Non sports post (get hyped yo)

So I was on CNN and I saw this opinion piece and I really wanted to respond to it, but Twitter seemed a bad forum and I really didn’t want to comment on the article, so I chose Olive Satire. 

My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out

This article makes me angry for a variety of reasons. Essentially what the author is saying is that by people not taking a stand spiritually, they are somehow lost or indecisive. However, what I think is overlooked (rudely, by the way, the author is high and mighty and nothing makes me more annoyed than that) is that some people believe that there is something out there but know that there is no way to validate this belief. To be clear, this isn’t some kind of defeatist mentality as suggested by the author. I see myself in this camp because while I really do feel that there is a higher power, I’m not silly enough to not believe in evolution or to subscribe to doctrine.

The author also suggests that this form of thinking breeds selfishness and lack of morality. I feel that’s asinine. Morality, in the same sense as civic duty, does not have to be described by doctrine, it can be conveyed by living in society. I don’t really understand the author’s argument regarding selfishness, to me a person’s beliefs and “selfishness” are unrelated. 

In any case, rant over, i find this article silly but I wanted to post it and a response. 

Scott

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IMPRESSIONS OF THE BROWNS/RAVENS GAME

I am live blogging the Browns/Ravens game because I actually get to see it! Thanks Time Warner! a fair warning: If this game sucks as much as I think it will, I’ll probably stop watching around halftime. It’s already going as of 8:34, so here’s my thoughts so far:

Ray Lewis hugging refs was funny. The refs getting cheered was also hilarious. That will last exactly 2 weeks. Watch. Then normal bad calls (as opposed to extra bad lately) will return.

The browns would be passable if they had a QB that wasn’t a 28 year old rookie that wasn’t the best in his college conference.

Flacco looks good, he better put up some yards, he’s starting for 2/3 of my fantasy teams.

8:36: Flacco yelled “Alaska” in his snap count and then ray rice punked someone with a stiff arm. I’m in this game.

8:39: Cheering the flags is excellent. Baltimore fans are silly.

8:48: I really hate the NFL network commercials. Steve Marriucci, Kurt Warner? If they didn’t have Deion, I’d be so against this network’s coverage.

8:49: The Ravens fans have already started to boo calls against the Ravens. Honeymoon over.

8:51: 3rd and 22 after penalties, huh? What’s happening Ravens? Flacco? Why do you hate me?

8:52: Josh Cribbs just got hit so hard in the head, it’s scary. He seriously may have a broken neck. He’s not moving at all and people have surrounded him. Watch this replay, i’ve never quite seen a hit like it. I’m not sure if he’s opened his eyes…

8:56: Cribbs is up, walking, smiling. Ravens Ball. my fantasy team is very happy.

9:02: Flacco throws a pass where there are no ravens and 3 browns. Interception. Why have you forsaken me football gods? 0-0

9:05: The Browns offensive coordinator mighta figured out how to run his offense. Give it to Richardson, let Weeden throw check downs to Richardson, make sure he touches the ball almost every play. That’s how I’d do it too, especially with Weeden (also, how terrible is your GM if one of your top draft picks is immediately a liability and everyone knew he’d be?)

9:07: Weeden pass right through Greg Little’s hands. Yes, that’s their number 1 WR too, this offense is Trent Richardson, a really talented offensive line, and liabilities. Interesting thing I’d not realized—-the Browns have a pretty competent defense, especially secondary. If they spend some money on offense in the offseason and Richardson can stay healthy and continue improving, this could be a contending team in 2-3 years.

9:11: End of the 1st, still 0-0, kind of a boring game. I’m more intrigued by the Cleveland defense than anything. This I knew, their best cornerback, Joe Haden, is out the first 4 games. I believe he was the second highest rated CB last year (to Revis). So, this defense is only going to get a lot better. I’m a little intrigued. Too bad Weeden is atrocious.

9:14: I think the football gods are reading this. Flacco with 2 long passes to open 2nd quarter. All of a sudden in the red zone.

9:15: I’m playing Dennis Pitta and Flacco in one league. I’d love a Flacco to Pitta TD.

9:15: Flacco to Torrey Smith, Touchdown, 7-0.

9:16: I lied, botched extra point, 6-0. Great, since in another league my kicker is Justin Tucker. Fantastic 🙂

9:19: showing replay and drawing, announcer draws boobies. Best replay ever.

9:21: 3rd and 5, Weeden grossly overthrows his running back not named richardson. absolutely ridiculous.

9:26: Ravens offense is marching down the field. This is more of what i expected going in. Flacco just missed big throw to Pitta, Ravens with 45 yard FG, 9-0

9:39: Shot of Colt McCoy on the sideline, his thought bubble “I got beat out by this guy? How?”

