Saturday, December 15, 2012

Remember the "Big East?"

A little over 20 years ago there used to be an NCAA conference called the "Big East."  It was made up of 9 schools from the northeast, and featured some of the best college hoops in the nation.  Here are the men's basketball standings from the league's final season of play in 1990-91:

After that year the conference chose to become affiliated with football, and the University of Miami was added solely for that purpose.  Here are the standings of the new league that shall not be named for the following 1991-92 season:

Scott Burrell, UConn, 1991
The Hurricanes didn't quit fit in.  Not to mention the fact that they were nearly 1,000 miles away from their closest opponent (Georgetown).  The decision to make football the priority set in motion 21 years of money grabbing shenanigans that led to the complete and utter destruction of the conference.  As of today UConn is the only team left, and that probably won't last long.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Every team has jack*ss fans: As illustrated by this brilliant (but flawed) commercial

The first time I saw this ad was in a bar with no volume, but I was still able to figure out what was going on: Two supporters of rival teams each talk about how much better off they are as fans than the other, when in reality their lives are virtually identical.  I was kind of excited to watch it with volume, but there's just one little problem:

You can't understand a single thing they are saying.  The idea of it is genius though.  I always think it's funny when I hear people around here make comments like "Yankee fans are such a--holes."  But if you go to New York, they say the same thing about Red Sox fans.  Making broad generalizations about entire fan bases is just ridiculous.  Every team has smart fans.  Every team has polite and courteous fans.  Every team has drunk and obnoxious fans.  And every team has jack*ss fans.  It's just the way it is.  And it's not as if they don't overlap; I'm certain that at one time or another I have been all of those.

So kudos espn, but how about making some more of them in regular American English?  I'm thinking a pair of college kids at North Carolina and Duke, or a couple late twenties/early thirties guys from the Bronx and East Boston.  Or how about two old retired alums of Michigan and Ohio State living in suburbia?  There's a ton of great possibilities, hopefully the ad wizards at espn will take advantage.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jared Sullinger's dad is not a fan of my analysis of the Celtics defense

Yesterday I wrote a piece for Celtics Life pointing out that although Boston had been playing better defense lately (6 straight games of holding their opponents under 100 points after giving up over 100 in 7 of their first 14), they'd been doing it against teams that struggle offensively.  I called it "C's improving defense may just be a mirage."  Celtics rookie power forward Jared Sullinger's father saw the link on twitter, and expressed his disagreement:

For what it's worth, I actually agree with Satch.  I do think the Celts are making progress defensively, I was just pointing out that we should wait and see how they do against higher scoring teams.  Last night Dallas came to town averaging 100.1 points per game, 10th in the NBA.  Even though the Mavericks ended up scoring 115 (Celtics won 117-115 in 2 OT), Boston held them to just 96 in regulation.

And while I'm on the subject, be sure to read my post today about watching the horrendous second overtime at the Garden last night.  Doc Rivers might have been wiser to put Sullinger in the game...


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie

In 1989, Biz Markie's Just a Friend was one of the original rap/pop crossover hits to receive major radio airplay.  It's the first song I ever remember listening to where a rapper actually sang as well.

For the past several years it was played at Fenway Park every time Kevin Youkilis came up to bat.  The crowd would chant "Yooouuuuk, you got what I need..."  In fact, Youkilis and Biz Markie collaborated on this spectacular local car dealer commercial last year:

For those not aware of the "Youk" cheer, it always sounded as if the fans were booing.  Next time he comes to Fenway it most likely actually will be boos; today Kevin Youkilis is a New York Yankee.  Here's the original song video:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Writing about the Patriots/Brady's amazingness is getting pretty redundant

All I really want to say about the Pats and Brady today is "everything I've already said lately, but now it's even better/more/longer."  Every game it seems they're breaking new records, and extending old ones.  Two weeks ago I suggested that their stats indicated they were the best team in the NFL.  Now a lot of people are starting to agree.  In fact I've heard the phrase "their 3 losses are by a total of just 4 points" many times on the espns today.  I really wish I'd made a bigger deal of that when I was using it to defend them 7 weeks ago.

Two of the numbers that are most impressive to me became even greater last night:
- New England is averaging 36.3 points per game, over a touchdown more than the league's second highest scoring offense, Denver at 28.8 PPG.
- The Patriots are also outscoring their opponents by an average of 15.2 points per game, the next best differential in the NFL is San Francisco at just 10.2 PPG.

Some impressive streaks that go on:
- The Pats have won 21 straight regular season games in the second half of the season.
- Yesterday was their 20th consecutive win at home in the month of December.
- They've now won at least 10 games in each of the last 10 years.

And one more new record:
- Against the Texans Tom Brady just had his 14th career game with 4 TD passes and zero interceptions, the most of any player ever.


Monday, December 10, 2012

SVP and Russillo show live at the Harp in Boston today

My former Richmond classmate Todd McShay was the guest.
As I've mentioned previously, the SVP and Rusillo show is my favorite of all the espn day time sports talk shows (even before they read one of my tweets on the air).  I think they're funny, and they seem to have the same taste in '90s pop culture that I do (i.e. they had Snoop Dog on their show a few weeks ago).  So when I learned that they were broadcasting live from the Harp in Boston today, I was in.

Two things in particular stood out to me while watching the show in person: One, Scott Van Pelt is really tall.  And two, as soon as the cameras stop rolling they immediately pull out their cell phones and spend the breaks scanning twitter.  I DVRed (if that's not an official word yet it should be) the show and browsed over it when I got home.  Here's a clip of Van Pelt and Russillo talking with espn's draft guru Todd McShay.  There's a decent chance I'm the one who yells out "Spiders" at the :22 mark, and "Yeah Richmond!" at :31 seconds.

The cameras also frequently panned through the crowd each time they came in and out of commercials.  Unfortunately you can't read the "" on my hat; big free advertising opportunity lost...


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snifters: 101

This a snifter.
Here's another of my public service announcements regarding appropriate bar behavior.  The restaurant I work in serves a lot of nice tequila.  People often like to drink it out of a snifter.  That's fine by me, it's a fun and fancy looking glass to hold.

Sometimes they order it "on the rocks" (with ice), or chilled (shaken with ice then strained into a glass).  These are both perfectly acceptable ways to drink your tequila, or whatever other liquor you like (although if it's a good one you're probably kind of ruining it by watering it down).  But, if you order your booze on the rocks or chilled AND in a snifter, you're totally defeating the point (and also making the bartender think you're a chump, which is generally good to avoid).

The reason snifters are shaped the way they are is so that you can cup the glass in the palm of your hand, and warm up whatever is inside it.  If there was ice involved in the process of pouring your drink, "warming it up" probably isn't what you are looking for.


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