Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

(Find it hard to believe that this blog was viewed 2500 times. Thanks for reading, everybody! I’ll be back this week with some Gamecocks and NFL talk.)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Transition, Pt 2

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

In case you are late to the party, here’s part 1 of this post.

I’ve been stubborn with sticking to sports in this blog. Yes, there are plenty of things to write about involving sports. But, in a strange twist, I like other things! So, while I try to figure out what direction my life is taking me, what better way to try different things than to, um, write about them?

So, this post is basically a commitment. With the help of my sideblog (that term sounds so devious, doesn’t it?), I’m going to:
1. Write more. Five posts per week is the goal. I have tumblr on my phone, so it’s possible.
2. Continued themes. I’ll try more Figuring Me Out stuff, and keep doing the Sneakily Freaky Song of the Week
3. New themes! I exercise a lot. One of my favorite things is push ups. So, because I think that everyone should try to do things that could cause bodily harm every now and then, I’m introducing a weekly theme called CAPs (Crazy Ass Push Ups—h/t Meggen for this one). One ridiculous push up to try each week. And yes, there will be pictures.
4. Of course, I won’t forget about sports. That’s right, more live blogs! There’s still the Delusional 101 Gamecock Football Season Preview, and Also Lots of Words About Each NFL team NFL Preview. That’s right, I’m bringing it.
5. Other fitness stuff, mostly about running and eating fried chicken right after my runs other maybe relevant exercise stuff.
6. And, hell. I live in a college town in the midst of like 81 beaches. That’s a running theme on it’s own…right?

So, I’m excited (and I mean that!) about these changes. I’m also looking forward to sticking to a plan (that’s easier said than done too, yanno). I hope that you continue to read, comment, and if you’re feeling frisky enough…email (tbfilesblog[at]yahoo[dot]com) me about my posts or things that you’d like to see. I’m a blogger for the people. Even if all those people reside in the same house in Florence, South Carolina. Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you continue to do so in the future.

The Transistion

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Deep breath. Repeat 719 times

(I just realized that I’ve been on WordPress for just a little over a year. I know that this birthday isn’t quite the event that another person’s birthday is/was, but I suppose it’s significant.)

One of the things that I haven’t done lately is…write. Well, at least in this blog. This sounds like a broken record, but I do have reasons:
1. Because I focus primarily on sports, by the time I think about something to write about, I will see that it’s been well covered already.
2. I usually work ten-hour days, and I go to the gym before that. Takes up quite a bit of time.
3. I’m lazy.
4. I have a hard time staying on task. In a related story, this fact sadly makes me…human.
5. To be completely honest with you, I’ve been going through some things.

I’ll ask the question that you want to ask: Jordy, what “things” are you talking about?

I’ve spent the past 12 months making important, life-altering decisions. It seemed like every few weeks, I was changing course in something and going deeper into something else. To recap the major changes:
-I applied to, and got accepted into grad school for Sports Media
-I got engaged to my then girlfriend of 2 years
-I changed my mind about grad school, for a number of reasons (translation: I chickened out)
-I moved with my current job to Wilmington, NC
-A few days before she was supposed to move here, I broke up with my then fiancée (cue the asshole music!)
Now, instead of spending time in some sort of drunken bender, I’ve really been forced to examine myself in a number of different ways. Beyond the obvious, (realizing, then accepting my role in the demise of my relationship & trying to fit in with a new set of priorities in a new city) I’ve set a goal to really figure out what I should be doing with my life (And it turns out that I’m not the only one). I’ve also been taking some steps to rehab myself emotionally, mentally and spiritually as I try to pick up the pieces.

So, of course this ordeal has been twofold. Remember the whole “changed my mind about grad school” part? Well, I figured that I should get married before tackling grad school (in hindsight, uh…). Well, then the move to Wilmington happened. So, once the other half of the equation was no longer part of the equation, what was I supposed to do with my “put on hold” career goals?

