Category Archives: Humor

Too Much Money-Ball

This video has been making its way around the internet since Brad Pitt’s Moneyball was released. It’s a fun few minutes, a trailer for the yet-to-be-produced Yankee version of Moneyball. Go ahead and give it a watch, it’s well done and a nice little video spoof.

"$100 bills don't hit home runs, players hit home runs!"

10 Congressmen I Would Not Mind Tweeting Their Last Names

Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner recently tweeted a picture of well, his weiner to a college-aged female via his Twitter account. I wouldn’t imagine something like that would be appreciated by anyone except maybe Mrs. Weiner—and then maybe not even her. In the past few days, Rep. Weiner has had about as many stories as Aesop.

That being said, there are a number of members of Congress who I actually wouldn’t mind if they tweeted me a picture of their last name.

10. Jeff Flake (R - AZ)

9. Daniel Coats (R - IN)

8. Emanuel Cleaver (D - MO)

7. Dave Camp (R - MI)

6. Ed Pastor (D - AZ)

5. Charles Bass (R - NH)

4. Marcia Fudge (D - OH)

3. Frank Wolf (R - VA)

2. Mike Honda (D - CA)

1. Raúl Labrador (R - ID)

Five Toy Story Must-Haves

I love all three Toy Story movies, and it’s remarkable how similar they all really are. It takes really good play-up writing to be able to take the same overall story arc and make it into three separate movies that are all huge box office successes.

1. The Toys Must Escape
In each Toy Story movie, the featured playthings must get themselves into some hairy predicament from which they must stage an elaborate escape. In the first one, Woody and Buzz had to figure out how to escape the grasp of the sadistic Sid. In the second one, Woody and his new friends were held captive by an overweight toy collector and a gassy control-freak prospector. And in the third installment, the entire lineup of toys found themselves literally imprisoned by a mafia of daycare toys. If the box says Toy Story, you can be certain that there will be a jailbreak sometime during the next 90 minutes.

2. Getting Thrown Out
Andy’s mom doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb in the box. She is throwing out Andy’s beloved childhood toys with a frightening consistency throughout the series. In the original Toy Story, she leaves Woody and Buzz behind at a gas station. In the next one, she chucks Wheezy into a garage sale, which ends up getting Woody swiped by the toy collector. In the third one, Andy’s mom reaches new heights and throws out the whole bag of toys Andy was taking to the attic. Someone has to get thrown out and given away for it to be a true Toy Story movie.

3. Owner Forgetfulness
Toy Story 1 is all about how upset Woody gets because Andy has a new, cooler toy to play with. In the second one, we meet Jessie – the yodeling cowgirl whose owner outgrew her during a Sarah McLaughlin musical montage. In Toy Story 3, not only has Andy been ignoring his toys in favor or college prep, but some small girl left her Lotso Huggy Bear behind one day and had her parents replace him. Can’t release a Toy Story movie without at least one toy’s feelings getting hurt due to being overlooked or ignored.

4. Buzz Lightyear Thinks He’s A Real Spaceman
Buzz Lightyear gets introduced early on in Toy Story 1 as a space ranger toy who thinks that all his features are truly operational and he’s on a mission from Star Command. The entire first movie is basically spent convincing him he’s A TOY! In Toy Story 2, the real Buzz accidentally sets loose a new Buzz (with utility belt!) who thinks he’s a spaceman just like Andy’s Buzz did in the first movie. Toy Story 3 did not disappoint, bringing back Buzz’s naivete with the flick of a switch. Granted, it reverts him to Spanish Mode and is belly-laugh hilarious, but since it is a Toy Story movie, Buzz is going to believe himself to be a real Spaceman.

"Abierto!"

5. Nobody trusts Woody
Despite his standing as the apparent leader of Andy’s toys, Woody has one helluva time maintaining the trust of his fellow toys from film to film. In Toy Story 1, the toys believe that Woody is responsible for trying to off Buzz. The refuse to help him and openly sabotage his attempts to help Buzz. These trust issues resurface in Toy Story 2 when Woody refuses to accept the other toys’ help in leaving the toy collector and returning to Andy. In Toy Story 3, they still haven’t learned that Woody is the consummate toy and refuse to believe him when he tells them that it was Andy’s mother who was responsible for them being thrown out rather than Andy himself. Although they always get over it by the end of the movie, the toys will always assume Woody is lying for selfish reasons rather than remember all the heroic actions he’s taken on their behalf.

