Friday, February 26, 2010

Fixing Sports, One League at a Time

All sports have a handful (or tons) of dumb rules that piss casual fans off to no end. After talking with the Lube Tube on gChat late last week, we bickered about a few and I knew the people needed a meatball this week, so I thought I'd write something for you.

I'm a Yankees fan, if you hadn't heard, so I'm never going to be for a salary cap. Don't give me the weak 'only the big teams make the playoffs, win in the playoffs, win 'ships' argument. It's garbage, hot garbage. In the first decade of the 2000s, 23.5 teams made the playoffs (.5 is Cinci losing the one-game playoff vs. NYM in 2000) and 21 of them WON a series. Fourteen teams won a pennant and eight teams won it all. Show me another league with numbers like that, it doesn't exist.

I'm getting myself upset defending my favorite sport and getting off topic. In regards to what I would change several small things to get the game speed up. Try watching a national TV Yanks/Sawx broadcast and get a full night's sleep. It's impossible. Limit the number of throws over to 1st to keep a runner on. It can get excessive, so new rule is three pitches per batter. Next rule, per the Lube Tube (with a tweak): 15 seconds between receiving the ball and starting your wind-up or making a throw to keep a runner on (he suggested 10). The waiting games batters and pitchers play with each other is great for hardcore fans (occasionally) but it drives everyone else crazy. Last rule is for batters, you have eight seconds to leave the box and get a sign, adjust your cup, fix your gloves, tap your helmet, etc. Keep it moving.

Everyone knows the last two minutes of a close basketball game takes about as long as the first 38 or 46. It's excruciating to watch and so freaking predictable. Let's speed this up by enforcing the league's intentional foul rule. If a foul is deemed intentional (which every foul when your team is down with seconds to go is) it's a flagrant and the fouled player gets two shots plus his team gets the ball. It's unfair that the team who is losing/being outplayed for 90% of the game gets to change the way it's played in the last 10% and give themselves a chance to get back in. I don't like it.

The Lube Tube says if the losing team when they are down by 10+ and there is less than a minute remaining to make it a technical. I am on board with this 90%. Is making almost every game that much faster worth giving up historically amazing performances like the Jason Williams Miracle Minute and the Tracy McGrady 13 points in 35 seconds? I don't know.

Take the skirts off the QBs. Mike and Mike made a great point today when they were trying to find a way to get the NHL back into the four major US sports discussion. They noted the NBA is a star's league where the players have more fans than the teams or the game itself. On the flip side, the NFL has more fans of the game than they do of the players. When Brady went down, the league didn't see a major letdown. Him getting destroyed by Pollard actually birthed a new star in Matt Cassel. If a QB gets killed by a defensive player, it's just a part of the game. My friend T-Dog from Texas used to share a quote with me that a coach once told him: "Football is not a contact sport, it's a collision sport." Hits are a part of the game. Let's rewind things to a few years back when you could smack a guy a step and a half after he released the ball. The sport will be fine without a couple of stars. Unless every starting QB goes down the same week, I don't see why we are so protective of them now.

This reminds me of when the NBA enforced the hand-check rule and took away some of the physicality of the game. This may just be because the Knicks have been garbage the last 10 years, but I miss watching those games when MJ couldn't drive without being accosted. The physical element that teams like the Knicks, Heat and Pistons brought to the game every night. The NFL is the premier contact/collision sport in our country, let's not make it soccer, please.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Baeball Preview Part III

NL West

Order of Finish


1. Dodgers    95-67
2. Rockies     92-70
3. Giants        88-74
4. Padres       75-87
5. D-Backs    70-92


1. Rockies
2. Giants
3. Dodgers
4. D-backs
5. Padres

Key player for each team

D-Backs - Brandon Webb - SP - If he isn't back to form or close to it, this team has no chance.

Dodgers - Manny Ramirez - LF - Can he put up gaudy numbers again, 45 HR's; 120 RBI's?
Giants - Pablo Sandoval - 3B - If he isn't knocking in runs then who is?
Padres - Adrian Gonzalez - 1B - He has to be good so they can rebuild with the young talent they get in return.
Rockies - Huston Street - RP - This team has the pieces, but can he shake the 2009 struggles?