The only thing that I ever thought I would be good at doing is something that involved sports. Because I lacked that thing people refer to as ath-a-letic (courtesy Charles Barkley) ability, I was the one giving play by-play during pickup basketball, football, and baseball games. And, well, 13-year-old Jordy wasn’t too bad at it. I then went on to doing sports on the “news” broadcast at high school. So, of course I should do sports journalism, right? I mean, what else was out there for me.

Man, I really wish that I would have answered this question ten years ago.

So now, I’m at a point where I need to do something. Of course, I should also realize that I’ve actually done pretty well for myself thus far (a lot more difficult than you might imagine). I think that these things will help me write better. Hell, I mean, I should try to take advantage of anything that might help me write at all, right?

So, I’ve done enough talking about what’s been going on. What the hell does this have to do with The Blacktooth Files? Well, I thought you’d never ask!

Okay, so it’s been a while!!! I’ve been a little busy taking full advantage of suddenly being single getting adjusted to a new city. And besides, it’s not like there’s been any relevant things happening in sports, right? Right?!!?!???

You may be aware of the fact that the South Carolina Gamecocks are the choice (by the media, who never knows what the hell they’re talking about mind you) to win the SEC East. I would be surprised if they don’t begin the year ranked in the Top 15, maybe even Top 10 (Author’s note: The Gamecocks are in the USA Today preseason poll at #12). And we’re probably two weeks away from the “Marcus Lattimore on the cover of Sports Illustrated” moment that will likely send me on a fatal drinking binge. In a related story, this is the first time in the history of ever that people are expecting the Gamecocks to be good. While it seems that some of the team is busy celebrating this newfound praise, not only am I legitimately terrified about all this praise, I am actually wondering…why? Who says that the Gamecocks are even…good? No, seriously. Now, if your next question is: “Jordy, are you going to list reasons why this hype might actually die hard?”…well, THE ANSWER TO THAT IS A RESOUNDING YES.

1. The Gamecocks won the SEC East by default last year.
If you’re ready to be like, “Hold up, now!” stop and shut up. It’s true. It’s time to be honest about last season. If the Gamecocks didn’t win the division last year, they never would have. Georgia and Florida struggled mightily. The thrill of topping Alabama was quickly dashed by a loss to Kentucky (We won’t mention that the Gamecocks were ahead 28-10 at the half in this game nor the fact that yours truly called it well before the season started). Up 20-7 at eventual national champion Auburn? Meh, let’s blow that lead too? A pretty decent Arkansas team at home? Let’s give up 40 points! I will chalk the SEC Championship game up as the equivalent into running into a buzzsaw. But that bowl game? A disaster. Especially considering that this was an incredible chance to really gain momentum heading into the offseason. But who needs that? Anyway, are we certain that Florida and Georgia will lose to South Carolina for a second year in a row? Raise your hand if you remember when that happened previously. (Yeah, that’s what I thought) Can we really believe that the Gamecocks can pull this off two years in a row? Hmmm.

2. The disease of more. It’s real!
Okay, so work with me for a second here. Pat Riley wrote a book called “Showtime” where he talked about the disease of more. Okay, I’m going to let Bill explain this:

According to Riley, after the 1980 Lakers won, everyone shifted into a more selfish mode. They had sublimated their respective games to win as a group; now they wanted to reap the rewards as individuals, even if those rewards meant having to spend way too much time at Jack Nicholson’s house. Everyone wanted more money, playing time and recognition. Eventually they lost perspective and stopped doing the little things that make teams win and keep winning, eventually imploding in the first round of the postseason. So much for defending the title.

Great concept, greater name: the disease of more. It festers in every sport — in the 2005 Red Sox, the 2003 Lakers, the 2006 Steelers. I remember watching a montage of Johnny Damon clips with my father before Opening Day 2005 — Johnny on “Regis and Kelly,” Johnny on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” — and at some point, Dad turned to me and said, “There’s no way we’re winning this year.” Once you get caught up in everything that comes with winning, you stop winning. Rarely does a team avoid pettiness, acrimony and self-flagellation to stay focused enough to repeat. You need a great coach and a greater star to keep everyone in line, and you need character guys up and down the roster.

