Monday, December 31, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 17: We only had two teams each anyway so it didn't matter when we published this

This is it for our regular season picks. Our genius math skills have left us with only two teams that we have to pick. Luckily for you guys, our picks will continue through the playoffs so Sean can continue dominating his chump co-founders.

Derp a derp time for another terrible Week 17 loss

Sean: 22-8
Jon: 19-11
Steve: 18-12

Sean: I've got the Texans at the Colts and the Jaguars at the Titans left. The Colts have nothing to play for since they are the #5 seed no matter what and the Titans have nothing to play for because their team is horrible. 1-1.

Jon: Cowboys and Eagles. 0-2. Turrible.

Steve: Patriots and Vikings left. 2-0. I rule. Not last place. Thank. God.

So our final records:

Sean: 23-9
Steve: 20-12
Jon: 19-13

PHEW! Muchin finished last. That was a close one.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Happy New Year

Happy New Year from your favorite blog. We are approaching our one year anniversary, things will likely get emotional so uh you can look forward to that. New Years Eve is one of the most overrated holidays--first of all, it is cold and everything you want to do is expensive. Second of all, there is really only college football on TV and not even the best games. Third, counting down to midnight is pretty anti-climactic now that I'm older and staying up past midnight isn't that big a deal. Yay, it's a New Year, now how do we spend the second half of our night? 

As far as drinking holidays go it is alright. Champagne at midnight is baller but again it is cold and there is tons of unnecessary emphasis for who and where you count down. The drinking holidays go like this 1. your birthday 2. July 4th, 3. Halloween, 4. NYE 5. St. Patrick's Day/Cinco de Mayo, 6. Flag Day

Now as always to your questions

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 16

It has finally happened. After weeks and weeks of crawling out of a 1-7 hole (and also pretty flagrantly mailing in this segment), Jon is now in a tie for second place with Steve. Second place also happens to be last place, but we're not here to argue semantics. Steve's showing some Andy Reid-esque picking skills as we get down to the end of the season. He has much better teams remaining, but let's see how much good that does him. Probably a lot.

Our records:

Sean: 21-7
Steve: 17-11
Jon: 17-11

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Back in Business

Thanks to our special guest for handling last week's letters. What a great job he did. Now it's back to your normal three-man rotation. Sean will hopefully be able to resume his normal letter-answering duties (doodies?) shortly. He has finals winals boo boo bee boo I need to study I'm so busy wusy!

And now, hither and yon:

Are you doing anything different on the 21st to celebrate the Mayan apocalypse? Also, what percent of you believes the world will end that day? What about any given day?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Suicide Pool Week 15

We're going to miss you, horrible horrible coaches

Sean: 19-7
Steve: 16-10
Jon: 15-11

Steve is hearing footsteps from Jon -- little tiny footsteps creeping up clumsily behind him. Watch out Steve, second place isn't as secure as it was prior to the results of last week's games. You guys suck at picking.

Sean:  The non-Patriots teams in the AFC East are incredibly boring to watch, even when they are half-decent. The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets haven't had a good quarterback between the three of them arguably since Dan Marino died retired. This year is no different: they will get their 6 wins and maybe one of them will knock of the Pats but no one cares. Dolphins over Jaguars in the battle of for AFC Florida!

Cam Newton is ridiculously talented but god damn do the Panthers suck. He is stuck on a bad team that is poorly run, and somehow this gets put on him. The Panthers' situation makes the Shanahan/Snyder combo for RGIII seem like a well-run organization. This is also the end of Norv Turner's career, boo fucking hoo you were and will always be terrible. Panthers over Chargers in a ridiculous game. I'm predicting 80 points between the 2 teams.

Steve: The Falcons let me down, the Ravens let me down...I shouldn't have saved all the good teams for the end. This is just depressing.

I still have to pick the Jets, and this is as good a week as any to pick them. They "have something to play for," monkeyfarting their way to 6-7 with a chance to sneak into the playoffs if they win out. I'll be okay with it if they beat the Titans this week, but they just gotta lose one of the last two games. Is that so much to ask?

