Thursday, January 31, 2008

2007 DICKTARD(S) OF THE YEAR: RIAA

January is almost over and I'm sure everyone has forgotten about 2007 a long time ago. But just like the banks sending out W-2 forms at the last possible second, I sneaked this in just under the wire. I thought about several nominees for 2007 Dicktard of the Year, but this is by far the biggest offenders I could come up with: the RIAA (Recording Industry Asshats of America).

The method of music delivery has changed forever with the advent of the digital download, and as a result consumers just aren't buying as many CDs. But don't try to tell the RIAA this. Have you ever made a copy of an CD, either into a compressed, portable format, or onto a CD-R? Well, if so, you're a filthy pirating thief in their eyes. I believe one of their lawyers would like to have a word with you, because you owe them some cash.

Instead of embracing the new technology, they and the record companies are fighting it to the bitter end by hiring an army of lawyers to protect their assets by suing everyone in sight. A brief list of those being "made an example":

That last one is part of an actual copyright reform bill being reviewed by Congress, called by Google's top copyright lawyer William Patry "the most outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US." The "damages" they are claiming aren't anywhere near the losses they are incurring as a result of illegal downloading. It's absurd. They just don't get it, and neither do the record companies that are allowing this to happen.

Congratulations RIAA: you are the 2007 DICKTARDS OF THE YEAR.

(I know it seems like I'm picking on lawyers, but since 2006 Dicktard of the Year was forced to declare bankrupcy a few weeks ago, I'm hoping for a similar fate for the RIAA's lawyers.)

T.I.H.™: THE NEW TABLOIDS

I swore off Slate a few weeks ago, just like I swore of CNN. But I didn't move them from the top of My Yahoo! RSS page. So I still get the idiot headlines from CNN and the self-righteous from Slate.

Anyway, I read Jack Shafer's column from time to time, because he does talk about things that get me all bent out of shape: Media matters and the idiocy of the main-stream media. Shafer can be a bit of a blow hard and I get the feeling that he really has to stretch sometimes to get his weekly Press Box column the material needed, but overall I find him significantly less annoying then most of Slate's stable of lefties.

This week he goes after the online tabloids, Foxnews.com, MSNBC.com and CNN.com. I almost never go on Fox News, because I just don't care what they think, but as I mentioned CNN is at the top of my RSS reader and man does that site suck. I am/was under the impression that CNN was some sort of respectable source of news...I don't know how I got this marketed into my head, because it's so not true. I've had a few run ins with MSNBC and I think I made myself clear on how I feel about them.

The problem here is such: Many people, myself included, think that these three news "sources" are the "place to go" for your daily news. That's right, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner and Bill Gates are determining what you find important each and every day. Fuck this, CNN is being banned from the top of my RSS reader right now. Ok now it's NYT followed by WaPo. That should be a step up from stories such as "Haiti's poor resort to eating dirt" and "Dr. Phil bums out Star Wars fanatic's wife."

Despite all of this, it's impossible to avoid the winning trifecta (children, sex and animals) in online reporting: Man Arrested After Cat Finds Child Porn Stash

Get that journalist a beer.

[Slate.com]

Oh and don't look now, but the Sabres have won three straight and have won (outright) 4 of 6 over the past few weeks. They're ahead of the Washington Ovechkins for 10th in the conference!
Vanek had the decider last night, which means that Buffalo is now paying him a mere $714,285 per goal. A deal if you ask me consider Scott Gomez is making $909,090 per goal and Drury's making around $550,000.
We'll not mention Brad Boyes' $55,170 per goal of course. Or Corey Perry's $19,000 per goal (for the record, Vanek would need to score 526 goals this season to be that efficient).

Of course this little tangent is more or less for the Bettman Sucks tag...'cause he's who put us in this situation. Fuck you Gary Asshole.

Garybettmansucks.blogspot.com - visit it in its pink glory TODAY!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS!

HYPER-MATCH 101010 - GIANTS VS. PATRIOTS - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2008During the NFL's insufferable FORTNIGHT OF JACKASSERY leading up to this Sunday's HYPER-MATCH 101010, I would usually just turn off the radio and television in order to avoid the media coverage completely. However, with my team, the Giants, representing the NFC I was forced to wear earplugs and blindfolds for the duration, removing them only to watch hockey (could be true). I also made it a point to not visit any sports websites that didn't rhyme with "Fredspin" or "Missing Floozy Folder". Basically, everyone takes 5 minutes of analysis and spreads it out over 2 horrific weeks. Call me crazy, but I'm not listening to a guy who didn't watch this Giants team play for the past 20 weeks, yet has suddenly become an expert on the subject. Even more maddening, the non-sports media can't shut up about it either, covering related stories that no one cares about, like the expensive commercials, the halftime show, how to throw a party, the mayors' bets and blabbity blabbity blah.

So this will be my only preview post concerning pro football's HYPER-MATCH. I'm only going to interrupt the festivities to bring you BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS, of the variety that ESPN News is known for. For example, yesterday on the channel it informed me on the bottom of the screen:

BREAKING NEWS:
New England Patriots and New York Giants play in Super Bowl XLII Sunday 6 PM. Be sure to tune into ESPN this Sunday for the EUROPEAN FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIP.

Good to know. Well, here at the OPEN HOCKEY BLOG we have this item just coming in--

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Pats QB Tom Brady is an attractive human being of the male gender. He has won previous HYPER-MATCHES in his career, the number of which is still unknown. Stay tuned!

So you see, there really isn't anything new to repor--

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Wes Welker is white.

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Despite team's success, Coach Coughlin is still a screaming moron.

Okay, I don't know why that was "breaking", it wasn't like we didn't already know . . . wait a sec . . .

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Rob is reporting that "Brady is setting up for some kind of Schilling phony bloody sock thing this Sunday, with his 'sprained' ankle."

Okay, at least this is something, and I agree. He's still milking that? He probably took notes from T.O. a few weeks back: 1. Wear a boot and/or use crutches in the presence of cameramen. 2. If you have a great game people will shower you with golden praise and call you Superman; if not, you have a built-in excuse for your crappy play. It's a WIN-WIN, people!

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Eli Manning is Peyton's little brother. It has been confirmed that they are both Archie Manning's sons. Yet they're not exactly alike, for some unknown reason which we've yet to uncover. Stay tuned!

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Kris is reporting from OPEN HOCKEY'S French office: "Sorry, it's been foretold by Tecmo Bowl . . . no use even playing the game now."



Yeah, you're right, now that Tecmo has spoken the game is a mere formality. The background music is freaking great; all it's missing is Harry Kalas' narration:

Everything was coming up Big Blue, until Eli threw an ill-advised pass across his body into the end zone for an INT . . .
Before long the record-setting combination would hook up again, as Brady dropped back 30 yards to throw an 80 yard bomb to Moss . . .
On 2nd and 3, Jacobs had a wide open hole that closed before he could find it . . .


IT'S LIKE I'M SEEING THE FUTURE.

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Puppies are cute! Stay tuned for Puppy Bowl IV!

This is an undisputible fact, but hardly news.

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: While most bars have HD-capable flat panel screens installed, most of them still do not have HD. WTF?

During my past two weeks of media avoidance, I discovered that it's quite expensive for bars/restaurants to get DirecTV in HD: a plan that costs less than $100 a month from Cablevision costs over $200 from DirecTV. Furthermore, the satellite provider bases all of their charges on "estimated viewing occupancy", so the more people you can fit in your establishment, the more they bilk you for cash. This is why most bars do not have HD set-ups, or simply have the (exclusive to DirecTV) NFL Sunday Ticket plan without HD. That's poor marketing.

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: An anagram for the New England Patriots is "Grow Talent and Penis".

