Friday, September 30, 2011

PTU Pundit '11 MLB Playoff Predictions

Much like the start of any season, the post season provides us a prime time opportunity to show make bold (and mostly wrong) predictions.
Here are some of the PTU staff’s picks, along with some commentary, series by series
Yankees vs. Detroit
The entire PTU crew like the hometown Yanks.  Resident Mets fan, Snooty, has labeled the Yanks the best team in American League.  Bottle thinks Verlander is the only Tigers player who can play making this an easy pick for him.   I see this game boiling down to game one.  Verlander has been awesome this season, but he hasn’t always been so awesome at the Stadium.  Conversely , Sabathia always seems to step it up at home, especially for big games.  Some fans will say that Doug Fister can still battle back in game two and tie this series.  Fister has been awesome since he was traded to Detroit, but this is the playoffs and Yankees Stadium, not Target Field in August.
Rangers vs. Rays
Snoot loves the Rays.  So much so, that a few nights of drinking over-proofed beer have resulted in devising a plan to bring them to Brooklyn.  Although the rest of the crew likes the Rangers, Snoot is taking the hot hand who can pitch and play some defense. 
Note: This was written prior to the first pitch, Snoot’s pick is off to a good start
Phillies vs. Cards
I’m by myself taking the Cards here.  The guys are going with the “Good pitching beats good hitting in the postseason” axiom.  It’s hard to deny the Phillies pitching but the Cards’ 3-5 hitters are as formidable as any.  Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are also guys who can be pitched to and made to look bad if the opposing pitcher hits his spots. I think the veteran Cards’ staff knows how to pitch and does just enough for the wild card upset.
Brewers vs. D’Backs
Kirk Gibson seems to have carried over all of that good baseball fortune from 1988 to 2011.  The Backs went from a bottom dwelling team a season ago, to a team that has both a Cy Young and MVP candidate.  Snoot is the only person on this panel that thinks Gibson has one more week of luck in him.  Ideally, the Brewers would play the Cards in the next round allowing that jack ass Nyjer Morgan a.k.a. Tony Plush, the opportunity to show the world what a chump he is, keeping his mouth shut around Pujols the whole series.

Yankees vs. Tigers ALDS Preview

Seems like just yesterday I was writing about Yankees and CC Sabathia's opening day against The Tigers and Justin Verlander. Here we are 5 months, 162 games, and countless Milwaukee's Bests and utz pretzel sticks later and we've come full circle. CC vs. Bottle's pick for MVP tonight at Yankee Stadium. Tomorrow is officially the beginning of October, but the first baseball playoff game always means September's done and it's time to get serious.

Although this is a rematch of the 06 ALDS, not too much remains the same from that forgettable (for the Yankees) series. Gary Sheffield still hung out in right field, MVP candidate Curtis Granderson played was in the other uniform, Chien Ming-Wang was still considered an ace (picking up the Yanks only win of the series) and Justin Verlander was but a fresh faced albeit very good rookie. What the series is probably best remembered for in New York is Joe Torre's odd decision to bat the struggling A-Rod 8th in the elimination game 4. To be fair to Joe, A-Rod played about as bad as a baseball player could in that series (this was before his great 09 run erased all of this from our memories) and he probably deserved a demotion but that was probably not the time or place to sit your MVP. Anyway, these days Hater J's least favorite human being is an afterthought as he's barely played over the last few months. Any production out of him should be considered a bonus by the Yanks.

The big story this series will be the big, bad, scary Justin Verlander who has dominated the league this year, leading the AL in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, ERA, winning percentage, WHIP, hits per 9 innings, national anthems sung, and bags of peanuts sold. Every outing is a possible no-hitter and/or complete game. He's kind of a throwback to an era when pitchers were expected to go 8 every start before Girardi's clip boards and La Russa's over-managing. The prevailing theory around NY and the rest of baseball was you want to avoid Detroit at all costs so you don't have to see Verlander twice in a 5 game series. He's this year's version of Cliff Lee. But, despite the gaudy numbers against everyone else, the Yanks should be able to take a little bit of comfort in the fact that they were 2-0 against Verlander this season and in both outings, he couldn't make it out of the 6th inning, something that isn't so bad for most mere mortal pitchers, but is practically unheard of in his case. If the Bombers can keep that same pressure on him during this series, they should be in good shape. And if Sabathia can recapture some of his midseason form (when he was almost as dominant as Verlander) then it could be a short series. CC seemed to struggle on extended rest this season as the Yankees experimented with a 6 man rotation in search of solid corps. But now that everything's settled, AJ Burnett is thankfully relegated to the bullpen where he can do minimal damage and Freddy Garcia is being thrown out there in game 3, CC should be back in his comfort zone. The pitching rotation has been the big question mark all season and it will be interesting to see how the Yankee's rookie sensation (Nova) and resurrected veteran (Garcia) perform in the spotlight.

As far as the offenses stack up, the Yankees have an advantage with their two MVP candidates (Granderson and Cano) leading the way. Mark Teixiera needs to improve his postseason offensive play, which thus far outside of one memorable home run against the Twins in 09 has been very dissapointing. As I mentioned before, A-Rod has gone from the focus to a bit of an unknown for this playoffs, and who knows, that might actually work in his and the Yankees benefit. Even with his monster 09 numbers, A-Rod has seemed to be affected by the attention and pressure in years past. Now that some of the burden has been shifted to other players, maybe number 13 can relax and let his talent speak for itself. As for the Tigers, they're led by a rejuvenated PTU keeping it real hero (we won't take complete credit for his resurgence) Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers have a somewhat overlooked potent offense. I say this since the spectacular play of Verlander can overshadow the rest of the team. But beware, Yankee fans, the Tigers are not a one man team. In fact, as Hater J pointed out, they were 4th in runs scored so we should expect some high scoring games over the next week and a half. I give the Yankees an edge here, though, as they have the more experienced and talented lineup.

All in all, these teams are more evenly matched than some media outlets and fans are portraying them. The Yankees cruise to a division title was really more a by product of Boston's crappyness then anything they did, so fans shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security and smugness (something I'll sadly admit Yankee fans do better than anyone else). Hell, if Boston had played a little over .500 ball in September we might not even be talking about this today and would instead be posting about Octoberfest or something. That being said, I expect a closely contested series with the Yankees getting to Verlander tonight and then doing enough in the next 4 games to win in 5 at home next Friday.

Note: I'll be at the game tonight and will attempt to capture some magic moments in pictures for PTU. Let's go Yanks!

Hater J's Week 4 Picks

After a 10 win week last Sunday, I am at 24-22-2 for the season. Here goes week 4:

Giants (-1.5) – Pick this game with extreme caution. The Giants are on a high after beating up on the “Dream Team”. Eli is looking to build on the rhythm he’s set into over the past 6 quarters of football. The Cards’ pass “D” is still quite suspect which should make for a good game through the air for the G-Men. The problem is…this is the exact type of game the Giants lose.

