In this week’s episode we introduce the hashtag #googlyboob and venture into why Batman villains never succeed in their evil deeds. Boston Strong in this week’s Super Dudes Power Show!
Category Archives: Sports
Covering everything from Star Wars logic and upcoming films to the CMA awards and the NCAA championship game, this milestone episode is dressed to impress…so be impressed!
Also! Check out SEINFELD QUIZZO Wednesday 4/10/13 at Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom Street, Philly) 7PM
Let’s put this Ravens Super Bowl win in context.
The Ravens are, almost unquestionably, a great football team. They just beat what most people would have suggested to be the league’s three best teams in three consecutive games, with zero of those games played at home. They did it without ever trailing by more than a touchdown, having been in the lead for the entire second half in New England and all night on Sunday in New Orleans. These were not fluke wins; the Ravens were the better team in each of the four contests, and had they lost any of them, it would have been an unfair result with the wrong team advancing. They didn’t enjoy fumble luck or close-game luck or even floodlight luck. They were every bit as brilliant as the confetti implies they were.
Which is why it’s even more important to really put this thing in context. As recently as New Year’s Day and as early as Halloween, you could have argued that the Ravens were a mediocre football team with very little fuss from folks who don’t consider purple to be a base color of their wardrobe. In Week 11, the Ravens could only muster up a three-point win over a Steelers team that had a gimpy Byron Leftwich at quarterback in a game in which their offense — the same one that looked unstoppable in the first half of the freaking Super Bowl — couldn’t even score a single touchdown. The following week, it took a miraculous fourth-and-29 conversion to push the game into overtime and for the Ravens to eventually beat the lowly Chargers in San Diego, in a game in which that same offense scored just one touchdown. A week later, they lost to a Charlie Batch–led Steelers team in Baltimore. They blew an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Redskins in Washington, got embarrassed by the Broncos at home, and after finally showing up with a big win over the Giants, limped into the playoffs with a meaningless loss at Cincinnati.
If you think that tells you that the Ravens elevated their game when they needed to, I can’t agree. What it really tells us is that we know way less about teams than we really think we know. Every recent piece of information we had about the Ravens heading into the postseason suggested that they were a floundering team limping in by virtue of a successful start to the season, some lucky bounces, opposing injuries, and strong performance in close games. Baltimore started 6-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less, with its only loss to Philadelphia, of all teams, before losing their final three such contests. We had a clear curve for Baltimore’s true level of play, and it was trending further and further downward. And yet, from that point forward, everything we thought we knew about the Ravens was wrong. For every power rankings article you read in November and every set of odds you saw in December, nobody had any idea that the Ravens were capable of putting together a four-game stretch this good. Was “play like the best team in football” really a switch they were waiting to turn on during the playoffs? Or were they capable of this all along and just hadn’t yet exhibited this level of play?
This isn’t a new argument, either, or one of “peaking” at the right time. The Ravens are the 2011 Giants, or the 2007 Giants, or the 2010 Packers. They’re the reminders that you don’t get the full picture of a team and what they can do from a 16-game sample, just as you fail to get the entire story from a 16-game sample in other sports. The only difference is that those other sports get 66 or more games to reveal more about their teams. In football, we get 20 games max.
It’s because we know so little about these teams that it’s so important to try to judge them based upon their level of play as opposed to their win-loss record (and even that’s going to be flawed). Go back to that Ravens-Broncos game three weeks ago. If Rahim Moore hadn’t blown a seemingly simple coverage, Baltimore would’ve been out of the playoffs without anybody giving a second thought to how well they played. They would’ve been the plucky team who beat an over-matched Colts squad in the emotional cauldron of Ray Lewis’s final home game before giving the Broncos a tough match-up and coming up short. The seemingly impending breakup of the veterans on this team would’ve gone off without a hitch, with Lewis retiring and the Ravens moving on from the likes of Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin as rumored.
