Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Florida basketball

I've played in, watched and covered a lot of basketball games. And I've never seen anything quite like this.

Poor kid. He'll be living with that for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Want to see a normal ball drop? Head to NYC. Want to see something a bit more unique? Here's a look at some wild ball drop traditions from around the country.

Across the country, crowds will gather to watch everything from whopping watermelons to massive Moon Pies fall at the stroke of midnight.  The Moon Pie drop is a Mobile, Alabama tradition that started in 2008.  Knox County is Indiana's biggest melon producer, hence the 500 pound melon crafted of steel and foam.  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will lower a giant Marshmallow Peep.   Key West, Florida lowers a real-life drag queen named Gary "Sushi" Marion, who's sitting inside a giant high-heeled shoe. 

In Eastport, Maine residents celebrate twice.  At 11 p.m. they lower a giant maple leaf to salute their Canadian neighbors.  When midnight rolls around, the townsfolk celebrate by dropping a giant sardine.    

Other Notable Drops: 

Flagstaff, Arizona drops a giant pinecone 

Hershey, Pennsylvania drops a giant Hershey's Kiss 

Plymouth, Wisconsin drops a big chunk of cheese 

Mount Olive, North Carolina drops an illuminated pickle

Monday, December 29, 2014

Suh Step

Ndamukong Suh was suspended for the Lions' playoff game after stepping on Aaron Rodgers' leg during Detroit's loss to the GREEN BAY PACKERS yesterday. The statement released from the NFL is interesting.

I'm not convinced that the action in and of itself was enough to warrant a suspension for a playoff game. But I do think context has to be thrown out to a certain extent. Shouldn't matter if it was Week 17 or a preseason game, just like it shouldn't matter if it was a rookie lineman or a league MVP. But, Suh's track record speaks for itself, and the suspension certainly furthers the NFL's stance that it wants to do all it can to protect its players.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Clown Car

In today's age, just because you think you might be doing a good thing, doesn't mean you won't lose your job for it.

Via NY Daily News:

An Oklahoma middle school math teacher was fired Wednesday after she made a snack run with 11 students in her car — including two in the trunk.

Heather Cagle's fuzzy math and poor judgment led to her dismissal by the Catoosa School Board after she was suspended with pay Oct. 23, two days after her ill-advised snack run, the Tulsa World reported.

It took five minutes for the students, members of the school's yearbook, to cram into the teacher's Honda Accord, a road trip fail caught on school surveillance video. Two 12-year-old girls made the journey locked in the car's trunk while seven more created a human pyramid in the back seat, the school said.

Going on a snack run for some kids? Sure, ok, harmless enough. Cramming 11 in the car and two in the trunk? Hmmm.

I'm not sure that firing her was the right outcome, because I'm pretty sure she'd never do anything like that again, but still, she didn't leave the school board much of an option.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Go Badgers...and the Broncos defense

I don't think I've ever been more thankful for a Badgers basketball game as I am for their game tonight.

You see, I'm in the midst of a tight race for the championship of my fantasy football league. It's the league I've been playing in for 10-plus years with my high school buddies, and I've never won. That could all change tonight.

I have a slim lead, with Denver's defense playing tonight. He has CJ Anderson and Jeremy Hill, aka the starting running backs for the Broncos and Bengals. If I were a betting man (which I clearly am), I'd put this pretty damn close to 50/50.

I can't sit there and watch every play tonight, constantly refreshing the live stats on my phone, or I'll go crazy.

Enter Wisconsin basketball, tipping off at 8pm tonight. Something to distract me from the football game that I shouldn't care about but I really, really care about.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Interview

I don't totally understand what is going on between Sony, North Korea and the release of the movie The Interview, but what it seems like to me is that the terrorists have won.

(This article from Deadline helps a little.)

Here's the threat that ultimately caused Sony to decide not to release the movie in theaters.

