It's the best interview of Donovan McNabb I've ever seen:
He didn't ask the question most Philadelphia fans want asked: "You haven't won a Super Bowl in your career- how do you live with yourself?"
Noah's still going great, and turned two weeks old on Friday. Here's his newest blog post.
Mediaite: Jewish Girls Are Easy
If Jewish girls were easy- and they all looked like Rachel from "Glee"- my teenage years would've been much, much happier than they were.
This ad- for New Orleans coroner- is a strong contender:
How often do candidates accuse each other of organ theft? Outside of New Jersey, anyway...
The Onion, on J.D. Salinger. You know they were holding it for years, but still, brilliant.
Yes, the name sucks, and no, I don't expect to get one for a year or two, probably when the second or third edition comes out. But it looks pretty damn awesome. Here's my write-up on the Jobs keynote on E-Gear.
A dead-on parody of the SNL digital shorts, which have gotten progressively less funny over time:
His career as the NBA's imitation Jim Bouton comes to a sudden halt. Good. If only that worked in other professions- exposing yourself as a true asshole gets you instantly fired.
News Item: Twins sign Jim Thome for $1.5 million
I like this signing. It gives the Twins a bench bat who isn't one of their existing utility infielders, and also gives them a DH against righties while Jason Kubel plays the outfield. Now they just need a second or third baseman. Oh yea, and re-signing Mauer.
Sean Burns, after pointing out that "Legion"'s plot is identical to that of "The Terminator":
Legion is a cheap zombie-siege movie gussied up with inconsistent theology. Its good moments (there are two) involve the demonic/angelic possession of an elderly lady and a 7-year-old boy. The movie only starts to kick when the super-powered old hag is screaming the C-word and biting off chunks of people’s necks, or an innocent-looking kid is attempting a home abortion with a kitchen knife. The rest of the film could have been mailed-in clips from crappy ’80s movies in your old VHS collection.That, I'm sure, makes it sound a lot more fun than it is.
The worst thing written about the Vikings loss? Definitely Dave Zirin, who argues that the Vikings loss is actually good news for fans of the team- because it makes it less likely the team will be able to build a new stadium.
Yes, that's right- don't feel bad about that playoff loss, because the team will be out of town in 2 or 3 years, and therefore won't make it to the Super Bowl ever again. Silver lining!
When I Heard "Paul Allen Rips Favre," I assumed it meant on his radio show the next morning. Nope, it was during the game:
He sounded just like wrestling-era Jesse Ventura on that call.
iSportacus gets Onionesque:
McNabb Makes Pro Bowl, City RejoicesA large contingent of Eagles fans convened on Broad Street this morning, celebrating Donovan McNabb’s selection to the Pro Bowl. “We’re so proud of Donovan,” said Eagles fan Bob Barkendorf. “For a player so stupid, who makes terrible decisions and loves throwing the ball into the ground, making the Pro Bowl is an amazing accomplishment.” Another Eagles fan was equally excited. “Donovan McNabb is the worst quarterback in the history of the NFL, and for him to overcome that to get into the Pro Bowl speaks volumes about him,” said Tony Guacamole. Barbara Liftoff agreed. “I haven’t been this excited since Bobby Abreu won his Gold Glove Award.” This is McNabb’s 6th Pro Bowl selection, which is a record among players who exist solely to crush the hopes of their team’s fans at the end of each season.
Nathan Rabin, looking at the infamous movie "Tiptoes" as part of My Year of Flops:
Amusingly, the film’s trailer heralds Oldman’s part as Tiptoes DVD “the role of a lifetime.” Considering that his lifetime includes playing Sid Vicious, Dracula, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Orton, Sirius Black, Jim Gordon, Beethoven, and Drexl Spivey in True Romance, that seems a tad bit hyperbolic. Oldman has had at least five roles of a lifetime. His dour Tim Conway homage here isn’t one of them... Tiptoes wants us to believe that little people can do anything—except, apparently, play a key role in Tiptoes. Casting Oldman as a dwarf is like a well-meaning liberal producer making a film version of A Raisin In The Sun in the early ’60s with Peter Falk in blackface in the lead role. Tiptoes awkwardly recalls painfully earnest message movies of the ’50s and ’60s. Think of it as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (Here’s A Hint: He’s Really Fucking Short).I haven't seen the film, but I'm amused that Matthew McConaughey and Gary Oldman played twin brothers, when one is clearly 15 years older than the other.
Noah has a new blog post. Check it out here.
This is pretty brilliant:
You just knew it would end with explosions, didn't you?
Michael Kinsley, on the fake outrage from the Harry Reid thing:
Steele is the Republican chairman and a good example of the maxim that there is no such thing as an un-famous black conservative. You’ve heard of every single one of them. This is partly because the Republican party and the conservative media put every black conservative on display like a trophy (“Y’see? We’ve got some too.”), and partly because the media of all political slants and none at all have a need for symmetry. African Americans may have voted overwhelmingly for President Obama and other Democrats, but if you’re a Sunday talk show producer putting together a panel, and you’ve got a black liberal, you need a black conservative for balance.Yes, I know the Reid stuff happened weeks ago; I'm a bit behind on my reading.
Michael Wilbon from a recent Chat House:
Rockville, Md.: What would you do if a co-worker (either Wise or Kornheiser) pooped in your shoe as a prank or mutilated one of your suits?Speaking of Arenas, Tom Scocca had the best piece of anyone on that.