Even more stark is how different these teams would’ve looked if the 49ers had finished their comeback and won Sunday. Let’s say that the 49ers got off their second-down quarterback counter with Colin Kaepernick without calling a timeout, since it looked like it was about to steam into the end zone, and let’s pretend that the Ravens’ drive to tie/win fell short. Do you know who the Ravens would’ve gotten compared to? The Falcons, the team who blew an enormous lead that seemed to be slipping from their grip for most of the second half. Joe Flacco would’ve drawn comparisons to Matt Ryan for beating up the 49ers defense in the first half before only briefly succeeding in the second half. And Kaepernick? Well, he would’ve been the leader of the new Kardiac Kids, a team that just doesn’t know when to quit, a squad that has led nearly unprecedented comebacks in consecutive games. That line between winning and losing is so ridiculously thin, and yet it becomes the basis for about 98 percent of the discussion surrounding a team.
Of course, just as 16 games isn’t enough to get the total picture of a team, 20 games isn’t a perfect sample. For all we know, the Ravens could really be the league’s seventh-best team if we ran this season one million times. The question the NFL season seeks to answer isn’t who is the league’s best team; it’s who is the league champion. And in answering that question, the Ravens provided us with the latest reminder of one of the few things we actually do know about the modern NFL: As long as you make it to the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how you got there. And once you’re in the playoffs, you can throw just about everything you think you know about a team out the window.
In the playoffs, every story line is ex post facto, with the process graded after the fact by whatever the outcome was. You know the stories. A team with a first-round bye is refreshed and full of energy if they blow out their opponents (often as big favorites at home), but rusty and lost their timing if they lose to their opponents, who don’t have anybody believing in them but themselves. It’s one of the laziest bits of analysis you’ll see about sports.
To extend that further, there are stories about the players in this Super Bowl that totally change by virtue of what happened on that fateful fourth-down call near the Baltimore goal line in the fourth quarter. In many cases, the players weren’t even on the field for the play in question, but it’s still enough to lock in narratives surrounding those guys that may end up defining or redefining their respective careers. Again, in many cases, that’s inaccurate. It’s worth evaluating how those players and their performances look in a vacuum; or, perhaps more interestingly, if the Niners had completed their comeback and pulled out a victory with a touchdown on that spot. A quick go-around:
Ray Rice wouldn’t be the only scapegoat for a Baltimore loss, but he would get plenty of attention for his third-quarter fumble, one that gives him nearly as many fumbles in the playoffs (five) as he’s produced during the regular season (seven). The fumble furthered the San Francisco comeback and set them up for a possible game-tying touchdown opportunity, only for the defense to hold the 49ers to a field goal. Don’t think the Ravens didn’t react to it; there was a reason that Bernard Pierce got a carry on that final possession. If the Ravens had lost, Rice would’ve been lambasted and forced to answer questions about his playoff fumbling habit for the next five years. Since they won, everyone forgets about the fumble and Rice’s fourth-and-29 conversion is used as the manifestation of Baltimore’s never-say-die attitude.
Jacoby Jones is an example of how postseason labels shouldn’t stick around for very long. Last year, Jones was the goat in Houston after fumbling away a punt against these very same Ravens. This year, he was the GOAT in Baltimore’s playoff run; Jones held on to that season-changing touchdown catch against the Broncos to tie the game, and on Sunday, he had a 56-yard touchdown catch and a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.2 If the Ravens had lost, Jones’s heroic effort would’ve been an afterthought amid a crushing loss, but because the Ravens won, Jones’s MVP-caliber playoffs can overshadow his disappointing fumble last season.
Ray Lewis didn’t come up short in his retirement tour, meaning he can ride off into the (Bristol) sunset with his second ring. I suspect his final game will be remembered for his speech afterward; had the Ravens lost, we’d probably be talking about how slow and lumbering Lewis looked in the first half, when the 49ers threw at him repeatedly with crossing patterns from Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.
Colin Kaepernick would have to change the meaning of “Kaepernicking” from his touchdown celebration to the idea of coming back from any sort of large deficit while making it look easy. Instead, after the 49ers lost, I saw Kaepernick criticized during the postgame shows, which seems bizarre considering that the 49ers were unstoppable for most of the second half (and not too shabby in the first half, either). Yes, he made a bad throw that led to a first-half interception, and he was late on a second throw on the subsequent series that was nearly picked. It’s hard to find a bad throw from him the rest of the way, and I can recall at least one glorious pass up the sideline to an open Vernon Davis that wasn’t caught. Kaepernick played well enough to win. Sometimes, you can play well enough to win and still lose. This was one of those times.
