NFL Draft Wager

April 27, 2007

Flinchbot Says: FlavaDave and I have a wager as to who can guess the most top 10 players in tomorrow’s NFL draft. You get 5 points for the right player going to the right team. You get 3 points for the player being taken in the top 10 by a different team. You get 1 point for guessing the right position that a team drafted even if you missed the correct player.

You get 2 bonus points for correctly guessing a trade but get a minus 1 for missing on a trade. The mere mention of a trade counts as a trade guess. If a predicted trade doesn’t happen, the pick reverts to the original team. However, there will be a -1 penalty applied to each team’s pick for missing on the trade. So if we say Oakland makes a trade with Houston and it doesn’t happen, there is an immediate “-1” applied to whatever the Houston and Oakland picks are. If you still end up getting the pick right, you still get the full +5 even if the trade didn’t go through. However, +5 for the right player loses a point for missing the trade, so you get +4 for picking the right player if a trade doesn’t go through.

For Example, if I say Oakland drafts Rudy Sklan (TE-Ohio) and we both have him listed as our first round pick, we both get 5 points. If I say Rudy Sklan gets drafted second by Detroit but he really got drafted #1 by Oakland, then I get 3 points because the dude got drafted in the top 10. If I say that Oakland should draft Cody Boyd (TE-Washington) but Oakland drafts Rudy Sklan instead, I get 1 point for getting the position right even though I got the wrong player.

He with the most points wins 1 shot of Jaegermeister at a local watering hole.

Here is my Top 10: (22 point)

Oaktown – Jamarcus Russel (QB) +5

Detroit – Trade to Tampa Bay who selects Calvin Johnson (WR) +4

Cleveland – Joe Thomas (OT) +5

Tampa Bay – Detroit Selects Gaines Adams (DE) +4

Arizona – Levi Brown (OT) +5

Washington – Jamaal Anderson (DE) +0

Minnesota – Brady Quinn (QB) +0

Atlanta – Amobi Okoye (DT) +0

Miami – Probably trades down to someone for Adrian Peterson (RB) -1

Houston – Laron Landry (S) +0

FlavaDave Says: (19 Points)

Oakland – Russell + 5

Tampa via 8-mile – Johnson + 4

Cleveland – Quinn +0

Deeeeeetroit – Adams +4

Cards – Thomas +1

Skins – Okoye +0

The Nordics – Peterson +5

Hotlanta – Landry +0

Laces out – Brown +0

Everything’s Bigger in Texas (Including the Sucking) – Revis +0

FlavaDave Says: Well, I made my own bed here. But I intentionally went against the grain after seeing your picks. This seems to have been a terrible strategy thus far.

Flinchbot Says: Where would you have deviated from my picks had you not gone for “gamesmanship” and instead went with best-guess?

I win! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

 

 

FlavaDave Says: Doesn’t matter.  I made my chocies, and I stand by them.  Next year, we should submit them blind.

 

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Team Pam or Team Karen?

April 27, 2007

FlavaDave Says: Imagine that you are Jim Halpert. You are reasonably handsome and have a knack for pulling clever practical jokes and making unassuming reaction shots to nearby cameras. Two lovely women are vying for you affection:

PAM

 

Kinda mousy, but in a really cute way. Is always up for mischief. Desperately wants to be an artist but isn’t very good at it. Can plan a party at the drop of a hat.

In this corner:

KAREN

 

 

Karen is a more conventional beauty. She’s a hard worker who still has time for the occasional game of ‘Call of Duty 2’. She is as fun as Pam without the insecurities. Oh yeah, and she also has the good sense to actually admit having feeling for you, and is rewarded with the honor of being your girlfriend.

________________________

So, Jim Halpert, who do you choose? I’m going with Karen.

FlinchJim Says: You can keep that jealous woman, FlavaJim. So she lives a few blocks away and I’m a little uncomfortable with that. Is that really wrong? We aren’t engaged, we’re in the “having fun” dating stage and at this moment, I don’t really need her moving in with me.

Is she hot? Yes.

Is she Italian? Yes.

And is there anything better than a hot Italian? Making fun of Dwight. But right after that, hot Italian chicks. And I got me one.

