(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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I’m going to assume that my post lamenting the NBA lockout was the sole reason that said lockout ended. Anyway, the sudden change of heart by players and owners (the latter of which getting pretty much what they wanted all along) has me scrambling to do an NBA preview. So, with the help of my NBA guru Mike Baker, we’re going to run a little Two Man Game to answer the questions you should be asking for the upcoming NBA season.

(Two Man Game is a term often used during a basketball telecast. It’s usually a guard working with a “big man” (center, forward) to make a play on offense. This phrase is so popular, commentators use it for women’s basketball too! (Really, they do.) Anyway, I figured that I should give you some background for where the title came from. Anyway, let’s talk some basketball!!!)

1. Did the lockout cause you to lose or gain interest in the NBA?
Mike: I love the NBA. Admittedly I was bitter (mostly at the owners) but it helped me to realize just how much life would suck had there not been a season. If anything, I gained more interest as to how the business of the NBA works.

Jordy: I think it’s a little bit of both. I was fascinated at the level of disrespect that each side seemed to have for each other, and I lamented the fact that I would be stuck with watching college basketball all season (That’s not a fair trade). But this lockout confirmed my belief that no sports league is really out to please fans. There’s no way. Case in point: NBA League Pass allows you to see nearly every game that does not come on national television. The league is playing a shortened season, and coming off a bitter lockout. Guess what? You’ll be paying the same amount for League Pass! The NBA spits in the face and LOLs at your positive press. Sure, I’m still riveted. But it’s definitely with a raised eyebrow this time around.

2. The Clippers have been terrible for 30 years. Does adding Chris Paul really make them relevant (As in, “They’re a contender!”) now?
Mike: On paper, the Clippers look GREAT! But, so did D-Wade, LeBron and Posh Spice, er, Chris Bosh. Yes, they have talent but they have yet to play ball together. Contenders? Not quite yet, I say 2nd round playoffs at best.

Yes, now the Clippers are relevant because of this guy. Really?


Jordy: (Wow, Posh Spice was a low blow!) I hate this question. Of course, I asked it…so whatever. As much as I want to dismiss this question altogether, it was fascinating to see the Clippers on the court (albeit in a preseason game). There are many different ways that they can use Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul together. However, this doesn’t change the fact that…Vinny Del Negro is the coach! So, my answer is still an emphatic “no” until there’s a coaching change.

3. Which teams will benefit the most from the shortened, frenetic season?
Mike: I’d have to say the almighty Celtics (I’m trying not to be biased even though it may seem like it because that’s my team). In all honesty, the team is not old, it’s just the main parts of the engine are a little dated. The lockout helped to get Pierce, KG and Ray a significant amount of rest and time to ready their bodies for another season, albeit a 66 game season. The team already has chemistry but the problem last season was the postseason push after a long, grueling season and losing major components to the team chemistry because of injury. The time away from the court should help them have the required energy to make a final postseason run while these 3 future HOF’ers utilize the last in their drawn out tanks.

Jordy: If I use the NFL lockout as a premise, I would think a team with an established (and proven) system in place. Also, I tend to believe that said team would have something to prove. I present to you…the Miami Heat! I’ll remind you that the Heat had the second best record in the East last season, and were two wins away from winning an NBA championship. With all the LeBron slander that took place during the off-season, I’m almost certain that he’s looking to deliver this year. That entire team has something to prove. Watch out, folks.

4. Which team(s) will suffer the most from the shortened, frenetic season?
Mike: I have to say L.A.’s team…the Clippers (go figure!!). Easy explanation: CP3 signed less than a month before season tip-off, the tremendous amount of attention and pressure brought forth by the media and fans, and absolutely zero time to mesh as a cohesive unit. Thus far, they seem pretty good in the pre-season, but how will it all work out when the games matter?

But wait, L.A.’s other team (yes, I said other), the Lakers, are in a jam because of the shortened season as well. Why? Two words: Mike Brown. He has had zero time to implement his coaching style to format the Lakers. And let’s be honest here, Mike Brown is not the guy L.A. needs. However, he’s the coach and how will he substitute The Zen’s triangle offense and disciplined defensive strategies? All I know is the Lakers will be quite frustrated this season without lack of direction from the coaching staff.