Sorry, that one didn't make any sense. That's it, I'm ending this--

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: (YOUR TEAM) is very confident that they will win! This could give the opposing team much needed locker-room bulletin board fodder, which is a proven motivational tool! Stay tuned!

What? Stop th--

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: Wes Welker is still white.

Okay, enough jackassery. This is all I'm going to say about the Giants team that I root for, despite the fact that they are burdened by playing in the NFL.

The Giants are an inconsistent, mediocre team. They are merely the NFC team that managed to suck the least in 2007. They've played good enough during this playoff run, and while Elisha has been solid (53/85, 599 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 0 FUM, 6 SACKS), and the defense has been serviceable, this in itself will not add up to a win. To get this far they've had to rely on mistakes by the Cowgirls (penalties, interceptions, poor tackling) and the Packers (INT in OT due to reckless gunslinging); they will get no such gifts this Sunday. To say they have to play mistake free football is a massive understatement. If even one player has to re-tie their shoelaces, all is lost.

I said everything was a bonus after they beat Tampa, and then Dallas. But it will be incredibly frustrating to watch this team get this far only to have Tommy Dreamboat & The Super Spies capture yet another HYPER-MATCH ring, thus increasing the douchebaggishness of New England sports fans exponentially. Either way, it's an excuse to get incredibly drunk somewhere on Sunday night and miss work on Monday. I have no delusions that this team is good enough to repeat this feat again, so this may be the last time we see this team in the HYPER-MATCH for a while. I'm going to enjoy this game one way or the other.

Oh crap, not another one--

BREAKING HYPER-MATCH NEWS: An anagram for the New York Giants: Win A Strong Key.

I couldn't agree more.

GO GIANTS!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MORE AWESOMENESS IN LICENSING: HOMER-HEAD SLIPPERS

I got these babies on sale for 4€50, which in USD is something like $50, but believe me, it's not too much here. I doubt I'll wear them much, but I have never LLOL for a pair of slippers before and every time I look at my feet that's what happens; I burst out laughing. And I have not even drank alcohol today.



And the best thing: Your feet go right into his mouth. Brilliant.



They're not bad for comfort either, although I could foresee overheating being an issue.



Anyway, I give this product and/or service the official Open Hockey Award for Excellence in the field of Marketed and/or Licensed Product and/or Service.


UPDATE (Jeff K): Nice! Just make sure you don't get arrested while wearing them, or you'll look like this guy:



Allentown man charged in two homicides [Morning Call]

Monday, January 28, 2008

TOP 10: BEST TOYS EVER

I was inspired to write this list when I saw Google's graphical tribute to my #1 toy (see the bottom of this post). This is my list, and therefore, it is inscrutable. Here we go:

10. Barbie dolls. Before recalling millions of Chinese produced toys because of dangerous amounts of lead paint (whoops!), MATTEL was responsible for the most iconic and popular dolls of all time. Introduced in 1957, Barbie is currently responsible for 80% of the company's profits. (And that's my sole nod to "toys for girls".)

9. Fisher Price Little People. I had the Main Street set when I was a kid, with the post office, barber shop, and fire house, and all sorts of people and vehicles to go with it (even a little wooden dog that chewed the plastic ears off of). I think I played with it until I was in 8th grade. (I wish I were lying.)

8. Slinky. Still made in the USA, this toy was invented by a Marine who, instead of focusing on the war effort, observed a torsion spring roll around on a ship's deck. I still cannot get the jingle out of my head: "It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy. It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy."



I could never get one of them to go down the stairs, let alone two of them. So I used to just dangle it from the top of the stairs and try to hit someone in the head with it. After about 3 days it would get all bent and tangled, and you'd have to go buy a new one.

7. Superball. A simple round piece of hard rubber, you couldn't wait to get it outside and try to bounce it over the roof . . . and then you promptly lost it. According to this commercial from the 50s, it had 50,000 pounds of compressed energy! How could an 8 year old kid possibly control that?



(I remember that Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. Man, it looked and smelled nasty.)

6. Play-Doh. Everyone claims to have eaten this as a kid, but I can definitely say that I just played with it. You could find little hardened bits of this crap everywhere.

5. Wiffle Ball. For those of us who couldn't really figure out the curveball using a traditional baseball, this was a godsend. From adolescence to college, I can't even tell you how many of the Wiffle Bat and Ball sets I've bought. Nothing beats a game of Wiffle ball.

4. Frisbee. Sure, it's just an inverted pie plate that someone at the WHAM-O company in 1957 reshaped to fly straight. But it's that kind of simple innovation that makes the frisbee a lasting toy. (Yes, those of you who take "Ultimate Frisbee" really seriously, it's just a toy.)



3. Atari 2600. Released in 1977, it ushered in the era of home videogame consoles, and made the word "joystick" an acceptable household word. From Combat, Space Invaders and Adventure, to the Activision classics Pitfall and River Raid, to the truly shitty home version of PAC-MAN, this system had an endless list of game cartridges, as well as an endless number of retro sites devoted to it today.



I could never figure out that stupid Raiders of the Lost Ark game.

2. NERF balls. I think it's safe to say that everyone has owned a NERF ball at some point in their lifetime. How classic is the NERF football, or the NERFoop? Both released in 1972, they are still sold in toy stores today. NERF even sells sports attachments for the Nintendo Wii.

1. LEGO. Celebrating its 50th birthday today, the modern plastic LEGO block is the ultimate universal customizable toy: easy for a child to learn, and it affords seemingly endless building combinations. I used to have a huge box of these that I played with for my entire childhood, and just visited the LEGO store in the mall the other day. Timeless and classic.



(Note: that LEGO Star Wars II: Original Trilogy game, which I bought for my nieces for the PS2, is incredibly fun.)

T.I.H.: ESPN AND XM, A MARRIAGE MADE IN HELL

I guess this was bound to happen, but after a year of subscribing to XM satellite radio I find myself only listening to about a dozen channels (Ethel, Lucy, Fred, Squizz, Loft, SBUX Cafe, Chill, XMU, Verge, Home Ice, Opie & Anthony . . . I ran out of steam there). The worst part about XM seems to be the talk shows. I still don't see the allure of listening to the audio from CNN, CNBC or E!. The live broadcasts of golf and NHL games is nice to have (as is the scoreboard), but I have absolutely no interest in listening to any of the sports talk radio.

So maybe this less of a rant and more of a warning to XM Radio subscribers. I just heard a commercial for a new channel to be added February 4th called "ESPN Xtra" (Channel 141). From the press release:

"The ESPN Xtra channel will also air content produced by ESPN exclusively for XM throughout the year, live coverage of events ranging from the X Games to the ESPY Awards, and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons' popular podcast from ESPN.com."
Wow, that really covers the whole spectrum of sports. Live coverage of the ESPY awards in my car! Imagine how great the BEST PLAY nominees will sound. "Did you hear that goal by Rick Nash?" "Dude, listen to that snowboard!" Will we also be able to hear a bunch of nobodies play poker too? The possibilities are endless.

Wait a sec:"Bill Simmons' popular podcast". Popular? Really?
"Bill Simmons, a.k.a. "The Sports Guy," is a columnist for ESPN.com's "Page 2" and ESPN The Magazine. The New England native, renowned for his passion for Boston sports teams, will be heard Fridays at 3 p.m. and at 10 p.m. ET when ESPN Xtra airs his popular 40-minute podcast from ESPN.com."
Okay, okay, it must be popular, since you said it twice. I don't know a single person who has ever listened to this podcast, but if you (the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports) say so, how can I argue? So does the Boston Sports Guy have J-Bug and Hench talking about the Pats and the Sawx on there too? God, I hope so.