Also, gotta pick the Seahawks, and they too have a lot to play for against a Bills team that's taking the definition of "sub-mediocre" to new and exciting places. As always, WIN, TEAMS! WWWWIIIIIIINNNNNNNN

Jon: Ehhhhhhh, Panthers over Chargers and Cardinals over Lions. Gotta pick the Cardinals at some point. They suck so much. So do I at picking games.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters XXIV: SPECIAL GUEST OMG!

Hello blogosphere!

My name is Funk, and I am a colleague/hater of Steve, Jon, and Sean. I've been following their blog since its b'ception, and I consider myself very fortunate/a schmuck to be contributing. The reason you're hearing from me this week instead of Sean is that Sean is very busy with finals at law school. We thank you for contributing for the past few months during your first semester of law school, Sean, and we know that finals are quite taxing. I'm sure you're extremely busy studying right now, memorizing laws and such, practicing how to flip flop professionally, and memorizing tomes of precedent legal literature. I think this video JUSTLY sums up the sympathy we have for you.

It's fortunate that I get to partake in this week's question-answering festivities/bullshit, because this week is week 24, and I like the show 24.  Here is Jack Bauer saying damnit.

On to the queries!

Have you ever taken a picture of your poop?

I'm not sure I understand your question, reader. Do you mean like, DRAWN a picture? Everyone's taken a photograph of their poop, especially this day in age with cell phone cameras. But yes, I have drawn some pictures of my poop. Only rarely do I draw pictures of other people's poop. Like if they send me a photograph of a poop they took. Only rarely do I draw a picture of someone else's poop NOT from a photograph. Like if it's half in the toilet and half sprayed on the shower, sure.

Friday, December 14, 2012

At Least Kind Of Racist

A few days ago, Caroline Wozniacki -- former women's tennis #1 in the world famous for a) never being able to win anything and b) being half of the most insufferable sports couple with Rory McIlroy -- stuffed things into her clothing to look like Serena Williams. Tennis players are fond of ribbing each other in a good-natured way at charity tournaments. But because Serena Williams is black, some PC JEWSTREAM MEDIA FEMINAZIS have accused Wozniacki of being racist. So, was Wozniacki racist? The answer is what it always is in sports: yes, absolutely, this is kind of racist.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 14
Owie! My biceps!

This is the time of year in a survivor pool that separates the boys from the men. Or the women from the girls. Whatever.

Sean: 18-6
Steve: 16-8 (GD Ravens)
Jon: 13-11

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Congratulations Jon

Last week, Jon wrote a deeply personal and incredible essay about the connection between sports and tragedy on what would have been his brother Baki's 20th birthday. Baki was an incredible athlete and Jon wrote poignantly about how and why sports matter in the aftermath of tragedies. This article quickly became the most read post we've ever on The Whole 42 Minutes and deservedly so. One of the central themes to this blog is how we should view players and events, trying to push back against poorly thought out arguments and narratives. Jon's post went well beyond that though and got to the core of why sports matters and why it can be so powerful. He tapped into something that all of us subconsciously feel about sports, this is why we care so much about a silly game, and did it in an incredibly personal manner. Chuck Klosterman wrote piece with a similar thesis this week at Grantland, but it didn't even come close to Jon's piece. To publish this must have taken incredible guts and Jon has been commended for his courage.

Today, Thought Catalog reposted Jon's article. Currently, it is on the front page. This is just the tip of the recognition and reach that this article deserves. If you haven't read his article please do so now and keep reading the blog.

And Jon when you make it big, don't forget that we split everything three ways on this blog.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Knicks Anthem

The Knicks are undoubtedly one of the most fun teams in the NBA. Their bench alone has enough endearing ridiculousness for an entire team. They are led by Steve Novak -- a 6'10'' 3-point-shooting white guy with a signature dance move stolen from Aaron Rodgers and rebranded to sell car insurance -- and JR Smith, a tatted-up player with disproportionate confidence in his own swag, but somehow an effective player. These two have formed the unlikeliest of bonds which leads to at least one awkward chest bump/failed handshake a game.

Word is they understand about 40% of what the other is saying

The Whole 42 Letters XXIII

Hi. No time for anything up front this week, except that after ruminating about sports and tragedy I'm very excited to get back to writing terrible jokes.

