Whole Lotta Quick Hitters Goin’ On
The way I figure it, there’s never not a good time for a quick hitters column; so while I sit here at 12:44 a.m. eating store brand, bite-size mini wheats and watching “Terriers” on Hulu in something called a “breakfast nook” in my new apartment I offer up all of these:
Moving is a Pain in The Ass: Yes, we’ve all done and yes it’s not fun, in fact it’s pretty tiring and has given me a pretty good case of temporary emphazyma (it’s quicker than smoking!) due to the dust buildup at my old joint, but I realized something pretty hilarious when my roommate and I picked up our UHaul last week, and that’s Mexicans really like manual labor. Take a look around here in California and that’s pretty obvious (like saying homeless dudes have sick beards) considering every gardener, roofer, painter and whomever is such, but seriously, we pull up to the UHaul down near the end of Hollywood Blvd (or the middle, who knows how long it goes) and about eight of them sprinted over to my truck before Perk could open his door. Presumably they figured we would need their help, since they also presumed we were renting a truck to move lots of heavy objects (wrong and right). I don’t know if I’d go as far to say they have no shame, since I’m guessing they do this kind of thing every day, but let me ask you all this: whose situation do you empathize with/respect/get more, the (possibly illegal) Mexican’s who hangs out at UHaul looking/begging for work or the U.S Military Veteran who hangs out on the median on Venice Blvd asking for money/food? Tough call, right?
NFL Season Heating Up: I don’t pretend to be smart, well, I sorta do from time to time, but back on August 1 a few of us at the Network made some Super Bowl predictions and mine went something like this: Patriots vs. Packers. Now on the surface it would look like I’m sitting pretty with that, but … there’s no but. I look like a genius right now as we head into Week 14! The Patriots have beaten every supposed contending team they’ve played - Steelers, Ravens, Jets, Chargers, Bears - and rather convincingly, while the Packers are heating up. In this extremely bizarre NFL season no team looks like a lock to be playing in Dallas on Feb. 6, but I’ll take my chances with those two and don’t have any plans to alter my picks. Oh, and remember a couple weeks ago when I said that Mike Vick was making a case for league MVP but there was no way he was ahead of Tom Brady? Yeah, I’m a genius there, too. Brady is RUNNING away with it right now, and it’s not even that close. And he’s dreamy, so there.
(editors note: um, yeah, Aaron Rodgers got hurt Sunday (concussion) and the two teams play each other in Week 15, so we’ll see how good that pick is looking in 6 days. But Brady for MVP is now a L-O-C-K.)
Addendum to Facebook Column: Thanks to those who read my previous post about Facebook and some of the reasons on I’m not on there, but I wanted to share this little anecdote a friend of mine told me that only firms my case to remain off it. She had recently gone back home for a high school reunion, something she had helped organize, and noticed that not very many people had signed up to attend, and come the day of the event she was curious as to why. Well as it turned out, some of the people had as their status update that they didn’t need to pay X amount of dollars to attend a reunion when they were already friends with everyone on Facebook and knew what everyone was up to/looked like already. Precisely my point. If we’re friends in real life (to borrow a phrase), then I know what you’re up to, and if we’re not, well that’s why I go to the reunion, to “catch up.” (full disclosure, I did not attend either my 5-year or 10-year high school reunion. Oops.)
Red Sox Are Yankees 2.0 (and I don’t care): You know what’s better than rooting for a crappy baseball team? Rooting for one that’s good. The 2004 Boston Red Sox season was one of the greatest things to watch unfold more because of who was on the team (lots of former Portland Sea Dogs and likable guys) and how they won games than the result themselves, but quickly the team turned into the New York Yankees redux. I was pretty quick to acknowledge this fact years ago, so it came as no surprise to me that the Sox made the moves they did this past week in trading for Adrian Gonzalez and signing Carl Crawford for nearly a combined $300 million. And I’m completely OK with it, because like I said, cheering for a good team is better than being a Pirates or Royals fan. I know that the games I watch in August and September matter and I know that the ownership cares about winning because part of them feels like they’re still the little guys competing against the Evil Empire. The funny thing is, we’re the Evil Empire, just in a mirror galaxy. Again, no problem with this, and hate all you want. See you in October.
Captain Awesome: Probably one of my favorite stories recently involved an Oregon man named Douglas WhoCares, who legally changed his name to “Captain Awesome” and made his signature two arrows pointing at each other with a smiley face in the middle. It’s absolutely, well, awesome. The funny thing is, his bank wouldn’t accept his new signature because it was too easily forged. Umm, yeah, ya think?! I’ve only known one person who went to the rigamaroll of changing their name - his surname is now “Diamonds” - and it seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to do. There have been several famous name changes in the sports world; most recently Chad Ochocinco and Stylez G. White, but we had World B. Free and those athletes who changed their name for religious purposes, but nothing like Captain Awesome. You, sir, earn this week’s Gold Star of the Week.