ESPN sucks.

BETTMAN SUCKS: NATIONAL HOCKEY LAMPOON'S (SURPRISE) EUROPEAN VACATION

THANKS TO BARRY MELROSE ROCKS BLOGDuring the All-Star Weekend, Gary "Fucking Twunt" Bettman announced the NHL would kick off the 2008-2009 season with several games in Europe. As part of this tour, the Rangers/Lightning would play 2 games in the Czech Republic (two minutes for cross-Czeching - GET IT?), and the Pens/Sens would similarly faceoff in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, he said the Rangers will play 2007 Russian Superleague champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the inaugural "Victoria Cup", created by the IIHF to pit an NHL team against the European club champion.

However, Bettman overstepped his authority here, as he failed to mention that the NHLPA has not approved these games. As a result, players' union boss Paul Kelly is not pleased and said that a lot of details have yet to be worked out, especially with the IIHF, with whom the NHL is having player transfer issues. Oops. Bettman also promised that ABBA would be getting back together and playing a concert during the games in Sweden, although he hasn't actually talked to the band members yet.

In other words, Bettman sucks.

Regardless, I seriously don't know what the NHL is trying to do, besides suck as much money as they can out of hockey fans without actually improving the sport. If these games are going to count, aren't you also taking away games from season ticket holders in the process? Why don't they work on getting the average US sports fan to give a crap about the NHL, instead of outsourcing it to Europe? And as much as I like ESPN getting the shaft whenever and wherever possible, the NHL signing an extension with Versus through 2011 isn't going to exactly increase their visibility in the States.

Thanks to Barry Melrose Rocks for the photo.

NHL ALL-STAR GAME WEEKEND REVIEW

NHL team mascots pose together for a group photo before the 56th NHL All-Star Game (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesAfter watching most of the 2008 NHL YoungStars!/SuperSkills! and the All Star Game, I have to say they both pretty much sucked. They could have used Sidney Crosby to show up at the festivites limping out to greet the crowd wearing Tom Brady's boot. It certainly was a lackluster showcase for the league's most talented players. Here's the PLUS/MINUS breakdown. (Yeah, I'm probably not the first one to come up with that.)

PLUS: The goalies they chose to mic up during both events, Rick "2020 Or Bust" DiPietro and Manny "Tarnished" Legace, were both very entertaining and added to the telecast.
MINUS: The constant VERSUS audio issues, which led to about 20 exchanges like the following:

Doc Emrick: We've got a microphone on the goalies. Hey, DiPietro, what did you think of that shot?
Rick: ...
Doc: I guess he can't hear us.


Ugh.

PLUS: Placed in the middle of the skills events the new YoungStars! game, with only one faceoff and two 6 minute "halves" was short and to the point. Of course, it allowed for a ridiculous amount of breakaways but what did you expect?
MINUS: Fastest Skater, which was a sprint and not a lap around the ice, just flat out sucked. Predictably, the NHL/VERSUS couldn't get the timers to work correctly.

PLUS: THE AMAZING ZENDO'S 103.1 MPH SLAPSHOT!
MINUS: FURRIES! Those NHL mascots are frightening.

PLUS: Melt Your Face Off's hilarious livebloggery of the SS and ASG.
MINUS: CBS Sportsline adding the goals during the ASG to each players' season total. Goals 40 and 41 for Ovey! Uh no, they don't count. So you can take your glog and shove it.

PLUS: I actually liked the revamped Obstacle Relay, with the goalies shooting at the empty net at the end. Althought Rob didn't like the "saucer pass" part ("they should have had little kids on the ice for that") I thought it was okay overall.
MINUS: I don't normally agree with Wes Goldmember from Sportsline, but they have to get rid of the "judged" Breakaway Challenge event. It had potential, but it ended up being awful. It was worse than the NBA Slam Dunk (if you can believe it); it was like watching 30 straight failed dunk attempts. Some of the players didn't even seem to know what they were supposed to do. After trying (and failing) to bat the puck out of the air, Ovechkin said afterwards, "I didn't practice that." Yeah, no shit, Ovey. I couldn't tell at all. The goalies were also just getting in the way of the fun; they should have just put a stuffed dummy in each goal. And it's a bad sign when the computer animated trick shots were 100 times better than the final product. I could have just watched the 2KSports simulation of the Skills competition all night.

PLUS: I missed The Hives doing the musical introduction, which I heard was the highlight of the All Star Game. The sad thing is, I'm not kidding.
MINUS: When Gary Bettman joined Doc and Eddie in the booth at the beginning of the 3rd, I had to turn off the audio. Insufferable little twunt. This led to the following imaginary exchange:

Doc: Do you have a question for the commissioner?
Me: Yeah, I do! How about you have a nice big cup of 'shut the fuck up'?


Bettman sucks.

PLUS: A sweet breakaway in the ASG by Rick Nash, who had a hat trick for the losing Western team. All 17 fans in Columbus said "Huh."
MINUS: Eric Staal somehow got the MVP, and Bettman was booed by the crowd when he made the center ice presentation. THIS MAN IS BOOED IN EVERY ARENA, DOESN'T ANYONE SEE A PROBLEM WITH THIS? Do you think Bettman gets booed while he’s out eating dinner?

PLUS: As Rob said, "At least it was in HD". Agreed.
MINUS: Not all the cameras were HD (hey, it's VERSUS, how many HD cameras do you think they can afford?).

All in all, I was pretty non-plussed. But it still beat watching the Winter X Games.

Friday, January 25, 2008

THE END OF DAYS: WHEN THE FRENCH OUT COUNTRY OUR SINGERS

When I saw them for the first time, I really thought they were American...I saw a live acoustic version and the lead singer (her name's Rosemary) played up the twang. The Neil Young harmonica, the steel guitar, the stand-up bass...it tricked me good.

On the studio version, you can catch a couple of words that she doesn't completely manage to hide behind an affected twang (last time I checked grass doesn't have an "h").

Anyway, it doesn't really matter where they're from, I like this song:

"Jimmy" Moriarty

2008 NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND EXTRAVAGANZA

LOGO COPYRIGHT NHL 2008 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AND GARY BETTMAN SUCKS MOOSE COCKIt's finally here: 2008 NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND. From all around the globe people are flocking to the hockey hotbed bone-dry city of Hotlanta to see the NHL's best from East to West--uhm, Wales to Campbell. Aren't you psyched? (Okay, maybe you're not, but at least it's something to watch after the golf is over.)

Despite the fact that Bettman sucks, the NHL did smarten up and put this on during the off-weekend during NFL football's annual Pre-Big Game "Fortnight Of Jackassery". Unfortunately, poster boy Sid the Kid will not be playing due to an ankle injury. Or as the Onion puts it: NHL Out Three To Five Weeks With Sprained Right Poster Boy. (Gotta love the Onion.)

Unfortunately, Martin Brodeur will not be attending for the first time due to family issues (which I assume has something to do with banging his ex-wife's sister spending time with his kids). Actually, I don't blame Marty for not wanting to sit there for target practice while the defensemen watch from afar. But Crosby, Zetterberg, and Luongo all missing takes some of the juice out of the proceedings (even though it's never really much of a game).

But who are we kidding? The Saturday night YoungStars/SuperSkills Competition has become the best part of the whole All-Star shebang. Look at the roster: between Patrick Kane, Milan Lucic, Sam Gagner and Kris Letang, I think the average age is 15. I don't think any of them have even started shaving yet. David "Kelly" Clarkson is probably going to have to sneak out to get liquor for the rest of them, unless Erik Johnson gets a fake ID and changes his name to "McLovin". Since no goalies are listed as playing this game, I guess they'll have to place the goals facedown and shoot at the netting on top. Kicking off the night Jack Johnson will be singing his hit "Slashing, Hooking, Checking", and (hellish Hannah Montana spinoff) The Jonas Brothers will be performing with the Staal Brothers and the Sedin Brothers. And naturally, Usher and Wyclef Jean will be there, because their music is synonymous with hockey. Yeah, sure.

