Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, Everyone



By now, everyone is familiar with the ridiculous trick-or-treat nursery rhyme, but has anyone ever taken the time to break it down?

Because Flula has.

Support Movember


Gear up for November people, it's almost upon us. Thanksgiving takes practice and if you aren't conditioned on game day you can really run the risk of hurting something.  Want my advice?  Train with several Thanksgiving on a Bun subs, that should warm everyone up a bit.  Besides pounds of turkey, great movies at the Coolidge and the brisk smell of Christmas almost in the air, the passing of the October/November/December months means facial hair. It's gull durn beard season.

Refer above to actor, my Halloween costume inspiration and moustache guru, Nick Offerman, and follow him through the month of Movember as he spreads his beardly knowledge.  Maybe you cranked out a quick Octobeard and are ready to move right on into Movember or perhaps you've been saving up for the 3 month tri-beard-fecta of Octobeard into No-Shave-November into Decembeard in which case...epic. Great job on a bold move. For the rest of us, head to the Movember website and read up on the message of the month and be more than just a hairy face.

So what exactly is Movember? It's a loophole guys; a scraggly, wild, or well-trimmed loophole that comes around one month of the year to allow us to grow our dreams big without fear of 'stache stigma. Now in it's 9th year, Movember was created to raise awareness for men's health issues, specifically testicular and prostate cancer, and the wispy sproutings above your upper lip might mean saving a life someday.  This is a time to give the old Dadstache a test run, or break out a Fu Manchu, or my former personal favorite "El Gringo Peligroso"  Give it a shot, have fun and promote men's health awareness while you're at it.

Advantages to having a Moustache
1. Go everywhere incognito.
2. Warm upper lip.
3. You get to say "Who wants a moustache ride?" (Allowed once per each group of friends per week)
4. Be the Evil Twin of yourself and do something you never would, but your Evil Twin might.
5. Burt Reynolds, Hulk Hogan, Tom Sellick, Ron Burgundy, and Eddie Murphy.

Remember you grow this moustache not for your self but for the balls of men everywhere.

Bonus: For your health...30 minutes of Ron Swansonisms. Pt 1 & Pt 2

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cult Movies at the Coolidge


October's not quite over yet, and if my high-school movie tastes taught me anything, then I'm pretty sure that tonight, October 30th, is Devil's Night. This year, Coolidge Corner theater marks the occasion with a late night showing of the Brandon Lee classic, The Crow.  Ending the career of rising star and son of martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, The Crow is a gritty example of early 90's grunge culture moving into film and redemption story with more gore and more angst than ever before. Perfect for a midweek Halloween kickstart.

The theater at Coolidge has had an incredible line-up this month, of which I have taken advantage.  This past Saturday I attended the Halloween midnight movie double feature and I wish I had stayed through the next four films of the marathon.  Luckily, the double feature was The Exorcist followed by The Thing so I could stand to miss Day of the Dead, Phantasm, Candyman and an early Cronenberg.

Next month the Coolidge is rolling out a set of cult masterpieces.  Check out what they have coming.

THIS WEEKEND Nov 2 & 3: Predator
Next Weekend Nov 9 & 10: Evil Dead 2-Dead By Dawn
 
Weekend after Next Nov 16 & 17: ROBOCOP!!! Part Man. Part Machine. All Cop.




I don't know how there could be a better set of midnight movies in a row.  Bam! A buddy war movie that halfway through turns into an Schwarzenegger-at-his-prime driven sci-fi action blow 'em up. Next week, Bam!  Blow-out budget semi-sequel to the campy Sam Raimi horror film with more gags, more blood and more tree rape? Next week, Bam! The best Academy Award winning and immaculate splatterfest/cyber-action flick ever made!  Let's say if you can't find me on the weekends this month a good first guess would be at the Coolidge.

From the Depths of the Internet

 Dear ThreeifbyStrike fans, Jon and Bill,

Unfortunately, this has been a quiet month for me on the blog and for that I apologize.   A busy work schedule has kept me from putting in the time I'd like to towards writing but things should be more settled down now.  The Strike be re-born!  Now that October's nearly at an end and Thanksgiving's a scant few weeks away I'll be sure to be on my toes looking around for the best for our readers. Here are a couple little treats from the black depths. 

-Ryan

 Liz Climo- (Featured at the top of the post.) A tumblr account showcasing the artist's simple and delightful cartoons. Think if Cyanide and Happiness played tummy sticks with the Far Side minus the weird and add in cuter animals.

 Kanye Wes Anderson- A tumblr that combines 'Yezzy's verses and dialogue from Wes Anderson films.   If it sounds bizarre, it is, but it also works.  Flashy colors look good on both Mr. West and on Anderson's characters. Gotta say,  Jason Swartzman from Rushmore sounds pretty thug with Ye's boast backing him.

He Texted- This one's a huge guilty pleasure and a huge time waster so enter into He Texted forwarned.  The site works like Texts from Last Night or FML, where anonymous posters have a forum to share the tribulations of life in a digital world.  Here's where it gets great, the messages being posted are on-going text conversations between genders where ladies can ask the internet for help deciphering the male psyche via text.  It is amazing.  All posts can be commented on with crazy advice and you can vote on whether the dude is into her or not.  Long story short, everyone's crazy....enjoy.

New Star Wars Movie in 2015?


There are few things on this planet that I care about as deeply as the rich historical documents referred to simply as "Star Wars."  Six episodes have been released in theatrical form, getting Earth up to speed on the events a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

The first three episodes -- IV, V, VI -- were easily the best movies I have ever seen.  They told the story of a young farm boy, Luke Skywalker who started out on the remote desert planet of Tatooine with...

Alright, look, I'll cut to the chase, here.  On Tuesday, George Lucas, every fan boy's idol and the creator of Star Wars, has agreed to sell Lucasfilm, and all other umbrella businesses, to Walt Disney.  I'll let that sink in.

Lucasfilm, Lucasarts, Industrial Light & Magic as well as Skywalker Sound now belong to Disney after they forked over $4.05 billion to Lucas in the form of half cash and half Disney shares -- which adds up to about 40 million of those bad boys.

Now the tough part to stomach.  Disney has already said that a new Star Wars movie, which they referred to as "Episode VII" will be in theaters some time in 2015.  I've seen every Star Wars movie in theaters.  I saw the re-releases of the sequels, saw the prequels -- Episode III three times -- and I even sat through "The (god-awful) Clone Wars."  Given the recent trend in the Star Wars universe, on screen anyhow, things are headed south, and I'm already nervous.

The silver lining here is that, no matter what, it's going to be another Star Wars movie.  I don't think Lucas will make that same mistake again in going with an animated feature, as he will still be involved in the production as a creative consultant.  So another live-action Star Wars epic will be hitting the screen at some point in the year 2015.  I gotta put the odds of it being a success at about 250 to 1, to be honest. 

But hey, Disney knows how to market themselves, meaning Star Wars will live on even longer, and hopefully they put in some sweet new themed rides at Disney soon, I haven't been in a while.

Note: the last hyperlink -- "things are headed south" -- had to find its way into this article to bridge the gap between Disney and Star Wars in your minds, but for the life of me, I could not bring myself to make it the main picture.  It still hurts me to look at.

The Ol' Fantasy Curse


So the NBA season tips off tonight, with the Celtics-Heat, Mavericks-Lakers and last (and definitely least...) Wizards-Cavaliers game.