Notable FA singings

Adam Laroche - 1B - ARI
Mark DeRosa - LF - SF


This division will probably be the most exciting in the NL from start to finish. It has the makings of being the best division in all of baseball as far as excitement and parody. Just so you don’t think I’m forgetting a team, ill make my case about the Pads. I’m just going to exclude San Diego from this discussion - they stink. They have Gonzalez and Chris Young and 23 minor leaguers. Let's move on.

Let's take a look at the pitching staffs. The D-Backs have a very good rotation and it could be great if Webb comes back from his injury. Haren, Webb, Jackson, Buckner, Kennedy. Very solid 3 and ok 4 and 5 guys. Remember, this is the NL. A guy like Ian Kennedy could end up being a .500 type pitcher in this league.

The Dodgers have the lineup to secure home-field throughout the NL playoffs. The question is can their youthful rotation handle the long season while departing away with the veteran Randy Wolf. Kershaw, Billingsly, Kuroda, Padilla, and McDonald are either young or unproven. Can this team win 100 games - yes. Can they be the 2009 Cubs - yes.

The Rockies have depth, talent, speed, and yes - they do have a pretty good rotation. Jiminez, Cook, Francis, Hammel and De La Rosa are more than good enough to win 90+ games especially since they have a hitter friendly park and their line-up is lethal. The Rockies can play a variety of ways and that is why I like them so much. They can out hit you, out run you, out defend you and if the match up is right, out pitch you.

Finally, the Giants - talk about a rotation that is built for the post-season...if they can get there. With Lincecum you can make the argument at the bar that he's the best pitcher in the game and nobody would be looking at you funny. Cain, Zito, Sanchez, and Bumgarner (what a great last name). This staff doesn't scare me as much as it does in the regular season versus the post-season. Post-season baseball is magnified and the Giants have very good defenders to match up with their staff. But, I don't know if they have the offense to get to 85-90 wins.

All in all this a very competitive division because everyone has their weaknesses. Which team will hide those weaknesses will probably be the victor. I kind of matched these teams up. The Giants and D-Backs are pretty similar with good staffs and not a whole lot of offense, but pretty good D. The Rockies and Dodgers have it all, but there are questions that need answered.

I'm going to take the Rockies because I like their rotation enough and their offense is just too good. They have power guys, they have guys that they can plug in every 3rd day to give guys rest, top flight speed in Fowler and Jeter-like player in Tulowitzki. I have the Dodgers lower than probably anyone because I think losing Randy Wolf could literally blow up in this teams face. Their pitchers cannot even have a sore shoulder at any point in the season and they aren't used to this many innings. The Giants have a really dangerous team, but the back end of their rotation could really hurt them. When their 1-3 guys are on the mound they can beat anyone. When their 4-5 guys are on the hill the Nats, Astros, and Padres can beat them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

America! F Yeah!

I don't have a passport and haven't had one for several years. I haven't been out of the country (Windsor, Ontario, Canada doesn't count) since 2000. Of course it's buckets of fun to hit Europe and I imagine South America, Asia and Africa are just as fun, but we live in the greatest country in the history of population, so why shouldn't I explore America first?

Proudly, I can say I've been to 24 states (plus DC) and driven through another three or four. That's barely over half of the stars on the flag! I don't have a problem with any other countries, I just don't get why people are in such a rush to see other places when there is so much to do and see here. LA is as different from NYC as any foreign city. If people want to mix things up, take a drive to the country if you live in a city. Plan a weekend in The Cago if you live on a farm in Iowa. Because of it's size, America is one of the most (if not, tops) diverse countries in the world, any way you slice it - culturally, climate-wise, socially, economically, geographically and demographically.

"Yeah, well, I go to Europe for the history, Jesse." Oh, right. Ever heard of the Revolutionary War, Plymouth Rock, the Louisiana Purchase, Trail of Tears, the Civil War, the Boston Massacre, The Alamo. Europe, of course, has the older buildings, the more ancient stories, etc., but America's landmarks, museums, statues and so on are just as interesting.

I don't want to sound like a Nationalist, but there's a lot to see in this country, before we go run off to another place and fawn over their culture or history. Our economy would probably be in the same position as it is now, but then again, it might be just a little bit better if we spent more of our vacation dollars on American soil.

