Friday, January 08, 2010

Now I can't make up my mind: Metal Bikini, or... (Analyzing the playoffs, Day 3)(Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!)

You have to admire the dedication that I'm showing here, doing this for the third straight day, bravely ignoring all the work that I bravely ignored during the holidays, and also bravely deciding that the snow that we got last night was a "dusting" of snow and that therefore I don't have to go shovel it this morning but am instead free to do some 'puting before work and before going to wake up the Babies!, which I expect will be a chore today, given how much they kept waking up last night.

The Boy and I have an arrangement for the snow shoveling. It's an arrangement that's new to this year but has been working out pretty well so far.

The old system was "The Boy shovels snow." We came by that system through the application of the rule: I work, he goes to school, girls don't shovel snow. Since work > school, that left The Boy to shovel the driveway and sidewalk, which then left me to have a driveway that turned to ice and got smaller and smaller as the year went on, and a sidewalk that was a nightmare from a slip-and-fall liability standpoint.

The driveway got smaller and smaller because our driveway has landscaping on either side of it, so that the land rises up from the driveway. That means that the snow needs to be shoveled up, instead of just sideways, creating large drifts on each side. The larger the drifts, the harder it was to get the driveway snow up and over them and the more likely The Boy was to not try and instead to create new piles in front of the old ones, slowly narrowing our driveway throughout the winter.

I then invented a new system of shoveling. The new system was I'll just do it. That didn't last long, because after a few times of me coming home from work and going to shovel the driveway before dinner, and then hearing The Boy complain about how I was delaying dinner, I decided I'd have to revamp the system or sell The Boy. I revamped the system, with the new method being "I shovel in the morning before work if it snowed overnight. The Boy shovels after school if it snowed during the day."

And that system has now been modified to have the unwritten-but-very-important rule, if you can legitimately (?) claim that the snow that fell overnight is a dusting, then you don't need to shovel before work and can come back inside and do some 'puting.

You, my readers, are the true beneficiaries of that rule. I was able to legitimately (?) declare a dusting because I wore my Crocs to go get the paper and the snow barely got into them at all, so I'm free to get revved up and going on Day Three of the

NonSportsmanlike Conduct 100% Accurate, Never-Fail, Always-Right, Sure-Fire System For Picking The Playoff Winner.

Today's teams from the AFC are the New England Patriots* and the San Diego Chargers. The NFC teams are the Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings, and the Dallas Cowboys. As with the others, each team will get from 1 to 5 points per category, or less or more depending on the utterly reliable scientific criteria I objectively apply, and the highest scoring team from each conference is the one that'll make the Superbowl, with the higher-scoring of those two teams being the one the 100% System says will win. And remember: The 100% System NEVER FAILS. Guaranteed. (*Note: Not a guarantee.)

1. Team Nickname/Mascot: Here's a question for you as we begin today's analysis: Is it Super Bowl? or Superbowl? All other Bowl Games are two words: Nobody ever says Rosebowl. Or OutbackSteakHouseBowl. Although, now that I think of it, they probably will begin doing that, the way some businesses are tacking dot com onto their names even if that's not their real name, so that you know where to find them on the Internet.

I've never understood that practice. There are maybe three sites that I go to by typing in the Internet address directly, and all three of them are my own sites, and even then, I rarely do that. Almost every site I go to regularly, and some I almost never go to anymore but think that I should, and some I desperately want to go to but if I do I'll never get anything done (like Magic Pen) are simply bookmarked on my browser. If I don't have it bookmarked, then I go to Google and type the name of the business I'm looking for.

Given that, it's kind of depressing to me to see businesses all over the place advertising by saying Don't forget to get your cupcakes for the holidays. Visit our bakery on 3rd street. Gramma's

I checked, as a service for you, and it's "Super Bowl." That's how the NFL puts it on their site, anyway, and they should know, since it carefully guards the right to use the words "Super Bowl," and the NFL will sue at the drop of a hat, provided that the "hat" that's dropping is a "hat" full of money being given to the players rather than to the league.

So. The nicknames, right? Patriots*, Chargers, Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings, and Cowboys.

The Patriots* get zero, because they have a cheater for a coach and many cheaters still on their roster. Videogate may have been shoved under the carpet by the NFL, but not by this dedicated blogger. As long as you're associated with a cheater, you get no respect.

Right, Elin? And her sister?

But the Patriots* would be downgraded anyway, because they caved into marketing pressure in the past, altering their logo from the great Revolutionary Soldier hiking a ball:

To the Comet Revere:

In fact, let's downgrade the Patriots* a point for doing that. -1, Patriots*.

The Chargers, on the other hand, have a great nickname, and more and more keep using those excellent powder-blue throwback uniforms, plus their helmets have that cool lighting bolt logo, making them look like a whole team of Lighting Lads.

