Saturday, January 30, 2016

From what I've seen in TV and movies, owning a pawn shop looks extrordinarily profitable

To the best of my recollection, I've never actually been inside a pawn shop.  I'm 100 percent certain that I have never bought or sold anything in one.  The extent of my pawn shop knowledge comes entirely from what I've seen in television shows and movies.

Having said that, I do feel as though I have a good grasp of how they work, because I've watched this exact sequence of events go down hundreds of times:

1. Guy with major issues walks into pawn shop with a fancy watch and plunks it down on the counter (quick sidebar--it's impressive how messed-up broke guys with no wallets always manage to have really expensive watches on hand).

2. Pawn shop owner scrutinizes it briefly with his little monocle/microscope thing and is able to ascertain the watch's exact value and everything it's made of in a matter of seconds (I'm always very impressed by this).

3. Pawn shop owner says "I'll give you 50 bucks for it."

4. Guy with major issues says "What?!  It cost me $2,000!"

5. Pawn shop owner snarkily says "Maybe, but in here it's worth 50 bucks."

6. Scene cuts to guy with major issues angrily walking out the door holding his $50 (on occasion he leaves with a gun instead), even though he needs $10,000 to solve whatever is currently the most major of his issues.

So what I'm thinking is, if this is how every single pawn shop transaction goes, the owners must be doing pretty well for themselves.

EDITORS NOTE: I swear I did not have this clip from Trading Places in mind as I wrote this blog.  I haven't seen the film in probably 20 years, but I came across it while searching for a picture to add afterwards.  I guess that proves my point:

Friday, January 29, 2016

What if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning switched places?

I'm not talking about for all time, or even this full season--I mean just for last Sunday's matchup.  And obviously this can't be taken literally with them simply each walking to the other side of the field before the AFC Championship Game.  What I'm asking is, what would've happened if Tom Brady was the Broncos quarterback (fully assimilated to his new teammates and system) and Peyton Manning was on the Patriots?

Before I venture a guess, I have to admit that I didn't come up with this idea on my own, I heard it on Bill Simmons' podcast.

Brady got knocked down 23 times last week by an outstanding Denver defense--nearly twice as many hits as he had absorbed in any game during the course of the season.  Yet somehow, he was still able to lead his club on a final drive that got them within a failed two-point conversion of sending the game to overtime.

Manning, on the other hand, guided the Broncos to just three points and four total first downs in the second half.  He didn't record a single first down on eight of 14 total possessions.  Imagine what might've happened had he been beaten up by the Denver defense all day?  My guess is the Patriots would've been shutout with Manning at the helm instead of Brady.

Score prediction if they switched places?  Brady/Broncos 31, Manning/Patriots 0.

According to My Top Sportsbooks, Carolina is favored by 4.5 points over Denver in Super Bowl 50.  But what if the Broncos had Brady under center instead of Manning?  A line of even money sounds about right, although it wouldn't surprise me at all if Brady's squad was expected to win.  In that case, I'd say Brady/Broncos 31, Panthers 28.

As it is, I'll take Panthers 35, Manning/Broncos 17.  The Panthers' score differs by seven because unlike Brady, I expect Manning to throw an interception that leads to a touchdown.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

LeBron wants you to know that he's not a coach killer, he's just smarter than them

The Cleveland Cavaliers recently fired their head coach David Blatt, a guy LeBron James was never fond of.  On Wednesday, LeBron decided he had to defend himself against accusations that he was responsible for the dismissal of Blatt, as well as some previous coaches he's played for.  Here are some of the things James said, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

"People get it so misconstrued because I'm a smart basketball player and I've voiced my opinion about certain things, which I did when I was here my first stint with Paul Silas and Mike Brown. ...

What do you guys want me to do, turn my brain off because I have a huge basketball IQ? If that's what they want me to do, I'm not going to do it because I've got so much to give to the game."

Admittedly, often times quotes can be taken out of context.  But in this case, you can watch the clip of LeBron's interview in the above link--his words are just as egomaniacal coming out of his mouth as they are to read.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say these comments probably didn't do much to help his case.

RELATED:  My "all the reasons why I can't stand LeBron" compilation blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You have to have just given up to wear a GoBelt, right?

I saw this ad on TV late last night:

Here's my breakdown of everyone in the commercial:

- For the people working out, fine I guess the GoBelt is OK.  But the others just walking around with it on during their day-to-day lives?  No.

- The lady with the shopping cart (:10) probably should've looked a little more like the woman in the purple shirt (:42)--she's the target audience GoBelt ought to be going after.

