Friday, January 31, 2014

Drug Month: While You Were Electing a New Pope

Yesterday, we brought you a business lesson from an unorthodox source. Today, we continue the theme, and extend our examination of America's evolving relationship with marijuana at least one more day. At this point, we're basically killing time until the 12th Day of Gheorghemas magically appears, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes from a deep, healthy bong hit.

The advent of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has brought with it rapid growth in demand for a broad range of products and services. Obviously weed growers have found markets for their heretofore illicit crops, but the ancillary products and services springing up around the industry are creating significant legitimate investment opportunity.

While conservative money largely waits on the sidelines, as tension between state legalization and continuing Federal prohibition creates a real risk to pot entrepreneurs, there are those stepping into the breach to stake out early positions in the kush rush.

According to Fast Company,

"The poster boy for the above-ground weed entrepreneur movement is Justin Hartfield, the CEO of marijuana review and discussion site WeedMaps. Hartfield makes big money from WeedMaps--the company generates over $25 million per year. He's continuing to expand his empire, co-founding marijuana technology venture capital firm Ghost Group in 2012 (brands include WeedMaps,,, and marketing company Bonfire), and more recently, launching marijuana VC investment fund Emerald Ocean Capital."

Hartfield, in a nod to the risks mentioned above, doesn't invest directly in the production of marijuana. Rather, "He's more interested in software companies that dance around the edges of the marijuana economy, like WeedMaps."

Let's stop to think for a moment. There are Gheorghies involved in the investment and venture capital space. We know attorneys, tax experts, and marketing professionals. Allegedly, we also know people who are familiar with the weed market and its secondary financial opportunities. These three groups (who might overlap) go together like bong hits and Fritos.

I think you see where I'm going here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Resume Builder: Instant MBA

This is not Eminem
James Altucher is a writer, trader, investor, and entrepreneur. He's founded more than 20 companies, written 11 books, runs a hedge fund and a venture capital firm, and blogs relentlessly and fearlessly about his failures, his successes, and his opinions about work, money, and life, which are many.

He's also offering a free MBA. Courtesy of Eminem.

More specifically, Altucher believes that the climactic scene in '8 Mile' is a masters course in sales and marketing. In fact, he says, "Eminem is a genius at sales and competition and he shows it in one scene in the movie."

Altucher proceeds to offer 12 lessons on sales and marketing from the movie's final rap battle. For example:

8) Basic Direct Marketing: List The Objections Up Front

Any direct marketer or salesperson knows the next technique Eminem uses.

When you are selling a product, or yourself, or even going on a debate or convincing your kids to clean up their room, the person or group you are selling to is going to have easy objections.
They know those objections and you know those objections. If you don’t bring them up and they don’t bring them up then they will not buy your product.

If they bring it up before you, then it looks like you were hiding something and you just wasted a little of their time by forcing them to bring it up. So a great sales technique is to address all of the objections in advance.

Eminem’s next set of lines does this brilliantly.

He says, “I know everything he’s got to say against me.”

And then he just lists them one by one:

“I am white”
“I am a fuckin bum”
“I do live in a trailer with my mom”
“My boy, Future, is an Uncle Tom”
“I do have a dumb friend named Cheddar Bob who shot himself with his own gun”.
“I did get jumped by all six of you chumps”

And so on. He lists several more.

But at the end of the list, there’s no more criticism you can make of him. He’s addressed everything and dismissed them. In a rap battle, (or a sales pitch), if you address everything your opponent can say, he’s left with nothing to say.

When he has nothing to say, the audience, or the sales prospect, your date, your kids, whoever, will buy from you or listen to what you have to say.

Look at direct marketing letters you get in email. They all spend pages and pages addressing your concerns. This is one of the most important techniques in direct marketing.

Check out the scene below, and then go read the text from Altucher. Just think of G:TB when you get that richly deserved promotion.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Another Reason to Root for the Seahawks

As a general rule, the team with the most Bills loses the Super Bowl. For example, the Bills lost every Super Bowl in which they appeared. Gale Gilbert rode the pine in four Buffalo Super Bowls, then lost a fifth consecutive SB with the Chargers (and the Niners team that beat them had no former Bills). Former Bill Don Beebe won a SB with the Packers, but the Patriots team he beat had former Bill Monty Brown and three future Bills: Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, and Sam Gash.

Former Bill Marshawn Lynch seeks to buck this trend this weekend. Here's what he had to say at Media Day:

You have to love and appreciate a guy who refers to himself in the third person, stating "Beast Mode luh an' appreciate that" upon learning that Marshall Faulk respects his game. Throwing in a "Yez lawd!" at the end only makes him that much more lovable and appreciable. As does stuff like this.

Monday, January 27, 2014

This Week in Wrenball: In Which the Basketball Gods Smote the Weather Gods

We follow sports for lots of reasons. We do it for a sense of community, for tribal affiliation (pun only intended after the fact). We do it for camaraderie, for bonding with friends across time and distance. And we do it on the off chance that we might get to witness the moment, the holy shit cathartic yawping joy that happens when preparation meets opportunity meets sublime skill and the best of luck.

We just can't quit you, Wawa.
Yesterday in Philadelphia, the Teej and I were blessed by the fates, and got to see a pair of the best basketball games we could've imagined, capped by one of the top five individual performances either of us have ever seen from a William & Mary player. We also spent two hours driving through a snowstorm, visited the same rural Maryland Wawa twice, raged impotently at Philly's snow removal efforts (mostly, the lack thereof), solved a young man's life problems, connected with old friends in the CAA hoops community and met some new ones, drank beer with an Irishman, and blew up on Twitter. To borrow from the noted bard Ice Cube, it was a good day.

A view from the Uecker seats at La Salle.
Despite encountering an unexpected (mostly because we hadn't bothered to check the weather forecast) snowstorm, we arrived at La Salle's Tom Gola Arena ten minutes before the noon tip between the Explorers and VCU. In another nod to our lack of preparation, we nearly missed out on getting seats to the sold out contest, lucking into a pair that VCU had returned. Bob Uecker would've called our seats bad, but in the 3,400-seat old school field house, no seats were truly awful.

At various points in the game, each team appeared ready to run their opponent off the floor. VCU led by 11 midway through the first half, but a combination of poor free throw shooting and indifferent halfcourt offense (note to those filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket - if the Rams face a team that protects the basketball and can defend a bit in the halfcourt, they might be in trouble, though FOGTB @VCULitos disagrees) allowed La Salle to creep back to within four at the half.

The roles were reversed in the second frame, as the Explorers took a 10-point lead with 5:15 to play to the raucous delight of the Gola faithful. But Treveon Graham (34 points, 12 boards) and Juvonte Reddic (27 and 15) took over for VCU, scoring all of their team's final 14 points in regulation (and all seven of VCU's points in the first overtime) to keep the Rams alive.