Why Are The Birds So Angry?: A couple weeks ago, the editor I was working with on one our down time, was playing a game on his iPhone. Not uncommon, it’s well known editors love their iPhones, and so I asked him what he was playing, “Angry Birds” he said. I didn’t think much of it, aside from that the fact he couldn’t stop. And he was VERY into it. The following Tuesday, I had some downtime myself and logged onto the Market on my Android cellular telephone and dialed up some Angry Birds. And guess what? I’m hooked. It’s probably the greatest game app ever (#hyperbole) and I haven’t stopped playing it since. The premise is this: you have these birds and you sling shot them across the way trying to kill these green pigs. I don’t know why the pigs are green, they just are, and when you fail on the level (and believe me, you’ll fail quite often) the pigs smirk at you like George W. Bush, and that just makes you want to kill them even more. But the pigs are protected by wood and concrete structures (second but) the birds are all different kinds of angry. There’s plain ones, ones that turn into rockets, others are bombs and explode on impact and others drop bombs. So yeah, I’ve been spending a lot of time on it, and you should too. More or less.
The Heisman Trophy Still Matters (sure it does): Saturday, lots of men who were great at college football for a single year a long time ago gathered in New York City and welcomed another to their exclusive club. Yes, the Heisman Trophy was handed out and as presumed, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton ran away in the voting for the bronze statue and almost guaranteed he won’t amass to much in the NFL when he is surely selected in the First Round this coming April. If you’ve seen Newton play at all this season (specifically against Alabama and/or South Carolina) you know he has had no equal on the football field in 2010. Regardless of what he did or didn’t do, what he knew or didn’t know in regards to his recruitment to play at Auburn after leaving Florida (perhaps if he stayed Urban Meyer wouldn’t be “retiring”) Newton is the best college football player currently in the country, and for that, he was rightfully rewarded. Let’s just hope in 3 years he won’t have to give it back. And if you’re wondering, I like Auburn to beat Oregon in the National Championship game.
Pearl Harbor Day/John Lennon’s Death: There are a lot of days/moments/events that make you stop in your tracks, cause you to pause with reflection and ultimately remember where you were when you found out the heartbreaking/earth-shattering/momentus news. Pearl Harbor Day and the day John Lennon died are two of those such events. I don’t remember either — I wasn’t alive for one, and only a few months old for the other — but both had an anniversary this past week. Just reminding you in case you were too busy with your own lives (which I’m sure you were) to take some time out for reflection on these historic tragedies. (side note: watching Paul McCartney performing on Saturday Night Live right now and gotta say, Sir Paul looks pretty good. In the history of the world, has anyone had a cooler life than him? What’s that Top 10 list even look like? You wanna talk about bar debates. I smell a future column.)
Reason To Like The Clippers: It’s tough being a diehard sports fan of East Coast teams while living on the West Coast. Sure, you can read everything you want about them he still, which means you can follow closely, but you can’t really get a feel for the team without seeing them play. With that, I’ve had to adopt a west coast team to semi-follow and that has been the Los Angeles Clippers, they’re harmless and non-threatening and they have my favorite non-Celtic player in the league right now: Blake Griffin. I went to opening night and he had three dunks in the first quarter that I’m pretty sure reverberated into the upper deck where we were sitting. Aside from his ability to nearly hit his head on the rim on every throwdown, he’s very easy to root for: a.) he’s on my fantasy team, so there’s that; b.) he plays every trip down the floor like a bull in a china shop, just throwing his body almost recklessly around out there, you sometimes feel as if it’s only a matter of time until he gets hurt again (please God no); c.) and his dunks are almost like bringing NBA Jam to life. Seriously, have you seen some of these things? He’s the new Shawn Kemp, minus the coke addiction, illegitimate kids and future bout with obesity (we hope). It’s just too bad Baron Davis is his Gary Payton.
Let’s Go Orange!: OK, so Syracuse didn’t win the Big East football title and earn a BCS bowl bid, that would have been too sweet and too easy for us to take a road trip to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl, but we are going bowling for the first time in what seems like forever, in something called the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. It’s going to be played at Yankee Stadium, which I guess is kinda cool, but I’d imagine is an odd venue to watch football at; this year’s Army/Navy game was played there and the one end zone was pretty cramped up against the wall, but nonetheless a few of my friends are going and for that I am jealous. And winning a bowl game (presumably against Kansas St., is this finalized? I suppose I could just look it up) would be a great boost for the program considering 4 years ago we were ranked in the bottom 10. Doug Marrone should be at the very least Big East Coach of the Year and had we got to 9 wins would have been national COY, but alas that is not the case, and settling for a very, very minor bowl win will suffice. And in other citrus news, the mens’ basketball team is undefeated still and ranked in the Top 5. So we got that going for us, which is nice.