Quick question: Can you name anything relevant that the Gamecocks won before last year? (Don’t you give me that 1969 championship!) Not only did the Gamecocks get their first measure of success last year, everyone seems to think that they will do it again this year? Do you trust this team and expectations? Marcus Lattimore is expected to be even better. Alshon Jeffrey will certainly have people whispering in his ear about the NFL. Stephen Garcia will have G.A. Mangus to hang out with (okay, that was too easy). The clamor will come for Jadaveon Clowney to start (and I will demand that they call him a different name). Are we sure this team can handle that sort of thing? Hell, when can you recall the last time the Gamecocks won a tight game? I think that this is a recipe for disaster. But hey, what do I know?

3. The mentality hasn’t changed.
Now, I haven’t really watched any of the HBC’s interviews from the offseason, so maybe he’s changed his tune. But even when the Gamecocks were in the mix for the division last year, the HBC’s message was to try and win the conference championship, then see if you’re in the mix for the national title. Hey, why not try to win every game? You only play 12 each year! Contrast the HBC’s view with that of Auburn’s head coach Gene Chizik. He was on College Football Live yesterday stating that the goal for the program (even though they have about 6000 freshmen this year) was to win championships. Who knows if this is something that will actually happen? But that’s not the point. If Chizik is telling ESPN that the goal is to win championships, you better believe that he’s telling his players the same thing. Are we sure that the same thing is happening in the South Carolina locker room? Are we sure that the focus is solely on being better, and winning every game (not just a “let’s see what happens” approach)? We already know how G.A. Mangus is preparing. Let’s hope the rest of the time isn’t following suit.

4. Have you SEEN the schedule?
I really was prepared to rant on and on about my concerns for this season even before checking out the schedule. Let me lay out this October slate:
Oct 1st: vs. Auburn
Oct 8th: vs. Kentucky
Oct 15th: at Mississippi State
Oct 29th: at Arkansas
Wait, what??? I know that those last two games are sandwiched around a bye week, but that’s still tough. College teams usually struggle on the road, and the last visit to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia all resulted in losses. Combine that with the first three points, and, well, I hope you’re not betting the mortgage on the over for wins this year…

5. Great hype falls hard!
It’s really the only trump card I have left. It happens all the time. The Washington Redskins seemingly won every offseason just a few years ago. They may have made the playoffs once. The Lakers added loads of experience in Gary Payton and Karl Malone to the 2003-4 team. That…ended badly. Just about everybody and everything that’s been heavily hyped usually fizzles under the pressure (that’s probably a dumb statement—no one important is applying that pressure—just idiots like me). Given that this is a team that has never really handled pressure situations well, am I supposed to be excited about an entire season of pressure? Mind you, I didn’t even bring up Stephen Garcia. Do you really know how he might respond? Have I asked too may questions? (Probably, whatever.) Let’s put it this way: I just don’t have a good feeling about this season at all.

Weekend Viewing Guide

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I was going to write a long, scathing post about the Stephen Garcia saga, but let’s be honest: Why should I care so much about a player (Garcia) who doesn’t seem to care about being even remotely responsible, and an “organization” (Gamecock athletics) that is seemingly too scared to make a definitive move and just kick him off the team? Does Garcia have compromising pictures of Coach Spurrier (and no, the one you’re thinking of isn’t really a secret) that we don’t know about? At this point, I’m about as Team Stephen Garcia as you could possibly be, since our football team seems to be the same way.

Having said that, I figured I could lend a helping hand and answer the question I know you’re asking: “What should I be watching sports-wise this weekend?” (OK, let’s pretend that you’re asking this question) I’ll be in Myrtle Beach this weekend, probably not watching sports. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t!!! Here are a few things for you to check out this weekend:

Friday (Oh wait, that’s today, isn’t it?)

Phillies at Braves, 7:35 pm (Fox Sports South/Peachtree TV, Comcast Sports Net): It’s the home opener for the Braves,

THIS GUY was fourth in win shares for MLB pitchers last year. Who cares what win shares means?

who seemingly left their bats in the steroid era in Kissimee. Of course, the first home game comes with a doozy of a pitching matchup: Cliff Lee vs. Tim Hudson (one of these men had the fourth most win shares for pitchers in all of baseball last year). If you happen to not live in or near Philadelphia/Atlanta, you could be in luck: DirecTV customers have a free trial of MLB Extra Innings, so…free baseball for all! If you don’t have DirecTV, well, uh, go to a bar or something!

Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 pm, Lakers at Blazers, 10 pm: It wasn’t too long ago that the Lakers were destined for the third seed in the NBA playoffs. Then they got hot. Then they lost three in a row. Who are these guys, anyway? Well, while Mark Cuban has been forcing that stupid Shark Tank show down our throat, his Mavs have lost four in a row, and are only 5-5 in their last ten. Of course, the Lakers have lost three in a row as well. For the eight of you who watch the NBA, these two games may be worth checking out just…uh, because I said so.

Saturday

NASCAR Sprint Cup Samsung Mobile 500, 7 pm (FOX): Do you know how many clicks it took me to find out the actual

This guy wants you to give NASCAR a chance.

sponsor for this race? That’s not a good look, NASCAR! Anyway, I know that most of you don’t like NASCAR. I myself may or may not have characterized it as “a bunch of white guys riding around in circles for 500 miles.” But! There are a lot of, um, colors? And the night races are pretty cool. No, seriously! The Texas race has a knack for not sucking that much, and besides, what else are you going to do on a Saturday night? (Don’t answer that)

NCAA Frozen Four National Championship, Minnesota Duluth vs. Michigan (ESPN, 7pm): OK, so you can’t get down with auto racing. Well, there’s another college championship being decided through a tournament!! Does that get you excited, maybe even a little? (It’s really a novel idea for those of you who follow major college football) Anyway, the Frozen Four is a cool name, although I’m not really sure why the hockey national championship is decided after the basketball one, but maybe that’s just me. I have nothing to add about the teams themselves; I haven’t watched any college hockey this year. But, if anything, you will be in for a treat for any game that Gary Thorne is announcing. He’s a great hockey announcer. No, really!

Sunday

Bulls at Magic (1p), Celtics at Heat (3:30p, both on ABC): This is about as good as it gets for some high level NBA action at this point of the season. Maybe the Heat fans will show up by the time the second quarter comes around, no? Anyway, expect to hear 732 discussions about why Derrick Rose is the MVP of the NBA. Consider yourself lucky if you hear even one argument for why Dwight Howard warrants even just a few MVP votes (then again, maybe that’s just me). Anyway, you shouldn’t be disappointed when you watch these games.

So, I hope that everyone has a great weekend! I will try to check in here and there via my just created tumblr, if I ever figure the thing out. And yes, there’s a reason why you don’t see The Masters as recommended viewing: I HATE The Masters. The end.

OK, so I could probably use a shorter title.

This NFL playoff season has me way too flummoxed. And yes, that’s probably not even the right word. But hey, if Snooki can have an NYT best-seller, then I can butcher the English language throughout this entirety post!! (see, that wasn’t so bad) Anyway, I foolishly went with the home teams during last weekend’s games, which really can’t be that much of a surprise (from me) when you consider the fact that I’ve predicted consecutive 10-2 seasons for the Gamecock football team.

And oh by the way, I’m still somehow tied with my fiancee in this NFL pick challenge. She somehow shrewdly took the Jets at the 11th hour (what does that even mean), meaning that…well, hell, I don’t know what it means. We’re tied. So in an effort to break this gridlock, I really have been all over the map in trying to find something that will stick out about each game. And of course, I found nothing. The entire world is so certain of a Steelers-Packers Super Bowl (although I’m sadly looking forward to people saying “Stillers” for two weeks). Of course, this plays into my number one theory about sports: GREAT HYPE FALLS HARD!!!!

BEARS (+3.5) over Packers
Let me go ahead and just throw it out there: Should the Packers win this game, I’m going to sell out emphatically and adopt them as a favorite team of mine. I won’t even feel bad about it. They do have the hot

Rodgers is pointing the Packers toward a Super Bowl. This is what they called "writing to picture." I think.

