Saturday, May 30, 2015

Squirrel Power

Two weeks ago, we told you about Baseball America's Logomania bracket. We still haven't gotten
over how terrible that name is, but we did manage to make it through. And we couldn't be happier about the winners.

Your Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Southern League's Biloxi Shuckers in the final, earning more than 61% of the vote in a thorough victory for sciuridae the world over. The Eastern League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants scurried (waaaait a minute. scurried, sciuridae? I see what you did there, science.) through the Quad Cities River Bandits, Tennessee Smokies, and Greensboro Grasshoppers on their way to the final matchup.

No word on what Nutzy did to celebrate, though I bet there are some squirrel hookers in the Fan walking around with just a little more pocket change today than they had yesterday.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Some of You Are Gonna Need Lawyers

In the midst of an actually important story about potential abuse of police power, Gothamist dropped knowledge that's vital for the men of G:TB, especially those that frequently use public transportation.

Watch the spread, gentlemen. From the story,

"Manspreading arrests are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to numbers-driven policing in the subway system, which often takes place in the middle of the night."

As defined by Wikipedia (and holy shit, I cannot believe that this is defined by Wikipedia), manspreading is the practice of sitting in public transport with legs wide apart, thereby covering more than one seat. I think we can all agree that full on gonadal bulges accompanied by a lack of common courtesy is a scourge we should address.

The author of the Gothamist article also notes that the word "manspreading" was used by a judge in dismissing a recent case, marking the first time that that word had been used in a court of law. Mind your crotches, boys, or it won't be the last.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Gheorghe By Any Other Name

Dave Fairbank will not like this very much. Because it's about him.

The longtime Daily Press scribe filed his final column yesterday, capping a three-decade career chronicling Hampton Roads sports. (He probably won't like the 'longtime' thing, either, even as his own Twitter bio casts him as a relic from another age.) In an era where it seems the prime directive of sportswriters across the land is to get as much face time as possible, and the hot take is the currency of the day, Fairbank is an ego-less throwback to an earlier time, when a well-turned phrase and a killer lede were the coin of the sportswriting realm.

Glamour Shot!
I first met Dave in 1991 (or '92 - most of the events of that era blur together for me), though I doubt either one of us remembers it very well. He covered William & Mary football, and I worked in the press box for W&M's Sports Information Office, responsible for preparing drive charts and huffing mimeograph fluid fumes. After a late-season game, several of our staff retired to a local drinking establishment with some of the reporters on the Tribe beat. It was the first, but not last time Fairbank drank me under a table.

We reconnected nearly two decades later via the magic of Twitter and the resurgence (well, surgence, maybe. 're' sort of implies a previous golden era) of Tribe hoops. At some point during the 2012 CAA Basketball Tournament, I wandered down to press row and reintroduced myself.  At some very different point during the 2014 CAA Basketball Tournament, Teejay and I found ourselves stumbling around Baltimore at 2:30 in the morning with a bemused scribe in tow. It seems Dave Fairbank has a soft spot for dipshittery and the proponents thereof.

Fairbank is oft-described here as a FOG:TB, and it's true that he's become part of our community -Marls and I hung out with him at the year's CAA hoops tourney, he always stops by our Homecoming football tailgate, and the last two years he's joined our merry band of idiots for lunch at Tortuga's Lie during the Outer Banks Fishing Trip.

Marls offered this when I asked him about Fairbank, "I had a long talk with him over too many scotches at this year’s CAA tourney.  As the conversation turned from basketball, to general sports, to politics, to history, to religion; Dave’s intellect, breadth of knowledge, graciousness, and personal decency became all the more apparent.  In short, he is a really good guy in a world that all too often lacks them." I couldn't really say it much better than that, even if I don't remember that conversation (reference the aforementioned sub-table drinking). 

