Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mind-Blowing Wikipedia Game, Try For Yourself!


I don't get the picture either.  So here's the deal:  my roommate Will just informed me of a crazy phenomenon on Wikipedia.  Is it as good as the Wikipedia Game?  Probably not, but its definitely way more interesting.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Wikipedia Game, you and a friend square off by trying to connect to really obscure things (for instance, peanut butter and the Miami Heat) through clicking different links inside the pages til you end up at the desired page.  Fewest amount of clicks will win the game.

But say you don't have any friends, what do you do?  The game is way less fun by yourself, so here's the new mind-blowing game to try out.  Start at anything you want.  As a test, I tried Bruce Vilanch, Steve-O and "jacket."  Click the first link on every page that is after the parentheses following the main word.  So for Vilanch, the first paragraph reads:

Bruce Vilanch (born November 23, 1948) is an American comedy writer, songwriter and actor.[1] He is a six-time Emmy Award-winner. Vilanch is best known to the public for his four-year stint on Hollywood Squares, as a celebrity participant; in the entertainment industry he is best known as head writer for the show.[2] In 2000, he performed off-Broadway in his self-written one-man show, Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous.

Our first link would be Emmy Award.  So just keep clicking away, and no matter how long it takes, no matter how many clicks, you will always end up at the same page -- Philosophy.  Go out and give it a whirl.

Seven Psycopaths Trailer



Just gonna let the trailer do the talking here.  Movie comes out October 12th, and my roommates and I will most likely be seeing it that weekend.  Doesn't get much better than Christopher Walken, really.  Don't believe me?



Now you do.

Tom Brady's Wicked Accent



Great video all around.  It hurts to post this following a Patriots stomping of the Bills in Week 4, but after a long weekend away up in Nashua, NH, its always nice to come back to a video that I cued up to be posted a few days ago.  My laziness benefits the masses.  Success.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Update



Ladies and Germs! It's been a productive week here at ThreeifbyStrike with only more to come so keep checking in and we'll keep throwing it down.  On the off chance that your at home reading blogs and haven't got plans for the day, don't worry, there's tons to do in Boston this weekend. Here's a rundown:
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Never been to the North End?! Whaddaya allergic to cannolis or somethin'? Never fear, there's a free adult field trip going on today starring Hanover Street, and the rest of Boston's Little Italy. Go ahead and explore the tiny streets, tinier holes in the wall, and try not to buy a slice or scoop of gelato. End the day on a trip to the bar with the rest of the group. Don't forget to keep an eye on your buddy; it's a system old as time, it's for your safety and it works. A buddy never leaves a buddy behind.
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It's the last weekend in September and if your over 21 then Harpoon Brewery is the place to celebrate the beginning of fall, the start of Octobeard and oh yeah, OKTOBERFEST!  $20 gets you through the gates, 2 beer tickets and a free Harpoon glass at this yearly Autumn shindig.   Slip into ole Grand-Poppa Wolfhausen's lederhosen, pop a chicken hat on your dome, stick a sausage in your mouth and suck beers at Boston proper's biggest brewery. That ooomm-paaah beats gots me going crazy! 2-9pm at the Harpoon Brewery.  Red line it to South Station and hop on the free shuttle until you can smell beer and Germans.
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No dough for Oktoberfest? Not enough clams for pastries and bar festivities? Come check out Purity Ring at for free from 6-9pm on Northeastern's Quad. Peep the deets here and check out my intro to why you should be keeping up with these guys progress. Did I mention that the percussionist plays a beat/lightshow machine that he built himself?
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Sunday's are for football and brunch. It's a formula that's been around since Drew Bledsoe at least and this Football Sunday's shaping up to be an exciting one for ThreeifbyStrike.  Bills vs. Pats battle it out in Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium while Jon and I battle it out at the Harp.  With CJ Spiller listed as questionable and the Pat's whole offense looking probable in past weeks it's gonna be a show fe sho. 
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Now it's been some time since Jon and I started our internet video battle and as near as I can tell the field's looking very even at the moment...which I hate. We're gonna need some viewer input on this one and let the people decide who's the best at mining internet gold.  The rules are simple: most views, comments, or votes wins and chooses a Boston based Gentlemen's bet for punishment. Here are my ideas for things I would love to see Jon do:

1.Take a picture with your pants off anywhere besides a bathroom in the MFA.

2.Try to finish a Boston food challenge, Spike's, Tasty Burger, or any on this list from boston.cbslocal.com. Loser's choice.

3. Ride any two MBTA Lines from start to end in one day. Blue and Orange? Red and Green? Do you go for speed or distance? Loser's choice.

Click on my offering HERE and ignore Jon's HERE. Leave comments, repost everywhere and click click click away. We'll put up a vote on the sidebar soon and whip our mathematician's into figuring out who wins Ye' Olde Internet Video Battle once and for all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September Must See's: The Master, Sleepwalk with Me, Looper



September has been a great month to watch movies. Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk with Me," P.T. Anderson's "The Master" and Rian Johnson's "Looper" are some of the cream of the crop if you're thinking about taking in a flick anytime soon.

