Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dribble Pro - Comedy Gold

Every so often I check the Commercial Appeal to see what Geoff Calkins has come up with, and today I found an article on Henry Bibby inventing a ball to help with dribbling, with a link to the crappy commercial:

Here's what I love about the ad:

-Jim Hill, "Professional Sportscaster". Wow, he got THE Jim Hill? What a coup!

-Jim Hill's tie is crooked.

-The "interview" cracks me up. Why do they even need an interview? Why do they even need Professional Sportscaster Jim Hill? Can't Henry Bibby just look at the camera and give his pitch?

-Bibby: "I re-engineered the surface of the basketball."

No you didn't. You glued some studs on it.

-A celebrity endorsement from Professional Basketball Player Miles Simon! Yes, THE Miles Simon. Jim Hill and Miles Simon in the same infomercial, this product can't fail! How quickly did Miles Simon say yes when asked to do this? And did he make enough money from it that he can afford to get an apartment and stop living out of his car?

-The kid who says, "This s the best thing my parents ever game me!" Better than love, kid?

-Another celebrity endorsement, this one from Lou Amundson! The A-listers keep coming out for this!

-In the "other pros who recommend Dribble Pro, Darrell Arthur's name is misspelled and mispronounced. Come on, Professional Sportscaster Jim Hill, do your preparation!

-OK, here's the part that almost had me in tears. As they're reeling off the names of the other pros who recommend DribblePro, Darrell, DeMarre Carroll, Jason Hart and Lou Amundson are all listed ahead of Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, who then don't even get named by Professional Sportscaster Jim Hill, they just get a "and many more". I wonder if Mike Conley threw his DribblePro through the TV when he saw that.

-Look, it's Jason Hart with an endorsement!

-The before and after clips of the guy bumbling with the ball. Yeah, I'm buying that whole scenario.


And a retort from Chris.

First off, did Henry Bibby really sit around and come up with the Dribble Pro, or did some yokel in his garage conceive it and then try to get an investor to sign off on it? I'm leaning towards the latter. And once he finally got an investor, did they figure out a budget for the pitchman and determine they could get Henry Bibby, Jim Hill and Miles Simon for 1/10 of the cost of Chris Paul? I need to know these things. Where is the lost footage of the initial Dribble Pro braintrust getting together?

I also noticed that Darrell Arthur's name was spelled wrong and mispronounced. I'm not sure if this is an indictment against them or us.

Did you notice that the majority of the basketball players were not only obscure, but aren't ballhandlers? You mean if I get this basketball, I'll be able to dribble like Lou Edmondson? Why didn't you say so! If only they came out with a basketball that made me shoot free throws like Dwight Howard or shoot three-pointers like Antoine Walker!

Lastly, how sad did Rudy Gay and Mike Conley feel for Henry Bibby when he asked if they'd endorse this basketball? Was Bibby quietly sobbing over dinner talking about how he'd be swindled by some Dribble Pro scam artists and just need a few Memphis Grizzlies players to bail him out? Was Rudy Gay offended that DeMarre Carroll was involved in the meeting, or did Bibby have to fly out to Dakota with Carroll in the D-league to get his endorsement?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Title Game Previews and then some

I guess we aren't doing a playoff preview this week? Well done us, half-assed bloggers.

No we can do one. Let's knock this bad boy out...

We'll start in the AFC. The Jets went into Indy and knocked out Peyton Manning. Then they went into New England and completely discombobulated Tom Brady. Isn't it reasonable to think they can do the same to Ben Roethlisberger? I mean, why not? And you factor in that Rashard Mendenhall basically sucks...isn't it fair to assume they can do it one more time?

Guess who’s going to discount the Jets one more time? This guy.