On a selfish note, he's sent me emails on more than one occasion with kind words in reference to something we wrote. That's meaningful to me personally, because I deeply respect the man's own writing talent. He's both a consummate journalistic professional and a gifted wit. Two of my favorite recent Fairbank pieces show his range.

He was honored with a 2013 Associated Press Sports Editor (APSE) first-place award for Feature Writing for his piece on William & Mary assistant baseball coach Josh Tutwiler's incredible survival story. How do you like this for a lede?

WILLIAMSBURG — As Josh Tutwiler plummeted through the fall Missouri air, the sheer rock face racing past and the ledge from which he fell rapidly receding, he felt his conscious mind split in two.

On the other end of the spectrum entirely, here's Fairbank previewing Old Dominion football's 2014 season:

Growing up in rural Maine, young Bobby Wilder was often alone with his thoughts, a common occurrence for residents of the least populous state east of the Mississippi. Little was given to Wilder, who subsisted on snow and deer jerky for the first 15 years of his life. 

As he grew older, he began to question whether an abundance of timber and lobster adequately compensated for the harsh winters and crushing isolation of the lower 48's Gateway to New Brunswick. He saw the toll it exacted on those around him. You think fellow Mainer Stephen King dreamed up all the twisted, horrific stuff he writes? Heck no. He was simply relaying friends' and neighbors' vacations and family gatherings. Anyway, Wilder took to football and football to him. He loved the competition, but even more the game provided the kind of human interaction and camaraderie he was permitted to see only Thursdays on the family Magnavox and in dog-eared issues of People magazine he stashed in his locker. 

Wilder viewed football as a vessel and vowed that when he could no longer play, he would remain in the game and share its lessons with others like himself. He served a 17-year apprenticeship at his alma mater, the University of Maine, which was a little like a Trappist monastery without the robes and abbey ale. When he finally had the opportunity to venture south and begin his own program at Old Dominion, he would defy convention. He would onside kick as if it were a contract incentive. He would be true to the spirit of native Algonquin tribes and follow their credo of "behanem papoose kickit wuss" — which translates roughly to "only women and children punt inside their opponents' 40." 

ODU's program soared to great heights more quickly than anyone could imagine, but now faces an even greater challenge: a program that didn't exist seven years ago competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Well, when you've doused yourself in whale oil and set yourself on fire to get warm, Conference USA doesn't seem so tough. There's snow in the icebox and deer jerky in the bottom left desk drawer.

I mean, read that again. It's amazing. That piece led to a round of emails in the G:TB and extended community, most of which combined a sense of awe, and the belief the Daily Press editorial staff viewed Fairbank like the brothers of Delta House saw Bluto: 'Forget it, he's rolling'. That one writer could pen both of those offerings, well, that's worth celebrating. Whether Dave likes it or not. 


We're not the only people on the interwebs that dig Dave Fairbank and his work. Michael Litos, another FOG:TB and erstwhile CAA hoops community member, offered this (in about 30 minutes, which speaks to his fondness for Fairbank) when asked for memories of the man's work:

Dave Fairbank made me nervous, that first time he acknowledged me. We passed each other in the tunnel that connects the Richmond Marriott to the Richmond Coliseum at the 2004, maybe 2005, CAA tournament.

There were head nods, but mine was filled with anxiety. I mean, this was Dave Fairbank. An actual beat guy whose stuff I read. I wanted to talk #caahoops for my very average blog, and was new to this part of the show.



We eventually got to know each other, and my admiration for his writing style only increased. He's retiring, and that's a loss for anyone who reads his stuff.

Fairbank would not want some long, gushy tome. That's not his style. Dave's dry wit makes the Sahara thirst, and he'd probably prefer you wake up one day in October when The Tribe begins practice again and wonder "what happened to Fairbank? I haven't read his stuff in awhile."

However he is worthy of something for his great career and sensational writing, so I'll let his writing do the talking. This is from a piece he wrote on former Tribe center Tim Rusthoven (#Beasthoven in our hearts), which I've had bookmarked in my browser for more than two years.