6. Freakish Looking Baby Toys

This is really more of five and a half because off the top of my head I can’t recall a freaky baby toy in the second Toy Story movie. In Toy Story 1, we encounter a variety of freaky-looking toys at neighbor kid Sid’s house. One of the more memorable scary toys is an innocent-appearing baby doll head attached to a metallic toy spider body. Toy Story 3 brings scary baby back, this time in the form of the Gestapo-like lazy-eyed big baby. If it’s Toy Story, there’s gonna be a freaky baby somewhere in the movie.

Some Favorite YouTube Videos

Since I think they are funny, I decided to share some of my favorite YouTube videos. Enjoy!

I’m not a fan of Halloween at all, but the holiday does produce some entertaining clips!

This one’s got some NSFW language in it, but it sums up nicely my thoughts on Snuggies, and the commercials that pitch them.

I always appreciate a good mash-up, even more so when it uses 40 inspirational speeches in two minutes!

I loved The Dark Knight, but it did have some intriguing plot holes, which needed to be parodied.

Making The World Cup More Interesting

Watching the United States exceed expectations in the World Cup has been fun, and each game has had its fair share of exciting moments. But for the casual soccer fan, each match basically offers five minutes of excitement packed into approximately 93 minutes. As evidenced by the Hispanic contingent at the laundromat I went to during the Germany-Ghana game this afternoon, many people can be thoroughly entertained by soccer in its’ current state. But that doesn’t mean making a few beneficial changes would hurt the game’s image. Here are a few ways I think the World Cup can change it’s rules to make the game more interesting.

Eliminate Draws

There have been eleven draws in the tournament’s first eleven days. For the amount of effort the teams put into competing and the amount of time fans invest in watching, someone’s team should win and the other should lose. I’m not advocating overtime or sudden-death, as that type of rule might end up leading to a weeklong match at some point. I noticed that there is a long list of tiebreakers for determining who moves out of group play should two teams tie in points. Why not come up with some sort of tie-breakers to determine who wins a game.

1) Least flops
2) Least pouts
3) Most goals disallowed for no reason
4) Most coaches from the country of the team they coach
5) Vuvuzela duel

These individual game tie-breakers serve two purposes—to determine a clear winner at the end of each match and it cuts down the amount of ridiculous complaining. Middle school girls create less drama than international soccer matches.

Increase Scoring

Many people would tell you the thing that bores them most about soccer is the low-scoring games. Only three times in the 2010 World Cup has a team scored more than three goals in a game. Twenty-eight of the forty total games have featured two or less combined goals. So adding a dynamic to the game that increases the chances of a goal might not be the worst idea. So I recommend that once per half, for ten minutes, two extra balls are inserted into play. If a team can control all three balls at the same time, and coordinate their attacks just right, we should see a spike in goals. It’s a win for everybody.

More Man-Advantages
When a team draws a red card, they play down a man for the rest of the game. This ultimately gives them an advantage, and I think soccer would do well to expand this part of the game. Except a referee sprinting up to the offending player and waving what amounts to a colored library card in his face is pretty dull. The referee might not think so, but the typical fan would.

Like the Coliseum in Rome, I think that each soccer field should contain covered pits. Hide them throughout the field and make a dozen of them. But only activate random ones for each match so the players don’t know where they are. If a player (or multiple players) fall into a pit, they’re out of commission for the rest of the half. This will serve to not only fluctuate the amount of players on the field at any given time, but also to change the strategy of the gameplay, as three 15′ by 15′ pits on the field might alter how a team attacks or defends.

It All Goes To The Same Place

When I was young, as any child would, I often made dinnertime more difficult than it had to be. It happens with every family—mom makes something for dinner that the child doesn’t recognize or doesn’t like and therefore refuses to quietly eat this particular item.

