Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
One-time Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead today in his home in California. Details are still sketchy, but suicide is suspected.
A bunch of us from PTU were just talking about him at Snootfest the other day and this comes as a bit of a shock. Unfortunately, he'll probably be best remembered for being called a "fat toad" by George Steinbrenner, and truth be told, that was the exact context in which we were discussing him on Saturday. Irabu got a ring that season though, and was apparently as big a star in Japan as that other Hideki who played for the Yankees before and since his short stint as a Major Leaguer. In any case, it's sad to see anyone go before their time.
The Mets finally traded Carlos Beltran after what seems like months of speculation to the San Francisco Giants. This seems to be a win-win situation for all of the parties involved. Beltran (he of the no trade clause) gets to go to a team that meets every one of the criteria he set up: a first place, national league team that is contending (the world champs no less) with a butt load of pitching. Not to mention he can now have the privilege of hitting in a home run hitters friendly ball park instead of the cavernous Citi Field. The Mets receive a guy who (despite mediocre numbers) is supposedly a can't miss prospect if you ask Hater J and league sources. Supposedly this Wheeler character was the sticking point in the trade, before the Giants eventually relented and threw him at the last minute. Now the Mets can get back to focusing on teasing their fans for the next 2 months. Never quite falling out of the race totally, but never truly having a legitimate chance at the playoffs unless the Braves or Phillies have a collapse like...well, the Mets. The only loser is San Francisco fans who now have to listen to Jon Miller saying "BeltrAN" in that fat, pretentious way of his 162 times a year.
So where does this leave Carlos Beltran's legacy? I heard Gary Apple (or somebody) say that he was the greatest center fielder to ever wear a Mets uniform on the Beer Money channel last night, and I think there can definitely be a case made for that. Most people (especially Mets fans and casual baseball fans) will remember him for what he didn't do, in particular standing there like a jackass with a bat on his shoulder like he was posing for his Topps card while the St. Louis Cardinals danced around him. This is the conundrum we're faced with when discussing Beltran, unfortunately. The people who should be able to give the best opinion of him since they saw the most of him - the die-hard Mets fan - can only remember one thing about him (and it's a shitty thing indeed). To complicate things even further, when trying to place him in his proper place in Mets' history, the die-hard's opinion is clouded by the ghost of 1986. Nothing any Mets player has done in the past 25 years will ever be worth anything to the Mets fan in comparison to that glorious 86 world series team. I guess I can't blame them, since the Mets of the last 25 years have run the gamut from unlikeable losers to epic choke artists. Still, it shouldn't take away from Beltran's legacy as possibly the greatest center fielder in orange and blue history. In baseball, more than any other sport, an individual shouldn't be judged by team success alone, especially a position player. There are too many variables that factor into a team winning or losing to lump it all on one guy's shoulders. And the other center fielders in Mets history don't really stack up. Mookie may be a fan favorite and will forever be remembered fondly for being on the other side of that Buckner screw-up, but besides stolen bases, he's dominated by Carlos. Even with the injuries, Beltran stays near the top in every power category over the past 4 years. Any season in which he played at least 100 games, he was a dominant force. Willie Mays was, of course, great, but was an aging shell of himself by the time he arrived at Shea. Mookie's partner who split time in center with him, Lenny "Nails" Dykstra was a tough sumbitch, but is no all time great (and is now a huge dirtbag) even if he was a part of the mythical '86 team. So, even with the litany of injuries and occasional choke moments, let's be fair and respect Carlos Beltran as one of the all time great Mets. Take it from a Yankee fan.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've been doing these perp shoe posts since practically the inception of PTU, and as everyone has ignored them and/or skyrocketed them to the top of the popular posts charts to see the pretty sneaker pictures, you've probably noticed or haven't noticed the wide array of athletes who endorsed them once upon a time. From quiet superstar running backs (who may have retired early depending on who you ask) to loudmouth rebounding power forwards turned loudmouth analysts to the greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of perp shoes, one thing has been proven: A player mustn't be an actual perp (or possess perpish tendencies) in order to be a spokesman for a truly great perp shoe. (And while we're at it, let me just say that the term "perp shoe" is a reference to a perp hating police officer friend of PTU who thinks of all sneakers as such, and does not reflect the opinions or ideals of Johnny Bagels and most of the PTU writers). Grant Hill was about as square as a pizza box, but his kicks were worn by rappers and every public schooler in the tri-state for a couple years there. And, this week's entry is yet another case in point of the personality of the spokesman not really having an impact on the consumer.
Dennis Rodman did lots of good things on the court, like that tip to himself rebound technique, and a truly uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time (both in terms of rebounding and defensive position as well as what truly great teams he played for). It's debatable whether or not his teams were dynasties or championship caliber squads because of him or if he was just lucky to be around all time-great teammates, but what's not debatable is that the guy was a freaking weirdo. Sure, he did it all for attention and to get recognized (let's face it, offensively challenged forwards who specialize in defense and rebounding need a hook like crazy hair or dressing in drag or they'll end up just being Serg Ibaka) and he probably wasn't really a John Ameche since he got all types of trim from famous sluts but whatever; to paraphrase Biggie, weird niggas do weird things. From dying his hair every color in the rainbow to wearing a wedding dress at a book signing, to using whatever borderline homo erotic tactics he could to psych out his opponents (I imagine he would whisper something to the cowboy boots wearing Karl Malone about riding him like a horse or something), the Worm is the antithesis of what's really good in the streets. Nobody was dying their hair magenta and putting in a big hoop nose ring (even 2pac couldn't make nose rings thuggish) or wearing dresses or whatever, but Rodman's shoes were still classics that got a good amount of burn at the local urban Foot Locker.
The Air Darwins were not quite as wacky as the later Rodman sneakers, but the backwards check is a sign of things to come. A truly original looking sneaker at the time, the couple guys who I knew that were Darwin fans usually bought them in every color and had multiple pairs of the same color. An underrated sneaker for sure.
