Thursday, August 26, 2010

But Is It A Sport? Table of Contents

Is your activity a sport? Or just a thing you do? Read the posts below to find out:



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There's no WAY this woman lives in Arkansas.

Bobby Petrino, the for-now-coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, may have a losing record recently as a coach, but he's 1-0 in being an asspod. Petrino took a question the other day from then-radio reporter Renee Gork, and followed up his answer by saying he wouldn't take any more questions from her while she was wearing "that hat."

"That hat" was Gork's Florida baseball cap -- an SEC rival of the Razorbacks, I'm told. Since people in Arkansas have nothing better to do than worry about college football, and since the single most important value a person can display is loyalty to a coach who'll up and leave you on a moment's notice and to players who come from almost anywhere but Arkansas and who'll leave there in 2 or 3 years, well, you know what happened: Gork got fired for not supporting the Razorbacks quite enough.

As someone who was wearing a North Carolina t-shirt when I asked Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan to autograph a basketball for my father-in-law (he did it, but groused about the shirt), I'm a little amazed that the radio station would fire the reporter for the hat incident, instead of simply telling her not to do that kind of thing (as though it matters) or making a publicity stunt out of it -- why not send her in to each press conference wearing the hat of a Razorbacks opponent to see what the coach does?

I suspect that Coach Petrino -- not having a better job offer yet and trying to deflect attention from his dismal conference record and lack of bowl games in 2 of the last 3 years -- pressured the radio station to do something. Anything to take the attention of the world off how badly your team will underperform while you scan the want ads for coaching positions on the West Coast.

And, to Renee Gork, when you read this (you know you will), if you'd like a special correspondent position for this blog, covering Razorbacks & Florida football for me this year, let me know via email at thetroublewithroy[at]

Update: The manager of the radio station, on The Dan Patrick Show, claimed that there were "several reasons" for firing Gork, but wouldn't elaborate on them. He also admitted that the U of A football department wasn't happy -- but claimed that the coach had nothing to do with the firing. The manager also claimed that Gork was going to be fired even if she hadn't worn the hat to the press conference. He suggested that Gork's using Twitter during practice (and in doing so saying she'd rather be covering Florida) was a big part of why she was going to be fired.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lucky in love, unlucky in golf?

Why aren't you a better golfer than you are? Why aren't you out there making $25 million a week and getting to ignore your hot supermodel wife while luring that Perkins' waitress into the backseat of your solid gold Escalade?

Luck. Or mostly luck. An article on says that the main factor in many golfers' wins is simple good or bad luck. It cites to a bunch of scientific studies to come to this conclusion:

... only the very best golfers of the late 1990s and early 2000s—Woods, Mickelson, David Duval, Davis Love III—were able to win a tournament without being significantly luckier than the rest of the field. The average player needs a lot of shots to go right for him—and, typically, a lot of shots to go wrong for everyone else—in order to hoist a trophy on Sunday. Think about that when someone you've never heard of—Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen—wins a major championship.

The article doesn't just say that nobodies like "Martin Kaymer" win tournaments because they didn't irritate their Golf Karma earlier in the week; it also notes that putting isn't as important as you think it is:

It's not that putting doesn't count. It does. But a golfer without a world-class long game simply can't be world class. The importance of power is confirmed by Mark Broadie in a forthcoming paper. Thanks to his shot-value analysis, Broadie is able to isolate particular skills. The areas that have the most influence on a golfer's score, Broadie found, are long-distance tee shots, shots from 200-250 yards, and shots from 150-200 yards. It's these locations on the course—not the greens—where golfers are most able to distinguish themselves from the pack.

So there you have it: You now have two routes to become a world-class golfer: One, be really really really good (and, it goes without saying, don't screw up a good thing by letting your wife clobber you in the head with your wedge), or, two, find a 7-leaf clover and use your foot for a putter.

Raise your hand if you think this post was simply an excuse to post a picture of Elin. Let's see... okay... gotcha all! It was also an excuse to post a picture of her twin sister:

For/Against/Don't Care: The 2010 Chicago Bears preview.

Team: Chicago Bears.

For/Against/Don't Care: This morning, on ESPN's morning drive-time show, the Not-Mike-And-Mike fill in hosts talked about the Bears; apparently, Mike and Mike had picked the Monsters Of The Midway to go 5-11 and 6-10. Eric I'm-Not-Going-To-Try-To-Spell-His-Last-Name-'Cause-I-Don't-Care took issue with that, saying "I think the Bears could be a lot closer to 0.500 than people think."

I take issue with that, because how much closer, Eric? 7-9? That's not a lot closer. 9-7? That's only three games closer.

I'd like to say what Eric actually thought the Bears would finish, but I tuned the rest of his comments out while I shaved.

So should you care about the Bears this year? And if so, in what sense -- root for them? Or against them? That's what I'm here to tell you: I'll take care of letting you know what to think, and in this case, I say you should root for the Bears, and here's why: An NFL without a good tough Chicago Bears team is not an NFL I want to be a part of.

