Saturday, January 21, 2012

Best of the best MV summer pics 2011

It's mid-January.  It's snowing.  It's 21 degrees outside.  I think it's a good day for my compilation blog of best photos from the Vineyard last summer.

And all of these were taken with my cell phone.  How long before we start calling them something other than "phones?"  The actual telephone is one of the things I use it for least.  I wonder if that's another whole blog I just wasted?

Friday, January 20, 2012

ESPN has become a gossip network

The other day my buddy said this to me over beers after work, and I couldn't agree more.  Here's what was being reported on Sportscenter while we we sitting in the bar: Rob Lowe (the actor) claimed that he heard Peyton Manning (the NFL quarterback) was going to retire.  News?

All day yesterday the most popular topic on various ESPN shows was that Danny Ainge would consider trading one of the Celtics "Big 3" to build for the future.  Definitely not news.  Ainge said it himself last night:

"It's obvious. They're obvious things. Of course if we get the opportunity to make a trade that will help our team, we'll do it."

I'll get back to the Celtics in a second.  But first, I don't really blame ESPN for turning into E!  It's not their fault.  It's twitter's fault, really.  A short time ago, when sports news happened the folks in Bristol were the one's that broke it.  It's not like that anymore.  Today the twitter universe knows stuff faster than anything else; both legitimate news, as well as gossip and rumors.  If ESPN stuck to real journalism and only reported actual events, they would fall even further behind.  I think they have to do what they're doing in order to stay relevant.

And the Celtics?  Everybody needs to calm down.  The season just started.  There is a LOT of basketball still to be played.  It may well be true that they are too old and slow (Garnett in particular can't jump anymore) to compete with the top teams.  But there is no reason to panic, overreact, and trade somebody right now.  If this team is still under .500 in March, then you start thinking about a trade.  If you're "building for the future" that doesn't help this year anyway, so it would be stupid to give up and start now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easily the BEST comment I've gotten yet

Last month I wrote a blog making fun of a TV commercial for Gamefly, which is basically the Netflix of video games.  In the ad there is a blond lady "Alex P" who talks about using it; and I sarcastically mocked her because I figured there was no way she actually played video games.  Well, apparently I was wrong.  The other day this comment popped up:

Even if this is fake it's pretty funny.  But I'm fairly certain it's real.  When you click on the name her blogger profile comes up, with a picture that looks like her.  And there's also a link to her blog in which she talks about being a Gamefly member.  It seems like a pretty elaborate hoax to create all that just to leave a comment @LucidSportsFan as a joke.  So Alex P, if you're reading this, I officially apologize.  Sorry for not believing that you are a real gamer.

UPDATE 1/20: Read the comment below!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team

This song took off in the summer of 1993.  Tag Team was from Miami, and I remember first hearing it on the radio while I was at a tennis tournament in Florida that July.  Whoomp! There It Is has managed to stay somewhat mainstream over the years by virtue of being widely played at sporting events; in part because it was included on the original "Jock Jams, Volume 1" album in 1995.

Now here's something most people don't know about this song: A month before it came out, another Miami group called 95 South actually released a different track called "Whoot, There It Is."  It even made it all the way to #11 on the Billboard charts that summer.  Despite having almost the same title, the songs sounded nothing alike.  The only reason I know about this is because on that said trip to Florida I bought the cassette single, and I was very disappointed when I realized it was the wrong one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Harvard Hoops: National Powerhouse?

For the past month the Harvard University Crimson have been ranked in the top 25 in the country in Men's Basketball.  They peaked at #21 a few weeks ago, and despite an upset loss to Fordham Jan. 3, they still managed to hang on to the #25 spot in the poll last week.  This week they've climbed back up to #24.  Being ranked for 5 consecutive weeks is a pretty impressive feat for a team from the "no-athletic-scholarship" Ivy League.  But consider this: the Crimson have already played far and away the toughest teams on their schedule.  They are 15-2 this season (their other loss was to #11 UConn), and have beaten Holy Cross, BU, BC (not so impressive), George Washington, St. Joe's, Central Florida, Utah, and Loyola Marymount, among others.  Harvard's most impressive win was over Florida State, who at the time was ranked #20, and just the other day demolished #3 North Carolina 90-57.

So here's my point: usually top 25 schools beat up on a bunch of cupcake teams from weaker leagues in the first half of the season; in an attempt to build their tournament resumes and get some needed wins before having to fight through their conference schedules.  But for Harvard it's the opposite.  They're supposed to be one of those cupcakes.  And now all they have left to play are other Ivy League teams.  There's a decent chance they could run the table and finish 28-2.  If the Crimson rose a spot or two in the polls each week, they very well could finish the regular season on the brink of the top 10.  I doubt anyone would actually believe they are one of the ten best teams in the country, but that scenario is a definite possibility.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This "Chronicle" movie looks pretty cool

The commercial for it ran a TON during the football games yesterday.  The first few times I saw the ad I wasn't really paying attention, and for whatever reason I only noticed the beginning.  It doesn't look like a movie.  From the scene in the toy store I thought it was an add for some "extreme" chewing gum or energy drink or something.  But when the teddy bear starts floating around it gets kind of weird; and then the girls freaks out and it goes from light and funny to creepy in an instant.  That got me intrigued.  So well done "Chronicle" trailer clip editors (or whatever it is that job is called).

But honestly, most films have great trailers.  It's clearly way easier to make a movie look awesome in 90 seconds than it is to actually make a quality flick.  I haven't seen that movie "In Time" yet, but I will when it comes to my cable box.  And I guarantee it's nowhere near as good as I want it to be.  I'm sure "Chronicle" is the same story.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A very simple answer for why New England rolled Denver

In retrospect, nobody should be at all surprised by the result of the Patriots/Broncos game yesterday.  It's very easy to explain really: Denver wasn't actually any good this year.  They were an 8-8 team that got outscored by 81 points on the season, and made the playoffs through an obscure technicality in a 3-way tiebreaker.  And SEVEN of those eight wins we're of the fluke/lucky/ coincidence variety (they won 6 games by 4 points or less, and one by a touchdown in which their quarterback had only 2 completions).  The Broncos were a team that could have been 1-15, probably should have been 5-11 or 6-10, and we're led by a guy who had easily some of the worst numbers of any NFL quarterback.  Denver's offense was so bad that the much maligned New England defense allowed a season low 252 yards yesterday (including a league-wide season high 14 plays for negative yardage).  And as I've said before, post season numbers don't count towards a player's career statistics; but #15's dismal 9 for 26 performance yesterday would have sent the Tebometer plummeting.

By now I'm sure you've heard all about just how amazing the Pat's offense was in this game.  But here's a few obscure stats that flew under the radar:

- New England ran 64 plays total, but had only 6 third downs in the entire game.
- Part of the reason for this is that they had a whopping 509 yards of offense, an average of 7.95 yards per play.
- By comparison the Broncos had 252 yards on 72 plays, an average of just 3.5 yards.
- All of this helps to explain how the Patriots absolutely dominated the game, despite trailing in "time of possession" 33:23 to 26:37.  That is something you rarely see.

Also, in case you didn't notice, I paid careful attention not to actually mention a certain player's name in this blog.  I'm hoping I never have to again.

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