Leaf Blowing Probably Most Pointless Landscaping Task: So the other day I had to park a little bit from my place, on a side street nonetheless because we couldn’t get parking ON our street because the City of Los Angeles didn’t seem to believe us when we showed up at the parking station with our signed lease (exhale) but on my walk back I noticed a guy (probably Mexican) blowing leaves from someone’s yard which got me thinking: what a pointless landscaping task leaf blowing is. Think about it, you’re holding this big, heavy, gasoline-powered machine that looks like some intergalactic photon laser from the future and all you’re doing is transfering the leaves from where they were to… a few feet over? the street? your neighbors’ lawn? What sense does that make? It’s completely ineffective since if you live anywhere the wind blows they’ll just be back in your yard in a day or two. Look, I know no one likes raking leaves, bagging them and taking them to the dump, but what other way eliminates the leaves better? Certainly not blowing them … wait for it … that’s what she said.
5:19 pm • 14 December 2010 • 1 note
Get Social on the Network? I’ll Pass
Not once during “Social Network“‘s roughly 120-minute running time does the question “Is This a Hah-vahd Bah?” get asked by any of the characters, not even during the film’s opening scene; which takes place, you guessed it, in a Harvard bar.
This automatically places ‘Network’ behind “Good Will Hunting” on my list of top films depicting nerds acting cool (also on this list “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Old School” and “Little Giants”) but that’s not what this column is about. This is a column about Facebook, naturally, and the film Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher made depicting its start-up earlier last decade.
I know it’s been out for nearly two months but I finally got around to seeing ‘Network’ and it did not disappoint. As a writer in my former life, I like my films to have a feeling of realness to them, especially with the dialogue, and it was fantastic here. The script didn’t feel like it was above the characters saying the lines, which was one of the things I hated about the critically-acclaimed and Oscar-winning “Juno” a couple years ago. It’s assumed Harvard people talk a certain way and carry themselves with an air of douchey-ness and I felt like those features were accurately depicted in ‘Network.’ Win.
What I also liked was how short the credits were, meaning, it wasn’t one of those modern day fancy flicks with loads of visual effects and a thousand extra names scrolling at film’s end while some song we’ve never heard of blares over the THX1000 speakers. With all apologies to my boy Perk, I prefer my films to be the opposite; like I said, I want real people, in real situations doing real things. And in 2010, for better or worse, Facebook is as real as it gets.
In the film, Mark Zuckerberg (played neurotically brilliant by Jessie Eisenberg) says he doesn’t “want friends.” It’s a curious statement, because the whole time it seems to be the only thing he wants. He wants to be accepted and for people to know him on campus. Well, mission accomplished, sir. As it currently stands as I type this you’re the youngest billionaire in the history of the country and its 36th richest person. You 1, everyone else 0.
Zuckerberg comes off as very socially awkward in the film, ironic for sure, but you almost feel for the guy. Everyone is coming after him saying he ripped off their idea or cut them out once Facebook blew up, when in reality he shouldn’t be a sympathetic character. In business not everyone is going to like you, that’s the price you pay for being successful and working your way to the top. But what do you do when you just want to be liked by everyone? Zuckerberg seemed to be at that crossroad.
The film’s tagline “you don’t get to 500 million friends without creating a few enemies” is perfect in that sense. Only Zuckerberg couldn’t understand why people hated him. He created Facemash, and eventually Facebook, to get girls’ attentions but did so by demeaning them, and they signed up anyway. It’s like fast food joints telling you the food will make you fat but you keep eating it; you can’t get enough, and that’s Facebook. Online addiction at it’s zenith.
Perhaps this is burying the lede a bit (I’ve been known to do that — Writing 101), but I am NOT a member of the world’s most popular social networking website. This always baffles people when I drop that nugget on them. (For the record, I do have a Friendster and a Myspace page, though I can’t tell you the last time I visited or updated either.) As stated in the film, “facebook me” as become a verb much like “Google it” or “Youtube It” has; such is the instant gratification, digital age which we live. You meet someone new, you hit it off and often the next thing asked is “are you on Facebook?” People’s whole lives are run through that site, from appointments, to events and the like.
Obviously, seeing pictures is a key selling point (and really, how awesome are those typical “girl” shots that every broad has? Not saying we don’t appreciate them, but c’mon ladies, think originality) and so is remembering people’s birthdays. Which I think is hilarious; look, I have lots of friends and they all have birthdays, some I remember, some I don’t (sorry, James), but I don’t really want some site to remind me. Isn’t that what I have a calendar for? I also kind of like the game I play against myself of seeing if I can remember. It happened to me today; remembered a friend’s birthday which was three days ago, popped her a text and she didn’t mind that I forgot, I’m sure it made her feel good I only was off by three days. Low expectations are the best.