Jordy: I think I’m stealing this from someone, but I’d say…the Rockets. Remember that first Chris Paul trade? Part of it involved the Rockets getting Pau Gasol. Daryl Morey (the GM) had been lining up assets to make a move like that for the past two or three seasons. Now what? I would imagine that they’re a fringe playoff team still, but it never helps when there are three guys on your team that you couldn’t trade…and are still on the team. Another team that might suffer is Orlando. This Dwight Howard mess is going to ruin that team. And it’s not like they had a lot of mental toughness to begin with.

5. What will it take for LeBron to “bounce back” this season?
Mike: Rogaine. Oops, thought I thought I read something about his hairline in that question. Truthfully, LeBron is still someone I would not like to face down the 4th quarter stretch. Yes, he’s had his late game woes as of late, especially in games that are critical, but let’s not forget the tremendous amount of talent this young man possesses. Two-time MVP (back-to-back at that…we could also list a Biblical scroll length of other accomplishments) with a major chip on his shoulder. He’s also a two-time Finals loser…sounds like more than enough motivation to me to finally complete his championship mission.

Jordy: I was about to make a joke about his hairline, but then I looked in the mirror at my own thinning hair and thought better of it. I’m tempted to say things like “a post up game” or “a killer instinct”. But I think the main thing that would help is a defined role. Is he a decoy for Wade? Should he try to play inside and late Wade take the perimeter? Should everyone defer to him since his passing skills are top-notch? One thing that I didn’t take into consideration last year is that all of what the Heat did pretty much happened on the fly. If LeBron knows and accepts his role, then the things we’ve seen him do well can happen at the right time (specifically at the end of the game).

6. Should the Knicks be taken seriously this year?
Mike: Yes. The Knicks have two of the best young players in the league in Carmelo and Amare’ and they have put in work as a unit. The addition of Tyson Chandler helps the Knicks to establish a low post presence and help on the boards for when Melo jacks up shot after shot. Look for the Knicks to be a 2 or 3 seed this season coming out of the East. I believe they are a solid point guard away from Finals talk.

These guys are legit. The rest of the team? Uh...


Jordy: I’d say kind of. Chris Webber mentioned the Knicks as a “sleeper” team in the East. Perhaps he was asleep when the Knicks made the playoffs last year. Sure, Tyson Chandler is a nice addition. But have you seen him ever create his own shot? Also, how many times has the “player who played great in a contract year, then got a large contract” scenario worked out? I think Amare’ and Carmelo are obviously elite players, but I’m not sure if this is the most cohesive unit around. We’ll see how they play with the heightened expectations. I think they’ll finish better than they did last year, but that was probably going to happen anyway.

7. What team are people not talking about, but should be?
Mike: OKC. Look, this is arguably the best young team with the most upside in the league. Durant is a bona fide star fresh off a worldwide tour of basketball destruction during the summer (also my pick for MVP). Westbrook is one of the most athletic guards in the league, he has faults with shot selection and decision-making, but he’s young. Perkins is healthy and a defensive low post presence, and Harden is emerging as a legitimate threat. They’ve got size and athleticism in Ibaka and the Thunder bench is capable of sustaining the game when the starters are resting. They had a great playoff run last season. This team is dangerous. Since no one is talking about them now, then later in the season I will have the last laugh when everyone is.

Jordy: The Chicago Bulls! I think they have the reigning MVP, right? Also, Carlos Boozer hasn’t hurt himself shaving (yet). And they didn’t lose anyone from their rotation. I also remember that they lost in the conference finals. Surely they’re better than the Clippers/Knicks/Celtics/any other team you’ve been hearing about this offseason. I’m not saying that they’re going to win the title, but I do think that they should be taken a lot more seriously than they’re being taken at this point.

