Friday, June 30, 2006


Ok, I lied. Coors Light is not the best beer for summer.

I'm not usually too big on "flavored" beers. I like my beer to be "beer-flavored." However, since we are in a quest for the best summer beer, I figured I would give a raspberry-flavored beer a try, just to see what happened. It turns out that this makes for a very good summer beer.

La Choulette (FR only) has been a family brewery since the end of the 19th century in the Nord-pas-de-Calais region of France, an area that includes Calais and Dunkerque and borders Belgium. The brewery is probably better known for the "Sans Culottes" beer than this offering, which contains raspberry extract to give it that refreshing summertime taste.

As you can see, the bottle is brown, with a simple off-white label containing a few images of raspberries and the beer's name and a brief description. The best part is it contains a generic white cap - nothing says artisanal like bulk purchases of caps. The beer pours a dark reddish color with a large but fluffy head of off-white/reddish. The head dies quite quickly and becomes a sort of thin film that would more likely be associated with superfund water site.
The scent is overwhelming raspberry - not bad - I just was incapable of smelling anything else.

I expected it to be sweet. Many fruit flavored beers that I have drank are debilitatingly sweet from the extract (or maybe its the sugar) that they add. However not this one. First taste is not bad and at 6% ABV, there is no real alcohol flavor to deal with. There is a crisp and clean taste to this beer. The more I drank this the more I could imagine spending afternoons hanging out in the yard or by the pool having a solid stock of these brews on hand. It is very refreshing - something about fruity flavoring makes the beer very conducive to warm-weather quaffing.

The aftertaste is not bad, per se, just strange. It tastes almost like old raspberries, not necessarily rotten, but the crisp raspberry taste gives way to a more bitter, less satisfying aftertaste.

I would not order one of these in a bar, but would definitely consider in on an outdoor terrace in the middle of a July afternoon. Extra points are given because we are looking at these beers from a summer stand point. It is probably above an 8, but I don't want to go all the way to 9. So, I will round down. Excellent summer beer for passing your time in the great outdoors. 8 thumbs up.

NB: While I do not want to read the reviews on Rate Beer or the Beer Advocate before I write my own, I will do my best to link a review from one or the other (probably rate beer, because I already have an account there) once I have completed my review. Here's the review from Rate Beer.


In honor of that "global football exhibition" starting up again today, here's a clip of some REAL FOOTBALL.

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! If any of these guys left the field on a stretcher, they would have EARNED IT. In fact, some of them might never have walked properly again. Oh, and guess what? Besides a few shots to the head, the vast majority of these were clean hits: no yellow cards, no red cards. Now that's a sport. No overacting sissies need apply.

Best Summer Brew - Contest Closed

Jeff and I have decided to start tasting a number of beer in an attempt to find the "perfect summer brew." As you can see, two reviews have already been posted and we both have fridges full of possible contenders. In true Simpsons style, we had foreseen our reviews on the "10-thumbs" scale. Jeff's going for more American beers and the stuff that he can find over there. Being that "American beer" in France consists solely of a couple of terrible Anheuser-Busch products (which as irony would have it, is brewed in the EU for free-trade purposes), I was planning on focusing on the Belgian, German, and European markets in general - I have something from Poland waiting to be tasted right now. Anyway, up to this point the beers are all fairly unknown stuff, but I realized this morning that we made a mistake. Why go out of our ways to find beer stores, then go to said beer stores to try to find a unique summer beer when the whole time the obvious winner has be sitting in front of us. That's right, the coldest tasting beer has introduced the "Cold Wrap." Not only does it taste cold, but that cold cold taste is now protected from contact with your sweaty palms as you chat up that blonde that is waaay out of your league.

Without even tasting this beer, I know, based on the marketing budget that the Coors Brewing Company has, that Coors Light with OUTLAST® TECHNOLOGY (for fuck's sake, it has "technology," name another beer that has that) is undoubtably the best beer for summer. Sorry, Jeff, I'm going to have to declare a winner already - don't waste your time (and money) tasting some crap that is brewed from hippy sweat in some barn in Vermont. I think we can all admit that any beer company that has the computer programming savy to add a Flash "Refresh-o-meter"to their website KNOWS how to make a beer.

I'm going to just go ahead and pour out these other beers that I have. It's not even worth the trouble. I've got to run (not walk) to my local supermarket now and pick up some of this fine, fine product. Happy summer everyone and if you have one brain cell left, you'll be enjoying it with a Frost Brew(TM) Liner Can or a Cold Wrap® Label Bottle.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Jeff - Allagash WhiteI'm currently searching for the perfect summer beer: something easy to drink with a nice bite of flavor, but nothing too heavy, spicy or complex, must taste good cold and have a relatively low %ABV (lower than 7). So I decided to buy a few different types of beers to see how they hold up to my criteria: a couple of India Pale Ales, a Belgian wheat beer (or witbeer, for you beer queers out there), an ale, and a lager. It doesn't have to have "summer" in the name, but it sure makes my decision making in the beer store much easier.

I was hashing this review out while chatting with Kris earlier, and I realized that I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to tasting beer. That's not to say my tongue doesn't work properly, it's just that I sometimes can't exactly put what I'm tasting into words. At first, we thought it might be easier to describe what qualities it DOESN'T have, such as:

Me: "No dog shit smell, doesn't taste like toothpaste . . . "
Kris: "no lingering asphalt mouthfeel"
Me: "throat did not burn upon swallowing"
Kris: "slight to no swelling after ingestion"
Me: "skin on roof of mouth did not peel off, like when you eat a really hot slice of pizza and the cheese sticks to it"

But I knew that wouldn't fly. So bear with me, because this might not make any sense whatsoever. Here's my review of Allagash White, "an interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer", by the Allagash Brewing Co. of Portland, Maine. Didn't see the %ABV on label, but Ratebeer says it's 5.5%.

Okay, on to Step 1: take the bottle out of the refrigerator. I poured out the 12 oz. brown bottle into a tapered pilsner glass (which is probably the wrong vessel for a white beer such as this, but screw you--should I spend my money on beer or fancy glassware?). Appearance: straw colored cloudy pale amber color, with virtually no head to speak of (even after following the "pour, swirl, pour yeast" instructions), light carbonation.

At first, it didn't smell or taste like anything. Even more alarming, there was no mouthfeel--I couldn't feel it in my mouth! But as it breathed and warmed slightly, it gave off a yeasty odor, with a hint of lemon. (Maybe the fridge is too cold? No way to know without a calibrated NIST traceable thermometer.)

As for the taste: yeasty/bread-like with a distinct alcohol tinge, not overtly sweet or hoppy. A little lemony, and earthy, like grass. It says "brewed with spices", but I couldn't detect much, unless you consider grass a "spice". Or maybe it's lemongrass? (And what's the difference between an "herb" and a "spice" anyhow? Is one a leaf and the other a seed? That might be a discussion for another day.) There was no appreciable aftertaste, and finished smooth but unexciting.

For a summer beer, I don't think this particular one cuts it, since it doesn't really taste like anything when it's cold. You certainly wouldn't want to drink one of these right after mowing the lawn, because it tastes like, well, the lawn you just mowed. I'll have to look for their summer brew in my travels (uhm, I suppose Maine would be a good place to start). It's a respectable brew, however, well-balanced and easy to drink, I'm just not a huge wheat beer fan. I was going to give it a 6.5, but Salo couldn't figure out how to make a half a thumb in Photoshop. I give it a 6.


(Update 1: 11:46pm - Jeff wanted a picture of the beer, and generously sent me a picture of said beer, but me, after reading of McCain and Feingold's new restaurant and their great strides towards transparency and "truth," have decided that whenever possible, I will try to post a picture of me with the beer. I could say that I tasted Trappist Westvleteren, but that's probably not going to happen any time soon. That's right folks, Open Hockey, your new homepage for integrity in blogging).

I'm pretty sure that this means the beer will make you delirious at night in one of these European languages and I'm pretty sure I know why (the dancing pink elephant on the bottle, helped me determine this as well). At 9% abv, this stuff has as much alcohol as nearly 2 pints of Guinness, and it shows.

Pouring this reveals a very dark, nut brown colored liquid with a large foamy head that is off white. Its olfactory properties include hints of nutmeg and other spices that I can not describe in words. It also smells of alcohol. This stuff is like wine. Thick and sweet is the name of the game once you taste it. The mouthfeel is...well, I don't know, I just wanted to get the word "mouthfeel" into this review. Strong, strong alcohol taste that does little to convince this drinker to "drink."

I'm sure this beer rates well on and the beer advocate because it is a well developed Belgian triple, but as a summer beer I can only say, no way.