My point is people have have become so dependent on this simple site for even the basic friendship-type things it’s essentially ruined day-to-day social skills. How often do you hear from people that they spent hours “facebook stalking?” I get it, pictures are cool and seeing some girl you just met in a bikini on her spring break from 4 years ago is also cool, but I have better things to do with my time, like look at, and consider purchasing, old style arcade games online (seriously, who wouldn’t want a Donkey Kong or Galaga?) and bad-mouthing my fantasy football team even though I’m the one who traded up for Ryan Mathews when I could have sat tight and taken LeSean McCoy. Sorry, wrong column.
People ask me why I’m not on Facebook, tell me I’d love it, and it’s up my alley and whatnot all the time. I always have the same response: If I want to know what people are up to, how they’re doing, what they did on a recent trip, I’ll call or e-mail them and find out. If we were really friends it wouldn’t be too hard. In fact, two of my buddy’s recently told me they were expecting a child and you know how I found out? They told me over the phone, the good old fashioned way. Plus, a Facebook page would be way too much maintenance and I’m not that into myself (kinda).
I was close to getting one once. About a year ago I was coming up with a 2010 To Do List and “Sign Up For Facebook” was on it. I figured it was about time, that I’d put it off for long enough, and let’s be honest, the masses are correct; it really is up my alley. I spend hours each day scrolling Twitter reading one-liners from people, getting sports and news updates and seeing random people’s pictures. In fact, friends say that to me often as well: “how can do you Twitter but not Facebook?” It’s not hard, actually.
You know what it is, Twitter is like owning a hermit crab and Facebook is a real life baby. One requires very little upkeep and mothering, while the other requires constant care and attention. Right now I just don’t have that kind of devotion and energy, the staying up all night, going to work the next day on no sleep, going out with puke stains on my shirt that Facebook requires. So, Twitter it is. I am able to recognize this in myself. (also, in full disclosure, I sort of like being the one person NOT doing things. not being on Facebook is sort of related to me never having drank coffee, not getting a cell phone until I was 24 and not reading one page/seeing one second of Harry Potter or The Office.)
Am I missing out on some potentially fun things there? Probably. (What is it, Farmdale or whatever? I’m sure that’s a hoot.) Am I noticing? Nope. You don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never tried it. I bet being able to dunk and walk on water are pretty cool, but I’ve never done either so I have no idea. And right now I’m not missing Facebook, even though I bet there is an app to cure that.
Someone “poke” Zuckerberg and tell him. Or is it “like?”
Whatever. I’ll be in Hah-vahd yahd. Tweet me.
12:23 pm • 25 November 2010 • 3 notes
The Crossover - Episode XII
This is not a repeat open of last time I promise: it’s been over a month since our last episode but The Crossover is back with Episode XII! (click here to listen)
A special two-guest episode this week as in the first half, with just three regular season weeks remaining, Parker Deay chimes in to talk Retired Orangemen Fantasy Football League.
We’ll break down the ROFFL standings as they sit through 10 weeks, who we like to get the coveted playoff asterisk (two are already christened), who we think could sneak in, who are the “luckiest” and “un-luckiest” teams in the ROFFL, and of course, we’ll talk about the 2007 ROFFL Champions current team, the Cool Treats.
In the second half, the owner of the last standing undefeated team in the ROFFL, VA, checks in not to talk about the league (he’s afraid of jinxing himself) but to talk about this past Monday night game the Redskins played against the Eagles. Maybe you heard about it, but Michael Vick put on a show and VA was in attendance in our nation’s capital and as you might guess, he had some thoughts.
We wrap up the show with a brief rundown of his recent visit to Los Angeles, which included a trip to his new favorite place on Earth: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. You won’t want to miss an action-packed episode of The Crossover!
And as always, thanks for listening and spread the word!
6:41 pm • 18 November 2010
Mixed Feelings on Michael Vick… (MVP?)
Michael Vick was once the face of the NFL. He graced the cover of Madden, had his own signature Nike shoe and signed a $100 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. His jersey was the most popular in the league and everyone who played football in their back yards pretended they were him; I was always Joe Montana in pickup games but I can’t run a 4.2 40, either.
We know Vick threw all of that away. His penchant for a lifestyle of gambling on fighting pit bulls and pandering to his hoodlum friends was far more important to him than working out, watching game film and becoming the next — and dare I say better than — Steve Young.
