Monday, January 23, 2006

Candyland, bitches! Candyland!

I have definitely not made a habit of pimping products or services in this space in the past. However, I am prepared to make an exception.

I was looking for a few out-of-print board games from the 1980s a little while ago, and couldn't find them anywhere. I spend months on Ebay, Amazon and the usual spots and never came up with anything before I stumbled upon Noble Knight.

They have a ton of old games for very reasonable prices. I couldn't find the games I was looking for so I entered them on a "want list."

No more than 24 hours later, I got an e-mail that they had tracked down original, unopened versions of both games for about 20 bucks each.

Four days later, they arrived on my doorstep.

Candyland is still in print, but if you're looking for some obscure old games like Mystery Mansion or Hungry, Hungry Hippos... it's a pretty good resource.

Orson Swindle, Superstar

The boys over at Every Day Should Be Saturday have apparently gone and got themselves famous. Or at least they started a phenomenon.

This week the VH1 show Web Junk 20, which shows a bunch of random and theoretically funny videos from the web, featured the Appalachian State "Hot Hot Hot" video. You probably remember the EDSBS boys lampooning it last week in this post.

Hopefully now that they're big stars, they'll still have time to post stuff for us little people.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Unlikely inspiration

I'm going to preface this with the fact that this post is in fact going somewhere. You can skip past the pictures if you're in a big hurry.

I spent my Saturday afternoon inside a bunker known as John F. Savage Hall. The University of Toledo calls it a basketball arena, but these are people who have chosen to spend their college years in Toledo, so their judgement is natually (and somewhat automatically) called into question.

The reason for this seemingly strange choice was that my wife's alma mater (Ohio University) was in town, and since I've dragged her to Columbus, Evanston, and Tempe in the last couple years in the name of Buckeye football, I probably owed it to her.

We had fun, the Bobcats won, and the entire game (tickets and parking) cost a whopping 25 bucks.

The arena wasn't much to look at... very dark, not much in the way of character. It opened sometime in the mid-70s, while the nation was in the midst of the Veterans' Stadium/Three Rivers Stadium-type stadium design craze, so functionality really was the watchword of the time.

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They also had multi-colored seats in the upper levels (like the New Orleans Superdome) so that if you see them out of the corner of your eye it looks like there are people in them.

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The point in all this was that part of the draw for me was adding another name to the list of places I've seen a game. I haven't gone to many college basketball arenas, but when you take college and pro sports together, I've seen games in a whole lot of different buildings, many of which were memorable for one reason or another.

My challenge to you, dear reader, is that I'm interested in the places you've seen games. If you're up to it, put one together and either post it on your blog (and put a link in the comments) or just write out the list in the comments section.

I'll write my list out and then add a list of a few stadiums or arenas that were "you have to do this", places that I really want to see a game, and some places that I'm sorry I never got a chance to see a game.

If you're still reading this, you probably care enough about this stuff to be able to put together a decent list as well, so you should do it.

A note of explanation: I'm only listing stadiums under the category of places I actually saw a game. For example, Ford Field is under college football but not NFL because I've seen a Motor City Bowl, but never a Lions game.

College football
Giants Stadium (2 Kickoff Classics, 1 Army/Navy)
Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)
Rose Bowl (1997 Rose Bowl)
Michigan Stadium (Michigan)
Kinnick Stadium (Iowa)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial (Navy)
Veterans Stadium (Army/Navy)
Ford Field (Motor City Bowl)
Camp Randall (Wisconsin)
Memorial Stadium (Indiana)
Beaver Stadium (Penn State)
Ryan Field (Northwestern)
Spartan Stadium (Michigan State)
Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue)
Sun Devil Stadium (2006 Fiesta Bowl)

College Basketball
Christl Arena (Army)
St. John Arena (Ohio State)
Schottenstein Center (Ohio State)
Crisler Arena (Michigan)
United Center (2001, 2005 Big Ten Tournament)
Continental Airlines Arena (Seton Hall)
Savage Hall (Toledo)

College Hockey
Columbus Fairgrounds Arena (Ohio State)
OSU Ice Rink (Ohio State)
Schottenstein Center (Ohio State)
BGSU Ice Arena (Bowling Green)
Joe Louis Arena (CCHA Super Six)
Yost Ice Arena (Michigan)

College Baseball
Bill Davis Stadium (Ohio State)
Siebert Field (Minnesota)
Ray Fisher Stadium (Michigan)

Major League Baseball
Shea Stadium (Mets)
Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
Fenway Park (Red Sox)
Cinergy Field (Reds)
Three Rivers Stadium (Pirates)
Jacobs Field (Indians)
Comerica Park (Tigers)
Wrigley Field (Cubs)
New Comiskey Park (White Sox)
PNC Park (Pirates)
Petco Park (Padres)

National Hockey League
Madison Square Garden (Rangers)
Hartford Civic Center (Whalers)
Continental Airlines Arena (Devils)
Nationwide Arena (Blue Jackets)
Molson Centre (Canadiens)
United Center (Blackhawks)
Joe Louis Arena (Red Wings)

National Basketball Association
American Airlines Arena (Heat)
Palace of Auburn Hills (Pistons)

National Football League
None

A few places you need to go
In college: Ohio Stadium, Michigan Stadium, Penn State, Rose Bowl. Yost is not anywhere close to that level, but if you want to see a good college hockey atmosphere, that's the place.