It's undoubtably a good beer, but I wasn't in the mind set for it. I should've had something lighter (like a Guinness). In any case, I don't want to skew the ratings against this beer too much. On the one to 10 thumbs-up scale, I give it a 7.


Der größte Fußballer aller Zeiten veröffentlicht seine erste CD! Peleginga mit Eigenkompositionen des Fußballhelden ist eine schöne Mischung aus Smooth Jazz, Bossa, Samba und Tropical Swing.

"Peleginga" ~ Pele (CD+DVD) (NTSC) [DOPPEL-CD]

Disk: 1
1. Ginga
2. Moleque danado
3. Quem sou eu
4. Acredita no véio
5. Banho quente
6. Meu legado
7. Cidade grande
8. Meu boi
9. Trocando as bolas
10. Sou Brasileiro
11. Perdao nao tem
12. Vexamao

Disk: 2
1. Cordas
2. Metais

Preis: EUR 22,99

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm constantly in search of quality non-sports HD programming, but it's harder to find than you might think, and since I don't watch most of the network HD shows like "CSI" or "Law & Order" and "America's Got , my choices are limited. So when INHD premiered a new block of original shows, I was intrigued:

A Brand-New Programming Block of Original Shows in Hi-Def
New Episodes Every Sunday
Visit for schedules, videos and more.


These shows, brought to you by British rock magazine MOJO all revolve around drinking, eating and/or music, so they should be right in my wheelhouse. Over the weekend I caught a little of "London Live", which features both good (Editors) and bad (The Automatic) new British bands in a straightforward live performance setting which features great sound & video. Three Sheets is a show about drinking which I've yet to see, but really, how bad can it be (the host is a British comedian, so I'm thinking "Insomniac UK")?

I know this is, by definition, impossible, but I have an answer to that rhetorical question: it could turn out to be a complete stinker, like the one show I caught in its entirety: Beer Nutz. It has what sounds like a foolproof concept: two guys visit various cities and their best beer bars and microbreweries, and try out new and different brews and beer-related dishes. It should be a slam-dunk, but unfortunately the execution is piss-poor. First off, the two hosts are insufferably unfunny ("Hey look, the Freedom Trail, do you think it leads to any bars? Yuk yuk yuk!"), and their commentary about beer is insipid, akin to two ignorant frat boys whose only experience with beer is courtesy of the Coors Brewing Company; they seem jaw-droppingly astonished that beer exists that actually has taste AND color. On top of that, the style of the show itself is completely grating, especially the VH1-esque pop-ups that contain "beer facts" (Did you know Belgian monks make BEER? Who knew?!?). And just like the old idiom that skinny chefs are not to be trusted, the same goes for skinny beer fans.

One other irritating moment from the show: while chatting with the chef of a Boston restaurant that encorporates beer into 90% of their menu item (Publick House in Brookline), they asked why the desserts have been removed from the menu. He said, "That's a long story", and without explanation they moved onto the next topic. Guys, this isn't being broadcast live, you could have edited that shit out. The kicker: one of them didn't eat the restaurant's famous mussels cooked in beer because he's allergic to shellfish. That's fantastic. What were they thinking when they sent this guy to Boston? In the off-chance this is the ONE RESTAURANT IN BOSTON that doesn't serve any shellfish? Better yet, why the hell is this guy even on the show? I've got news for you: if you're on a food-themed show, the last thing you should have is food allergies. Next I'll find out that the host of "Three Sheets" is vodka intolerant.

My review: skip it. Getting the same info from the website is far less irritating. Better yet, just visit Beer Advocate or RateBeer for advice.

(UPDATE: I just found out that the allergic guy is Canadian, so he has more problems than previously thought. And the other guy who is a jerk on the show, turns out to be a jerk in real life.)


Two days ago, I had already earmarked this video to be posted on Friday. But after seeing a Today Show feature on YouTube this morning, featuring a guffawing Al Roker, I suddenly lost all interest. Something about morning shows that suck the fun out of everything. Well, the mainstream media has finally found YouTube, hooray for them. Why don't they stick to puff pieces about bears falling out of trees, and Britney Spears being a dumb skank, and leave the Interwebs alone? BTW, the blocky Flash animation looked FANTASTIC on my HDTV, you network nitwits.

Although my thunder has already been stolen, here's William Shatner performing "Rocket Man", from some 1978 SciFi awards show. This was BEFORE he was in on the joke.

Yes, this is the same man has won TWO Emmys.


Another infographic I missed: it's the 2006 U.S. Open Highlights, courtesy of the Onion.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I gave it a chance. I went into it with an open mind and zero expectations. Heck, I even WANTED to enjoy it, and gave it every opportunity to entertain me. But I have decided that the FIFA World Cup 2006 is UNWATCHABLE.

After the debacle that was the USA team's first round ousting (by all accounts marred by poor officiating), I continued watching with no real rooting interest. Yesterday, I decided to limit my viewing to the final 20 minutes of each of the two matches, since these matches seem interminable and offer very little action or drama. But between a lethargic England team who somehow still beat Ecuador who showed no signs of wanting to score EVEN IN THE LAST 10 MINUTES OF AN ELIMINATION GAME, and the Portugal/Netherhollandutch match sabotaged by a horrible ref having to give out a billion yellow cards to these play-acting buffoons, I've decided that I'M DONE WATCHING.

Now I did see the conclusion of the Italy vs. Australia match, which was not really my choosing; during my lunch break Avanti was showing Azzurri, naturally. But in the 93rd minute (3 minutes into stoppage time), Azzurri received a total gift penalty, as a player was "tripped up" inside the box, and they won 1-0 on a penalty shot as time ran out. Brutal. When the commentator says "Oh, he really sold it!", in other words it WASN'T a penalty and the striker did a good acting job to get the call. What a horrible way to decide an elimination game. The Socceroos must be PISSED.

As soon as I saw witnessed this trainwreck, I came to a realization. When played correctly and fairly, soccer is a sport; however, the current incarnation of the FIFA World Cup is not a sport, it's an exhibition. Yes, you read that correctly, my fanatical soccer-loving friends out there. I'll agree that it's an excellent showcase for the best soccer players from every nation to come together and show off their talent, but I would beg to differ that it contains the best played soccer matches. When a single referee's judgment call decides who wins and who goes home, and the actual game play is overshadowed by shoddy officiating, it's more akin to an exhibition, like figure skating, than an actual sport.

Oh, one last thing: let's go Germany! (I picked them in a pool that I was drunkenly talked into.)

Friday, June 23, 2006


Inspired by Pitchfork Media's 100 Awesome Videos (among others), I've decided to post a video every Friday, courtesy of the best internet timekiller discovery of 2006, YouTube. Whether it's stupid, fun, ridiculously bad, or stunningly good, they're all going to be featured right here, every week (unless I get bored of the idea). I've already linked a Loverboy video, so you know it's going to be special.

This week: David Hasselhoff's "Hooked on a Feeling" (1999).

Apparently, he felt it was necessary to cover the classic 70's song by B.J. Thomas, and put out this fucking ponderous video to promote it. I'm completely speechless. My love for this video is immeasurable.

WARNING: although it's safe for work, it's not safe for your sanity. Ooga chakka indeed.


The NHL regular season awards have been . . . awarded, and they showed Lindy some Ruff love, as he edged Peter Laviolette by one point to win the Adams Trophy for Coach of the Year. I'm sure Lindy would rather have his name on the Cup.

I agree with most of the awards, except for the Joe Thornton one. He didn't start playing until Boston dealt him to San Jose, so it wasn't him that carried that team, like Jagr carried the Rangers (he was voted by the players as the Lester B. Pearson winner). Plus, Thorny looks a little too damn happy in those pictures, considering he let the Oilers slap his ass out of the playoffs just last month.

Here's the list of 2005-06 NHL winners (my blognostications in parentheses):

HART (MVP): Thornton, SJ (Jagr, NYR)
VEZINA (GOALIE): Kiprusoff, CGY (Brodeur, NJ)
MASTERSON: Selanne, SJ (Yzerman, DET)
ADAMS (COACH): Lindy Ruff, BUF

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes victory parade consisted of driving the Cup around in pickup trucks around the arena. Yee haw! And I thought the Devils' parking lot celebrations were lame! Oh wait, they were. I heard some "'Caniacs" planned to riot and loot in downtown Raleigh, and then they realized that there isn't really much of a downtown. So they harrassed the waitstaff at Chili's instead. And they did "We Are The Champions" on the karaoke! That was insane.

In other news, the NHL approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues and their arena to a group led by former MSG president Dave Checketts. So it's only a matter of time before NY Rangers color commentator John Davidson takes a job down there. Best of luck, JD!

