Thursday 11 December 2014
According to Reynolds in USA Today, he's selling off memorabilia he "does not have use nor room for" anymore. That includes this mid-90s Miami Dolphins helmet shell signed by Wayne Huizenga. (For those not in the know, Huizenga was the owner whose tenure oversaw the team transition from the winningest franchise since the NFL/AFL Merger to a mediocre also-ran. Hooray!)
As you can see, the estimated value of the helmet is $100, but bidding is already over $300! Who wants Wayne Huizenga's autograph that badly? My guess is some other Dolphins fan named Burt.
Tuesday 9 December 2014
Sunday 7 December 2014
Once upon a time, there was a system in which college teams were rewarded with what amounted to a post-season exhibition game in an exotic locale against a distant team. Everyone got a holiday plus an unfamiliar opponent (plus a sizable payout for participating) and a good time was had by all. All except those people who wanted college football to be professional football.
Those people, mostly drunks with tiny penises who need their chosen football team to win to justify their meaningless lives, were determined that one team — preferably theirs — must be better than every other team at the end of the year. So they started a poll in which they voted for the teams they thought most deserving of the honor. But they soon found they were all voting for their favorite teams and solving nothing.
This was starting even more arguments than it was resolving, so a new system was tried. A computer was brought in to correlate and handicap the lists with empirical statistics, thus creating a new, single and absolute list. Then the top two teams at the ends of the season would play off to prove which one really deserved the top spot. Who could argue with an objective system like that?
"But our team isn't ever in the top two," cried the people whose teams weren't cheating hard enough. "And what do computers know about football, anyway?" So goodbye computers and hello two more teams, expanding the postseason to four teams, meaning that the "best" teams in the land get an extra game along with the extra income and attention that came with it. (Player health? Attending classes? Blasphemer!)
We haven't even played one game in this new system, and already people are screaming, "What about teams ranked 5 and 6?" Good job. Problem solved, everyone.
Try this for a solution: maybe it's good enough to just enjoy playing the games. Maybe America's "student athletes" should be treated as students first and athletes second. Maybe we should be thankful for the football we do have, and not discontent about the football we don't.
Or we could realign all college teams into new conferences producing championship teams that can meet each week in December in a tiered playoff system to produce an objective champion, Super Bowl style.
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Friday 5 December 2014
I have a Cub Cadet LX1040, and I have to say that its Kohler motor has been a truly unstoppable beast. However, I can't say the same about the cutting deck. It's been... temperamental. The mower has been in the shop for 4 of the past 11 months, and when it broke again last week, I decided that it was time I learned a thing or two about lawn mower repair.
Quite frankly, there's nothing complicated about the mower deck. Just some pulleys and springs that adjust the tension on the timing and PTO ("power take-off") belts. The biggest problem in repairing one is figuring the anchor points for everything, which would be easy if you'd ever seen one in full working order. But who takes the deck off a new lawnmower? Next time I buy one, I will.
I have to give full credit to Cub Cadet customer service. After I determined that my latest problem was a bearing failure that required a new pulley, their website helped me find and order the replacement part with little trouble. I had the part in less than a week and operating a day later. So how come every time I take my mower to the shop, it's there for at least a month?
So that was my day: repairing a mower, cutting the lawn, then going inside and making Rice Krispies treats before sitting down to watch some football. That's a manly enough day for anyone.
Wednesday 3 December 2014
I've been sick for the past few days (the first time I've been ill in 2014 — it had been a good run!), and I can tell I must have a fever because last night I dreamed that I attended comedian Seth Meyers' wedding.
I was in charge of the coat check, which was strange because 1) it was a summer wedding and 2) even in my dream I didn't personally know Seth Meyers. Of course, I was probably the logical choice for the position, seeing as how the wedding was being held in my grandmother's house.
I have to say that Dream-Seth isn't quite the fun-loving jokester you see on TV, but in his defense he was very stressed out by his wedding. He was particularly concerned that the caterers had screwed up the reception desert, something he called "crown cakes," which looked and tasted like Moon Pies. (Also in Seth's defense, I've been to more than one wedding that served Moon Pies at the reception.)
The weirdest part of all of this was that I never saw the bride's face. Perhaps this is because although Meyers mentions her frequently, he has never had her on his show. In my dream, she kept her wedding veil down. I should say that even without a face, she was much nicer than Seth.
I do hope that I feel better soon. I don't enjoy weddings in real life. I don't want to be dreaming about them anymore, even if the groom promises to make me a guest on his late night talk show if I'll just hurry up and retrieve the car keys he left in his coat.
Monday 1 December 2014
Only 12 movies in November. (I've been busy!) So let's get started.