8. Finish the sentence: Because of his impending divorce, Kobe Bryant will ___________
Mike: Holler at Kim Kardashian so he can double date with Lamar and Khloe. Kobe will be with Kim for more than 72 days. Kris Humphries is no Kobe Bryant.

Jordy: Win MVP. And probably average 35 points per game.

9. Dallas Mavericks: Flash in the pan, or favorites?
Mike: I was thinking that they were favorites, but with Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea gone, the Mavs are missing a few sparks. Not to mention, they are a bit aged in comparison to other teams and Father Time just added another year onto their lives. Also with the lockout, I believe it does hinder some momentum from last year’s championship run. Defending their title won’t be easy, in fact it will be even more difficult for them, but I believe they won’t repeat. But they still will fight tooth & nail in playoff series.

That's unity, y'all.


Jordy: By default, I say that they’re the favorites until they lose in the playoffs (or don’t make it). The Game has a line in his song “Game” (so cleverly titled) where he touts the value of Lamar Odom. And he has a point. When Lamar gives a crap, he provides value with scoring, rebounding and passing. Since Barea didn’t play THAT much anyway, and since Tyson Chandler provided an inside presence only, I really think that the Mavericks having Odom balances those losses. Also, this looks like a group that really enjoyed winning it all. I tend to believe that a desire to do it all again is there. So, yes, I think they’re still a favorite.

10. Predictions!
Mike: (And his self-titled “Especially Suspect Predictions”)
MVP-Kevin Durant
ROY-Kyrie Irving
Western Conference champs-Oklahoma City over Dallas in 7 games
Eastern Conference champs-Miami over Chicago in 6 games
NBA champion-Miami over Oklahoma City in 5 games

Ladies and gentlemen, your Rookie of the Year. I think.


Jordy: (Predictions sure to go wrong)
MVP-Kobe Bryant
ROY-Jimmer Fredette
Western champs-Denver over Dallas in 6 games (Tebow magic is everywhere, guys)
Eastern champs-Miami over Boston in 7 games
NBA champion-Miami over Denver in 4 games
(Really, Jordy? Denver?!!!?)

I know disclaimers are dumb, but so are people. This is going to be a long post. If you were looking for sports talk, you should probably skip this post (It’s okay, I’ll be back at some point with an NBA preview!). I am not a fitness expert, nor am I endorsing Weight Watchers/Nike+/any product I may happen to mention. If you want to get serious about fitness/weight loss, you should talk to your doctor or a paid professional. Make sure you have a plan in place, and that you are taking up a lifestyle change (because that’s what this is) for the right reasons.

Okay, so I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about exercise and body image at some point over the course of having a blog. But I’ve never really put those two things together. (Then again, why would I?) Of course, my idea of a “diet” was drinking a Slim Fast…as a beverage along with a cheeseburger and fries. (How was I supposed to know that it was supposed to be a meal replacement???)

If you checked the link about body image, you know the back back story: I was somewhere around 50 pounds heavier than I am now. I was able to drop the weight, but I’ve always been in a “Well I work out all the time, so I can eat whatever the hell I want!” phase. Even when the number started to climb a little, I thought, “Well, I’ll just run more and cut down on the beer and not eat fast food for a couple of weeks.” Yeah, that didn’t go so well. Sure, my biceps were still bulging, but 180 on a “5’6ish” guy isn’t the best look if said guy isn’t a…running back.

This was me nine weeks ago. RIP, beard.

I knew that I needed to become honest with what I was eating. However, I wasn’t looking to go on a diet. So, I decided to give Weight Watchers a try.* The program “seemed” easy enough: I have a daily number of points for food, and if I was to go over that daily allowance, I had a weekly number of points to use (49, if you dare to care). There are multiple ways to track your progress (from writing it down to using the website to even using the mobile app). Also, the fact that I was already physically active helped. I could gain additional points (to use for food) when I worked out.

The most important part of Weight Watchers has been that I’ve had to become accountable for what I eat. I’m a guy who loves to snack (which makes me like, um, everybody else, I hope). But two cookies or a handful of Chex Mix or chips are usually just going to make me more hungry. Instead of doing that, I opted for fruit (also, no points!). It was rewarding to see that the choices I was making were bringing positive results.