NBA has always been the last of the four major US sports that I follow, becoming a Celtics fan by proximity then staying interested because of players like Ray Allen and Keyon Dooling.  But this season, with the NHL season looking bleak, I decided to try my hand in fantasy basketball.  Fantasy sports and me go together like the Sharks and the Jets, but its still fun.

Sometimes.

For years now, I am convinced that I am a star player's reckoning.  In 2005, I chose David Akers second round (yeah, I know) and he broke his leg during a kickoff.  The two years on either side of Jacoby Ellsbury's near-MVP season I picked him high, only to have him fold up like a paper bag.  Last year in hockey, my top two goalies were Ryan Miller and Kari Lehtonen.  A concussion and a serious groin injury sidelined them for too long to hold onto, and I suffered five straight losses.

This year, I thought, new sport, new results?  Good one.  Top pick: Kevin Love -- out for six weeks.  Second round pick: Dirk Nowitzki -- out six to eight weeks.  Third round pick: James Harden -- traded to the Rockets.

I mean if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.  While my recent picks have been dead wrong, I'll try my hand tonight, going with the Heat, Lakers and Wizards as the winners.  Hopefully the whole Allen-Celtics fiasco doesn't get blown out of proportion tonight, but it'll sure be awkward during the ring ceremony...

UPDATE: Steve Nash was taken out of the Lakers' second game Wednesday night with a leg bruise.  Hopefully it is nothing serious, but either way, my fifth round pick joins the ranks of the DL.

MLB "Accidentally" Leaks New 2012 Houston Astros Logo


The Houston Astros are getting a makeover and moving to the American League in 2013.  After consecutive 100-loss seasons, hopefully the change of scenery will help them out, but moving to a loaded AL West division may not be the remedy they were hoping for.

The realignment will mean interleague games almost every day over the course of the major league season, and the Texas Rangers will now have an interstate rival, joining the A's and Angels, as well as the Giants, Padres and Dodgers as the only groups of teams to have division foes within their state's borders.

Their new logo, which the team had planned to unveil at Minute Maid Park on Friday, has already been leaked in any number of ways.  If you make your way to the Astros site, navigate to the 40-man roster and click any name, the logo and hat are already on display.  At an Academy Sporting Goods store in Houston, the t-shirts were already put out on the racks, but quickly taken down after they realized the logo was not supposed to be public yet.  With the Astros being the worst team in the MLB for a few years now, many believe the leak was an effort to generate some buzz around the ballclub, trying to start anew in 2013.

The logo is a familiar one, having been used in the 1960s and 70s by the club on their hats, but as to what their uniforms will look like, we'll have to wait a few days.  We can only hope they're this awesome again.

Monday, October 29, 2012

True Statement


Hahahahahahahahahaha. Nice.

First Day of MLB Offseason, Yankees, A's Exercising Options


With the MLB World Champions crowned less than 24 hours ago, the offseason is already in full swing.  Clubs like the Yankees and the A's are already exercising options, and teams are beginning to eye notable free agents.

After a combined 7-for-70 performance in the 2012 postseason, the Yankees have locked up Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson for $15 million apiece.  Granderson's average was low all season, but his power numbers made up for that, while Cano has been a solid player for a number of years during the regular season.  The team hopes that the signings of these two will lead them to another playoff appearance where they can redeem themselves.

Across the U.S., the Oakland A's have inked one player's option, and dropped another's.  Closer Grant Balfour $4.5 million option was exercised by the club, while infielder Stephen Drew's $10 million clause was dropped.  Balfour, catalyst for the "Balfour Ragefest" that ensued in right-center field at O.co Coliseum, became a cornerstone of the back end of Oakland's bullpen, especially during their AL West champion stretch run.  Drew was a late season pick-up, but I think the late season surges from Josh Donaldson and Cliff Pennington sealed his fate.

Drew becomes another free agent headed into a star-studded 2012-13 offseason.  Some other names on teams' radars include Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Mike Napoli, Anibal Sanchez, Zach Greinke and David Ortiz.  Ortiz has been in talks with the Red Sox since the expiration of his latest contract, and a two-year deal appears imminent, waiting for the free agent signing period to being after midnight ET on Friday. 

Pitching wins championships, as showcased by San Francisco over the past three weeks, and there are plenty of hurlers out there who could benefit teams from the top two spots of the rotation to solid late inning relievers.

Outfielders are not in short supply either.  Veterans like Ichiro Suzuki, Torii Hunter, Angel Pagan and Delmon Young are all on the market, and can not only help a team on the field, as the latter two have shown this postseason, but in the clubhouse as well.  Looks like it'll be another wild MLB winter.

It's Taiwanimation, Cap!



What's better than the Giants winning the World Series?  The Taiwanese Animation video of how things really went down!

It's been a while since I've seen a Taiwanese animation video and like all of the others, this one did not disappoint.  Whoever comes up with these things, thank you.  As always, its a good-natured video, featuring Sergio Romo throwing fastball's with tongues and human bodies and Pablo Sandoval as a literal Kung Fu Panda.  It takes a wrong turn at Alberqueque however when Kung Fu Panda cuts off the tiger head and hangs it next to the Ranger...

And in case you were fact-checking, that quote in the title isn't a real quote.  The actual line is "It's Afghanistanimation, Cap!" from Super Troopers.  Close enough.

The Giants are World Champions Again


For the second time in just three years, the San Francisco Giants are World Champions.

Finishing the season with a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, they ended a seven-game win streak with a championship title.  The Giants outscored the Tigers 16-6 in those four games, with outstanding starting pitching performances from Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain.

I was hunkered down for a great series between these two, predicting the Fall Classic would go at least six games.  The Tigers also featured usually dominant pitchers in Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, but the baseball gods denied the Tigers yet another title.  Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera never found their grove, and by the time Cabrera started up -- blasting a two-run bomb in Game 4 -- it was too little, too late.

Pablo Sandoval earned MVP honors, mostly stemming from his record-tying three home run performance in Game 1, not to mention his .500 average.  That NLCS momentum the Giants carried into the World Series was ultimately too much to handle for the Tigers, who had been sitting around after their sweep of the Yankees in the ALCS.

The way the Tigers performed, roaring back -- pun intended -- at the end of the regular season, then stifling a white hot A's team before sweeping the 5-to-1 favorite New York Yankees made them seem like a perfect match-up for the Giants.  Having already stopped a team with that much momentum in Oakland, it was strange to see how they played against another team with the same "advantage."  Any day of the week, if you give me Verlander vs. Zito, my money would be on Verlander.  Cabrera vs. Marco Scutaro? Cabrera, and I'd bet the farm on it.

But now that the World Series is over, we can look back on this postseason for another list of why baseball is the greatest sport under the sun.

Stuck in The District



Well, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I'm stuck in DC until Wednesday afternoon.  Could be worse, I guess...

With all the hurricane news -- which isn't really news anymore, since its the same reporting done over and over again by crazy reporters wearing giant coats running away from the waves on the beach -- its reminded me of some past hurricane coverage.  Sandy doesn't appear to be messing around, forcing parts to numerous northeastern states to evacuate, with millions expected to be out of power.  But what about the lighter parts of hurricane coverage?  Reporters blown over by wind, watching them battle the elements from obscure locations, and of course, Chris Farley are a few of the things that come to mind, so let's take a look.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Quest for G!