These are the Bears we're talking about, people. I know that Chicago is where quarterbacks go to die, but the Bears, Soldier Field, CHICAGO, they have mystique. They're old school even when they're not. When you say Chicago Bears you think power football, amazing games played in fog and monsoon conditions, blizzards and ice and smashmouth. You think "Mike Ditka really punched his quarterback in the chest? You bet he did." Where else would that happen but in Chicago? This is a team that was in the Super Bowl not that long ago -- a team whose karma and legend carried them to the title game even with Rex Grossman (who I always kind of like, and kind of miss) behind center.

It's a damn shame when the Bears -- who embody tough football -- become a whipping boy. If you want the NFL to mean anything, if you want hard-hitting, classic football, you've got to root for the Bears, because what other team stands even a chance of undoing years of West-Coast-pansy offense and rules designed to make it possible to play with a quarterback made entirely of fine crystal? No other team. If football is going to remain a contact sport, and one that involves running and tackling and blocking and all that good stuff, it's going to do so because the Chicago Bears are going to remind people that no matter how many Air Coryell offenses you install, the game is still about hitting someone.

(And, yes, I know that Mike Martz is installing his Air Coryell in Chicago, but, God willing, Martz will install the version that includes actual body contact.)

The Opposite View: Eh. Jay Cutler. Mike Martz. Perennial not-as-good-as-he-thinks return guy Devin Hester. Even Lovie Smith doesn't seem to care all that much, so why should we?

Superhero the 2010 Bears Are Most Like: The Hulk. The embodiment of brutal rage has fallen on hard times -- from his heydays in the 70s and 80s as a hit TV show to repeated "rebootings" that have led to him now being part of an ensemble cast. Both The Hulk and the Bears show the flip sides of humanity -- mild-mannered, purple-pant wearing humans encapsulating abrupt, uncontrollable violence-- and of entertainment: where once fans wanted to see guys like Urlacher knock the lights out of the quarterback, we now eschew all that brutality in favor of screen passes to the running back. Three yards and a cloud of dust has turned into 4.5 yards per play average on a flip to the weak side just as superherodom has gone from watching Bruce Banner try to control his anger to watching Robert Downey, Jr. play with a smart phone.

There's hope, though, that humanity will embrace the toughness again -- and we should all focus on that and root for Your 2010 Chicago Bears:

Other previews:

Explanation & my Super Bowl prediction for this year.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills.

Carolina Panthers.

Detroit Lions.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For/Against/Don't Care: The Detroit Lions' 2010 Preview!

Team: The Detroit Lions.

For/Against/Don't Care? Commenter/Presumed Detroit Fan Rogue Mutt -- probably lured in by the picture of Wonder Woman -- commented on my last preview by wondering what I had in store for the Detroit Lions, and expressed his own hopes for the Lions' season thusly:

Whenever I go by the billboard advertising Lions season tickets starting at $230 I think, "Wouldn't it be a better use of that money to just pay a hobo to kick me in the crotch every Sunday afternoon for 16 weeks?"

Sure, it would be, but how are you going to sell Hobo merchandise to the teeming... dozens that still bother to show up for Lions' games? Also, I'd be careful with that concept, since "Hobo Crotch Kicking" is already a televised sport; most people know it better by the television name, "Ultimate Fighting."

Anyway, on to the Lions. Will the Lions be exciting this year? Will they be worth rooting for, or against? Or will the hobos in Detroit find themselves constantly pestered on Sunday mornings as they try to sleep off the night before?

Having shaken up the old Magic 8-Ball with that question, I'm going to go ahead and say this year's Lions team is worth rooting for. They're going to provide some fun, exciting moments in football -- and not just by giving up touchdown after touchdown to opposing teams. This isn't the same team that went 0-16 two years ago -- although it's barely better than that team.

But football, and football plays aren't necessarily the reasons to root for the Lions and why the team will be worth watching. Here are the reasons: First, QB and Superrich Guy Matt Stafford was named the permanent starting quarterback by Lions coach what's-his-name last year. Permanent. So not only did the Lions guarantee Stafford $41.7 million no matter what, but Stafford was also guaranteed to be the starter no matter what. Nobody in America ever had more job security -- which means Stafford should be free to make plays that look like Brett Favre improvising from a Mike Martz playbook.

That, combined with the fact that the Lions quite literally have nothing to lose, should...should make the Lions a team that plays fun and gutsy and loose -- like when Stafford came in last year to throw a TD with no time left on the clock (and in doing so, took away yet another of Dan Marino's former records.)

