Thursday, December 31, 2009


I know this is supposed to be a sports blog/podcast, but I can't help myself.  In this podcast Kieran and I dive into James Cameron's Avatar in attempt to make sense of it all.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NFL Season Enters it's Final Week

As the NFL regular season winds down, most of the playoff teams are set.  In the NFC it's the Saints, Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals, Packers and Cowboys.  In the AFC it's the Colts, Chargers, Patriots, Bengals and two wild card that are going to lose in the first round.  The AFC wild card conundrum seems to come up every couple of years.  There are five 8-7 teams eligible for the final two spots (Ravens, Jets, Broncos, Steelers and Texans).  The Ravens and Jets have the inside edge to clinch- win and in- and the others need some help.

But does any of this really matter?  American sports are so playoff driven that the final few weeks of the regular season are useless to many teams.  The drama and the aura of football goes through phases in the regular season.  The first weeks of the season are like reuniting with an old friend.  You catch up as if a day hasn't past since your last reunion.  But after you spend months and months together, you start to notice that this friend isn't so great.  The relationship is strained by penalties and yellow flags.  You begin to question who is actually controlling the relationship; you and your friend or the refs.  What I'm getting at with this analogy is that when the NFL is supposed to get good; cold weather, playoff positioning, fantasy football playoffs; the people that seem to be the biggest deciders for the outcome of the game are the refs.  Follow me here... They say that players adjust to the refereeing as the season goes on.  If you can't touch a receiver beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, then the defense will adjust to that interpretation of the rule.  But it seems like as the season moves on and on, the ticky-tack penalties are called more often.  I can see a couple explanations for this. (1) Players (especially defenders who make tackles- more susceptible to injury) get more and more worn down as the season wears on, so they try to clutch and grab to keep up with the speedy receivers.  In this case, the refs may be calling the games the same, yet it is the players who change their playing style due to injury.  Expanding on the injury issue, there are a number of practice squad players who replace injured players.  There's a good reason the replacements are practice squad players; they're not that good.  They can't keep up with the speed of the game.  The other theory I have is that (2) the league office is all up in the referee's business about what fouls to look for.  Roger Goodell's empire feels like it can make the NFL perfect.  It is a far from perfect game, however. The game has evolved tremendously since its invention.  The problem is that the game can't evolve during the season.  I'm going to go ahead and say that option 1 seems more likely, but anything is possible with Goodell at the helm.

Last week's picks: 5-11 (ouch); overall: 49-30

Stuff to come later:  Playoff preview podcast; Avatar Synopsis in podcast form; the Dark Age (span between end of football season and beginning of baseball season)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Week 16 Picks

To make it more interesting, I'm picking this week's games with the game lines included.  Let's see what happens. (Chargers at Titans doesn't count for this week.  I'm writing the day after their game).
Home teams are in caps
PACKERS (-14) over Seahawks
Raiders (+3) over BROWNS
BENGALS (-13.5) over Chiefs
Bills (+9) over FALCONS
DOLPHINS (-2.5) over Texans
Panthers (+8) over GIANTS
SAINTS (-14) over Buccaneers
PATRIOTS (-9) over Jaguars
Ravens (+3) over STEELERS
EAGLES (-7) over Broncos
CARDINALS (-15) over Rams
Lions (+13) over 49ERS
COLTS (-5.5) over Jets
Dallas (-7) over REDSKINS
Last week: 11-5; Overall 44-19 (overall record does not reflect picking game lines)

In an interesting ploy, every single home team, with the exception of Washington, is favored to win this week. Look for some weird games this week.  Late in the season there seems to be a team to lose a head-scratcher, but then show up in the playoffs. (Cardinals. 2008. Prime example.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Since the Broncos lost to the Raiders this weekend, my mind is off football until the playoffs.  I have no idea who is going to win the AFC wildcard, and at this point it doesn't make a difference trying to sort it out.  Instead of focusing on a football column this week, I am going to focus on the best movie I've ever seen: Avatar.

There are so many layers to Avatar that I don't know where to start.  I don't have any business breaking down acting, story structure or sound composition, but I do have business in what the movie made me feel and think about.  The best word I can think of to describe what viewing Avatar is like: immersion.  The 3D depth the screen provided provided a sense of belonging for the viewer in the world of Pandora.  I felt engulfed by the environment, and I certainly did not want to leave.  The main character, Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington), was along for the same adventure as the audience was.  Jake was literally the eyes, ears, and arms of the audience.  He asked questions, touched glowing plants and narrated his journey along the way.  His narrations provided evidence of his learning experience; a learning experience the audience was able to share congruently.  This is why the movie had such a profound effect on audiences.  Many people went to see a movie touted as a game-changer, but left after seeing a movie that could be touted as a life-changer.  Not a life changer in the sense of changing your life in a religious way, but more of an imagination way.  There are certain levels of imagination that need to be addressed, though.  One sort of imagination is that of magic and vampires.  Such things lie outside what I like to call the realm of possibility. They require no explanation other than the fact that they are what they are.  I'm not using this article to take a shot at the likes of Harry Potter and Twilight (I will say that they are not my favorite, but I understand why people like them).  Rather I will try to explain why Avatar is such a catalyst of imagination because it pushes scientific knowledge to the extreme. Technology and imagination are merging, and it is believable.  This is the idea that Avatar strikes at.

A few points I want to get at:
1.) What if... What if Avatar is within the realm of possibility and such a life could be lived through another body.  Would the 'driver' prefer his real human life, or the life of his real world character?
2.) Subtleties.  The little things in the background are what make a movie re-watchable.
3.) The Human Effect.  During the movie I felt the 'savage' label would be better attached to the humans on Pandora rather than the natives themselves.

1.) What if... This question nagged at me the most after watching Avatar.  What if such a world was possible? A world not too distant (a fictional world in the real Alpha-Centauri system; 4 light-years away), and a world similar to ours. I could go on and on about this question, (and perhaps I will in an upcoming podcast) so I will highlight a few ideas I have. Living your life through a different character is already commonplace in our society. Anybody who has played The Sims or World of Warcraft has an avatar; a second life so to speak. The former begs the question as to which life is more preferred. In Jake Sully's case, he was a paraplegic who took orders in his human life, while in his avatar life he was a regarded member of society who found the love of his life. Which life is better; which life is more real? The more fulfilling life of course. While modern day avatars are just computer programs, and not living bodies, it is conceivable that in the near future a person might be able to control a real body while plugged into some contraption. Everything in Avatar is within the scientific realm of possibility: it's a good idea, think about it.

