Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Greatest Songs of the 90s: 20 - 1

20. MMMBop/Hanson: These guys seem to take their one hit wonderness in stride. Unlike many child/teen stars, at least they aren’t constantly showing up on Perez Hilton’s blog without their underpants, or noses that look they’ve just hoovered a bag of Dolly Madison powdered donuts.

19. Sabotage/Beastie Boys: Not the biggest fan of the Beastie’s music, but holy shit was that a funny video, with everyone dressed up in 70s cop gear and huge fake moustaches like outtakes from Starsky and Hutch or Serpico.

18. Enter Sandman/Metallica: A song that made you afraid to go to sleep, and inspired a legion of MLB closers. Between this, and Hell’s Bells, is there anything more badass you can play when you trot to the mound?

17. Say My Name/Destiny's Child: I don’t know that I can have any positive thoughts right now about a group containing Beyonce, after being ground into madness by her ubiquitous DirecTV commercial. (Lemme upgrade ya…shudder….twitch…)

16. U Can't Touch This/MC Hammer: Somewhere, sometime in the past, you probably rolled up the windows…..

And while I don’t have any specific memories about that song, I do about Hammer’s follow up, 2 Legit 2 Quit. At the time, Hammer was a big Deion Sanders and Atlanta Falcons fan, and somehow, that song became the unofficial theme of Jerry Glanville’s band of misfits. They were in a playoff game (rare for the Falcons, I know) and a group of my fraternity brothers came over to watch the game with me a local drafthouse that was showing the contest on their theatre screens. The set up was awesome. Nachos, wings, smoking, free flowing pitchers of beer. As the Falcons scored toward the end of the game, one of my inebriated compatriots jumped up on a tiny table (with one central leg supporting it) to do the “2 Legit” dance. Equilibrium impaired, he came crashing to Earth on top of the other tables, like Evel Kneivel at Caesar’s Palace, pitchers of beer flying everywhere. Ahhh, good times.

15. Under the Bridge/Red Hot Chili Peppers: Sensitive ballad from the guys who painted themselves gold and performed naked with tube socks on their cocks.

14. Vision of Love/Mariah Carey: Remember when she was a “vision of love,” back before Glitter? Back before the I’m-fucking-crazy-with-an-ice-cream-cart-striptease?

13. Nuthin' but a G Thang/Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg): Gansta? Ghetto? Gorgonzola? Gandalf?

12. You Oughta Know/Alanis Morissette: I actually watched an entire 30 minute feature on this song the other day. Edgy, angry, bitter and dripping with venom. A definite add to the mythical Ipod. Switch one chromosome from Y to X, and I coulda been singing this shit a couple of years ago. (though off key,and with shorter hair. And I can pronounce “about”).

11. Jeremy/Pearl Jam: Would this be #1 if Eddie Vedder had been married to Courtney Love and taken the easy way out of his marriage? Of course, I was almost married to a Courtney Love type and was thankful for the waiting period on handguns.

10. Nothing Compares 2 U/Sinéad O'Connor: Not since Star Trek: The Motion Picture have bald chicks been so hot.

09. Losing My Religion/R.E.M: My college town band, and favorite band. Top shelf song, though probably not in my top 10 pantheon of REM tunes. Sadly, the cutting edge video for this led to the director being given the reigns to a Jennifer Lopez movie. Has anyone ever suffered through The Cell? Jenny from the Block as a sci-fi shrink who plays in other people’s dreams? Vince Vaughn as an FBI agent? At least they cast Private Pyle as the nutjob.

08. Waterfalls/TLC: More Falcons memories! Andre Rison may have been a douchebag, but did he deserve to have his fucking home burned down by Left Eye? No truth to the rumor that June Jones gave her gallons of paint thinner days before. Also, I found it funny that in the show, one of the commenters said how nice it was that the lyrics were socially relevant, and that pop music was finally not all about “booty.” The commenter who made this observation? One of the dudes from Color Me Badd. Of “I Wanna Sex You Up” fame. Thanks for the insight there, Bob Dylan.

07. Baby One More Time/Britney Spears ...Sweet little Lolita Britney. Back before the marriage to an asshat. Before the drugs. Before the public drunkenness. Back before the adorable little “mistakes.” Before declaring underpants optional and showing her taco to most of the free world. Before banging random strangers. Before wearing her lack of education like a badge of honor. Hey, come to think of it, did Brit-Brit enter the junior skank accreditation program?

06. Sir Mix-A-Lot Baby Got Back: How can you not admire a song with the lyric “my anaconda don’t want none, unless you got buns, hon.” Or a video with the singer on top of a huge paper mache ass, standing in the buttcrack?

05. Vogue/Madonna: Brit, where did you go wrong? Here’s how you parlay being sexy and marginally talented into a fucking career, girl. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have several Madonna albums (hell, even including the underrated partially Sondheim-penned Dick Tracy soundtrack, where this appeared). Nor that I went to see a Madonna concert in college, with a chick that dressed the part with lace and bows from the whole Desperately Seeking Susan phase. Good god, I loved college.

04. I Will Always Love You/Whitney Houston: Dolly can stay in make up and Montgomery Scott engineered bras for a lifetime on the residuals from this.

03. I Want It That Way/Backstreet Boys: Well, at least they beat N’Sync at something.

02. One/U2: Not a big fan of the ballad, but this one, like Wonderwall, is just transcendent. A great frakkin’ tune from a band that’s stood the test of time.

01. Smells Like Teen Spirit/Nirvana: Of course it had to be number one. Still makes you bang your head and scream til you’re hoarse when you listen in the car. Fantastic song, legendary video, and anthem of a generation and all that. Well, whatever. Nevermind.

Well, thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me, dear readers. Hope the countdown has stirred recollections of your own follies, bitterness and misadventures, all set to the soundtrack of our lives. Since I pretty much stopped listening to current music at the end of the 90s, I’ll see you back here at the end of this decade where I’ll count down the 100 greatest sportstalk radio conversations and libertarian rants of the 2000s.

Cheers, and happy new year!

100 Greatest Songs of the 90s: 40 - 21

40. I Wanna Sex You Up/Color Me Badd: You have to give these guys credit for two things: 1. Being straightforward in their request, and not shrouding it in mysterious and oblique metaphor (like talking about a Little Red Corvette or a Raspberry Beret, for example), and 2. serving as the template for this.

39. Iris/Goo Goo Dolls: Schmaltzy song from an awful movie.

38. Genie In A Bottle/Christina Aguilera: The Disney-fied “rub me the right way” would be taken to a whole ‘nother level when little Christina became “Dirrty. And that, of course, begat this.

37. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)/Green Day: Good, solid song. But amazingly misunderstood. I read somewhere on the interwebs where this tune is one of the most played at weddings. Perhaps it’s because morons look at the parenthetical title (Time of Your Life), only listen to parts of the song, about having the “time of your life,” and don’t realize the REAL title of the song is “Good Riddance.” It’s a kiss off song. It’s bitter. Warning: may contain sarcasm. Of course, I could be underestimating the marrying folk. Perhaps they actually do realize that true love and marriage is just a ridiculous pipe dream and that it’s eventually going to end in acrimony and shattered dreams, and they’re just getting a head start on it with their choice of song.

