Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knicks Vs Lakers Preview

The NBA pre season is almost over and we can finally get to some real hardwood action...what's that you say? This is the season? Yikes. Well, sloppy, low scoring basketball is better than no basketball at all I guess. Even if it does feel like you're watching the best pick up game at McKinley park ever at times. So tonight, I'm still a little excited for the first matchup of the abbreviated season between my first and second favorite teams. And that's not the only first you'll see tonight; it's also the first matchup between Kobe and Carmelo since the trade last February as well as the first time these two teams have matched up where the Knicks might actually be a better team (or at the least have a brighter future) since Nick Van Exel was running the point at the old Forum. What to expect tonight?

Both teams are off to uneven starts albeit in a very small sample size (3 games for the Lakers and 2 for the Knicks). As expected, play has been pretty ragged thus far as the result of the lack of practice and training camps and the compressed schedule, so there's always a chance that these two teams are simply going through what the rest of the league is, but there are big holes in each team's roster. The Knicks were thin to begin with, and since the injuries to the rookie Shumpert and (Thank GOD) Jared Jeffries, they've become even thinner (Chinese fans shouldn't get their hopes up to see Jeremy Lin get off the bench any time soon though, sorry). Meanwhile, the Lakers got nothing in return for their most versatile bench player, Odom, and everyone else is a year older. They've sorely missed the big bully in the middle, Bynum, who will be finishing his suspension tonight, but even when he returns they're still a barely above average team. After melting down against a Chicago team that was shooting 15% at one point in the second half on Christmas, they then proceeded to get blown out by the Sacramento Kings of all teams. Narrowly avoiding disaster by blowing out a truly awful Utah Jazz team on Tuesday in their third game of a back to back to back, the Lakers still have a similar look to the 06-07 Lakers pre Pau that resulted in ridiculous Kobe numbers but not much else. This team is of course more talented than anything that involves Kwame Brown and Smush Parker could be, but Kobe isn't that guy anymore either. I expect a Lakers team that hovers a few games over 500 this season as they struggle to find their identity post Phil Jackson and Kobe struggles to not punch Mike "Al Roker" Brown.

The Knicks, on the other hand, are being touted as some kind of a title contending juggernaut with the acquisition of an injury prone guy who's had one good season as a pro, and that season he averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds. They escaped X-mas with a skin of their teeth win against an elderly, injured Celtics team prompting annoying "KNICKS BACK!" Facebook statuses and tweets. Truthfully, as excited as I am to see the Knicks even in the discussion with the top teams in the East again, their lack of a real backcourt and team chemistry is enough to cause me some concern. Last night's debacle against Golden State was an example of how far they still have to go, as well as how unsightly much of the gameplay will be in this shortened season. As Hater J pointed out during the travesty that was the Jazz and Lakers on Tuesday, amidst a game in which the Jazz missed 20 out of 22 shots in the second quarter yet were only down by 5 points, we were spared a lot of this crappy play in 99, but now thanks to the immense media coverage and league pass, etc., the ugly play is forced down our throats all day and night.

I expect more of the same tonight. An unevenly played game with both teams going through droughts and showing occasional flashes of real basketball interspersed between turnovers and clanked shots. Also, expect to see Kobe curse a lot and make faces at the official and Landry Fields and expec Tyson Chandler to be in foul trouble again. I think these two teams are fairly evenly matched this season, with the Knicks being slightly better than the Lakers sans Bynum, but L.A. being at home coming off a days rest should trump the Knicks who played last night and are obviously still feeling things out.

Lakers by 7.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jets Vs. Giants Preview

The Jets and Giants are facing off this Christmas Eve and this time it means something. No, seriously, it really means something this time. This is the first time that the rivals are facing each other with the playoffs on the line for either squad since the LT days, and it's the first time I can remember a Giants Jets game ever having this much importance to both teams. For the Giants, this is practically a playoff game, and for the Jets it's not a must win but it's still huge for their playoff hopes. Over the past couple weeks the trash talk has been flying back and forth and it's shaping up to be a good one. Unfortunately, some of the luster has been lost due to the way both teams shit the bed last week but I expect both teams to play much better tomorrow or at least match each other's ineptitudes.

As the awesome cover above illustrates, New York has always been a Giants town. But there's been a slight shift in the past few years as a younger, dumber generation has been quicker to embrace the brash, cocky Rex Ryan image of the Jets over the stodgy, old Giants. Even though the G-men won a Super Bowl just 5 years ago, New Yorkers have short memories and, to be honest, the Giants have sucked over the past few seasons. Starting up great only to fold in the second half has been their M.O. and is beginning to make their amazing run in 07 look like a fluke. They can make the fair weather (and die hard) Jets fan shut the hell up with a big performance tomorrow.

Some thoughts from Hater J and I:

  • The Giants secondary has been consistently terrible all season but that shouldn't matter in this game since Nacho can't throw a pass to save his life. He's only effective out of the play action and the Giants D-Line should rush him into a mistake or knock his ass on the ground.

  • -Hakeem Nicks may be trapped on Revis island all day . That means the battle of the talented retards should be on display. Cromartie isn't all that great and Cruz may burn him. Expect some salsa dancing.

  • Stop calling it Met Life Stadium. It's Giants Stadium, damn it.

  • Rex Ryan is quickly becoming the most annoying person in spo...scratch that in the universe.

  • The shit talk between the two teams is refreshing in a sports world where most intra city rivals act all respectful towards each other. The Yankees and Mets never have a bad word to say about each other, even though their fans detest one another. It's all so boring, and you know behind closed doors David Wright wants to knock Derek Jeter's teeth out with a Louisville Slugger .

  • In a close game- Do you really trust Nick Folk? Didn't think so.

My pick- Giants 24 Jets 17.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the game, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PTU Old Man Rant: Why Doesn't This Generation of Kids Root for the Home Team?

Allow me to be old and crotchety for a second here (or older and crotchetyer than usual). If you have any younger cousins or siblings or if you just hang creepily around high schools in your van, you've no doubt noticed that there is an epidemic of misplaced sports allegiances among the youth of America. And I don't mean just frontrunners like we grew up with, the Bulls or 49ers fans who just got their Starter jacket or Jordans because they were the best team at the moment. That's been going on forever. I'm talking kids closely following the Chargers and Nuggets who've never left Brooklyn. Ask any 15 year old what teams they root for and you're likely to hear something like: Patriots, Thunder and Padres. What happened to civic pride anyway?

There's a couple reasons behind this phenomenon. One is the rise of fantasy sports and the focus on individual stars over the team. Even if you don't have a fantasy team you can't really avoid the emphasis that's placed on individual stats partly because of it. ESPN has shows and tickers dedicated to fantasy. The NBA was the first league to really emphasize the individual as star with Jordan, Magic and Bird and the other leagues soon followed suit. It's easy to start liking the Vikings simply because Adrian Peterson is a beast, hometown rivalries be damned. I have a nephew who lives in New Jersey and likes the Nuggets just because they had Carmelo Anthony and continues to root for them still even though Melo plays for a team much closer to home. It seems dumb to me, but it's fairly common place these days.

