Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Banner Day

Today I found out that the William and Mary Squirrel has a Facebook Page. (On which it's listed as a 'Public Figure'.  Got 1,334 'likes' and everything.) It happened right after I got tweeted to by @WMSquirrel. Yeah, things are really moving in high gear down here at the quarry.

ICYMI: The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do

I miss cassettes. In particular I miss mixtapes. You don't know what's on there until you take a listen. And there's something nerdily pleasurable about giving someone an unlabeled mixtape to expand their musical horizons.

There are rules to this process.

It's nigh impossible to be surprised by music nowadays. My iPod not only tells me the name of the song, album, and artist, it tells me the number of minutes and seconds that have played and that remain and even shows the album artwork! If I put a CD in my computer I get most of the same information. My CD player only gives me track number and time outputs, although fancier ones can tell you about the artist and song. Hell, even my car tells me the name of the song and artist playing on FM stations.

When Dave's friend asked me to put together a "bangin' old-school hiphop playlist" during a recent chili-themed minisummit, I felt competing pangs of joy (someone recognizes the superiority of my musical taste!) and pain (there will be no suspense over which to drape my superior musical taste!). Sunshine and rain, if you will. Simply put, I could list some song titles here and call it a day. But it's entirely possible, nay, probable, that you will simply look at the list and poo-poo it, or not listen to any of it because you're familiar with the tracks. There likely is a way to combine a bunch of songs into one MP3 with no track breaks, but I don't know how to do that.

So I'm doing this:

Track 1 (I really consider this part of Track 2)
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5 (best cellphone ever!)
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8 (this is all yootoob has?!)
Track 9
Track 10
Track 11
Track 12
Track 13

Everything except for track 8 is 19+ years old and all these songs are bangin', so I believe I accomplished the assignment (i.e., I created a bangin' old school hiphop playlist). If you email me I'll send you a Spotify link. Enjoy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Washington Wizards Earn First Road Win, Rashard Lewis Celebrates In Most Wiz Way Ever

Oh, the Wizards. Even when they win, they lose. Washington (4-16) won their first road game of the season Saturday night, defeating the Bobcats 102-99 in Charlotte. It was the Wizards' first road win since April of last year, in fact. It also meant they are no longer the worst team in the NBA (shocking, I know). That's good news, right. Exciting stuff. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I watched the whole game (we'll ignore the fact the Wiz only won by three despite Charlotte being without five players, including their top two scorers). Dan Steinberg, aka @dcsportsbog, captured the jubilation on interim coach Randy Wittman's face after this rousing road victory (stoic, stone-faced excitement from the Fred Gwynne look alike...@recordsANDradio had a few choice pics in there too). And I was lucky enough to grab this gem of a pic as the game ended:

This is where I'm about to go off the rails. The Wizards had just won their first road game of the season (and fourth game in 20 tries), and what's this I see? Rashard Lewis is autographing a sneaker for a woman 15 seconds after the game ends (no, seriously, it was 15 seconds after the game). No time for you, Coach, my $22 million dollar ass needs to sign this autograph, for this particular woman. But wait folks, it gets better. THE WOMAN IS ANDRAY BLATCHE'S MOTHER. RASHARD LEWIS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT A RARE ROAD WIN AND IS IGNORING HIS HEAD COACH TO AUTOGRAPH A SNEAKER FOR 7 DAY DRAY'S MOM. [many thanks to @trevorjackson85 of Wizards Extreme and @jpoe82 for this picture, and the one below]

Slow down, overly angry typer, how can you be sure that is Blatche's mom? Well, luckily for us, Comcast chose to show her and her friends enjoying the game earlier. Take a look at the shirt. It's the same woman. And, before you say I have something against Blatche (a dude who played eight minutes in the Charlotte game and may or may not have left with a calf injury/excessive pouting) and am just making up that this was his mom for effect, I did a little digging.

Here is a story about Blatche's mom from the Syracuse Post-Standard. I did some particularly shoddy copy/paste/snipping work of the article pic and another pic from the game. Look at the picture of the woman. I'm no facial recognition expert, but those two faces appear extremely similar. It's Blatche's mom.

So, to reiterate, a guy making 22 million dollars a year blew off his coach after a win to immediately sign a sneaker for the mother of an underachieving, pouty teammate, who just so happens to be the captain of this sinking ship.

Ladies and gentleman, your 2011-2012 Washington Wizards.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hope You Don't Have Plans

Really good thing that today is Saturday, because this video will almost certainly take up a significant portion of your day. Casey Pugh, a web developer for Vimeo and (obviously) Star Wars fan has created one of the most impressive (and culturally critical) crowdsourced artworks the world has ever seen.

Pugh worked with a friend to develop an application to carve Star Wars into 15-second segments, then created a distribution mechanism that enabled auteurs the world over to film their own versions of the scenes. After receiving thousands of responses, Pugh stitched the results together into a shot for shot version of the movie, digital crazyquilt-style. The result is an homage that's next to impossible to stop watching.

Real film buffs will note several nods to the groundbreaking filmmaking style first pioneered in the early 1990s in Williamsburg, VA in such classics as The Dark Side Returns and Rodeo. (Jokes for two are permissible here, but only on weekends.)

Settle in, grab a cold drink and some popcorn, and prepare to be unable to turn this off.

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Coming Home

I have a secret to tell from my electrical well.

Wait, wrong post. In truth, I have a confession to make. All but my very closest friends know me as a mild-mannered (I'll thank you to not snicker at this point.) suburban businessman with a wife and kids, minivan, all the trappings. This morning's Washington Post blew my cover and exposed my double life, and frankly, I'm breathing more easily than I have in years.

The Washington Times had the story back in November, but nobody really paid much attention to that right-wing whackadoodle rag:

D.C. United has acquired veteran defender Robbie Russell, 32, from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a 2013 MLS SuperDraft third round selection. In other news, United will kick off the 2012 season at home on March 10. 

Russell comes to United following four seasons with Real Salt Lake, where he played 78 regular season matches (68 starts). The veteran also played in leagues in Norway and Denmark.

It's true. Despite my outward appearance, I'm actually a 32 year-old African American outside back with a penchant for tattooing my club logo on my ribcage. You may remember me from when I scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift RSL to the 2009 MLC Cup. (The stuff about "Tiana" is a bit of a ruse, but it makes for a good story.)