9:40: Shot of Browns offensive coordinator. I was unaware, it’s Brad Childress. Suddenly, all makes sense.

9:43: Browns are in the Redzone. Weeden looks competent. I can’t tell up from down.

9:44: Richardson runs it in. Cleveland does not botch the extra point. 9-7 Ravens

9:47: The spread for this game was 11.5. I’m shocked, I’d have taken the Ravens and given the points.

9:50: Everytime Michael Oher is on the screen, I think of the blind side.

9:51: And Brad Nessler makes a “Blind Side” reference. Quality.

9:52: This ravens offense can do nothing. Pitta has no catches. I’m displeased. I expect Harbaugh to fix this at halftime.

9:54: The Browns defensive coordinator is Dick Jauron? What is the Browns coaching staff, the island of misfit toys? Seriously, Childress and Jauron. I could make a youtube mix of hilarious Vikings/Bills clips courtesy of these two nincompoops.

10:00: Halftime. This game got real boring, real fast. I’m watching for my Fantasy teams at this point.

10:14: 2nd half starts, really raining.

10:16: alright, first time was funny, now every time Michael Oher is on camera, we get a Blind Side joke. Has happened the last 2 plays. ugh. Flacco overthrows and announcers say it has to do with rain. This bodes poorly for my fantasy team.

10:21: Ray rice is stuffed twice so Flacco runs it in himself. He was gonna throw it to Pitta, but he slipped. Sad day for me. However, yay more fantasy points. 16-7 Ravens.

10:33: Yawn.

10:38: Flea Flicker that ended incomplete, sad, it was fun to see.

10:44: 47 yd FG missed by Ravens after a bunch of penalties. Still 16-10. (oh yeah i missed a browns FG).

10:49: Ravens intercept a horribly thrown Weeden pass, pick 6, 23-10 Ravens. Unfortunate for my fantasy team, because now with the rain and the lead, Flacco will be done throwing.

11:02: in the last few minutes, the browns got a fg. The world still doesnt care.

11:03: Pitta has a ball slapped away from him. It’s a point per reception league, I could get a point for him touching the ball. Let’s get this shit together Flacco.

11:09 Sonya called me. This game really doesn’t matter anymore.

11:24: i’m back in, there was a browns FG, 23-16 Ravens, still no Pitta catches, 3:42 left. Also I’m playing my Dad in one league and he has Anquan Boldin. 9 receptions, 131 yards. That’s solid Fantasy play Dad, considering Boldin has been largely irrelevant for like 3 years. It also appears to have stopped raining. Damn you Dennis Pitta.

11:26: The browns are boring, but the announcers make a good point, they are a play or two away from winning games. They aren’t pitiful, they might be out of my bottom 3.

11:27: Big Rice run, flag down on Oher. Lots of Raven Penalties.

11:28: Another big Raven Run, they are clearly in run mode. I hate Dennis Pitta right now.

11:32: You know, i got distracted by Pitta, but Flacco has sneakily had an awesome game. 28/46, 356 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT and a Rush TD. Nice fantasy haul Flacco. If you would just throw a garbage TD to Pitta, you’d be my favorite QB not named Mark or Cam (also known as my favorite quarterback, white category)

11:36: Announcers saying that special teams coaches should be considered more for head coaching jobs. Really interesting point. Special Teams coaches do coach every player on the roster in some capacity. Then they went through which head coaches had been special teams coaches (John Harbaugh, Bill Bellichik, others who i don’t remember). Then they talked about which coaches could be head coaches. I nominate Mike Westoff from my Jets, best special teams coach in the league.

11:39: The Brandon Weeden 2 minute drill is shockingly effective. They are marching up the field with 39 seconds left and no timeouts. If they score, I’ll never make another weeden joke.

11:39: Receiver was SO close to a TD pass. Oh man, exciting?

11:40: Weeden almost throws a pick. 10 seconds left. I think this ends with a Hail Mary. Monday night flashbacks!!! Who knew this amazingly boring game would actually end excitingly.

11:42: Weeden threw it to the same spot as the GB/Seattle game. No good, nice game.  That’s some poetry.

11:42: PERSONAL FOUL ON BALTIMORE, CLEVELAND GETS ANOTHER SHOT.

11:43: Ravens call timeout, I’m on the edge of my seat. This is amazing, the cleveland browns are exciting?

11:44: Nice to know at the last second Brandon Weeden is still Brandon Weeden. A grossly overthrown ball, WAY out of the back of the endzone. Whew, the world makes sense to me again, Brandon Weeden is still not really a competent quarterback (although he threw 320 yards and looked shockingly acceptable on the last drive, it kind of scared me).