Then there's the sentimental factor: We Americans love rags-to-riches stories and people rising from the ashes of ruin to victory. We were thrilled when the Saints finally topped off New Orleans' rebuilding from Katrina with a Super Bowl victory last year (or, those of us who weren't Favre fans were thrilled, anyway), and Detroit is due for just such an emotional lift -- not only have the Lions been terrible for years, becoming the Aints of the Aughts, but Detroit actually stood in for Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in a movie. So if Real New Orleans could get a worst-to-first Super Bowl ring last year, shouldn't The Fake New Orleans' Lions get one this year?

That's the hope.

The Opposite View. There's ample reason to root against the Lions, though, and again it's embodied in Stafford, who was drafted to a city that has been the symbol of American poverty for a long time, and who was then guaranteed $41 million dollars, and who promptly set about using that money not to help the city or the fans (the way the Tigers, for example, gave free advertising to local companies), but instead (reportedly) invested in new boobs for his cheerleader girlfriend. Here's the before-and-after from that site:

Way to be a humanitarian, Matt Stafford. Why do we hate LeBron, but not Stafford?

Superhero the 2010 Lions Are Most Like: Rogue Mutt said in his comment that I would have to pick a superhero who loses all the time -- and he's almost right. There's a superhero out there who almost always lost, who time and time again had his power ridiculed and time and time again tried to get people to take him seriously: Polar Boy.

Polar Boy came from the hottest part of the hottest planet in the Universe, and had but one dream: to join the Legion of Super Heroes. Time after time, he was rejected and ridiculed, so much so that he formed his own band of superfolk, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, with such powered-people as "Antenna Lad" and "Infectious Lass." As I understand from Wikipedia, Polar Boy eventually got to join the Legion, but then had to suffer having his arm ripped off and creating a new one out of ice.

Such is life for Superhero Wannabes, but there's a bright side: Polar Boy also got to lead the Legion at one point after winning an election, so it just goes to show that even the lamest, ice-armed superheroes can ultimately rise to the top. And that's the role I see for the Lions this year: Lame, ice-armed, girlfriend-enhancing wannabes who somehow make it to the big time.

Your 2010 Detroit Lions:

Other previews:

Explanation & my Super Bowl prediction for this year.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills.

Carolina Panthers.

Michael Phelps: "Maybe getting high all the time wasn't the best of ideas."

People only really care about swimming when two things are involved: Michael Phelps, and the Olympics. This story only has one of those, and it seems like the second ingredient might never again be present, so I'm willing to bet this post'll show up as the highest bounce rate ever on my Google Analytics for this blog.

But I have a sacred obligation, blah blah blah something about journalism... so here goes. Turns out maybe Michael Phelps doesn't just know how to win. Sports Illustrated reported that Phelps lost to his longtime rival, and put the reasons for it delicately:

With only the Pan Pacific swimming championships -- rather than an Olympics or world championship -- to look forward to this summer, Phelps had not been in peak physical condition as he usually is during major years of his quadrennial cycles. His trip to nationals was marked by both a piece of history and disappointment.

The history was overshadowed by the fact that Phelps had never lost a major 200 meter IM until this summer, and by the giant white elephant in the room that nobody was mentioning. And by "giant white elephant" I specifically mean "that bong Phelps owns shaped like a giant white elephant."

The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine...

Old women who avoid Hell through cannibalism.

Little kids left to demonic torment because of a deal their parents made

A man whose talent is seeming to be exactly what people needs has it made... until he meets a dead girl's father seeking revenge.

These stories and more are available, free, on AfterDark, home to the world's scariest horror stories. AfterDark posts horror stories in serial form, with links to download the whole story free. Three stories are up at any one time. Check it out today!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Statistically speaking, 30% of you will not even read this article but will focus instead on the picture. (Facts Are Meaningless)

Welcome to Facts Are Meaningless, a new installment here where I'll feature, when I come across them, the most absurd statistics you can find in sports -- stats that prove, as Homer Simpson said, that "Facts are meaningless - you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"

There are stats, and there are stats. And then there are the kind of stats that make you think "Who sits around thinking these things up, how much do they get paid, and if it's a lot, how do I get that job?" The kind of statistics that fall into that latter category include the ones that are used to make it seem like a big deal happened, when in fact something big did not happen.

What do I mean? Let's look at an example, from the Go Figure sidebar in the College Football Preview issue of Sports Illustrated. The item reads:

4: Consecutive wins by the Orioles under Buck Showalter, who took over the 32-73 club on August 3. No manager had won even his first three games after inheriting a team that was at least 30 games below .500.

That is a meaningless stat. Let's look how.

First, consider the qualifiers: To be considered, you've got to be a manager who takes over a team mid-season. And your team has to be at least 30 games below .500, meaning that you have to have played at least 31 games (but the odds of a team going 1-30 are pretty slim.)

Second, consider the relationship the qualifiers have to the actual statistics. Showalter won four games, but no other manager has won even 3 it says. And the measurement is teams at least 30 games below .500, but the Orioles were 41 games under even when he took over -- so is Showalter's feat better? Or worse?

