Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Crying Game

Wait, wait, wait...

Are you trying to tell me that noted Toledo native and sexpot Katie Holmes is a man?

Really, I don't think there could be any other explanation.


(By the way, I'm not dead. I've just been really busy.)

Monday, April 18, 2005

My man, Ottis (Anderson)...

Former NFL all-pro LB Sam Mills died earlier today.

The only reason the name immediately hit me was because of the legendary Tecmo Super Bowl game on the old Nintendo system. It's starting to get a little weird to break that out when I'm at my parents' house... guys like Derrick Thomas, Reggie White, Jerome Brown and now Mills are all in the game. Now, they're dead.

I kind of think that maybe that offensive lineman from the Steelers who freaked out and died in a police chase last summer (Justin Strzelczyk) might have been in the game too.

Add on guys like Tony Eason, Steve Grogan and the legendary Babe Laufenberg, all of whom were walking corpses at this point in their careers, and it's like the Night of the Living Dead every time you pop that sucker in.

B-12... G-57...

The college of cardinals failed to elect a pope on the first ballot tonight. Now, according to ancient church tradition, they'll stop voting for the night and drive over to St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School in Rome for a fish fry and bingo.

Then, they go back to the Sistine Chapel tomorrow, and do it all over again.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Creepy.

A man was shot in the lobby of a Detroit TV station this afternoon.

Strange? Yup.

Scary? Maybe a little, for someone who works at another station in the city.

It was interesting to hear about this minutes after it happened, and then watching people go from "you're kidding"... to "we've got to get down there"... to "oh, crap, tell our security guards to lock the station down right now!"

I don't know if that's some statement about priorities there or not.

I'm also not sure why this merited wall-to-wall coverage (as two stations here had), whereas the murder of a small child gets 90 seconds. But apparently it did. Whatever.

Up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start...

NCAA Football 2006: It's faaaaaaantastic.

I can't wait for the cheats to make this even more realistic.

- Take cash from a booster
- Threesome after scoring winning touchdown against rival
- Get beejer from recruiting hostess on official visit
- Get drunk and beligerant, punch out police horse

Seriously... if I wanted "The Sims: College Football" I would have bought it instead of a real football game.

Hold everything!

How the hell did I manage to obsess about the name "Ron Mexico" for weeks and not once stop to think that, "hey, that would be an awesome name for a band!" (There should be a question mark somewhere at the end of this sentence, but it's been a long time since I did any actual journalistic writing, so I'll be damned if I can remember where it goes.)

It took me talking to a friend whose band is releasing a CD this weekend to think about the connection. I asked if he would consider changing his band's name (The Badways), but they already have the CDs printed up.

So I guess it's still up for grabs. That might top Better Than Better Than Ezra which was my previous favorite.

I actually just uttered the phrase...

"Sweet! Gas is down to $2.15 a gallon."

That got me thinking of other things that I never thought I would say, but later did. Then I realized I was at work and didn't have time to finish this right now.

Any good examples all (okay, both) of you beloved readers can think of? For you, not me.

Wait... you need that when?

It's April 15th, which in the TV business means it's time to plop a reporter in front of the Post Office and ask people why they waited until the last possible second to file their taxes this year.

Frankly, I don't understand the fascination with this. It's the same thing every year-- they're always due the same day, it's always the same morons, and they're always saying the same things. Seriously, watch the 11pm news tonight and keep score for yourself.

"I don't know why I waited so long."
"It just kind of snuck up on me."
"I meant to do them weeks ago."
"I love the last-minute rush."
And of course, "I'm definitely doing them earlier next year."

Idiots, idiots, idiots. All of you. I did my taxes so long ago that I've had the refund in my bank account for almost a month now.

It was so low-stress because there was no deadline pressure. If you wait until the last minute, you've got no one to blame but yourself for the stress and the stupid TV news reports.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Quarterback... from Virginia Tech... number 7...

An update to my favorite story of 2005: The NFL has banned sale of Ron Mexico jerseys.

This, unfortunately, removes the top item off my "wish list" for the holidays.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Me and Zach (not Morris)

USA Today published a list of some celebrity blogs (in case you're wondering what Rosie O'Donnell has been up to, or the old dude from Lord of the Rings. I know I have.

The highlight is Zach Braff's site. I've always thought he was funny on Scrubs and really liked Garden State too. Maybe it's because we're both Jersey boys. Or I'm secretly gay. Or both.

