Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hurry, College Football, hurry fast...

I'm attempting to post something everyday here because I think it'll actually help me improve my writing and increase visitors to the site. Also, I'm interested in increasing my chances for winning the Ladies… Hot Blogger bracket. However, my job makes that task very difficult. Since its quite hot (92 degrees) and I'm having a challenging day at work today, I wanted to briefly reflect upon my favorite sport: College Football.

5 Things I'm looking forward to for the '07-'08 Season

1. Heisman Race- No clear-cut early favorites for the Heisman this year. Even established players that returned to school all have serious question marks: Brohm (health?), Brennan (are stats enough?), McFadden (team in disarray?), Tebow (can he be the guy?), Hart/Henne (flashy?), Slaton/White (split votes?), Booty (how good is he without Jarrett/Smith?). This could be the year someone from outside the pack makes a serious run at the award. Could a defensive player win it?

2. Disagreements and arguments- This happens every year, but it's always enjoyable. I can't wait for the first BCS standings followed by the campaign for a playoff.

3. Helmet stickers- one of my favorite aspects of college football. Unfortunately, not every team does it. The NCAA needs to pass a rule that requires all teams to utilize helmet stickers. Does anyone else remember the "Buckeye!" College Gameday commercial?

4. The USC Marching Band- just a little bit of homerism here. Nothing in football beats walking into the Coliseum with the band playing on a sunny California afternoon.

5. Upset Saturday- I always enjoy the one Saturday every year where a few Top 25 teams get upset in the same day. And of course the ceremonial tearing down of the goal posts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

RIP Diego Corrales

I was doing my normal blog-browsing and came across a piece on No Mas about the death of Diego Corrales. I thought it was an extremely insightful take on his passing. When athletes die, or any public figure for that matter, the mainstream media typically glosses over any negative aspects of their life. Maybe it's out of respect for the deceased and their family, but it's always seemed odd to me. Especially since many of the same people spend a lot of time criticizing and digging up dirt on the same people only days before. The folks over at No Mas did an excellent job here, please check it out.

Out of respect for what the man contributed in the ring, here are my personal Top 3 Boxing Matches:

1. Corrales-Castillo I: One that I'll tell my Grandkids about, if boxing is still around. It was like a Rocky movie more than a boxing match: a knock down, drag out slugfest that never failed to disappoint. This was exactly what everyone wants boxing to be. This wasn't about the money or the fame, it was about defeating your opponent.

2. De la Hoya-Chavez: I'll never forget the hype surrounding this one. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles largely populated by first generation immigrants from Mexico, so this fight was a huge generational clash. The kids all rooted for "The Golden Boy" while their parents backed the iconic Julio Cesar Chavez. The fight didn't disappoint, for the youngsters at least. Probably De la Hoya's finest performance.

3. Tyson-Douglas: I truly don't think people that didn't live through it could possibly understand the Mike Tyson era in the ring. Rarely has an athlete, particularly a boxer, seemed as invincible as Tyson did in his prime. He was even unbeatable in video game form. To watch him knocked out was nearly incomprehensible to my young mind, particularly by someone I'd never heard of (if it was The Sandman or little Mac, I might've bought it). A truly memorable experience, as the image of Tyson blindly searching for his mouthpiece on the canvas is etched in my mind forever.

6 "Sick Day" Guilty Pleasures on TV

I'm home sick today, so I thought I'd put together a list.

1. Sesame Street- this show is genius. I haven't watched it in about 17 years so I forgot about how much I like it. I probably laughed more today than I did when I was a kid. The Cookie Monster always delivers. Now, I can appreciate it on another level since I work in education. They utilize nearly every possible learning style to teach kids academic and social lessons. They have a good chapter about it in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

2. The Golden Girls- sure, it's about Senior Citizen women and airs on Lifetime so a lot of guys might stay away, but not this guy. The comedy writing on this show is very good and worth watching simply for that. It's classic sitcom writing and it allows you to relate to a completely foreign situation. A bit of trivia: this was Mitchell "Arrested Development" Hurwitz's first gig as a writer.

3. NBA on ESPN Classic- no matter how often I tune in to watch a classic game, the shorts are always shocking.

4. Random movies- Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Fire Birds? Hmmm….

5. Champion's League Soccer- Getting a live Champion's League match is the equivalent of hitting the sick day lottery. In terms of pleasant surprises, it would be like stumbling across a live NFL Conference Championship game at 1am when you can't sleep.