The Darwins were nice and all, but they were nothing compared to the Air Worms. A truly revolutionary sneaker in the same way that Babe Ruth revolutionized baseball for white people. The first shoe to hide the laces on the side (and one of the last)the design of this shoe was out there but still looked sleek. Paired up with black socks (like the championship Bulls team did in the playoffs) these were some fresh looking perp shoes, no matter how fruity the guy wearing them was.
After that, Rodman's sneakers followed the same trajectory as his career. His next pair with Nike were a true kick in the groin, and let's not talk about Dennis's wrestling career, failed comebacks with the Mavs and Lakers or his disgusting Converse sneakers. And that's the legacy of hall of famer Dennis Rodman: a goofy androgynous freak who had a couple pairs of great perp shoes and could rebound the ball like a maniac.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
By now there is no way you've escaped the dire warnings about the world ending on August 2nd if the U.S. debt ceiling isn't raised. This is a complicated issue, and I certainly don't have the answer because if I did I'd be doing something much more valuable for humanity then pasting Scrooge McDuck into my PTU blog post. That being said, I'm getting a bit fed up with the ass clowns that aren't doing their job in DC.
Let's take a look at the two competing plans out there right now. Pretend you are drunk and playing Megatouch at the local dive...what is different between these two pictures (graphic is from the WSJ)
In my opinion, NOTHING worthwhile. To begin with I learned recently that one congress cannot bind another. This means that whatever kind of caps and crap they put in place, real fiscal reductions are only guaranteed for '12 and '13. Both plans leave a lot of room for imagination....what the hell is "at least 1.8 trillion to be named later". Is this a baseball trade? For the most part both these plans seem to kick the real hard choices down the road, which isn't surprising given the way our politicians like to operate.
While there is certainly a benefit to balancing the budget, certain schools of economic thought would alos question the wisdom of doing this now. The economy is barely sputtering along and the employment and housing markets aren't looking so great. While at some point we are going to have to get our house in order, doing it right now runs the risk of some really negative impacts on the economy which might take some time to clear up. I'm not sure all the Tea Party fanatics out there really have a firm grasp on these risks.
The real problem is that both parties are mixing ideology with economics. The Democrats want to ensure that NOTHING gets touched in Social Security or Medicare. The Republicans want to make sure that little Suzy doesn't have her taxes raised too much so that she can still fly to summer camp on a private jet. Long term if we really want to correct things, everyone is going to have to give something up. Poor people are going to have to expect cuts in their entitlements, and the rich are going to have to pay more in taxes. We may have to decide we can't help every backward ass country that has some dickhead dictator ruining everything. The point is that we will all have to accept some sacrifices, and our representatives in D.C. need to stop being a bunch of 5 year old babies and get this done. While I don't believe the global economy will collapse due to a partial U.S. default on debt, it will certainly do a good deal of damage to our global reputation as well as the value of the dollar.
Maybe the people involved in the NFL labor negotiations should stop down and D.C. since somehow they managed to find a way to compromise. Oh well, at least this fall when the economy is collapsing I can still watch football.
Monday, July 25, 2011
This past Saturday was another glorious day in PTU history: the second annual Snootfest cookout. Last year's Snootfest was epic in it's own way, and it was a Herculean task to try to outdo it, but Snoot and his cronies were up to the task. Despite a crippling daytime temperature of about 110 degrees in the shade, there was an expectant tension in the air for what was to come: Would Hater J and Blacky peacefully coexist? Would M@d $cientist do his famed Pitbull dance? Would Johnny Bagels run out of cigarettes? To say there was excitement in the air would be an understatement.
The day began innocently enough; a couple rounds of that classic Italian old man sport, Bocci ball. Team Asia (Mr. D and Bagels) used their mathematical brains to compensate for their extreme race disadvantage enough to put up a good fight, but in the end, home field advantage and the promise of grilled sausage pushed the contest into the Italian host with the magic kaboose's favor. This led to the excitement of the Puerto Rican's arrival (naturally 2 hours after everyone else got there) and Hater J's magic punch was soon dished out in one of Mrs. Snoot's oversized punch bowls. A mixture of E&J, orange juice, Rum, apples and bravery that appears sweet at first but will eventually knock you over on your blancito ass (like most Puerto Rican women). Before long, dinner was served, and it was what you expect to eat at the typical suburban barbecue on a record setting scorching hot summer day: baked ziti, sausage and peppers and home-made meatballs. Mange!
After stuffing our sun beaten faces with the best that Palermo has to offer, it was time to relive our college years the best way we know how, epic flip cup and beer pong matches ensued until we all forgot how old we were (and some of us may have forgotten our first names). At this point, there was more wife beaters to be seen than in a divorce court, and the Hennessy and Jameson was flowing.By the time the first spades hand was dealt and Wu-Tang was blasting from the tinny speakers of Snoot's ihome, you would think it was a welcome home party for convicts released from San Quentin, if it wasn't for the keg of Yueng Ling that was still filling the plastic red cups.
As the night wound down, it culminated as these parties always do: an EPIC 20 person flip cup match. Mr. D showed his hall of fame talent, landing 15 straight first try flips, as DJ Bagels kept the hits coming. It was another classic PTU evening, one that will only be surpassed by next year's promised Slip n Slide and Bose speakers. You've been warned, Bellmore.
Some TV shows are enjoyable on different levels, some are so-called "guilty pleasure" that we're maybe ashamed to admit in mixed company that we never miss and some shows are just good. As most people who know me in real life will tell you, I never shut the hell up about Breaking Bad. I tell everyone I know to start watching it if they haven't already. I tell everyone that it's the best show on television, and that if they begin watching it they will be transformed into an addict just like me. I imagine many of the thousands of people who I've shared the gospel of Walter White with are so sickened by my insistence that they share my passion, that they won't like it out of spite. The show is so good though, that I think even my hateful friends will enjoy it no matter how hard they might try not to.