As predicted, the no-longer-Mighty Ducks changed their name, and they dumped the teal and purple for a rather boring black and gold motif.

Oh, and the Onion is all over the Stanley Cup stuff. They're the best:

Carolina Residents Confused, Terrified As Victorious Hurricane Players Riot In Streets

...North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley mobilized the National Guard to contain over two dozen members of what he described as "some sort of depraved, violent, heretofore unheard-of gang calling themselves as the Hurricanes."

"We couldn't believe what was happening," said Sam Weber, owner of Playmakers, a Raleigh sports bar. "I still don't understand it. We had a decent crowd here to watch the 1982 North Carolina vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship game on ESPN Classic when out of nowhere a lamppost comes crashing through the front window. Then these huge pasty white guys, all wearing, like, matching sweaters, run in screaming like madmen and holding this giant planter over their heads, which they demanded I fill with beer.

"I had never seen a scarier group of people," said Raleigh resident Max Sherwood, who was enjoying a quiet, calm Raleigh evening in the park with his mother. "They all had scraggily looking beards and they reeked of sweat and alcohol. They were screaming things like 'We fucking did it!' and 'Stanley!' When I politely asked them who Stanley was and not to cuss in front of my mother, well, that's when they came after us."

Sherwood suffered a mild concussion as well as facial lacerations after being forced to drink warm champagne out of "some type of weird birdbath."

"I still do not understand exactly what caused these 'Hurricanes' to hold their strange celebration in our streets. But I think I speak for all of North Carolina when I say I hope that they never repeat whatever it is again."

SEE YA NEXT YEAR, NHL (if they actually have a TV deal)!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


From the WTF? Files, it's the Bill O'Reilly Factor for Kids. For fair and balanced potty training, I guess.

Connecticut has passed a "no blowout" policy for all high school football games, that will suspend coaches one game for beating opponents by 50 points or more. This is why the rest of the world is catching up to us, and will eventually leave us in the dust, because we're bringing up a whole generation of kids who won't know how to face adversity, a society where "everyone wins!" This way, when you finally go out in the real world and fail, it will be that much more painful. Brilliant.

Just when I thought the Worldwide Leader In Shit couldn't get any worse, they've managed to sink even lower. I thought Chris Berman doing the U.S. Open on Thursday and Friday was a bad programming decision, but on Monday ESPN2 showed the 2005 World Domino Tournament from The Las Vegas Hilton. Yep, that's a spectator sport. FUCKING DOMINOES.

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman are back again, and this time it's for a TV comedy series. The brilliant name they came up with: The Coreys. Good God, I can't fucking wait. I am definitely getting a TiVo now.

Speaking of the 80s, check out this website of 80s music videos! Gah, this makes my head spin. Since everything needs a list, I'll have to pick my Top 10 from these.

This is bizarre: motorcyclist killed by lightning while driving in rush hour traffic. The best part of this story: they point out that he was wearing a helmet. Uhm, would that have helped? I blame this stupid reporting on that QB guy.

For the ultimate TV loser fanatic: it's DirecTV Titanium package. You can sign up for satellite service that gives you every possible channel, including all PPV movies and events and support for up to 10 DVRs, all for the low, low price of $7500 per year (which breaks down to $625 a month). Great. Yet another status symbol for the ridiculously wealthy who have so much money they can't figure out how to spend it all. I like how the website says "TITANIUM" is a trademark of DirecTV. Funny, because it's already on my periodic table. For that price, the remote should be made of pure titanium.

While we're on this topic, why did the marketing geniuses choose titanium as the "ultimate metal"? What if something better comes along? What's better than titanium? Uranium? Plutonium? Nah, too dangerous. Molybdenum? Nah, too hard to pronounce. I'm going with STRONTIUM. It just sounds cool, and it surely kicks titanium's transition metal ass.

Finally, a blog dedicated to cats that look like Hitler!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I can't wait to attend the parade in Hartford up I-91 to the Trumbull Street exit to the Civic Center Mall this weekend!

Now that "their team" has won Game 7 by a score of 3-1 to end the season, fans in the greater Raleigh area can get back to focusing on moonshine running and whittling. However, I don't have anything against the Hurricanes team; they're a likable bunch who play the game the right way, and I liked seeing guys like Glen Wesley and Peter Laviolette hoist the Cup. To sum up the Hurricanes win, Ray Whitney blurted out the f-word when handed the Cup, exclaiming "This fucking rocks!" Welcome to North Carolina! Yee haw!!! And I don't know if I've said this before, but god DAMN is Brind'Amour an ugly man.

And thanks to the Edmonton Oilers for making this a series, and making me believe in small market Canadian teams again. So let's do it again next year, eh?

Now everyone can go shave those ugly-ass playoff beards off, for cripes sake.
(Why doesn't Gillette Fusion sponsor this event?)

Monday, June 19, 2006


Phil gets trashedAfter waiting a day to let it sink in, I don't know what else to say about FIGJAM Mickelson's collapse yesterday at the 108th U.S. Open that hasn't already been said. Up 2 strokes with 3 holes to go, with every contender falling by the wayside right in front of him, the stage was set for his first U.S. Open win. All he had to do was par the 18th. But he blew it.

There have been several explanations bandied about in the golf world about the reasons why this happened, but none of them satisfy me.

Did he revert to the Phil of old, the risk-taking gambler that he used to be, instead of the seasoned smart golfer he had become that allowed him to win three majors? Maybe.
Was this just a series of faulty decision making and poor course management? That's part of it.
Had he become cocky after winning the most recent Masters and PGA Championships, after years of close calls and shoulda-beens? Possibly.
Was Winged Foot Golf Club the real winner? That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Stop saying that, you idiots.

Anyway, all of these reasons are too convenient and logical.

I'm going to blame this choke job on the gallery.

For some reason, the New York crowds adore Phil. This bizarre phenomenon started in 2002 at the U.S. Open at Bethpage on Long Island, when he was the underdog without a major battling the evil juggernaut Tiger Woods, where he would end the weekend as the goofy-grin-and-bear-it runner-up. Ever since then, he's had adoring (and annoying) throngs of fans follow his every move on the golf course, peaking with his 2005 PGA Championship win at Baltusrol in New Jersey. But that was nothing compared to the big gay love fest in Mamaroneck this weekend.

I think it was this incredibly Philophilic crowd that convinced him he could do no wrong on Sunday, as their unwavering affection made him believe he could make them roar with approval with every mighty southpaw swing. With unrelenting chants of "Let's Go Phil!" in the background on every hole (as if his last name was Simms and he was in Giants Stadium in 1985), he tried too many times down the stretch to hit the miracle shot to wow the crowd, instead of the smart lay-up to save par, and it bit him in the man-breasts. On the 16th 5th, he drove the ball into the second cut of rough and tried to make a tricky save shot using a fairway wood; he only hit it 3 feet, and ended up bogeying. He bogeyed the 16th after missing yet another fairway; he had only hit 2 out of 13 all day and none on the back 9. Yet he kept going back to it, and on the 17th he drove the ball into a garbage bag along the left side of the gallery, and somehow managed a scrambling par.

Yet standing on the 18th tee, all Phil needed to do was par the final hole, as everyone else had already folded like a cheap beach chair in the 95° heat. Harrington bogeyed not ONCE, not TWICE, but THRICE down the stretch to end at +7; Furyk stepped away from his par putt attempt about 17 times and predictibly missed it, bogeying to finish +6; Majorless Monty, after waiting forever in the fairway after a great drive, made a last second club change, and shanked it short into the right rough, eventually carding a three-putt bogey to finish +6; Ogilvy managed a chip-in par on the 17th, and a solid up-and-down par on the 18th to finish at +5, birdieless on the day and seemingly destined to be a runner-up.

With the gallery lovingly screaming his name in ecstacy, pumping his ego up to a tremendous size, Phil reached for the driver on the 18th tee, the one club that had forsaken him all day. Did I mention he had hit his last drive INTO A GARBAGE BAG? Johnny Miller even said at this point that the prudent move would be to hit a conservative 4 wood down the middle. He didn't, and instead he sliced his drive way way way left, the ball bouncing off the Champions Pavilion tent and onto the trampled-down rough near the gallery.

At that moment, I had a flashback to the old Phil, the one who could never seal the deal, and could see that he was going to lose it. I saw a picture in my head of Jean Van de Velt in 1999, with his pants rolled up and standing in the water, triple bogeying the 18th to lose the British Open. This is the moment when he made his most costly mistake.