Randy Moss could have been a hero. There were a number of plays in which Moss was open for possibly big plays and Kaepernick either chose a different receiver or wasn’t able to get the ball to him. A scrambling Kaepernick had an open Moss in the back of the end zone in the first quarter, but didn’t see him and instead overthrew Michael Crabtree on a drive that eventually produced a field goal. Later, Moss was open on a deep post on the aforementioned Davis drop, but Kaepernick decided to throw it elsewhere. Tack an extra 50 yards and a touchdown onto his totals and Moss would’ve left this weekend with some extra respect. Instead, it’s just another failed attempt for Moss to win a title.
Donte Whitner was involved in enough blown coverages and missed tackles to choke a horse on Sunday, just as he went missing during New Orleans’s comeback against the 49ers in the divisional round last year. In that game, the 49ers were able to drive down the field and score the game-winning touchdown, absolving Whitner of his mistakes; this time, they weren’t able to come back, and people watching the tape will see a player who was targeted on many Ravens plays. You can say the same for Chris Culliver, who was the target on many of Baltimore’s routes up the sidelines.
Welp, hope this blog helps your recovery of your hangovers folks!
Growing up poor on the mean streets of inner city Philadelphia, us kids had a lot of time to screw around outside. I never did a whole lot of video gaming (besides NHL 95 on the Sega Genesis!), and found the greatest amusement playing outside with a friend or two down the street. I’ve written about this before, a list of games that we played that look foreign to our suburban-raised counterparts, but today I’m choosing to write about the one game that was the ultimate pick-up boredom buster.
Man, was this ever a sweet game. It required exactly three things. People, a wall and a ball. That’s it. It even had it’s own theme song! (Wall ball, wall ball…you throw the ball against the wall. Shut up. We were like 8). Now many places across the country play some form of wall ball or another. And of course, every neighborhood, block and barrio claims THEIR way is the REAL wall ball. But I have to clarify.
This way, our way, was the real way.
The game, specifically known as Suicide, or Suey, was the preferred, nay, only way to play. It has everything. Skills such as throwing with precision, athleticism through running, and an excuse to hurt someone without getting into much trouble (unless you hit them in the eye or something).
First, you need a ball. Specifically, an old semi-flat tennis ball that you found in the street (known as a tennie). New tennis balls are allowed but frowned upon. Also occasionally acceptable is a raquetball. They bounce better, are harder to catch, and sting like a motherfucker when you get hit with one. Recommended for advanced players only.
Next, find yourself a wall. No windows, please, unless they’re barred/gated/fenced in, in which case TOTALLY go for the wall with windows! You get some gnarly bounces off them, and they make an awesome noise when you hit one. In a perfect world, your wall would be a school or playground building, with an open field or parking lot facing it. In reality, we used the back of an old banquet hall that faced a tiny two way street with cars on it. They just added to the excitement, therefore this situation is completely acceptable. Tennis balls will not break a car (as far as I know…). Trash cans, dogs and passersby are par for the course here.
Now get a friend. Or two dozen. You can really play with any number greater than one, although three or more usually works best.
They guy who brings/finds/steals the tennie usually gets the first throw. He throws the ball at the wall. The ball hits the wall (no bouncing first, it has to hit directly!). At this point, the crowd scrambles to catch it. If the ball bounces before it’s caught, the kid who catches it gets to throw from where they caught it, and the cycle continues. Now here’s the fun part(s). If you catch the ball in the air (no bounces), you get to throw the ball (preferably as hard as possible) at the kid who threw it. Also, if the ball touches you and you don’t catch it (missed catch, deflection, line drive, whatevers), someone can pick it up and whale on you.
Don’t fret over a bobble or caught ball, however. You can defend against this by running to the wall and tagging it as you yell “Suey.” Now this isn’t to say the kid who caught your bobble didn’t already start throwing it, and you can get nailed anyways, but at least you can save face a little bit (all important to an urban pre-teen).
Now say you get the ball like two blocks away. You throw it, you don’t make it all the way to the wall. Guess what. It’s a’runnin’ time. Basically, you can get pegged for doing anything OTHER than cleanly catching and throwing. Now for the particularly wimpy kids out there, if you’re waaay down the block, a generous friend can yell “Rally” and intercept the catch for you (however, if you miss the throw to him, you’d better hit that wall). Also, the mean spirited among us can block someone’s long distance throw (making sure you tag the wall after blocking the throw to avoid getting hit with ANOTHER ball).