What makes Breaking Bad so great? It has top notch acting (the two leads have been nominated for Best actor and won almost every season), great and original cinematography (New Mexico never looked so good), and direction and writing that's on par with the best films. What makes the show so damn enjoyable though is the actual sense of suspense and dread that's laden through out. Most tv shows seem to have lost the ability to create suspense either intentionally or unintentionally. As in many art house films (from which most "serious" shows take their cues), the thought of something actually inspiring a physical reaction such as a shock or anxiety felt during a particularly suspenseful scene is frowned upon as lowbrow for some reason. The last truly tense and suspenseful scene in the Sopranos was probably in the first season "College" episode where Tony chokes out a rat in between college visits. After that, HBO's most popular series gave up suspense for headier scenes, and most shows followed suit. It's rare to find something on television that is pretty much even in quality in both the more "respected" aspects as well as straight up entertainment. It attracts the snobbish discerning television viewer who probably only watches tv through netflix since having cable is so bourgeoisie, as well as the
regular guy or girl who just likes to see people do things we wish we could, like blowing up that asshole who talks on his bluetooth too loud's car or making 3 million a year selling blue crystal meth. It's wish fulfillment for the bored 9 to 5 guy who day dreams about leading a super cool, dangerous life of a drug manufacturer, in a big, awesome beautifully shot and acted package.
If you haven't already, start watching.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
On a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry talks about a special ability called "Breastvision" (BV for short). BV is something all men have known about for years but no one has ever put a name to: the ability to have amazing crystal clear vision from extremely long distances when great breasts are somewhere in the vicinity. Only slightly related to this phenomenon, some of us at PTU today were discussing the best breasts in Hollywood. Since my wife sometimes reads the blog I'll have to leave it at that, but here is where I think we netted out for top 5.
5) LaLa (aka Permelo's Wife): Sometimes it pays to be a perp. Probably wouldn't have been my first choice, but the rest of PTU loves basketball so that also bumped her up.
4) The Girl With Big Boobs From Paranormal Activity (aka Katie Featherston): Makes it worthwhile sitting through both Paranormal Activity 1 AND 2.
3) Christina Hendricks: Hot secretary from Mad Men. Not much else to say, just the classic body type.
2) Sofia Vergara: The primary reason white males religiously watch Modern Family. Might have been number one but reports say they are not real.
I wish you all , and my self good luck tonight
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
With the release of Michael Rappaport's much hyped A Tribe Called Quest documentary "Beats, Rhymes and Life", it got us to thinking about the greatest rap groups of all time. Admittedly, this is a tough task, being that one person's definition of "greatest" varies depending on age, race or personal taste in rap music. Speaking for myself, I'm more of a fan of the mid to late '90s New York thug rap sound, but I can't deny that groups like Tribe or De La Soul or any of the other so-called Native Tongues rappers (while I find mostly boring) made a huge impact on hip-hop. Same goes for pioneering old guys like the Cold Crush Bros. or Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. I'm not likely to sit through The Message any time soon, but they'd have to make any top 10 list of rap groups off their legacies alone.
So, in order to dead any confusion, the criteria for this top 5 list is as follows: longevity, individual talents, at least 2 classic albums as a group and impact on hip hop. This would eliminate at least one of my favorite groups (The L.O.X.) since they've been better individually and their impact has been pretty minimal outside of the tri-state, and unfortunately the group who I've seen more often live than any other performer The Beatnuts, since most people only know one song by them. Also left off the list would be the militant Public Enemy due to their only being one talented rapper in the group. Who made the cut then?
5) Beastie Boys
Say what you want about the three Jews, but they've been around for FOREVER and still release relevant albums, which is more than you can say about any group on the original Def Jam roster or really any rapper from the 80s period (LL hasn't had an album that anyone paid attention to since he was dissing Canibus). Most of their longevity is due to the fact that they've changed their musical styles more than Madonna, but still retain their core appeal: that is, three mediocre at best rhymers yelling out nonsense over funky beats. They've gone from goofy, party animal, ironic frat boy types rapping over ACDC samples and 808 drums to funky beat digging Political activists, to Hip hop culture reviving old men with tons of famous, funny cool friends.
4) Mobb Deep
The only thing keeping the two diminutive Queensbridge dudes from being higher on this list is the fact that Prodigy has royally SUCKED for the past 8 or so years, but off the strength of their first 3 albums alone, they've had more of an impact than most rap groups who were in the game for 25 years. Alongside that group pictured at the top of the post, Mobb Deep revolutionized the rap sound in the mid 90s. Havoc's beats sound like a cold New York winter more than any other musical act (in my opinion) and Prodigy's voice and style paved the way for the generation of no frills thug rap that dominated East Coast rap for the next decade.
3) Run DMC
While losing a point or 2 for a lack of longevity (their albums are fun to listen to still, but definitely sound dated) the Hollis, Queens trio did more than enough in their 7 or 8 years of dominance to warrant a place among rap group royalty (or at least this silly list). Besides popularizing a couple of fashion trends, Run DMC were really the first cross-over rap stars. Alongside the number 5 group on this list, they embarked on a world-wide stadium tour that was a first for the young genre that wasn't really taken very seriously at the time. They also are responsible for introducing the sometimes great, often annoying, rap-rock sub genre of music with their rock record sampling hits and their duet and very literal video with Aerosmith.
The sum of their parts was even better than the group as a whole (at least as far as classic albums go), but perhaps no other group has been as influential introducing the gangsta rap that would be in the DNA of every rapper that followed, for better or worse. Even the tissue softest, singing pop rapper today says "bitch" and "nigga" and other once scary to white people words like it's second nature, and they can thank NWA for that. While most groups have a couple weak links weighing them down, even NWA's worst rapper, MC Ren could rap circles around some of the other chumps who take up space in lesser rap groups. Besides Ren, the other members are practically a Mt. Rushmore of West Coast Gangsta rap. Dr. Dre is probably the most universally loved rap producer alive, Eazy E is somewhat of a legend in death, and Ice Cube (though better known as an actor now) was the baddest mother to rock a microphone in the early 90s. Prompting federal investigations, nation wide protest, and numerous parodies and copy cats, NWA are the most influential rap group of all time and second only to.....