Sleepwalk With Me - Comedian Mike Birbiglia tells the story of his struggle finding his feet as a comedian while dealing with the end of a long term relationship and a rapidly developing sleepwalking disorder.   Adapted from his hilarious one man show, this limited release is tricky to find but absolutely worth it.  A charming, honest and incredibly awkward tale, I had one of the better times that I can remember laughing along with Birbiglia's refusal to see a doctor even after nightfighting the Jackal, actually a hamper, one stressful night at his folks.  "Sleepwalk with Me" is currently playing at the Coolidge Corner theater in Brookline.



The Master - This movie is an Oscar-bait cream dream.  Stunning performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix drive P.T. Anderson's latest masterpiece to legendary levels.  Joaquin plays a completely unrepentant drunk who falls in with Phillip Seymour Hoffman's, an  intellectual cult leader, inner circle.  I don't know enough about Scientology to confirm whether or not this film is a dramatization of Elron Hubbard's sci-fi religion but I do know that if it is, then that's absolutely terrifying. I am a huge fan of "Boogie Nights" and I might have to make the leap and say that "The Master" is my favorite offering from Anderson, it's that good. At just over two hours I left the theater last Saturday already planning my next showtime.  Also playing at The Coolidge, try and catch this one on Anderson's special 70mm film showings at the Harvard Ave movie house.



Looper- This movie is going to be playing everywhere and should be seen by everyone. A time-travel-assassin-noir-action-thriller starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt as two version of the same person trying to kill each other. Whoa. Even if the movie wasn't directed by Rian Johnson, who helmed and wrote the vastly under-appreciated high-school noir "Brick," I would probably cactch this one just out of sheer curiosity about how it ever got past the initial pitch. As with all Rian Johnson movies expect twists, amazing dialogue and a compelling plot to keep you thinking from title screen to the credits. I'm seeing it tomorrow and I'm absolutely psyched.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Purity Ring 9/29 (Saturday) Free at Northeastern


They say time is money and that the best things in life are free; well play your cards right this weekend and both could be true. Sorry about the late notice on this one but hot damn, is this exciting.  So I'm creeping on Facebook just now, poking around here and there, seeing who's lost their cell phone or uploaded the last of summer's bathing suit pictures and I find this absolute gem just sitting there in the middle of The Book.

The Details: This Saturday 6-9pm-Northeastern's Centennial Commons Quad-Purity Ring and Penguin Prison-FREE-FREE-FREE.  I went to one of these concerts a couple years ago and saw Tim Fite and The Cool Kids, so here's the deal.  No Northeastern ID necessary, just show up. It's gonna be kinda messy as most of the undergrad class and outsiders will probably make there way to this at some point. I would suggest going early, bringing a bunch of friends and supplies and stake out a spot way up front.

I've already written about how much I think Purity Ring is on the verge of blowing up big in the scene, with a great live show, a top tier debut album and word of mouth that's spreading like the Boston Neurovirus they just have to.  I will be at this show and I will be annoying anyone within cellphone range to come to this concert.

Not like it happened on purpose but if your a regular follower of the blog we here at Three If By Strike have laid out a pretty nice little Saturday for this upcoming weekend.  Explore the North End on an adult style field trip  then hop on the Orange Line at North Station and catch Purity Ring, all for free.

NFL Refs Are Back, Will it Really Change Fans Complaining?



No.

It'll just go from the highlights above, to the highlights below...



Supporter Submission: The Return of Adam Greenberg



ESPN.com -- Seven years, two months and 24 days after Adam Greenberg's major league career began and seemed over on just one pitch, the now-31-year-old outfielder is to get another plate appearance on Tuesday, thanks to the Miami Marlins and a long-shot national campaign initiated by an imaginative fan on a lark.

"I'm ready," Greenberg said on the NBC "Today" show Thursday, holding back tears as David Samson, general manager of the last-place Marlins, offered him a one-day contract.

On the first and only pitch the left-handed-hitting Greenberg faced in the majors on July 9, 2005, he was struck by Marlins left-hander Valerio De Los Santos in the back of the head with a 92-mph fastball. Greenberg, then playing for the Chicago Cubs, fell to the ground. Moments after the thrill of stepping to the plate as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, he had to be helped from the field and taken to the hospital.

For months, filmmaker Matt Liston conducted an online drive to get a team to give Greenberg an at-bat, first focusing his efforts on his favorite ballclub, the Cubs. Despite a compelling video, endorsements from the likes of Hall of Famer George Brett and more than 20,000 petition signatures at Change.org, the efforts of Liston and co-campaigner Gary Cohen, a documentarian, failed to sway Chicago's management. But the Marlins, with time running out on the season, embraced the opportunity as a win-win for Greenberg and the team whose hurler abruptly ended his first major league career.
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I really hope that Matt Liston is making a film about this.

This is a truly heartwarming story.  People don’t understand the grind involved in being a professional baseball player.  It is a sport unlike the other “Big Four."  Players aren’t drafted with the opportunity to play in the Show immediately, rather they scrape and claw in the minor league system for five, sometimes 10 years before they are given that opportunity.  An opportunity that can come in many forms: sometimes it’s coming in to pitch garbage innings in a blowout, and sometimes it’s a chance for a game-winning hit, home run, a or game-ending strikeout.

A few players stay for a while and get a good amount of attention and can become fan favorites, like the Red Sox Pedro Ciriaco.  Some make mediocre careers out of it, and some become legends.  But then there are the players who only get that one shot.  It’s heartbreaking to know that on Adam Greenberg’s first and only shot the lights were turned out.