Electricity, cool colors, name that does double duty (charging, like a bull, and charging, like electricity), and a vague reference to comic books? 5, San Diego. Put this on your helmet, though:

And I'll move you up to 50.

Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings? I'm not crazy about the Vikings nickname, and here's why: there was a little too much clinging to the old world when people moved to America. And by that I mean: why move all the way across the world, immigrants, only to select a region that's exactly like where you came from?

When immigrants came to America, as is my understanding, they tended to gravitate towards areas which they found reminded them of the areas they'd left. Since many of the early immigrants came from Europe, that meant that they gravitated towards areas with forests and plains and... snow and cold.

They had this whole great big new world to choose from, and they chose snow. Not just a little snow, but a a lot of snow. Nearly continuous cold and snow and ice and sleet and weather of the sort that makes my ankles feel cold and wet from November through April, every year, and that's a very uncomfortable feeling.

What was wrong with Florida? Or, for that matter, Guatamala? Honduras? Jamaica? Europeans ran over the entire world and subjugated indigenous people and otherwise made asses of themselves, and then, after doing all that, they settled in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and that meant that my family settled in Wisconsin and now I'm stuck here because this is the only state I can practice law in.

And then they go celebrate that by naming their team the Vikings? If you'd had any sense, immigrants, we'd all be living in the United States of the Caribbean, wearing shorts and watching football played in 70-degree temperatures and rooting for teams like the Trinidad Pirates, and Trinidad would be a state.

Plus, the pigta
ils on the Vikings gear look dumb.

Although this does look pretty cool:

Except then the guy has to go and ruin it with the soul patch. Overall, I was going to give the Vikings a zero, but they've got Brett Favre, so I'll give them a 1. And I'm still mad at my ancestors.

Then there's the Cowboys. I don't care for Tony Romo, Jerry Jones, or any Cowboy, really. Except maybe Woody, from Toy Story, and even he's not all he's cracked up to be. But Cowboys is an okay nickname. 3.


Patriots*: -1
Chargers: 5
Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings: 1
Cowboys: 3

2. Crazy Fans: From the Patriots*, we get this:

Which proves that the Patriots* (a) stage their crazy fan videos, and (b) have gotten a lot worse at recording things since Videogate. o points.

The Chargers give us this guy:

Who can't even be bothered to wear Chargers gear? But he does have a cape, of sorts, and a disemboweled Nemo on his head, sending a message that's both disturbing and hopeful at the same time, like a nightmare in which you win the lottery but the ticket is handed to you by a kangaroo wearing boxer shorts.

Not that I'm talking about any specific dreams I had. That lasagna was spicy last night, though.

I'll give Crazy Charger Fan a 2.

I had to listen to Crazy Viking Fan three times before I realized what he (?) was saying:

It sounds like let's get this party started, Go Vikes! But why is she (?) standing in the kitchen? Instead of by the TV? And why is it being filmed, at all? That whole thing had to be set up in advance, posed, a location picked out, and for what? A blurry 8 seconds that's been viewed by 464 people in 2 years? (Or an average of 1 view every day and a half.)

This, in case you were wondering, is what's supposed to have been the Most Viewed Video Ever on Youtube:

Over 134,000,000 people have viewed that as of this morning, and now I'm one of them. Frankly, I don't think it's all that funny. It amounts to nothing more than "referencing." "Referencing" alone isn't humor; it's not funny to simply make a reference to something nostalgic.

(Right, Diablo Cody?)

So saying, as that video does, "These are dances and songs you'll remember" isn't particularly funny, if you ask me. And, The "Chicken Dance" was around the 1950s and shouldn't come after Walk Like An Egyptian. Get it historically accurate, Comedian I've Never Heard Of.

Because I looked at them one after the other, I'm going to hold that video against Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings, too. I award them zero points.

Now, that's funny.

Finally, for Crazy Cowboys Fan, you'd think the nomination would be "every single person who pays $39 to stand in the hallway of that huge stadium and watch the game on TV," proving (as Jerry Jones probably wanted to prove) that Cowboys fans are suckers who will throw their money at a billionaire for no reason whatsoever. What's the point of watching a game "in person" if you're standing in a stadium hallway watching a TV screen? At least at home, you can take off your pants if you want. And sit down. In whatever order you'd like.

But that's not the crazy fan. Instead, it's this guy:

Wait... I thought Howard Dean was Eagle Man?

I gave Howard a 4 for being Eagles Man, so he'll get 4 for being Crazy Cowboy Fan, too.

Updated Scores:
Patriots*: -1
Chargers: 7
Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings: 1
Cowboys: 7

3. Best Name On Their Roster: Let's just not even bother with the Patriots*; you know I'm going to give them a zero. So, Patriots*, zero. (Too bad, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, the guy on their roster who would have been chosen for having a name that theoretically could be all-hyphenated: Ben-Jarvis-Green-Ellis.)