But really, Pam’s the one for me. She’s just gets me. I don’t have to explain myself to her. It’s like she’s my fairer sex alter-self. It’s weird. I know.

Almost as weird as Dwight and Angela. Is there something going on there? Creeps me out just thinking about it.

Plus, what’s up with Kelly? Can we keep the sugar and caffeine away from her?

Sorry. I’m back. Pam. Yup. I was all set to make her mine but damn. I screwed that one up, huh?

FlavaJim Says: I can sum this up very succinctly: A woman in the hand is worth a secretary in the bush.

Pam knows how I feel.  I had the balls to show my cards on the eve of Pam’s wedding, possibly ruining her life and our friendship.  But I risked it all because I’m a man who knows what I want.

Karen is a woman who knows what she wants.  She is smart, beautiful, and………

(Okay, I’m going to stop speaking in the first person because it is creeping me out).

I would going with the woman who is actually ready to be in a relationship.  Maybe Jim loves Pam more, but he shouldn’t pursue it.  He made his move.

And until Pam is ready to make her move, a relationship with her would be pointless.

So Jim should be happy with Pam.  If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with.


Yo La Tengo Fan – Douchebag?

April 25, 2007

FlavaDave Says: At the Yo La Tengo show at the Vogue, a guy who looked just like character actor Kevin Sussman was not very happy with us.

By the way, it took me forever to Google him because I didn’t remember his name or any movies he had been in, so I’m very proud to present to you:

Kevin Sussman

 

Anyway, this guy was a few standing rows in front of us. For some reason, YLT decided it was a good idea to play one fucking note for four whole minutes. I love indie rock sometimes.

Naturally, you and I get bored and started to chat. We were talking about how the show was going so far and the fact that the Vogue at the moment literally smelled like shit (I think a sewer line broke).

Obviously, the music is kinda quiet and we are kinda loud. Kevin Sussman keeps looking half backwards and nodding in exasperated disapproval. He did this about eight times.

So, was he a douchebag? I say yes.

Flinchbot Says: You think someone is a douchebag? Really? Man that’s out of character. Look, this Kevin Sussman guy was obviously a music geek who buys into the whole Yo La Tengo thing. I bet he’s got an autographed copy of the Trouser Press Record Guide (first edition) autographed by Ira.

And here we were talking about whatever it was when dude was just trying to enjoy the show. I’d have been the same way when Justin Sullivan, one of my musical heroes, played a mostly acoustic set at Radio Radio. I didn’t pay my money to worship at Mr. Sullivan’s alter to hear some dickheads talk all night through the show. If you want to talk, go to the back of the bar or go outside and smoke. But I paid my money and the entertainment is on the stage, not standing behind me.

Sure, we were getting bored (and “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” was freaking absurdly long and horrible). Sure we were talking. But ultimately, we were out of line.

FlavaDave Says: Out of character? I may be a nice guy, but I’m still a snot-nosed 22 year old kid. It’s not me man, it’s the language of my generation.

Look, I know the horrors of the talker. I was at a Ben Folds show with a dude screaming about what autographed limited edition vinyl EPs he had in his Ben Folds collection. Dude, it’s Ben Folds. That doesn’t count as being cool.

To me, the level of acceptable talking is dependant on two factors: the room and the quality of the show.

If you are at the Murat, you paid 30+ bucks to see a national band that, chances are, you can’t see very often. That’s a quiet show. Well, usually it is loud as fuck anyway, so conversations are typically drowned out. But the Vogue is a club. It’s not a shut-the-hell-up kind of place. It’s a drink-beers-and-hang-with-friends kind of place. If Yo La Tengo didn’t want to have that kind of show, they should have booked the show elsewhere. Any venue that has $1 You-Call-Its Retro Rewind nights does not foster a quiet, respectful atmosphere.

My other point has been made for me by Steve in the comments below. The band earned the chatter by sucking.

Could we have been classier? Yes. But we are not the ones on trial here. Kevin Sussman is.

Why does Sussman suck?

a) He didn’t realize the context of the show (as explained brilliantly by myself already).

b) He never made eye contact with us.

c) He never said a word to us.