I will be watching his second opportunity and will be rooting from the bottom of my heart for him to get a hit.  But hit or strikeout, I can guarantee that Greenberg won’t regret a thing.

(Hat tip to Bill for another great post!)

Rookie Hazing Never Looked So Good...





Because I know you wanted two angles of this.

Whatever the Rays have, every team should want and every team needs.  They're not the best ball players in the league, but they have more chemistry and they have more fun playing the game than anyone out there.  At home they play in front of 13,000 people at most, yet they still go out and push for the postseason year after year.

As part of their year long rookie hazing, the dress-up act tonight was fully supported by the coaches and veteran players, who suggested the outfits and marched them out during the playing of "Call Me Maybe" while fans were invited to run the bases following the last home game of the year at Fenway Park.

The second video is a better angle, plus provides pitcher David Price as the color commentator.

Guinness Believer at Ned Devine's

True to my word, this past Tuesday I wandered over to Faneuil and took part in the Guinness Believer event. Since then people have been asking about it, so here's what went down. 

I got to Ned Devine's a little early, about 5:30, to beat the crowd for the 6:00 event only to find things pretty quiet.  After showing my reservation confirmation at the door I waited in a sidebar area until beer crew was ready for us.  Don't worry if you haven't printed out a confirmation code or if you want to bring some friends at the last minute. There are registration stations at Ned's for those living on the fly and plenty of space at the bar, so grab that weird co-worker or classmate and loosen them up a bit over a pint. 

They let us in around six and started setting out hor d'oeuvres. Bingo...Jackpot...Game ON.  Mini-pizza slices, housemade potato chips and buff or BBQ chicken wraps? Fug-ghed-aboutit. They brought out tray after tray of gnosh so if you don't mind catching a few eyes while feeding your face, then go nuts. Eat like you paid for it.

Half stuffed and carrying a full plate of snacks I then made my way to get a beer. If your going to wait in line at this thing definitely wait in the "Learn to Pour your own Guinness," queue.  Not to say that I have the golden touch and nailed the perfect draft but I'll let the Guinness pour technique rattle around my brain for a while. Eating free food, drinking free stout that I poured off the tap for myself, not a bad Tuesday night at all.  

The rest of the event consisted of a presentation on the origins of Guinness and then a guided taste test of Guinness Foreign Stout and the new Black Lager.  I ended up walking away from the night with a belly full of food, some delicious beer, a Black lager tasting glass and the know how on the best way to pour Ireland's signature brew. All this for the low, low price of zero. 

There are still slots open for registration at 6:00, 7:30, and 9:30 tonight if you need a place to go after work or somewhere to start pregaming for free before it gets really thirsty  Thursday.  Guinness Believer:  Strike tested, Strike approved.

Field Trip Boston-This Saturday

Not totally sure what this Field Trip Boston deal is but it's free and it sure couldn't hurt to learn a little more about the hub so check it out if your plans for Saturday only extend as far as "hanging over."

From as near as I can tell this is the plan, sign up for a free ticket, meet in the North End at 3, wander around till 6, and then party with the other field trippers at Savas Studios.  From the linked site it sounds like all the best parts about your 4th grade trips to the Science Museum and Plymouth Rock except there are no chaperons and the day ends with booze.
Sidebar: I was up late last night pretending like I didn't have to be up by 6:30 for work and I needed some get up and go tunes to get  up and over the hump.  Maybe you do too...maybe not, maybe f**k yahself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gangnam Style: A Social Commentary? (Now With Lyrics!)



It doesn't need to be stated how ridiculous song is.   But its ridiculousness caused me to scour the internet for answers as to why this video has over 282 million hits on YouTube.

"Gangnam Style" is by a South Korean K-Pop (South Korean hip-hop/electronica) artist Psy.  It differs from most K-Pop in that within its lyrics there is actually a message.  Take any song today, such as "Call Me Maybe."  Its utter garbage that people dance to but don't actually like because the lyrics are literally about nothing.  In "Gangnam Style," the lyrics are used to provide an exaggerated view of upper class life in the most wealthy district, Gangnam, in Seoul, South Korea.

The women, the suits, the horses, the lavish lifestyle the singer shows off in the video; all of it is used as a social commentary situated within a popular and goofy music style.  Not only is Psy clearly one of the best Far East Coast rappers, but he's a pretty smart dude, too.

Update: Here are the lyrics in all of their absurdity...

Gangnam style
A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist
I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh
A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that
I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Packers' TJ Lang Goes Off on Twitter, Best Tweets I've Ever Seen



First off, I have tried to stay away from anything to do with the NFL replacement referee situation for as long as possible.  Even after last night's play in the video above, I was convinced I wasn't going to blog about it.  Then I heard about the TJ Lang postgame tweets.

So I don't need to touch on anything from the play because a) you've already discussed it at great length with several of your friends, and b) even if you haven't yet, you can see here how ridiculous it is.

But what I do need to point out is what Packers guard Lang had to say following the game.  His tweets were aimed directly at the NFL, and left nothing to the imagination.  The two tweets below are also 40 minutes apart, showing that he and his teammates are clearly not getting over this any time soon.  Its good to see a player lashing out like this after such a ridiculous scenario.

