"Out in the big top world, we all need the clowns to make us smile."
- Journey "Faithfully"
The 2006 Torino Olympics are over, and not a moment too soon--I'm all Olympicked out. Of course, the US media chose to focus on this country's negatives: Back-to-the-Bar-for-Bode's 0-for-5, our men's speedskaters bitching at each other, figure skaters falling all over the place, the hockey team failing to medal, our snowboarders not smoking as much as we'd hoped, biathlete Dick Cheney shooting another competitor in the face during the 4x5km race, hotdogging female snowboarders hotdogging in the one event where they shouldn't have been hotdogging.
However, as a self-proclaimed B-list blogger (I'm in training to become "A-list" whatever the fuck that means), I'm going to focus on the positives: the UNITED STATES WON THE MOST MEDALS! That's right! Yeah, I know what you're going to say, but the "official" medal tally is completely wrong. We all know that the only reason that East Germany and West Germany knocked down that wall and reunified was to crush everyone else in the Olympics, so I refuse to acknowledge this newfangled "Germany" of which people are speaking. If yo'reu buying what they're selling, all I can say is at least we beat Canada. You know, they're that country to the north of us that's perpetually frozen and snow covered; since they all cross country ski to work, they should be embarrassed that they didn't take home the most hardware.
The worst part of all of this whole Torino nonsense had to be the Closing Ceremonies, which I couldn't even bring myself to watch. Well, thank the Pope I skipped it, because I heard that there were scary clowns all over the goddamn thing. Garishly dressed clowns! Jolly candy-like clowns! Galvanting and pillaging in the streets of Torino! And some of the athletes even were forced, against their will, to wear red clown noses! Oh, the horror. This quote is all you need to know:
Throughout, bits of burlesque unfolded in the stadium’s entryways and aisles as a vagabond flower seller — a traditional carnival figure — was chased by an ever-growing squad of Swiss guards . . .
. . . who eventually shot him to death, to the delight of the spectators! Speaking of clowns, this guy apparently really enjoyed curling, as he stripped off his clothes and ran around during the Great Britain vs. USA match:
Thank god he didn't get one of those giant washer-shaped medals, lord only knows where he would have put it. A similar joker was also paid by the same website to run onto the stage and scream like a moron during the closing ceremonies. I don't know what he said, he might have been drinking with Bode earlier in the day. This is the level of security that $107 million (and counting) gets you?
Italy has finally handed this financial/logistical/security nightmare over to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the host for the Winter Games in 2010, and I'm praying they choose Bob and Doug McKenzie as the official mascots. Hey, BC is relatively nearby (at least it's on the same continent), so someone please remind me to look into that. I didn't realize that Planet Hoth is bidding for the 2014 Games. Good stuff.
I just have a few closing comments about Olympic hockey. This came at a bad time for the NHL, as this two week competition interrupted a great comeback season. Not only that, but some players had to play 8 games in 13 days; that's too much hockey, and you risk getting some of them hurt for the rest of the NHL season (see Ohland, Jagr, Salo). Add to that fact that the Gold Medal winning Swedes may have been "partying a little too hard", and some of them might not make it back to their respective NHL teams in time for tonight's games. Honestly, who really cares if Detroit will be missing their 5 Swedes, or if Mats Sundin and his scary 11 goals doesn't return to the Maple Leaves (look it up, Canada, that's the right spelling)? Certainly not me, as long as Brodeur is well rested. In fact, you guys can keep Pat Quinn too, while you're at it. Shots of Absolut all around! Ikea Jerkers for everyone!
Personally, I think we should give this sport back to the youngsters. As it is now, the pros in the Olympics produced few great games or memorable moments, and the best roster of hockey talent on paper (Canada) was abominable. I think it would be much more exciting and enthralling if each country sent its best junior and college players. Of course, once the puck drops again for the remainder of the NHL season tonight, I'll probably forget all about this stuff for approximately 4 years.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
"Out in the big top world, we all need the clowns to make us smile."
Monday, February 27, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Congratulations to the Swedish hockey team, who beat the upstart Finnish team this morning in a well-played Battle-For-Scandinavia Gold Medal game, 3-2. This pretty much marks the end of the 2006 Torino Games, which I rather enjoyed. Of course, my hangover was the real winner this morning. So let's get these guys back to North America so we can resume the NHL hockey season, which has been good all year and should have an interesting finish.
I think we can all agree that the biathlon is the most psychotic sport in these winter games. These are true athletes, and have to be in phenomenal shape to ski uphill and downhill for kilometers, shoot at targets from prone and standing positions, ski penalty loops for missed shots--it's beyond crazy. And if speed skating is like Indy car racing, the short track is more akin to midget racing. And I don't mean to say that they're diminutive (Anton Ono is actually 5'8"/165lb, bigger than I thought), it's just more chaotic. The sheer number of skaters on the ice for the 5000m relay race made it look like an "all skate".