Damn, but it feels good to stop living a lie. Can't wait to see you all at RFK this season. I'll have tickets waiting for all of you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Week in Wrenball: Stubborn Belief

William & Mary is 4-17, 2-7 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Tribe is in the top ten in the nation in one statistical category: losses. They're 293rd in efficiency, 291st in points per possession, 309th in rebound percentage, 316th in steal percentage, and 316th in block percentage. By nearly all statistical measures, they stink.

I can't for the life of me figure out why I continue to be so optimistic about this team. But I do. In a season full of losses, of depth-crippling and star-limiting injuries, of youthful mistakes, and learning on the fly, the Tribe has shown sparks of the potential that led experts to tab them for 6th in the conference in the preseason. In the last week, they took VCU to overtime and fell to UNCW by 2 before running out of steam against a nail-tough Drexel squad.

Tony Shaver's Wrens travel to Harrisonburg tonight to take on one of their two conference victims, a banged-up JMU squad. Matt Brady's Dukes are a funhouse mirror image of the Tribe, full of talent, equally beset by injuries, but hampered by inexplicable mental failures. Mark Selig (@MarkSelig) of the Harrisonburg Daily News Record tweeted this after the Dukes' 71-69 loss on Saturday to Hofstra, theretofore winless in the conference:

Devon Moore falls down, Alioune Diouf is oblivious to the game clock, and the Dukes never get a shot off. Hofstra wins.

JMU Sports Blog's suavely named Rob had the following to say after the loss: "I don’t know what else to say. Todd and I aren’t even pissed. We’re numb. And as fans that might actually be worse." A week prior, the Dukes bloggers titled a post Poop > JMU. Going out on a limb here, but I think Madison fans might be slightly more aggravated with their team that we are with ours.

I suppose it's all a matter of expectations. JMU entered conference play with a 7-4 record, then lost 5 straight CAA games. The Tribe came in 2-10 and danced with the hobgoblin of small minds. Consistency, thy name is the Tribe just failing to make enough plays at the right time, even as it isn't a descriptor of W&Ms' performance this season. And maybe that's the thing that keeps me positive about this team - the effort, the individual ability, the system are all there, but not at the same time. My futile superbrain believes this team is capable of...something.

The winner of tonight's tickle fight takes sole possession of the coveted 9th spot in the CAA standings. W&M topped JMU, 68-61, in Williamsburg earlier in the season, but the Dukes go into the game 8 point home favorites. That's an outrage, and I plan to write a strongly worded dissent, once I find someone who cares.

Other than Danimal.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flipped Out

Courtesy of FOG:TB Wheelhouse (R.I.P) Geoff, Ernie Grunfeld ended today's press conference announcing the firing of Flip Saunders as Wizards coach with the following words to live by:

"Just because you're losing doesn't mean you're a loser."

He left out the little known codicil, "Unless you're the Wizards, in which case your loserdom is self-evident."

This picture, taken two years ago, is the last known evidence of Flip Saunders smiling. Until today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Once in a Lifetime Starts Making Sense

It looks like the new internet piracy laws are stalled in Congress, and so the G:TB and other venerable institutions will have no legal recourse when sketchy organizations like Sports Illustrated and Grantland rip us off. We'll just have to remain one step ahead of them.

Last month, I dreamed up a feature called "Songs I Am Loath to Admit I Do Not Loathe," which is not only grammatically instructional but also loads of fun for the whole family.  Soon after, Grantland debuted their ersatz version, which they lamely subtitled "Revealing the Tunes We Hate to Love." What can you do? It's the Wild West out here. Instead of complaining, I am going to turn the tables on those plagiarist fuckers and write about a song that I actually love-- a song I have always loved-- but a song that only recently started making sense. I'm talking about The Talking Heads' song "Once In A Lifetime."

This is difficult, as I don't want to betray G:TB's masthead and shibboleth, and take myself too seriously. It's much easier, in my old age, to be ironic about pop music. I rarely get the same profound emotional response from music now that I got when I was a kid. Though your bands may have been different, you know what I mean; your emotions were the same. Music could take you to a different planet: Houses of the Holy and Dark Side of the Moon. It could get you wound up: AC/DC and The Cult. It could make you feel subversive: The Minutemen and Black Flag and Minor Threat. It could rock: Sound Garden and Jane's Addiction and Alice in Chains. It could groove: The Clash and INXS and The Jam. And it could make you feel hip: Paul's Boutique and Public Enemy.

But as I got older, it got harder and harder for music to penetrate my consciousness. After college, I started getting into jazz and classical music, and my pop music taste tended towards the ironic psychedelia of Ween. And The Talking Heads. After a frenetic day of teaching math to emotionally disturbed kids, I would unwind by playing Road Rash on the Sega Genesis (I conquered that game, defeated every level, got all the way to the secret "cop level" . . . and the end of the game was so disappointing that I never played video games again). And while I whipped other motorcyclists with chains, beat them with clubs, or whacked them with nunchaku, I would simultaneously listen to either Ween's The Pod, or The Talking Heads.

These days I constantly need new and different music to even pique my interest-- obscure funk and baroque instrumental, Afro-Cuban jazz and underground albino hip-hop (thanks Mark!), mashed up masterpieces by The Hood Internet and Girl Talk. But there are a few of the old bands that still do it for me. While it's hard for me to go back to the days of "Fire Woman," I can still throw on London Calling or Exile on Main Street. And I can still listen to The Talking Heads.

And so I was listening to "Once In A Lifetime" last week and it really hit home. I am lucky enough to say that David Byrne's opening monologue literally applies to my life.

I have found myself living in another part of the world.
I have found myself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife.
And I have asked myself: well . . . how did I get here?

I am sure there are people that have never asked themselves, "How did I get here?" I am sure there are people who imagine this is how it should go down: nice house, cute wife, big car, but not me. I am always thinking: "This is not my beautiful house . . . this is not my beautiful wife . . . how did I get here?"  I have traveled the world. My wife is charming, slender, and attractive. I slice peppers on a granite counter-top in a remodeled kitchen. I have blonde kids. Blonde kids? I am swarthy. And hairy. My friend Melanie once said: "it looks like you stole your children."

I often feel as if I'm having an outer body experience, I'm at the pool, chatting with other moms and dads, my kids swimming around, and I can't believe it. It's like I've infiltrated a secret club. I feel as if I deserve none of this. I appear normal, successful. House, job, wife, etc. I go to dinner parties. How? And I wonder: "Is everyone else winging it? Is everyone else an idiot like me?" Igor gives his weekly report in the comments: he's working his ass off, attending fundraisers, finding employment for disabled folks. How did this happen?