2.) Subtleties: I'm not exactly going out on a limb by saying that the makers of Avatar put a lot of effort into the movie. Every piece of the screen is filled with a spectacle worth looking at.  What intrigued me the most, however, were the subtle connections to our life. Humans have a global network of computers that people can access almost anywhere on the world. Pandora has a similar network, but it's network is comprised of every living thing on the planet. The spinal cord/hair attachment on the native Na'vi is something that grows on you as a viewer. How cool is it that a single person can access all the data in the world just by literally plugging their body into the ground. The internet is naturally occurring on Pandora.  There are some little things too: four-fingered hands on the Na'vi; the Na'vi are left-hand dominant.

3.) The Human Effect: Many viewers found themselves internally cheering against the humans as the movie progressed. The human leaders on Pandora often called the native Na'vi savages, when in fact they were the savages themselves. Is it ironic that Jake found more happiness living a life of possibility and learning? Not necessarily so. That should be the life of a human, and it is for the most part. People wake up everyday not knowing what the day will bring. That's what imagination is. The ability to make something out of nothing. Perhaps as the humans in Avatar were destroying planet Earth (as Jake eluded to when he referred to the Earth as no longer being green) they became more savage, while those who value their planet became a more prosperous civilization. It can be a very liberal message, and while this movie is not meant to be political, it still provides some interesting thought.

I have seen nothing like this movie in my life. There are so many trains of thought Avatar can lead one's mind to. I love the originality James Cameron is able to produce on the screen. With so many movies being based on books and comics, it is uplifting to see an original story have such a profound effect on an audience as a whole. Thank you, James Cameron.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PODCAST: Week 15 preperations

It's time for another podcast.  Kieran is back on as we prepare to see two undefeated teams.  We chime in with picks for each game this weekend (but don't worry, we are quick with the crap games- there are a few).  Later on we jump in with some baseball offseason convo.  Enjoy.

or click here Thanks!

Picks from the podcast:
Colts over JAGUARS
Patriots over BILLS
CHIEFS over Browns
Falcons over JETS
Texans over RAMS
TITANS over Dolphins
Cardinals over LIONS
BRONCOS over Raiders
CHARGERS over Bengals
RAVENS over Bears
SEAHAWKS over Buccaneers
EAGLES over 49ers
STEELERS over Packers
Vikings over PANTHERS
Giants over REDSKINS


Week 15 is coming up and the NFL still has two undefeated teams at 13-0. The Saints and the Colts have history within their grasp. They've proven that they can win any type of game, whether they bring their A-game, B-game, or any sort of game. They each have shown that they can force the opponent into mistakes that hand the game to them. The mere presence of Peyton Manning on the sideline forced the Patriots into making the decision to go on that 4th and 2. The outcome allowed the Colts to drive just 30 yards to score the winning touchdown. Similar for the Saints, the presence of the Saints' daunting offense made a mentally frail kicker for the Redskins miss a game clinching 23-yard field goal. It's obvious that these teams have karma on their side. For what reason would they kill that karma just to get some rest for their players? Both teams are going to get a bye week heading into the playoffs, so they have a rest period already built in.

An inherent problem with cruising into the playoffs is the loss of in-game intensity. Teams that have to win all their games to clinch a playoff spot are in a playoff atmosphere for weeks. Top seeds don't have to face the 'win or go home' scenario like the wild card teams do. This may be a reason as to why a number one seed has not won the Super Bowl since 2003 (Super Bowl XXXVIII, Patriots over Panthers). The Saints and Colts already have a target on their back. Losing a game is not going to change that. So at this point history is within their grasp, so why would they walk away from it? My only hope is that the players are left to decide these final three games for each of these teams. Two undefeateds in the playoffs... do dreams come true? I say yes. We are watching history.
Last week's picks: 13-3; Overall 33-14

Friday, December 11, 2009

PODCAST: Week 14 picks with the bros

Kieran, Brewster and myself dissect the upcoming week of NFL action.  "If you have a pirate ship in your stadium, you can win at least two games a year."  And of course, a Jersey Shore update.

or click here

My picks from the podcast:
Steelers over BROWNS (oops)
Saints over FALCONS
RAVENS over Lions
Packers over BEARS
TEXANS over Seahawks
COLTS over Broncos
Dolphins over JAGUARS
Bills over CHIEFS
VIKINGS over Bengals
PATRIOTS over Panthers
TITANS over Rams
Redskins over RAIDERS
Chargers over COWBOYS
Eagles over GIANTS
Cardinals over 49ERS


Monday, December 7, 2009

"The Situation" that was Week 13 & PODCAST

Matt and I discuss the best parts of football (the NFL) as well as some of the worst parts (the BCS).  Later we chime in with some college basketball talk, as well as an update on what a 'guido' is.

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Some of the fakers have been exposed, and some of the takers have made the next step.  Only four more weeks of football until the playoffs take over.  What questions are left to be answered?  Can the Colts and Saints go undefeated?  Is Brett Favre slowing down late in the season again?  Are the Patriots merely average or just taking a late-season hiatus before they try in the playoffs?  And who the hell is Bruce Gradkowski?  I do know one thing: that play Robert Meachum made for the Saints was tremendous.  More on that later.  Week 13 review, let's do it.

Will the real Pittsburgh Steelers please stand up?  No, they can't.  Not with out their defensive heart and soul Troy Polamalu spending his Sundays watching from the sideline.  Nobody can pick up the slack for a guy who runs around like Mike the headless chicken (add flowing locks of hair, subtract feathers, then you got it), and puts the fear of Samoa into any quarterback sizing up a secondary.  And when that opposing quarterback is mighty Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo Rockets fame, then you better be scared.  But honestly, what does a guy like Bruce have to lose when he plays for the Raiders.  The Raiders are supposed to lose every week, but have secured victories over three teams regarded as playoff contenders in the Bengals, Eagles, and Steelers.  How do they do this?  Their locker room is filled with guys who don't give a shit who or where they are playing, and sometimes their pissed-off-meter peaks and they steal a victory from the jaws of Al Davis' iron grip.  But being pissed only gets you a handful of victories: 4.  Good for you Oakland.