As for the Winter Olympic Games in general, Rob pointed out that every event requires its athletes to wear some special footwear, whether it's a ski, board, or skate. But what about curling, I wondered? More importantly, what did the 2006 BRONZE MEDAL WINNING US MEN'S CURLING TEAM wear? Rob said the curler probably has shoes equipped with special skates, but I thought that would damage the ice too much. Well, the great debate has been answered. The curlers wear shoes with "sliders" on them, usually made of Teflon, on their front foot; the sweepers wear removable "grippers" made of rubber on their shoes to give them more traction. Be sure to visit this article on curling, and don't miss Steve's Curling Website! They have all your curling needs, from Brushes, Hair Brushes, Shoes, Sliders, Gloves and Clothing! I guess I was right, but I hate being right about curling--what does that say about me? We're still not sure when they Zamboni the speed skating rinks, since everything was edited/tape delayed over here, we never got to see it. Anyway, it was fun to watch, and I will definitely Join Bode . . . at the bar! We have a lot to talk about, since we each won the same amount of medals this year.
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:20 PM
Saturday, February 25, 2006
* This is the very definition of "ironic": the tax preparation company H&R Block did their own taxes wrong, understating their state income tax liability by $32 million. The irony, Johnny, the irony.
* First it was "Valentine's Weekend". Then I heard on a car commercial about a "President's Month Sale Event". Now it's apparently the beginning of "St. Patrick's Season". Apparently, one day wasn't enough for these "holidays". We weren't spending enough money on chocolate bonbons, SUVs, and stupid green plastic hats. So they've been supersized, to give us plenty of time to celebrate consumerism. Well done!
* Question: When did it become fashionable to start playing the Spin Doctors on the radio again? Answer: Never. So if you're guilty of this (and you DJs know who you are), please stop, for the love of God.
* This is a priceless picture from the press conference announcing the Knicks signing Steve Francis. I'd say that coach Larry Brown's expression pretty much sums up how he feels about his situation.
I'm not an NBA fan by any means, and the entire league could shrivel up and die and I wouldn't miss it. But the Knicks, oh how they make me laugh! GMs seem to be of two types: those that are good businessmen with a handle on the financial aspects of running a team, and those that are basketball savvy and make moves accordingly; if a team is lucky, they get a guy who has a handle on both. Well, GM Isiah Thomas excels in neither, and he's singlehandedly destroying this franchise with his inept player moves that don't make financial or basketball sense. I don't mean to be rude, but I think he may be mentally retarded; he may ride the short bus to MSG every day. He probably has been told to sign players with recognizable names to give fans and corporate ticket holders the illusion of "competing", since it's impossible to "rebuild" in New York. Regardless, I was astonished that they hired him a few years back considering his shoddy track record, and I can't believe he still has a job--and then I remembered that he's employed by Cablevision. Makes perfect sense, since this massive corporation makes money in spite of itself. All the Dolans need to do is raise cable prices to pay for this latest disaster. Good times.
I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if a major city paper (Post, Daily News) just refused to cover the Knicks in one of their editions? No explanation, no apology, no corrections; they just refuse to include a single article about the Knicks, or even mention the team at all. They could omit their game box score, and even remove their name from the bottom of the standings. Basically, you could scan every word in the entire paper, and "Knicks" wouldn't come up ONCE. I'm sure no one would miss them. That would be classic.
Anyway, here are some great e-mails sent to Bill Simmons regarding this issue, and a hilarious article about the 1st Annual Atrocious GM Summit.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:19 AM
Friday, February 24, 2006
* Why wasn't I informed about Whiskyfest New York? Throw me a frickin' bone, here! I'm the boss, need the info!
* Tiger Woods absolutely destroyed Stephen Ames in the Accenture Match Play Championship first round on Wednesday. The funniest thing about this is Ames' poorly chosen pre-match comments:
Ames was on the practice range Monday afternoon when he was asked if he would take a carefree attitude into his match against the No. 1 player in the world because not many expected him to win. Ames shook his head. "Anything can happen," Ames said, breaking into a big smile. "Especially where he's hitting the ball."
Wow. Okay, while Tiger's driving accuracy is not the best, Ames couldn't have possibly said anything dumber. So how did Tiggs respond to this? He completely thrashed and demoralized Ames, winning 9 and 8. Woods got birdies on the first 6 holes, won the first 7 holes, and walked off with the match on the 10th hole. That, my friends, is a trouncing.
When a reporter asked if he was aware of Ames' comments after the match, Woods cut the question short. "Yes," he said. And what was your reaction? "9 and 8," Woods said simply. So the comments – which Woods called fair, but not something he would say about another player -- lit a fire under you? "You might say that," he said. Urged to elaborate further, Woods again answered, "9 and 8."
Even Vijay Singh had to admit, "That was a whoopin'." As for the smack talk, that should be on the list of things NOT TO DO right before playing the #1 golfer on the planet one-on-one.
* Suffern HS wins 4-3 in double OT to beat Clarkstown North to win the Division I hockey title. They'll host Section 2 champion Shenendehowa on Saturday March 4 at 8 p.m. at Sport-O-Rama. GO MOUNTIES!!!
* And to close out Feel Good Friday, here's a story of a high school kid who had never played varsity basketball, and was put in at the end of the last game of the year. After missing his first two shots, he went on to score a ridiculous 20 points (including 6 three pointers) in the final 4 minutes. Here's the kicker: he's autistic. Amazing story.
