Saturday, September 3, 2016

Did Tom Brady cut his thumb scraping the NFL decal off his helmet?

Above: Last season. Below: Last week.
Yesterday, a story (if you can call it that) broke that Tom Brady played this preseason without the NFL logo on his helmet, something that is apparently standard throughout the league.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk suggested the possibility that Brady's cut thumb two weeks ago resulted from him attempting to scrape the sticker off with scissors.

If we're really going to take this ridiculous notion seriously, I'd just like to point out how impressive it is that his helmet appears to be totally free of scratch marks or excess sticker residue (click on the photo to get a closer look).  In order to pull it off, Brady must've enlisted the help of some team staffers.  This egregious rules violation is probably worth an eight-game suspension once the incriminating text messages come to light.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Create your own "Stranger Things" style logo; plus my two main gripes with the show

At, you can build your own logo to replicate the one used in Stranger Things.  I'm totally on board for Season 2 and I love that the show referenced all sorts of '80s movies, but two instances of blatant scene stealing bothered me:

1. ET: Kids on bicycles are chased by bad men in cop cars vans.  Just as they are surrounded and about to be caught, the extraterrestrial girl with superpowers, riding along with the main character, makes the bikes a van fly, allowing them to escape.

2. Aliens: Person captured by alien scary monster is hanging from wall in glob of goo, nearly dead, with a baby alien scary monster attached to his face/down his throat.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My impression of every Bill Simmons NFL podcast

Despite the terrible trailer for his new TV show, I'm a big fan of Bill Simmons.  In particular, his podcasts are fantastic.  However, there's one thing that happens every time he discusses the NFL, usually with his friend "Cousin Sal," that really bugs me.  They have a habit of breaking down each team's schedule as if it's the most difficult stretch of games the league has ever seen.  The conversations always sound something like this:

"Cousin Sal, are we sure (Team X) is really that good? They're 1-1 right now. Take a look at their next four weeks: They play against an NFL team this Sunday at 4 pm. Then they have a short week and have to take on another NFL team on Thursday night. After that, they go on the road and play yet another NFL ballclub, before travelling all the way to (City Y) and facing a fourth straight squad that plays in the NFL at 1 pm on the West Coast. That's just a brutal schedule. Don't you think they could easily be 2-4 heading into Week 7?"

This type of schedule talk is especially irksome when it occurs before the season even starts--nobody has any idea yet which games will actually turn out to be tough matchups (listen to Sal's take on the Jets at the 22:30 mark of their most recent podcast).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How awesome is this hypercolor chameleon car?

I jogged by this spectacular hypercolor-looking car today (Miami Vice might also be a good description):

As I passed by it, I realized the colors were changing.  In the above photo, the side of the car is blue.  From the slightly different angle pictured below, it's purple:

It's a chameleon!  I need one of these, stat.

On a related note, it might be time for me to add a blog category (check them out, listed on the right side of the page) labelled "Weird cars I see while jogging at Castle Island in South Boston."

Previous examples:
Why would this guy take "professional" pictures of himself wearing a tux in front of a Porsche?
What's going on with this creepy spy van?
What do you make of this "Navy SEAL" car?
Have you ever seen a padlock on a car door?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The U.S. Open was shockingly unprepared for large crowds to enter on Opening Day

It's only a two-week event each year, so it should come as no surprise when the U.S. Open has some kinks to work out on Day 1.  I'm also certain there are all kinds of variables in play here that I am unaware of.  However, the following are facts:

We arrived at 11:15 am Monday (the first matches began at 11:00) to find a mostly unorganized mob attempting to enter the premises.  A very small number of Open employees were trying to guide people into two lines to pass through the security check--one if you had a bag, another if you did not.  However, both the signs and the staff directing traffic were far too close to the entrance and nobody arriving had any idea what the massive lines were for.

Even worse was the fact that the "bag" line was inexplicably moving right along, while the "no bag" line was at a standstill (as you can see from the photo).  The alleged "express line" took us 49 minutes and we finally entered the grounds at 12:04 pm.

Hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people in the "non-express" line flew right past us.  Why?  Of the 10 security gates in operation, eight were being used for the "bag" line and only two for the "no bag" line.  When you have to empty your pockets and pass through a metal detector, it doesn't really take much longer for a person to glance in your bag as well--certainly not four times longer, which is the ratio they seemed to expect based on the gate distribution.

Monday, August 29, 2016

What if the NBA eliminated the short three-pointer in the corner?

Three-pointers are taking over the NBA.  Consider this: In 2014-15, Steph Curry set an all-time league record with 286.  A year later he hit 402, breaking his previous mark by over 40 percent.

There are those who think this sudden three-point barrage is ruining the game and that something must be done about it.  The obvious fix is to move back the three-point arc (suggested by Grantland in 2014 and again by FiveThirtyEight this year).  However, that'd be a drastic change which would forever alter the record books.

I'd like to propose an alternative idea:

Take away the closer line in the corner instead.  The NBA's three-point arc is 23'9" inches from the rim, except for by the sideline where it's is only 22 feet away.  I've never understood this.  Why did the league decide it was essential for players to be able shoot threes by the baseline in the first place?  What's wrong with having the arc continue at its regular distance until it hits the sideline?

There are many players who've become proficient at the corner three who can't hit from the normal distance.  Guys like Curry also make the shorter three at particularly absurd rates (sidebar--if the league had adopted my plan prior to the 2012-13 season Ray Allen never would've hit the shot that saved LeBron James' career).  Eliminating the 22-foot three-pointer could cut down on the skyrocketing number of threes made without fundamentally changing the rules of the game.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Acknowledgement of Intent to Proceed" is the dumbest form ever

Among the 46 pages (that's not a joke) necessary fill out and sign when applying for a home loan in Massachusetts, there is one called "Acknowledgement of Intent to Proceed."  Its purpose is to confirm that in the process of applying for a mortgage, you do in fact intend to apply for a mortgage.


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