As for the SuperSkills Competition, it's just amazing to see what these guys can do (man, I wish I had Chara's 100.4 MPH slapper). I would also love to see if semi-unretired Scotty Niedermayer can skill skate the fastest, although I don't know if he's even participating. But since I've enjoyed the Skills Competition as it is, they've decided without bothering to ask the fans to make some changes this year, which include:

  • Fastest Skater: players sprint from goal line to the opposite blue line, instead of a lap around the ice;
  • A bizarre 45 second Obstacle Course Relay that ends with the goalie attempting to score on the empty net (if only Marty were here . . . );
  • Breakaway Challenge which includes points awarded for "creativity, execution and ability to score"
Yes, that's right. Bettman, in his ongoing effort to ruin the NHL by turning it into a gimmicky, NBA-like circus, has decided to make this more like that sport's slam dunk contest. They've even got Dominique Wilkins and Tomas Glavine (who decided to play baseball and ruin the Mets instead of play hockey) on the judge's panel. Why not choose an entire panel of former NHL players? Nah, why do that? That would make too much fucking sense, and possibly honor the sport's heritage. BETTMAN SUCKS.

On that note, allow me to jump into the Open Hockey Time Crapsule™ and present the highlights from the 1990 NHL ALL STAR GAME.



Priceless stuff.

This is a great clip of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, one of the deepest drafts ever: Nolan, Nedved, Primeau, Ricci, Jagr, Sydor, Hatcher (only the Isles pick at #6, Scissons, was a complete bust).



Mullets galore! I also like the fact that it ends with "the rest" of the first round, "Oh yeah, before we go to commercial, the Devils got some kid goalie named Martin Brodeur way down at 20 . . . "

This clip is fantastic: the 1979 Challenge Cup. This took the place of the All-Star Game, and featured 3 games played at MSG which pitted the NHL All-Stars vs. The Evil Russians.



The USSR went on to beat the NHL players 2 games to 1.

And this Flyers clip from 1990 I'm putting up here for no other reason but to laugh at Mike Emrick and Bill "Hands of Cement" Clement from their younger days (1:25).



Ha ha ha ha ha!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

DANA JACOBSON, WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Dana Jacobson is an ESPN anchor (or so they tell me, I don't watch the channel enough to have seen her) who recently got into a bit of trouble. Allegedly, she got rip-roaring drunk at something called "The Mike & Mike in the Morning Celebrity Roast" (some self-congratulatory piece of shit ESPN function), got up on stage and dropped some F-bombs. She said something to the effect of "Fuck Notre Dame, fuck Touchdown Jesus, fuck Jesus". This apparently "embarrassed" ESPN (as if their horrendous programming isn't doing that job already) and forced them to give her a week's vacation.

(Before anyone gets outraged about these out of context remarks, remember that this is a roast, so there's bound to be some off-color remarks made. And even if she said this to Jesus' face, I believe he would forgive her. So basically, you bunch of overly sensitive PC pussies, get a fucking sense of humor.)

Anyway, this is what I know about her:

1) She's 36 and single
2) She's a sports fan
3) She's tall (reports have her as being anywhere from 5'9" to 6')
4) She loves Belvedere vodka
5) She hates Notre Dame
6) She can't endure worthless banter surrounding two completely uninteresting sports radio hosts while sober

What's not to like about this woman? I'm trying to find a fault and I really can't, except for her employer (but who am I to talk?). Some internet trolls have declared her "unattractive", but I can only assume they are all capable of dating supermodels when they're not commenting on Deadspin and downloading hentai porn.

What I'm trying to say is . . . Dana, will you marry me?

(Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.)

UPDATE: Baseball Musings found this fantastic picture. How can you beat that?

Dana Jacobson swigs vodka as she roasts Mike and Mike as ESPN Radio Talk Show Host Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic were Roasted by Comedians, Former and Current Players, Coaches and other ESPN Radio personalties at The House of Blues in Atlantic City New Jersey on Friday January 11, 2008. Her profanity laden remarks and off-color jokes about Notre Dame resulted in disciplinary action with ESPN. Photo: Icon SMI

€5 BILLION FRAUD: AN ISOLATED INCIDENT BY A ROGUE TRADER

Holy Shit: I so wish that the French weren't spinning this story and that one person was capable of defrauding one of the largest banks in the country for almost 5 billion euros.

Unfortunately, you can't believe anything the French say especially when it's related to money and/or illegal/fraudulent activities.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2007 NFC CHAMPION GIANTS: TYNES IS MONEY

Game winning kicks like this bring out the punsters. These are the worst I could come up with (which means I'm sure some of these have been used):

IT'S ABOUT TYNES!
TYNES IS MONEY!
FOURTH TYNES A CHARM!
OVER-TYNES WINNER!
TYNES TO MAKE THE DONUTS!
TYNES ARE THOSE POINTY THINGS ON A FORK!



That will never, ever get old.

Some things I learned this Sunday:

1. Fuck you, Joe Buck, for calling this exciting end to a thrilling game like you were reading the Starbucks coffee menu. It almost sounds like you were disappointed by the outcome. Your father, Jack Buck, was a legendary announcer. You sir, are a twunt. (We should make the use of this word a regular OH blog feature.)

2. Plaxico Burress sure can have a huge game when he wants to. Enjoy watching Plaxico make Pro Bowl safety Al Harris his bitch. I know I did!

3. The officiating in the NFL is still horrendous. This highlight reel mentions Sam Madison's personal foul call, a mysterious penalty which was somehow missed by all 34 FOX cameras and therefore, as Rob postulated, doesn't exist. Also Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Film: Chris Snee's holding call, which erased a go-ahead 4th quarter Bradshaw TD.

4. Speaking of Bradshaws, Terry was the only broadcaster who actually picked the Giants to win. But then again, he's insane.

5. I've heard/seen this 100 times already this week: no one gives a shit that Eddie Murphy predicted the outcome of this game 20 years ago in "Coming To America". And your opinion is wrong, as the movie was not funny.

6. God, I fucking hate the two week break before the BIG GAME. To avoid litigation, Rob has suggested we call it HYPER-MATCH 101010. That would look great on a T-shirt.

7. I love my dad, but watching a game with him multiplies the agony and frustration by a factor of 100.

8. FOX spent more time promoting Tom Petty's halftime show than the actual game. What are his fans called, PETTYPHILES?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WORD OF THE WEEK: TWUNT

The Urban Dictionary says that this word's been around for a while (since 2000 according to some accounts); all I know is that I just ran into it and I like it.

twunt [twuhnt] noun:

"James Mangold is a fucking twunt."

(It needed to be said)

Hiya Jimmy-boy (assuming your Google Blogs search for your own name hits on this post).

Monday, January 21, 2008

GIANTS FOOTBALL: UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE

I think the word for this would be UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE.

It’s Good, and Giants Head to Super Bowl



Yes, this is the team that I blognosticated would go 7-9 this year. Instead, this enigmatic squad of ne'er-do-wells proved me wrong and made it to BIG GAME­­ #42. It's bizarre, but they got hot at the right time, and Elisha has gone 3 games in a row without a fumble or INT. After witnessing their past playoff debacles, I figured they'd miss that 36 yard game winning FG attempt, but could never have predicted the Corey Webster INT and the 47 yard winner in OT. Unfathomable.