Ravens (-3.5) – I see this Jets bandwagon thinning out after the superior Ravens bust them up for their second straight road loss. The Jets are not an elite football team. The Ravens are.

Lions (1.5) – The Cowboys didn’t score a touchdown on Monday and looked completely lost on offense without Miles Austin. Tony Romo needed to take two shots to numb his ribs and a short week translates into less time to heal. On the flip side, the Lions showed some chops with a come from behind win a mean pass rush, and a tremendous pass offense. “Fat Boy” Suh is going to punish Romo and Megatron should have no problems exploiting this bad pass “D”.

Saints (-7) – I usually hate giving seven points, on the road, with a bad defense. These games tend to end up with the crap home team scoring a garbage time touchdown and destroying your cover, or the crap home team hanging around and keeping it close for no known reason. However, the Jags have a miserable pass offense and they have a miserable pass defense...I’m laying the seven.

49ers (+9) – According to Kenny Powers, “Patrick Willis runs like a cheetah and hits like a super pissed rhino.” His teammates have fallen in line, punishing QB’s all season. After busting up Tony Romo’s ribs, they get a shot at the crash test dummy known as Mike Vick. I can see ESPN and Berman having a segment going with a segment called Vick’s Picks after Willis scares Mike into a few more errant passes and into some more pain.

Rams (+1) –The Rams get another game at home after last week’s super awful home loss. The Redskins are coming off a short week in a game they lost without allowing a touchdown. If the Rams have any pride, they need to step up here. Look for Steven Jackson to run angry.

Titans (+1) – The Browns get a one point win at home against a bad Miami team and get to be a one point favorite against a better Titans team? I’m not buying it. Titans’ Chris Johnson is still looking for a break out game. Nate Washington is no Kenny Britt, but he’s formidable. The Titans win this one.

Bills (-3) – I hear that Benson and the Bengals are going to run to keep the ball out of Fitzpatrick’s hands. So after a bunch of third and longs followed by punts, the Bills will get the ball to light them up. Let’s go Bills.

Vikings (-1.5) – Leslie Frazier says he wants to get AP more totes. Literally translated, “Shit, I‘ve had big second half leads, I have the best running back in football, but kept passing and have no wins.” A heavy dose of AP = bad times for the awful Chiefs.

Panthers (+6.5) – Panthers will give the Bears a taste of their own medicine with “The Daily Show” and Cam doing their “Cutler to Forte” dink and dunk impersonation all the way to a cover…maybe even a win.

Steelers (+4) – The Texans still can’t close games and the Steelers step up after disappointing performances. Four points is too much to lay on a team that can’t stop hurting themselves.

Falcons (-4.5) – Tavaris Jackson, I hate you. He had no business winning that game last week. The Falcons play terribly everywhere but Georgia, but my hatred for Tavaris will not allow me to pick him. Stay away from this game.

Dolphins (-7.5) – I should have known better than to pick a Norv Turner team in September. Mike Thomas can actually give this Chargers team a few headaches. If he doesn’t, I can totally see the Chargers scoring a bundle and then going into cruise control and allowing the Dolphins back in for a cover.

Broncos (+13.5) – The Packers are the best team in football, but their secondary hasn’t looked very championship-like. Much like their game against Carolina, I see the Packers’ secondary allowing a ton of yards and a few TD’s in a game that a Packers’ win is never in doubt.

Raiders (+4.5) – Can the Pats stop anyone? I don’t think so. I’ll take the home team, getting points, and hope that Run DMC breaks a few to keep it close.

Bucs (-10)/Colts – Josh Freeman vs. Curtis Painter. I see a heavy dose of LeGarrett Blount paired with great game management from Josh Freeman in what will be an easy win for the Bucs.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dr Dre Is A Scum Bag

And now if you would allow me to rant for a second, I have something I need to get off my chest: Dr. Dre is the most over rated dirtbag scam artist in the music business. Yeah, I loved a lot of his music, dating all the way back to the NWA days, then to the G-funk era of The Chronic and Doggystyle to his dominance of the late 90s and early 2000s with The Chronic 2001 and the stuff with Eminem and 50 cent. But Andre's biggest financial success has also been the single biggest scam of the 21st century: the Beats by Dre headphones.

These flimsy piece of shit headphones have basically taken over the market, just take a look around you next time you're on the subway or at the gym. How every high school age kid and welfare recipient in New York can afford 300 dollar headphones is a question for the ages, but they make it happen. And it's not just the hood. If you're a reclusive hermit type just turn on ESPN and see all the athletes from LeBron to Kobe to the last guy on the Red Bulls' bench (they're a soccer team) walking to and from the team bus with the distinctive red B sticking out of their ears. Guess what? They've all been fooled! Bamboozled and hoodwinked! I, too, had the wool pulled over my eyes. Dre promised me that you couldn't really listen to music without a pair of his headphones so I had to see what all the hype was about. I expected to hear things I'd never heard before. Every note, drum snare and lyric sounding like the whisper of a thousand heavenly angels; music as God had intended. 2 weeks and 170 dollars later I had one working headphone and one blown out left headphone. And those were the least expensive ones in the whole line! Thankfully I spent another 20 dollars on insurance-since that's what you do when making an investment such as this- so I could trade the faulty joints in for another pair. Less than 4 months later these pieces of junk popped again. So I'm saying farewell to Beats by Dre. You've tormented me long enough, Andre. And let's be honest, every beat Dre's made since 2003 has sounded EXACTLY THE SAME. He's been riding those two albums for a 20 year career and somehow he's still looked at as some type of musical God even though a Jewish coke head was responsible for the majority of his instrumental "genius". He got lucky with Eminem (and really how much musical insight do you need to figure out that a ridiculously talented blond guy would be popular?) but most people forget the other 20 or so signings by Aftermath. For every 50 cent and Eminem there's 4 or 5 Joe Beasts and Bishop Lamonts. Those are actual names of rappers (look it up). And if the recent Ronnie from Jersey Shore like pictures and the couple of leaks off the mythical Detox are any indication, Dre's been spending his time sticking steroid needles in his ass instead of crafting classic hip hop records.

So, Dre, you had a nice 10 or 15 year run as a very good producer. You no longer wear glitter and makeup or pretend to be a gang banger, but I hate you and your cheap headphones that you've fooled the world into spending their hard earned money on. And guess what? The 40 dollar Sony headphones I bought today as a quick placeholder between my next purchase sound better than your overpriced garbage. Bose, here I come. Eat a dick, Dre.

Live From New York it's PTU!

