Sunday, February 14, 2016

On Football and Falling Out of Love

We’ve long known football breaks bodies. We now know football breaks brains. The sport is violently athletic and viscerally fast, traits that have an unfortunate multiplier effect when combined with chemically altered behemoths smashing into one another dozens of times per game. The game is pure, uncut American id – soaring fighter jets overhead and handsome quarterbacks who break down the defense and get the girls, men being men like back in the days when men were men (only now with more slightly more dancing!). It’s the State of Nature goofily reflected through a game with an oblong ball and non-guaranteed contracts. Unfortunately, the career (and life) of a standard football player is equally Hobbesian – solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Was the PAT really that bad?

Yesterday, the NFL announced that the Point-After Try (PAT, extra point) was changing. Until now, teams would get the ball at the 2-yard line after a touchdown, and could decide if they wanted to try to kick it through the goal posts for an extra point, or try to push the ball into the end zone for 2 points (the two-point conversion was introduced to the NFL in 1994). About 99% of PATs were converted, meaning that the vast majority of touchdowns led to a team scoring 7 points. That's one point more than two field goals. Great.

Over the past few years, there has been an outcry about the extra point. IT'S TOO EASY! IT'S NOT EXCITING! WE MUST BE ENTERTAINED! Roger Goodell got on board with the idea of changing the extra point. It's a vestige of old football, where kickers couldn't kick. It's downright PROBLEMATIC. And now, the extra point is going to be snapped from 15 yards away instead of 2, while two-point conversions are still going to be from the two-yard line.

Ironic nerdy blog nerds are celebrating this new rule as a huge win for the NFL, finally disposing of the gimme extra point. But really, what was so bad about this? And why was this change really needed?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ranking Characters on Kroll Show

I'm not a guy who watches shows. I've never seen The Wire (shut up omg shut up I know it's great shut up I know I'd love it shut up). I basically live on Seinfeld and Family Guy reruns and sports for my TV watching. But recently, I've begun watching Kroll Show on Comedy Central for a really random reason: in a promo for the show's final season a few months ago, one of the characters from the show pronounced something weird, and that made it seem like a show I'd be interested in. I looked it up online and realized that I loved it. And then it ended.

The show is a bit hard to explain, but I'll try: it's a sketch comedy show that basically parodies reality TV (mostly), with Kroll's characters being stars of reality TV shows which get spinoffs of spinoffs of spinoffs, and that intersect with each other, and other stuff happens, and I did a terrible job of explaining this. Check out the show for yourself. It's great.

A million characters appeared on Kroll Show, and I'm here to rank them. I'm only going to be doing characters who appeared on more than one episode of Kroll Show, and who were actually actively funny. This leaves off great guest stars like Nathan Fielder, Pete Holmes and Aziz Ansari, but if I get into that, it'll be too much. I'm just gonna name the characters and say my favorite quote from each. I've done this before. This is gonna be ameezeen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Greatest Players in Franchise Histories: NBA

In the wake of the wildly successful and popular best players in baseball franchise history, I decided to take it up a notch and do the same thing with basketball teams. I guess that's not taking it up a notch. Same notch. It's a high notch though.

With the baseball list, I didn't really take era into consideration too much: old timers were considered right alongside new timers. Old timers will be slightly penalized in this one just because the game has changed SO much (not that baseball hasn't, but it's a different degree). And I'll still be doing the greatest in all of franchise history, and then the greatest in the franchise's current iteration.

Atlanta Hawks: The greatest Hawk ever is Dominique Wilkins, with all due respect to Bob Pettit. This one's pretty close, so since Wilkins is the more current player, he gets the nod. Tough one right off the bat though.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Deadspin Sucks Now: Bad Writers Are Bad

Turner Can Probably Stop Running This March Madness Promo
Pretty violent, no? No actually.