He lied about it, got caught and went to prison. Whether or not he should have is another debate but he did and served his debt to society. That much is indisputable. What is, however, is Vick’s sincerity. It’s been 18 months since he was released from Federal lockup and since he’s said and done everything which would make you believe he is contrite, understands what he did was wrong and is genuinely sorry for his past actions. Save for the birthday party shooting earlier in the summer, he’d ditched his old friends, lost the dreadlocks, he volunteers in the community, etc.
Then why still don’t I believe him? What more does he have to do? What more does he have to say? I’ve seen every interview he’s done with the various networks and locker room media whordes, read all the articles, and seen all his games but I don’t know what it is. I’m just not buying it. You know how you just know you don’t trust someone or they rub you the wrong way? That’s how I feel about Vick. (I get the same feeling about the IRS agent in “Boardwalk Empire,” Rita on “Dexter (I know she’s dead) and the daughter on “Californication.”)
A friend used to say “it’s a feeling, there’s no right or wrong to it.” Well, that’s where I am. My feelings tell me something is still off there. One day it may change, but right now I’m just not buying the “new and improved Michael Vick.” To make myself feel better, I want to think I’m not alone in my feelings but that’s not my point, my point is that what he’s doing this season on the football field is remarkable. It’s what Jim Mora and Arthur Blank thought they were getting when they made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2001 and signed him to that record contract. But Vick wasn’t ready for it all. Wasn’t ready to handle the pressure that comes with being the face of a team, the face of a league.
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning he is not.
Having said all that, to watch Vick play this season has been amazing, and nearly indescribable. I wouldn’t want him as my favorite team’s quarterback (that’s probably because it already has Tom Brady), nor would I openly root for him (that’s because he went to Virgina Tech — eff the Hokies) but from a strictly football and between-the-lines standpoint, he’s been phenomenal.
Vick looks like the guy you create in the video game and give 99s to in every category. His throw Monday night against Washington on the first play of the game was right out of the playground: “OK, I’m gonna roll left and just throw it as far as I can, you go get it. Cool?” And from there he was nearly perfect, finishing with a QB rating of 150.7 and throwing for 333 yards with 4 TDs, and rushing for 80 yards and 2 more scores.
It was easy to empathize with some of the fantasy football stories that came out either on Twitter or the sports blogs Monday night/Tuesday morning, teams with large leads who were Vick-timized or rode the 7 Train to triumph were quite interesting.
Watching the performance one thought immediately came to mind: is Michael Vick the MVP of the National Football League right now? His superb day came 24 hours after Brady had arguably his best game as a pro, and that’s saying something given his 2007 season, in a run-away win against the Steelers in Pittsburgh Sunday night. Brady threw for 350 yards, completed 70 percent of his passes and had 3 TDs. He ran in another one, upping his career total on the ground to 7. (see me working here?)
Brady has been the league’s MVP to this point, in my opinion. He doesn’t have even close the weapons at his disposal of Vick (Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy) but yet he’s been able to lead New England to the best record in the NFL (7-2). The Patriots jettisoned Randy Moss after just four games this season taking away his supposed best receiver. This forced Brady to have a new favorite target: the open man.
Deion Sanders tweeted on Monday night during the Redskins/Eagles game that Donovan McNabb’s weapons wouldn’t get him stopped at the airport. The same could be said for Brady’s. The cast of Deion Branch, Brandon Tate, a pair of rookie tight ends, someone in Alge Crumpler’s jersey and what used to be Wes Welker aren’t frightening teams but yet Brady is still putting up numbers, and more importantly, winning games.
And that’s just it, when talking about MVP it’s all about winning, especially in football. Tom Brady is a winner, he has a proven track record and he’s doing it again this season. Michael Vick does not have Brady’s pedigree and through 10 weeks this season he’s 4-2 (he missed three games with a rib injury). In the games he’s played he’s been off the charts but an MVP that does not make.
You can compare numbers (BRADY — 196-of-304, 2,176 yards, 17 TDs, 4 INTs, 98.8 passer rating; VICK — 96-of-153, 1,350 yards, 11 TDs, 0 INTs, 341 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 115.1 passer rating) but it shouldn’t be a debate as to who is the MVP (it’s Brady) but people are going focus on the redemption and the comeback and say that Vick should be honored with the league’s best award.
You can bet some coumnists will probably play the race card too — in this case, I’m guessing the race card will work in Vick’s favor — saying that if it were a white quarterback having the type of season, etc, etc. (For the record I think Ben Roethlisberger is a despicable human as well.) If you want to give Vick the Comeback Player of the Year award, I’d be fine with that, it would best illustrate the his return to the game and the impact he’s had.
I just don’t think you can make a case, in Week 11, for someone who’s missed three games on a team not with the best record, that he’s the MVP.
