Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"The Monday Nightmare"

Millions of Americans were watching the Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks Monday Night Football game this week. We saw one of the highest scoring offenses in recent history let their defending MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers get sacked an unbelievable 8 times. Eight sacks in one half? That's pushing it even in Madden....There was very little scoring, and the game was a tight defensive battle forcing punt after punt after punt. Before the game though, I couldn't even name a single player on the Seahawks defense. Not a single one. And it's not like I don't watch every week. I play fantasy football, watch every game I can every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. But Pete Carroll's defense looked amazing Monday night. They put pressure on Rodgers rushing 3 or 4, which helped to shut down the Packers prolific passing game. I personally have Jordy Nelson on my fantasy roster (who had almost 1500 yards and 15 TD's last season), and he was held to just 2 catches for 19 yards. Greg Jennings almost scored, but his foot went out of bounds at the one yard line. It was a game of inches, and a game of strategy. It seemed like neither offense would get going, so we knew it would come down to each team's last possession.

With the Packers up with less than a minute on the clock, the Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson chucked up a hail mary jump ball to the left corner of the end zone. In live motion, I really couldn't tell who caught the ball, but it was sure that somebody had in fact caught it. After a quick replay, it seemed fairly clear that the Packers M.D. Jennings came down with possession, even though Seahawks receiver Golden Tate managed to stick in arm in to try to get a hold of the ball. But then one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen in all of football happened: the two closest refs came to the play, looked down, at each other, and then made completely different calls. The two replacement refs had not conferred on what the result of the play was, and one called for a timeout (which would indicate a touchback for the intercepting team) while the other signaled touchdown. After review of the play (I don't know why the reviewed it, when they didn't have to review the Pats/Ravens final scoring play the night before...), the head referee decided that it was in fact a touchdown, and the "12th man" went wild.

The buzz surrounding this incorrect call is huge. Not only had Golden Tate gotten away with a totally blatant offensive pass interference, which should've nullified the "catch," but the ruling before and after replay was totally wrong. The NFL rules state that in the case of a simulataneous reception by two players on opposing teams, the offense wins control. That would mean it was a catch. However, the rules also state that it is NOT a simultaneous catch if one player has possession and then another player gains joint control. That means that in reality, it was NOT a touchdown catch.

The fact that the league came out Tuesday morning after the game and said the result was correct and that the game was final further proves the flawed dictatorship that Roger Goodell is running. As fans, we should not put up with this kind of product. We love football, and everyone -other than Seattle fans- agree that the call should've been reversed and the Packers should have been given the win that they earned.

In my opinion, as unique as it is, I think the teams should refuse to play. They should refuse to go to their away games and tell the Commissioner that they will not let another game be wrongly decided by these high school, lingerie league refs. This is their livelihood, this is their love. It's like buying a Mercedes and having a Kia engine under the hood.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Money & Power: The Story of the NFL

Many of us have NFL Redzone, so we see key plays in every game during football Sunday. Yesterday though, I saw more pass interference calls than I have ever seen before. Not only do the offensive players get every advantage in the book, but now the league and the refs are giving the receivers every call on the field. The league wants ratings and huge TV contracts, and apparently defensive games are "boring" for many of the pink-hat types. Real NFL fans love hard-hitting, tough defensive battles. The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell however, like money and power. So my theory is that the league condones favoring the offense to allow more scoring, so that the games will attract more leisure fans to increase ratings and revenue. Many true fans dislike high-scoring games, because if they wanted to see a 44-41 score with 800 yards of offense, they would just watch college football. The game is being tainted by money, and Roger Goodell is football's Scarface.

I had a huge problem with the NFL last night, specifcally at the end of the Patriots/Ravens game last night. While there were absurd calls and bad no-calls throughout the game, nothing can compare with the lack of an official review on the final play of the game. Commentator Al Michaels noted that, "If a kick is between the uprights, it is reviewable. If it is above the uprights, it is not reviewable." So you're telling me that the referrees could not review that field goal by Baltimore's rookie kicker Justin Tucker? With the game on the line, and both teams fate waiting in balance, the replacement refs quickly jogged off the field. When I initially saw the kick, I honestly was unsure if the kick was good or not. I understand that the ball was above the uprights and may have been good, but there was no way to tell 100% either way. Everyone knows that 'all scoring plays can be reviewed.' Why was this different? Not only was this a scoring play, but it was the most important scoring play of the game. The refs should have, no doubt, reviewed the kick. If they reviewed it and came back with the same conclusion, then I could accept the call and the loss. But the fact that they did not even think about reviewing the call, even with Pats coach Bill Belichick running after them, is unbelievable. If I was Patriots owner Robert Kraft, I would send a formal letter to Roger Goodell and tell him that the New England Patriots will no longer be taking the field with the replacement referees in use. The NFL has almost a $10 billion revenue, and they can't spare a few million to pay the true, professional referees? If the Pats held out, and other NFL teams followed suit, the league would have no choice but to strike a deal with the real refs and the game would be back to normal. The only way to defeat the evil empire that is Goodell and the NFL is to fight fire with fire.