I'm pretty sure La Salle's mascot is modeled after Father Guido Sarducci.
With 2:39 to go in the second bonus stanza and the score tied at 82, VCU sharpshooter Rob Brandenberg (who'd been quiet for most of the game) finally gave Graham and Reddic a rest, draining a huge triple. He followed it up with another longball after a La Salle turnover, giving the Rams a six-point lead they'd never relinquish, and sending the visiting fans (of whom there were a considerable number) home with a thrill. For us, the buzz of the game was nearly equaled by the excitement of watching Briante Weber play basketball. He's like a turbocharged octopus on defense - as I said to my traveling companion, if you have the ball and you don't know where Weber is, you're going to lose it. He finished with 5 steals.

Famished, the Teej and I scored a pair of dry, semi-stale Philly 'soft' pretzels on the way out of the gym and stepped out into a heavy snow and a slushy mess. On our way back to the car, we passed ESPN's John Saunders (who'd called the game with Dan Dakich on ESPN2) standing by himself on the sidewalk with a bag in each hand, looking for all the world like he'd been forgotten by his ride. A combination of gullets crammed with pretzel and surprise conspired to rob us of our opportunity to kibitz with Saunders. But I'm sure our repartee would've been witty.

Worst. Pretzel. Ever.
La Salle's campus is about eight minutes away from Drexel's. On a normal day. Yesterday was not a normal day. After saying a few Hail Marys and a couple of curse words, we managed to creep up the icy, snowy hills that lead from La Salle back to the highway. At which point we cruised at a crisp 25 miles per hour. For a putatively Northern city, Philly's snow removal brigades sure did a great Washington, DC impression.

"Survive and advance", said TJ, and we did, arriving at the John A. Daskalakis Athletic Center on Drexel's urban campus eight minutes before the W&M/Drexel tip. The DAC, as its known, seats 2,500, many of whom are within five feet of the playing surface. It's got a really cool, almost menacing vibe. As W&M coach Tony Shaver said after the game, it's a very tough place for road teams to play. We scored much better seats for the second game of our twinbill, winding up four rows behind the W&M bench - close enough to see the bristles of Shaver's mustache. (And, as it turns out, catch his demeanor in the late-game huddle that preceded the stunning end.)

We splurged for seats with backs to them at the DAC. Was money very well spent.
Drexel's Chris Fouch and the Tribe's Marcus Thornton did their best 'Nique/Bird impression in the first half, as Fouch dropped 19 on W&M while Thornton tallied 13. The Dragons closed the half on an 11-4 run that seemed for all the world a harbinger of their inexorable push to victory. As Shaver noted in the postgame presser, W&M went to the locker room a beaten team, the atmosphere that of a 'morgue'.

But W&M young assistant coaches did a terrific job of pumping up a team that had been on the road for five days and got "their fannies kicked" (per Shaver) at Hofstra on Wednesday. Lesser W&M squads (read: most previous W&M squads) would've packed it in and been run out of the gym. The partisan DAC crowd certainly expected that outcome.

When Kyle Gaillard and Thornton sandwiched three-pointers around a trio of Tim Rusthoven (15 points, 5 boards, 4 assists) buckets, though, the Tribe had run off the first 10 points of the second half to take the lead, and the game was on.

Drexel fought back to take a seven-point lead on a Freddie Wilson jumper at the 9:45 mark. The offensively-challenged Wilson's made shot (TJ and I took to exhorting him to shoot every time he touched the ball) caused Shaver to raise his hands in the air in exasperation.

Perhaps the saddest display of fan chest painting I've ever seen.
Once again, however, given a chance to fold, the Tribe battled back. As I told TJ, this was as hard-nosed a performance as I've ever seen by a W&M team. Despite being overmatched physically (Drexel's big men are strong, and in the case of freshman Rodney Williams, incredibly bouncy.) and playing in a loud, tightly-packed gym, the Tribe gave as good as they got. W&M scored 11 straight to take a four-point lead with 5:07 to play. Rusthoven again keyed the run, scoring seven of the 11, and converting Thornton's pretty no-look dime to give W&M a 58-57 edge.

Thornton's pass made freshman Daniel Dixon smile as he headed back on defense, but the youngster gave his coach and W&M fans reasons of their own to feel good. Though he didn't do much on offense, Dixon was critical in slowing Fouch down in the second half. While the Drexel sixth-year senior finished with a career-high 31 points, he only made two of seven shots after Dixon got the defensive assignment on him.

This kid was absolutely my fan of the game. Just an amazing display of fashion.
One of the game's great little moments came during a timeout with 3:12 to play. Dixon had missed an open three-pointer, making him 0-4 on the evening. His disappointment was visible in the huddle, as he dwelled on his miss. Senior Brandon Britt (who scored 9 efficient points) rubbed Dixon's head and whispered encouragement. Not much to see in the box score there, but terrific leadership by Britt, and a sign of a team playing as one.

Frantz Massenat hit a vital three for Drexel to draw the Dragons within a pair with two minutes to play, and then Fouch scored on consecutive drives to put Drexel on top. The last of his 31 points came on a tough floater with Dixon all over him, giving the home team a 66-65 advantage with 8.1 seconds left.

Shaver called timeout, and addressed his team in the huddle. He got down to his knees, and damned if he wasn't smiling. Amidst the maelstrom, he radiated calm and while we couldn't hear him, it sure looked like he was telling the Tribe how much fun the whole thing was. TJ noticed it right away, saying, "Look at Shaver! He's smiling!" 

At that moment, I turned to TJ and said, "We've got Marcus". Meanwhile, he was tweeting, #InMarcusWeTrust. If we knew where the ball was going, it sure seemed to be news to Bruiser Flint. The Drexel coach only applied token pressure on the inbound pass, and didn't attempt in any way to deny Thornton the ball. The junior guard dribbled the ball upcourt against Major Canady, with the imposing Dartaye Ruffin (who makes Greg Oden look cherubic) lurking to deny a drive to the basket.

Allegedly, W&M had five players on the court, but there was nobody in the gym that expected four of them to see the ball. Thornton weaved his way into the frontcourt, drove hard towards the right, then froze Canady on a crossover before stepping back, elevating, and shooting.

You know what happened next, as do millions of Americans, thanks to yesterday's SportsCenter Top 10. The last three of Thornton's 26 points snapped through the twine, a few dozen W&M boosters went bonkers, the Tribe bench erupted, and 2,000 Drexel fans went dead silent.

Which was good, because it meant we could hear Flint's expletive-laden assault on the officials. The Drexel coach's demeanor contrasted sharply with Shaver's grace under pressure, and while Flint may have had a point (W&M was only called for five second half fouls, an undeniably favorable whistle for a road team.), he came off for all the world like a deranged lunatic.

I'll take our guy, thanks.

Thanks to a gracious recommendation by FOGTB and Drexel fan Dan Crain (@metsox1, and the proprietor of the well-written Dragons Speak blog), TJ and I made our way to The New Deck Tavern for postgame recovery drinks and the first real meal we'd had all day.