In a week's time, we are getting a dog. A DOG. I love dogs, but it seems like another piece in this bizarre puzzle; now I'll be walking through the park with my two blonde kids and a dog and people will think I'm normal. They will have no knowledge of my actual record with pets, which includes losing a lizard for several months in the dorm room I shared with Rob; having to euthanize another pet lizard of mine because a friend's lizard paralyzed my lizard-- and my euthanization was more cruel than the paralysis-- as I unsuccessfully tried to drown the lizard (iguanas can hold their breath a long time!) and then gas him with with exhaust from my car (my hand starting burning before the lizard croaked) and then finally (and successfully) put him down with a large board. I lost a ghetto conure out an open window. I inadvertently and unknowingly kicked the plug out and froze a monitor lizard to death. I kept a pet box turtle in a house with eight other guys, a box turtle that was allowed to roam loose on the second floor, and would occasionally stumble over the foot of the stairs and clunk down them like a bowling ball. No one will know this when they see me walking my dog.

Getting a dog is even weirder than having children because getting a dog is so premeditated. You have a family meeting and everyone agrees that they want a dog and everyone agrees they will help care for the dog . . . even though you know it's bullshit, and that the kids will love the dog and play with the dog, but rarely care for it. This isn't like having children. Having children you have a different sort of "meeting," and there's not much talk of responsibility-- the meeting is quite fun, in fact, and then nine months later you wonder: "How did I get here? And how did he get here?" But with the dog, you choose to get there, and that's where I am. Living in the song.

And sometimes I think "MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE!"

That's why I'm still driving my 1993 Jeep Cherokee. I've been shopping for a "large automobile" for four years or so-- we've saved the money, done the research, gotten quotes, talked to dealers-- but I can't pull the trigger. I can't add a mini-van to this equation as well. But I will. Things will become even more absurd. This Honda commercial is geared for me and people like me-- people who can't believe they are in the market for a mini-van. It's a brilliant commercial, as it both satirizes the desire and also makes it seem okay. But I'm smarter than an advertising campaign. Right?

My two blonde kids and dog will pile out of the mini-van, and I'll look at the situation and think: "Where does that highway go?" Is this really the life for me? Maybe I should drive my mini-van off the grid. Maybe I should be in a motorcycle gang or bumming around on the beaches of Thailand or helping refugees in Haiti or working as a fishing guide on the Mississippi. But David Byrne reminds us that none of this was actually in our hands to begin with, that we'll go "into the blue again once the money's gone."

It's the "same as it ever was." And so I will let the days go by, and try not to think about how weird everything is. And consider myself incredibly lucky that my life is like "Once in a Lifetime" and not this Talking Heads tune . . .

Talking Heads
Once in a Lifetime (1984)
Once In A Lifetime

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack,
And you may find yourself in another part of the world,
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile,
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife,
And you may ask yourself-Well...How did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...

Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?...Am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

G:TB Fortnight in Review

There are so many things happening in GheorgheWorld that it's hard to contain them all in one wrapup post. In fact, there were so many that we got tired of chronicling them all. We got as far as the following newsworthy nuggets before our fingers got tired and we went to get a beer. (Kidding, KQ. I got a delicious kale, fruit, and flaxseed smoothie.)

Local knucklehead (but not according to his Mom) JaVale McGee encapsulated the Wizards' already-lost season in perfect soundbite-sized form, pulling off a #JaVanityDunk (as coined by the Doofus Overlord Tweet Machine) in the third quarter of the local cagers' 11th loss in 12 games. What's worse, his postgame comments reinforced the notion that he's a taller, ganglier version of Nuke LaLoosh - a million dollar talent with a five cent head.

Despite my political feelings, I gave President Gheorghe W. Bush his due propers when he hurled a seed from the mound in kicking off the Washington Nationals' inaugural season. I trust that my GOP friends will be similarly appreciative of President Obama's soulful - if abbreviated - tribute to the Reverend Al Green. In any case, our President is cooler than your chief executive.

I've been spending way too much time at Neatorama, because they always deliver the goods. To wit:

Who's doing the Polar Plunge with Dave on the Jersey Shore on 2/18?

We've been derelict in adopting a Premiership side, but it'll be hard to beat Fulham in the G:TB Darby. Mostly because of American star, accomplished rapper, and all-around badass Clint Dempsey. The U.S. international became Fulham's all-time leading goalscorer earlier this season, and topped that by tallying the first-ever hat trick by an American in EPL play yesterday to lead the Cottagers to a 5-2 win over Newcastle. Enjoy Deuce's song stylings below. As celebrity rappers go, Dempsey's flow is solid.

The third-ranked Duke women's tennis team defeated 43rd-ranked William & Mary 7-0 in its season opener Friday night in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The East Carolina swimming & diving teams swept Saturday's meet against William & Mary inside Minges Natatorium. The Pirate women topped the Tribe 150-136 while the men claimed a 165.5-122.5 triumph. The Archbishop Stepinac senior defensive end Austin Taps committed to William & Mary in mid-December, but had his heart set somewhere else. Being accepted and offered by the University of Pennsylvania, Taps needed to raise his SAT score and then be one of a possible three players from the lower band of applicants, based on a sliding scale system of GPA and SAT scores, to be selected. When Taps was asked to go on an official visit two weekends ago he believed the rest would fall into place. He got a lengthy acceptance letter Thursday, decommited from William & Mary and will be headed to UPenn next season. Taps said when William & Mary, where his brother Tim goes, offered it gave him a week to accept or it would be taken away. “I couldn’t have been happier with the University of Pennsylvania,” Taps said. “It’s really been my dream school.”

But we keep rotting. I mean rooting. I guess.

Finally, a G:TB staffer landed this monster. He's on the left, a bit obscured by the fish. Oddly, it doesn't look like him, but we'll chalk that up to the exertion of the moment. It'll keep him in meals for months.

And you thought you'd never see this recurring feature again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day

We've made up things more far-fetched than this, but this is no hoax: Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina on January 21, 2001.

According to Holiday Insights:
Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels. It's held in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife.

It goes on to say:
Not everyone likes squirrels. While they are fun to watch skirting around the yard and trees, they are aggressive at bird feeders. Squirrels tip almost any bird feeder and spill the seeds in search of the particular seeds they want. In the fall, they attack pumpkins on front porches in search of the seeds inside. For gardeners they dig up and steal flower bulbs, and may eat some of the veggies in your garden. When you think about it, mid winter is the best time to appreciate squirrels. In the winter they provide a little entertainment. During other times of the year, you may look at them as a pest in the flower and vegetable gardens.
Doesn't sound all that appreciative.

According to Ms. Hargrove, "Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group -- anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to to learning something new about the species."