NOTE: Another “song that didn’t make the cut” was George Michael’s “Freedom 90.” Really? George finally getting rid of the Wham! image (before later garnering an even less flattering one – maybe he can run on a political ticket with Larry Craig for the “Wide Stance” Party) and making a video with the hottest supermodels of the day? That was directed by one of my favorite directors, David Fincher? That didn’t make the cut? Sheesh.

36. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)/C+C Music Factory: Nope, that’s not the singer in the video.

35. Wonderwall/Oasis: What’s the Story, Morning Glory is one of the best, if not THE best, albums of the 90s. Both Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova would be in my top 10 songs of the decade. Ryan Adams also did a nice cover of it. This song being ranked 35 is like saying the Patriots had a decent season.

34. Semi-Charmed Life/Third Eye Blind: the show pointed out something kinda interesting. How have you ever really listened to the lyrics of this poppy, upbeat sounding song? Funny.

33. Wannabe/Spice Girls: Zigga Zig Ahh. What the fuck does that mean? The pop music equivalent of huffing from an aerosol can and shotgunning the whipped topping. Not that it wouldn’t be a decent buzz. And for the record, I always liked Sporty. Though Posh currently has the best girl haircut of all time.

32. No Diggity/BLACKstreet: At the forefront of “New Jack Swing.” Of course, how can you have New Jack without Judd Nelson?

31. Creep/Radiohead: Not a bad song (and god knows I appreciate the self-loathing, which was done even better by Beck), but I never quite got into the Radiohead thing.

30. Tearin' Up My Heart/*NSYNC. From Conan O’Brien this year: ''Former 'N Sync member Lance Bass says that before he announced that he was gay, he thought that Justin Timberlake and one of the other guys in 'N Sync were also gay. When asked why he thought that they were gay, Bass said, 'They were members of 'N Sync.'''

29. Ice Ice Baby/Vanilla: Somewhere, sometime in the past, you probably rolled up the windows in your car, glanced around to make sure no one was looking, reached down, wracked with guilt, and turned up the volume when this came on the radio. Word to ya Motha.

28. Livin' la Vida Loca/Ricky Martin: Somewhere, sometime in the past, you probably rolled up the windows in your car, glanced around……

27. Mr. Jones/Counting Crows: Crows lead singer Adam Duritz. Evil mastermind Sideshow Bob. Cavs forward Anderson Varejao. Ever seen all in the same place at the same time? Didn’t think so.

26. My Name Is/Eminem: first time I heard this, I thought “what the fuck is this?”

25. Black Hole Sun/Soundgarden: another happy, uplifting anthem from the grunge era.

24. Jump Around/House of Pain: drunk, Irish white rappers with bagpipes. Yeah, there’s a niche.

23. Whatta Man/Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue: Okay, first “we’re never gonna get it, never gonna get it” but now “you so crazy, I think I wanna have your baby.” Make up your mind, pricktease.

22. Loser/Beck: A fucking classic. Sing it, Beck.

21. My Heart Will Go On/Celine Dion: Wouldn’t the end of Titanic been so much better, if instead of Leo’s character sinking to the bottom of the sea and freezing to death, it would have been Celine? BEFORE she sang anything?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

But Judas would give the signals to Mangini...

In preparation for tonight's showdown between the perfect Pats and the Giants, D End Osi Umenyiora said Brady and the 15-0 Patriots are not "Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples."

An interesting thought, sure. And while a deity might be able to put up 158.3 passer ratings, effortlessly toss TDs to Randy Moss and date Giselle Bundchen, I don't think this theory holds water on the gridiron. Even if Judas was off the field squealing about the secretive taping of signals, that would still put a man too many breaking the huddle and consistently draw a penalty.

The hatch blew his clothes off, and now he can see the future.

Oh, and Mister Friendly throws like a girl.

Jonesing for Lost? Need a quick refresher on everything that's happened since Flight 815 crashed? Well, ABC to the rescue.

Here's a brilliant and wonderfully droll recap of Lost. The writing, editing and narration just crack me up. If you're a Lost fan at all, you need to see this. It's only 8 minutes and 15 seconds.

NOTE: can't link directly to the video, but look at the menu just below the main picture, and click on "Catch up on Lost!"

New Feature: The Ledger

All the year end list making got me thinking. Originally, I was going to try and summarize the year that was, with a complicated and arcane points system to see how the year wound up for me. I spent about half an hour crawling around in a spreadsheet on this, and decided that A. it was just too onerous a task to undertake, and B. seeing all the red numbers/negatives pile up was just too damned depressing, even for me.

So, for the sake of sanity and pithiness, I will be implementing a new feature here at TNRLM called "The Ledger." It will be a simple plus/minus of the week that was. So, without further ado...

  • Huge bottle of crown from coworkers.
  • The guy at Autozone who helped me install a new car battery. Doesn't sound like such a big deal? Drop the battery under the hood and hook up a couple of cables? Not so fast my friend. My battery happens to be in the rear cargo area. Under a panel. Under the full size spare tire. Under a series of supporting braces that each have a different size bolt. Did I mention that it was pouring rain? And we did this in an uncovered parking lot? And that he didn't charge "extra" for it? So instead of paying $400+ for the battery and installation at the Nazi dealership, I got out for $120 + a $20 tip I gave the soaking wet dude who helped.
  • A whole channel devoted to Led Zep on XM Radio. Can't find anything on the other 200 channels? All the sportstalk taking a commercial break at the same time? There's always "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" or "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" just a button away.
  • DirecTV and TiVo. Yep, I've had it for a couple of weeks now, but the importance just can't be understated. I know that if I've set up a season pass, it will be recorded.
  • Angel: After The Fall. Just like "Buffy Season 8," this canonical comic book continuation of Angel (S6) is intriguing, well written and well plotted.
  • The DVD set of the series Profit that I bought last night. Created by David Greenwalt (of X-Files, Buffy, Miracles and Angel fame) and John McNamara (Eyes, Brisco County Jr.), this is truly a "brilliant, but canceled" show from the 90s. It only lasted 8 episodes, but was about a sociopathic corporate climber perfectly played by current Heroes star Adrian Pasdar. It was ahead of its time (kind of a great grandfather to Mad Men, too, in a way) and Fox and their affiliates (surprise) didn't "get" it despite rave critical notices. Now, it would easily find a comfy home on HBO, Showtime or FX and get the Emmys it deserves. In addition to the nuanced and terrific Pasdar, Profit featured a stellar supporting cast: Lisa Darr as Profit's executive assistant, Keith Szarabajka as the CEO of the multinational conglomerate, Lisa Zane as the investigator suspicious of Proft, Lisa Blount (fantastic and so hateable as Debra Winger's slutty friend in An Officer and a Gentlemen -- where's she been?) as Profit's stepmom and "friend," Jack Gwaltney as the CEO's drunken younger brother, Allison Hossack (Sam's mom on Reaper) as the younger brother's wife. I saw the original 4 eps that aired originally, but have yet to see the 4 that didn't make it to the screen back then, so I'm really looking forward to making my way through the set and listening to all the commentaries.
  • The Baltimore Sun FINALLY managed to deliver a Friday paper. I've been subscribed to the Fri - Sun edition for 4 months, and they haven't made it here with a Friday paper until yesterday, despite my calls to customer service every single Friday afternoon.
  • Winning my Fantasy Football Super Bowl Championship.
  • The Holidays. They just suck.
  • Taking a salad to work, then losing the fork that I brought to eat it with. You know, I actually had this thought process: I should just buy a cheap set of forks to use when I bring my lunch. That way, if I throw it away by mistake or lose it, it won't affect my perfectly matched set of 16 that I don't even know that they make anymore. Nahhh. When's the last time I actually lost something? Fuck. Now I'm one fork down. And don't think I won't obsess about this every time I open the cutlery drawer. I already do over a butterknife a mindless trollop lost a couple of years ago.
  • The fact that my XM radio was hooked up to the power in my car incorrectly, and drained my battery (which admittedly, was long in the tooth anyway), causing me to have to join AAA on X-mas Eve in order to get my car jump started in order to make a run to the grocery store or order yet another pizza. (On the "plus" side, Best Buy did fix the hook up last night, and while I was waiting, I discovered the Profit DVDs).
  • The WGA strike. Of course, I'm totally on the writer's side in this, but I'm hoarding the last bit of scripted TV on TiVo like Sheryl Crow hoards toilet paper squares.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