First, we admitted Indy was down this year. I just didn't trust Mark Sanchez. And really, my mistake was trusting Jim Caldwell. I feel so dumb thinking he could do anything right. The fact that the Colts made the Super Bowl with him as their coach last year is probably the most impressive feat of the century. Seriously, who was the starting RB for the Colts in the Super Bowl last year. Addai? Was he healthy? I have no clue. Anyway, we're talking Jets, aren't we? So the Jets beat the Colts. Big deal...hardly. Now, what they did to the Pats was impressive. But it got me thinking. The Colts and Pats are built the same way. Suspect D. Great QB. Good WRs. Crappy RB. So shouldn't we have seen a tough, physical team being able to beat the Pats? But that game was their Super Bowl. They aren't going into Pitt and doing it again. They're spent. Plus, Pitt is just like the Jets but better. Better D. Better QB. Better WRs. At home. And they have a QB that just won't quit. That tops a guy with a foot fetish any day. Steelers win 24-16.

But at some point don't we need to start taking the Jets seriously? They gave Tom Brady nothing last week. If they're good enough and smart enough to come up with a game plan to completely shut down a team that previously beat them 45-3 earlier in the season, then they can certainly do enough to frustrate Ben Roethlisberger so badly he'll want to take them into a bar bathroom.

But then, you have to flip it around too- What the hell do the Steelers have in store for Mark Sanchez? Crap, can you imagine what they're going to do with Polamalu? Sanchez is going to have to spend the first 10 seconds at the line finding him, then trying to figure out what to do. He'll be more confused than you trying to find a g-spot. (I challenge you to leave that joke in the blog).

This is going to be one of those low-scoring defensive slugfests that make for such compelling television. You know what, screw it. Jets 14-13.

You know what's harder to find that the g-spot...a picture of you with a full head of hair. Look at what Mark Sanchez is doing to us, he's tearing RTS apart!*
*The Room reference.

I take the Jets seriously. What they did to the Pats was impressive. Can they shut down the Steelers offense, of course. But Ben isn't going to take their shots lying down. He'll give them shots of his own. And then, perhaps, some shots to their wives, girlfriends or daughters. But I digress. I simply view Ben as better than Sanchez and the Steelers D as better than the Jets. I really hate both of these teams.

Chicago doesn't stand a chance this week, right? Doesn't that scare you?

Well played, my nemesis. Well played. And I don't know what The Room is, so even better. But hey- the jerk store called, and they're running out of you!

Anyway, there's no way the Packers win Sunday. None. Don't even know why they'll bother showing up. I am completely dismissing them.

Go to Youtube, type in "The Room You're Tearing Me Apart." It's easily the best moment in cinema history.

If the Packers lose, it's because the Bears D is criminally underrated, or they choke, or God hates you.

We already know God hates me, as I'm a Mariners fan.

Why does your offense suck so bad against the Bears? Is their D that good?

And really, if we have a Mark Sanchez-Jay Cutler Super Bowl, isn't that an indictment against everything we think about the NFL?

If it's Jets-Bears, I might not even watch. I won't be the least bit excited.

If it's Jets-Bears, I'll take pee breaks and head to the fridge during the game and just watch commercials.

If it's Jets-Bears, I'll opt instead for a Sex and the City marathon.

I've got the complete set! I mean, my wife has the complete set!

And as far as SATC goes, remember the episode where Carrie was whining about her love life, and Samantha had sex with some random guy, and Charlotte was acting like a spoiled bitch and the ugly one was doing whatever she was doing? That one was awesome.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Which I Make Fun of a Minor League Baseball Team

Not many people know that one of Chris's passions in life is minor league baseball. I know, I think it's weird too, but who am I to judge.

So earlier this week, after he was perusing the website for the Roswell Invaders (of course he was), he sent me a link to their website, featuring a series of photos of their rather, uh, modest, ballpark.

OK, I'm being nice. The place is a dump. But dammit, it's their dump, and they're proud of it. Go see for yourself.

After spending a good 20 minutes trying to gather myself after hysterical laughter, I put together a list of things about the photos that crack me up. In no particular order:

-The photo of the bleachers that have a roof over them. "Oooooh, covered bleachers. Classy."

-The park is called Coca Cola Park. Do you think Coke HQ has any idea their name is attached to this dump? Some regional VP in New Mexico bragged to the head office that he got naming rights on a stadium deal, but didn't bother to inform anyone it looks like the park I grew up playing Little League in. I almost feel like I should send Coke a note letting them know what they've invested in.