It's an often repeated statement that Saturday Night Live (which entered it's 36th season this past weekend) is a New York institution. It's usually repeated by fans and those associated with the show as a reminder to people that it doesn't/hasn't/won't always suck. Because, despite it's status as the longest running comedy show on television and the one show that has represented New York for over 30 years, the cold hard truth is SNL kinda sucks fairly often. This isn't to say it's not also often very funny and influential, but any show that has been on for over 3 decades, is always done live, and which relies on topical humor is going to hit a few bumps in the road. The rotating hosts every week keep things somewhat fresh, though. Most of the time, the host and musical guest combination are just representative of the flavors of the week and a glance at any random episode list from the last 20 years will prove that. This theory at it's very worst can be seen in whatever NBC sitcom star paired up with TRL artist (anyone want to check out the classic Helen Hunt and Hanson or Matthew Perry and Oasis episodes of 1995?) that dominated the mid 90s seasons. Once in a blue moon, though, the host and musical guest combination are pure, crazy gold (finding SNL videos online is next to impossible so I apologize for the lack of great video on some of these).

OJ Simpson and Ashford and Simpson (February 25th, 1978)

I've mentioned this one before and it is indeed a favorite at the Slob Den. It's not really funny, but seeing OJ in anything since 95 is a hoot. He doesn't reach Nordberg heights of hilarity, but there's something about watching OJ pre murder gadding about in sketches with Lorraine Newman that is mind blowing. Add the recently deceased Simpson of Ashford and Simpson and you have one wild Saturday night.

Michael Jordan and Public Enemy (September 28th,1991)

A fun thing about looking at some of these old shows is you get a nice snapshot of the culture at that time or what Chuck Klosterman would explain in much douchier way as the "zeitgeist". SNL always tried to stay cutting edge (despite their tendency towards showcasing the Z100 top 10) and this week's host and musical guest combo was a good example of seizing the moment. Michael was at this point coming off his first title run, his sneakers were popular with everyone from the trendy elite to kids in the projects (he wore the underappreciated 6's against the Lakers that year)and he was well on his way to being the global icon that he is today.Meanwhile, Public Enemy were the most revolutionary rap group of all time. This was also at the height of trendy black nationalism brought on by Spike Lee's Malcolm X movie so there was no better time to have an all black SNL season premiere. Highlights include Jordan visiting Stuart Smalley (I'm good enough...) and Chris Farley's Bulls dance (daaaaa bulls, da bulls, da bulls, da bulls)

Steve Forbes and Rage Against The Machine (April 13th,1996)

Jordan and PE were a perfect match, but sometimes Lorne Michaels and company make a host and musical guest combination decision that just leaves you saying "you're fucking with us, right?". This was never better exemplified than in this spring of 96 late season episode. A show hosted by a billionaire republican presidential candidate sounds pretty awkward to begin with, but adding the extremely far left leaning Rage just sounds like a recipe for disaster. Predictably, Tom Morello and the guys weren't pleased to be sharing a bill with one of the symbols of American big business and excess and decided to voice their displeasure in an upside down hanging American flag. NBC (naturally) thought this was a bad idea, and also told Zack De La Rocha to leave out the F word in his performances. This was quite a snag for Zack though since "Screw you I won't do what you tell me" doesn't quite have the same oomph. In the end, Rage performed Bulls on Parade sans upside down flag and Forbes did some nondescript sketches mostly poking fun at his immense wealth and disconnect from the common man. That's a kick ass performance of Bulls on Parade though.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Run DMC (October 18th, 1986)

Another all black edition of SNL, this time featuring the young star of TV's most popular black family of all time and the first rap group to really bust through to the mainstream at the peak of their respective powers. These days, SNL has whatever rapper or rap group is currently hot at the moment, but in 86 it was pretty rare to see young black men rapping about their sneakers on national television. They weren't the first rap group to perform on SNL (Funky Four Plus One hold that distinction from a few years prior) but this is still a fairly momentous occasion nonetheless.

Joe Montana and Walter Payton and Debbie Harry (January 24th, 1987)

Another athlete hosting job except this time with twice the awkwardness. Athletes usually make pretty lame SNL hosts (see Michael Phelps or Derek Jeter) but occasionally you come across some gems. Like Peyton Manning (something about quarterbacks I guess), Montana seems pretty willing to make fun of himself and his dim personality. Not sure why they stuck Payton in this too, but the double host is kind of fun. Also features a past her prime Harry, but the show's worth it for Joe's sincere guy Stu skit ("I'll be upstairs masturbating").

There's a lot more nutty hosts and musical guests throughout the years (Steven Seagal is as bad as you would expect) but we'll leave it at this for now.

David Stern Means Business (Or Does He?)

Last night, in a move that shocked no one, David Stern announced that he's pulling out the big guns in the battle with the player's union that's had the league locked out for the past few months. Stern's let it be known that he's sick of the player's shit and will pull the plug on the entire season unless they start listening to reason. Is Dave serious about this or is it just the usual gamesmanship? I'd bet on the latter, because Stern needs games to be played way more than the players do.

David Aldridge and the harbingers of doom on ESPN and NBA TV have been predicting at the very least half of the season could be lost since last season, so it's not too much of a surprise that we might not have any NBA this year. But, Stern's threat to axe the whole shebang if Derek Fisher doesn't start listening to his and the rest of the owner's demands reeks of hollow threats. It's an understandable play by a guy who's known to drive a pretty hard bargain (as sheisty as he may be, he's turned the NBA into a worldwide phenomenon) but it's still just talk. Stern needs games this season even more than the players need those checks- well, most of them at least. They might have to lease one of their Rolls Royce Phantoms as opposed to buy but they'll get by. Hell, half of the league seems to be on their way to Europe as we write this. But, David Stern needs the NBA to play. You remember everyone's reaction when they heard about Stern's threats? Of course not, because nobody cared. I'm not too sure why I'm typing this right now besides the fact that it's a slow sports day and I wanted to use that pic of the guy in the airbrushed Stern shirt. I knew the NBA wasn't too high on the priority lists of too many people my age or older but really nobody cares about the NBA being locked out. If there were no games for an entire season, I'm afraid people would just forget pro basketball existed in this country. The majority of Americans would watch the NCAA and Dexter or whatever else and keep it moving. Stern did a good job winning the country back after Jordan's retirement and the shortened season in 99 and even after some of his black players went into the stands and beat up white fans. But losing a season would be a catastrophe that the league might never come back from. It took barrels full of steroids and home runs to win back the baseball fan after the MLB strike, and that's America's national past time for Christ's sake. Stern and his teams of hip hop hooopers would be easily forgotten by an already disenchanted fan base in a reeling economy. I get why he's pulling out all the stops here. If the players call his bluff he's cooked. He better be careful, because the only thing worse than a strike is a strike that nobody cares about.

