Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I wonder if LeBron James' New Year's resolution is to get out of Cleveland?

(This photo isn't real)
Yesterday was LeBron James' birthday (Tiger Woods' as well, which is weird).  James celebrated by sitting out with a sore knee, and watching his title-favorite Cavaliers lose in Atlanta 109-101.

Cleveland is now 18-13 on the season, in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.  Over the last few days reports have surface that LeBron doesn't like his head coach, David Blatt.  There may be some evidence to support this theory:

Chris Haynes, a beat reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote:

"James, who turns 30 today, has no intention of compromising his prime years playing for a sputtering organization. He can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become a free agent.

Given the massive scrutiny he would endure if he departed Cleveland a second time, if his hand is forced, I'm told he won't hesitate to make the appropriate business decision if it means bolting."

I've been saying all along (even since before he signed a deal that gives him an option to be a free agent after just one year) that LeBron could get sick of Cleveland and bail if things don't go well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Who do I root for when Paul Pierce plays Rajon Rondo?

Tonight Paul Pierce's Washington Wizards head to Dallas to take on Rajon Rondo and the Mavericks.  Who do I root for?

The case for Rondo.
The case for Pierce.

For this evening's contest I think I have to take Pierce and the Wizards.  This is a huge game for them.  As I wrote about on HoopsHabit, the Wizards just got their best win of the year in Houston last night.  They're now 22-8 and close to proving themselves as a legitimate contender in the East.  A back-to-back victory in Dallas would really turn some heads.

On the other hand, Rondo is still learning how to play with Dirk Nowitzki and the other Mavs.  How good they are right now isn't too big a concern, as long as they've figured things out come playoff time.

There's an outside chance Pierce and Rondo could meet in the NBA Finals.  I discussed the possibility in a CelticsLife article today.  If that happens, I think I'll just enjoy the ride...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Is it possible none of the top 7 teams in the NBA are championship contenders?

Last week I wrote an article for the "Stat Central" feature I do on called What Each NBA Title Contender Needs For Christmas.  The hard part wasn't trying to find an area for each elite team to improve in, the difficulty was determining who the contenders are.

The top three teams in the East are Toronto, Atlanta and Washington.  But the overwhelming favorites in the conference are No. 4 Chicago and No. 5 Cleveland.

In the West it's even weirder.  Based on preseason odds, the three most likely championship candidates are San Antonio, the L.A. Clippers and Oklahoma City.  The Clippers are sixth in the Western Conference, the Spurs are seventh and the Thunder are 10th (still recovering from injuries to All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant).  There's a very good chance everybody's preseason favorites out west will finish with the worst three playoff seeds in the conference.

Not only that, but in the fifth spot at the moment is Dallas, who just made a huge move to acquire Rajon Rondo.  The postseason is still a long way off, but we could end up with a scenario where seeds 1-4 (currently Golden State, Portland, Memphis and Houston) all lose in the first round to seeds 5-8.

At the moment the team with the best record in the NBA, the 24-5 Warriors, has only slightly better odds to win the title (pictured) than the 15-17 Thunder.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Awesome $20 Yankee Swap Gift Idea of The Week (send me nominations)

This blog probably would have been more useful a few weeks ago, but hey, I just thought of the idea today.  And maybe now I can get some good responses from people as to the best/worst/ funniest Yankee Swap gifts they encountered this Christmas.  Here's my contribution:

That is a full-size shopping cart.  The chocolate box is big enough to hold a couple extra-large deep-dish pizzas stacked one on top of the other.

Post your nominations in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One of the best onside kicks you'll ever see (almost)

Just a short while ago Penn St. attempted this near-flawless onside kick against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium:

I've always wondered why you don't see this style of onside kick more often.  However, I think it should be taken to even more of an extreme--just kick the football as high and short as you can (almost like a bad punt) and create a jump-ball scenario.  I know that's got to be very difficult to do off a tee, but I feel like placekickers could figure it out with a little practice.

Also, the strange thing about this attempt by Penn St. was that they were up 7-0 halfway through the first quarter when they tried it. That's the kind gimmick you go for when you're a huge underdog looking to pull off a big upset, not when you already have an early lead in basically a pick 'em game.

Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions the "receiver" stepped out of bounds as he caught the ball, BC got possession at the 48-yard line, and the Eagles scored the game-tying touchdown two plays later.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Patriots need a win Sunday to avoid a below average Brady/Belichick regular season

With one game remaining in the NFL's regular season the 12-3 Patriots appear to be the cream of the crop.  They're the first team to clinch home field advantage and the only club so far to secure a playoff bye.

It's the fifth consecutive year New England has finished with one of the top two records in the conference and avoided playing in the first round of the postseason (something no team had ever done before).

One other stat I love--the Pats defense hasn't given up a second-half touchdown in five games (since they played the Colts on November 16).

But despite all of this, if the Patriot's don't win an otherwise meaningless game vs. the Bills on Sunday New England will finish with a below average record for the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era.  Going back to 2001 (Brady's first year as a starter), the Patriots have averaged 12.15 victories per regular season.

To put in perspective just how ridiculous that is, consider this: In the now 14-year stretch that the Pats have averaged slightly more than 12 wins per season, there are nine NFL franchises that haven't won 12 games in any season (Miami, NY Jets, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Oakland, Washington, Arizona, and Detroit, although both the Cardinals and Lions could this year).

I'm not advocating for the Patriots to try their best against Buffalo though.  If it were up to me I'd play Brady for just the first series, and I wouldn't even let Rob Gronkowski put on his uniform.  My preseason prediction was 12 wins anyway...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Skeletor

A month ago I discussed how much I loved Honda's Christmas-themed Skeletor commercial.  Well it turns out there are more of them, and they are awesome:

Honda also apparently made the genius move of letting Skeletor take over their Twitter account back on December 1.  Here are some of the highlights:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The "Entourage" movie trailer is out, what are your thoughts?

What do you think?

My snap analysis: That line from Drama about liking the weather is dumb, couldn't they have thought of about a million other funnier things for him to say there?  The 6th Sense kid all grown up is pretty weird looking (at the 1:40 mark).  But most of all I really want to know what's about to happen to the character Vince is playing in the trailer within the trailer...

Is he an evil Jedi from Star Wars?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My top 5 memories of Rajon Rondo with the Boston Celtics

Since the day Rajon Rondo was traded I've been working on a five-part series of articles for CelticsLife on my favorite memories of Rondo's time in Boston.  I've just completed it today, so in case you missed it, here they are:

No. 5: "The greatest triple-double in 44 years"

No. 4: "The night his elbow bent the wrong way"

No. 3: "The diving hustle-play unlike any other"

No. 2: "One of the most outstanding playoff performances in NBA history"

No. 1: "The dunk heard 'round the world"

Monday, December 22, 2014

The craziest NFL playoff race I can remember

Take a look at the NFC standings today.  They're nuts.  Five teams are tied for the best record in the conference at 11-4.  With just one week remaining in the season, any one of those five could end up being the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.  And with the exception of the Cowboys (who've clinched the NFC East), four of the other five clubs could fall all the way to the No. 6 and last seed.

The fact that four of of conference's six postseason teams might all still be No. 1, or No. 6 heading in the final game of the year is just silly.  The other weird part about it is that the Wild Card spots are both already clinched.  Everybody else on the outside looking in has been eliminated.

The only playoff spot that's still up for grabs in the NFC is the pathetic South Division champion, which will be selected by default next week when the 6-8-1 Panthers visit the 6-9 Falcons.

The North Division will also be decided by a head-to-head Week 17 matchup, when the Lions take on the Packers in Green Bay.  The NFL has got to be pretty pumped to be handed multiple de facto division title games on the last day of the regular season.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Awesome Old (Christmas) Song of the Week: "Winter Wonderland" by the Eurythmics

Winter Wonderland was first written in 1934.  According to Wikipedia, over 200 artists have recorded it in the last 80 years.  The Eurythmics version was released on the 1987 album "A Very Special Christmas," a record I consider the gold-standard for pop Christmas music.

Also, I always thought the Eurythmics were an 80s girl band led by Annie Lennox.  I just discovered that it was actually a duo consisting of her and a guy named David. A. Stewart (pictured).  That just seems weird to me.  "Eurythmics" is a pretty feminine sounding word.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The only Celtics jersey I've ever owned

I first became a Celtics season ticket holder in the summer of 2007.  It was just after they had traded for Ray Allen, but a few days before they acquired Kevin Garnett--pretty much the best possible timing, maybe the smartest decision of my life actually.