For his second shot, instead of chipping it into the fairway from there to salvage the hole, Lefty tried again tried to make the miraculous shot, a huge slice to reach the green, but the ball hit a tree and only traveled 25 yards ahead of where he was standing. The next shot ended up deep in the left bunker, and a simple up-and-down bogey would force a playoff. But he sent it all the way in the right rough, and he would eventually end up with a double bogey to finish +6 and give Ogilvy the crown in front of a deflated crowd.

Yes, the old Phil reared his goofy smiling head, but it's not completely his fault. And as much as I've bashed the guy on this blog, and I'm mystified as to why people adore him, I felt kind of bad that he unraveled like that at the end. But I blame it on the gallery, who sounded like they were attending an Aerosmith concert instead of a golf tournament. The guy has already won three majors, so what are you rooting for? For him to win every tournament, and make even more money (don't be sad, he still made half a mil while losing yesterday)? Next time he's in town, why don't you annoying people leave him alone and find a new underdog to torment, and maybe go to the Stadium to boo A-Rod instead?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Horcoff goal Game 6: Courtesy ReutersThe Oilers have done it again. They dominated the Hurricanes last night, winning 4-0, to force a Game 7. After Game 1, I thought they were done. Ditto after Game 2 and Game 4. But they have staved off elimination (who uses the word "staved" anymore?) as hometown boy Fernando Pisani (from Edmonton) once again nets a goal in the blowout win. This game was never close, with Carolina only having 7 SOG through the first two periods.

However, this game marked the return of Erik Cole, skating for the first time in 3½ months after suffering a "season ending" injury. Of course, that would have been true back when the season didn't almost end in July, as it does now. He wasn't a factor, but you have to give him credit for growing an impressive playoff beard, just in case his services were called upon.

So one way or another, a new Stanley Cup Champion will be crowned in Game 7 on Monday night in Raleigh. Edmonton can make history by being the only team since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leaves to win after being down 3-1, and hopefully the Carolina fans won't be too hungover following today's NASCAR Michigan 500, or whatever the fuck it is. Regardless, I'm looking forward to a fitting end to an entertaining season of hockey.

BTW, the videos on this site ( are hilarious. Especially the "Behind the Mask with Ilya Bryzgalov" ("closing the door, not pissing the pants") and Rod Brind'Amour's "Braveheart" speech ("he's like CIRCUS ugly"). This is why I love hockey, because the fans have a sense of humor and a love for the game. Even JD made a funny comment during Game 6 after Spacek got called for diving, "He must have been watching the Czech team at the World Cup". There's nothing remotely funny about soccer, the fans are too serious.


After having attended the 106th U.S. Open on Friday, we learned a few things:

Winged Foot (West) Golf Course is gorgeous, but it can kick your ass. Firm, undulating greens, graduated rough that is 6" in some spots, incredible length (the picturesque 512 yard 9th leading up to the clubhouse is a freaking par 4). In a word: brutal. Just ask Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Davis Love III and defending champ Michael Campbell, all of whom did not make the cut. Oh yeah, and some guy named Tiger (picked to win on this blog), who at +12 missed his first cut in a major event since turning pro in 1996.

We managed to jinx every player we decided to go see play on the course. In the morning, we did a full circuit of the golf course to check it out and see as many players as we could, and in the afternoon we seeked out those on the leaderboard who were playing well. Along with the aforementioned Tiger, here's a short list of players we mushed: Harrington was playing great until we met him on the 13th, where he carded a bogey (he birded the 18th as soon as we left); Kenneth Ferrie was shooting -4 on the day, but we saw him shoot consecutive double bogeys on 14 and 15; David Duval was cruising along at -4, but doubled the 6th while we were waiting for him to tee off on the 7th.

The New York galleries are apparently still gay for Phil, following him around with even more fervor than Tiger. When we asked one spectator why he was a FIGJAM Phollower, he said, "Because I went to Arizona State." Uhm, so fucking what? I went to Villanova, but that doesn't stop me from saying that Howie Long is a dick. Tiger has long been considered "more machine" while Phil has been considered "more human". But with Tiger turning 30, getting married, and having his dad pass away in the span of a couple of years, while also appearing to be mortal at some of these tournaments, he seems more human than ever. Phans of Phillis claim they like him because "he's a regular guy", but to me he just seems like a rich, spoiled, San Diego kid with a goofy grin who's never worked a day in his life. Anyway, we avoided the Philophiles in the afternoon, in the same way we steered clear of the Tiger Tsunami in the morning. Always a great choice, it allows you to actually ENJOY the day.

Canadians actually follow around Mike Weir, although they're inconspicuous and polite. I mean, they look exactly like us, and some of them even live among us! What's that all aboot?

It was nice to see David Duval shoot a 68 to make the cut on Friday. It was good to see him play well, and the crowd was really behind him. Not suprisingly, Freddy Couples and Padraig Harrington are also big fan favorites.

As on The Simpsons, crotchety old man C. Montgomerie is NOT a favorite. If you cough or fart while he's addressing his ball, he'll step off. It's no wonder why everyone hates him. Somehow a New Yorker belting out a sarcasticly derisive "We love you, Monty!" is more cutting than if he had just booed him instead. Monty burns my ass with his attitude.

Henrik Stenson is too Swedish to win the Open. He's too Swedish for his shirt, so Swedish IT HURTS.

Ian Poulter may not win this, but at least he has his own line of clothing. As Nick Faldo said: "Yeah, you're only on the tour for 5 minutes and have your own clothing line. Forget about winning 6 majors." But he was in James Joyce last Friday, so I respect him despite his hideous pants.

Tadd Fujikawa is even smaller and younger looking in person. However, Mike Lupica is a midget, and Tadd could kick his ass.

Cab companies have the balls to charge $40 to drive you 11 miles from White Plains to Nyack; yes, I know gas is expensive, but it's not like it's doubled in price since March, when we were only charged $25 for the same trip. Meanwhile, you get what you pay for with the $1.50 TZXpress bus, the most unreliable bus service ever. This is why people decide to drink and drive, because the alternatives are horrible.

They only had Bud and Michelob Ultra at the U.S. Open, so since they didn't sell beer, those Guinness pints at the James Joyce tasted fantastic. We were long overdue to ReJoyce.


For some reason, football (or as you Americans call it "pointless prancing about and kicking") players like to go by one name. Did this all start with Pele? Who cares. Anyway, here's some names I'd like to see:


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Pisani OT game winner/Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesHold the phone, eh! It's not over yet. Hometown boy Fernando Pisani just scored a shorthanded OT goal to give the Oilers a 4-3 win, and send the series back to Edmonton, his hometown. He scored the first goal just 16 seconds into this game as well, as the Oilers came out flying tonight, shocking the Skoal-spittin' NASCAR-lovin' crowd in Raleigh by blasting three goals past Cam "Shaft" Ward in the first period.

So we're going back to the Great White North one more time for Game 6 on Saturday night in Pisani's beer-challenged town, with Carolina clinging to a 3-2 series edge. Which means one more rousing rendition of O Canada by the Oiler faithful. Did I mention Pisani is from Edmonton? Just checking.

(My first choice for a title was "THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THE AIR THAT NIGHT, THE STARS WERE BRIGHT, FERNANDO", but I decided to steal Chris Pronger's line instead.)


The 106th U.S. Open is upon us! They're predicting pretty nice weather throughout (about 75-80 F and mostly sunny, slight chance of thunderstorms), and since we haven't had much rain lately I suspect the greens will be slick as always. In fact, some are saying the conditions are the toughest ever, and not many players are expected to finish under par after 72 holes (although it will probably not be as bad as the ridiculously named Massacre of 1974, when Hale Irwin won at +7). One thing is for sure: the winner will not be a fluke.

Here are some interesting facts about Winged Foot (West Course) Golf Course in Mamaroneck, NY:

Yardage: 7,266 yards
Par: 35 - 35 – 70
Opened: 1923
Designer: A.W. Tillinghast
First timers: 23-year-old Madalitso Muthiya will be the first golfer from Zambia at the U.S Open; U.S. Open qualifier Tadd Fujikawa of Honolulu is the youngest and shortest player in the tournament, a 15-year-old who is 5'1", 135 pounds
Quote: "Winged Foot is to golf what Wimbledon is to tennis – what Yankee Stadium is to baseball. Winged Foot is a state of mind." – Dave Marr, 1965 PGA winner.
Fun fact: the term "mulligan" possibly came from early club member David Mulligan, who would become president of the Biltmore Hotel, who would often plead for "another chance" after an errant tee shot. Through the years, his name became synonymous with a "do-over", with President Eisenhower using the term, it became part of the golfing vernacular.

So who has a chance to win this thing?

