Archive for November 2008

Beware The Magic Fuzzle

November 29, 2008

Black Friday, as it is so affectionately referred to, has become somewhat of a tradition among me and a few friends.  It started out two years ago with us just wanting to buy some cheap DVDs, and we had so much fun running around town at 5:00 AM that we decided that we simply had to do it every year for as long as humanly possible.  For us, although it’s nice to get some of our Christmas shopping knocked out, and some of the sales are good, it’s more about the experience itself than anything really.

We’ve had some good times doing this and that got me thinking about how I could parlay the experience into a post.  So, first, I am going to recall my top three memories thus far from our Black Friday experiences.  Then, I am going to top it off by doing a running diary of our morning while we battle Canadians and soccer moms in their pajamas for items we really don’t need, but are on such a good sale, we can’t afford not to buy them.

Let’s start out by running down our crew of usual suspects.  Everyone plays their roles, and this unit is like a well-oiled machine when it’s in motion. First is Eric, a mainstay in the comment section of this lovely blog.  Eric serves two purposes on our excursions.  He is usually the one who gets stuck driving, and he is basically the navigator/coordinator.  He decides where we’re going, when we’re going, and how long we’ll be there.  This is due mostly to his inability to relinquish ANY kind of control whatsoever on any situation … ever. I guess you could say Eric is like a combination of Christopher Columbus and Hitler.  And yes, that is very accurate.

Next up is B-Weezy.  A former roommate of two years, B-Weezy plays his role to perfection every year.  When the time comes to wake up nice and early, he always pretends like he’s so tired that he isn’t coming.  He’ll play this up to the last possible minute, and finally he’ll roll over and say something like “Oh fine, I guess I’ll come.”  While we’re out in the battlefield, B-Weezy is usually good for a couple laughs while we make fun of various people for various reasons, which I have come to realize is maybe the most important part of the day. He is definitely the Costello to my Abbott.

Third in this dream team is our buddy Cristin.  Although she wasn’t part of the original team, she has since been taken in on pure happenstance.  Our first year out, we stumbled across her in Target, alone, at 6:00 AM.  Once she saw how much fun we were having, she had to join up with us and the rest is history.  Cristin’s role is an interesting one.  She doesn’t want to shop for herself, she just likes to come for the fun.  She, by her own admittance, is our Black Friday bitch.  Last year, we made her drive separate so she could go to other stores early enough to score the stuff we wanted and wait for us while we were in line at Best Buy.  Sounds mean, but the funny part is that we know she is way too nice to ever say no to a ridiculous request like this, so we take advantage.

Then, last but not least, is me.  I like to think of myself as somewhat of a cross between a yes man and the chief entertainer.  I’m a yes man for two reasons: First, I genuinely don’t care where we go, as long as Best Buy is priority number one, so if anyone wants to go to a store, and we take a group vote on it, I will not say no.  Second, I am the one out there convincing everyone else that they need to buy everything.  If someone comes up to me with something, and asks, “Should I buy this?” my answer is invariably, “Yes.”  No two ways about it, no questions asked, no matter how stupid the product.  The entertainment aspect is mostly a result  of the fact that I am hyper for no good reason all morning, and I am able to step back and realize how ridiculous this all is, so I openly mock people for my own benefit.

So, running down my top three moments in Black Friday history:

3. Two years ago when Eric went absolutely bananas and bought more stuff than any one person needs. Ever.  No one is quite sure what happened that day, but he had a Mike Singletary-like fire in his eyes the likes of which haven’t been seen since the second World War.  He walked out of Best Buy that morning with enough merchandise to start his own electronics store.  Included in his purchase were two (yes, two) DVD players, two (again, two) flash drives, countless movies, and the impulse buy we’ve never let him live down, a cordless handheld vacuum.  To this day, one of those DVD players is sitting in his basement unopened.

2. Last year, after shopping was all said and done, we were a hungry group of people, but every breakfast joint on the south side of town was bound to be packed with shoppers, so we decided to go to a little place on the north end of town called Darcy’s Cafe.  Anyone who has lived in Grand Forks knows about Darcy’s.  Far and away, the best breakfast in the tri-county area.  Not only do you get enough food to choke a horse, but there is nothing on the menu for more than $7.  It’s a true greasy spoon, and a definite hole in the wall.  So when we get there, not only are we the youngest people in the place by a good 30 years, but we stick out like a boner in sweatpants.  After we sit, us three boys order hearty, delicious meals, and Cristin, a bit too girly and dainty for her own good sometimes, decides to test her luck and ask the waitress for an egg white omelet, which is absolutely nowhere to be found on the menu.  It was like one of those scenes in the movies where the needle scratches off the record, the place goes silent, and everyone stops what they’re doing to stare at the freak.  The waitress slowly looks up from her pen and pad, and in the greatest “what the fuck” voice she can muster, she tells Cristin that they don’t have an egg white omelet.  Pretty sure the three of us laughed so hard we pissed our pants, and Cristin swallowed her shame and ordered waffles if I remember correctly.  To date, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen happen in a restaurant. Although Cristin swears they did make it for her, I don’t remember this, and it makes my story more funny if things went the way I recall them.

