Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mayhugh talks Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

This weekend, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be trying to punch each other in the face (and other areas) repeatedly. You can view the festivities via PPV for something like $90.

It seems like the media has talked about this matchup forever. It took several years for the two camps to come to terms and the occasional stalemates in negotiation have highlighted some of boxing’s inherent problems. There are 4 separate sanctioning bodies for boxing, each with discrete rules and belts. (Depending on the sanctioning body, there are as many as 18 different weight classes. One of the weight classes is called “Minimumweight”. Is that the lightest weight class? No, that would be light minimumweight. Makes tons of sense). Prior fight talks reportedly broke down over issues like which gloves each guy could wear and the timing of pre-fight drug testing. Unified rules may have avoided this. The Wiki page for the matchup devotes numerous paragraphs to the negotiations. Floyd’s out-of-the-ring reputation is not the best in the Navy, but read his quotes in the “Continued Disputes” part to think less of him (in one quote, he manages to fit 3 separate offensive stereotypes into a single sentence).

Anyway, we’re finally here, and it could be a big night for boxing or a huge letdown. Pay-per-view estimates say this event will be viewed by an historically large audience, and the broader the audience the more pressure to have a crowd-pleasing event. Crowds like when fighters throw bombs, but, not to steal from Jack Handy, boxing, at its best, looks like two guys dancing while throwing punches at each other (which I imagine is very similar to what probably transpired at TR’s bachelor party). That rarely is what a heavyweight fight looks like now, and is probably a large part of why the masses who watched Ali/Foreman/Tyson/Lennox Lewis don’t watch much anymore. Boxing, these days, is much more fun outside of the HW division (if you ever hear about a fight featuring two guys trained in New Mexico, just watch it and send me some bourbon as a thanks later). This fight should be at least modestly up-tempo and should feature fairly decent footwork. But if the fight disappoints somehow, it will just be more evidence to casual fans with other options that boxing is no longer fan-friendly (even though there are enough skilled and personable fighters in classes other than HW these days to herald a comeback).

Okay, so enough tutorializing, let’s get to some Q&A.

Q: I’m considering watching this fight. What do I need to know before making my decision?
A: Like I said, it costs $90. To watch sweaty shirtless men, bleeding from the nose or mouth, spit into a bucket every 3 minutes. You’re either in or you’re out. I’m not going to sell you (or perhaps I just did).

Q: No really, what should I be prepared for?
A: It’s cliché that styles make fights, right? This style matchup seems promising. Manny is by nature more of a come-forward fighter, and Mayweather is a counterpuncher. Floyd’s style is not universally appealing. He never looks like he’s trying his hardest and doesn’t push the action because he’s always been the faster guy in the ring. By a wide margin. I’m not using ‘fast’ to describe his footwork - Floyd does not bounce around a lot - but to describe upper body movement and reaction speed. I’ve gone in to some Floyd fights, De la Hoya comes to mind, thinking “This opponent might be quick enough to make it close” but what invariably happens is those guys look slower than usual once they are actually in the ring with him. I feel like I could count on one hand the times I’ve seen him caught flush with a power punch to the head, because it’s hard to hit a guy who has so many different and unpredictable head/torso moves.

Against methodical fighters these last few years, he has started slower and shown a greater willingness to go toe to toe, exposing himself to more punishment. But Floyd still combines movements – shoulder roll plus head bob, or full body tilt plus slight head turn – that turn big shots into whiffs or glancing blows that open his opponents up to is fast, accurate and snappy counters.

He doesn’t throw the biggest punch, but Floyd does throw the cleanest because his defense makes opponents leave themselves open. Even then, Floyd doesn’t frequently go Jeff Speakman on guys at this point in his career – his counters are usually limited to 1 to 4 opportunistic potshots and then he backs off. Those looking for Floyd to have a “Finish Him” Mortal Kombat moment will likely be disappointed, but because his shots are so clean and his opponents so outmatched, in many cases the ref is compelled to stop it early. Floyd will likely be Floyd in this fight. A typical Floyd fight does not always satisfy the masses, maybe because the audience suspects he is capable of closing the curtain earlier on most foes.