In case you were hiding under a rock, Tiger's back and ready to play after his dad's death 6 weeks ago. He looked like he was having a good time at the Yankees game a few weeks ago, but he decided to forgo several tournaments since the Masters to relax instead (and I don't blame him). Is the long layoff going to effect him? Unlike other golfers who "don't pick up a club" when they take time off (I'm looking at you, Lefty), there's no doubt he's been training for this. I expect that Tiggs is going to be focused and hard to beat. Of course, winning this thing on Father's Day would be a bittersweet ending, made for Hollywood.

According to his officially bland website, this Friday's Round Two happens to coincide with Phil Mickelson's 36th birthday. Please, I beg the New York gallery this weekend: don't sing Happy Birthday to him, it only makes him stronger! Plus, it's kinda gay. Will FIGJAM have two drivers in his bag? The answer is: who gives a shit? Actually, he's carrying four wedges: sand, gap, lob and meatball parm. Seriously, there's no doubt that Phillis is going to be a factor this weekend, he always seems to be in the mix in the U.S. Open.

But since everyone's predicting a TIGGS/FIGJAM showdown (on MSNBC, 39% say Tiger will win, 26% Phil), that's probably not going to happen. As for the others, I wouldn't rule out Retief 'Grey' Goosen, his overall game fits the U.S. Open conditions, and he's way overdue to win something. Others who have been playing well lately and have a shot at this: Adam Scott (who is just as stonefaced as Goose), Luke Donald, and David Toms. Stuart Appleby can stay in it if he keeps his enormous drives out of the rough. And of course if Padraig wins it, I will be hitting James Joyce Irish Pub pretty hard that night (meh, I'll be there anyway).

What can we expect from Ernie Els? I would say not much; the Big Easy hasn't rebounded from his knee surgery very well, and has been putting badly. I suspect Vee-ger, fresh off a Barclay Classic win in Westchester (which is the last time it will be held the week before the U.S. Open), will be too fatigued to win this. Jimmy the Hitch has a bad back, Henrik Stenson is too Swedish, and Sergio "Los Pantalones Feos" Garcia always implodes at some point.

Since buying my HDTV, I have watched a lot of bad programming merely because it was in HD (D.E.B.S., National Treasure, and NBA basketball, to name a few), but no program was worse than "John Daly vs. Niagara Falls". Merely a promotional stunt to advertise his new golf course in the area, he tried unsuccessfully to drive a golf ball 342 yards across the Falls, from the observation deck in Canada over to a green set up on Goat Island in New York. Because of the mist, no one including the cameras could even see where the fucking balls went, although an announcer on the other side claimed to have heard 1 out of 20 balls hit the rocks on the other side. Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's Vault was more exciting. To make a long story short, John Daly will not make the cut at Winged Foot.

(By the way, is it pronounced 'WINGED' or 'WING-ed'? I've heard both, and I always thought it was the latter. I guess I'll find out this weekend.)

Here are the current odds to win the 2006 U.S. Open (favorites & notables):

Tiggs: 5/1
FIGJAM Mickelson: 13/2
V-Ger: 14/1
The Goose: 16/1
"Hitch" Furyk: 20/1
Big Easy: 22/1
Luke "The" Donald: 28/1
Adam "Great" Scott: 28/1
David "Two First Names" Toms: 32/1
Serge "Los Pantalones Feos" Garcia: 45/1
David Howell: 45/1
Paddy "Whiskey" Harrington: 50/1
Tim Clark: 55/1
Trevor Immelman: 55/1
Stuart "Don't Eat At" Appleby(s): 60/1
Chad Campbell: 60/1
Davis "Crazy In" Love III: 60/1
Mike "Canuckelson" Weir: 65/1
Jose Maria Roland Orzabal: 80/1
Michael Campbell: 90/1
Justin Leonard: 110/1
Freddie: 135/1

Of course, any discussion on this blog eventually turns to the HD broadcast. Here are the TV Times:

THU 6/15 ESPN 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. ET
THU 6/15 NBC/NBC-HD 3 - 5 p.m. ET
THU 6/15 ESPN 5 - 7 p.m. ET
FRI 6/16 ESPN 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. ET
FRI 6/16 NBC/NBC-HD 3 - 5 p.m. ET
FRI 6/16 ESPN 5 - 7 p.m. ET
SAT 6/17 NBC/NBC-HD 12:30 - 7 p.m. ET
SUN 6/18 NBC/NBC-HD 12:30 - 7 p.m. ET

Even though they CLEARLY have the technology and the money, there's no way to know if ESPN is showing this in HD until Thursday. In fact, the just changed its listings in the PAST HOUR to say YES--don't these fucking networks even have a clue as to what they're going to show? Ugh. Regardless, people in the know are already saying it won't look as good as the Masters, since they use wireless RF for the handheld cameras, and not fiberoptics. We'll see.

Tee times are listed here, and the real-time leaderboard is here.

I'll close with a picture of Phil and Tiger's wives (Amy and Elin). This is the real reason you should learn how to play golf:

Amy & Elin

Wait, are they holding hands? Awesome.

My pick: Tiger Woods' wife.


Matthew's Celebrity Pixies Tribute features "famous artists covering Pixies songs". Uhm, okay. "Hey" done in the style of Prince, and "Levitate Me" by the Beach Boys are both pretty brilliant.

Elliott Smith is sadly no longer with us, but his live bootlegs will live forever. Well, at least until my hard drive crashes.

Find new music at 15 Megs Of Fame. I couldn't slog through it myself, but it's a bunch of random unsigned bands, who may or may not be the next big thing.

A good cover of The Smiths Last Night I Dreamt Someone Loved Me, by Detroit's Ether Aura.

A final (?) American Recordings release from Johnny Cash comes out next month, but why not pick up some of the older mp3s for free?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I don't know about you, but I'm not properly prepared. I woke up Saturday thinking that I had World Cup fever, but it turned out to be just a hangover and a little congestion brought on by allergies. The time difference makes it impossible to get into any of the weekday matches, as I've only seen little snippets of the matches that start at noon. The USA/CZE match was on during the day yesterday, and it was 3-0 before I even got to see any of it--but they looked enormous next to our guys. The Czechs seriously have a guy who is 6' 8", that's ridiculous. Today, I watched the final 25 minutes or so of the SUI/FRA match. ESPN2 and Univision have to get their sh!t straight; while the former had a total time clock, the latter network counted up from half time; I got confused and thought I was watching tape delay of the first half. To add to my dismay, get this, they had SPANISH commentators!

Oh, and as for HD viewing, I only caught about 5 minutes of Mexico/Iran the other day. Meh. And the only good thing I can say about is their GameCast. It gives you live info/stats (such as it is in soccer) along with a running commentary, such as this line from FRA/SUI: "29 mins - Sagnol goes down a little theatrically when challenged". Yep, that's what I've come to expect from World Cup soccer: a lot of theatrics, and not too much excitement. Then there's this comment: "30 mins - Henry makes a great run in to the Swiss penalty area after nutmegging Magnin." Okay, I know it's been about 4 years since I've paid attention to soccer, but NUTMEGGING? I don't know what that is, but I probably don't want to see it in action. I lived in the Nutmeg State for 6 years, you'd think I would have heard of that technique. It sounds like something you do to a chick right after a Dirty Sanchez.

Although people tell me that AUS scoring 3 unexplained goals in the final 10 minutes vs. JAP was exciting, and Brazil has a player named "Roland in ho", I just can't get into this first round. Maybe later when there's more at stake, but though a team can play to three consecutive 0-0 ties and still make the next round, it doesn't mean I have to watch it.

With the hockey season pretty much wrapped up (I can't bear to watch the Cup unveiled down South), I think it's about time for some golf. I had a countdown timer going for the Masters, but I didn't like the way it looked, so let's just say, er, 39 h until the U.S. Open at Winged Foot!


The party's almost over, it's time to turn off the electric. Although they came out shooting, the Oilers were unable to break through and beat rookie Cam "Shaft" Ward and the Hurricanes last night, losing 2-1. The youngster looked stellar last night against an inspired Edmonton squad, giving his team a 3-1 series lead as they try to finish it off in Raleigh.

The NBC-HD broadcast was fantastic the past two days, by the way (so I hope you enjoyed watching "So You Think You Can Dance?" instead), with Doc Emrick and JD doing a solid job, the audio/video pretty damn good, and the Edmonton fans once again doing a bang up job singing 'O Canada'. It's a shame they don't have enough firepower to beat Carolina.

I realized when they were interviewing him last night that Rod Bit-o-luv looks a little like the late Jim "Ernest P. Worrell" Varney, which fits in with the whole Redneck Hockey motif:

Varney and Bit-o-Luv

(You be the judge.)

Hey Vern! I just won the Conn Smythe!


