Saturday, September 29, 2012

Survivor Pool Week Four

Real refs are back. Hurray!!!!! Everyone has already made the joke that they'll get a big ovation and then about five minutes into the game all the fans will collectively remember how much the old refs suck anyway. We at The Whole 42 Minutes fully endorse that reaction (Jeff Triplette, you are an ass despite wearing our favorite number, 42) but would also like to remind you that the real villain in all this is Roger Goodell. Football may be "back to normal" but don't forget that the NFL and Goodell don't give a shit about you unless you can affect their bottom line.

Nor does Goodell really care about the integrity of the game, which we already knew. Remember when he retroactively changed the rules of the game to fine James Harrison for a hit that was legal when he made it? Or when he fined owners retroactively for breaking unwritten rules? This is just further proof.

When the Seahawks and Packers have identical 11-5 records at the end of the year but only Seattle makes the playoffs, mark my words: there will be rioting in the streets of Wisconsin. Cheese stores will be looted. Taxidermy will be upended. The streets will run red...with Leinenkugel. After about 20 minutes everyone will be hopelessly out of breath and it'll die down - hey, it's hard to get exercise in the winter and also CHEESEBEERBRATSOMNOMNOM - but those 20 minutes will be sweet, sweet release. I'm hoping for a gigantic meat-based effigy of Goodell that we can all feast on together.

This caption is me trying to hit you over the head with a joke I'm mildly proud of.

For reference, our records so far:
Sean: 4-2
Jon: 1-5 (This isn't even funny anymore)
Steve: 5-1

To our picks:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters 13: 12th Electric Boogaloo

Rough game on Monday, am I right fellas? Your letters.

In honor of last night's travesty: Do you actually think people as a whole will stop watching the NFL -- will ratings go down enough to make a difference?

Will some people stop watching the NFL next week? Yeah. A decent contingent of people will not watch Week 4 because of the replacement refs. They'll be back within 3 weeks though. Ratings might go down slightly for Week 4, though I don't really foresee that. Maybe MNF will have its lowest ratings in 5 years or something, but I can't see anything drastic coming from this. Pretty soon people will stop being mad and start making replacement ref memes ad infinitum and this whole thing will become more funny than infuriating by Friday. If we're not back to normal by Week 5, we will be by Week 6. And that kind of makes me sad, because this is an actual reason to stop watching, at least for a little while.

At what point is the tipping point? The NFL is all about safety, but these refs are making the game more dangerous because players are getting used to the refs, rather than the refs getting used to the NFL.

First of all, the NFL is NOT all about safety. Roger Goodell is absolutely full of shit. He goes to bed every night thanking his lord and savior Beelzebub that the Saints' bounty scandal thing happened so he could scapegoat them for this "safety" thing and not actually have to take it seriously. Roger Goodell actually wanted the regular season to be 18 games. In fact, that was something he was extremely reluctant to budge on in the lockout negotiations. He is not about player safety. He's about being full of shit. And because of this, there is no tipping point. The NFL does not take safety seriously.

Also, I love how you used a quote from my previous post in that question. Really though I actually love it a lot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Would It Take for You to Forgive Roger Goodell?

So now a game has actually been lost because of replacement refs. That call was not "controversial" by any real definition of that word. It was wrong, and then the officials looked at it and decided to be wrong again. It's maybe not the single worst sports call I've ever seen in a vacuum (this one from just this year in baseball is pretty inexcusable too). It may not have even been the single worst call of that drive (the defensive pass interference on Sam Shields in the fourth quarter might have been worse). But the fact that it actually lost the game for a team, and was so clearly and egregiously wrong, makes this perhaps the single worst call I have ever seen.

So whose fault is this? It's the referees' fault, sure. They actively chose to make the wrong call (yes, I really actually think that they chose to make the wrong call after review to avoid being burned at the stake by Seahawks fans). But this call was the product of something larger. These refs have been so egregiously bad that they're losing control. They're not getting better as the weeks go by; they're getting worse. Players are seeing what they can get away with, and the refs just have no idea what to call or how to call anything. They're not getting used to the NFL; the NFL players are getting used to them in a really bad way. This problem isn't going to get better, or even stay the same. It's going to get worse. And whose fault is it? I think we all know the answer: the Ginger Hammer (copyright Drew Magary) himself, Roger Goodell.