Individual players aren't the only reason that the kids root for whoever they feel like of course. Another huge factor is the options. Just like Chris Rock once said "A man is only as faithful as his options", a sports fan is only as faithful to his city as his choices as well (or so it seems). Even when a young Bagels was growing up in the 80s and 90s, we didn't have too many teams to choose from. You had one or two games a week on nationally in each sport and then you had your local teams on every night. Almost by default, most people become fans of their city's teams. [As Hater J points out, this is also why there are so many damn Steelers and Cowboys fans around. They were on all the friggin' time back in the day. Also, those people are idiots]. Now, it's different. With League Pass, NFL Ticket, Direct TV, a network for each major sport, twitter, live streaming games online and a million other types of media, you can follow an entire season of any team you damn well choose. Combine that with the fact that most kids don't get their sports info from their local paper or newscast like previous generations, but from a nationally distributed form of media like ESPN and there's no reason for a kid from New York to even keep up with what's happening with the Jets and Giants. Just 10 years ago, it was hard to be a Chargers fan if you lived on the East coast, but today you can rock your Philip Rivers jersey on your couch every week with pride, even if you will no doubt look like a jerkoff.

What it comes down to, really, is the world is getting smaller every day. People are connected (at least technologically if not physically and emotionally) more than ever. I wrote recently about how someone like ASAP Rocky seems like a fraud to me since he's imitating a style of a region that he's never even been to never mind grown up in, but the genesis of a Harlem rapper who sounds like Lil Flip is basically the same as a kid from the Bronx who roots for the Ravens. There's no city to be proud of when we all live in one big region. And now I'm going to get back in my rocking chair and watch the Knicks on MSG while I listen to old Biggie records. You damn kids.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A History Of Washed Up Stars Who Played for The Knicks

The Knicks have officially signed Baron Davis, who will be bringing (along with his ambiguously injured back) some excitement for nostalgic fair weather basketball fans. Everyone loves a big name, and whether or not Baron will be the focused, supremely talented player he was with Golden State and the Hornets, or the overweight malcontent that forced his way out of LA and Cleveland remains to be seen. Logic would lead you to believe that the former would be true, since he's now playing for one of the league's flagship franchises along side some real talent for a change but we won't know for at least a month. However things end up with the player formerly known as B Diddy, one thing is for sure: the Knicks have had tons of washed up former stars suiting up in the orange and blue in recent history. And with the arrival of Baron and possibly gun enthusiast and washed up Agent Zero Gilbert Arenas, there's a chance this list could get much longer in the near future. I've attached their best season stats to prove that they were at one point stars along with the numbers they put up in New York. When reading the Knicks stats, I'd advise you to think of this sound.

Glen Rice Career High PPG: 26.8 2000-01 with NYK: PPG:12.0

Holding the dubious distinction of being the player who Patrick Ewing was traded for may have been the sharp shooting Rice's claim to fame. That is until this summer's revelations that he had carried on an affair with a young Sarah Palin. Glen struggled in New York for a season before being shipped off to never be heard from again. He not only took Patrick's spot on the roster, but apparently his knees as well, creaking up and down the court.

Vin Baker Career High PPG: 21.1 RPG: 10.3 2004-05 with NYK: PPG:7 RPG: 3

Vin is an iffy one to put on this list since he had already fallen off long before he came here, and he played for the Knicks right before booze and laziness derailed his career. By the time he was with the Celtics, he was already getting booed every time he stepped on the court. So when he came to the Knicks he wasn't expected to be a returning local kid done good, or a conquering hero but was just supposed to be a solid enough veteran to grab some boards and provide a bit of an inside presence. He failed on both accounts and is now mostly forgotten.

Penny Hardaway Career High PPG: 21 APG:7 06-07 with NYK: PPG: 6 APG: 2.5

As I've discussed many times on this here blog, Penny Hardaway was a childhood hero of mine as well as the spokesperson for some of the greatest perp shoes ever. He had everything: scoring ability, ridiculous hops, slick passing, a puppet named after him. Of course, when he came to the Knicks he had none of those things. It was as hard to watch him limp around the court shooting stand still jumpers as it was to watch the Knicks get swept off the court by the Nets (ugh) in 04. By the way, that team was led by none other than......

Stephon Marbury: Numbers don't tell the story

We should have saw this coming. Starbury's first game as a Knick was as hyped as any game this side of MJ's 55 pt. return in 95. In front of a national TV audience, the Knicks fell behind by 20 in the first quarter and lost by 30 to Jeff Van Gundy's Rockets. A sign of things to come as there would be much, MUCH more losing as the Marbury era progressed. Bottle's favorite player of all time and son of Coney Island could have been one of the most popular players to ever suit up in the orange and blue. Past homegrown players such as Mark Jackson, Bernard King and Anthony Mason were all popular players with the 'bockers but what should have been a homecoming for Steph, playing in the same building where he won a city championship, so heartwarming that it would have had Lupica jerking off from press row, was instead the ugliest era in Knicks basketball. One that ended with Marbury unable to get off the bench under D'Antoni and is probably best remembered for sexual harassment accusations rather than playoff wins.

Steve Francis: Career High PPG: 21 APG: 7 With NYK: PPG: 10.5 APG: 3

Oh God, Steve Francis. What a colossal fuck up by one of the biggest fuck ups in sports management history. Everyone and their mother (really, my mother was a big Francis fan and she knew he was a bum at this point) could tell you that this was a bad move. But ol' Zeke never met a big name whose legacy he didn't want to ruin.

Dikembe Mutombo: Career High PPG: 16.6 (in his rookie season!) BPG: 4.5 03-04 with NYK: PPG: 5.6 BPG:1.9

You may be noticing a trend in the years listed. 04-07 were especially dark days. Dikembe was never a big time scorer, even in his best seasons with Denver, Atlanta and Philly, but one thing he could always do was block shots and wave his big ol' E.T. finger in the face of his victims (and then later in the direction of the crowd when the league ruled that it was taunting). NO MAN FLY IN THE HOUSE OF MUTOMBO! Unfortunately, the house of Mutombo was more of a split level condo on Bleeker Street by the time he got here.

Antonio McDyess: Career High PPG: 21.2 RPG: 12.1 2003-04 with NYK: PPG: 8.4 RPG: 6.6

The recently retired McDyess is another controversial choice. On the one hand, he was way past his prime and riddled with injuries his entire stay in New York. On the other, he had some very solid years in San Antonio and Detroit as a role player on those elite teams after his tenure in New York. Nevertheless, McDyess's Knick career was so nonexistent (and expectations for him so high after the Knicks traded Marcus Camby for him) that he belongs on this list of big name wash outs. Despite his face up there, he didn't do much laughing and smiling in his Knicks career.

Jalen Rose: Career High PPG: 21.2 APG: 6.2 2005-06 with NYK: PPG: 12.7 APG: 2.6

Yeah, he played for the Knicks too. PTU Keeping it Real Hero and drunk driver Rose was one of the many terrible moves during Isiah's reign of terror. Jalen came into the league as the Point Guard for the Fab 5. A swaggering tall PG in the Magic mold, and was a very solid player for a number of years with Denver and the Pacers team that made the Finals in 2000. Unfortunately, by the time he made it to New York he was yet another faded star to add to the list.

Tracy McGrady: Career High PPG: 32.1 APG; 6.5 2009-10 with NYK: PPG: 9.4 APG:3.9

Most knowledgable basketball fans (as Knicks fans pride themselves on being) were not overly excited at the idea of the hobbling T Mac coming over in a trading deadline move a couple seasons back. Alas, even the most intelligent fan base in professional basketball is no match for nostalgia. Not to mention Knicks fans were starving for anything positive at the Garden like Johnny Bagels is starving for sweet and sour chicken on most weekends. So, Knicks fans got all goofy and cheered McGrady on in his one good game at the Garden after the trade. He broke 20 points and almost led them to a win if not for a Durant game tying 3 in the 4th quarter, but soon after that it was clear that this wasn't the same guy who scored 60 in a game with the Magic, or scored 15 points in 45 seconds or whatever it was with the Rockets, but was just another injured former star winding down his career at the World's most famous arena.