So the Giants are now 4-0 in NFC Championship Games. In BIG GAME history? Uhm, not undefeated. Still, it's been an interesting ride, one that will probably give me a heart attack before it's over. Now they meet the undefeated wicked good Patriots, and Mr. Bookless said it best: "If there is some way the Giants could beat NE in the [biggest football game of the year] I would walk away from watching professional sports. There would simply be no way to ever top that."

I'd have to agree, I'd definitely kiss the NFL goodbye if that happened. But I'd still watch golf and hockey.

So just allow me to repeat the chant screamed by Giants fans who survived the ice bowl at Lambeau last night: LET'S GO GIANTS!

Friday, January 18, 2008

RICK NASH: GOAL OF THE YEAR?

Holy crap. Nash makes the Phoenix D look silly with a stunning assortment of moves.



AND it was the winning goal with 21.5 seconds left (which more than made up for a high sticking penalty two minutes earlier that created a PP goal to give Columbus the lead). Wow.

Rick Nash vs. the Coyotes, 1/17/2008 [YouTube]

(Even Sportscenter had this as their #1 play. ESPN sucks, but they're not STUPID.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

0% GOOD!

We have our first 0% movie of 2008! That's right. Out of 55 reviews, NOBODY has recommended the cinematic turd entitled "One Missed Call".

As you may know, January is the annual dumping ground for bad movies. I should clarify: bad movies come out every week, but these are the ones that Hollywood knows are bad, AND don't think they can make any money on, and that equals fucking horrible. And sweet bastard, the slate of movies coming out this month sure do look atrocious. Someone (not me) should go see all of them and write a book.

Infesting a theater near you in January:

First Sunday. I've never thought Tracy Morgan was funny. Sit through the trailer for this and try to argue otherwise.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I guess it could be worse, it could be "Transporter 3".

Cloverfield. "Blair Witch" meets "Independence Day"--the hybrid no one asked for! Once again, please stop beating up the Statue of Liberty, you Hollywood assholes.

Mad Money. Chick flick alert! I bet Queen Latifah says something "sassy" in this one, am I right? Diane Keaton really needs to stop making movies, period. I wouldn't watch this even if Jim Cramer was yelling at them the whole time.

Meet the Spartans. Approximately 0% funny!

How She Move. Is there a verb missing here? Maybe a letter dropped off the marquee?

Rambo. It's over, Johnny. No, really, I checked.

Untraceable. Unwatchable!

27 Dresses. EXTREME TO THE MAX CHICK FLICK ALERT!

February ain't much better:

Jumper starring muthafuckin' Samuel L. Jackson. By my calculations, he's made approximately 1 good movie and has just coasted since then.

The Eye: Jessica Alba is blind, so she doesn't know how hot she is!

Postal. Uwe Boll's magnum opus, as if he could even spell that.

Witless Protection. Fuck Larry the Cable Guy and upgrade to FiOS.

Fool's Gold. What is this, "Romancing The Stone"? Who greenlighted another McConaughey/Hudson movie? Are they the new Crosby/Hope?

The Hottie & the Nottie. The three words that strikes fear in the hearts of moviegoers: Starring Paris Hilton.

And now I've lost the will to continue typing.

THE BEST WAY TO CONVINCE ME TO NOT USE YOUR SERVICE

So I'm looking for a non-DRM online music store. I have iTunes, and it's easy to use and all, but it bugs me that I pay 0.99€ (which is like $1.46) for songs that are stuck in iTunes and on my iPod...I just hate Apple on principle. I don't know, I need to do research about DRM music and what I can do to make this music available elsewhere.

I guess the bigger news here is that I'm looking to go legit. Don't get me wrong, I don't really feel bad about using BT or whatnot, it's just that at a certain point it becomes such a pain in the ass to find one obscure song through p2p, when iTunes (or somewhere else) has the ability to provide this for a small fee right away...Plus I'm an avid capitalist and this type of system helps to prove my ideology that the way forward isn't suing and being a general bitch but innovating and creating demand for new and unique services. As much as I dislike Apple and Steve "Hand" Jobs, it's hard to be a hater on what they've managed to do.

Anyway, the whole point of the post was that I'm looking for an alternative to Apple. I found Sony Connect Europe and click on the Google link and got the following message:

For those of you that can't read the text it says: "We have performed a basic system check and detected that your system is not compatible with the CONNECT service. We recommend to download and install the item below and try again."
The download is MS IE...The last way to get me to use your service is to tell me that I have to use the insecure and for-shit Internet Explorer because Firefox is "not compatible." Fuck off Sony. No really, just fuck off.

Monday, January 14, 2008

RUSSIAN SUPERLEAGUE SUPERFIGHT

Putting the "super" in Russian SuperLeague, this is the most ridiculous hockey fight I've ever seen. This took place on January 8, 2008, featuring AK Bars Kazan (in the light jerseys that remind me of the original New Jersey Devils) vs. Traktor Chelyabinsk (dark jerseys):



From YouTube user ranndino who watched the game:

"With the score 7-5 and Traktor Chelyabinsk on a 5-on-3 power play they took out the goalie, so it was 6-on-3. They scored the goal to apparently make it 7-6, but the puck was knocked out of the goalie's glove after he made the save. Ak Bars players did not seem to appreciate it and one of them punched the celebrating player. Then all hell broke loose."

There were 378 PIM assessed during this fracas, and I'm pretty sure every player from both teams were involved. I love the ref at 0:22 trying unsuccessfully to stop the tidal wave of players coming off the bench to join in. At around 1:40 you think it's over, but it's not; one of the Chelyabinsk players throws an AK Bars jersey into the stands, which causes #30 (allegedly, Aleksandr Stepanov) to go apeshit and start the second wave of fighting (replayed here at 3:46).

The Philadelphia Flyers are currently in negotiations with Stepanov, they like the cut of his jib.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

G-MEN BEAT COWGIRLS

New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce (top) sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) in the second quarter of their NFC Divisional NFL playoff football game in Irving, Texas January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES)Hard to believe.

Giants Advance to the N.F.C. Championship


Yes, the NFL still blows and that was a painful game to endure, with horrible officiating and approximately 65 penalties. But Elisha and the Giants held on to beat the Cowgirls, 21-17, and holy crap was that satisfying to watch. They will now meet the Packers at the Frozen Tundra next Sunday. The forecast? "Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 7." That's Fahrenheit, and that's fucking cold. Anyway, I'm rooting for snow, since it was fun watching that Pack/Seahawks game in whiteout conditions.

Meanwhile, Peyton will be going home, as the Chargers beat the Colts for the rights to be bitchslapped by the Patriots in the AFC title game. Basically, all the Giants needed was for me to pick against them; I went an incredible 1-3 on my weekend blognostications, and that means I'm done for the season. I'm just going to (try to) enjoy the game next week. (I still think they're going to lose.)

GO GIANTS!

UPDATE (11:01 PM): I just saw a clip of TO crying during the postgame press conference, right after a shot of a somehow even paler Jerry Jones looking like he was ready to collapse directly into a coffin. God, I could not be happier right now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

WHY THE NFL BLOWS, AND WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING MORE GOLF

From left, John Senden of Australia; K.J. Choi, of South Korea; and J. B. Holmes walk down the 11th fairway to the green at Waialae Country Club during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament in Honolulu, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008.<br />(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)Everyone says this is "the most exciting weekend in the NFL season". However, I beg to differ, and say that maybe 1 of the 4 games this weekend will even be remotely watchable. In other words, lower your expectations.

Here are my blognostications in a nutshell:

* The Packers stink, and somehow will lose to the Seahawks. Yeah, I know, I've been saying that Green Bay is good all year, but they really aren't.