100 Greatest Songs of the 90s: 60 - 41

60. Poison/Bell Biv Devoe: I vaguely recall this one from the airwaves. However, I think this is now forever owned by Dr. Christopher Turk.

59. Buddy Holly/Weezer: Cool video. But did Buddy Holly really play at Al’s (or was it Arnold’s)? Would rock have been forever changed if it had been Potsie and Ralph Malph on that plane?

58. Damn I Wish I Was your Lover/Sophie B Hawkins: According to the always right wikipedia, she was bisexual, though she preferred the term “omnisexual.” Perhaps she should record a duet with Captain Jack Harkness. Though I think she’s probably still a little behind Captain Jack, and hasn’t yet slept with any aliens.

57. Can I Get A.../Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule: Too many “featurings.” I probably changed the station to listen to sportstalk. This, of course, was one of the years the Braves went to the World Series. And lost to the Yankees. Again. At least it wasn’t a soul-crushing disaster like the Jim Leyritz homer off Wohlers. Nope, it was a pure, ass-kicking sweep. I also recall being in Mexico on a lovely vacation when the Braves were playing the Mets in the NLCS prior to that debacle. What does this have to do with the song? Uh, nothing.

Note: They occasionally list songs that finished just outside the Top 100. Fatboy Slim’s Rockafella Skank didn’t make the cut? Not in the top 100? How can this be? Can anyone around in the 90s tell me this wasn’t one of your favorite songs?

56. Mama Said Knock You Out/LL Cool J: Don’t call it a comeback, cause I been here for years. Ice Cube makes Are we there yet? LL Cool J starred with a parrot in Deep Blue Sea. There are no winners here.

55. Criminal/Fiona Apple: Another defining song of the 90s. Another CD I bought for one song. (though the rest of the album was good, it was a bit more leaden and ponderous than the hard driving Criminal). Another add to my mythical Ipod.

54. One of Us/Joan Osbourne: What if god were one of us? He’d probably be Tiger Woods. Or Roger Federer. Or the guy that invented the TiVo. Or came up with the idea to put pre-shredded cheese in a bag.

53. OPP/Naughty by Nature: I remember wearing this stuff in high school. There was a big competition with Panama Jack for the long sleeve t-shirt market. Oh, that was OP? Not OPP? This song wasn’t about casual beachwear? Nevermind.

52. Fly/Sugar Ray: The lead singer now hosts an entertainment show. Can you imagine Jim Morrison hosting Extra? He’d probably leave dirtier voice mail messages than Pat O’Brien. But I’d probably watch that, along with E! News Live with Syd Barrett.

51. California Love/Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman): More “featurings.” More sportstalk on my radio. Much like Elvis, being dead hasn’t hurt Tupac’s career one bit though. Too bad he didn’t rap his grocery lists. They could be released as a single “featuring” Mr. Whipple and Captain Crunch and gone platinum.

50. Man in the Box/Alice in Chains: Excellent rock song. Face meltingly good.

49. Who Will Save Your Soul/Jewel: Proof that sleeping in your car in Alaska, writing bad poetry and eschewing orthodontia won’t derail a career. Is this a guilty pleasure now?

48. 3 AM/Matchbox 20: Matchbox 20 gets a lot of shit with the music hipster intelligentsia. But it’s hard to ignore perfectly crafted pop songs, even if the lead singer/songwriter isn’t even my favorite Rob Thomas.

47. Good Vibrations/Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: If Dirk Diggler wasn’t enough to completely erase this from memory, then Detective Sergeant Diggam was (though Marky Mark, you still owe us for that shitfuckingly awful Planet of the Apes movie, however alarmingly erotic Helena Bonham Carter was as a monkey).

46. You’re Still the One/Shania Twain: She’s scorchingly hot and talented, and married to the mastermind behind Def Leppard and AC/DC, but this song has more sap than Redwood National Park. I still recall another song with a similar title being used in the 70s to promote ABC’s top rated television lineup. Quick search, and holy shit, you can find anything on youtube.

45. Only Wanna Be With You/Hootie and Blowfish: You couldn’t avoid this at the time. That’s about all I can say. Except that the head ball coach at their alma mater is still a douchebag.

44. Killing Me Softly With His Song/The Fugees: Add to the imaginary Ipod. Took a beautiful, but boring, “classic” song, added a reggae beat, mumbled “one time” and “two times” and suddenly, you have a great tune.

43. My Lovin’/En Vogue: Enjoyable throwback to the glamour girl groups of the 60s. But didn’t guys already have enough people telling them “you’re never gonna get it?”

42. Shine/Collective Soul: Very underrated pop/rock band. +1 for being from Georgia. I loved a more recent song of theirs, “Better Now,” even though its meaning is drenched in irony, since the time I recall first hearing it was the beginning of the Dark Ages.

41. Two Princes/Spin Doctors: Spin Doctors, now appearing at a county fair near you. But the lead singer did wear a hat much like Jayne Cobb’s.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Winnebago Man still makes me laugh

Here is a cute and funny summary of just about every internet meme. If you're like me, you'll be shocked at how many of these you recognize and have actually watched or read.

Also, if you're like me, you'll think "wouldn't it be neat if someone actually put together a list of exactly what memes were featured in that animation?" Of course, all you had to do was scroll down a ways in the comments and you can find that some enterprising soul did just that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

100 Greatest Songs of the 90s: 80 - 61

80: I’m Too Sexy/Right Said Fred: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

79: Bitch/Meredith Brooks: On the outskirts of the Lillith Fair movement, this was one of the few songs of that ilk that had some teeth. Apparently, I adopted it as a mating call for a couple of decades.