And there's many more crappy players who may have had good years elsewhere but stunk it up for the Knicks through out the years.Here's hoping that Davis (and maybe Arenas) can keep themselves off the next list. Add up those names up there, though, and you have a veritable dream team. That is, when they were in their prime, healthy and dynamic athletes who had no idea they'd one day be relegated to the scrap heap of fallen stars at Madison Square Garden.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The PTU 2011-2012 NBA PREVIEW

Basketball is back on again, and so it's time for the PTU NBA Preview for 2011 - 2012, aka the Year of Kemba. Lets start with the Eastern Conference:

With a healthy Haslem and the addition of Battier (and possibly Arenas?), the Heat will totally dominate the Eastern Conference, easily securing the #1 seed, while looking even stronger than last year. The other decent East Coast teams - the Bulls, the Celtics, the Hawks, etc. - will all be taken out in the first two rounds of the playoffs, making way for a Heat - Knicks Eastern Conference Finals match-up. Heat in 6.

In the West, the Lakers will lose early in the playoffs after failing to trade for Dwight Howard. The Grizzlies and the Mavs will look good going into the playoffs, but ultimately the Thunder will take the West behind the 2011-2012 MVP Kevin Durant. As for the Clippers, in case anyone is wondering, they will lose on the road in the first round of the playoffs.

Heat over the Thunder in 6. Lebron-haters cry themselves to sleep.

MVP: Durant.
Rookie of the Year: Derrick Williams (Kemba lets him win).

That Stupid Lexus Commercial is Ruining Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful (if somewhat stressful) time for everyone. Even Jews enjoy the birth of Christ as it affords them valuable movie marathons at the local Multiplex as us ignorant, Christians awkwardly try on our sweaters and eat turkey and whatnot. But there is a real war on Christmas, an assault on the true spirit of our holiest day. That is those awful Lexus "December to Remember" commercials.

There's so much to hate about this ad campaign. Firstly, it's just one douchebag after another giving their douchey spouse a luxury car with a big bow on it (a douchey bow I might add). Who can relate to this? I'm no supporter of OWS, but this commercial makes me want to pitch a tent in the nearest publicly funded park on Wall Street, and start eating cans of spaghetti o's in a drum circle. It's simple hate, but it feels so right to hate these idiots. The economy is going to hell, every day there's a new story on the nightly news proclaiming 90% of the country lives below the poverty line and is now eating urinal cakes for nourishment, millions of young adults are moving back in with Mom and Dad, Russia has a Satan missile and these fools are giving Lexuses to each other like they're Harry and David fruit baskets.

I wouldn't even hate on the ads if the execution was slightly less annoying. Each ad unspools in the same horrific manner: some type of annoying couple is going about their daily routine; getting ready for a night on the town, playing a generic version of Rock Band with the kids or something when they're alerted to a special gift lurking outside their home/condo. Unfortunately for us it's not a Satan missile, but a Lexus with a big bow on it. I understand that there is a world out there where people buy each other's cars for Xmas but it doesn't seem like this is relatable for much of America. And the way they cutely reveal the gift is gag inducing. These technological wizards somehow program their building's elevator or a video game to play that annoying Lexus December to Remember theme song. I suppose if you have the disposable income to lavish a 50 thousand dollar car on your loved ones you can also rig the elevator in your condo or pay somebody to reprogram your video games. And about that song, the whole premise of the ads rely on the gift recipient instantly recognizing that song as the "Lexus" song. I could hear that a million times and not associate it with Lexus. It sounds like a basic Holiday type song. But now I'll instantly associate that tune with douchey rich assholes who take over my tv during every time out of every NFL game and remind me of how much worse my life is since I'm sweating over buying an Ipad! Bah Humbug and go to Hell, Lexus!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top 5 Steve Buscemi Roles; Happy Birthday, Steve Buscemi you Ugly Bastard

Steve Buscemi has had an odd career (one that he spoofed in his SNL hosting duties last week) that has seen him go from dog featured comedic actor in small roles in your favorite quirky comedies and indie films to full on Cable star. From Trees Lounge to Ghost World to almost every Adam Sandler comedy ever, the one time fire fighter from Brooklyn has played quite a few characters in his day. Some of them creepy, some funny, all very, very ugly. But we're not here to talk about Steve's looks. In honor of Steve's birthday, let's take a look at Johnny Bagel's 5 favorite Buscemi roles. Despite the critical acclaim and overall awesomeness of Boardwalk Empire, Buscemi's Nucky Thompson really isn't all that great of a character so he didn't make the top 5.

5) Tony Blundetto in The Sopranos

Buscemi had already been with The Sopranos for some time in a writing and directing capacity when he made his first appearance in front of the camera as Tony's recently released from prison cousin, Tony (he was Tony "Uncle Al" while T.S. was Tony "Uncle Johnny"). If the sight of Gandolfini and Buscemi next to each other seemed strange at first (never mind that they were somehow related), his performance as Tony B. quickly put those thoughts to rest. Able to play an ex-con trying to go straight while still hanging out with Tony and the gang in the back of Satriale's, Buscemi played a believable knock around guy with his trademark quirkiness still intact. His quick descent from luckiest man in the world to lying on Uncle Pat's porch with half of his face shot off at the hand of his cousin was one of the stand out story arcs of The Soprano's 6 and a half seasons (as you can see above sans Van Morrison).

4) Donny in The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is one of the best loved movies to involve bowling, nihilists played by Red Hot Chili Pepper's bassists and Steve Buscemi. Steve doesn't have too much to do in this one as the bowling loving, always out of the loop Donny, but his character does have the most memorable eulogy scene in film history (even if he doesn't appear in it).

3) Tommy in Trees Lounge

Buscemi's directorial debut features loads of familiar faces from the Sopranos and Goodfellas (the casting director would later work for Sopranos), yet despite the presence of the usual goombah actors (including a very good pre Artie Bucco John Ventimiglia), Trees Lounge is the lighter side of being a loser in Staten Island. This was the role Buscemi was born to play, an annoying, alcoholic loser who you actually end up rooting for. Although living above a bar doesn't seem all that bad.

2) Carl Showalter in Fargo

Buscemi might not be the DeNiro to the Cohen Brother's Scorsese (a couple different actors would probably fight over that title) but he was definitely a favorite of theirs during the 90s. While dweeby and awkward, Buscemi plays a dirtbag better than almost anyone this side of Mickey Rourke. And in the Cohen Bros's Oscar winning crime flick, he plays a particularly obnoxious dirtbag named Carl. Fargo's plot was the same as 98% of the other Cohen Bros. films; shlubby guy at the end of his rope comes up with a plan to make a quick buck (which usually involves a staged kidnapping) only for miscommunication and general incompetence to mess everything up. In this case, Buscemi steals the show as the loudmouth would-be kidnapper who eventually meets the wrong end of a wood chipper. "You should see the other guy" is a classic line when delivered by Buscemi after just being shot in the throat. This film also saw the screen debut of former Miami Heat Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

1)Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs

The film that probably introduced most people to Buscemi as something other than the guy who had one or two lines in a handful of films like King of New York or Martin Scorsese's portion of New York Stories or some other movies that didn't have New York in the title at all. Mr. Pink is Buscemi at his best. Playing a crook who doesn't know that his jewel thief partner is actually 5-0, Buscemi proves there's no honor amongst thieves. While the other guys are definitely bad asses and/or sick fucks, Mr. Pink acts as weaselish as he looks. Watching him in this now, you remember why Nucky Thompson is rather boring; Buscemi's at his best when he's a slippery, snake like small time crook not a stately, composed crime boss. The few scenes that Nucky loses it have been some of the more memorable moments of Boardwalk's first 2 seasons, but he's in his glory in Tarantino's debut. Why do they call him Mr. Pink? "Because you're a faggot, all right?!"

Honorable Mentions:

Psycho in Con Air, Creepy guy in Mr. Deeds and Nucky Thompson on Boardwalk Empire.

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Monday, December 5, 2011

PTU Classics: Happy Birthday Eddy Curry, You Fat Bastard

Eddy Curry
In honor of overweight slob, former Knick and all around waste of life Eddy Curry's 29th consecutive year wasting precious oxygen that could have gone to productive members of society, we present a PTU classic.

Where to start with Fat Ed? How about the fact that he was a walking embodiment of the Isiah Thomas era? A fat, sweaty, lazy, walking (he never really ran any where very hard) symbol of the overpaid, underperforming yet talented players that the snake loved so much. If Marbury was the face of the spoiled, underachieving Isiah era then Eddy was the constant reminder of Zeke's incompetence as team president wearing an expensive suit at the end of the bench every night for the past 4 years.

Going straight to the pros from Thornwood high in Illinois, Curry was the 4th pick of his hometown Bulls. Everyone could see he was ridiculously talented but he had a possible congenital heart defect that gave the team pause. No one would want to give the guy an extended contract because of it.... Except Isiah who promptly traded every draft pick the Knicks had for the next 20 years for the round mound of no rebounds, along with some other bums, sinking the Knicks into salary cap hell before Donnie Walsh eventually cleaned things up. Unsurprisingly, Eddy showed flashes of what he could be, occasionally putting up huge scoring numbers (although he makes Amare look like Moses Malone on the glass), but would eventually derail his career by repeatedly showing up to training camps out of shape. When you're a professional athlete who runs up and down a court for a living and are given the best trainers and personal chefs money can buy, how much of a fat slob must you be to continue to gain weight?

All of this is enough to land you in the PTU dog house for life, so we won't dwell on the alleged "gay sexual harassment" suit. Let's just say "Come and touch it, Dave" are words that will go down in Knicks history along with "Are you gonna get in the truck?". Dark days.

Welcome to the dog house, Eddy. You fat fuck.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snoot's Tebow Excuse of the Week

With Orton as their QB, the Broncos were 1-4 with a slim-to-none chance of making the playoffs. Since then, with Tebow as their starter, the Broncos have gone 6-1, locking them into a tie for first place in their division. Today Tebow led yet another game-winning 4th quarter drive, and threw for a career-high 202 yards, with two second-half touch downs. What will it take to convince all of PTU that he deserves credit for his team's success?

Some of Snoot's past excuses include:

- "wins don't mean much in the NFL"
- "it was too humid"
- "they didn't cut the grass low enough"
- "the stadium ran out of hot dogs"

Please check the comments section for Snoot's response.

What will it be this time?

The Greatest Perp Shoes of All Time

Almost everything is debatable when it comes to rankings. Who's the best baseball team of all time? What's the best restaurant in New York? Greatest movie of all time? Only two things are absolutely number one on everyone's list, regardless of age, race or occupation. One is the undisputed greatest sneaker of all time. Ask any sneaker head worth a damn and they'll tell you it's the Black and Elephant print Jordan 3's, which were rereleased this past Black Friday to ridiculously long lines and immediately sold out everywhere from Foot Locker to Nike Town to wherever else perp shoes are sold. What makes these Jordans so great? I mean, look at them. They are certainly striking upon first glance, and would be so even if they came out tomorrow. Now picture being a sneaker consumer in 1988. MJ was still 3 years away from winning a championship and in some circles had a reputation similar to LeBron James (who was around 4 when these came out), that is a high scoring athletic beast who had yet to prove himself as a leader on the court who could lead his team to a title. Most sneakers at the time ran the gamut from boring to plain. Look at the Jordan 2s and how simple they were. Then BAM. Elephant print! On a sneaker. Along with the red accents to match the Bulls colors and the grey tongue, these sneakers were like nothing anyone had ever seen before. The first design from famed Nike and Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield (with a name like that could that guy do anything besides design Air Jordans?), the Jordan 3s were risky but so fresh looking,For the next 20 years they would be worn by everyone from the Fresh Prince to Basquiat, from Bushwick hipsters to Brownsville crack dealers, these may be the sleekest looking sneakers ever invented. They were released at the time in 3 different color ways and have since been rereleased in all types of funky color combos, but the black and elephant remains the gold standard.

The second thing that everyone can agree on is best flavor potato chip.It's barbecue.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Two Cents on Tebow

I like what John Fox and the Denver Broncos are doing with Tim Tebow. People say that Tebow has nothing to do with the resurgence of their defense but I disagree he is part of a system that helps the defense. A smash mouth football offense leads to increased time of position which keeps Denver's defense off the field and rested. Also the Broncos are playing a style of offense that cuts off the field for the opposing teams, most of the Broncos' opponents when they score a touchdown have to go 70-80 yards every time. This aided by limiting passing attempts and hence limiting the opportunity for INTS. (In short Broncos' opponents don't get to score easy touchdowns). I don't think you can plug in any QB into a system like this, you need a disciplined, fast, smart, tough QB and Tebow is your man(Other Qbs like Vick are faster but not as tough, just ask his ribs). The Broncos had another system in place in the beginning of the season with Orton and it lead to a record of 1-4. Also Tebow averages 5 yards a rushing attempt (Two rushing attempts equal a first down)

Also Running the ball wins games more often than passing.

That statement is true; since 1995, in fact, teams have won 84 percent of the time when one running back has 30 attempts, but they’ve won just 28 percent when their quarterback has 40 attempts. This is even backed up by the correlations of pass and rush attempts to winning.(Tebow is for all purposes is a running back and I count the running backs as one collective group) I am on the John Fox band wagon not because Tebow has some mystical powers that turns loses into wins but because John Fox is using a system that his entire team can thrive in and his offense is not cookie cutter, I can only take so many back shoulder throws in the NFL.

In closing if I were to assign a percentage as to who is responsible for the Broncos winning, it would be something like this Tebow = 35% John Fox and his Game plan including Defense =65%

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jump Off The Tebow Bandwagon While You Still Can

Everyone here at PTU knows that Bottle has been a long time Tebow lover, along with our fellow blogger CAPTAIN POWER. If you've watched any of his recent games where he was able to eek out a win, you got to witness the announcers falling prey to Tebow fever. I fear this is also happening to some of our other PTU'ers, as even Mad has been impressed by Tebow lately. 

I'm here to tell you that you must resist the urge to jump on the Tebow bandwagon. Sure his team has rallied around him for some wins, but there are some key reasons this is short lived. 
  • It's actually the #1 ranked running game that has helped the Broncos win.
  • Yes Tebow is smart and reads the opposing defense well, but you can't say they win because of Tebow when their passing game is ranked #31. 
  • For the most part, Tebow's wins have come against poor teams. In particular many of these teams have a weak run defense, which matches up well for the Broncos. 

When the Broncos have to play a team with a strong run defense who have any type of offense, it's not going to go as well for them. I tried to make a bet with Bottle that Tebow won't win a playoff game in the next 5 years but he turned me down. Tebow may be fun to watch and he will win some games, but make sure you don't get caught on the Tebow wagon. 

It's About Time, Assholes

The NBA owners and players have finally reached a tentative agreement and that means there will be professional basketball this season. After weeks of hearing about the "nuclear winter" and the hopelessness that had swallowed the never ending talks between the asshole owners and even bigger asshole players, everything was solved. Yes, after close to 5 months of 18 hour days spent behind closed doors discussing God knows what, everything was wrapped up neatly early this past Saturday morning. Did the two sides finally meet in the middle? Were Derek Fisher's debating skills too much for David Stern's crew to bear? Did they finally get sick of ordering Chinese food every night? Most likely, it was none of those thing that resulted in the lockout coming to a glorious close: they finally came to their senses and realized they're all losing money. The players have missed one paycheck and were soon to miss another, and without the coveted Christmas games being played the NBA would lose their marquee day to shine. As I've said here before, Stern talks tough about pulling the plug on the entire season, and taking his ball and going home if his boys didn't play fair. But as we suspected it was all bull shit. Essentially, the two sides were playing a game of chicken as some of America waited impatiently. With the recent law suit the players brought against the owners, everyone came to their senses and said "ya know what? Let's go back to making ridiculous amounts of money again? Who are we kidding?".

What's really striking about this whole fiasco is the response of the players. Their tweets show that this wasn't the players raging against the machine. Half of them didn't even know what they were arguing about. Take this gem from labor expert LeBron James:

"Man I just got up not to long ago and see we have a deal! I feel like my kids on X-mas day! So juiced!! Excited for the fans that stayed patient with us! #NBAlove,"

Besides his ignorance of the difference between to and too, this doesn't seem like the response of someone who has been battling over complex economic issues for months. How about noted scholar Oklahoma City Thunder swingman James Harden? What was his take on the two sides finally coming to an agreement? He seems like an intelligent dude:

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. I feel like I just got drafted again."

Ok, so none of these guys could give two shits about BRI or revenue sharing, they just know they missed a paycheck and they want to play ball again. I guess that's something we could all relate to. No matter what the reasoning was for the two sides coming together, I'm just happy that I can stop pretending I care about NCAA basketball or hockey and get back to some NBA basketball this Christmas. Greedy assholes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giants vs Saints Preview

Tonight is a statement game for the Giants, they need this win to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys, and gain confidence as they prepare for their match up with the Green Bay Packers. I look for the Giants to get into Drew Brees comfort zone and sack him at least 4 times. The Giant should win a close one in a dog fight 27 to 20.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 5 Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is a time of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, you have to deal with annoying relatives who you'd sooner spend a lifetime blocking from seeing your Facebook statuses than spend a dinner with, but there you are forced to make inane small talk about how you feel about your job for a good hour or so. Then, on the other hand, you have glorious food. Ah yes, thanksgiving food is about as good as it gets. I'm not sure if I love the stuff so much because it's only served once or twice a year or if it's just that gosh darn awesome. Either way, I feel like I could eat most of what's served on Thanksgiving every day for the rest of my life and would be content, even though that would mean I would never get my tryptophaned ass off the couch. What are the top 5?

5) Mashed Potatoes

The potato is one of those foods that's good in almost any form that it's prepared. Au gratin, baked, french fries, it's all fantastic. Mashed potatoes though, are a close second to baked potatoes as the very best type of potato (baked potatoes ability to be a vehicle for awesomeness like sour cream and bacon bits puts it over the top). Just make sure they're not too runny or chunky or you've fucked your whole holiday up.

4) Turkey with gravy

Turkey on its own is kind of a drag. It's dry and puts you to sleep while the Lions are still down by just one touchdown. But paired with gravy, it's delicious. Turkeys get so much attention around this time of year, but they're really nothing more than a vehicle for gravy. Stupid turkeys.

3) Pumpkin Pie

Apple pie might get all the love (the saying about being as American as, Jason Biggs banging it) but nothing beats a slice of pumpkin pie with some cool whip. It almost makes "It's a Wonderful Life" for the 100th time tolerable.

2) Cranberry Sauce

Some people don't like cranberry sauce. I don't understand those people since cranberry sauce is awesome. Whether sliced or in the sauce version with the little cranberries in it, it's one of the few times I don't mind sweet fruit (is cranberry a fruit?) mixed in with my meat.

1) Stuffing

Yup, stuffing. The shit that comes right out of the bird or the Stove Top kind. It doesn't matter what type of stuffing it is, that shit is crack. In the 90s there were these commercials that aired constantly that had a couple different premises: Some asshole would find a way to eat at his friends house because they were having Stove Top stuffing for dinner, and I guess their own mother was too stupid or had an alcohol problem and couldn't be bothered to provide her children with the stuffing they deserved. That mom was a real bitch. Another commercial involved two kids (one who was Hyde on That 70's Show) plotting to get their Stove Top fix. High five to stuffing! Stove Top also apparently came in a Pringles like can so you could feed your brood the stuffing they all love right out of the can. Just don't put any fruit or nuts in your stuffing, that's just gross.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why do People Want to Vote for Someone as Dumb as They Are?

I'm not a very political person. I don't like to discuss politics as a rule, since I've come to realize that every person has their own ideals which they are not going to budge on, and there are no absolutes when it comes to personal politics. A person on the right of a topic will have just as many supporting statistics and arguments as the guy on the left. Something I do kind of enjoy, though, is people talking about politics, and the way that political campaigns are projected on the masses. As skeptical as I am of any one person changing the direction of society, I'm just as fascinated by the diehard liberal or right wing conservative. One aspect of political blindess that I find particularly stupid is the embracing of candidates who represent the "common man", ya know that regular joe who sounds just like you and me. He's not held down by fancy educations and elitist ideas, he's a real salt of the earth type fella. Like inexplicable republican hero Herman Cain.

Even someone like me who avoids CNN and MSNBC and Fox News like the plague can tell you the details of the ups and downs of Cain's campaign for President thus far. He used to be the head of a pizza company no one on the East coast has heard of, then skyrocketed to stardom seemingly overnight through folksy, crowd pleasing debate answers, has a catchy nonsensical "9 9 9" financial plan and has recently had more sexual harrasment charges than the Park Slope groper. He's apparently been around for a while, but I'd bet my Christmas bonus against anyone of you being able to pick him out of a lineup 4 months ago, let alone pegging him as the next leader of the free world. He's gone from token Black Republican to leader of the polls. How is ol' Horny Herman somehow leading the pack ahead of proven household name white guys in the GOP field? Well, he reminds a lot of voters of themselves. Not that most Republicans are middle aged black guys with wispy moustaches, but he's cast himself as the "anti-Beltway" candidate. A regular guy who just wants to get the Country back on track. Take his recent answer to an inquiry on Uzbekistan: Cain said he doesn't need to know about "uzi uzi becky becky stan stan". To him, that's some other country with a funny name that has no affect on the average American. When Letterman brought this up to Cain on Friday's appearance on the Late Show, he said something like "David, there's over 200 countries in the world. I can't know all of them". And then he went back into his "the American people want jobs, blah blah" bullshit and his 9 9 9 thing again. Why doesn't this cause people alarm? I'll be honest, I know nothing about Uzbekistan or most other "stans" but the difference is I'm not running for office. I wouldn't want someone like me running the country. I couldn't even run a fantasy football leauge. Why do so many people want someone just like them running the country? Wouldn't you want the absolute smartest person in charge of your country? Shouldn't he have at least a basic grasp of foreign affairs? Unfortunatelty, if you asked a great many voters, the answers to those questions would be "who gives a hoot? get off my lawn commie" or something like that, but believe me they don't care. Americans love someone they can identify with. One of the biggest criticisms of Obama is he's an out of touch liberal elitist who doesn't have the heart of the country , that is the hard working people of middle America, in his best interests. I don't want my President to look or sound anything like me. We're not all president material. The President should be an example of the best we have to offer in this country, when other countries think of America they should think of intelligence, strength and bravery not some shmuck who can't pronounce Uzbekistan and is proud of it. Woody Allen said he wouldn't want to be a part of any club that would have him as a member, and I don't want to be part of a country that would have a President as dumb as I am.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Derek Fisher is an Asshole and Other Insights on the Lockout

Fuck Derek Fisher. Fuck him good. I'm not going to get into a philosophical argument on the merits of the NBA economic system, and how ridiculously unfair it may or may not be. All I know is the NBA season is just about cancelled. Nobody really cares, outside of myself and a handful of other people in this country, but it's looking like there will be no NBA season this year all because one group of millionaires can't agree on exactly how they want to split up millions of dollars with another group of millionaires. And that sucks.

The Knicks were actually a half way decent team last year. Not great, but a million times better than the D-league team level embarrassment that was trotted out for the beginning of this century. There was a little bit of hope that maybe we'd have a fun team to watch for the next couple of years, or at least until Amare Stoudemire's knees exploded and Carmelo Anthony got tired of losing to the Heat. But now we won't get to see the Knicks or any NBA team run around in shorts this year. Your NBA season is gone, America. All because these dickheads are so detached from reality that they've deluded themselves into thinking that their lives are anything but the ideal life for anybody. If you could go back in time and find any of these assholes as they shot jumpshots outside their housing project buildings or dusty middle of fucking no where basketball hoops that they would one day be running around playing that game they love for millions of dollars, I don't think one of them would say "I just hope we're given our fair share of the BRI. It's only right". They would do the normal thing for a person who grew up in abject poverty. Jump at the chance to play a game AS A CAREER. I think most people would play in the NBA FOR FREE. The tradeoff for being that one in a million lucky son of a bitch that gets to play professional sports is you keep your mouth shut and do as you're told. This isn't about what's right and wrong and fair or unfair. You're an NBA player. Be grateful, fucko. So Fuck Derek Fisher, Fuck Billy Hunter, Fuck the army of money hungry agents who would trade their grandmother for a bigger percentage of jersey profits. Fuck David Stern and the rest of his army of snake owners. Fuck those idiot players who stand behind Derek Fisher after every 28 hour negotiating session, the cavalcade of scrubs like Mo Evans, Etan Thomas and Rasual Butler. Fuck the Red Rocket, Matt Bonner and his red hair and awkward jump shot. Fuck all of you, assholes. May the NBA ban all of you for life and force you to do something else with your life, you ungrateful wastes of athletic ability and God given talent. Eat a dick.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hater J's Week 10 Picks

Giants (+3.5) The 49ers have a great pass rush that typically forces QBs to make bad mistakes or matador sacks leading to more yards to keep drives alive . The thing is, Eli typically gets the ball out quickly and had a ton of practice against New England. If the Giants go up, do you think Alex Smith is going to beat them? You couple that with the "Eli rule" and this is an easier pick.

Eli Rule: Eli plays well when he gets more than 3 and awful when he gives more than three.

Pats (+1.5) Tom Brady played awful. The Pats defense was horrendous in the second half. All that and the Giants still needed a 2 minute drill to beat them. Tom isn't making those mistakes again, and I don't see Sanchez matching him.

Steelers (-3) The Bengals are the home team but the Steelers travel really well and there should be some Terrible Towel sightings. The Steelers are also sore after a tough loss and look to beat up on the Ginger Kid, Andy Dalton.

Chiefs (-3) If Tebow wins in the Black Hole and in Arrowhead on consecutive weeks, I'll be at church next Sunday. The Chiefs aren't going to stand for back to back beatdowns at home.

Jags (-3) You come off a bye week and you get to play the Colts. The Jags should send the schedule makers a nice Christmas gift.

Bills (+6) So we're down on the Bills after losing to a good defensive team that needed a win and up on the Cowboys after beating a bad team that they let hang around? Take the points.

Bucs (+3) The Texans have taken advantage of bad teams in a big way. Going on the road against a team that gets up for home games is a bit different than playing the likes of the Browns. Take the points.

Panthers (-2.5) The most exciting player on the field isn't Chris Johnson and isn't a Titan. The Titans just look more flat every week since losing Britt and Chris Johnson (the latter suits up, but he'd be better off faking an injury and letting Runger take the carries). Cam rarely wins, but you have to think Tennessee will roll over and let Cam do what he does.

Dolphins (-4.5) - Matt Moore versus John Beck. The Dolphins throw screen passes well and play decent defense. The Redskins do just about nothing well.

Falcons (PK) The Saints are just bad on the road and the Falcons are a solid home team.

Lions (+3) Okay Lions, you want to be taken seriously? Start by winning on the road in November. The Bears are coming off of a big win, on the road, and had a short week to prepare for a Lions team fresh off of a bye. Fat Boy Suh should be able to hit Cutler a few times and I find it hard to see how the Bears will keep up with the Lions' speed on tired legs.

Rams (+3) The rams can run and the passing offense looks better since the addition of Brandon Lloyd. What do the Browns do well?

Cards (+13) The Eagles win this game, but I refuse to lay 13+ points with a team that can't close games well. This feels like a back door cover.

Seahawks (+7) I'm chalking up Flacco's performance to getting up for the Steelers. I think he goes back to bad Flacco this week and we see the Hawks' defense keeping them in the game.

Vikings (+13.5) The Packers are the best team in football. Aaron Rodgers is playing incredible football and as a result, the defense plays super aggressive football and as a result, gives up a lot of big plays. A few big plays from "All Day" and a deep play or two from Ponder should keep this game within two TD's.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 5 Wiggers

A couple posts ago I compared Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky to poseurs like Vanilla Ice and Rick Ross. A$AP might be a trendsetter at imitating sizzurp drinking Southerners but the white guy acting black is a time honored tradition, and is undoubtedly the most common (and ridiculed) version of this phenomenon. Throughout history there's been kids (and adults) acting like they're straight outta the hood and who can blame them? People from the hood are tough and scary and really cool. Who are the top 5 wiggers in history?

5. Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad

Jesse's "Blaccent" is pretty bad. He mostly just says "bitch" and "yo" a lot but pretty much just sounds like a white dude. This is probably because the actor who portrays Jesse, Aaron Paul is really, really white in real life. Still, his ridiculous clothes (especially in the first couple seasons) that look like he's a 12 year old who lives on Staten Island make up for whatever he lacks in wigger language believability.

4. Channing Tatum

This guy has certainly cornered the market on angry, conflicted movie wiggers with a soft side. Check out his resume:

  • Coach Carter as the small forward with the temper problem.

  • A Guide to Remembering your Saints as Shia Labeouf's wild friend from the neighborhood with a temper and a way with baseball bats

  • The Fighter as a loner street fighter with a temper that befriends creepy Terrence Howard

and on and on it goes. Nobody captures the rage of an oppressed African American man stuck in the body of an Abercrombie model turned shitty actor like Channing.

3. Eminem

This is an obvious choice. He's probably the most recognizable wigger in the world, but Marshall actually has a lof of white tendencies (keeping him this high on the list). Even though all of his friends are black and he grabs his nuts a lot, he also likes to dress in drag and do borderline gay shit (or REALLY REALLY gay shit), used to live in a trailer park and does prank phone calls and the like. So his whiteness is balanced out by his rap career and wardrobe consisting of sweatpants and Air Maxes that looks straight out of TJ Maxx.

2. Jason Williams aka White Chocolate

One of the many Jason (or Jayson) Williamses to play in the NBA but the only fully white one and (ironically) the very blackest of any of them. As I've mentioned before, funny murderer Jayson Williams was a mullato who was like a Puerto Rican guy, and Duke superstar turned motorcycle accident victim and now ESPN commentator Jason "Jay" Williams was (like every other black player from Duke) the opposite of a wigger. Jason was the flashiest Caucasian NBA player since Pete Maravich and Bob Cousy, in fact, he might have been the white player with the most flava (or swag) ever. Cousy sure as hell never did this in a game. He also had a habit of wearing his hat sideways in locker room interviews, cussing out reporters and even was a high school teammate of Randy Moss. Don't get much blacker than that. He eventually toned down the flash under old fogey white man Hubie Brown and you'd be hard pressed to even see him throw a no look pass late in his career with the Grizzlies, Heat or Magic but we'll always have youtube clips of his days in Sacramento to remind us of what a trendsetting wigger White Chocolate truly was at one point.

1. Detective Holder on The Killing

The Killing is a truly awful show. Snoot and I watched it anyway, since we started watching it based off of AMC's reputation and figured it would eventually right the ship and make it worth our while. Of course, that didn't happen but it did introduce us and the rest of the world to a new breed of wigger. The white trashy former drug addict (I don't remember if what drug is ever specified on the show, but I'll assume meth) and pretty decent cop. He's also the first wigger I can think of to not be played as a joke (the Swedish actor who plays Holder might have based his idea of American police solely on Eminem videos or the Staten Island Mall); even Jesse's wardrobe and "bitch" and "yo"'s are kinda tongue in cheek. Holder is who he is, and the only recognition of his wiggerdom comes when his partner says he dresses like Justin Bieber. We've finally come to a moment in our history that a white man can act like he's a black guy from the hood and it's just an incidental part of his back story and not something to be ridiculed. So remember, Chad and Trevor in Fort Lauderdale, it gets better. It really does.

Honorable mentions:

Justin Bieber- Besides his style of dress and blaccent, he's got baby mama issues.

Robin Thicke- Son of the whitest man in the world, TV dad Alan Thicke, has some serious soul.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Asteroid passed by earth yesterday

If you didn't notice, that's good. That means we are still alive.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hater J's Week 9 Picks

Jets (+2) - I usually like to find reasons to pick against the Jets, but I can't find any reason (other than my hatred for Sanchez) to pick against them. They're off a bye week, play great defense, and have been running the ball well. The Bills can't stop the run, the Jets can shut down Jackson/Amish Rifle, and the Bills are due for a let down.

Giants (+9) - You were warned to avoid these Giants last week. Following the "play to the level of competition" theory, this is the week to jump back on the wagon. The Pats don't lose at home and they don't lose back to back. But with the point spread, what does that matter? This Giants team saw the Steelers throw a ton underneath and exploit that weak Pats secondary. The Giants have enough guys to do exactly that and keep this game inside of a touchdown.

Falcons (-7) - The Colts are playing hard, too bad effort is meaningless after kindergarten. The Falcons can use a win here to pick up some ground on the Saints and start their post bye week season on a good foot.

Bucs (+8.5) - Maybe the Saints are just awesome at home and suck everywhere else. Maybe they just don't fare well against certain teams that run up the gut. Or maybe just certain teams have their number. With all those maybes, I'll take the points.

Texans (-11) - The Browns are awful on offense. They are also playing another road game and their running game is a mess. I don't trust Colt McCoy to jump start this offense, and the Texans want to keep rolling. Lay the points.

Chiefs (-4.5) - This line should be higher. The Dolphins overachieved against an underachieving Giants team. The Chiefs are also on a short week after an emotional Monday night game, but they were home and are also home for this one. Arrowhead will swallow Matt Moore in a blow out.

49ers (-3.5) - This feels like a trap game. The 49ers going west to east, the Redskins just got blown out and come back home...typically a reason to take the points. I'm not doing it though. The 49ers are focused and well coached. They'll continue to win games they're supposed to.

Seahawks (+11.5) - I can't stand Tavaris and can't believe I'm picking the Seahawks. Tony Romo doesn't go up field, the Hawks have played good defense, and Sidney Rice is starting to get in rhythm. More than enough to take the double digit points.

Raiders (-8) - Tebow is horrific. Carson Palmer isn't off the hook here, but the running game behind him is legit. How many more atrocities do we have to see until the Tebow idiots just shut up?

Titans (-3) - The Bengals just had a nice road win. Winning on the road in back to back games may be too much to ask out of a rookie QB.

Cards (-2) - Kevin Kolb hasn't been much better than a back up. If he were playing, you'd give the 2 points, there is no reason why you shouldn't if Skelton is starting.

Packers (-5.5) - Phillip Rivers has thrown 4 more picks than TD's. The Packers look to expand that gap Sunday.

Steelers (-3) - The home team always wins this game. The Ravens' offense (Joe Flacco) stinks. The Steelers are playing well and remember week 1 very well.

Bears (+8) - The Eagles are the best in the NFC East now? Who knew that it only took whipping on a cruddy Cowboys team that dropped passes that hit them in the helmet for us to make that leap? I'm not buying...yet. The Bears run well and had an extra week to prepare for this offense. The Eagles don't stop the run and Vick will get hit. I'll take the points.

For Those Who Watch On Saturday: LSU +5, Nebraska -17.5, Stanford -21, Utah +3.5, Houston -27.5

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is ASAP Rocky Any Different From Vanilla Ice?

Hip hop trends these days move swiftly and mysteriously. In the past (old man alert) rappers would develop underground followings through hustle and (usually) acquired industry connections via mixtapes from the usual tastemaker djs, most of whom resided in New York, and for the most part based on talent. With the new millenium, came a new breed of rapper and the method of getting buzz went beyond just rapping a freestyle on DJ Clue's monday night show on Hot 97 and landing a song at the end of a Kay Slay tape. 50 Cent ushered in the mixtape era, releasing cds that were more like albums and the trend of rapping new songs over other people's beats. With the presence of the internet growing larger every second, though, a new type of rapper has emerged: One that isn't all that talented but has the type of buzz that used to be reserved for underground beasts who tore up every guest appearance or radio freestyle they touched (think Canibus or DMX). Enter a 21 year old kid from Harlem with a Texas fetish named ASAP Rocky.

ASAP, not at all to be confused with mumbly white people rapper Aesop Rock, is probably the most talked about new rapper out, and just this past Monday released his first highly anticipated mixtape to mostly positive reviews and internet drooling. He pretty much came out of nowhere, appearing sporadically on the rap blogs and Pitchfork since this spring. Mysteriously dropping a video or mp3, mostly inspiring people to say "who's this kid from Harlem that raps like Lil Flip?". And I'll admit, I kind of dig his music. The beats are ambient, drugged out stuff that i like and he's a decent enough southern rapper, but the one thing that I can't get past as I listen to LiveLoveASAP is this kid is a fraud. If we call out people like Vanilla Ice or any of the other rappers who are found to be living a lie, why not this guy? Being a white person who acts black is one of the most ridiculed characters in existence, mostly due to the idea that it's someone trying to be something they're not in order to look cool. The word poser comes to mind. ASAP admits he loves Texas although HE'S NEVER EVEN BEEN THERE. He just knows what he sees on tv in rap videos and hears in the sizzurp soaked UGK albums. Sound familiar? . Rick Ross gets lampooned by many rap fans for his former life as corrections officer, and rightfully so, but is that so much different than a dude from Harlem who's never been in the state of Texas that imitates the drawling sound of someone who was born in Port Arthur? One difference might be that ASAP isn't intentionally deceiving anyone. He says he's from Harlem pretty much on every track but he's still adopted a persona that is not authentic to who he is as a person. Hip hop used to be a culture that valued authenticity over anything else. Remember keeping it real (the real term not PTU's adopted version of drunken athletes with crappy cars)? I'll admit I'm a little biased since New York isn't the center of the hiphop world anymore, and the death of regionalism has always been a pet peeve of most of us at PTU. I know I sound 1000 years old but the ascension of the internet and social networks as the primary means of communication and entertainment for the youth these days is to blame for kids who grew up in New York that root for the Patriots and rappers that were born in Harlem that pretend to be from down south. We live in a global village where you can pick and choose what area you want dress like, sound like, and what teams to root for regardless of your actual hometown. I'm not saying that's wrong, really, but if we're going to clown Vanilla Ice and Rick Ross for living a lie what about the fake country boy and his styrofoam cup of lean, ASAP?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

PTU Guide to Republicans by Snoot and Bagels: Part 1 of 2

This is a PTU two part political special.

During a conversation today Johnny Bagels made a distinction regarding the types of Republicans working in his office, noting that they were "old money sophisticated William F. Buckley Republicans". It was at this point that we realized we both enjoy fitting people into narrowly defined political stereotypes. Here is the official PTU Guide to Republicans (don't worry, we hate on all sides equally. Democrats will be coming soon).

Old Money Sophisticated William F. Buckley Republicans
These guys are a dying breed (there are no women in this group). They have a ton of money and like being isolated from the proletariat. Not usually loud and flashy, they hate most people and keep to themselves unless inside the confines of their elite clubs. Kind of guys that talk PC in public and then run to the Yacht club to bash minorities while drinking 30 year old scotch. Usually involved in some type of business that either destroys the environment or kills people like oil or defense contract work.

Prime Examples: Koch Brothers, Dick Cheney.

Crazy Fires Of Hell Bible Belt Republicans
This group has gotten popular in recent months due to publicity for candidates likes Michelle Bachmann. Rather then worry about things like the economy or the wars we have going on, their main goal is ruin the lives of gay people, pretend their kids won't have sex until marriage (Mrs. Palin), and argue that God made people out of Play-Dough. A great quote from Michelle sums it all up" Gay marriage is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that."

Prime Examples: Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum.

Good Old Racist Republicans
No one typifies this group more then gold old Strom Thurmond. He is best known for doing everything he could to hold down those pesky minorities during his long career, at least when he wasn't getting his black maid knocked up at 16. At least because of his good Christian heart he passed her some money under the table. More recently, Pat Buchanan has stepped into the spotlight as the new leader of this group with his new book. Among other things, he longs for the joy and tranquility of segregation "Back then, black and white lived apart, went to different schools and churches, played on different playgrounds, and went to different restaurants, bars, theaters, and soda fountains. But we shared a country and ture. We were one nation. We were Americans.
Prime Examples: Strom Thurmond, Pat Buchanan

New Money Hedge Fund Asshole Republicans

Perhaps the most reviled breed of Republican, and often the spawn of William F. Buckley Republicans. When the elite send their kids into finance training at an early age to groom them for dominance, this is what you get. They don't really share in any of the ideals or care about social issues, they just have no empathy for other humans and want to make sure the government doesn't take any of their money. They are often at odds with the Fires of Hell Republicans because they spend their one night off getting bottle service at whatever snooty club is the flavor of the week after which they bang lots of chicks who are in town for a modeling gig. Despite their sometimes awful appearance, they usually land a hot trophy wife and put her up in a nice house in the suburbs while banging their admins back in city.

Prime Examples: Steve Cohen, This Guy

Civil Service Workers and Old Italian and Irish Republicans

Not as offensive (to me at least) as the old money or racist redneck sect of the GOP but maybe the most prevalent type in the outer boroughs. These are the guys who probably shouldn't vote Republican if they really thought about it (why do they care if millionaires pay more taxes?), some are even in unions but they just can't get past the thought of voting the same way as a long haired hippie from Bushwick. Usually, these guys work as cops or for Sanitation and enjoy good ol' fashioned red blooded American activities like watching the NFL on Sundays at Bean Post, eating steak and being weary of foreigners. There's a lot of crossover here with the old white guys who used to dominate New York (they hang out in a lot of the same places and work the same jobs), the Italians and Irish who remember when Brooklyn wasn't full of camel jockeys and hipster artist types. They don't understand why silly brown people can't pull themselves up by the bootstraps and make enough money to buy a house in Dyker Heights like their immigrant grandparents did. They would vote for a pile of laundry before they voted for someone named Barack Obama.

Prime Examples: Bay Ridge and Long Island Cops. Danny Aiello.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marrying Kim Kardashian: Good Career Move or Just Stupid?

The PTU staff is divided over quite a few things (baseball team allegiances, Wall Street protesters, Cam Newton, organic donuts) but maybe nothing inspires spirited (sometimes violent) debate in the PTU offices as Kim Kardashian. A couple of us think she's the hottest girl to walk the planet while the others consider her nothing more than a plastic whore with a saggy ass. A few days ago, Hater J and I almost came to E-blows over the merits of marrying Kim K. This isn't a question of "would you bang her?" or anything like that. Even the staunchest Kardashian opponent wouldn't kick her out of the bed. But moving past that, is the decision to wife her a wise business move or something only a sucker with an NBA contract would do? With the tragic news that has the nation in mourning today that Kim and Kris's wedded bliss has come to an abrupt end, let's face the question that's on every one's mind. To wife or not to wife Kim Kardashian?

The answer for me lies in how successful your athletic career is at the moment. For a guy like Reggie Bush - already an established name at the beginning of his professional career at the time of his hook up with KK - didn't need to put a ring on it to give himself a boost. And even after breaking up with her, he's maintained a decent career with a few lame endorsements despite playing in Hell. But for her most recent ex, Kris Humphries? This was a gold mine for him, a veritable cash cow. Think about it. He might be guilty of trying to change a hoe into a housewife but you had no idea who this ass clown was before he started dating Kimmy. I watched approximately 300 hours of NBA basketball a week before the lockout, and I was a bit fuzzy on the guy before he came to New Jersey. He has career numbers below those of Benoit Benjamin and the offensive touch of a man with artificial limbs. He was the ultimate nobody on a team that nobody cares about (even in their own home state). Can name recognition possibly be a bad thing for a guy this mind numbingly mediocre? No way. He also had his best statistical season by far last year, which could either be attributed to his new found fame and hot girlfriend or could just be another case of a guy playing great in a contract year. Either way, K Hump is now a household name, and not even in sports watching households, but all of your wives and girlfriends and mothers and sisters who read US weekly and watch E! know this guy. They don't know anyone else on the Nets but they know him. And even more than that, he's going to gain sympathy from being left by a fame hungry witch that most women are already on the fence about.

Of course, being recognized by housewives and sisters doesn't translate into fame and fortune or success on the court. But hitching your wagons to a famous train these days is the best option for a borderline athlete, even if it's a crazy train. Kardashian could be looking to match her hero Elizabeth Taylor's marriage mark, and at least he'll always be the first in that long, sad line. If that's not enough, then there's always Dancing with the Stars or Basketball Husbands. It's better than being Benoit Benjamin.