1) Wu-Tang Clan
I'll admit, I'm a bit biased. Bottle can tell you, I once told someone I only listen to Wu-Tang in answer to what type of music I listen to. That may be a little creepy, but it's not too far-fetched that somebody could only listen to CD's that had that W on them and be satisfied. Other groups had a sound, but not like Wu-Tang. When you heard a Wu affiliated album, you knew exactly that that's what you were listening to: movie samples (in particular karate flicks), chopped up soul samples, heavy bass, and somewhat indecipherable lyrics. Even if they were some times hard to understand, they spit enough straight forward stuff to influence a generation of biters (shark ni$%as to hear Ghostface tell it). Every rapper in the 9 (sometimes 10) man crew could rap (even last man on the bench Cappadonna had a couple classic verses), and for a 4 or 5 year period, every album released through the Wu-Tang imprint was a success, commercially and critically. The Wu made dark, weird records hugely profitable. This was a time before the so-called "bling" or shiny suit era (which although it is constantly ridiculed and bad-mouthed, I think still turned out some great music) when scary sounding, karate movie sampling, sometimes chorusless songs could dominate radio. Most of these guys are still churning out albums, but sound like the old guy who still buys the newest Jordans every week and uses words like "swagger". We'll always have the classics though.
Friday, July 15, 2011
New York radio station 101.9 (RXP) announced this week that they will be changing formats beginning next week, switching from it's current format of "alternative" rock music to 24 hours of news aimed at 40 year old women (?). With that, there are (once again) no modern rock stations in New York, the biggest market in the country. What are we left with?
- Z-100 and KTU- the dominant radio stations in New York, that basically play whatever 14 year old girls listen to.
- Hot 97 and Power 105- that mostly plays southern rap that talks about cocaine.
- Q104- that plays the same Pink Floyd and Creedence Clearwater songs on a loop for the past 40 years.
- Lite FM-the soundtrack at any dentist's office.
- Mega and La Calle- Spanish stations that are usually played in bodegas.
- QXR- The classical music station that is played at certain Asian tailors and dry cleaners.
- Conservative talk radio- the majority of AM stations are further to the right than Joseph McCarthy.
- ESPN and WFAN- Sports radio that your dad listens to in the car.
- Kiss FM- Station that older black folk listen to who don't like cocaine (at least don't like people rapping about selling it).
What's missing from that vast, sad musical landscape? Rock n roll, of course (or at least modern rock, unless your idea of "modern" is whenever Slippery When Wet was released). Since Howard Stern decided he didn't want to have his naughty words bleeped out, thereby taking down KROCK with him, there's been a rocking void in our city. KROCK wasn't all that great but at least you could turn it on at some point and maybe hear a Nirvana song or the occasional Tool song that you don't mind that much, but RXP was more like a cool ipod. It's without a doubt the only station around here that played Arcade Fire and Pixies records on a regular basis, as well as being a legitimate station for underground and unsigned bands to get some shine. They recently played my cousin's very good up and coming band (shameless plug) Last Stand for Lucy's singles, and I'm pretty sure that won't happen on Elvis Durant's show any time soon. Besides the more hip stuff that you could find on one of those college radio indie shows, though, RXP also wasn't afraid to have unhip bands on their playlists. I attended a Weezer show in December sponsored by the station and hosted by bald music geek Matt Pinfield, and that's the type of band that you won't see at Jingle Ball but are also past their hipness expiration date for those other cool stations. On any given hour, you could hear Pearl Jam followed by The Cars, and then some Gogol Bordello right after that. I guess anyone could get that on Pandora or through their I pod jack, but there's something about turning on a radio in your car or at home that's unlike just listening to your own self-tailored digital playlist. Unfortunately, the kids don't want to rock anymore, so New York is robbed of rock radio yet again. Turn up that Michael Savage.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
-Fancy Fun Boys
-Old school Italians who are convinced that the propane they try and pass as red or white wine that they fermented in their garages/basements is the best thing ever created
-Dudes having a steak dinner for an event like a birthday party or bachelor party
-Dudes who are wifed up for the night and having wine with their chick
So what is a dude left to do when he’s pushing or past 30? What happens when shotgunning PBR’s or funneling Bud Light is no longer socially acceptable? What other options do you have when drinking 20 beers a Saturday night starts to make you fat? Jack and Coke aint gonna cut it (unless you’re a fan of the mother of all hangovers, due in part to the fact that with that Jack, you also had 12 cokes). Ordering a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, or worse…Pinot Grigio, at the bar makes you look like a massive pussy. What is a dude to do?
The answer is simple. Drink single malt Scotch. Now that may sound super snooty (because it is) but it doesn’t have to be as expensive, intimidating, or exclusive as you think and there are benefits. The main benefit being hangovers. As we get older, the hangovers get worse. Drinking Scotch can curb that. You don't drink single malt Scotch with soda or something that elevates the severity of the hangover. You also don't chug Scotch, limiting the intake and ultimately, the hangover. All of that crap said, here are some bottle suggestions to get you started (make sure you drink them in a glencairin glass, snifter, or wine glass).
– Glenmorangie the Original (10 year old) – This retails for around 36 bucks and about 30 bucks at a discount store. It’s a very solid whiskey for a 10 year old and pretty reasonably priced.
– Highland Park 12 year old – This retails for about 47 bucks and can go down as low as 40 bucks at a discount shop. It’s a better whiskey than the Glenmorangie original, but you’ll drop a few more coins for a difference you may not really be able to distinguish when you’re just starting out.
– Balvenie Double Wood 12 year old – Retails for 50 bucks, can get to 42 at a discount shop. It is aged in oak barrels and finished in Sherry casks. For those of you interested in a sweeter finish on your whiskey…give it a shot. This is a Snooty favorite, he likes double wood.
I'm not really the squeamish type. There aren't too many stories that I have to actively avoid when I'm reading the Daily News with my breakfast. Mass genocide in a third world country? Pssh, pass the bacon. Horrific child death? Extremely sad but more butter for these pancakes please. But the one story that really turns my stomach more than any other (and I'm sure I'm not alone) are castration stories. This one from the other day is particularly gruesome. Stories like this beg the age-old question: Would you rather have your manhood Bobbitted or just die?