So how do you learn more? Visit the National Wildlife Foundation website:

How can you celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day?If you have small children, play a game of squirrelly seek with them.
Share your squirrel sightings with NWF's Wildlife Watch.
Learn the facts about squirrels:
-- There are more than 300 species of squirrel.
-- Different types of squirrels range in size from five inches (the African pygmy squirrel) to three feet (Indian giant squirrel).
-- The word "squirrel" comes from the Greek word skiouros, which means shadow-tailed.
-- Squirrels have brought down the NASDAQ stock market twice, once in 1987 and once in 1994.

But why should you care???

Back in 1988, a few folks in a freshman dormitory dubbed G:TB founder Rob "Squirrel" based on his squirrel's nest of clutter. Unlike his tour of duty in ROTC or his Government major, the nickname stuck. Much to his chagrin. Throughout college, he tried to go by Rob, but he was Squirrel. He tried to change his nickname to "Meat," but no, he was Squirrel. More than a couple of his friends' parents know him only as Squirrel. More than once in my life, someone has been talking about our friend "Rob," and I responded, "Who?"

In recent years, he's distanced himself a bit from the moniker. He got jobs where they call him by his Christian name instead of his college name. He married a girl who refused -- and believe me, I insisted -- to call him Squirrel. And now he's an Internet phenom on the "Blogger" and the "Twitter" and such, where he's "rob." Only occasional nibbles about the Richmond Flying Squirrels give us cause to bring the old name up. For all intents and purposes, he's now just plain ol' Rob.

Somewhere deep down, though, he knows. He's still our Squirrel.

As a tribute to a once-great nickname, I commissioned a team of technical wizards to assemble an animated video that would appropriately honor both this holiday and our friend. Here's what they came up with. I think you will agree that it's a solemn, fitting tribute, and a parable for our blog . . . and our lives.
(Watch the entire clip, have sound on. It's safe for work and children.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Soundtrack of a Season, Part 2: Pam McGee Edition

Hope everyone enjoyed Part 1 of our "Soundtrack of a Season" series, in which we chose some apt tunes for members of the 2011-2012 Washington Wizards. I had grand plans of coming up with three new songs for three more dudes on the roster, but then I saw the Mike Wise article in the Washington Post, in which he interviews JaVale McGee's mom, Pamela McGee. If you have not read it yet, it is a doozy. I particularly enjoyed this "she doth protest too much" gem of a quote from Pam:
"He is not a knucklehead"

Some Wizards fans may disagree with Pam on that one (you can count me among that group). In honor of JaVale and Pamela McGee, I have chosen three appropriate tracks for today's installment (whittling it down to three was not easy). Hope you all enjoy.

And don't forget, vote JaVale for the All-Star team. Please. So he'll stop freakin' tweeting about it.

"Mother", Danzig: Just. Too. Easy.

"Only Mama Knows", Paul McCartney: Read the article. Pam McGee is quite certain her son is being underutilized.

And finally, for the Yacht Rock crowd, the Loggins and Messina classic "Your Mama Don't Dance". Pam may not dance, but she sure as hell knows how to lay a smooch on a NBA Hall of Famer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Larceny and Lady Hens

Let the record show that the first pixels of this post were electrified several days ago. I have hard evidence in the form of an email exchange with the Teej. That's important, because the subject of this post is featured in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated. First Grantland steals our stuff, now the venerable SI? Do we know any lawyers, 'cause this shit's getting out of hand. Here's the post, no hard feelings or anything:

It's no secret that we're huge CAA Basketball fans. We also have been known to be fond of women. When one of the best female basketball players in the country happens to do her hooping for a CAA team, it's hard for us to ignore for too long.

When we last heard from Elena Delle Donne, she was shocking the collegiate hoops world by leaving Geno Auriemma's UCONN program before she played a single game and transferring to Delaware to play volleyball. The all-everything high school basketball star was widely considered the country's best recruit, with a dazzling combination of size and skill. Delle Donne was voted Naismith, Gatorade, and McDonald's national player of the year in 2007-08 after leading Ursinus High School to four straight Delaware state titles. She was a latter-day Larry Bird, except that she did the Hick from French Lick one better, not only moving down a level in competition, but changing sports altogether.

“I committed to UConn hoping the passion would come back,” Delle Donne said in an interview with USA Basketball. “I got there and realized I needed to be home. Something was wrong. I didn’t love the sport anymore.” Delle Donne's close-knit family lives just 20 minutes from Delaware's campus, so she left the relatively bright lights of Storrs, CT for Newark, DE.

After a successful freshman volleyball season with the Blue Hens, where she was named to the All-CAA team, Delle Donne felt her passion for basketball rekindled. Despite offers from numerous NCAA powers, she chose to resume her hoops career where she felt comfortable.

All she's done since then is average over 27 points per game, win CAA Player of the Year awards and All-America nods, lead the USA to a World University Games gold medal, scoring 15.7 points and grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game, and completely upend the CAA's natural order. She's dropping a nation's-best 29.3 points per game in 2011-12 for the 14-1 Blue Hens, whose only loss came at an undefeated Maryland team. Though her 6'5" frame casts her as a post player, she's hitting 48% of her three-point attempts and 93.3% of her free throws. She's a badass.
“It’s like I’m a 10-year-old playing AAU basketball again,” she said with a smile. “I’ve got the love for the game.” That sounds just a little big Gheorghey, no?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Week in Wrenball

We heaped a great deal of praise on Tribe frosh Marcus Thornton in the last TWiW. The dynamic youngster rewarded us with the worst week of his college career, averaging 5 points and 4 turnovers (and oddly, only taking a total of 7 shots in 52 minutes) as W&M (4-14, 2-4) split with Towson and Northeastern. Though the scientific method isn't our strong suit, we're pretty sure that these results are conclusive: we've got some serious jinx power.

We intend to put it to better use this week.

The Wrens head to a sold out Siegel Center to take on a very talented VCU squad in a nationally televised game on Thursday (7:00 on ESPNU). For our money, the Rams are the CAA's best team (ignore, if you will, our ballot in the weekly CAA Bloggers Poll - the whole poll thing is new to us), deep, athletic, and battle tested. Perhaps you've heard of them.

VCU (13-5, 4-2) stumbled twice two weeks ago, losing tight games to Georgia State and Drexel, but bounced back to hammer James Madison and beat Delaware comfortably. The Rams lead the league in offensive efficiency (1.06 points/possession) while holding opponents to 0.89 ppp in conference play. (The Wrens, on the other hand, get a mediocre 0.90 ppp on offense and yield 1.03 ppp.) Shaka Smart's balanced offense is led by 6'6" senior wing Bradford Burgess, who averages 14.2 points per game. Six other Rams average between 6.3 and 9.9 ppg, making them a matchup nightmare.