TJ had the presence of mind to record a Vine of the Thornton shot, which blew up all over social media in the hours after the game. He kept exclaiming with amazement as first a trickle, then a flood of people retweeted and passed the video around. Even a couple of national outlets got into the act. (We got to see which of them were willing to steal a video from a hard-working blogger without attribution, too. Not naming names, but let's just say one of them is a national sports outlet that starts with N and ends with BCSN.) We got back to DC around 10:00, fairly well convinced that we'd witnessed as good a day of basketball as we're likely to see anytime soon. At least until the CAA Tournament in Baltimore.

It was a terrific day of hoops. But the chance to hang out with my man TJ might've been even better.

Sports, my friends. They're awesome.

#gtbhoopsroadie was a rousing success. See you all in Baltimore for Part Deux.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gheorghe: The Tease

As we work diligently on the recap of yesterday's blessed hoops road trip, here's a little Tony Shaver and Marcus Thornton to tide you over. If you look very closely from 0:20 to 0:22, you'll see a seated guy wearing green and an over-excited guy in a brown and white sweater (just to the left of Tim Rusthoven's elbow). You might recognize them.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gheorghe: The Roadtrip

In what would actually be the makings of a mediocre buddy comedy, the Teej and Rob are braving a snowy I-95 to take in the Tribe's afternoon tilt against the Drexel Dragons in the City of Brotherly Love. Apparently, "City of Douchebags With Inferiority Complexes" was already taken. 

Our intrepid correspondents will be venturing into the hallowed confines of the Drexel Athletic Center whose denizens refer to themselves as the "DAC Pack". 

As you can see from the photo, this is not a cool bunch. Any interfan violence will clearly be nerd on nerd crime. 

Drexel is a 4.5 point favorite. I would take the Tribe in this one, but as always wait for Rob to make his pick and then "Costanza" it. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Drug Week: Where Are They Now?

Lay off the pipe, Man

We interrupt this rob-fueled Drug Week to sprinkle in some fun and tomfillery. 20 years ago, PCU was released, and three characters in particular from that film enjoyed Drug Week every week. G:TB is here to help you catch up with some old friends...

Amazingly, Gutter, as he was so affectionately known to his friends, became the most successful of the THC Trio pictured above. After leaving campus, he briefly gave it a go as a clown, until he almost died in a building fire because some neurotic bald man pushed him out of the way escaping. Depressed, he tried his luck in Vegas after some prodding from a friend. He gave MMA a shot, and was rumored to be dancing in the dark with Courtney Cox. Reportedly traveled a bunch to the North Pole filming a documentary on a worked in the Kringle Factory. Eventually became a pudgy body guard for a multibillionaire genius super hero egomaniac. Who's the big winner now?

Not to be outdone by Gutter's antics, Mersh saw fit to try to destroy a space time continuum portal for "religious" reasons, hung out with a McNasty midget, and then, in his greatest adventure, almost died of heatstroke fighting alien bugs.
During the filming of Starship Troopers (1997), Mersh suffered heatstroke after working all day in 120* desert sun. This stopped production for a week. When he recovered, several large holes were cut into his uniform so he could cool off. Many other cast member's suits had this modification as well in order to prevent further cases. On average there were 25 people per day being treated for heatstroke During the filming of Starship troopers.
Yeesh. Kosmo is the black sheep of this group, settling for a museum guard job that's only highlight was seeing a talking dog and his ragtag group of friends attempt to solve some silly crime.

I can't even...this guy is turrible...

Wonder if Nats fans hate this guy as much as his brother Pete?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Drug Week: Public Service Announcement

"Get ripped off in a drug deal, and there's not a whole lot you can do. It's not like you can complain to the Better Business Bureau or leave your dealer a lousy review on Yelp. As one dealer puts it, "I mean, what you gonna do? What, you gonna go up to the police and say, 'Hey man, he skeeted me out of an ounce'? Hell no."

First, Yelp for drug dealers sounds like a brilliant idea. Who's in charge of app development around here?

More importantly, though, as we continue with our drug week coverage, until our call for legalization is heeded across the nation, you'll want to make sure you check out the sublimely and coincidentally perfectly named The Week's guide to safely purchasing your recreational meds.

While some of the recommendations are fairly obvious - 'do not be an addict' seems particularly intuitive, for example - what strikes me even more is that nearly all of the guidelines apply to commercial transactions of all types. Repeat customers are more likely to get better treatment, for example. My dry cleaner, a lovely Asian woman (it's not a stereotype; it's true), with an unfortunate habit of telling one of my daughters that's she's prettier than the other, charges me a discounted rate every time I bring my things to her. I've been going to her store for nearly 10 years. I'm a good customer, and I get treated as such.

As for The Week's advice to 'not offend the seller', again, this would seem to be self-evident. Common sense, even.

In the interest of public safety, then, here's the entire list of things to do to protect your interests in a drug deal, as compiled by criminologists Scott  Jacques, Andrea Allen, and Richard Wright (who seem to have gone to significant lengths to justify buying a bunch of weed):

(1) Portray yourself to the seller as likely to make further purchases if satisfied.
(2) Buy from the same seller on a regular basis.
(3) Become acquainted with the seller to the greatest degree possible.
(4) Bring the dollar amount specified by the seller.
(5) Be informed about the going market rate: price per unit of a particular grade.
(6) Do not offend the seller.
(7) Present yourself as willing to take your business elsewhere, complain, or retaliate.
(8) Do not be an addict.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Drug Week: Cocaine Has a Stupid Profit Margin

Many of us use pseudonyms on G:TB, and for various reasons. Me, I do it to protect my professional reputation (I'm a pretty big deal. For a dipshit.) Others change their names for whimsical reasons (Why else would you choose to go by 'T.J.'?). But one in our number aspires someday to elective office*, and as such, would prefer not to be directly associated with William & Mary basketball.

(* Or if not necessarily aspires, really enjoys the idea of it.)

That unnamed dreamer has been slowly and steadily building a constituency in his hometown, starting with taverns and public houses, and moving on from there. He's positioning himself as a pragmatic m
an of the people, which is good, because he's a pretty pragmatic man of the people. They say that George W. Bush connected with regular voters who felt like he'd enjoy sitting down for a beer with them. By that standard, our guy is a shoo-in, despite his political differences with the 43rd President.

But as we near the time of reckoning, his constituents will want to know more about how this man intends to govern their city. If recent events are any indications, the good people of Norfolk are in safe hands, indeed.

He'll never tell you this, but the future Mayor of Norfolk played a critical role in last week's seizure of 732 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $100 million (and wholesale value of $12(!) million) at that city's busy port. First, the official version of events as relayed by the Virginian Pilot,
"This was a cold hit. There was no specific intelligence," (Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director Mark J.) Laria said. He spoke next to a table covered in bags and boxes of cocaine as more than a dozen armed guards secured the building. The cocaine was found inside a shipping container that originated from Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of Venezuela, Laria said. It was destined for New York.Officers targeted the container because of some recent, unspecified smuggling trends. Laria said they started out using large-scale X-ray machines, transitioned to some smaller devices and eventually pulled out the can openers."
Our sources within CBP swore us to secrecy, but the real story is a humdinger. I can't get into the details, but let's just say that it's unlikely that Steve Tasker, Jimmy Buffett, and Stephen Hawking will ever be in the same room together. And while our guy will never take credit for it, the people of Norfolk are in very good hands. Or at least they will be.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Drug Week: A Very Special GTB Report

Welcome to Drug Week at G:TB, a nuanced and deeply researched* look into our nation's evolving and conflicted approach to the enforcement, legalization, and use of mind-altering substances. 