* The Giants will lose in Big D in some bizarre fashion, and we will have to see 45 pictures of Romo and Jessica Simpson in the process. But not to worry: Fucking Coach Coughlin will get a 3 year extension.

* The Colts will beat the Chargers in the most boring game ever, featuring an NFL record number of false start penalties.

* The Pats will romp the Jags, giving birth to even more arrogant Massholes.

There you have it. The NFL. Meh.

But this is the crux of my posting: I saw a "Quest For Lombardi" commercial the other day, referencing the trophy named after the legendary coach that's awarded to the Super Big Game winner. However, they had the nerve to put Terrell Owens in this commercial. He is the polar opposite of everything Lombardi believed in. He could care less about teamwork, respect, dedication to the sport, and winning. TO is all about TO, and he couldn't give two shits about his teammates, his coaches, the fans, the media, or anyone that isn't named "Terrell Owens".

The whole "I might not play because I'm so badly injured" drama preceding the Giants game basically serves two purposes: 1) to give him an excuse if he has a shitty game, and 2) to get the media to lavish attention on him. It's pathetic what this league, and the sports media, has become. To put it bluntly, the league is shitting all over its own tradition by saying "TO" and "Lombardi" in the same breath. The NFL should be ashamed of itself, and its billions of dollars.

This may not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog, but golf is really the only pure sport that's left. Last night I came to the realization that it is the only sport that is universally appreciated. The NFL is only big in the States, soccer is big everywhere but the US, hockey is only really popular in North America, baseball is not followed at all in Europe, F1 racing isn't as big as NASCAR in the States--you get the picture. In addition, there are no contracts, no incentive clauses, trades, free agency, or superagents. When you leave the golf course at the end of a tournament, you are paid exactly what you deserve according to how you performed on the golf course. Period.

So as always, I'm just going to be watching more golf. Less than 90 days until the Masters!

Friday, January 11, 2008

NHL NAMES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SISSY

Here's what you were waiting for: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SISSY OF NHL NAMES.

Good:
Stu Barnes (C, Dallas Stars)
Radek Bonk (C, Nashville Predators) (Known to scream after every check: "You just got Bonk'd!")
Brent Burns (D, Minnesota Wild) (His middle name is NOT Monty.)
Andrew Ference (D, Boston Bruins) (Nickname "Inter". Get it?)
Trent Hunter (RW, New York Islanders) (I've visited his brother Milf's website.)
Patrick Kane (RW, Chicago Blackhawks)
Chad Kilger (C, Toronto Maple Leafs)
Georges Laraque (RW, Pittsburgh Penguins )(means "The Rock" in French. Or not.)
Colton Orr (RW, New York Rangers)
Chris Pronger (D, Anaheim Ducks)
Miroslav Satan (RW, New York Islanders) (Pronounced "sha-TAN?" Yeah right.)
Ryan Stone (C, Pittsburgh Penguins)
Stephane Yelle (C, Calgary Flames)
Branko Radivojevic (RW, Minnesota Wild) (Czech for "Bronco Nagurski".)

Bad:
Johnny Boychuk (D, Colorado Avalanche) (The less I know about this name, the better.)
Dustin Byfuglien (D, Chicago Blackhawks) ("I've been called ugly, fugly, pugly, pug ugly, pug fugly . . . but not Byfuglien.")
Jonathan Cheechoo (RW, San Jose Sharks) (That's fun to say. Tee hee!)
Jeff Finger (D, Colorado Avalanche) (Hopefully not known to scream after every check: "You just got Finger'd!")
Olli Jokinen (C, Florida Panthers) ("What's so funny about me? Is it my name? Does it sound like a clown to you?")
David Legwand (C, Nashville Predators) (Insert dick joke here.)
Jonathan Quick (G, Los Angeles Kings) (Sent down to minors after a GAA of 3.86 in the NHL. In other words he's Quick, but not quick enough. Sorry. I'll show myself out.)
Jarkko Ruutu (RW, Pittsburgh Penguins) (See "Cheechoo".)
Alexander Semin (LW, Washington Capitals) (Again, I call bullshit on the pronunciation "SEM-in".)
Dan Hinote (C, St. Louis Blues) (I thought I'd end this section on a . . . oh forget it.)


Sissy:
Mathieu Dandenault (D, Montreal Canadiens) (Puts the "dandy" in Dandenault.)
Roman Hamrlik (D, Montreal Canadiens) (Get that outta yer mouth!)
Shane Hnidy (D, Boston Bruins) (Because it sounds like "nightie")
Jordin Tootoo (RW, Nashville Predators)
Marc-Andre Fleury (G, Pittsburgh Penguins)
Guillaume Latendresse, (RW, Montreal Canadiens) (French for "wears women's dresses".)

WRIST SHOTS: HOW MUCH PUCK COULD KOVALCHUK CHUCK?

Poor Ilya. The guy has the most goals in the NHL (currently 36) and he can't even get enough votes to get on the All-Star team. The real kick in the ass is that the game is being played in his hometown of Atlanta, which as everyone knows is the home of fantastic, die-hard hockey fans. Obviously.

Meanwhile, Marty and Henrik (yes, I am on a first name basis with them) will be starting goaltenders for the Eastern Wales Conference All-Stars. I say we make sure DiPietro is the 3rd starter, score a NY Metro Area Goalie Hat Trick (brought to you by HUMMER). VOTE NOW!

UPDATE: DiPietro was selected, but Tomas Vokoun is in there instead of Lundqvist. And voting has ended already. Oops.

OVECHKIN!

Ovechkin, Capitals agree to 13-year, $124 million contract extension

Now the Crapitals star player can finally upgrade his famously Eurotrashy wardrobe. WTF? After the DiPietro 15 year itch I didn't think anyone would write up a contract this absurd. Yikes. This might put the Crapitals out of business for good. Rob says he definitely won't play that long for them; I predict that in 8 years he'll be playing for the Islanders under coach Rick DiPietro.

I'm happy for goalie's Ty Conklin's hot streak -- he's done nothing but win out in Pittsburgh. Why am I happy, you ask? Because not only is he an American goalie (from Alaska) whom I saw play for UNH, and I felt surpremely sorry for him after his goaltending gaffe as an Edmonton backup as the evil Carolina Whalers won the Cup a few years back. http://cbs.sportsline.com/nhl/story/10569350/ So with the benching of the incredibly mediocre Fleury, maybe the Pens are on the road to respectability? All I know is that it will set the stage for CROSBY TO SAVE HOCKEY ONCE AGAIN. Now I'm genuinely afraid of them come playoff time.

In his neverending quest for pure assholishness, Derian Hatcher of the Fucking Flyers decided to (leave his feet to) deliver a check to the Maple Leaves' Alexander Steen, but instead crushed his own teammate.



That's right: Joffrey Lupul ended up on the IR with a mild concussion and two bruised cervical vertebrae due to Hatcher's douchebaggery. Way to go, shitbrain! At last, a Flyers cheap shot came back to hurt them in a real, tangable way. Oh, and Hatcher also tried to bite Devils' Travis Zajac, but it was deemed "inconclusive". Total amount of suspension = 0 games. I am seriously sick of this shit.

I'll leave you with two words: PUCK BUNNIES. That's all I'm going to say, you can read about the rest on this message board.

F*CK OPEN OFFICE

Goddamn it...dammit, dammit damn motherfucking fuckers.

They've been bugging me for a the last week to update to the "NEW" Version 2.3.1. I thought that maybe some of my instability issues experienced earlier this week would be resolved with an update. That remains to be seen, but for an update that "is a minor bug fix release with no new features for users" it was a 80mb download.