Then consider how many other teams might fit that category -- and wonder why SI didn't say how many teams there were. Have there ever been any other teams in which the manager took over when the team was more than 30 games under the 50/50 mark? How many? 1? 2?

At times it seems we're just going to have a statistical category for everything, so that everyone can be number one at something. I look forward to SI's telling me when we see the very all-time greatest utility outfielder who's exactly 31 years, 3 months, and 2 days old playing in his 232nd major league game against a left-handed pitcher with an ERA under 5.0 but not less than 4.2, batting fourth, who hit a double in his second-at bat with two men on. I want that guy's autograph.

For/Against/Don't Care: The Carolina Panthers' 2010 preview

As I continue to recover from nearly dying, I continue to also give to the world of sports/blogging by occasionally rousting myself from bed long enough to ignore the chest pains and make fun of some NFL teams while telling you who you should root for, or root against, or simply ignore this year in the NFL.

Team: Carolina Panthers.

For/Against/Don't Care: In the world of sports, how you choose to geographically locate yourself says a lot about what you think of your fans. For example, the Milwaukee Brewers stubbornly refuse to be the Wisconsin Brewers, probably because nobody in Wisconsin cares about baseball, anyway. All kinds of teams call themselves the Chicago this or that, doing so because being the Illinois Cubs, or whatever, would actually detract from their mission, since Illinois wouldn't exist without Chicago and knows it.

Then there are the Arizona Cardinals, who had to change their name because being from Phoenix was too limiting to appeal to the broad-minded people of Arizona, who have shown themselves to be open to pretty much anyone from anywhere, provided that the "anyone" isn't in any way colored any shade darker than, say, rye bread.

Statewide appeal isn't enough for the New England Patriots*, who opted to stop being Boston Patriots to enhance their appeal -- something the Boston Red Sox didn't think was necessary. (Then again, the Red Sox didn't think it was necessary to cheat their way to championships, either.)

This is all by way of saying that the single most interesting thing about the Carolina Panthers is the geographical part of their name, so far as I can see. Yeah, they drafted Jimmy ClausenPickles, but not until the second round, and what's so exciting about Jimmy C, anyway? Did I miss something, or am I right that Notre Dame stunk the last four or five years? That didn't happen in an alternate universe, did it? I didn't think so. Plus, if Jimmy was any good, he'd not be among the four starters expected to see time in the first preseason game.

It'd be different, maybe, if Jake Delhomme was still there. I liked Jake and would root for him to have one last good go-round, especially since now he's retired (Yeah, I know he's on the Browns but it's the same thing) without the Super Bowl ring he deserved and that Brady Belicheated away from him.

Jake is gone, though, so it looks like the Panthers will not be exciting at all this year -- with no reason to tune into their games. But don't take my word for it; listen instead to the only veteran on their roster, WR Steve Smith, who cared so little about the team that he opted to break his arm playing a game of pickup football instead. When your wideout starter/leader of the team thinks that the NFL season isn't worth looking forward to, what are fans supposed to do? I'll tell you: Don't Care.

The Opposite View:
Expect to hear a lot of worst to first talk as people repeatedly and boringly remind you that the NFC South never has repeat division champs, and also as they remind you that no NFL team has more players on the roster who've never suited up in an NFL game. That combination of weirdness and inexperience could lead this team to be an exciting contender, like last year's Jets only without the charisma. (Then again, there's a reason you've never heard of an all-rookie team winning the Super Bowl.)

Superhero The 2010 Panthers Are Most Like: Jimmy C's going to be the starter, if management has any idea about what to do to get fan interest. So the 2010 Panthers will have some potentially good young talent, a good coach, a recognizable name at QB and a decent shot at winning the division. And even that won't generate any fan interest or reason to care much.

What superhero has some decent powers, good standing in superhero groups, and some fans who care passionately enough to argue that the rest of us simply don't get how great she is... all the while the rest of us say, "Yeah, sure, she's a looker, but frankly, I can't get much excited about this." You guessed it: Wonder Woman. As superhero movies dominate Hollywood and more and more women get into Comicon and read comics and such, we repeatedly hear "Maybe there should be a Wonder Woman movie" and are reminded that once, Wonder Woman had a TV show, and on and on, and we all just say "Yeah, well call me when she does something interesting." And so it is with Carolina: Call me when they do something interesting.

Your 2010 Carolina Panthers:

Other previews:

Explanation & my Super Bowl prediction for this year.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills.

It seems like every post here ends up with two chicks kissing. (World Records)

Is "being naked" a sport? Sure -- or more of a sport, at least, than golf or NASCAR. Also more of a sport than either of those two things? Setting a world record, as 102 naked British people did recently when they set the world record for naked roller coaster riding.

Noted Naked-Reporting Site Huffington Post reiterates (reiterating is not plagiarism, high school students!) the report from The Daily Mail and notes that:

The riders can now claim the world record for naked roller coaster riding, a title previously held by a group of 32 British people, who took a naked ride in Staffordshire in 2004.