So summary. Throw ball against wall. Screw up, get pegged with a ball.
Now usually this just goes on until everyone’s bored, but you can also make this into a true winner-take-all event. If you’re actually looking for a winner, count each peg someone receives as an Out. After three outs you can simply declare the person out of the game, or for more grueling adventures, have them face a Wall of Shame. This is where the violence of this game really shines. The guy facing the Wall of Shame has to stand against the game wall, spread eagle. Each other player now lines up and has the opportunity to throw the ball as hard as possible at the kid’s back (very painful for large groups including older kids!). Now maybe your buddy decides just to give you a little tap, that’s up to him. Most will not do this.
Generally, aiming for the head is not allowed. It will usually result in the offending thrower needing to tag the wall.
Catching a ball in the air with ONE hand requires the entire rest of the group to tag up. Roofing the ball, or being the kid who lets it roll in the storm drain requires a beatdown.
So that’s that. Our main game. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we switched it up playing Chink (named after a crack in the sidewalk or wall), Wallball Baseball (with predetermined areas for single, double, etc), Wireball or Basketball-Court-Baseball-With-a-Tennis-Ball-and-Electrical-Taped-Whiffle-Ball-Bat. We never played Beeries, but I know some kids that did, and we played kick-the-Snapple-Bottlecap-into-random-shit as well as semi-tackle football in the street (like Arena Football, but with cars instead of padded sidelines).
Now while these are the OFFICIAL unofficial rules, house rules always prevail. The game can, nay, must be adapted to your setting. Make things off limits, require extra shit….but remember, most importantly, there’s no crying in wall ball.
Though I’m not a complete pussy, an obnoxiously grandiloquent gay, or a woman…I just don’t typically get into most sports. There’s something about the pools of raging testosterone which–for the most part–I simply never found appealing. So, if there’s a particular sport you don’t necessarily like, good ol’ Mr. G’s got some simple solutions to your potential lack of masculinity.
Let’s start off by saying that we’re only discussing mainstream sports here…and you know what those are. We’re not including X-Games, Pool, Poker, Darts, or Bowling…because real people don’t watch those.
10. Learn the Fucking Rules! It doesn’t take a genius (or even a dude) to learn the simple rules of every major sport. Don’t concern yourself with the extra shit because nobody knows all of the obscure, hardly necessary rules for each sport…that’s what replays and commentary is for.
But if you can’t learn the basics of the fucking games, don’t even get involved. While everyone else is sitting around cheering, go rub one out in the bathroom. If you can’t be bothered to try, why should everyone else be bothered to put up with you?
9. Read some sports editorials and regurgitate them in your own words! Sports writers aren’t smarter than you; they simply put all of their brain-power into one particular field.
Let’s put it this way–as much time as you spend obsessing over hipster pop culture, these people spend thinking about bats, balls, sticks, and nets. And neither of you know what the fuck the other is talking about.
For example, start discussing a “play” that happened at “that game the other day” and how “deaf, dumb, and blind” the “umpires/refs” are…even if you’re talking complete horseshit, you’ll at least look like you’re on the fucking ball.
8. Learn what players everyone hates, and hate them! At this point, you might be saying, “B-b-but I don’t hate anybody!” Well, that’s because you’re a pussy. Sports aren’t about having “Heroes” anymore. Sports are about entertainment and being pissed off. That’s why people rednecks watch Wrestling.
You don’t even have to know anything about the game or what position he plays…as long as you say “Fuck T.O. (and you have to say “T.O.”—see Rule #7)!” and you’re golden…especially in Philadelphia.
You may get into a debate about the player’s value to the team outweighing his behavior…blah blah blah…but just stand your ground and you’ll be fine. As long as you’ve mirrored the media’s idea of who’s a douche and who isn’t, you’ll survive any suspicion that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
7. Make the slogans, nicknames, and sporting phrases part of your daily vocab! As I’ve said in Rule #8, do not say “Terrell Owens.” Say “T.O.” Don’t say “Jimmy Rollins,” say “J-Roll”…and don’t say “Raul Ibanez,” say “RAAAAUUUUUUULL!” If you need to say a particular player’s name, it is best to remember that the player most likely has a nickname that you’re not aware of. In such cases, you’ll have two options…
The first option is to hold off on your comment until the player’s name comes up on TV or in another conversation, then jump in with your witty remark. Better a late spark of sporting wit than embarrassing the fuck out of yourself.