Ravens 23, Browns 16

Final impressions

Cleveland will finish in last place in their division and they are not a good team. But they have potential. Richardson is great, the defense is not bad, and the offensive line is really good. Give them a few free agents, a strong draft, and some time to mature (and maybe Brandon Weeden is the QB from the last drive) and this is a team that could contend in the next 2 years. Just by covering the spread against a far superior Ravens team, I’m impressed enough to knock them out of my bottom 3. Hello New Orleans!!!!

The Ravens might be the best team in the AFC. I love the offense and the defense. Flacco is solid and they have a surprising amount of weapons. Defensively they are old but still potent. The biggest problems is penalties. Last week and this week (i’ve watched two ravens games in a row and I really don’t care about them, what’s wrong with me?) it felt like every other play was a holding penalty against them. They gotta lock that down.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Scott

Welcome back folks, time for my weekly football rant

Mwahaha. I got back in to OliveSatire. To be fair, I was only trying for like 20 minutes, the hiatus can’t be blamed on me missing the password for the blog. It can be blamed on Sonya moving to NY, my general lack of content worth blogging about, laziness, Mitt Romney, the declining dollar. In any case, I’m not here to make excuses (although they were pretty awesome), I’m here to talk football. NFL football to be specific. Although, I did catch a clip of the lingerie league and it was….interesting. I really didn’t expect them to hit each other so hard, but I digress. 

So the purpose of this (hopefully, but I mean my track record would suggest otherwise) weekly post is to save my twitter followers, my girlfriend, my best friend, and everyone else my continuous ranting about the NFL. I may even live blog a game or two. You know, once I figure out what a live blog is, how to do it, and decide that it’s something I should do with my time. Although it probably won’t be this week, because I’m going to be weeping most of it (i’ll get there later on). So i figure the format for these blogs will be to talk a little about last weeks games, maybe hit a few headlines of the week (gee I wonder where I’ll go this week…cough monday night football cough), preview a few games of the coming week complete with the spread for any gambling readers (Yes Steve, maybe you’ll listen to me next time and not put money against Randy Russell Wilson and the Seahawks Defense!). I also want to include every week a discussion of top 3 and bottom 3 teams in the league as I think this will be interesting to look back on (for me at least) as the season goes on. Since I think at most 3 people will read this, feel free to comment, especially about the top 3/bottom 3 thing, because I think it’s interesting to see where other people see the state of the league. 

Games of last week

Carolina 7, Giants 36  AND Jets 23, Dolphins 20

So I wanted to lump these two together for two reasons. 1) There isn’t so much to say about either game, they were both messy, but the Giants are better than the Dolphins, hence the difference in results. 2) 3 of the 4 teams in these games (not the Giants) share a common problem, the one that will be the Panthers undoing this year. They cannot play from behind. All of these teams are designed to be able to set the pace of the game. When you are trailing, you are forced to alter your pass/run ratio in the favor of pass, your operating leverage increases thus increasing your chance for failure. whoa i blacked out and started talking accounting there. What I mean is, you go for higher risk/higher reward plays that don’t pan out. Running the ball is safer. The Panthers especially, but to a lesser extent the Jets and the Dolphins, are designed to run the ball, then when appropriate have Cam Newton roll out of the pocket, throw to his tight end, or complete a play action pass. This is not an offense that is designed to run the ball only 20 out of 55 plays. That’s not the Cam Newton (or Mark Sanchez, or Ryan Tannehill) blueprint to success. Unfortunately, Carolina is the only team in the league who has given up a TD on all three of the opening drives against them. Additionally, they play Atlanta next week, the only team that has scored on all three opening drives. You know another team that can’t play from behind…..

 

Minnesota 24, San Francisco 13

The Niners may be designed in the same way as the Panthers. Alex Smith can’t be asked to win you a game. He can play short passes, screens, he’s brilliant at that. Thankfully, and this isn’t the case with the Panthers, the 49ers defense is going to provide him with what he needs much more often than it does not. What happened in Minnesota on Sunday is that we found out that Adrian Peterson can still go and Christian Ponder is not to be trifled with. Like I said before the season, the NFC North is the best division in Football, followed (surprisingly) closely by the NFC West. 

 

Let’s talk quickly about the refs because I really don’t want to rehash my twitter feed or ESPN, but the games I watched were so atrociously called that I really was tired of watching. The patriots ravens game on sunday night seemed like the worst reffed game ever until I saw the Monday night debacle. Look, Jennings from the Packers caught that interception, any way you cut it, but Russell Wilson should never have gotten to throw the pass. There was a bogus roughing the passer call a few plays before that negated a great packer interception. I like the seahawks a lot, i picked them to win a wild card, but they should have lost this game. I think the media has run with this ad nauseum, I just hope it gets the officials and the NFL to the bargaining table. The fact that this is about 50 million dollars, the NFL wanted to take away the pension of the referees, it’s all just disgusting. Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in sports. We go from bounties—a debacle where the NFL far overreacted, then overturned its player suspensions, didn’t touch the coaches, ruined the Saints this year, looked weak and powerless.  Then he preaches player safety while having the replacement refs and asking for an 18 game schedule. Goodell is just really really bad. Who woulda thought Bud Selig would be the best commissioner, and he’s always seemed bumbling and clueless. Actually, the more shocking thing is that Gary Bettman is still better than Roger, which is also amazing cause the NHL is locked out for the second time in 10 years. 