For some kids it’s vegetables and for other, stranger children is something that’s not a vegetable. Maybe it’s a new side dish that mom saw in a recipe book and decided to try. No matter, children aren’t easily fooled.

My mother always used to tell me “Nathaniel, just eat it. It all goes to the same place.”

For years I struggled with answering her when she set herself up with this particular defense. But now, being much older and wiser I realize that mother’s logic ended at the dinner table.

As a family that has done some extensive traveling, we never once picked up a hitchhiker along the way. Even if he was going to the same place.

Kim Jones Loses Her Pork Chop

The Yankees made their first visit to Minnesota’s new Target Field this week, and the YES crew spent some time exploring the new features of the stadium, including some of the cuisine. One item unique to Target Field is apparently a pork chop on a stick. I like pork chops, but I’ve never sampled one on a stick before. Assumedly, the stick makes it easier to enjoy at a ballgame than a traditional fork and knife combination would.

However, it also appears that the pork chop on a stick method makes it easier for a hungry drunk to sneak a bite when you’re not looking. And that’s exactly what happened to YES sideline reporter Kim Jones.

Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Methods: Understanding Draft Day Nonsense

As I sat and watched the NFL draft, I was reminded why the whole production has become so intolerable. I love the drama of which player goes where, who’s going to drop and which teams are going to trade up or down. But the so-called analysis part of the coverage is absolute garbage. The featured five-man broadcast team that ESPN decided to employ for the 2010 draft consisted of Mel Kiper Jr, Jon Gruden, Steve Young, Tom Jackson and Chris Berman.

Let’s quickly review the qualifications of each man.

Jon Gruden – He landed his first head coaching job at the age of 35 with the Raiders and went 40-28 over four seasons with them and went to the playoffs three times. He moved on to Tampa Bay and became the youngest coach at the time to win a Super Bowl. He went on to lead the Bucs to a 57-55 record over seven seasons with three playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl title.

Steve Young – A two-time NFL MVP, Steve Young also was named the Super Bowl MVP in 1994. He is a highly decorated football legend that spent the majority of his career with the 49ers. But while he was a great player, he has no experience in a football front office, which means he’s not overly learned in the art of assembling a winning football team.

Tom Jackson – He enjoyed a 14-year career with the Denver Broncos and was a three-time Pro-Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro selection. Like Young however, Jackson has no front office experience, and although he makes for a passable game commentator, he’s prone to babbling and rarely adds any insight on draft day.

Chris Berman – He is nothing but a self-indulged broadcaster. Some people find him charming and amusing, but in reality, he’s nothing but a nonsensical parrot. You quickly tire of his phonetic anecdotes and he masks his lack of football knowledge with a lot of literary fluff.

Mel Kiper Jr – Since 1984, Kiper has been covering the NFL draft and the prospects that are involved. You’d think because of his profession and the longevity he’s enjoyed that he’d be good at it. He most certainly is not. Kiper has been widely criticized by front office football officials due to his lack of football experience at any level, professional or amateur. He’s little more than a hairsprayed blowhard who absolutely loves hearing himself speak.

One out of five commentators is qualified to analyze what’s going on during the draft. One of the five have ever been involved in the process of selecting amateur players for a professional football team.

In light of this, I thought it would be fun to go back and check out some of the ESPN chats that Mel Kiper Jr hosted leading up to the drafts and see if I could identify all four of the Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Methods that have enabled him to make a living based off one weekend a year.

Mark (Indy): Mel, any clue as to where the Colts go in Round 1? Any chance of Jerry Hughes there?
Mel: I think right now, maybe not. For my final projection, I think I’ll have him off the board. Odrick might be there. Price. I could see them going DT. A sleeper could be Linval Joseph from East Carolina.

Here, we see Kiper employ Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #1 – The List. He loves to use these methods to cover his many shortcomings when it comes to reporting. Pay attention because we’ll cover them all before we’re done.

In this case, when he has no idea what he’s talking about, his solution is simply to name names. He don’t even have to use them in a complete sentence, and if he forgets the first name, he’ll just throw the guy’s last name in the middle somewhere.