1. Two years ago, after we made our rounds at Best Buy and were ready to hit the checkout lines, we realized that the line stretched about halfway around the outer perimeter of the store.  It wound in and out of aisles and was easily a couple hundred people long.  Solid.  Six checkout lanes plus an endless sea of people equals a long ass wait.  Whatever, it’s not like I had come that far to bail now, so we posted up.  At about the halfway point, things were going swimmingly … until someone cut in line.  A mother and her teenage daughter managed to infiltrate the line about eight to ten people in front of us, and apparently, I was the only one who was man enough to say anything about it, because everyone else just turned a blind eye. They weren’t talking to anyone near them, which means their spot in line wasn’t being held, they straight up cut 150 people.   So after my initial assaults of “Whoaaaaa” and “Heyyyyyyyy,” coupled with other various scoffs and noises, it became very clear that these two were in it to win it and were not budging.  So instead of being a tattletale, I wanted to have more fun with it.  I started to ridicule them out loud in front of everyone.  B-Weezy joined me for a little impromptu roast, and for 20-30 straight minutes, those two had to be more uncomfortable than Shaq playing someone in HORSE when all the guy will do is shoot from different angles on the free throw line because he knows Shaq will miss.  In conjunction to my almost non-stop insults and one liners, I got them both to make eye contact with me at one point, at which time I looked them dead in the eye, and in the most serious tone I’ve ever taken, I said “As long as you can sleep at night.”  They didn’t look back once more after that.  The crowning moment of this whole incident though, was the end result.  Once the line approached the checkout lanes, people were split up and sent to different registers to keep things from piling up too bad.  Well my checkout lane must have gone really fast and the cutters’ lane must have had a slowpoke, because I somehow emerged victorious.  As I was standing near the door waiting for B-Weezy to finish paying, the line jumpers walked past me on their way out.  I stood there with the biggest asshole grin I could muster, and as they passed, I said, very sarcastically, “Have a nice day.”  I’m pretty sure the mom called me an asshole, but I can’t back that up 100% because she mumbled it and it was loud in there.  Easily, EASILY, one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever had happen to me.

Good times, good times.

On to this year’s festivities.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27th, 2008

9:30 PM: After brief talks with Eric about the details of our upcoming journey, I fall asleep watching TV.  I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m 65, and this was one of them.

11:20 PM: I get a text from B-Weezy that says: “You have to call Eric at 5 in the morning to make sure he gets up.”  This is more of an inside joke for us, but people who know Eric know he is 1) physically incapable of getting up early unless he ABSOLUTELY has to and 2) is NOTORIOUS for running late and doing things on his own watch with no regard for anyone else’s needs or wants. We have a rule for Eric, affectionately known as the Two Hour Rule, and it states that anytime we need to be somewhere by a certain time and he is involved, count on getting there two hours later than originally intended.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28th, 2008

1:36 AM: I wake up to pee, and cannot fall back asleep.  I know it was 1:36 exactly because when I woke up, I looked at the clock and said, “1:36, what the fuck?!?!”  I guess when the body is used to only getting three hours of sleep a night, it gets a little weirded out when the possibility for more is presented.

2:45 AM: Well, as long as I’m awake I suppose I could, ya know … make a turkey sandwich from yesterday’s leftovers.  Wait, what did you think I was going to say?

2:52 AM: On a normal Friday, I would be getting ready for work around this time.  Today, I am sitting at my computer playing online poker.  It passes the time, and with any luck I can win a little extra spending money for the day.

3:08 AM: KirsiP from Davis, California has officially paid for my entire morning when I flop three jacks and he/she bets into me three straight times.  The drinks (and cordless vacuum cleaners) are on me!

3:12 AM: Got a text from Eric that reads: “Don’t forget to call me to wake me up.”  When I reply, “Why don’t you just stay up?” I get no response.  Also classic Eric.

4:51 AM: Since I am pretty sure this is going to take more than one try, and because I know it is going to infuriate him to no end, I give Eric his wake up call.  No answer.

4:58 AM: If at first you don’t succeed …

4:59 AM: When he finally does answer, Eric takes a page out of B-Weezy’s book and pretends like he doesn’t want to come.  Meanwhile, B-Weeezy himself is already up and on his way over to Eric’s.  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.  We didn’t even have to argue with B-Weezy to get him out of bed this year.