I started Weight Watchers nine weeks ago at 179.6 pounds. My most recent weigh in (this past Tuesday) had me at 163.6. That’s a pretty big drop, right? Not only do I see a noticeable difference, I feel better. I have more endurance for my workouts. I don’t hate eating fruit or vegetables. Even my small jeans are too big. Apparently, each pound of weight you lose drops four pounds of pressure off your knees. I think my old man balky sometimes sore left knee appreciates that. Now, I’m not sure if Weight Watchers is something that is going to work for everyone. But the resources that the program offers can put you in a position to succeed. You’re also around people who can relate to your experience, which is always a plus.

And now I'm jumping for joy! Good thing you don't see the part where I land on my face.

*I went to a personal trainer once, and he told me that while I may think that I can get fit on my own, chances are I won’t be able to. (In a related story, that guy was an asshole) It turns out, that he was somewhat right. I’m a highly motivated person, but it’s taken a lot more than me to get to this point. I cannot take credit for my progress without acknowledging my advantages, like:
-A job with an on-site gym and enthusiastic trainers
-An inner enjoyment of being physically active
-A girlfriend who’s willing to go to the park/neighborhood/apartment gym to work out with you
-Friends who respect (and not condemn) your food and fitness choices
-A job that offers Weight Watchers meetings at work
-Lots of motivation through fitness communities on Twitter/Facebook
Sure, I’ve put in a lot of work. But I’ve had a lot of help. While it’s possible to achieve fitness results on your own, you shouldn’t have to. I don’t think that everyone needs a drill sergeant, but I do think that the more support you have, the better.

So, where do I go from here? (To the buffet!) I think I’m like everyone else when I say that part of me worries about gaining the weight back. But I plan on sticking with Weight Watchers for the foreseeable future, mainly because it’s actually kind of fun to log my eating and physical activity. I’ve got a foundation of healthy habits that I want to keep. Knowing that I have the ability to continue those habits is rewarding on its own, but still worth the challenge.

Feel free to share your stories/experiences with weight loss/working to get more fit below! Have you found a plan that works? Are you looking for ideas/motivation/just a place to vent? Feel free to leave a comment.

I’ve been wanting to write about both of these guys for a while now. So, consider it a double treat.

By popular request, here I am Tebowing for the strength to write this post.

Tim Tebow: Just let it ride, y’all.
I’m pretty sure that I’m a Tebowmaniac. No, I’m not convinced that he can lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. Frankly, I don’t know if he could lead the Broncos to eight wins. However, I firmly believe that he belongs in the NFL, and this “thing” that he’s currently doing (It’s like snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, but more like actually going down the throat of defeat and yanking victory out of defeat’s esophagus) is working, whether I want to admit that or not. People talk about the “it” factor in sports often (probably too much). Somehow, Tim Tebow has been able to get his teammates, the city, and the most polarizing sports pundit in America to believe in him. That’s remarkable.

You may be surprised to know that Aaron Rodgers has 31 touchdown passes against just four interceptions this year. Or that there are four quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 3000 yards already this season. None of this has really mattered since Tim Tebow has entered the equation. I can honestly admit that his “classic quarterback” pedigree is nearly nonexistent. He’s not an accurate passer. Only Taylor Martinez has a worse throwing motion (probably on the entire planet). As a matter of fact, the reason why he runs so much (and has the 7:1 TD:INT ratio) is because he rarely throws it. Even with his success and popularity, it seems that the Broncos are still hoping to find a front-line quarterback in next year’s draft (Of course, you can’t convince me that John Elway knows what he’s doing yet, Von Miller not withstanding). It’s not fair to mention Tebow’s success without pointing out his shortcomings.