Game previews: 

San Fran (+3.5) at NY Jets

Oh boy this could be really ugly. Or, it could not. This really goes one of two ways. Either everyone (myself included, I picked a 49ers/Texans SB) is right about SF and they come in and mop the floor with the Revis-less Jets. Or, we saw the real SF last week in Minnesota, with a scared Alex Smith and receivers that really had trouble getting open. Unfortunately, they still have Frank Gore, the Jets couldn’t stop a nosebleed if it knew how to run between the tackles. 

The one positive I’ll say about the Jets (since I bleed green and white, I need to say something): 6 teams need to make the playoffs from the AFC. Name me 6 quality AFC teams right now. Houston then who? New England, Baltimore, maybe Oakland or Denver (someone has to come out of the AFC West and right now, I really think they should just lose their playoff bid out of mediocrity). Name me wild cards then? Buffalo? Come on now, that’s pushing it. My point is, the Jets could sneak in because the AFC is garbage this year. I wish I had realized this before the Revis injury, i’d have been much more stoked about the season.

Pick: SF 21 Jets 10

 

Minnesota (-6) at Detroit

I’m all in on Minnesota. Ponder looked special and the Lions look more unimpressive than ever. Tennessee looked competent against them and that’s saying a lot. I like the Vikings to ride the SF momentum and slaughter Detroit. The only concern is the D-line of Detroit getting serious pressure on Ponder. He doesn’t seem to do great when pressured. 

Minnesota 35  Detroit 28

 

NY Giants (+2) at Philly

Ah Philly. Who isn’t enjoying this right now? When I made my bet that Michael Vick would start less than 12 games this year, I figured it was because he’d be Michael Vick and get hurt. However, after the Giants defensive line makes him fumble twice (over/under on Michael Vick turnovers, 3.5, you gotta take the over), he may lose his starting job to the rookie Nick Foles (which, who the hell is this guy? ESPN did 2000 years of draft coverage and I didn’t hear his name once. Now he’s the guy who tore up the preseason and will be starting for the Eagles by the end of the season? Come on now ESPN, that’s just sloppy). The Giants proved that no matter who is hurt, they have a team. It was kind of awe-inspiring to watch random bodies off the street continually do well. Andre Brown was cut by like 12 other teams and then had over 100 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns against Carolina. These division rivalry games are always intense, but I think the Giants win by at least 2 TD’s here and maybe (hopefully) Vick is pulled by the end of the game. To be clear, that is why I’m watching it!

Giants 35 Eagles 14

 

 

Top 3 Teams

1. Atlanta

2. San Fran

3. Houston

Atlanta isn’t perfect. They have no running game, they really don’t cover well. But their defense is tough, the line is strong, and Matt Ryan after 3 games is the MVP. SF had a setback against Minnesota but they are still amazing, that Defense is still going to win them a super bowl and I still think they’d beat Atlanta in a game. Houston is really good, but they benefit from an easy schedule. I love Peyton Manning, but the Denver defense is garbage, they have no run game, and Peyton can’t throw it more than 20 yards well. In short, McKayla is not impressed. Show me Houston beating someone who is really good and I’ll be a believer again. (although, they are in the AFC, see my Jets wishful thinking above)

Bottom 3 teams

1. Washington

2. Cleveland

3. Colts

I really really wanted 3 to be New Orleans. But the Colts defense is just so terrible, it’s really laughable. Additionally, the offensive line of Andrew Luck is going to kill him. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t miss at least a game this year. Cleveland also has no defense and Brandon Weeden just looks scared and confused. If they do what they did last week and run the ball well with Richardson, they will not be on this list again. The likelihood of this, obviously, is low. Finally, the poor Redskins. RGIII looked so good in week 1 but the truth is that he has no team around him. No one. Alfred Morris is barely capable. The line is terrible. His best receiver is out and even when he’s back, when your 1 is Pierre Garcon, you’ve got problems. Defensively, they weren’t great to start with and then have been just decimated by injury. RGIII is exciting to watch, he still may win rookie of the year and they may win games by his sheer force of will, but this is a bad football team. New Orleans is awful too, but they just may not be quite as bad as these 3, I’m hoping to include the Saints next week (you can tell I’m a bit biased, no?)