5:11 PM: Text exchange with B-Weezy –

Me: “Make sure that son of a bitch is out the door by 5:25.  I’m counting on you.”
Him: “See you around 7 because Eric is in classic mode right now.”

5:19 AM – 5:23 AM: A triangle of frantic phone calls is evoked when no one is quite sure if Eric is even out of bed yet.  This is all capped off with a phone call from me which Eric answered by saying “FUCKER. What do you want?!?!?!?”  Happy holidays folks.

5:46 AM:  The fantastic four is complete when the other three roll in and pick me up at my place.  Eric immediately gets on the defensive, unprovoked, saying that we’re “running right on time.”  I almost didn’t have the heart to tell him he was six minutes late picking me up.  Almost.

5:52 AM: We arrive at the zoo known as Best Buy, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a few other people there.  Honestly, I’ll put the over/under at 600.  That might be way off, but who knows.  All I know is that within 2 minutes I am sick of people running into me, I am sick of being in the way, I am sick of people being in the way, and I have already met my quota of number of times I’ll say “excuse me” for the entire day.

5:59 AM: Reason number 407 I love Cristin: She is shameless.  Case in point, whenever I can’t find something I’m looking for, like Transformers on Blu-ray for only $10, I subtly complain about it to her.  The following events are always gorgeous.  She will go grab the closest person wearing a Best Buy nametag, take them away from whatever they’re doing, and ask for whatever I need.  Seriously guys, it always helps to have a female with you for stuff like this.

6:13 AM: Eric already has a pile of stuff big enough to anchor the USS Constitution.  I’m dead serious, if Eric had lived in a town with a Circuit City instead of a Best Buy all this time, Circuit City would not have had to declare bankruptcy recently.

6:25 AM:  I get a text from Cristin while I am looking at iPod accessories that says: “We’re in line, just so you know.”  F-word.  I drop everything I am doing and make a mad dash for the line, only there are two of them this year, one on each end of the store.  Quick decision.  I choose the right one, but there is easily 40 people between me and them.  Not good.  I can’t cut.  I can’t become everything I despise, and mock and ridicule.  Besides, they’re boxed in by vacuum cleaners (which is not a good thing for Eric) and basically inaccessible.

6:29 AM: I decide to hand my stuff off to Cristin so I don’t have to be in line 20 minutes after they’ve already paid, and I spend the next 25 minutes wandering around aimlessly like Ray Charles in a small apartment.  I keep bumping into stuff and people, and I become very aware that I am capable of murder with my bare hands.

6:51 AM: Target is the next stop on the map, but nothing especially important happens here, so we can just move on.

7:08 AM: Eric is out to buy a microwave at Sears, and gets lied to about the availability of the model he seeks by sales associate Marty.  A conversation ensues which includes the phrase “Fuckin Marty” about a half-dozen times.

8:14 AM: Eric, B-Weezy, and Cristin are all hypnotized by a toy called the Magic Fuzzle which is being demonstrated in the mall.  I can’t even begin to explain the concept of this thing, so please, please, please just follow the link and watch that minute-long video.  The following set of events will be a thousand times funnier if you do. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

DId you watch it?  Okay, let’s continue then.

8:18 AM: The three of them, MYSTIFIED about how it could possibly work, all break down and buy one, and I get absolutely crucified for being the only person in our group who doesn’t seem to show any interest in it.  As they’re buying it, they’re asking the guy how easy it is to learn, and he tells them that “A three year old can learn this in two minutes.”  Hmm, sounds easy.  At $12 each, that little piece of felt better be freakin magic. The guy running the cash register tells them all to “Have a beautiful day,” and even that seems like a ruse.  No good can come of this.

8:21 AM: As we make our way out of the mall, a girl sees the recent purchases of the other three, and without any input from us, immediately exclaims, “IT’S ON A STRING!” Yes. My day was now effectively complete because I just went from being the stupid one to being the only rational one in a matter of four seconds. In Cristin’s defense, she told us she was buying hers for her niece.  The jury is still out on this, and if I ever catch her playing with it, you all will be among the first to find out.

8:23 AM: In the car, Eric opens his new toy and sure enough, it’s a piece of felt dangling on a fishing line, or as the packaging refers to it, “a magician’s thread.”  The only thing magic about this is that it had the ability to make someone relatively intelligent look like the stupidest person in history.

8:28 AM: Breakfast is now a necessity, but we avoid Darcy’s this year due to the embarrassment Cristin put us through last year, and opt for our favorite 24-hour breakfast joint.