There comes a point when the underdog can't pull it off anymore.  The Titans admirable attempt to make the playoffs after starting 0-6 took a hit with their loss to the Colts.  Not all is lost for the Titans.  Chris Johnson is only 496 yards away from eclipsing 2,000.   Talk about a fantasy stud.  Thanks for being there for me, CJ.

Stuff to Get Stoked About:
The Broncos appropriately trounced the Chiefs with some old school downhill running and defense.  If Kyle Orton is the focal point of the Broncos' offense, then the team will not be successful.  But if the bubble screen to Brandon Marshall offense keeps clicking, then the Broncos can make a run.  What happened to the crowd at Arrowhead?  Unfortunately the Chiefs and their half full stadium are often featured on TV when the Broncos aren't  on.  When the going gets tough, then just don't go the the games.  Good for you Kansas.

Robert Meachum's strip of the ball after the Redskins' interception and ensuing run to the endzone to redeem Drew Brees' interception.  Oh yes!  I can't say I knew who Robert Meachum was before the week started, but he's probably my twenty-third favorite player now.  What a heads up play that was in a league where a lot of stupid mistakes are made.  The review on the play could have ruined the whole thing.  Thankfully it didn't.  This play has led me to cheer for both the Colts and Saints to go undefeated (although the Broncos would have to drop this weekend's game for this to happen... I'm willing to sacrifice).  There was bedlam every time an opponent did something positive in '07 with the Patriots making a their undefeated run.  I want that again.  But twice.  NFL playoffs are awesome and dramatic.  But what's the fun in 7 or 8 loss teams making runs through the playoffs.

Since the Patriots are not the same team they were in years past, the NFL should admit the Dolphins into the playoffs.  It's already been established that Tom Brady still isn't mentally over his knee injury, and the Pats' D is incapable of stopping anybody.  The Dolphins and their wildcat deserve another shot at the postseason.  An injury plagued squad, (loss of two best offensive players: Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown) has treaded to a 6-6 record, so they likely need to run the table to clinch.

Last week's picks: 11-5; Overall: 20-11 (started week 12)

Friday, December 4, 2009


Me and Kieran discuss rookies, contenders, and how the playoffs are going to look.  Later we sprinkle in some USA World Cup soccer talk.  Enjoy.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 13 Quick Picks

I covered this in the podcast, but here are my picks in writing. HOME TEAMS ARE IN CAPS.

Jets over BILLS: Jets D plays well.  Silent Toronto crowd.  27-20.
Eagles over FALCONS: No Matt Ryan for Atlanta.  Chris Redman plays well for a half, that's it.  31-17.
BEARS over Rams: Cutler has a big game against a crappy team.  33-13.
BENGALS over Lions: Easy schedule for Cincy gives them the #2 seed in the AFC.  28-10.
STEELERS over Raiders: Big Ben returns with a vengeance.  24-3.
Titans over COLTS: I want the Titans to make this run. Chris Johnson is the man.  28-27.
Broncos over CHIEFS: Not pretty, but a win for McD.  21-13.
DOLPHINS over Patriots:  Wildcat strikes again against Pats.  They don't bounce back.  17-7.
Saints over REDSKINS: Saints struggle for a half, but roll to 12-0.  31-21.
PANTHERS over Bucs:  Even without a QB, Carolina runs over the Bucs in an ugly one.  13-6.
JAGUARS over Texans: Texans have no heart, and MJD has a heart of  gold.  27-17.
Chargers over BROWNS: Another huge game for Phil and company. 35-10.
GIANTS over Cowboys: It's December and the 'Boys struggle.  22-18.
49ers over SEAHAWKS: Whatever.  21-16.
Vikings over CARDINALS: Favre continues to make a case for MVP.  42-28.
Ravens over PACKERS: Rodgers makes a costly mistake late.  24-20.

Week 13 Picks: IN PODCAST FORM!

Me and my buddy Kieran analyze each game in the NFL this weekend and make picks on each.  Enjoy.

or click here

Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 12 Review

Week 12 is in the books and the playoff picture is shaping up.  Yeah yeah... it's the same thing every year.  Two or three really good teams in each conference, two on the bubble, and a couple teams that are going to come out of nowhere to challenge for the #6 spot.  But what do we learn other than 16 teams have one more win than they did the week before, and 16 teams have one more loss than they did the week before.  Let's look at how week 12 went.

Thanksgiving:  Two craptastic games followed by a solid Broncos/Giants game.  I was wrong about the Lions... always wrong about the Lions.  Never pick bad teams because you think they have "momentum" from the week before. I mean, Matthew Stafford did throw the game winning touchdown pass with a separated shoulder (non-throwing shoulder... get over it), but it was against the Browns.  When a team that should be subjected to relegation defeats another in the same lowly category, momentum does not carry over when they play a real team in a real playoff race, like the Packers.  My Broncos proved me wrong by stomping the Giants.  I wasn't as surprised to see the offense sizzle like it did, but I was surprised to see the Brian Dawkins led defense returned to man-eating form.  Any team that was once good during that same season can return to its formerly dominant form for a game.  The test will be whether or not they can sustain it.  But Kansas is on the schedule next week, hooray!

Sunday: The Dolphins really let me down.  Maybe I was wrong to make a Titanic analogy (but it was supposed to be a movie rewatchibility reference, not a sinking ship reference).  But I underestimated the power of the Buffalo, as in the beautiful throwbacks the Bills wear, see here.  Throwback jerseys are all over the place this season with all the AFL Legacy shenanigans, but the Bills unis will always have the power to inspire a victory.  I predicted that the Colts would hold on against the Texans to remain undefeated.  What I'm most happy about is the fact that I slept till noon on Sunday, and didn't check the scores till about 1pm.  By that time, it was no longer apparent that the Texans jumped out to a 17-0 lead.  I avoided all that tension of mis-picking one of the best games of the weekend by getting a great night sleep; totally awesome.  One of the more satisfying games I had the privilege to watch was Brett Favre's spanking of the baby known as Jay Cutler.  I used to wish Favre would just go away, but I no longer feel that way.  He's playing like a champion, and I finally feel like he's playing to his legendary status everyone is so accustomed to giving him.   Had I known Big Ben would miss the Steelers/Ravens game, I may have picked it differently.  But watching Dennis Dixon at the helm reminded me why the Pac-10 is my second favorite college football conference.  He was a catalyst to Michigan's current downfall, as he led the Ducks to a 39-7 victory AT Michigan in 2007.  While watching the game I was generally happy to pick the Steelers, but it was a game the Ravens just had to have, and they did.