Though I've felt this way for a while, I was compelled to write about it after a conversation with a friend in which he mentioned why there was this huge outcry for Haiti, but he didn't remember the same thing happening for N'Awlins. I don't want to go all Paul Shirley on the people, but it is very interesting that we'd go hogwild to help a foreign country, but toned it back slightly for something awful that happened here.


Quick Hits on Things in the News

It matters not to me how many medals the US wins in Vancouver. The only thing that I (and viewers) should care about, is how many GOLDS we win. In no other sport, save maybe NCAA Basketball do you hear so much talk about 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Even in that case, you always hear how many championships they have before how many Final Fours they've appeared in. It's important to be the best in the world at the most things, not be close to the top at a lot of stuff. America is about winning, leave the medal count for the other countries, give me the Gold

Tiger Woods is apologizing on a Friday, rather, THE Friday of the Accenture matchplay championship. Also known as an event he has won numerous times in the past and the first company to drop him after his harem was revealed. I have no problems with Tiger wanting to stick it to them by stealing tons of press from the event, but making an announcement on a Friday is one of the oldest tricks in the book to (at least attempt) to receive less coverage. Before the era of the 24-Hour news cycle, bad news and awkward announcements would often go out on Friday afternoons in hopes that people wouldn't hear about it or if they did, spend much time on it. Sac up and do it right, if you're going to do it.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meatball Aly's Bachelor Preview

The Bachelor is one of those guilty pleasure shows that is primarily targeted towards women, but in reality has the ability to hook those women’s significant others just as much, if not more, than the women themselves. Sure, sure – you watch because the girls are hot, whatever you say. Whatever excuse you come up with, Monday Night Football has been replaced for the time being with Monday Night Drama – and you know you love it. I am on pins and needles for this week’s fantasy dates, and thought I would give all of you Meatballs out there my thoughts and predictions for this week’s episode. (Editor's Note: Aly correctly predicted Ali NOT coming back, and Gia getting kicked off, but we were unable to run this until after the show due to some email problems).

Positives: Hot little ripped dancer’s bod (did anyone check out those calves during her solo dance for Jake last week?!), seemingly normal family.

Negatives: Clearly not over her divorce/ex. Squeaky voice also has the ability to get really annoying.

Random thoughts: Is the 2nd most compatible with Jake after Ali. If she wins, I wouldn’t be completely satisfied but I would be happy enough to watch next season (and hope Ali is the next Bachelorette).

Positives: NONE

Negatives: EVERYTHING. Brutally unattractive, mildly obsessive with Jake, possibly involved in incest (did you see the way her dad and her look at each other?)

Random thoughts: I can honestly say I will boycott both ABC and the Bachelor/Bachelorette if she wins. There is no possible way, especially after her hometown date, that there is a connection between these 2 people. I personally think ABC is making Jake keep her around to create buzz. She needs to be kicked off as much as Jake needs a sponsorship deal with Kleenex (come on dude, stop crying.)

Predictions (Editor's Note: I promise she wrote this before it happened)

While I am still praying that Ali will come to her senses and make the trip to St. Lucia this week, my gut feels otherwise. I am predicting that ABC shows some awkward moments with ViennaVienna might finally get the boot. Ali will call and say she’s sorry, she made the wrong decision, but in the end she won’t be entered back into the mix for some reason or another. Gia and Jake will finally do it, but she will get sent packing this week and leave Tenley and Vienna in the finals. While I hope I’m wrong and Vienna goes back to Florida and her job at Hooters, with Ali romantically flying to St. Lucia and Jake on their overnight date – trying to make you think that and making the finals with either Tenley or Gia, I don’t have a good feeling. This season has also had many other twists and surprises (Roslyn hooking up with a cameraman?! Both girls on a 2on1 date sent home!?) so we could be in for “the most dramatic rose ceremony EVER.”

Let me know what you think, what you agree with and disagree with. And don’t worry – it’s ok to admit you watch because you’re only watching it for the hot babes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Baseball Preview Part II

NL Central

Order Of Finish

1. St. Louis         91-71
2. Chicago          83-78
3. Milwaukee      80-82
4. Cincinnati        78-84
5. Houston          74-88
6. Pittsburgh        62-99

1. St. Louis
2. Milwaukee
3. Chicago
4. Cincinnati
5. Pittsburgh
6. Houston

Young Players to Watch

Aroldis Chapman - CIN - (16)*

Colby Rasmus - STL - Played sparingly in 2009 and was productive, has a chance to be a breakout player and score 80+ runs behind the Machine.