After being terrible for years Boston was offering half-price tickets that offseason in designated "player" sections (the deal went away as soon as the Garnett trade happened).  Included in the package was a free jersey of that player.  Each section was named for lesser-known Celtics who the team was trying to promote.  Our's was Gerald Green.

However, Green was one of the five guys shipped off to Minnesota for Garnett, so we were given a different jersey instead: No. 9, Rajon Rondo.

Over the course of that 2007-08 title-winning season, Rondo became my favorite player.  In fact, I still vividly remember the exact moment when I knew for sure, on March 5, 2008 against the Detroit Pistons.

I'm not quite as sad by Rondo's departure as I expected to be.  I think it's because the version of Rondo I became so infatuated with has been gone for some time now.  While he still had his moments, Rondo hasn't been the same guy since he tore his ACL in January of 2013.  The loss of Garnett and Paul Pierce that offseason clearly didn't help.  Rondo's talents just haven't shined through on this current unspectacular ballclub.  He's always been a player who's best performances come in the biggest games, and the recent lottery-bound editions of the C's have been very thin on big games.

Having said that, there's still a 100 percent chance I am going to cry when he comes back to town with the Mavericks in two weeks.

I wanted to do a tribute blog today with links to all the times I've raved about Rondo in the past.  But then I remembered I already did that, on the day last winter when he returned from his injury.  Take a look, it represents some of Rondo's best work in a Celtics uniform.

From yesterday: My pragmatic and unemotional Rajon Rondo thoughts (I'll save the emotional ones for tomorrow)


In his debut with Dallas there were clearly glimpses of the old Rondo:

Friday, December 19, 2014

My pragmatic and unemotional Rajon Rondo thoughts (I'll save the emotional ones for tomorrow)

- It appears as though the Celtics did not get very much in return for Rajon Rondo.  I'm confused what the rush was to deal him so quickly.  Why not wait a bit and see what other options become available?  It makes me wonder if there's something else going on here we don't know about.

- As far as where Rondo ended up, I'm actually a little excited to see him in Dallas.  I've always been a fan of Dirk Nowitzki, and Rondo might be the perfect piece to make the Mavs contenders this season.

- If he immediately reverts back to 2012 All-Star Rondo, I'm not sure if I'll be annoyed that guy disappeared in Boston, or just happy to see him again.  Rondo hasn't been his old self lately with the Celtics.  He's afraid to shoot the ball, turns it over too much, and doesn't come up with big plays in key moments.  I've got a feeling having a top-notch roster around him again is going to make a huge difference.

- I am thoroughly unexcited for the Jameer Nelson era at point guard.

- Part of me is worried that the Celtics will be better now.  As talented a player as Rondo is, I really don't think he was helping Boston much this year.  I'd honestly be shocked if they're any worse the rest of the season without him.

- On Wednesday night when the trade rumors got serious I decided to write an article for Hoops Habit on The 10 Best Stat Lines of Rajon Rondo's Career.  Take a look, he had some pretty amazing games in his time with the Celtics.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

When did Kelly Olynyk discover dunking?!

In watching Kelly Olynyk play for the Celtics this season, I'm constantly frustrated by how he never seems to take the ball hard to the rim.  He often shoots fall-aways and scoop shots rather than attacking the basket.  I seriously think Olynyk sometimes forgets how tall he is and doesn't realize he's one of the biggest guys on the floor.

In a post I wrote for CelticsLife the other day about his career-high 30-point game, I captioned the photo "Olynyk's patented 'I'm 7 feet tall but I shoot the ball from 3 feet below the basket' finger role."

And then all of a sudden last night he did this:

And this:

And this as well:

My mind was blown a little bit.

Olynyk is also red-hot right now--his last two games he's scored a combined 45 points while shooting 18-for-25 (72%) from the floor. And yes, It's a bit weird for Kelly Olynyk to be the subject of this blog two days in a row.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Was somebody hacking CSNNE's Celtics broadcast on Monday?

In the midst of Kelly Olynyk's career-high 30 points in the Celtics win over the lowly Sixers on Monday, something very odd happened during the CSNNE broadcast.  While airing a replay of an Olynyk dunk, a strange yellow image briefly appeared on the lower right corner of the screen:

I don't know what that is, but I have a guess at what it might be.  Was it the work of a disgruntled employee playing a practical joke?  A slightly deranged internet hacker messing with the broadcast (maybe one of those total idiot or sneaky-genius Miller Lite ad people)?