Monday:  WOW!  Did anybody see this coming?  An absolute choke slam by the Saints in this heavyweight battle.  The Patriots had a valiant 4th quarter comeback led by... uh... who's #8?... oh, Brian Hoyer of course!  This is all part of Obama's stimulus package.  Make the poor cities have really really good teams so the city goes nuts for the team and buys lots of stuff.  There's no saving Detroit or Cleveland, though; not until the 3rd buyout is approved.

9-6 picking games this week.  I can do better.  I'm bringing in an expert.  Podcast, it's coming soon.  Get stoked.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NFL Week 12 Picks

In honor of Thanksgiving and America, I'm doing NFL picks. Week 12 here we go. HOME TEAMS ARE IN CAPS.

Thanksgiving games:

LIONS over Packers. Where were you on Thanksgiving day 2003? Probably getting your fat on. If you were in Detroit, you witnessed the Lions' most recent Thanksgiving day victory, over the Packers. I look for the Calving Johnson to torch the Pack's secondary minus Al Harris, and for the team to be inspired by Matthew Stafford's late game heroics from last week. Aaron Rodgers' good fantasy day will be countered by 6 sacks. 20-14.

COWBOYS over Raiders. Did the Raiders really beat the Bengals last week? The Cowboys will round back into their typical November form and trounce the Jamarcus Russell/Bruce Gradkowski/whatever led Raiders 38-7.

Giants over BRONCOS. A rough stretch for the Broncos will get worse. The plus side for the Broncos is that the Giants D is vulnerable. But so is the Broncos D right now. I don't believe in moral victories, but the headlines will read that the Denver team played better in a losing effort, 27-21.


FALCONS over Bucs. The Falcons will bounce back over an under-talented Tampa team 28-10.

Dolphins over BILLS. Every football fan is generally happy when the current Dolphins team plays well. The wildcat is a work of art that keeps getting better. Just like any good movie you re-watch and expect something different to happen. The Titanic is sinking?! NOOOO! That’s Miami for you. A team that puts you on the edge of your seat even thought you know what’s coming. Oh yeah, they’re playing a Bills team that fired their coach midseason. 17-7.

BENGALS over Browns. Does anyone like Eric Mangini. Eric Mangini doesn't even like Eric Mangini. Ochocinco Chad's it up as the Bengals win 31-10.

Seahawks vs. Rams. Can the NFL relegate these teams. Tie game 0-0.

Panthers over JETS. I'm happy that everyone realized that the Jets are a bad team. Carolina is better than it's 4-6 record would indicate since they realized Steve Smith was on their team. Panthers put Rex Ryan in tears 26-13.

EAGLES over Redskins. This game is going to be closer than it should be. Eagles fall flat on offense, but score two defensive touchdowns. 17-9.

Colts over TEXANS. Houston always plays Indy well, and it's a home game for them. But Peyton Manning's jedi powers are growing strong. He even convinced Sith Lord Belichick to give him the ball at his 29 yard-line to win the game. In an odd turn of events, the Texans fail to make a field goal or extra point because the ball explodes upon impact (i.e. Manning=jedi). Colts move to 11-0. 28-27.

CHARGERS over Chiefs. Fresh out of the oven for the Chargers to feast on: the Chiefs. KC made their season with a win over the Steelers last week. The rest of their season is paycheck time. 38-21.

49ERS over Jaguars. I relatively upsetting game for the Jags. SF kills it with defense, and field goals. 12-7.

VIKINGS over Bears. Brett Favre shows Jay Cutler what heart is. Cutler takes a classic late season off week. 31-10.

Cardinals over TITANS. The Titans are on a roll, but they'll forget to show up. The Cards play well in random road games. Sorry Vince. 23-16.

Steelers over RAVENS. Their records don't reflect how good these teams actually are. This is the kind of game that ends careers (the over/under for this is 2.5). Big Ben should play in this game, and will get his head straight by the 4th quarter to win the game. 23-20.

Monday night:

SAINTS over Patriots. Oh baby! The MNF crew overreact, calling this the greatest game in history. Not exactly. People watching this game might say Brees is better than Brady. Not exactly. A back and forth game that will take 4 hours because of a lot of crazy reviews. Bill Simmons better get ready to write another Belichick blunder column after he goes for it on 4th down in front of a delirious New Orleans crowd. 33-31

Monday, November 9, 2009

Power Rankings

1.) ROCKIES: My team. They represent the state of Colorado with class and dignity. No one can help but to cheer for this team. Headlined by homegrown players that grow on us as fans, just as they grow up themselves. Coors Field is one of the best stadiums in the league, and it highlights the Lodo area well. The players have hearts of champions and never go quietly into the night.

2.) RAYS: My AL team. I would say 98% of my positive baseball passion goes into the Rockies, so the Rays are a distant second. I like how this team is built with the young guys. I enjoy watching Evan Longoria play; he's tremendous... and a Dirtbag.

3.) INDIANS: My first t-ball team. The bright red-faced Indian logo is both classless and classy. It grows on you. Jacobs Field (er... Progressive Park, whatever) is a similar build to Coors, and I like that. "Juuuuust a bit outside."

4.) ANGELS: My liking for the Angels is mostly based on Angels in the Outfield. I can't root against the two kids: Roger and the little black dude that says "Hey, it can happen."

5.) BREWERS: Thank you, Brewers. Thank you Tony Gwynn Jr. Thank you for giving us the chance at the 2007 playoffs. Without you Brewers, there is no Rocktober.

6.) ATHLETICS: Crappy stadium, but some pretty uniforms. But Billy Beane's Moneyball saga is a tremendous book, and has given me a lot of respect for this team.

7.) MARLINS: A weird team, but I still like the fellow '93 expansion team. Once they get a stadium, they may be considered a real franchise.