8:31 AM: Eric brings his new piece of fur into the restaurant with him, determined to get good at it so as to make his purchase seem somewhat worthwhile.  After a couple minutes, he asks the waitress, jokingly, if she wants to buy it from him.  She replies, in the rudest tone possible, “Ummm, I’m a little too old to be into something like that,” and promptly walks away.  Owned.

8:58 AM: After countless jokes (mostly from me) and 35 minutes of practice, Eric is still can’t do a damn thing with his worm on a string.  Allow me to cut and paste from a little bit earlier … “A three year old can learn this in two minutes.”  I guess we forgot to ask how long it will take a 24 year old who got a 29 on his ACT. At no point whatsoever has the string been invisible to any of us.  It is very, very obvious.  I almost feel bad for Eric.  Almost.

9:09 AM: Nearly four hours, $180 worth of DVDs and Blu-rays, and one big breakfast later, I am dropped off at home, I pay Cristin back for buying my stuff at Best Buy, and another successful Black Friday is in the books. I follow up my morning by watching Casino Royale and falling asleep for about a five hour nap.  Hey, I needed it, I barely got any sleep Thursday night.

This year is being officially tagged as The Year of the Fuzzy.  Do yourselves a favor if you see this thing in your local mall: keep walking.

Well, I’m spent.  That’s the most I’ve written in a long time.  Hope it was half as entertaining for you to read as it was for me to experience.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

One love,

10

Advertisements

Giving Thanks For The Really Important Stuff

November 26, 2008

Another Thanksgiving is here, and that means a few things.  First, it means it’s time for me to eat way too much food for an entire weekend.  It means that I’ll be out shopping with my posse Friday morning for the third consecutive year.  (Side note: Our Black Friday shopping isn’t as much about the shopping as it is the experience.  Seeing people go nuts over stuff they don’t need just because it is 97% off the regular price just amuses me. Sometimes you just want to look at people and say, “Yeah, I know it’s only $6, but do you really need a dustbuster, Eric?” Enough said).  But mostly, at least for the purposes of this blog, Thanksgiving means giving thanks.  Here are just a few of the things I am especially thankful for this year …

-Gas prices going down faster than Paris Hilton after two drinks.  Last month I was paying almost $4 a gallon.  Today, it’s $1.59 in town.  Here’s to hoping it lasts longer than Paris Hilton’s “fame.”

-Chapstick.  Nothing overly complicated about this one, it’s just that I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live without it for longer than 10 hours.

-The slippers I bought from Old Navy a couple weeks ago. Not only are these things damn warm and incredibly comfortable, but they look simply irresistable with sweatpants.  If I was a chick, and I saw me wearing them, I’d do me. Does that make any sense?  Probably not.

-SportsCenter.  I know this isn’t exactly a well-kept secret, but I think we take it for granted. Imagine if we actually had to read the newspaper for our sports highlights.  Proposterous.

Heidi Klum’s commercial for Guitar Hero World Tour.  Seriously, wow.

-Tyler Hansbrough being back in the roster for the Tar Heels.  Aside from the obvious reasons for a Heel fan, I know fully well that if Hansbrough wasn’t around, Hammen would have one less person to make fun of every week.

-Nana’s pumpkin pie.  I can smell it already and it’s still more than 24 hours away.  It’s times like this I wish I had my own Delorian capable of time travel so I could go enjoy some delicious pie right now.

-Our new president.  Very, VERY thankful.

-A four day weekend, which I am about 12 hours away from kicking off.  You had better believe I will be going out and making some bad decisions this weekend.

And finally …

-Do I dare?  Is it getting played out?  Perhaps, but I don’t give a shit.  I’m gonna do it anyway. erinandrews3

Thank God for Erin Andrews!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.  I hope you all have a good, safe weekend.

Guess What I Like To Do With My Thumbs

November 23, 2008

Ew, not that.  I like to judge things with them.  Some things deserve to be recognized, be it positively or negatively.  I figure, hell, I’ve got time.  I can talk about some stuff.  Since I’m feeling frisky, I’ll go back and forth between the good and the bad.

Thumbs up to Netflix for their instant online viewing option.  Thanks to that, I can watch unlimited movies online, and the best part is, it’s included in the price of my membership (which is already dirt cheap). I am currently working my way through season one of Heroes which is going well so far.  I feel like I am ripping someone off, seriously.

Thumbs down to the BCS for putting Texas at number two in the rankings this week after Texas Tech’s embarrassing loss to Oklahoma.  So to recap, Tech beats Texas, Oklahoma DESTROYS Tech, Texas is ranked higher than Oklahoma. Makes exactly zero sense, which should be the slogan for the BCS system.  Either that, or: The BCS, we love fucking things up! Eventually, we’ll have our playoff college fans.