Posted by Jeff K @ 7:57 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Even though deadspin.com credits The Best Sports Blog for coming up with this (2/21, 2:43 PM), I know Vertullo made the connection between Emily Hughes and Alyson Hannigan first. However, he had to wait until the next morning, when he was sure I was back from Florida, to relay it to us:
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 10:49:43 -0500
From: Vertullo, Robert G
have you seen emily hughes at all? She’s the olympic skater that took michelle kwans spot. Anyway she should open all her press conferences with “one time, at band camp . . .”
PARKING FOR CUSTOMERS WITH POOR JUDGMENT
I understand the need for handicapped parking spaces, even though some of the drivers that possess them walk faster than me, but what the hell is "PARKING FOR CUSTOMERS WITH TODDLERS"? Whose fault is it that you decided to procreate and then drag your non-ambulatory offspring with you to the grocery store? It's certainly not my fault, no matter what your paternity test says. Where do we draw the line with these "special needs" parking spaces? "PARKING FOR MANIC DEPRESSIVES"? "PARKING FOR THE LAZY"? "PARKING FOR CUSTOMERS WITH INCONTINENCE PROBLEMS"? While we're at it, how about "PARKING FOR HOCKEY PLAYER WITH GROIN STRAIN", "PARKING FOR SINGLE PERSON WHO JUST NEEDS TO RUN IN FOR SOME MILK", or "PARKING FOR PEOPLE ON A BEER RUN"?
Like every great joke, this newspaper article saves the punch line for the end.
BREWSTER - A state judge has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents a nude juice bar in the village from operating at least until a hearing is conducted later this month. The order, issued yesterday, is a small victory for the village, which has been trying to close Club Verona since it opened in 2004. The club, Brewster officials allege, had racked up several code violations, including changing the site's use without Planning Board review and not applying for a certificate of occupancy. [...]
Club Verona attorney Jonathan Lovett said the ongoing village action further fuels a federal lawsuit that club owner Ray Knox Jr. filed in December. It charges the village with malicious prosecution and seeks $350,000 in damages. "This is the stupidest thing the village could have done," Lovett said this morning. "It increased geometrically my client's damages."
Geometrically? What does that mean? "These charges against my client are completely trapezoidal, and his financial hardships will consequently become Pythagorean. The village's decision is completely obtuse, and my client feels that they are not taking the right angle with regards to this issue. I don't mean to be hyperbolic, but he'll be lucky if he can manage three square meals a day after this. Hopefully, we can intersect with village officials in the near future, unlike two parallel lines which never meet, and come to a equilateral decision."
Posted by Jeff K @ 1:34 PM
Skinner: Superintendent, I hope you're ready for mouth-watering hamburgers.
Chalmers: I thought we were having steamed clams.
Skinner: Oh, no, I said, "steamed hams." That's what I call hamburgers.
Chalmers: You call hamburgers steamed hams.
Skinner: Yes, it's a regional dialect.
Chalmers: Uh-huh. What region?
Skinner: Uh, upstate New York.
Chalmers: Really. Well, I'm from Utica and I never heard anyone use the phrase, "steamed hams."
Skinner: Oh, not in Utica, no; it's an Albany expression.
Chalmers: I see.
(after eating the hamburgers)
Chalmers: You know, these hamburgers are quite similar to the ones they have at Krusty Burger.
Skinner: Oh, no, patented Skinner Burgers. Old family recipe.
Chalmers: For steamed hams.
Chalmers: Yes, and you call them steamed hams despite the fact that they are obviously grilled.
Skinner: Uh ... you know ... one thing I sh... 'scuse me for one second.
Chalmers: Of course.
(Skinner walks in and out of kitchen in a second)
Skinner: (faking a yawn) Well, that was wonderful. Good time was had by all. I'm pooped.
Chalmers: Yes, I guess I should be -- (notices kitchen is on fire) Good Lord, what is happening in there?
Skinner: Aurora Borealis?
Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
Chalmers: May I see it?
Skinner: Oh, erm... No.
(Skinner and Chalmers walk outside)
Agnes: (screaming from inside the house) Seymour! The house is on fire!
Skinner: No, mother. It's just the Northern Lights.
Chalmers: Well, Seymour, you are an odd fellow, but I must say you steam a good ham.
(The Simpsons is copyrighted by FOX and all rights reserved blah blah blah.)
Posted by Jeff K @ 8:14 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Well, I blew it.
None of my daily pix made it from my phone to the blog while I was in Florida, because I typed in the wrong address every time. And I had no way to check it because I wasn't online all week. Oh well. So I just posted two of the golf-related photos: the one on 2/14 is of the green of the par 5 5th hole at East Bay GC in Largo, FL where I 3-putted for a bogey (damn!); the 2/19 post is from Myakka Pines GC in Englewood, FL), I think it's the 17th hole (#8 on the Red Nine).
The pix from my camera phone are all washed out and fuzzy, and it costs $0.79 to put each one up there, so I'm not going to bother posting any others. Plus, my comments were minimal because typing on a regular non-QWERTY keypad completely SUCKS. And anyway, the whole point was to SEND THEM DAILY FROM MY FRIGGING PHONE, to make everyone in the bitter cold Northeast jealous. So in other words, the whole thing was a complete failure, and I suck.