So that’s it, I hope you enjoyed and have a nice week of football and such. 

 

Scott
 

 

 

 

 

The NBA Playoffs, the quiet summer, and the beginning of the NFL

Howdy folks. I’ll be honest, I’m using blogging to procrastinate my Econ homework. Sue me.

 

The NBA playoffs are leading into a thrilling conclusion with the Miami Heat awaiting the winner of the 76ers/Celtics 7 game series. I typically love game 7’s but this one seems kind of like an afterthought. I really don’t think the 76ers have enough offensive firepower to compete with the Heat and I, personally, can’t stand the Celtics and really don’t think that they can compete with the Heat, especially with the loss of Avery Bradley. I think he was a defensive stand against D-Wade. The West is interesting, the Spurs are very good and I think this might be their last stand. However, I’ll be pulling for OKC since I had Heat over Thunder in my preseason picks.

 

I don’t really want to talk about the NHL till the Finals. The Rangers/Devils series has been pretty good, either team will be exciting in the finals against the Kings and I really think whoever wins the East will beat the Kings, but the Kings have been on a roll so it’s entirely possible that they continue to surprise.

Not shockingly, i’m already tired of Baseball. My yankees seem to suck, the red sox suck, and I am ready for the NFL to start, such is the summer of sports. I think the Nationals and Dodgers are pretty fun to watch though, I’m excited to watch some more of them.

So, ESPN has been covering the Jets OTA’s like they are on Brett Favre’s front lawn, so I’d like to offer a quick thought. It’s hilarious that Tebow has been “poor” in OTA’s. 1) OTA’s don’t matter, 2) Sanchez being “great” doesn’t make me feel good because OTA’s don’t matter and 3) If you are shocked that Tebow’s mechanics are bad, you clearly didn’t watch football (or ESPN) last season.  I think that’s been pretty well described. The pro-tebowites would argue that his strength is in winning games, which he can’t do at OTA’s because they don’t matter. Did I mention that OTA’s don’t matter? Also, Tony Sparano looks funny, if we have a bad year I think he’ll be the focus of my mocking.

 

That’s all the procrastinating I can justify, happy friday folks 🙂

Goodbye, Tommy Tomlinson

Well, I’m a journalist, so from time to time, you’ll find perhaps some commentary on a journalistic debate from me or an essay or silly poem or, as in today’s case, something deeply pensive, in the sense that Dumbledore and I share that giant, memory storage pot of silvery goo.

Unless you’re in the business side of the foodservice industry and subscribe to QSR magazine (you should!), chances are, you haven’t seen much writing from me. But sometimes one gets hit by inspiration like a charter bus jumping the sidewalk–halting, adrenaline-inducing, leaving that kind of gravelly taste in your body that seems to travel up to your ears­–the point is, I sometimes need to wake up and write, and sometimes you need a strange wake-up call. (If all you’ve taken from this paragraph is that I was on a bus that jumped the sidewalk, your reading skills are tragic.)

Today, I’m not sure what I want to write about. But it feels like a good time to write.

That’s probably because I’ve spent half of my lunch hour at work browsing Tommy Tomlinson’s old columns. Tomlinson is definitely one of my favorite columnists. I began reading him when I was 9. He wrote on the front page of the Charlotte Observer a few times a week, and I, a journalism nerd in the making, devoured his sinfully symmetric rhetoric. 

It’s not an untruthful stretch to say Tomlinson may have inspired me to go into journalism. When I was 8, my dad suggested I start reading the newspaper, even just skimming the headlines, to get a sense of what happens in the world. I preferred repeats of Scooby Doo, but some mornings I’d cast my eyes over the front page, above the fold.

This was also the year that my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Nappi, assigned the class newspaper homework. We were to find one article a week, cut it out and bring it in, along with a summary of the 5 Ws.

Between my dad and Mrs. Nappi, I found Tommy Tomlinson. His articles were thought provoking and made me chuckle. What started as a homework assignment became an addiction. I read Tomlinson all the way until I was 18, and moved up to UNC-Chapel Hill–where, after a freshman year spent playfully denying the career choice I’d deep down made year ago, I decided to go into journalism.

All this reflection has a point, I promise, and here it is: Tomlinson left the Observer last week, May 4, to pursue a new opportunity. Though I haven’t read him as religiously as I would’ve liked, I’m still quite sad to see him go. Few columnists can transport their readers directly into a locale. It’s fair; newspapers give writers a word limit, and no one likes to read sentences as long as Michael Chabon’s in a newspaper.

But, using the few words he had, Tomlinson transformed magic into English form.

