Archive for September, 2010

Survivor Survival Guide: “How to Make Fire with a Coconut”

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want another girl to win. We already get owned in marriage. Pretty soon, we’ll have a woman president. A guy needs to sack up, and we need to win this one.”

–Shannon (who is a guy)

Let’s face facts: The first episode of a Survivor season is never any good. There’s way too many people with way too many names explaining the same tried-and-true Survivor principles. Fire is important. I’d like to make an alliance or two, but I don’t want to be overaggressive. Being a leader requires a deft touch this early in the game so as not to become a target. Survivor is really hard. I don’t even want the million dollars.

Okay, so the last one is new this season, and it comes from the biggest star the series has ever been able to nab: Former NFL head coach Jimmy Johnson. Johnson’s appearance on Survivor is, going in, easily the most interesting reason to watch this iteration of the show. Johnson, to me a shocking 66 years old, was fairly easily recognized by most of the castaways,* and he came clean early, saying he was there for the adventure and not the money — which his tribemates did not believe.

*The last thing I wanted was a weird, “Nobody recognizes me???” plot.

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36 Past and Numerous Future New York Times Articles Consolidated Under One Title

“Jews Exist in Every Part of the Country, Some Parts of Other Countries, Are of Different Races, and Sometimes Did Not Start Out Jewish”

Monday Medley

What we read while dabbling in witchcraft….


Every Game Counts…Week 3

In my neverending quest to rail against the BCS, I am calculating week-by-week how many games this college football season really “count” (as in, influence the national title picture).

After two weeks, 47 of the 120 FBS teams cannot make the BCS championship (a refresher on my criteria). Congratulations to UCLA and Vanderbilt for being the first two BCS teams to be eliminated from the title picture:

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The Sports Revolution: A Preseason that Counts

Only 8.5% of the way through its regular season, the NFL has already been battered by injuries. Several teams, specifically those that wear green, have already lost key players to season-ending maladies of the gruesome variety.*

*Pierre does not link to such grotesquerie as Leonard Weaver’s AHH!

The promptness of such injuries has again allowed people to make light of the NFL’s ridiculous strategy to expand its regular season to 18 games. Now, the NFL has contemplated the Preseason Question for some time now, attempting to balance its clear desire for more money with an equally clear lack of fan interest in games that don’t count in the standings — the equivalent of football “friendlies.”

There are two basic remedies to this issue. The first is to reduce the preseason by a game or two, therein reducing revenue since season-ticket holders pay as much to attend (or, in many cases, not attend) as regular-season games. The second idea alleviates the problems of the first: Cut down the preseason, and, in its place, extend the regular season. Continue reading

Gino Torretta Forfeits Heisman, Citing “Poor Football Skills”

CORAL GABLES — 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta held a surprise press conference on Wednesday in Coral Gables to announce that he would follow Reggie Bush’s lead in forfeiting his Heisman Trophy.

“This is, obviously, one of the toughest decisions of my life,” Torretta said while holding back tears. “But in light of the courage that Reggie showed, really adhering to the guidelines of who deserves the Heisman — and deserves is really the word that got me — I just thought I honestly wasn’t a good enough football player at any level to conscionably retain this trophy.”

Torretta then cited his 1992 statistics from a sheet of paper, seemingly expressing incredulity that anyone of his low caliber could win college football’s most prestigious award.

“I know we were a good team and all, but 19 touchdowns to seven interceptions? That’s less than a three-to-one ratio! Kellen Moore’s was 13-to-1 last year, and that dude didn’t even place!”

Indeed, after throwing 39 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 2009, Boise State’s Moore finished seventh. Torretta himself beat out San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk in 1992, a year in which Faulk ran for over 1600 yards and scored 15 touchdowns for the Aztecs. Continue reading

Unabated to the QB, Week 1: The NATIONAL Football League

“Everything that exalts life at the same time increases its absurdity.”

–Albert Camus

“Even I kinda like football, and I hate football.”

–John S

A couple of weeks ago, as the NFL preseason started getting underway with its accompanying Hosannas and Alleluias and Football’s Back!s, John started complaining to me about the sport’s apparent uber-relevance. Indeed, since the end of last football season, Sports Illustrated has devoted seven covers to baseball and six to football — despite the fact that only 16 football games have been played while roughly 2,160 baseball games have been contested.* There were four off-season football covers for SI; baseball had one off-season cover between 2009 and 2010, and that was for Derek Jeter earning Sportsman of the Year. Sigh.

*For the record, those covers are of Brady, the preview issue,** Chris Johnson, Miles Austin, Ben Roethlisberger, and Sam Bradford for football. For baseball, they’re Joey Votto, the Year of the Pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, Dallas Braden, the Yankees’ Core Four, Roy Halladay, and Matt Wieters.***

**It should also be noted that SI’s baseball preview issue is not split into regional covers the way the football issue is. This goes against my eventual point (that football is vastly more prominent on a national scale), which is just another reason why I hate regional covers (that post is forthcoming, btw).

***Matt Wieters? Matt Wieters. Continue reading