Jeff Samardzija- CHC - Has the chance to be dominant out of the pen - can also be a total bust.

Key Player for Each Team

Astros - Roy Oswalt - SP - Must be good for them to be competitive and get good market value for a deadline deal.
Brewers - Ryan Braun - LF - MVP type talent and hasn't even reached his potential.
Cardinals - Adam Wainwright - SP - Can he improve on a spectacular season?
Cubs - Alfonso Soriano - LF - Can he stay healthy and be the driving force the organization needs?
Pirates - Andrew McCutcheon - CF- Enough reason to attend a Pirates game.
Reds - Joey Votto - 1B - He has the capability to mash this team to a wild card spot.

Notable FA Signings

Brad Penny - STL - SP
Gregg Zaun - MIL - C


The division that would fit the term “quantity over quality” better than any other division, baseballs only 6 team division and a lackluster group of teams is being generous. The division is split in 2 with the potential contenders and pretenders. The pretenders are the Astros, Reds, and Pirates. The contenders are the Brewers, Cardinals and Cubs. Picking the winner of this division is a crap shoot.

The Cardinals have been the owner of this one for some time and will have the best chances of retaining that crown again this year. They have the best 1-2 punch with Carpenter and Wainwright and the best player in the game – Albert Pujols. But, they don’t have a lot that stands out other than that. Adding Brad Penny could be a steal pick up and Matt Holliday should really help the Machine for protection.

The Cubs and Brewers can easily put together an 88-90 win season and that could be plenty to take the division. Milwaukee has 2 of the best bats in the NL, they remind me of a poor man’s Phillies team. They have a lot of fire power in that lineup and could feast on NL pitching. The Cubs have the most talent on paper, but also the most headaches too.

Houston and Cincinnati have decent teams and the Reds always seem to be my dark horse every year and they always seem to disappoint. I like their mixture of pitching and power, but they cannot put it all together for a full season. The Reds play pretty good for half the season and pretty poor the other half. They can play for the wild card if they put a full one together. Houston is probably going to continue to rebuild as I figure they will ship Roy Oswalt to a contender come deadline time.

The Pirates are just looking to improve and add more pieces for a run at the division in hopefully 2 years – key word hopefully. They should be able to put more butts in the seats with Andrew McCutcheon playing a full season and possibly the most talented Pirate in….decades. You can see the formula the Pirates are following and that is similar to the Rays – speed. McCutcheon and Milledge figure to be their Crawford and Upton for a few years to come.

I’m going to play it safe and go with the best pitching staff in the division with the Cardinals, but I really like the Brewers this year. I think Braun and Fielder can hit this team to the post-season. The Cubs figure to be around with talent alone and the Reds should be pesky too. The Astros and Pirates will be the bottom feeders again, but the Pirates will jump the Astros to finish 5th – hey they need to start somewhere.

* - denotes spot in ESPN top 100 prospects.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Baseball Preview

In the next week or so I will be previewing a division for the upcoming baseball season.  Talking with my fellow meatball about a roadtrip to Yankee stadium this summer got me in the baseball mood.  We'll start with the NL East.

NL East

Order of Finish
1. Phillies     93-69
2. Marlins    87-75
3. Braves     86-76
4. Mets        70-92
5. Nationals 59-103

1. Atlanta Braves                        
2. Philadelphia Phillies (wc)        
3. NY Mets                                
4. Florida Marlins                      
5. Washington Nationals             

 Young Players to Watch

Jayson Heyward - OF ATL (1)*
Stephen Strasburg - P WSH (2)*

Key Player for Each Team

Atlanta - Brian McCann - C - Needs to be the guy in the middle of the order, must be more consistent.
Florida - Hanley Ramirez - SS - Contunies to get better, has he tapped all of his potential?
NY Mets - David Wright - 3B - Is he ready to make the Mets his team?
Philadelphia - Cole Hamels - SP - Can he shake World Series nightmare?
Washington - Jason Marquis - SP - Must be productive so Strasburg doesn't have to rush into the Show

Notable FA Signings

Jason Bay - OF NYM
Matt Capps - RP WSH
Troy Glaus - 3B ATL
Adam Kennedy - 3B WSH
Jason Marquis - SP WSH
Placido Polanco - 2B PHI
Ivan Rodriguez - C WSH

One more could be on the way with the Nationals continuing to be very busy this off-season.


