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Month: August 2016

ROUNDTABLE — (NCAA) FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!!!

ROUNDTABLE — (NCAA) FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!!!

(Mikey’s Note, this is long and I love roundtables and I haven’t been included in one in a while so I cut nothing. READ AWAY PEOPLE)

NCAA FOOTBALL BITCHES

KNOXVILLE, TN - AUGUST 31, 2014 - Aerial wide shot from overhead of a full stadium during the Season opening game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Utah State Aggies at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

Michael H: In my very humble opinion, the atmosphere at a college football game – especially in the South – is as close as we get in American sports to the atmosphere of a big European club soccer match. Generation upon generation of folks root their guts out for their beloved college football team.

My wife’s family is from Tennessee and are gigantic Vols fans, natch. I have been in Neyland Stadium amongst over 100,000 Vols fans clad in yellow and white. No other sporting experience I have had comes close to the electricity and elation I witnessed their – I also was lucky enough to watch a come-from-behind overtime win against South Carolina a few years back. It was insane.

As for myself, I’m an Illinois Fighting Illini fan (smh). We have had little to be optimistic about recently (thanks Tim Beckman). Sure, we have had some decent players: Red Grange, Dick Butkus, Rashard Mendenhall, Brandon Lloyd, Vontae Davis, Jeff Allen…uh…Arrelious Benn? Anyway, yeah. But now Lovie Smith is here. He is the biggest football coach the Illini have probably ever had (apologies to Ron Zook, psyche). This year will most likely be a rough one, but hopefully future potential recruits will give Illinois another look simply because of the name recognition. He has to keep Illinois boys in-state, and own Chicago.

They open with Murray State (yay!), but don’t play Indiana somehow (insane), and end with a Michigan State-Wisconsin-Iowa-Northwestern trail of tears. Still, I am really pumped for college football Saturdays. I-L-L.

tcu

Shaun: I’m here to teach things people. Study up. – The Big XII Conference has represented itself as one of the power conferences in college football, boasting the motto: “One True Champion.”  During the 2014 season, the Big XII awarded conference championship trophies to the Baylor Bears and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.  ONE true champion; TWO champions.  And this decision to award two champions hurt big time.  Both Baylor and TCU were poised to make an appearance in the first official College Football Playoff, although the odds were admittedly slim that both would make it.  That would come down to the results of conference championships in the other power conferences in the final week of the regular season.  Then, when the final College Football Playoff seedings were released, both teams were stuck on the outside looking in.  Ohio State leapfrogged both Big XII schools, winning the Big Ten championship, and on the final weekend of the college football season, Baylor and TCU sat at home, with no opportunity to help themselves get into the inaugural CFP in any way.  Their conference failed them.

For ONLY ONE MORE SEASON WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS.  As of 2017 (next season) the Big XII will once again implement a conference championship game, and we can no longer laugh at the Big XII for such a staggering level of ineptitude for handing out two trophies to two teams just a few years ago.  The Big XII has 10 teams in the conference.  This just keeps getting stranger, I know.  But nonetheless, there are two, five-team divisions, and the conference has announced that they will reinstate their championship game for the first time since Colorado and Nebraska left for other conferences in 2010.  Last season, Oklahoma made it into the final four-team playoff, despite not playing in a championship game.  Now that the NCAA allows conferences with less than 12 teams to host a championship game, the Big XII is the first conference to jump at the opportunity (why this was an NCAA rule in the first place, I have no idea). Hopefully there is no controversy at the top this season.

(Oh, and the millions of dollars that will come into the conference for hosting a championship game won’t be too shabby, either.)

 



BONUS FEMALE PERSPECTIVE COMING IN FIRE FLAMES

Emily: This will be my first football season where I actually have a semi-grasp on what’s happening on the field. I’m not in a fully committed monogamous relationship with any given team – but am open to suggestions if you think one would be a good fit for me. What usually gets me going about football season is the fact you can Sunday Funday with a legitimate excuse and more than likely everyone in your office will be on the same page Monday morning. In a word (or three), what sums up football season for me is: buffalo chicken dip.

bcd



EricCollege football is back and I could not be happier. Is it because I am a Boston College fan and think this is their year? Definitely not but anything is better than last year for them. The real reason I am so excited: college football gambling. While I am not putting my rent money on the line each week, I do like to place some bets during these upcoming fall Saturdays. Gambling may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it can be quite the thrill even with smaller bets being placed. Most Saturdays you won’t get the big time games until later in the evening but why not enjoy every game a little bit.