-The shot of the dugout taken from 200 yards away. "Yep, it's a bench." The fact that it seems to be situated right next to a neighbor's storage shed is strangely appropriate. Then later on there's another shot of the same dugout, taken from even further away. Then one taken at night. Baffling.

-I can't quite tell what the point of the fourth photo is. The "monument" is in the photo, but there's a better shot of it in the first photo. Maybe they're proud of the net, I don't know. Mostly it looks like a shot of a cloudy day.

-In the first shot of the locker room, the one couch is in total disarray. And the intern (or possibly vice president) who was assigned to take these glamor shots for the website didn't take 10 seconds to put the pillows into place.

-The night time shots. I don't even know why, but it kills me that they made some poor bastard stay late then go out there at night to take these photos.

-In one of the night photos, there are patches of grass growing in the basepaths, which are not unlike the effects of my ill-fated attempts to grow a beard at 17.

By the way, there isn't supposed to be grass in the basepaths.

-If you look carefully at the night time shot of what appears to be home plate, it seems no one has mowed the infield in at least 6 weeks.

-The locker room decor consists entirely of a Johan Santana Fathead. From when he was with the Minnesota Twins. His last season there: 2007.

"Hey boss, should we spring the $30 for a new Santana Fathead since he's been with the Mets for 3 years?"
"Is the old one peeling off the wall yet?"
"Then you have your answer."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NFL Playoff Predictions: Round 2

Kansas City will keep it close against the Ravens. There’s no way Seattle can beat the Saints. Are you ready for more bold playoff predictions from RTS?

Let's start with the easiest call of the week to make: the Patriots are going to steamroll the Jets. Without Jim Caldwell there to save their asses, I don't see any way the Jets beat the Patriots.

By the way, I know the foot fetish jokes are old, which is why I'm furious that I didn't think of this sooner. At work last week a few of us had the Jets-Colts game on and sure enough the foot jokes start flying. So I finally chime in and say, "You think Rex Ryan was furious when barefoot kicking went out of style?", then went on about him approaching Nick Folk in the locker room to convince him to try it, promising to rub his callouses, etc. Maybe it doesn't translate in print, but it killed. But it came weeks after the whole thing came out. I'm slipping.

Anyway, back to Jim Caldwell for a second. What other obvious decisions can he botch?

" gas gauge says I'm low, but I'm sure I can make it another 50 miles."
"This meat seems awfully undercooked. Whatever, I'm sure I'll be fine."
"Look, we're drafting Hasheem Thabeet and that's that!"

The Colts-Jets game was exhibit A in why Jim Caldwell sucks. If I recall, we both said he botched the Super Bowl as well (saying the difference in the game ended up being Sean Payton's balls vs. Jim Caldwell's, uh, lack thereof). Anyway, I tweeted this Saturday night, "Jim Caldwell is killing independent Peyton Manning." (You are damn right I just quoted a tweet of myself in an email that I'm going to post on my blog and then link to it on facebook. Take that world!)

Anyway, Peyton's got a few elite years left, maybe what, 1-2, and he has to sit there and watch Jim Caldwell call timeouts for the other team? What an asshole. The Colts aren't my team, but I really am disgusted watching men make millions of dollars to be incompetent. If I wanted to watch assholes make tons of money for being incompetent, I'd start following politics. I'd prefer to watch brilliant coaches one-up each other back and forth, like chess, or something. Is that too much to ask, for coaches to be equally as smart as us at football strategy?

As for your Rexy Ryan joke, it sounds very good. Next time put me on speaker phone. I'm not sure if I told you this, but after the Ryan thing came out, I thought SNL had great material for a skit where Ryan is walking around the locker room after a game and all the players quickly drop their towels covering their man parts when he walks by to cover up their feet instead. How would that not have worked for SNL? Oh yeah, cause no one watches it anymore.