Even with his shortcomings, (and the notion that he did not “earn” the starting QB position in Denver) he is still the most discussed player in the NFL right now. The fascination with Tebow has carried over from college, and because the NFL is so popular, Tebow has infiltrated the mainstream. Peter King shared an email that he got from a guy who overheard two other guys in London arguing about Tebow’s merits as a quarterback. After Thursday night’s game, I posted this on Facebook:

Here’s my thing on Tebow: He’s the outlier. He can’t hit open receivers, his throwing motion looks like a root canal I think, but he makes things happen. No rhyme or reason. BUT WE DON’T NEED ONE. Just let the good, really unbelievable times roll.

I followed that up with this:

People spend so much time talking about how he can’t throw. Or how bad he looks out on the field. Or how they would be offended if they only threw 8 passes in a game (SHUT UP STEVE YOUNG). Sometimes, there are things you can’t explain. I’ve been watching football for 20 years, and I sure as hell can’t explain THIS. So…I won’t. I’ll just watch and spaz out on Twitter when Tebow does what he did in the fourth quarter tonight.

I’m not saying that you should do exactly as I have (though the world would be a better place if you did!) when it comes to Tebow. But whether we like it or not, this Tebow wave will last for as long as he’s in the NFL. Instead of letting it affect your blood pressure, just let. It. Ride.

Dabo Swinney
I’m going to put it on the table, folks: Dabo Swinney is my favorite coach in any sport. Ever. That is pretty delusional coming from someone who roots for the Gamecocks. (But Clemson is our RIVAL, right? Well, “they’ve” beaten “us” almost twice as many times as “we’ve” beaten “them”…so it’s really difficult for me to really have any hatred toward Clemson.) Here’s a little trivia about Dabo: His real name is William Swinney. He got the name “Dabo” from his family because his brother was trying to say “that boy”–but apparently “Dabo” came out instead (and yes, I got that from Wikipedia, so I “know it’s real”).

I’m not sure what the general consensus on Swinney is. Opinions seem to range from “he’s a bumbling idiot who’s nothing more than a glorified cheerleader” to “he’s only good because he has Rob Spence as an offensive coordinator!” Three thoughts here:
1. Swinney majored in business administration at Alabama, and was on the All-SEC Honor Roll team in college.
2. The Tigers were in the ACC conference championship in 2009. It’s not like they suddenly got good.
3. Sure, we’ve seen Happy Dabo. Even more than once. Is this really supposed to be a bad thing?

I’m sold on the guy. This is really cliche, but Clemson really seems to take on the personality of their coach. When they’re playing well, they’re full of energy. It’s almost like they come in an unstoppable wave. At the end of the game, there’s Dabo saying something that will get you fired up (or at least that’s the intent). Maybe I’m just used to Mr. Fidgety I Usually Hate What My Team Is Doing (Steve Spurrier). Maybe I’m easily influenced. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, I think it’s time that you should start appreciating him. He’s a breath of fresh air to the tight-lipped coaches that are full of football speak.

(Of course, if this Daboslurp I’m pulling results in a Gamecock victory Saturday, then I’ll do this every year.)

How are Tebow and Dabo related? Well, most of their detractors are convinced that both are all hype. Also, I seem to work myself up in a pretty good lather whenever talking about either individual. Also, they’re white men who have mentioned Jesus in postgame interviews. That’s four things! So, obviously this post makes complete sense! I’m sure that your minds are already made up about either guy. But it’s nice to see another point of view…every few years or so.

What are your thoughts on Tim Tebow? What about Dabo Swinney? Do you think that either person will ever be properly evaluated by fans/journalists/critics?

Somebody give Baron Davis (green plaid shirt) a hug. And a job.

You may have noticed that there are no NBA games being played tonight. Or last night. Or the night before. Or tomorrow. Or all weekend. Like many people, you may be completely apathetic toward the lockout. It’s time to snap out of that feeling.

I’ll admit it. I miss the NBA. A lot. Last season was absolutely amazing. From Derrick Rose making the big leap, to the Lakers being wiped out of the NBA like Paris Hilton out of the limelight, to LeBron taking two steps forward then three steps back in the playoffs, to the Mavericks(??!!!!??) winning it all…last year had a little of everything. Good thing holding on to memories is kind of my thing.