78: Are You Gonna Go My Way/Lenny Kravitz: Who knew Helen Willis’s son could rock the fuck out? Great driving song. Derivative, yet awesome.

77: It Was A Good Day/Ice Cube: Because it’s totally gangsta to ask the question “Are we there yet?” Right, pimp?

76: Run Around/Blues Traveler: Harmonicas weren’t that cool since Jake and Elwood. And watching the video, it makes me feel less guilty about midnight trips to Waffle House.

75: Jump/Kriss Kross: If you wear your pants backwards, doesn’t it make it really hard to piss at a ballgame?

74: Believe/Cher: I grew up with the Sonny and Cher variety show, and fondly recall such “classics” as “Dark Lady,” “Half Breed” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves (again, apparently a mating call)" For a singer in the post-Sonny era, I sure liked her in Silkwood.

73: Sex and Candy/Marcy Playground: Another of those buy the CD and listen to one song over and over again tunes. Good god, this was a fun song, and one that strongly defines the 90s for me. If I had an Ipod, this would definitely be on it. Add “booze” and “smokes,” and that’s pretty much a biography. And what’s the recipe for “disco lemonade?”

72: One Week/Barenaked Ladies: Funny. Canadian. Catchy. Plus, it had Starsky and Hutch’s Torino and the General Lee in the video.

71: Tennessee/Arrested Development: The show was much better than the band. Come On!

70: Virtual Insanity/Jamiroquai: Quite possibly, my favorite song of the entire decade. Soulful, funky, danceable, quirky. I always break out this CD during drunken living room dance parties. Of course, my living room floor didn’t keep moving underneath my feet. (at least until after the second bottle of Crown) Oddly, the first time I heard this song was in Russia.

69: Freak on a Leash/Korn: I like corn on the cob. Creamed corn. Candy corn. Sex and candy corn. But Korn? Er, no.

68: Getting’ Jiggy Wit It/Will Smith: Yeah, it’s kinda stupid. Yeah, Big Willie is a much better actor. But this is enjoyable, no? And I actually recalled the “sample” from Sister Sledge (I was a spawn of disco in the 70s, and remember “He’s the Greatest Dancer.”).

67: Groove Is In The Heart/Deee-Lite: You can’t sit down when you hear this. Don’t tell me this isn’t totally kitschy psychedelic fucking hot.

66: I’ll Be/Edwin McCain: If Journey, Styx and Foreigner all had kids, and their kids had cavities, and the cavities recorded a song, this would be it.

65: The Humpty Dance/Digital Underground: I don’t like my oatmeal lumpy, nor my girls in the BK bathroom (though Krystal has worked on occasion).

64: Peaches/the Presidents of the United States of America: I’m from the peach state, but really don’t remember this song at all.

63: Mo Money Mo Problems/Notorious BIG with a bunch of “featurings” I don’t feel like typing. The sentiment, of course, is true. Thank god there are hookers, taxes, smokes and football tickets to alleviate those troubles.

62: I Alone/Live: I always wondered about naming your band “Live.” If they release a live album, is it Live Live? Or Live2? Still, this an angry fucking fist pumping, head shaking rock tune. Kids today would say, “wow, this sounds like Daughtry.” An under recognized band from the 90s, and their “Lightning Crashes” is one of my favorites.

61: All I Wanna Do/Sheryl Crow: First time I heard this, I was at a party hosted by an asshat who would become one of the two people to totally ruin my life (self-responsibility, like batteries, not included). Still, it’s fun.

100 Greatest Songs of the 90s: 100 - 81

100: Rico Suave/Gerado. You have got to be kidding me. THIS is where we start? I’m eyeing bottle of wine number 3. But it’s good to know that Gerado found the lord, and now raps about Jesus. No world on whether Mary Magdalene finds a tight six pack and colorful bandana hot.

99: Can’t Stand the Rain/Missy Elliott: Rap, funk and hip hop gets weird, before it gets thuggish and pedantic. Based on a song from 1974 (which is probably why I like it), this one is pretty cool. Good driving beat and a precursor of “repurposing” songs from another era.

98: Unbelievable/EMF: I probably liked this at one point. Video has painter cap wearing English boys and has a sample from Andrew Dice Clay. Since the 90s, however, this one has been done to death in ads and movie trailers and doesn’t hold up well (much like Norv Turner, who I’m watching on MNF).

97: Gett Off/Prince (and the NPG): Just about every tune from the little purple funkmeister holds up, and this is no exception. This song/video was from the era when Prince had two absolutely smoking hot paramours, named “Diamond” and “Pearl.” One of those chicks went on to portray Jenny Calendar, who got brutally murdered and left in her lover’s bed at the end of a trail of roses, in one of the best ever episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On the plus side, the phrase “23 positions on a one night stand” entered the lexicon. On the minus side, the soon to be glyph wore an Aunt Jemima headband in the video. If you can get to the 23 positions looking like a pancake syrup icon, I’m going to embark on a career as Mrs. Fucking Butterworth.

95: This is How We Do It/Montell Jordan: I always thought this was Boys II Men or something. Good dance song. “Forget about the drive by” and party the night way.

94: The Way/Fastball: One of my favorite songs of the 90s. This was one of those CDs you buy for one song, and just play the holy hell out of it, not even realizing there may be 9 or 10 other tracks. A perfect pop song.

93: Stay/Lisa Loeb: Hot geek with glasses. Not crazy about the song.

92: 911/Public Enemy: When Flavor Flav took over. With Flavor of Love yet to come, who thought this would be a high point? Still, makers of very large watches rejoiced.

91: Building a Mystery/Sarah McLachlan: Hot chick with short hair and nice lips. It really wouldn’t have mattered much if she should could sing or write songs. Fortunately, should could do both exceedingly well. An ethereal tune that I still enjoy today.

90: You Get What You Give/New Radicals: Though they pointed it out in this special, I did realize this bit of trivia: New Radicals was one guy who had a rotating band of musicians, including the teenage chick from Archie Bunker’s Place. Great 90s song. Vanished to be a producer after the one album.

89: Never Said/Liz Phair: Indie rocker grrrll who I now only remember for singing the soundtrack to women’s hoops commercials on ESPN.

88: Barely Breathing/Duncan Sheik: Song about being in a relationship with someone who is lying to you, but you can’t seem to work your way out of it. Sheik later went on to win a Tony on Broadway.

87: Achy Breaky Heart/Billy Ray Cyrus: Quite possibly the worst hair of all time. The Optimus Prime of Mullets. Makes the Flock of Seagulls ‘do look like something you’d get at Floyd’s barber shop. Knocked someone up, and spawned a multi-million dollar Disney franchise. Oh, and the song sucks.

86: Linger/Cranberries: I knew there was a reason I liked a good portion of the 90s. Another short hair lead singer. And she’s Irish. She probably likes whiskey, potatoes and waking up someplace having forgotten most of the week.

85: Cypress Hill/Insane in the Brain: Nuh-uh.

84: Informer/Snow: Why didn’t the “Canadian Reggae” trend catch on?

83: Cannonball/Breeders: I recognized this song, but had no idea about the title or who did it. Great bass line.

82: Mind Playing Tricks on Me/Geto Boys: Nope.