8.) CARDINALS: Watching MLB Network has brought me into the Pujols realm. Down by 3... 8th inning... bases loaded... Pujols batting. WALK THE MAN. Nope. Grand Slam. Flips the score, Cards win. I like that.

9.) RANGERS: I'm a fan of their stadium, their announcer, and Nelson Cruz. You can't stop Nelson Cruz, you can only hope to contain him.

10.) ROYALS: Just cause I like their stadium and they're geographically the closest team to Denver.

11.) ASTROS: Their lame stadium is countered by "Los Caballeros". Hunter Pence is a goofy man.

12.) NATINALS: "Zimmerman! Give me a sign you can hear me!" Then Ryan Zimmerman grabs his crotch. Take that heckler!

13.) ORIOLES: I hardly know anything about this team, but any stadium with a warehouse in home run territory it legit.

14.) MARINERS: A good team that hides in the upper-left corner of the country. People forget about them, and I feel sorry for them.

15.) TWINS: Smaller market team that I can feel for, but I can't cheer for those stupid tarps in the Metrodome. Yes, they're opening a new stadium, and yes I'll reconsider.

16.) PADRES: My birthplace: San Diego. I can't completely hate an intra division team that uses a building as a left field foul pole.

17.) PIRATES: Ahoy matees! The worst franchise in baseball has a good looking stadium and a cool name. That's it.

18.) BRAVES: This team is lame. They make a late 'run' at the Rockies for the wild card, then fall flat on their faces in front of zero home crowd. Go away.

19.) WHITE SOX: Uhh... Where's the white socks?

20.) TIGERS: Grrr. This team has no bite. Red Wings suck! I can't support any team that owns the prefix of 'Detroit'.

21.) D-BACKS: I regard them as the pair with the Rockies. Both relatively new. Both with young players. I always root against NL West rivals, including the D-Bags.

22.) PHILLIES: The relentless heart breakers. My hatred comes directly from respect. Their fans have passion, and they've grown some admirable stars, but they beat the Rockies too often for me to support them. Kudos though for helping out my fantasy baseball team, Chase Utley.

23.) YANKEES: As many people as there are that hate the Yankees, but I can't pull myself to that extreme. You're on the Mark Teixeira shares my birthday and is a fantasy all-star. My general dislike comes from the east-coast bias I see, and the fact that no news is news in for the Yanks.

24.) BLUE JAYS: This team might as well be relegated to Mexican leagues. Then I might notice them.

25.) GIANTS: I rooted against them all season, I can't stop now. Their saving grace is their stadium. Definitely one of the views I want to see most.

26.) REDS: Are they relevant? Stupid stadium; (both great and American, huh?) and what the hell is a Red?

27.) CUBS: I hope they never win the world series. Just like Brett Favre is addicted to football, their franchise is addicted to losing. Their fans pay no attention to the games, just beers. Please keep to yourself in your ancient stadium. Tulo's cycle against the Cubs this year was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

28.) METS: It makes me happy to see this team lose. They replaced a mausoleum with a government subsidized stadium built for dimensions of a team composed of only Mark McGwire.

29.) DODGERS: The most hated team by Rockies fans, and I'm with them. They embrace a man who tested positive for a female fertility drug, enough said.

30.) RED SOX: Composed of a bunch of dipping Neanderthals. The fan base is composed of a fake nation of bandwagon fans who claim to be fans for life. Having an uncle from New England does not grant you lifetime fanhood.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rockies Hangover is Over

After witnessing two heart wrenching losses to the Phillies, I feel like I am over my hangover. I know this because I am enjoying this World Series between the Yankee$ and the Phillie$. While walking back to the car after game 4 of the NLDS, I swore never to watch a Phillies game the rest of the post season, but, as a baseball fan, I couldn't bring myself to commit to that. Instead I simply boycotted the NLCS, watched a good portion of the ALCS, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying the World Series. It actually feels like the Rockies finished their season ages ago. And with all the football I've been watching, it certainly does not feel like baseball should still be on. Well, it is November, so my reasoning is valid. Anywho, watching the Yanks and Phils is like watching the AL/NL all-stars. Each team is stacked. I also feel impartial to both teams. They're both east-coast, and they're both places I'm not familiar with. The outcome has no bearing on how I feel about next season. But the Rocks could be there. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of both World Series teams. Each has hit-and-miss starting pitching outside of their aces, and each bullpen is relatively weak (except for Sandman). No team is perfect, which is why baseball is such a great sport to watch at it's highest level.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh, Hey Matt

The Rockies regular season is winding down and Rocktober is in the air! I know the stadium doesn't look as full as it should for a team currently in the playoffs (Coors looked 35% full tonight ...maybe), but I bet the ratings are through the roof. But honestly, who wants to go to a rainy, cold mid-week game when the playoffs -and their increased ticket prices- are just around the corner. I'm worried about the playoffs in that regard. I have $200 going to a half-price season pass, and I know it's going to hurt when I land some tickets for the playoffs. But sanity is worth something too. Not a monetary value, but a happiness value. No one can work all time and be happy.

This weekend will be a show with the Cardinals in town. I honestly don't know how the Matt Holliday response is going to be. Most likely the crowd will show him some support in the pre-game, but if he makes an out while batting, the crowd will cheer like he's just another opposing player. But didn't Holliday leave because he felt the Rockies weren't dedicated to winning? Oh really, Matt... looks like we have nearly the same records, and we're likely going to meet up in the first round. Awkward. I still wear my Holliday jersey, but don't feel totally comfortable doing so anymore. He's still one of my favorite players ever, but I want to kick his ass in the playoffs.