No, it was just a telestrating attempt gone wrong, as color commentator Cedric Maxwell said he loved the pass that set up the dunk, and tried to highlight it with a heart.  At least I think it's a heart...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's weird how your eyes and mind can play tricks on you

The following logo appeared on the bottom of this web page for a long, long time.  At least a year, probably closer to two:

Only now was it brought to my attention that it says "yetserday," not "yesterday." The funny thing is I showed the picture to several people before I even used it in the first place.  And a lot of others have clearly seen it since.  A whole bunch of readers have probably even clicked on it many times over (feel free to admit as much in the comment section if you like).

I have an avid and loyal staff of proofreaders who point out typos for me.  How did this one get by?  I guess it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who never saw it?  It's clearly some sort of bizarre optical illusion that the brain doesn't want to notice.  Here's the new version.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's been 14 years since an AFC East team finished with a better record than the Patriots

The New England Patriots clinched another AFC East title yesterday.  Here are some things you've probably heard already:

- It's their sixth straight division championship, 11th in 12 years, and 12th in 14 years.
- They've had a winning record for 14 straight seasons (the Pats are the only NFL team to finish over .500 every year this millennium).

What isn't mentioned enough is how the Patriots did in those other two non-division-title-winning seasons:

- In 2008 the Pats went 11-5 (without Tom Brady) and tied for the division lead with Miami.  But New England lost on tiebreakers, and became the first NFL team to ever go 11-5 and not make the playoffs.
- In 2002 the Patriots were 9-7, putting them in a three-way tie atop the division with the Dolphins and Jets.  New York won it on tiebreakers.

The last time the Patriots didn't end the season with the most (or tied for the most) wins in the AFC East was 14 years ago, in 2000.  This season also marks the 11th consecutive division championship won by a healthy Brady.

What makes the above photo from Sunday so great is the fact that one of the key plays in New England's 41-13 victory over Miami was a 17-yard run by Brady:

Back in late October Brady said he was going to become more mobile--and he has.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the 17-yard scamper was the third-longest of Brady's career and the longest since 2007.  There's also this:

UPDATE: I've been informed that Brady did have the longest run in a game at least once before--a 15-yard rush vs. the Jets on December 22, 2002.

Here are the previous versions of this piece from each of the last three years (as far back as goes): 2013, 2012, 2011

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Patriots' Division Title Inspired Awesome Old Song/Movie Clip of the Week (from Coyote Ugly)

"Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes (and sung by Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly) started climbing the charts 14 years ago, in December of 2000.

Yes, that's not very long ago in terms of my usual standards for "Awesome Old Song of the Week."  But considering it was the last time the New England Patriots finished a season without the best record in the AFC East, by NFL supremacy standards 14 years is an eternity (much more on the Pats 14-year run of dominance coming tomorrow).

The funny thing is, it wasn't until after I started writing this blog that I remembered Coyote Ugly also featured Bridget Moynahan (pictured with Perabo), the mother of Tom Brady's first child.  How about that?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Philadelphia 76ers keep doing some of the 76er-iest things

Sixers tank t-shirt
I've been saying all season that the Sixers are going to be the worst team in NBA history.  Philly is now 2-21 overall and 0-12 at home.  No team has ever finished with fewer than nine wins in an 82-game season before (also the 76ers, who went 9-73 in 1972-73).  The current club is on pace to go 7-75 or 8-74.

Tonight Philadelphia actually led the 18-4 Memphis Grizzlies 95-77 with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining.  The Sixers allowed Memphis to score 32 points in a span of 7:15, and the game went to overtime tied 109-109.  I'm sure you can guess what happened after that.

The night before Philly fell to the Nets 88-70.  In that contest the Sixers scored just 25 points in the second half, including only 10 in the 4th quarter.  They connected on a total of four shots in the period.

On that same night, three NBA players made more two-point field goals on their own than the entire 76ers team did: LeBron James (15), Derrick Rose (14) and LaMarcus Aldridge (14).

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why would Johnny Damon (or any big celebrity) want to be an apprentice?

I saw an ad the other day for a new season of Celebrity Apprentice, which apparently is going to include Johnny Damon.  Why would a retired millionaire athlete ever want to become somebody's apprentice?  Come on Johnny, you should be the one starting a company and having people be your apprentice!