Oh, did I mention that the weather in Florida was in the high 70s/near 80 and sunny every day? It was gorgeous . . . and now I'm back at work. It was around 22° as I was walking up the hill into hell/work, and the cold air went through me like a dentist's drill.
Did I mention airports suck? More on that tomorrow. I'm tired, after rolling in at 1 AM this morning.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:34 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Hello from the Myakka Pines Golf Course. Seriously, do I have to leave Tuesday???
P.S. Yeah, I didn't mind seeing Canada lose, but they BLEW the call on that goal. Nice to see officiating blows in Olympic sports too. I didn't appreciate that Jagr cheapshot either.
Posted by Jeff K @ 6:05 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
* Why people don't like snow. Personally, I think it's beautiful when everything gets buried in white, as the BLIZZARD OF '06 has illustrated. You can go sledding on it, you can ski on it, you can eat it (not the yellow snow), you can ball it up throw it in the face of your enemy. What's wrong with snow? We only have a few snowstorms a year here in the NYC area, and I don't think it's winter without them. Furthermore, it makes you appreciate nature and realize that as human beings we're pretty insignificant (without a huge amount of damage and tragic deaths, see: Hurricane Katrina). If you don't like it, move to Puerto Rico or somewhere, and stop whining in my ear.
* SUDOKU! Okay, it's a bunch of numbers you write in a box. What's the big deal? Why is this the hot new craze? It's like crossword for dummies. Those "Where's Waldo?" books were more compelling. I still don't know where the hell he is.
* UniversalHD's Olympic coverage. Of all the possible live Olympic events they could be showing in the morning, UniversalHD has only shown women's hockey. Good God, I can't take any more. And I don't think the Canadians were running up the score by winning 16-0 against Italy, it's just that Italy is THAT HORRENDOUS. They looked like kids compared to the immense back-bacon Molson-swilling maple-syrup-loving Canadian chicks. In fact, one of their defensewomen (?) was only 15 years old, for cripes sake! Wow. I can't wait until the men arrive (some of them got delayed by the blizzard).
* Oprah's Book Club. Why should we care what she reads? Seriously, it's yet another reason for housewives to shut off their brain and not have to make their own decisions. "I don't need a friend to suggest a book, and I don't have to browse the bestsellers for something that piques my interest, because Oprah's already told me what to read!" Ugh. First of all, I guarantee you she doesn't have time to read all of them, he probably has flunkies who do that and give her Cliff's Notes about them.
Thankfully, I'm here to save the day. I'm starting "Jeffro's Book Club", the guys' guide to reading. Don't worry about anything, I'm going to tell you what to read. Don't listen to O and buy Elie Weisel's "Night", I read it over 10 years ago (making me way ahead of the curve), it's nice but don't bother. Instead, here's my first recommendation: Post Office by Charles Bukowski, a hilariously funny first person account of the adventures of a letter carrier. After reading it, you can understand why people go "postal", and there are enough 4 letter words in here to make Oprah shit. Okay, I told you what to read, but you're mindless sheep already, so why not?
* Figure skating. I have to be honest with you: I really don't like watching it, and I'm only rooting for them to fall when it's on. There, I said it.
Posted by Jeff K @ 5:25 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
The Blizzard of '06 did not disappoint, dumping 1-2 feet of snow across a wide swath of the Northeast. Here are some of the area snowfall totals in inches (thanks NWS):
NEW CITY 20.1" 1230 PM 2/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
FAIRFIELD 30.2" 730 PM 2/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
DANBURY 26.0" 600 PM 2/12 CT DOT
RAHWAY 27.0" 600 PM 2/12 PUBLIC
...NEW YORK COUNTY...
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 27.0" 345 PM 2/12 PUBLIC
CENTRAL PARK ZOO 26.9" 400 PM 2/12 (beating the 1947 record - 26.4")
NYC/LA GUARDIA 25.4" 400 PM 2/12 AIRPORT ASOS
BREWSTER 24.0" 100 PM 2/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
RIDGEWOOD 19.0" 400 PM 2/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
WHITE PLAINS 21.5" 500 PM 2/12 PUBLIC
Here are a couple of pix I took while venturing out to my mailbox and back.
Posted by Jeff K @ 5:56 PM
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Good news: I'm watching Olympic hockey right now from Tortellini "Passion Lives Here" Italy in glorious HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The bad news: it's WOMEN'S hockey. At least it's something, and it's in HD. Nice. As the Canadian team pounds the polenta out of the Italian team 16-0, I'm wondering why they don't just go to running time. Anyway, there's also some ski jumping on at the moment, which also looks great. I'll have to watch as much as I can in HD before I fly down to Florida on Tuesday morning.
The Opening Ceremonies looked like a well orchestrated acid trip, as usual, with some mohawked guy skating around, and flaming speed skaters. They had eight women carry in the Olympic flag, and one of them was Susan Sarandon, for some odd reason. And yes, Yoko Ono made her appearance, and luckily I was in a bar at the time and couldn't hear her warbling poetry. It looked like some of the US atheletes were wearing tighty-whiteys on their heads, who picks out those hats??? And apparently, Italians love donuts, as a Ferrari F1 car tore it up. All told, it was ceremon-tastic!