1:08 am • 18 November 2010 • 2 notes
The Crossover - Episode XI
It’s been over a month since our last episode but The Crossover is back with Episode XI! (click here to listen)
Episode XI of the show is a Retired Orangemen Fantasy Football League special featuring the one and only Rich Kiss (@rgk224) — he’s in green, not red… green — the 2008 ROFFL Champion, and we get right into it as we head into Week 6 in the league and the NFL.
In the 1st Quarter, we examine the ROFFL standings and discuss, as we head into the halfway point of the season, who is in great shape, who could benefit from playing better and who should start getting ready for 2011. VA (@chrisrosenthall) is off to his best start at 5-0 followed closely by three owners with a combined 5 Gregg Moore Trophy’s — Navid (4-1), Parker (4-1) and Jason Cantor (4-1). From there it’s a host at 3-2 with Scott Watson bringing up the rear at 0-5. One thing Rich and I pointed out is that VA and his undefeated record has faced the fewest points in the league (433.54) while Scott and his defeated record has faced the most (657.99), so we’ll see whose luck will change as we head down the stretch.
+ > +
In the 2nd Quarter, Rich and I talk about our own teams for a bit as the man from the Bayou wanted to defend his controversial trade from a couple weeks ago. If you remember, Rich send the underperforming Greg Jennings and DeAngelo Williams to Jarrett for Cedric Benson and Santonio Holmes. At the time, Holmes was still serving his league suspension, but he has since returned to the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets and is another weapon for 2nd-year QB Mark Sanchez. Rich took a lot of heat for making the deal but through 3 weeks he appears to have gotten the better of it. Though it is a long season so we’ll just have to wait and see if he keeps the momentum going or Jarrett can bounce back and reach the postseason.
As for my squad, well, it’s hanging on by a thread as I’m probably the luckiest 3-2 team of the lot and the most likely to fall off (despite what Rich said about Nick’s team). My in-Draft trade to move up and take Ryan Mathews hasn’t worked out as I would have hoped as Mathews has battled an ankle injury since Week 1. But thankfully Peyton Manning has been his steady, point-scoring self and Arian Foster has looked like the real deal through 5 weeks (not counting Week 5 against the Giants) and currently leads the NFL in rushing yards. I have zero receivers I’m confident in but a pair of fantastic tight ends (anyone wanna trade??) so who knows wow the rest of the season will play out.
In the 3rd Quarter, we talk about the National Football League and what a crazy season it’s been already. Just 5 weeks in and no one knows what to make of it. Consider this: For the first time since 1970 no team in the NFL is 4-0; 49ers president Jed York thinks the team, at 0-5, is still going to win the NFC West; all four teams in the AFC South are 3-2, while Colts have won division what seems like umpteen years straight, are 0-2 thus far; in the NFC East the Redskins, picked last by many in division, are 3-2 and 2-0 while the Cowboys are 1-3; and if playoffs started today the Patriots abd Steelers would be your AFC Wildcard teams while in the NFC the Saints, Packers, Eagles and Vikings would all miss the postseason.
In the 4th Quarter, speaking of the Vikings, Rich and I touch on Brett Favre and his current NFL state: off-season troubles, tendinitis in his right elbow, ankle flare-ups, Vikings struggling … would the great Brett Favre consider retiring mid-season? If the league finds he committed some transgression during his season with the Jets would he get suspended? How will this season play out for the Old Gunslinger?
As always, thanks for listening and spread the word! And don’t forget to tune in next week to The Crossover!
8:19 pm • 15 October 2010
Randy Moss to Vikings. Sure, why not?
Sometimes a nugget so good, so juicy falls in your lap you can’t help but jump at it and take a huge bite.
That nugget happened Tuesday afternoon when Bill Simmons (@SportsGuy33) accidentally Tweeted out “vikings moss.” By itself not exactly groundbreaking, but when coming off the heels of a zero catch performance by #81 in the Patriots win over the Dolphins, well, to quote my buddy Rich Kiss (@rgk224), that’s not exactly nothing.
Simmons quickly Tweeted follow-up explanations that it was meant as a direct message, but that yes, he had heard rumors of a Randy Moss-to-Minnesota trade and wanted more info from whomever he was texting. Simmons’ error set off a Twitter avalanche as writers and fans alike scurried to find out more information on this potential blockbuster deal heading into Week 5 of the NFL season - also New England’s bye week.
Jay Glazer (@Jay_Glazer) later broke the story officially, made the radio rounds and appeared on NFL Network with the latest information that yes, this deal is in the works hinging on Moss reaching a contract extension with the Vikings.
Tuesday morning the deal was done - New England received a 2011 3rd Round Draft Pick in exchange - and the 24-hour sports cycle has run rampant with the now realization that Randy Moss would be joining Brett Favre in Minnesota (If you remember, Favre wanted Moss originally after the 2006 season, which kick-started the old man’s retirement-palooza.)
