Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thank you, Happy Valley

Well, this year will not be a repeat of the last two. Penn State ended Ohio State's national title hopes by effectively sealing their own Big Ten championship. The Lions beat the Bucks 13-6 in the Shoe in a game that saw more commercial breaks than first downs. Hey, I'll take it.
Thank you, Penn State.
In other news, Duke beat once 5-0 Vanderbilt today to improve to 4-3, 1-2 in the ACC. They Devils now have a better record, both in conference and overall, than once-top-ten-ranked Clemson. Amazing. Also amazing how easy it is to root for Duke football and David Cutcliffe despite loathing so many other things about the school.
UMass 42 Bryant 7... that game shouldn't even count.
James Madison won another miracle game too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I wonder who plays Senator Obama...

Apparently this is pretty old news to a lot of people, but not to me. Hustler legend Larry Flynt has produced a new video starring Lisa Ann called either "Who's Nailin' Paylin" or simply "Nailin' Paylin". This has the potential to be the greatest MILF flick in the history of the industry. Nina Hartley, who is now 49 years old, will play the role of Hillary Clinton. This will mark my first time (I think) hyperlinking to adult content. I'm proud it could be because of this.
Fortunately I didn't let this new discovery take over my entire day. Sports Illustrated's annual NBA Preview issue came in the mail today, and I had the pleasure of reading about how severely the Celtics are going to own the Eastern Conference again. SI appears to also be on the ever-growing Sixers bandwagon. I'm not sold on them quite yet, though I do think they'll be dangerous with Brand. The one thing that irks me about this issue is that SI, much like the fine folks at ESPN, seems to think that the loss of James Posey is going to be huge for the Celtics. Believe me, I was a Posey fan, but the guy was just a role player. After seeing the athleticism displayed by Billy Walker during the preseason, I feel very comfortable with Walker and Doc's personal favorite, Tony Allen, filling Posey's shoes.
And I know I've written about this before, but does anyone realize how young the Blazers are? Look at this! (Potential 12 man roster)

Blazers Depth Chart Age on 01/01/09

PG Jerryd Bayless 20
SG Brandon Roy 24
SF Martell Webster 22
PF LaMarcus Aldridge 23
C Greg Oden 20

G Steve Blake 28
G Sergio Rodriguez 22
G Rudy Fernandez 23
F Ike Diogu 25
F Channing Frye 25
F Travis Outlaw 24
C Joel Przybilla 29

Ridiculous! That is absolutely frightening. This team may be on the verge of winning about five championships in the next decade. There was another team that caught my eye because of their youth: Memphis. This team, according to SI, will start Mike Conley Jr, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, and Marc Gasol. Yikes. That could easily be a 60-loss club.
As for SI's award picks for the year, they were remarkably creative. They have Kobe as MVP and KG as Defensive POTY... oh wait, those are last year's actual winners. To be even less creative, check out their first team All NBA: Chris Paul, Kobe, Lebron, KG, and Yao. The only difference from the '08 All NBA team is Yao subbing in for Dwight Howard (who SI has on the second team). Nice, fellas. Way to go out on a limb.

A couple of less happy notes: Today, Lute Olsen stepped down as head coach of Arizona. To be honest, I don't know how much his heart has been in it since his wife passed away. Last year, he took a leave of absense and ultimately divorced the woman with whom he had remarried. It's a shame, but hopefully Lute finds some happiness in retirement. He's been a staple of college hoops for my entire life.
Troubling news for New England Patriots fans, as apparently Mr. Brady is experiencing some technical difficulties post-surgery. An infection has needed to be operated on multiple times and ultimately Brady may need to have the initial surgery done all over again. I can definitely foresee Brady choosing not to return to football. Hopefully his overall health doesn't become an issue, as these infections can get pretty serious.