QB and a receiver who may have been named after yours truly. They’re also publicly owned, and one of the most recognized franchises in all of sports. So, I would be pretty excited about getting on that bandwagon.

There’s one problem here: I don’t think they’re going to win this game. While this post is supposed to be more about the spread than the actual winner, I do actually think the Bears will win. (Now, even if the game is 23-21, or 24-21 Green Bay, I’m still good!) The Packers struggle on special teams (If you do a Google search for “big Patriot lineman almost running a kickoff for a touchdown,” I’m almost certain that the Packers

Yeeeaaaaa I got out of crappy Charlotte just in time to look like a winner on the Bears!

will be involved) and have thrown some clunkers in this year (a 7-3 loss to…the Lions?). Also, the Bears(!!) made a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman!!!!!!! REX GROSSMAN. The same guy who inspired this, um, personal journal. Jay Cutler is better than that, right? I’m not going to try and throw in a desperate “SEC vs. Pac-10” QB argument, (Cutler went to Vandy; Rodgers is from Cal) but I will throw in a shameless tweet (or seven) about that fact if things are going the way I think they will Sunday.

What you want to say is:Really? The Bears(!)?? Did you see how the Packers mauled the Falcons? And how Jay Cutler almost threw a pick near the end zone?!!? Aaron Rodgers is the next greatest QB to walk the face of the earth? YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO GO WITH THE BETTER QUARTERBACK!!

My response to that argument is:I don’t really have one. But then again…dare I use the example of Super Bowl 44? Wouldn’t most people have taken Peyton Manning over Drew Brees? Can someone remind me how that game turned out?

Not that this will be right, but I’m still going to give a score:Bears 30, Packers 28

Jets (+3) over STEELERS
Two things:
1. You may be familiar with the fact that the Jets were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks during training camp. Their mantra was to “win every fucking game.” So OK, that didn’t happen. But that’s the goal you must have. Seriously, why are you playing if you’re not trying to win each time? (You can question in-game coaching decisions when it comes to trying to win each one, but then you’re just getting cute) The Jets have

Can we just all go ahead and agree that Sex Ryan is a top five coach in the league now?

been in the business to win the Super Bowl. Obviously, that may be the goal of many teams in the NFL, but they are the only team that is comfortable with being open about it. I really think that having a championship mentality can be nothing but a good thing.

2. You may also be familiar with Ben Roethlisberger’s…um, exploits. Yes, I know that he has been punished by the NFL, and he was never found guilty of any of the accusations against him. I’m not really here to talk about that. Here’s my beef: Given his history, is fate really OK with giving the Super Bowl to the Steelers when their QB who was twice accused of sexual assault has a super creepy beard? Is that petty? Absolutely. But when you’ve looked at all the stats, history, and gotten alcohol poisoning from taking a drink each time someone uses the word “physical” during a football game, you have to look at the little things. This very little thing matters.

What you want to say is:HOW DARE YOU PICK AGAINST THE STEELERS!!! THEY ARE THE GREATEST FRANCHISE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS EARTH. SIX TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, THIS WILL BE NUMBER SEVEN WON BY QB #7!!! THIS MAKES ME ANGRY THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER PICK AGAINST MY FOOTBALL TEAM!!!

My response to that would be:Hey bro, lay off the Five Hour Energy. I know that I typed up a bunch of hyperbole about the Jets having a “winning mentality,” and the Steelers being doomed by Big Ben’s beard, but this game also falls under the “great hype falls hard!” theory. Seriously, that’s really what this comes down to for me. Too many people are way too excited about a Packers-Steelers Super Bowl. As great as this would be, there’s still one more game to play before that.

Not that this will be right, but I’ll give a score anyway:Jets 24, Steelers 20

We will be back next week with a look back at all of the dumb stuff I said about the NFL this season. Also, the annual “I Played The Super Bowl on Madden, So I Know Who Will Win FOR SURE” moment will probably warrant its own post. Enjoy the games!

My last post ever! Well, OK—if by “ever,” you mean “2010.”