The Greatest Yankee Loss Ever

I've never been so happy to see the Yankees lose. The late season schedule resulted in the strange situation of Boston fans rooting for the Yankees and some Yankee fans (myself included of course) rooting against our own team. The result was a wacky, mixed up evening of misplaced loyalties and historic choking. I half expected to see AJ Burnett come out of the visiting bullpen and hit Evan Longoria in the face with a pie.

For a while there it seemed like we were headed for a one game play-in in Tampa tomorrow at best, and at worst the Red Sox clinching in Baltimore last night. The Yankees were playing like the Yankees, hitting grand slams and whatnot, and the Red Sox were clinging to a one run lead over an Orioles team who looked ready to start their vacations. But then in an occurrence that only a hackneyed sports writer could come up with, the rains came pouring down in Baltimore (get it? it's like symbolic). And while the Boston players sat anxiously in the clubhouse, they got to see the horrifying sight of the Rays rallying from a 7 run deficit to tie the game in the 8th inning. I can only imagine the looks on their faces being something similar to people watching the premiere of that new Kevin Dillon sitcom. Meanwhile, my face looked a little more like this from my couch.

So finally, game play resumed at Camden and Boston attempted to shake off what they'd just witnessed and do their part to keep their season alive. It looked like it might happen too. But then, something glorious happened. Papelbon's fish face firmly in place, the now 90% Red Sox Nation crowd ready to explode (this really isn't too much different from any Red Sox game at Baltimore these days), the Yanks and Rays now tied in extra innings creating hope that maybe the Sox could still pop some champagne before the night was over...and then Papelbon gave up two straight doubles. And Carl Crawford misplayed a line drive resulting in the winning run. Just 3 MINUTES LATER, Evan Longoria hit his 2nd home run in 3 innings to send the slightly more than half filled Tropicana field into hysterics and Boston fans to another long winter of discontent. Now, things can get back to normal. I can root for the Yankees as usual without any of that pesky hate that forces me out of my normal sports rooting routines. See ya next year, Boston.

PTU Great Moments In Mets History

September 29th, 2011. The Mets were in another hotly contested series against the Cincinnati Reds. Jose Reyes, the face of the Mets franchise, was about to accomplish something NEVER done before by a Mets player: Win the NL Batting Title.

It was not just about winning the batting title, it was about the courageous way in which he went about it...the Mets way. Harking back to days of true men like Ted Williams, Jose Reyes demonstrated the mental and hamstring toughness all Mets fan know he possess.

Bases empty, bottom of the first inning. An almost capacity crowd with 30% of the stadium empty. A BUNT! Reyes makes it to first. And then, the toughest decision, but the right one for a Met. Reyes takes himself out to improve his odds of winning the batting title. His manager even gave him the credit, saying it was Reyes who made the bold decision to take himself out. And that, Mets fans is how we got our first NL Batting Title. Another great day in Mets history.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: A Disgrace To Real Hippies Everywhere

Some of us at PTU got into a vigorous debate today about the merits of the "Occupy Wall Street" protest. While most of PTU probably agrees with the majority of what I'm about to write, I'll be fair and say that Bottle vehemently disagrees.

Take a look at the image above that this group has on their own Facebook page and it highlights the main problem with this movement: they have no actual idea what their goals are. The only goal seems to be to complain about every liberal issue all at once while sleeping in the street without showering. Of course there are problems with corporate domination of American politics along with lots of other important issues, but these people aren't going to accomplish anything the way they are going about this.

Unfortunately our generation has turned into a bunch of whiners who like to blame everything on someone else. How can someone living in the U.S. possibly compare the challenges and oppression they face to someone living under a dictatorship in the Middle East? How does anyone who contributes anything meaningful to society have time to spend a month sleeping in a park and protesting every random issue known to man? Sure life isn't fair, but unfortunately the new norm is to sit around and blame everyone else for your problems instead of putting in some good old fashioned hard work to better yourself and achieve real change.

The hypocrisy is also rife among this group. Probably the best quote I've seen that sums this up comes (surprisingly) from the usually left leaning NYTimes:

"One day, a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Adam Sarzen, a decade or so older than many of the protesters, came to Zuccotti Park seemingly just to shake his head. “Look at these kids, sitting here with their Apple computers,” he said. “Apple, one of the biggest monopolies in the world. It trades at $400 a share. Do they even know that?".

Now, let me say that I think many of the issues that some of these "protesters" want to raise are quite valid. We do need to make sure we are enough of a civilized nation that we don't let people die from a tooth infection because they don't have insurance. We have to think logically and objectively about how our actions contribute to and modify the natural climate change that occurs over time. Unfortunately it seems like many lazy wannabe hippies are taking advantage of these problems to have an "experience". Someone should tell them that is what Burning Man is for, real problems need to be solved by real leaders with clear goals and objectives.

This gets me to my final point, which is that these people can learn something from keeping it real hippies back in the day. They were able to set clear goals and contribute to meaningful outcomes such as the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. These modern day hipsters should take a lesson from the keeping it real hippies and actually get something done instead of blogging to their friends back in Kansas about the cool experience they had protesting nothing. Anything else is a disgrace to the original hippies they idolize. 

Shut Up, Old Man! The Wild Card is Awesome

During last night's Yankees Rays broadcast, YES Network play by play man and all around douche bucket Michael Kay was seemingly caught in his own douchiness by Al Leiter. After Kay did one of his "ahhh October baseball pennant races, ain't life grand?" routines following the reading of significant out of town scores, Leiter pointed out that Kay was against the wild card. A clearly flustered Kay shot back "why are you jumping on me?" in that classic passive aggressive "boys will be boys joking around but I realize you just OWNED me" way that he has. And herein lies the problem with the old fogey baseball "purist": He forces himself to hate change simply because it's change even if it makes the sport so much more enjoyable.

Baseball, more so than any other sport, values tradition and history almost to a comical point. The uproar over changes that obviously benefit game play and fan enjoyment such as instant replay and interleague play are clear examples of this. Just because something didn't exist when Honus Wagner was trotting around the ol' diamond and you could get a sarsaparilla and a trolley ticket for 25 cents, doesn't mean that it's wrong. And just as the speed and strength of players and technological advancements have resulted in instant replay, so to have gradual changes necessitated the wild card. The fact of the matter is, there's more teams than there were back in the old days and more fan bases that need reason to leave their home and 50 inch HD flat screen to plunk down extraordinary prices at their local stadium. Bob Costas and Michael Kay might think that letting more than 2 teams into the post season is heresy, but Major League Baseball is a business, and as a business they can't afford to lose 90% of their audience that knows they have no chance at a playoff berth by mid summer. It might make the pennant race in Boston and New York a little more tense and exciting, but since when did the rest of the country care about them?