The lead is glorious--poking fun at the town, the coach, and oh by the way establishing what he will talk about:

There's a saying around William and Mary Basketball World Headquarters: Do your work early. It has nothing to do with the town's glut of pancake houses or a latent Amish streak in head coach Tony Shaver.

Towards the middle you get a spot-on and descriptive overview of Beasthoven's impact on the floor:

Rusthoven isn't the Tribe's most gifted player, which he readily admits. He is W&M's most important player. He provides a post presence for a team that plays outside-in, that spreads the floor and attempts to create space for passers and cutters and perimeter shooters. He forces opponents to defend honestly and not simply concentrate on the Tribe's wings and guards.

And then he summarizes with a behind-the-scenes anecdote, which brings you closer to the action and ties the piece together--and he manages to work in "three different kinds of cheesed off:"

In a recent loss at Northeastern, Shaver was three different kinds of cheesed off at the Tribe's dismal first-half performance. He demanded that Rusthoven get a touch on every possession of the second half. The players didn't quite comply, but the message was delivered. He finished with a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Tribe came back and took the league leaders to double overtime.

There’s so much more. I admit I had to Ghoogle (Editor's Note: We see what you did there, MGL) this one, but I remember Fairbank flashing his wordsmith prowess in a hilarious way--placing a Hampden-Sydney quarterback in a romance novel. Flat out brilliant:

The Tigers of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference showcase a remarkably versatile passing attack. Their leader, Nash Nance, sounds like either a quarterback, the lead in a Southern romance novel, or the alter ego of a crimefighting superhero. Perhaps all three.

[Excerpt from the soon-to-be-released novel: Quarterback's Diablo Heart

Nance coolly surveyed the field as the comely Sabrina Wickersham stood alongside him, her milky white hands trembling with anticipation, a forelock of her auburn hair masking the fear in her eyes.

"Nash, you mustn't throw into double coverage. It's too dangerous."

"Sabrina, my little doe, don't worry. The safety's cheating too far forward and he won't be able to help the corner over the top."

Nance let fly, then took Sabrina into his arms for a deep kiss. He never saw the pass drop into Walker's hands 55 yards downfield. He didn't have to. There was work to be done and a city to be saved.]

Putting all of that into context: you know those folks who post links to their writing on twitter, and you stop what you are doing to read them? That’s Dave Fairbank, a stop-and-read quality writer.



We count ourselves fortunate here at G:TB to have turned more than a few online acquaintances into real-world friendships. The aforementioned MGL is one of them. LeBron James another. And we're really pleased to count Dave Fairbank in that number. Given his choice of beachside (semi?)retirement venues, we're quite certain that we've not seen the last of him.

And we're still working on getting him to write that comprehensive history of William & Mary basketball. We'll write the chapter on G:TB's influence on the Tribe's recent success.

Godspeed, Dave. We'll see you at the beach.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WTF Update

"What the fuck gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future." - Miles, from Risky Business

I resolved (sort of) in January to fight against my natural inclination towards caution, deeming 2015 my Year of What the Fuck. Let's go to the video to see how I'm doing.

Rock star. Small stage.
Okay, there's no video. But here's what the next three months of my life looks like:
  • Running a conference bringing together people from across my company in a way that's never been done before. If I pull it off, I'm a rock star. On a small stage.
  • Spending Six days in Montreal checking out the Women's World Cup with my family.
  • Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
  • Canoeing the St. Croix River in Northern Maine for five nights, and heading directly from there to:
  • Attending the 21st Annual Outer Banks Fishing Trip.
  • Running a Spartan Sprint.
  • Doing a GoRuck Tough.
I haven't made as much progress on a couple of projects I've wanted to tackle, but more often than not, I've said yes instead of maybe, when maybe always means no. As a side benefit, nearly all of these things will allow me to spend time with people I care about, and bring me closer to those people. And that's not something I really gave much thought to when I decided to stop thinking and starting doing.