And with the 31st pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Colts selected Jerry Hughes, Texas Christian.

Bill (Buffalo): If Clausen drops, do you see any team trading up from the second round into the mid-late first round to draft him?
Mel: He’s not dropping. I thought maybe after the Redskins traded for McNabb, that would hurt him. But the question is, do the Redskins still look at a QB? That’s the big question. Do they still have interest at number four? McNabb won’t have them drafting number four. He’ll have them at worst 8-8. This might be their best chance in a while to get an elite QB.

First off, let me draw your attention to the use of Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #2 – The Talk-Around. Not once in his response does he even come close to addressing the question.

Question: If Clausen slips does anyone trade up from the second round to the late first to get him?
Answer: The Redskins are at worst an 8-8 team with McNabb, so do they want two high-priced quarterbacks?

What the heck?

Secondly, Jimmy Clausen has done nothing to warrant anyone tabbing him as an “elite” quarterback. And the Redskins just jumped at the chance not more than a month ago to get an elite quarterback when they traded for Donovan McNabb. McNabb is an elite quarterback and still has several good years left in him. There’s no reason for Washington to even look Clausen’s way, and they didn’t, choosing instead to select an offensive lineman to protect McNabb.

Donnie (Oklahoma): You mentioned you didn’t think Bradford would be a Ram, who do you think will end up with him?
Kiper: You have to think about teams that look at him as the guy. Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland, Buffalo, Washington. Any one of those teams.

St. Louis.

Seriously, the Rams had passed an half a dozen franchise quarterbacks in the past few years and have just seen themselves get worse and worse. To be a good team in the NFL you need a guy behind center who can control a game. Marc Bulger wasn’t that guy and Kyle Boller certainly isn’t.

In a draft where everyone was looking to trade down, did Kiper really expect any of the teams he listed to put together the ridiculous package it would have taken to move up to one? Bradford has exceptional NFL tools and was far and away the best quarterback prospect in the draft. And a team with a serious need at that position was picking first.

Please note the use of Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #1 again. No explanation or insight, just a list of names.

Brian (Baton Rouge): Do you think the Saints will take a linebacker in the first round and if so, who?
Mel: If they want a LB in the first round they’ll probably look Sean Weatherspoon. If they don’t go there, then they could go for a DE.

Maybe he didn’t realize that the Saints won the Super Bowl and therefore held the 32nd overall pick. Sean Weatherspoon was never falling that far, there were too many teams that needed linebacker help that were picking in the mid-to-late first round. But I think Kiper may have had all of those teams selecting Jimmy Clausen. The Saints ended up not going with a linebacker in the first round. They also failed to take Mel’s advice about a DE and went with a cornerback.

Brad (Colorado): Were you higher on McFadden a few years ago than you are on Spiller now?
Mel: They’re about the same. McFadden was versatile, but Spiller is a dynamic pass receiving option and dynamic return man, punts and kicks. Spiller’s the best all-purpose back to come out since Reggie Bush. Bush has a Super Bowl ring. One of the reasons they did win was because of his versatility. I said all along that even when he wasn’t making plays, teams were focusing in on him. That’s what Spiller will do.

Please notice the italicized sentence. It’s Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #3 – the Random Fact Drop. He drops in this beauty about Bush having a Super Bowl ring, which has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, and regardless, isn’t an accurate reflection of Reggie Bush’s NFL performance. The Saints championship wasn’t won by Reggie Bush’s versatile abilities. But by telling you this, he’s diverted your attention from the fact that he doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about.

Benjamin (The Colony, TX):I’m seeing Trent Williams projected #6 overall. That would make three OU picks in the top-6! (assuming Bradford and McCoy go 1 and 3 as planned) When was the last time you can remember three picks from one school going so high in the draft? (at least top-10).
Mel: Two of the players from OU didn’t play at all – Gresham and Bradford. OU didn’t get what they thought they would this season. It’s amazing that they have all of these prospects. Williams, at 313 pounds ran a 4.81 at the combine. That’s amazing speed. You’re thinking about guys like TEs running in the 4.8s. 34.5 vertical. He needs to work harder in the weight room in the offseason. A number of the OTs did 30+ reps and he didn’t. You definitely want 25 or more and Williams only did 23. Anthony Davis did only 21.