The Nationals were the busiest of the group this off-season.  They added Marquis, Kennedy, Capps, Pudge, and are close to signing former Yankee ace, Wang.  Brian Bruney was also added from the Yankees.  Stephen Strasburg will likely make his debut sometime this season, but doubtful that he makes the team coming out of Spring Training. 

The rest of the group is pretty even with Philly being the most talented.  The Mets still have all sorts of issues, Santana and Beltran are major question marks and noone has a clue what they will get out of them.  The Marlins are a crazy team to me.  They have talent, but their owner refuses to spend money to keep the young core together a la Jeremy Hermida who signed with the Red Sox.  The Phillies are the favorite to win this division and they deserve to be the favorites.  They are the defending NL Champs and return almost everyone and they added Roy Halladay. 

The main reason I will take the Braves in this divison is because of 2 things.  Their outfield and pitching.  The Braves reportedly offered a one year deal to Damon for less than 4 million.  This most likely won't happen with the Tigers offering a 2 year 20 million dollar deal, but this would be a  great compliment to their already talented outfield.  Nate McClouth (28), Melky Cabrera (25) and Jayson Heyward (20) have the potential to be a great trio for many years to come, all are under the age of 30.  The rotation will probably start with Lowe, Jurrjens, Hanson, Hudson, and Kawakami.  The latter part of the rotation must stay healthy for this team to win the division.  Gonzalez leaving hurts especially if Billy Wagner can't close out games.

(wc) - Wild Card
* - denotes ranking in ESPN's top 100 prospects.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why Sports Are Awesome

My whole adolescence , my mom told me that I spent too much time reading scores, listening to games, watching highlights, breaking down my own play after a bad loss. I ignored most of that and was determined for sports to play a major role in my life, not just socially and personally, but professionally. I've been blessed to not only find a job in the industry, but be able to stay in it through teams folding and getting laid off. I love my job as much as anyone I know and it's wonderful to know that when I'm having a bad day, it's not like anything life-or-death is on the line. If I mess up tomorrow, a hundred less fans might make it to an event, or five less newspapers will write a story before the race. If a doctor has a bad day, people die. I'm thankful that I don't have that weight on my shoulders.

On the other hand, there is something about sports that is so big, so incredible that brings people from all neighborhoods, races, income levels, countries, etc. together. I tried to find a clip of a scene from Major League to post at the top of this post to no avail. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about: the end of the movie when they show the inside of a bar and this Boy George looking clown hugs the rough and tough biker. It's a small part of a great movie, but it hits home with what I'm trying to get across. I've been at games where I high five, hug and kiss people I don't even know. That's the power that sports have over our culture. It's a thing of beauty to see the wide range of people that pull for the same team as you do. Maybe I'm a little spoiled in that I root for the Yankees, so there are a million different kinds of people who do too, but I've seen a pretty good cornucopia of fans at smaller venues for less significant teams.

Not only do they bring a wide range of people together, sports can make you feel an emotion you didn't know existed. I forgot how amazing it feels to root for a team that won a championship when the Yankees took it home this October, err November. I also didn't know how awful it could feel to be soooo close to a 'ship and have it ripped away from you until I was in the Verizon Center to see Miami piss away a two-goal lead vs. Boston U. with a minute to go in the Frozen Four championship game.

There's something about the woman that is fanhood and sports that wraps us around her finger. No guy in his right mind would continue to date a girl that doesn't give anything to the relationship (2000s Detroit Lions) or continues to tease you before breaking your heart (1990s Buffalo Bills). However, with sports, we continue to invest loads of time, emotion, money and effort to be with a team. Why do we do this? To feel a connection to something bigger than us. To be able to say 'we' won a game, a division title, a championship. To have something to talk about in the dentist's office waiting room, the airport terminal, the holiday party.

Anyone who follows sports has someone they love and someone they hate. Polarizing teams, players and cities give us things to identify with and things to join our friends in hating on. It's not always easy to find people in our day-to-day lives that are polarizing, but sports provides us with that, and it's yet another reason why sports are awesome.