I'll be heading down to D.C. for the weekend -- unfortunately, not on the fabled "Quest for G" -- but nonetheless, I leave the blog in the hands of Ryan once again.  This video came out a few years back, and I haven't given it much thought until recently.  If you haven't seen it, prepare for glory.

Kevin Garnett's dance moves, Derek Jeter's awkwardness, Jimmie Johnson's terrible acting and the Olympic squad of Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh-Jennings, Alicia Sacramone and Usain Bolt make this one of the best sports videos to date.  Plus, it doesn't hurt to have His Airness Michael Jordan voicing a burnt chihuahua who ends the video with a classic line.

Enjoy the Halloween festivities, and I'll see you next week.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Russell Westbrook Misses the Exit



As a kid, I remember going to a Connecticut Pride game to watch Kevin Ollie and one night, Jeff Van Gundy happened to be there.  The Pride were a Continental Basketball Association team that dropped off the planet in 2001, but it was some solid basketball, and the closest thing to a professional sport since the Whalers left in 1997.

At halftime, my dad walked me down to the court, and right up to Van Gundy to ask for his autograph.  From what I remember, he was a wicked nice guy and signed my program.  After seeing this commercial, I have never been so happy to have his autograph.

Kung-Fu Panda-monium


The Giants took a 1-0 lead over the Tigers in the 2012 World Series Wednesday night thanks to a dominant pitching performance by Barry Zito and the bat of Pablo Sandoval.

The game ended 8-3, with the Tigers getting their last two runs all the way in the ninth after a Jhonny Peralta home run.  The Tigers never had a lead in this game, due to a very rare pitching performance by Justin Verlander.  He went just four innings giving up five runs.  Two of those runs came off of the bat of Sandoval, who homered to center and right in his first two at-bats.

This isn't the first time these two have matched up and Sandoval has come out on top.  The man they call "Kung-Fu Panda" was the one who cracked this year's All-Star Game open in Kansas City, legging out a triple to put the game's first runs on the board.  The National League's win gave the Giants home-field advantage in the Fall Classic, and if you've watched any of the NLCS or World Series games, that advantage is paying off.

Sandoval wasn't done after two home runs, however.  He crushed a third solo shot, his second to straightaway center, that traveled 422 feet.  His three home runs in the World Series was not only a personal accomplishment -- it was the first time he had ever hit three home runs in a game -- but it put him among a very select group of sluggers to do it before him.  Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols are the only other three in MLB history to accomplish this.

Tonight's pitching match-up is still in favor of the Tigers, but the Giants put that to bed last night, so we're in for another great game.  Detroit will go with Doug Fister as the Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner.  Gametime is 8 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dan & The Wildfire - Smoke Signals


Dan & The Wildfire, formally known as Dan HL released their second album Tuesday titled "Smoke Signals."  The nine-track album packs a solid punch right off the bat, with a good mix of quick, fun songs later balanced out with some softer, lyric-heavy tunes.

Songs like "Wood and Wire" and "Keep Myself Alive" alone provide me with everything I've been looking for out of this band, and its no accident that they chose these songs to open and close the album respectively.  The singability of the lyrics, the harmonies, the horns -- they're such an easy band to get into, and with a constantly growing audience, I think they're really starting to hit their stride as a band.

"Good Enough" is a fast, in-your-face jam complete with a message embedded into chorus that everyone can relate to, making it one of the true highlights for me on the album, and the song I'm most looking forward to when I see these guys play live.  Its followed by two tracks, "Western Time" and "Sunday" that slowed things down and really drew me in, allowing me to catch my breath before it was all over.

The nine songs on "Smoke Signals" prove that Dan & The Wildfire is a much more dynamic band than their fist album, and solidifies them as one of the best up-and-coming bands in the Boston area.  You can check them out on iTunes, or catch them on Spotify, before they come back and play live in November.

Ozzie Guillen vs Bobby Valentine - Who's Worse?


Two of the games strangest managers are finally out of work.  Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen have been dismissed by the Red Sox and Marlins, respectively, with Guillen's exit coming Tuesday afternoon, as reported by the Marlins organization.

Both skippers led their squads to identical 69-93 records during the 2012 campaign, leaving fans in complete disbelief as to how their teams could have ended up at the bottom of the totem pole.  The Red Sox headed into last season as one of the best teams on paper.  With Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz at the top of the rotation, backed by the bats of Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox were poised to be in the playoff mix once again.  More injuries than you could keep track of, Valentine practically running Youkilis out of town, an inexplicably dismal pitching record and a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers sealed the coffin shut on any chances of October baseball in Beantown.

For the Marlins, Ozzie was one of their many offseason acquisitions before the 2012 season.  Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle headlined the new wave of Marlins, joining Hanley Ramirez, Giancarlo Stanton and a healthy Josh Johnson under Guillen's command.  They weren't decimated by injuries, not by any means, they just couldn't handle the hype.  A new stadium and new look were all in the works for years, and when it came to be Miami's time to shine, they completely fell apart, led by Bell's horrid closing performance.  The club has since traded away Ramirez, Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez.  While the latter two don't mind the collapse -- they're playing for the World Series on the Detroit Tigers after a midseason trade -- Marlins fans and front office alike are left completely baffled as to what went wrong.

Ultimately, the team is only as strong as their weakest link, whether that link is on or off the field.  In these two cases, the managers clearly weren't able to hold the chain together.  But Bobby V takes the cake for not being able to even establish that chain.  Early in the season, he and Youkilis would butt heads not only behind the scenes, but in front of the media.  Bobby V and bullpen coach Gary Tuck were said to go extended lengths of time without communicating with each other; the Sox ex-pitching coach Bob McClure would be the one to handle the bullpen phone.

In Miami, the organization has had its fair share of controversy, and has since sent those problems packing, like Bell and Ramirez.  Bobby V wasn't the only one who was careless around the media -- remember when he praised Fidel Castro and was suspended for five games?  Both guys are great baseball minds, there is no doubt about that.  But when push comes to shove, Bobby Valentine was just too much of a headache in Boston to even want to disperse the blame around the rest of the club. 

Christopher Walken - The Rundown



So, this video has little to no relevance to anything. My roommate and I were talking about going to see "Seven Psycopaths" soon (if anyone's seen it yet, comment on this post and let me know how it was), and he referenced a line from what he thought was the best Christopher Walken monologue.  Having only seen parts of the movie that its from -- "The Rundown" with The (One and Only) Rock -- I was unfamiliar, so we looked it up.

We found a strange video, but its edited so its just Walken's lines which probably makes it better.  Sit back and enjoy some ridiculous Christopher Walken.

JJ Watt Eats 215-Pound Burritos?



I love when players are mic'd up on the field. It's fun to try and guess what profanities coaches are screaming from the sidelines, but its even more fun when you can actually hear every malicious word.

In last Sunday's game between the Texans and Ravens, Texans standout defensive end J.J. Watt was jawing back and forth with Ravens running back Ray Rice, when Watt dropped the great finishing line in the video above.

It's still not as good as the mic'd up banter in HBO's "24/7 Flyers-Rangers," though.  The stuff hockey players say to each other is pure gold, but the highlight for me was when Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was skating by the Flyers bench, and one unknown Flyers player just goes, "hey, f*** you, Lundqvist!" admist a bunch of other jeers toward the eventual Vezina Trophy winner.

Giants-Tigers World Series - Where is the Momentum?