I’m not the only one who misses the NBA. I asked my buddy Mike for how he feels about a lack of NBA in his life: “The sound of squeaking sneakers against hardwood courts echoes throughout the arena. No, you’re favorite NBA player isn’t the chopping down the ankles of some hotshot rookie fresh of a mutli-milion dollar endorsement deal for his signature line of shoes ( “For $150 a pair, you can look cool even when getting schooled!”). Rather, those are the sounds of the broken in Chuck Taylor’s that the arena janitor wears while cleaning the floor. IF you haven’t heard, the NBA is about as non-existent right now as Melo’s distribution game. Or better yet, LeBron’s late game heroics. Or even…wait, I’m getting a little emotional at the mere mentioning of these guys. With the lockout steadfast, we won’t know if the Mavericks are one hit wonders or repeat bound (we’ll miss Dirk’s un-guardable jumper along with Mark Cuban’s antics). We don’t get to see how the Miami Heat fare in it’s hopes of claiming not 1, not 2, not 3 (you get the point) championship banners. Can the Bulls pull it together in the playoffs? We aren’t given the opportunity to see if Mike D’Antoni’s run & gun coaching approach works with Melo, Amare’ and the rest of the Knicks (besides Billups, name someone else….I’m waiting). The Celtics aren’t given another (I stress that word) season to recapture the glory of their new Big 3 days. Are the Lakers too old to contend? Will this be the year Kevin Durant wins an MVP and lead the Thunder to the Promised Land? If you ask the NBA’s owners and players, these statements and questions really don’t matter. What matters is money. What matters is greed. Ask David Stern and 53/47 odds he agrees about not caring or holds a meeting about changing those odds to 55/45. The arena workers & small businesses located within arena proximity, league & team employees, and fans have no regard as far as the NBA is concerned. NBA Cares? Hardly. No Christmas games, All-Star Weekend, late playoff pushes or dramatic 7 game series. Basketball went from a game to a business, and we all managed to lose (embrace the irony; makes perfect sense). But all these questions, our complaining and sense of loss can vanish in the blink of a last second, half court heave. If the ball falls in the basket when the buzzer sounds and an agreement between owners and players is reached, we celebrate with champagne. A salvaged season is better than no season. But if that shot misses, then we’ll be left like every other team who has ever lost: there’s always next year………..hopefully. Until then, your simulated season on NBA 2K12 will have to suffice.”

There’s probably not going to be a season. Not only did the players reject the most recent offer by the owners, there are no plans to meet anytime soon. I’m going to throw out the thought that neither side WANTS to meet. So, here we are in what David Stern calls the “nuclear winter” of the NBA season. That’s…lame.

Of course, you wouldn’t know that there was an ongoing labor dispute with one of the major sporting leagues (Thanks a lot, Penn State!) thanks to an up and running football season (Hey, have you heard of that Tim Tebow guy? Man, he sucks!). I asked on Facebook to rate how much you cared about the lockout on a scale of one to ten. I think the average score as a 2.5—and that’s being nice. What’s been most appalling to me is that people are happy to talk about how they don’t care about the lockout. Sure, you don’t have to be a fan of the NBA. You could be one of the delusional types that actually believes that college basketball is better (It’s okay, I’ll just pray for you). But that doesn’t mean that this lockout won’t have long reaching effects.

Mild digression, hang on: (I think the thing that upsets me the most about the lukewarm reaction is how much people DON’T know. I was browsing a Facebook post from a local television station based in Columbia, SC. They asked if people cared about the lockout. As expected, most of the response was “I don’t care!” Now, it’s debatable whether I should expect people from South Carolina to be smart. But the “based on no proof” responses got my blood boiling. Someone said, “I think it’s so selfish when players strike”. But…it’s not a strike. The players are being locked out by the owners. This means that the OWNERS DON’T WANT THE PLAYERS TO PLAY UNTIL THEY [players] AGREE TO THEIR DEMANDS [owners]. THAT. IS. NOT. A STRIKE. Another person noted how the players should get over it since they’re getting million dollar checks. Well, that would be nice—if it were true. Of course, my favorite comment mentioned how these were all overpaid thugs. Lines like that make me wish that they did censor the Internet. No, really.)