Here, his lead on the column post-Katrina: Sounds defined the day. But let’s start with a quiet one. The soft scratching of a pen on a banner to honor the dead.
The man writes it out then traces back over it so the words won’t fade.
Louise Thecla Jones Casimire. May 25, 1922-September 05, 2005. 4:10 a.m.

The lead on the column he wrote on his wedding day, probably the most widely received of them all: Unless I screw up between now and “I will,” sometime around 6:30 this evening I will become a married man.

It’s tough to put yourself out there as a writer. That’s why a lot of reporters do just that–report, not reflect, and keep themselves out of the picture.

Tomlinson had said he didn’t like to write about himself, to place himself on center stage like he was more important than goings-on in Charlotte, but when he did, he knew how to push the emotion buttons during our robotic, daily-grind days and get a reaction out of us. For that, I will miss Tommy Tomlinson’s columns.

 – Sonya

Playoffs, Baseball, and the NFL Draft. One last blast of fun before summer :)

Hey folks,

Some might call this the beginning of the end for the sports year. Most would actually. I happen to enjoy baseball but I definitely agree that the landscape of sports is pretty quiet after the NBA Champion is crowned in June and before the NFL kicks off in September. Of course, the regular baseball season is happening, but even for a pretty big baseball fan like myself, 162 games becomes wearisome, you really only pay attention to trends as the playoffs come up. But, sports does go out in style with the NHL and NBA playoffs, which are typically amazing, and the NFL draft which never lacks storylines and intrigue. So—I felt like talking about it 🙂

Hockey: The NHL playoffs are more competitive than I personally can ever remember seeing them. However, NBC hates me and has elected to keep most of the games off NBC and onto the NBC sports network. Seeing as I don’t have cable, it means that the bulk of my hockey has been from reading about it. I did watch the Rangers/Capitals game one yesterday and it was awesome. I love that in the NHL, the college kids can get called in midseason, so a kid like Chris Kreider, who led BC to an NCCA title can come in and basically put the New York Rangers on his back for a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I wonder if anyone has ever won an NCAA title and a Stanley Cup in the same season. This is why i need a stat boy. Anyway, awesome game. The playoffs have been crazy competitive, lots of OT and close games (I watched the third period of the capitals/bruins game 7 that went to OT, holy smokes that was a close one).

Baseball: I’ll keep this brief because I have all summer to blog mocking things at the Red Sox and talk about how great the Yankees are. My thoughts from the first few weeks: The red sox are awful and Bobby Valentine, while he may be a good manager is a comical choice for Boston. The Yankees losing Michael Pineada, no matter how shady the deal was, is going to hurt them. Not now, but in September—-Yankees have ALWAYS had a problem with the rotation and with the bullpen, Pineada was going to be a STRONG 3rd in the rotation. It was going to be Sabathia, Kuroda, Pineada, Hughes and eventually Pettite-moving Garcia and Nova to the bullpen (although it may have been Nova in the rotation and not Hughes). That would be, to me, the most versatile and exciting rotation since Roger Clemens, El Duque, Pettite and Mussina.

Finally—I think the Washington Nationals might be the most exciting team I’ve seen in a while. They are LOADED with potential and are already talented and winning games (and this was supposed to be their “we’re almost there” year). I’m a loyal Yankees fan, but if anyone were looking to get into baseball by jumping on a bandwagon and wanted to win for the next 5-7 years, jump on the Nationals.

Finally, the NBA….So the playoffs started yesterday. I watched a bulk of the Knicks/Heat game (Which was a travesty) and then a bit of the Bulls game, but the Bulls game interrupted me from eating burritos with my brother so he won. Here’s what I took out of it though—-the two major injuries in game 1 should be a condemnation of the short NBA season and, if nothing else, there should have been a week or so between the last game of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs. I mean come the hell on, these guys played 66 games in 4 months, sometimes 3 in a row, no practice time, no time to rest or get treatment, what did you think was going to happen? Derrick Rose, the reigning MVP, who was hurt most of the season, tears his ACL in GAME 1 and Iman Shumpert of the Knicks, a far less important player to his team but still a pivotal part of a team that will lose to the Heat either way, tears his ACL in much of the same way.

Here’s what happened in NBA headquarters yesterday: “What happened in Miami? ACL OH S**&. Wait, it’s not LeBron. Whew OK, we couldn’t take the Tiger Woods-esque ratings hit. Shumpert isn’t a big deal, the Knicks will still draw viewers. What’s that? D-Rose? Someone put LeBron in a protective bubble”.