6. The Game Show Network- Lingo is always fantastic and the Match Game always delivers the goods. Now, if I just figure out how to actually get on Lingo I'd be happy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

John Hollinger's Comedy Efficiency Ratings: "The Simpsons"

Hello, I'm John Hollinger. You may remember me from such ESPN articles as Player Efficiency Ratings and… well, that's about it. Since my mission in life is to break everything down into a ratings system that defies common sense and ignores general knowledge, I'm going to get started with the Comedy Efficiency Ratings (CER) for "The Simpsons". You see, the suits at Bristol want me to appeal more to the 18-30 demographic. Since I can't be black and work for Page 2 (believe me, they tried), they thought referencing aging pop culture main-stays in my ratings would be the way to go. Since I'd never actually seen an episode of the show because I don't own a TV (all I need to analyze the NBA are the box scores, thank you very much), it took me awhile to calculate the ratings. Here they are:

1. (tie) Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson (48.34): It's impossible to separate this dynamic duo. An amazingly efficient pair, these two are the funniest characters in the history of television. If they were featured in every scene of the episode, you would laugh virtually every second. They are the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of television.

2. Raphael, the sarcastic man with a moustache (33.55): Only a bit player but offers a lot of bang for your buck. Would have a higher rating if he didn't waste valuable comedy time by saying things like "Hey Boy-o" and "Listen Pally." I actually think those are funny, but the ratings do not.

3.Hans Moleman (31.10): Has the funniest appearance of the Top 10, which helps his cause. However, he's projected to be on the bottom of TV's sex appeal ratings which I'm working on for the end of the Summer. As he himself once said, "Nobody's gay for Moleman." It's reasonable to surmise that nobody is straight for Moleman either.

4. Homer Simpson (28.09): I found a direct season to season mathematical correlation to his CER and Shaq's PER. It's frightening actually.

5. Moe Szyslak (27.94): The humorous bartender is a familiar character in movies and TV. He fits the archetype well.

6. Lindsey Naegle (24.71): The highest ranking woman on the list, narrowly edging out Cookie Kwan. Perhaps she would be able to hold down a steady job if she weren't so funny.

117. The sad guy with a green hat at Moe's (2.39): The only comedic value he offers is consistently not being funny ( CNBF). Luckily, that's measured by the CNBF in my ratings system and actually reflects positively once you get to a certain point.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bring Me the Head of Mel Kiper Jr!

I’m not in the mood for small talk, so I’ll get right to it: JaMarcus Russell is maddeningly over-rated. He’s poised to be the Number 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft simply because people in the NFL seem to be committed to outsmarting themselves every year. This trend has taken on epic proportions since last year’s Houston Texans debacle (I mean seriously, at least 3 potential All-Pro fixtures on the board and you roll the dice with a workout warrior Defensive End that’s never proven anything?). Believe it or not, this year could be worse in terms of misjudging talent with Russell and Quinn leading the way. But even he has to be thanking his lucky stars for Brady Quinn, who’s attracting all of the over-rated attention. Here’s my breakdown of ESPN’s Top 7 Draft Prospects and their actual value:

1. Calvin Johnson- I looked pretty hard to find some information to support the contrarian opinion on Mr. Johnson and came up empty. I really want to disagree with Scouts Inc. but he seems to be the real deal. Maybe he’ll have trouble catching passes thrown to the appropriate spot? Real value: #1 pick.

2. JaMarcus Russell- He didn’t even excel in college. This year’s LSU team was a perfect microcosm for Russell: underachieving but incredibly talented. Do you even remember anything he did before the Sugar Bowl vs. Notre Dame? Frankly, I want a QB that knows how to win. You can’t pick and choose your spots to be focused as a QB. Real value: 2nd-3rd Round.

3. Adrian Peterson- All I can think of when I see him is Eddie George for some reason. He’s incredibly fun to watch because he’s a great combo of speed and power but moderately injury prone. The upright running style can’t help his cause because he takes a lot of punishment. Seems to be half-way decent catching passes but didn’t have much of a chance at Oklahoma. But, he certainly produced from the get-go and you can’t overlook actual production. I can see him making an immediate impact wherever he goes. Real value: Top 5

4. Joe Thomas- Offensive lineman are like light bulbs: you can’t live without them, but you never really notice them until they stop doing their job. He blocks people really well, which shouldn’t change much in the NFL. Possible concern: not exactly familiar with state-of-the art offense at Wisconsin. But, I don’t think blocking schemes will hold him back at the next level. Especially considering O-lineman are thought of as the smartest and most articulate football players… when you actually interview them. Real value: Top 5.

5. LaRon Landry- A real asset at Safety. To save time, just take every cliché announcers use to describe good Safeties (playmaker, nose for the ball… and so on) and apply it here. Real value: Top 10-15

6. Gaines Adams- I’m pretty sure there’s just an endless supply of good DE’s that come out of college each year. Some you’ve heard of, others you haven’t. The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’. Personally, I could never justify a pick before 15 on a DE, unless they’re an LT level gamebreaker. Real value: Late 1st round.

7. Brady Quinn- What more needs to be said? I think the Big Daddy Drew at Kissing Suzy Kolber covered it pretty well here. Also, I’m almost positive he’s actually 5’11” (Quinn, not BDD). And one of the Hanson brothers. From the group Hanson, not from the movie Slap Shot. Real value: Anywhere between the 4th-5th round to being traded to the CFL for a really good sandwich.