Week 1 puts UMass up against Florida, obviously a mismatch that does not look like a win for UMass. How do you make it interesting? Well, UMass is a 37 point underdog so why not put down some money and give them a 37 point lead and make Florida score more than five touchdowns more than UMass. Another one of my favorite bets to place on most Saturdays is a multiple team parlay bet for a small amount. Basically I pick about ten or so teams with a spread and place like $5 on it. Depending on the odds, if all of those teams cover the spread, that $5 can turn into $500. If you win the first nine games though, the tenth game is not for the faint of heart even if it is only $5 on the line.

(Editor’s Note, Yes I know this is illegal, Yes I love Eric. No I won’t omit this.)

clemson

Matt:This season, college football has a massive opportunity to change some social conversations. For and foremost, I am hoping a new storyline comes out which will finally extinguish the Harambe memes. Dabo can help out by once again setting the internet ablaze with his OG dances moves. Secondly, I’m excited for the discussion on amateurism to take a step forward. Leonard Fournette is a human bowling ball who should be my flex option every Sunday this year. The usual pundits will be back on the scene to promote proper compensation for our athletes. This time has the potential to be different, however. Let’s add up some ingredients and see if a major sports story is in the making. Football is religion in the South. The American South is still dripping with racism. Major college football stars are African American. These stars do not get paid to perform for many white, bigoted fans. America is approaching another boiling point regarding racial tension. Stars are starting to protest on the field… You do the math.

Now for some actual football talk. Clemson is my team. My best friend went to college there and I have had the pleasure of piggybacking on his personal fandom. Plus, I went to see Clemson play Florida State in the Famous Jameis days and it was one of the wildest sporting events I have ever been to. Pencil them in for a playoff bid. Ohio State should get one too. I think Oklahoma returns as well. Finally, pencil out Alabama. Nick Saban wins too much and I just don’t like it. I respect his greatness but I’m rooting for him to lose every single game. If Pop and Belichick had a son it would be Nick Saban. I mean, do we all have to treat the media like they are annoying idiots only there to be a nuisance? No. So Nick Saban, I hope when you open your yogurt today it’s disgustingly watery and you decide it’s not even worth it. Roll damn Tigers, go Clemson.

` And one more thing. College football is back! Which means college basketball is right around the corner…

jamesconner

Mikey: For me, college sports trump the professional level if your measuring device is entertainment instead of quality. The sheer depth in the pool of plotlines to choose from allows you to select the most important, impactful stories instead of skimming the top for 7 stories about Dak Prescott. There are hundreds upon thousands of participants, and finding something you can root for and support is easy once you begin to understand the aspect of collegiate sports as a whole, and the fact that they are college kids at the end of the day.

The thing I am most excited for this season is a player by the name of James Conner, a Pitt running back who has battled cancer to take the field this season. He was a heisman hopeful, then became a cancer survivor, and now has a chance to rise back to the top.

I love sports. I love college football. I am happy it is back.

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here without my sanity

here without my sanity

Harambe – love it or leave it. Do you know who met Harambe as a child? Buuuuusssssch.

 

Ok – G.W. , last republican president, only living president to have met the lad and his mother. LOOK AT THIS FUCKING FACE.

gallery-1471036620-harambe

I don’t know about wall building and email scandals but those eyes are pure as shit.

 

p.s. anyone seen Jill Stein’s meme game?

I’ve been saying we’re fucked for a solid six months and I’m really starting to believe it.

On the other hand..

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that’s a thing? which would potentially kill the fun and make the logistics of a dicks out for harambe chant a little trickier than they already are but then again I participated in one recently and it was doooope.

whatever.