GRETZKY AND BETZKY! This was the headline on the cover of the Daily News yesterday. I'm so sick of the sports media (and the media in general) and their treatment of this Rick Tocchet gambling charges, and the allegations against Mr. and Mrs. Gretzky regarding their involvement. Of course, every day in the newspaper they print the odds/money line/point spread for every game; they predict game scores by saying "Take the Giants and the under"; they have NCAA brackets, and websites have fantasy sports sites for it; they take calls on sports radio, and people make their Super Bowl picks according to the numbers they got on their "pool boxes"; the day after the SB-XL was declared "the biggest gambling day in Vegas history!" In other words, gambling is everywhere in sports, everyone does it (whether its illegal or legal), sports lives off of it and gets ratings because of it, and the media helps promote it. So when someone is caught in an "illegal gambling ring", it's suddenly a horrible, deplorable, criminal act! This will give hockey a black eye! What an outrage! How fucking hypocritical is that?
Vertullo said it best: the reason the media suddenly treats this with such disdain is not because it's "illegal", but because the government doesn't get a piece of the pie. And the way the media is attacking the Gretzkys, with currently unfounded allegations I might add, is typical Schadenfreude: people have a sick fascination about knocking famous, wealthy, and successful people off their perches. But if you ask people about this, whether they're hockey fans or not, I guarantee you that 9 out of 10 aren't the least bit outraged by any of it. Personally, I don't care at all.
You may have to hold off on that Michele Kwan-a-thon: she may have decided to withdraw from the 2006 games.
Joke of the Night (Friday 2/10 Happy Hour Edition). Rob made this joke while we were thinking of songs to request next time that Tuney McOldsong plays a set at Bourbon Street: "Smells Like Tune Spirit". Hilarious.
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:46 PM
Friday, February 10, 2006
That's right, it's that time again! Well, it's not so much a fever, but I feel a little under the weather and I coughed up some phlegm first thing in the morning, so that can only mean the WINTER OLYMPICS ARE HERE! Tonight's opening ceremonies in Turin/Torino should be a treat, since I heard that the Americans aren't wearing cowboy hats, and Luciano Pavarotti and Yoko Ono are going to be there (actually, I'm not sure of that second one, it's only a rumor). Personally, I've never been a fan of the summer games, it seems like it's really just a lot of running. However, the winter sports, like hockey, skiing, ski jumping, speed skating and luge, among others, are infinitely more interesting to me. I can see people run all the time; I can't always see people slide a giant stone across an ice rink and run in front of it with brooms, or see skiers shooting a rifle in the woods. Now that's entertainment!
Viewing the events over here in the States is going to be tough because of the 6 hour time difference. In fact, I just found out that the gold medal hockey game is going to be at 8:00 AM on February 26th. Holy crap! Can't they make this a little more viewer friendly? I don't care if you have to play at midnight over there, dammit! Americans spend billions of dollars traveling over to Italy, spending ridiculous amounts of money under the Tuscan sun just to say hi to the Pope! Why can't Italy throw us a bone, here? Oh well, I guess it's too late to change the schedule. I'm going to need a whole lotta lattes to make it through this.
Fun things to look for:
*Bob Costas trying to appear "fun" and "hip" by using snowboarding slang, like "riding fakie to the frontside wall and sticking the 1080, that was sick!"
*Irritating fluff pieces about olympians having to "overcome adversity"
*A no-holds barred Michelle Kwan-a-thon!
*German Georg "The Speeding Sausage" Hackl, will be a luger for the 6th (and last) time this year (I didn't have a joke, I just wanted to type "Speeding Sausage")
*NJ native Danny Kass in the snowboarding half-pipe (you know it's a sport we invented just to get medals when we're sending skiers from New Jersey)
*Apolo Ono getting stabbed with a skate by an angry South Korean during a short-track speed skating event
*US skeleton luge team trashing the Olympic Village, as they fail to medal
*US Figure skater Johnny Weir loves Christina Aguilera songs, Moulin Rouge, and Margaret Cho
*If the French figure skating judge even LOOKS at us wrong, there's gonna be a donnybrook on the ice
*Did I mention some of the skiers carry rifles?
Naturally, I was looking forward to watching some events in HD (esp. hockey) on the NBC-HD and Universal-HD channels, but unfortunately all of the Universal HD stuff is live. This means that during the middle of the week we've got Canada vs. Czech hockey at 5:30 AM, ski jumping at 4 PM, USA vs. Russia hockey at 2 PM, and so on. Can't they postpone "Knight Rider" reruns for two weeks to replay some events in prime time? I read one disclaimer about HDNet's coverage: all broadcasts are postponed one day. Gee, thanks.