For me, the answer is simple. When presented with the choice to either be killed on the spot or having my frank and beans permanently removed, I have to choose the latter. This isn't to say I'd choose a weinerless life of misery, never to know the touch of a woman again, or having to piss through a catheter (ouch). I think in the future there will be scientific and medical advancements that will allow for prosthetic schlongs, be it through stem cells or perhaps preferably, the cocks of dead homeless people or John Does. Who wouldn't sign up for the chance at the donated member of a deceased drifter? This would also open up the doors for what we've been working towards all these years: (say it with me) Haunted penises. Yes, no one could blame you for the wrongs that you inflict with your jimmy, blame it on that dead hobo who was gracious enough to donate his junk against his will. Of course, the less gruesome and optimal method of male genital reincarnation would be through stem cells and cloning. With the recent strides made by the marriage equality movements, social conservatism seems to be losing the culture wars. Next up: super dongs. The progressive movement has always mostly been about finding ways to make the perfect dick. You may doubt this could ever happen but I say YES WE CAN create a cyborg like super dong. Like Robocop, the pecker will come back stronger than ever to avenge it's death (hopefully that creepy dad from That 70s show isn't involved though).
What do you think? Would you rather take a chance on whatever awaits you in the afterlife, or go about in a pathetic dickless existence hoping that scientists aren't working on curing cancer or AIDS and developing mutant cock and balls for jerks who were castrated? Death or castration, what would you choose?
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tonight is that rarest of evenings when there are no televised sports on that are worth a damn. The summer solstice is the first day of summer, and the longest official day of the year, but no day feels longer than today. Maybe it should be called the summer suckstice. It's the day after the MLB all-star game so there's no baseball to while away the hours, and the other 3 professional sports are in the middle of their long off-seasons (maybe longer than usual this time). Even the women's soccer game is long over by the time you get home (yes, the televised options are so slim that a women's soccer game is the highlight of the day). What are you going to do? Read a book? Talk to your significant other? Watch the ESPYs??? I'm sorry if I used a bit of horrific exaggeration at the end there, but I'm trying to make a point. There's nothing to watch tonight. I wish you all good luck as you search for an alternative to your usual boring existence that doesn't involve spending time with your families or liquor and a gun.
Michael Jordan was virtually flawless on the court. He could do things no one else could athletically, and his list of clutch shots would make even Reggie Miller seem pedestrian. Off the court, his sneakers are a world-wide phenomenon, each release an event in of itself, and the rereleases ensure people will be wearing Air Jordans for generations to come. However, off the court, the guy has possibly the worst eye for talent in NBA history and his Team Jordan brand of sneakers reflects this. As for the shoes, you know the ones I'm talking about: the awkward arab kids in gym class would wear them, and you can usually find them sold 2 for 50 dollars at the local D & D's. As cool and trendsetting as Air Jordans have been, an immediate sign that the wearer has a sense of what's cool (or at least is a Puerto Rican from Sunset Park), the Team Jordans immediately say about their owner: "I'm 45 years old and am trying to get back in shape so my wife will sleep with me" or "I shop at D&D's for my sneakers".
Besides being really lame sneakers, the team assembled by Michael to represent Team Jordan are as accurate an example of his keen eye for talent as his Wizards and Bobcats draft picks have been. While he got lucky with stud athletes like Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, the other members of the team were more of the Kwame Brown draft pick variety. The past and present teams have included such future legends of the hardwood as: Ron Mercer, Derek Anderson, Bobby Simmons, Q Richardson and (lest we forget) JARED JEFFRIES. The inclusion of that asshole and PTU favorite is enough reason to never let Michael near a draft of any kind, in fact that might mean it's time to take his car keys away like your grandfather. Jordan couldn't pick an afro. He's got an eye for talent, but it's more like Peter Falk's right eye (RIP). If Michael were to order for the table at Red Lobster, he'd probably ask for no biscuits (try to wrap your head around that). The guys not good at making choices.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I realize I'm a little late on this topic but since there are still a few folks going on about how Casey Anthony is a victim and nonsense like that, I might as well give my two cents: Casey Anthony is a dirty, skanky possible murderous cunt. You may have encountered a few people over the past few weeks who have argued against the prevailing public opinion, and are urging everyone to remember that she is an example of what makes our country great. You see, they'll very pretentiously tell you, our system is so great because everyone is guaranteed innocence until proven guilty, despite what everyone in the public may think. You shouldn't judge anyone or you might end up being that person on the other end of the jury, and damn it, you would want a fair trial as well. Some of these people arguing this are simply contrarians, and some are just strong believers in the American justice system. Well, these people are full of shit.
Casey Anthony may not have been found guilty of murder, but she is undoubtedly guilty of being a lying whore and unfit mother. I didn't pay much attention to this case until after the verdict, when the timeline of events was in the Daily News, and how anyone can support this piece of shit is unbelievable. Regardless of the merits of the jury system (the so-called CSI effect as well as misunderstanding of the concept of reasonable doubt may have contributed to the verdict), there's still something wrong with this trial. Even if she isn't guilty of murder (the defense that Caylee died accidentally and then the family made it look like a murder is beyond ridiculous), and that 2% chance that she's innocent is correct, she is still a terrible, terrible person. At best, she didn't care too much about her child, gave her xanax when she wanted to go party and slut it up, and likes to get very inappropriate tattoos. She also seems to lack any type of human decency. At worst, she murdered her baby. If this useless waste of life is your cause celebre, then you, frankly, need a new cause. If you believe the system isn't flawed, that's fine. You think that the Constitution grants us all the opportunity to be given a fair chance at defending ourselves, that's true and that is a worthy cause. But please don't support this worthless waste of a womb. Sometimes, the court of public opinion is right. And sometimes the symbol of an idea is so repulsive that they don't deserve anyone's support even if they represent whatever it is you believe in.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Derek Jeter reached Yankee immortality as only he could Saturday afternoon (or he's just lucky to have been able to stick around for this long, depending on who you ask)and being that it was a dramatic home run to the left field bleachers, this meant that some lucky soul was faced with the enviable task of choosing between keeping the ball and testing the collector's market or giving it back to Jeter for whatever he asked. As everyone knows, he chose the latter, sparking debate amongst Yankee and non Yankee fans over whether this dude is an honorable soul who personifies the class that Jeter has been known to represent through out his career, or just a plain old idiot?
There seems to be two camps here (judging by my own informal polling of friends and facebook statuses, and media reaction): the one faction says this guy, Christian Lopez, is a virtuous and saintly person, who has put his love for Jeter and the Yankee organization above greed. Numerous articles have been written the past 2 days shouting out the class that Lopez has shown as being the perfect representation of Jeter and Yankee like nobility and an antidote to the greed that has ruined our society. And then there's the other group who thinks this guy is just stupid for not saving that ball for the highest bidder. I'm a part of the second group. Don't get me wrong, I think the ball belonged with Jeter and I like the fact that this kid is such a huge Yankee fan that he didn't even consider another option (to hear the Yankees tell it, at least), but let's be honest with ourselves here: this isn't some kind of a charity organization we're talking about. It's the New York Yankees. The richest franchise in sports and basically the logo for capitalism. The trading of seats that they couldn't sell because they're so ridiculously priced to begin with isn't a fair value for that baseball. Unless they worked out some kind of deal behind closed doors where Lopez could sell off the seats he can't use, this is more of a punishment than anything else. Hank Steinbrenner looks down from his suite and sees some other schmucks sitting where the patron saint of baseball memorabilia should be and there will be a problem.
I'm not really knocking this guy (even if I am basically calling him an idiot) since I think he really doesn't know any better. But, if he knew what was best for him he'd sell that ball to Todd McFarlane or the Hall of Fame or Jeter himself after some negotiating. He's a Verizon employee who is admittedly 100k in debt in college loans. I imagine he wasn't an economics major, since sitting and watching the Yankees play the White Sox in August isn't going to pay those loans back. The idea of not getting your money's worth for a collectible isn't really a noble cause when you take into account that the entity who you're basically donating it to takes every opportunity they can get to milk some cash out of their loyal fans. The second that ball hit Lopez's eager mitts, the Yankees website and Modell's, etc. began shilling whatever they could with a 3000 and Jeter's name on it. If they could package the air that was breathed in the stadium that day, you better believe Steiner collectibles would have "Jeter 3k Carbon Dioxide" sales in a few years. Maybe there were some deals made behind the scenes in which Lopez is now the richest fan in the building, and all his debts have been paid. Maybe the seats are a front to hide the type of absurd dollars that changed hands. I doubt it though. No one's making money off Jeter's 3000th but the Yankees themselves. That's the Yankee way. Most likely, Christian Lopez is still a 23 year old Verizon employee in massive debt, albeit much more famous than he was 3 days ago, and with evening plans for 3 days a week for the rest of the summer. It might be an honorable, classy act like some would have you believe, but it is definitely stupid.
We learned some new things about ourselves and were reminded of some awful things we tried to forget on Saturday. The first game pitted Johnny Bagels, Mr. D and a wannabe Landry Fields slam dunk champion pussy(who came up empty on approximately 257 dunk attempts)against a chubby 14 year old boy, a less chubby 15 year old boy and a 50 year old Chinese jump shooter who defected from Macao to escape the Communists to engage in 3 point contests for bowls of rice. Team PTU plus one raced off to a 13-2 lead on a mixture of awkward lay ups, jump shots and a combined 4 feet of height advantage only to see the opposing team storm back using a Dallas Mavericks like comeback of their own to take the lead. At this point, team PTU had to go to their formidable bench to relieve the woefully out of shape cigarette smoker Bagels before he pulled a Hank Gathers in the middle of Fort Hamilton High School's upstairs courts. With the injection of life provided by the athletic Bottle, team PTU held on for the win on a dramatic put back similar to Ewing's game 7 vs the Pacers in '94 (minus the awkward hug of that goofy white guy in the front row).
Game 2 saw an all PTU lineup of Bagels, Mr. D and Bottle matched up with tall wanna be dunker pussy, the Asian Dell Curry, and a 40 year old man with a hot handball playing wife/sister (?). As expected, Bagels checked out 7 minutes in, replaced by the hustling other guy from Slob Den, who is pictured above. Using the hustle of other guy, and some good PTU teamwork, we held on for a dramatic victory as Bagels and M@d $cientist watched from the bench and made comments only funny to them.
The free throw shooting contest was less eventful but more appropriate for the out of shape Bagels. Despite the encouragement and heckling of M@d, the final numbers broke down as such (you can figure out the percentages yourself):
Bagels: 27 out of 50
Other guy: 26
Mr. D: 24
M@d $cientist: 13
So, we learned that we all shoot free throws about as well as Shaq on our best days and about as well as a baby seal hitting the ball off his nose towards the hoop on our worst days.
From there, we ate copious amounts of Chinese food for 10 dollars, but much to the dissapointment of Bagels (and I'm sure Snoot), there was no Sweet and Sour chicken, just chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce on the side. Fail. The lo mein and ice cream was good though, and the atmosphere was appropriately retarded.
Stay tuned for the rematch coming soon.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
So where does he fall among the all-time greats? He is the best of the 2nd tier all-time greats.
Considering the great players of the last 20 - 30 years (I'm not going back to like 1911 and mentioning all these guys that even your great-grandfather is too young to remember), the first tier would include guys like: Bonds, Pujols, A-Rod, Griffey, Frank Thomas, Manny, etc. The main thing that separates these guys from guys like Jeter is their ability to hit for power. When Jeter retires, each of these guys will have 300+ more home runs than Jeter, and also a shitload more RBI's. Of course, it's important to note that many of these guys have been linked to roids.
The second tier, where Jeter falls, would consists of guys like Derek, Gwynn, Boggs, George Brett, and Paul Molitor. Guys with 3000+ hits, tons of runs, a high average, great clutch play... aka everything except tremendous power numbers. I would put Jeter a nod above the other guys in this category, including a player like George Brett, who is probably the most comparable statistically. Jeter's offensive stats, his Gold Gloves, his clutch play, and his championships (5) make him probably the best tier 2 player of all-time.
Tier 3 would include some really, really good players, though not quite all-time great. As an example, Craig Biggio would arguably fall into this category.
Among the 28 players to reach 3000 hits, Jeter is one of the least talented - though that's not much of a criticism, considering how great the rest of the players are. In that group, he's somewhere in the bottom 25%.
Projecting the rest of his career, Jeter will probably retire with roughly the following numbers:
5 Gold Gloves
No doubt first ballot Hall of Famer.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Congratulations to the captain on joining the 3,000 club, and in as dramatic fashion as any sappy Hollywood screenwriter or Mike Lupica could imagine. The only thing that could have been more Hollywood like would be if it were a game winning home run and he winked at Babe Ruth as he rounded third base (I know that's impossible but Jeter hitting a home run is almost that crazy these days). Jeter becomes only the second player in Major League Baseball history to reach 3k on a home run, the other being former Yankee and chicken enthusiast Wade Boggs, who did so with Tampa. The fact that it was a home run also means that there is one lucky fat guy out in left field who caught the ball and will I'm sure be receiving a king's ransom in memorabilia or cash from the Yankees in exchange for the magic ball. Now that this plateau (or stateau as some bloggers have dubbed these type of records) has been reached, the Yankees can get back to focusing on winning games and staying ahead of the Red Sox and these Rays in the standings. For now, though, let's take a second to enjoy the moment and show some appreciation for one of the greatest Yankees to ever suit up in pinstripes, and the man who stands alone as the only Yankee to have 3,000 base hits. Then we can all get back to hating or defending him.
Congrats, number 2.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Yao Ming announced his retirement today after years of nagging leg and foot issues, and with that, so goes another giant, riding his specially made Cadillac Escalade off into the sunset. The NBA is, of course, full of tall guys, but there's an extra tall man who stands out even among the rest of the giants in the league. 7 feet tall is freaking tall, but when you get over 7'2", then you are that special breed of monstrously huge freaks. And the career span (as well as, sadly, life span) of these behemoths is extremely short in comparison to those who are merely tall. The human body isn't designed to be able to support men who are nearly 8 feet tall, and this is evidenced by the foot and knee problems that are always the undoing of the excessively tall. From the tallest player ever, Gheorge Muresan (who had a pituitary issue) to The Dunking Dutchman Rik Smits (who's feet forced him into an early retirement), to Yao himself (who's knees and feet have always kept him a step away from the Injured list), the list goes on and on.
While Mark Eaton, Manute Bol (another premature casualty) and Muresan were all more novelty than anything else (look at the 8 foot tall guy who can block a shot and dunk standing up!), Yao actually packed a ton of talent into his sideshow body. Although he was never tough enough to satisfy certain basketball types (he preferred to shoot feathery fadeaways and lay the ball in rather than dunk), Yao was probably the most talented player over 7'3" that ever played basketball. Not to mention, he was the first great Asian player ever and is without a doubt the best Asian to ever pick up a basketball (as a tall Asian person, myself, I salute him). So, here's to Yao Ming, who was more than just a tall guy who was forced onto the basketball court because of his size, but was unfortunately forced off the court too early because of it.
Tomorrow is July 9th, which can only mean one thing: The First Annual PTU Rock n Jock Free Throw and Sweet and Sour Chicken Jam. This is the beginning of a grand tradition that will both delight and haunt the PTU bloggers for the rest of our natural lives. Our children and our children's children's children will forever keep this date open as a time of celebration of athletic prowess and cheap ghetto chinese food.
The day will begin as most historic days in sports have: with 4 hung over bloggers slogging through sausage egg and cheese sandwiches and ice coffee to prepare themselves for the tests of endurance and MANHOOD that lie in their paths. Around 5 or 6, we'll remember that we had something to do that day and tear ourselves away from the MTV True life marathon and air conditioning, kiss our wives on the cheeks and warn them not to wait up for us, it could be a long night. The free throw jam will take place at the storied Owls Head basketball courts in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. These blacktop courts are hallowed ground, and have provided the setting for legends of the streetball game: Kenny "Twinkle Toes" Jackson, Earl "The Ostrich" Walker, and of course, the 5'7" high flyer Damien "The Leprechaun" Murphy. Looking to add to the glory will be the PTU all-stars. Naked Cowboy hater Mr. D has already predicted that he will hit well over 50%, much to the disbelief of his blogging cohorts.
After the drama of the foul shot contests has unfolded, it's on to the Chinese Buffet for the post-game celebration. Sweet and Sour Chicken will be tossed about like candy, hot sauce will flow like champagne, and M@d $cientist will attempt to break his own record by eating a small child's weight in egg rolls. It will be a glorious day, indeed.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Pity the lowly referee. There's no other person in a position of authority who gets routinely shitted on to his face by those he is paid to police (unless you're a police officer in Brownsville). Not only do they have to deal with drunken, sometimes violent, fans who think every call is either a conspiracy against their team or just incompetence, they also have to put up with spoiled millionaires calling them stupid or worse (not to mention the millions of degenerate gamblers who's kid's college funds and knee caps are at stake). It's easy for us to second guess bad calls that are replayed in super slow mo on a 50 inch screen and magnified 1000 times, while these guys have half a second to make a call that could influence the lives of several thousand bookies and neglected children. And then there's calls like the ones that make up our next list (sorry Blacky), that are so obvious to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the sport that we immediately want to believe everything that scumbag Tim Donaghy says.
5) Hue Hollins calls the foul on Pippen; Game 5, Knicks vs. Bulls Eastern Conference Semifinals 1994:
With Jordan riding a minor league bus around the deep south flailing at curveballs, the Knicks and their fans believed that this would be the year that they would finally beat the big, bad Bulls who had tortured a young Bagels year after year like the sadistic assholes they were (I'm not bitter though). Without this extremely questionable call, though, the Knicks might have had the agonizing embarrassment of losing to the Jordanless bulls and Hue Hollins name wouldn't forever be linked to Hubert Davis. Thank you, Hue, wherever you are.