What the fuck, man. Freedom.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Remembering a Legend on (what would've been) his 69th Birthday

Manchester United legend George Best passed away in November 2005. He would have turned 69 today. He must've lived a very Austin Powers-esque shagadelic life, being the best soccer player in the UK in the late 60's and early 70's. The quote above seems to suggest he had his priorities right.

Happy birthday big man.

Friday Music Filler

Like most old ladies, zmother likes to forward me stupid emails that she gets from her friends. Today, however, she forwarded me something that I find inexplicably entertaining. has a feature that will tell you the #1 song on the day you were born. My birthday jam is predictably dope:

And it was kismet that zwoman and I would get married based on her quite strong birthday song:

Other notably good birthday joints in zfamily:

zgrandmother: Down Hearted Blues by Bessie Smith

zstepsister: Come Together by the Beatles

zstepbrother: Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson

zbrother: Let's Dance by David Bowie

zsister: Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds

This feature also includes a link to the song you were conceived to (i.e., the #1 song 9 months prior to your birth). Perhaps unsurprisingly, zwoman was conceived to (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka and Odia Coates, while I was conceived to Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) by George Harrison.

And zdaughter was, predictably, conceived to Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.

Waste a little time this Friday and tell me whatcha got in the comments.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dre & Eazy & Cube & Ren

Lost in the hype around the series finale of Mad Men was a mid-show commercial for a movie I did not know was coming out. It got me so fired up on my couch my wife was visibly concerned.

Fast forward to the 69 second mark if you don't want to see a cool intro w/ Dre and Cube and want to go right to the trailer.

Straight Outta Compton is coming to theaters on August 14th! I'm sure authorities in Ferguson and Baltimore aren't at all nervous about this movie.

FYI: somewhat NSFW b/c of language (duh), and because of some bare bottoms.

(somehow this is not the first time we are using the Paul Giamatti tag, which is kinda cool)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fashion Is Dumb...Or Is It Ingenious?

There exists a one-piece zip-up onsesie of a suit so cleverly designed as to fool adult human beings. That, or people think that Gregory Ferenstein (of bear fame, I assume) is a shambolic dope.

Knowing people as I do, I suspect that it's mostly the former. Betabrand, famous for bringing us dress pants made of sweatsuit material, took a dare and developed Suitsy, a one-piece, zippered jumpsuit that really closely approximates an actual men's suit. Tie, shoes, and belt not included, obviously.

Says Suitsy designed Jesse Herzog, "Let's change the world, one better-looking, more leisurely gentleman at a time". GQ, meanwhile, advised prospective Suitsy wearers to "imagine yourself not being lazy and buying a proper tailored suit instead".

G:TB fashion consultant Geoff wasn't available to comment. Because he was puking with laughter.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Giant, Awakening

Some of you may have seen this, but there was a reasonably big event in international sports this weekend featuring an American breakthrough.

The U.S. Rugby Sevens squad thumped Australia, 45-22, in the championship match of the final HSBC Sevens World Series, marking the Americans' first-ever series victory. The U.S. reached the final match with a thorough 43-12 dismantling of England, made the more impressive by the fact that the match was held in the Lions' home country.

Speedster Carlin Isles gets a lot of press (and he scored a pair of ridiculous tries against England), but this win was a comprehensive one by the Eagles. Danny Barrett registered a pair of first-half tries in the final, and Madison Hughes and Maka Unufe added singles to pace the big, physical U.S. side to a 26-10 lead.

Next for the Americans is an attempt to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. There's a single spot available at next month's North American and Caribbean qualifying tournament, where we'll be huge favorites. After the performance in Twickenham, which clinched a best-ever 6th-place finish in the World Series, the U.S. will be taken seriously if they make it to Rio.

