Saturday, June 15, 2013

Internet "slide show" articles are super annoying

Here's a little tip for all the other internet writers out there: Don't turn your work into a slide show, ever.  Do you have any idea how many potentially great articles I won't read just for that reason?  It doesn't matter how amazing the title is, as soon as I see those big arrows and the "1 of 17," I'm out.  I don't care if I'm missing the seventeen coolest things in the history of the internet, it's just not worth it.  You have to wait for each new page to load.  More often than not you have to scroll up or down every time in order to click on to the next one.  And if the subject is some sort of rankings it gets incredibly frustrating when you just want to see what #1 is.  I'm a little nervous that these things seem to be becoming more and more common.  Other people must find them extremely irritating too, right?  I much prefer one long list; like the format of this article "50 Things Only '80s Kids Can Understand."


Friday, June 14, 2013

Brittney Griner hasn't impacted the WNBA like I thought she would

Given the way she dominated women's college basketball unlike anyone ever has, I was of the opinion that when Brittney Griner started playing in the WNBA she would immediately be the league's best player. I also figured her squad would instantly become a championship contender, if not the favorite.  So far that has been anything but the case, despite Griner dunking twice in her league debut.  Through 4 games she's not leading her team, the Phoenix Mercury, in scoring (Griner 16.7 PPG, Diana Taurasi 18.8).  She's not even leading them in rebounding; Griner's averaging 6.7, DeWanna Bonner (yes, that's really her name) 7.5.

And here's the really curious thing: Phoenix lost their first three games with Griner, but then she missed their 4th contest with a sprained knee.  That's their only victory.  It's probably a good thing Mark Cuban didn't draft her for the NBA.  I guess the fact that Griner isn't completely taking over actually speaks well for the overall level of talent and competition in the WNBA.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

That Justin Timberlake movie "In Time" kind of wasted itself by just being "Future Robin Hood"

In October of 2011 I wrote about a movie that was about to hit theaters called "In Time," staring Justin Timberlake.  Here's what I said then based solely on seeing the TV commercials/trailers:
"I absolutely LOVE the premise of this movie. Time as currency? Buying a cup of coffee cost 4 minutes of your life? There are endless possibilities and cool things that could be done with this concept. And that is exactly what's going to ruin it. 48 seconds into the trailer this flick already has way too much on it's plate. Instead of being a movie, I wish "In Time" was a new series debuting on HBO or AMC. Then it could delve into all kinds of potential plot lines and character development without having to wrap everything up in 2 hours or less. As it is, I'm guessing the filmmakers ran out of time themselves, and the movie falls way short of it's potential."

Well it's been sitting in my DVR for about a year now, and last night I finally got around to watching it.  My preemptive review was almost dead on.  The concept is awesome, and it definitely should have been a TV series (maybe it still will be? A great idea like this should not go to waste when spectacularly uncreative shows like the recycled Bad News Bears/Mighty Ducks "Back in the Game" are getting made).

The first 20 minutes of the movie alone could have been several weeks worth of television.  Explaining how things work, funny lines like a prostitute saying "I'll give you ten minutes for one hour," and the characters referring to inheriting wealth as being "from time" instead of "from money;" that's a few episodes right there.  Then some guy gives Timberlake a hundred years of his life for no reason, there's another episode.  Immediately afterwards Justin's mom dies because she only has an hour and a half on her clock, but her bus ride home from work costs 2 hours (I don't get how a cup of coffee can cost 4 minutes while a commuter bus ride is 2 hours, but whatever...), and we're still right near the beginning of the film.

From then on it turns into a future version of Robin Hood, Timberlake steals time from the rich and gives it to the poor.  And while the movie clearly doesn't fulfil it's potential, it's still very entertaining and doesn't suck as much at the end as I thought it might.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Does LeBron have the highest "basketball IQ" in the NBA? It's extremely unlikely.

Recently I've noticed this topic brought up by the media on several occasions.  I've heard some very credible reporters say he's the smartest "basketball mind" in the league.  Last weekend Sportscenter ran a feature on LeBron's "basketball IQ" that promoted this very idea.  It included teammate Shane Battier (who's widely thought of as one of the most intelligent NBA players himself) saying LeBron "is like A Beautiful Mind."   Why does this discussion have to happen?  Why can't it be enough that he's the best player in the world?  Why does the LeBron love-fest need to generate crazy ideas like this too?