Hockey preview: Let's face it, it's going to be another tough road for the US men's hockey team. Just glancing at the men's ice hockey Olympic rosters (as of February 8) tells me that we got the short end of the goalie stick, so to speak. With the trio of Esche (persistent groin problems, spotty play as of late), DiPietro (struggling with Isles, near bottom of goalie stats with a 3.44 GAA/.890 SV) and Graham (probably the starter, but looked horrible getting pulled in 2/7 game @ NJ), it's going to be a tough road (where is the Sabres' Ryan Miller???). With a lot of old timers on the roster (Modano, Chelios, Weight, Tkachuk), I honestly don't know who's going to score goals for this squad, except maybe Knuble, Cole and Gionta, the only players with more than 25 goals in the NHL so far. That's right, we're depending on a Devil to score goals for us--not a good sign.
I see the favorites to win the gold are the Canadian team (3:2 odds, just ask Mrs. Gretzky!), who are stacked as usual. The Czech (Hasek, Jagr, Elias, Hejduk) and Swedish (hot Ranger rookie Lundqvist, a couple of Sedins, and 6 guys with names ending in -sson) teams also have a legitimate shot. The Russians, with flashy young goal scorers (Afinogenov, Ovechkin, Datsyuk) but little goaltending are a question mark, but could be scary. Long shots would be the USA, Slovakia, and Finnish squads. Look out for Gunther Hell, goalie for the Italian team. I also heard Piazza will be catching for them, or something.
All in all, it should be Olymp-tacular!
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:12 PM
Thursday, February 9, 2006
U2 won 5 Grammys last night including the big kahuna, Album of the Year. So if you add in the 2 they won for "Vertigo" last year, that's 7 awards they've managed to get out of the worst album of their career, which easily beats the previous record holder, Toto (for 1981's "Toto IV"). Now, I agreed with the Album of the Year for "The Joshua Tree" in 1987, but that's where it ends. I'm just going to assume the Grammy voters are playing catchup for snubbing them early in their career, for "Pride (In the Name of Love)", and the albums "War" and "Boy", and/or "Unforgettable Fire". But seriously, the throwaway B-sides from "Joshua Tree" are better than anything on their current disc. Anyway, the Grammys are just so lame and predictable, I can't deal with it anymore. Just the fact that Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", which would have been stupidest song of the year if it wasn't for Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps", was considered one of the TOP FIVE BEST SONGS OF THE YEAR tells you where music is at nowadays. Obviously, the Grammys are just trying their hardest to get people from every walk of life to tune in (by throwing Mariah, Sir Paul, Kanye, Gwen, and U2 in the same category), but none of this stuff is close to being groundbreaking or the "best" music of the year. I mean, how many polka Grammys can Jimmy Sturr win before someone does something about it?!? (Rhetorical question.) Personally, I can't wait until they add the categories "Most Downloaded Song" and "Ringtone of the Year".
To illustrate how meaningless award nominations are, the "Dr. Phil" show got a daytime Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling". I'll let you think that one over for a minute . . .
The Daily News had this headline in the paper about the Giambino:
JASON NO LONGER SORRY
Injects himself with new pride
Wow, that's puntastic! He does look a lot like Meat Loaf, or maybe he's just been eating a lot of meat loaf.
Duke beat North Carolina the other night on an unbelieveably lucky break: with 20 seconds left and down by 3 with the ball, NC inexplicably did not attempt a 3 point shot, instead driving the lane and missing a layup with 8 seconds left. Whuh? Duke doesn't need breaks like this, they do just fine without it. And why isn't this even mentioned in the recap? It makes it sound like Duke won easily. In other news, Dick Vitale masturbated in his hotel room afterwards. And what's the deal with J.J Redick? Is there anyone whiter? No, I'm not playing the race card, I'm just talking about his pigmentation--his skin is a deathly pale white. Does he ever get any sun? Does he ever leave the gym? Is he a member of a some weird goth club? I bet even albinos even call him "whitey". Seriously, he's white.
What's the record for an actor who has starred in the most movies that have titles stolen from songs? Because I think Reese Witherspoon is up there at the top, with "Walk the Line", (Johnny Cash), "Just Like Heaven" (The Cure), and "Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynyrd Skynyrd). She was also in "Twilight", which HAD to be stolen from the U2 song, but I can't prove it.
I know "Brokeback Mountain" is the big gay Oscar hit of the year, but now they've made a movie out of "Bicurious George"? That's just wrong. Stop monkeying around, Hollywood! Or maybe I read that ad wrong. Oh, and those remakes of "Pink Panther" and "When a Stranger Calls" are sure to do well, but I can't wait for the big screen version of "Small Wonder".
Why does it take the Super Bowl for people to discover: 1) how horrible NFL officials are, 2) how stupid the majority of commercials are, and 3) how old the Rolling Stones are? Guess what? It's been like that for quite a while. Are we all caught up now? Super.
I don't understand Cablevision. Yes, I'm happy with their HD programming, since they exclusively carry "Fox Sports NY-HD" and "MSG-HD", but I don't understand how they choose what gets broadcast in HD and what doesn't. The Knicks @ Nets game was in HD on BOTH channels last night, meanwhile the Rangers were at home (HD ready!) and the Islanders were in Philly (not HD ready)--and neither of them in was in HD. If you put the Rangers on MSG-HD, the Isles on FSNY, and the Nets on YES-HD, then everyone wins. Cablevision OWNS the Rangers, and can't get them broadcast in HD?