So yeah, I hate to quickly dismiss the Jets at Pats since that's what we did with the Seahawks, but I don't see a scenario in which the Pats lose, unless it involves Jim Caldwell Tony Allen-ing Bill Bilichick. (Tony Allen - verb, means to beat up and steal someone else's job with no consequences).

I like how we learned nothing from dismissing the Seahawks. "Meh, whatever, the Patriots will handle them, why bother."

Don't think we can do that with the other AFC game though. Baltimore-Pittsburgh is a tough one to call. As a Rashard Mendenhall fantasy owner, I can tell you Pittsburgh's ground game was useless the last 6 weeks of the season. I see no reason why it changes now.

So can Big Ben and the passing game win it? I'm not so sure. But then again, do I want to pick Joe Flacco to walk into Pittsburgh and pull out a road win? I'm not so sure about that either. Here's what I am sure about: this game is going down to the wire. I'm taking the Steelers. Barely.

Ravens-Steelers is good, hard-hitting, but ultimately boring football. I mean, I know this game is going to be like 13-10 or 17-14 or something like that. I have a hard time believing that the winning team even breaks 20. It's just field position, punts, and you pray you don't make a backbreaking turnover. Can't I just flip it on at the start of the 4th quarter? Philly-GB, that was a game that I had no clue about. It could've been 45-38, one team could've cruised, or it could've been what it ended up being. There are simply not a lot of options with Baltimore-Pitt. Unless Ben date-rapes Joe Flacco or something.

Anyway, this game is a coin-flip to me. And the smart pick is Pitt. But I like Baltimore as a team more, and hate Big Ben. So why not stick with my preseason love of Baltimore?

I'm with you on the boring part. Reminds me of 1980s NFC East "battles" that announcers over 70 drool over, even though they're boring as hell.

Chicago-Seattle...crap, I have no idea what to make of this game. I hate the Bears, and not just because I'm a Packers fan. As crazy as it is to say about the #2 seed, I just don't think they're that good. And I don't trust Jay Cutler one bit. This seems like one of those games where he could throw 4 picks.

Then there's the Hawks...all jokes aside, from what I saw of the New Orleans game, they were the better team. It would be one thing if the Saints shot themselves in the foot and handed it to Seattle, but that didn't happen. The Hawks legitimately earned that win. You know, just like we predicted. (Note: must redact previous blog post). Now, it's one thing to do that at home. Can they do it on the road, in the cold? I'm saying yes.

I trust Matt Hasselbeck more than I trust Jay Cutler, and I think that makes all the difference. Hasselbeck isn't reckless- if he can't exploit the secondary like he did against New Orleans he'll keep it simple. Cutler can't do that, he only knows one way to play and if it isn't working, he keeps trying anyway. I think he makes a couple of critical mistakes that cost them the game. And the f'ing Seahawks will go to the NFC title game.

I couldn't, COULDN'T, be less interested in Bears-Seahawks. I assume Chicago will win, but Seattle did throw me for a loop. They are playing for 2nd place, that's all I know. I would be shocked if the winner of this game made the Super Bowl. So really, why put more thought into it? The Bears should win this game and then lose. Although a Pack at Bears title game would have me sweating if I were you.

By the way, how stupid is it that the Falcons win the NFC and then have to play Green Bay instead of Seattle thanks to seeding and division bullshit. Shouldn't the Falcons have the right to pick? I think Bill Simmons wrote about this once upon a time, and I'm too lazy to look it up, but how cool would it be if Sunday night the Falcons and Patriots both had press conferences to announce which team they played next week. And how cool would it be if Bill Bilichick just flipped a coin and said, "I don't give a shit who comes to Foxboro next week. We're kicking their ass." He just throws up a coin and walks out before it lands. This isn't a better idea than the Falcons having to play the Packers instead of the Seahawks?

As badass as it would be for Belichick to flip a coin and walk out, it would be even better if he didn't even bother attending the press conference and sent an intern instead. Some nervous 21 year-old gets up to the podium..."So, um, this is a bit awkward, but Mr. Belichick said he was going on vacation this week until Sunday and that I should come here instead. He said he was going to some island where they don't even get cell service. He said he'd know who they were playing when the other team ran out on the field. So, uh, here I am I guess."

