, relaxing with friends, playing drinking games that you made up 10 minutes ago, tooling on each other's bad tshirts, and getting cornhole lessons from Jerry and Dave ... go to hell.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It's Time for July Madness! (We Need a Better Name)

Okay, folks. At a recent Gheorghe: The Summit here in Coastal Virginia, the three most idiotic Gheorghers sat down and cranked out the entries for a project we've had in the works for quite a while. The Selection Committee presents to you, fair readers, on this Selection Wednesday, the group of 63 entries in this, the first ever . . .

Classic Rock Shootout Championship Tournament

How it works (see if you can follow this complex formula):

At the 18th Annual Outer Banks Fishing Trip (T-minus 14 hours), we are going to listen to the local Classic Rock station (106.9 The Fox) beginning Friday morning. As soon as we hear a song by the artists we have selected, they move to the second round while their first-round opponent is ousted. Once the round is complete, on to the second round we go.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Ad nauseum. All weekend.

Flaws in the system? Many.
Flaws in the seeding? None. Shut up.
Intelligence in this concept? Eh, a little.
The best part? A write-in space at #64. You don't see this in the NCAA Tournament!

For those on the trip, this will be something special.
For those not, feel free to fill out your own bracket and follow along. If you have a smart phone, download WunderRadio app and find WAFX in Suffolk, VA. I hope to be able to update the online bracket as we go. (Somebody bring a laptop.)

Click here to see the online bracket.

The Seeds

Led Zeppelin
Rolling Stones
Pink Floyd
The Beatles
Eagles / Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Joe Walsh
Elton John
Cream / Eric Clapton / Derek & Dominos
Tom Petty / & Heartbreakers
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Bruce Springsteen / & E Street Band
The Who / Pete Townshend
The Doors
CCR / John Fogerty
Billy Joel
CSN / Neil Young
John Cougar / Mellencamp
Van Halen
The Police / Sting
Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks
Jimi Hendrix
Bob Dylan
S&G / Paul Simon / Art Garfunkel
The Doobie Brothers
Dire Straits
Guns N' Roses
Steve Miller Band
Van Morrison
David Bowie
The Cars
Rod Stewart
Bob Seger
Steely Dan
ZZ Top
Genesis / Phil Collins
The Kinks
Def Leppard
REO Speedwagon
Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne
Eddie Money
Electric Light Orchestra
The Allman Brothers
Talking Heads
Bad Company
Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship / Starship
Stevie Wonder
James Taylor
The Band
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Jethro Tull
.38 Special


This Week in Jurisprudence

The mad captains piloting this leaky vessel have our share of white whales. Or, in TJ's case, African-American whales. His obsession with O.J. Simpson is well chronicled. As is Mark's with all things Tennessee, and Dave's quest to destroy the world's taco supply.

I get the rare pleasure beginning tomorrow of watching the object of my irrational derision called to account for his sins. Sometime in the morning, somewhere in Washington, DC (both facts available to those willing to actually look for them), Roger Clemens will go on trial for perjuring himself in front of the U.S. Congress. And somewhere in Northern Virginia, I'll let out a little cackle of schadenfreude-inspired glee.

BOFOG:TB (give it a minute) T.J. Quinn offers a great recap of the details of the Clemens case today - in keeping with our why-do-the-work-when-someone-else-can philosophy, I commend his comprehensive preview to your attention. He'll be tracking the case as @TJQuinnESPN on Twitter. Mark Fainaru-Wada says you should follow Quinn's updates, and that's more than good enough for me.

I see very few losing scenarios for right-minded Americans in the Clemens case. Even if his acclaimed legal team succeeds in clearing the Texas Con Man, the trial promises to be embarrassing, with tales of clandestine injections, "misremembering", and assorted unsavory characters. Then, the inevitable film treatment (and Taiwanese animation) will follow, ensuring that Clemens will spend the better part of the next decade in a sort of dipshit purgatory.

Clemens' own attorneys kicked things off today in pre-trial proceedings, establishing that their client was "not a scholar of linguistics". That's a kind way to call someone a dumbass. We need to work on a new turn of phrase for dumbass. Thanks to the media and the U.S. Department of Justice, we'll have a few weeks to work on it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Just Because

Enjoy this clip:

Monday, July 04, 2011

Amerigo, Fuck Yeah

Happy Independence Day, people of Gheorghe.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

It Puts the Billy Lotion in the iPod

G:TB previously told you about Aloe Blacc. You're a fool if you continue to deprive yourself of his modern take on classic soul. Go get "Good Things" immediately. If you're not careful you might get yourself laid.

Willie Evans Jr., possibly the best MC to ever come out of Jacksonville, apparently reads our posts as he recently made a (free!) album using only samples from "Good Things." He called it "Billy Lotion." I suggest you give it a listen.

My favorite track is "Rap Games," for which Evans made a video based on the Aloe Blacc video based on my TR/FD lovechild post. I would characterize it as bangin' to quite bangin'.

If this isn't enough for you, here's Willie's explanation of the story behind the origin of "Billy Lotion":

The good people over at High Water Music asked me to stop playing Tekken 6 long enough to explain/talk about Billy Lotion. Billy Lotion is essentially the product of Sucio Smash letting me hear Aloe Blacc’s most recent album and then saying “What if you made a beat cd out of this album?” After listening to (and being blown away by) the album I sat down, partook of the shrubbery and made beats. It’s pretty much that simple. This is basically a pet project that, through the magic of the ‘SucioPrism’ is now in your hard drive and hopefully on your phone/ipod/pad/blah. Please enjoy. And buy 1000 copies of my next album. I’m obligated to say that. But do it though. – Willie Evans Jr.

I only play to buy one copy of Willie's next album, "Introducin,’" which comes out on July 19th, but I think he won't mind.