81: I Don’t Want To Wait/Paula Cole: Even if I had watched Dawson’s Creek, I would still hate this song.

Music Videos, Monday Night Football and Dead Grapes! Wheeeee!

Back before I became a "real" blogger, with literally dozens of bored interweb readers, I used to hammer away at the keyboard on my myspace blog. One of those entries from a year or so ago chronicled my way through VH-1's countdown of the "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s." I had lots of opinions and memories as we counted down, given that the 80s were probably the high point of my life, and music played in important role in my formative years and served as the soundtrack to life. Yeah, pretty much downhill since.

The 90s were kind of a blur of work, bad relationships, professional ambition and way too many nights in Buckhead. But still, that's the last time I really paid attention to pop music, before it became all about song credits with "featuring" in the title; I discovered DirecTV where you could actually select the genre of song you wanted to hear; and listening to the radio became about acquiring information on sports, news and politics (thanks, Sam!).

So tonight, I'm going to work my way through the recently aired VH-1's Greatest Songs of the 90s. I doubt I'll finish, as I'm already on bottle of wine number 2 and have to keep up with the critical Monday Night Football game. Well, critical only if you have Jay Cutler and LT playing for your fantasy team, and you're in the championship game of your fantasy league. (Pass, Broncos! Run, Chargers!). But I'll start the process and finish sometime soon, thanks to the miracle of TiVo.

In a series of posts following this one, I'll cover the Greatest Songs of the 90s special and offer thoughts, recollections and insights into the insipid yet memorable tunes/videos of the last decade. Pour yourself another drink and remember along with me, as we enter the Wayback Machine and set the dial for 1990.

Random Dawg Update

Perhaps it's been the distractions of relocating, moving, packing, fighting with Comcast and mourning the loss of scripted television, or maybe being without my beloved NFL Sunday Ticket until a couple of weeks ago, but I've been a bit clueless about the location of some of my favorite DGDs (Damn Good Dawgs).

I didn't realize that Verron Haynes (or Vernon Hayes, according to nonsensical football analyst, famous spittle slinger, Irene Ryan lookalike and GOB Bluth wannabe Lou Holtz) was NOT part of the Steelers this year. However, with Fast Willie Parker becoming Not Really Very Speedy At All Willie Parker, the Steelers have signed Mr. P-44 himself.

I had also heard that David Greene (Winningest College QB Ever tm: 42-10) wasn't part of the SeaPigeons anymore, either. Was this because they traded for Charlie Frye (college record: 21-25)? Or did this happen before? However, 14 is part of the KC Chiefs practice squad.

This probably isn't "news" to anyone except me, but nice to see the DGDs gainfully employed.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Prince didn't perform at halftime...

...but we are closing in on the end of the AFFL Bowl, my fantasy league championship. Yes, I know everyone has been hanging on the edge of your seats during whatever important holiday rituals you share with friends and family in order to receive this critical update.

With only two "real" football games left this week, numbers have been put on the board and it's down to a few crucial performers to bring a trophy to Maryland. Or not.

My opponent has 22.20 points, with only Redskins TE Chris Cooley left to play tonight.

My team, Area 51, has 19.60 points, with Jay Cutler (The best 'dore since Jim Morrison!) and LT suiting up tomorrow night.

It's been a rather lackluster championship. I got virtually nothing from Plaxico Burress and Heath Miller. My opponent had Willis McGahee (ouchie! won't make the locals happy). Add up the production from those three and you don't even have a single point. Yoiks.

But I got solid efforts from LenDale "Golden Corral" White, Andre Johnson and a feisty Jags D (Hey, Al Davis, thanks for playing Jamarcus!).

And my best wishes go out to the Freebirds, playing in the Thunder Chicken Super Bowl this weekend. I don't know all of his team, but he did indicate that Brett Favre needed to have a big day. Oooops. Let's hope for surprise performers!

Sometimes, it's better not to know

Good interview here on the Onion AV Club with Stephen Root. The actor's name might not be top of mind, but some of his characters should be: NewsRadio's Jimmy James. Office Space's Milton. King of the Hill's Bill Dautrerive.

I've always liked Root and admired his work. He comes across in the article as humble, hard working and bright. There's just one problem:

AVC: How did you come up with the voice for Bill?
SR: I have done a lot of Southern theater; I came out of the University Of Florida

A fucking Gator.

Disappointing, to say the least. Of course, we still have Sawyer and Coach Taylor.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Say What?

Great rundown of television quotes from 2007:

TV Gal 2007 Quotes

Many of them stand on their own, but several bring an extra special smile to your face as you recall the context and delivery.

Sadly, here's a starter list on 2008's best quotes:

" "

" "

" "

" "

" "

While I'm typically anti-union, that's just another reason to support the WGA strike.

The upside of the trade deficit

Television goodness from across the pond: sci-fi trailers from two of our favorite "programmes" on the Beeb:

Teaser for the Doctor Who "Christmas Special" (not sure when it's airing here. But it's The Doctor on a space fairing Titanic, with Kylie Minogue)

And the trailer for Torchwood (One of TNRLM's 10 Best of 2007) Season 2. (Whedonverse fans will recognize a certain "other" vampire with soul)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anyone else looking forward to January 31st?

If you're not counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds, you should be. Check this out:

Somehow, "holy shit" doesn't seem to suffice.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knock on wood and keep your fingers crossed, I'm going to the dance

Not to enumerate poultry before it emerges from the shell, but it looks my woebegone, scrappy little fantasy football team will advance to the championship game next week. You'll recall my drunken, borderline suicidal ramblings just after the draft. And a pessimistic approach to a semifinal matchup with the Brady Juggernaut. Well, it turns out I have a somewhat sizeable lead heading into the two final games of the weekend. Right now, I'm up 33.56 to 17.06 (don't ask about the points. Most fantasy leagues score in the 100 - 200 points per week range. We started this league eons ago -- when scores were kept on legal pads with USA today stats -- and wanted the final team scores to compare to those of actual NFL games. So we set the point earning tallies accordingly and have kept them that way ever since). My opponent has the Giants D left, and I have Plaxico Burress left. Unless the G-men rack up 10 sacks and 5 defensive TDs, I'm liking my chances to play for all the marbles.

Could this, and the arrival of DirecTV, Tivo and other similar positive tea leave readings, signal an end to the dark, sinister clouds that have been hovering over my head for the past two years? Will I summon up my best Scarlett O'Hara and Little Orphan Annie, and say "fiddle de dee, tomorrow is another day, and the sun will come out tomorrow! Tomorrow!"?? Or, more likely, will it just be another pricktease of good fortune before the half-empty glass shatters in my hand, severing tendons.

Sigh. I'll enjoy the moment. How about that?

What do fossil records say about fish?

How long have they been in the ocean? I'm guessing a little more than 56 years.

RIP, Dan.

The Canon: Best of Television 2007

With 2007 coming to an end and the supply of new episodes rapidly dwindling, it's time to do a quick review of the Best of 2007.