Twitter is starting to bear more and more weight in the real world, especially when it comes to sports, like we saw in the London Olympics.  Lang will definitely receive a serious fine for this, but what does he care?  More players need to speak up.  Owners need to speak up.  Hell, everyone with a mouth needs to speak up.  This is outrageous

(Warning: Rough language used in the tweets below, Three If By Strike apologizes, but they are not our words)






Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bluesday: Otis Taylor on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert


Heyooo, it's Blueday and I'd be lying if I didn't say this was one helluva bluesday indeed.  Unwind with Otis Taylor's banjo and this bluesy edition of the NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which is a great little venue to see up n' comers and veteran's a like.  Just today I was perusing through shows of Daniel Johnston, Reggie Watts, while in the past sets of The Tallest Man on the Earth and Dr. Dog have whittled away many a afternoon.

Stick around through Otis' long set till the second song at least. He really starts warming up the banjo around the 6 minute mark. Plus, this guy looks like a black and beardy John C. Reilly, so I mean, I'm sold.
Otis Taylor and John C. Reilly: Separated at birth

DMX Has Never Used Google Before



I still don't fully understand the context of this video, but I do know that DMX is scared of "too much stuff" on computers.

He doesn't like Google because it sounds like a baby word, he doesn't like the arrow and the hand then the little circle because he doesn't have the patience for anything to load, and he doesn't like that there's no mouse to scroll, even though he doesn't know what a mouse is called.

"In the middle of it, it'll stop... and do the circle... yeah, like, like, I don't like have patience like that... (Growls) I break it."

The man is 41, is a multi-platinum rapper and an actor, and doesn't know what the hell a Google is. Classic.

Pavel Datsyuk Gets Creative, Headbutts Puck Into the Net



The NHL lockout has been official for over a week, but that isn't stopping NHL stars from making headlines.  Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, currently playing for CSKA Moscow of the KHL, nearly scored his first goal in his home country, but had it waived off.

Datsyuk put the puck on net which created a rebound that went straight in the air.  As he followed his own shot, the only real play he had was to use his head, since you can't put the puck in with your hands or play it with your stick above the crossbar.  To me, that's a good goal right there.  Another ref making a bad call?  You decide.

I post this video with many mixed emotions as I love to see good quality hockey in any regard, but hate that this occurrence was the product of the NHL lockout.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baller/Boston on a Budget: Bodega 40-50% off Online Sale

Another sale with a time frame so catch the details here at threeifbystrike and reap the benefits.  Check out Bodega's massive 40-50% season's end online sale here at the Bodega Online shop website.  Now, Bodeda's notorious for having a major pricetag and for the most part that still applies to most of the sale items but dig deeper into the discounts and you'll find sneakers for $30, funky Oxford's for $40, and Tank tops for $35.  The sizing works like Jackthreads, where what's available is what they got. Threeifbystrikers  are going to have to move fast if you're not on the super small/super tall spectrum, where a lot of stock remains.

What's Bodega?  Five years ago I asked the same question and made the trip with friends to the unassuming 6 Clearway st. address and walked out with a pair of Nike high-tops I still wear today. Whenever friends or cool family members are in town this is definitely on my Underbelly of Boston Tour.  If you haven't been there or heard what make Bodega such a special Boston spot, besides their high quality/hugely dope sneakers and urban wear, I won't spoil the surprise but will recommend freeing up an afternoon to check it out in person.

For those out-of-town Bodega fans, compulsive online shoppers, or if your collection of sneaks could use a boost then this Bodega online sale is perfect.  Keep an eye out for their pop-up shop on  Brookline ave at the 4th Wall Project. Usually when the season ends they move the stock over here to try and clear as much as they can with seriously discounted prices.  Get after it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Get Your Bills Gear While the Gettin's Good


With the win over the Browns on Sunday, the Bills online shop is offering free ground shipping on all orders over $50 until Monday at midnight.

Not sure if I'm going with just a t-shirt, one of those sweet hooded sweatshirts, or all the way up to a jersey.  I got 24 hours to decide.

Friday, September 21, 2012

NFL Muppet Doppelgangers

1. Matt Stafford and Sweetums
The internet is amazing, let me start by saying that.  While fishing around yesterday, I stumbled across a post on Buzzfeed.com featuring all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks and their doppelgangers.  Muppet doppelgangers.

2. Robert Griffin III and Rowlf the Dog

Now not all of them make a whole lot of sense.  Some are huge stretches using characters that made a one time appearance on The Muppet Show.  For the full list you can go to that first link above on Buzzfeed, but those posted here are my Top 5.  Alright, Top 6.  I couldn't help it.

3. Tom Brady and Pepe the Prawn

 4. Joe Flacco and Sam the Eagle

5. Jake Locker and Crazy Harry

6. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Behemouth

Commercial Battle - Rap Battle Parody



I think some ground rules are in order for future Battles.  First, these videos are not commercials, but just random YouTube masterpieces.  Perhaps expanding to "Video Battles" will make for better battles, but we'll try to do a good bit of commercial battling, although we started off pretty hot and it seems the only way to go is down.

But one thing we will not do at Three If By Strike is quit.  We will scour the internet for your viewing pleasure for hours on end.  Sleepless nights have become routine for us.  Okay, that's not true at all, but if people can get on board with this, we get some comments going, then hopefully this can be a cool piece to the blog.