And the icing on the cake (which I ran into the last update, but subsequently forgot about), they delete all your dictionaries when you update. And installing dictionaries is somewhere between nuclear physics and time travel on the standardized scale of difficulty.

FUCK OPEN OFFICE. It's almost (only almost) enough to make one think of how good Microsoft can be.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

THE COEN BROTHERS AREN'T THAT GOOD, ARE THEY?

I watched No Country for Old Men last night. I'll try to avoid spoiling the movie for those of you who haven't seen it yet, and plan to, but you may want to avoid the whole post if you don't want to know anything about it.

First the good:
*Javier Bardem gave the best performance I've seen in a long long time. I haven't seen anything else that he was in (to my knowledge), but he was so good in this movie. He should win the Oscar for best supporting actor (even though it was basically a lead actor part, but whatever)
*Visually this movie is stunning. The shots of Texas desert are just beautiful.
*I like movies that are deep, dark and cold without the happy "the bad guys are dead, the good guys ride into the sunset with the pretty girl" endings. More than one reviewer called this movie nihilistic.

And the not so good:
I'm going to call this the "Knocked Up syndrome" from here on in - the movie doesn't live up to its own hype. If it's got a Rotten Tomatoes rating of over 90% (and it's not some French art house clusterfuck), I expect the movie to knock me off my feet. Silly me.

(This is probably where you should stop reading if you don't want to know too much about the movie)
The problem with this movie is that it is too movie-ish for me. Let's see if I can describe what I mean; I guess I got the feeling too much that the Coens were just writing a movie to get reviews of being "black" and "nihilistic" and "gritty." It's just a movie pretending to be these things and at no point during this thing did I manage to get myself "into" the movie. With all the plot-twists and main characters dying, I just came to expect it by the end, because that was the type of movie that this was. I understand that the Coens stuck close to the book, which I have not read, but this is my big criticism-It's a hackneyed version of a true film noir. Or maybe I'm just so cynical, that I watch movies like this with saying "it didn't make me feel anything." Realism doesn't exist in movies for me because they are the epitome of fake (except for Al Gore or Michael Moore productions - that is real, people).

One of the main characters died at a certain point and I think this was the turning point of the movie. It was overly downplayed to the point where you ask if said character really had any bearing on the movie at all (which he did - for 3/4 of the movie). It was at that point that I truly felt the manipulative powers of the Coen Bros coming through.

The ending wasn't anything spectacular. I won't go into details, but I had read more than one critique about the "excellent, plot twisting ending." Did these people see the same movie as me? It offered no surprises to me.

And one more thing...Does anyone know if they purposefully use fake-looking dogs for scenes where the animals are dead and/or dying? Do they do this so as not to offend the audience? We can make life-like blood, and show someone stitching himself up from a gunshot wound, but heaven-forbid we make it look like a real dog died...

Ugh. Anyway, it was a fine movie, but not as good as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

JIMMY MCNULTY'S BACK AND OTHER STUFF

(No spoilers).

I've got a ton of shite that I've wanted to blog about for the last week and a half or so, but with the whole getting back to France, struggling with jetlag and getting back into the work thing, I've not really had time.

Anyway, I watched S5E1 of the Wire last night and I'm just happy to see that McNulty's back to his drunk and stumbling, womanizing ways...he's far more enjoyable like this than the stand-up guy that he was last season. I won't go into any depth because I know that Kammann's not watched it yet, but I will say this: FUCK SLATE FOR RUINING EVERYTHING GOOD THAT EVER HAPPENS ON TV. They did this same thing for the final season of the Sopranos; they are these talking heads who think that critiquing pop culture makes them even more smarter. I don't fucking care if you think that the Wire is more Shakespearian or Dickensian. I'm done with Slate; I swear I'm going to remove it from my RSS reader...tomorrow.

SCREW THE SABRES. I had the opportunity to watch 4 games in the last three weeks. They won one, lost two in the shootout and lost one by 3 goals. I honestly can't complain about the loss in Jersey, cause we were there and I said that if it went to a shootout I wouldn't bitch; I lied, but I was happy to see a shootout. On New Year's Day the game was so fucking awesome that it's not really that big of a deal that they lost. I'd have liked to see them win, but watching Sid-the-Kid save hockey and then scream like a school girl was pretty funny. You know he loves hockey, and that's great to see. Lindy was smiling while he was losing...That you never see.
I caught the 3rd period of the Sabres shit performance in Atlanta on Sunday...Come on 5 to 2. What the fuck.

Jeff talked about this beer, but Blue Point Oatmeal Stout Cask was my personal beer of the year. It was the first cask beer that I'd had and it was just brilliant. Three Philosophers was probably second. Let's hear it for NYS beermakers. I had these on two consecutive days between Christmas and New Years. Plus we ate at Hudson House...Those few days made up for the rest of the crappy year.

T.I.H.™ OPEN FUCKING OFFICE 2.3. Sun Microsystems can suck my balls for providing a free program that is such a pain in my ass. Ok I don't hate it enough to pony up $400 for Microsoft Office, but I've been fighting with Oo2.3 since yesterday morning and it's starting to grind on me. Part of it may be my fault, because of my inexperience with FauXcel, I keep making mistakes that have little-to-nothing to do with Oo2.3, but still, the eggheads who program should have thought that someone, like me, may try to paste entire sheets into one cell and planned for this. But they didn't, so it crashes and I have restart at my last save point (I just did it for the third time in the last 30 minutes: I suck).

CAN SOMEONE WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S TIME TO VOTE FOR RALPH WIGGUM? I'm so fucking sick of the primaries and they just started. Ok, we understand, it's going to be either Hillary or Obama...or someone else and McCain or Huckabee...or someone else. One state does not make a trend, and it's irrelevant anyway. Do people actually think that anyone is going to make a difference? It's all about cash.

Who determines the size tires on your car? I just bought tires for mine. I've got 175/65/R13 80T's. If they were 175/70's I would pay about 15 euros less per tire, but because there's a 5% difference in the tire's profile, I have to pay more. I'm convinced that VW does everything in its power to make your life a living hell if you don't buy your parts from them. It took me an hour to change the back wiper on that fucking car because VW has some propriety rear wiper system...Turns out that propriety means nothing to a man with a hammer, pliers, a razor blade and some bolts. Fuck VAG.
I think I'm going to put dubs on my VW Polo...20 inchers bitch. My 55hp (I'm not kidding) should handle that perfectly well!

Check that...FUCK Oo2.3 IN THE PANTS. It just crashed for no fucking reason whatsoever. FUCK FUCK FUCK!
They have this asshole "recovery" thing that just "recovers" your document to the last time you saved it. Goddamn fucking cocks...they must work with Gary ("I SUCK") Bettman. I know that it's "free", but damn it, it's as fucking unstable Lindsay Lohan on ice skates.

This cunt program has crashed 4 times on me this morning...I have honestly lost at least 2 hours of work. Dickheads. Fuck them.

Download it now, kiddies. Openoffice.org.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

WEEKLY TOP 10: WHAT I LEARNED DURING WINTER VACATION

10. Capital One Bowl Week can turn out to be a dud. Compared to last year, there was not one compelling bowl game all week. I'm glad I paid attention to the regular season, because that's when all the great games happened.

9. A hot toddy made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, lemon, honey and cloves KICKS ASS. That's how I rang in 2008.

8. Rob says this might be the funniest line of the year, and I might have to agree with him (from The Onion's hilarious Our Dumb World Atlas):

MALAWI: Come For The Food Shortages, Stay Because You've Died.

7. While it's a very funny show, "The Larry Sanders Show" is no "Honeymooners". I watched episodes of both shows on New Years Day, and let's just say that Garry Shandling's Other Show, while funny, hasn't aged all that well. Plus, the washed-out DVD transfer (from 2002) makes it look even older than it actually is.