Dogs and cats, living in sin.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Live, From New York

It's been a long, long time since I watched David Letterman, at least during his show's regularly scheduled broadcast. That's a function of my age and desire for sleep, not his talent. But as perhaps the greatest late night television show ever comes to an end just three days from now, it's not precisely accurate to say that I'll miss it.

What it does represent to me, though, is a passing. Letterman's legacy will live on in the imitators, the envelope-pushers, the gleeful iconoclasts pushing television and comedy in his name. But I'll never again be that kid that routinely stayed up to watch him and Paul and Biff Henderson and Chris Elliott and the litany of guests, great and otherwise.

That's the nature of things. There's no sense mourning it. Best just to laugh, and love, and acknowledge genius where we find it.

Norm MacDonald did all those things on Friday night in his final standup set on Dave's show. Pay attention to the last minute. It's got the kind of real emotion that you don't see very much in our entertainment culture.

Good for you, Norm, and Godspeed, Dave.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Walk On

If Derek Jeter had grown up in the Bronx. Had Larry Bird been raised in the Back Bay, or Dirk
Nowitzki in Deep Ellum, then maybe we'd have an American equivalent of Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool captain and soul of his club and city plays his final home match at Anfield today, winding down his 17th season as a bit player, though still managing to score eight goals in Premier League play. As he himself admits, "I'm too old to play at this level." Too old to play to his standard, perhaps, his bone-rattling tackles, lashing drives from long range, box to box midfield play the stuff of a younger man.

But he remains an icon, a legendary figure the Reds will find impossible to replace. Says Liverpool head man Brendan Rodgers,
“I asked my staff to describe Steven in one word and they said things like ‘genuine’ and ‘quality,’ The word I would use is ‘Liverpool’. Not just Liverpool as a football club but Liverpool as a city. This is a guy who is very much about looking after his people. He loves his city. He’s had a number of opportunities to move to prestigious clubs but Liverpool is his home, he grew up around the corner, this is his place and these are the people he loves. What he’s given to this city, politicians haven’t given to this city. “All the work he does for local hospitals and charities goes unheralded. He is a wonderful symbol for the people here and an incredible icon of the club. You see in Barcelona they have the quote ‘more than a club’. You look at Steven Gerrard and he is more than football.”

FOG:TB John Day penned a terrific tribute to the Liverpool captain at Dangerman Futbol. In it, he imagines what might have been had Gerrard chosen to take one of the many offers presented to him to join one of Europe's other legendary sides. At the end, Dangerman decides that Gerrard made the right choice, "Because, for someone like Steven, a hometown boy raised in Red, the source of the applause, adoration, and admiration, likely means as much as the affection itself."

Gerrard never led the Reds to a Premier League title, the only silver missing from his stellar resume. When he slipped and turned the ball over to Chelsea's Demba Ba to cost Liverpool the 2014 Premier League championship, it was perhaps the cruelest moment in sports this decade. But he won everything else.

And there's always Istanbul, where in 2005 Gerrard led Liverpool to its fifth (and to now last) Champions League title. AC Milan took a 3-0 lead into the break against Gerrard's Reds before the captain scored the goal that kicked off a memorable comeback, and allowed him to raise the cup for his boyhood side.


The next, and likely final act of Stevie G's impossibly illustrious career will unwind in Los Angeles, where aging geniuses go to claim one last bit of glory. He'll walk onto the pitch in the Galaxy's unfamiliar blue and gold. But as the fans he leaves behind in his home town know, he'll never walk alone.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Go Ask Alice

We watched a William & Mary basketball player compete at the NBA Combine yesterday.

I'll let that sentence sit there for a minute.

For many college basketball fans, that doesn't even merit a second thought. Andrew and Aaron Harrison were in Chicago for the Combine yesterday, too, by I doubt many Kentucky fans spent much time thinking about it. But for us, this is the stuff of fantasy bizarro realms, like unicorns, or Clarence's magic liver restoratives.