So without further ado, I give you my dog in the fight, Rap Battle Parody.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Commercial Battle: Manwolfs


Hey Jon, do you think you can out weird this? I'm calling you out buddy, it's on. Let the viewers decide who can dig deepest into the internet and pull out the most absurd crap. What say a gentleman's bet to the winner? You game?

NHL Lockout Becoming More Real by the Day as Seguin, Ference To Play Across the Pond


The NHL officially locked players out 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.  Since then, players have been dropping like flies, going overseas to play in Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic and other countries.

Star players like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash have already shipped out to keep their skills sharp if the lockout ends.  News hit home today with reports that two Bruins, Tyler Seguin and Andrew Ference would be taking their talents across the pond.

Seguin has signed with EHC Biel of the Swiss National A League, and Ference with Ceske Budejovice of Czech Extraliga.  Ference has some familiarity with the team, as he played for them during the last NHL lockout.

But there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, here, if you're down to travel to the Czech Republic.  Ference will buy you a beer.


Chiefs Are Embarrassing Themselves, Mother, Father, the City, Wife, Children and Dogs and Cats



It rarely gets better than this.

Bob Fescoe, a sports talk radio host of AM-610 in Kansas City is fed up with the Chiefs.  During his show, he exploded for five minutes straight, going on an extensive rant fueled by the horrible start of the Kansas City Chiefs.  Just listening to it is absolutely hilarious, but a little bit scary at the same time.  He doesn't hold anything back.

He even tosses in the Kansas City Royals a few minutes in.  Their poor play is nothing new, and KC's losing ways will not fly anymore with Fescoe.  He could have been pumpkin picking, guys.  Come on.  Will this light a fire under the Chiefs?  I doubt it.  Will next week's rant be even more ridiculous?  I'll take that bet.

Here are my top five lines from the rant.

"You give people nothing to live for, you suck."

"Every professional athlete in this town blows right now!"

"Admit that you suck!"

"Why should we invest our Sundays, one of the two days we get off a week, to watching your complete trash!?"

"They should make prisoners watch the Chiefs, that should be punishment!"

Free Beer in Boston


It really doesn't get much better. If you're over 21, RSVP at the Guiness Believer site and get on the list for one of the tastings next week.  I can't think of a reason not to spend either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night enjoying a nice, tall, FREE Guiness Draft, Extra Stout, Black Lager or all three if you're thirsty.

The the tastings run in hour long sessions and includes a history of the brewery for everyone who can't make it over to the Emerald Isle.  Make sure you RSVP early because these things fill up.  Come stop on by Ned Devine's for a tasty stout and act like a big shot when the line isn't threatening to take over State St.  Or you know, pay $7 a pint at any other bar, at any other time in the city. This one's a no brainer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MariO's - The Real Breakfast of Champions


Unfortunately there are no Tops Markets around here, otherwise I'd be running to buy a dozen boxes of MariO's.

Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams launched his own cereal brand on Tuesday.  The honey toasted oats cereal will be sold in western New York, and will benefit Carly's Club, a Buffalo charity for children battling cancer.

"The biggest thing is not being on the cereal box, it’s the opportunity and the chance to give back to those who need help," Williams said at a Buffalo-area supermarket.  "My father was actually diagnosed two years ago with colon cancer, so I definitely know what it’s like to go through with a family member having cancer."

That's just an awesome move by an awesome guy.  I gotta assume the team didn't eat their MariO's before Week 1's game with the Jets, but after their Week 2 win, they'll be a regular part of the diet.

Yunel Escobar Gets Suspended For Being an Idiot


Blue Jays infielder Yunel Escobar is currently serving a three-game suspension for some questionable writing on his eye black in a game last weekend.

The offensive term was written in Spanish, but it didn't slip past anyone.  Under the right eye, it said "tu ere," which means "you are" translated to English.  No harm there.  But under the left eye, "maricon."  Now, I've learned that when translated in English, that word means "faggot."  Not cool.

A three game suspension is getting off easy if you ask me.  At least three more should be tacked on for plain stupidity.  But the whole situation was blown way out of proportion if you ask Escobar.

"I have friends who are gay. The person who decorates my house is gay, the person who cuts my hair is gay. I have various friends who are gay. Honestly, they haven't felt as offended about this. They have just a different understanding in the Latin community of this word," Escobar said.  "That's not the significance that I put into it. That's a word used often within teams. It's a word without meaning, the way we use it."

I don't buy it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blu's Day: Nod your head, it's Blu & Exile in your ears


To try and follow up an album like "Blind Joe Death" with anything in the same genre just wouldn't work, because well...it's so good. The only option, as I can see it, is to get a leeetle bit out of the box. Thus, I give you one of my underground hip-hop personal favorites, Blu & Exile.

Left coast rapper/producer team, Blu & Exile, came onto the scene in 2007 with their out of this world debut collaboration, "Below the Heavens (<------full stream linked).  Blu raps over Exile's homemade beats and the team puts out an atmospheric first effort.  Nostalgic of the powerhouses in the Native Tongues movement, Below the Heaven's is the 90's revival hip-hop heads begged for for years.

Blu's lyricisms RUN. THIS. JOINT. He spits about everyday things like empty pockets, bumming drinks and cutting out on good times when the mic calls or the studio's free.  The whole album's introspective without being indulgent or isolating, a rare feat that solidifies it's status as a slept-on underground hit. Look at his flow on the opening track "My World Is"...  