The second option is to make up a nickname. This is more difficult, and you should only use this if you feel confident. Many new sports nicknames have been made up on the fly, so it’s not impossible. Manny Ramirez could easily become “Manny ‘Roid-mirez”…and Shaquille O’Neal could simply become “Kazaam.“
You need a bit of background info to fabricate a new nickname for a player, but it’ll make people around you chuckle and think, “Boy, this dickhead isn’t so bad after all.”
6. Don’t pretend to know more than the person you’re talking to! If you happen to find yourself in a sports conversation, don’t get in over your head. It’s fair to simply say, “I don’t know.” Very rarely will you come into contact with someone who knows everything about sports, and like politics or religion, there is always a debate to be had.
Some individuals (mostly drunks) live for the good ol’ fashioned sports debate…but you should never get into an argument in which you are unable to defend your side due to outright ignorance.
5. Cheer when they cheer–Get mad when they get mad! Find the peeps who are rallying behind your team of choice and study their reactions during the game. If you’ve already learned the rules of the game, you may not need to do this as much; however, there are always quick plays and penalties that your feeble unsportsmanlike brain will not be capable of handling.
Utilize the natural gutteral sounds that you so rarely get to use in everyday light to express your approval or disapproval of any given situation. “GAAAH!!!” with the crowd, and “WOOO!” for your team.
4. Buy something with a team logo! If you’ve found a sport or team that you don’t mind watching regularly, you have to show your support somehow. It’s like wearing a flag pin if you’re a real American…or wearing a Springsteen T-Shirt so the band knows how much you love to rock out to senior citizens in leather pants.
You can always find some sports gear on the cheap side…it doesn’t have to be an official product. But if you feel rotten about faking support for something that you truly have no interest in, at least be a good sport and wear something close to the team’s colors when you’re going out to watch a game.
While you won’t fit in quite as much, you’ll at least appear as if you’ve made some kind of effort. Think of it like St. Patrick’s Day if you’re Italian, Black, or a Jew…
3. If you don’t watch every game, don’t pretend that you do! Most people don’t watch every game…even the hardcore fans miss a few here and there. It’s perfectly acceptable to say: “Nah, I didn’t see it last night.”
If you truly feel that you’ve been backed against a wall and you’re going to get raped if you admit that you haven’t been following the entire season, just lie like a motherfucker. One popular excuse is “I always have work during the games…” Oftentimes, having a career is a viable excuse for missing a sporting event.
Pretend to be upset that you keep missing these games, but add-on to it the lie that you’ve been trying to follow as much as possible. Pretend to be interested as they discuss the shit you’ve “missed.”
2. Get Fangry!! Fangry is “fake angry,” and it allows the person you’re conversing with to sense that you are very passionate about your sports.
They’ll ask, “You have money on this game or something?”
And you’ll respond, “No! It just makes me so FUCKING MAD!”
They should lay off at that point. They will either think you’re the biggest fan ever, or that you’re drunk and dangerous. Try screaming: “NO! NO! NO! NO! YOU ASSHOLE!” at any point during the event. Nobody will ever ask you anything again.
Whenever you hear the people around you go “AWW!” in disappointment and anger, scream “HORSESHIT!” at the top of your lungs. Everyone will assume that you know exactly what occurred, and you whole-heartedly disapprove.
1. Just try to get into the game, prick! I enjoy Baseball, Soccer, and Rugby (even though I don’t understand it at all)…but when it comes to almost every other sport, I can’t really give it my full attention–especially if there’s something else on TV, or a video game is going unplayed.
However, if we’re watching Sunday Night Football, then that’s what we’re fucking watching. I understand the game enough to get by, and I don’t find it totally boring. Same with Hockey and Basketball.
If you really can’t get into the action, then find something else about it that you like–the fighting in Hockey, the retarded dancing in Football, the over-the-top personalities in…everything.
It’s not hard to get tolerate sports–it’s typically the people watching it that get on your nerves. Usually there’s something that everyone can get behind. Everyone loves to watch Sports Bloopers, Highlights, or Wacky Plays. Everyone can agree that the WWE is pretty gay.
But rarely will anyone admit that the only time when they actually give a shit about the game is when everyone else is watching.
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