So basically, now the playoffs are inconsequential—here’s what happens: the Heat romp through the East, which they might not have done because the Bulls are really a better team but without Derrick Rose, they just aren’t quite spectacular enough. The Heat gets to the finals where they presumably play the Thunder. Here’s why that’s not bad for the NBA:

You have a small market team like the Thunder on the biggest stage against the Heat in, perhaps, the most compelling storyline in all of sports “Can LeBron win a ring and shut everyone up?”. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could seriously give the Heat a run for it and all of America will actually notice. Next season, win or loss, Durant is a star, the Thunder are paid much more attention. The league wants the Thunder to win—-They want LeBron to always be close but never get it—what else drives the narrative. Unfortunately for the NBA, this has to be LeBron’s year, in my estimation. Heat will win in 6 and then we can start discussing if the Heat will unload Chris Bosh or sign Steve Nash (Bosh-probably not if they win a ring, Nash-maybe, still hard to say, a case could be made for Dallas or the Knicks).

A brief  discussion of the NFL Draft

Sorry, this is a long post but there is a lot of sports stuff going on. Overall, the draft was fascinating. The Cowboys coming up for Clayborne was ballsy and, unfortunately because I hate the effin Cowboys, will probably pay off. He’s an amazing talent and fits perfectly in their system. Maybe we can get him to date Jessica Simpson, that worked for Tony Romo 🙂

I liked the Panthers draft a lot, they drafted in places they really needed help, in the middle of the defense and on the defensive line. They got a guard in the second round which appears to be a good pick, although I was unaware of him before the draft. They did get a WR in round 4, so could be a good developmental WR.

I like the Jets draft mostly. They really needed some help on the offensive line and I don’t really think they did that. They needed a right tackle so bad. However, they did get a really good receiver (Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech) and the more i see of Quinton Coples (DE from my alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill) the more i love the pick. He’s a quick, versatile pass rusher who could play outside linebacker if put in a 3-4 set. I love that kind of defensive end and I think Rex Ryan will make some interesting moves with him at the end. Hopefully, they can sign an offensive lineman before the season otherwise Mark Sanchez may spend a lot of time on the ground (you know, or Tim Tebow :p)

Anyway, sorry for the long post, I hope you enjoyed it. Tomorrow I may blog again but I’ll try to make it non sports :). I have a few thoughts about TV/Movies I’d like to share.

NFL Draft Speculation

Howdy all. I figured I’d weigh in a bit preceding tomorrow night’s NFL Draft. You should know that if you read this blog you will read largely NFL rants as I am definitely a more rabid NFL fan than any other sport (although I love everything and am blogging while watching Game 7 of the Capitals/Bruins on my computer). Also—you should know, in the interest of full self disclosure, that I am a huge NY Jets fan. I also am a big Carolina Panthers fan as of recently, so I figured instead of being like ESPN and obsessing on the first few picks (although I do have a thing or two to say about them and will) I’d talk about those two teams and what I think they should/will do in the draft.

CAROLINA—

Carolina picks number 9 and in the first round I’d like them to take the linebacker out of Boston College, Luke Kuechly. He’s big, and a position of need the Panthers have. He’s a smart kid too, chose to go to BC for academic reasons, and I think with such a young team that is really going to go places, putting strong leadership and character guys on that defense will really be a good force. I don’t think that Morris Clayborne will fall to 9, but if he did, the Panthers need a corner real bad and that’s a move they have to make. They absolutely should pass on both Ryan Tannenhill and Matt Kalil. Carolina already employs Ryan Kalil, who was far more polished coming out of school than Matt.Later in the draft, I’d like to see them draft a wide receiver that can be developed and otherwise stick on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback is a high need position.

NEW YORK—

The Jets are in an interesting in that they are good in a lot of places but great in only one (cornerback—-Darrelle Revis continues to be the most dominant lockdown corner in the league). So there are a lot of ways the Jets could go at 16, if they stay at 16. Recently, there has been a good bit of chatter that the Jets would consider trading up with the intention of taking Trent Richardson out of Alabama. Richardson had a great year, is an awesome back, and has been said to be better than Mark Ingram who also came out of Alabama, won the Heisman, and immediately contributed to the New Orleans Bounty Cheaters( the fact that they tape opposing coaches—they should be effing contracted and done away with. At the very least, Mickey Loomis better be Pete Rose’d from the NFL, immediately). Anyway, Richardson is great, but as most things it depends on what they have to give up. I’ve heard Shonn Greene and a later pick in the draft. I’d say if its a 3rd or lower pick—-then hell yes they have to take that. Richardson has some scouts saying he looks like Adrian Peterson and the best thing that could happen to Mark Sanchez is a competent running game behind him. Assuming the Jets don’t do something crazy and Jets like and trade (the jets are known for drafting all crazy like) then I think the best pick at 16 will be Courtney Upshaw, the defensive end out of Alabama. I’m a big defense guy, so I always am going to prioritize that side of the ball, but with Rex Ryan, the most important thing a defense can do is rush the QB and the Jets were flat (and that’s a kind way to put it) in that area last year. I’d really like a strong linebacker to play with David Harris, but I don’t think Luke Kuechly falls past Carolina and Upshaw is a beast. I could also see them going offense with Michael Floyd, the wide receiver out of Notre Dame. I think this is a FANTASTIC pick if they want offense, i just don’t think it’s the way they go. I like the offensive systems that are built around 2 WR, one small, chirpy and fast, one big, tall and will catch anything (see Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks super bowl). We tried that last year with Plaxico, but you also have to not be broken down and still hurting from prison rape. Floyd has a ton of potential, I like him at 16, but I really think the Jets go defense and if so, Upshaw is our guy.