How many complaints from teams and fans will it take for the league to get their head out of that place where the sun don't shine?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pawn Stars meme

Okay, there is a meme for almost everything now. Bad luck Brian, Scumbag Steve, all of the rage comics.. I could list them all but it would take forever. Head on over to the IMDB to check the rest out. No, not the Internet Movie Database that we are accustomed to, but the Internet Meme Database.

For those who haven't somehow seen this show, Pawn Stars is basically a reality show about the daily dealings made in the pawn shop in Las Vegas. Their claim to fame is basically getting the weirdest and most valuable things around, with the tag line being, "You never know what's going to walk through that door." Well, I may not know whats going to walk through that door everyday, but I can be sure the experience of the seller and the haggle is the same EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This is where the meme became hilarious to me.

Basically, someone brings in a crazy/weird/old/valuable item. Rick (shop owner) has no idea what the value of it is, so he brings in his buddy who's an expert in the field. The expert spits out some number and then the seller says that's the amount that he wants to sell it for. Rick says no, and then goes absurdly low on the offer. Get it? I mean, the guy has to make money somehow.

First of all, how does Rick have a "friend" or a "buddy" in all of these crazy fields? Oh you brought us a mummy? Sure, let me bring my buddy in who's an expert in Egyptian mummies. Oh, you have the ark of the covenant? Hold on, let me call my friend who's an expert in arks of the covenant. Seriously though, he really does have an expert in every field just waiting on his phone call so they can get their 2 minute spot on the History channel.
point proven?

The other hilarious part of this meme is how they poke fun at how awful Rick's offers to the sellers can be. When the seller tells Rick how much he wants, Rick will almost always say no and immediately offer almost nothing back. The guy could have something that's worth $10,000 and Rick's offer will be around $2,000. The internet absolutely ate this up. Oh you have something that's priceless? The best I can do is $500 cash right now.

Either way, I still watch the show. I find it hilarious to watch people argue the value of random things. Also, watching Chumlee be a complete idiot fascinates me.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The iPhone 5: Worth the Hype?

The iPhone has consistently been an industry leader in the smartphone market. As technology is minimized and usage optimized, the iPhone 5 will be the best of its product line to date. But is the 5 actually as amazing as all the hype makes it seem? My simple answer: No. While the 5 does have excellent features and specs, it's nothing compared to the amount of hype that it's gotten since the last iPhone came out (the 4S). The iPhone 5 has a bigger screen, increasing size from a 3.5'' display to a 4'' display. That's a big improvement in my mind. However, you'll have to decide what size phone is for you when choosing between the Droid RAZR (and Maxx), the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Nokia Lumia 920, and other phones that are out or are coming out soon. Another big improvement that I've found is the removal of a glass backing. Too many times I saw people drop their iPhone 4 and 4S's resulting in that spider-web shatter pattern on the front and/or back. The processor is also much improved, as the 5 comes with an A6 dual-core chip rated at 1.05 GHz. The new processor is said to be about twice as fast as that of the 4S (statistically only about 25% faster), which will show tangibles affects when using Verizon's 4G LTE.

The 5 also comes with savvy new features like Passbook and an all-new Maps app, just to name two major additions (stock with iOS6, which is available to other iDevices as well). While I've seen some complaints about the Apple Maps app in comparison to Google Maps, we'll have to wait until the phone is actually in user's hands before making that allegation. And while I don't personally like the idea of having the contents of my wallet saved in my phone (for security reasons), Passbook and Google Wallet are both nifty apps that can save time and create a simpler way to go about our fast-paced lives.

