Monday, January 31, 2011

Show the Punters Some Love: Part One.


You know who nobody pays much attention to during Super Bowl week? The punters.

Last year, I urged people to Win One For The Punters! This year, as part of my "I Don't Get To Go There But I'm Making The Best Of It" nonstop Super Bowl hype, I'm going to continue to promote the punters, in part by following Green Bay punter Tim Masthay's Twitter feed, and in part by trying to find something... anything... from Steelers' punter Jeremy Kapinos -- who used to be Green Bay's punter last year and who we can therefore expect to be punting with a chip on his shoulder in this game.

The latest updates from Masthay:

From January 29:

thanks everyone! We gotta get it done one more time! Looking forward to heading down to Dallas!

And the one prior to that, from January 11:

Didn't think I'd ever cover the big window in our apartment with a bedspread. But when the wife has lasik surgery that's what you do!

It's all glamour for Masthay, who also used Twitter earlier to get fans to weigh in on what car he should buy.

Meanwhile, Kapinos seems not to have a Twitter feed, but that doesn't mean that Twitter isn't all a-Tweet about him:

@foundinIdaho stopped writing anti-government screeds and oiling his shotguns long enough to respond to a tweet about Kapinos thusly:

It's to our benefit. Mwahahaha. RT @PackersOnReddit: I still can't believe Jeremy Kapinos is playing in the Super Bowl.


Really, @foundinIdaho, you and the Packers are an "our"? Meanwhile, an erstwhile sports writer has given Kapinos a nickname:

@50YardBard Talked to the Kapinator actually. No one around him in the corner of the locker room.

To which the original commentator, @50YardBard, replied:

@APGenaroArmas I imagine the only thing worse than being a punter on an nfl team is being the new punter that nobody knows...


Yeah, but, 50YardBard, Kapinos is at the big game, while you are sitting somewhere in Pennsylvania making jokes about your last trip to the adult bookstore.


CLICK HERE to read this year's Super Bowl Whodathunkit?!: The 3 Best Things You Really WANT To Know About the Super Bowl.

I wonder how long THIS will stay on their site?

Killing time while on hold for a phone call, I weighed in on the NFL's "hot topic" Twitter post:

GET YOUR SUPERBOWL WHODATHUNKIT?!: The Three Best Things You WANT To Know About Super Bowl XLV here
.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

WHODATHUNKIT?! The 3 Best Things You Want To Know About Super Bowl XLV:


Whodathunkit!?, a shared enterprise between The Best Of Everything and Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!, celebrates the momentous occasions in life by telling you not what everyone else is talking about, but what you really want to know. Let other people talk about the same old things, year after year -- the commercials, the on-field action, the hype, the crowds, the score... ho, hum... sigh, snore.

If you really want to be the life of the party -- or at least that person who's there but nobody's sure who invited them -- then you need Whodathunkit!?, the only blog post with the guts to look at those areas of major events that nobody else has thought to look at. And thanks to me, you don't have to do the legwork. Just read this post, then memorize it, and be prepared to recite it during the various breaks in the action during the big game. And don't worry: with only 11 actual minutes of football action in any televised football game, there'll be plenty of time to share such bon mots as:

1. Love is in the air at championships:
All those stories about how Dallas needs another 10,000 strippers to meet the demand for the Super Bowl? Not only is that story nothing new -- strippers flocked to Tampa before the Super Bowl there, and generally head to any city where the game is held -- but it's just a minor aspect of the overall atmosphere of romance that hovers over football championships. From college players proposing after bowl games to reporters trying to hook up with Tom Brady* during Super Bowl week:




There's just something about a bunch of sweaty men grabbing each other and throwing each other to the ground that screams romance. Right, Ben Roethlisberger?





Right! People in the past have tried to raise money to propose via Super Bowl commercial -- because what better way is there to let your fiancee know exactly where she'll rank in your life in the future? "Honey, I'm glad you said yes. Now shut up, because the second half is starting."

(That guy couldn't get people interested enough to buy time during the game, and had to settle for proposing via a commercial that aired during Veronica Mars. Let's hope the marriage lasted longer than the show.)

Sometimes people's romantic hopes don't pan out though -- like when Kim Kardashian breathlessly revealed to the world that if Reggie Bush's Saints got a Super Bowl ring for him, he'd get a wedding ring for her. 2011 rolls around with Reggie Bush having the ring (but not his Heisman Trophy) and Kim trying desperately to stay in the public eye by dating an NBA player.

There've been worse endings to Super Bowl romances. Take Albert Haynesworth, the erstwhile Redskin player. Back in May, Haynesworth was sued for $10 million by a stripper who said he'd gotten her pregnant and left her in the lurch:
Silvia Mena [described in the article as a "Salma Hayek lookalike"], 25, alleges Haynesworth, 28, met her in Miami, romanced her during Super Bowl week, and invited her to his Tennessee home. She claims in the documents that after learning about the pregnancy, Haynesworth promised to "emotionally and financially support Silvia." But, "after making such promises . . . Haynesworth has abandoned the pregnant Sylvia Mena . . . He has refused to provide any emotional or financial support of Silvia Mena or his unborn child."
(The two are shown in the picture alongside the heading for this section.)

Whatever your situation, just remember that Super Bowl parties are public events, and nobody likes PDAs:





Especially when they get in the way of the chips.

2. "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."
Joshua/WOPR said that about tic-tac-toe/global thermonuclear war, and his primitive, straight-forward, not-yet-capable-of-winning-at-Jeopardy! computer brain was clearly wrong: You win in tic-tac-toe by taking a corner move first, and you win at global thermonuclear war by letting that one city way over on the left go and focusing on the two cities closest to you. (This lesson brought to you by the arcade version of Missile Command.)

But WOPR could have been talking about Super Bowl ads. With airtime going for upwards of whatever figure the media wants to make up today, it can be increasingly hard to justify blowing the annual ad budget on a 30-second commercial that, by now, must include each of the required elements of a Super Bowl ad:

(a) Cats
(b) Women in tight t-shirts.
(c) Betty White, at least until she dies.
(d) A twist ending
(e) More women in tight t-shirts.
(f) A cameo appearance from some reality show star you won't recognize.
(g) A Master Lock.

Seriously. Take a drink each time you see an ad featuring at least one of those things. If it features more than one, down your whole drink. If it features all of them, take Chad up on his dare to send a friend request to that hot girl you both knew in 11th grade, but do it while your wife is out of the room.