The San Francisco Giants completed a three-games-to-one comeback Tuesday night over the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals with a 9-0 Game 7 win.  The Detroit Tigers made quick work of the New York Yankees, sweeping them 4-0 and getting some crucial days off to get their starting pitching staff in order.

The Giants have a full head of steam going into the Fall Classic which starts on Wednesday night when they host the Tigers in San Fran, thanks to the National League's success in the All-Star Game.  Led by the NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro -- who hit .500, averaging two hits a game for all seven games -- the Giants offense put up some big numbers on a proven Cardinals' pitching staff, scoring 15 runs in the last two games of the series.

The Tigers have arguably the most dominant starting pitching in the game, anchored by Justin VerlanderMax Scherzer, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez combined with Verlander and the bullpen to hold the Bronx Bombers to just six runs in four games of the ALCS.  And it doesn't hurt that they have the 3-4 combination of the Triple Crown winning Miguel Cabrera followed by Prince Fielder.

But regardless of what the league's newest bash brothers can do, the Tigers starters have a 1.02 ERA the entire postseason, taking a lot of pressure off of the bats.  The Giants starters put up a 3.88 ERA and have been led by two unlikely heroes in Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong.  Zito has been suspect since he got a seven-year, $126 million contract -- at the time, the largest ever for a pitcher -- but critics have said he earned his keep with the Game 5 win.  Vogelsong is in just his first postseason of his young career, but has a 1.58 ERA in 29.1 innings.

Both teams played all five games in their respective Division Series, and San Francisco played an extra three in the Championship series.  They faced elimination in six straight games, and have fought their way into the World Series.  That's a scary start to look at, especially when those teams were the Cincinnati Reds and the Cardinals.  The Tigers faced a struggling Yankees lineup who did not have the tenacity this Giants order will possess.

It's tough to call a favorite here, really.  I would love for the Tigers to win, since they've come so close but have not won since 1984, and how can you bet against Verlander?  Delmon Young won the ALCS MVP with four game-winning RBI.  It's tough to get more clutch that than, and it doesn't hurt that he hits directly behind Cabrera and Fielder.  The Giants have been a really impressive team, though, doing the little things well and not letting the pressure of the postseason get to them, even those young players.  They won just two years ago, but are they poised to win another?

The San Francisco Giants will win in six of what could be the best baseball games in recent memory.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hockey Fights Make Me Miss the NHL Even More



Trevor Gillies is not a nice guy.

Somehow, the 6-foot-3 goon was picked up in the KHL, and made his presence known on Monday with a big fight just two and a half minutes into the first period.  His opponent, Jon Mirasty, is just 5-foot-10, but with his mohawk hairstyle and nicknamed "Nasty," he knows his way around a scuffle.

But in this bout, Mirasty went down like a sack of hammers.  The two gentlemen took their time sizing each other up, but once Gillies starting tossing haymakers, it was all over.  In 57 NHL games, Gillies has racked up 261 penalty minutes.  This won't be the last time he drops the gloves in the motherland.

Shia LaBeouf At His Finest



Thanks to Alex for showing me this one.

Shia LaBeouf really showing that he's the jack-of-all-acting-trades, here.  I watched the first Transformers movie, and felt like that was all the giant robot fighting I needed in the world.  I don't know how the next two movies are, but if Shia is anything like he was in this movie, then looks like I've been waiting too long to get in on the action.

Its 30 seconds of straight "nononononono" action in just the first Transformers, then a few other gems at the end.  Never even noticed how ridiculous it is, but the variations of the no's makes this one of the funniest videos I've seen in a while.

Crazy Trick Kicks



I mean, he's okay, I guess.

The video, titled "Kickalicious" was posted by an unnamed individual, who is unnaturally good at kicking a football in various scenarios.  Looks like punters really are people, too, huh?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gary Bettman Ruins Any Chances of Having NHL Season Any Time Soon


Remember all that optimism milling around just a few days ago when the NHL issued a proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement in which the players and owners would split all hockey-related revenue 50-50?

Well, that's gone.  When the NHLPA looked into it, NHLPA director Donald Fehr said that over a six year period with five percent industry growth, the players would stand to lose $1.6 billion.  So they went to work and on Thursday issued three different counter-proposals back to the NHL.  Alright, a little bit of back-and-forth is good, right?

Dead wrong.  "None of the three variations of player share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50, either at all or for some long period of time," Bettman said.  "It's clear we're not speaking the same language."

"I am concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing.  To the contrary, I view the proposal made by the Players' Association in many ways a step backward."

We're screwed.  Bettman is just going to go back into his lair while the owners stand guard.  Also, am I missing something, or does it seem like there is very little input to be heard from the players?  Fehr released a memo to players after the latest NHL proposal, but he never met with them.  I don't know the whole business of the Players Association, but it seems just as shady as the owners.  It would only make sense though, considering the circumstances each side is in, that each side would entrench themselves as deep as they can.

No more talks have been slated, as both sides have appeared to completely walk away from the table.  In order for the season to start on Nov. 2, like the NHL proposal stated, a deal would have to be struck by Oct. 25.  Not happening.  The only hope I have at this point is that the season will start with the Winter Classic.  The problem with that being it will turn into one big marketing scheme to make even more money, with such little focus on the teams.  NHL fans are smarter than that though, so if that's their play, good luck.  If not, then let the 365-day countdown begin.

WBNA Coach Loses Her Marbles



Head coach of the Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve was T'd up Wednesday night during Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on a bogus missed foul call.  When I saw "throws jacket," I expected the jacket to go flying across the court like a chair from the hands of Bobby Knight.

Disappointed as I was, this is still a good watch mostly because of what's happening off the court.  Check out the people sitting in the first fews rows.  They're expressions are absolutely priceless.  They have never seen someone get so angry in a WNBA game, and to be honest, neither have I.  Teams don't get to the Finals by sitting down and taking it.  Good for Coach Reeve.  I just wish the jacket toss was at a ref, not at that weird Sisqo lady in pink.

Dallas Ice Girls Make a Music Video



Give the people what they want, right? The Miami Dolphin "Call Me Maybe" video was a huge success on the blog. Mostly because of the song, I'm assuming.

With this video, I think what will really draw people in is the summer-y theme as we being the slow descent into winter.  They're lip-syncing "Pontoon" by the band Little Big Town, for anyone who's even listening to the song.

German Guy Nearly Breaks Everything When Jumping into Frozen Pool



Words fail me.  There are just too many things to question here, so I'm going to take the high road.  Thanks to Greg for showing this to me, and thank you to this random German guy for only knowing one English word

New to the Hub: NY's "The Bowery Presents" to open "The Sinclair"


Coming this October, Boston adds another live music venue to an already thriving scene and it sounds pretty promising. Making it's home in bustling Harvard Square, The Sinclair will open just in time for Halloween. The 525-person standing room club/restaurant is set to open at the end of this month with a lineup of national touring acts ready to make the place jump. 