The Rams' vaunted Havoc defense is designed to force opponents to start their offense from uncomfortable spots on the court - a recipe for trouble for a team like the Tribe that depends on discipline and spacing. Freshman guard Brionte Weber leads the nation in steal percentage, recording a swipe 7.35% of the time he's on the court.

We could go on. The Tribe heads into the raucous Siegel Center on the wrong end of just about every statistical measure, hoping to avoid a nationally broadcast thrashing. Keep it close, boys.

Tomorrow's game begins a 5-game-in-10-day gauntlet for Tony Shaver's squad, with a roadie against ODU pairing with the VCU trip as the bread around a UNCW, Drexel, and @JMU sandwich. (And that sentence standing alone as a pained metaphor.) Hoping for 2-3, worried about 0-5, and wondering where the Wrens will find the depth to make it through.

(I hope you see how we wielded our new power there.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Tidings of Great News (*cough*)

Though this news won't be of much benefit to the upstanding citizens of the G:TB community, a University of California, San Francisco study caused Taco Bell stock to rise dramatically this week.

According to researchers who studied more than 5,000 subjects over 20 years, smoking one marijuana cigarette (commonly referred to as a 'joint', I'm told) a day for up to seven years does not hurt lung function. In fact, the researchers note that occasional pot smokers may show increased lung function, given the need to expand the lungs to inhale marijuana smoke effectively. So I've heard.

The news wasn't all sensemilla and smiles for budding tokers, as the researchers caution, "The lack of ill effect for occasional pot smokers may be good news for people considering marijuana for pain control or other medical purposes. ...our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use and a resulting need for caution and moderation."

Caution and moderation, friends. Though I know this doesn't apply to any of our regular readers, you may wish to share this with people you know. It's good advice.

Monday, January 16, 2012

High as F#%k

Here is a song about feeling the effects from smoking marijuana. Some of you may recognize the singer as Taco from The League. Jon Lajoie got his break from posting songs like this on the world wide web.

Just take the damn day off...

I could be wrong, but I'm under the impression that most of the G:TB contingent is off work today for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. I am not. My cop wife is. There's something especiallu vexing about getting up to go to work on a Monday when most of the people you know aren't getting up to go to work. It's even more vexing when you look back to your bed and see someone still sleeping in there. I'll cut my wife a little slack though, since she's less than two weeks away from delivering our child. A child that has taken great pleasure, it seems, in kicking my wife's ribs for the past few months.

Anyway, since it's MLK Day I figured we might need some Monday morning filler. And I'm nothing if not helpful. Well, that's not true. I'm actually kind of a dick. Or a curmudgeon, as Igor recently called me. And while I can't argue with Igor on that. I'm not nearly as big an asshole as many of the residents of Arizona.

Chris Rock is funny. Chuck D on the other hand is not nearly as amused by the folks in Arizona.

Happy Martin Luther King Day.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Soundtrack of a Season, Part 1: The 2011-12 Washington Wizards

The 2011-2012 Washington Wizards are bad. Historically bad. "Worst start in franchise history" bad (which actually is hard to believe, right?). The Wiz just got worked in a home-and-home with the Philadelphia 76ers, and are now a stellar 1-11 this season. I'll stop after this note, and get to the fun stuff: the Wizards have one win. EVERY OTHER TEAM HAS AT LEAST THREE.

In other words, Washington needs to spice things up, ans I have a suggestion. Intro songs for each  individual player. As chosen by me. These songs should also be played anytime the Washington player appears on the Jumbotron. Ted Leonsis, I hope you're listening...

You 2011-2012 Washington Wizards roster, set to music (Part 1** of how ever many I actually do):

#7, Andray Blatche, F
For some asinine reason, Ernie Grunfeld and Flip Saunders felt it wise to name Andray Blatche the captain of this team. For that alone they should both be dismissed. I found the perfect classic rock tune to remind us of the epic #BlatcheCaptaincy every time his sulking, doughy mug is showed on the big screen.

#22, Shelvin Mack, G
An extremely lazy selection by me, showing no creativity by me, other than the ability to match a last name to a song in a contrive filler post. But I do enjoy the jam. And it will now be stuck in your head all day.

#24, Jan Vesely, F
The final entry today is the easiest of all. Watching Jan Vesely run around like a goofball is one of the few enjoyable things about this Wizards team. I want to hear this theme 6 to 9 times a game.


**I am lazy as sin, so you only get three players this time around. rob demanded filler, so this is what you're getting.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Help is On the Way

If your blog has a content problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them - maybe you can hire: The A-Team.

Hat tip to Neatorama.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Draw a Line in the Sand . . . And Then Erase It: Arguments Against The Digital First Down Line

Sometimes, you need to draw a line in the sand. A real line, not a digitally rendered line. And sometimes you have to write a letter to a real person. A digitally rendered letter, not a real letter. Who can afford stamps? So Commissioner Goodell or President Reilly-- that's Fox Broadcasting President Reilly-- I hope you stumble upon this digital epistle and take action . . . real action against a digital enemy.

In the past, I have been unafraid to take a stand against things that are so deeply entrenched in our culture that they appear well nigh unassailable. Nut shots. Super Bowl Sunday.

But I have grown wiser in my old age; I realize that I don't have the political clout or the rhetorical skills to transform Super Bowl Sunday into Super Bowl Saturday. I don't have the courage of my convictions to quell America's thirst for nut shots (part of me still thinks they're kind of funny). And I can't fight the entire West Coast, so big football games will always air later than I want them to. Serenity Prayer Now!

So I have decided to take on something smaller. Something that's not even real. Something that can't fight back. I am going to aim my powerful persuasive skills at an imaginary digital line. You know the line I am talking about: the digital first down line that has been omnipresent in televised football for the last decade. It doesn't matter if it is Sportsvision’s orange “First and Ten” line or rival PVI’s “Yellow Down Line,” I am against it. I am against the concept of digital lines on the TV screen during football games. I'm not telling you that one digital line is better than the other. I'm not being paid to endorse one digital line over another, if that's what you think. Stop thinking that. And I'm not going to end this with some spurious logic, and tell you that the line should be pink, in order to promote breast cancer awareness. I'm certainly against breast cancer, but I am also against pink digital lines.