(* - It will be neither of those things. Hell, it's unlikely that we'll make it more than two days before collapsing in a weed and booze-addled lazy haze.)

Yesterday, @BadNewsHughes pointed out an amusing coincidence on Twitter, noting that both NFL conference championship games were played in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. The Broncos were obviously the more relaxed team in their matchup with New England, and it's not hard to understand the reason. Seattle, interestingly, pressed throughout the first half against San Francisco, clear evidence of the long-standing irony of caffeine's widespread acceptance as a legal stimulant juxtaposed against pot's status as mellower non grata. The Emerald City's deep-rooted addiction to coffee-based kickstarts overcame Washington's recent legalization of marijuana until Pete Carroll passed a bowl around the Seahawks' locker room at halftime. Some habits die hard. Because they're subsidized and protected by governments.

More noteworthy this week (though somehow not really mentioned by the press at large), were President Barack Obama's comments on marijuana. While the President didn't come out for Federal legalization of recreational use, he did say something that I found at the same time controversial and true. In an interview with The New Yorker, Obama said, ""I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol." (Emphasis ours.)

When I was in high school, long before I ever smoked pot (which I did just one time, and didn't like it, as far as my parents will ever know), I began a long-running argument with my father about the merits of marijuana legalization. I didn't have the benefit of the numerous studies comparing alcohol use and abuse to marijuana's negative societal impacts at my disposal. Instead, I had a kid's natural inclination to rebel against his parents and a teenager's highly refined bullshit/hypocrisy sensor. Meanwhile, Dad, who was a military officer and later a high school principal, argued from authority. And even today, I don't disagree with his points about negative influence on military and educational discipline - I just don't think pot's impact on those things is materially different than alcohol's.

Dad and I never settled anything, as you might guess, but it strikes me that the President's words today are meaningful in changing the terms of the debate. The Commander in Chief smoked pot as a young man (as did each of his last two predecessors). He's not advocating cannabis for all (pot in every pot, as it were) - in fact, he takes pains to classify weed as a bad thing - he's merely articulating an argument for equivalence with America's most widely accepted vice. Alcohol fucks us up immeasurably more than does marijuana, and it's propped up by a billion-dollar industry that spends more than $15 million a year (which actually seems low) on lobbying just the U.S. Congress - in no small part to ensure that marijuana doesn't get a Federal stamp of approval.

The President said something else that matters in changing the conversation about marijuana when he addressed the depressing and borderline criminal disparities in the enforcement of our current laws.  "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties."

According to the (clearly pro-legalization) Drug Policy Alliance, the quote-unquote War on Drugs costs us $51 billion/year. Legalization would yield an estimated $46.7 billion in tax revenues, assuming weed was taxed at comparable rates to alcohol and tobacco. That's a net benefit to the economy of nearly $97 billion, with immeasurable positive impacts in terms of lives no longer ruined by mandatory drug sentences, and a reduction in crime related to marijuana trafficking. 

But above all the economic and enforcement arguments, none strikes me as more compelling as the same one I made as a kid. It remains the height of hypocrisy to insist on public policy that treats alcohol as America's magical social lubricant while demonizing the use of cannabis. And I thank the President for agreeing with 16 year-old me. Somewhere, likely in a glorious hookah room in Heaven, my father probably grudgingly agrees. Even he could eventually be swayed by logic.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Week in Wrenball: Scorcher

Three games into the conference schedule, and that number sure looks like it'll be determinative this season.

In wins over James Madison and Drexel, the Wrens shot a combined 15 for 27 (55.6%) from behind the arc to roll to huge halftime advantages and coast to easy wins. And in a loss to CAA-leading Delaware, W&M went 9 for 26 from deep, losing a tight roadie by five points. Though it's early, the Tribe leads the CAA in shooting percentage and trails only the College of Charleston in three-point accuracy.

It's a simple game for W&M this year: you shoot the ball, a lot from outside, and when they go in, you win. When they don't, you don't. You won't be turning opponents over a great deal, and you won't be playing much shutdown defense. (And I don't expect you to maintain a +6 rebounding margin, though it'd be fantastic if you did.) So let's hope the jumpshots travel.

Yesterday's 78-56 win over JMU was W&M's first twenty-point drubbing of the Dukes since February 2005. It was basically over after the Tribe shot 71.8% from the field in the first half on the way to a 42-24 lead. Marcus Thornton paced the victors with 20, with Tim Rusthoven adding 17 points and 7 boards. Though he only scored four points, Terry Tarpey played another complete game for W&M, grabbing nine rebounds and dropping five dimes.

For all the accolades Thornton, Rusthoven, and freshman Omar Prewitt deservedly receive, it's the sophomore Tarpey who's rapidly becoming one of the keys to the Tribe's success. Though only 6'5", Tarpey paces W&M with 6.8 rebounds a game (good for 10th in the CAA), swipes 1.6 steals per contest (4th in the league), and rounds out a full stat sheet with 5.9 points and 2.0 assists. He's upped his game in CAA play, recording a double-double in the loss at Delaware, and averaging 9.7 boards in league games. He's the kind of hard-nosed, rugged player that's vital to a team of skilled but not always physical athletes. To steal from ourselves, he may be the redass we've been seeking.

This week takes the Tribe on the road for a pair of critical early-season contests. W&M travels to Long Island to take on Hofstra on Wednesday. The Pride are 2-1 in league play after a disappointing 4-10 out of conference start. One of the few bright spots for Hofstra during last year's dismal campaign was a 70-59 home win over the Wrens, who returned the favor in Williamsburg. If W&M is who we think they might be, they need to show us with a win over an improving but not terribly good Hofstra squad.

On Saturday, the Teej and I will travel with the Tribe to Philadelphia as the Green and Gold plays Drexel. Though the Tribe handled the Dragons fairly easily in the conference opener, Drexel boasts a win over Alabama this season, and led #1 Arizona by 19 before falling in early-season action. Bruiser Flint's team was extremely banged up in the two teams' first matchup, and if they're healthy, pose a very difficult road test for W&M.

Team G:TB's road trip to Philly will also include a stop at LaSalle to see the Explorers host VCU. It's a veritable hoopstravanganza for the good guys. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. We'll be the tall, pale, balding dude and the short, bespectacled handsome fella - and we'll both be wearing tri-cornered hats and no pants.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Patience Is A Virtue/Saturday College Basketball Open Thread

While we all eagerly await Day 12 of Gheorghemas, I thought I would post this video I found of Rob.  I'm not sure if he is trying to have sex with this cat or just playing.  Enjoy...