My initial thoughts (which are my current ones now more than a day after the fact) were these: Sure, and OK. If Moss is going to walk after the season anyway (and it was clear the Patriots were not going to extend him) then why not get something for him?
I happen to think this should be every team’s reaction to when a star player, in the final year of their contract, says he doesn’t feel appreciated and/or doesn’t think the team wants him back. Said player is going to want to still play and perform because a.) he doesn’t have a contract and would b.) like to get paid once more so get some form of compensation for him.
The Patriots recently dumped former high draft pick Laurence Maroney for a 4th Rounder, and right before Week 1 last year got rid of fan favorite and anchor on 3 Super Bowl teams, Richard Seymour, to the Raiders for a 1st Round pick.
In all his years as head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick has routinely shown, and said, that he has no problem doing what’s unpopular so long as he feels it’s what’s best for the team. That was again his thinking this week with the trade of Moss to Minnesota. In his released statement Wednesday he said that he had been talking with with Moss for months about his future with the team and in the League.
Writing, meet wall.
That statement would certainly help partially explain Moss’ post-game rant after the Week 1 win over the Bengals in which he said he wanted to stay with the Patriots but that he didn’t feel appreciated. Moss knows the game, knows the business side to the NFL and especially the Patriots, so I’m doubting he was surprised with he was dealt.
What the future holds for the future Hall of Fame receiver is anybody’s guess. Certainly Favre is excited by the move, what with Sidney Rice still on the shelf for another 6 weeks, but Belichick wouldn’t have made the deal if he didn’t know something about Moss.
Make no mistake, this is not Andy Reid dealing Donovan McNabb to the Redskins, and I’m not saying that Moss, at age 33, is finished but he certainly doesn’t - through 4 games - look like the player who scored 50 touchdowns in the last 3 seasons.
The Vikings travel to play the Patriots on Oct. 31, I guess we’ll find out then.
What does the Moss trade mean for Tom Brady? Well, it’s certainly hyperbole to say, but with Moss the Patriots were 0-1 in Super Bowls and 2-2 in the postseason, without him, well, there are 3 Championship banners hanging in Gillette right now from that era which say all you need to know about that.
I’m also not saying the offense - currently the highest scoring the NFL - will be as explosive with #81 gone, but I think they’ll be fine. Brady will get back to throwing to his favorite receiver: “the open man,” and I would expect a healthier dose of the running game than in recent eyars (with whomever that may be; Larry Johnson?). It certainly appeared that was the game plan against the Dolphins before the special teams took over.
The bottom line is Belichick believes strongly in the younger offensive weapons (Brandon Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman) to make such a move. Will Wes Welker be as open now that Moss isn’t eating up double teams on the outside? That remains to be seen. But if Tate or Hernandez catch a few bombs a game you can bet teams will start to pay attention, which will free up Welker and others over the middle and on the inside.
This isn’t the Patriots team of 7-8 years ago when the defense carried an inexperienced quarterback and a bunch of average offensive weapons. Brady is a bonafied superstar and future Hall of Famer, and now he will have to carry an inexperienced-but-growing defense and a bunch of no name offensive weapons if he hopes to reach a 5th Super Bowl game this coming February in Dallas.
Time to make a name for yourself, boys.
7:03 pm • 6 October 2010
The Crossover - Episode X
Welcome to Episode X of The Crossover! (click here to listen)
We’ve got a great show for you, well, probably for only about 13 other people, but it’s great nonetheless. Two-time Retired Orangemen Fantasy Football League champion Jason Cantor (@FiveSecondStare) checks in to break down the ROFFL Draft (www.retiredorangemen.com) which took place late last month in a small hotel room in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The annual excursion was sans two members, as Parker and myself were unable to make the trek from Los Angeles to the Atlantic Palace Suites but our presence was still felt in the form of heads on sticks. The ROFFL crew crammed in, ate bean dip, talked trash and selected players that will bring them great joy and agony over the next five months. Fantasy Football is the game and to quote some terrible ad campaign - we live for this.
What did Jay think of coming up short in last year’s ROFFL championship game? How has he leaved with that disappointment the last 8 months? Who was Jay targeting coming into the 2010 season? Who did Jay and I think were set up nicely with their keepers coming into this season? Who did we think had great drafts? Who do we like to have breakout years? Who is going to be the final team standing come January?
You’ll have to listen to find out.
The 2010 NFL and ROFFL season starts tonight with Minnesota/New Orleans kicking off the year and what should be an exciting rematch of the ‘09 NFC Championship game. Can Brett Favre equal his output of a year ago? Can Drew Brees again lead the explosive Saints offense? Lots of questions and we’ll get the answers from the SuperDome tonight.