LeBron to NYC Update

The forecasting team at MITM has downgraded the chance that the potential savior of NYC basketball, LeBron James, will come to the Knicks from 38% to 33%. This is due to the Cavs winning a ton over the last month, the Celtics faltering and the Knicks looking like they won't move another contract before the February 18 trade deadline. The chance the Knickerbockers will sign a major free agent (as defined here) is static at 99%. That is all for now.

Links for the day
10 Worst Weather Cities in America, all in the Midwest....sweet!
Google Buzz review
Rex Ryan is gross, sorry Bobby Cans

Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcome LoHud readers

Meatballs, as we've discussed before, today is the day we were featured on one of our favorite blogs/sites, the LoHud Yankees Blog. Pelle came up with the idea for the story and I banged out some writing. Let me know what you think, by clicking over there.

Welcome Yankee fans and LoHud readers. Thanks for checking out our little blog. We write about all types of stuff, but mostly sports and the Yankees. I hope you guys and girls come back often to read our thoughts. Go Yanks!


A few of the people sent me their Bucket List items and I wanted to share some of the best ones. Enjoy!

- Play guitar in a band at a crowded live show.

- Go back to France, do the “Captain” on the Eiffel Tower

- Be in a movie, an Extra is acceptable

- Teach a college class

- Get comped something in Vegas

- Write a book about being a drunken idiot; not become Tucker Max

- See the Bengals in a Super Bowl

- Attend a reds World Series game

- Learn how to Ice skate

- Since I can’t dunk, I’ll take a Hole in One.

- Attend Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street

- Have a beer with Bruce Campbell

- Take a painting/art class; paint something I could hang in my house

- Get a dog; teach it to do sweet Frisbee tricks

- Be at a blackjack table where the dealer has to get more chips from the house

- Talk myself out of a speeding ticket

- Run a ½ marathon (full thing not good for the body)

- Coach boys/mens basketball at any level

- Be at one of those parties where a famous singer shows up unexpectedly to perform

- Continue going to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day even after kids

- Get paid to review Television or Movies

- Have something I write get published.

- Never be “That Guy” that losses touch with all his friends

- Visit every baseball stadium.

-Travel all over Europe
-Get married
-Be an amazing mother
-Live on the west coast for an extended period of time
-Meet Jimmy Paige
-Become a CRNA
-Go skydiving
-Swim in Hawaiian waterfalls
-Star in a major motion picture
-Be on the cover of Cosmo

-Say or write a quote that will be repeated across the nation
-Punch someone in the face that deserves it
-Return to this massive rock along this trail called via dell'amore in cinque terre with my future fiance or husband
-Dunk a basketball
-Live up to/beyond my potential
-To be someone's idol/role model

-Meet Johnny Knoxville

-Do an Irish Carbomb in Ireland, even thought it's frowned upon

-Own a pair of Jimmy Choo's

-Go to a recording of the Ellen Show

-Get the courage to cut my hair (because I will eventually have to, not necessarily want to)

-Be on Cash Cab

-Make a Bill Simmons Mail Bag

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some Valentine's advice from Meatball Ali

Women are hard to understand. I’m a woman and I know this. I say things I don’t mean to test you, constantly complain about how I look but would be pissed if you agreed, and am rarely straight-forward about exactly what I want. I know – it’s not fair. And Valentine’s Day is one of the hardest holidays, if not the hardest, for men to get right in our books. I am here to help.

While we do usually love expensive things, it’s truly not about how much you spend. You call bullshit, but I’m serious. This is probably the most misunderstood point of the Valentine’s holiday (or all gift-buying occasions for that matter). Women are emotional beings by nature. We love to be loved, to feel emotion, and even best to feel that the person we love has emotions of their own. If you can come up with a Valentine’s Day plan that proves you A) have emotions, and B) pay attention to us even a little bit, then the price you pay doesn’t really matter. The point here is to BE THOUGHTFUL. Don’t robotically purchase expensive jewelry, red roses, and a stupid box of chocolates. Predictability is not a turn on. It’s when you surprise us by showing you really do care, pay attention to what we like, and make a genuine effort to make us happy that there is a payoff.

Here are a few examples of ways you can woo your woman this Valentine’s Day that she will never see coming (especially if you typically suck at gift giving – you know who you are).