In totally unrelated news, it should be noted that the NY Football Jets had quite a day.  As was pointed out in the comments yesterday, Kellen Winslow was charged with possession of synthetic marijuana after a witness reported that he was in his Caddy treating his body like an amusement park.  From the gumshoe squad at the NY Post:
According to the report, when cops approached Winslow, he said he was looking for a Boston Market, but couldn’t find it. When police approached Winslow went from “slouched in his seat and moving around” to an upright position. His genitals were not exposed, but officers saw “two open containers of Vaseline on his center console.”
Sounds perfectly innocent to me.  Who doesn't need to get their nads all lubed up before enjoying some fast food rotisserie chicken and creamed spinach?

Not to be outdone by his semi-aroused, quasi-stoned, poultry loving tight end, Jets quarterback Geno Smith apparently went the full Alec Baldwin and got himself kicked off a Virgin America flight for refusing to turn off his cell phone after (maybe) fighting with ticket agents about getting his seat assignment.  

Anybody think Rex Ryan may regret taking that contract extension?

Finally, the Tribal cagers take on the slobbering hell hounds of Jimmy Madison U around 4 PM at the Tribedome in Williamsburg.  W&M is favored by 7.5.  As always bet against Rob's selection.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fashion is Dumb, But Smells Nice

I'm a sucker for a Lichtenstein homage.
Naked and Famous Jeans are made in Canada from denim sourced in Japan. According to their website ("We love rare and unique fabric!"), they mix kevlar, cashmere, silk, wool, linen, and any number of other fabrics with their denim to create their collections. As they note, "So much culture and history is poured into the fabric so that it can be appreciated by the denim purist." We'll ignore for the moment the idea that such a thing as a 'denim purist' exists.

Because now, Naked and Famous offers scratch and sniff denim. In both wintergreen and raspberry scents. While founder and chief designer Brandon Svarc says, "If you want to get rid of your body odor, you should definitely wear deodorant," those of us that go 10-12 wears between washes know the score.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Watch This Speech by Sam Berns

Sam Berns died on Friday. You may remember him from the HBO documentary about his life. If you haven't seen it, you should.

At one point the documentary describes the discovery of the protein responsible for his medical condition, and Sam explains how this "takes the burden off of me because I don't have to think of progeria as ... an entity." Sam was a remarkably bright and eloquent kid and I remember watching this scene and thinking about how it crystalized what is undoubtedly a complicated and painful set of emotions into a completely relatable concept. It made me cry.

Sam was also a remarkably happy kid despite the challenges he faced and the unescapable truth that his lifespan would be much shorter than it should have been. Here's how Sam achieved such happiness, in his own words.

Monday, January 13, 2014

For her birthday, Shlara gave GTB (well, me) a present

If you didn't wish Shlara a happy birthday over the weekend, you are a callous, hateful person. Or something. Anyway, I am 90% recovered from Winter Death Cold '14, and we are severely lacking in content around here, so as we await Day 12 of Gheorghemas, a gift, from the birthday girl herself:

Rex Chapman, Cal Cheaney AND Gheorghe? Blessed.

Yep, seems Shlara was cleaning out her parents place and found some retro Bullets swag, and I am more than giddy to frame these bad boys and place them in basement viewing room of Casa de Teej. Right next to the O.J. rookie cards and Nene/Strasburg bobbleheads.

Curious to hear what sort of stuff folks have displayed in their respective homes along these lines? I'm thinking Marls has a used Mackey Sasser jock on display, and perhaps rob a God Shammgod childrens small jersey on the wall?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Diesel and Dusted Off

I was rooting around in my basement yesterday, making space for the detritus of another stuff-centric Christmas, when I came across several boxes of old CDs. While it pales in comparison to Clarence's library - hell, Alexandria's fabled stacks are a quaint little compilation compared to Clarence's - I once had a decent little collection of tunes.

Flipping through offerings from bands I hadn't thought about in years (The Sidewinders! Urge Overkill! Arrested Development! The Housemartins!), I paused when I came to a pair of Midnight Oil discs. I loved that band in its heyday. Whether it was frontman Peter Garrett's frenetic charisma, or the Oils' naked liberalism (which appealed to my uber-idealistic teen self), or simply the fact that the band kicked ass, I wore out Diesel and Dust (1987) and Blue Sky Mining (1990). 1992's Scream in Blue (Live) is one of the great concert records I've ever heard.

So in another recurring feature destined not to recur, here's a little musical memory lane:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

NFL Open Thread: Nightmare Fuel

Courtesy of, a compendium of some of the most graphic, fascinating, and creepy images of insect-on-insect violence you'll ever want to see.

Below, an interpretation of what I expect the Seahawks to do to the Saints this afternoon:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flu Friday Filler

Zman has been beaten down by the flu since last year and even managed to infect Zson (Kemba...he'll always be Kemba to me). And now it seems his radio partner The Teej is laid up to. Bad times here at GTB HQ. As always, we'll soldier on and provide minimal effort to fulfill the tiny dictator's POSTCOUNT(!) mandate.

Since our last pic of Saint Ronny was such a hit, here's another classic.

Somebody go check on The Teej and bring him some chicken soup. While you're there stop by and check on Geoff too. I think that picture might be too much for his delicate sensibilities.

As it turns out, the Gipper was a fashion trendsetter. Betabrand's line of dress sweatpants and hoodies is the logical heir to Reagan's style. As always, we live in Ronnie's world.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A request for assistance

Received in my inbox this a.m. Seems our diminutive dictator has not yet recovered from his inaugural trip to Vegas.
I'm gonna be useless on the GTB machine this week, so I'm calling on you to ride to the rescue. Do it for America.
Well, I ain't got shit of consequence for us (what else is knew), but in honor of this old man returning to school this week, let's cue up a clip.

And for no reason at all:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Monday, January 06, 2014

BCS National Championship Game Filler/Open Thread

So, I heard there was one college football game left to be played this year. Tonight, in fact. This post is the epitome of laziness, as it serves as merely a placeholder, an open thread for tonight's game for the G:TB community. Mark and Danimal might even jump in later and grace us with some prognostication knowledge, but there is no guarantee of that. In order to help you better prepare for tonight's game, a primer:

Florida State (13-0)

This kid would like to sign a letter of intent as soon as possible.
I see what you did there. That's titty, er, witty.
Auburn (12-1)

Is that shirt painted on?
Auburn girls apparently have balance issue and need to hold on to things to steady themselves.
Who ya got tonight? I'll see you in the comments.

[Shlara, please send me recommendations for an acceptable FSU and Auburn dude to post, in addition to the ladies above. Wasn't sure if either of these school's had a Jay Wright/Kliffy Kingsbury-type you are fond of]

Update #1, from Danimal:
In any event, I do pick Auburn. Today’s line is -10 on my degenerate site. Danimal is on a roll, 7-2 on last 9. That’s too many effing points. My same sentiments that I wussed out on w/OKLA. I believe in the Gusster to keep this interesting.