Your questions:

Who's the favorite in the NFL?

The NFL is pretty wide open right now. The best team in the NFC record-wise, the Falcons, has played the easiest schedule by far and just squeaked by. The Packers are the only team to beat the Texans, throttling them in prime time, but they got blown out by the Giants and 49ers, who lost to the Redskins and Rams respectively last week. I think if the Packers can avoid the Giants, they're the favorites out of the NFC, whether they get home-field advantage or not. The 49ers started off really hot, but I have a lot less faith in them at this point in the season than I did a month ago.

In the AFC, there are 4 top teams: Patriots, Texans, Ravens, and Broncos. The Patriots have an almost historically great offense, but a mediocre defense. The Texans play very well in both aspects. The Ravens are hurt and are only really above average in special teams (where according to Football Outsiders, they are the best team since 1991). The Broncos looked awful against good teams and look great against bad teams. Again, no clear favorite, although I think the Patriots and Texans are a step above the others.

I can't remember a year where there isn't at least one truly dominant team. I wish I could wait until after this week's MNF game between New England and Houston to make a decision, but I'd take Houston with home-field advantage coming out of the AFC, and I think they're the favorites to win the Super Bowl. I'm trying not to let my rooting interest in the Packers cloud my judgment, but I really feel like they have a great chance too, and should be the favorite coming out of the NFC.

What's your take on the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation? Was the coach correct in switching mid-season from an effective quarterback to a barely proven but potentially star quarterback? I'm also interested in the situations in Philadelphia and New York.

Monday, December 3, 2012

When Sports And Tragedy Meet

It's been a brutal, brutal year for the Kansas City Chiefs, who may be the worst team in the NFL this season. This past Saturday, it got drastically worse. Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, before taking his own life in front of his coach and general manger, leaving behind a 3-month-old baby girl. On Sunday, the Chiefs took the field and I won't even begin to imagine the maelstrom of emotions they must have been feeling. If the Chiefs' victory over the Panthers today, just their second win in this interminable season, was of any solace to any of the players, then more power to those players.

I don't know how they felt. They were presumably playing in memory of their fallen teammate and brother, a teammate who was also a murderer, who struck out against the mother of his child in anger, effectively orphaning his daughter even if he hadn't taken his own life (again, I'm assuming he would have been incarcerated). None of us knows how it feels to be a Chiefs player today. But that not knowing doesn't preclude empathy; it just means that we have to be careful when declaring what is objective and what is subjective. There are the undeniably brutal facts, but there's a lot of conjecture being thrown around, some of it very irresponsibly. This conflict will be a theme for this post.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 13

We're getting down to the wire here, and it's anybody's race. And by "anybody's" I mean Sean and Steve are battling it out and Jon uhhh...

Jon: 12-10
Steve: 15-7
Sean: 16-6

Onward and sideways:

David Stern and the Spurs: Hypocrisy, Ego, and Unchecked Power

The San Antonio Spurs are a model organization: they have a likable franchise player, stable leadership (Popovich and RC Buford have been around since the '90s), and they have succeeded in a small market. They are the answer to everyone who points out that small-market teams can't win and they are a joy to watch. They are led by Popovich, the undisputed #1 coach in the league, and someone who makes other coaches look like the computer on level one to his Bobby Fischer (chessed!). Year in and year out, he tinkers with his team, switching rotations, and is light years ahead of other teams strategy-wise (remember Bruce Bowen, Danny Ferry, and Steve Kerr dominating corner 3s years before the rest of the NBA figured out that was the best shot in the game?), while winning 50+ games every single year.

This year is no different. The Spurs are a contender like always, despite the age of their team. Young players like Tiago Splitter and Danny Green have made huge contributions to a team that, as always, is buoyed by the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili core. Popovich also understands that the NBA season is a grind, especially on the knees of a 7-footer who is 36 years old. So logically, just like he's done in years past, Popovich rested some of his top players for Thursday night's game against the Heat. Green, Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan didn't even come to the game; they didn't sit out with some obvious excuse like tendinitis or "OLD" as Duncan was proclaimed to be last year (Pop wasn't wrong here). Instead, they flew home, slept in their own beds, and watched their teammates play the defending champion Heat.