You know what's cheaper than airing an ad during the Super Bowl? Not airing one at all, and having the entire world run it for you in the week leading up to the game. That's the tactic taken by PETA and other groups in the past few years: Create an ad that's so provocative that the networks don't dare show it... during the Super Bowl. Instead, they'll show it on their news programs and talk shows, and it'll get front page treatment on HuffPo, Slate, and everywhere else people surf.

The strategy has become so common that there are articles about how common it is, and people are actively trying to come up with ads that'll be banned:

The banned Super Bowl strategy dates back to 2005, when Internet registry firm GoDaddy.com had its commercial yanked after running in only one of the two spots the advertiser had bought. That ad ended up generating some 2,700 news articles and blog posts, according to GoDaddy. It is, in many ways, the “1984” of the banned Super Bowl ad genre.
The following year GoDaddy.com's commercial was rejected 11 times. In 2008, it actually advertised during the game, promoting its previously rejected ad starring Danica Patrick. "It worked like a charm," reflects Bob Parsons, chief executive officer of GoDaddy.
The approach has spawned imitators, most notably infidelity dating site AshleyMadison. Unsurprisingly, this year Fox nixed AshleyMadison's ad, which features a porn actress and centers on workplace affairs. But the $120,000, in-house-produced video is a hit on YouTube, where it has 450,000 views and directs viewers to the AshleyMadison site for the “X-rated version.” There’s little doubt that a banned Super Bowl spot can lead to a short-term pop in attention and consideration. AshleyMadison two years ago had a Super Bowl spot rejected by NBC.
The spot, which cost $200,000, garnered over 1 million views on YouTube and attention from Larry King and others. Noel Biderman, CEO of AshleyMadison parent company Avid Life Media, said the buzz surrounding the rejected ad resulted in 100,000 new members—a $2 cost per acquisition, far below the $100 maximum it sets.

(Source.) This year's hot banned ad? Jesus Hates Obama:



An ad that, according to the article, was designed to be banned during the Super Bowl.

Most ads that get banned are knocked off the list for being too sexy. One, though, was rejected apparently for being in incredibly poor taste:



Sometimes I don't know why the rest of the world doesn't just come and punch us all in the throat.

3. Whether you'll have any money to buy the stuff in the ads depends on who wins the game... and not just because you bet February's mortgage payment on Green Bay. Stupid! They'll never cover the spread!

The "Super Bowl Indicator" is a longtime superstition that holds that if an "Old NFL" team wins the game, the market will go up the following year, while if an "Old AFL" team wins, the market is going to drop faster than Charlie Sheen's pants around porn stars.

[I made that joke hoping that this blog entry will be banned by the Super Bowl, and that it will then make me rich.]

Or, that's what one site says. That site -- Snopes.com -- claims that the predictor is 80% accurate (give or take a couple of percentages) but muddies up the water by noting that some "Old AFL" teams aren't exactly "Old AFL" teams; the Steelers, for example, were in the NFL before there was an AFL, and the Packers have always been an NFL team.

Which poses problems because the predictor would work only if you phrased it the right way -- kind of like a Magic 8-Ball, or the Congressional Budget Office. If, for example, you say The market will go up provided that an old-NFL team wins, then this year you're guaranteed to get the market going up, as both the Steelers and Packers are NFL teams through and through. But if you were to say the market goes down when an old-NFL team loses, then we're in for another 12 months, at least, of financial troubles, and probably looking at President Palin.

And neither of those formulations can work when the game pits a team that wasn't part of the old NFL or AFL, period. When Carolina or Tampa Bay make the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl Indicator has troubles working. And what can the Powers That Be make of the Baltimore Ravens? This article claims that Baltimore counts as an "old NFL" team because they used to be Cleveland -- but the NFL, remember, awarded NEW Cleveland all the old Cleveland records. So is Baltimore really Old NFL?

Discuss that amongst yourselves. I'm going to go watch all those banned super bowl ads. I've got a hankering for some shirtless Mickey Rooney.

BONUS WHODATHUNKIT!?:
More eerie than the idea that the Super Bowl might affect the market is the idea that television show writers might affect the Super Bowl -- or have the ability to almost predict the future.



Certain TV shows and movies have at times hinted at a future we can only (at the time) imagine -- such as Smart Guy predicting a Saints-Colts Super Bowl:



54-3? Smart Guy wasn't really good on how football games work, was he? That wasn't the only time pop culture accurately predicted the participants of a Super Bowl. I Am Legend forecast the Giants-Patriots* matchup by predicting (in a news crawl early in the movie) that the Giants would lose to the Patriots* for the second time in a season; since the teams are in different conferences, the only way they could play twice in one season is to meet in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl predictions by pop culture tend to be close but no cigar -- no matter how far back they go or what the pedigree. Consider this prediction, by Nostradamus:

Four dawns past the inverted name of the beast shall arise a four eyed heir to the throne, name unpronounced, in favor of the god, the child. Twin brothers in celestial dispute, Mars at its zenith, shall defend the stronghold. The great son of apostle Peter lie in tandem with the 22nd man of the serpent, reign upon the battlefields as the Taylor waits patiently for his cloth. The Bear, Lion, Eagle, shall no longer be welcome, victory blood green to purple, the spoils of war earned.
That was interpreted to mean that the Vikings would win the Super Bowl. But it's all in the interpretation, I guess -- as this clip was promoted as having foreseen, back in 2005, Tiger Woods' affairs:



Did they know something we, and Elin Woods, didn't? And would that have been bigger news if that show hadn't sucked so badly?

All signs point to yes.





Click here to read more posts like this one.

BOOKS! (You know you like 'em.)


Buy one of these great books: Or buy THREE, because if you buy any three of these, and email me proof of purchase at thetroublewithroy[at]yahoo.com, I'll send you the other two, free.

The Scariest Things, You Can't Imagine

The Scariest Things, You Can't Imagine

Print: $10.00

Download: $1.25

A shape-shifting demon torments children while their parents stand by. A widower haunted by the ghost of his wife tries to understand her requests. A baby stolen from his mother by gargoyles returns, full of hatred for the life he's led. A family of children raised by grave-robbing corpse stealers tries to discover a way out. An elderly man possesses the power of life and death in his retirement. These stories present images and people who will haunt your thoughts for a long time after you read them.