Michael Wilbon: Beat him 'til his mama didn't recognize him...Then again, that's not the culture of the newsroom ... but it is the culture of locker rooms. Trust me, that's daily stuff in baseball locker rooms, which are the grossest places on earth. Pooping in something (how about on a cake) is a staple in the baseball culture ... I know of an all-pro football player who peed in a teammate's car and one had to be traded ... same guy took a dump and threw the waste on a whiteboard during a team meeting he didn't want to be in ... Basketball locker rooms are pretty safe places compared to baseball and football.
Matt Yglesias, on the prospects of passage:
Those of us who follow this stuff professionally are aware that there is not and has never been a bill called “the Obama health care plan” nor is there any such thing as “Obamacare.” There are, rather, separate pieces of legislation. A House bill, a Senate bill, a Senate Finance Committee draft. And to professionals, there are important differences between these bills. House members voted for the House bill, but the Senate bill is something else entirely. Senate members voted for the Senate bill, but some amendments to make the tax provisions less-unfavorable to union members would be a whole separate bill. I understand all that. I write blog posts about it all the time.
But no normal people care about that even a little. The public has views on the “Obama health care plan.” And 59 out of 59 Democratic incumbent Senators voted for the Obama health care plan. And 218 Democratic House incumbents voted for the Obama health care plan. This plan does not poll well today. And if the narrative about the plan in the media becomes a narrative of failure, all about why Obamacare went down, it will poll even worse. And this plan has unpopular elements, and it has elements that can—and will—be portrayed in a misleadingly negative light. And all this is already baked into the cake. The votes cannot be untaken. But it is still possible to (a) accomplish something for the American people, (b) at least have a chance at turning the narrative around, and (c) avoid demoralizing those people who do like the health care plan.
Yes, I think Marshall Eriksen said it best...
The Vikings Sunday night lost their fourth NFC championship game of my lifetime- in four tries- losing to the Saints 31-28 in overtime. It was a game they simultaneously had no business being in and nevertheless came very close to winning. No, it wasn't as bad as the Gary Anderson Game or 41-donut, but still quite a stomach-punch.
Yes, the loss had many obvious culprits- five turnovers, all of which came at the worst imaginable times; an unconscionable Brad Childress brain fart on the final drive of regulation, leading to the Vikings never even getting a chance to kick the winning field goal, and a truly ugly interception by Brett Favre right afterward.
However, I don't want to pin the loss on Favre- the man looked like he was beaten to within an inch of his life, and went back on the field 3 or 4 different times when it looked like he couldn't walk, and still threw for 310 yards. No, there's no excuse for that INT- but that was gutsiness, getting back on the field like that again and again. Because if Tarvaris Jackson had gotten on the field, the game wouldn't have been that close.
But now Favre isn't sure if he wants to retire? What a shocker! My dream scenario remains McNabb-to-the-Vikings, but that would require Favre deciding, early on in the offseason, to retire, and not changing his mind.
However, if Favre is committed to playing, and is healthy, I'm not opposed to bringing him back. It was a damn exciting season, he's still a perfect fit for the offense, and he showed this year he can still play despite his advanced age. Either way, how about deciding early on, Brett?
- Attention, Phillies fans- you know how you knew all year Brad Lidge would blow a crucial save in the postseason, and then he did? Us Vikes fans felt the same this year with Peterson and fumbles- and then it happened. Three times.
- Tom had the line of the night, asking me "you didn't fumble the baby, did you?" That caused my first smile in the first hour after the game.
- A prediction- that Prince/Vikings song will disappear into a wormhole and never be spoken of ever again. Probably for the best.
- I will be rooting unreservedly for the Saints in the Super Bowl. That city has suffered enough, both football- and not-football-wise, and deserves a title. They're also a pretty likable team- unlike, say, the Cowboys.
- On a personal note, if the Vikings are going to make the Super Bowl, I'd prefer my son Noah to be old enough to know what's going on, and by "old enough," I mean, "older than three weeks."
The last night was a great one, encapsulating everything that's been great about Conan in all his NBC years. Classy, and still funny. I'll be watching Coco on Fox in the fall for sure.
I review the excellent "Crazy Heart" on Philly.com.
My son Noah has a new blog post up, now with 100 percent more open eyes! I also appreciate Lankenau Hospital having free, dependable WiFi- not only was I able to do work from my wife's hospital room for all of last week, but my seven-day-old son is able to blog live from the NICU!
An unintentionally hilarious Vikings song that I actually think is better than the Prince one:
True, the Prince song is terrible- but wouldn't it be fun if 50,000 fans were singing it drunkenly?
Johnny Goodtimes, on "if Eagles fans were Villanova basketball fans"
Let’s not kid ourselves, Jay Wright is never going to win the big one. Yes, Villanova wins regular season games every year, but never the big one. Sweet 16 one year, Final Four the next, who cares? When it gets down to crunch time, Jay Wright is a choker. He is ruining this Villanova basketball team, and they will never really be winners until they get rid of him. He wears too much gel in his hair and he doesn’t say the things I would say if I was coach of Villanova instead of sitting here at Chickie and Pete’s eating Crab Fries. He is a disgrace and joke. I would rather Villanova sucked liked they used to than be good and just break my heart every year. I wish we still had Steve Lappas. He may have never won any important games, but I liked the things he said in his press conferences! Those teams had heart, something these Wildcats under Jay Wright will never have. Plus his suits are too expensive. He could feed the population of Yemen and prevent further terrorist attacks for the price of one of those suits, but you think Jay Wright cares about protecting the American people from terrorism? Hardly. He’s more concerned with breaking our hearts every year...Then again, Reynolds appears to be in about his seventh year at Villanova, so it makes sense to be sick of him.