I did some research, and while I now appreciate the work that goes into drawing that line, I am still against it. I'll explain why in a moment, but first you should know that the line is not drawn by some dude. The line is digitally modeled. There are color palettes and and instrumented cameras with digitally encoding lenses. Four computers and a crew of seven people are needed to draw the line. It's complicated: the line can't move when the camera moves. The line has to disappear when a player runs "over" it. The line has to match the curve of the field. It's pretty impressive when you think about it. But despite its impressiveness, the line does not make viewing football on television a better experience. Allow me to explain why.

When you are watching a play-- especially a running play-- and the runner approaches the line, your eyes flit to the line. They flit to the line and then back to the player and then back to the line. You're either rooting for the player to reach the line or you're rooting for him to get tackled, but your eyes can't help flitting to that luminescent vertical target. Try not to flit. I dare you. You might be able to pull it off, but it's all you'll be thinking about. I tried it. Trust me.

I don't want my eyes to flit.

When my eyes flit, I miss things. Jukes and spins and cuts. I miss seeing wide receivers making blocks. I miss real things, fun things, the things I sat down to watch . . . and instead my attention is drawn to a garish pixelated yellow thing. I don't want to look at that yellow thing! I want to watch the play! But I'm weak, I'll confess it. I can't look away. It's like cleavage. If I'm poked, I have to peek.

I wish I could focus better, but to be honest, my eyes flit all the time during a football game. They flit to the book I'm reading and they flit to the scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen. I'm not going to finish the new Neal Stephenson novel if I don't read it in between plays, and I'm not going to convince the Fantasy Football contingent to remove the scrolling, statistic-spewing ticker at the bottom of the screen.

My eyes flit to my children, to make sure they're not drinking bleach or figuring out the rules of baseball. I will not allow my kids to truck with baseball. "And what about the children?" you might ask. "How will you explain football to your children without the giant yellow pixelated line as a teaching aid?"

This is a good point. It is wonderful that my seven year old son now understands football and can watch the game with me. This is in part due to the various red, yellow, and blue lines that the computer generates. I can say to him: "They need to get across that red line or they lose the ball. Because it's their fourth try."

But maybe seven year old kids shouldn't understand football. Maybe they should still be playing tag, instead of contemplating the pros and cons of the West Coast Offense. And if they are watching football, then maybe-- just maybe-- they should be working on their mental math skills, they way the G:TB staff did when we watched football as kids. Third and seven? And they're on the thirty-eight? Okay, so they need to get to the forty-five. It's not Calculus, but it's still mental exercise.

At this point you may be thinking: what are you? Some kind of purist? The answer to that is "No!" If I were a purist, I would get a lobotomy and watch baseball. I love the lack of purity in football. I love the way it appropriates technology and inserts it into the game. Radio receivers in the helmets? Sure! Cameras in the sky? Cool! A sensor in the ball that can sense the first down marker? Go for it! I love the way dynamic strategies infiltrate and change the game from year to year. Forward pass? Sounds good! Tackle eligible? As you like it! Spread offense? Even better!

The other day in my Composition class, we listened to George Carlin's classic routine "Baseball and Football," ostensibly because I wanted to illustrate the pros and cons of point-to-point organization, but actually because I wanted to see if the students preferred the pastoral and traditional nature of baseball or the dynamic, military nature of football. This was an honors class, so I was interested in what they would have to say. Oddly, they had nothing to say. Nada. No opinion. Then I remembered! This was an honors class. I polled them. There were a couple of baseball fans and a couple of football fans. In a class of thirty. The majority of the students were wondering who had the time to waste on such frivolity, when the AP Physics Exam was only five months away. So I never got to explain to them how much I enjoy the paradox of football-- Chuck Klosterman pointed this out to me-- how the game seems so conservative . . . think Brett Favre and Vince Lombardi . . . and yet it's actually the most "liberal" sport, as it has progressed from that rugby-like ur-match between Rutgers and Princeton to the option, the read offense and beyond.

So don't call me a purist. I even like that Foxtrax glow puck, though I'd be laughed out of Canada for admitting it.

When the announcer of the Denver/Pittsburgh game last week explained that new play-off overtime rules would be utilized for the first time ever, and then went on to explain the changes-- which required a full screen of bullet-pointed text-- I didn't bat an eye. I was all for it. The new rules had a good intention: to prevent an early field goal from ending sudden death over-time. If the new rules involved a Hunger Games style battle-royale, with the surviving members of each team forming a super-team that would advance to the next play-off round, I would have had no problem with that either. That's good TV.

But not every innovation adds interest to the game. In a world full of information, the digital first down line is bad information. It's too much information. It is information that the player doesn't have-- he knows approximately how far he has to go in order to get a first down, but he's not running towards a giant yellow line, and we shouldn't imagine such. As an audience, we are certainly presented with plenty of information that the players do not have access to-- camera angles and statistics and wind velocities-- but none of these ruins the drama of the game. The digital line does just that. You know the player has achieved a first down before the player knows, and you know because your eye has been flitting to this digital monstrosity instead of watching football.

Neil Postman has taught us that just because we have a technology, doesn't mean we have to use it. This is valuable logic, whether applied to nuclear warheads, tar sand refineries, or the digital line. Important and powerful people, if you are reading this, please take action. Do it for your eyes, do it for football, do it for your children's math skills. End the visual tyranny of the digital line.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This Week in Wrenball

With 8:04 remaining in W&M's game against Delaware, and the Tribe trailing by 8, freshman Marcus Thornton drove the lane, elevated, and cocked his arm back with malicious intent. Delaware's Jamelle Hagins, a 6'9", 240-pound sophomore who averages 2.6 blocks per game, rose to meet him. As the 6'3" Thornton's hammer dunk attempt crashed against the back of the rim and rebounded high in the air, I leapt from my couch with an audible gasp.

Thornton's missed dunk was notable not for the result, but for its sheer audacity. Never in my 23 years as a Tribe fan (dear, sweet God in heaven - 23 years?) have I ever seen a W&M player even contemplate such a play. It was at once thrilling for what it portends and sobering for what it illustrates about the Tribe's current state of affairs.

The CAA recognized Thornton as the conference Rookie of the Week after he averaged 19.3 points in a trio of Tribe games. He's now the team's leading scorer, tallying 15.5 points per game in CAA play, and 12.1 ppg in all games. He's without question the most athletic player I've ever seen in W&M's green and gold. And for a long stretch of this season, he and his teammates had no idea what to make of each other.