Just Exactly How Life Looks

Just Exactly How Life Looks

Print: $11.18

In Just Exactly How Life Looks you'll be introduced to unforgettable people living remarkable lives. Cowboys wander in a timeless desert. Scientists meet in secret to plot a new way to get attention, and money, from people. A man and his would-be lover try to find lions on safari, and more. The people and places in this book spring to life fully-formed and full of anxiety and imagination. They worry about the time they have had and the time they have left. They bury their loved ones and look for new friends. They talk and laugh and hope and cry and die, while their friends and family and enemies and Gods watch them, seeing, in their faces and actions and fears, a portrait of just exactly how life looks.

Eclipse

Eclipse

Print: $11.50

Download: $1.49

Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... and maybe he was. In a stunning psychological horror work, "Eclipse" unfolds slowly, beginning with Claudius drifting through space after something has gone wrong with his mission. As he stares at the only thing he can see, a tiny rock off in space, he mulls the events that led him here, reflecting on his childhood and the mission-turned-into-murder. Or did things go bad? As "Eclipse" unfolds, the reader is treated to a twisting, constantly changing landscape created by Claudius' own mind, as version after version of what-might-have-happened pile on. One thing is clear, though: Something has gone wrong, and Claudius may never reach the stars. Or will he?

Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?

Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?

Print: $10.06

Download: $1.49

Why will paying attention to Paris Hilton destroy the universe? How can one number be better than the other? Are saber teeth really necessary for a good movie monster? Would Hollywood as we know it exist if not for Jennifer Aniston's hair? These questions and more are asked, and answered, in the only book that dares to explain how jellybeans are related to the apocalpyse. Essays on pop culture, things that are The Best, and life show a provocative, and hilarious, way of looking at the world.

Thinking The Lions, and 117* Other Ways To Look At Life (Give Or Take)

Thinking The Lions, and 117* Other Ways To Look At Life (Give Or Take)

Print: $12.98

Life, only funnier: Here's the book you've been waiting for, assuming you've been waiting for a book about a guy who spends his time trying to prove velociraptors didn't exist, who teaches his kids to gamble and helps them with their homework by wondering what would happen if you cut a superhero in half, whose own wife said he would get a crocodile for a babysitter, who finds squid chili romantic, and who generally makes the most -- or the least? - -of his life.




Are you the electronic reader type? Get most of these books and my blogs on your Kindle for as low as $0.99. Click here for details.

Update: Aaron Rodgers doesn't like injured reserve players, either.


Manufactured by ESPN or not, Photogate is taking on a life of its own. It took just a few days for Packers Coach Mike "Mike" McCarthy to begin to squander five weeks of good coaching by opting to first divide his team, then insult some of the players who were whining about not being included in the team picture -- a decision McCarthy made for essentially no reason.

Now, as if to remind people that they should be talking about him, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has shoved his way into the controversy, edging aside the other participants like they were so many cancer survivors in pink hats. From the USA Today report:


This time it's a comment — not a tweet — that's created another rift as the Green Bay Packers prepare for the Super Bowl. ...
The most recent hurt feelings in Green Bay began when Aaron Rodgers was asked during a five-minute media availability Saturday if he feels for his teammates on injured reserve because they can't take part in the run-up to the game next Sunday.
Rodgers made a point of saying that when he spent time on injured reserve in 2006, he stayed in Green Bay to finish the season instead of returning home to California. ... "I'll say this, I was on IR back in 2006 and I chose to stick around and finish out the season with my guys and be here every game. Some of those guys didn't...We love them, we care about them, we don't wish injury on anybody, but this is a group of guys that's really come together and it's been great to work with the guys we've brought in midseason, some of them, and the young guys....Some of the guys who were injured, they still are part of this team, but some of them didn't choose to stick around."

He managed to get all that in... in five minutes. Given five minutes with the media, The Anointed One opted to use a good portion of it to rip on some of his future teammates.

What's confusing is, if he felt that way, why did he intervene with McCarthy to get the photo moved? And don't give me that he was being a team leader: if he felt it was important that the team recognize those guys on IR, then he would not have (presumably) felt it was important to insult the guys on IR for not sticking with the team.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

So SPORTS made a song about US...


I've come up with another celebration to add to the list of ones I suggested Green Bay QB A-Rodg use in place of his "Wrestling Belt" move (a post that quickly climbed to #3 all time on this blog)-- and just in time, too, as more and more NFL players begin to question whether The Anointed One has the right to do the move at all. First, John Abraham of the Jets mimicked it, and then the press noted that last year the Arizona Cardinals were upset that Rodgers "put on the belt:"

Last year, the Arizona Cardinals took issue with it during the Packers’ victory in the regular-season finale, when Rodgers scored on a 1-yard run. Even though Rodgers had done the move several times earlier in the season, the Cardinals were annoyed by it enough to splice video of the celebration into their Saturday night film study, showing the move over and over and over again for motivation in advance of their NFC Wild Card game against the Packers the next day.

After beating the Packers, 51-45, and winning in overtime when Karlos Dansby returned a Rodgers fumble for a touchdown, the Cardinals mimicked the move after the decisive score and crowed about how the silly move motivated them.

“Now Aaron Rodgers can go home and practice putting his little belt on and stuff, and go and shovel some snow out of their driveway,” outspoken defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said.

There seems to be something about pretend moves that particularly offends NFL players and commentators. Joe Buck still has the vapors over this:



But in any event, I can now suggest that in addition to the other moves I mentioned previously, Rodgers could perhaps mimic a DJ scratching on turntables -- one hand to an imaginary headset and one on an old-school LP.

I say that because Rodgers helped found a music label, "Suspended Sunrise Recording, LLC."

General manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy traded Favre to the Jets last Aug. 6 because they felt Rodgers was ready to rock and roll. Little did they know the 25-year-old and buddy Ryan Zachary would start an alternative rock label, Suspended Sunrise Recordings.

The duo signed an Atlanta group called "Joy in Tomorrow." Rodgers is a self-taught guitarist whose playlist runs from Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder to Ryan Adams to country music.

"I'm definitely into singer/songwriters, a Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Pete Murray," Rodgers said. "We came up with the name Suspended Sunrise because when you think of a sunrise, it's suspended in air, suspended in time. It's a cool image because it represents the beginning of a new day. Anything can happen." Sounds reminiscent of his hopes for his other band, the 2009 Packers, determined to rebound from 6-10 disappointment.

