Saturday, December 29, 2012

The phrase "career ending injury" is getting close to extinct

In the debate of whether or not a young superstar athlete should "stay in school" or "go pro," one of the main arguments for the latter was always the threat of a career ending injury.  The point being that it was a risky move to finish college and not take the money right away, on the off chance they might get hurt.  But here's the thing: I'm not really sure that's still true.  Other than the very rare example of a football player getting paralyzed, off the top of my head I can't even remember the last time something like that happened.  Not very long ago a knee twisting the wrong way had the potential to end an athlete's playing days.  But with today's medical technology and rehabbing, that is no longer the case.  They just get fixed.

Peterson has 1898 rushing yards within a year of a torn ACL.
On the final day of his college career (the 2003 Fiesta Bowl/National Championship Game) University of Miami running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Willis McGahee had his knee completely shredded.  He was still selected in the first round of the draft that season (pick #23), and has since had a very solid NFL career.  That Tom Brady guy also seems to be doing ok since he recovered from his torn ACL.  As is Wes Welker, and I'm sure Chicago Bulls point guard and NBA MVP Derrick Rose will do the same later this season.

Major league baseball pitchers now come back from having their elbows reconstructed with Tommy John Surgery all the time, the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg being the most recent example.  And just over a year ago the Vikings Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL on December 24, 2011.  He returned this fall without even missing a single game, and tomorrow he has an outside shot to break the NFL's single season all-time rushing record.

"Career ending" injuries hardly exist anymore.  Stay in school kids.


Friday, December 28, 2012

ipads are incredible babysitters

When the folks at Apple first came up with the idea of the ipad, I wonder if they had any idea that it's most useful function might be as a babysitter (not a restaurant menu)?  I have seen it time and time again, the thing has magical powers over small children.  Parents out to dinner eating in peace as their child sits quietly.  Mothers in the grocery store aisles shopping while the kid in the cart is entertained (when I was little my mom would try to accomplish this by giving me a box of animal crackers).  Need to run out of the room for a few minutes?  No problem, your baby isn't going anywhere as long as you put an ipad in front of it.

There was a day a few months back when my boss was stuck having to bring his 3 year old son to work with him.  He propped the kid up in a booth, handed him an ipad, and didn't worry about a thing for the next two hours.  It was amazing, the boy probably would have been content to stay there all day.

It makes me wonder why there isn't more of a market for "kid ipads." I know they exist, but I'm surprised every parent doesn't buy one.  They should cost like 50 bucks, be made of all rubber and plastic, and only have very limited capabilities and just the apps for children.  I feel like there's millions to be made if somebody perfects this.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Remember the Red Sox?

I don't see this guy as a difference maker.
It's been quite some time since I really paid any attention to the local baseball squad.  In fact the last time I wrote a word about them was in early October, easily the longest I've gone since the creation of  But two things happened this week that I think are worth mentioning:

1.  They traded for a relief pitcher named Joel Hanrahan.  The reason I think this is significant is because it's not actually significant.  By definition relief pitchers aren't very good, if they were they'd be starters (I realize this isn't 100% true, but it's about 99.4% true, and I think that's good enough).  They're a dime a dozen, easily replaced by the next best thing you have down on the farm.  Oddly enough I discussed this a year ago when they acquired Marc Melancon, who is one of the guys they just dealt in order to get Hanrahan.

2.  New Shortstop Stephen Drew has selected uniform #7, the same number his big brother J.D. used to wear here in Boston.  I'm not sure Stephen has any idea what he's getting himself into; except for in the highly unlikely event that he plays like a superstar, this is a very, very bad idea.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Duke and Michigan party like it's 1992

Burke and a couple NBA kids have the Wolverines flying high.
My favorite college basketball season ever was 1991-92.  It was the year of the Michigan Fab Five, a group of incredibly cocky but talented freshman who made it all the way to the NCAA Championship Game.  Michigan lost the 1992 title to Duke, and now 20 years later as we close out 2012, Duke and Michigan are again the top two teams in the country.

While the Blue Devils have spent plenty of time at #1 in the past couple decades, for the #2 Wolverines it's their highest ranking since Chris Webber bolted for the NBA as the top pick in 1993 draft.  Back then one of Webber and the Fab Five's biggest rivals was Glen Robinson Jr. of Purdue, who became the #1 pick in the draft the following year.  Ironically his son, Glen Robinson III, is a freshman for the current Michigan squad; which also features another NBA star's offspring, Tim Hardaway Jr.  Not to mention the fact that their point guard, sophomore Trey Burke, is a preseason All-American.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week Christmas Day Edition: "The Chipmunk Song"

When I was a child my family would take long car trips to my grandparents house for the holidays, and I remember constantly listening to a cassette of the Chipmunks singing Christmas carols.  In fact, I think my sisters and I may have even demanded our parents play it at other times of the year as well.  One song on the tape stood out from the rest: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't be Late).  When it was first released in 1958 it went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the only Christmas song ever to do so.

Here's a great cartoon version of it, the song actually starts just after the 1 minute mark:


Monday, December 24, 2012

Are Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks the best team in the NFL?

Two weeks ago the 11-1 Houston Texans appeared to be the class of the NFL, until they got smashed by the Patriots 42-14.  For the next week New England seemed to be the consensus #1 pick, but then they fell behind San Francisco 31-3 and couldn't quite come all the way back.  Heading into this weekend many people thought the 49ers might be the league's top team, and yesterday they got manhandled by Seattle 42-13.

Is it possible the 10-5 Seahawks are now the best team in football?  Right now they just might be, over the last three weeks they've won by an average score of 50-10.  On the other hand, given the way things are going they will probably lose to the Rams at home next week.

Personally I don't believe in Seattle not because of this weird chain of events of top teams getting knocked off, but because I just can't take their head coach Pete Carroll seriously.  Going back to the late '90s when he was here in New England, one thing about him has always made me question his legitimacy as an NFL head coach: Every time something good happens to his team, he celebrates like a little schoolchild.  It's kind of amazing, he makes his players look more grownup than he is.  If the Seahawks manage to win the NFC West next week, make sure to keep an eye out for how he handles it.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

People who were almost famous in "Almost Famous"

A little while back I was flipping through the HBO channels late at night (which happens a lot I guess), and Almost Famous was on.  It's one of those must-view flicks that if you happen to stumble upon you don't turn off.  It'd been a few years since I last watched it (the film was made in 2000), so I was a little startled when I saw this:

Cameron from Modern Family, about a decade before he became famous.

His name is Eric Stonestreet, and in the movie he's a hotel clerk who says "Mr. Miller?  You have a message from Elaine.  Your mother.  She's a handful.  She freaked me out."

You may or may not have known that Jimmy Fallon is in Almost Famous as well, he plays the manager the record company sends to help out the band:

And so is Rainne Wilson (Dwight Schrute from The Office), who has the role of one of the editors at Rolling Stone Magazine.

Actor/comedian Nick Swardson also makes a cameo appearance as a crazy David Bowie fan:


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