Steelers QB Ben "Drink Like A Champion Today" Roethlisberger was in a motorcycle accident yesterday morning, colliding face first with a car windshield, breaking his jaw and several bones in his face. He wasn't wearing a helmet, which is ironic because he wears one every day while working for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but not while riding a motorcycle at 70 miles an hour. Although it's probably not a career-ending situation, this ranks right up there on the stupidity meter with Aaron "Fucking" Boone tearing a knee while playing basketball. Shouldn't this kind of thing be prohibited by his contract? This story is dominating the local news in Pittsburgh (currently securing 5 out of the top 8 stories--along with Bush, Baghdad, war, blah blah blah), but you have to feel for them, because he's pretty much all that they've got. Oh, and he apparently didn't have a valid motorcycle license either.

Apparently, John Cleese is retiring from writing and performing in sitcoms. I didn't even know he was on TV, but he's correct when he says that he'll never top Fawlty Towers. (However, his idea to write a instructional comedy book--that was MY idea! Except he sounds dead serious. Hmmm.) It's also probably a good idea for him to stop performing all together, after that atrocious "Monty Python's Personal Best". In between the classic clips, he thought it would be funny to stage a mock Hollywood poolside interview, wherein he screamed redfaced at the maid, pretended to have a young girlfriend, and faked his own death. Turns out, it wasn't funny. But I hear Vermonty Python is delicious!

How about New England's wacky weather?! I happened to be in NH when they got 10" of rain in a weekend (lucky me). Yes, more evidence that the planet is hurtling into the sun. Again, I would suggest SPF 50.

Dramatic bear scare! A black bear was caught in Spring Valley last week, after plummeting 40 feet from a tree after being dazed by a tranquilizer dart.

Best. Quote. Ever. From Morrissey, former lead singer of The Smiths: "I would rather eat my own testicles than re-form The Smiths, and that's saying something from a vegetarian."

Monday, June 12, 2006


It's funny how the headline for Edmonton's 2-1 Game 3 victory differed greatly in the Canadian press vs. the U.S. press. See if you can guess which one is which:

1. Smyth's heroics get Oilers back in series
2. It's game on in Cup finals after disputed goal

If you said #1 was from Canada (TSN), and #2 from the U.S. (MSNBC), you're correct! It's funny how the MSNBC article calls the goal "rather questionable", while the TSN article says Smyth "somehow managed to bang home the rebound". Well, neither one is accurate, I'd say it's somewhere in between. I saw this goal when it happened: the puck hit Ward's stick before Smyth got to it, bounced off his chest, and it rolled into the net as he was getting hit from behind. They showed it a dozen times on the replay, and the validity of the goal was NEVER in question. It was your typical lucky bounce which happens in the NHL and every sport. Basically, Carolina has had ALL of the lucky breaks in the postseason (the winner in Game 1 of this series comes to mind), so how about we don't begrudge the one the Oilers get.

I'm only going to say this one more time: I officially don't give a flying puck what the Stanley Cup playoff ratings are. I'm still going to watch because it's enjoyable, well-played hockey, not because it's popular. If I felt the need to join a huge club, I'd ride the bandwagon with the newest members of Red Sox Nation. This Slate article sums up exactly how I feel about the NHL, primarily that it's a cult sport and that Bettman should give up "trying to woo the disinterested masses". I also love the idea of contracting the entire Southeast Division, and how this will make about six Carolinians angry. But instead of writing about the actual sport, most dickhead mainstream sportswriters will talk about the ratings (that's why I'm sticking to blogs for my sports reading). What does that have to do with the actual sport played on the ice? Screw you, I'm watching hockey and I don't care if you count me or not.

(Now that the US has lost 3-0 in their first game to the Czech Republic, and may not make it past
the first round, let's see if World Cup soccer gets any ratings in this country.)

Let's hope Edmonton can make it a series with a win tonight!

* * *

In other hockey news, not only is the sport ratings-free, but apparently alsosteroid free.

There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, which targets steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs but not stimulants.

Jose Theodore, who was on Canada's preliminary 81-man Olympic eligibility list but not named to the final squad, failed a doping test Dec. 9. The urine sample showed Finasteride, a masking agent for steroids that is also commonly found in hair-restoration drugs. Theodore used the hair product propecia and team doctor David Mulder said that caused the failed doping test. He had been taking the drug for years and said he didn't realize it contained a banned substance.

Ha! Likely story, but it sounds like a bald-faced lie. So the NHL is clean, allegedly, despite Dick Pound's allegations. I don't have a joke here, I just wanted to mention that the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency is Dick Pound.

Friday, June 9, 2006


Achtung, baby! World Cup 2006 is here!

No, it's actually in Germany, and unfortunately most of the cups will be filled with Budweiser. Well, except that's not what they're calling it. During the soccer/football/futbol tournament this month in Germany, Anheuser Busch can't sell its swill under the name Budweiser, due to over 100 years of trademark battles with Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar (who claim their "Budweiser Budvar" predates the A-B concoction). They also can't use the name "Bud", because it sounds too much like "Bit", the common shorthand for the Bitburger brewery's beer. Okay, I said "Bit" and "Bud" over and over again, and they don't sound anything alike to me, but according to a 2002 German ruling they do. So what are they selling it as? "Anheuser-Busch Bud". Of course, an A-B beer by any other name is still crap.

Germans are a beer-centric society, and since they allegedly invented modern beermaking they have a right to be outraged about Budweiser being the official World Cup beer. Of course, according to the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law) of 1516, beer can only contain "water, hops, malted barley or wheat"; this has since been amended to include yeast (not known to be a beer ingredient until Pasteur came around in the 1800s) and cane sugar. Since Budweiser uses rice in their brewing process, it's technically not beer at all (duh, I could have told you that). Bavarian politician Franz Maget described Budweiser as "the worst beer in the world." He added, "We have a duty to public welfare and must not poison visitors to the World Cup." Not to be outdone, the Times of London chimed in, saying "it's brown-gold and alcoholic--but, then, in the scathing verdict of German beer fans, so is paint thinner." Don't mince words here, guys, tell us how you really feel.

As previously mentioned, Bitburger beer will also be available at the World Cup, but due to their exclusivity A-B will only let them serve it in unlabeled cups in limited quantities. I'm predicting that there will be rioting when patrons (drunked lunatics) drink up all the Bit and find out that only "ABB" is available. I certainly wouldn't want to work at the stand where Bit is being sold, it could get ugly.

(Okay, I admit it, I enjoy dumping on, and dumping out, A-B, because they are truly an awful brewery/corporation/entity. I'm done now.)

In other World Cup news, I also heard that they're playing some soccer or something over there. I know next to zero about soccer, but being a citizen of the world I'm going to try to follow it, time difference be damned. I think I can handle it, it's only once every 4 years. What the hell is that logo? Okay, regardless, allow me to make one prediction: Ghana is not going to win it all this year, I'm afraid.

Let's turn it over to someone who knows infinitely more about the wide world of ball-kicking than I do, who says these are the Top 10 First Round Matches to Watch (ugh, another list):

Argentina vs. Ivory Coast (Sat June 10, 2:55 PM EDT) - You have to love Group C's nickname: THE GROUP OF DEATH. I have their latest death metal album, it's DANK.
Serbia & Montenegro vs. Netherlands (Sun June 11, 8:55 AM EDT) - Jennifer "Serbia" Aniston & Vince "Montenegro" Vaughn have broken up, but they continue to share the same condo! Wackiness ensues!
France vs. Switzerland (Tue June 13, 11:55 AM EDT) - Being a 100% real American, I reckon will pronounce Thierry Henry's name EXACTLY AS IT IS SPELLED: HEN-ree. I ain't skipping over no letters, goddammit!
Brazil vs. Croatia (Tue June 13, 2:55 PM EDT) - Group F, the Group of FUN!
Spain vs. Ukraine (Wed June 14, 8:55 AM) - Does the rain in the Ukraine fall mainly on the plain? For Ukraine versus Spain, I predict pain.
Germany vs. Poland (Wed June 14, 2:55 PM EDT) - Last time they met, it was 1939. Look out, Deutschland, paybacks are a BITCH.
England vs. Sweden (Tue June 20, 2:55 PM EDT) - At least at the end of the day, they both can agree on one thing: they both love ABBA!
Argentina vs. Netherlands (Wed June 21, 2:55 PM EDT) - All your favorites players are here! Ruud van Nistelrooy! Crespo! Arriaga! Arriaga II! Barriaga!
Mexico vs. Portugal (Wed June 21, 9:55 AM EDT) - My prediction: a quiet morning for the Texas border patrol.
Italy vs. Czech Republic (Thu June 22, 9:55 AM) - Whew. I'm all out of witty comments. I also hated my last one.