It's not like the all inclusive system in the NBA (everyone's a winner!) where you have to be truly awful not to qualify for the playoffs. We're still talking about 8 teams out of 30 that are playing in October every season. It's easy for Michael Kay or some of the older writers and broadcasters that work at a national level to bash the Wild Card system. The Yankees are in it every year, as are most of the other big market teams (except the Dodgers). I like the fact that there's some hope in Milwaukee and wherever else every season. Kay followed the above exchange up by repeating a Bob Costas anecdote. If there was a Wild card back when Bobby Thomson hit the so-called "shot heard 'round the world", we would have heard "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!...and the Dodgers win the wild card". It's a funny line but truthfully, if the rules were the same now as they were then, no one would care about a Red Sox-Orioles or Cardinals-Astros game this week. And the old men would sleep soundly knowing that everything had stayed the same.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haters Unite! The Joys of Rooting against Boston

PTU's hatred of Boston is well documented. Hater J leads the pack with the most unbridled feelings of hate for Bahston with Mr. D not far behind. Lately, I've come to the realization that I too hate Boston more than previously thought possible. Boston hate is kind of in vogue these days, but we here at PTU don't hate because it's trendy. No sir, we've hated New England since Brady was a back up in Michigan and Kevin Garnett was still respected. I won't even eat Boston cream donuts or watch reruns of Cheers (but I do eat New England clam chowder, I'm not an animal). Ask Hater J his opinion of Good Will Hunting and he'll spit in your face. Yeah, we don't like Boston.

So it brings us great pleasure to witness the recent Red Sox slide. While I might have picked Adrian Gonzalez as my MVP and predicted the Sox would easily run away with the division not long ago, this is one time that I am glad to be proved wrong. The Red Sox are on the verge of a historic collapse and being the true haters that we are, it brings us almost as much joy to see the entire city of Boston considering a mass suicide in the Charles River as it does seeing the Yankees cruising to a division title. After tonight's gutsy play by my Tampa Bay Rays (including a triple play) to top the Yanks and a closer than it should have been game in Camden yards, the Sox and Rays are all tied up heading into game 162. The sign of a true hater is the fact that the misfortune of your rival gives you more pleasure than the success of the team you root for and that is most definitely the case here. I've never rooted this hard against the Yankees (it feels a little wrong but whatever). I have a feeling that the Sox will somehow pull this out but all of us at PTU will have our fingers crossed that they don't. In the meantime, I hope Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg, fucking Jim from the Office and whoever else is shitting their shorts over the prospect of their season ending in Baltimore on a Nick Markakis' base hit.

Let's go O's!

WNBA Finals Preview

It's that time of the year again. The sports world will soon be glued to their televisions and smart phones to follow the action that is the WNBA Finals. No NBA season this year? No problemo!

Let's take a look at what we can expect from the ladies of the hardwood.

The Philadelpia 1920ers

The 20s (named for the year women were given the right to vote in the United States) have had a stellar season in only their third year in existence. Rookie sensation Jaquila Jackson-Browne has been a revelation, repeatedly punishing opposing power forwards with her solid frame and wingspan of a 7 foot man. She's been so dominant that there was actually an investigation into whether she possessed more than just the wingspan of a man, but the results of that proved she's all lady! Speedy point guard Carmen Perez is the pride of Peru, leading all of the league in assists, steals, and (amazingly) blocked shots. Power forward Nyesha Collins leads the charge off the bench despite a recent suspension for gambling on her own games. Led by coach Sam Cassell, the Dubs (as their die hards refer to them) are looking to capture some of that same championship magic that their coach had in the NBA.

The Minnesota Dream Catchers

The Catchers have been so much more than just a tax write off for owner Paula Abdul (although they are great at that) as they stormed to a WNBA record 23 straight wins before losing on a last second three by the Omaha Sparkle's Connie "flamethrower" Winston. Despite that bump in the road, they finished with a league best 45 wins and an MVP award for third year shooting guard Shantaquekia Smith, niece of former Knicks great Charles Smith. The D.C.'s also boast the stingiest D in the league, surrendering only 30 points a contest. This series will be played with heavy hearts, however, as the franchise mourns the loss of their charismatic mascot, Splinky the Purple Unicorn after a tragic boating accident. The entire team will wear arm bands with "Splinky Forever" engraved, and this might be enough to push Smith and the rest of the Dream Catchers to their third straight WNBA title. Coached by former Laker Sedale Threatt, it looks to be a hot autumn in the twin cities.

My prediction is the Dream Catchers dethroning the 20ers for the title.

Stay tuned, hoop fans!

Wisdom Teeth: The Wonders of Drilling a Hole in Your Face

PTU expert on all things snooty and opponent of hippie hikers Snoot recently brought up his co-worker's nervousness over an upcoming wisdom teeth removal. Wisdom teeth are probably the most useless part of the human body. They serve absolutely no purpose other than providing a reason for an excused couple day absence from work or school (if you're lucky) and a somewhat entertaining story or blog picture for years to come. I don't know Snooty's co-worker personally, but if he's nervous, he needs to not look at that picture up there and man up. Getting my wisdom teeth out was one of the easiest days at the dentist I ever had. The days that followed, on the other hand, weren't all fun and games.

Unlike PTU movie critic and taco enthusiast M@d $cientist's much more manly experience in wisdom teeth removal (he described it as not being bad but just a lot of "crunching" sounds which immediately makes me think of this scene) I went with the sleepy fun time gas (not an official medical term). All I can remember is closing my eyes and then opening them again to a puddle of my own drool and spouting some nonsense to the dentist's assistant. As is required by law, the dental assistant was pretty hot, so I can only imagine that whatever I let slip out of my mouth along with my saliva was probably something witty and urbane like "daaat was it?" while I looked up at her drooling over myself, looking like Tuco's Tio from Breaking Bad. After being shuttled to my parent's house I immediately proceeded to spit blood all over the tv guide as my face swelled to the size of a diseased chipmunk's. I spent the next few days alternating between replacing gauze in my mouth and choking down Campbell's Chicken noodle soup. The night of the surgery I watched the first matchup between the NBA's new Chinese giant Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal on ESPN and marvelled at how much blood could come out of one person's mouth.