"I don't pack stadiums yet, I still rock em/ and they still spell my name fucked up on they flyers, it's B-L-U/ and if you see the E, drop em/ it's like they droppin E from the beats E is droppin/ got you peeps eavesdroppin/ and the world keeps watchin him."

Don't miss out on Exile's flavor holding this album together. His fade outs and patience with the samples are a thing of beauty.  
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On the fourth, Blu & Ex released a re-issue of their long awaited follow-up album "Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them."  A previously leaked version of G.M.M.F.W.I.C.S.S.T. suffered from poor sound quality and a couple klunkers so the guys went back and gave the record a second polish.

I caught some of the tracks when the album leaked in December; they didn't stick. This release is much better.  While Blu's lyrics starred on Below the Heavens, Give Me My Flowers is where Exile really comes alive.  The beats are weird, samples are everywhere and seamlessly layered over the laid back style that the duo has cultivated in the 5 years since we've seen them.  Don't buy it? Pop on "Good Morning Neighbor." Yeah, that's Mister Rogers getting dopified, BANG.  Stick around for Fashawn's verse on "Everybody Nose" (probably the best cut of the bunch) and get funky with the horns on "Money."

While it's more than worth a couple laps around a turntable, the album ultimately falls into the traps a lot of sophomore records come across; success and over expectation. The talent's still there. Clever raps are littered all over and Exile works the beats left and right but something falls just short.

It's hard to have an sleeper hit when everyone's waiting for the next tour and scouring blogs for any new material that pops it's head above water.  "Give Me My Flowers" swung for the fences and fell just shy.  With substance that goes miles and beyond the top 40 charts and style that's overflowing out the ears, I think B&E pushed the arsty envelope a little too hard on this one. 

No matter what it's issues are G.M.M.F.W.I.C.S.S.T. is not the last we'll hear of this pair. While Blu & Exile don't put out the clubbangers or boast raps and their style's unassuming compared to most mainstream artists, these two are always on point.  Get lost in a set of earbuds on the T or a burnt copy waiting in rush hour traffic and absolutely stay tuned for the B&E third installment; it has the potential to blow the world apart.

Monday, September 17, 2012

WWE Night of Champions - 27 Dollars Well Spent



There were no better video games growing up than wrestling video games.  The Rock, Lex Luger, Triple H, Mankind, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker.  I could go on for days.  Whenever wrestling is on TV, I still find myself watching a few matches.  But on Sunday night at the TD Garden, WWE Night of Champions was in town, and with tickets at $27, I wasn't about to let that opportunity slip away.

After the Bills game, Bill, Span and myself headed over to the Garden, grabbed tickets from the box office, got some food and another beer then headed to the show.  We sat a little behind the stage entrance in the upper balcony, but at an event like that, you go more for the atmosphere than the show.  And there was no shortage of atmosphere.  From guys screaming marriage proposals at the girls during the Diva Championship, to the entire crowd begging for Sheamus' Brogue Kick to be reinstated by Smackdown commissioner Booker T, this place was electric.

Once my heart rate slowed and I stopped sweating from the crazy amounts of fireworks being shot off inside, it turned out to be 100 percent worth the price of admission.  I found myself getting into the fights, especially when the night started with a 16-man battle royal.  If you're unaware of how that works, just as I was to begin the night, its literally 16 guys in the same ring who duke it out, last one remaining inside the ropes wins.

It was cool to see guys I recognized, like Randy Orton (his finishing move in the video above was on fine display last night), Kane, and John Cena. Cena losing the WWE Championship belt because his match ended in a draw was a heart-breaker, with the news coming as we were halfway down the stairs of our section on the way out.  But the news was a delight to the CM Punk fans in the stand, who got to keep the belt til his next challenge.  Cena is a Boston guy, so I guess I have to do my homework on why everyone loves CM so much.

Being out of the loop with all the chants and characters was strange, but being in the loop with reality is a lot nicer.

Week 2 - Bills Backers of Boston: Its Spiller Time


I have never been a huge football fan.  Growing up, all I watched was the Red Sox and UConn men's and women's basketball.  Hockey became my next love since the first lockout ended, but now finds itself in limbo with a second.  That's a whole separate issue entirely.

Football was always just something to watch, never something to root for.  I would root against the Giants because having already hated the Yankees, I figured that made the most sense.  Rooting for the Eagles was my next move, being a huge Donovan McNabb fan.  But I never found myself being able to stick with a team.

A few seasons ago, someone I went to high school with, two years older than me, was drafted out of Iowa to the Detroit Lions -- Amari Spievey.  Lions were a decent team, and who doesn't love Ndamukong Suh?  Well, a lot of people don't, but again, a separate issue.

My good friend Bill, the same Bill who wrote our first ever Supporter Submission, was a tried and true Bills fan.  I thought to myself, at least no one will call me a bandwagoner.  Turns out, best sports decision I've made in a while.  Another friend of ours, Span, is also a Bills fan, hailing from Niagara Falls.  So on Sunday, we drove down to The Harp, a bar right across from the TD Garden, to join the Bills Backers of Boston for the game against the Chiefs.