Regardless of who you root for or how ridiculous your fantasy football team’s name is, we can all agree that it’s good to have football back in our lives.
Let’s get it on.
As always, thanks for listening and spread the word.
9:13 am • 9 September 2010
The Crossover - Episode IX
Welcome to The Crossover - Episode IX featuring the exclusive talk about the Retired Orangemen Fantasy Football League! (click here to listen)
The 9th season of the ROFFL kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. EST with the 8th ROFFL Draft — this always confuses people; in Year 1 we had an auto draft and from then on we did a live draft - and with it starts another bound-to-be epic fantasy season and the battle for the Gregg Moore Trophy.
Josh Lukin, owner of “Lukinwood,” is your defending champion. He prevented “Five Second Stare” owner Jason Cantor from becoming the first 3-time champion in the ROFFL with a narrow victory in the 2009 championship game, and in doing so extended the Syracuse streak to 3 consecutive Orangemen claiming the Trophy. Lukin also became the second Los Angeles resident in the league to win the title, joining Parker who won in 2007.
That’s a very, very quick recap of last season and some recent ROFFL history, now onto the goods. Scott Watson (sdubsports.com) and Brian Yeung (Random Thoughts) join me on Episode IX to talk about the NFL, the ROFFL, how our league has evolved over the last 9 seasons and who exactly you should be looking at in your fantasy draft.
We break it all down in the first menage-a-pod in Crossover/Brockast history! You won’t be disappointed!
11:23 am • 26 August 2010
The Crossover - Episode VIII
Welcome to Episode VIII of The Crossover (click here to listen)
We are on location at the Moon Tower for this week’s episode and with the news that Brett Favre — the Silver Fox — is returning for this 20th NFL season, who better to talk to than a long-time Green Bay Packers fan; The Mo (@TheMo21).
Eric gets more than fired up as we re-live some of Favre’s greatest triumphs and blunders as a Packer, and remember his last two seasons as a member of the Jets and Vikings. Does Eric think this will indeed be Favre’s last season in the NFL as he has promised? and who will go to the Super Bowl on Feb. 6? Listen to find out.
Being a pair of hoops fans, in the 2nd Quarter we touch on some of the NBA off-season moves, including who can possibly stop the Miami Heat and who Eric thinks is going to reach the NBA Finals. (hint: his choices won’t surprise you) Also, can the Bucks climb into the top 4 in the East? (he thinks they can; no, I’m not kidding.)
In the 3rd Quarter we hit a little close to home and talk about the city of Los Angeles; her appeal, what brought us out here and what’s gonna keep us around. Eric shares some of this thoughts and personal experiences working in the “Industry” in both the scripted and reality television world, and we talk about what it’s like to run into Wesley Snipes — you don’t wanna miss that.
Finally, we wrap up Episode VIII of The Crossover with some words about one of our favorite Los Angeles weekend activities: karaoke. We talk about what makes for a good song selection, some of the rules for hitting the stage and share some of our go-to diddys. And if you haven’t seen this video, you’re really missing out; shot at our favorite hangout, The Gas Lite.
As always, thanks for listening and spread the word!
(and go Vikings, shh!)
10:51 am • 20 August 2010
The Crossover - Episode VII
Welcome to Episode VII of The Crossover! (click here to listen)
In this edition B-Yeung checks in from a humid NYC and chimes in on the latest ongoings in the the sports world as well as the summer movie scene. You don’t want to miss any of this show.
In the 1st Quarter we hit on the official start of the NFL season with last weekend’s Hall of Fame game featuring the Cowboys/Bengals, what Terrell Owens’ presence in Cincinnati could mean for its playoff chances, what teams are flying under the radar as the season approaches, last weekend’s Hall of Fame induction and, of course, the ole gunslinger Brett Favre.
In the 2nd Quarter, and after his 18-over performance last weekend at Bridgestone and on the eve of the PGA Championship, we wonder if Tiger Woods is “done” as a pro. Highly doubtful, but it’s worth a discussion and we break it down.
We kickoff the second half of the show getting feisty as B-Yeung gets heated discussing the New York Knickerbockers’ latest move of bringing back Isiah Thomas as a special “consultant” to the franchise (trust me when I say he’s baffled by the decision of owner James Dolan.) I try my best not to goad him on the subject, but it’s difficult. You won’t want to miss it.
We also touch on what, if any, impact Shaquille O’Neal’s signing with Boston has on Miami’s chances to win the East (hint: He still picks the Heat).
And in the 4th quarter we finally get a chance to talk “Inception” and some of this other hits of the summer movie season, including how pumped up he is for the latest Sly Stallone project “The Expendables” (2nd hint: we’re pretty excited for it.)
As always, thanks for listening and spread the word!
3:27 pm • 11 August 2010