All in all, it was a time to be remembered (even if I can't remember a thing about the surgery). Shaq won the head to head matchup, the Rockets won the game and that dental assistant is now my wife. (Not really, but it makes for a better ending to the story). Of course, most people don't have a reaction like mine and gleefully return to their jobs happy and with one or two less teeth. So don't be scared, Snoot's coworker. It should be a swift, painless surgery followed by a possible day off from work. Good luck.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hiking On The Iranian Border: BAD IDEA

By now you've probably read the story of the American Hikers who "wandered" into Iran while on a wonderful journey of discovery. After over two years in captivity, they were finally released after "someone" paid $1MM in ransom to Iran. Apparently they didn't see my map above before leaving and ended up in Iran accidentally while hiking in the peaceful Iraqi countryside. They whined about their time in Iran despite the fact their accommodations sounded quite nice compared to some American lock-ups like the Brooklyn House of Detention (certain unnamed PTU'ers can attest to this). The whole saga ended up getting resolved only when Sean Penn asked his friend Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to appeal on the lost hikers behalf.

If you read the accounts in the media these hikers are poor lost souls who were attacked by an evil government and had Spicoli from Ridgemont high save them. The obvious questions everyone should be asking instead are:

  • Why are some idiot over-privileged UC Berkeley grads hiking around near the Iranian border? Does anyone in the world think this is a good idea?
  • Their excuse is that they started out on on innocent hiking trip in the "safe" Kurdistan region of hiking in Iraq is a great idea to begin with. 
  • Who paid the $1MM to get these jackasses free? Their families say they don't know who paid for their release, but it is obvious it was the U.S. taxpayer.
Next time you want to go hiking in a war zone or sailing through the water off the cost of Somalia be prepared to take responsibility for your own stupidity. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hater J's Week 3 Picks

Giants (+7.5) – The Giants have not looked very good all season. Questionable play calling, sloppy play, and a lost Eli aren’t very good. The one thing I’ve noticed in watching these ugly Giants’ games, is that the defense has a decent pass rush and seems to force opposing QB mistakes when they send more than 4 pass rushers. The Eagles’ offensive line has been porous and if the Giants keep sending a rush, I can see a confused Vick throwing a few picks.

Raiders (+3.5) – Raiders are coming back home, after a big loss, and after finding a pass game that should give Run DMC some running room. The Jets spanked the lowly Jags and travel 3000 miles to face a pissed off team that has a decent run defense. I still don’t trust Sanchez to beat teams, so I’ll take the points.

Bengals (-2.5) –Jerome Simpson celebrated is breakout game by getting busted with 2.5 pounds of grass. It’s nice to see Jerome fitting in just perfectly with his Bengals brethren. The young rookie, Andy Dalton, looks just as good (if not better) than Carson Palmer last season. The young man torched a pretty bad Broncos “D” on the road, why should he struggle torching a bad 49’ers “D” at home?

Bills (+8) – Ryan Fitzpatrick is on a contract year tear and the Pats struggle to stop the pass. The Bills haven’t won this match-up in years and are tired of the annual ass kicking at home. That all may not be enough to get a win Sunday, but it may just be enough to keep it close. There is also the prospect of the Bills sneaking in a garbage time touchdown in the final 4 minutes to sneak in a cover.

Saints (-4) – Someone is winning this game by a touchdown. I don’t see many punts or field goals in what should be a display of awesome offense and bad defense. I like to take home teams in those types of games, but this game can really go any which way.

Miami (+2.5) – Miami is bad, but has some talent. Cleveland is just bad. Expect the Fish to get one of their 5 wins this year at the “Dawg Pound”

Titans (-6.5) –Run DMC torched this Broncos team for 150 yards and Andy Dalton threw on them for over 300 yards…in their house. What makes you think they’ll get it together for a road game where the Bald Bomber and Kenny Britt are clicking and Chris Johnson is looking to prove he’s worth that fat contract?

Lions (-3.5) – The Lions are for real. Stafford and company are still healthy. McNabb just looks awful and fans in Minnesota may be calling for Christian Ponder by the second half.

Panthers (-3.5) – it’s not a good day for the Hater. This hurts to write, but I really don’t see any way this putrid Jags defense stops Cam or how this putrid Jags offense scores any points on the road. Ugh

Chargers (-14.5) – I hate laying this many on the Chargers, but can anyone tell me how the Chiefs are going to manage more than three points in this one?

Ravens (-4) – The Ravens aren’t losing two straight. Especially to a bad and injured St. Louis squad (that still may win the West)

Bucs (-1.5) – Tampa went back to the basics last week. Run the ball a lot and let Josh Freeman engineer a come from behind victory while “Fox” keeps showing pictures of him and his awkward fro. The Falcons looked bad on defense again but had some bounces go their way leading to a victory. I don’t see the Dirty birds getting those bounces on the road, and it looks like the Bucs keep rolling in a home win.

Cards (-3.5) – Looks like the Tavaris Jackson experiment is going exactly how I thought it would. He suckered me into picking him once this year…I refuse to allow it to happen ever again. I know the Hags are home, but it doesn’t matter. Do yourself a favor and pick against Tavaris at all cost.

Packers (-3.5) – Cutler is already complaining about the ineptitude of the O-Line that had him on his back all of last Sunday. It doesn’t help that Cutler loves holding the ball for three days either. The Packers “D” is looking to make its first statement of the season after getting torched by the Saints and a rookie in weeks 1 and 2, respectively. Oh, and Mr. Rodgers saw what Drew Breese did last week to this Bears “D”.
Steelers (-10) – Peyton isn’t playing. No one has any reason to pick this Colts team until that changes.

Redskins (+5.5) – The Redskins are showing some grit with a solid run game, serviceable pass game, and solid defense. The ‘Boys are hurt, Tony Romo doesn’t have the most stellar track record on night games (especially against division rivals), and they can’t stop anyone’s pass game. I can see this one being played close with some big plays from Santana Moss and Tim Hightower.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Perp Fashion of The Week: Jansport Strings

I did a post a while back about reappropriated perp fashion, the first being North Face jackets that were originally designed for rich white people to not catch colds when hiking up mountains and doing other white things but were eventually the uniform for minorities hanging out in front of Bodegas in Brooklyn. This week's installment of Reappropriated perp fashion centers on a phenomenon that was unique to the New York area in the early to mid 90s: Jansport strings.

What exactly made a backpack marketed towards yuppie outdoorsman (take a look at that ad) a staple of urban middle school toughness? You could start with the strings. Readers from outside the tri-state might find this odd, but anyone who attended junior high in one of the 5 boros can attest to the fact that Jansport strings were something like tattooed tear drops in prison: the more you had the tougher sumbitch you were. Stealing Jansport strings was something of a bloodsport that only the toughest of special needs student would participate in. It got to the point that some kids would burn the end of their strings so as to ward off would be string thieves. Future larcenous thugs would perfect the craft to the point that they could come up behind unsuspecting marks (usually those nerds who actually had books in their book bags and not just firecrackers and porn) and pilfer a string or two without ever rousing suspicion. These pint sized pick pockets could then strut around the school yard with up to 30 multicolored strings looped around the back pouch zipper of their Jansport. The delinquent with the most strings was the D-bo of recess, on par with the clean up hitter in punch ball and the kid who had a cousin that worked at Foot Locker. There were other ways to adorn your Jansport, of course, like paws or tags with whiteout but nothing as memorable as the strings. Legend has it that there was a thinner string inside the main string that you could remove using a needle or straightened out paper clip to add to an already impressive collection of string.