So the previous naked world record roller coaster ride was a measly 32 people? And that stood for six years? SIX YEARS? Seems to me that doing-stuff-naked records should be falling all the time, especially in England, which, after all, shipped all its Puritans to our country, saddling us with 2+ centuries of pretending we don't like nudity, while leaving them with no shame whatsoever.

Although, looking at the picture, they should have a little shame. Or, let's face it, a lot of shame.

You know who should set the next Naked Roller Coaster record? Those girls that play in the Lingerie Football League. Let's stop pretending it's a sport and see some skin. Or at least more of this:

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'll be back soon.

Hey, remember that thing where I almost died twice?

Turns out it's not over yet and I've got to go get some doctor-y stuff done, so I'll be out Tuesday, August 10, and maybe a little longer than that. Thanks for your patience. Maybe check out some of my other blogs that you haven't had time to read up on lately, and also enjoy this optical illusion -- thanks to Petri Dish's suggestion that I do this whenever I make people wait for my posts.
(from Mighty Optical Illusions.)

Thinking The Lions: Make Life More Interesting. Stories about me, and the things I think, and the songs I listen to. But mostly about me.

The Best Of Everything:
Our Opinions Are Righter Than Yours! Pop culture served up with a side of philosophy, and sprinkled with inanity. And superheroes, because... well, just because.

Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! The sports blog for people who hate sports blogs.

AfterDark: Short horror stories in serial form. Up now: Temporary Anne: The Hunting. Join Temporary Anne as she tries to find a way to finally be free of Mephistopheles' curse on her existence.

5 Pages: Read a serialized novel 5 pages at a time. Up now: the After: When Saoirse dies in a plane crash and wakes up in Heaven, her first instinct is go home. After meeting William Howard Taft and finding a way back, though, she's no longer sure whether her seemingly fake existence is better than what he plans.

Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World!
Rachel woke up two weeks ago, not sure who or what she was. On the advice of her Octopus she set out on an adventure that finds her falling in love with a betraying waitress, making out with her own clone, and leading an army of lesbian zombies in a battle to save the 73 dimensions.

Family and Consumer Law: The Blog: Actual legal information, hidden amongst the sarcasm and stupid lawyer jokes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

For/Against/Don't Care: The Atlanta Falcons' 2010 preview

Want to know more about what this is and how this works? Click here.

Team: The Atlanta Falcons.

For/Against/Don't Care: How exciting will the 2010 Atlanta Falcons be? I think the answer lies in asking how exciting have the Atlanta Falcons ever been? And the answer is not very. The team that made it to the Super Bowl (because the Vikings stopped trying to win in the NFC Championship) turned that game into Elway's Victory Lap, and that is still the single-most-boring Super Bowl ever.

The current squad is nondescript, beginning with Matt Ryan, the most anonymously-named QB in the league. (My theory of how success follows QB names is well-known, so I won't spell it out here at length. Suffice to say that the best teams have the best QBs, and the best QBs are determined solely by two criteria:

1. Having a short, American-sounding first name, and
2. Having a 2-or 3-syllable, manly-sounding last name. Think Joe Montana. That's the ultimate in QB names and he's had the most success of any quarterback. Brett Favre has always been and will always be hampered by that last name. Terry Bradshaw has a kind-of-girly first name but a very manly (broad-shoulders-sounding) last name.

Anyway, Matt Ryan isn't manly or American enough; it's bland. It's the name you'd give a guy in a screenplay about espionage, but it would be given to the office drone who sits at the computer and tells the real star of the show where the satellite's Internet power cable linkup is so that Action Hero can blow it up.

Beyond that, there's no reason to think the Falcons will be a surprise team, or will build on past success, or have an electrifying star to watch, or any other reason to root for, or against, them. They're simply there, and that's a don't care.

The Opposite View: Atlanta is home to CNN, which is home to Robin Meade, who looks like this:

That's all I've got, really.

Superhero The 2010 Falcons Are Most Like: That Archer Guy From "The Avengers". I never really read The Avengers, despite a brief period when I was a kid and we'd play superheroes and I wanted to be The Vision. So I'm not sure who's all in the group or what they all do. I do know that there's an Avengers movie coming out and that people are saying that some guy who's like a Marvel ripoff of Green Arrow will not only be in the movie, but will also be the focal point of the movie.

That's the 2010 Atlanta Falcons: Nobody knows they're there, they're a pale imitation of other heroes, and even if they get into the spotlight we'll all just yawn and wonder what else is going on.

Your 2010 Atlanta Falcons:

Other previews:

Explanation & my Super Bowl prediction for this year.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Favre v. LeBron v. TO: Road To A Championship, or At Least A Roster Spot: Robin still sucks, and Favre did WHAT NOW?

Keeping track of who's closer to their ultimate goal... because I care.

Still leading in this triple race is Terrell Owens, who I deem closer to a championship/roster spot simply by default. It's like nobody's even trying anymore, as we'll see.