1. Cook her dinner yourself!
Skip the long waits, overpriced restaurants, and public displays of affection. Instead, show her you are willing to try (even if you absolutely suck) and plan a dinner at home. Don’t know what to cook? Try this man-friendly menu:

  • Bottle of wine – figure out if she likes white or red better, then pick out a bottle that you think has a cool look (if the wine itself sucks, you still picked a cool-looking bottle). Go mid-range in price, and make sure you have a bottle opener at home!
  • Dinner – Try steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, and green beans – all as simple as it gets. Grab a few steaks of your choice (sirloin, rib-eye, whatever you like), steak seasoning (spice aisle), 2 potatoes, foil, some fresh green beans, onion, bacon, red wine vinegar, margarine, and whatever else you like to top your potatoes with. You will have a killer dinner in about an hour’s worth of work.
  • Dessert – All women love dessert, so it’s hard to go wrong. This is an area where you can skip the baking yourself and pick something up from a local store or restaurant. Does she love a certain flavor of ice cream? Pick up a pint at the grocery. Does she go nuts over a certain desert at a local restaurant? Order it to go on your way home that day.
  • Ambience is also clutch – Light a few candles and turn the lights down a little. Play some music (any style you both like) and show her you thought of everything.
2. If you’re going to buy flowers, be original.
Red roses are safe, but do not try to be cute and get any other color of roses. They just don’t have the same effect. And to be honest, roses in general are just kind of boring. If you want to get bonus points, show a little more effort and pay attention to what flowers she likes best. If you don’t know, here are a few other cool alternatives that show thoughtfulness and creativity:
3. Write her your own card, and skip the chocolates.
Don’t stand in the card aisle with all the other chumps looking desperately through Valentine’s Day cards. These cards were most likely written by women, and we know you don’t talk like that or write poems. Buy some plain cardstock in the arts and crafts section and make her your own card with your own thoughts. We are constantly trying to convince you to express your emotions, use this opportunity to write down what you feel for her, what you’re thankful for, and how much you love her. While this is the cheapest part of your plan, it is also usually the most significant. Don’t worry, your buddies will never read it – so show some feeling and tell her how you feel! And oh yeah, don’t buy a box of chocolates. Generic and thoughtless.

4. Choose a gift she’ll love and appreciate.
If you feel like your woman will also expect a wrapped gift (thoughtfulness goes a long way with most women, but there are a few who expect materialistic gifts in addition to), continue down your road of thoughtfulness and buy her something that she has mentioned wanting lately. Don’t feel like you have to pick the perfect piece of jewelry (we are usually too picky anyway) – but instead get her something you know she wants that is in your price range. Has she mentioned how bad she wants to see the Black Eyed Peas in concert, or how she would love to get a pedicure but just doesn’t want to spend the money? Show her you listen and find a tour date near you, or ask one of her girlfriends about a good spa in your area. Trust me, pedicures and massages will always go over well.

While women are hard to understand, following this go-to guide for Valentine’s Day is going to be a slam dunk for you guys out there. Feel free to improvise where you see fit for your own woman’s wants and needs, but emphasize your thoughtfulness and creativity and she won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Facebook Virus!!!

Fellow Meatballs - ***IMPORTANT MESSAGE***

For all you people with facebook, there are evil doers amongst us that we must stop.

1.Go to settings
2.Privacy settings
3.type - "automation labs" where it says person
4. A list of names will come up - you must block all of them
                    example - Matt Freeman from Texas A&M.
5.There is about 30-40 of them.

Bucket List

After I clicked 'Publish Post' on my meatball from earlier this week, my mind ran wild with all the other things on my bucket list that I left off for one reason or another. I thought it was a big enough list to throw them in a new post, rather than updating the old one. At the suggestion of Molly Meatballs (and since the idea of a bucket list is too long for me to remain interested) this is going to be a 40/40 list. 40 things I want to do before I reach the age of 40.