- The redhead in the green (:40)?  Absolutely not.  Same goes for the unidentified mom (:13) pushing her daughter on the swing.

- Tank top guy (:35) is just not wearing that thing over his shirt like that, and neither are raking leaves guy (1:19, pictured) or fishing guy (1:25).  In fact, those two should probably be made fun of mercilessly by everyone they know simply for being willing to dress like that in the ad, let alone in real life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I guarantee you can't name the quarterbacks going to the Pro Bowl

Every year the NFL Pro Bowl becomes more and more of a disgrace.  All the Patriots chosen are backing out.  None of the five quarterbacks selected are going--and how is it five, by the way?  Shouldn't there be the same number on each team?  Hmm... Maybe there aren't even teams anymore?  I honestly don't know.  I remember hearing something a few years ago about it no longer be AFC vs. NFC, and I think maybe there are captains who draft players like a schoolyard pickup game?  I'd look it up, but I don't care enough to find out.

The guy pictured above is one of the five QBs going.  I'm willing to bet most people don't know who he is, even with the photo.  Below is a screenshot of the sad list of quarterbacks who will be playing in the exhibition:

I could do some research and look up how not-Pro-Bowl-worthy their stats are, but I don't think this pathetic joke of a "game" is worth that much effort on my part.

UPDATE: So apparently I was wrong about some things--there are six QBs, and Russell Wilson who was originally chosen is going.  Amazingly nobody who read this knew or cared enough to tell me that, which further proves my point about how stupid the whole thing is.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lucid thoughts on the Patriots' AFC championship loss in Denver

I wish the Patriots had never called a single running play.  They were all just wasted downs.

Even though they didn't convert either time, going for it on fourth down on the two unsuccessful late drives was the right move.  If they'd kicked a field goal they still needed a touchdown anyway.  When you're that close with so little time left, you try to get that touchdown.

It was amazing that Stephen Gostkowski made it this long without missing an extra point.  Not just his unbreakable NFL-record streak dating back to 2006, but this year alone.  Only four other regular kickers were perfect all season on the new long extra points, and none of them were even close to Gostkowski's 55-for-55.  Mason Crosby was second at 39-for-39.

If you ask me, New England lost the game when they decided not to play offense at the end of the first half.  The Pats got the ball at their own 12-yard line trailing 14-9 with 2:26 to go.  They chose to run on first down and let the clock tick away till the two-minute warning.  Their attempt to kill the clock before halftime eventually failed, and the Broncos kicked a field goal anyway.  If the Patriots use their regular offense there instead, maybe they go down and score, maybe they don't.  But, there's also a good chance they move the ball and stop Denver from scoring.

Then, behind 17-9, the Pats got it back again with 33 seconds remaining at their own 20-yard line.  Why not throw a pass or two and see if you can get in field goal range?  Instead, they knelt on the ball.

Two possessions they just gave away.  If they get a field goal on either, or just hang on to the ball long enough to prevent the Broncos field goal, it's a totally different game.

I wish they'd had some sort of trick play in the bag for the two-point conversion--something they'd been saving all year for that situation.  Off the top of my head, how about a reverse to Julian Edelman who then tosses the ball to an open guy in the end zone when the defenders step up to keep him from crossing the goal line?

And finally, I'm really not looking forward to two weeks of hype surrounding Peyton Manning and how he got Denver back to the Super Bowl.  The Broncos win had nothing to do with him.  Their defense gets 100 percent of the credit.

If Manning had been good yesterday his team would've won by two or three touchdowns.  He took brutal sacks.  He had no chance on third and longs, to the point that Denver just ran the ball up the middle to improve punt position.  Manning missed open guys all day, including in the end zone.  He couldn't get a single first down on two possessions late in the fourth quarter, giving the Pats two extra chances to tie the game.  His offense managed only 12 first downs and 244 total yards for the entire game.  The Broncos won in spite of Manning, not because of him.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner

What's Love Got to Do with It is probably my favorite Tina Turner song, but it's also her most famous.  We Don't Need Another Hero is a close second in my book, and is also a way cooler choice for a blog post because of where it came from--the 1985 film that Turner stared in along with Mel Gibson, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  At the time it was the third and final "Mad Max" film, until Fury Road was released 30 years later in 2015.

When the new Mad Max came out, I was a little shocked by how great everybody said it was.  I haven't seen it, but it's in my DVR right now with a 97% tomato rating and an 86% popcorn--that's really good.

Back to homepage