Rodgers wants to grow his new venture similar to how he's blossomed as a leader, distinct from Favre in how Rodgers invites teammates to his home weekly to foster team chemistry. "Aaron came up with the Suspended Sunrise name and that new beginning is especially true after what he had to persevere through," Zachary, 25 said.

(Source.) That article notes that Rodgers plays guitar -- and he played on and produced this:



Not my kind of music, exactly, but not bad. (That comes perilously close to saying something nice about A-Rodg, so I'd better watch myself.)

Here's something I like a little better: One of his label's bands, "The Almost," with the song Monster, Monster:



It's got kind of a My Chemical Romance feel to it. Not bad.

The label's website -- which needs some work-- also says that Poema's album "Sing It Now" will be released on their label:



I like that one better. And here's Fair, "Disappearing World,"



(And, I know, record execs don't exactly go to clubs and mix tunes, making my celebration not-quite-right, but I didn't want to suggest that A-Rodg mimic riding in a limousine and sleeping with Mariah Carey, as that might draw a penalty for taunting.)

I mentioned this to Sweetie and she said "He's still an ass. I don't care if he owns a record label. He can own 20." Then she went off on a tear about how when we're rich, we're going to help people a lot and give money to charities, which I guess means that I won't, when I'm rich, be running a record label.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Claypunzel!


Getting to the Super Bowl has allowed Clay Matthews to finally achieve a lifelong dream.

No, not of getting to the Super Bowl. Of landing an endorsement deal for his hair.

Matthews, who earlier this week reminded America that he's in the market for helping market hair products, got his wish granted when Suave hired him to be its spokesmodel for a reformulated version of the shampoo, one aimed at men.

Or, as Tosh.0 puts it, products aimed at Bropunzels. Is it just me, or is there a definite resemblance between the Claymaker (shown at right) and this guy:





Either way, it's still a better endorsement than the last one Brett Favre landed:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You'll have about two hours of ads during the Super Bowl, plus halftime, to get caught up on your reading...

I used to read, but then Sweetie gave birth to twins, so for the past four years I've been spending most of my time assembling "Thomas The Tank Engine" sets and trying to remember what literature was like.

But if I did still have time to read, I'd definitely use it to read one of the books listed below, if I hadn't been the one to write them in the first place (so I know how they turn out.)

But you don't know how they end -- so why not buy one of the books below. Or, better yet, buy THREE, because if you buy any three of these, and email me proof of purchase at thetroublewithroy[at]yahoo.com, I'll send you the other two, free.

The Scariest Things, You Can't Imagine

The Scariest Things, You Can't Imagine

Print: $10.00

Download: $1.25

A shape-shifting demon torments children while their parents stand by. A widower haunted by the ghost of his wife tries to understand her requests. A baby stolen from his mother by gargoyles returns, full of hatred for the life he's led. A family of children raised by grave-robbing corpse stealers tries to discover a way out. An elderly man possesses the power of life and death in his retirement. These stories present images and people who will haunt your thoughts for a long time after you read them.

Just Exactly How Life Looks

Just Exactly How Life Looks

Print: $11.18

In Just Exactly How Life Looks you'll be introduced to unforgettable people living remarkable lives. Cowboys wander in a timeless desert. Scientists meet in secret to plot a new way to get attention, and money, from people. A man and his would-be lover try to find lions on safari, and more. The people and places in this book spring to life fully-formed and full of anxiety and imagination. They worry about the time they have had and the time they have left. They bury their loved ones and look for new friends. They talk and laugh and hope and cry and die, while their friends and family and enemies and Gods watch them, seeing, in their faces and actions and fears, a portrait of just exactly how life looks.

Eclipse

Eclipse

Print: $11.50

Download: $1.49

Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... and maybe he was. In a stunning psychological horror work, "Eclipse" unfolds slowly, beginning with Claudius drifting through space after something has gone wrong with his mission. As he stares at the only thing he can see, a tiny rock off in space, he mulls the events that led him here, reflecting on his childhood and the mission-turned-into-murder. Or did things go bad? As "Eclipse" unfolds, the reader is treated to a twisting, constantly changing landscape created by Claudius' own mind, as version after version of what-might-have-happened pile on. One thing is clear, though: Something has gone wrong, and Claudius may never reach the stars. Or will he?

Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?

Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?

Print: $10.06

Download: $1.49

Why will paying attention to Paris Hilton destroy the universe? How can one number be better than the other? Are saber teeth really necessary for a good movie monster? Would Hollywood as we know it exist if not for Jennifer Aniston's hair? These questions and more are asked, and answered, in the only book that dares to explain how jellybeans are related to the apocalpyse. Essays on pop culture, things that are The Best, and life show a provocative, and hilarious, way of looking at the world.

Thinking The Lions, and 117* Other Ways To Look At Life (Give Or Take)

Thinking The Lions, and 117* Other Ways To Look At Life (Give Or Take)

Print: $12.98

Life, only funnier: Here's the book you've been waiting for, assuming you've been waiting for a book about a guy who spends his time trying to prove velociraptors didn't exist, who teaches his kids to gamble and helps them with their homework by wondering what would happen if you cut a superhero in half, whose own wife said he would get a crocodile for a babysitter, who finds squid chili romantic, and who generally makes the most -- or the least? - -of his life.




Are you the electronic reader type? Get most of these books and my blogs on your Kindle for as low as $0.99. Click here for details.

Technically, 1998 WAS before this year's NFC Championship game... (So They Made A Song About Sports)

Before I get around to posting today's update on who Aaron Rodgers likes or doesn't like -- it never ends, does it? -- I thought I'd provide you with a stirring Packer-related anthem and related Packer-booster mis-reporting.

First, the song: It's "Go Pack Go," by "The 6 Packers,"



... and that's a group name that took me a couple of seconds to figure out -- I tried at first to think of who the six Green Bay Packers would be, before realizing it meant "sixpack," like beer. Don't hold it against me: I don't drink, so I don't get your drinking-culture references as readily.

And now the mis-reporting, courtesy of the comically-tiny Wisconsin State Journal:

The ubiquitous Green Bay Packers fight song "Go Pack Go!" has been updated by two members of the platinum-selling band Garbage, and the anthem is getting heavy rotation on local radio.

Calling themselves The 6 Packers, Madison-based Garbage members Butch Vig and Duke Erikson, along with guitar tech Chad Zaemish of Stoughton, put out the new "Go Pack Go" before the NFC Championship Game.