Update #2, from Mark
You're only getting this update because the BCS Title game forced the cancellation of my regular Monday night pickup basketball game. Bunch a bullshit if you ask me. We were slated to start at 7. We could've been finished by 9. I doubt we'd have missed much more than the 1st quarter. Lazy bastards. Anyway, enough about me.

TJ felt like we needed a BCS post (I agree) and asked if Danimal and I would be interested in providing predictions because, well,  I'm sure y'all haven't had enough of that by now. As it turns out, we were both a little busy with "work" today and couldn't oblige in our usual fashion. It doesn't matter though, since I've already sewn up the picks title for this year. Ghostface even wrote a little song about it…

Danimal's site has Auburn as a 10 point dog. Mine has Auburn at +10.5. Either way, that feels like too many points to give up, even if Auburn still (somehow) feels a little fluky. Especially so when compared to ACC (this is key) juggernaut Florida State. Im obviously rooting for the Tigers/War Eagle/Plainsmen tonight. And I'm rooting for the under (68.5). Though I'd be cool if the game ended just under. Points are fun and we have to wait another nine months for College Football to return after tonight. Damn it. Now, I'm sad.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

This Week in Wrenball: Rudyard Rules

 Macomb, Illinois is the seat of McDonough County and the location of Western Illinois University. It's also the hometown of the great actor John Mahoney, and was the summer training home of the St. Louis Rams from 1996 - 2004. It's not much else. I'm sure it's lovely, though.

Western Illinois is the final stop on W&M's out of conference hoops schedule, which finds us, as usual, puzzled about what we've got. Coming off a solid 74-68 win over longtime rival ODU, the Wrens carry a 7-5 record into tonight's contest against the Leathernecks. However, the if/but/candy/nut corollary tells us that W&M should probably be no worse than 9-3, and could be even better than that. Losses to High Point and Hampton remain inexplicable, and the Tribe may be the only team this season to go on a 20-2 run in the second half of a loss (we pulled this trick against Richmond).

Beyond a set of perplexing on-court results, it's also difficult to assess W&M's on-court potential. Senior guard Brandon Britt is still working his way back into the rotation after missing the season's first nine games due to a suspension. Britt has missed 15 of the 20 shots he's attempted in his three games, averaging only 6.7 ppg in 19 minutes.

In Britt's absence, senior Julian Boatner is putting up the best numbers of his W&M career, making 42.1% of his three-pointers and tallying 7.1 points per contest. He's also been solid with the ball, recording 27 assists against only 11 turnovers playing as an off guard. But Boatner's nowhere near as athletic as Britt, and is a liability on defense, especially against quick opponents.

Britt's return, along with that of injured freshman Daniel Dixon, means that Tony Shaver's able to use at least a nine-man rotation. While this ain't exactly Kentucky, it's certainly better than the early season's seven-man runs. Additionally, with Britt back in the lineup, Boatner and freshman revelation Omar Prewitt (13.8 ppg, good for second on the team) head a group of reserves that matches up well with just about any CAA foe.

I can't figure them out, either, Rudyard
And when Britt is all the way back, it'll free up Marcus Thornton to be Marcus Thornton, only moreso. Though the explosive junior is averaging a career-best 19.0 points after dropping 26 on ODU, he's doing it in a less efficient fashion than in previous years. His field goal, three-point field goal, and free throw percentages are all down significantly from last year, largely attributable to the fact that he's been the team's primary ballhandler in Britt's absence. He's done a decent job, leading the team with 31 assists and maintaining an acceptable assist/turnover ratio (he's given it away 31 times, too), but he's a born two guard.

All of which leaves us with Rudyard Kipling on the brain. The operative word for the Wrens as they head into conference play, is 'if':

If Britt can find his way back
If Marcus can soar; Beasthoven hits the floor
And lead W&M's diverse attack
If Omar keeps comin', and Gaillard can score
While Shaver juggles pieces and minutes
And Tarpey's hustle frees Boatner to gun
Theirs is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - they'll be the Man, my son!

We'll find out starting on Wednesday, as W&M kicks off the CAA schedule at home against preseason darling Drexel before traveling to highly-regarded Delaware. With a win tonight, the Tribe will enter CAA play with the league's second-best OOC record. That ain't much, but it's something.

Friday, January 03, 2014

This Year (2013) in Vinyl

[A guestie from Squeaky]

So as some of you know I buy vinyl, sometimes always too much. In this day and age most people just buy a song here or there off iTunes and are happy. But I’ve always been an album guy. I listen to the whole damn thing. That’s probably why I have very few playlists and still cling to buying albums and not single songs.  People almost always ask me why vinyl.  It’s really a two-fold answer. To me the sound is better on vinyl. So I can hear the difference from any audio file when compared to vinyl. You don’t need a super-duper stereo system to notice the difference. Just get a halfway decent record player.  

Physical media is going by the wayside (CD sales at least) but the art of the LP package has been making a comeback over the last several years and some are pretty damn cool. And this leads me to the second reason, the actual LP sleeve and vinyl record. There are still good artists making some very cool limited edition records out there. And I’m a sucker for most of it.  So instead of rattling off a list of what I think some of the best albums of the year were, I’m going to list a couple of the coolest looking records I picked up this year. And as an aside, the best day of the year to get some limited edition vinyl is Record Store Day. Worth a trip to your local record store. It’s usually the third Saturday of April.

In no particular order:

Califone – Stitches – Good album if you are into them, otherwise only a couple of great tunes in on it. And they played a bunch of these songs in my house this year.

Jack White Plays the Brooklyn Bowl --  Definitely stretches the idea of bowling for this record.  Great live recording.

 The National – Trouble Will Find Me -- Clear vinyl. Big trend this year. I also got a single on Coke Glass clear vinyl. This album, like almost all National albums, grows on you over time.

The Raconteurs – Live at the Ryman Auditorium - butterscotch marble. Not a bad live set by the fellows.

Superchunk – I Hate Music – electric orange. Good punk-pop album.

Then there is my favorite 2 LP of the year. Willie Nelson and Friends - Live at Third Man Records.

LP 1 – Gray Smoke

LP 2 – Electric Green with an image of Trigger imprinted into the second side

Honorable mentions: Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight The More I Love You. Great album with the best production quality this year. Sonically an amazing album. Her voice is the highlight. Side D is an etched side with eels swimming around. The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law. Another great album of arty punk-rock. Side D is etched with wolves running.

And if you really need to run through a list of the best albums head over to . He compiles a list of all the best records lists.  There is enough there to waste a day or two wading through all the best of lists for records and books.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Want More Picks? Of Course You Do!

The Holidays are officially over. Some of you schlubs even went back to work today, but College Football season isn't over. Which means Danimal and me aren't done making picks. We've got two more BCS Bowls before the final BCS Championship Game and we're here to tackle them for you. It really is for you. And post count. Duh.