The entertainment quotient depends on Manny; how good he is will determine how good Floyd has to be. If he pushes the action too much, he could fall victim to the same fate that befell headfirst guys like Victor Ortiz and Ricky Hatton, who repeatedly charged Floyd, were several steps too slow, ate too many well-aimed punches and were summarily dispatched. On the other hand, if he sits back, history tells you that Floyd will win on points – it’s unlikely in a strategic fight that Manny will be able to hit Floyd as much as Floyd hits him. I remember a Floyd fight years ago where he broke his left hand early in the fight. He wasn’t throwing with it, he was hardly using it for defense, and he STILL won nearly every round. His opposition that night was not top tier, but still, the dude was great enough to win with 65%.

Q: What’s Manny’s strategy/best chance to win?
A: Manny has better speed than recent Floyd opponents and needs to get inside and not let Floyd hold him off with jabs. He needs to make it a fight in a phone booth and get Floyd to trade and try to get him in trouble (not in unplanned pregnancy terms). The only time I remember Floyd in trouble was when “Sugar” Shane Moseley caught Floyd (:57 mark) early in their fight. What happened after that round? Shane kept trying to recreate the moment, and Floyd stopped going toe-to-toe, ceasing opportunities for something else big. As the fight went on, Floyd dodged and countered his way to easily outpointing Shane. That round was hard. The fight wasn’t.

Manny has the skillset to land some threatening shots when pushing the action. And with Floyd more flatfooted early in his recent fights, odds go up that Manny could catch him with something ferocious. But I refuse to underestimate Floyd’s boxing IQ and I don’t think he’ll be as stationary with Manny as he has been recently vs less hungry/skilled fighters. Floyd’s not in the business of overestimating his own skill unless we’re talking about sports betting.

Q: So who ya got?
A: The answer is obvious and unsexy. It’s Floyd. Floyd, Floyd, Floyd. He’s 47-0. As in “He has never lost”. Picking Manny to be THE GUY to unseat him means you believe either:

  • Floyd is over the hill. He’s 38 and has fought ~350 rounds (about 17 ½ hours of throwing, dodging and being hit by punches, and that does not count training). That seems significant until you consider that the majority were “easy” rounds as far as boxing goes. Floyd hardly ever looks pressed or under pressure - he even exchanged words with HBO commentator Jim Lampley during a round in a couple of fights; a professional fighter paid to hurt Floyd was trying to hit him and at the same time Floyd’s telling Lampley who he likes in the NFL playoffs.
  • On top of that, his opponent (36 himself) has fought 20 more professional fights and about 60 more rounds. And Pacman has fought with heart and soul that most of Floyd’s opponents have not required of him. Manny fought skilled action fighters Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Juan Raul Marquez 3, 3 and 4 times, respectively. They weren’t all wars, but they were much tougher than pretty much any Floyd fight I’ve seen. The last time Manny and Marquez fought, Manny suffered a crushing knockout. Meaning, his face was nearly crushed (:54 mark). For these reasons, Manny likely has less in the tank than Floyd (and seems more likely to be the one caught by something clean/big). But I don’t think age plays much of a role here either way.


  • Manny brings something that Floyd has never before encountered. I’ll buy this up to a point. Floyd has carefully controlled, shaped and perhaps protected his legacy throughout his career. Apparently a knucklehead in certain other aspects of his life, Floyd has profound awareness of his boxing strengths and how he matches up with others. He has been selective over which fights to take when he could (title holders periodically face mandatory challengers) and I believe Floyd chose many of his opponents because he knew he could exploit their weaknesses. In repeated speed mismatches, he has fought and humbled media darlings and crowd favorites presented as the next great one (Hatton, the late Arturo Gatti). And Floyd fought ‘name’ opponents like Sugar Shane, De La Hoya and Zab Judah in their decline. Manny has a better combination of speed, boxing acumen, and aggression than maybe any previous opponent, but when he is in the ring with Floyd, he’ll almost certainly look slower than expected. He could catch Floyd with something early if he unleashes the hounds, but if he does not fight with urgency, it will be a typical Floyd fight. Bottom line: Floyd’s best is better than Manny’s best.