The stadium-ready song features driving, fuzzy guitar riffs by Zaemish, interspersed with DJ scratching by Vig, a prominent music producer. Erikson plays bass on the track and Vig bangs the drums. Zaemish also handles the lead vocals — Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson is absent


The part I bolded is the really inaccurate part; if you go to the page where I found that video for Go Pack Go, you'll see that the song was released at least some time before June 14, 2008, which is when "OCKnightQB" posted that video.

If you like the song, regardless of when the Wisconsin State Journal thinks it was released, you can get a free download of it here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finally, here's someone A-Rodg DOES like:



Commenter "Mike King" took issue with my taking issue with The Anointed (And Now Bearded) One's failure to acknowledge an elderly fan:

why dont you get a life and stop picking through everything that aaron rodgers does. your probably just mad because hes going to the super bowl and had to beat your team to get there. hes signed things for her before so shut up and worry about things that matter

That's verbatim, and pretty much proves my point from this earlier post, but it does put a lot of pressure on me to say something nice about A-Rodg, to prove to Mike King that I wasn't just mad "because hes going to the super bowl" when I put up that post nearly a week before the Packers barely beat the Bears' 3rd string to win a trip to Texas.

So here's what I've got:

A. The beard he sported in Sunday's game doesn't look stupid... yet. But he's got to keep growing it now for two weeks, so he's going to give Obi Wan (a/k/a The Amish Rifle) a run for his money.

B. He's dating her:


That's Jessica Szohr, who you may know from Piranha 3-D:



Sweetie says she's not very pretty -- Sweetie said that, not me, Mike King -- but I think she kind of grows on you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The two best celebrations from Conference Championship Sunday.

They really need no commentary.

First, there's Green Bay's B.J. Raji in what I hope will eventually be called "Teach Me How To Raji":




And then there's THIS, from the Steelers-Jets game:





And while I said they NEED no commentary, they can certainly benefit from some expert commentary, such as this quote from The Superficial about that Roethlisbergerian moment:

Last night, the Pittsburgh Steelers essentially cornered the drunk New York
Jets in a club restroom and sort of “blacked out” for a minute. And while the
championship game had numerous highlights, including Mark Sanchez wiping a
booger on his teammate, nothing stood out more than Rashard Mendenhall
celebrating the Steelers’ victory by essentially ambushing Ben Roethlisberger
and dry-humping him in the butt. Because that’s exactly what that guy needed. A
viral video of mock rape as literally 80% of America filmed their televisions
with their phones and uploaded it to YouTube. If there was a list of things Ben
Roethlisberger needed to not happen yesterday, I’m pretty sure that was at the
top, just below hearing a woman say “no.”





(Source.)

And, as an added bonus -- even though the post-title said "Two best," I've thrown in this you-may-have-missed-it clip of two-time Bridesmaid Mark Sanchez:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kristen Cavallieri won't be there? Now we've got no reason to watch.


Despite the fact that there are many, many things she's not appearing in or at, somehow, it's become news... or at least "news", that Kristin Cavallari won't be appearing at the Bears-Packers game today, despite being in love with Bears QB Jay Cutler.

Kristin, who's best known for being the first of the MTV reality-show stars to not be able to turn shallowness into a sustained career, was interviewed at "The Bank," a nightclub in Las Vegas, and Celebslam has the details on her relationship with the weakest-chinned QB I've ever seen and how she's too busy not being famous to attend the game:

"I want to be there," she said. "I'm bummed that I'm not there and he's not here. Things are really good. I'm just enjoying my personal life and taking a little time away from the public eye, which is why Chicago is great for me. My mom and that whole side of the family is there. And Jay is there. It's nice to be able to hang out with my mom, and, you know, I'm in love and it's been great."

"And Jay is there... and, you know, I'm in love." It sure sounds serious. Maybe we could all help put these two lovebirds together today by pointing out that the "public eye" hasn't been watching Kristen, at all.

Then, the GOP offered $1 trillion to the Jets, describing Rex Ryan as "Too big to fail."


President Obama -- who's clearly got nothing better to do these days, what with deciding to let the Tea Party run the entire country while he does his best to figure out where he wants to live in 2012-- predicted earlier this week that the Bears would beat the Packers in today's NFC Championship game. Politics Daily reported:
President Obama, an unabashed Chicago sports fan, has jumped into one of the most storied rivalries in all of football. Obama predicts the Chicago Bears will defeat the Green Bay Packers in Sunday's NFC Championship game, and he even offers a score: 20-17.

As soon as he heard the report, John Boehner stopped handing out tobacco lobbyists' checks and moved to repeal Chicago. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, urged supporters to "blow Jay Cutler's freaking head off with their guns, using real ammunition," but staffers later explained she was speaking metaphorically, and then went to explain to Palin what a metaphor is.

If you think about it, the name "Cheesehead" is false advertising...

Amidst all the hype of today's Bears-Packers game (not to mention that other football game going on this week), there's been precious little mention of the teaser story -- broken on WTDY AM 1670 in Madison this week -- that Packer fans may be looking not just at another Super Bowl, but another way to wear cheese-shaped foam on their head.

The radio station interviewed the head of the company that makes the famous Cheeseheads -- as well as cheese crowns, cheese dunce hats, and "The Frozen Tundra Hat Cushion" (a hat that can be used as a seat cushion, in case you don't mind sitting on something for 3+ hours and then putting that thing on your head) -- and interviewee hinted that if the Packers get past the Bears today, Wisconsinites can look forward to a new type of hat.

What kind of hat, you might ask -- especially when Packer fans can already put on Cheese Sombreros and Cheese Fezzes? The head of the company wouldn't say, but he hinted strongly that it'd be like something that Vince Lombardi would've worn. A cheese fedora? We can only dream.

I think they should think bigger: I think they should make Cheese Heads -- cheese-colored giant masks that fans could wear in the likeness of their favorite Packer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Update On The Wisdom Of Crowds, Part Two: We're all dumb, and emotional.


Following up on my follow-up to my post about whether people are smart or dumb to bet against the Bears at home, I found this article from Freakonomics that pointed out that it's consistently smart to bet on home underdogs.
As it happens, there is one betting strategy that will routinely beat a bookie, and you don't even have to be smart to use it. One of the most undervalued N.F.L. bets is the home underdog — a team favored to lose but playing in its home stadium. If you had bet $5,000 on the home underdog in every N.F.L. game over the past two decades, you would be up about $150,000 by now (a winning rate of roughly 53 percent). This fact has led some academics to conclude that bookmakers simply aren't very smart. If an academic researcher can find this loophole, shouldn't a professional bookie be able to?