I would also add the June 17 @ 2:55 PM match featuring USA vs. Italy, just because. And I'm not even going to mention HD availability; since CV won't add ESPN2-HD, I'll only watch about half of these.

World Cup 2006: it's KICKTACULAR!

Oh, and GO U.S.A.!
(I guess.)

Thursday, June 8, 2006


Well, it looks like Edmonton is done. D-O-N-E. Carolina gave them a 5-0 spank-diddily-anking last night, taking complete control of the series. So get used to pictures like this:

I just threw up in my mouth.

I'd like to believe they tazered that guy seconds after the picture was taken, just for defacing the Cup. Just because of this picture, I wish the Oilers could rally and bring the Cup above the Manson-Dixon line where it belongs.

When I stumbled across that Cup photo, I realized that there are a lot of weird photos on the Interwebs of people posing with the most famous trophy in all of sports. And I wish it would stop.

If you thought Rod Bit-O-Luv would look ugly next to the Cup . . .

I'm trying to figure out how this family ended up posing with the Stanley Cup. The only thing I can glean from the website is that they're from Canada, which can only mean that EVERY CANADIAN CITIZEN GETS TO POSE WITH IT. Another reason to root for Edmonton.

This is just wrong.

And this is quite possibly the ugliest sports poster ever. Blech.


The World Cup is upon us, and I couldn't be more excitedly apathetic! This nifty Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of standings and points illustrates how the rest of the world is alot more into this soccer thing than I am.

Forget iTunes. If you're looking for some hot, buttered music, look no further than the Waffle House Music Machine. After listening to a few of these, you'll think of 844,739 to claw your ears out.

If you wondered what would happen if you combined 200 liters of Diet Coke and 500 Mentos, look no further. I like the lab coats, it makes them look like actual scienticians.

Okay, forget about those other ones. This is a good link: Keepvid allows you to take those YouTube videos and save them (in theory; I haven't gotten it to work).

Since the show is in summer hiatus, we've been reduced to discussing the fonts used on ABC's LOST. FONTS! Come on people, get a life. You! Have you ever kissed a girl?

Yeah, I'm tired of Tpo Whatever Lists, too (remind me to make a Top Ten Top Ten Lists sometime), but you have to love the Onion AV Club's Top 13 Memorably Unpopular Characters From Popular TV. Why not mention EVERY character on The Sopranos, since there's not a likable protagonist on the whole show? And Ashton Kutcher's Kelso from "That 70s Show" should be on there (and trust me: someday, he will). Oh, let's not forget the little kid from Family Ties.

Jason Grimsley is a HGH hound, hence the 4.76 career ERA, and he doesn't care who knows it. However, right around Page 12, he starts wildly naming other players' names, except that they're all blacked out on this affidavit. Here are my best guesses: Jeff Kent, Albert Belle, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Albert Pujols, John Kruk, The Rock, The Undertaker, Mighty Mouse. I hate MLB for the fact that I have to make up my own names to find out who is a filthy cheater. Is there any wonder I've stopped watching baseball?

UPDATE (8:54 PM): I've been trying to post this all day, but BLOGGER has been having issues. Anyway, the name "Albert Pujols" has been thrown around in conjunction with this HGH story. I've had it with these assholes lying to me, and I'm done with baseball. Bring on the golf!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006


WINNING UGLYWith Edmonton up 3-0 with about 5 minutes left in the 2nd in Game 1, I decided to watch a couple of episodes of Deadwood on DVD, and never switched back. As it turned out, I ended up missing a lot, primarily a huge Oilers meltdown.

The Oilers lost 5-4 last night to Carolina in the worst way imaginable. Not only were they up 3-0 and let Carolina back in the game with 4 unexplained goals, but Roloson hurt his knee with 6 minutes left and is out of the finals. After tying it up 4-4, with OT all but assured, backup goalie Ty Conklin played the puck behind the net and made a bad pass to Smith, handing Bit-o-luv the winning goal with 31 seconds left (just look at that photo--DAMMIT, he's hideous). Just plain awful.

Unless Ty Conklin (who I actually saw play for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats) turns out to be the next Patrick Roy, this series is all but over. Barring a miracle, the Hurricanes will win take the Cup and fill it with chewing tobacky or moonshine. Or maybe creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, crispy chicken, and top it off with their famous homestyle gravy and a 3-cheese blend, and call it the KFC Caniac Nation Heartstopper Supreme!

In other hockey news, although details are sketchy, the HNA New Jersey Landsharks (16-2-2) reportedly did not play well in the 2005-2006 League Championship Finals in Etobicoke, Ontario. In a recorded statement on Sunday, stay-at-home defenceman Rob Vertullo, who shockingly left home via airplane on Thursday, stated that their lack of effectiveness on the ice may have been due to spending "over 8 hours in a strip club". Where did they go? Some say Canada; others, Toronto. I can only imagine what would have happened had they attended the Las Vegas Tournament. More details to follow.

Monday, June 5, 2006


The lull in the golf season that we've experienced since the Masters has seemed interminable. So with the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot on the horizon I thought it was high time to get back to discussing golf. I didn't get to see any of this past weekend's rain-soaked, Indian-cursed Memorial tournament, but I did read this incredibly funny/disgusting tidbit:

[After a rain delay] Mickelson returned to the sixth hole to find the cup had moved in the middle of the second round. Turns out someone defecated in the hole, and the only solution was to move it a few feet, along with the ball markers on the green.

Do you think the person who made a #2 on #6 left it as a present for FIGJAM? Was it merely a wet Baby Ruth bar? The world may never know.

Wie will rock you!But I suppose the biggest golf news this week concerns 16-year-old golfing phenom Michelle Wie, who is playing a 36-hole qualifier at Canoe Brook in Summit, NJ today for the chance to be the first woman to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Wie is scheduled to tee off at 8:35 a.m. on the South course and start on the North course at about 2:20 p.m. Historically, the North course has proved more challenging, particularly the final three holes: the uphill 431-yard 16th and downhill 455-yard 17th, both par-4s, and No. 18, a par-5 that is straight as a yardstick but 601 yards long.

601 yards? Yikes. Even though she can drive the ball 275-300 yards, that should be an interesting finish for her if she's still in the running at that point (-3 over 36 holes was good enough to qualify in 2005). She's one of 153 qualifiers playing for the 18 spots available, and she's on the course right now playing alongside local head pro Rick Hartmann. Thanks to the semi-live blog, we get this stunning information:

7:59 a.m. -- In case you were wondering, [Wie's] salmon sweater is almost an identical color as James Driscoll's shirt.

Ah, the magic of the Interwebs, giving us information that previously would have been considered irrelevent! Do you think people pointed out what color Carl Petersson's shirt was yesterday morning before winning the Memorial? I'm gonna say no. Get used to this kind of crap, since they give out hundreds of press passes to members of the media circus who know zero about golf.

Anyway, best of luck to Wie (click here for scorecard). It'll be good to have her around, despite the proliferation of bad puns based on her name (latest ones: "Wie've got you covered!" and "Wie bit of pressure"). And I'd much prefer having Wie on my HDTV than Tim Herron or John Daly.

UPDATE (2:15 PM): Wie is at -2 after the first 18. Just like the Sony Open, her driving was fine, but her putts did her in: Missing 7 putts inside 12 is not the prescription for winning a spot a Winged Foot against players of this talent level.

UPDATE (4:13 PM): Wie is at -1 after 24 holes. That won't be good enough, so she needs a few birdies to make it . . .

UPDATE (4:55 PM): Wie birdied the 17th, to go -2 after 26. Even after playing all day, she's still able to outdrive Gossett, who she's playing alongside. Apparently, if 36 holes doesn't decide it, they also play a PLAYOFF. That's a brutal day. Wait, it's GOLF, how bad can it be?

UPDATE (6:43 PM): After a 3 putt bogey on the 4th (31st) hole, the wheels have come off. After three straight bogies, Wie is at +1 after 33 holes, and it's officially over. A valiant effort but she came up short.

A Wie bit short.

Oh, I cannot take any more ribald punnery!

Friday, June 2, 2006


Gotta love those 70's commercials!
#1. Here's a montage of classic toy commercials:

#2. Here's the classic Enjoli ad:

I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan! Man, that song is embedded in my brain. Whatever happened to the jingle? That's a whole other topic.
#3. These kids are having a FABULOUS time with Mr. Microphone!


Here's a new word I just coined:

BLOGIC (n.) shaky reasoning that a blogger makes to support their theory
According to the author's blogic, it's entirely plausible that Roger Clemens couldn't re-sign with the Astros until now because he was suspended 50 days for steroid use, a fact somehow hidden from the public.