The Meter Men-10/30 - $40 
Andrew Jackson Jihad 10/31 - $12
Gary Clark Jr 11/2-11/3 - $20
K'naan 11/4 - $25
The Asteroids Galaxy 11/08 - $15
Roky Erickson 11/09 - $23
Barefoot Truth 11/11 - $15
Converge 11/12 - $16
The Dirty Guh'nahs 11/14 - $12
TITLE FIGHT 11/27 - $12
David Wax Museum 12/1 - $15
Patrick Watson 12/8 - $15
Chadwick Stokes & Friends 12/14 - $25

The lineup didn't impress me too much at first glance. Barefoot Truth is from a couple towns over and they used to play free shows on the beach at Groton Long Point and I think I have a signed Chad Stokes ticket stub from when I caught State Radio in high school with a bitchy ex-girlfriend. Neither really did much for me but then I looked into The Meter Men and holiest of holies! Turns out they're actually the remainder of the seminal funk/soul group The Meters, who's ability to get a rump shakin' is unparalleled.  Also, K'naan and Andrew Jackson Jihad are pretty cool too. 

While I don't think The Sinclair lineup has the strength of other staples of the Boston scene like the Paradise, The Middle East, TT and the Bear's, Royale or House of Blues, the fact that they're backed by The Bowery Presents shows great promise for future big names coming through.  Definitely keep an eye out for more shows making their way to Harvard Square from now on. 

PS - Shows coming this fall that I would go to if money weren't a thing: The GZA, Miike Snow, Pete Holmes (comedian),  Dinosaur Jr., Black Moth Super Rainbow (going), Japandroids (tickets purchased), Of Montreal, Blue Scholars, Purity Ring, Electric Six, Camper Von Beethoven, El Ten Eleven, Yeasayer, Nas + Lauryn Hill, 2 Chainz, The Roots, Sufjan Stevens and Band of Horses.

New Music: Spaceship Aloha



Philly favorite Man Man's rhythm section Chris Powell, aka Pow Pow (@Powserati) just released tracks from his side project, Spaceship Aloha,off of the debut album, Universe Mahalo and they're crazy good.  Born out of a visit to Hawaii with his wife, Powell's tunes are the sounds of an electric Polynesian sunburst.

Check out the linked video, Pow Pow's just having a blast with this project, bopping around on the beat machine like it aint no thang.  It's catchy and complex and I'm glad there are no lyrics to weigh these songs down.  While there's some recognizability to the patterns, Powell works the tracks all over the place.  Think of a more up-tempo RJD2 half way through three daiquiris on a beach at sunrise.

With the debut fresh out of the box, Universe Mahalo does something pretty cool for the release that I personally haven't seen before.  At the merch website, the album comes in two formats.  One $5 digital copy can be bought right out and ready to go instantly or, interested parties can choose to purchase the limited edition "plantable postcard" version of the album.  Unlock the digital download then drop the card in the earth and wait for Blue Lobelias to sprout.  At six bucks this was too good to be true and I've already got a couple copies on the way for early Christmas presents.

Check out some more of Universe Mahalo linked below and for a taste of Man Man follow the link to hear them provide the background music to some hilarious Rainn Wilson led US Women's Soccer commercials.


EDIT: I love when bands respond on twitter!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Live Stronger


Beating cancer isn't as easy as riding a bike.

Beating cancer was riding a bike.  In October of 1996, Lance Armstrong, diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer that spread to his abdomen, brain and lungs, was given a 40 percent chance to survive.  What do you think his chances were of winning a 2,200 mile bike race just three years later? 

And his chances of winning that same race seven times?  The ultimate success story not just for the Tour de France, but for the entire world, has been all but completely erased.  In a sport riddled with issues surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong's physical and mental strength set him apart.  Armstrong's body could take in and use much more oxygen during physical activity than the average human, making him a superhuman in the Tour.

But without kryptonite, is there a Superman?  Without performance-enhancing drugs, there is no seven-time champion Lance Armstrong.  Armstrong recently "gave up" on addressing accusations that he used PEDs, after years of vehemently denying claims since his athletic career began.  Why?  Because there are testimonies from over 30 people, including former teammates, that he used illegal substances, dodged scheduled testing and attempted to pay off facilities to hide positive test results.

Armstrong is the founder and, until Wednesday morning, was the chairman of Livestrong.  He stepped down Wednesday morning hoping to draw any negative press away from the foundation.  "Today, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship," Armstrong said in a statement.  Nike has since dropped Armstrong's contract, but will continue to partner with the Livestrong Foundation to keep it's positive message and mission alive.

Eighty million dollars have been raised through the sale of Livestrong bracelets alone.  Those bracelets cost one dollar, and for so long have served to spread the message of hope, and the hope that one day there will be a cure for cancer.  You don't need to do any math to figure how many people in this country show their support for the foundation and their determination to overcome this disease.  My brother wears one, my father wears one.  I lost my grandmother to cancer and watched my dad beat it while wearing one.

Those aren't things you move on from.  I still wear the bracelet, and the bright yellow sweatshirt, not to remind myself of what my family and millions of families go through, but to keep the faith, and inspire faith in others that one day soon, we're going to beat this.

This news about Lance Armstrong is devastating to me.  Someone who inspired exponentially more people than I ever will wearing a bracelet around is a liar and a cheater.  Someone who I looked up to more than any baseball player I've ever wanted to be has been dishonest and has tarnished one of the greatest foundations for eliminating cancer.

I believe that Nike can sustain Livestrong, and will continue to grow and do tremendous things in communities around the country and the world.  What I will never understand is how one person can be aware of all the good he is doing for so many people while being selfish enough to risk losing everything by doing something as stupid as cheating.  Just getting on that bike and crossing the starting line was enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free Taxi Rides for Everyone!


If you're reading this before 8 p.m. on Thursday from somewhere in Boston, then you can get a cab ride for free.

Follow the link above, download the Uber app and input your information to get a cab at your door to take you anywhere within $25.  Get from Mission Hill down to the aquarium!  Get from Fenway Park to the North End! Go crazy, folks, go crazy.

This is a completely user-promoted event, so we're doing our part to get the word out.  Tell you friends, or don't and just take as many cabs as you want, and go wacky places.  The choice is yours, my friends.

And don't worry, if you don't have one of them newfangled computer machine phones, you can call your royal chariot here.

Dissecting the NHL CBA Proposal


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued a new proposal from the league on Tuesday to the NHL Players' Association.  For fans, the highlight of the new collective bargaining agreement is that the season would start on Nov. 2, but what else is between the lines of this proposal?

Bettman and the owners (unfortunately does not refer to an awesome mo-town group that should exist) originally issued a ten-year plan, in which the players' share of hockey-related revenue would go from 57 percent down to 43.  The NHL countered, saying they would be willing to work with the league, and lower the revenue in a fixed way over a fixed number of years and settling down at 46 percent at the end of the ten year period.

The owners through a tantrum, did away with the deal, and walked away from the tables.  A month after the lockout officially began, the league has come out with a new proposal, and here are a few of the main bullet points.

- The plan is not for ten years, rather it is a "long-term" deal, speculated for around six years.

- The cutback of 57 percent to 50 means that there will be a shift in the salary cap, but it will not include a rollback on current contracts.

- The puck would drop on Nov. 2, with each team playing an extra game once every five weeks, re-scheduled from the first two weeks that have already been cancelled.

- The union representatives, Donald and Steve Fehr will be taking the proposal back to the players, after which discussions between the two sides will pick back up.  A timetable for these discussions, or whether or not a counter-proposal will be tendered, is unknown at this point.

It is estimated that the league has already lost $250 million because of the cancellations, so hopefully this proposal can stop the bleeding.


LEGOs and Space Are Awesome



All the thrill of a space-dive + all the thrill of LEGOs = THRILL OVERLOAD.