And finally, a happy note. I was perusing YouTube today, as always, and came across this video:

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The point of no return

In the past two weeks I've really been pushed over the edge. I graduated in May with basically the same degree from a better institution than Sarah Palin, yet while she somehow has spent the 20 years since her graduation working her way to becoming a vice presidential candidate, I have spent the five months since mine receiving rejection letters from potential employers. I'm not being especially greedy, applying for gigs I'm underqualified for. These are entry level jobs, most of them in sports media relations, though lately I've been branching out a bit. I really hit a breaking point a few days ago when I got a call from a potential employer who I'd interviewed with (driving over 500 miles round trip to do so) earlier this month for a position that would pay me a $10,000 stipend for the year with no help with housing, life insurance, etc. In other words, this company was going to have me do probably about 60 hours of work per week, yet compensate me in an amount that would keep me below the poverty line, and I was still strongly considering taking it. Yet to my surprise, there was a much more qualified candidate. Someone much more qualified, meaning they'd probably already worked in an SID's office for a year and gotten their BA in communications or sports management or something along those lines, was going to get paid ten grand to keep statistics at D3 women's tennis matches. What is wrong with this picture?

Yeah, I'm pissed. Fuck it. Vote Obama, please. The cat has an outside chance of getting us some jobs back. Otherwise I'm going to have to join the military, and I don't especially want to do that.

Anyway, on to the recent issues in the world. The Red Sox blew it in Game 7 against the Rays, though I maintain that they really blew the series in Game 2. That sets up a pretty odd matchup in the fall classic between Philly and Tampa. Both teams have likable players (J-Roll, Ryan Strikeout Howard, Shane Victorino, BJ Upton, Longoria), likable managers, and not-so-good ballparks. Philly gets the overall nod because their fans aren't as bad as Tampa's, and The Bank isn't nearly as bad as The Trop. However, the Rays will probably win, because they play in the AL, and the AL is the NL's daddy.

College football has a couple top 10 matchups this weekend. #1 Texas and #6 Oklahoma State. Mike Gundy is still OK State's coach. Texas by three touchdowns. And #3 Penn State vs. #9 Ohio State. Please, for the love of God, Penn State, win this game. If you don't, people are going to say "Ohio State is BACK", and they will meander their way up to #2 by late November and find themselves in the BCS Championship Game. And they will lose to Alabama or Texas or Florida (again) or USC (again). And it will be 42-17. Please Penn State. Don't let that happen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What do Dunkin Donuts and Audi have in common?

They both have totally unoriginal advertising ideas. Beyond that, they steal from the same place. I mentioned in an earlier post how severely Audi ripped off Sigur Ros in their recent A4 spot. Now, Dunkin Donuts has done the same thing, taking the visual component of the Glosoli music video and claiming it as their own. Dunks had a good stretch of ads in recent years when they had a deal with They Might Be Giants, but now that they're back on their own, it appears that any originality is out of the question.

Sigur Ros, Glosoli:

Dunkin' Donuts, Uphill Battle:

Pretty blatant if you ask me, but then again I get easily excited over these things. And believe me, I appreciate good advertising, so long as it's creative as opposed to larcenous.

On a different topic, I'm sure everyone by now has seen at least some of the Vice Presidential debate from last week, as well as the SNL skit that followed. Can these campaigns just continue forever and ever? I know we're in a true economic crisis, and at war, and have plenty of unresolved social issues -- but really, isn't watching Tina Fey as Sarah Palin totally worth postponing the election?
Eh - maybe not.
Oh, and congrats to Vanderbilt for knocking off Auburn to improve the smart kids of the Big Ten and SEC to 10-0! Unheard of. Unfortunately, I see it ending this week with Michigan State beating Northwestern. NU is good, and could win ten games, but Javon Ringer is a BEAST. Guy will carry the ball 40 times a game, put up 200 yards and you won't hear a peep out of him. Reminds me of another running back who recently came out of that area, Chris Perry. Unfortunately, every carry they force on Ringer now is one off the end of his career, which means he's probably hurting the longevity of his NFL career. However, I don't think Javon really cares about that. His team has Rose Bowl aspirations, and he holds the key.
Early Heisman picks:
#1 Javon Ringer RB Michigan State
#2 Chase Daniel QB Missouri
#3 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
#4 Daryll Clark QB Penn State
No Tebow, no Moreno, and absolutely NO Max Hall. I want the guys who have produced, not the guys gettin' the hype. When Hall beats a real opponent, we'll talk... Oh wait, BYU doesn't play anybody. And don't say UCLA, Washington or Utah count. No way.
I already see it coming: The 2009 Orange Bowl -- Clemson 38 BYU 21. Just remember Hawai'i, everyone. Remember Hawai'i.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In case we needed another reason to hate OSU...