What kind of spineless ass-cat* uses non-confrontational passive aggression at a Yo La Tengo concert? What were we going to do, stab him with our glasses or choke him with a scarf? What’s wrong with simply turning around and saying “Hey guys, sorry to interrupt. I’m having trouble hearing. Would you mind keeping it down until a louder song comes on?”

But he didn’t. He vaguely twisted his head to the side, paused, and then shook his head like we were uncivilized cro-magnons who didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as the Gods of Ambience onstage.

I agree with you, we could have been kinder to our fellow sulkers. Fine. But two sinners don’t make a saint. That guy (pardon my french) was a douche.

*Thanks to Rasheed Wallace for one of my favorite putdowns ever.

 

Flinchbot says: Dude, the scarf is the new black t-shirt for the hipster set. Next show we go to, I say we both wear a scarf. sure, it might be 85 degrees outside and we’re heading to Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn, but dammit, we’re wearing scarves with our torn black t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Hey Ladies!

BTW – When you type “Scarf Rock” into Google Images, the first hit is from Indianapolis’ own Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. So that something.

So you admit that you were being a douche. Thank heavens I was talking less for a while which makes me less douchy than you (I know, I eventually jumped in a little later on and was probably responsible for at least one “Sussman Glance”). So I’m less of a douche than you and that’s all that really matters at this point.

The only real problem with the Sussman kid was his complete lack of balls. If we were so damn annoying, just man up and say “Hey – move to the back or go ouside, will ya”? But this dude was all weasely and ball-less. That’s not worhty of him being a douche. Throwing a beer at us would be douche-worthy. Whipping his dick out and telling us to lick his little acorns would be douche-worthy. Pulling his pants down and farting in our general direction would make him douche-worthy. Or French.

So in summation, the Sussman kid was not a douche, just a ball-less indie kid who seriously needs to spend the next 32 weekends attending Punk Rock Night. He’ll come out a whole new man. And that’s what we’re all about here – providing a guiding light to those lost in their own dark mental wastelands.

 


Hilary Duff – Dignity

April 20, 2007

FlavaDave Says: Is this the most ironic album title of all time?

Flinchbot Says: Well, the most ironic title for a single of all time was obviously “Ironic” by Alannis Marmoset. But we’re not interested in Kevin Smith’s dogmatic she-God here. Rather, we are here to discuss the irony of the title “Dignity” as it relates to Ms. Hilary Duff. Had this been a just-released Britney Spears album, then I think you can’t help but say it’s the most ironically titled album. Personally, I think the next Britney Spears album should be called “2 Days In Rehab Is Enough For Me (Baby)”.

First, I must admit that I know very little about this Hilary Duff chick other than she was some sort of child actor. Excuse me for one moment while I reference her Wikipedia article. Hmmm. After skimming that, I think I’m going to have to resoundly disagree with the assertion that it is the most ironic album title of all time. This chick hasn’t done anything that would make me question her dignity. Based on that article, we’re still trying to figure out if she is a virgin or not (I’m guessing no).

My recommendation for most ironic album title of all time: REO Speedwagon’s “The Essential REO Speedwagon”. Nothing of theirs is either essential or necessary. Worst band ever.

FlavaDave Says: I think when you a) throw out your childhood to be a walking, talking ATM for Disney, b) date a member of Good Charlotte that, if consumated, would be illegal age-wise, and c) pose in Maxim with schoolgirl/Micky Mouse gear on, you are on thin ice.

But no one who has ever had a feud with Lindsay Lohan over a boy gets to use the word dignity. And as low as cat-fighting with anyone involved in the making of “Herbie Fully Loaded” is, this is the real clincher:

They were fighting over Aaron Carter.

And how can any band with lyrics like these be anything less than essential?

Do you know where your woman is tonight?
Do you know if she’s sleepin’ alone tonight?
Well, you might be right and you might be wrong
when you say you trust her alone.
But this rock ‘n roll road has led you far into the night.
Do you know where your woman is tonight?

That’s life on the road, baby. You wouldn’t understand.

Besides, without them, we wouldn’t have REO Speedealer. Making fun of REO Speedwagon’s name is a rite of passage into rock’n’roll fandom, which makes the band essential (albeit by proxy).