1. Kick a door in to save someone
2. Makeout with a supermodel/A-list actress
3. Drive through a fence or building
4. Change the game (any type of game- PR business, blogging, music, sports marketing, fashion, I don't care)
5. Go to the Grammys or Oscars
6. Win a ring (any level championship from college on up)
7. Do a triple Lindy
8. Make a hole-in-one
9. Catch a homerun,
10. Party with Jay-Z, Dan Marino and Derek Jeter
11. Make a 40 under 40 list in a magazine or newspaper
12. Be well-known enough to have my own Wikipedia page
13. Coach my future son's team to a championship in LL baseball
14. Attend a Stanley Cup Final game
15. Attend the Super Bowl
16. Attend an Olympic event (100 M, 200 M, men's BB, men's hockey, ski jump, bobsled, skiing, snowbarding)
17. Make at least $1 from this blog
18. Buy a house
19. Get married
20. Have kids
21. Make it back to NY
22. Attend the Kentucky Derby
23. Attend the Indy 500
24. Have a feature article written about me (or maybe a feature film!)
25. Have a famous singer write a song about me
26. Have a city/building/highway/street named after me
27. Go to a Jay-Z concert
28. Visit 10 states I've never been to
29. Work for the Yankees
30. Work for myself as a consultant/adviser
31. Invent something that the world didn't need, but now can't live without (Facebook, cell phones, iPods)
32. Make at least $1 off of a rap I wrote
33. Grow my hair (sort of) long again
34. Wrestle a wild animal
35. Save someone's life
36. Teach a college class
37. Coach H.S. baseball
38. Survive something I'm not supposed to (plane crash, hurricane, wrestling a wild animal, etc.)
39. Take a private flight
40. Have God speak to me as clear as day and tell me something that'll change my life

What are yours? E-mail me at and we'll post the best ones next week.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recent News

This may or may not be true, for the time being I'm going to say it's not true; however if this is true then it really makes the college basketball regular season that much more worthless.  Pretty much 3/4 of the teams in the power conferences will make the tournament making the regular season and conference tourney's absolutely pointless.

PETA does it again - we may need to start having a weekly rant about PETA's ridiculous views and antics.  Did Phil ever get hurt in the 3,857,476 years this has been going on?  Give me a break.  I guess this is the best alternative.

The LFL (Lingirie Football League) played its first game outside of an arena last week.  The game was played in the L.A Coliseum and the Tempation beat the Seduction 53-0.  But these photos really show that there were no losers in this game.  Thanks John Photography!

This is Britainie Degerbott of the L.A Temptation - she wants roses for V-day send them from and she'll probably give us love and we can start getting that internet money.  Contact Miss Robin for mailing details!

The Power of Context and Ten Things to Do

Context: 1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning. 2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.

I was in church yesterday and something the pastor said (who was inexcusably wearing black shoes with brown slacks) caught my attention as it had to do with context. What someone says or does means very little if you take it as an isolated sentence or incident.

Example 1
Curse words, for the most part, mean nothing inherently. There is nothing about the the F-bomb, C-word, etc. that make them offensive, it's only when you apply a meaning to them that makes them that way. Dirty words are powerless without the context humans supply them with.

Example 2

Seeing a woman naked. Is there anything natural about seeing a person of the opposite sex undressed that does something for us? I don't think so. If we saw each other naked all the time, it wouldn't be as exciting and stimulating as it currently is. Breasts are amazing because they are normally hidden by blouses and tank tops, not because they have awesome lines and curves.

Example 3
For me, loving someone doesn't mean anything without the actions you put behind it. I can tell a girl I love her, but it means noting if I run around on her, or if I treat her poorly. Sweet nothings have zero value if you don't back them up with productive somethings (cards, back rubs, dates, calls, etc.).

Example 4
There are a ton more I could list here, but I'm sure all of you have situations you can relate to when someone took you out of context. It can lead to all sorts of problems when you isolate a word, action, sentence, idea - anything. It's unfair to take a kid from the country and tease him for the way he talks, without looking at his environment before judging. In that same vein, take the situation, paragraph or area under consideration prior to judging the smaller part of it.

Ten Random, Sort of Shallow, Things I Want to Do Before I Die
-Kick a door in to save someone, makeout with a supermodel/A-list actress, drive through a fence or building, change the game (any type of game- PR business, blogging, music, sports marketing, fashion, I don't care), go to the Grammys or Oscars, win a ring (any level championship from college on up), do a triple Lindy, hit a hole-in-one, catch a homerun, party with Jay-Z, Dan Marino and Derek Jeter.