Terrell Owens recently tweeted his embrace of being second fiddle/butt of jokes when he sent out this line:

Where cn we get batman & robin t-shirts? Batman is an XXL or XL & Robin is a L or XL.

Keep in mind: That statement is now cataloged at the library of Congress, and will no doubt form the opening line for the Book that Future Denzel Washington will carry across the postapocalyptic wasteland our world will become in December 2012.

Why, I wonder, is it always a post-apocalyptic wasteland when we talk about the future? I don't think the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs created a wasteland. If you can believe science* (*you can't) then the asteroid created the perfect environment for mammals to evolve -- that is, a paradise. So from now on, Hollywood, let's see Denzel strolling peacefully through a postapocalyptic Disney World.

Anyway, while Terrell Owens searches for someone who can point out to him that Robin, technically, was the lamest superhero ever created, LeBron James comes in second... again by default... as the NBA decided you want to spend your Christmas Day watching the Heat underperform against the Lakers instead of trying to put together that remote-control Millennium Falcon you bought for your kids. (I also feel I should point out that your kids don't like Star Wars nearly as much as you, and Seth MacFarlane, do. They've got their own things to like, and your things are as dated to them as John Wayne movies are to you. Just give them some cash and try to remember their names and you'll be doing fine.)

Bringing up the rear, hopefully not literally, is Brett Favre, who this week made headlines all over the world when it was revealed that a Maxim model/Jets sideline reporter (where was that box on my career survey in 8th grade?) claims to have been the recipient of...

... the recipient of...

... how can I put this delicately? of Brett Favre's Whangdoodle.

The reporter (shown at right, the one not crying, surprisingly) told Deadspin that:

Favre first began to call her early in the season and leave strange, friendly messages on her voicemail...Then the phone calls from Brett started to turn weird....The interactions were flirty and strange but she didn't think there wasn't anything that made her too uncomfortable. But then, one night, Sterger received a picture on her phone which was so shocking that she just tossed it across the room.

You already know what it was, but I'm pausing for dramatic effect, and to ask, in a portentous voice, what was on that picture that was so shocking she tossed it across the room?!?!?!?

It was his dick. Brett Favre's dick. And it happened multiple times.

But that's not the big finish... pun intended. Even more shocking photos followed, the woman claims, including what now will be the single most disturbing image you'll ever have in your life:

In fact, Sterger claims that, in one of the photos Favre allegedly sent her, he's masturbating — while wearing a pair of Crocs.

If I've learned one thing today* (*I haven't) it's this: All you people who told me Crocs aren't sexy can go to Hell. I'm keeping my pair.

Gnus: Erin Andrews Now Also Not Talking About Other Women's Stalking Problems.

Remember Erin Andrews? (Vaguely?)

Remember how she was peephole stalked and totally was victimized (in part by being made way more famous and rich than she had been?)

Remember how Erin Andrews wasn't going to talk about how she totally was victimized (except for that one time, on Oprah!, which just happened to coincide with the start of college football and Dancing With the Stars?)

People who remember those things might be surprised to learn that Erin Andrews talked just a little about being victimized again in press conferences related to her recent attempt to get uberlaws passed making it even more illegal to stalk her, but those people might excuse it by saying "Well, she was trying to help other people not be victimized/enriched like her."

Those people, in turn, might then think, "I wonder, though, if the Erin-Andrews-Not-Talking-About-Stalking thing extends to not interviewing other stalking victims for Good Morning America, since Erin Andrews doing so might be construed as a way to take advantage of her celebrity victim status while not seeming to do so."

All those people, plus anyone who (like me) is now very confused, rest assured, Erin Andrews will not be milking her celebrity victim status by turning it into a recurring slot on Good Morning America in which she interviews other victims of stalking.

And all of that sentence is totally true, except for the word "not." NBC Connecticut reports that "Erin Andrews Talks About Stalking in "GMA" Debut."

But, I'm sure that by "talks about stalking" they actually meant "Never ever again talks about stalking, the way she promised Oprah she would never ever again talk about stalking."

Quotent Quotables: I hadn't been aware of Saddam's NFL career.

Congratulations, world! We've successfully lowered the bar yet again on just who can be compared to murderers, genocidal maniacs and other evildoers.

Now, while those Obama-to-Hitler comparisons are probably apt -- both are well-known for putting into effect programs originally championed by Worst-President-Ever George W -- we as a people probably need to put the brakes on other metaphorical lineups. If we don't, we risk letting people like Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett get asked about Brett Favre's maybe-retirement-maybe-again, and get quoted in newspapers as responding this-a-way:

I don't have any thoughts. I don't care. If he's is retired, congratulations... It doesn't matter if her retires or not or whoever's playing quarterback over there -- Norman Bates, Jeffrey Dahmer, Saddam Hussein, doesn't matter.