No, Seriously I'm Done Watching Football

A day later I still don't have words to describe how pissed off I am about last night's game. The Packers put the game away with 5 minutes left with an interception at the Seattle 30, but that was wiped away on a terrible roughing the passer call. Later that drive, they put it away when an obvious offensive pass interference on 1st and 25 was instead given as defensive pass interference 30 yards downfield. And they definitely put the game away because THEY INTERCEPTED THE LAST PASS AND ACTUALLY WON THE GAME. Don't believe me?

There. Who has the fucking ball?

I know regular refs make the wrong call all the time, but I sincerely believe that these refs were just worried about a riot in Seattle so called that Seattle's way. All our fears about them not having control were totally confirmed for me. This game was a joke, and if level headed Mike Tirico can just openly say that a team got jobbed (on Goodell and ownership dick-sucking ESPN of all places) then your league is a travesty. Sure Gary Bettman and the NHL are about to go through a second major labor stoppage in the past 5 years but I'd take Bettman's staggering incompetence over Goodell's dictatorial mendacity.

I've made the point a bunch of times on this blog that I hate many things Goodell does -- re: Saints, player safety rules, that bullshit salary cap thing with the Cowboys and Redskins -- but that I'm an idiot who'll just keep watching. Well, he finally did it. Until the regular refs are back I'm not watching a second of the action. When they are, I'll reevaluate. The NFL clearly doesn't care about its fans, so I don't know if I should care about the sport.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 3

We are continuing to do the damn thang with this survivor pool going a collective 12-0 through the first two weeks. What's that? None of us are undefeated after 2 weeks, holy shit we are bad at this. We made this same joke last week? Holy shit we are bad at writing also.

Real gs move in silence like lasagna
Week 2 Standings:
Sean: 3-1
Steve: 3-1
Jon: 1-3

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Do We Owe Josh Hamilton?

As a sports fan, I have a lot of faith in rehabilitation. It's that magical time and place where our favorite athletes, generally out of sight and mind, magically mend themselves. It's sort of like the save station in Metroid; Samus always emerges with full health, no matter her condition going in.

The theory of rehabilitation is that through will power and daily work to strengthen yourself, you can get back to 100% or sometimes even surpass your prior healthy self. Chris Carpenter gets Tommy John surgery and comes back as a vastly better pitcher. Wes Welker rehabs like hell and returns from a torn ACL/MCL in eight months. Some guys get back to 100% while others may only reach 80%, but we can evaluate their health on a scale and with a healthy end point in mind.

Rehabilitation has another meaning, though, and it's less mechanistic. We send our drug addicts to rehab in the hope that with enough work they can have the tools to face life sober, but there's no 75% sober. There's only the one end point.

Generally we ask how ready our athletes are coming out of rehab, wanting to know how much of their pre-injury state we can expect. Instead, I'm asking what if you had to throw out the paradigm of percent healthy, and move to a simple binary question of readiness? In other words, what if you're Josh Hamilton?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters Take 12

Time to ring in the New Year and it's YOUR turn to ask some questions. Here we go...

In honor of Rosh Hashanah who are the 3 greatest Jewish athletes?
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year fyi. Let's just be thankful that they didn't ask me to name ten great Jewish athletes, amirite fellas?

1. Amar'e Stoudemire. He's certainly the only Jew who can dunk and he plays in New York. Not too shabby.

2. Ryan Braun. He definitely calls his mother every day.

3. Jay Fiedler. Everybody loves a quarterback and he played in Miami. Again what's not to love.

Is there ever a time when you don't feel like a bitch whilst holding an umbrella?

Yesterday it was fucking raining and I actually remembered to bring an umbrella. Honestly, I'd rather just be soaking. First of all, you look like an idiot. Secondly, you can't walk fast because everyone has huge umbrellas in your way. Thirdly, umbrellas aren't even that effective. Fourthly, every time the wind gusts you are terrified of it turning upside down. So yeah, you always feel like a bitch whilst holding an umbrella.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Do We Determine a Baseball Hall of Famer?