If this Villanova team had a real coach like John Wooden on the sidelines, they’d win some championships. Now that guy could coach. He won 12 championships! Compare that to Jay Wright, who’s won zero. 12-0. It’s not even close. Does that Nova team from last year lose to UNC in the Final Four with John Wooden on the sidelines? Hardly. You know who else Villanova could’ve used? Michael Jordan. That guy can play some basketball. I mean, if Nova had him instead of Scottie Reynolds...
From the NYT, on the Leno/Conan mess:
“I think part of why there’s been such a visceral reaction to this is we’ve talked about change and taking risks, and that’s something I’ve always been associated with,” Mr. Zucker said. “And not being afraid to take chances.”What kind of horseshit is that argument? They're not attacking Zucker for "taking risks"- they're attacking him for being consistently wrong about just about everything, and getting repeatedly promoted as the result of it.
This makes about as much sense as saying liberals hate Sarah Palin "because she's a mom."
This is even worse:
At the end of the interview in Mr. Zucker’s office, Steve Capus, the head of NBC News, spoke up strongly on behalf of his boss, saying the news media had blown the late-night ordeal “out of proportion,” especially, he said, in light of more important stories like the tragedy in Haiti. “He is paying a price that is so out of whack with what is happening here,” he said.What kind of ridiculous deflection is that? Ignore Zucker's screwups! Haiti! Haiti! Haiti! And what price is he paying- he still has a job. I'd like to hear a defense lawyer try that one- "how dare you prosecute my client for those five murders- people are dying in Haiti!"
Prince- yes, Prince- has written a song about the Vikings:
I love the idea of American sports teams having songs that their fans can sing/chant during games- just about every foreign soccer club has many of them- but sorry, that one sort of sucks. I agree with Drew:
-Prince was again in the luxury box at the Metrodome last week. This is the second time Prince has showed up at a Vikings game this year, and he's NEVER been seen at Vikings games before now, at least not that I remember. Does this mean Prince hopped on the bandwagon after Favre arrived? Does he have a Favre jersey? Does he wear it? That would be fucked up. All I know is that I hope Prince makes the trip to New Orleans, because the luxury box fan contrast he'd have versus Kim Kardashian would give the Vikings a huge edge
Somehow, the idea of the team giving a pitcher $8 million a year led to the "Phillies are cheap" lie being resurrected yet again on the radio. Why's that? Because the Phils traded Cliff Lee for prospects as part of the Roy Halladay transaction, rather than keep both pitchers.
Please. Let's go through this again. The Phils are paying Blanton $8 million, which is $1 million less than Lee was set to make. If money were the object, the Phillies could've just released Blanton and kept Lee for the one year. Instead, they offered Blanton around, didn't get offers they wanted, and decided to trade Lee- who was not going to re-sign- instead.
So now, the team has their entire front four (Halladay, Cole Hamels, Blanton and J.A. Happ) under control for three years. Cheap teams don't generally give one pitcher $60 million and another $28 million in the same offseason. Once again, I wish the Twins were that "cheap."
UPDATE: And Shane Victorino too! Congrats to Craig Calcaterra for breaking the story.
It's Bar None, on 3rd Ave. below 14th St. I've never been there, and I'm not sure if it was a Vikings bar when I was in New York. But I have heard that members of The Hold Steady have been known to frequent the place.
This is impossible to watch without getting fired up:
That's just priceless. The Saints are in serious danger of becoming completely irrelevant now that the Twins are outside, so I'm glad they were able to come up with a clever way to get attention.
Roger Ebert tees off on Peter Jackson's embarrassment:
"The Lovely Bones" is a deplorable film with this message: If you're a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to. You can get together in heaven with the other teenage victims of the same killer, and gaze down in benevolence upon your family members as they mourn you and realize what a wonderful person you were. Sure, you miss your friends, but your fellow fatalities come dancing to greet you in a meadow of wildflowers, and how cool is that... We should all end up like her, and the sooner the better; preferably not after being raped and murdered.What an awful film, mostly because it tells its story haphazardly and weakly. After Jackson's LOTR triumph, I guess this proves each director can only successfully make one "unfilmable" movie in his lifetime.
News Item: All-white pro basketball league founded
The idea sounds sort of like an amusing novelty, until you hear the guy's quotes; it's obvious his real intention is "hoops, without all those damn [n-word]":
"There's nothing hatred about what we're doing," Lewis told the Chronicle. "I don't hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here's a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like."I'm guessing that, if this isn't a hoax, proprietor Don "Moose" Lewis will soon be hearing from the Justice Department's Civil Rights division.
And if that doesn't work out... they should try the All-Gentile Comedy Writing League.
There's a new post on Noah's blog; you can see it here.
Apparently they "rock out" differently in Wisconsin than they do everywhere else.