You can also catch up with Pat Sajak (He's more than just a guy who looks like a pig and has been on TV for about 20 years too long, ya know?) and David Duchovny who, unfortunately, has not written about the joys of giving Tea Leoni the "Angry Dragon." You can bet your ass that I've got the site bookmarked for the day that he does.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nice jacket.

The Masters lived up to its billing; that was quite a back 9 plus 1. But let's make one thing perfectly clear-- this does not mean that "the old Tiger is back!"

I hate to interupt the green-jacketed circle-jerk, but the "old Tiger" wouldn't have blown a three-shot lead on the back 9 and been forced to win it in a playoff.

The "old Tiger" would have won it going away, with a 33 on the back 9 and a four-plus shot margin.

Let's save the hand jobs until he wins another couple majors, mmmkay? (Jim Nantz, I'm looking in your direction)

Nails.

101 Pitches
9 Innings
9 K's
2 Hits
1 Run
1 Game win streak

I (heart) Pedro.

Did I mention that he's on my fantasy team? Because he is. Of course all that means is that if he gets hurt, I'm doubly screwed.

0-5.

What a total mess. Terrible clutch hitting (1-for-9 with guys in scoring position last night), crappy pitching (another spectacular Braden Looper outing-- at least he got someone out this time), and a disturbing lack of interest displayed (Carlos Beltran, who just signed a 47-year contract worth about as much as the GNP of Luxembourg, jogged down the baseline while the Braves second baseman kicked around a ball and then threw him out easily).

If Pedro doesn't win today, they could start 0-9 (facing Pettite and Clemens in the upcoming series with the Astros).

I was planning on using the free preview of MLB extra innings to Tivo a game, then burn it to DVD and send it to my brother (currently serving in Iraq). I was waiting to send him a Mets win, but so far, no dice. If they don't win today, I've either got to buy the stupid package ($150? No thanks) or wait for them to come back on TV out here, which happens only when they play the Cubs (WGN), Braves (TBS) or Yankees (ESPN shows one of those). Those assholes better win today...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

His mother is a mudder... his father is a mudder.

I overheard an incredibly interesting conversation during the game today. Some guy behind me was talking about how he's won a bunch of money betting on baseball. His "system" is simple: put $10 on the underdog in each game (playing the money line). That's it.

According to his math, he needs about 35% of the underdogs to actually win on any given day to break even, and he was telling his friends that he made a bunch of money betting this way last year.

This could be the most interesting gambling-related development this side of "betting on double-digit home underdogs" during last college football season. (They put up some ungodly numbers like 30-13 against the line)

I am now going to spend the next three hours scrounging through old newspapers to try to find old baseball lines and figure out if this really works.

If it does, I'm on my way to living in a house made of solid gold.

Faaaaaantastic.

Just got back from my first baseball game of the year at Comerica Park. (Watching, not playing) The temperatures were in the mid-60s with just a slight breeze and nothing but sun. In a secondary development, the Tigers won 11-1 as well.

The Tigers have a section of bleachers in right-center where you can get a seat for $8 each. Pretty good deal, right? Well, they also give you a hot dog and a drink for that price. Considering the fact that a hot dog is $3.50 and a medium drink is about the same, you're basically getting in to watch the game for a buck. That would be a great deal for a freaking Clippers game, let alone a chance to watch actual major leaguers (or as close as the Tigers and Indians get to being actual major leaguers).

And yes, I am fully aware that my team has not yet won a game this year.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

You're my boy, Blue!

I've spent a lot of time on various college websites in recent weeks, and noticed a number of them have "testimonials" from current students, like this one from the University of Louisville.

Wouldn't it be great if they could actually say what they meant in those?

Why she chose U of L: Visited older friends at school, got 'faced at a frat party and made out with some girl. Kind of liked it.

The biggest surprise when she arrived on campus: I can drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniels in a 24-hour period without having to get my stomach pumped.

Advice for future students: If you're a good-looking girl, there's no situation (traffic stop, failing a class, espionage charges) you can't suck your way out of.

What she wishes someone had told her about college: What it meant to have guys "run a train" on you. Ouch. I was limping for a week.

Smoking's bad, mmmmmkay?

So Peter Jennings has lung cancer, but he plans to keep working on World News Tonight.

I have just one question: are you nuts?

My station brought the chief of surgery from a well-known Detroit-based cancer center in for an interview yesterday, and he said that based on what ABC had released, he thought Jennings had a 50% chance of living one year, and about a 10% chance of living three years.

And you're going to spend that time sitting in an office building? Helllllooooo? You make $20 million per year, plus whatever your production company makes for you. That should last you and your family a while, don't ya think?