Also on the cast are Ian Ziering, Terrell Owens, Geraldo Rivera (are you kidding me, Geraldo?) and a bunch of other quasi-famous people.

Really I don't get why it ever became "Celebrity Apprentice" to begin with.  By definition I think apprentices need to be regular people.  It's like if that game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire had contestants on it who were already rich and famous.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nest thermostat commercials are funny

Example A:

Example B:

I love how he says "the internets." Reminds me of this great scene from The Internship:

Who would have ever though some of the best ads on TV right now might be for thermostats?  I'm not planning on buying one anytime soon, but at least the commercials make you remember what they are for, so good job Nest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Remember when Jon Lester said $20 million didn't matter? (I don't blame him for picking the Cubs though)

A little after 1 am this morning the news broke that Jon Lester had decided to sign with the Chicago Cubs.  Per ESPN Chicago, Lester's contract will either be for six years and $155 million, or seven years/$170 million (with a vesting option).  The Red Sox reportedly offered Lester $20 million less, six years and $135 mil--which makes Lester's quote from this past summer all the more painful:

"In the greater scheme of things, we're talking about just a stupid amount of money. For me, I want to be comfortable. The way I look at it is, if someone gives you $170 million and someone gives you $150 million, is that $20 million really going to change your lifestyle? Same thing if the highest bidder is $100 million and the team you're going to feel most comfortable with offers $80 million. Is that $20 million really going to make the difference in your lifestyle?"


You think he'd like to take that back?  Or maybe $150 mil is the cutoff for a "stupid amount of money"?  So $150 mil is as good as $170 mil, but once you go under $150 mil that $20 mil difference actually does matter?

At the time I called Lester "my new hero" for saying that, and wrote "I'll be extremely proud if the soon-to-be free agent's actions stay true to his words."  Well they didn't, but honestly I don't really blame him.  Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan says Lester chose the Cubs for the opportunity to make history and bring them their first World Series since 1908.

I'm assuming Lester was still a little offended by the four year/$70 mil "offer" Boston made him last spring.  The sad thing is the Red Sox never would've needed to go anywhere near their current 6 yr/135 mil offer to lock him up back then.  He absolutely would have signed for 6/120, probably even for 5/100.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Patriots have come a long way since Week 4, huh?

The Patriots are 10-3.  They have three games left--at home vs. the Dolphins, at the Jets and home vs. the Bills.  At this point people expect them to finish 13-3 and claim the top seed in the AFC.  Confidence is through the roof.

Even when they fell behind the Chargers 14-3 in San Diego on Sunday night, I still fully expected them to win the game:

After Week 4 when everybody thought the sky was falling following a 41-14 blowout loss in Kansas City, I posted a blog titled Postponing the Premature Patriots Panic.  I'm not going to say "I told you so" though, because even I never would have predicted this.  To me New England looked like a 9-7 team.

I was very concerned about their brutal out of division schedule, but in their last five games the Pats just went 4-1 against the Broncos, Colts, Lions, Packer and Chargers.  Those five teams have a combined record of 47-15 (a .758 winning percentage) against the rest of the NFL.

In Week 5 the Patriots knocked off the then 3-0 Bengals, and I wrote a piece sarcastically called The dropped interception that saved Tom Brady's career and extended the Patriots dynasty.  It's worth going back and reading again, because what was a joke could end up being 100% true.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Frustrated Revolution player tosses opponent faking injury; would Boston have had a parade if they won?

This should be two different posts, but I just couldn't convince myself to write about soccer two days in a row.

Yesterday the New England Revolution lost the MLS Cup Final for a record fifth time in the 19-year history of the league (they've never won it).  Three of those defeats have now come at the hands of the L.A. Galaxy.

Late in the game with the Galaxy leading 2-1, L.A. goalie Jamie Penedo stayed down on the ground milking an "injury" in an effort to run time off the clock.  Players faking injuries is easily my biggest pet peeve with soccer, which is why when I watch it I end up tweeting things like this:

So in this case, I was particularly thrilled to see the way New England's A.J. Soares reacted to Penedo's antics:

That's my first-ever Vine right there, and I have to say I think it's a pretty good one (I'm fairly proud of my second one too, Rajon Rondo's spectacular full-court bounce-pass assist in the Celtics win over the Wizards yesterday).

Now on to Part II of this blog: If the Revolution had won yesterday, would we be seeing a parade in Boston this week?