Here's why it's a ridiculous notion: Wouldn't it make a lot more sense for the guy with the highest basketball IQ to be a player who's been a superstar despite not possessing insane freak-of-nature athletic ability?  Off the top of my head, Steve Nash, Paul Pierce, Manu Ginobli, and the recently retired turned head coach just 9 days later Jason Kidd all come to mind (quick sidebar, it's amazing to think that Kidd was able to land a coaching job in less time than the number of games he went without scoring (10) to finish his playing career).

Or maybe the smartest basketball mind in the league is a guy sitting on the end of the bench somewhere; someone without that much talent who's brilliance is just enough to keep him on a roster, Jason Collins maybe?  Or could it be a cagey veteran who would have been forced to call it quits long ago if not for his vast knowledge of the game, like 40 year old Juwan Howard for example?

I'll admit LeBron makes spectacular passes, and I'll accept the fact that he does have a very astute knowledge of the game.  But consider this: Of the roughly 7 billion people on the planet, LeBron is the one with the most basketball talent physically.  And now you're going to tell me that out of the 450 or so players in the NBA, he's also the one with the most hoops talent mentally?  Come on.

Note: My Tebow dilemma from yesterday definitely effected the content of this post.  I think it's very objective and without judgment.  Unfortunately I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Is this the end of the Tebometer?

For some time now there have been two athletes I've rooted against more than any others.  The first is LeBron James.  The second is Tim Tebow (to the point that there's an entire category of posts on this site under "Tebometer").  And now Tebow is a New England Patriot.

So what does this mean?  In the long run probably not much.  I think it's fairly likely he'll just sit there on the end of the bench as the third quarterback and never do anything significant.  But what if Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels can actually make something useful out of him?  From a football standpoint I could get behind that.  It might be exciting to see them turn the least accurate quarterback I've ever seen into a functional player in some other capacity.  However, Tebow is still the Evangelical Christian who appeared in a pro-life commercial during the Super Bowl, and that scares me a little.

But if I'm being honest with myself, the thing I've really disliked about him the most is just how big a story he's always been in relation to how poor a quarterback he is.  But is that really his fault?  And if he happens to score a touchdown for the Patriots and the national media goes berserk, will I mind now that it's a member of my favorite team being covered?  This has got me wondering about my attitude towards LeBron as well.  I hate the crush the media has on him, but since he's the best player in the world, maybe he's deserving of it?  Have I been being hypocritical all this time?  Man, this Tebow on the Patriots thing is really messing with me from a sports-philosophical standpoint.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Where is My Mind" by The Pixies

The Pixies were formed in Boston in 1986, and I've just learned that "Where is My Mind" was written by frontman Black Francis while he was a student at UMass Amherst.  The song was originally released on their 1988 album Surfer Rosa.  I discovered the Pixies in 1992 when I became a DJ at my high school radio station, WIQH, 88.3 FM Concord.  That was the time I was first introduced to indie rock music.  The station had songs recorded on things called "carts" (think Super Nintendo game cartridge crossed with a VHS tape, containing just a single track), and Where is My Mind was one of the few green labeled ones that I liked to play on my show (green meant "alternative;" I usually stuck to the blue "pop").

This song is probably most widely recognized, however, for being played at the end of the 1999 movie Fight Club:

Take a look at the last time I referenced Fight Club.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rafael Nadal's mastery at the French Open may be the greatest in pro sports history

In 1985-'86 the Celtics finished the season with a record of 50-1 at the Boston Garden.  They captured the NBA title while establishing a gold standard for home dominance in professional sports.  Today Rafael Nadal won the French Open by improving his career record at Roland Garros to 59-1.  Here's the list of French champions dating back to 2005: Nadal, Nadal, Nadal, Nadal, Roger Federer, Nadal, Nadal, Nadal, Nadal.  He's the first man to ever win a single Grand Slam tournament 8 times.  It's also Nadal's 12th Slam title overall; putting him tied for 3rd all-time (with Roy Emerson) behind Pete Sampras (14) and Federer (17).  Sampras won his last major championship at the age of 31.  Federer is 31 right now.  Nadal just turned 27 last week.


Back to homepage