If I were betting on this fight, I’d take Floyd by decision, and maybe hedge with a Floyd win by KO in the 10th. Floyd likely will not put himself or Manny in danger early and I don’t think Manny presents enough uniqueness to suggest Floyd couldn’t wear him down late like he has so many others. I see Floyd avoiding Manny if Manny is still standing there in Round 11 or 12. Ultimately, it’s not a question of “Who will win?” as much as it is “Which Floyd will we see” and, consequently, “How entertained will we be?” Floyd typically fights to the level of his competition and doesn’t feel compelled to step on the gas or pull out the stops. He has beaten most of his opponents on his terms, without having to put himself in real peril. He’s always looked dominant even though he has rarely been tested. He’s almost certainly the best fighter I’ve ever seen. I just don’t see a compelling argument that Manny is the guy to finally beat Floyd. But Manny’s tools and the undeniable determination with which he fights may at least require Floyd to respond with something special, something that is as close to his A+ game as he’s ever had to come. And that’s what I expect from Manny – to be perhaps the hardest puzzle Floyd has had to solve, to make Floyd tap his considerable talents and fight in a way that reminds everyone why he’s the best, even at his age. I expect a decent fight, but I’m hoping for a great one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fratagonia is not, apparently, the frattiest mountain range in South America

Fratagonia is a website that sells "On-line retail store services featuring new and used clothing, clothing accessories, drinkware, home decor, and decorative art; Retail store services featuring new and used clothing, clothing accessories, drinkware, home decor, and decorative art; Second hand dealerships featuring new and used clothing, clothing accessories, drinkware, home decor, and decorative art." I did not make up this description of their services. Instead, I copied it from their trademark registration documentation as quoted in the complaint Patagonia filed against them for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.

Fratagonia has at least two logos:

Pretty fratty. But clearly ripoffs of the Patagonia trademark--even the fonts are the same:

It seems perfectly acceptable for Patagonia to sue Fratagonia, but I feel bad for the fratguy after digging just a stitch deeper into the facts. The Fratagonia mark is registered to a person who I won't name, but based on a search of the Googles he appears to be a 25-year-old entry-level finance type living in a shitty apartment in lower Manhattan. I know it's shitty because based on the trademark registration Fratagonia appears to operate out of it and Google streetview doesn't present it in a kind light. I imagine a dingy one room fifth-floor walkup teeming with Smathers & Branson needlepoint belts and Harding-Lane hats.

If you're thinking of helping him out by buying a tshirt, don't. They're seeking "from Fratagonia its damages and lost profits, and Fratagonia’s profits, in an amount to be proven at trial." And they want that amount trebled! So every dollar you give him could cost him three. Kudos to the kid for incorporating as an LLC though. Perhaps as a result he'll emerge from this litigation personally unscathed. He better hope that Patagonia doesn't try to pierce the corporate veil.

In light of the foregoing I'm surprised Patagonia didn't send a cease and desist letter. And if they did I'm surprised our enterprising young fratistician didn't do the math and shutter the Fratagonia website. I guess he doesn't know about how these things pan out for the little guy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Love on Trial

Giant, huge, massive, enormous day at the Supreme Court, as the Justices hear arguments challenging state bans to same-sex marriage. SCOTUSBlog has a nice roundup of the facts of the case to date here.

G:TB is on record on this issue. We're pro-love. Let's hope it rules.

Teej addition: I took this photo two years ago in front of the Supreme Court when similar demonstrations were occurring:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rising Tribe

With the noteworthy and visible exception of its men's basketball program, The College of William & Mary has a rich and successful athletic history. In the 30 years since the inception of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 1985, W&M athletes have captured 116 conference titles, far more than any other league member (second-place JMU has won 77). W&M's student-athletes excel off the field, as well. Tribe athletes ranked 14th out of 346 Division I programs in overall graduation rate in 2013-14.

As the landscape of intercollegiate sports has changed, though W&M's ambitious athletic program (the Tribe fields more varsity sports than any other CAA school, and more than most schools of a comparable size) finds itself increasingly under-resourced in comparison to its peers. The results are beginning to show. From 2000 to 2005, W&M averaged five CAA titles per year, a pace that slowed to fewer than three per year from 2006 to 2010.

In response, W&M President Taylor Reveley commissioned a study on the future of athletics at the nation's second-oldest university. The resulting report offers an ambitious and far-reaching vision for W&M's athletic achievement.

At the root of the recommendations, an audacious goal: A championship experience for every William & Mary student-athlete and every fan.

More specifically, the authors of the report propose that, "Every Tribe athlete should graduate – and we rightly expect that every Tribe athlete will graduate from William & Mary – having won a conference championship or participated in NCAA championship competition during his or her four-year collegiate career."

As a W&M graduate and a sports fan, I applaud the ambition. Success on the field is often a visible and tangible representation of an institution's commitment to excellence, and begets success in fundraising, attracting students, and raising a school's profile.