Tell someone from out of town or a kid in school now about this strange '90s trend and they'll probably laugh at you, but the Jansport string craze will go down in New York history as one of the greatest perp fashions of all time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Denis Leary – You’re An Asshole

As punishment for his purchase of ESPN’s Insider, Bagels not only gets to read the stupidity of John Hollinger, but he gets a monthly reminder of his purchase with the ever terrible “ESPN The Magazine”. I’m not a subscriber and don’t really care to read the thing at all. Bagels’ underwhelming description of the magazine has made me pretty comfortable with this choice. I’ve found his now-and-then comments to be sufficient enough to lead me to believe “The Magazine” would be better served as a weed plate than anything worth using as a means for avoiding eye contact with the homeless people on the train ride home.

Today, much to my frustration, Bagels has brought it to my attention that ESPN is releasing an “America’s Most Dominant Sports City” issue. A collection of articles devoted to the Cawk Suckas from New England. We’ve grown to accept these types of things from ESPN. This is a network that told us the Red Sox were a lock to win the AL Pennant and that the worst case scenario for the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics was a game 7 loss in the Finals.

What made me exceptionally upset is that an article titled “New York Sucks” is written by self proclaimed asshole, Denis Leary. That freckled f-ck head has made his living for the past seven years on a New York centric show. I guess it never occurred to Denis that he could have opted to make the show in New England and easily insert his drunk, womanizing character there. But then again, he may have realized that making the show NYC themed would allow him to take advantage of 9/11 for an easy plot line. He may have also realized that we have enough red headed, asshole, “tough guys”, with shitty accents on the big screen and that there may not be any room for that on the small screen.

R.I.P. R.E.M.

I didn't decide to post about R.E.M.'s break-up simply because R.I.P. R.E.M. is fun to say, but it helped. Still, R.E.M. is one of those legendary bands that deserves some respect, or at least an acknowledgement of their influence. And, for a change, this is a band that started, had their glory days, fell off, made a comeback and broke up all in our lifetime. And without losing anyone to death or addiction. For that alone they should be recognized, but the fact remains they also made some great music. One of the original "college radio" bands, R.E.M. made somewhat wordy, sometimes overly melodramatic albums that appealed to a wide audience but still kept a kind of cool aura about them (not too many bands can be featured in blockbuster movies, The Simpsons and still attract attention from hipster sites like Pitchfork and whatnot). And they've influenced tons of bands from the emo to indie to whatever else scene. They might not have been too relevant for the past 10 years or so, but they did release a decent album not too long ago and that's more than you can say about most bands who came of age during the Reagan era.

PTU salutes R.E.M.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Floyd Mayweather Jr: Still a Dick

The entire nation is buzzing about the wacky fight on Saturday. Unfortunately, none of us saw it. I was playing ping pong in Carroll Gardens with Bottle, Hater J was sleeping and everyone else was either at a bachelor party or just didn't care. Whoops. Anyway, we still have some opinions on Money Mayweather.

Floyd's the boxer everyone loves to hate. He's best buds with 50 cent, and he's definitely picked up a thing or two from Curtis about being a very obnoxious, very rich asshole. Even before Saturday's sucker punches and old man threatening, Floyd was not the most likable person. He may sport an undefeated resume and title belts galore but is he the best pound for pound fighter alive? Of course, there's one fight that every one (and I mean everyone) wants to see and would probably be the most watched pay per view event of all time. And since a young Tyson vs. young Ali is probably not going to happen any time soon, we'll settle for Mayweather Pacquiao. Will this ever happen?

PTU Boxing expert and resident Puerto Rican Hater J's thoughts:

He'll fight Pacquio. Mayweather will fight when the Pac Man finishes a big fight, is slower, older, and declining from his current prime condition. Floyd will also have a one year self imposed layoff ensuring he's fresh for the fight. When the fight happens, he will jab for 12 rounds, get into another fight with Larry Merchant, mentioning "no one respects him although he proved he's the best, yet again".

His whole career has been like that.

Look at the notable wins:
Juan Manuel Marquez fought his entire career below 135 and fought Mayweather at 144. Mayweather showed up at 147 and Marquez much lighter and smaller.
Oscar DeLaHoya - Won a split decision against a guy who was 35 and beat Felix Sturm to get a belt (and liked to wear women's clothes).
Shane Mosley - Ducked him for about 4-5 years before taking the fight. I think Mosley was 40 years old.
Ricky Hatton - Bum (and Limey).
Carlos Baldomir - waited forever to fight him.
Zab Judah - Waited until Zab lost the belt to fight him.
Arturo Gatti - Called him a "paper champ" then after beating him a year or so later cried after win saying it proved what a great champion he was.

So there you have it. Floyd is a fairly technically skilled fighter with a smoking hot fiance, but has inflated his own flawless career through evasive duck and dodge moves that would be the envy of any boxer. Floyd, to quote yourself, "you ain't shit".

Giants vs Rams Preview

A must win game for the Giants already? In order to keep pace with the other 1-1 teams in the division, I think it is. As a Giants fan, I don't want to be the only team in the Division without a win. Also, historically only 12% of teams that start the season 0-2 them make the playoffs (despite the Superbowl team of 07 bouncing back from that slow start, you don't want to press your luck). So, Big Blue, let's beat up on this Rams team that comes limping into OUR stadium.

On the other side of the field the Rams haven't been on Monday Night Football Since 2006. Will they forget how to play football since the game is on a Monday? As I Giants fan I sure do hope so. They have a talented but young Quarterback named Sam Bradford, who will be without some of his offensive weapons. But to be as fair and balanced as I could be in this preview, here are two points that could make things easier for the Rams to win.

1. QB play, Eli doesn't look or play like Micheal Vick so the Rams should have a easier time defending him.
2. The Giants are still hurting on Defense

Overall, I hope its not an exciting game, with the Giants dominating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hater J's NFL Week 2 Picks

Last week was helped by a solid Monday night. Let’s try to make this week better. Here go the picks…

Bears (+6.5) At some point, I have to admit that the Bears are a good defensive squad. I also have to come to terms with the fact that Matt Forte will catch 6+ passes for 75+ yards the first few weeks of the season and (don’t worry fantasy nerds, his numbers will drop and you’ll feel better about passing on him). A good team coming back home after a road loss rarely loses. I don’t think the Saints start 0-2 but I think the Bears’ “D” keeps them in this one.