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Respect Colin Kapernick

Respect Colin Kapernick

The Colin Kaepernick story is still gaining momentum, despite having first appeared last Friday. As with every news story, millions take to Twitter in order to have their perspective tossed out into the fray. There are some reactions from those who are appalled by Kap’s actions, demonstrating their almost palpable disbelief in the quarterback’s decision to dishonor the American flag. Forgive me for the upcoming history lesson but, the military so closely associated with the flag have not always been so kind to African Americans…

 

Discrimination was so frequent and harsh during the Spanish American War that many African Americans defected from the U.S Military to the Philippine forces. During World War I, minorities of all types were thrown into the most dangerous of battles in place of white troops who weren’t deemed “ready” by General Pershing. Also during this war, minorities were largely deployed as nothing more than cooks and a means to manual labor. World War II handed out exactly zero Medals of Honor to African Americans. Zero. There was also that one time the American South fought a war to try and keep African Americans as slaves. If I recall correctly, General Lee is still honored as one of the finest American soldiers of all time. Yes, the Napoleon of the South is revered by military historians and Americans alike despite his contributions towards the continuation of slavery.

 

This piece however, is not intended to highlight the hypocrisy which exists within the American military and the flag that has somehow come to symbolize it. The central figure of this piece is Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews. Matthews had this to tweet about Kap’s antics:

 

“Come on bro this is the land of the Free BECAUSE of the Brave that’s what our Flag represents.”

 

This sentiment, along with other similar expressions, is incredibly exaggerated. Other professional football players and journalists have claimed that it is because of Americans soldiers that Kap gets to play football for millions of dollars. Ben Roethlisberger went on Mike & Mike this morning and relayed that exact message. There are just so many wrong assumptions included within that thought. Does Big Ben think our military is constantly fighting off a hybrid form of commy/terrorists who want nothing more than to eliminate the game of football? Out of nearly 200 countries in the world, ISIS is the only major threat to America right now. Guess what, I am pretty sure that their doctrine doesn’t say “stop Americans from throwing the pigskin.” It’s hard to imagine a soldier upon realizing they have suffered a mortal wound saying: “At least Sunday’s will be for football.” The connection between football and soldiers is nonexistent. One group of people attempt to move a piece of leather 100 yards until it crosses a white line which grants them 6 imaginary points. The other group protects American rights by removing all those who threaten them. Football players suit up for the entertainment of soldiers, of this I am sure. Soldiers do not suit up so football players can continue to bash their own heads in.

 

Perhaps Matthews is making some more grandiose point concerning the right to grow up and be whoever you want to be? That could be accurate, sure. Maybe Matthews was attempting to say that soldiers protect our freedom to choose any career we want. I can agree with that. Still, picture a worst-case scenario for our American future. Let’s say that some terrorist group does successfully take over the country. Is football going anywhere? Hell no. Fidel Castro was a ruthless dictator. His country was still allowed to play baseball and smack homers into the Atlantic. Take a breath, NFL players. Your sport isn’t going anywhere and the right to pursue a dream of playing football isn’t either. Calm down.

 

American soldiers fight to defend our rights against all those attempting to take them. Kap expressed this right when he sat down during the national anthem. Furthermore, he made it clear he was protesting against racial oppression in American society; a noble cause. I’m perfectly fine with his actions. Even if Kap wanted to protest against the military, I am okay with that too. He has that right. Some choose to respect our military because they helped keep defeat Nazis. Others remember the time they trained rebel soldiers in Nicaragua to stab pregnant women in the stomach and cut out their unborn child right in front of them. The fact is our military history is as honorable and plagued as our racial history. Take a good look at the flag and ask yourself this one question:

 

“Does the flag truly represent America, or does it represent how you like to perceive America?”

 

We know Kap’s answer, and it was the hard one to make. Respect it.

 

 

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Girl gave a hickey so savage it killed a kid in Mexico

Girl gave a hickey so savage it killed a kid in Mexico

INQUISITR — A 17-year-old teen (some media sites are reporting his age as 16) died last month from a stroke. According to a WKBW News report, the young man’s death is believed to have resulted from a moment of passion with his girlfriend. The “hickey death” or “passion mark” is still under investigation, but sources say it’s a rare cause of mortality.

Julio Macia Gonzalez is identified as the deceased victim. Before he fell ill, the teenager was enjoying dinner with his family when he suddenly began having convulsions. Earlier, he had been “hanging out with his girlfriend.”