The article goes on to note that bookmakers don't always manage to balance out the games -- they don't always get even numbers to bet on each side, which seems obvious, in retrospect.

The article goes on to note, further, that bettors are dumb: they bet sentiments (which we all know they do) and fail to account for actual facts (like home-field advantage). And bookmakers take advantage of that by deliberately setting point spreads to get you -- and me -- to bet on teams they figure will lose. From the article:

How does this work? Let's say that a bookmaker is handicapping a game between the Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He first studies every conceivable element of the game: strengths and weaknesses, momentum, injuries, tendencies, weather forecast, etc. He then decides that the true line — that is, a line that he figures will give each team a 50 percent chance of winning the bet — happens to be Denver minus 7 points. But because of bettor bias, perhaps as much as 80 percent of the money will inevitably flow to the favorite. So what if the bookie sets the line a little higher, at 9 points? Denver is still likely to draw the majority of the wagering, but its chances of winning the bet are now slightly less than 50 percent. The bookie has thus managed to tempt the majority of the wagering toward an outcome that is unlikely, even if only slightly, to happen. Over time, this pattern will yield the bookie a gross profit margin 20 to 30 percent higher than if he had simply balanced the wagering. In other words, why should a bookie play for the safe 10 percent vig when he can play it only slightly less safe and make much more money?

All of that raises this question: why do we do these things? Why, if science proves over and over that you could simply bet the home underdog and make tons of money, why, if statistically speaking simply picking the home team to win in every game would have you correct 60% percent of the time, why do bettors not do those things?

Because we're dumb -- and I'm including me in that. I used to do a weekly football pool, and I did terribly -- always finishing last or close to last. Then I learned about that statistic on home teams -- that the home team wins 60% of the time, more or less -- and so I simply began picking the home teams in my football pool... and winning, more and more of the time. I almost won the entire year (but was beaten out by Sweetie, who's way smarter about sports than she lets on.)

Then I stopped taking part in the football pool. Why? Because it wasn't fun anymore. Even though I was winning, I wasn't enjoying it -- it was just a rote exercise: check off the home team, check off the home team.

People bet on sports for emotional reasons -- the fun of rooting for your home team, or players you like outweighs the factual basis underlying the bet. When I pick my fantasy football team, I know the smart move is to get Michael Vick... but I don't want to spend my season rooting for Vick and against teams and players I like. The Freakonomics article suggests that bettors do just that -- betting against unpopular teams like the Seahawks (the article was written in '06, when Seattle was better) and routinely betting on the over in over/under bets (because, the article guesses, people like to root for more points to be scored rather than fewer points.

The bookies know that -- that we bet our hearts rather than our minds. They were giving you, this week, the Home Team Bears plus 3 points, and when insufficient numbers of people were taking that, they gave the win-60%-of-the-time home team Bears 4 points (3 1/2, but, okay, 4) and that probably still won't get people to bet on the Bears, because the Packers are the hot team right now, and they took out Atlanta and scored a zillion points doing so, while people's perception of the Bears is that they don't belong there.

For what it's worth, too, road teams from 2002-2006 won exactly half the conference championships, but from 1994-2006, road teams won the conference championship only 42% of the time.

The Referees Are Going To Let The Jets & Bears Win.


Yesterday I pointed out that the wisdom of the crowds has the Packers winning in Chicago this week. Too bad for those bettors that science says that the Bears will win... because the referees are going to make it be so.

An article in the most recent Sports Illustrated discusses myths-- and truths-- about home field advantage, putting to rest arguments that travel or crowd noise has a significant effect on the home team's abilities to play; the truth is that in any area where statisticians are able to measure it, crowd noise, travel, and the vagaries of field design play almost no role in home field advantage... while also finding that home field advantage definitely exists -- and is the same, more or less, for each sport regardless of the level at which the sport is played.

For example, in the NFL, the home team wins about 57% of the time. In college, Arena, and other types of football, the home team also wins about 57% of the time. And while the reasons for that vary, there are two significant factors that bear on home field advantage.

The first is schedule: In sports other than football, road teams tend to play more back-to-back games, reducing their odds of winning. Home teams win more because road teams have a harder schedule. That effect doesn't exist in football, which plays only one game a week -- although schedule does play into college football, where home field advantage exists in large part because teams schedule weak opponents to come to their field and play.

The greater effect is officials. Officials favor the home team -- a finding in the SI article and earlier on Freakonomics, in an episode you can listen to here. To summarize their findings: officials favor the home team, likely because they are intimidated by the crowd. The closer to the field the crowd is, the more bias there is on the part of the officials.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update: Aaron Rodgers definitely doesn't like you, is also a liar.


After posting yesterday about A-Rodg's snub of a cancer patient, which I took as proof that The Anointed One doesn't like anyone, I felt compelled to update the story after learning that the snubbee in question, Jan Cavanaugh, was "defending" Rodgers...

..."defending" being the word used by Yahoo!, but not necessarily by me. Yahoo! quotes Cavanaugh as follows:

"I am very unhappy with people making so much out of this, because this really isn't that big of a deal. It's up to the players to decide who they want to give an autograph to, and that's their prerogative."
That's not really a stirring defense of the quarterback, is it?

The site goes on to say that

Just a week earlier, Rodgers autographed Jan's pink jersey bearing the number 12 as the team departed for Philadelphia. A few years ago the now-star quarterback signed a number of things for her, too.
And finished with plea to not

...judge Rodgers based on this one incident. Are you perfect every second of every day? Would you want people forming opinions about you based on how you live every second of your life? Maybe he had just gotten into an argument with his girlfriend. Maybe he ate some bad sushi. Maybe he was late for the plane. There are plenty of reasons he could have brushed past Cavanaugh, all of which are more plausible than "he doesn't care about cancer patients."
When I first read about this incident, I immediately thought of a touching "Make-A-Wish" segment that aired on "SportsCenter" earlier this year. You know, the one where Rodgers went above and beyond to make sure that a 13-year-old heart transplant patient had the time of her life at Packers training camp. Strange that nobody who's ripping Rodgers is mentioning that clip this week

I like how people set up straw men and think that's good arguing. Yahoo! wants us to think that people like me who thought Rodgers was wrong to not sign the hat for the lady want him to sign "every single autograph for every person." But that's not what I said, for starters. I said he didn't even look at her, and that was rude -- and it's not sign every single autograph, but he could at least acknowledge the presence of fans who make an effort to come to see him off on the plane. (It didn't look like there were that many there, did it?)