In the pros: Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Madison Square Garden (built in the late 60s, but the last of the long-standing Original Six buildings in the NHL). If you're ever in Pittsburgh, PNC Park is worth your time-- a very nice view of downtown.

Places on my to-do list
In college, no particular order: Neyland Stadium (Tennessee), Bryant-Denney Stadium (Alabama), Memorial Stadium (Nebraska), Darrell K. Royal Stadium (Texas-- anyone have an extra ticket for the OSU game?), Kyle Field (Texas A&M), Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame), Florida Field (Florida), Doak Campbell Stadium (FSU), Orange Bowl (Miami-- a shithole, but it'll be gone someday and I don't want it on the next list), Gaylord Stadium (Oklahoma), Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn), Tiger Stadium (LSU), Sanford Stadium (Georgia), Michie Stadium (Army-- around mid-October when the leaves change), Husky Stadium (Washington-- supposed to be beautiful), Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke basketball), Smith Center (North Carolina basketball), Breslin Center (Michigan State-- an hour and change up the road so there's really no excuse for not having this crossed off my list), Assembly Hall (Indiana basketball-- I walked through, but haven't seen a game), Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas), Pauley Pavilion (UCLA basketball), Ralph Engelstad Arena (North Dakota hockey--I would have preferred the old arena), Lynah Rink (Cornell hockey-- my plan is to steal all their cheers, bring them back to my campus and pretend we're OMG Clever! I think it could work.)

In the pros: Pac Bell Park (Giants-- supposed to be the best around), Dodger Stadium (Dodgers--the last of the old classics on my list), Coors Field (Rockies-- for the sunset over the mountains), Lambeau Field (Packers), Soldier Field (Bears-- post-renovation, unfortunately), Texas Stadium (Cowboys), Fleet Center (Bruins) and Air Canada Centre (Maple Leafs-- to complete my Original Six tour), Old Trafford (Manchester United), Highbury (Arsenal), Wembley Stadium (any English national team match).

Places I wish I'd seen a game
I haven't really come up with any college classics that were destroyed recently. I'm not losing much sleep over missing out on Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis.

Pro: Tiger Stadium (Tigers-- Why the hell can't they play one series there every year?), The Forum (Canadiens), Boston Garden (Bruins & Celtics), Chicago Stadium (Blackhawks-- friends rave about "screaming the anthem" there), Maple Leaf Gardens (Maple Leafs), Municipal Stadium (Browns-- preferably in the snow), The Forum (Lakers).

From longer ago, Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers) and the Polo Grounds (New York Giants baseball).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Quarter after never.

I'm back on my "I should really start putting together an OSU-Michigan webpage" kick again.

You may remember me obsessing about this a couple months ago and then never doing anything about it. That's typically how these things go.

My interest was stirred recently when I bought a few old OSU-Michigan game programs off of Ebay.

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1976 program

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1996 program

I've got some others as well: 1960, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1993 (valuable because that game never happened), 1996 (see: 1993), 2001, 2004, 2005. And unless this post stirs up some kind of buying frenzy, you can typically find most of them for a few (less than 10) bucks. The only ones that get insanely expensive are the championship years (1968, for example) and the really old ones from the 1920-1950 era.

Back to my original point; My thought is to dig up the old Detroit Free Press/Columbus Dispatch game recaps for each year, whatever pictures I can find and the images of the game program and tickets (when available). I actually found pictures of most of the programs online already.

At some point, I'll spring for a nice URL and start transcribing articles. Based on my history, it'll probably be a while.

Badgerbadgerbadgerbadger

We've had Showdown Saturday and Bracketbuster Saturday in the past. I think it's fair to call today "WTF? Saturday."

Pitt loses to St John's?
Duke loses to Georgetown?
Florida loses to Tennessee (a lesser "WTF" but all three remaining unbeatens lose in one day)
Gonzaga scrapes by San Diego
And the piece de resistance... North Dakota State (!!!!) beats Wisconsin in Madison.

WTF?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

There's no sex in the champagne room.