4) Jeffrey Maier interferes with Derek Jeter's "Home Run"; Yankees vs Orioles ALCS Game 1 1996
Little Jeff Maier was just another 11 year old prick, rooting for the Yankees and probably playing with pogs in the lunchroom, when he was suddenly rocketed to stardom after interfering with Jesse Tarasco on what should have been a catch at the warning track in Game 1 of the ALCS. Lost in all the hub bub over this kid saving the Yankees season (I'm surprised they didn't give him a spot on a float in the parade or at least do a Michael Kay Centerstage with him) was the historically awful missed call by the umps. The O's would go on to lose and never win a playoff series again, and Baltimore is now the second shittiest place on the planet next to Detroit (at least that's what I've learned from watching the Wire).
3) Galarraga's Perfect game that wasn't
This one wasn't a playoff game and really wasn't a significant game at all in the grand scheme of things, but it might be the most remembered blown call of all time. This wasn't one of those instances where the call was huge but the party that was screwed could make themselves feel better by saying "that wasn't what lost the game for us, a play here or a play there blah blah". Nope, this one call was the sole reason that the virtual unknown Galarraga didn't join the exclusive list of Perfect Game pitchers and instead will probably make the hall of fame out of pity. And anyone who was sitting in the upper deck or watched the game on a black and white tv could tell you the runner was out by at least a half a step. Jim Joyce was standing 5 feet from the play (not a play in the 6th or 7th inning that broke up the no-no, but the FINAL OUT OF THE GAME). They gave Galarraga a Mustang or something and Joyce cried all over the field and everyone seems to have forgiven the guy (America loves and hates a man who cries), but this still remains as one of the biggest blown calls in history.
2) The entire game 6 Kings vs. Lakers 2002-
The Lakers dynasty was well on its way to being derailed before it could even be called such a thing. That is until the Lakers flexed their muscle and showed everyone why they would be the first team to 3 peat since Michael's Bulls: horribly one sided and biased officiating. This is the smoking gun in disgraced degenerate gambler Tim Donaghy's case against the league and watching it, it's hard not to believe that there really is a purple and gold conspiracy at work. I distinctly remember a play where Kobe almost took Mike Bibby's head off with an elbow (what would have been Bryant's 5th foul) and instead ended up with two free throws for the Lakers. Sometimes you're not paranoid, the officials really are out to screw you. Unfortunately for the Kings, this game was really the end of the line for them: they lost game 7 at home in overtime thanks to big play by Shaq and Peja Stojakovic coming up about 4 feet wide on an open 3 pointer. Today, Chris Webber is a mostly annoying TV analyst, Mike Bibby is a mostly useless Miami point guard, and Vlade Divac is best known for 3 things: smoking in the locker room, flopping like a woman and being traded on draft day for the guy on the other side of this officiating catastrophe. To paraphrase that homer Kings play-by-play guy: If you don't like biased officiating, you don't like NBA basketball.
1) Russia vs. the U.S. 1972 Olympics
The stakes don't get much higher than a Cold War era basketball contest between the United States and Russia. While perplexing non-calls or questionable decisions by Hue Hollins or other NBA refs might hint at the possibility of funny business, there's no if ands or nyets about this one. The fix is in. Never has a sporting event more infuriated a populace, or has a lay up made an entire nation want to do a Slim Pickens on a country like this farce of a basketball game. The Russians just couldn't let Uncle Sam beat them in a sport that we invented, so they did the next best thing and "coerced" the refs to give the Ruskies the game. Since then, of course, U.S. and Russian relations have warmed up, but don't tell my grandfather there's a dirty commie owning the team that's soon to call Brooklyn it's home. I wonder if Russia has any sappy movies about this game starring the Russian equivalent of Kurt Russell giving emotional speeches. Probably not.
Television has had a Renaissance in the past 15 years or so. Ever since HBO proved to everyone that you could actually make good TV that was more like a 50 minute movie every week, the stigma of tv being the cheap, lame little brother to film was lifted. Now, the ratio of good to crap tv is way closer than good to crap movies. Standards have been raised so high that when a stupid clunker like The Killing airs on usually bulletproof AMC, it's surprising (and to be honest, it's telling that The Killing would be one of the best, most ground breaking show on TV 25 years ago). There are a couple shows that stand out from the rest, and from time to time I'll start watching one of said shows on Netflix or On Demand, and then my entire life is consumed with watching this show for a couple weeks. I even talk to my friends who haven't seen the show yet about it, and urge them to watch this television show that they've never heard of before, or have heard of but never bothered to watch. This recently happened to me with "Louie".
"Louie" is the brainchild of every comedian's favorite comedian Louis C.K., who writes, directs, edits and stars in the show and basically does everything except operate the camera (I'm not sure, he may even do that). This is C.K.'s second go round on T.V. (his HBO show, Life with Louie, tried to be an adult sitcom and was pretty lame) and he seems to have gotten the kinks out. The show is loosely based on his life as a divorced father and comedian, and at first glance, it kind of seems like a much dirtier Seinfeld, all the way down to the stand up routine wrap arounds and the New York City locations, and maybe even the tenuous connections between the vignettes that make up the show, but beneath the surface is a disgusting, and hilarious show that actually lives up to the cliche of being like nothing you've ever seen on television before.
The first episode I saw was the second episode of the recently premiered second season. (Spoiler Alert) It opens with something familiar as a nightmare to most New Yorkers; a bum yelling at no one and then pointing and running towards you before eventually becoming decapitated by a garbage truck. This may not seem funny, but it's a perfect set up for an awkward encounter a few minutes later in the episode. This same offering ends with some even more awkward casual sex ending in a woman sobbing uncontrollably and a classic last line of dialogue. This all sounds either depressing or a horribly forced attempt at black humor, but it works somehow. Louis C.K. is known as a comedian's comedian, and you can really see how these are just ideas that almost make you laugh at the balls that it takes to put them on screen: think of the most horrifying incident before what is usually an uncomfortable experience like a first date and commit it to film. It's at times a little rough to watch but it's the type of tv show that more than makes up for a little discomfort with great, ballsy writing. The jazzy background music and setting almost makes it feel like a Woody Allen movie, except for the decapitations and graphic sex. Check it out.