Thumbs up to my Buckeyes for closing out their regular season with a decisive win against the lowly Michigan Wolverines.  They have now beaten their biggest rivals for five straight years, which is the longest streak in school history.  Now, my fingers stay crossed hoping we can get a few losses over the next couple weeks from within the top 10, which would more than likely give the Buckeyes a BCS bowl berth.

Thumbs down to the pro-anorexia groups forming on Facebook recently.  One group in particular has recommended that its members reduce their caloric intake to 500 calories a day or less, which is about a fourth of the recommended daily allowance for adults and roughly the equivalent of two Chicken McNuggets.  Look, I know it’s a free country, and if you want to starve yourself, then that’s your deal.  But why put that stuff on Facebook for every impressionable teenage girl to see? I am kind of hoping the bigwigs that run the ‘Book step in on this one.

Thumbs up to the season finale of Entourage.  Even though this season was only 12 episodes, it did not disappoint me and the finale was exactly what I needed it to be.  Hopefully the wait for season six won’t be as long as this one was for season five, unless there’s another strike by the freakin’ writers. Since there’s a good chance not everyone has seen all of the episodes yet, I’ll refrain from ruining anything.

Thumbs down to the Burger King commercials in which a dad playing a Whopper scolds his son, who is a Whopper Jr. The only beef (no pun intended) I have with these commercials, is that the wife and the daughter of this family are both normal human beings, while both of the males are burgers.  How in the hell can beef impregnate someone?  That does not make sense. Although, this gives new meaning to the phrase “hot beef injection.”

Thumbs up to the Titans for losing today.  No, really.  The more I think about it, the more it is better for them.  Now they can just play.  Hammen and I are unanimous about this.  They have a few easy games over the next three weeks against the Lions (0-11), the Browns (4-7), and the Texans (4-7) in which they can rebound and get back on a good roll before they finish the season with a couple of testers against the Steelers (8-3) and Colts (7-4).  I’ll take them to finish 14-2, although 15-1 sure wouldn’t bother me either.

And finally, thumbs down to the McDonald’s employee who found a cell phone left behind by a customer, saw the nude pictures on the phone, and put them online. Now Phillip Sherman (the owner of the phone) and his wife (the naked lady in the pictures) are suing McDonald’s for a cool $3 million. Alright, let’s be realistic, it’s only natural to look at a phone if you find one. How else are you going to find the owner? You look for a contact like “Mom” or “Home” and call it. If you do happen to stumble upon some pictures of a lady during naked time, do yourself a favor, show them to the guy working the drive-thru and get on with your life. Did this guy really think he couldn’t be found once he posted these pics? Ignorance I tell you.

Well, for now, this is all I’ve got. I have a short work week thanks to the Pilgrims, and I look forward to stuffing my face full of turkey, watching football, and not waking up at 2:45 every morning. I’ll be around plenty, so odds are I’ll write at least once more before the week’s end.

One love,

10

Killing Time With The Flu

November 19, 2008

So today I took a sick day from work.  But before you ask if I’m feeling okay, allow me to reiterate: I never said I was sick, I said I took a sick day.  Ha, just kidding.  Or am I?   The world may never know!  In any case, taking a day off from work can be a nice change provided you don’t spend the day with explosive diarrhea.  In my case, I think it’s just a touch of the flu, so I curled up with a blanket and spent the day doing all the things one should do when he/she finds themselves taking a much-needed day off from work.

These things are different for everyone of course, but I usually like to follow a set routine.  I like to start things off by sleeping in.  Since I was supposed to be at work at 3:30 this morning, sleeping in consisted of sleeping until about 10:00, which was perfect timing because thing number one I always like to do on my days off is watch The Price is Right.  I don’t care if Dane Cook made this part of one of his stand up acts, it’s friggin true.  I just miss Bob Barker … a lot.  Ever since Drew Carey took over, the show has been like a really attractive woman who got a breast reduction.  Sure, perhaps it was a necessary change, and yeah she’s still hot, but it’s just not the same anymore.

Another thing I think is a must for sick days is a nap, although this is more often a necessity than a pleasure experience.  I’ve been run down a lot lately, and that is probably why I got sick in the first place, so a nice little 45 minute snooze really hit the spot in the early afternoon.