186. (723.) The Internship (2013)
Google swears they didn't pay to be in this corporate promotion disguised as a workplace teamwork comedy (if "comedy" is the right word). I don't mean to say it didn't have a few laughs (though I can't think of any off the top of my head), but it is not the best work of anyone involved, Google included.
187. (724.) House of Dark Shadows (1970)
Vampire soap opera? What will they think of next! Thankfully, it doesn't take itself too seriously.
188. (725.) Night of Dark Shadows (1971)
I'd only associated the Dark Shadows franchise with Barnabus Collins' vampire/love story, so I was surprised that this reworking of the series' second season presented a ghost/love story. Interesting.
189. (726.) The Fog (1980)
Can you tell I had a lot of leftover Halloween movies on my DVR at the start of the month? This is a much better ghost story than anything Dark Shadows offers. I like director John Carpenter. He is a lean storyteller: never any dull filler in his movies. According to IMDb, there are only 4 Carpenter directed films I haven't seen yet. So be on the lookout here for Someone's Watching Me, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness, and The Ward once I've tracked them down.
190. (727.) The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
As much as I love Wes Anderson, this film felt cold and hollow, devoid of the heart of Royal Tannenbaums or even Moonrise Kingdom, like this was an abstract exploration of the trappings of a Wes Anderson film. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. It's just not my favorite.
191. (728.) American Hustle (2013)
What the hell was wrong with everyone in the 1970s? Did fashion die for a decade? Good film. Lot of fun. But, duh-aym, its world was ugly.
I'll save the other 6 November movies for another week. More to come.
Saturday 29 November 2014
Some games are a lot of fun. Others are excruciating. This was one of the latter. Long runs, fake kicks, fumbles for touchdowns, overtime: it would have been a great game to watch if I'd been cheering for anyone other than Georgia.
UGA was clearly deflated by Missouri's successful bid to win the SEC East yesterday, and played like nothing mattered anymore, even in a contest against in-state rival Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs looked like world beaters on the opening drive, making me think that we hadn't looked that good on an opening drive since we played Florida. I'm thinking about opening up a side business reading tea leaves.
Yes, the Dawgs fumbled twice on goal line situations, leaving 14 points on the board in what would become a 30-24 loss, but I cannot let the squib kick pass without comment. When Georgia scored to pull 3 points ahead with 18 seconds remaining, everyone in the stands celebrated. All we had to do was kick deep, then keep Tech's nigh-unstoppable offense from reaching field goal position. Then, to our horror, Coach Richt called that squib kick leaving Tech only 20 yards from a tying field goal. Sometimes, conventional wisdom is wrong. But more often, coaches try to overthink football. At least Richt had the good sense to fall on his sword afterwards:
"Not a good decision there. ... I should've let him kick it deep and go cover the thing and see what happened from there."
Sure, that's easy to say after it goes wrong, but why would you consider a squib at all in that situation, coach?
You can see in the picture below that the scoreboard operator was so disappointed in the outcome, the screen was turned off within seconds of the game's dismal final play. And while I'm on the topic of the scoreboard, let me make a footnote on this season's newest crowd diversion: the karaoke cam. A different song was used each week, from "Livin' on a Prayer," to "Build Me Up Buttercup," the most popular being "Friends in Low Places." The least popular, based on crowd interaction, was today's "Bye Bye Bye," a fitting song given how our season ended.
Oh, what a season it might have been if not for that inexplicable loss at Florida, or the loss of Gurley, or that fateful squib kick.... As the saying goes, "there's always next year."
Friday 28 November 2014
Wednesday 26 November 2014
The front page of the Atlanta newspaper warns us that we have entered End Times:
In November, a white-tailed buck's chief occupation is to make more deer. He'll stop at nothing, not even your Honda, because he has lost his mind....
The problem, of course, is that deer are now everywhere.... [T]hey are prey that have no predator.
The horror movies are coming true! Mankind is being stalked by an omnipresent alien force we are powerless to defeat! I've been warning you for years: deer are unstoppable killing machines.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. Hondas may not make effective weapons, but scientists have found a machine that might be humanity's last, best hope to turn the tide.
"Basically, the front end of a Ford is the only factor helping to control the species," [UGA Deer Laboratory head Karl] Miller said.
Save us, science!
Monday 24 November 2014
From the One Trick Pony Department:
By his seventh appearance, it's becoming pretty clear why the Red Bee has put on a mask rather than opening a bee circus. He can only teach his bees one trick.
Hit Comics #7, January 1941
Handguns, swords, and pickaxes? What will Michael disarm next? A knife? A club? A ham sandwich? Here's a hint: it's a handgun.