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places The Interview be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

Hmmmm. They demand, and Sony caves. Maybe it was the right thing to do? Who knows.

All I know is that I'm pretty sure the Sony hack has nothing really to do with North Korea. I don't know. Maybe. Again, who knows.

But, unsurprisingly, parts of The Interview are making their way online. Here's one snippet that maybe kinda sorta might be offensive to North Koreans.

Yep. Kim Jong Un being burned alive. Can't see that sitting well. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

College Flip Flop

Of all the places to hack, this has to be one of the cruelest.

Per the Washington Post:

Like 293 others who had been turned down or deferred in their bid for early admission to the prestigious private university in Baltimore, Sam had received a welcome-to-Hopkins e-mail by mistake. The university, tipped off to the error by another rejected student, sent an apology Sunday evening to those affected by the head-spinning goof. Sam got the word at 5:28 p.m.: There was no reversal of his denial.

“The decision posted on the decision site reflects the accurate result of your Early Decision application,” the follow-up said. “We regret this technical mistake and any confusion it may have caused.”

Brutal. Toying with your emotions like that? I can't imagine. I got a rejection letter from my dream school, and then if they would have flipped the switch like that, albeit by accident, before coming crashing back down to earth? That'd be tough to take.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The American Dream

America...the land of opportunity.

Or, lying about said opportunities.

Did you see the article in New York magazine about the 17-year old high schooler that allegedly made $72 million between classes?

Well, turns out he's a liar.

 From Fox News:

The Stuyvesant High School senior said his story to the magazine was "total fiction." Islam really runs an investment club at the high school and has only simulated trades with "extremely high relative to the S&P."
New York reporter Jessica Pressler was in touch with Islam through a friend of his who works for the magazine, which he then led her to believe he made even more than $72 million.
Shame on him. But really, shame on the reporter too.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Game Day Rituals

It's a question that you probably wouldn't see at an NFL press conference.

But on late-night cable TV? Anything goes.

First Lady of Wisconsin Olivia Munn (who I'm starting to talk about a lot, I know) appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live and was asked by host Andy Cohen whether or not Munn and her boytoy/Packers QB Aaron Rodgers have sex on game days.

"Many people say he's playing so well because of you, his girlfriend," added Cohen.

Said Munn, according to E! Online: "Well, I will say that all the good luck charms are on the field and in the stands, so it has nothing to do with me. And, uh, no we don't. Not on game day. There's not a rule, but it just doesn't happen because there's other things to focus on."

"If he plays well, do you have sex after the game?" Cohen prodded.

"Depends on how late the game is," Munn replied.

IT'S A NOON GAME ON SUNDAY. Just saying. Go Pack Go.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

UW Football

It's been interesting to see the level of surprise that people are showing about Gary Andersen's departure for Oregon State, but what's been even more interesting to me is the rumblings about how it may not have been a perfect marriage for Andersen, Barry Alvarez, and Wisconsin. I think he'll end up being simply a blip on the radar in the tradition of Badgers football, and hopefully, Alvarez and Co. can find a suitable successor quickly. It doesn't have to be a big name hire, but I wouldn't mind if it was. 
A couple of names I like: Darrel Bevell (unlikely), Paul Chryst (front runner), Pat Narduzzi (intriguing).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Presidential Humor

Say what you will about Obama's politics, but I kind of like the way he's handling being a second term president. He's self-aware, and knows how to take a joke.

Here's the President last night on The Colbert Report

Check out the rest of the interview here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kind of Sort of Eaten Alive But Not Actually Really Eaten At All

I've talked about the Eaten Alive special that aired on the Discovery Channel last night quite a bit, and as it turns out, well, nobody as eaten alive.

Per the Discover Channel:

"Paul created this challenge to get maximum attention for one of the most beautiful and threatened parts of the world, the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife. He went to great lengths to send this message and it was his absolute intention to be eaten alive. Ultimately, after the snake constricted Paul for over an hour and went for his head, the experiment had to be called when it became clear that Paul would be very seriously injured if he continued on. The safety of Paul, as well as the anaconda, was always our number-one priority."