Even better! Get Mr. Goddell on the phone right now. Tell him RTS is on the line with brilliant playoff scenarios.

And while we're on the phone with him, we can ask how he can claim to be concerned with head injuries while simultaneously forcing an 18-game schedule on the players.

Anyway, Packers-Falcons. I'm saying Packers, obviously.

Speaking of 18 game seasons, why don't they have an 18 game season with 2 bye weeks and each player can only be active for a maximum of 17 regular season games. So, a guy gets injured and misses a week or two, he can play the rest of his games, but the iron men like Peyton and what not, those guys are going to have to be forced to miss 1 game. Now, you wouldn't sit him in the first 10 games, right, cause he might get dinged up later, but still, it's week 14 and the Colts have the 3-9 Cardinals at home. Do you go ahead and just rest Peyton, or does everyone rest in week 20? I'd love to see this.

And how much would it torture you as a fantasy owner, waiting to see which week your guy is healthy and sits out. Plus, would you sit your best players out at the same time and just take a loss, or try to stagger it. Jim Caldwell's head just exploded.

Packers win...but why Graham, or rather, how?

I hate your idea, just for fantasy purposes. It drives me insane enough as it is. One time during fantasy baseball, after the rosters locked for the week one of my relievers announced he had to miss the week to go to China to finalize the adoption of a kid. I was livid. I don't know if I've ever been that mad. You have 6 months in the winter to take care of that stuff, don't do it during the season.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, Packers. Look, I quoted all the stats in last week's preview. Not they appear to have a running game as well. And I won't publicly predict against my favorite team. So Packers it is.

But half of your info from last week revolved around the stats the Packers put up at the Eagles and Kevin Kolb. Now you are just going to ignore the stats that your beloved Cheese put up at Atlanta when they lost? I'm not saying you have to pick the Falcons, but last week, you really did sell me on the Packers. I would've flippantly picked the Eagles and gone 1-3 in my picks. You talked me into a very respectable 2-2 (since no one in their right minds would've picked Seattle). So explain exactly how the Pack win? James Starks is the key difference between this week and your previous Georgia Dome loss?

There were only a handful of Eagles-exclusive stats, but ok, I'll play along.

-Here is the Packers' margins of defeat for their 6 losses this season: 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4. They can play with anyone.

-One of those losses was to Atlanta by a last second field goal. You'll never believe this but the Falcons were in position to make that FG because Green Bay went to the prevent defense. Anyway, in that game Green Bay's leading rusher was Aaron Rodgers, with 51 yards. Brandon Jackson, who is a worse runner than Hasheem Thabeet, piled up exactly 26 yards on 10 carries. Now, I'm not going to suggest that after one good game Starks is the second coming of Barry Sanders, but let's just say he can do a little better than 2.6 yards per carry. That gives Green Bay another weapon to use against Atlanta.

-On the flip side, they held Matt Ryan to 197 yards passing, including just 49 yards to Roddy White. If the Packers can take White out of the game again, that's a big blow to Atlanta.

-Clay Matthews had 0 PDs in that game. That's huge. he needs PDs for them to be effective. In fact, no one on the team had a PD, that has to change.

-One of the days I will figure out what a PD actually is, but I'm wondering now if it's Pass Deflections. Maybe I'll look it up. Maybe.

-Atlanta's three losses this year: Pittsburgh, Philly and New Orleans. They did squeeze out close wins against the Packers, Ravens and twice against Tampa. But they didn't once beat a quality opponent by more than six points. They fattened up against weak teams. By contrast, the Packers beat Philly, NYJ, NYG and Chicago all by seven points or more. We already know Green Bay will keep it close, so who's more prepared for it?

I am going with the Falcons

I always thought you were a loser.

I think this is the hardest game to pick. Atlanta sure did choke and tighten up against the Saints at home a few weeks ago. The pressure is on them. Are we sure Matty Ice won't melt? Zing! I think it'll be Packers at Bears for the right to lose to the Pats. I'm with you buddy. (Cue "That's what friends are for.")