I'm guessing it probably would've happened because people in charge would feel like it had to (remember, Patriots owner Bob Kraft owns the Revs as well), but I can't imagine there really could have been enough interest to justify it.  In the end I'm kind of glad it's a non-issue; the lack of crowds in attendance likely would have made Boston look pathetic and hurt our city's reputation as the king championship parades this millennium.

Dan Shaughnessy agrees with me:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Awesome Old Commercials of the Week: The Best of Larry Bird (in honor of his 58th birthday today)

Everybody remembers the Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan "nothing but net" commercial where they play H.O.R.S.E., the iconic Larry vs. Magic Converse ad in French Lick, Indiana, and probably the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar potato chip spot pictured (which I did include below).

Instead, here are some of Larry Legend's lesser known TV commercials:

You have to turn the volume way up for this one:

How weird is it to see an athlete in a beer commercial?

Imagine how great Bird might have been if his diet didn't consist of soda, beer, scotch, steak, burgers, potato chips and candy bars?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Do you ever look at pictures of food on your phone in a restaurant before ordering?

A recent experience I had while bartending: After intently scrutinizing the menu for a few minutes, a women asks me if an item is good or not.  It just so happens to be one of my favorites, but when I tell her that she says she needs a little more time to decide.

I walk away, but notice out of the corner of my eye that she has whipped out her smartphone and is now looking at a photo of said menu item online.  When I return she asks me about something else that I don't enjoy as much.  I answer honestly and the process repeats itself.  Eventually she orders the not-as-good thing.

When the food arrives she takes a very long time to eat.  She says it's great, but I can tell it's not as good as she hoped it was, which is what I told her in the first place.

The moral of the story?  You're not buying a new car here.  It's just lunch, a pretty low-risk situation--listen to the person who knows what they're talking about.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Celtics vs. Lakers: Do you still get excited?

The Lakers are in town to play the Celtics tonight.  I'm honestly shocked that my tickets actually sold for more than face value.  Boston is 5-11, L.A. is 5-14.  The Celtics have lost 17 straight games vs. Western Conference teams, including 0-7 this season.  And despite their terrible record, the Lakers are 4-1 against Eastern Conference teams.

Yesterday Rajon Rondo and Kobe Bryant had breakfast together at the Paramount in Beacon Hill, just a few doors over from where I used to live.  Here's my analysis:

Earlier this week I wrote an article for Hoops Habit, Stat Central: The Top 5 Most Efficient Scorers In The NBA This Season.  Neither Kobe nor Rondo comes anywhere near cracking the list.  Kobe is missing shots at an alarming rate and Rondo can't hit anything lately, he's scored just two points in each of the Celtics last three games.

Also on Hoops Habit, check out Is John Wall Now Better Than Derrick Rose?  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This commercial is real and on TV? Wow.

Recently I saw this commercial while watching sports highlights on TV late at night:

Apparently the actress is a porn star who goes by the name "Julia Ann."  Yes, it was on cable and very late at night, but the fact that this is ad real and on television still blows my mind a little bit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Did CBS take my advice about making NFL broadcasts more fantasy-friendly?

Recently I wrote a blog suggesting the NFL create a "fantasy football" app for its TV broadcasts that identifies players with the ball.  This would make it a lot easier to know right off the bat whether or not one of your guys just made a play.

While watching the Patriots-Packers game this past Sunday, I noticed something I hadn't seen before:

From time to time CBS listed all the offensive players on the field who might get the ball.  While this isn't quite as helpful as my suggestion, it's easier to do, much less intrusive for the people who aren't interested, and clearly a step in the right direction.  So, thanks for listening* CBS.

*Disclaimer: It's more than likely CBS has been doing this for a while and I only noticed it now because the idea was fresh on my mind.  But until told otherwise, I'm going to believe some high-up executive at the network likes to read my blog and suggested they make an attempt to implement my plan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to do math like Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's son

Houston Texans journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick graduated from Harvard.  After a career-best day in which he threw six touchdown passes, in his postgame press conference Fitzpatrick was more interested in showing off the brain on his eight-year-old son Brady (jump ahead to the 35-second mark):

The kid is clearly a math wiz, but the problem was not actually as near-impossible to solve as most people might think.  While it does require some quick addition and multiplication, it's also a trick--one I'm sure Fitzpatrick and his son have spent some time practicing.