Bill Simmons, a few weeks ago, pointed out something I noticed when I was in Vegas:
I noticed a strange phenomenon -- my connection would be fast during the day, but at night, it became so spotty that I could barely load box scores or watch even short highlight clips...When I was in Vegas I had to write at night, I noticed this- the WiFi was totally fine in the morning, but slowed-to-a-crawl at night. Couldn't that be a class action suit, if it ever came out that this was true?
That's when I came up with "The Porn Jammer" theory: It's my belief that certain hotels scramble their wireless at night to discourage guests from surfing for porn. Why? So they will order adult entertainment from the hotel's pay-per-view system. I know ... it's dastardly. But if you're the hotel, why give the milk away for free when you can make people pay for the cow? More importantly, would you really put it past them? This is the same business that built motion detectors into mini-bars; they're going to give up the in-room porn business without a fight? It's evil, it's desperate, it's despicable and brilliant.
A few scattered observations on last night's result in the Bay State:
- The biggest reason Scott Brown is the next Senator from Massachusetts is because he was a good candidate and Martha Coakley was not. He tried hard; she did not. And this has a lot to do with the general idiocy of the Democratic party in Massachusetts, which manages to very frequently blow elections in one of the bluest states in America, by fighting contentious primaries and nominating weak candidates. There's a reason they got they got Republican Govs. William Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift and Mitt Romney, all in a row. (The DFL in Minnesota does this often as well- remember the John Marty, Ann Wynia, and Roger Moe campaigns?)
- A few things to keep in mind: The Democrats had 60 Senate votes; now they have 59. They didn't lose the majority. And as someone pointed out this week, the "Supermajority" barely existed at all- there were only 60 Democratic votes since Al Franken was seated, in the summer, and Robert Byrd has usually been too sick to vote anyway. In fact, Obama was inaugurated with 58 Democrats in the Senate. Now there are 59.
Best headline goes to the Village Voice: Scott Brown Wins Mass. Race, Giving GOP 41-59 Majority in the Senate
- The other thing about Brown- he isn't nuts. If the Republicans ran 200 Scott Browns, they'd have a better chance of getting Congress back than if they ran 200 Michele Bachmanns.
- Remember when Curt Schilling was going to run? The Republicans should be happy he didn't.
- Should the Democrats still pass health care? Absolutely. They should pursue the House passing the Senate bill. There's absolutely nothing illegal, immoral, or unprecedented about doing it.
That said, how much of a repudiation to Obama is this? It vindicates the GOP strategy of 1) fight Obama on everything, and 2) Lie through your teeth about everything he says and does.
The best analysis of the situation? CQ Politics, for sure.
My son Noah, despite being only five days old, is already blogging! You can stay up to date on his progress here
Wow. Go and read it. I don't know what's more shocking- Harrison's long-concealed double-life, or the fact that one reporter was able to do more to solve the case than the entire police and prosecutorial apparatus of the city of Philadelphia. Bravo, Jason Fagone. I'm just wondering why Philadelphia magazine, where Fagone is on staff, didn't get the piece.
When was the last time we had to ask the question, "do we need to keep this guy out of the Hall of Fame, because he may have killed a guy?" Probably Ty Cobb. (O.J. was already firmly ensconced in Canton by '94.)
Scott Adams- the Dilbert Guy- on Ahmadinejad referring to the U.S., Israel, and an unnamed third partner as the "Triangle of Wickedness":
I will allow that there are some translation issues here. Triangle of wickedness probably sounds way more awesome in Farsi. But it does make me wonder what phrases they considered before they landed on the Triangle of Wickedness.
One clue is that they had to add a miscellaneous category just to get the threat level up to triangle. Otherwise the labeling options are limited to Duo of Duplicity, or the Gruesome Twosome, or the Twin Terribles. See? It's harder than you think.
I was also amused by Iran's accusation that America and Israel killed a random college professor just because, if anyone asked, he could do a good job of explaining what a nuclear bomb is. I assume our next targets are everyone who has access to Wikipedia. That's exactly the sort of evil you would expect from the um. Conjoined Corrupters?
It's inspirational, and then, not so much:
This is a year or so old, hence the lack of Favre. My favorite part was the picture of Dubya and Tice- the most FAIL you can possibly fit into that small a photograph.
The Vikings manhandled the Cowboys at the Dome Sunday, 34-3, thus moving to 1-0 in little Noah Silver's lifetime. I told Noah Brett Favre threw four touchdown passes, one for each letter of his name. They now move to the fourth NFC championship game of MY lifetime, although they did lose the previous three*.
Nice to see the team dominating again, especially against a Dallas team that had looked unbeatable the last two weeks. And yes, they "ran up the score." Deal with it, Dallas. I only wish the Vikings had gotten the ball one more time so Favre could drill the ball directly at Jerry Jones' nose.
Anyway, New Orleans is going to be a VERY tough matchup, especially on the road, although it's better for the Vikes than playing outside on the road would have been. Can't wait for next Sunday.
*Will this lead to "2010 NFC Championship Game- DAMN!"? Let's hope not.
I review the awful "Leap Year"- redeemed only by the adorable Amy Adams- on Philly.com. Kaitlin "Sweet Dee" Olson, FYI, is in the movie for about two minutes as her friend.
Yes, Michael Scott and David Brent in the same room. I guess it worked for "Star Trek" to have more than one Spock on screen at the same time.
I paid almost no attention to pregame hype for this game- becoming a first-time father will do that for you- but I'm excited for the game Sunday. There's a two-day-old kid here in Philly who will be rooting hard for the Vikings.