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wild Card Weekend Preview

Are you ready for Graham’s first post of 2011? Of course you are. Sadly, it’s a joint post with Chris, but Graham fans, take what little morsel you can get. (There’s a joke in there somewhere). It’s none other than the 2011 RTS NFL Playoff Preview. And we’re posting it less than 24 hours before the first game, because, uh, we put it off till the last minute. Our bad, 11 fans. On to the Wild Card Weekend preview.

NY Jets @ Indianapolis. I have no idea what to make of this game, other than that if I were Peyton Manning, I'd go out for the first series in bare feet, just to screw with Rex Ryan. Before beating the hapless Bills in the season finale, they Jets lost 3 of 4. Indy won 4 in a row to end the season, but other than the first place showdown with Jacksonville, 2 were to Tennessee and the other was to Oakland. Plus, they can't run the ball, and they're hurt.

Part of doesn't want to bet against Peyton Manning, but on the other hand, he's an enormous douche. I was watching the Jacksonville game when Austin Collie ran a route across the middle, Manning underthrew him, and as Collie went down for the ball he got hammered and was nearly paralyzed. He laid there motionless for a while, and it was several minutes before Manning, whose underthrown ball was the reason Collie was nearly relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, came over to check on him. Even then, it was halfhearted, and he walked away as quickly as he could. It was pathetic. So because of my newfound dislike for Manning, I'm taking the Jets.

First off, let's get this out of the way. Did you see Rex Ryan's quote about losing to Peyton Manning last year in the playoffs? He said, "You lose a playoff game, it's devastating. I want to put the shoe on the other foot. I know this team does too. We want him to experience it this time."

Now, I care not about Rex Ryan and his proclivity to feet. However, can't he talk football without bringing them into the mix? It's not like Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings made sex boat references when talking about facing the Bears. Wait, why am I saying this. Keep talking about putting shoes on Peyton's feet, Rex, by all means!

Anyway, the Jets suck. They are Baltimore light. Their QB is worse, but not by much. Their WRs are worse, by a lot. Their defense is good, but they don't have game changers like Ed Reed or Ray Lewis. Do you really want to go to war with Mark Sanchez? And by war, I mean, Indianapolis.

But here's the thing. The Colts aren't that good either. Sure, it's the Colts and they should win just based on having Manning, Reggie Wayne, Freeney, etc. But they barely beat the Titans twice in the past few weeks. They scare me. There's only 2 teams I hate worse than the Colts right now in the AFC, and that's KC and the Jets. I think the Colts win, simply based on playing at home, regardless of what shoes Peyton has on his feet.

The thing with this game is, I don't even really care about watching it that much. I'd be perfectly happy to tune in to the last 5 minutes and check it out. Kinda like the NBA. Except I don't even really do that with the NBA anymore. The Packers are in the playoffs, the Canucks are in first place - who needs the NBA?

I want to watch all the playoff games, just as a month long farewell to the NFL. Then again, with no Monday Night Football on last night, I managed to read 75 pages in a book I've had since October and barely touched.

As for the NBA, uh, yeah, I'm switching to AT&T Uverse on Saturday and I think I picked a package that didn't include the Grizzlies station. I told my wife I didn't even think I'd add the channel. She thought I was nuts. The NBA is the easiest thing to give up. And I was a die hard fan for about 10 years. Is this what they mean by “Where Amazing Happens”?

Anyway, what's the other AFC game this week, Baltimore at KC?

How sad is it for the NBA that the off-court stuff is 100x better than the on-court stuff? The NBA has the best draft, best free agency and best trades. I follow that stuff religiously. Then the games start and I don't care. And the impending lockout? Whatever. And I lived and breathed the NBA for 8 years when I worked there.

Anyway, we've already gone off the rails.

Tell you what, I like Kansas City's chances against Baltimore.

You like KC? Ugh, what's wrong with you? KC is frisky, but Baltimore is the darkhorse in this thing. They play as tough as anyone. They have what, 4 losses or so? Baltimore wins like 23-13 but it's one of those games that's never really in doubt. I bet it's 10-3 midway through the 3rd quarter and you start thinking, there is no way in hell KC is going to win this.

I think Kansas City will keep it close. I think the Ravens will pull it out (that's what she said), but the Chiefs will be right there in the end (that's what she said). I'll take the Ravens by a field goal in this one.

Way to toe the line. You praise KC but then pick Baltimore. So if KC wins, you bust out the "I told you I liked KC" and if Baltimore wins you have the "I picked Baltimore" card as well. What else should I expect from a Brett Favre fan?

Excuse me for not writing a 35,000 word missive detailing everything point by point while at work.

You are forgiven. Do we even have to preview the Saints-Seahawks game?

What kind of bloggers would we be if we snarkily dismissed the Seahawks? If we just decide we're too lazy to put any thought into the game, and not consider circumstances where the Seahawks could pull out a win?

Actually, we'd be regular bloggers.

Saints by 17.

You want me to give some thought into a circumstance in which the Seahawks win? The Saints plane would have to go down Marshall-style. And that's only if Drew Brees is on the plane. If the entire Saints team dies except Brees, I'm pretty sure he could put together a rag-tag group of free agents, castoffs and minor league football players and beat the Seahawks. That sounds like a movie script I should start working on.

You could cast Jason Schwartzman as Charlie Whitehurst.

By the way, in the topic of lame feuds from the other day, we can add a new one: Tony Allen vs. OJ Mayo.

The funniest part about it is that it's not a feud, it's an ass-kicking. Allen beats Mayo up to the point that Mayo can't show his face at the game, and what happens to Allen, he gets Mayo's starting spot! He's going Nancy Kerrigan on someone before the season's over. The Memphis Grizzlies everyone!

Beat a guy up AND take his job. Now that's badass.

Take note, Kevin Kolb.

The day Kevin Kolb beats up Michael Vick is the day a 7-9 team makes the playoffs. Oh wait....

So I suppose this is our transition to GB at Philly. Convince me GB wins.

Here's why Green Bay wins:

-They have an elite defense. The 240 points they allowed this season was best in the NFC and second best in the NFL behind Pittsburgh, allowing them to have the league's second best point differential at +148.

-In the last 9 games of the season, they gave up 20+ points once. And it was to New England.

-Six times this season they held opponents to under 10 points. I'm too lazy to look up other teams so I'll assume that's either best in the NFL, or at least top 3.

-According to one NFL expert*, Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are the best CB duo in the league.
(*I am the expert quoted in that stat).

-Clay Matthews is a frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year. He absolutely terrorizes opposing defenses. In Week 1 against the Philly team they play Sunday, he had 3 sacks, 7 tackles and 1 forced fumble. He also had a "PD", but admittedly I can't figure out what that is. If there's one defensive player in the league who can keep up with Michael Vick, it's Clay Matthews.

-They have an offense that hung 30+ points on opponents six times, including 45 points in Week 16 against the Giants in a do-or-die game.

-Oh yeah, they already beat Philly once this year. Yeah yeah, Kolb started, was ineffective, got hurt and gave way to Michael Vick. But that doesn't change the fact the Packers put up 27 points against the same defense they face this weekend.

That was like, some actual analysis. It threw me off and even you had me believing. It's hard to trust Michael Vick, and it's also hard to pick against him. I really don't have a dog in this fight (I went there) so I'm not blinded by cheese like you are. But I do love cheese. How's that for analysis?

Here are three things that could kill the Packers:

-Run game. Fun fact: Aaron Rodgers was the leading rusher in the Week 17 win over Chicago. He had 21 yards.

-O-line: Bryan Bulaga has not been good lately. He's been as effective as a Bulaga Whale*. (*rimshot)

-Defense. Yeah, I spent the previous emailing bringing out fancy stats like yards against and PDs (whatever they are). But when Green Bay has a late lead, Dom Capers has them go into the Prevent defense. I'll spare you a 10,000-word manifesto on why I hate it so much, but it comes down to this: it just doesn't fucking work. When you play dominating defense for 58 minutes, I see no reason to change your style for the last 2.