Marcus Thornton recorded the fastest time amongst all players in the 3/4 court run. He registered the day's second-highest vertical leap, reaching 43". (Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton went 44" - the second highest mark ever recorded.) And he scored 10 points (on 2-5 FGs and 6-6 FTs), grabbed four rebounds and dropped two assists in five on five play, proving at the very least that he belonged on the court.

Courtesy of William and Mary Sports Blog, here's what ESPN's Fran Fraschilla had to say about Thornton (with a bonus Seth Greenberg shoutout to Tony Shaver***):

*** - Go to the link if you want to hear the comments, as it seems Facebook's video embed code doesn't play nicely with Blogger's editor.

Fraschilla's probably right: Marcus' realistic ceiling this year is a high-level European league. (Although, earlier in the day, Fran described Marcus as a potential second-round steal.) But a W&M player stood toe to toe with guys that'll be on NBA rosters. And there's no reason to think it impossible that he'll be one of them some day.

The Mad Hatter suddenly seems sane.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Better Know Your Minor League Mascot Tournament

It's been too long since we last brought you our Better Know Your Minor League Mascot feature. Thanks to the great minds at Baseball America, we'll kill 32 birds with one stone.

The BA team has culled the top minor league mascots from across the nation to try to identify the best in all of baseball. Dubbed Logomania 2015, the contest pits teams against one another, tournament-style. Round One is online now.

Setting aside the simply terrible contest name, (I mean, this is 2015, and Internet humor is pretty well developed at this point. There are lots of people creative enough to come up with something that didn't sound like an early 80s Warner Wolf bit.) this is an inspired bit of sports goofabilia. We both heartily approve, and look forward to the results.

For our money, we like the Brevard County Manatees, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (natch), the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Hillsboro Hops, and the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Record Store Day

Here's a recurring bit with some staying power.

Longtime G:TB fave Rhett Miller drops his new solo record, The Traveler, today. Solo might be a bit misleading, actually. While it's true that Miller isn't backed by his Old 97's mates, the record does feature Black Prairie and Peter Buck. The former includes members of The Decembrists, so Miller is surrounded by alt-rock royalty in his newest release.

Where fans of Miller's work with Old 97's might quibble with the highly-produced nature of some of his solo records, this one's far more free-wheeling. As the A.V. Club sees it, The Traveler sees "fiddle, piano, accordion, and acoustic guitar combine with evocative percussion to create riotous twang-pop, brisk folk, and rollicking bar-band rock."

I don't speak fluent rock-criticese, but that sounds to me like a good-time record. Twang-pop and rollicking bar-band rock are in my wheelhouse. You can stream the record here.

Here's 'Most in the Summertime' for your listening enjoyment. It's got a more alt-country feel than most of Miller's previous solo stuff, but fans will be pleased.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rickie Don't Lose My Number

Here's to Rickie Fowler for winning the Player's Championship. Or shall I say, Playah's Championship? When this little number came out on the 17th green to plant a big one on the Rickster, the twitterverse seemed quick to judge. "White trash," "trade her in with that $1.8M check", "buy her some new threads."
You poor, poor souls.
Rickie is the big winner today. Proudaya fella.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lazy Sunday Filler: 80's Movies Trailers

For no good reason at all, I am throwing up trailers of some of your favorite 80's comdedies. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

...and a hipster Hamburglar shall lead them...

Not sure if everyone saw this yesterday, because unlike me they are not glued to Twitter every second of the day, but McDonald's decided to get all creative and shit and unleash a new Hamburglar mascot on the world...

I don't even know what to make of this completely unnecessary reboot, but hey, that's what we do these days, right, "reboot" things from the past because everyone is too fucking lazy to come up with their own fucking original ideas (apologies, I just watched the trailer for the "new" Vacation movie and am spewing bile).

The Hamburglar makeover got me thinking about what other advertising icons from our youth might be worth a fresh look in 2015, and since we were devoid of filler for the day, thought I would open this discussion up to the floor. See you in the comments.