Obviously they didn't shoot this live, so maybe they could have changed the title.

And then today, God bless Deadspin. They posted this list of the animals that would f%$k you up hand-to-hand combat. Anacondas come in ranked at #14.

1. Elephant

2. Tiger

3. Rhinoceros

4. Hippopotamus

5. Gorilla

The rest of the list is equally terrifying. I'd last maybe one minute combined vs. all of them.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bears Cowboys fight

I watched a good portion of the Dallas-Chicago game last night, and I was very pleased with the outcome. The Bears lost, first and foremost, and the players that I had a vested interest in for fantasy football reasons (Alshon Jeffrey, DeMarco Murray) had good games.

These fans? Not so happy.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Two Bears fans were stabbed during an alcohol-fueled fight with Cowboys fans in a parking lot outside Soldier Field after the game, police said.

The fight started around 10:45 p.m. Thursday in the 400 block of East 18th Street when four men began yelling "the Bears suck" at two men from Oak Lawn, according to a police report.

“The victims yelled back 'Cowboys suck,' " and someone from the group of Cowboys fans threw beer into the eyes of one of the Bears fans, the report said. The Cowboys fans then jumped on the Bears fans and cut them, the report said.

Oh, and then the best part. 

Police said both groups appeared to have been drinking.

Not that anything like this is really justifiable, but the Cowboys fans have a point. The Bears do suck. I've chanted "The Bears Still Suck" on plenty of occasions. I now feel fortunate never to have been stabbed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hanky Panky

Former first kid Jenna Bush went on late night cable TV on Wednesday and was presented with the question as to whether or not she'd ever fooled around with anyone in the White House. She admitted to some "hanky panky" and maybe "a little kiss on the roof."

Oh really.

The way I see it, there are two schools of thought.

1) If I were a guy trying to date the First Kid, I'd be way too freaked out to attempt anything even remotely naughty anywhere in the White House. Not worth the trouble.


2) Let's get busy in every possible room.

Rock on, indeed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stick Shift Spoiler

I can kind of drive a stick shift, but I think I'd end up like this pair, most likely. That is, if I was ever going to take part in an armed carjacking. Which, at this time, I have no plans to do.

A stick shift is being credited with foiling a carjacking in Houston over the weekend.  According to KPRC-TV, police say a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old held a University of Texas at Houston student at gunpoint and tried to take his car when he pulled up to his apartment.  They first tried to force him out of the car, but once they saw the manual transmission they tried to make him teach them how to drive it.  The victim was finally let go after they drove a few blocks away.  Once he was free, the man called police and they quickly caught up with the pair, who were still having trouble driving the car.  They eventually gave up and took off on foot, but were quickly caught

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I went to go see Birdman at Marcus Cinemas last night because it looked really interesting to me, and I liked the idea of how it might parallel Michael Keaton's real life. I'm a big Keaton fan, from his work in the late 80s/early 90s Batman movies through the hilarious The Other Guys, so I figured I'd give this movie a shot.

I still have no idea what I watched.

Stay with me here for a second: I felt like the movie was one that critics felt like they should like. If that makes sense.

Here's a review I found from the Oregon Daily Emerald:

Birdman is unlike any other film in theaters this year. It raises many more questions than it answers. Like the spastic, percussive score that pounds throughout the film, it’s electrifying. It’s profoundly original, from the opening take to the last curtain fall.

That's a fair review. But it's really unlike anything I watched before. It's a complicated movie and obviously very personal, with dizzying camera sequences and pulsating noise/music throughout. I went with my roommate, and multiple times throughout the movie, we looked at each other and asked what the hell we were watching.

The acting is great: Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and other can bring great performances when given unique characters. And that certainly fits the bill.

Check out the trailer here: