Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Oscars...

Suuuuuuuuuuuuck. As a Facebooker commented, isn't it just a televised work banquet? In the world's top 200 people who take themselves too seriously, movie business people have to take up 190+ spots, maybe 195. Just take a step back, realize you're making movies. You give people an escape from their boring, real lives, sure. But movie stars aren't saving lives, pump the brakes.

Billy Crystal, what is he, 70 years old? He was great in the 80s, but really, what has he done to keep him relevant in the last 20 years (besides 61* which was awesome)? Get real. This was soooooo NFLy of Hollywood, a young(ish) duo (Janet/JTLake: Hathaway/Franco) screw up your big show (Super Bowl Halftime: The Oscars) so you go in the opposite direction and have old people who you know will do a decent enough job and not get naked on stage (Madonna, The Who, U2, etc.: Billy Crystal). 

I don't get it. Hollywood is supposed to be liberal and on the forefront of what's cool and new...pushing the envelope, crossing lines, all that. This was a stodgy move that resulted in a handful of good jokes and (probably) a smaller amount of 18-24 year olds tuning in.

The Red Carpet isn't really all that fancy. It's pretty much a long line when you break it down. You show up wayyyy before the show, and zig zag through this long line before you can get into the theater. The famous people love it, but it's truly just a line. Shoot, toss a red carpet out in front of any bar or club, you already have the (sometimes) velvet ropes and you can recreate the Red Carpet experience at home! Waiting in lines is the best!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is Linsanity Over?

No. End of blog, that's it.

But really, I'll explain why it's not. Jeremy Lin was awful last night. As one friend texted me during the game, "he looks like a highschooler out there." Eight points, three dimes and eight turnovers on 1-11 shooting. His backup Baron Davis didn't fare much better, making zero out of seven shots with three assists and only one turnover. The Heat are A-the best or second best team in the league right now B-the most dominant home team in the league (15-2) C-the hottest team in the league (eight straight Ws and 11 out of 12) and D-one of the top defensive teams in the league. 

The Heat planned to shut Lin down, make a statement, take the kid's spot at the top of SportsCenter, etc. And they did. Lin hasn't seen a defense that athletic and aggressive yet. Even against the playoff-contending teams the Knicks have beat in this run (Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Utah?), no one has been this stuck to him and been able to shut him down. It was basically the 12th game of his rookie year. Of course he's not going to put up 20 and 10 every single night. That's crazy to ask. 

The good news is the Knicks looked awful, terrible, disgusting at times and really were one bad quarter (really the first five minutes of the 3rd) away from winning this game, or at least making it much closer. Melo was erratic and off all night (7-20) and STAT got the ball a ton early to the tune of 11 first half points, but was un-involved late, finishing with just seven shots. Lin went from DNP-CDs and sparse mop-up minutes game by game to playing 35-45 minutes a night, so of course he's going to be tired. This All-Star break should help the kid freshen up (hoping he plays about three minutes tonight in the Future/Rookie-Sophomore/Rising Stars/Chuck vs. Shaq Challenge game). 

The Knicks are deep and very talented. And once again, D'antoni is tasked with the challenge to work new players in on the fly and in this case work in a new system on the fly. Especially tough to do with this smushed together schedule allowing for few practices. The Knicks were a joke for about 10 years, decent last year, then a joke for the first third of this season. They're likely not going to compete with Miami and Chicago in the East this summer, but they will make the playoffs and will do some damage if* they can run at the optimum level they want to by then.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stadium Review: Yost Arena

C and I hit up Yost Arena for a Miami vs. Michigan hockey game in early February. She put together a group of 50 Miamians through the Alumni Association and we partied at B-Dubs before the game with some fun people and weirdos.

Nice campus. I mean it's not the brick-laden picturesque utopia known as Oxford, Ohio that houses Miami University, but it's a nice campus.


We parked about a quarter-mile away and trooped it past some college houses and people drinking on porches. A couple of students were selling parking spaces on their lawn/in their driveway for $20 a pop adjcent to the rink. Didn't seem to have (m)any takers for this game, but I bet they clean up when State is in town.

Didn't have any because we filled up at B-Dubs before hand, but the popcorn looked tasty!

They don't sell any...And I forgot my flask at C's house. Just a terrible drinking experience.

Gorgeous. Just and old school, brick building that looks like it's from another era. Well obviously, because it is. It was built in the 1920s and renovated in the 1970s. Still has that classic feel like a Wrigley Field. I don't see how 7,000 people can fit inside, but that's around the number they claim.

It was a sellout! We got them for $25 apiece through the Alumni Association in the End Zone/Corner area. Not too far from what is usually my favorite spot to sit for hockey.

Entertainment and Atmosphere
Electric. Great crowd and as always the Michigan student section is clad in bright yellow. Good cheers and taunts (many of which were stolen from - but probably by - Miami). Nice mix of old stadium and new HD scoreboard and suites, etc. I might have had a better time had the RedHawks not lost.

Great arena, fun town. Will head there again when the 'Hawks are in town, but that will be not very often when Michigan leaves for the Big Ten Hockey Conference.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stadium Review: Palace at Auburn Hills

The home of DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIT BAAAAAAAAASKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL and the site of the Malice at the Palace was arena #327 (approximation) on my list of sports venues. C and I visited it for an early NBA game featuring the hometown Pistons against my squad, the New York Knicks.

Toss up. It's in a nice neighborhood, so it feels safe and corporate, but that's also it's main issue. It's a pain to get to because is so deep in the burbs and it isn't easy to plan a night around. i.e. park the car, grab drinks here, food there, meet up with friends, then walk to the game. I prefer a potentially shady area in a downtown part of a city than a wide open, safe area  (as long as you're not in the stands when Metta World Peace is playing!) 16 times out of 17.

Cheap and easy. And we got there 20 minutes before tipoff for a FRIDAY night game against a marquee opponent with the Red Wings on the road. Oh wait, I should probably mention the Lions were playing at New Orleans in the NFL Playoffs at the exact same time. This may or may not have been a factor.

Didn't eat any there, but the nachos looked good. Not much in the way of food options nearby as I mentioned earlier.

Not badly priced. Had one tall Bud Heavy, I think it was $7 or $8. The blue hairs to the left of us were crushing nachos and beers.

Very cool concourses. They were wide and filled with big pictures of concerts played there and seminal moments in Pistons history. It 

We paid $38 for each ticket that had a face value of $80. A few factors are in play there. The Pistons are not good at basketball, the Lions were playing at the exact same time (on the road) and Detroit is Hockeytown, not Basketballtown.

Entertainment and Atmosphere
Typical 2012 NBA game stuff. Fire blasts, strobe lights and blacked out during player intros, cutesy giveaways (every time a Piston drains a 3, they toss out free shirts "Tees for 3s"). Nothing was too inventive or backwards. It was tough to get a real feel of the atmosphere on account of the light crowd. However, they showed Lions clips throughout the game and it got loud when they scored a TD, which was pretty cool to see/hear. I think when the Pistons are good again, it'll be a great arena to watch some ball.

The tickets we had were awesome - nine or 10 rows up on the baseline. The Knicks played their best pre-Linsanity game and we sat next to some fun people. We had a great time and I would go again, but probably not for a non-Knicks game. Just not enough of an event/night out feel with it so far in the burbs.

Meatballs All Day Every Day

Don't call it a comeback. No, just kidding - call it a comeback. I've been gone for nearly three months(!!) and that is straight unacceptable. Especially when I have a student (http://prangeponders.tumblr.com/) come in for an interview at the track today and he mentions MITM. That leaves me embarrassed that I haven't blogged since THANKSGIVING. No excuses on that one. So here comes a ferocious blogfest this next couple weeks. I'm going to hit on Linsanity, a couple stadium reviews, a baseball preview, a draft preview and also talk about how LOADED the Yankees look this year. Oh snap, we might have also talked Pelle into a brief comeback. First up: a rewrite of an older blog.

Also, I might be switching to Tumblr in the next few weeks. Might = Probably. Blogspot is quickly becoming the MySpace to Tumblr's Facebook...and I'm not trying to be on MySpace like a creep. And while I was gone, it's not like I wasn't writing. I wrote this for the LoHud Yankees Blog and had a Sporcle game published.

A Rewrite of an Older Blog

Well the answer to that blog's query is unequivocally no. But here's the new question. Is New York about to be the new Boston (vomited on my keyboard after typing that)? Kind of looking like an emphatic yes right now. Boston won 'ships in all four major sports in a seven-year span and a total of seven in 10 years. I've berated the Lube Tube about this on gChat incessantly since Linsanity took over, much to his dismay. Is it THAT crazy to think the four major sports titles could be won this year by teams based in NYC (and one realllllly close to it)? Yes, it is a little, but this is a blog, and it's my blog, so I can afford to be a little crazy. What are the chances this happens? 'Sgo!


Giants already locked this one up with an historic win over the hated New England Patriots. So the chances of that winning are easy to predict. The Giants added the 2011 'ship to one in 2007. ELIte!
Odds: off the board because it already happened

Rangers are the best team in hockey without a doubt right now. With the trade deadline looming, GM Glen Sather may make a drastic move like trading for Freeway Ricky Nash or some other offensive power, but more than likely this loaded team will be in tact for the playoff push. The Rangers ended a five-decade drought in 1994 when Messier led them to a Stanley Cup win.
Odds: 11-2, best in the league

The Bronx is home to the most successful franchise in the history of sports, the New York Yankees. With an early playoff exit leaving a sour taste in their mouths, the Yankees reloaded this year with pitching: the 2011 #2 and #3 starters are now off the team and fighting for the 5th spot, respectively. Safe to say this team is going to be a force in 2012. With a powerful offense, upgraded rotation and the best closer ever, the Pinstripes are among the favorites to win it all.
Odds: 13-2, T-second best in the league

The New York Knickerbockers, linfected with linsanity, are one game under .500 at blog time. However that is with 8 wins in their last 10 games and a top 10 NBA player just returning to the lineup. Due to the 8-15 hole they dug themselves early on, the club will likely be a higher (as in a higher number, or is it a lower seed? I feel like this works both ways) playoff seed than they could be if the team was together all year. Sure, like the other lines, this one is skewed because of all the New York money going heavy on the home team, but hey, in a 66-game sprint, anything can happen.
Odds: 18-1, 8th best in the league