Gonzalez’s parents phoned emergency operators about the incident. Upon arrival, paramedics tried lifesaving measures, but it was to late; the teen had passed and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Mail reported that the teen’s cause of death was due to a stroke, brought on by the hickey given to him by the unidentified girl. Apparently, a blood clot formed in the teen’s neck as a result of his girlfriend giving him the hickey. It then traveled to his brain and resulted in a stroke.

_____

If we want to look on the bright side… there’s definitely worse ways to go.

The dad of this boy has gotta be somewhat proud right? In the back of his mind he’s just thinking “my little guy’s such a stud”

And still looking at this with the glass half full we finally have a legitimate reason to tell people to not leave hickeys.

The go-to excuse is “I can’t have this at work, it’s unprofessional” and that rarely ever works considering the person is already half through leaving their love bite. And even though the excuse is 100% true if your significant other really wants to leave a hickey their gunna leave a hickey and mark their territory.

But now you can literally tell them you could die if you get your neck sucked. If they still want to give you one then you gotta cut ties, can’t be with someone who’s so horny they’re willing to get their fix at the risk of your life.

Kinda wish I could see the girl who has sucking skills so good they’re literally to die for. Gotta imagine she’s got lips like Kylie Jenner.

 

#RIPhickeykid

P.S.

What’s the general population’s opinion on hickeys? I feel like people say they don’t like them, but that’s only because they leave you marked as someone else’s property.

If hickeys didn’t leave a mark I feel like more people would be down for a good old fashioned neck sucking.

Personally if we’re just going on feel, I love a good hickey.

 

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I’ve Been Thinking Way Too Much About Wayne Rooney (And That’s Okay)

I’ve Been Thinking Way Too Much About Wayne Rooney (And That’s Okay)

Manchester United is one of the most interesting teams in the Premier League (and probably all of Europe) this season. Roster turnover, additions of SUPERDUPER stars, and the appointment of Jose Mourinho all add up to a headline-stealing team that regardless of play on the field will surely exhaust your attention over the next 8 months.

For whatever reason, watching the Paul Pogba and Zlatan headlines come rolling in with the United sigil attached has thrown me into a conundrum of sorts. For me, Manchester United is supposed to be a staple of success, passing up on short term hype for a structured and consistent approach. This doesn’t feel right to me.

The one thing that does feel right for some strange reason is the sight of Wayne Rooney wearing a captains armband, chasing down the opposition and being bald as ever. That’s the United I know. So I gravitate towards watching his movement around the pitch, and the way he interacts with teammates and manager alike, and observe his role.

What is his role? Well, this has been bothering me for about 4 years, and it’s about time we talk about it. Wayne Rooney, where art thou even fucking playing?

rooneyy

The numbers suggest that Wayne Rooney has been one of the most prolific goal scorers of his generation. Notice the word ‘goal scorer’ as a substitute for striker, and you may just sort of assume that he’s playing a more attacking 9/10 hybrid. But when watching Manchester United play, you see that his heat map may be inconsistent with a player in that role. At one point in time, Rooney was one of the best pure strikers in the world, scoring at will and leading the Premier League in goals for two seasons.

But a look at this graph, and you may start to become a little worried… at only 30 years old, his best position and years may be past his obtaining.

statrooney

What exactly does all this mean? For Wayne Rooney supporters, it may start to feel like the end. A player who is not as skilled in midfield as world class midfielders, and a player who is not quite as sharp as top class strikers is often going to find himself on the bench at big clubs.

BUT, he is undeniably world class. What the hell is going on?

Big Sam Allardyce has just come out recently saying Rooney will play solely as a striker for England. But England are far from world class, as they field too many Tottenham players.

At Manchester United, he will struggle to find a place once Henrik Mkhitaryan begins to play normally. Look at the Armenians heat map from the Hull game.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.03.13 PM

This is a lot to say about a player who arguably is past his prime and seems to be getting phased out at his club, but for me the nostalgia of Wayne Rooney is worthy of note. This is a player who represented the bright future of English football, and was supposed to return his country to glory. He has not been a failure by any stretch of imagination, but he has to be worried about his future in the sport with the transition to position-less and dynamic midfield roles being combined with pressing systems that would make his hair fall back out.

I like Wayne Rooney, and I am confused as to what the future holds. I just wanted to get this up to keep you all thinking about the way Jose Mourinho has been treating the talisman of the club. This could be an extrmely interesting plot line to follow throughout the season and into the future, as Jose and Wayne probably won’t always see eye-t0-eye.