I’m going to try to explain the dispute in a nutshell: The collective bargaining agreement that was in place was quite favorable to the players. (Of course, that’s kind of a moot point, since we like the NBA because of…um, the players in it) The owners wanted to have more of the BRI (basketball related income—raise your hand if you knew that before I just said it) in order to create more “competitive balance.” The owners (and David Stern, who represents them as commissioner) have offered a 50-50 split of the BRI, with reductions in guaranteed contracts, among other concessions. The players have rejected every offer put forth by the owners, which doesn’t really…help. At all.

I think that both sides are full of themselves. The owners are already rich, no one on that side is going to miss a meal. It’s no one’s fault that they put idiots in charge of their teams…idiots who think it’s okay to give Joe Johnson and Rashard Lewis 100+ million dollar contracts. (Don’t know who those guys are? THAT’S THE POINT) Also, the idea of competitive balance is silly. The Bulls were good because they drafted well and made smart choices in adding talent through trades and free agency. But it took a while. The Bobcats are bad because they drafted college players who were popular in the state of North Carolina, and trade away anyone who actually contributed in multiple areas. Changing the way the money is distributed won’t change the way that the Bulls and Bobcats are run as respective franchises.

However, the players are full of themselves too. I’m not going to throw out the word “greedy”, because these are the best basketball players on the planet. Professional athletes as a whole make lots of money, yes. But…once again, they’re the best in the world at what they do. Anyway, the American public as a whole has had to make concessions over the past few years. Many companies are cutting pensions, no longer matching 401(k), (in some places) going to higher insurance premiums, (or no insurance at all) and laying off employers left and right. We’ve had to give back more and get less. Why can’t these guys do the same? Do they not realize that the offers will only get worse? Do they want to play at all this year? Some players were running a #letusplay campaign on Twitter. Hey guys, here’s a way to play: ACCEPT THE OFFER FROM THE OWNERS. Wait, too late.

Look, there are legitimate reasons to care about the lockout. The players have decided to de-certify the union, and try to take the owners to court. This happened during the NFL lockout (which could have ended with the players being forced to play without pads or helmets, yet no one would care because WE GOT FOOTBALL BACK EVEN THOUGH IT DIDN’T GO AWAY). Taking it to the courts actually made things worse in the NFL lockout. When unions don’t get their way, I’m sure they’ll think to de-certify (Maybe they won’t, BUT JUST LET ME FEAR MONGER YOU). Of course, that won’t help things. Also, there are plenty of other people (people working in the concession stands, cheerleaders, um…other people behind the scenes!) who don’t have jobs because of this lockout. More unemployment is EXACTLY WHAT THIS ECONOMY NEEDS. Oh, wait, that’s not true?

Of course, I’m an outlier. I will absolutely be there to watch when the NBA comes back. Of course, I watched when the MLB came back from the strike. In a related story, I once woke up at 4 in the morning to catch a live tennis match. Set my alarm, even. So, there’s no doubt that I’m going to be back. But what the NBA doesn’t realize is that Mike and I are in the minority. Those comments I saw on Facebook seem to be the norm. The NBA really blew it by not figuring this thing out before it was too late. If David Stern thinks that this is a nuclear winter now, just wait until things get “resolved”. The toxic nature is going to be coming from the fans that were left by the wayside.

The return of CAPs!!!!

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Exercise, Fitness, Lifestyle

I’ve been in a push up mood over the past few days. Last night, I turned suicidal figured I’d try to do push ups for points scored by both teams in last night’s Oregon-Stanford game. (Works like this, if Oregon scores seven, seven push ups, if they get to 10 or 14, then 10/14 push ups, and so on) Well, I actually enjoyed it. (In a related story, I think I like pain)

If you’re not familiar with CAPs, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. Today’s push up involves a squat. Goes a little like this:
1. Start in a squat position.
2. While squatting, lean forward until your hands are on the floor, keeping your squat position.
3. Push your body from the floor back into the squatted position.
4. Repeat. Do this for one minute.