And as a financial supporter of W&M athletics, I recognize the truth in the admonition a FOGTB offered when he told me about the report: hide your wallet.

The report calls for an incremental $8.1m in annual athletic fundraising (with the ultimate goal of fully endowing all athletic scholarships at William & Mary at a total cost of $192m) and as much as $125 million in "transformative" investments in facilities.

Among these investments in facilities are $20-25m for a multi-sport practice facility for volleyball and basketball programs (to include office space for sports medicine, compliance, and academic support personnel), $22 - $75m to either refurbish or replace William & Mary Hall, and $15-20m for a new swimming facility.

One of these things is not like the other.

In addition to the investments in scholarships and facilities, the report discusses a vital and necessary component of any W&M athletic vision, though not fully enough for my taste. The authors recommend resources be allocated to improve the fan experience for W&M boosters, specifically mentioning improved game day experience, development of streaming video capabilities, improved merchandising, and a catch-all category oddly described as 'be ready' to harness the wave of support (see page 21 of the report).

It's in this latter and somewhat overlooked aspect of W&M athletics that I think the report falls flat. I support the objective - I want my school to be great at sports. I'm willing to back that support financially (to a degree - I've got to send two kids to college in the next 7 years). But the biggest thing I'd change about W&M athletics is the apathy of the student body in general.

This past basketball season offered a glimpse of what's possible. With Tony Shaver's program reaching historic highs (the first back to back 20 win seasons in school history, and consecutive trips to the CAA championship game) and the charismatic and electric Marcus Thornton closing out his career, the last few home hoops games of the 2014-15 season saw large and boisterous crowds. The 'Gold Rush' promotion packed Kaplan Arena, and FOGTB Dave Fairbank told me that the atmosphere was as good as he'd ever seen it in Williamsburg.

Better balance needed: We can do this, and support W&M sports
Building on that, replicating that energy, expanding student participation as vocal fans of all W&M sports should be among the very highest priorities for the future of the school's athletic program. Funds should be specifically allocated to student/fan engagement. Put more simply, W&M should endeavor to offer students the same intercollegiate rooting experience as our larger rivals.

Sports is awesome. The collective experience in supporting a team (or teams) offers a uniquely tribal connection, a transformative one in the best of moments (witness, for example, the W&M community after Daniel Dixon sunk Hofstra this March). That's what we should invest in, right alongside scholarships and facilities. Engage the entirety of the student body, invest in them, and the returns will follow on and off the field.

(For a pair of good takes on the recommendations, see Fairbank's article in the Daily Press and John O'Connor's in the Richmond Times-Dispatch).

Saturday, April 25, 2015

This Is What I Do*

Thursday was Bring Your Child to Work Day, so for the first time in years, my little one came to the office with me. Several of my colleagues very graciously spent time with her, talking about their jobs and what we do as an organization. The last conversation she had was with a guy who's an internationally recognized expert on virtual criminal networks, the underground economy, and counter-terror investigations. He talked to her about how we use computers to help stop bad people from doing things that hurt us.

As I packed up my things in preparation to leave, she grabbed a dry-erase marker and began drawing something on my whiteboard.

I think that'll stay there for a while.

Coincidentally, I've been recording a podcast at work for the past few months with several colleagues, including the one that inspired my daughter. It's nominally about technology's impact on our lives, touching on issues ranging from privacy to sports to movies. As you'll learn if you listen to it, there's a high degree of dipshittery involved, as well.

The podcast is entitled 'Wait, What?', and it's available here. According to the marketing team that supports it (wrap your nugget around the fact that there's a marketing team that supports it for just a minute), it's the most-downloaded podcast on my employer's network by a large margin.

We're going to be interviewing guests starting in May, so if any of you...know anyone interesting, please let me know.

* - Apropos of nothing, I stole that headline from a song off of Rhett Miller's solo record, The Instigator. His new record, The Traveler, will be released on May 12. And his website was just hacked by ISIS. I assume the two things aren't related.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sony Fucks Wit Jack Urbont and Wins

On Monday, April 20, 2015, Judge Buchwald ruled on the cross-motions for summary judgment pending in Jack Urbont's case against Ghostface Killah and Sony Music. Sony won on both the work-for-hire grounds and the preemption grounds detailed in my last post about this case. Mr. Urbont can appeal this decision, but for now it appears that the source material for at least 13 G:TB posts has run its course. And Ghostdini (and Sony) is still the champ.