6. For some reason, I can't learn the lyrics to most late 60s/early 70s classic rock songs that grew up listening to as a kid. If I didn't know the words then, I don't know them now. Even if I look them up online, they just don't stick. I guess if you've heard "Brown Sugar" 500 times without knowing what the hell Mick Jagger is saying, you can't expect to figure it out after reading the lyric sheet once.

5. I'm surprisingly good at "Dance Dance Revolution". No, really. Especially when songs like a-ha's "Take On Me" and Chic's "Le Freak" come on, I'm unstoppable.

4. Screw the New Jersey Devils for putting such a beautiful hockey arena in Newark. Additionally, screw the PATH train for being so useless: it took two trains and 45 minutes to get from New York to Newark. After unleashing a litany of expletives during this frustrating detour (which I could blame on my drunkness, or the fact that I had just contracted an upper respiratory infection), I later realized that I would make a lousy competitor on "The Amazing Race".

3. The typical NFL game blows, especially when compared to any Madden NFL '08 game. Seriously, the PS2 version is fantastic, and can only imagine what the "next gen" ones are like. In fact, it's so realistic, Giants QB Elisha threw 3 INTs before finally settling down and throwing two TDs before getting injured, in a poorly played 14-6 win over the Redskins. Eerie.

2. I respect the guy for keeping at it, but Dick Clark needs to retire. It's just sad to hear him struggle through a simple sentence, and this time around he actually said "HAPPY DEW YEAR". I also officially think the "rockin' eve" concept is officially dead when all you have is Fergie, Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, whoever the hell they are.



1. Not a new revelation, but Ginger Man is the best beer bar in NYC. I already suspected this, but I had to visit a second time to make sure. Blue Point Oatmeal Stout from the cask was fantastic.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

WINTER CLASSIC: FINAL THOUGHTS

Seriously, these are my final thoughts, for now.

After "O Canada", Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang "God Bless America" and thanked "our troops fighting in Afghanistan". Uhm, the troops from which country? Canada? Ireland? I'm pretty sure there are also still US troops in Iraq, so I guess we're not talking about them. Strange. Then the game started without the playing of the National Anthem. I guess was right about the fact that Buffalo has been annexed by Canada. (Funny how I thought "Chicago" when they said the "Blackhawks" are flying over.)

I was really impressed by the 71,217 hockey fans in Western NY/PA that showed up for this game. This will help prove that the NHL is a viable sport, or at least still alive and well, at least in strong hockey cities like Buffalo. I even believe that ESPN was a little jealous, as they didn't show any highlights for the first 21 minutes of Sportscenter despite a lack of any compelling sports news or bowl games. (Oh never mind, that's what they always do.)

Since NBC didn't have a bowl game it was their choice (not the NHL's) to hold this event on New Year's Day during a time when 4 bowl games were taking place. However, the ratings were much better than expected: a 2.6/5 (to compare, Game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals drew a 2.1), the highest regular season hockey ratings since FOX's Glowpuck days in 1996. Those aren't killer numbers, considering it's a day when pretty much everyone is off from work (except those forced to clean up all the buffalo wing chicken bones at the Ralph), but it's a stride in the right direction.

The frequent ice maintenance stoppages were a bit of a buzzkill. Apparently, the best technology we have to combat this is . . . one guy with a water bottle and a CO2 canister. I did predict there would be emergency Zamboni runs, but I didn't think that one of them would break because of the amount of snow it had to pick up. During these many breaks the NBC announcing team chose to chat about: how amazing Sidney Crosby is, the various methods used to repair the ice, the weather radar, Darren Pang's choice of headgear, and how fantastic Sidney Crosby is. This was a missed opportunity by NBC, who could have instead showed any of the following:

* Highlights from the 2007 season
* More awkward on-ice interviews with the players
* More clips from "Slap Shot"
* Those 2 minute webisodes of "The Office" that are impossible to watch online
* More shots of the kids playing pond hockey
* The Buffalo Jills cheerleaders!
* Beef on weck eating contests
* Hal Gurnee's Network Time Killers
* Reruns of classic "CHiPs" episodes
* "Costas Score-O", in which spectators throw Bob Costas into the hockey net

The most glaring omission: they didn't interview ONE SPECTATOR during the game. Of all the talk of how "electric" the atmosphere was, why not get a live account of it? They had over seventy-one thousand people to choose from! Just more evidence that NBC couldn't give a flying crap about hockey fans, or sports fans in general. I was also seriously hoping NBC's follow-up "Magic Of Seal On Ice" was going to be held outdoors after the hockey game, but it was not to be.

Thanks to the magic of HDTV, I was able to determine that Bob Costas uses the Just For Men hair color "Medium Dark Brown". He looked shiny and red like a chipmunk, and his boss, Dick Ebersol, especially liked the way he left a touch of gray on the sides. I somehow knew he'd comment about his hockey announcing experience with the 1973 Syracuse Blazers at age 21 (Kris was close when he guessed 17), but I didn't think they'd parlay that into an entire "Slap Shot" Oglithorpe/Goldthorpe fluff piece.

Where is hell is Bill Clement "Clement Hands of Cement"? They had him on NHL.tv doing a pregame with Sam Rosen, but that was it. He should have been working the intermissions instead of Mike Milbury, who is a blithering idiot.

While a New York version of this (The Frozen Apple Classic, name to be trademarked by me) would be pretty cool, especially at Yankee Stadium in early 2009 before it's demolished, the weather in the city might be a problem--it was warm enough to play golf the first weekend of January 2007 (though I don't remember any such weather in February). Therefore, the odds would be better for an outdoor game in Canada (even Quebec City!), Chicago, Colorado, Michigan or Massachusetts. Imagine over 107,000 in Michigan Stadium watching the Red Wings play the Blackhawks (which means there will be about 90,000 shitty seats)? How about an All-Star Game, Europe vs. North America, in Siberia? (Okay, maybe I went a step too far there.)

While this was a fun event to watch, and the snow fell almost on cue giving the whole thing an almost magical look, I don't think they should (or can) do this every year. Maybe it could pop up once every 2 years or so to make it more "special"; otherwise the novelty will wear off pretty quickly like it did with interleague baseball.

Despite all these mostly positive notes regarding the game, Bettman sucks.

Check out this Very Funny Live Blog [Melt Your Face Off].

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

CALVIN ON: NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

I don't make resolutions. Resolutions are for people who:
1) enjoy being quitters
2) have nothing else to do in January anyway
3) like to impress other people (while they're oblivious of the fact that they're not)
4) like to piss me off by taking up space in the gym

As it often does, Calvin & Hobbes (the final black & white strip, from Saturday, December 30, 1995) sums it up nicely:

WINTER CLASSIC: WHITEOUT SHOOTOUT

CROSBY HAS JUST SAVED HOCKEY AGAIN!

He just scored the winning goal in a shootout in a whiteout in Buffalo. Had the writers not already been on strike, I would have said that NBC scripted that ending.

(video courtesy of NBC via Cablevision via my HDTV via my camera)

video

I'm sure Kris thinks I'm just rubbing it in by showing his Sabres lose in a shootout, but that was exciting. Meanwhile, NBC showed that clip of Crosby bouncing the puck on his stick about 1000 times--okay, we get it, HE'S GOOD. And I love Doc Emrick but I turned my receiver's center channel down to -12 dB and smothered it with a pillow for the Whiteout Shootout. Much better.

Despite the lack of scoring and frequent ice maintenance stoppages, it couldn't have worked out better for the NHL. Except for the ratings.

That was fun. Let's do it again soon.