Stick THAT in your Urban Dictionary! Oh, I suppose I could do that myself.

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Here's the only Ultimate Frisbee clip you ever need to see. I mean, the guy can jump, but so what? He's playing frisbee! But whoever covered this should talk to the NFL; they have more camera angles of this than they had in the AFC Championship Game.

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Things I (wish I) didn't know existed: the Pro Disc Golf Association and the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

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From the groundbreaking development team that brought you Grand Theft Auto 3, it's . . . table tennis? Are you fucking serious? I'd like some of that stuff those Rockstar Games guys are smoking. Then I thought this is an April Fool's joke that I'm just getting wind of now. Nope, apparently not, it actually exists. Well, I at least hope they got the rights to all the top players, like, uhm, oh who fucking knows, it's PING PONG! Can you at least brutally kill your opponent with your paddle to an 80s hip hop soundtrack? At least that would give me a reason to buy an XBOX 360.

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Andy Roddick is a sissy, Moby has outlived his usefulness in the music world and is going into space, and I'd blame the mother (not the police or hospital) for not being able to identify her own daughter in this highly publicized mix-up.

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According to their radio commercials, the Hyundai Sonata "outclasses" the Toyota Camry. No, it doesn't outperform, it's not better built, it doesn't get better gas mileage, it doesn't have a lot of satisfied owners, its safety rating isn't as high, it's not as reliable, nor is it as roomy . . . uhm, did we mention it OUTCLASSES the Camry?


REDNECKS!  See if you can spot the Sabres fans in the crowd (hint: one of them is wearing blue).The Sabres went out with guns ablazin', but they finally ran out of bullets. Actually, it should be with swords a-swinging--no, that sounds stupid. Oh screw it, the Hurricanes blew them out of the playoffs, beating them 4-2 in Game 7, winning the Prince of Tides--er, Wales Trophy and will represent the East in the Stanley Cup Finals. Buffalo played well early and got two quick goals near the end of the 2nd, one of them on a favorable bounce off of Ward's back with :04.9 left, but Carolina was relentless and took control on a PP goal midway through the 3rd (after a stupid 'delay of game' penalty, which I didn't think should have been called). I was rooting for Buffalo, because their fans really deserve it and would savor a Cup win for years to come, whereas it will be forgotten by most people in Carolina the next day. But the Hurricanes are a talented young team, who are playing top notch hockey right now. (Well, they're young except for Rod Bit o' Love, who apparently made a classless comment after the game about Ruff, though I didn't hear it.) And although I'd love to see Edmonton beat them and hope to see the Cup make it back up north, I say it'll be Carolina in 6. But what do I know?

As for the OLN game commentary, I have to be honest: it hasn't been good. Although Doc's calls are always solid, JD sounds distracted (TAKE THE BLUES GM JOB ALREADY!) and the two haven't meshed well. Maybe OLN is trying to "dumb it down" for the non-hockey audience (Carolina, I'm looking at you), but there's no need to have them constantly spew endless stats, make irrelevant mentions of random minor league hockey teams, or what colleges some of the players attended. (Did you know Ryan Miller was a Michigan State Spartan? We'll say it again in 20 minutes, in case you missed it!) Sometimes they go off on tangents and forget to mention a penalty has been called (this has happened more than once), and they obsessively point out how many "one goal games" the Sabres played, which is completely meaningless (last night's Game 7, though technically not a "one goal game" was closer fought than Game 2, in which Buffalo scored a goal with 4 seconds left to make it 4-3). Enough already! Don't insult my intelligence, and don't waste my time with Olympics-style anecdotes, just call the damn game. And yes, we know it's loud in the arena, 18,000 screaming fans in an enclosed space can be noisy, we don't need to see the decibel meter. I'll say it again, and I can't stress this enough: stop exclusively catering to people who DON'T know anything about hockey, and cater to those who DO. Since OLN has Game 1 and 2 EXCLUSIVELY, we're stuck with them.

Although the playoffs have been fun to watch, it's only solidified my opinion that this is truly is the saddest sports radio town. Only one local team was playing, and there were no compelling stories in sports yesterday, yet NO ONE talked about this Game 7. Okay, I obviously only heard a small sampling of it, but this is the closest anyone got to mentioning the NHL yesterday: WFAN's Mad Dog talking to his clueless baseball-loving dad on the phone (I'm not joking here, this made it on the air).

Dog: So are you excited for Game 7 tonight? (baiting him)
Dad: Oh sure, of course. (obviously has no idea)
Dog: What Game 7 am I talking about?
Dad: Well, uhm, er . . .
Dog: I'm talking about Buffalo and Carolina!
Dad: Oh, well I'm not really into basketball.

Ugh. This is what passes for hockey conversation on sports radio around here: a guy who knows nothing about hockey making fun of his dad who knows less than him, if that's possible. It's so fucking pathetic. They only mention hockey when the Rangers are in the playoffs (which has been extremely rare), and they don't spend time on it before or after. Since I don't bother turning on ESPN anymore, since all they offer is NBA, women's softball, and Major League Bondsball, there really is no other alternative. XM Radio appears to be the only place that has a full slate of hockey talk, on theirHome Ice channel. Think about it: actual knowledgable hockey sports talk, and you don't have to live near Canada to pick it up; such a thing would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Anyway, I'm convinced that all of the major TV and radio sports talkers own a major stake in satellite radio, because their complete idiocy is actually driving me towards actually buying one of those fucking satellite receivers.

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I think a comedy movie should be measured by how many times people quote it in their daily lives. That's why the Bravo list is fatally flawed: no one is quoting the South Park movie, Ace Ventura, or Legally Blonde. I can't go a day without hearing someone quote movies like Caddyshack, Airplane!, Old School, Office Space, and Austin Powers. The king of them all, of course, is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and I overheard two references to it yesterday. Yankees beat reporter Sweeney Murti likened Jeter's attitude toward his injury "like the Black Knight who just had his arms cut off, he insists it's just a flesh wound". I appreciated the joke, but he might have been overstating it since it's only a sprained hand. On OLN a few hours later Doc Emrick made a similar joke, using the same "it's just a flesh wound" line to illustrate how the Sabres didn't use their injuries as an excuse. This led to JD saying, "Who's Monty Python?", and Doc changing the subject by saying "And now for something completely different" and continuing the play-by-play. JD then followed up with the comment, "He's from England, isn't he?" Yikes. He just dropped a few notches in my book with that comment (and Doc went up a notch).

Thursday, June 1, 2006


Sabretooth!I can't believe I'm saying these words, but the hockey world turns its attention to freaking Raleigh, North Carolina tonight, as the Sabres play the Hurricanes in Game 7 to decide the winner of the Wales (Eastern) Conference. The fact that OLN has exclusive rights to this game means that it will be beaten in the ratings be a live broadcast of a spelling bee. Ugh. At least I'll get it in HD (Dish Network and DirecTV offer every conf. final game in HD, but C-Vision has been picking and choosing, and just happened to choose to show this one tonight).

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are skating in Greenburgh, New York of all places, to escape their crazy Canadian fans and get focused for the finals (no, the Rangers rink is not in Tarrytown, but close enough--Calgary, Edmonton, same thing, right?). I was thinking about going to open hockey tonight at Palice, but not if Chris Pronger is going to be there. Of course, they take shots at our "inferior ice" at every turn:

By leaving early the team will adjust to a two-hour time change and can also get used to the humid air and skate-stifling slush that passes as late-spring ice . . . Pronger said he'd rather get used to the challenges of playing slush hockey with the team in solitude than stay on Edmonton's better ice basking in the glory of the team's Western Conference title win.

Goddam condescending Canucks. By the way, this is the first week there's been any heat/humidity in New York, it's not like you're skating in Mexico City. And excuse us for living outside the Arctic Circle, where we're looked down upon because we can't host outdoor hockey games in March. A perfect solution to this problem was postulated by Vertullo: start the season in August. This way, get the season over by April 1st; the ice will be better, and your ratings won't be affected by the baseball season or the NBA playoffs. Oh, and if your team is in a hot climate and you can't get the ice to freeze in July/August, your team has to move to a colder city. Makes perfect sense to me.

(BTW, the Campbell Cup winners are in 'New York's backyard', so doesn't this seem like a good opportunity for the sports reporters to get some exclusive interviews? How much do you want to bet they don't, and instead get another shitty quote from Larry Brown?)

So anyway, it should be a good game tonight as these two teams will let it all hang out. I just heard that Jay McKee is out with a "freak infection", so it will be an uphill battle for Buffalo (do they have any defensemen left?). Enjoy the Carolina slush hockey!