Try to contain yourself and watch the two minute, and way better, version of Felix Baumgartner's 127,000-foot jump from space.

NHL Proposes 50-50 Revenue Split

In the last NHL collective bargaining agreement, the players stood to make 57 percent of all hockey-related revenue that came in through the team.  I think a good place to start is by outlining what "hockey-related revenue" actually is.

Money "derived or earned from, relating to or arising directly or indirectly out of the playing of NHL hockey games or NHL-related events in which current NHL Players participate or in which current NHL Players’ names and likenesses are used, by each such Club or the League, or attributable directly to the Club or the League from a Club Affiliated Entity or League Affiliated Entity."

So, the players were earning a 57 percent share during the last CBA.  For this CBA, the owners wanted 57 percent, a 14 percent swing in their favor.  This created the giant schism that has been the month-long 2012-13 NHL lockout.

But when the two sides met Tuesday, the NHL came out of left field and proposed a 50-50 split, right down the center, of revenue.  If accepted by the players union, the season could start as soon as Nov. 2, with all 82 games intact.  The NHLPA will be going over the proposal and it is speculated they could have an answer as early as Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

This is easily the best news that has come out of the lockout talks for the past couple months.  A lot of speculation pointed towards the season starting, if it was even to start, around Christmas.  Just this morning I was talking about it over breakfast, expecting the first game to be the Winter Classic.  We'll wait and see what becomes of this proposal, and Three if by Strike will be on standby all day for the latest news.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dude Falls 127,000 Feet Going Over 800 Miles per Hour, No Big Deal



This video doesn't really do the whole experience justice, but then again, that's probably a good thing.

My roommates and I watched the entire project, starting with the launch up from Roswell, right down to Felix Baumgartner's landing, onto my laptop while we watched "Goldeneye" on TV Sunday afternoon.  For anyone who missed the boat on this one, as I almost did, finding out just a day before, the launch was titled "Red Bull Stratos," becoming another one of the ridiculous stunts that the energy drink has endorsed.

Baumgartner, an Austrian BASE-jumper was the pilot and the guinea pig on this mission, floating up into the stratosphere and free falling from 127,000 feet.  Oh, and that free fall (before the parachutes) lasted four minutes and allowed him to reach 833.9 miles per hour.

833.9 miles per hour.

A dude.  In a spacesuit.  Broke the sound barrier and went 833.9 miles per hour.  Unbelievable.  This jump is supposed to be able to answer questions and aid in future space research, but to me, it just seemed like a wacky stunt that Red Bull couldn't wait to get their hands on.  Either way, watching the door of his capsule roll open and him fall face first towards Earth was pretty sweet.

Alabama Lineman Channels His Inner-WWE



This is the closest thing you'll find to a DDT outside of Monday Night RAW.

Defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning was making a tackle on Missouri running back Russel Hansbrough, but when Hansbrough attempted to spin out of it, apparently Fanning's only move was to flip Hansbrough over onto this head.

I hate Alabama as it is, but this guy should absolutely be suspended.  Oh, cool, you're strong enough to lift the running back up.  And you're dumb enough to realize how dangerous flipping a guy onto his neck is.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Unfortunate Order Is Restored to MLB Postseason


The League Championship series have been set with the Tigers taking on the Yankees for the AL crown, and the Giants and Cardinals chasing the pennant in the NL.  All of the headlines entering the postseason have been erased with a very familiar four teams still remaining, taking away from what has been one of the best playoffs in recent years.

The four teams remaining are very capable of playing good baseball, so the games should prove to be just as entertaining.  But think about everything we had heading into October and how it has panned out so far.

The Atlanta Braves made the first Wild Card spot in the NL, hoping to go the distance for third baseman Chipper Jones, in his final season with the club.  Jones earned a World Series ring in 1995, but in a season where he was honored at nearly every park he went to, this would have been the ultimate icing on the cake for a first-ballot Hall of Fame career.  The Braves were bounced after a very questionable call in the Wild Card play-in game to the defending champion Cardinals.

The Oakland A's erased a 13-game deficit from July 1 to take the AL West crown.  A team that hasn't been relevant since 2006 was surging ahead of the Angels and right on the heels of the AL Champion Rangers.  Josh Reddick acting like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Grant Balfour "Ragefest," a pitching staff that impressed time and time again even though the average fan couldn't name more than two members.  They were the ultimate underdog story, the second-coming of Moneyball.  Coco Crisp, Brandon Moss, George Kottaras and Josh Reddick were all former Red Sox players, so that even gave them a little momentum back east.  After a stunning 3-run comeback in Game 4, they got crushed by ace Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Game 5, leaving the craziest fans in baseball sitting at home til next April.

The Baltimore Orioles went 69-93 last season.  In 2012 they flipped it around, coming out of nowhere to finish inches behind the Yankees in the AL East at 93-69.  Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been referred to as Fenway and Yankee Stadium South when those teams visited, with the hometown fans usually getting drowned out by the opposition.  For Game 1 of the Division Series, every seat was filled with an orange shirt waving an orange towel, chanting "Seven Nation Army" like they do across the street at M&T Bank Stadium.  The team hadn't made the postseason since 1997, and with a collection of young talent backed by veterans like Jim Thome you couldn't help but root for them against the Evil Empire.

Finally, the Nationals.  A team that received more criticism than congratulations.  General manager Mike Rizzo made the decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg because of a strict innings count he put on the starter to begin the season, which unnecessarily riled up competing GMs.  Other young stars like Jordan Zimmermann and Bryce Harper mixed with the veterans Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche gave the Baltimore-Washington area more reason to gear up for the postseason.  The Nats had the best record in the league, and blew a 6-0 lead to fall 9-7 to the Cardinals Saturday night, cutting the franchise's first playoff appearance since 1981 short.

Now, baseball is right back where it always has been, where four of the bigger market teams remain.  With the except of 2008, the Yankees have been in the postseason every year since 1995.  The Tigers have a marketing machine in Miguel Cabrera after he won the Triple Crown, and have already finished off the Yankees' season twice since 2006.  The Cardinals have won two World Series since 2006, and are the least interesting team to watch.  As for the Giants, well they're the best of a bad situation in the NL West, and after losing Melky Cabrera to a steroids suspension, they have proved to everyone their offense is still a force to be reckoned with.

Best case scenario is Tigers and Giants in the World Series with the Tigers capturing glory.  The ALCS starts Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Friday, October 12, 2012

E-40, Giants Fans Show Support Through Song



I mean, its like a car wreck. A 30-car pile-up. Like that moment in a NASCAR race, when cars start flipping and you go from thinking its awesome to getting sick to your stomach.

The next video is from rapper E-40.  The guy who only has one song?  False.  It was only a few days ago that I searched some of his stuff on Spotify and found some gems.  Here are a few highlights:

Gargoyle Serenade
In This Thang Breh
Stove On High
My Lil Grimey N*gga
I'ma Teach Ya Hot To Sell Dope
Extra Mannish

You get the idea.  So here's his latest addition to the mix.  Enjoy.  Or try to.  Or don't, probably easier if you don't.

AHL Season Kicks Off Tonight


No NHL, no problem.  Well, no, still a huge problem, but at least starting Friday night there will be hockey night in America.  The AHL kicks off their 77th season with seven games slated.