[And in case you were curious, I'd love to see a reiteration of The Noid return in the near future.]

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Champions League Semifinals Preview

Good morning, guten morgen, ciao ciao, y feliz Cinco de Mayo, Gheorghies. If it's early May, it means the Champions League is heating up. As all of you know, this event is comprised of the 32 best club teams in European football. After a shit-ton of matches to date, we are down to the semis, featuring four powerhouses. As usual of late, Spain is well represented with their superstar teams Real Madrid and Barcelona. No upstart Atletico Madrid this year, though. Also as usual of late, the British squads are nowhere to be found as we head down the stretch. Rounding out the semifinals, we have Bundesliga juggernauts Bayern Munich and a perky Juventus squad that just wrapped up a title win in Serie A. So let's figure out what to focus on here.

Semifinals Format: As is the case with other knock-out rounds (but not the final), teams play a home-and-home two-game series. Tie-breaker is most away goals scored, which makes for some great drama if the first game is a tie with goals scored. That puts the team that was at home first under the gun. They absolutely must score a goal in the second game to have a chance to advance.

Match-up 1: Juventus-Real Madrid
Game 1: Tuesday May 5th (in Turin), 2:45 PM ET
Game 2: Wednesday May 13th (in Madrid), 2:45 PM ET

Who you might be interested in seeing for Juventus: The key man up front is the Argentinian striker(formerly of Manchester United and Manchester City) Carlos Tevez, known (perhaps by only me) as El Rey de Swarth (see picture above). Despite looking like a caveman impersonating Anthony Kiedis, Tevez is quite good at putting the ball in the goal, especially in the Champions League (six goals to date in this year's tourney). Also worth watching is emerging midfielder (and ex-Man U prospect) Paul Pogba. He is an amazing athlete and I can't believe he slipped out of the grasp of my Red Devils.

If you want to play the "Hey, I know that guy!" game with more Juventus players, look for ex-Man U left back Patrice Evra, who looks a lot like Willis Drummond (pic below), but doesn't play as tough. Also look for ex-Italian national team captain Andrea Pirlo, who is more of a spot-playing reserve these days.

Who you might be interested in seeing for Real Madrid: In short, all of them. The word "loaded" doesn't even begin to describe the squad. We all know about Christiano Ronaldo's ability on the wing, Iker Casillas's skills in goal and the Peter Barrow impostor's speed and laser-like left foot on the other wing across from Ronaldo. But we also have the Mexican striker Chicharito, who is good at finding his way to the ball (but not much else), World Cup sensation James Rodriguez from Colombia, veteran Spaniard Sergio "Don't call me Val Kilmer" Ramos in defense and midfielder Luka Modric from Croatia (he lives on the second floor).

How we see this playing out: In La Liga, Real Madrid is two points back of Barcelona with three left. Their squad has been going full guns a-blazing to keep up in the race for the league title. However, it's hard to guess what's more important to fans of the club - a repeat Champions League win or a league title. All of you La Liga disciples (looking at you, Zman!) will remember Real Madrid just lost out on the title to upstart Atletico Madrid last year, and finished three points back in the race. Real Madrid fans will want both this year, but may feel the Champions League is now their best opportunity, since they don't get a crack at Barca in their last three matches.

Juve, on the other hand, is cruising in Serie A. They already clinched the title, up 15 points with four matches left. They can focus all efforts on the Champions League. But to be honest, they were lucky to get this far, having drawn a weak Monaco squad in the quarters. With a league title wrapped up, the club is firmly in the "happy to be here" camp.

Prediction: Real Madrid in an easy 5-2 (aggregate) romp.