Recently I stopped visiting Deadspin, a blog that I used to read literally every day, because it's just not worth reading anymore. The site is now completely dominated by snarky young dudes who think they're funny but are actually very annoying (kind of like this blog!), and there's nothing aside from Big Daddy Drew that I find redeeming. Video/Assignment Editor Timothy Burke's recent escapades provide a good example of just how far this blog, which was the best sports blog around as recently as a couple of years ago, has fallen.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hate Watching The Oscars

8:18 -- Welcome to the Whole 42 Oscars Live Blog. This is Jon and Sean will be here as well. As always I’ve seen almost no movies this year - Grand Budapest Hotel and Inherent Vice, along with Think Like a Man 2 (which got hosed!) - but I’m armed with many opinions. They will be uninformed. This will be a hate watch. Join us for it. JM

8:26 -- I generally like Neil Patrick Harris, but I’m worried that the Oscars will use his varied skills as a performer to turn this into a talent show where they talk about the soul of movies a lot. I’m told he’s great hosting the Tony’s but I’ve never watched the Tony’s. JM

8:30 -- I lost my how many seconds until NPH starts singing pool. 8 seconds not 12, damnnit! SP

8:31 -- Hey man, he did say one joke. JM

8:32 -- “Moving pictures take us over the rainbow of the field of our dreams.” SP

8:33 -- This is still better than when the Oscars decided to fete Chicago like 8 years after it won shit. OH SHIT JACK BLACK LOOKS OLD.

Isn’t television also moving pictures? JM

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ranking the Federal Holidays

There are ten Federal Holidays (suck it Earth Day), lucky folks get all of these days off. But in the spirit of our important ranking series, we'll tell you scientifically which holidays are the best.

10. Veterans Day--If I hadn't seen it on the list that I used, there's about a 30% chance I'd have gotten its month wrong (it's in November). Most people don't get this day off. It'd be better if say, Halloween took its place or the Monday after the Super Bowl (until football is no longer a thing).

9. MLK Day--True story, growing up in Virginia this was called Lee/King/Jackson day. That's right, two Virginians, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and the Godfather of Soul. I'm pretty sure it's not a thing any longer in Virginia, but I'm sure that's not true in other Southern states. The point is that you know it's a weak holiday when co-honorees get tacked on. Also, it's not that far from the Christmas/New Years days off so you don't really need a three-day weekend.

8. Columbus Day--First of all, Columbus wasn't even an America. Ppl forget that. Second of all, there's fucking controversy over this holiday. Nothing says a great holiday like different groups screaming at each other. Also, it's a holiday that a lot of people don't get off and it's not exactly the time of year to be going on a sweet three-day weekend trip.

7. Washington's Birthday--That's technically what the Federal government calls President's Day. Lincoln's birthday is around this time too, so maybe they are just lumped together. True story, I went to Mount Vernon recently and it turns out that Washington thought his birthday was about a week earlier his whole life. Then they switched to a more accurate calendar. So sweet holiday, it's in February (the 10th best month) and not even on the day that Washington thought he was born on.

6. New Year's Day--A necessary holiday if you're trying to make people stay up until midnight because of social pressure. Even odds that I don't make it to midnight some year before I turn 30. I hate myself. I guess there's college football and shopping on this day traditionally. But it's not super festive to be hungover and listening to people's stupid resolutions.

5. Memorial Day--A three-day weekend kicks off the summer, pretty good. The problem is like what do you do on this holiday? It's not really celebrating anything fun. It doesn't even have a cool tradition or anything. It's more like sweet I've got a three-day weekend better do something fun.

4. Labor Day--Same idea as Memorial Day. Nice time to have a day off but first of all, hilarious that we are celebrating Labor since unions and shit are basically not a thing anymore in the private sector. It's probably the holiday hanging on the dearest unless the PC police get to Columbus Day. Bonus points for being in the best month of the year.

3. Thanksgiving--The backstory of this holiday is god awful. It's not even funny to bring up, (well a little). Also, adults going around and talking about what they are thankful for is super lame. Thanksgiving brings the worst traffic of the entire year. I once went 5 miles on the Jersey Turnpike in five hours, to get to the Newark bus station to take a bus to DC. I'm thankful for not being shivved! It's got a lot of family time which is kind of just stressful for everyone. Minus points for being a holiday where no one travels somewhere nice and warm.

2. Independence Day--Thomas Jefferson didn't write this shit for you assholes to think Thanksgiving is better. First of all, there's a movie named after it so you know it's a good holiday. Labor Day is also a movie it turns out with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Must have missed that one in theaters. July 4th is fucking awesome though. The tradition is eating a lot, drinking outside, going to the beach, and then watching things blow up. It's also the one day of the year where you can be unabashedly patriotic. Pretty much the only acceptable time to chant USA-USA-USA unironically.

1. Christmas--Obviously it's the best holiday. If anyone tries to compare Hanukkah to Christmas just slap them in their damn mouth. It's fun for eight nights! Nooooooooooooooooo. Christmas is so awesome it makes the morning good. Seriously the ranking of mornings goes 1. Christmas, 32940239242. All other mornings.