Alabama (-17) over Oklahoma: I've gone back and forth on this game a few times. Not because I buy Rob's theory that Bama will mail this game in ala the 2008 Sugar Bowl. This is different. 2008 was the the second year of Nick Saban's tenure in Tuscaloosa. Five years later, the Alabama program is more experienced and far more talented top to bottom than it was in 2008. Furthermore, I don't see AJ McCarron or CJ Mosely laying down in their final games in Crimson.  Still, 17 points is a pretty hefty price to pay for backing the Tide. On top of that, I don't buy Oklahoma. Neither of their QBs are very good and there is also plenty of history to suggest that the Sooners won't exactly come out guns blazing in a BCS Bowl. To be honest, the only player who's truly impactful on the Oklahoma offense is Jalen Saunders and he's a tiny slot guy. Bama wins by three TDS.

Clemson (+3) over Ohio State: I don't feel strongly about this. Neither team wows me offensively and they're both below average on defense. I'll go with Clemson for the following reasons:

1. Ohio State doesn't pass it well.
2. Ohio State might be hungover after being upset in the Big Ten Title Game.
3. Clemson has a good senior QB who is also the best QB the Buckeyes have played all season.
4. Clemson might be extra motivated for redemption after being eviscerated by West Virginia two years ago in the Orange Bowl.

That's it. That's all I've got.


Over the course of many a week, Danimal has scratched and clawed his way back into this. Just behind 1 game, or would it technically be 1.5 games since I have a tie? That’s for the judges to decide. I’ll just call it 1. Do you all feel the tension? This is what you’ve been waiting for isn’t it? Admit it. To me, this is better than the games themselves.
Can someone put my 1-year old to bed please???!!!!!

The records:
D: 27 – 21 – 1
M: 28 – 21

Sugar Bowl
Alabama -17 vs Oklahoma
Seventeen points. It’s a tough one, by design.  ‘Bama could, and probably will, come in there extremely pissed off. And Oklahoma will enter with wanting to prove something. Oklahoma had a nice 10-2 season with some impressive wins. Annnnd they lost to Baylor 41-12. I’ve sat over this for some time now. Rooting for Alabama this evening is not something I prefer to do, but will.

Orange Bowl
Ohio State -3 vs Clemson
This is another one. Day-umm. It seems every radio douche nozzle is saying Clemson. “OSU cannot stop Clemson’s passing game…” is the recurring line. I can’t stand Urban Meyer, but reserve the right to change that attitude should he ever become the coach at ND. Until then though, meh.  OSU scores a lot too, 24 against Michigan State and about 5-6 touchdowns per for every other game. Urban’s coached a few big bowl games and this is where I think the difference will lay.

The Twelve Days of Gheorghemas: Day 11

On the 11th Day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me . . .

Eleven Months of Awesome
Nothing. Not a Single Thing.
Nine Gifts for Friends 
Seven Books for Reading
Six cocktails

Five gooooals / things  
Four legal mic drops  
Three critters and an otter  
Two names for naming  
And a fat guy in a jer-sey

Before we get to the giving of the big fella's gifts, a celebration is in order. Technically, it was in order seven weeks ago, but as is the way with so many things in this organization we were far too drunk/lazy/apathetic/dumb to realize it. On November 7, 2013, we (should've) celebrated the 10th Anniversary of this corner of the blogosphere. I'm alternately stunned and pleased that we've managed to not only survive ten years, but in many measures (not the least of which is a camaraderie that I really, no shit, enjoy daily) thrive (have we mentioned that we interviewed LeBron James and the radio voice of VCU Basketball, and that we're thisclose to interviewing T.J. Quinn?).

So where were you the day Gheorghe: The Blog was born? Hell if I can remember that long ago, but I do know where we were exactly ten years later. We were reading one of the year's best posts, zman's epic recollection of both his high school hoopty and the first time he heard Wu-Tang. I would've guessed that the 10th Anniversary post would've been a lot dumber.

Here are the other things we read this year that made us laugh, think, and cry (I don't actually think anything we wrote this year made anyone cry, other than our high school English teachers, but I don't miss a chance to quote Jimmy V):


We kicked the year off in rousing style, dropping 32 posts, the most of any month this year. With a few noteworthy exceptions (including TR's hard, no-signal turn towards the deviant), we also brought some seriously high-quality content.

Our first post of the year was a Wrenball post, the first of five during the month, celebrating a close loss. If that don't tell a story...

New poster Danimal wasted no time posting dubious filler. He fit right in.

Of course, in his second post, Danimal picked Notre Dame to beat Alabama. He might not be all that bright.

Bob Dorough brought the Schoolhouse Rock.

Zman foreshadowed his year of jurisprudence chronicles with an overview of Ricky Williams' legal entanglements with his tattoo artist.

Our other new staff member weighed in as well, when Marls reprised Rerun's gambling strategy.

Dave broke new Gheorghemas ground (and invented a reason for us to not feel bad if we don't finish the 12 Days by 12/31) by adding a 13th Day and extending the season into mid-January.

Clarence took the mic from Mark and Z temporarily, dropping a list of his formative hip-hop jams.

Largely outside the confines of this virtual space, January also saw the Teej head abroad and Whitney enter into the bonds of Holy Matrimony. We alluded to both in a limited bloggy fashion, but you really had to be there in person to catch the sartorial splendor that accompanied each event.

We also caught sight of the largest structure ever observed. It was not, contrary to popular belief, Clarence's liver.

Finally, we saw the future, and it looked like a rugby ball. Well, it featured a rugby ball, to the detriment of a football. It looked sorta like the guy in the picture above. Which is to say, awesome.


We kept up the pace in the year's second month, posting at a greater than one-per-day clip. Our quality control editor, however, may have taken the first part of the month off. Groove was in our hearts, though, as fully

Mark finally righted the ship with a solid review of National Signing Day, football version.

TR and Zman went back-to-back with musical life lessons.

Just a pair of guys out on the town, with gay ice cream and unicorns.

Marls broke news about breaking wind.

We said goodbye to Williamsburg legend Bob Sheeran. Woop Woop.

It's hard not to read a headline that includes the words, 'Two Great Smut Heists'. I bet you click the link.

We closed the month with a celebration of our democracy, in which I found Antonin Scalia likeable. For a prick.


Like February, it took us a while to get up to speed in winter's final month. There was some Wu-Tang art filler, and a Danimal story about peeing on a ferry, but we didn't get moving until we extended a gastronomic challenge.

On consecutive days, we said goodbye to Elena Delle Donne (college version) and the asshole-free 2012-13 Wrens (who didn't make the NCAA Tournament, in case you were still in suspense).

This video of a dancing mountain man/park ranger was one of my favorites of this or any year.

Teej celebrated the papal election. Of course he did.

In which Zman compared himself to Jesus. Automotively, anyway.

I recounted one of the great achievements in sports spectating. And filth.

Marls accepted the aforementioned challenge, cementing his credentials for induction into the Mensch Hall of Fame.

The always popular Music Mondays with Shlara returned with a P!NK feature, which was followed by Clarence's review of an Old 97s show that was followed by a feat of amazing drunken dexterity by Dave.

Mark offered the other side of buzzer-beating bedlam.

Gheorghe: The Art Gallery hosted a joint show featuring works by George W. Bush

We managed to shoehorn gay marriage and World Cup qualifying into a single, unified post. We're breaking ground every day here, folks.