Dude, just spend the next two weeks recording PSAs (i.e. "If you smoke, you're an imbecile and this is what's going to happen to you"), interviews ("We need to do a better job of funding lung cancer research") and a primetime special/ lung cancer research fund-raiser. Then go sit on a beach somewhere nice.

If you want to do a report once a week, I'm sure ABC can get a camera crew to Fiji.

Hell, if you'd rather, just spend the time with your family. If I had a year (or so) to live, I'd want to see the world and make the most of my time, not just sit inside staring at a computer monitor.

But that's just me.

Don't drink the water. Or anything else, either.

Also, you probably shouldn't sleep with a dude named Ron Mexico.

That's one part of the Michael Vick experience that they didn't show in the commercial.

Really, this just makes his "anybody who knows me, knows how I get down" quote (denying that he's gay) even funnier.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Separated at birth.

The dude who plays "Turk" on Scrubs and Sean May from UNC. This has bothered me for months. (Granted, Turk looks a lot more athletic)



No? Would you give me "born in the next hospital room?"

Monday, April 04, 2005

Serenity now.

Braden Looper pitching for New York
-Braden Looper pitches to Austin Kearns
-A Kearns singled to right.
-Braden Looper pitches to Adam Dunn
-A Dunn homered to right center, A Kearns scored.
-Braden Looper pitches to Joe Randa
-J Randa homered to left.

3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors
New York 6, Cincinnati 7
Final

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Best. Day. Ever.

For a superficially meaningless Sunday in April, today combines two of my absolute favorite moments of the year.

1) Daylight saving time. Suddenly, it's light outside until long past 7:30 in the evening. I can get home from work and still have time to mow my lawn or grill some dinner and eat it outside during daylight hours. If you asked me to name my 10 favorite days of the year, Daylight Saving day would absolutely make the list-- probably the only day that wasn't a holiday or a spectacular sports day. Speaking of spectacular sports days...

2) Opening Day! Finally, meaningful baseball is here. With no hockey, the Giants out of NFL playoff contention since last August and the Knicks playing like a steaming bowl of monkey feces, this marks the first day I've really cared about professional sports since the last out of last year's World Series. Tonight is technically the start of the season, so I feel comfortable lumping Opening Day in with today. But really, it's all about tomorrow. Everyone throwing their ace, the start of fantasy baseball, being able to flip back and forth between two games all day, the Mets on TV in Detroit, and the return to regular TV rotation for the ever-dreamy and delicious Peter Gammons. (Wait... I've said too much...)

Every year, Opening Day makes me think of Randy Newman's classic "Burn On." That also makes this the only day I think of Randy Newman all year. Unless that one episode of Family Guy comes on. Okay, I'm rambling.

Seriously though, baseball and actual sunlight coming back all on one day? Tell me this day doesn't kick some ass.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Take off their hats...

Incredibly, the pope is still hanging on. If you believe the reports that were coming out yesterday afternoon, coupled with the medical diagnosis, he's had a more improbable run than Yassar Arafat and the West Virginia basketball team combined.

I was just thinking that his death will be like the end of the Reagan presidency for me. (Hear me out: this isn't going to turn into some reactionary diatribe.)

The Pope took office (or whatever the right term is) two months before I was born. He's the only Pope I've ever known. Much like Reagan, who was in office when I was finally old enough to know who the president was, and seemed like he served forever. It was a little jarring when (in fifth grade) suddenly the news showed some new guy sitting at Reagan's desk.

Speaking of things that were jarring, I saw a piece on JP when he first took over as Pope. It was interesting to see how young and active he was-- seemed downright likable at times, screwing around in front of the cameras. Definitely a far cry from what his medical conditions have turned him into.

Incidentally, I agreed to work tonight to help put together an hour-long show dedicated to the Michigan State men's basketball team being in the Final Four. It's supposed to run from 11pm-midnight, right around the time the game ends. Besides the obvious concerns (that anyone who's ever worked in sports media can tell you about) like "what if the game goes into overtime and we can't show highlights for 20 minutes?" or "what if MSU players don't get into the interview room until 11:45?" we now also have to deal with "what happens if the pope dies today?"

That should make for some smooth transitions:

Anchor one: Again, Pope John Paul the second has died at the age of 84.
Anchor two: And speaking of dying, I think tonight's MSU game took a couple of years off my life!
Sports guy: You said it! We can't show you the highlights because CBS is still on the air, but we do have some good nat sound of a guy in our newsroom unleashing a profanity-filled tirade demanding to know why Jim Nantz won't shut up and sign off.


Should be goooood times. Go Big Ten.

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