If this explanation doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry! I’ve got video evidence that this push up is possible. Enjoy! Because uploading videos to WordPress is somehow outlawed, you should be able to view this on my side blog. Good luck!

This is probably the best picture I could find. Kinda cool, eh?

While my job involves taking calls for a cell phone company, I wouldn’t really call myself an expert. So, please take all of what I’m saying with a grain of salt. So, there.

So, by the time you’re reading this post, (probably) I will have become an official user of an iPhone. I’ve been using Android phones (specifically the ‘Droid”* line of phones—the OG, Droid 2, and Droid Bionic).

*Allow me to digress for just a moment. Unless you own one of these phones, (the OG Droid, Droid Eris, Droid 2/D2 Global, and Droid Incredible included) YOU DO NOT OWN A DROID. You own a phone that operates on the Android OS. That’s it. So, stop claiming #teamdroid on Twitter when you’re working with an EVO/MyTouch/Galaxy S/et al. I know that this is petty, but I’m all about telling the truth.

I’ve stuck with Android and resisted the flirtations of Blackberry of iOS and Windows Phone (sleep on the Microsoft boys if you want, but that OS is pretty solid). I’ve rooted my phone, added custom ROMs, done snapshots, stolen free Wi-Fi for my computer—I did all the cool things. Of course, I also tweeted/listened to music/blogged/listened to the first and last pitch of the MLB season also. All the fun things. So why change that? Well…

Agony, thy name is Force Close.
If you’ve had an Android phone, you’ve seen it. It could be Tweetdeck. The Calendar. Gmail. The DIALER. The Browser. Facebook. Text Messaging. If it’s something on your phone, it’s probably force closed before. Why does this happen? Sure, you have the easy reasons (maybe you need to clear the cache on your Twitter app, maybe you have too many text messages saved, maybe they need to do an Occupy Force Close also…the “reasons” are endless). But, the dialer? Really? Text messaging? The stock keyboard? That’s not supposed to happen.

Hey, why don’t you just stay on for a change?
Sure, if your battery is dead, then the phone should power down. (You’d be surprised to know that this is not that well-known of a fact) But with a full charge? When the phone is just sitting there? When you want to listen to a podcast? When you’re trying to snap a photo of someone in a Neil O’Donnell Jets jersey? Yeah, that’s not the business, folks.

The apps are better. Stop joking.
Sure, this is probably subjective. But I’ll give you a list of applications where this rings true:
-Spotify
-MLB At Bat
-Watch ESPN
-Foursquare
-Facebook
Those are popular applications. They’re all better on the iPhone. Also, notice how all the messaging applications mimic the bubble style conversation that is so popular on, that’s right…the iPhone? Yeah, that’s not a mistake.

It works!
As you read earlier, I take calls for a cell phone company. I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever gotten a call from someone with a software problem on their iPhone (or iPad, for that matter). Frozen screens? Nope. Keyboard suddenly disappearing just because you hit the space bar? None of that. That’s…kind of a big deal.

So, okay, maybe this isn’t enough to sway you. Think about this: Google and Samsung are unveiling the next version of the Android OS (and the fancy Galaxy Nexus) next week. Most people (and most of those people are Android fanboys) see this as the phone that will finally topple the iPhone. We do realize that it’s taken about four years, right? Now, don’t get me wrong—I LOVE the things that I can do on an Android phone. I can make things look pretty much however I may be feeling that day. And, if I don’t like it, I can go to something else quickly. The Android movement has been swift and relatively stunning. But none of that matters when the phone doesn’t stay powered on. Or if it freezes to the point that you have to take the battery out. You shouldn’t have to take your battery out of the phone, folks. Power it down? Sure. But still. The biggest difference for me in iOS is that the thing WORKS. I can’t say the same for Android. So, again, it’s been fun Android, but I’m leaving you for an iPhone. I’ll miss you a little bit, if that means anything.