The results for the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America will not be released until January, but I wanted to start a short series of posts regarding the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown has a fascinating history, and if you're a baseball nerd, it's really cool to look back at the historical voting patterns of the Hall.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has been around since 1936, and no player has ever been selected unanimously. Not Roberto Clemente. Not Hank Aaron. Not Babe Ruth. Nobody. On the 1936 (first ever) ballot, Ty Cobb got more votes than Babe Ruth. The players who have gotten the most votes are Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, and Cal Ripken, Jr. (all unquestionable Hall of Famers, but not exactly the greatest players ever). Ozzie Smith got more votes than Mickey Mantle. I could go on and on, but you get the point. BBHOF = weird.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 2

Sorry there hasn't been much to report on your favorite blog lately, loyal readers. Steve started a new job and Sean started law school, so it's been a very busy time for all of us. Expect your favorite bloggers to resume at a relatively normal (though maybe somewhat slowed) pace very soon. This blog will never die as long as our fans keep it alive. So it'll last forever.

On to week 2 of our survivor picks. Let's go over the records after week 1:
Sean: 2-0
Jon: 1-1
Steve: 2-0

No real reason for anyone to have a loss yet, so this is what we expected. Everyone was perfect after week 1. Oh what's that? Jon picked a loss in the first GD week? Jesus. Here's what we're picking for Week 2 of the NFL season yayyyy!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Late But Not Forgotten

Sorry these are so late. Never forget that I suck.

Your questions...

The Brewers can't make the playoffs, can they?

Playoff bound?

The quick answer is no, they can't. They're 2.5 games back of the Cardinals but the Brewers only play one of the three wild card teams above them the rest of the way (three versus the slumping Pirates next week). The Cardinals, on the other hand, finish up with three games each against the Cubs and Astros, two of the three worst teams in baseball, and then three against the Reds and Nationals, both of whom should have their playoff seed wrapped up by then. The Cardinals are probably going to get that wild card, which makes the fact that the Brewers (and Phillies) are playing so well now even more infuriating.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Survivor Pool Week One

We've decided with our first full NFL season upon us to have a weekly Friday (or Sunday in this case because Steve sucks) post where each of us picks two teams that are locks to win this weekend. The rules of our contest are simple: you have to pick two teams each week and you can only pick a team once. (For you math nerds who also read this blog, yes we will take a week off in the middle of the season so that there are only 32 possible choices).

Without further Addai, let's get to our week one picks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Downfall of America--Empire Strikes Back beats the Godfather Part II

This fall, as America launches itself into a contentious, divisive presidential election, we'll see a low, ugly side of our once great nation. Facts will be irrelevant, slogans will be copied from the KKK, and Americans will be swathed in an unprecedented amount of vitriol and anger. Then we will hear from Wolf Blitzer at CNN (because as we all know CNN is always first to call a story) around 11pm the first Tuesday in November once the West Coast voting polls close, who will lead this country for the next four years. Yada yada yada. We here at The Whole 42 minutes have been following a much more important contest: Grantland's Sequetology Bracket.

The task is simple: what is the best sequel ever? They wrote roughly 100,000 words on what defines a sequel and the older writers showed just how old they are by mentioning Jason and Freddie and Mike Myers (the scary guy) and all that crap that no one under 25 has ever seen. Anyways, on its face, anyone with eyes can see that there is only one fucking choice: The Godfather Part II. Chuck Klosterman, ethicist, kind-hearted soul, and smartest guy on the site, said this when he introduced the contest: "The Godfather: Part II is (arguably) the greatest American film ever made. It's so much better than every other movie on this list that it sort of seems idiotic to place it up against the likes of Hellboy II. But still — let's see what happens." There were murmurs that Dark Knight could beat it out with a younger generation, but thankfully people aren't that stupid.

Never mind, Empire Strikes Back leads Godfather Part II by more than 1,000 votes on Facebook.

You broke my heart Fredo (and America)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Here is the tenth (!) edition of our most popular segment. Or, as some may call it, our segment.

Will Scalabrine be a great coach, or the greatest coach?

This question refers to the revelation about a week ago that Brian Scalabrine, the King of the Leprechauns, will probably be joining the Chicago Bulls' coaching staff. The Veal has become THE symbol for players who don't appear to belong in the NBA. Not only does he have a shock of red hair, but he's pudgy and has no discernible basketball skills. He used to be a decent shooter and he's 6-9. That means that SOMETHING has been keeping him in the NBA for about a decade past his usefulness. He must be the smartest basketball player there ever was, and he must be a great guy to have on your team to influence the other guys. It makes almost too much sense that he's going to be a coach. It's probably what he was born to do, but he just happened to turn out to be 6-9. So to answer your question, greatest coach.