Mark my words: if the Packers are up by a touchdown or less with 2 minutes to go, Vick will carve them up when the Packers lay off and take them down the field.

I think the game boils down to one thing, and one thing only. Does Michael Vick go f-ing nuts. If he has 75 yards and a rushing TD and 200+ yards passing and another 2 passing TDs, then you guys lose. If you contain him, make him pass, stay in the pocket, etc, you win. Your offense seems good enough to put up 20+ points, regardless of your rushing game, so it seems to me, can you contain Vick? You've won me over. I'm going to say they do. (Cue "That's what friends are for.")

Friday, January 7, 2011

My letter to the Commercial Appeal

Yesterday morning I awoke to find that I had become a member of the Commercial Appeal staff. I found this quite strange since the Commercial Appeal never contacted me about writing for them and never paid me for my work. But nonetheless, in the paper appeared my thoughts and words (although slightly edited). So I just wanted to write and make sure I’m not supposed to be showing up for work for you guys and didn’t know it. If I am, I apologize for not showing up yesterday or today. However, I’m willing to start within 2 weeks after I give notice to my current employer. It’s the right thing to do.

I don’t mean to imply that you have no idea what I’m talking about, because surely you know whose thoughts and ideas you print. But just in case you missed it, in Geoff Calkins article “Vols show Memphis Tigers how far they have to go”, in the middle of the article, is my line, “The O.J. Mayo-Tony Allen tilt was more competitive than this one.” I know, I know, it’s funny and brilliant and helps merge both Memphis Tigers and Grizzlies basketball into one joke. I’ll accept your thanks before you offer it, because really, who wouldn’t find this funny?

How is this my thought you ask? Am I simply some delusional reader that has lost all sense of perspective and started making claims to random words in your paper? Of course not! During the course of the Memphis-Tennessee basketball game, due to boredom and frustration at my beloved Tigers taking one on the chin, I began to tweet my thoughts in real time. One of my tweets, during the game, was “Even the Tony Allen-OJ Mayo fight was more competitive than this.”

How did this tweet get into your paper? Do me and Geoff Calkins simply share similar taste in thought and joke? Do great minds truly think alike? I wish this were true. But my tweet did not simply fall on deaf eyes. I’ve got 105 followers! And who is one of these followers? Geoff Calkins, your highly esteemed columnist! It appears as though Geoff decided to take my tweet, incorporated it into his article and failed to quote or credit me. It surely was a typo. Because, if not a typo, then I can’t help but fear that he outright stole it. I think there’s a term for this….what is it…hmmm…oh yeah…plagiarism. Surely he didn’t do that.

I like to think I’m a fair person. I tweeted your employee, Mr. Calkins, yesterday and asked him for my credit. But this tweet DID seem to fall on deaf eyes. It’s been nary a word from him since he stole my line. So, it appears, it’s come to this. I’m having to write in and defend myself. Since it’s quite obvious my work, however small, was stolen, I feel the Commercial Appeal has several options to rectify the situation.

1. You can, as mentioned above, just go ahead and give me a job as a sports columnist for your organization. I do have a Master’s degree in journalism and previous blogging experience. I can provide writing samples if needed. My Mayo-Allen tweet is just the tip of the iceberg!

2. You can publicly print this letter in your paper and underneath it, Mr. Calkins can supply his response. I’m sure it’ll make for great discourse on the topic of tweets/plagiarism in the 21st Century that will most likely win awards. Major awards!

3. You can print a public apology from Mr. Calkins in your paper.

4. You can send me a royalty check for the profits from your January 6 edition. After all, my work was used. I’m not too sure if this is a viable option since it appears that the newspaper industry is faltering. There might not even be a royalty for me to have. Although, I suppose, I’m understanding now why the industry might be going under. If a random guy sitting on his couch can provide insight and send it to the masses instantly (105 followers!), why pick up the paper the next day just to read those same thoughts from someone that is paid to travel to and from the game?

Feel free to contact me and let me know what option you think is best. Or, if you have another solution, I’m more than willing to listen.