The Canon: TNRLM's Top 10 TV Shows of 2007

1. Battlestar Galactica
The season started with a bang (the flash forward to occupied New Caprica, capped by one of the most remarkable and stirring images ever to grace a television screen - Galactica dropping through the atmosphere to aid in the Exodus) and ended with a bang (Cylons revealed! Baltar not guilty! Starbuck returns! And All Along the Watchtower!). In between we had gut wrenching boxing matches, sacrifices, backstories, great character moments and some of the best writing, acting and directing TV has to offer. With only one real clunker ("The Woman King") and a captivating "extra" ("Razor"), BSG remains a hidden gem. If you don't like sci-fi in general or only remember the cheesy 70s show, you owe it to yourself to check out The Best Show on Television.

2. Mad Men
This instant classic came out of nowhere (AMC? Really?) to suddenly become one of the small screen's most intriguing tapestries. Set in the smoke and booze filled world of advertising in the 60s, Mad Men carves out a period of American history and explores the cultural mores of the time and fills it with fascinating characters. Former Sopranos producer Matthew Weiner has assembled a top notch ensemble to evocatively draw us into this world, anchored by Jon Hamm as complex adman Don Draper.

3. Big Love
Often overshadowed in HBO's stable of dramas by legends (The Sopranos) and spectacular flameouts (John From Cincinnati), Big Love only got better in its second season. While the audience may not always sympathize or agree with protagonist Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), it's the three sister wives played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin that truly give the show heart and nuance. All three upped their games in this season and delivered outstanding performances that should be recognized at Emmy time.

4. House
Coming off an uneven third season (good riddance to the Tritter debacle), House rebounded in a spectacular way, upending the supporting cast dynamics with House's amusingly cruel game of professional "Survivor" as he selected three new associates to replace Chase, Cameron and Foreman (who stayed with the show, only on the periphery). The medical mystery of the week was still there, but the competition for staff positions was inspired, entertaining and gave TV's best asshole ample time to unleash an endless stream of bon mots. Plus, where else can you find Kumar and Cutthroat Bitch on a regular basis? Extra bonus: our first case of Lupus!

5. 30 Rock
While The Office got the awards previously, and rightfully inspired cultish fanaticism, 30 Rock did what few sitcoms do: deliver consistent laughs. A surprise winner for Best Comedy Emmy, Tina Fey and company skillfully walked the tightrope between high concept lunacy and workplace chuckles. While all the performances are top notch, it's Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy who is without question the funniest character on the small screen today. 30 Rock deftly weaves in pop culture references, political satire and flat out absurdity, all in one whip-smart package.

6. Lost
The less said about the opening "pod" of "cage episodes" (or Jack's tattoo story) the better, but once that meandering beginning was over, Lost kicked up the suspense, drama and mystery, all building to a mind-blowing finale. Elizabeth Mitchell was a fascinating addition as Juliet and no one on TV is as creepy as Michael Emerson's Benjamin Linus. Even though it divided fans, I found the Nicki and Paulo story funny, entertaining and delightfully morbid. Lost remains unlike anything else on TV, and the finale only ups the ante for the heights it can reach. I'm still firmly on the island.

7. The Sopranos
The television legend came to a close this year with an ending that will be debated for some time. What can't be debated, however, is the quality of the show (and the writing, acting, directing) that will go down in history as one of the all time greats.

8. The Closer
A simple set up (crime, investigation, Brenda gets a confession) yields far greater results than you would expect. Kyra Sedwick's central performance as Brenda Leigh Johnson (true southern quibbles with accents not withstanding) is a revelation, and she's surrounded by a taut, smart ensemble. Many times, it's not that hard to figure out "whodunnit," but the true joy of The Closer is watching Chief Johnson figure out how to get that "who" to admit it.

9. Bones
Another procedural, lifted from the ordinary by the effortless charm and palpable chemistry between leads David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. The show features the best "will they or won't they" since Mulder and Scully and has a great supporting cast of intelligent and richly drawn characters.

10. Torchwood
Speaking of Mulder and Scully, this BBC America import is an X-Files for a new generation. Originally positioned as a more "adult" Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood really came into its own toward the end of its maiden season. The aliens and monsters of the week are fun and creepy, but the real drama of Torchwood lies in the toll these battles take on team fighting them. And John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness is a character for the ages (literally).

Due to the relocation issues and horrors of Comcast (and their Hal 9000 TiFaux), I wasn't able to watch Dexter, which almost assuredly would have been toward the top of this list. I hope to catch up on Season 2 shortly, through Showtime repeats or DVD. (Same with Weeds and Californication). I also understand Pushing Daisies to be quite good, and look forward to watching that from the beginning. Finally, my low tolerance for kids on my TV keeps me from watching Friday Night Lights, though I may check my prejudices at the door and give it a try during the strike (if I can convince non-geeks to give BSG a shot, it's only fair that I follow my own advice about preconceptions).

Honorable Mention:

Burn Notice

Doctor Who


The Office
How I Met Your Mother

For other year end wrap ups, check out my two favorite critics: TV Guide's Matt Roush and the Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Suddenly, it's okay to be a Duke fan

The old coaching carousel keeps spinning. The childcare provider for the Manning family and noted Bulldog-whipping OC David Cutcliffe is leaving the sideline shadow of Phat Phil and taking over as head coach at Duke. Duke football has always been an afterthought, except for a brief period under Darth Visor (before he turned to the Dark Side of the Force, and fully blossomed into the Evil Genius, and then became another laughingstock pro reject, then settling into his current role as Head Ball Cock for a .500 team watching bowl games on television). Despite the fact that Coach Cut engineered many wins over the Dawgs during his tenures in carrot-eating-baby-diaper-shit-orange, I've always respected his game planning, play calling and the fact that he got unbelievably canned by the hubris-filled Powers That Be in The Grove, who inexplicably overestimated their place in the football universe.

While I enjoy the fact that this should this diminish the offensive prowess of the Rocky Tops in the short term, I'm also cautiously concerned that it could hasten The Great Pumpkin's eventual exile from the banks of the Tennessee. UT has great resources, and I'd hate to see a bright young up and comer take the reigns there. However, I'm sure foodservice operators who run all you can eat buffets would welcome the increase in their profit margins should Phil be kicked to the curb.

Bonus? It adds another team to the list of programs that can hang a loss on the Jackets.

I was traveling during the great Bobby Petrino Debacle, and just about everything that could be said on the subject already has. Bottom line: while this insufferable, amoral weasel knows his college Xs and Os, he just wasn't cutting it in the pro game. As one of the few long-suffering Falcons fans who didn't just jump on the bandwagon during the Ron Mexico days, I'm hoping that all involved can put this torturous season behind us and start fresh by making the *right* hire this time. I hate having Petrino's O in the SEC (but hey, good luck with Casey Dick!) where it might come back to bite UGA, but it just adds to the embarrassment of coaching talent riches currently in the World's Greatest Conference. But by the time he implements his system and finds a QB to run it, he'll already be looking for the next BBD like an uneducated Columbus hooker. One of the best Petrino takedowns I've read is from former Louisville resident and ESPN writer Pat Forde.

And finally, is it possible that someone high profile will actually sign up to lose to Ohio State once a year?