Flinchbot says: Hmmm. I’m still not sold that it is the most ironic album title ever. Let me offer a few counter examples and see if you still stick to your Duff-gun.

1. Kriss Kross released a second album (Exactly…who knew?) and called it “Da Bomb”. Isn’t it ironic that the album absolutely bombed?

2. Vanilla Ice – “Cool as Ice”. ’nuff said.

 

3. John Lennon and Yoko Ono – “Unfinished Music No. 1 – Two Virgins”. When were they last virgins? 1958?

 

4. David Cassidy – “The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall” Yes sir buddy. You fell pretty freaking hard.

5. Pat Boone – “In a Metal Mood – No More Mr. Nice Guy”. Note the glint in his eye. Isn’t that so nice of him? He covered “Crazy Train”. And “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If you Wanna Rock and Roll)”. Much longer than you could have possibly imagined. You and David Cassidy should release an album together.

Flinchbot says: OK, I concede…the Hilary Duff album named “Dignity” is the most ironically titled album ever. Yesterday I spent some time scouring for counter examples and came up with 5 that are every bit as ironic, if not more so.

However, that was before I went to the gym last night and worked out. After pushing some weights around for an hour, I moved over to the Cybex ArcTrainer for 35 minutes of interval training. The aerobic area at the gym faces this monster bank of TVs showing a bunch of different TV channels in an effort to provide some entertainment to the bored excerciser. Along with ESPN, local TV channels, and others, there is also an in-house music channel that shows music videos.

As I walked up to my ArcTrainer, the music video channel was showing a Hilary Duff video for some song I don’t remember or feel like looking up. But the real irony, the true “message from the gods” moment happened as soon as the Hilary Duff video was over. Take a wild ass guess as to which video came on after the Duffsters? Go ahead – guess. I’ll wait.

Son of a bitch if it wasn’t Ironic by Alanis Morrisette. I’m serious.

Totally happened. True Story.

I concede.

There are powers out there far beyond my understanding.

FlavaDave Says: Woo hoo! I win! I win one to nothin’!

 

 


Soccer is more interesting than Baseball

April 17, 2007

There are only two things that will get me to watch baseball on TV:

  1. The Astros are playing
  2. The World Series.

The rest of it is such an incredible bore of watching 7 people stand around holding their jocks while 2 guys play catch.

Now Soccer (er, Association Football) isn’t the thrill a minute sport of Basketball or Hockey, but at least everyone is doing something, running around and being athletic (barring the goalie). In baseball? Um…well…Home runs are exciting especially now that half the players are steroid-fed monsters. Watching a pitcher dominate an opposing lineup can be fun, except that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should (unless Roger Clemens is on the mound).

Baseball: Great game for going to the stadium and talking and drinking beer and only occasionally paying attention.

Soccer: Great game for going to the stadium and talking and drinking beer and paying some attention because there is always someone running around kicking a ball.

Therefore: Soccer > Baseball, but both less than American Football. And Basketball. And Hockey.

FlavaDave Says: This is one of those inevitable topics that we just had to discuss. I am aware of the fact that you are making a very specific arguement: Soccer is more interesting than baseball. I’ll stick to that.

One thing really bothers me about soccer: that the first half virtually does not matter most of the time. If both teams fail to score (or if they battle to a tie) and no major injuries occur, then nothing of any significance has happened. Yeah, players get tired, but both teams will be equally as tired, so it is a wash. Also, both teams have a better understanding of the other’s style of play, but that’s nothing a thorough scouting report couldn’t provide. All they really accomplished was to get a better idea of how the other team plans on attacking and defending them. That’s important, but not exactly earth shattering.

The first six innings of a baseball game are far different than the last three. Why? Because pitchers get tired. When you change pitchers, you might as well be bringing an entirely different squad onto the field. Every strike a batter fouls off and every ball he takes speeds up the exit of the current pitcher. Every curveball sets up a fastball. Every fastball sets up a changeup. Every hit causes a pitcher to throw out of the stretch and every stolen base takes away the double play. Every out takes away a chance to hit. Every error gives a chance right back.