The Chargers don't have any particularly good names on their roster, and should be downgraded for having someone named Brandyn. (Rookie Tackle Brandyn Dombrowski.) While it's not his fault his parents couldn't spell, if I downgrade the Chargers for it, then maybe parents nowadays will stop that practice, saying to themselves, If I give my kid a weirdly-spelled name, then in 20 years he might grow up to play for my favorite team and end up causing that team to lose points in the NC! 100% System. I can't risk that. I'd better call him Don.

Every little bit helps, so, Chargers, -1.

The name that jumps out at me from the Brett Favres' Minnesota Vikings roster is defensive back Eric Frampton. Frampton, who appears to be mostly a special teamer, doesn't have any stats that jump out or mark him as a guy to watch. Instead,his name jumps out because the minute I saw it, I thought:

What's the deal with "Frampton Comes Alive," and why do so many people like it? That bugs me. I'm sick of hearing about Frampton Comes Alive from you people who are slightly older than me. You need to move on and listen to something made by a guy with normal hair and in the last two decades, at least. You don't see people my age going on and on about the definitive live album of our generation, do you?

That definitive live album, by the way, was Duran Duran's Arena. But you won't see people my age showing up on talk shows discussing how Arena "totally changed my life and made me look at the world in a new way, man." Even though it did. Just listen to this:

That's great. Try to not chant that all day as you work.

Seriously. Try not to. You're going to annoy your coworkers, and they're already probably upset about you playing that whole dance video above.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: Eric Frampton. Let's say 1.

And the Cowboys. I didn't look at their roster, since by law, every single thing the Cowboys do good is attributable to Jerry Jones. That's why they won those Super Bowls, that's why they were America's Team, that's why they have a breakfast cereal named after them (probably?). If something good happens to the Cowboys, it's solely and exclusively the result of Jerry Jones' brilliant management, whereas, if something bad happens, it's because of Terrell Owens.

That's the message I get, anyway, from Sports Illustrated, which this week credited the Cowboys' turnaround from last year to three things: Coach Wade Philips calling the defensive plays, the lack of Terrell Owens, and having a new stadium (which motivated the players a little more, according to SI.)

I'm not sure I understand defensive play calling in the NFL. Shouldn't the play be STOP THEM? And why are there different plays, anyway? On offense, a minimum of five players are generally ineligible to catch a pass or carry the ball. That leaves six players who could do something other than run into another player. The defense, meanwhile, has eleven players free to cover six players on the offense. 3 or 4 defensive players usually rush the quarterback, leaving 7 or 8 hanging around to cover the five remaining offensive players. Why isn't one of each of those seven or eight defensive, non-rushing players assigned to each of the 5 remaining offensive players, leaving 2 or 3 extra defenders to hang around a few yards back and serve as backups and safeties?

I've just revolutionized NFL defenses, and will soon join the ranks of legendary defensive coaches like Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan, other people related to Buddy and Rex Ryan, and the guy who invented the "Double A Gap Blitz," a "revolutionary" defense that involves the entirely-novel idea of "rushing defenders into gaps in the offensive line."

Anyway, "Jerry Jones" isn't a very good or unique name, alliteration aside, so I'll give the Cowboys a 1.

Updated scores:

Patriots*: -1
Chargers: 6
Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings: 2
Cowboys: 8

4. Craziest Thing For Sale In Their Store: Again, Patriots*, zero. (Don't like it, Pats* fans? Demand that the cheaters be let go and start fresh.)

The Chargers' pro shop links to the Chargers' Auction, which the Chargers claim is "the best source of unique collectibles, memorabilia, one-of-a-kind items, and exciting fantasy experiences." But when you click through to the site, you'll find just autographed footballs and helmets for sale. The most expensive item? A helmet signed by the whole team, currently bidding at $605. The least expensive? A helmet signed by someone named "Shaun Philips." You can pick that up for $11.00. I'm assuming that the current bid is from Shaun Philips.

That auction does make me wonder if the Chargers' players use it to tease each other: "Hey, Shaun, how come you're selling for only $11, while Malcolm Floyd is going for $66?"

The auction's not very good, though, so I give it a zero.

At the Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings shop, you can choose from eleven different varieties of Brett Favre jersey, or you can get a Vikings' polka dot thong:

But you can't get a Brett Favre polka dot thong, and why not? You can, though, get a Vikings' cribbage board, to celebrate your love of the Vikings and old people's card games all at once. I give it a 1.

I didn't check the Cowboys' pro shop; instead, I got distracted by the concession stand menu:

A hot dog, fries, and a soda will cost $18.50. That's crazy, but, then, you Cowboys' fans are already paying $39 to stand in a hallway, so enjoy eating your $7.50 hot dog. Zero.

Final tallies for today:

Patriots*: -1
Chargers: 6
Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings: 3
Cowboys: 8

Prior scores:

Cardinals: 3
Ravens: 8
Packers: 16
Jets: -3
Eagles: 12.5

Maybe I spoke too soon...

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