With the premise that both numbers be in the 90s, Brady knows right off the bat that he's starting at 8100 (90 x 90).  Since he was given 93 and 97, he can then just add 3 + 7 to get 10, multiply it by 90, then add that 900 to 8100 for an even 9000.  All that's left is the 3 x 7 for an additional 21, and there you have it, 9021.

Yes, it's very impressive for an eight-year-old kid to calculate all that in his head in only a few seconds.  But it is also something humans are more capable of doing than they might realize.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Why doesn't anyone on 'The Walking Dead' call the zombies 'zombies'?

Last night was the "mid-season finale" (something that is becoming weirdly popular with TV shows now, and I don't like it...) of AMC's The Walking Dead.  I'm a huge fan of the program, but one thing about it irks me: Why don't any of the characters ever refer to the zombies as "zombies"?  The phrase most commonly used is "walkers," but the terms "biters," "roamers," "creepers," "eaters" and many others have been mentioned as well.

How is it possible that every single human being in The Walking Dead manage to go their entire lives without coming across the word "zombie"?  What's the deal?  Does the show take place in some sort of alternate parallel universe that is exactly the same as ours, except for the fact that in the history of time nobody ever once wrote a book about/made a movie with zombies?

And if that's the case, it's a pretty weird coincidence that the zombie apocalypse just so happened to occur in the world that oddly enough had no prior knowledge of zombies.  Bad break for those guys I guess...

Imagine if the Twilight series refused to use the word "vampire," how annoying would that be?

RELATED: Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Zombie" by the Cranberries

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Awesome(?) New Song of the Week: "The Hanging Tree" by Jennifer Lawrence

I saw the new Hunger Games movie over the weekend (Mockingjay Part I).  It was a little boring, probably because it's only the first half of the book--how good can just the first half of any story really be?

My favorite parts were a couple scenes when unarmed citizens fought back against the "Peacekeepers."  During one of them Jennifer Lawrence sang a song called "The Hanging Tree."  It's from the book, with the lyrics written by the author, Suzanne Collins (the Lumineers helped write the music).  As I was watching I remember thinking "Huh, that song is actually kind of cool."

Apparently other people agree.  It just debuted at No. 29 on the British pop charts, and Billboard Magazine expects "The Hanging Tree" to crack the top 40 here in the U.S. when the latest numbers are revealed on Wednesday.  Here's a movie trailer with the song in the background:

And for super Hunger Games nerds, the complete song:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sunday will be the first-ever* matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are two of the leading MVP candidates in the NFL this season.  Rodgers has 30 touchdown passes and only 3 interceptions while guiding the Packers to an 8-3 record.  Meanwhile Brady has tossed 26 TDs and just 6 INTs for the 9-2 Patriots.  Amazingly, tomorrow's contest will be the first time these two superstars battle head-to-head--sort of.

Brady and Rodgers at the Kentucky Derby last May.
New England and Green Bay met just once in the previous seven seasons, a 31-27 Pats' victory in 2010 when Matt Flynn filled in for an injured Rodgers.

But, the asterisk in the above title and the phrase "start against each other" in the tweet mean that Brady and Rodgers have technically played each other once before.

In 2006 Brady and the Patriots blew out a Brett Favre Packers team 35-0 at Lambeau Field.  However, Favre left the game with an elbow injury late in the first half.  Rodgers entered and went 4-for-12 for 32 yards in just his fifth-ever NFL appearance.

Friday, November 28, 2014

New York's four NFL and NBA teams have a combined record of 15-37

New York Giants: 3-8 (.273)
New York Jets: 2-9 (.182)

New York Knicks: 4-12 (.250)
Brooklyn Nets: 6-8 (.429)

Total: 15-37 (.288)

And if you throw out the Nets because it doesn't say "New York" in front of them, that record drops to 9-29 (.237).

Meanwhile, former embattled Jet quarterback Mark Sanchez of all people just led the Philadelphia Eagles to a blowout win over the Cowboys and first place in the NFC East at 9-3.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blog highlights from Thanksgivings past

Thanksgiving Day two years ago gave us the worst play in NFL history.

Here is the most depressing Thanksgiving commercial ever.

On the other hand, here's one of the funniest Thanksgiving commercials I can remember (although it isn't real).

Enjoy your Turkey Day!  And just in case there's not enough...

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