If a soccer team gets a 4-on-3 and screams down the field, passes it around, tosses up a cross, and misses the shot, play stops. Goalie retrieves the ball. He kicks it into play. What has changed?

When a pitcher throws an inside fastball for a ball on a 2-2 count, you could argue that nothing happens. Then he throws an outside curveball on a full count for a strikeout. Now, you could argue that the previous fastball didn’t matter, and it was the curveball that worked. But in reality, it was because of the fastball that the curveball worked.

When that soccer team missed the shot, they regrouped, played defense, and got the ball back later in the game. They charged down the field again, and this time they scored.

My question is, why did the first missed shot matter? Until an actual goal is scored, isn’t it all sound and fury?

FlavaDave says: Now, if soccer was more like this, then it would be a whole different story:

Flinchbot Says: Car soccer rocks! There’s your new sport to take over the world. Forget the damn UFC – gimme soccar! (See how I spelled that? I’m a genius!)

As for your previous missive, well you missed. Based on your logic that if no one scores in the first half then it was a waste of time, explain a basketball game that ends 45-45 at halftime, or a football game that ends 14-14 at halftime? Was that all a waste of our time too? Barring injury, nothing happened, right? Both teams are equally tired so it’s still a wash?

In soccer, is it a wash at halftime of a 0-0 game if team A (Let’s call them FC Bayern Munich) possesses the ball 65% of the time and team B (Let’s call them FC Lottstetten 01) is chasing the ball around all damn half? And if FC Bayern unleashes 15 shots on goal and FC Lottstetten unleashes one shot on goal from roughly 27 yards away that ends up 48 rows into the stands? Was that really a wasted half? Because, barring the bizarre, FC Lottstetten will be exhausted in the second half (even after their three subs) while FC Bayern will be much fresher. And let’s not forget the mental game. I’ve been in plenty of basketball games where I felt lucky to be tied or close at half time and I’ve been in plenty of other games where I felt that the half time score was not indicative of what the score should be. In most cases, the second half ends up being dominated by the team that dominated the first half even if the score was close.

So were all of the missed shots in the first half just sound and fury? Nope – they were one team (FC Bayern) imposing their will on another team but for some reason (stellar goalkeeping?) not able to convert those shots.

Baseball is a game of statistics and minutiae, which is its main redeeming value. The ridiculous amount of statistics generated in baseball is awe inspring, invigorating, ridiculous and sometimes just plain stupid. But I don’t like minutiae. I don’t like watching a guy foul off three straight pitches, take a pitch or three, foul off another ball, then ground weakly to the shortstop. That wasn’t a waste of my time? I guess the pitcher got tired. And the next batter up could see what the pitcher was throwing. And the shortstop and the 1B could play catch for a second. And all kinds of small little things happened. ANd all of those small things could finally add up. That weak grounder could have been thrown into the stands. Then the runner steals second. And the batter bunts him to third, then a sacrifice fly scores the run. Hooray! A bunch of minutiae and strategy. But I forgot to mention that this all took about 8 minutes. No shot clock on the pitcher; 3 throws to first base to keep the runner close; a half dozen foul balls, etc. Yawn.

At least in soccer, somebody is always running or chasing something. The announcers spend just as much time as baseball announcers trying to be entertaining with amusing anecdotes since there is so much time to kill.

So really, it’s your choice to like a game that is constantly in a state of waiting with a potential burst of action versus a game that is contantly in a state of motion. Both games have about as much scoring overall (last season Germany’s Bundesliga averaged 4 goals per game) it’s just what you prefer to watch.

FlavaDave Says: Soccar. I love it.

Is a 14-14 Football halftime score mean that the first half of the game is virtually irrelevant in respect to the second half? Yes. Yes it is. I wouldn’t say it was pointless; I bet it was fun. Tony Romo sang some Journey, Joe Horn called his mom, or Bob Sanders took a dude’s face off. But competitively pointless? Yes. Barring no major injuries, the teams are right back at the start. The game has effectively been cut in half.

The difference between Football and football is that in Football a tie at halftime is not very common. A typical Sunday of games will have maybe one or two ties at halftime, but usually someone has the lead. Now, I don’t have the stats to back this up, but tie scores are pretty decently common in soccer, no?