Here’s a perfect example of the Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #4 – The Complete 180. He takes the question, completely ignores it and answers something different. In this case, the reader asks about the last time one school so dominated the top of the first round. The normal fan’s mind expects to hear about the recent classes to come out of schools like Miami and Florida State ten or fifteen years ago, or to a more recent extent, USC.

But Kiper mentions none of these. He just lists off combine numbers that ultimately aren’t all that important and that any interested fan probably already knows.

Those are the Four Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Methods that you should always be on the lookout for when the NFL draft starts hijacking all of the ESPN networks. Keep them tucked away in your mind, and you’ll eventually be able to sift through Kiper’s nonsensical babbling and realize that the only way to truly understand the draft, is to watch it unfold.

Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #1 – The List
Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #2 – The Talk Around
Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #3 – Random Fact Drop
Mel Kiper Topic Avoidance Method #4 – The Complete 180°

The Muppet Version of The Bohemian Rhapsody

5 Worst Things About MLB Postseason 2009

umpirefail1. Umpiring
The percentage of missed calls probably isn’t all that much different than that of past postseasons, but the gravity of the boneheaded calls has increased. Phil Cuzzi calls a ball foul that hit a players glove in fair territory and then landed in fair territory. Tim McClelland left his guide dog at home Tuesday night for Game 4 of the ALCS, botching two calls. I’m still not a proponent of any sort of additional instant-replay system, but I would be in favor of better umpires.

2. Broadcasting
TBS can’t make it back from commercial in time for the first few pitches of an inning and FOX can’t straighten out its PitchTrax thing. There are way too many off days as a result of catering to each networks desire to have as much primetime exposure as possible. Plus, TBS sucks. They’re broadcasting the most important National League games of the season after broadcasting about 35 of the least interesting National League games all season. The World Series should not be scheduled to end in November.

3. Announcing
TBS – Chip Caray (unnatural affection for the word ‘fisted’), Ron Darling (political commentator working a baseball game) and Craig Sager (would be appropriately attired in That 70s Show)

FOX – Joe Buck (sucks working a series when you hate hate hate the team that’s winning), Tim McCarver (confirmed senile) and Ken Rosenthal (needs Legolas to find him a box)

ESPN Radio – Jon Miller (bad matchup because the Angels have a lot of Hispanic players, and Jon Miller doesn’t speak Spanish), Joe Morgan (always one play or inning behind) and Steve Phillips (who has a big birthmark on his crotch, right above his penis)

My favorite moment came when Tim McCarver let everyone know that Gary Matthews, Jr. is the son of Gary Matthews, Sr. The jury is still out on Jerry Hairston Jr and Jerry Hairston Sr, however.

5164bb354db64dda9eada5c6df772096-257x3004. Fundamentals
Teams like the Twins and Angels supposedly were fundamentally sound. Then Carlos Gomez overran second and cost his team a run, Nick Punto killed a rally by running through a stop sign and the Macier Izturis threw away Game 2 of the ALCS. Go ahead and add Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Robbie Cano to the ranks of players that made baserunning mistakes since the Twins were dispatched. Although Cano’s wasn’t so much a running mistake, but rather the way he appeared to be waiting for the bus off third base while Mike Napoli tagged him. Chase Utley’s channeling his inner Chuck Knoblauch and Matt Holliday couldn’t catch an STD from a hooker. Players are forgetting how many outs there are, which base they should throw to and managers are overmanaging.

5. Commercials
The All-New Black Taco! The Black Eyed Peas! Everybody and their sister playing with their new MyTouch. Black Taco again! The George Lopez Show or the Wanda Sykes show! Quit smoking? Erectile dysfunction? Blackberries! Ninja Assassin! Did I mention the Black Taco? Okay then. Back to TBS’ broadcast of the last two outs of the top of the sixth inning!

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