We love you Wayne, at least I do. Just don’t go scoring against Arsenal anymore. Here is his first career senior-side goal, scored at the age of 15. England’s great hope, Wayne Rooney.

 

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The Night Of: Series Finale review

The Night Of: Series Finale review

“Fuck ’em all. Live your life.” – John Stone

The season finale of The Night Of was about as satisfying a conclusion as we could hope for. But first let’s give some shoutouts to the excellent cast.

Shoutout Michael K. Williams (Freddy) for batting 1.000. Undefeated.

Shoutout J.D. Williams (Trevor) for elevating every role he has way past where it should reasonably be elevated to.

Shoutout Amara Karan (Chandra) for bursting onto the scene. Enjoy your many job offers.

Shoutout Bill Camp (Detective Box) for imbuing his performance with a quite morality, and for not being afraid to admit being wrong.

Shoutout Riz Ahmed (Naz) for being equally convincing as a doe-eyed innocent AND as a hardened drug-trafficking Rikers inmate. And for being a pretty dece rapper.

And finally…

Shoutout John Turturro (John Stone) for being the unquestioned and undisputed MVP of this show. Give the man the gosh dang Emmy now. RIGHT NOW.


Where should I start with “The Call of the Wild,” the series finale (maybe) of the co-Best Show of the Summer (Stranger Things is the other champion)?

Maybe with Naz freebasing at the same spot where he sat with Andrea all those episodes ago while the audience gets flashbacks of her smiling at him? Or how about with Detective Box refusing to resign to retirement until he found out the truth (“You still here? What the fuck?”)? Or possibly Naz’s last conversation with Freddy, or him looking back at Freddy as he walks out while the former boxing champ works out his regained loneliness on a heavy bag? Or the ending shot with the cat walking through the frame as Stone heads out to continue his day-to-day grind of representing punks and prostitutes? Or maybe even my realization that the judge is played by the same actor that also played the creepiest-villian-of-all-time Errol from True Detective season 1 (the greatest single TV season of all time, don’t @ me)?

Nah.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 5.04.37 PM

I’ll start with the best scene of the whole series: John Stone coming out of the bullpen – gigantic eczema breakout and all – to close this mother out. The scene was perfect. Turturro was perfect. And it may or may not have been a bit dusty in my living room whilst I watched it. I certainly can’t add anything to the greatness of the scene so I will just recommend you fire up HBO GO and watch it again.

All my guesses and predictions about the true killer were wrong. This proves one of two things: 1) The Night Of did an excellent job of working in false leads that raised just the right amount of questions to make us believe they were all possible (Naz did it, Duane Read did it, the stepfather did it); or 2) I’m really dumb and lack critical thinking skills. It’s probably both: I am dumb and the show was excellent.

So the killer ended up being (probably) the amalgam of every young financial adviser from a decent background that probably had his school paid for guy. Also, I never really enjoyed Jeanie Berlin’s portrayal of prosecuting attorney Helen Weiss (why does her face look like that and why does she talk like that?) but I’ll be damned if she didn’t crush that closing argument – she nailed all the right pauses and betrayed the correct amount of skepticism re her arguments brought about by Box’s revelations.

And then, just like that, Naz is free. After giving his traitor of a mother (that’s probably a bit harsh) the cold shoulder, and before scoring some dope (I beg you Naz, go find the Ennet House, it’s not that far away!), Nasir shares a touching moment with his unassuming yet heroic lawyer. Stone gives him some great life advice (see quote above) and Naz thanks him for what he did – if nothing else, each new time time Naz said “thank you” in the show it was the most earnest and deeply felt thank you I had ever heard.

andrea

The point of The Night Of wasn’t about who killed Andrea, or why, but about an innocent man being transformed into a criminal while detained in the American prison system. It was about our shaky justice system, and, more generally, our fragile humanity. It showcased the horrors of incarceration as well as the horrific decision making enacted by lawyers (both sides) in order to win a case; to keep the close rate up and the system bumbling on.

The Night Of joins the pantheon of excellent television programming developed and executed by HBO.

And it leaves us with the all-important question: What do we do with our Sunday nights now?

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