I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere before, but Kammron Taylor looks a lot like Chris Rock at times. I don't even think these pictures capture it as well as others I've seen.



Above: Wisconsin guard Kammron Taylor

Below: Chris Rock




Update: The 253 hits for "Kammron Taylor" "Chris Rock" in Google suggest that someone may have noticed this before.

Super

This article sort of gives new meaning to Detroit's motto for Super Bowl XL: The World Is Coming.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dining with Abe Froman

A friend gave my the misses and I a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant a while back.

It was to a nice place... not "black tie" or even "jacket required"-type nice, but the kind of place where the waiter unfolds your napkin for you and refills your water glass every time you take a sip. For reference, the entrees were in the $35-50 range.

This is not the kind of place where I tend to feel comfortable. For my birthday last year, I asked to go to BW3 and Coldstone Creamery. Let's be honest... I'm not a complicated guy. However, I'm civilized enough to know which fork goes with which course and able to act like I'm not wildly uncomfortable in that situation.

Some of the other people there, however, were not. These are people wearing expensive suits and big-ass diamonds... the kind of people who were eating a $150 dinner on a Wednesday night because it was a Wednesday night and not because someone gave them a gift certificate.

The people next to us managed to walk into the restaurant loud and drunk, and get progressively louder and drunker as the meal passed. At one point the woman's cellphone rang and I shot the misses a "how can this lady not know to turn off the ringer on her phone" look.

Then, the woman answered it. Then, the woman started having a loud conversation with whoever was on the other end of the line about the meal. And soon... she was passing the phone around the table so other people could talk about what they were eating.

Like I said... I'm not the most complicated person in the world, but it's nice to know that one has the ability to act like you belong somewhere more than some rich assholes.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nice salad bar.



Never, ever, ever going to win the big one. Ever. No matter how much other teams try to hand it to him.



Loudmouth douchebag. Nice kick, asshat.

I'm sorry... but I love seeing the annointed teams take it in the ass.

Turd in the punchbowl...

Is there any point to this poorly-written piece of shit other than to ruin the mood of Broncos fans?

I don't really have any interest in either the Patriots or the Broncos (or the NFL in general), to the point where I didn't even remember that the game was on last night.

But that article reads like a bitter Patriots fan saying "you didn't beat us, we beat ourselves and you're going to get your ass kicked next weekend anyway."

We've all heard that drunk asshole speech on the way out of stadiums at some point. Now ESPN is paying that drunk asshole to put it on paper.

My favorite portion: Elway was here for the 27-13 victory. The guy still owns this town. He has his own restaurant, and his name graces about every car dealership within a 30-mile radius. And you should have seen Broncos fans as he walked with family and friends through the Invesco Field parking lot to the stadium suite entrance. Jaws will have to be surgically re-attached.

But Elway knows how fortunate the Broncos were to win this one. After all, when's the last time you saw the Patriots, winners of three of the last four Super Bowls, make more mistakes than Bill Belichick has hooded sweatshirts?


Forget the stupid joke about the sweatshirts (or the stupid joke about Angelina Jolie, which pretty much convinced me that he moonlights as a writer for Jay Leno) I like how he says, "Elway knows how fortunate the Broncos were to win this one."

Did you talk to him? I only ask because you don't seem to have a quote.

If you're going to attribute some thought to a person, it might be nice to get their actual thoughts on the matter. You know... since you're supposed to be a journalist and all.

Maybe I'm asking too much.

The times, they are a changin'...

If I'm awake at 2:37 am on a Sunday it means...

Five years ago: Just getting home from a night on the town.

Today: Frantically bailing water out of my basement because my sump pump decided to break. Desperately trying to find a plumber who'll come out on a Sunday morning.

Sweet.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The update you've all been waiting for...

I just found out that the place that inspired this surlier-than-necessary post just went out of business.

I can't imagine why.

What's your sign?

I finally got off my ass and printed out all the pictures from our trip to Arizona. The one I was most eagerly anticipating turned out to be nothing but a blur.

You see... along I-17, about 100 miles north of Phoenix and just a couple miles from the Sedona exit, there's a sign along the side of the road. It names the body of water that the highway is traversing at the moment.

Its name: Dry Beaver Creek.

Needless to say, that easily tops the legendary Big Beaver exit off of I-75 north of Detroit.

I was almost giddy at the thought of snapping a picture. Didn't work.

Fortunately, Google Images yielded the following image.

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If you're ever in the Sedona area, have your camera ready.

I'm guessing in the realm of childish picture posts, this one ranks somewhere between here and here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

We are the champions, my friend.

Ohio State wins 2005 Football National Championship!

I can't wait to see it listed in our media guide alongside all the other glorious triumphs like our 1998 Sagarin title!