Throughout much of W&M's 2-11 start, we were baffled by the Tribe's poor shooting, confused by the lack of offensive efficiency they displayed. We fretted about Quinn McDowell's lack of aggression and Brandon Britt's erratic play and worried about injuries to Kyle Gaillard and JohnMark Ludwick. We enjoyed Thornton's explosiveness even as we shook our head as too many of his frequent wild forays into the lane yielded circus misses.

Then, four games ago, Tony Shaver inserted Thornton into the starting lineup. W&M only won one of those four, but the team that had lost its previous four contests against Division I opponents by an average of 29.8 points suddenly found confidence, beating James Madison before playing George Mason and Delaware close until the final minutes. Thornton's shot selection has improved along with his defense, and the entire team's body language. They're still a work in progress, giving up too many turnovers and not creating enough, while lacking a real inside presence, but a season that once appeared to be a complete loss offers a glimmer of hope. If nothing else, we get to witness the Education of Marcus Thornton, a story that'll give us a lot of reasons to cheer.

We'll measure the Wrens' progress tonight against one of the nation's lousiest teams. Towson set an NCAA record by losing its 35th consecutive game on Saturday, as ODU drummed the Tigers, 75-38. Drexel beat them, 60-27, in Towson's previous game. First-year coach Pat Skerry's team has lost all but 3 of their 16 games by double digits, and Skerry hasn't minced words in describing his team's inadequacies. It's bizarre to call this a must-win, but if the Tribe is going to salvage a decent conference season, tonight's game in Towson is critical. A win gives W&M a 2-3 record heading to Boston to take on a capable but beatable Northeastern team. A loss - an inexplicable, deflating, momentum-killing loss - may send the Tribe reeling.

In Shaver we trust. We're not losing this one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Mustachioed Men Visit the Greasetrucks

Piscataway, NJ: Marls sent me this pics from a G:TB mini-summit quite some time ago. Now seems about the right time to fill 'er up with these glam shots:

Monday, January 09, 2012

G:TBCS Preview

Someone just told me they're playing the BCS championship game today. How 'bout that? I've been so focused on the Tribe's historic hoops season that I've completely lost track of college football. I honestly can't ever remember caring less about bowl season. (It's possible I wrote the exact same words at this time last year and that this is all a function of getting older and having different priorities, but I don't really have the time to research that.)

This isn't an anti-BCS post. I'm as tired of writing those as you are of reading them. But i confess to a substantial 'meh' feeling - 43 days off will do that (36 in LSU's case). But like Kellen Winslow, I'm a warrior*, so I soldier on. Like Harvey Updyke, too, who's wandering around the French Quarter like a PTSD-addled infantryman. Mike had better sleep with one eye (of the Tiger) open. (My bad.)

(* Note: I'm actually more of a worrier, at least in the context of sports rooting. Close enough.)

There are lots of places on the internet to find terrific analysis of this game. This is not one of them. Here's what I know, though:

Had this game been played two weeks after the SEC Championship Game, I'd have liked LSU by a relatively comfortable margin. The Bayou Bengals were simply wrecking people late in the season. After they beat Alabama, 9-6, in the two teams' much-ballyhood first tilt, LSU whipped its final four opponents by a combined 177-39 score. More telling to me was the way the Tigers absorbed a series of body blows from Georgia and then blew the Bulldogs' doors off, scoring 42 unanswered points to claim the SEC title.

With six weeks for Nick Saban to prepare, though, I can't see LSU's momentum making any difference. The fact is, Saban got completely outcoached in the two teams' first matchup. His mixture of panicky gimmickry and questionable decision-making (choosing to attempt long field goals, letting a badly injured Marquis Maze return a punt) were as responsible for Alabama's loss as anything that happened on the field. It's hard for me to see that sort of coaching mismatch happen again.

These are two terrific teams, anchored by phenomenal defenses and competent offenses. LSU's Tyrann Matthieu is probably the most dynamic player in the game, but Alabama's Trent Richardson is better than anyone LSU will line up opposite him. Frankly (Marty Schottenheimer homage), nothing that happens in this game will really surprise me, except for a one-sided rout. Based on nothing other than a hunch, I like Alabama, 20-16. I like Brad Smelley to play a big role. And I like these two girls in their houndstooth caps.

Boy, would I really like a playoff.

[Doofus Overlord edit, because rob's PG-13 pic sucks]

In an effort to be fair and balanced:

Pre-BCS National Championship Game Filler

rob claims to have a BCS National Championship post ready to go after lunch, so until this time, enjoy the wonder of the internet, and these two pics I found yesterday:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Boy in the Hood

Mark's made quite a big deal of my recent confession that I own but one hooded sweatshirt. (It's black with a white horseshoe, and says South Columbus Stallions.) I have no defense, other than to point out that I came up preppy in an era when the hoodie wasn't nearly as much a part of the uniform as it is now. I really would like to be hip, though, so I've purchased one of these:

Here's my question: should I accessorize it with one of the hats below, or is it dope enough on its own?

Friday, January 06, 2012

G:TB Week in Review

A compendium, of sorts, our first recurring feature destined not to recur very much of the new year.  Here's what happened in the larger World of Gheorghe this week:

The sainted Greg McElroy found cause to express his dismay at some of his New York Jets teammates, telling Birmingham, AL radio station 97.3 The Zone, "It's the first time I've ever been around extremely selfish individuals.  There were people within our locker room that didn't care whether we won or lost as long as they got theirs, they had a good game individually. And that's the disappointing thing." McElroy, who's destined to be an NFL Hall of Famer, is obviously a leader of men and clearly in the right, but that didn't stop washout former NFL quarterback Erik Ainge from piping up on Twitter, saying: "@nyjets Someone tell McElroy to keep his mouth shut about the NYJ "Locker Room" speaking in the media about your teammates, entitled brat!"

We're known in these parts for adopting teams and players that strike our fancy. Whatever the opposite of adoption is, we're about to do it to Virginia Tech and its increasingly obnoxious group of fans. Less than a generation ago Tech was as relevant as the shit on its work boots. Today, we can barely tell the difference between a Hokie and a Wahoo in terms of self-serious entitlement. 'Twas bad enough Virginia Tech got a BCS bid despite a resume that gave George O'Leary pause (losing twice to a Clemson team that gave up 70(!) to WVU, among other things), but the whining about just about everything associated with the game, from officiating to Frank Beamer's coaching, is tiresome. Deep down in places you don't talk about at cocktail parties, you know that without Beamer you people are East Carolina. I'd prefer you just said thank you, and went on your way. It's really hard to make UVA seem sympathetic, but Hokie Nation's doing a bang-up job of it. (Danny Coale's effort was pretty sick, though - we'll refrain from disowning him.)