Rocktober is in the air, and it smells like clinching and clubhouse parties. I'm sure Spilly already has his goggles in his locker for the clinching party.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Teams that Suck & Patience

I recently made a power ranking of all 30 MLB teams. This wasn't the usual power ranking; instead it was a ranking of facorite teams. Obviously #1 was the Rockies. But as I progressed with the middle teams, I realized there are some I don't care about whatsoever. When I found myself ranking teams that I have no emotional investment in, I asked questions such as: Is their stadium cool? Cool uniforms/hats? Favorite player? Can I relate to them in any way? Anywho, this made for an interesting list, but it's kind of useless. Top five teams (1-5): Rockies, Rays, Indians, Angels, Brewers. Bottom three teams(30-28): Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets. Top and bottom rarely changes. I cheer for the top teams, and openly root against- borderline hate- the teams on the bottom. The rest of the pack is ambiguous. For example, a couple weeks ago I had the White Sox near the bottom. But Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game and, THAT CATCH! I can't hate that- points for the White Sox. And when the Rockies play the Reds this weekend, I realized that the Reds bring absolutely nothing to the table. Their name is lame, their uniforms are so basic that it's sad, and their new stadium is nothing special. Other than Brandon Phillips who is near the top of the bro-baseball player list, the Reds are lame and their stock is falling. I will unveil the official power ranking at the end of the season when I can analyze each team without distraction of my fantasy team.

Are the Rockies hitters too patient lately? We had a ridiculous amount of walks in last night's Reds game, but only managed five runs. 9 walks=five runs?? We hit two solo home runs, yet we had baserunners galore early in the game. The prime suspect is Brad Hawpe. It's extremely hard to tell when his swing is off because his stance and swing are so goofy, but he is definitely struggling to put a good swing on the ball. Unlike Garrett "0-2 count" Atkins, Hawpe can still see the ball just fine. He is taking a healthy amount of walks, and not swinging at too many bad pitches. I know this because I haven't benched him in my fantasy league that uses OBP instead of average. My diagnosis to cure Hawpe: be more aggressive. Swing at the first pitch and send it over the wall. If he finds his slugging stroke, and Tulo keeps playing like a champion, the middle of the Rockies order will propel the team to the playoffs. Hell, we've been winning with pitching for the past two months, and we just added more relief help. If the offense gets a nice slap in the face before the game and plays angry, then I fear for the fans sitting in the outfield. Bombs away!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Categories of Movies

Rockies streak ends at 11 games. I'm not ready to focus on one loss, just like I wasn't ready to appoint the Rockies to the playoffs this season. So I will talk about movies.

Categorizing a movie is a seemingly simple task. If a movie is funny, it is a comedy. If a movie is dramatic it is a drama. If a movie is action packed it is an action movie. But this is far to general. There are stereotypes for everything, I get that, but it is unfair to a movie like "The Hangover" to simply say that it is a comedy. Calling The Hangover a comedy is doing it injustice. Take any Adam Sandler movie as an example. They may certainly be funny, but they doesn't portray a microcosm of society or people in general. When you can see yourself in the shoes of the boys of Hangover, you realize, "Damn, that could have been me," at least to some level. Same idea plays out for me in Superbad. While the entire movie is not a microcosm of the life of my friends and I, it does have some parts that are parallels my life a couple years ago as a graduating high schooler. This is the difference from comedies that are just there to be funny, and you forget about them, and comedies that stick with you because they poke fun at so many aspects of society.

My other movie category centers around action movies. Two movies that fall under the same category of action, but have totally different feels to them: Transporter 2 and Terminator Salvation. When you go to see Transporter, the viewer expects to see Jason Statham in an Audi, and for him to kick some fool's ass as he tries to save some person who is related to the morsel of a plot. On the other hand, when you see Terminator, the viewer sees the same amount of action, but the reason for the action is much more intreging. The power of humanity as John Conner and Marcus the terminator/human take on the machines. The addition to a storyline that began in 1984 as both a sequal and a prequal. It makes you think about how time travel would work, and whether or not the portrayal in the movie was feasable to the original Terminator. The determination as to whether an action movie is dumb (meaning it serves it's purpose of action, but nothing more) or if it is smart (meaning it makes you ask questions beyond the movie itself) can be determined by one factor. Do you, the viewer, seek more information? If the movie is a sequal/prequal are you inspired to watch/rewatch the previous movie? If either of these answers are yes then a movie can be classified as a smart action movie in my book.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The Rockies have reached their franchise record in consecutive wins: 11. I have to say that it doesn't feel the same as the 11 game winning streak leading into the final series of the 2007 regular season against the D-Backs. Much less pressure in June, and much less attention (although not much attention was granted nationally until the Rockies actually clinched in 2007). The Rockies have shown resiliency since Jim Tracy took over as manager. But the tell tale sign as to whether the team is legit or not is how they act once they lose again. Can the team bounce back, or are they phonies riding a hot streak soon to crash back down to earth? Time will tell, but tell it will. At this point the wild card is within reach (3.5 games back). The leader of the wild card at this point is the San Francisco Giants with a record of 34-28. Honestly what makes me happiest about the turn around is that the team will be relevant for most of the summer. Everyone enjoys winning baseball, and even a mediocre team can inspire a fan base for a span of time (2008? 4th of July game started a strong stretch of games that transfixed me into believing in the team). I want to be inspired by this team. The past two weeks they have shown that they are able to do that. The beauty of baseball is that it is both immensely complicated with layers of rules; (have you ever explained the rules to a kid?) and quite simplistic when it comes down to it: hit well+pitch well=win. The point being that a simple minded person like me can enjoy an entire summer just by watching a bunch of bros play a game.

But one thing is for certain: I'm not shaving until we go down.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What is trying too hard?

A player in a slump is often in a position where he can be trying too hard. I have always wondered what that means. If a player doesn't try hard throughout his career, then how can be come into the spotlight? My subject in this matter is my boy Troy Tulowitzki. People are actually paid to watch games, and 'analyze' why Tulo is struggling this season. Each has the same response: he's trying too hard; he needs to loosen his grip; he needs to lighten up. Tulo is not an idiot. For a player to become a star, he needs to persistantly push himself at every level. Tulo tried hard in high school, college, single-A, and double-A. He tried so hard, and cared so much that he made it to the major leagues by the age of 22. He started as a rookie without any triple-A experience. From a Driller to a Rockie. Once he reached the pinnacle, is he supposed to stop trying really hard, and become a consistant, good player? This is what the analysis suggests. A player that makes it to the majors already knows what he is doing, and knows how to go about his business. Perhaps someone Tulo's age gets ahead of himself at times, and puts too much pressure on himself. An apparant contradiction comes forfront when I listen to analysis of Garrett Atkins' struggles. They never say that he is trying too hard; they just say that his mechanics are off, and he can't get out of his own head. Why are the two analytics of a similar situation contradictary? Easy answer, but hard to grasp... We care too much. Everyone likes Tulo, and have to justify why he is struggling. We also have to justify ourselves in liking a player- whom we have never met- means so much to us. On the other hand, a player like Atkins isn't very charasmatic nor an attractive character. When Holliday was on the trading block, I begged to sacrifice Atkins instead so the team could keep a player that actually meant something to Rockies fans. That's why we put up with shitty players. We can always remember back to the 2007 playoff run when Tulo cranked doubles, and had a glove that shined golden. We believe that that is the player who he is, so we justify his struggles against his former greatness. This belief is what keeps people like me driving. The belief in the greater potential of all people.