Pretty Tone probably still owes Mr. Urbont $3,758.58 as detailed previously, but good luck trying to collect. It will probably cost more than that to track down the Wallabee Champ and force him to disgorge the funds.

The moral of this story? The little guy always loses, and of course he does--if he could win, he'd be big. Except for Tyrion Lannister because he's a pimp.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blogging Means Never Having to Say I'm Sorry

Several months ago, I was searching for a book to download to my Kindle app. I was headed out of town on a business trip, and wanted something to read on the plane. George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones was on sale for $3.99, and while I'd never watched the television show and don't consider myself much of a fan of the genre, I bought it on a whim.

You really had to guess my favorite character?
I'm now about half of the way through the fifth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance With Dragons. This isn't a book review, so I'll spare you the details (ask Dave if you're into that sort of thing), but suffice it to say that this shit is riveting. Violent, detailed, ambitious, fast-paced, and complex, as a start. And violent, if I haven't mentioned that. Really, really violent.

This isn't a post about Game of Thrones, though.

I apologize.

I've been so caught up in Martin's Westeros that I've let just about everything else in my life slip. My car's oil needs to be changed. My lawn's a fucking trainwreck. I'm about four months overdue in filing my HOA's tax return. I haven't watched more than five minutes of the NBA playoffs. And I sure as hell haven't posted anything worth a damn here on G:TB.

Tractor beam, sucked me right in.

That'll end soon, R'hllor be willing and the Trident don't rise. A Dance With Dragons is the last of the series to be released, and I'm probably ten days or so away from completing it. And when I do, I'll unleash a holy torrent of top-notch Gheorghey content on your melons. Buckle up, gentle readers. I'll try not to kill off as many important characters as does Martin. But you never know who'll play Ned Stark in our little game of doofii.

Until then, enjoy one of the most popular YouTube channels amongst the teen set. These dipshits have more than 4 million subscribers, and if my kids had their way, they'd sit on their asses and watch this garbage their entire waking lives.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Permit Denied Kungfury Awesomeness

Apologies if this makes your head explode. Happy Monday 4/20.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Everyday Sunshine: A Cross-Blog Joint

We're inspired this morning by Sentence of Dave's ode to the sun, and just about as motivated. In (sun)light of that, please enjoy a bunch of huge music names (seriously, Chuck D, George Clinton, Flea, Les Claypool, Questlove, Mike Watt, just to name a very few) genuflecting to the legendary Fishbone's legacy.

And for good measure, some live 'bonin:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Idiots Rule

I've always loved Green Day. They're everything a rock band should be - bombastic, whimsical, loud, fearless. Three chords and the truth, man. On top of all that, Billie Joe Armstrong is my kind (size) of people.

Not trying to steal Clarence's thunder here, as I eagerly await his annual(ish) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame post, but Green Day will be inducted tomorrow as part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. Punks no more, for better or worse.

'American Idiot' is probably my favorite rock record. Full of righteous anger, head-nodding hooks, and arena rock wall of noise, it was a staple in my CD player (you younger folks may not remember those) for months and months after it was released.

So in honor of Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool elbowing their way to respectability, a little Green Day for you this morning.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Washington Wizards have a new logo

And we want your thoughts. Gone are the days of the glidin', finga rollin' Wiz man...

Replaced today with this new primary logo:

Sooooo, whatcha think? Let us know in the comments. I know one person (thing?) excited about the new look:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

For Those About to Rock (In a Thinly Disguised Attempt at World Domination)

You weren't mistaken.

You did hear a noise last week, a seemingly far off disturbance. The hairs on your arms stood on end, just a little. And you shuddered, though you didn't really know why.

On April 5, the Large Hadron Collider restarted after a two-year hibernation. The scientists/Illuminati at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) claim that the hiatus enabled them to upgrade the Collider's technology and refurbish the 27km (16.8 mile) tunnel. We should look no further than the obvious disconnect between the organization's name and its acronym for evidence that they remain up to no good.

Ostensibly, the next round of experiments conducted using the LHC seek to confirm the existence of dark matter, and its cousin, dark energy. (I don't know whether they are close cousins, or some sort of Greyjoy/Lannister thing. I fear we may find out, though.) The first experimental outcomes from this new round of experimentation have demonstrated a very different set of findings.

The LHC, friends, is trying to dominate us all through heavy metal. And I don't mean cadmium.