Apparently week one of 2012 was Wheelhouse Week here, as Jerry's colleague Geoff sent along news of the Large Hadron Collider's attempt to infiltrate our children's minds.  Niels Bohr Institute Physicist Sascha Mehlhase (obvious alias, as well as anagram for Ha! Ha! Cashless Me!) built the 50:1 scale replica "as part of an outreach project".  Indeed. I think we all know what that actually means.

Amazingly, the LHC's steady creep towards Skynet-like awareness was only the week's second-most frightening scientific newsWired Magazine reports on a disturbing report from a pair of former clandestine operatives, who claim that a young Obama was teleported to Mars as part of a DARPA/CIA mission. Operating under the alias "Barry Soetero", an 18 year-old Obama joined current DARPA Chief Regina Dugan on a team of "chrononauts", who traversed the "boundaries of time and space".  Naturally, the White House denied Obama's involvement, laughing off the allegations with a joke about Marvin the Martian. Somewhere, Ron Paul is tightening the security precautions on his escape pod.

Finally, we're sad to report that Dave did not care about Canada at all this week.

Late edit: Dave cared about Canada! Once.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


So, based on TR's last comment in the previous post, I googled "Teedge kitchen" for no particular reason. Take a look at the first four google image results:

The internet is a scary place.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"Artist Formerly Known As The Wheelhouse" Filler

Got this the other day from Jerry:

From: Wheelhouse Jerry
Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2012 12:58 PM
To: Doofus Overlord
Subject: Filler

If you need some blog filler here's a sunderland fan kissing ji dong won after scoring a last minute winner against man city

Really didn't know what sunderland was or who ji dong won was, but Man City clued me in. A quick google search led me to discover the donger is "a South Korean footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Sunderland and the South Korea national team." (thank you Wikipedia)

That still doesn't quite explain a fan kissing a player on his favorite team, or why Jerry sent me a photo of a man kissing another man, but it certainly does serve as filler.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

If you're going to take part in the "thirty second news cycle" of the digital universe, then you've got to preemptively strike. So here at G:TB, we are proud to present a comprehensive and conclusive summary of the most memorable news stories of 2012. These are the events that you'll remember ten years from now, in 2022 (or maybe even in 2222, when you've uploaded your avatar to the matrix so you can live eternally in the cloud with Cocaine Bear). We've worked very hard to cull the absolute best that 2012 had to offer, so enjoy the review of the wonderful year it was . . .

1) The Giants beat the Cowboys. A big story with major play-off implications-- especially after the misery of the past two seasons-- but the game was not particularly memorable for me. As a Giants fan, watching the first three quarters was fantastic, but the last thing I remember was Antrel Rolle intercepting Tony Romo. Then I fell asleep. This raises the question: why move a 1 PM game to 8:20 PM on New Year's Day? I understand this might generate more West coast ratings, but it was a home game for the Giants and putting it on at night not only punishes hung-over drunkards, but it also punishes children. My seven year old son-- who's just started to understand football-- was really upset that he couldn't stay up and watch the game. I thought the NFL loved drunkards and children. Or perhaps that's God.

In other big NFL news, Roger Goodell has still not reacted nor replied to this open letter. Not surprising.

2) History repeats itself. My wife has a habit of placing things on the roof of our car and then driving away. She has done this with cameras, keys, memory sticks, a sand dollar, and food. Fans of Sentence of Dave might remember that my very first post dealt with this issue. New Year's Day, my wife left the handset to the phone on top of the car and then drove down Route 1 to a playground, drove back up Route 1, and then finally discovered that it had not fallen off the roof.

3) We orbit the moon! NASA successfully sent two "washing machine sized Grail probes" into lunar orbit on New Year's Day. Perhaps someday we'll send a human astronaut to walk on this forbidding satellite.

4) America still won't embrace evolution! Or gravity. Or math.

5) Dave is working on a concept album (but hasn't completed any tracks yet).

6) Legendary Swordmaster Bob Anderson died. And now that he's dead and I don't have to sword-fight him for his title, I am stealing it. Henceforth, please refer to me as Legendary Swordmaster Dave . . . or I'll skewer you.

7) Dave uses his Neti Pot and does not die from a brain eating amoeba. Or not yet, anyway.

Monday, January 02, 2012

This Week in Wrenball: Operation Resurrected Possum

As the great Billy Hoyle once said, "It is hard goddamn work to make something this pretty look ugly." Tony Shaver's canny early season bar-lowering may have been hard to watch, but the payoff will be worth it, as the Wrens take their 2-11 record to Fairfax today to tip off one of the great turnarounds in sports history.

W&M has earned every bit of their wince-inducing record, trailing their opponents in every offensive and defensive statistic except for free-throw percentage. Opposing teams outshoot, outrebound, outsteal, outblock, and outscore the Tribe. I'd go tempo-free on you, but a) the results would be just as ugly, and b) I forgot the G:TB kenpom.com password and I can't get in touch with the Teej to get it. Only two of the Wrens' 11 losses were by fewer than 10 points, while four of their losses were by more than 25. Tom Schalk and Andew Pavloff are the only Tribesmen making more than 50% of their field goals, and they've made a total of 22 buckets on the year. It's not a pretty picture.

As you can see, we've got 'em right where we want 'em as conference play begins in earnest. Shaver told caahoops.com's Michael Litos, "Our attitude and effort have been constant, and the fact that we’re starting to get a little healthier will help us get through a very difficult early season for us. I feel very good."  So do we, Coach.  So do we. We'll feel better if the Tribe can ratchet up its defensive efforts, though, as they're one of the least defensively efficient teams in the country - don't need stats to tell us that.

After today's game at Mason, the Tribe heads home to play much-improved James Madison on Wednesday and Delaware on Saturday. Quinn McDowell seems finally to be getting his legs back after an injury-filled offseason, scoring 18 and 20 in W&M's last two games. Tim Rusthoven missed the first six games of the season, but is averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 6.6 boards in the last seven.  Frosh Marcus Thornton has had some rookie moments, but he's the Wrens' most explosive player by a longshot, averaging 10.4 points despite an Iversonian 38.1% shooting stroke.

The Possum/Wrens are stretching as we write this, ready to...do whatever it is possums do after they wake. Just remember where you heard it first.

Sunday, January 01, 2012


That headache you feel is your body's organs compensating for the moisture they lost while you soaked yourself in diuretic alcohol by stealing it from your brain, causing the noggin organ to shrink and pull at the membranes attaching it to your skull. Drink some water, dummies, and have a Gheorghey New Year.