Next in the lineup is spending an inordinate amount of time on YouTube.  I am constantly thinking that there can’t possibly be enough stuff there to keep me occupied, but I am always wrong.  Once you click on something you like, you can click on related videos, and from there it’s a slippery slope of goodness and before you know it I’m watching a clip of every single “That’s what she said” quote from The Office and laughing my ass off.  My favorite for now, though …

I follow up YouTube with movie time.  Sometimes I plow through an entire season of something on DVD, sometimes I watch a good trio of movies like the Back to the Future trilogy.  Other times, like today, I go all over the map.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall, American Psycho, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. That particular trio can be described as a shit sandwich on magic bread because the middle was total crap while the outer ends are spectacular.  I mean seriously, American Psycho was bad.

Next I usually spend a good amount of time texting anyone who I think will talk to me.  This has fantastic potential to kill a large amount of time with minimal effort, which is nice. The more random the conversation, the better. During this time, I usually like to order food, because there is no way in hell I am cooking anything.  I don’t even want to rev up the microwave for a Hot Pocket, that takes too much effort.  I’d rather order pizza online and have it brought to my door in a half hour or less. While we’re on the topic, I have never bought into that whole “starve a fever, feed a cold” crap, (or is it the other way around?) and I have always subscribed to the idea that if I am hungry, I am going to eat damn it.

And last, but certainly not least, I have enjoyed blogging today.  This is beneficial for you too, in case you’re looking for something to pass the time while you sit on your rump, sick or not.  Well, I think the pizza guy just got here, so that is my cue for an exit.  Hope you have a happy hump day, and I hope I feel better tomorrow.

One love,

10

My Palms Are Sweaty

November 19, 2008

I am officially nervous. Why?  A few reasons.

First, I am nervous about the health of the Tar Heels basketball squad.  Let’s start with Tyler Hansbrough.  He has been struggling with a shin injury as of late, and between how much he tends to get beat up during a game and his importance to the team, this is an injury I just plain don’t want to see happening.  Yes, I know he’s overhyped, I know he is talked about way too much, and I know that it must get sickening for any non-Heel fan.  But at least admit this to yourself, the kid can play.  He’s a vital part of that team and you know it.

Also battling ailments are Bobby Frasor, who missed 20 games last year due to injury, and Marcus Ginyard, arguably the team’s best defender.  Now, for the latest news out of Chapel Hill that made me cringe.  Freshman center Tyler Zeller, who was expected to be a major contributor for the next four years, is out indefinitely with a broken wrist and FoxSports.com reported that he will miss the entire season. F word.

The second item setting off my nervous alarm comes out of Ohio.  My Buckeyes only have to beat lowly Michigan before they’re bowl bound, but there is going to be a big difference between the bowl game they get at 10-2 if they beat Michigan as opposed to the one they would get at 9-3 if they lose.  I’m still looking for a few losses inside the top 10 to propel the Buckeyes into a BCS game, but I don’t want to get my hopes too high on this one.

The nervousness for the previous two pales in comparison when I start to think of how nervous I get about the following item.

I’ve been trying to avoid talking about it in public for fear of jinxing it, but I gotta face my fears.  I gotta talk about my Titans being 10-0.  When they were 7-0, I loved where they were at because they were still mostly off the radar as far as ESPN goes.  All I could think about was how I wanted to slit my wrists everyday last year when ESPN dedicated at least 20 minutes of every hour to the Patriots and their “Pursuit of Perfection.” I told myself that if ESPN started in on that crap with Tennessee, it was over.

Well as of this week, it started.  Every single day now ESPN is breaking down the Titans, whether it’s their next game, their injuries, or what kind of Gatorade they drink at practice. Can’t you just see Skip Bayless screaming tomorrow morning on 1st and Ten: “ALL-SPORT IS A FAR BETTER SPORTS DRINK THAN GATORADE, AND JEFF FISHER IS ONLY HURTING HIS TEAM BY SERVING THAT CRAP DURING PRACTICE! ALSO, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A MOUTH-TO-MOUTH KISS WITH DUSTIN PEDROIA!”

Anyway …

No player or coach in Tennessee can be interviewed without being asked about a perfect season, and if they keep up their winning ways, it’s really going to start becoming a mental barrier.  As a player, the last thing you want is for an extra ounce of pressure to be put on you come game day. This is just going to become another distraction until they lose, whether that loss comes this Sunday or next season.

However, the thing that makes me more nervous than all of those things put together is the new Kanye West album.  Any of you who have read this blog for any extended period of time have probably seen me gush about how much I love his music, and in my opinion, he could do no wrong.  Until now perhaps?  What I have heard of his new album, 808s & Heartbreak, which will hit shelves next Tuesday, is nothing special.  As a matter of fact, it’s been pretty bad.  I’ve always commended Kanye for creating new sounds for each of his albums and constantly upping the ante for hip hop, but this album looks as if it is poised to fall flat on its face, and that might make me cry.  I guess the jury (me) will have to wait to give a verdict on this one until next Tuesday.