Oh... wait... we're not Alabama. Sorry.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stupid Brian from mgoblog took the good Nabokov reference so this is the title of the post...

We're entering the dark ages of college football when all fans have left to grasp at is recruiting.

I've had a little experience trying to cover recruiting through main-stream media outlets and can assure you that it's about 87% bullshit and 13% smoke and mirrors.

The problem comes largely from the fact that media outlets can't check their facts with one of the two parties involved. The schools can't talk about any of the kids specifically until National Signing Day. Until then, you're just taking the kid's word on offers, verbal commitments, etc.

A few years ago (probably 2002 or 2003) there was a kid from upstate New York who went from nothing to a three-star recruit practically overnight. He claimed that he had been offered by Syracuse, Rutgers and a few others and that OSU and someone else notable were at least expressing interest. Unfortunately for him (and the services that ranked him) it was all B.S. No one offered him.

But since there's no way to check up on it (and God forbid a recruiting "expert" watch any film), that charade carried on for a month or two.

Another story was more personal and really pissed me off.

There was a highly-recruited player who was down to OSU and one other Big Ten school. Working at a Columbus TV station at the time, we were trying to figure out where this kid was going to go to school. A recruiting guy we worked with actually called him and the kid said, "I'm going to Ohio State." So we reported, "the kid says he's going to Ohio State."

The next day, the kid verbals to the other school.

The problem is that the longer these kids keep themselves in the spotlight, the more hype they get and the more they get out of it (EDSBS' old "ass and titties" payment plan, presumably), so it's in their best interest in many cases to lie.

When one side has motive to lie and the other side is prohibited from talking, you've got the perfect recipe for completely worthless coverage.

And that doesn't even get into the "ratings" systems which put Mike D'Andrea, Derek Morris and Justin Zwick as the three best Big Ten recruits in 2002 (ahead of Maurice Clarett and Gabe Watson), and A.J. Hawk nowhere in the top-20 Big Ten recruits that year.

Meh.

The Giants' non-existant playoff run left me feeling... not much.

I used to care very deeply about pro sports (Mets, Giants, Rangers, Knicks) but recently the combination of not living anywhere near New York and the fact that pro sports are somewhat sterile and over-packaged has made me care a whole lot less.

I can still remember the anguish I felt when Flipper Anderson caught a TD bomb in overtime of a 1990 Division Playoff game and kept on running right down the tunnel of Giants Stadium. That just floored me for a couple days. I remember watching Matt Bahr drill the game-winning field goal against the 49ers that sent them to Super Bowl XXV, and remember screaming like a lunatic when Scott Norwood did his impression of an FSU kicker.

A few years ago when they blew that huge lead in San Francisco in the Wild Card round, I was still kind of bummed. Today I forgot the game was on until my father-in-law called.

By the middle of the third quarter, I was on my way out the door to see Munich (long but very good). I haven't seen one period of a Rangers game and couldn't tell you the results of any Knicks games over the past month (although it's safe to say that whoever they played, they probably lost). I went to a Red Wings game last week and had several "wait... he plays for them now" moments. I know the guys on my fantasy team (12-1 and first place, bitches!) but that's about it.

I still like the Mets and follow them pretty closely, but that's about it.

Pro sports are too much like ESPN... too packaged and artificial. Give me college any time.

***********

I don't know what the hell is happening with the Buckeye hockey team, but it ain't good. They've gone from beating Colorado College on the road and being ranked as one of the top 3 (top 2, maybe) teams in the nation to getting swept by freaking BG (insert snide comment by Tony here).

I had season tickets when I went to school there and went to most of the games after I graduated, too. Now it's maddening to not be able to watch any of the games, and therefore not knowing what the hell is going wrong. They've been out-shooting a lot of opponents but not scoring at all. They're also giving up a bunch of goals on not that many shots. Earlier in the year, I was willing to chalk it up to running into a couple of hot goalies, but they've dumped way too many games now for it to not be some kind of internal problem.

As it is, a roadie to Yost is not looking very appealing.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sportscenter is next!

Somewhere in Bristol right now, some poor production assistant is scrambling to put together a week-long series on where the 2005 USC team would fare against every NCAA runner-up of all time.

Consensus: They would beat 2003 Miami 56-3 (I mean... they lost to OSU and we know what USC would have done to that OSU team, right?). No one else would have scored on them or held them under 60 points.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Best. Trip. Ever.

Arizona: Not ugly.

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OSU: Not impressed with Weis.

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Much more later, including how the Super Genius Of All Football got completely pwn3d by a guy 97% of Notre Dame fans probably still couldn't name.

I'd write more now, but I think OSU just scored again.

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