Moreover, does the fact that Rodgers might have done something nice once mean he's excused from ever doing something nice again? If I adopt a puppy, can I punch a stranger in the face?

Besides which, Rodgers is lying about the whole thing. He told Dan Patrick (according to USA Today) that he didn't see her:

...as the video shows on this trip I didn't see her and I didn't sign for her.

If you watch that video again, you can see she held the hat out by his arm, making it more than likely to me that he did see her. And if he didn't, it's because he deliberately didn't want to make eye contact with a fan and wouldn't look at her.

The simple fact is that we all form opinions based on what we see about people, at any given time. When you, or I, or the Packers' starting QB, engages in a certain kind of behavior in public, we're asking the public to judge us based on that behavior. I saw Clay Matthews stop and talk to that lady and say that the stewardess had mentioned her; I saw Rodgers brush by without even acknowledging her presence. I'm judging Rodgers on that. If he's been nice to people in the past, then great: he's not a complete jerk. But he's still a jerk for brushing by that woman, who was nice enough to let him off the hook on this one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Aaron Rodgers DEFINITELY Doesn't Like You.

Over the weekend, I was talking with The Boy and Sweetie was within earshot, and I said -- as I have before -- that I suspect that Aaron Rodgers is kind of a jerk in real life. Sweetie asked me why I'd say that, and I said I just got a feeling from him that he was really, really unlikeable in person.

Now, I have more than a feeling: I've got video proof. Check this out:




That's right. The Anointed One blew right by a cancer survivor who wanted his autograph.

But wait! It gets worse. That woman -- Jan Kavanaugh - -had just come from chemo to meet Rodgers.

But wait! It gets worse! The Packers knew about Jan waiting there. The Claymaker comes up and says he'd talked with the stewardess about her and "they had mentioned you." Here's that part:




Rodgers is taking heat for supposedly trying to get the video off the internet, but he didn't do that; the full video is still available here. So there's no big Packer-conspiracy here.

Still, the video speaks for itself. And while Rodgers has done some nice stuff in the past, there's really no excuse for not stopping to say hi to that lady offering the hat to him, whether or not he knew that she was a cancer survivor or any other details.

Watch the video again: he doesn't even look at her. There's an elderly woman all dressed in pink gear waiting at the airport, and he can't even nod and smile at her?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alternate Celebrations For Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, and more: Analyzing the NFL Playoffs the Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! Way (Part THREE!)

Part One is here.

Part Two is here.


Part Three dawns just about twelve hours too late -- or just in time, as the playoffs yesterday took care of the two most boring NFL teams remaining. These playoffs are working out just fine for me, so far: the 7-9 Seahawks stand a good chance of being the first 0.500 team to ever host a conference championship, the Dog Killer was sent home early, and now Baltimore and Atlanta, the NFL equivalent of Ambien, are done for, too.

Plus, the NFL obviously reads my blog: Remember, on Friday I announced that henceforth trash-talking would be a category in the NC! Playoff Analysis, and the NFL reacted quickly (within 24 hours) to the power of my blog, announcing yesterday that it would be cracking down on trash talk in the playoffs. Roger Goodell, fear me. (Or hire me. I'd take that, too.)

All that, and more: thanks to Yahoo I got to see Aaron Rodgers' "Trophy Belt" celebration. I first heard about Rodgers' Trophy Belt a few weeks ago, when people told me it existed. I never knew that. I never knew that Rodgers had a celebration, period, primarily because of how I watch football, which is to say I don't, really.

I mean, I have the football game on, a lot of the time, but nothing much happens during a football game, really. There's only about 11 minutes of action in any given football game, out of 3 hours of broadcast, so I generally have something else, or a couple of something elses, going on: I have my Kindle, or I'm playing with my phone, or reading a magazine, or, more and more, spinning Mr F around in a blanket like I'm Thor and he's Mjolnir.

That might well be the geekiest reference I've ever made about anything. But it's true, too.

So I didn't know that Rodgers had a celebration after good plays until people at work told me that whenever The Anointed One made a good play, or even a mediocre play, he'd mimic putting on a trophy belt. I didn't believe, them, even, because I couldn't believe I'd been watching/making fun of A-Rodg for several years and had never noticed that.

But it's true:



And, honestly, it's lame.

A-Rodg, you play a real sport. Why do you want to mimic putting on a belt from a fake sport? And if you're going to mimic putting on the belt, why not mimic putting it on the right way? Who buckles their beltand then pulls it around their waist?

It actually looks, in this GIF, like he's taking off his pants. Which makes it more of a Roethlisberger-type celebration, I'd say.

Or... maybe he learned it from Favre? Maybe Brett mentored him after all.

I actually like A-Rodg, even though the odds are he doesn't like me -- since he doesn't like anyone-- so I want to help him out. To that end, I've put my thinking cap on (my thinking cap is actually my Seahawks sweatshirt's hood) and come up with these better celebrations that Rodgers could do. They're more football oriented, they're less dumb, and if you're going to celebrate a three-yard gain as though you just discovered life on Mars, and that "life" is supermodels with cures for cancer, then you should at least have a good celebration.

So, A-Rodg, next week when you complete a dumpoff pass for 2 yards on 2nd and 7, instead of putting on the belt, try this:

1. Put a ring on it. Not only is that an underused phrase I'd still like to see catch on in a broader way, but football players actually put a ring on when they win the big game.

2. Hoist the Lombardi trophy. That's the other thing football winners do: They lift up the trophy. Sometimes they do it in a celebratory way, sometimes they do it in what appears, years later, to be a fit of rage as though they were angry at the cameraman for recording an otherwise private moment:



But either way, it's better than putting a belt on.

Now, granted, both of those might seem over the top -- after all, is eluding a sack and running out of bounds really worth celebrating as though you've just won the Super Bowl? Probably not, even though football players do that all the time. But Rodgers is already celebrating winning a world championship -- that's what the belt is supposed to symbolize. So if he's going to do that, why not celebrate winning the football championship.

Other possible celebrations:

3. Pretend that you're feeding your dog out of the Stanley Cup. This celebration might be hard to understand, but it would be kind of cool to see Rodgers' pantomiming things like that, and the sports world could use more homages to Clark Gillies.