And we finished the month in inimitable style:


I guess I lied about not making anyone cry this year. I miss my Grandma.

Squirrel Week proceeded apace, always one of the year's highlights.

A new FOGTB went barefoot for kids. To benefit kids, really - she didn't actually want to have kids.

Dana Perino engaged Jay Z in a rap battle. Amazingly, this was only 317th on the list of preposterously stupid things that happened in American politics in 2013.

Zman, FOGTB Clarence, FOGTB, Half-Dave, FOGTB, Marls!
The Moving Rocks announced the release of their first album. Ish.

We had a personal connection to the Boston Marathon bombing. His reaction and that of the entire Boston community said volumes about our resilience and strength as a society.

Teejay and I interviewed VCU basketball's new radio color analyst, further insinuating ourselves into the fabric of American sports. We're kinda the Cousin Eddie of collegiate athletics.

Full. Frontal. Nudity. (Of the male variety.)

Zman broke down the Bills draft history. No, really.

We celebrated DC's best gay sports bar. No big deal.


Abe! Maple!
The fourth and fifth months of the year were notable for both the low volume of posts and high concentration of musical filler. 48 posts over two months, sheesh. At least our on-base percentage was high.

In addition to our undeniable influence on the world of sports (really, at this point Grantland should be paying us royalties), we found evidence of our growing reputation as scientific tastemakers.

Clarence rescued us from another in the seemingly endless series of posts highlighting the asshattery of South Carolina's political elites with a travelogue detailing Brevard, North Carolina's White Squirrel Festival.

Just your everyday classical/doom-thrash violinist.

FOGTB Work Jerry von Dumbarton's wife is a badass. Also, fuck cancer with a brick.

We dropped the first of many (!) posts on W&M baseball, as the Tribe Nine had the best season in school history. Pantsless and Stirrupless Griffins, ride!


More Tribe baseball! Less pants!

long underwear man looks suspiciously like rob!
The Teej got us on the NSA's shit list. Along with everyone else.

TR posted a picture of a ballsack. Because, TR.

He made up for it by introducing us to a new game.

We had a music-based guestie from someone named Whitney. Never heard of her.

Summer Dave returned with an opus on deception and chicanery in sports, which gave him an excuse to post several pictures of alluring, semi-clad (and in once case, overclad) ladies.

Mark offered his annual NBA Draft preview. Tons of upside.

Love wins.

And the winner of the year's worst-formatted post is: Summer Dave's exposition on the 8 types of RISK players.


Some dumbass posted a video clip in July that automatically launched when G:TB opened. This was annoying enough at the time, but imagine your displeasure if you had to repeatedly return to July's entries for the sake of compiling a 'best of' post (and it was a really terrific month for the Gheorghies). So forgive me if I forgot one of your faves from the first full month of summer.

Robert Littell kicked off the month with advice for young men. Of greatest importance to us, this admonition: "American social habits being what they are, there is one indoor skill which seems to me not only far more important than bridge or dancing, but actually compulsory — drinking."

We were willing to overlook an unfortunate admission regarding sodomy and a bowling ball because we otherwise enjoyed Summer Dave's discussion of the relative merits of regular and candlepin bowling so much.

Zman's preview of the Wimbledon Gentleman's Final touched on topics as diverse as fashion, Irvine Welsh, MNDR, Austin Powers. It was none the worse for entirely whiffing on the outcome.

Bull flatulence and Bernie Madoff.

We had a measured take on Adidas' new Springblade line of running shoes. To wit, "The shoe will immediately serve to identify poseurs who have both way too much disposable income and a substantial need to have people make fun of them behind their backs."

Summer Dave inadvertently hit upon the essence of America's worsening income inequality crisis. And the universal appeal of a babe on a motorcycle.

Ricky Gervais, productivity guru.

Zman's sneaker game: better than Adidas'.

Postulated: Jason Kidd should be better at driving drunk.

In a rare and must-read serious post, Zman talked about the links between the Trayvon Martin tragedy and his own life experience.

Which Dave subtly mocked in the best/stupidest Gheorghian manner.

Mark went back in time with Souls of Mischief.

Several of us took a field trip to catch some Kenner League hoops action.

July, you sweaty minx. Hard not to name you the G:TB Month of the Year.


This was a long way to go to tell us that you like Warren Sapp.

Bilas loves Gheorghe.

(Okay, some really weird shit's gone down here. Nearly all of the videos we posted in August have been transposed into the wrong posts. The Large Hadron Collider's been shut down for months. You guys don't think...? It does make for some fun juxtapositions, though.)

Carnivorous Swedish fish are coming after your testicles, and all I can do is stare at the supermodel in this post.

We posted no pictures of Mark this year, so more Danimal!
And this man is a molder of young minds.

132-lb scrotum. Guess who posted this one?

We welcomed Fat Guy in a Speedo to our list of distinguished guest posters.

Fuck having a lawn. Fuck it right in the earhole.

On 8/26, Shlara celebrated 826. And gave us a picture of Zooey.

We published a very long overdue celebration of Tim Kurkjian. Timmy! (In researching this piece, I found that ESPN has compiled a full list of 'Scott Van Pelt Making Timmy Laugh' moments. And Deadspin put together a supercut that is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry.)

We inaugurated the, um, inaugural edition of Danimal and Mark's 'To the Pain' college football picks. It should probably be Mark and Danimal's college football picks, actually.


Teejay/Gheorghe Does NASCAR.

Doug Fister coming to D.C. will ensure more of these.

We lose a lot of nukes. No big deal.

A two-part series, in which we learn way too much about Zman's penis (zpenis, as it were) and just enough about Dan Snyder's legal outlook with respect to his team's name.

Apparently Mark doesn't read much G:TB.

You can brew beer in your own belly, apparently.


Bills! Browns! Why?

Among the finest President's Cup previews anywhere in the blogosphere, courtesy of Wheelhouse Geoff.

Ragnar nearly killed me, so I went to Chvrch.

Bobby Valentine gave the Teej a buttpat. And we watched a movie.

Zman loves charts. About football.

We were forced to break out the 'bunch of fucking slackers' tag.

But the Red Sox won the World Series, and everything was awesome. Even the hangover.


I'm running out of steam here - you guys wrote a lot of words this year. But this little master is inspired by another, so we'll finish this thing out right.

Clarence gave us part one of a five-part series on punk rock. It was awesome. And likely the only part we'll ever see.

TR came thisclose to fingerblasting Aidy Bryant.

The Pope, he's Gheorghey.

So is George Dennehy.

I heard a great Harry Redknapp story, something we'll never, ever see again in big-time sports.

Quinn McDowell, D-League superstar. (Note: may not actually be a superstar, though he did go for 7 and 4 in a loss to Texas two weeks ago.)

339 posts all told in 2013, up 6.8% (I tried, really) from 2012. And as you can see, at least a few of them were more than just filler and dipshittery. Alright, were more than just filler. Here's to the next 10 years of Gheorgedom.