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.

Ranking the Months

12. November--Thanksgiving is fine but there's less sun and it brings the doom that is freezing your dick off for the next five months.

11. March--Super fucking overrated month. It's got 0 holidays and 31 days. That's a long working month. Also, March Madness keeps getting moved later and later. It's barely in March anymore, all you've got are lame spring training stories, regular season NBA games, and that day when you decide you're not going to wear a coat anymore on principle and die of hypothermia.

10. February--February is pretty miserable. It's got the leap year day which is mildly interesting for two seconds every four years. But yeah, it's by far the worst sports month and cold. I'm starting to think this post has a theme. Also, right now it is February.

9. January--NFL playoffs plus winter break are nice. Downside is that it's cold and you're likely to get an adult snow day that wrecks your week.

8. December--Christmas, all the good movies of the year, and the end of the NFL regular season. All pretty good. The downside is if you're in school like this nerdy nerd blogger you've probably got final exams. Also, it's cold still. But cookies and hot toddies.

7. April--Baseball opening day is fucking awesome. I remember the Jason Heyward home run like it was yesterday. If we had the blog then, Steve and Jon would have stopped being my friend because I would've written ten posts about it. But don't worry, Jon was finding himself in Europe that semester so he missed out on all the fun. NBA first round playoffs are pretty good, especially recently. April is too inconsistent to go any higher though. Some years it is great because there's that one day where women decide it's time to wear skirts or dresses. Some years it is still cold and there's snow everywhere and you think you'll never be warm again.

6. October--Baseball playoffs and NFL regular season are nice. Note to everyone: go to NFL games now instead of November. Tailgating is much less fun when you're basically just huddled around a grill fire for warmth and drinking until you don't feel cold. Go when it's like nice and stuff outside. October sometimes brings snow, which ohmygod whyyyyyy.

5. August--August is the month where the summer drags and drags and you're all like ugh I'm bored, then you'd go back to school as a kid and be miserable. In Virginia, school kept starting earlier and earlier.

4. July--Not that high, surprisingly. July is kind of a dead sports month; it's got the ESPYs for example. It's also frequently too hot to really enjoy being outside. Or you're working in an office and praying that when you do go outside you won't be sweaty for the rest of the day.

3. June--The start of summer break, you're still excited about the heat, there's stuff to do outside, you have a ton of daylight. Prettay prettay good. No one is ever complaining that it's June. Possible downside is that you've always got 2 or 3 days between NBA Finals games and there isn't much to pass the time. I guess there's like the French Open. Sportswise it's not great, but life-wise it's good.

2. May--May is real nice. First off, it's actually warm the entire month. None of this 'well actually it's going to be cold this weekend' (fuck you April). It's also early enough in the baseball season where Mets fans show up and think they have a chance. Come July they are busy reading threads on Single-A pitching prospects, so this is your best chance to make fun of them for Mike Piazza not being in the Hall of Fame. NBA playoffs are pretty sweet here too, 2nd and 3rd rounds which, as everyone knows, is where it is at.

1. September--Boom, first of all, it's got my birthday. That alone makes it the best month. Second, you've got real nice weather, maybe even a little leaves changing action. Also, there's the beginning of football and the pennant races. Shows start again a lot. There's some good stuff there, ya know.

Note: If any of the weather comments don't apply to you because you are a smart person who lives in a place that is always warm then FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

Monday, February 9, 2015

In Defense of Kanye

Last night, maybe you heard, Kanye West did a thing at the Grammys. In a callback to his VMA harassment of Taylor Swift, he pretended to cut off Beck - who had just beaten out Beyonce for Album of the Year - only to cede the stage and allow Jay Z to laugh again. Then, after the show, he went on a brief rant about awarding artistry. That rant, like many of the things he does, was a cocktail of truth mixed with megalomaniacal delusion strained through an omnipresent, self-loathingly conscious desire to be taken seriously. In it he attacked Beck and defended Beyonce. Suffice it to say, people are upset at Kanye. 

People are always upset at Kanye.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Can Chemistry Save the Patriots?

I'm going on record as saying the Patriots are definitely guilty of using footballs that were below the required PSI by the NFL. I'm a little conflicted about how bad that is, as I'm really not sure about the details of the ball-checking process -- or if other teams do this normally -- but suffice to say, the Patriots were outside the rules for reasons that are totally unnecessary, thus tainting their legacy further.

HOWEVER, there's been some talk about how the weather can affect the pressure inside a football. I want to do some sweet calculations and see if there's any credibility to this line of thinking. I'm not a chemist, like some special guests I know, but I'll take a crack at this. Our special guest can feel free to comment if I'm wrong (or right!).

The Entire Media Sucks: Especially on Deflategate

Earlier today, blog favorite and Deadspin hot-take artist Drew Magary wrote a long piece making fun of different sports columnists and their awful Deflategate takes. Like most of his pieces, it was funny, used ALL CAPS successfully, and tried to not be a hot take while really being a hot take.

Here, Magary's take was, of course, that awful sportswriters have over-the-top takes and shitty puns to make about Deflategate. The real take should be, of course, the media -- who has literally two weeks of content to find about one game -- will blow a story out of proportion. This is how media works: every paper and site has to churn out content day after day regardless of the actual news value of that content. This is why eleven days before the Super Bowl, the media has not found anything more interesting to do than pearl clutch about deflated balls and think of the children. That's the domain of hacky sports writers with two weeks of stories to write.

Deadspin and other snarky blogs are no different. There are currently five different posts on Deadspin's main page about Deflategate. Deadspin and places like KissingSuzyKolber aren't as different from traditional media sites as they want you to believe. They are running a business. Their business relies on people clicking on their links and subliminally buying the ads that are hidden on the page. That's why every sports writer has to come up with a take on this story, whether it's making fun of other people for having takes or screaming for some accountability and justice. Each site might have different content and angles they take, but they are all guilty of milking every possible page view out of a story.

Deadspin's biggest fault is that they try and pretend that's not the case. But every time any big story happens, they trot out Magary for his quick "Balls Deep" take. Deadspin is just as guilty as your local columnist -- they are just funnier and more "edgy." Great, yay, in the end it's all the same. As long as  media sites are tied to a business model that demands as many page views as possible, we will see everyone's take, from the pearl clutching to the takenami to the nerds in the basement making fun of everyone else's takes. The twenty-four-hour news cycle is awful. This is not news.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Greatest Players in Franchise History: Baseball

A few weeks ago, the Writers of this Blog were talking about the greatest players in different football franchises' histories. Some franchises who have been around for a very long time have some arguably terrible GOATs, and it got us thinking: we should write this up for the blog. Instead of doing football, however, I'm going to stick to the sport I know best. Baseball is the easiest to determine because a player's contribution is more quantifiable in baseball than in any other sport. So we'll see how it goes with this one and maybe do other sports later.

Also, we're doing entire franchise histories here. Like, the Twins will include the Washington Senators. For funsies, for each team that has changed names, I'll give the greatest player in that team's current iteration as well.

Baltimore Orioles: With all due respect to Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Jr. takes this crown. Much more than the streak, impressive as that is, he belted over 400 home runs and had a career OPS+ of 112, the vast majority of the time playing shortstop.