Then there's this:
Seth Meyers, in the only good two minutes of SNL tonight:
Also, apparently there's "some lack of clarity about the fate of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog."
He's doing great today- off the breathing tube, and arms and legs moving around all the time! The Official Noah Blog will be launched at some point in the coming days.
Plus- famous people with the same birthday as Noah: Martin Luther King, Drew Brees, Charo, Bernard Hopkins, Vince Foster, Shane McMahon, Moliere, and Kobe Tai.
When I heard "Philadelphia movie theater shooting," a couple of places came immediately to mind, but I was off- it was the Bridge, the nicest, most modern theater in town, near UPenn, which I actually had gone at around the same time just two nights before.
So many questions- who robs a movie theater box office? Especially at 7 p.m. on a Friday night, when there were probably a hundred people around? And not only that, but the theater is located at a busy intersection- and has glass doors. Whatever a perfect crime is, this is the exact opposite, although the guy did get away it appears.
Matt Yglesias on Sarah Palin's ridiculous comments on Harry Reid and Trent Lott:
Here’s Palin talking about an issue which is either a pointless partisan sideshow, or else a serious complaint about race in America. But the complaint she offers isn’t a complaint on behalf of African-Americans. It’s a complaint offered on behalf of white southern racists. It’s not that it would be unfair to black people for Reid to remain majority leader rather the problem is that it would be unfair to Trent Lott. And surely it’s no surprise that white southern conservatives seem much more likely than actual black people to be making these kind of demands. The idea that white people might want to show some deference to African-Americans’ views of who is and is not their enemy and what is and is not offensive to them is inimical to the conservative project’s determination to zealous advocacy on behalf of the interests of white people.But Harry Reid Harry Reid! Duke lacrosse! Duke lacrosse!
The legen- wait for it- musical number in HIMYM's 100th episode last week:
Sure, it was practically a homage to "The Drew Carey Show," but I loved it anyway.
Rush Limbaugh, arguing against giving money to Haiti relief efforts:
On Wednesday Limbaugh spoke with a caller from North Carolina and asked, "Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?" The caller answered no and then Limbaugh continued "But would you trust that your name is gonna end up on the mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?"He went on to say:
The caller agreed and Limbaugh added another dig at the White House, "Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax."
"This will play right into Obama's hands. He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, 'credibility' with the black community -- in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made-to-order for them."What a weird, weird statement. Let's find all the things wrong with it:
- The implication that the White House is directing all Haiti relief efforts. They're not, at all.
- The idea, spread without any proof or evidence, that the president has embezzled earthquake relief charitable donations for personal political purposes. I wasn't aware that this was an established anti-Obama trope.
- So helping the people of Haiti is bad because it helps Obama's credibility with the black community? Would the president have been better off letting thousands of people starve and die in the streets, in order to avoid the impression that he was trying to curry favor with blacks? And I had no idea "humanitarian" was now a slur.
I get it, the idea is to "fight Obama on everything." I guess that includes helping out with a humanitarian disaster. Does that mean Bush had it right with Katrina after all?
I agree with Craig Ferguson:
The Onion tells the truth.
That reminds me of something- I heard more than one person accuse Bob Costas of conducting a "softball interview" with McGwire. Now, Bob wasn't getting in his face, badgering him, or asking viciously leading questions. Costas was just nice and polite while asking some pretty tough questions. He's not Bill O'Reilly yelling at a liberal blogger or judge.
You want to know what a softball interview is? When Sean Hannity interviews Palin or Dick Cheney, and every question is some variation on, "does it bother you that your enemies are so mean to you?"
Other than my son being born, a divisional rival of the Vikings adding the world's most incompetent football coach to its staff was the best news I got on Friday.
A leading Muslim politician campaigning against antisemitic chanting at Chelsea Football Club has been told that fans who shout “We hate Yids!” about Tottenham fans are not expressing hatred of Jews...I'm a Tottenham fan for, essentially, that reason, so this made me laugh. You thought New York and Philly football fans were mean to each other?
Edward Ashwell, Chelsea’s head of security, replied: “The problem of antisemitic chanting at Stamford Bridge is not as clear cut as it might be. Tottenham Hotspur supporters call themselves ‘the Yids’ and when some Chelsea supporters chant ‘We hate Yids’ they do not mean ‘We hate Jewish people’, they actually mean ‘We hate Tottenham supporters’ much in the same way as they chant ‘We hate Leeds’"
News Item: Gilbert Arenas pleads guilty to gun charge.
I'm still wondering exactly what the big deal is here. Sure, he did an exceedingly dumb thing and exhibited appallingly poor judgment throughout the situation- but he caused harm to no one, and seems like the victim of a plot by his general manager to get his contract voided. I bet Ed Stefanski is already planning to plant a gun in Elton Brand's locker.
Then there's the matter of the original New York Post account- of Arenas and Jarvis Crittendon pulling guns on each other- being completely off the mark. Does any reporter in any specialty in the country get major stuff wrong as often as Peter Vecsey does?
Of course, the Society of Sanctimonious Sportswriters position is "Ban Him For Life!" Probably because it would "send a message."
He's generally capable of one really good column per year, and Reilly fills his quota for 2010 early, with a look back at his good friend Mike Penner/Christine Daniels. Though I'm still wondering what exactly the phrase "the trick of lingerie" means.