Monday, May 18, 2009

B-Hawpe is cool

The day after Brad Hawpe hit a 9th inning go ahead two-run home run against the Pirates, he was interviewed by Drew Goodman. I've never really heard Hawpe talk before, and I was thinking, damn... he seems familiar. His tone, the way he phrased words, there was something familiar about the way Hawpe talks. Then it hit me: Ron Livingston. When he was talking about the pitch sequence leading up to his home run, he seemed like a person that was so overly casual about it, that he didn't really care. His non-exact quote: "he threw me a fastball inside that I fouled off, so I didn't know what he would throw next. All I was looking to do was to hit the ball to the right side to advance the runner with less than two outs. But then I guess I hit the ball well, then we won." He was so casual about it, like he somehow got good at baseball, so he decided to make it a career. This reminded me exactly of Ron Livingston's character in Office Space. The gist is that he stopped caring about his job, and he ended up getting promoted because the "Bob's" liked his style. He wanted to ask out Jennifer Aniston's character to watch kung fu with him just cause he wanted to. Hawpe just felt like hitting a home run, then he did it: ya, cool, whatever. Do they look alike?
Maybe, they both have a bored look on their faces. This is another one of my weekly revelations about life, that makes life worth living. I know it's silly, and not a big deal, but who would ever connect the guy from Office Space (and Band of Brothers: Captain Nixon the alcohol connoisseur) other than myself. Making connections, that's what people do. You can connect with people you don't know, like baseball players and actors. They never let you down on a personal level, because you're impersonally connected: through a TV screen or through the stands at a ball game.
Perhaps this is why I am addicted to impersonal connections. Personal connections, especially with new people *Note: I am talking about people beyond good friends and family; those are unyielding most of the time* can be disheartening. I want to believe in the good in people because I know it's there and I can see it most of the time. I don't know if they can see it in me. When you put your all into a person, and they take it for granted, it hurts. I can't see what is annoying about a person who has so much love in their heart that they just want to share it. When that is ignored, it is disheartening. Why would I not persist in trying to share it? It makes no sense to me. What ev, I am an individual.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Aaron Eckhart would be proud of the 2009 Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are the real world creation of Eckhart's character "Two-Face" in The Dark Knight. 31 games into the season the Rockies have used 28 different starting line ups. Clint Hurdle might as well grab Grandpa's lucky coin and give it a flip to decide who to start in a given game. Seth Smith or Ryan Spilborghs? Coin says heads: Spilly gets the start in left. Clint Barmes or Ian Stewart? Coin says tails: Stewey gets the nod even though he lost his eye for the strike zone. We need a reliever to bridge to the 9th... Should we call up a AAA player or roll the dice with Corpas? Coin says heads; Matt Daley (yes, he is a real live baseball player) start warming up. At least each game is fresh, and it's hard to pick on any specific player to pick on when he is struggling, because the coin master Hurdle will just pluck him out of the line up and put him on the bench. Just last week against the Giants, I was happy with my seat along the third-base line near the foul pole because Spilly would be lurking near by. Problem was that Spilly was 300 feet away in right field, and I was stuck with Matt Murton to look at... cool... At least he hit a home run; good job buddy. The real two-faced approach comes with the offense. Just looking at the scores from the first five weeks of the season will show that it's rain or shine with the offense. Either Denver gets four tacos for a buck* with the puchase of a drink, or everyone goes home frustrated over a lackluster two run output. But even a casual fan notices this, so there is no need to write. Luckily I am crazy and have watched or followed along with every game this season. Last night's 12-1 victory over the Astros is a good in-game example. Ian Stewart has been on an ice cold streak of late, and refuses to swing at anything in the strike zone, even with two strikes. In his first at bat he looks lost as the final strike zooms to the upper/outside portion of the strike zone. Same reaction: shrug, say a few words to the umpire, then mope back to the dugout. What is there to complain about, have you been watching the game? Stewey batted eighth in the line up, and the umpires strike zone had already been established. If he had been watching his own pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, throw some backwards 'K's up with high fastballs, he should have known that it would go the same way for him. Next two at bats Stewey's pretty side comes in as he picks up 5 RBIs with two swings of the bat: solo bomb into the second deck in right, and a scud missle grand slam into the scenery in center. Fourth AB of the game? Strike out looking: two-faced Stewey. I would even say that his grand slam was lucky for the team. The inning started with the bases loaded and zero outs, with a run alread in from a Brad Hawpe single. Seth Smith grounded into a fielder's choice which left the bases loaded, and Chris Iannetta struck out. Bases loaded with two outs, and no runs in from the predicament- not exactly the pretty side of Two-Face; more like the monster Batman defeats. But Stewart's grand slam was the pretty side of Two-Face; the "White Knight" from the movie analogy. Which will we see throughout the season? I think Two-Face will make many appearances in the coming months.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Soccer/Football/Futbol doesn't catch on