Terrelle Pryor appears to be exactly the type of player they love in Columbus. An athletic freak who also happens to be borderline mentally retarded. Seriously, I actually have evidence here. The kid went to his press conference last year, which he had plenty of time to prepare for, and in a very awkward manner announced his college plans. He didn't read an eloquent explanation of the process, concluding with "it is for these reasons that I will enroll at the Ohio State University" -- but rather said "If everyone is here, University of Ohio State". First of all, that's some shitty sentence structure. Second of all, what school is that?
Anyway, I've probably ranted about this before, so I'll get to my point. This week, Pryor was noticably upset about a very non-inflamatory comment by Mark May. Mayday basically said, let's wait before declaring Pryor a savior in Columbus. Pryor's response? Nothing short of awesome:

"If we would lose that game, we would get stuff talked on us, but if USC loses, they don’t get stuff talked on them.People like Mark May, he said ‘let’s see how he plays on the big stage,’ and we’re going to see next week... The media, ESPN people, sit there and talk stuff on our team and say we’re dead. We’ll find out this week coming up who’s dead. We’re out to show the world something, and we’re going to."

Terrelle, what the hell does it mean to "talk stuff on [OSU]." However, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This isn't the first stud freshman who came into Jim Tressell's program, played like hell but wasn't one with the words. What prison is Mo Clarett in again?

The unfortunate thing about this is that Pryor may not be the biggest crybaby in football this week. As most of us are now aware, Lane Kiffin is out of a job in Oakland. What some people do not know is that one of Al Davis's former head coaches took greater exception to the firing than Kiffin himself. Mike Shannahan apparently feels that Kiffin should have been let go a long time ago, saying "I was a little disappointed, to be honest with you. When you take a look at it, I was there 582 days. Lane Kiffin was there 616 days. So, what it really means is that Al Davis liked Lane more than he liked me. I really don't think it's fair. I won three more games, yet he got 34 more days of work. That just doesn't seem right." Okay, so Shanahan was kidding, but seriously dude. The guy just lost his job, and Al Davis is now saying he won't even pay him the remaining salary he is owed. Al Davis is funny. And by funny I mean senile.

In unrelated news, the Sox look poised to go back to the ALCS after an excellent game 1 win in Anaheim. The Cubs, on the other hand, do not appear to be in such good shape. They're currently trailing the Dodgers 6-0 in game 2, having already dropped the opener. Man, what did Chicagoans do to warrant this kind of fan torture. Even when they're excellent, they still suck. Also, when has there ever been a post season with this many awesome managers? Pinella, Torre and Scioscia are awesome, and Maddon and Francona are solid. I know nothing about Charlie Manuel, and Ozzie Guillen and Dale Sveum are borderline inhumanly stupid. But still, five very good managers of the eight teams still playing baseball. Reminds me of the NBA conference finals when the coaches in the western conference semi-finals finals (Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, Byron Scott) made the ones in the east (Mike Brown, Doc Rivers, Flip Saunders, Brian Hill) look like my seventh grade AAU coach.

Also, a few quick shoutouts. First, to Sarah Palin and Joe Biden for thoroughly entertaining me tonight. By entertaining, I mean giving me something to flip to during the commercial breaks of the Cubs game. But seriously, this election is big. I'm not endorsing anyone -- for now -- but I do hope and expect more than the 110,000,000 or so votes that were cast in 2004. And because I can count on roughly five people to read this, then I feel I'm fulfilling my civic duty by posting this:

Finally, a congratulations to my cousin, Jill, who will be marrying her fiancee, BC, in about 17 hours. Very awesome people, should be a fun night.