Conor Friedersdorf gets into the silliness of the Glenn Reynolds approach to political blogging.
Diablo Cody, on Twitter:
Jersey Shore violates everything The Real World led us to believe. It's somehow better TV if the 7 strangers are EXACTLY THE SAME
Neal Gabler puts together a helpful overview of all that's wrong with the college admissions process. Every word of this is right.
Rebecca and I are excited to announce that our son, Noah, was born this morning at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa. He's two months premature and very tiny, but doing fine so far, as is his mom.
We greatly appreciate the support of all of our friends and family during the past year. We're planning at some point to start a separate blog devoted to Noah happenings.
It looks like "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" will go off the air next week, which is a damn shame. I've been a fan of his for years and really feel like Conan should've gotten more than seven months to establish the show. Remember how bad his "Late Night" was the first three years?
Plus- what's NBC's "Tonight Show" succession plan now? JImmy Fallon? Carson Daly? Jerry Seinfeld?
At any rate, it's just been enjoyable watching all the shows each night to see what each of the hosts comes up with. Well, except for Jay, he still sucks.
What happens when a Web site offers cash rewards for Apple's trade secrets? I explore TabletBountyGate on E-Gear.com. Wouldn't the idea be for a low-level Apple employee to leak info in exchange for big-time cash? And if that can happen in Cupertino, why not the Pentagon or CIA?
The Wall Street Journal ran a piece yesterday about the new cult of Nikola Tesla, and how he is "Electrifying Hip Techies." Completely missing from the piece? Any reference to the band Tesla, who sort of kicked off the whole "naming things after Tesla" craze 20 or so years ago. What gives? A buddy of mine emailed the author of the piece, who replied that "I had to make certain calls on what was in and out based on space." I'm guessing Frank Hannon and Jeff Keith just didn't return his calls.
Ken Levine shares the backstory of my favorite "Cheers" episode. I think of it often when I watch the show now, and even asked Alex Trebek about it last year. ("Unless you did something foolish, like bet all of your money...")
The trailer for HBO's upcoming "Boardwalk Empire." I'm practically drooling:
Peter Beinart looks at the death of Harold Ford's career. And no, I don't know that anyone could get elected to office in Philly if they praised Jeffrey Lurie in an interview.
Little kids act out "Jersey Shore":
Sure, it was a stupid thing to say. But let's not get carried away here- he was saying it in favor of a black man running for president, as opposed to praising the policies of a segregationist, which is what Trent Lott did. Ta-Nahesi:
Claiming that Harry Reid's comments are the same, is like claiming that referring to Jews as "Hebrews" is the same as endorsing Nazism. Whereas a reputable portion of black people still use the term Negro without a hint of irony, no black person thinks the guy yelling "Segregation Forever!" would have cured us of "all these problems."This is the first time in years I've heard anyone on the right accuse a white guy of racism. I thought the only racists in the world were Al Sharpton and the prosecutors of the Duke lacrosse case.
Leaving aside political cynicism, this entire affair proves that the GOP is not simply still infected with the vestiges of white supremacy and racism, but is neither aware of the infection, nor understands the disease. Listening to Liz Cheney explain why Harry Reid's comments were racist, was like listening to me give lessons on the finer points of the comma splice. This a party, rightly or wrongly, regarded by significant portions of the country as a haven for racists. They aren't simply having a hard time re-branding, they don't actually understand how and why they got the tag.
This is the second-best news for the Anti-Eagles Movement this week, after the team actually getting eliminated from the playoffs. So we'll get another four years of celebration of negativity, anger, ignorance and bad radio. Can't wait.
I'm not planning to do a lot of reading of Tucker Carlson's new Daily Caller Web site- except for Matt Labash's advice column.
A Balloon Juice correspondent on the Byron Dorgan retirement:
In ND, a popular, well-liked Republican with a good track record will beat pretty much any Democrat. Dorgan won an open seat to get in. Conrad squeaked by an asshole (Mark Andrews) in a semi-upset. Never seen even a good D beat a decent R in an open election in my lifetime in either Dakota.I love local politics. Nothing in America is more fun.
But, goddamit, once they get in they fucking stay in for life. That’s just part of the deal, D or R. Karl Mundt, Nixon’s right-hand man on the HUAC, was in a fucking coma for half of his last term after he got into the Senate. Quentin Burdick died in office, like a real man, after forty-fucking-two years in the Senate. Tim Johnson’s brain fucking exploded and he can barely talk, but he ran for re-election and won.
Dorgan has always been a prissy little bitch. He wasn’t man enough to run against Andrews, so Conrad went for it and won. Fucking Byron had to sit around and wait for Burdick to die before he could sack up and run.
He should have been making a smelly puddle in his Depends before he even thought of retirement. What a sorry excuse for a politician.
The Democrats should snatch that ridiculous fucking toupee off of his square farmboy knothead, burn it in the middle of the mall, bury the ashes and have the rest of the caucus piss on the spot.
The famed French director died today at the age of 89. I know him best for directing "Claire's Knee," which can be summed up thus:
On the eve of his wedding, on holiday on the Lake Annecy shore, a career diplomat visits an old acquaintance, perhaps a former girlfriend. Through her he meets an intense teenager, Laura, and then lusts after her sister, Claire. Whilst Laura attempts to flirt with him, his fantasy becomes focussed on wanting to caress Claire's knee.Yes, the French are different from you and me...