Match-up 2: Bayern Munich-Barcelona
Game 1: Wednesday May 6th (in Munich), 2:45 PM ET
Game 2: Tuesday May 12th (in Barcelona), 2:45 PM ET

Who to watch on Bayern Munich: The German squad is loaded with stars. It features the wily vet Arjen Robben, the, um, eclectic-looking Frenchman Franck Ribery (seen below; yes I know he has a brutal scar from a car injury as a baby, but the dude is still goofy looking), the most fun futbol last name to yell excitedly (Bastian SCHWEIN-STEIGER), stud striker Thomas Muller, and...wait for it...distant cousin of my wife Claudio Pizarro (pictured above). We have never met him, but have heard the stories. The dude has had a good life in his 36+ years. He captained Peru's squad for many years, has enjoyed a prolific European club run (as well as a cameo with Chelsea a few years ago), bought and bred prizewinning horses and even got in trouble with the Peruvian soccer muckety-mucks for partying and smuggling ladies into hotel rooms while the team was preparing for a match. He was suspended eighteen months for what Wikipdia says was "having introduced women and alcohol into the national squad's hotel two days before Peru's away drubbing at the hands of Ecuador."  You have to respect a man with priorities.

Who to watch on Barcelona: In short, everybody. The Messi/Neymar/Suarez trio is muy fabuloso, as they say in the old country. I don't need to recite the rest of the multi-millionaires playing. Maybe I should, but this post is long enough already.

How we see this playing out: Barcelona has a chip on their shoulder. Real Madrid won the last Champions League title and the big three strikers all had a disappointing end to their World Cup experiences. We think they come out hard and strong and out-passion the German squad, knowing they have an easy league schedule ahead. Bayern is stacked, but not as much as Barca.

Prediction: Barca squeaks by 4-3 (aggregate) to set the stage for the match the world wants to see: Barca-Real Madrid in Berlin on June 6th for the pride, the glory, the pay check, and all 99 of Nena's luftballoons.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Number One with a Bullet

It's a gorgeous spring afternoon in Lancaster, PA, which itself is a surprisingly interesting little city. If you want to wake to the smell of cow manure, it's got you covered. If your thing is tattoo parlors, hipster artisan foodstuffs (we've had gourmet pickles, hella good pretzels, and cupcakes, too), or local microbreweries (been to three of those), the heart of Amish country has that, too. Bowl haircuts? Check. Horse-drawn carriages? Sure.

Looked for Ishmael, to no avail
But I didn't come here to pimp Lancaster, or to lament the fact that I've spent the better part of this beautiful weekend inside a Marriott watching pre-teen girls dance. (I also watched a 6'2, 250-lb boy take the stage for a tap routine. Kid wasn't all that good, and I'm guessing he's dancing to improve his footwork for the gridiron, but he took it seriously, and certainly didn't embarrass himself. Right on, young man.)

No, I came here to warn you of yet another threat scientists pose to our future.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the people who brought you the Internet (which goes to show that they can't be trusted, at all), are back with a vengeance. According to, DARPA "has developed a new .50-caliber bullet that uses optical sensors to hone in on targets."

Put in English, the U.S. military now has a bullet that can adjust its path in flight in response to the movement of its target. after a recent field exercise, Jerome Dunn, DARPA's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program manager, said this about the experimental munition: "This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that [the bullet] is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds."

In the words of the great Chet, game over, man, We're fucked.

G:TB's crack espionage team has managed to get a glimpse of the thing that'll kill us all. At least you'll know what you'll see right before the lights go out.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Tre Day

At some point this afternoon - earlier than later, if the pundits are to be believed - William & Mary's Tre McBride will become the 69th Tribe football player selected in the NFL draft, and the fifth since 2009.

In his honor, and in celebration of Tribe gridiron greats everywhere (except in that jail in California, you sick fuck), here's a reminder of what McBride did to Delaware two seasons ago. Check out the 0:16 mark, and enjoy.

Friday, May 01, 2015

danimal bitten by an animal?

You should see the other guy, right? Right? rob insisted I post this as filler this morning, but honestly, it's kind of grossing me out so we need someone to post other filler as soon as possible. kthxbai