I don’t wish to brag, but I will just come out and say it: this year was simply remarkable. I can’t think of any other way to put it. I got a lot of things done that I set out to do, like:
-Go to way too many baseball games (Check!)
-Attend a NASCAR race (Double check!)
-Maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship with The Lady (Check! I got engaged, so quintuple check?)
-Figure out what I want to do with my life (Check! I got in to grad school!)
-Run a 5k (Check!)
-Run in the Governor’s Cup (Check!)
-Watch way too much of the World Cup (OK, not really a “goal,” but it happened—so, check!)
-Blog effectively (Semi-check—need some work in this category)

No matter what way you slice it, things went well. However, there’s always room for improvement (and I’m not just talking about the Carolina Panthers). I’m not big on resolutions, (as a matter of fact, I’m pretty much against them) but there are some things that I’d like to pull off in 2011. So, here are a bunch of things that you better not try to ask me about some reasonable…focus points for 2011:

Maintain momentum
As you can see, I had a lot go right in 2010. While some of that can be attributed to good fortune, a lot of it was due to very hard work on my part. I took the time to get references and fill out the application for grad school. I trained for the 8k/5k races. I went to The Lady’s friends to get ideas on an engagement ring (that’s not as easy as it sounds). I mapped out the baseball games that I would go to (which is actually kind of pathetic). It’s really important to not get complacent just because things are going my way. It would be wise to not experience any sort of hangover. We see how that’s working out for the Lakers right now, don’t we?

Develop some sort of resemblance of…focus
I am the most absent-minded person on this planet. If you are raising your hand to disagree, just save yourself the time. I’m awful. I really do have trouble focusing on a single task at one time. I’m sure this happens to other people, but I’m very confident that I’m on another level. Sure, I can used the “I get bored easily!” excuse. But that’s not really fair. I should be better in this category. I’m almost certain that in order for me to maintain my momentum that I “worked so hard” to create. However, the fact that it’s taken me about three hours to write this entry isn’t really a good start, is it?

Gain clarity
This is really more in reference to…religion. I grew up in church, and let’s just say that I’ve experienced a few “fire and brimstone” sermons. No, it’s not for everyone. But now that I’ve grown up and lived a little, there are a lot of things that just…don’t make sense to me. Don’t worry, this isn’t the place for me to list those…concerns. But I really think that I need to gain some clarity here, and it’s not as simple as just “going to church” and “reading your Bible.” As long as this clarity doesn’t result in me joining a re-creation of Heaven’s Gate, I think that this will only be positive.

Develop confidence
In a shocking twist, I am not very good at debating sports with other…people who know about sports. It’s easy to force my opinion on people who don’t really have an opinion on the matter. But if I get in a debate with someone who may know a couple of things about that particular sport, I tend to buckle, mumble, and do everything to look like the biggest dumbass out there. But, um, I may or may not be going to Valparaiso to study Sports Media…so this is probably something that I need to be better with. And soon.

I think those are four very reasonable goals! Now, just as I thought that my NFL pick ’em idea with The Lady was ready to blow up in my face, I went 11-5 last week!! I’m up three in the Race For A Dinner Date. This week’s slate will be tough, since a lot of teams will be “resting its starters” (yeah, thanks a lot, guys). If I can just not suck this week, I like my chances:
(home team in caps)
FALCONS (-14.5) over Panthers (It’s been real, John Fox)
STEELERS (-6.5) over Browns
LIONS (-3.5) over Vikings
CHIEFS (-3.5) over Raiders
Dolphins (+3.5) over PATRIOTS
RAVENS (-9.5) over Bengals
SAINTS (-7.5) over Bucs
Bills (+2.5) over JETS
Bears (+10.5) over PACKERS
COLTS (-9.5) over Titans
Giants (-3.5) over REDSKINS
TEXANS (-.5) over Jags
Cardinals (+6.5) over 49ERS (Hey Vegas: The Niners suck. Stop making us think otherwise.)
BRONCOS (+3.5) over Chargers
Rams (+2.5) over SEAHAWKS

(No longer putting my actual record here because it’s…bad. But just know that I’ve picked 118 games against the spread correctly this season; The Lady has picked 115).