I just returned last night from four days at International CES in Las Vegas. Quite a fun trip- and the biggest thing this year was 3D. Supposedly 3D is going to be the new HD and we're going to all have 3D TVs in our homes in a few years. Sure, I was skeptical about the future of the technology, but the success of "Avatar" has everyone excited, and I do think the technology has potential- especially once they figure out how to do it without the glasses.
People I've been in the same room with in the past 72 hours: John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, Ron Jeremy, Maria Bartiromo, Aziz Ansari, Shrek (well, a guy dressed as him), and a female taxi driver who offered to set me up with prostitutes within the first ten seconds of my getting in the cab. I'll get into some of these stories in the coming days.
Another thing I noticed- the douchebag quotient of CES has risen considerably, I've found. Sure, that's Vegas all the time, but CES used to be the provence of nerds. And yes, the line between "hooker" and "booth babe" has continued to get thinner and thinner as time has gone on.
Well, that was pretty sad. The Eagles lost to the Cowboys in Dallas for the second straight week, getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the Andy Reid era.
This means the Cowboys go to Minnesota next Sunday at 1. It'll be nice having all of Philly rooting along with me. Although after the Yankees knocked out both the Twins and Phillies last year, it would sure suck if the Cowboys managed to eliminate both the Eagles and Vikings.
And yes, of course George W. Bush is a Cowboys fan. Dubya high-fiving Jerry Jones was like a real-life supervillain summit.
Yes, even though I'm a Vikings fan, I was pulling for the Eagles and wish nothing but success for them. With Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb on one side and the irrational, talk radio-led mob of Eagles Fans Who Hate the Eagles, I have no doubt over which side to support.
That said, does this mean Donovan McNabb goes? I would not be surprised. Of course the Eagles are a better team with him than without, and I fully expect the team to slide back into full-on mediocrity with Kolb and Vick as the QBs. But if he does go...
My ideal scenario for the next three months: Vikings win the Super Bowl, the resulting excitements leads to a stadium deal, Brett Favre retires, and McNabb is traded to Minnesota. I'd be happy with two, three, or all four of those events taking place.
I liked what Bill Simmons had to say on the subject Friday:
Can you think of someone who defined the NFL Hyperbole Decade better than McNabb? He stinks! He's great! He can't win the big one! He's getting better in the clutch! He has no heart! He has a ton of heart! He needs to go! He needs to stay! I can't remember a more polarizing NFL career. Because he stunk last weekend, it seems logical that he would play well this weekend. … Right?And KSK on Sparado-gate:
It should be noted that pretty much everybody in Philly seems to hate said blogger. Not that it should come as much of a surprise. People in Philly hate pretty much everything, up to and including cookies, orgasms, and their franchise quarterback.I watched the game at a dive bar in a sketchy, non-strip section of Vegas, a place known as a prominent gathering place of Eagles fans (Shane Victorino supposedly stopped by a week or two ago.) Fun times; I recommend going if you're a Philly fan in Vegas- but I DON'T recommend walking there. Funny that this not-so-nice neighborhood was just a few blocks away from the Wynn, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
I rank the 20 best movies of the year- and some of the worst- on Philly.com.
I love it. NBC wanted to avoid the clusterfuck of Carson's departure by committing to Conan as "Tonight Show" host five years in advance- and it leads to an even bigger mess than the one in 1992. Oh well, at least now Bill Carter can write a sequel to "The Late Shift."
What I don't get is, Leno's show has failed, big time- why does he get promoted? Why doesn't he get canceled/fired?
Go to Fox, Conan. Or cable. I'd watch for sure. Then you're leaving NBC with Jimmy Fallon as the probably eventual successor to Leno. Unless there's unforeseen complications, of course. I liked Bill Simmons' idea on Twitter- Conan should book the Masturbating Bear as his guest every night for the full hour until NBC fires him.
Why you probably shouldn't get a guest fish-feeder from the Internet.
Dead at the age of 47, Halme is another one of those only-in-America (or rather, only-in-Finland) pro wrestling stories: Halme competed in the mid-'90s WWF as Ludvig Borga, and then returned to his native Finland and was elected to Parliament as part of a far-right nativist party. He made headlines a few years ago for claiming in an interview that Finnish president/Conan O'Brien lookalike Tarja Halonen was a lesbian.
Yes, it's the entire script of "The Big Lebowski," rendered entirely as Shakespearean verse:
WALTER Saturday! Unhappy fortune. Something was forgotten in the state of office. A calendar, a calendar! Look in the almanac; find a date uncancell’d by destiny. What manner of fool is he that scheduled this date? I did take pains to disclose my unavailability.Verrily, shomer fucking shabbos.
DONALD Marry, ‘twas Burkhalter.
WALTER A German, all slops, or low Dutch; thrice I made him to know that I roll not on Saturday.
DONALD But posted it be; what’s done cannot be undone.
WALTER They shall unpost it, by my life!
THE KNAVE I care not, Walter—what of that poor woman?
WALTER Peace, Knave; she will tire of her little game anon, and wander back in the manner of the punished cur, tail between her legs.
DONALD Wherefore thou playest not at ninepins on Saturday, Sir Walter?