The other factor is that football only resets at halftime. I don’t have to convince you of the importance of field position in Football. The previous play has a significant impact on the circumstances of the next play. What down is it, how many yards do we need, how close are we to the goal line? A coach and the players factor these questions into their thought process.

Shit, I’m supposed to be talking about baseball. Okay then, why does a batter shorten up his swing? Because there are two strikes in the count. The previous two pitches have a direct impact on what happens on this particular pitch.

But in soccer, your actions on any given play rarely are an effect of the play that happened earlier. Your team, while on offense, tried a cross with a header. It was very well defended and did not work. The next time, you try some penetration with a backwards pass to try and drill it in from long range. And yes, you are trying something different because your previous strategy was no good. But are you doing this specific play because of that specific play? No, you started something. It died. Now you are starting something else. You could do anything. You could even try the cross again. Whatever.

What if Team A dominates a soccer game, but never scores. Team B stinks up the field. But a player on Team B draws a penalty kick and coverts. One play, one fleeting moment of success. Team B wins. What?

This is impossible in baseball. If Twins dominate the White Sox, the offense is going to score 6 runs and the pitching is going to allow no runs. But let’s say the Sox get lucky and chip a homer off of Joe Nathan. One pitch, one fleeting moment of success. Way to go, Chitown. Instead of losing 6-0, you lost 6-1.

Look, soccer is fun to watch. I’m not saying it isn’t. But there is a difference between fun and interesting. Rollercoasters are fun, but they aren’t interesting. A car on a fixed track goes really fast. That’s it. The essays of Ralph Waldo Emmerson are interesting, but they aren’t fun. I enjoy them, but I’m not like “Wheeeeeeee!”

You mention the great conversation associated with the baseball experience. Why don’t we associate conversation with Football? There is more dead space in an NFL game than an MLB game (8 seconds of action followed by 40 seconds of nothing). The reason is that baseball is facinating. It stimulates conversation. Batting averages, pitch counts, double switches, WHIP, sabermetrics, hit-and-runs, batting orders, outfielder positioning, should they bring in a lefty?, why haven’t they pulled the pitcher yet?, he should have taken that curveball the other way, etc.

Soccer is kinda fun, I’ll admit. It’s like hockey without the hits. But it isn’t very interesting. Some might argue that baseball isn’t fun (and I think you are). You know, I think I might agree. It isn’t fun to watch sometimes. But what’s wrong with just being interesting? Is there room in the modern sporting landscape for a purely intellectual endevor?

Flinchbot says: Let me wap this one up…If you imply that the first half of a tie game doesn’e matter, then by association it also menas that (in most cases) the first 40 minutes of an NBA game doesn’t matter. You know the old saying about the NBA – You only have to watch the last two minutes. So why don’t they make NBA games 2 minutes long and just be done with it? Make it like Volleyball and the first team to win 3 out of five 2-minute games wins the match.

As far as dominating a game and losing, ask Andy Hawkins who threw a no hitter and lost the game 4-0.

Anyway – I knew your strong British heritage would pull through and realize that Association Football is every bit as worthy as Baseball, if not more so.


Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett

April 16, 2007

FlavaDave Says: This man will be the catalyst that makes Ultimate Fighting the fourth most popular sport, surpassing hockey. This will be a) totally awesome, and b) a damning indictment of American culture.

Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett


The Sunday Stroll

April 15, 2007

FlavaDave Says: I have autonomously decided to add a new feature called “The Sunday Stroll” (suggestions for a better name are more than welcome). To keep the atmosphere light around here, we will have a 100% tongue-in-check discussion about something silly (as opposed to the normal, 65% tongue-in-check argument). And even though this is just for laughs, as always I fully expect to win.

Okay, for the inaugural edition, let’s consider the following video:

Pretty sweet, huh? Imagine that this was real, video game graphics and sounds effects included. Would “Super Sumo Wrestling” be the greatest sport on earth?

Flinchbot Says: That video would be the best if you could have Super Sumo take on this dude named Downey who has powers in his left hand that we can not understand:

FlavaDave Says: Agreed. Also, I would pay to watch Jeff Saturday compete in this league.