As reported by a CERN blog entitled The Cylindrical Onion (we see you, science satirists), a pair of researchers have translated the results from LHC tests seeking evidence of the Higgs Boson into musical notes. Scientist Piotr Tracyzk explains:

"The data (the points with error bars in the histogram) have low numbers of entries in the bins. Some bins are empty: an empty bin would correspond to a pause. A bin with X entries would correspond to a note X semitones above C# (I chose C# as the base note). I preferred to assign the notes of the chromatic scale (semitones) – and not, for example, a major scale – to give the data freedom to yield some crazy melodies. So the rhythm and the harmonic structure are also derived from the data. I figured that the resulting melody, if played low, could have been a guitar riff in a wacky heavy-metal song. A perfect match for the CMS guitar! So this was the guitar I used for the 4-lepton riff."

A wacky 4-lepton riff! I certainly don't need to tell you, an educated and worldly reader, what that implies.

It's coming for our kids. And it's bringing axe-wielding scientists.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dave of Dave

Unless you're British, and a supporter of the Burnley Football Club or the owner of a fleet of minibuses, you might not know the name Dave Fishwick. Until yesterday, I'd never heard of the man. But today, courtesy of Men in Blazers, I'm caught up on one of Northern England's great entrepreneurs and a hell of a good listen.

(For what it's worth, even if you don't consider yourself an English football fan, the Men in Blazers podcast is worth your time. It's rich in pop culture, history, and self-deprecation, and a celebration of sport and whimsy.)

Dave Fishwick is a 43 year-old school dropout who made his fortune selling minibuses to the commercial market. He parlayed his charisma and drive to a highly successful enterprise, giving him enough personal wealth to a major sponsor of Burnley Football Club, currently in the Premiership. The Club's Turf Moor home park features the Dave Fishwick stand as one of its seating sections. As Fishwick explains in the video below, as lending for small commercial enterprises began to dry up in the face of the global economic downturn several years ago, he faced a business challenge:

His solution, lend the money himself. And even better for our purposes was the name he first gave to the bank, and then to a television program that amplified his populist message.

Dave Fishwick's customers patronize the Bank of Dave. 

I'm not the Team G:TB member with the marketing acumen. That's the Doofus Overlord's gift. (My gift, if you're asking, is coming up with excellent ideas and never executing them. And the ability to get into small spaces.) But if there was ever a circumstance tailor made for brand partnership, it's the potential for Sentence of Dave and Bank of Dave to build a relationship. Imagine the possibilities for a stateside audience as Sentence and Bank partner to deliver pithy content and competitive returns.

Someone make this happen.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Goes Around...

As the father of a pair of daughters growing up too quickly, I listen to way more pop radio than I'd prefer. (Though my oldest is rapidly transitioning into a pseudo-metal fan - this will be the subject of a later post.) The number 12 song on the Billboard 100 right now is a catchy tune by Cincinnati alternative band Walk the Moon entitled 'Shut Up and Dance'. I've heard it three dozen times if I've heard it once. And if I'm being honest, I kinda like it.

It's familiar, though. Title and all. Not a copy, mind you, but an homage. 80s sound, fated lovers, and destiny on the dance floor.

Compare, contrast:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bhullar: The Blog

What's more Gheorghe than a 7'5" NBA baller? A 7'5" NBA baller who just happens to be the first player from his native land to hit the hardwood in the NBA, that's what.

Sim Bhullar, who you may remember from his days on New Mexico State, played all of 16 seconds in an NBA game for the Kings on Tuesday night, and then a night later made an actual bucket in a game to become the first player of Indian descent to score in an association contest (sure, he was born in Canadia, but his parents are from Punjab, India).

His signing has even led to the Kings rolling out a Hindi version of their team website. You can expect the Romanian version of G:TB to roll out sometime in 2019.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Zymurgy Week

National Beer Day is great, but it lacks a little...length. While our petition to the organizing committee for national weeks makes its way through the vetting process, a trio of suds-related stories to tide you over.

Paste Magazine took on the daunting task of a blind tasting to determine the best American IPA. The tasting wasn't completely exhaustive, as some breweries choose not to participate in tasting competitions (we see you, The Alchemist) and others weren't able to ship product to Paste in time. Nonetheless, the tasters were able to compare 116 brews over the course of a week. A couple of my favorites made the top 10, but I've never had the top two. New quest!