WALTER On our most holy Sabbath I am sworn To keep tradition, form and ceremony. The seventh and the last day rests the Jew; I labour not, nor ride in chariot, Nor handle gold, nor even play the cook, And sure as Providence I do not roll. Hath not a Jew rights? Hath not a Jew hands, Organs, bowling-balls, Pomeranians? If you schedule us, must you not do right? If we step o’er the line, do we not mark it nought? The Sabbath; I’ll roll not, God-a-mercy.
News Item: Brett Myers signs with Astros
Ed Wade continues his longstanding quest to recreate the Phillies of 2002-2004.
I'm heading to Vegas Thursday for the International CES; perhaps I'll link here to things published from the show. I'm hearing everything this year is in 3D.
It never existed, as Stewart points out:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Even Better Than the Real Thing|
The Eagles' Web site flack got into some trouble today:
Dave Spadaro, editor of philadelphiaeagles.com and an employee of the Eagles, videotaped his spitting on the centerfield star at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday before the Eagles played the Cowboys. The video was posted on the Web site, but was taken down sometime today.Oh, who cares? It's not like he urinated or defecated on it or something. Could we please not predict that he committed blasphemy?
How will Spadaro's frequent adversaries on the WIP morning show react? I'm guessing they'd only be happy if he spit on the Eagles logo.
Speaking of which, the "is it time to get rid of McNabb discussion" seemed to completely vanish during the six-game winning streak, but whaddya know, it's suddenly back with a vengeance. There's even sports radio concern-trolling- the second a caller says "I've only been a McNabb fan," the next sentence is ALWAYS "but I think it's time to get rid of him!"
Yes, the Hall of Fame screwed up. Blyleven should've gone in, as should Roberto Alomar and Tim Raines. But if you think the BBWAA is wrong now, wait until the steroid guys all start coming up...
One of my favorite blogs of the past five years, the New Republic's The Plank, is no more. But Jonathan Chait will continue blogging under his own name.
If you're not keeping up with this on Twitter, you're really missing something. Imagine how differently the Tiger scandal would have unfolded had he been tweeting about it every five minutes.
I can think of a handful of possible explanations: He had an abrupt midlife political conversion and that's why he and Sarandon split; he lost a bet; or maybe it's a different Tim Robbins in the election records. Or maybe all this time Bob Roberts was the real guy and Tim Robbins was the fictional character. I'm dying to hear the real explanation.
Remember Allen Quist? He was a far-right candidate for governor of Minnesota in '94, with the full support of the state party against incumbent Arne Carlson- until he lost to Arne in the primary and was never heard from again. Until this year, as he's apparently running for Congress as a Michele Bachmann doppleganger. Here's what he had to say recently:
Every generation has had to fight the fight for freedom. This is our fight. And this is our time. This is it. Terrorism, yes — but that’s not the big battle. The big battle is in D.C., with the radicals. They aren’t liberals, they’re radicals. Obama, Pelosi, Walz — they’re not liberals, they’re radicals. They are destroying our country. And people all over are figuring that out.”Walz is Tim Walz, his Democratic opponent. A liberal, sure, but not quite to the left of, say, Paul Wellstone.
One Bachmann's enough, thanks.
On the Brit Hume Tiger-Woods-Should-Convert brouhaha, I divert to Sully:
What if Brit Hume had said what he said and Tiger Woods were Muslim? Or Jewish? Would we have reacted any differently? Would Hume?If Hume had said that about a Jewish person, he'd have been fired before the next commercial break, and probably would've deserved it.
LGM points out how the two are more alike than you think.
The Vikings Sunday clinched the first round playoff bye that everyone assumed was theirs weeks ago, crushing the Giants 44-7 at the Metrodome to finish the season 12-4. Weak as the team looked three of the last four weeks, they were once again their early-season dominant self, ensuring they won't have to take Brett Favre on the road in the cold.
The best part? The team got some vengeance on the Giants, who famously beat them 41-0 in the NFC title game ten years ago this month. The score at the one point in the third quarter was even 41-0; my theory for when they brought in Tarvaris Jackson was that they wanted the score to stay that way.
But the Giants weren't the worst-looking NFC East team Sunday- that was the Eagles, who blew a chance at the division title and a first-round bye in losing to the Cowboys 24-0. Their reward for the loss- they get to play the same team in the same stadium in the first round of the playoffs.
Sure, it looked bad for Philly, and following their six-game winning streak, the Anti-Eagles Radio Movement will have some matrial to work with. But keep two things in mind- the Eagles almost never lose in the first round of the playoffs, while the Cowboys almost never win. And the Vikings looked just as bad the last two weeks as the Eagles did today.
I review "Sherlock Holmes" on Philly.com.
Via Hollywood Elsewhere, a new way of looking at the acclaimed film.
A kind of unfounded gossip from Page Six Sunday:
Looks like the Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino isn't letting talk about him being traded get him down. The outfielder was spotted dining with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White at N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas the other night. Spies said they were joined by a group of six friends in the main dining room. Both Victorino and White were also spotted a week ago playing blackjack to gether at the Playboy Club.Just one problem- there isn't any talk about Victorino getting traded. His name has literally not been mentioned in a single trade rumor in the last year. In fact, he's been mentioned on MLBTradeRumors.com just three times since the start of 2009: His signing with the Phils in January, an offhand mention that the Phils once acquired him in the Rule V draft, and a link to an interview in which Shane told a reporter that he "wants to remain a Phillie long-term."