Some low points for me are the cameras of the 5 and the battery life. The cameras are still on par with current industry standards, but are no real improvement from the iPhone 4S. One of the biggest demands from all smartphone users is power. Especially moving to 4G LTE, users will have quicker download speeds and will be able to surf the web and apps at faster speeds. This means using more juice. The iPhone 5 has only a 1,440 mAh battery. That's on the low end even for 3G phones. While the 5 does have efficient processing and will still last over 10 hours with such a battery, it's really no comparison to other smartphones and will almost definitely not be enough power to last throughout a day of full usage and no recharging. Another downside to this is that the battery is embedded, so you can't even have a backup battery to replace yours when it dies. While you can buy a tool and have a battery, the iPhone 5's battery is not meant to be removed, so this is not a very viable option.

While I didn't go through each spec of the iPhone 5, you have a general idea of it's performance and capabilities. The 5 looks like a great new smartphone, keeping pace with other leaders in the category. However, I don't see the delivery of innovation that Apple has hyped up for the past year. Millions of people worldwide have been licking their chops to hear the announcement of the new iPhone, and I think they will be disappointed. Not that the iPhone 5 isn't great quality, but for the amount of suspense and publicity Apple gives its products (specifically the iPhone/iPad lines), I think they've failed to provide consumers with the next best thing. Usually, the leading smartphone is only really king for a few months, if not less. This iPhone isn't even king at it's release, so why bother getting it? Buy a different smartphone, or wait till the holiday season for other, better products to be released. Sorry Apple, I'm not impressed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Big E: The best place you've never been

No, The Big E isn't a Zoo and these aren't the animals that you will see here. There are Kangaroo, but you won't see them hopping around. This sign shows you the different types of BURGERS you can get at one of the many places to stop for food. I had never heard of getting a kangaroo burger... is it even legal  to eat those in the US? I couldn't pass up this opportunity to try something I had never had before, so I went with the cajun alligator burger. The chef asked me if I wanted cheese on it and without hesitation I said yes. But wait, is alligator something you put cheese on? I'm not really sure, but I tried it. It was amazing, and did actually taste a little like chicken, but with some kind of spicy kick to it.

Speaking of out of the ordinary things, we came across a hut that was labeled:

Seems legit. I mean, it's only $1 to go in and if its a hoax, they offer $5,000 back to you. Sounds like a deal to me, no way would they want to be forking over $5,000 to multiple people. It says right on the sign that he is 2,500 pounds. Now that's a big boy right there.

Even though the description of Hercules is right there on the tent, I still wasn't 100% sure what I was going to be seeing. Is it a cow that has a horn just duct-taped to his head? Either way, I was surprised when I walked in to find this guy staring at me:

HOLY COW! Pun completely intended there. I mean that horn was a good 1-2 feet long and actually real. I also thought it was kind of funny how his spots on his side almost spell out "LOL," as if this cow was made to be a joke. He didn't really move the whole time, just started at us as if he was saying, "I know I look ridiculous, so go ahead and take a picture and leave please."

Maybe it was the two 20 ounce beers I had previous to this, but I found the unicorn cow to be one of the best things I had ever seen. There was a sign for the world's smallest horse (48 pounds), but I didn't want to spend an entire dollar to see a small pony, and something that obviously couldn't live up to the unicow. However, they also had a free petting zoo in one of the areas where we discovered this weird guy:
It's almost as if a camel and a steer mated and this was what was created. The hump is too awkwardly placed on its back to be a camel, yet has horns. Then I saw that it was from India and it all made sense (I guess). I don't question India too much.

But if you have never been to this place, you really need to get out there. You can get some really awesome beer (20 ounces for $6.75 on almost any kind there), some awesome food, and see some really cool stands there. We found this really cool shower display (cool? shower? display?) that actually blew us away.

For a mere $4,950 (usually $10,000) you can have this ridiculously awesome shower/hot tub/steam room/ bad ass thing. The water rains down on you if you want to shower and lights up. The bottom is actually a hot tun that you can turn on whenever you want and control the temperature on the digital display. You can also somehow turn this into a steam room, though we didn't get to see that done. My favorite part of this thing was the doors. When you opened and shut them, they made a futuristic door sound, kind of like what you would expect on a space ship. Awesome.