A revelation occurred to me as I watched FC Barcelona defeat Chelsea 1-1 in the champions league semifinals. The first leg was a 0-0 tie in Barcalona. Barca advanced due to an injury time goal from Andres Iniesta in the second leg to tie the aggregate total to 1-1. But Barca's goal came on the road, so they advanced on away goals. There was great outrage from the Chelsea players because after the Barcalona goal, they felt like they got hosed on a hands infraction the ref failed to call. In order to call the hand ball, the ref would essentially have to give Chelsea a goal in the form of a penalty kick. The revelation I had was a curiosity in the media coverage that Chelsea would recieve for blowing the game. In England, many of the articles would have been about how Chelsea should have played differently in the final stages of the game since they had a one man advantage, or how the ref screwed Chelsea over. But in America there would have been coverage on the former, however most of the discussion would reside as to why the premier club soccer tournament is decided over a two game series, and how the teams can tie, but somehow one is deemed superior. Apply the Champions League's logic to a sport like hockey. Instead of a potentially thrilling seven game series, we would succumb to a two game series, where each team has one home game. Seeding is irrelevant, as a one seed and an eight seed would each have one game. First game of the series is a battle of goaltenders as the home team (team 1) wins 2-0. Game two has a bunch of penalties, so power-play goals are prevelant. The home team (team 2) wins 5-3. Aggregate goals are 5-5, so the series is at a deadlock. But team 2 has a 3-0 away goal differential, so they are deemed superior for scoring goals on the road, so they advance. What? A two goal loss is a two goal loss, does a team honestly feel better about itself for losing even if they score? No. This is why series decided by an even number of games, no seeding, away goal superiority, and no underdogs is a weak way to promote the supposed most popular game in the world, played at its highest level.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bullpen= ponypen?

Yes. Every Rockies game is not over until the last out is recorded and they start playing that silly music. Coors Field is a place where no lead is safe. This is true, yes, but it does not necessarily mean that a pitcher cannot make a clutch pitch. Coors Field's large outfield can't contribute to balls hit hard through the infield. The point is that the Rockies bullpen sucks. Even in games where we are blowing out the other team the pen decides to make it interesting. In Manuel Corpas' last six appearances he has given up 3, 1, 2, 3, 2, and 2 hits respectively. In that span he has given up 5 runs. Not exactly closer material. But the Rockies have not needed a closer in the games they are in. Their average victory margin is 4.87 runs in seven victories. A save can only be recorded in a 3-run lead situation, and in victories, the Rockies are beyond that. On the contrary their average margin of defeat is 3 runs per game. Subtracting the 14-2 blowout loss to the Dodgers on April 19 the average margin of defeat is 2.18 runs per game. That's when a bullpen is most needed. Most of these losses have been recorded in the later innings after the offense has established a lead. The bullpen is responsible for five losses. This means that at one point they had a lead, but blew it. Get it together and the team will be successful and win close games.

In other news I have to say that job applications suck. It's like getting lied to repetedly, until you have no more dignity, and eventually have to accept a sub-$8 job. My favorite lines include "we'll call you", "thank you for your application, you will be contacted within 2-3 weeks", and "thank you for your interest, but the position is filled. We will keep you in mind if a position opens up." I did what I was supposed to do: apply, send emails, make calls, and stop in. What else can I do? I make a call one day, and hear that I am being considered, then call back the next day and they act like they have no idea who I am. Thanks fuckers.

Good thing Tulo is the most popular player because he sucks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What's your walk up?

I went to two Rockies games this weekend: Saturday and Sunday. We lost both, thus failing to improve my losing record when attending Rockies games. One of my favorite parts of being at Coors Field and cheering for the players is jamming out to their walk up songs. Ryan Spilborghs once again hit a bulls-eye with his selection of "Eye of the Tiger" as his walk up song. It's awesome. A song that actually builds up to an epic ending is what all players need. I expect big things from Spilly this year because of his walk up song. The other ear-catcher is Dexter Fowler, who alternates between two catchy hip-hop tunes (I don't recognize them, but I know I have heard the songs before). It's status quo with Helton, Atkins, and Hawpe. Todd thinks he's a country boy with the "these are my people, this is where I come from lyrics", Atkins still thinks he's 'hip' with his Timbaland selection, and Hawpe continues to be from Texas with his Nickelback-sounding selection. (It's a different song from last year, but still the same idea). But what I am most confused about is Tulo's country song selection. He is what he says he is, a SUPERSTAR, he has no fear, the crowd is here. But no. He's country. I have to believe that he is operating under some reverse psycology that bad songs make him play better. He had Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar" for the first month of last year, and he was awful. He's off to a good start with a country song, so maybe it will work for him. But once he settles in, I will have to track him down and ask him to change his song.
I would like a walk up song. I have not settled on something that would be a mix of cool and original. I could be human or dancer, I could ride through the veins of history, I could ride my bike with no handlebars, or I could melt someone's face off with an epic riff. Maybe there's an appropriate song for each day of the week, or maybe I need to settle. More on this later after I meditate upon it.
I am unsure whether to be optimistic about this season or not. We have potential at all positions, except the ass hole bullpen. I think if we can handle our division reasonably well and not fall more than 5 games under at any point we can finish above .500 and make a charge at the division. The D-bags overachieved in the past and will fall back this year. The AAA Padres will be no factor. The Giants overrate their pitching potential. The Dodgers pose the greatest threat. Their pitching is injured and possibly overrated. All their players are like the same person to me. What is the difference in Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney? They all look the same, have the same potential, and hit the same. Matt Kemp stands out because he and Torrealba got into a little shoving match last year which was awesome! But Manny can't carry that team for a season. If the Rockies can stay healthy then they have a good shot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I decided to write again, more for myself.
Baseball is back and I am stoked. I have learned that it's not just about winning and losing. It's about spending three hours sitting in front of a TV, and having your friends complain that they're bored while I am having a great time. It's about sitting in a plastic seat at Coors Field far away from the action because I only wanted to pay $10. Mostly it's about the peace I feel when I am involved with something so simple, yet so great.

Ubaldo Jimenez dealt like a mafia drug dealer. What is more enjoyable than watching players swing right past 98 mph fastballs, then buckle to disgusting 74 mph curves? It makes me super stoked to know that an object the size of a baseball can make a grown man cringe, even though it passes three feet away from him. Strike three, class dismissed.

I hope that the Rockies get off to a good start this year. Finish off April 5 games over .500 so that people can forget about the cry baby that left the Broncos, and learn about some real character players like Tulo, Spilly, and Stewart. They care about their team. They care about success. They don't care about distractions. In fact, from my view, baseball is the distraction. I am addicted to a league who's sole purpose is to distract me. But I like it and it makes me happy, so I will gladly be distracted 162 times over the next 6 months.

The biggest professional distractor in my life is Bill Simmons. His podcasts are epic, and have killed my ability to do homework.