Posted by Jeff K @ 5:00 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
This is a test.
Yes, firstname.lastname@example.org's MOBLOG system worked correctly it seems, although Verizon puts all this signature crap after my comments which I had to delete. This picture was taken from my Samsung A670 phone on July 4th weekend 2005, and has been trapped on it ever since. I think I'll send a picture a day while I'm in Florida, just to try this out, and make everyone jealous. And by "everyone", I mean "no one", because I'm the only one that reads this blog.
Anyway, I'll be on the golf course next week at this time, and you won't. And this blog will provide visual evidence of that. So there.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:02 AM
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
When I can't think of anything funny to blog, it's time to steal from the Onion.
January 26, 2006 | Onion Sports
NEW YORK — Less than six months since players returned from a yearlong lockout, hockey is once again in turmoil following last week's announcement that "goaltending," or attempting to obstruct a shot on goal or impede the puck's progress with one's body or stick, would become a two-minute minor penalty, a rule change that went into effect Monday. "Increasing scoring with rule changes and cracking down on obstruction is one thing," said Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph, who claims his job is being banned by the league. "But to take a page from the NBA and just outlaw goaltending outright… Maybe it's just me, but I think that rule just plain goes against the spirit of hockey." Veteran NHL centers, forwards, and some defensemen took issue with Joseph's remarks, claiming he was still angry over being penalized seven times in the Coyotes' Monday night game against Dallas, in which Joseph had zero saves and lost 88-105.
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:04 PM
Monday, February 6, 2006
This was one of the worst NFL seasons in recent memory, so it was quite appropriate that it culminated in a Big Game that was a boring, plodding, sloppily played, poorly officiated, anticlimactic contest. In many ways, it was a microcosm of the whole dismal year of football. Big Ben played horribly, MVP Shaun Alexander didn't show up, Holmgren and Hasselbeck couldn't run a 2 minute offense if you gave them all day, Stevens dropped passes all night, Seattle special teams stank with two missed FGs and punts landing in the end zone--it was by all accounts a craptacular showcase of the "best" teams in the NFL. You know it's a bad night when the game's best pass was thrown by wide receiver (and college QB) Tony "Antwaan Randle El" Randall, a 43-yard end-around option-pass for a TD to Hines Ward. Ugh.
Although the officiating was predictably horrible, giving us at least 3 or 4 bad calls in this game, I don't buy that the officials fixed this game so that the "Stealers" would beat the Seahawks. Because let's face it: they're not that smart. They're tax adjustors, teachers, real estate appraisers, carpet salesmen, not duplicitous secret agents with an agenda or an axe to grind. The calls didn't prevent Seattle from winning, because they couldn't get out of their own way all night. They held Pittsburgh to zero first downs in the first quarter but only scored 3 points, and failed to score more than one TD even while leading in rushing and time of possession. And when it counted, like during the record 75-yard Willie Parker TD run, and the aforementioned "gadget" play, the Hawks D let them down. So Seahawks fans and conspiracy theorists, stop whining, because your team played like shit; it turns out that the Steelers performance was only a little less shitty. Bottom line: when you're the #1 NFC team with the highest scoring offense, and you're playing the #6 AFC team, and you only manage 10 points, it shouldn't have even come down to the officiating.
Oh, and even the commercials sucked. And I later found out that Joe Montana (who I used to like) decided to skip the "parade of MVPs" prior to the game because the NFL couldn't pay him enough. Pretty sad. Oh, and Terry Bradshaw skipped it too, but he's an asshole anyway. At least we got to watch the game in glorious High Jeffinition. Hey, I actually found something positive to say (besides how much I enjoyed Sam Adams Black Lager).
So now that it's all over, I'm hoping that freshly shaved Big Ben (why didn't he use the Gillette "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades" Fusion?) can party with some real hotties this time around, and not some random chicks in some guy's basement. I can't wait for the pictures to hit the internet. BTW, even HE honestly didn't think he got in the end zone on Sunday (which he said on 'David Letterman').
After all this, one can only hope that the NFL will finally fix the lousy video review/officiating in the off-season, but I doubt it. Until next year, bye bye, NFL. We won't miss you!