I'll definitely be coming back to this place... hopefully with $5,000 cash so I can go home with one of those showers that literally do everything.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All-star Wheel of Fortune player

Okay, so I'm a huge Wheel of Fortune fan. I watch it almost every night and I usually crush the puzzles. I find it hilarious when people make mistakes on this show, especially when the word is literally right in front of their face. This lady took dropping the ball to the next level. Not only did she fumble the ball, but then she pulled a Buckner by letting the ball go through her legs while simultaneously trying to call a time out with no more time outs remaining.

After she buys the two I's, she seems to have this wrapped up... yet continues!This lady happens to defy all odds and land on the evasive $10,000 space and proceeds to nail it with the letter G. Now any normal player would solve it here, but this lady has the need for greed. When Pat asks her what she wants to do and she replies with spin, you can hear the gasps of the audience. Never a good sign when you can also hear her mutter, "I don't know." She nearly escapes defeat by just evading the bankrupt space and landing on the 900.

Two letters to go and one word already complete. She's got it in the bag.. only an idiot could mess this one up...

K?!  K?!
The look on Pat's face after says everything that needs to be said.

This is news to me.. who knew that it was actually spelled "Ekclsuive Nightclub." I learn something
new every day. Today, I learned that this woman is an idiot. They need to put me on this show asap.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lethal Weapon 5: Best movie you've never seen

Okay, there is only 1 full version of this film online in English, and they disabled the embedding option, so above is the trailer and here is the link to the full movie ( Lethal Weapon 5 was a movie made within the TV series "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." Though just over only 6 minutes long, this film is pure gold. It's filled with action, romance, character switching, black-face, awesome 80's-esque music, and even the use of slow-motion during the chase scene. Also, how can you not like a film that stars Danny Devito as the bad guy? Takes me back to when he played The Penguin in Batman.
Batman Returns - 1992

Dennis Reynolds: Raj / Rex *
Mac: Rex / Raj *
Charlie Kelly: captain, torturer, blonde casino assistant
Danny Devito: Indian casino owner
Dee Reynolds: taking out the trash

* denotes character switch halfway through film

The police station and Indian casino are shot in the same location (Paddy's Pub), but just with a different sign hanging over the front entrance. Genius.. saving money by not having to really build two different sets. Just hang a different sign and call it a day.

But what really makes this movie are the line deliveries from the characters. In the first scene, Charlie Kelly, the police captain, tells Dennis (Raj) that it was his wife that died. The sincerity in that line could kill me, he absolutely nailed it. The finger point, coupled with the killer line of "the person who just died was YOUR wife" is genius. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Next is where we get a complete dosage of Danny Devito. We can see how vicious he is as the Indian Casino owner when Rex and Raj confront him about the tainted tap water. Yet, we can see how gentle of a lover he is, as he lights candles and sets the mood for his Academy Award winning love scene to follow. Easily one of the best love scenes in a movie, ever.

The following scene is probably the most important of the entire film. We see Rex hung up by his arms being tortured, but he is not being played by Mac anymore. This is where Denis and Mac switch characters. Along with this switch, you will see that Rex has developed some sort of Australian accent, and Raj is now black. That is some twist that M. Night Shyamalan couldn't even come up with!

Danny Devito's amazing hood slide
 Upon finding where Raj was being held, Rex breaks in to save him and Devito makes a run for it. The chase seen takes them onto a roof, where someone has strangely enough, parked a car. However, it does make for the perfect, slow-motion hood slide for both of them.
In the end, Rex and Raj have Devito cornered and are able to douse him in his own tainted tap water, shocking him to death.

One of my favorite aspects of this movie are how underrated the catch-phrases are. Mac drops two pure gold lines during this film, the first being when he is asked if he has any last words. He responds with, "go suck an egg." Now, no one as ever told me to go suck an egg, but if they were to, I would feel completely defeated. What do you say back to that? Nothing.. you have no response.
His other food-based catch phrase was at the very end after Devito has been shocked, he cracks, "That's one fried turkey!" Maybe it was how he said it, or maybe it's because Devito is fat.. but either way, the line was perfect.

Sadly, this movie was never in theaters. Even worse, it didn't even have the chance to go straight to DVD. Given the chance, I would have been one of those people who lined up to see the midnight release of this thing. However, it never made it out of the 6 minute slot it was given in "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." It just kills it on so many different levels. The intentionally funny and unintentionally funny combination works incredibly well. All I can say is that there better be a Lethal Weapon 6. I want more character changes, more black face, more Devito, and more slow-motion!