In a similar vein, For the Win released a story yesterday listing the 25 beers you need to try before you die. A bit morbid for my taste, frankly, but I enjoy a challenge. (Note: I don't really enjoy a challenge all that much. I'd prefer things were just given to me.) I've tasted nine of the 25, but there's no chance I'll get through the entire list, because a number of the beers feted by the author are wit/wheat beers, saisons, and Belgians, all of which are fucking disgusting. But you do you, man, if that's your speed. More hoppy stuff for me.

Finally, in honor of Opening Day, Business Insider ran a piece this week about beer prices in Major League ballparks. The average small ballpark pour will set you back $5.98, which is actually down 11 cents from last season. The most expensive MLB tipple? Fans of the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies all pay $7.75 per beer. On the other end of the scale, Indians and Diamondback fans can get their drink on for $4.00 per. Of note, however, Phillie fans don't actually have it as bad as it seems: the small beer at Citzens Bank Park is a robust (and league-leading) 21 ounces. The Phils are in the bottom third on a per ounce basis, checking in at $0.37/ounce. The Red Sox are the clear leaders in this category at a steep $0.65/ounce. We're number one! Gotta pay for Papi's supplements somehow.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Honoring a National Holiday

You know you want one.
Today, April 7, is a national holiday.  Close to the end of the dark, dark era of this nation known as The Prohibition, FDR's signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22 "allowed people to buy and drink low-alcohol content beer and wine in public," according to The Constitution Daily.  It went into effect on April 7, enabling people to slug down a Pabst or the like freely until the 21st Amendment negated the horrible, terrible 18th Amendment that December.

A good, crisp, less filling read of the Daily's summary is on tap here.

As such, today is known as National Beer Day.  Take one down, pass it around.  Have a beer.

Monday, April 06, 2015

One Shining Open Thread

A Ghooghle search for 'one shining peep' returns pages and pages of open-toed stiletto-heeled shoes. There's a weird sorta fetish thing happening there, and I don't want to know much more than that.

So instead of our first option, we give you this, a reasonably accurate representation of what will happen this evening when two groups of young men enter into mortal (ish) combat for our entertainment.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Florida Final Four Filler

Rob wants a new post for tonight's National Semifinal games. Probably because he'll be checking in via his phone as he's out enjoying Teejfest. Selfish fucker.

Of course, he's also right. We do need a fresh thread for the evening. While you await tonight's games, can I interest you in a trip down memory lane with the last Repeat champion in College Basketball?

Friday, April 03, 2015


I go away for a mini-Spring Break vacation (insert 'mini? do you take any other kind of vacations?' joke here) and the editorial minds of G:TB turn into Mr. Shoop's class from the first half of Summer School. Fact: alcohol kills brain cells. You lose one more, you're a talking monkey.

Here's what G:TB World missed while I was soaking up some history and riding some rollercoasters in Williamsburg the past few days.

Hong Kong financier 'Jeremy' (last name withheld, likely because he doesn't want to wind up dead) wowed 'em at a recent Rugby Sevens event. His impersonation of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un played to killer reviews. "I made out with 40 girls", said Jeremy, which seems reason enough to don a dictator's mufti. The imposter's costume was augmented by a retinue of friends who dressed as North Korean generals, and a black guy who went as Dennis Rodman. We've placed calls to FOG:TB Johnny G to see if we can attempt something like this next year. Although we might have better luck impersonating the Muppets.

Shaka Smart took his time before deciding to leave VCU after six highly successful seasons. Family considerations, his connections to the city of Richmond, and loyalty to his players were all part of that process, but our sources indicate that the thing that nearly kept the 37 year-old coach at VCU was an offer from Pure Pleasure Club, a Richmond gentleman's establishment.

I'm sure you saw Steph Curry do this to Chris Paul:

And the internet went nuts:

Worlds collided on Wednesday, when the brilliant Men in Blazers podcast dropped a Gheorghe Muresan mention. It was only a matter of time before these two great tastes went all peanut butter and chocolate pie.

Finally, the best thing that happened while I was away happened to one of our own. Most of you already know this, because me and the Teej are lousy secret-keepers, but the NBA Players Association made it official on Wednesday, naming Tara Greco the union's media relations chief. Greco, a former Wal-Mart and Deloitte communications executive, is perhaps better known in internet circles as a FOGT:B and the driving force behind LeBron James' most compelling interview.