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:58 PM
Sunday, February 5, 2006
Saturday, February 4, 2006
I know there's usually a lot of pre-game stuff on Sunday before the BIG GAME, but this year some of it is really strange:
OLN / 1:00AM - 1:30AM / "PRE-PRE-PRE GAME SHOW: Ice Fishing for Squid in Detroit" (kw)
ABC / 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM / "This Week in Football with George Stephanopoulos" (jk)
CARTOON / 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM / "Animated Adventures of Sammy Steroid & Harry Growth Hormone" (kw)
ESPN2 / 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM / "Dan Marino's All-Marino Team of Super Bowl Losers" (jk)
ESPN Classic / 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM / 2006 AFC & NFC Championship Games: Re-inacted In the Studio By Former Football Players Wearing Suits and Ties Presented By Men's Wearhouse (jk)
E! / 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM / The 2006 Super Bowl Referees: The True Hollywood Story (kw)
ABC / 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM / "The View: Breakfast with the Rolling Stones" (jk)
ESPN / 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM / Chris Berman's Top Ten Favorite Sandwiches of the Week (jk)
ADULT1 / 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM / "Pounding the Pigskin" (kw)
FOOD / 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM / Grillin' and Singin' with Terry Bradshaw (jk)
ESPNHD / 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM / The Making of Al Michael's Swimsuit Video (jk)
LIFETIME / 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM / "Lifetime Movies Presents: Bloody Sunday - The Annual Beating of Susie Claxton" (rv)
NBC / 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM / Dr. Phil: Coping With Failure (featuring Scott Norwood, Mike Vanderjagt, The Minnesota Vikings) (jk)
ESPN2 / 6:18 PM - 10:30 PM / "Super Bowling Tournament" (kw)
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:33 PM
Friday, February 3, 2006
I just wanted to post links for the two best NHL goals of the season so far.
1) Marek Malik vs. Olaf Kolzig, November 26, 2005. This cartoonish goal (which doesn't technically count as a goal) won the game for the Rangers in the 15th round of the OT win it against the Capitals at MSG. Are you kidding? That was a crazy day at MSG, with the Knicks winning earlier in the day in OT on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, followed by this unexpected goal.
2) Alexander Ovechkin vs. Brian Boucher (Phoenix Coyotes), January 16, 2006. This one was absolutely ridiculous, I can't even describe it. Even Gretzky couldn't help but admire this one, as he looked up at the scoreboard to see the replay, and was quoted afterwards saying "That was sweet". Although Crosby may be the better all-around player, this kid is a shoo-in for Rookie of the year with his phenominal scoring talent.
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:03 PM
Thursday, February 2, 2006
This is why I'm rooting for Big Ben to win the Big Game #40 on Xtra Large American Football Contest Sunday:
I'm going to take his T-shirt's sage advice this Sunday, but I'm hoping he doesn't do the same. I'm going to hold off on buying Big Ben's BBQ Sauce, because I still have a huge bottle of Van Halen bassist Michael "Mad" Anthony's BBQ sauce. Beware: the combination of habañero peppers and ancho chile powder gave me the runs like the devil!
At least Western Pennsylvanians had something else to look forward to this February, other than watch that fat rat see his shadow, who by doing so predicted 6 more weeks of Super Bowl hype.
Posted by Jeff K @ 2:55 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
During this magical month, I'm going to try to blog every day. That's right, every ding dong day in Jeffuary, you'll get some new useless crap in this space! This, of course, means that the postings up here will be of substandard quality, but hey, you get what you pay for. Oh, and since I'll be in sunny Florida from Feb 14th until the 22nd, it'll be hard to update, so maybe I'll email a joke/pun/palindrome, or maybe an advertisement for butt cream. Whatever it may be, it's sure to be fabulous.
Have a happy healthy Jeffuary!
(Oh, and don't buy those Valentine KitKat minis, they're this weird cherry flavor and they're all pink and sissy looking.)
I just wanted to mention how the NFL is repeatedly shooting itself in the foot. Not only has the officiating/video review aspect of the game become godawful, the wide receivers turned into loud mouth divas, and the two week hype-a-thon for the Super Bowl interminable, but they've decided to add more games on Thursday and Saturday nights next season.
NEW YORK - The NFL Network will broadcast eight prime-time games on Thursdays and Saturdays beginning next season.
The eight-game package, announced by commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Saturday, will begin with a game on Thanksgiving night. All of the games also will be shown on local stations in the teams' home markets. The package was created by taking Saturday and Sunday games that originally would have been shown by the league's broadcast partners.
The league runs the 2-year-old NFL Network, which is in about 40 million homes. The addition of games to its lineup almost assuredly will increase that number.
I don't currently get this channel, so this move doesn't directly affect me, but this move is perplexing. The NFL used to be a lot more special because it had its own day, Sunday, and the build-up and suspense gave the sport some juice, something to talk about during the week. With the explosion of televised sports in the 70s, the creation of "Monday Night Football" was invitable, but even this weekly one-game showcase has been in serious decline (and has been relegated to ESPN in 2006). But now (just like college football, which is on almost every day during the season), with games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday AND Monday nights, how is anyone going to know when anyone's playing? Besides, are people clamoring to watch late night football every day of the week? I don't know a single person who wishes there were more 9:00 PM Thursday games in December (especially tailgaters). Actually, the one thing I agree with is having a night game on Turkey Day, since the MST3K Marathon no longer exists (in anyone's house but mine, that is).
Since this makes no logical sense, this whole decision must be based on money. The marketing "geniuses" probably think this will make every game special, but it's going to do the opposite in my opinion. They're getting overly greedy by spreading it out, further diluting an already declining product. Oh, I know the advertising revenue is not declining; on the contrary, it keeps going up! But it seems that no one cares about the actual games, or the fans, any more. So since we're screwing around with the NFL and Sunday is no longer sacred, how about we have the Super Bowl on SATURDAY NIGHT?? Think of the possibilities--people would go out to bars, spend more on food, and drink MORE BEER.
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:54 AM