Friday, October 7, 2016

Cal Ripken Was Right, Oddly Enough

Last night's ALDS Game 1 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox featured a somewhat odd play. Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall slid into second base, beat the throw, and was called safe. The Red Sox challenged the play because they thought Chisenhall came off second base while Xander Bogaerts was still applying a tag. The play was overturned on review because the Red Sox were right -- Chisenhall popped off the base for a couple of seconds.

This led Ernie Johnson, TBS play-by-play man who is normally the guy sitting between Kenny Smith and Shaq, to discuss the role of replay in baseball (I can't find the video of this, unfortunately). He said that replay should not be used this situation because, in real time, the umpire could never have made the call that Chisenhall wasn't on the base. Ron Darling, Ernie's booth mate, agreed. But Cal Ripken, who plays the role of weird sideline reporter/color commentator, and says the most boring and obvious things all the time, vehemently disagreed. He said that runners should have to keep contact with the bag the entire way through, and that it was right for Chisenhall to be called out. They went back and forth for a surprising amount of time about this. MLB Network Radio even put out a Twitter poll asking which side people agreed with (Cal's side won 51% of 237 votes -- a tight one!).

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