We got a little lost and missed out on the free t-shirt giveaway before the game, but the remainder of the day was fantastic.  The bar was filled with Bills jerseys from Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mario Williams.  Bill and I were rocking Doug Flutie and Takeo Spikes.  There was one disgruntled Chiefs fan there, and a few Patriots jerseys stressing out over Tom Brady's early interception.

We started off with some nachos and the bar's favorite, Labatt Blue.  I had never gone to a bar with the sole intent of watching a football game, but I don't think I'll be going anywhere else but Harp in the future.  All eyes were on the TVs watching the game, and after running back CJ Spiller broke free for a big run, a guy behind me just goes "It's Spiller Time, baby."  And yes it was.  The best part about a Bills touchdown?  Hearing the Bills'd out version of "Shout."

In Week 1, Spiller came in for the injured Fred Jackson and picked up nearly 170 yards.  In Week 1, the Bills got trounced by the Jets, 48-28.  But, in Week 1 at Harp, over 300 pounds of wings were consumed by halftime, and the only replacing being done was to the kegs -- eight kegs of Labatt were emptied by the end of the day.  A suburb of Buffalo, indeed.

The Bills were an offensive machine against the Chiefs, with little thanks to Fitzpatrick, and won 35-17.  If you're not a huge football fan, go to The Harp for a Bills game and you will be.  And if you're a Pats fan, come with us Week 4 when the two square off.  Go Bills.

Jungle Bird Strikes Again



Not quite the US Open or the Notre Dame-Michigan State game, but any appearance by the Jungle Bird is a big one.

He's going to keep interrupting sporting events and interviews until deforestation is stopped, its that simple.  What's also simple is realizing that he is the only guy there with just a t-shirt on wearing a British flag mohawk winter hat.  Are people really that confused at this point as to what he's going to do next?

Security responded a bit quicker, but with about as much force as they did at the Notre Dame game.  If you didn't catch that one, here it is.  Stop deforestation.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Supporter Submission: A Letter to the NHL Commissioner


Dear NHL,

The day is almost upon us and I am in a state of shock and disbelief. The players are about to be locked out for the second time in seven years. This time, there is no excuse. This is a show of unadulterated greed on the part of the owners greased by Gary Bettman. The owners are showing a complete disregard for the people that truly make this sport one of the most beloved in the world, the players and the fans.

Seven years ago we were told that average ticket prices would fall as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement. We were told that the new rules would speed up the pace of play and create more scoring and excitement. We were told that new franchises would foster fierce rivalries and engage even more fans. We were told that hockey would push for a higher standing in the “big four” American sporting leagues.

Seven years later we have seen some of these changes enrich the sport, but moreover we have been left with empty promises and a looming D-Day that will threaten the sport as we know it. In the past seven years, ticket prices have risen by an average of 39 percent across the board. Real fans, the ones who live and die with their teams, cannot afford to go to a game and live through the energy of their home arena. I am a Boston Bruins fan. Over the past three years the price of balcony seats at the TD Garden have risen from around $30 per seat to around $50. This is only face value. To get a seat one must seek out a secondary ticket supplier. One saturated with entrepreneurs who buy up seats with the sole intention to re-sell them at double, sometimes triple face value. You tell me if the league has lived up to its promise.

We have been spoiled over the past few years with an influx of young talent that borders the category of “phenom.” Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin, Erik Karlsson, Claude Girioux, and Jonathan Quick are all guys that have shaped this league into a fast paced high intensity game that we love and once which we watch on the edge of our seats. Goals were up this year almost reaching pre-lockout numbers for the first time in the new-age NHL. It took a generation of players growing up playing the new style to adapt their skills. Now you are just going to create a new generational gap that will take just as long to recover from.

It seems like every year there is talk of a team being sold and moved in an ever-expanding NHL. Teams stretch from Beantown to Vancouver, SoCal to the Florida Keys and everywhere in between. Every new franchise comes with huge franchise fees that are paid directly to owners, but what is not talked about is the burden that some of these teams are on the league. Teams in markets like Phoenix and Florida (though the Panthers owner did a great job bringing the fans back this year) are afterthoughts to the other sports happening in those regions. Since the early ‘90s the NHL has grown from 21 to 30 teams with no regard for the financial burden they are creating.

The affect this lockout will have is simple to understand. The NHL is not the NBA, NFL or MLB. It will not be granted forgiveness from its brokenhearted fans overnight. At this point, the league doesn’t seem to care. Thousands of jobs will be put on hold in an economy where people cannot afford missed paychecks. It’s not just the players. It’s the ushers, concession employees, locker room attendants, equipment manufacturers, television employees, and sure, even the players that aren’t guaranteed a spot on the roster and players that were going to have their only shot this year that will be hurt. These people all need their jobs. The players were willing to play under the old CBA just so they could get the season started but the owners said no. The players reached out to come to a solution; the owners turned a cold shoulder. The owners are firmly to blame.

So blame the owners and Gary Bettman. Blame them when TV contracts are given to a sport that is lurking in the shadows waiting for a big break.

The MLS has been rapidly growing in attendance over the past five years and is now one of the most attended sports in the country. I’m sure they would love a nice NBC Sports contract and more TV time because it won’t be hard for them to jump into fourth with some exposure. The NHL will be back in the basement scratching at the door for a piece of the pie.

Last time as a 15 year old I was heartbroken when the players were locked out and the season cancelled, and I was over-joyed upon it’s return. This time I know better. This time I can see how many lives and how many families are truly affected by a small group’s greed. This time I won’t be so quick to return. This time forgiveness is not on the bargaining table. If this lockout doesn’t work out, don’t say nobody warned you.

Sincerely,
NHL Fan

Stick tap to Bill for writing this one -- first blog post ever for him.  Awesome job.

Protestors Cross the Line with Rahm Emanuel


Yes, Rahm Emanuel is a politician.  No, this is not a political post.

Now that that's out of the way, I came across a post on www.teamcoco.com, website of late night's best host, Conan O'Brien, who came across the story from NPR.  In case you haven't been following, teachers in the city of Chicago have gone on strike, leaving 350,000 students locked out of their schools.  Blame is starting to shift to Mayor Emanuel for not stepping up and taking charge of the situation.  Then one protestor chose to make it personal.

Nickelback can't catch a break these days, huh?  First the petition from Lions fans to get them out of the Thanksgiving halftime show, now this?  I'll allow it.

Team Coco then guessed what signs might look like in the next few days if the strikes keep up.  Hilarious.


Josh Beckett May Be Pitching Better, But Still Fat and Slow



The ol' 9-3 putout. Is there anything better?

Maybe the 7-3, putout, but don't say that to Sean Casey.



Sorry for the awesome quality of that video, it was the best I could find.

Finnish Hockey Player Scores One For the Fans



We chose this video for a few reasons.  First and foremost, this is a game in the Mestis League in Finland, between TUTO and KooKoo.  Somehow those are actually the names.  Yeah, I don't get it either.

Iiro Vehmanen, playing for TUTO pots a goal around the 0:35 second mark of the video, and completes it with an awesome celebration.  He clearly had this one thought out for a while, as he sprints right for the boards and climbs on up.  Absolutely love the kiss to the crowd, completely ignoring his teammates til he's good and done.

And if you didn't notice this the first time around, did anyone hear the announcer at the 0:47 mark?  Why does he name drop Rocky Balboa not once, but twice? That's just good announcing work, right there.

Its not the NHL, but its still good hockey.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Giants Fan Joe Nathan Dons Full Cowboys Uniform During Rangers BP


Rangers closer Joe Nathan is a New York Giants fan.  Rangers reliever Mike Adams is a Dallas Cowboys fan.

"The first thing [Nathan] told me was, 'I saw that crappy helmet in your locker and I'm a Giants' fan, so we should have some good bets going on," Adams told Yahoo Sports.  "This is probably the best bet I've ever won in my entire life. This is up there."

What was the bet?  If the Cowboys beat the Giants in the opening game of the NFL season, Nathan would suit up in full Cowboys gear -- pads, helmet, jersey -- to show up to the Ballpark at Arlington on Tuesday.  But Nathan's confidence got the best of him, as he added if the Cowboys won, he would wear the full inform through batting practice and even sign autographs, helmet on and all.

"I regret that I added that," Nathan said.  "It [felt] just like I thought it would — absolutely terrible."

Classic.  Hopefully the bets continue with these guys, and maybe even spread to other teams in the future.

"Shave Time, Shave Money"-Dollar Shave Club



You know, I think this commercial for Dollar Shave Club might be missing something.  Machetes? Check. Bear Suits? Check? Sports? Check.  Handsome ass grandfathers? Weirdly check, check, and check. Final verdict: Internet Gold.

Bluesday Album: The Legend of Blind Joe Death


Wow, John Fahey's The Legend of Blind Joe Death. What can be said. This is the album that the weekly Bluesday update was made for and is something I've been building up to since we started. I only hope I can do this album half the justice and service it's done me over the years because I'm not sure if I have the words for it. A friend passed a couple of these tracks to me via AIM over 6 years ago and I can't think of a situation Joe Death hasn't made better since. Hookup, breakup, bus ride, plane ride, train ride, homework, papers, finals, the best parts of life and worst of everything else; John Fahey and his fictional mentor/master "Joe Death" have been with me through it all.

The stats: 1959, John Fahey self-releases a limited, 100 run, pressing of his debut semi-concept album "Blind Joe Death."  It's a '78 of solo steel string acoustic fingerpicking and nothing else. It makes no buzz in record stores and is contrary to contemporary pop music in a country that is just making the move from the roots of R&B to Rock and Roll. It's not marketed, not popular and doesn't make a blip on anything resembling charts.

Somehow "Blind Joe Death" picks up buzz. Fahey rereleases the album with bonus tracks and nearly a decade later in 1967 the little record that could makes it's way into the second Rolling Stone Record Guide. Flash forward to April 6th of last year and the original "indie" album is added to the United States Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" piece of work. The American Dream.

Not much more to be said. Told in 6 strings and ten fingers, there are ups, there are downs and almost unbelievably there's a narrative. Follow John Fahey as he moves from the slow, deliberate picks and bends of the opener, "On Doing Evil Deeds Blues" to tapping your toes along to the jaunty beat of "Poor Boy Long Way From Home."  It's smoother than gravy dipped in melted butter. Blind Joe Death" made a mark that it never should have and there's nothing better for a Blue Tuesday.

Please, please, please take a break and stream what I could find of the album on grooveshark.   Better yet, snag a copy from a friend or buy one where ever you can find it. "Blind Joe Death" will blow you away if you give it a chance. Give it a chance.