Let's look at the career records of the four people Nick Barnett linked together in that quote:

Brett Favre: 2 Superbowls, 3 MVP awards, longest consecutive game streak, retired twice and came back.

Norman Bates: Cross-dresser who fake-murdered that one actress.

Jeffrey Dahmer: Confessed to killing 17 people; suspected of other deaths.

Saddam Hussein: Mustard gassed thousands of his own citizens. May have once started at safety for the Minnesota Vikings.

Yep. I think they're all on the same level.

There are worse future overlords than a Lesbian Zombie Army.

Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World! And all the worlds, actually. In the future, everyone will eat squid jerky, and the fate of the 73 dimensions will rest on the sexy young shoulders of Rachel, former pop singer turned Queen of the Lesbian Zombie Army. Valkyries, little blue men in flying saucers, Mr Damned Soul, and more sexy scenes than you can imagine take place in this ongoing serial. Follow Rachel's adventures as she tries to decide whether her true love is Brigitte or Rachel's own clone, and as she fights her way among groups battling for universal supremacy!

Read it online here; or download the entire story so far in hard copy for free here.

You can get this story on your KINDLE!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homemade Sports: This shot is OKAY, I GUESS.

... I'm going to take away points because it wasn't nothin' but net, but this is still pretty cool:

That shot -- dubbed "The World's Longest Basketball Shot" by a group of teens who call themselves "The Legendary Shots" -- set off a controversy, because, of course, this is America, where everything touches off controversy. The debate in this case was raised by a group of whiny Texas A&M students (about what you'd expect from a group of kids who could only get into an Ag school) who claimed this was the actual longest basketball shot:

But the real point of this is twofold: (a) those Legendary Shot kids showed some persistence, shooting for nearly 2 hours before they made that shot, and (b) I still cannot look at a group of teenagers without reflexively assuming that they're going to steal my wallet. Even on video.

Brady and Manning: "Screw the team and start piling up the money over there."

Dan Patrick this morning commented that neither Peyton Manning nor Tom Brady had signed a long-term contract extension this morning, something that surprised me... because I hadn't known that both their contracts were going to expire this year, so I didn't know they were "quietly" renegotiating to become the highest paid player in the league.

Or so said Dan Patrick, who said neither QB wanted to sign before the other, because each wants to be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. The Huffington Post got the ad revenues for cutting-and-pasting Andrew Brandt's article from July 29 about the dispute and re-reporting that:

In this case, the contract of the first pick in the Draft, Sam Bradford will be Exhibit A in their negotiations. Their camps -- Manning is represented by the same agent as Stafford and Bradford -- will use the expected $45 million expected guarantee to Bradford as a starting point in negotiations.
Patrick's spin was different, of course. And so's my spin, which is this: Any professional athlete who demands irrational amounts of money shortchanges his own team, his fans, and his career by putting imaginary money ahead of a good team in importance. That point is especially salient when the QBs trying to garrotte their teams for money already earn millions from endorsements (Manning made $13 million in 2007 alone from endorsements) -- making the money the team pays them even more superfluous, and making it even more ridiculous that people would take that money themselves rather than have the team buy them some good teammates to help win games.

But, then, neither the players nor the teams really care about winning. Fans care about winning. Teams and players care about making money, and as long as fans pay for tickets for teams who put money ahead of winning, the practices won't change.

I talked more about how athletes' greed shows they hate the fans, and about "imaginary" money; click here to read that longer post.

Our Opinions Are Righter Than Yours!

There's only one website with the guts to tell you what's the best of everything: The Best Of Everything. And that site, which I write, doesn't mess around with wimpy "bests" lists like "best pizza joint in Oakland." I leave that for the losers. Instead, I'll tell you what's The Best Superpower, and who The Best Simpson Sister is and move onto weirder, more wonderful topics like The Best Looking Science Fiction Alien Chick and The Best Job To Dream Of Having When You Get A Little Tired Of Your Own Job. And way, way, way more.

Plus, I'll let you get your own say in -- you can nominate a Best yourself. If you dare to challenge my rightness. Rightosity? Rightitude?

Click here to read The Best Of Everything.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Does euphonious remind you of an attachment

For/Against/Don't Care: The Official! NC! 2010 Preview of the Arizona Cardinals.

It's The Official! NC! NFL 2010 Season Preview!: Who To Be For, Who To Be Against, and Who You Need Not Care About Either Way. For more information about what this is about, click here. (Of, if you think astronauts who maybe committed murder are cool, click here.)

The Team: Arizona Cardinals.

For/Against/Don't Care: So many different factors to consider in deciding whether to root for or against the Cards, or simply turn the channel when they're on TV, which, luckily for most fans, they won't be much -- Arizona has only two night games, and their glut of 4:15 (ET) games is simply because of their geographical location west of the Mason-Dixon line. (Is that how that works? I've gotta remember to check that out.) Should one root for a team that can score a lot of points, or remember that they scored them against the Packers? Root against a team that's so insecure it has to use the whole state for its geographical hook, rather than a city? Root against that team especially because the state is Arizona, which by this point is pretty much shorthand for racist?