On a lighter note …

Boner of the week goes to Eagles QB Donovan McNabb for admitting Sunday that he was unaware that an NFL game could end in a tie.  Hey, Donovan, remember when you got drafted back in 1999? Then a few years later, in 2002, when the Falcons and Steelers played to a 34-34 tie, you heard about that right?  In my opinion, what’s even worse than not knowing that a regular season game could end in a tie is McNabb admitting that he hates to think of what would happen if a playoff game or the Super Bowl ended up tied.  Okay, I know it’s tough, but follow along, Donovan.  A regular season game can end in a tie, however, a playoff game may not.  They’ll keep playing the game to decide who moves on.  It’s not like they call the game a tie and hold three-legged races on consecutive Mondays until a winner is crowned. Donovan, this is your tenth year in the NFL, and I will argue that anyone who has been even a moderate fan of the NFL for ten years knows the overtime rules.  Ridiculous.

One love,

10

The Numbers Don’t Lie

November 16, 2008

Usually when I leave work on Friday, I am giddy at the thought of the weekend, but this past Friday, I left work mildly ticked off.  Just as I was getting ready to hit the door, a co-worker asked me if I had hockey tickets, to which I replied by telling him that I really don’t like hockey.

Well, living in northern Minnesota, I knew what was coming next, and words turned into other words, and before I knew it we were in a full on, balls-to-the-walls argument about hockey versus basketball. I get a lot of this living up here, and I don’t really care.  I plain do not like hockey.  I think it’s a combination of the fact that I am EXPECTED to like it just because it’s so popular in the area and the fact that it is just plain boring to me.  Anyway, once we got past the mandatory bashing laid on each sport, I asked him to simply admit that, all personal opinions aside, basketball is without question more popular than hockey on a national scale.  He simply wouldn’t admit it.  He insisted that hockey was “dude, way more popular” and just wouldn’t listen to reason.

I asked him to consider the evidence; the minimal coverage of NHL games on the major sports networks including ESPN, a very small fan base concentrated mostly in a handful of major cities throughout the northern part of the U.S., the fact that not a single game was played in the 2004-05 season due to lockout and only about 47 people noticed, and the desperate attempt to restructure several of the league’s major rules in order to make the game more appealing to a wider audience. He still wasn’t buying.  He said he was more interested in college hockey anyway. So, I asked him this question: How many division 1 college hockey games are nationally televised per season?  We’ll assume each of the Frozen Four games is, even though I am not 100% sure on that, and we’ll throw a few in for good measure, bringing our total to roughly six.  Then I asked him if he knew how many college basketball games were nationally televised each season.  Exactly. I submit that there are more games televised on opening day of the March Madness tournament than there are in the entire college hockey season. He still wasn’t totally convinced.  He told me to dig up some numbers and prove him wrong.

Well, Dan, if you’re reading this, I did exactly that.  Never underestimate my tenacity on stuff like this.  I am just ITCHING for an excuse to sit on my ass all day Sunday in my sweatpants while I do this stuff.  Give me any reason to put off my laundry for another day and I’ll gladly accept.  So, without any further fluff, let’s get into the cold, hard facts. Also, I threw in some football stats since ol’ Danny boy decided to figuratively spit in my face and call my favorite game “a fucking joke.”

Average attendance figures, per game, for the 2007 season:
-Division 1 Men’s Hockey = 3,971
-Division 1 Men’s Basketball = 5,446
-Division 1 Football = 46,249
-NHL = 17,265
-NBA = 17,394
-MLB = 32,717
-NFL = 67,738

Interesting huh? How about this …

Average TV viewers for each sport’s championship last season:
-Stanley Cup = 2.3 million
-NBA Finals = 9.3 million
-World Series = 10.1 million
-Super Bowl = 97.5 million

Man, I hate to say I told you so … wait, I LOVE saying it.  I fucking told you so, Dan.  On a side note, I’m not quite sure which is more funny: How incredibly right I am, or the fact that I’m pretty sure more people were at the Minneapolis Olive Garden on Saturday night than were at any college hockey game last season.

So, come Monday morning, I will be expecting an official statement from Dan telling me that I was indeed correct and that I am superior to him in any and every way.  Sorry, Dano, but these numbers are like Shakira’s hips, they don’t lie.

While we’re talking sports, I would like to take this opportunity to vent briefly about the NFL.  Today the Eagles and Bengals played to a 13-13 tie marking the first tie in the league since 2002.  Why, oh why, is the NFL so far behind on this?  In a 16-game regular season, why in the world would a tie ever be allowed?  Baseball plays 162 games, basketball and hockey each play 82, and not one of those games can finish in a tie.  Can someone please remind me why they play these games?