As far as the overall draft picture, I like Luck and RG3. They are both really talented  quarterbacks and I’d be very happy with either of them on my team. Outside the top 2, I’m not crazy about the other top guys. I think Kalil is OK, offensive lineman are tough to come by so he’s a good pick for a team in need. I think Justin Blackmon is a punk, he at best ends up as Santonio Holmes (take it from a Jets fan, that’s not a good thing). I think that Morris Clayborne is good but not a game changer for a team and at the 1-6 positions that’s pretty much what you are hoping for. I think Ryan Tannenhill gets drafted at 8 by the Dolphins and if he doesn’t, he shouldn’t because if anyone is going to draft him, it is his old college coach (Mike Sherman) who is now the OC for the Dolphins.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the draft tomorrow night, go Jets, go Panthers, and GO RANGERS IN GAME 7 TOMORROW NIGHT!

Scott

BEER, SPORTS, MANLINESS

Hello, I am Scott. I will blog about beer, sports, and testosterone.

I am not as good of a writer as Sonya, so you should know when I’m posting. Also, She’ll probably be more regular than I am. I really don’t eat enough fiber.

Today, I’d like to do a combo post, because normally I’ll stick to one of my topics. However, I’d like to briefly talk about sports today and then tell you about my homebrew!

Sports:

All of this nonsense with NBA players being paid to play in the Olympics has been bothering me all day. The simple reason (as originally opined by Tony Kornheiser, but completely logical and true) is that other Olympians are given a small stipend, which the whiny, overpaid, NBA players also receive. I think the Dream Team era should be over and we should go back to having college players play in the Olympics. In this age of one and done anyway, it’d still be an awesome team. Can you see the starting five? Kendall Marshall, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Jared Sullenger and Thomas Robinson? Holy Balls. I bet they could beat the Bobcats.

(The whole “could the Kentucky Wildcats beat the professional horrible Charlotte Bobcats” is not really worth a discussion. The Bobcats would win by 15. You know why? They have every freaking first round pick in the past five years. They may be NBA busts but they definitely could beat Kentucky. In fact, one of the “great Kentucky 5” will most likely be a Bobcat and continue the age of suckitude under Michael Jordan. What a worthless debate.)

Beer:

So for my birthday, my amazing and wonderful girlfriend bought me a homebrewing kit, which is something I’ve wanted to get into for such a long time. I think that the next batch I brew, I will go step by step through the process so if someone stumbles upon this blog, they will be able to follow along and brew. However, given that I am learning myself, this is not the best batch to work that on.

I am brewing an American Amber, which if you want to compare to a store brand, is probably closest to a Sam Adams. I don’t really expect it to taste anything like Sam Adams as conventional wisdom states the first few batches of homebrew are barely above garbage (hopefully).

This weekend, I transferred my future beer from the fermentation tank to the cool plastic carboy my parents bought me. The reason that’s noteworthy is because fermentation tanks (which need to remain sealed) are white and you are not able to see into them. Carboys are clear. SO—this is the first chance I’ve had since I started fermentation to take a look at my beer. It looks and smells perfect (there is a picture on the page). I can’t wait to drink it!

The next step is to transfer it to bottles (with some sugar for the little yeastys to eat) and then 2 weeks till drinking! I think I’ll probably give it 1.5-2 weeks in the carboy.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon 🙂

This is the beer going into my carboy!

Doesn't that look like it will be delicious????

Gallo

Note: This wine came from Harris Teeter. 

Label: Gallo Family Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $6.50

Origin: California

Alcohol: 13%

We bought this wine to drink with Easter dinner. It was, much like the Vin-Koru, light and crisp. Overall, it was less fruity and, honestly, less remarkable. Still decent. Some Sauvignon Blancs don’t taste very good or taste too much like alcohol, and this one was very drinkable.

Scott’s rating: 5/10

Sonya’s rating: 6/10

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Lunch!

Nachos! Chips, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, jalapenos, and guacamole. Sonya has only recently decided she likes guacamole. She likes avocados. But not guacamole? Don’t ask. It’s been a lifelong argument.

Anyways. This was om nom nom.

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