Entertainment Goodies

Lots of great viral marketing for The Dark Knight out there, and I really love the look that Heath Ledger has created for the The Joker. Here are two more teaser posters for the flick that just surfaced. We should probably see the first trailer online in the next couple of days.

Not only is Agent Scully returning to the big screen, Gillian Anderson gets a new gig on Masterpiece Theatre. Check out the link on the article for her on an English talk show, rocking the brit accent (I didn't realize that she was basically raised across the pond, and that the accent comes naturally. Cool).

Does anyone care that they are making a new version of Knight Rider? Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this is the new voice of KITT: Gob Bluth! Do we think the car will suddenly scream "Come on!" or tell the new Michael Knight "I think we've made a huge mistake."

Just because: Kristen Bell rocks the Princess Leia gold bikini. Geek heart be still.

Helpful poster: How to spot a Cylon. Also, check out the "Rosie the Riveter" inspired Colonial "propaganda" posters.

Aldo Nova was right.

Remember back when I drafted my fantasy team? And how I thought I was destined for one of the worst records in the league?

Turns out the season wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was going to be originally. LT finally started to look like LT, LenDale White kept the starting job and put up decent numbers, Cutler stabilized, Andre Johnson came back at just the right time, Plax didn't practice (cue Allen Iverson soundbite) but kept getting into the end zone and Nick Folk puts 'em through the uprights. So after a drop off in the middle of the season, I rallied toward the end and found myself 8 - 5, and in the first round of the playoffs. Last week, I blitzed my first round opponent and put up a 50+ effort (great score in my league) and also won the "total points" prize for the week. This puts me in fourth place for "total points" for the year and within shouting distance of 3rd place. However, my second round playoff matchup puts me against a team with Tom Brady at QB. Given the love and respect between the Jets and Pats (and The Hoodie and The Mangenius), I expect Brady to throw for 12 TDs and bury me early. I can only hope that the blizzard expected to hit the northeast slows down the Pats prolific aerial attack and keeps the game within reach.

Still, not a bad result after I wasted a third round pick on Brandon Jackson (who? look for the RB on milk cartons soon) and vodka-ed my way through the draft.

And in Hell, they'll be watching Comcast

A brief moving update. After a couple of weeks of drama, surprises, fits and starts, I'm basically settled. Most of the stuff that was supposed to arrive from the motherland did arrive and in good order. Notable absences include one of the three microwaves in the old place -- which I had carefully "stickered" and set aside to make the trip north. Hence, I have my fourth microwave. Maybe when I buy a new place, I'll have a special microwave room designed with little cabinets just for nacho cheese and popcorn. And a mirror didn't make the journey either. Given my tip top physical conditioning, fewer reflective surfaces is probably a good thing.

The most important development is the triumphant return of DirecTV service and my beloved TiVo brand DVRs. It took 38 calls to various powers that be, three separate trips by installers, a pole mounted dish several parsecs from my unit and a football field worth of cables, but dammit, all is right in the universe and I'm free of the evil clutches of Comcast (except for phone and internet, which both seem to work fine). Among the many things to be thankful for with this development:
  • A recorder that actually works. It doesn't mysteriously and suddenly think Chuck airs on Wednesdays, and then records nothing on Wednesdays (because as we all know, Chuck is on Mondays). You set up a season pass on TiVo, and glory be -- it works! It remembers the day the show airs and actually gives you the options to record only first run, or repeats and first run, or any showing. How novel!
  • Searches longer than 6 days. You can look out in the future over two weeks (only for TV shows, sadly. Not for lottery numbers or game winners) and find shows by time, by channel, by title, by actor.
  • The ability to pick up programs where you left them. On TiVo, if you stop watching a Lost rerun about 20 minutes in, and go to live TV or another show, when you return to said ep of Lost, it will pick up right where you had been. On Comcast's TiFaux, you had to start over at the beginning and then FF all the way to that part again.
  • The 30 second skip. A long known TiVo "hack," you can program "end of line" button to act as a brilliant 30 second instant skip. Perfect for going through commercials. (If you don't know how to do this, it's easily findable with a google search, but I'll give you the skinny here. While watching a recorded program, just hit the following buttons in quick succession: 1. select 2. play 3. select 4. 3 (number three on the keypad) 0 (number zero on the keypad) 5. select. You'll hear three quick confirmation beeps and bingo! 30 second skip.
  • NFL network. Just in time to hear more than I ever wanted to know about what a lying dirtbag Bobby Petrino is! And Bryant Gumbel's incompetent play by play!
  • NFL Sunday ticket! Hey, I can watch my beloved Falcons again! And not just Ravens and Redskins games! I can track all my fantasy players in real time on the screen and on the laptop, too!
  • Station numbers I remember! I never quite got the hang of where some of my favorite channels were on the cable system. But I definitely recall 206, 209, 244, 501, 245, 242 and others.
  • Favorite channel grid. I love how in TiVo you can change the onscreen guide to only show the channels you want. No scrolling through all the home shopping crap, jesus-freak programming, Disney pablum and home and garden bullshit.
  • All the stuff I've recorded before! Now I can revisit the all of last season's BSGs and Lost. Gigs of Caruso sunglass removal to fall asleep to. Eps of the brilliant Andy Barker, PI. Last season's UGA games.
  • Customer service that actually helps you. Of course, I never have to call DirecTV customer service because the product actually works (compared to Comcast, who I actually added to one of the coveted one-touch speed dial numbers on the crackberry). In a little under 4 months, I went through 4 different TiFaux units and had customer service visit no less than 13 times.

Ahhhh, yes. Welcome back TiVo. Burn in Hell, Comcast.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Saturday Quickies

Though it aired a couple of weeks ago, I just caught BSG: Razor last Sunday night. Yeah, it covered some ground that's been tread before, but I thought it was exceptional. Michelle Forbes can do no wrong and Stephanie Jacobsen was stellar as Kendra Shaw. Someone put her on a show, stat. (Maybe a rival spy on Chuck? A "Faith" to Sarah's "Buffy?") And who didn't squee with fanboy (or girl) delight when the old-school toaster said "by your command?"

Speaking of BSG, here's another wrinkle in the Katee Sackhoff Bionic Woman saga. May be moot anyway, since the ratings have tanked.

In case anyone didn't realize it, moving sucks. Sucks hard. The labor, the chaos, the total feeling of untethered helplessness. Of course, doing it by yourself -- in a snowstorm -- doesn't make it any easier. When this happens again, and godsdammit, it will, I think I'll train the cats to act as burros and put boxes on their backs.

I could go into a rant about Comcast and DirecTV that would take up much of the available space on the interwebs, but I won't. The short version is that I'm doing all in my power, short of wearing a dish on my head, to avoid the crappy service, incompetent representation and bewildering failures of the Comcast Ti-Faux. For over a decade, I've been pleased as pie with DirecTV, but recent discussions with the Freebird indicated that while the service itself remains superb, their subcontractors for installations give new meaning to buffoonery. Sadly, I've come to realize this fact. After 4 (count 'em!) attempted hook ups, I'll know later this afternoon whether I'm doomed to another year of entertainment raping at the hands of Comcast, or I'll have established a tenuous detente with DirecTV.