Ohh, that’s right.  Playing 60 minutes in regulation and 15 more in overtime, only to end up right back where both teams started seems a little, shall we say, ridiculous.  College has the right idea, even if you don’t agree with their overtime format (personally, I do).  After all that work, one of those teams should walk out of that building with a win, no ifs, ands, or buts. I guess we should have just rounded up both the Eagles and Bengals squads and had each of the players kiss their respective sisters, since that is basically what the afternoon can be equated to for them.  What a waste.

Oh well, I’m not too upset.  I can only get so riled up on a Sunday.  After all, Sunday is my day of absolutely zero stress.  I have been sitting on my ass all day in sweatpants watching football and puttering around on the internet.  In about an hour, I plan to make myself a hearty dinner of chicken strips while I watch the Dallas-Washington game in glorious HD.  Can it get any better?  I submit that it cannot.

I trust you have all started hunting for my Christmas presents as instructed in the previous post.  If not, don’t worry, you’ve got time to work yet.  I mean, Erin Andrews can’t be THAT hard to find.

One love,

10

Making A List, Checking It Twice

November 12, 2008

Ahh the holiday season.  This is without question my favorite time of the year, and now that I am getting older, it’s becoming less about the presents and more about family and getting paid time off from work for a couple days.  But then again, it’s still slightly about the presents.  Since I consider you all my friends, and since the people who read this on a regular basis arguably know more about me than most of my family, I’ll be expecting presents from each of you.

I know what you’re thinking: What should I get him???  Fret not, as I am prepared to give you some general outlines and good ideas for my gifts this holiday season.  Granted, I don’t expect everything on this list, but do your best.  I’m worth it.

– A BCS Bowl game for my Ohio State Buckeyes.  Two losses might make things tough on them unless the top ten starts taking one another out over the next few weeks, so if someone would be so kind as to get involved with organized crime in an effort to get a couple of games get thrown in my favor, that would be super.  Also, seeing to it that they win said bowl game would be preferable as well.

– I would love if someone could guarantee that Jim and Pam from The Office get married without any trouble.  Ever since they got engaged, I’ve been on pins and needles every Thursday at 9:00 hoping that their relationship doesn’t hit any roadblocks.  I am really hoping the writers of the show avoid the temptation to break up the perfect couple just for dramatic effects.  That show is super enough without it, so let’s get working on that … for me.

– If I continue to see that commercial about Domino’s oven baked sandwiches in which the sub shop employee pretends he didn’t order one, the odds of me committing mass murder are going to jump up exponentially. I’d say I see this commercial at least 20 times a day and I maybe watch two hours of television tops.  If you really love me and want to get me something great, get this commercial yanked off the air please. Perhaps organized crime might need to be involved in this one as well.

– Sidewalk salt isn’t generally a gift you get for a friend, but if it were to show up under my tree this year, I wouldn’t be upset.  The reason: there is a sheet of ice a half inch thick covering almost every square inch of the sidewalk and parking lot outside my apartment building, and I have come dangerously close to slipping and breaking several bones on more than one occasion. I am wondering if maybe I should just take a fall one day and sue the landlord.  Either way, I’ll take the salt as a backup plan.

– If someone could tell me who really killed President John F. Kennedy, yours would be the first thank you card I wrote the day after Christmas.

– This one is simple.  I want Xbox Live, I don’t have it.  I want to dominate 12 year olds from Sandusky, Ohio in Call of Duty 4, I can’t.  I want to talk trash to kids from all over the world whilst I completely embarrass them in front of their friends, I am unable to do as such.  Make it happen.

– Seriously, just do my laundry.  Please?

– If I could have a five minute conversation with Steven Spielberg about the latest Indiana Jones movie, I think that would be ample time to vent.  Seriously, aliens?

– I want an exact replica of the leg lamp from A Christmas Story so I can put it in my window for all who pass my apartment to see.  And yes, I would tell people it was a major award.

deluxe-lit-leg-lamp“Fra-gee-lay.  It must be Italian!”

– Someone, please, for the love of God, guide my Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl.  Watching them lose to the Rams by about two feet back in 1999 was about as painful as it gets, and with a 9-0 start, I officially have high hopes for this squad.  Don’t disappoint me.

– And last but certainly not least, seriously … is it so much to ask?  I’ve wanted it for so long.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just let them speak for me.

erinandrews1erinandrews2

Erin, I’m a good guy.  You won’t be disappointed. Love ya!

Of course, I am open to other suggestions, but this is a good starting point for all of you.  Now get busy, these things can’t be found at Costco, so you’re gonna have to put in some work for these gifts. Now bust out your Santa hats and make it happen! I’ll be waiting.

One love,

10