In the end, all of those are valid points, but the validest point is this: Matt Leinhart is the QB now, and we should all be rooting against him because he's proof that our educational system doesn't work. Leinhart, remember, opted to come back for his senior year despite having nothing to gain by doing so, and everything to lose -- "everything" meaning specifically the bigger money and better prestige of playing for a team that's not the Cardinals. Leinhart wanted the "college atmosphere" or something stupid -- forgetting that for young new millionaire starting quarterbacks, life is exactly as if you were starring in "Van Wilder: NFL Years," only you score way hotter chicks than Tara Reid.

Usually, that is. Unless you're stupid enough to skip being number one overall and get drafted next year by the Cards, in which case you get this:
And it's pretty much a wash between her and Tara Reid.

So root against the Cards because Matt Leinart needs to be taught not to overvalue education. Or something like that.

The opposite view: The Cards did score a boatload of points against Green Bay in the playoffs, and it was pretty fun to watch the NFL play a sport the way the NBA has always done -- no defense. And the more famous Leinhart gets, the more he appears on gossip blogs, meaning the less we see the Kardashians. Also, if Leinhart comes in and plays well, we can stop hearing how great it is that Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers sat on the sidelines behind a legend for three years and then came in and played well. I don't think it's that tough to do, Packer sportswriters.

Superhero The Cardinals Are Most Like: The Red Tornado. Red Tornado was a robot who had the mysterious and unlikely to work power of generating tornadoes, which he could shoot from his hands, and which also made him able to fly -- by generating tornadoes from the waist down. (Which is, coincidentally, Matt Leinart's most-used pickup line: "Hey, baby, I can generate a tornado from my waist down.") Meterologically speaking, that couldn't happen: tornadoes aren't columns of air, and how would the robot's hands control them... but anyway, I digress. The Red Tornado, as I recall, always felt a little inferior because he wasn't human (he started to feel better after hearing about Skynet), and I'm willing to bet the other superheroes played into that: "Hey, let's all go get some grub down in the Hall Of Justice's Hall Of Food. Except you, Red Tornado. Maybe go try the garage; I saw some motor oil out there.")

In wanting to fit in and be like all the others but never doing so because his powers sucked and he was a bag of bolts, the Red Tornado perfectly embodied the also-ran Cardinals, who so desperately want to be a real NFL team, and whose attacks are exposed as weaknesses whenever they get close.

Your 2010 Arizona Cardinals:

Other previews:

Explanation & my Super Bowl prediction for this year.

Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills.

Super Bowl Predictions: The Ongoing List.

Ever feel like making a Super Bowl prediction? Of course you do; we all do, all the time. This list will keep track of the latest Super Bowl predictions -- all of which will be wrong, unless they mirror my own absolutely 100% correct prediction.

The latest Super Bowl prediction, after my own, comes courtesy of What If Sports, which turned its computer away from the primary purpose of all computers (finding pictures of hot girls kissing) and to the not-quite-as-important task of mathematically predicting the winner of the next Super Bowl, and then immediately disclaiming any responsibility for what they put on their site. Here's their explanation:

What we have provided our readers are "what-if" scenarios for the upcoming 2010 NFL season based on the statistical outputs of players and teams from the 2009 season. The sabermetric soiree that our NFL simulation engine spits out after running all the numbers does not directly reflect the views or opinions of's writing staff. We are simply providing a voice (in written form) for the data the computer generates. Are some of the results and predictions subject to debate? Absolutely.

Got that? They're not saying they're right, or even saying that they're saying anything. But they did use the word "sabermetric," so it must be scientific, right? ("Sabermetrics," by the way, comes from an attempt to objectively analyze baseball statistics -- so it may not be so much "scientific" as it is "boring."

Anyway, What If Sports' sabermetric-but-not-their-own-0pinions' prediction for this year's Super Bowl? They say it's Packers 23, Chargers 17, which, our future computer overlords notwithstanding, is ridiculous because to get to the Super Bowl, the Chargers will have to win more than one playoff game. And that's not happening. Not with the Norv & Phil show.

The Official NC! Prediction for Super Bowl XIRKLREVISRU: Titans 31, Vikings 30. (Sorry, Brett!)

How do you Think The Lions?

I am the kind of guy whose wife secretly suspects he would let crocodiles babysit his kids... and the kind of guy who can teach you how to Think the Lions.
Thinking The Lions
is more than just a confusing phrase. It's a way of looking at life. A way of making the most out of each day. A way of laughing at me, the author of the blog Thinking The Lions. Part memoir, part collection of pictures of guys my wife thinks are hunky, part music, part political musings... I could go on, and I usually do, at length -- but to good effect and you'll love what I write.

Read Thinking The Lions every day. You'll never regret it. I swear.


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