It appears the Heisman is Timmy's to lose.

The Chipster had a memorable exchange recently with an SI writer. I think it's in the standard contract that "journalists" sign with SI that they must ignore, discount or slight UGA in some fashion. I'll leave it to his judgment if he wants to share his correspondence in the comments.

Did I mention that I can look out my window and see snow? After 5 years, my all-wheel drive is finally coming in handy.

I normally hate the holidays, eschew any pomp and circumstance and don't bother with presents, especially for myself. However, this year, I think I may be treated with a satellite radio. 472 channels piped into the multi-speaker array in my luxury vehicle -- just so I can get non-stop sports talk. Which in this market, would be great, since there's only so much chatter about the Redskins and Ravens you can listen to without wanting to drive headlong into oncoming traffic.

For those anticipating JJ Abrams new Trek movie, here's a handy "A-Z."

Remember bullpen cars? Great article on those here.

Canadians are serious about workplace safety. Check this and this out. Not for the faint of heart.

I didn't know Columbus, Georgia was "down under."

Another of Wil Wheaton's hilarious Star Trek: TNG recaps.

A touching, sentimental movie about four men struggling with a disease. (NSFW, if your sound is on).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

BCS Finally Shits the Bed

Oh, the sheets have been stained before. But this year, the jury-rigged, held together by duct tape system to crown a college football national champion has finally imploded, done in mainly by a "curse" on the number 2 (teams ranked second are a mind-boggling 2-7 recently) and Pat White's sore thumb.

Going into this weekend, the dream scenario for Dawgs fans and nightmare scenario for BCS officials would be for number 1 Mizzou to lose to Oklahoma (not unthinkable) and for Pitt to beat number 2 West Virginia in the "Backyard Brawl" (almost unthinkable). When Saturday's carnage was complete, the Sooner D had stuffed Chase Daniel and the Tigers, and Pat White's thumb injury derailed the high octane Mountaineer O.

Holy Shit.

If this was any other weekend of voting, the logic would be quite simple. Ohio State, ranked 3 and idle, would move up to number 1. UGA, ranked number 4 and idle, would move up to number 2. If you argue with this logic, you, sir, are a moron.

However, this is NOT "any other weekend of voting." This is the last weekend of the season, after conference championships, and the final poll of the season determines what teams play for the BCS title.

As a Dawgs alum and fan, I gave myself about 30 seconds of envisioning Knowhon Moreno* and Thomas Brown running wild through the OSU defense, and Mirror Universe Coach Mark Richt having 4 weeks to come up with another zany motivational ploy (perhaps burning a Woody Hayes figure in effigy at midfield? Scheduling a Herschel Walker / Archie Griffin mixed martial arts fight in the octagon in the French Quarter the night before the game?).

Once those 30 seconds were up, however, I realized that UGA is going to get fucked quicker than a Columbus, Georgia stripper looking for rent money on a Wednesday night.

It's a given that OSU is going to "back in" to the championship game. They are idle, their conference doesn't play a title game and they were ranked 3rd. Given the logic above, you could also argue that UGA would "back in" to the game, by virtue of being idle also. Would "the powers that be" allow BOTH title contenders to "back in," or will they try to elevate at least one conference title game winner into the BSC championship?

As I said above, from a pure ranking standpoint, and if you follow the ranking logic that holds true just about every single week of the season, the title game should be Buckeyes vs. Dawgs.

If you want the two subjective "best" teams at this stage of the season, you would want UGA vs. USC.

If you want to the two highest ranked (going to the polls going into the weekend) conference champs, it would be OSU vs. Virginia Tech.

If you want to the two highest ranked (going to the polls going into the weekend) conference champs that played (and won) a conference championship game, it would be Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma.

If you want the highest ranked team vs. the only undefeated team, it would be OSU vs. Hawaii.

If you want to match OSU vs. a conference champ with the "best" losses, it would be LSU (only two losses, both in the world's best conference, and both in triple overtime).

As you can see, another word for "BCS" is "Clusterfuck."

With my heart and diploma, I want my alma mater to have a shot at the big prize. And I can construct a house of cards (using reasonable facts) that gets them there. And I have no doubt that UGA would whip OSU and lay claim to the national championship. (See SEC speed vs. Big Ten -- last year's BCS game for the most visible reference point -- when the Buckeyes were even loaded with NFL talent and a Heisman winner).

However, it's difficult to reconcile the fact that UGA didn't win the SEC. Current poll standings not factored in, LSU certainly has a fantastic claim for taking care of business in the world's best conference. And while there is no explanation for the complete egg UGA laid on the banks of the Tennessee River, it does make you deeply lament the inexplicable loss to the Poultry that would have made this whole debate moot.

If you accept the fact that OSU is in, every other potential contender has deep flaws:

  • UGA: Lost to UT badly. Only tied for the Eastern division. Didn't play for the conference title.
  • Kansas: Cream puff schedule. Didn't play for conference title. Lost late to Mizzou.
  • Virginia Tech: Demolished by LSU by 41 points. Lost in October to BC. Pussy conference.
  • LSU: 2 conference losses, one just last week. Ranked 7th heading into weekend. Even though the losses were close ones, so were many of the wins.
  • USC: 2 losses, one late in October to Oregon and one the worst upset in recent college football history (to 40+ point underdog Standford. You lost to a tree!)
  • Oklahoma: ranked 9 coming into the weekend. Lost to Colorado (playing without Kordell Stewart), and Texas Tech in November.


If by some miracle, UGA does make their way to the title game, it won't be unprecedented. Both Nebraska and Oklahoma played for the national title without winning their conferences (of course, they both suffered late season losses, and we won't hang our hats on the performance of those two teams in the championship game, either). The BCS gurus had a chance to pass a rule about "winning your conference" eligibility and didn't. The system is the system, flawed as it may be, so Dawgs fans shouldn't apologize for getting a shot. Perhaps be a bit humble about it, and recognize it as the product of an imperfect construct.

However, that won't happen. Personally, I think the pollsters will elevate LSU, even after a lackluster win over the Vols, and match them up against OSU for the championship. UGA could head west and play USC in the Rose Bowl in the game everyone wants to see, and that matches the two hottest and arguably "best" teams in the country. And if either the Trojans or Dawgs puts up an impressive victory there, there could be an outside chance at a tainted "AP" or non-BCS national title. However, making this matchup happen will take some serious machinations, as the Sugar Bowl, after losing LSU to the BCS game (albeit in the same stadium, same city, just a week later) would certainly want the Dawgs in the Sugar, probably against Hawaii.

No matter how this winds up, December should provide plenty of fodder for debate.

*I met a co-worker's boyfriend Friday night, who happened to be from New Jersey. When the conversation inevitably turned to college football, and he knew that I was a Dawgs fan, he immediately brought up the pride of some exit, Knowshon Moreno. We both agreed on the young man's talent, and I told him about my efforts to start the "Bada Bing!" chant Being from Jersey, he got the reference immediately and thought it was quite clever. Either that, or he had also been liberally partaking from the butterscotch shots floating around.