4. Spin around and around in circles on the infield. If you're going to act like a fake sport winner, why not mock the least sport-like of all activities, NASCAR?

5. Do whatever it is they do in the NBA when they win a championship. Because the NBA season and the NBA playoffs go on for so long, no NBA championship has ever actually been completed. But eventually one of those series will finish up and, when they do, we'll all see how an NBA champ celebrates. Rodgers can mimic that.

Ah, well, business calls-- I've got to knock out the final six teams' scores for the playoffs to see who's going to win the playoffs and the Super Bowl, so let's finish up the 2010 NFL edition of the

NonSportsmanlike Conduct
100% Accurate,
Never-Fail!,
Always-Right!,
Sure-Fire! System For Picking The Playoff Winner

or, "NC100%ANF,AR,SFSFPTPW" for short, by looking at the final category, Strangest Thing For Sale In Their Pro Shop.

The scores, so far, are:

AFC:
Patriots*: 2
Steelers: -8.
Jets: 2

NFC:
Packers: 4
Bears: 5
Seahawks: 1


First up, the Patriots*. When I searched for the Patriots*' pro shop, the first sponsored link I got was for an Autographed Bruschi Framed Jock Tag... for $999.95. I thought I'd hit the jackpot: someone is going to pay $1,000 for a piece of Tedy Bruschi's underwear, I thought and it's from the official pro shop.

Sadly, I was a little off: It's just a piece of his shirt.

Still, it's a thousand bucks for a snippet of Bruschi's clothes. Imagine: Some Patriots*' employee had to cut up that jersey, and Bruschi then had to sign each piece of it, and now you can own a piece of history. A sweaty piece of history, nonetheless.

This concept should be expanded beyond sports. Why are we storing First Ladies' gowns in the Smithsonian, next to Stephen Colbert's jumpsuit, when we could auction off pieces of them, signed by the people who wore them, and have all the money we'd ever need to bail out Bank of America in 2013 while still not funding basic health care for people?

I'll grudgingly give the Patriots* a 3 for finding a way to get those Chinese debt collectors to quit calling Obama at work:

"Mr President, there's a "Ted Xioapeng" on line 2. He says you'll know what it's about."

"Tell him I just stepped out! And have Treasury mail a check but forget to sign it."

Over at the Steelers' shop, I was really hoping for a Home DNA Swab Kit With Steelers' Logo, but they haven't taken my suggestions, despite the fact that I ignore the cease & desist letter and email them, like, every day.

I was surprised to learn that Steelers' fans can read -- or at least someone thinks they can -- because there's a publications section of the Pro Shop, and that section includes a book called "Ruanaidh."



"Ruanaidh" is, according to the site:

Part memoir, part anecdotal history ofPittsburgh's North Side, where the author grew up, and part football book, "Ruanaidh" follows to its conclusion the extraordinary life of Art Rooney, Sr. - the Chief. The strange-looking title (pronounced Ru-ah-nee) is the Gaelic word for Rooney. Candid personality portraits of almost everybody in the Chief's wide orbit are mingled with tales from Art Rooney, Jr's own high school and college football-playing days, from his time as a failed drama student in New York, from his six months of boot camp training with the Marines, and from his subsequent career as personnel director of his father's football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The book has only 38 pictures out of 485 pages, so I wouldn't count on it hitting the best-seller list in Pittsburgh anytime soon. The use of the Gaelic word in the title did make me think of Enya, for some reason, and that made me wonder if anyone had ever put a football montage to an Enya song, so I went searching...

... and the answer is no. Stupid lowbrow football fans. You listen to this song and tell me it wouldn't make a perfect background for highlights of a football game:



Why do I have to come up with all the good ideas? I'm a busy guy, you know. 1 point for the Steelers for making me think of Enya. I haven't heard that song in years.

Did you know that you can't buy any footwear on the Jets' pro shop? Given the fact that between Rex Ryan's wife and Brett Favre's Crocs, the phrase "Jets feet" should have been given serious consideration for the Nonsportsman! Of the Year! Award!, I can't believe that the Jets aren't cashing in on that. You know how they have those giant Hulk or Iron Man hands that kids can put on and pretend that they're 13% of the Hulk:



Why not have giant Jets Feet for fans to wear to the game? You really missed the boat there, New York. Again, I have to think of everything. Jets, -1.

The NFC, likewise, leaves everything up to me. If Aaron Rodgers has been Putting On The Belt for years, then there will certainly be a Packers Belt for Green Bay fans to wear, so that they can imitate their idol and have something to do now that they can't burn Favre in effigy anymore.

But there's not. For Pete's sake, NFL, what is going on here? Are you embarrassed about your team, or planning on being embarrassed about them? It would seem so, judging by the fact that your $239 "Flip Top Coffee Table"



Says in the product description that it's specially made to convert to a regular table, so that when the Pack is beating Atlanta by what seems like a hundred you can have the coffee table with the "G" on it, but next week, when Green Bay loses to Seattle, you can flip it over and act like nothing ever happened.

Covering all your bases isn't cool. -1, Green Bay.

The Bears' shop, meanwhile, teases a football-themed game of Yahtzee, in case you've traveled back in time to the 1970s when entertainment options were far fewer than they are now, but you can't find that game on the site. Instead, you'll have to settle for the $10 set of Football Scrunchies:




On which the"C" looks kind of like a horseshoe. Bait & Switch Yahtzee, 0 points for you, Bears.

At the Seahawks, I was hoping for some kind of Meta souvenir -- a shirt that poked fun at being the only team with a losing record to ever make a playoff, or something. Again, the NFL lags behind me, marketing-wise, as the only thing I found that was even close to that was the commemorative coin set marking the Seahawks' as the 2010 NFC West Champions -- a coin set issued, apparently, without irony:

And also without mentioning the 7-9 record. Still, a commemorative coin set for something the NFL wants to forget? That's chutzpah. 2 points.

The final tally, then:

AFC:
Patriots*: 5
Steelers: -7.
Jets: 3

NFC:
Packers: 3
Bears: 5
Seahawks: 3


There you go: The NonSportsmanlike Conduct 100% Accurate, Never-Fail!, Always-Right!, Sure-Fire! System For Picking The Playoff Winner has spoken: Your Super Bowl will be Bears vs. Patriots... and it will end in a tie.

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