This season, Three if by Strike will be keeping an eye on a few teams -- the Connecticut Whale, Providence Bruins and Worcester Sharks.  Being from Connecticut, seeing a hockey team in green gets me every time.  The Whale finished 36-26-14 last season to make the playoffs.  The P-Bruins will be the team most closely watched considering all the young talent that's ready to make the push to the NHL if it should return.  They wrapped up their 2011-12 campaign with a 35-34-7 showing, missing the playoffs but stayed out of last place which went to the 31-33-12 Sharks.

NHL 13 can only provide so much hockey for me.  Plus, with the great ticket deals going on, how can you not get into AHL hockey?  Not to mention the ridiculous amount of fights that go on...

On Fridays, the Whale have $12 tickets, with $1 hot dogs and $2 beer.  The Bruins have giveaways every Friday night, with $5 already off regular ticket prices.  And for the Sharks, for $79 you can snag four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas.  Count me in for all of that.

Crabcakes and Baseball - That's What Division Series Are All About


It took five games for the Tigers to outlast the Athletics, and it took five games for the Giants to stage a backs-against-the-wall comeback against the Reds.  Friday night, the Orioles will attempt to take down the Yankees at home, and the Nationals will try to use their own home field advantage to wipe out the defending World Champion Cardinals.

The Reds won their first two games against the Giants in San Francisco, but went winless at home -- where they went 50-31 in the regular season -- for the remainder of the series to fall 3-2.  The A's, fresh off a walk-off win in the ninth inning of Game 4, could only muster four hits without a run against the indomitable Justin Verlander to fall 6-0 in Game 5, and 3-2 in the series.

But onto Friday.  The Orioles have never lost a series in New York, and tied the season series at 9-9.  They'll send Jason Hammel into the trenches against Yankees ace CC Sabathia.  Neither team has gotten their offense going, with players like Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Jim Thome, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher all hitting under .200 for the series.  I like the Orioles here, though.  The Yankees have looked sluggish at home, and if the O's can get an early run on the board, that should be all the confidence they need.

Just south of Baltimore, Washington will try to advance using their "October Natitude."  I agree, its one of the worst postseason slogans, but whatever gets the people going.  Riding the coattails of Jayson Werth's walk-off home run, their momentum coupled with Gio Gonzalez on the hill should bump them past the Cards with ease.

Underdog stories are few and far between in baseball.  The A's have already been bounced, with the O's and Nats trying to play Cinderella this year.  Last season, the Cardinals barely squeaked in to win it all.  Thinking back before that, however, you'd have to go to the Rays in 2008, when they beat out the defending champion Red Sox.  They couldn't get 15,000 people to Tropicana Field on a given night, but then the postseason came, the place was filled to the catwalks, and I was hearing cowbells for the next week and a half.

They eventually lost to the Phillies for the World Series, but in my opinion, baseball has never been on the stage it is on this year.  The NHL is in a lockout, freeing up fans' evenings as the season should be underway.  Cities like Oakland, Baltimore and D.C. have turned out in full force to support their teams like never before, filling up their respective parks.  If there would be any games to watch this postseason, it will be the games tonight.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jayson Werth Forces Game Five After Hitting Walk-Off Home Run on Thirteenth Pitch of At-Bat


What do Raul Ibanez, Coco Crisp and Jayson Werth all have in common?  They have all had walk-off hits within the past 24 hours to push their teams closer to the Fall Classic.

Wednesday night, Ibanez came in as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth, hit a game-tying bomb, then a game-winning shot in the twelfth to take a 2-1 series lead over Baltimore.  Crisp, with his team down 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, capped the three run comeback off with an RBI single to force Game 5 against Justin Verlander and the Tigers.

Thursday night, with a close game at 1-1 going into the ninth between the defending World Champion Cardinals and the Nationals, Werth led off the bottom of the frame.  The Nats were feeling it on defense, with the pitchers collecting eight of the last nine outs by way of the K.  Werth saw 12 pitches against starter-turned-reliever Lance Lynn, and with a full count, the 13th pitch came, and it sure did go.  Werth slammed a line drive home run over the left field fence to force another Game 5 in the 2012 MLB postseason.

"I was sitting at home watching my boy Raul Ibanez do it, and he gave me something to do today," Werth said after the game, still catching his breath from the celebration.

Thursday afternoon, the Giants won their Game 5 against the Reds, becoming the fifth team to ever come back from a 2-0 deficit in a five game series.  Game 4 of the Orioles-Yankees series is set to begin at 7:37, with Phil Hughes taking on Joe Saunders.  For the nightcap, the amazing story of the Oakland A's continues with Game 5 from O.co Coliseum.

As for my picks?  0-for-3.  I picked the Braves to win the now Cards-Nats series, so there goes another one, and my World Series winners, the Reds, were eliminated in their hometown today.  Awful news.

But man, do I love baseball.

Full Speed Plus Jumping Still Can't Knock Chara Down



As the NHL lockout drags on, we are beginning to see NHL players making an impact overseas.  In his first game, Patrice Bergeron netted two goals with two more assists.  A game between HC Dynamo Moscow and HC Lev Praha was shown on ESPN2 because the teams featured Alex Ovechkin and Zdeno Chara respectively.  But it was Chara's next game with the better highlight.

Chara is the biggest player in NHL history at 6-foot-9, and weighing in at 255lbs.  This highlight isn't a slapshot at 108 miles per hour, nor is it Chara dishing out some punishment, unfortunately.  Rather its someone else attempting to lay the big man out and failing miserably.

Igor Makarov of SKA Saint Petersburg lines up Chara behind the net, catching him off guard as he leaves his skates to deliver the hit, but can't knock Chara all the way down.  Its a real solid impact, but it looks like Makarov bit off a little more than he could chew here, faceplanting behind the net.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why My Head Will Probably Explode Tonight


Tonight, I'm going with my roommate, viewer 14,000, to a screening of the new biopic "Lincoln." Wait for it...before the show there's a live satellite Q&A with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. Ahh what's that...wait a minute...something's happening? AHHHHHHH...oh...there go my brains.
Without getting to far into it, I've been obsessed with Steven Spielberg since I was about 8 years old.  Jurassic Park was the first PG-13 movie I was allowed to watch, I've been Indiana Jones for Halloween and in 7th grade I gave a presentation about Spielberg's restrained use of CGI  after seeing Minority Report.  This is a big moment.  Add to this the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis is a crazy method acting  maverick, and being able to sort-of talk face-to-face with them is almost too much to handle.

I've been trying to think of questions worthy of these two goliath's for the past two weeks and the best I can come up with is, "Why are there plans to make Jurassic Park 4 AND Indiana Jones 5?" Hearing that  those are in development makes me think that Spielberg hasn't actually seen Jurassic Park III or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. Even though he helped produce them both. Yikes.

What do you think ThreeifbyStrikers? If your had the chance, what would you ask some of the most revered  living icons in film?

Tunes For Thought - Snarky Puppy



One of my goals on this Wednesday afternoon was to compile a list of music without any lyrics.  So far its been populated with mostly jazz, with some Explosions in the Sky, Andy McKee and "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" featuring Yo-Yo Ma thrown in.  My goal is to get as many different genres into the mix as I can, and I can cross a few off the list with this band, Snarky Puppy.

They're a jazz fusion band out of Denton, Tex., and they are amazing. The band consists of up to 30 members at one time, and their sound is absolutely incredible, give them a listen, and check them out on Spotify, too.

Big thanks to Bill for showing me these guys.

Josh Reddick Is Reason Enough to Want the A's to Beat the Tigers


If you had a childhood, then chances are you like wrestling.  If you follow baseball, then chances are you like Josh Reddick.  Former Red Sox great was traded to Oakland this past offseason in a deal that included closer Andrew Bailey.

Given Bailey's thumb injury that sidelined him for most of the 2012 campaign, its easy for Red Sox fans to sit back and badmouth the deal, but no one could have predicted Reddick's breakout year.  He's playing in a bigger park, for a smaller market team and hasn't gotten a haircut in two and a half years.  Yet he's leading the charge against the Detroit Tigers as his team trails two games to one going into Game 4 in Oakland today.

When the A's captured the AL West crown, Reddick donned his yellow A's bathrobe and paid homage to the wrestling great "Stone Cold" Steve Austin by doing the classic double beer chug.  I picked the A's to go to the World Series this year, and even with the Tigers one win away from moving on, I'm keeping the faith here. 

Balfour Rage.

The Canyon's Grindhouse Teaser Trailer


"American Psycho" author, Bret Easton Ellis, and the production crew behind his new project "The Canyons" have finally released a proper trailer.  If your interested, check out the incredibly overwrought and unsatisfying first trailer linked below but what you should be watching is the new, gritty, campy and very tantalizing video above.  Starring Lindsay Lohan and male porn star James Deen, Easton-Ellis' new Kickstarter born film promises a tale that will keep longtime fans of his very happy.

Bruce is Back: A Good Day to Die Hard Trailer


Besides absolutely killing it in Expendables 2 (he murders everyone) and in Looper (he murders even more everyone) Bruce Willis now brings us, the American people, another Die Hard to look forward to.   I was a little skeptical when Rumers about this started popping up, but then I remembered the Rule of Die Hard Sequels: Odd numbers kick ass.  Allow me to elaborate; the original was an action masterpiece; Die Harder sucked jet fuel fumes.  Die Hard With A Vengeance brought back a Gruber and introduced Samuel L. Jackson into the series, Live Free or Die Hard brought back an ungrateful Lucy McClane and introduced Justin Long into the series. Game, set, match; if this movie follows the rule of the sequel, then this is going to be the Valentine's Day mandate movie of the last 10 years. This year the tables have turned ladies, don't expect hearts and chocolate; expect explosions.

New Star Wars Video Game?


In keeping with the last post's Star Wars theme, awesome news came out in the video game world yesterday, possibly regarding one of the greatest video game franchises of all time.

Word on the street is that LucasArts, a video game company founded by George Lucas that mainly produces Star Wars-themed material, took out a trademark application to use the everything Star Wars within the title.  Then, cover art was leaked online, showing the games' title - "Star Wars: First Assault."

With that sort of name, and the cover art showing the city of Theed from Episode I housing stormtroopers from Episodes IV-VI, everyone's best guess is that this will be a continuation of the legendary Battlefront series.  Battlefront III has been rumored for years, but the company in charge, Pandemic, folded a few years back, and hopes were all but completely dashed for the series' return.

If this game is really coming out, whenever it does, the blog may be on sabbatical for any amount of time, but fair warning will be given.  If you're a video game nerd, then stay tuned, and we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Even More Proof Star Wars Rules


Like we needed any more evidence that Star Wars is one of the most iconic and influential forces of good in this or any universe, be it near or far, far away.

But let's get down to brass tax...how do I get my hands on one of these hoodies? With it I could be the most popular walking carpet on the block.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Favorite Hockey Team?



With the NHL season shut down until at least Oct. 24, I've been on the search for some form of hockey.

So far, NHL 13 has kept me plenty busy, and its been the only way I can see the Tim Thomas-less Bruins get back to Stanley Cup form.  Aside from hours and hours of that, I've watched more NHL Network than I can get my head around.  I think I've seen every postseason game from last season a few times over, but its impossible to stop watching.

But on the search for a real live competitive team, I've re-stumbled across a team that surfaced about a year ago with these ads.  The Lahti Pelicans of the SM-liiga in Finland are my new team.  Watch the ads, and I think we can create a pretty good American fan base.



Postseason Picks Going South, But There's Still Hope For Me In Cincy


As if I needed more proof that I'm just not very good at predicting the future of baseball, here it is.

Both Wild Card games I selected have been wrong and the Oakland A's are down two games to none.  What I'm about to say could change the shape of the postseason altogether, since I seem to be horrible luck, but I will say it anyway.

I am putting all of my stock into the Cincinnati Reds.

I picked the Reds to win the World Series from the get-go.  They're up 2-0 on the San Francisco Giants so far, with the remaining three games, if necessary, to be played at home at Great American Ballpark.  In Game 1, the Reds lost starter Johnny Cueto after just eight pitches, but managed to shake off the loss of their ace and pull out a win.

Cueto, along with the entire Reds organization, hopes he will be ready to pitch in Game 3.  He left the first game with back spasms, which shouldn't be too serious.

I picked the Yankees to win their ALDS match-up, and even though I didn't pick Baltimore to get this far, I would love nothing more than for them to win.  They're down 1-0 after a ninth inning meltdown last night, but I'll hang my hat on their 9-9 record against the Bronx Bombers any day of the week.  As for the Braves losing, I don't want to talk about that.  Chipper Jones.  That is all I want to say about that.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Infield Fly Rule Called By Outfield Umpire? Braves Fall to Cardinals, 6-3 After Controversial Call


This was the scene at Turner field on Friday night.  If you're familiar with sports, you have probably seen the replay of the controversial call during the one-game Wild Card playoff game between the Braves and the Cardinals more times than you can count.  And even if you're not that familiar with the rules of baseball, you still can't believe what you saw.



Don't even try to make sense of this, because it just defies everything you've ever learned in your entire life.  To make a call like this, an "infield fly" call, when the ball is very clearly past even shallow left left, is just plain absurdity.

This could have been a bases loaded situation for the Braves with one out and Brian McCann coming to the plate.  Instead, there were two outs, with the should-be runner on first sitting in the dugout, while McCann looked towards the field as beer bottles and trash reigned down from the entire stadium.  Its a disgusting sight to see, but I can understand the fans' frustrations.  But, come on, guys, Chipper Jones' last game and this is how you act?

Any way you slice it, the ridiculous call did account for some entertainment in the Twittersphere.





Insane Dodgeball Flip/Spin/Jump/Dodge/Insanity/Kill



I mean, what words can I really use to describe this?

Scrumtrulescent is the only one that comes to mind, really.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Michael Phelps Sinks 159-Foot Putt



That ball rolls for 17 seconds. How, I ask you?  How?

Michael Phelps, playing in the Dunhill Links Championship, a pro-am tournament held in October at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland, nail a monster 159-foot putt on one of the biggest greens I've ever seen.  Guy can do it all, apparently.

NFL Quarterbacks Trash Talk Via Facebook



The back-and-forth is a little hard to read, but you can download the images, or check the link here to see them a little better.

This is easily one of the funniest things I've seen in a long damn time.  Its fake, for anyone wondering, but some of the insults thrown around, and the way the elite's squash the rest of the league is absolutely classic.  Philip Rivers jumping in is a highlight mostly because of Tom Brady's response.  Peyton and Eli Manning have some good lines in there, and Aaron Rodgers dishes out some solid smack talk.

My biggest question mark?  Where's Ryan Fitzpatrick?!?