Houston (-4) Miami just stinks at home and Houston needs to take advantage of another weak team before heading out to New Orleans.

Lions (-9) Matt Stafford limping on/off the field after every possession with a healthy Jahvid Best and a healthy Megatron is better than PTU favorite Ryan Fitzpatrick and his crew right? The Lions beat a good Bucs team on the road in muggy September. The Chiefs just suffered their worst home loss in about 20 years. I’m sipping the Kool-Aid for one more week. Go Lions.

Jags (+9) The Jags can’t play pass defense. Good thing for them, Mark Sanchez and the Jets can’t play pass offense. I can’t see the Jags winning this game by any stretch, but I can’t see the Jets and Sanchez blowing them out of the water. Jets fans, please don’t talk to me about Sanchez throwing for 300+ yards. You all know he sucked and just managed to make just enough plays down the stretch to win that game.

Bills (-3.5) The Amish Rifle is coming back home to play a team that is on a short week (Late Monday Night Game) and traveling three time zones. The Raiders will be hitting the “Snooze” button at kickoff.

Skins (-4) Cam Newton is bad and the Cards’ secondary is worse right? I have to believe that. Rex Grossman is serviceable. I expect him to have a big day at home against a bad Cards team.

Titans (+6) This has let down game written all over it. After playing lights out in a high energy/high emotion game, the Ravens go on the road to face a team that needs a win at home to keep pace with M@D’s expectations. I think the Titans’ offense will be better and expect Baltimore to be flat. Baltimore should still win, but the Titans can hang with them for a day.

Steelers (-14) A ridiculously high amount of points, and I’m still laying them. The Steelers need to make a statement after that embarrassment in Baltimore. Tavaris Jackson, you will not fool me again. The two people who read this, please don’t let me forget I said that.

Packers (-10) A week and a half of rest for Mr. Rodgers is just perfect for a huge day on the Cats. The Packers contain Cam and Bottle and Bagels can expect a ton of beer inspired messages bashing their new hero.

Vikings (-3) This game is a toss-up. I’m taking the more talented AP and the home field advantage in a game that may be a push.

Colts (+2.5) Two bad teams match up in what should be terrible. The home team is getting points, so I’ll take them. The NFL should issue apologies to whoever gets stuck with this as their regional game.

Pats (-7) The Pats love to run up scores, especially at home. The Chargers hate the East Coast and don’t start to play until late October. You have to take the Homeless Wizard and his Uggs sporting QB.

Broncos (-4) The Broncos can’t lose two straight at home. I also refuse to be suckered into picking the Bengals for anything.

Falcons (+2.5) The Falcons looked bad on the road, but the Bears may just be good at home. The Eagles looked good on the road, but that may be just because the NFC West is that bad. One big play on defense or offense will have the Atlanta crowd going nuts. I’m not sure Vick is ready for some playoff-type hostility.

Giants (-5.5) The Rams are banged up and were just outclassed by the Eagles after the first 4 minutes of the game. If the Giants are going to give me any hope of winning a bet with Snooty, they need to beat up an already beat up team in “The Swamp”.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Team Cam vs. The Rest of PTU

Much like the ongoing bet concerning PTU hero Kemba Walker that Hater J and I have, there's a new hero that has been embraced by the masses and inspired a friendly (not really) wager here at PTU. American treasure Cam Newton burst onto the scene last week, all but sealing his ticket to Canton with a stunning performance that came as no surprise to Bottle and I (team cam president and vice president) but still hasn't quite convinced the haters i.e. Hater J, M@d $cientist and Mr. D. of his greatness. So, the bet is as follows: If Cam matches Peyton Manning's single season total of 3739 yards, Bottle and I will write a personal blog post apology to the rest of the crew, as well as admitting that Cam is not the hero we thought he was and I will buy M@d the hero sandwich of his choice from his favorite sammich shop. If Cam inevitably gets to 3739 (which he'll probably do by week 8 or so by my estimation) then the haters will blog about how wrong they were for ever doubting C.N. and M@d will be photographed in his number 1 jersey alongside the caption "Cam is great and better than Peyton Manning". Stay tuned to see how this turns out.

Can Mariano Rivera Get Some Love?

Last night, a little past 1 in the morning Eastern time, Russell Martin threw Ichiro out attempting to steal second base and Mariano Rivera had completed his 600th save of his career. And over the next week or so, he will pass Trevor Hoffman for the most career saves in history. This is a tremendous achievement by the universally acknowledged greatest closer of all time, so why is it being met with the same excitement as the season finale of Rizzoli & Isles? Ok, maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but in comparison to the unbelievable hype and excitement surrounding Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, there's barely been a ripple in the media.

Part of this is probably because it's so inevitable that he would achieve this record (or stateau as some blogger types dub these kind of things). As I mentioned before, even the biggest Yankee hater douche bag has to admit that Mo is the greatest to ever be called a "closer". He's revolutionized the position with one pitch and is one of the main reasons that the Yanks have been so dominant since the mid 90s. Part of the reason this achievement is maybe being a little overlooked is the same reason that we don't really get too excited about Mariano's exploits during the season; We take him for granted. He's like airport security: The only time you hear about him is if he messes up.

I know football season is upon us, but I think we owe it to Mo to give him at least a fraction of the hoopla that surrounded DJ3K. When Enter Sandman starts up over these next couple of days, let's stop what we're doing and salute the only number 42 still playing. Let's get some MO602 t-shirts, and honor the greatest closer dead or alive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hats Off! Cowboys Fans Are The Worst People In the World

PTU's very own expert on all things snooty was at the wild Jets season opener Sunday. The game had it all: 4th quarter comebacks from double digit deficits, crazy game changing blocked punts returned for touchdowns, celebrities galore (the Jets are clearly the hot team in NY now for front running celebrities), Usher and if that's not enough, this was the 9/11 memorial game so there was even more importance placed on the contest than usual. Everyone was feeling pretty patriotic Sunday, except for one dickhead in a Cowboys jersey (and I don't mean Tony Romo).

By now, you may have seen the video of the brawl that took place in the stands on Sunday, and at first glance it seems like an ordinary Jets game. Liquored up civil service workers stomping each other after 12 hours of downing Coors lights and Jack Daniels in the parking lot. Ho hum. But, as more details emerged, we've all come to realize that there was much more to the story. For starters, that was a Jets fan getting the worst of the fracas from a 'Boys fan, and it's not a fist or even a bottle that's doing the most damage, it's a taser! (the fact that some asshole could easily slip a stun gun into the game on the most high security day of the year has caused a bit of controversy). And that's not just any old Jets fan from Massapequa getting tased, bro. It's a U.S. marine. It turns out, the fight was started over a matter of patriotism (or lack thereof). The un patriotic Cowboys fan refused to remove his hat or even stand for the Star Spangled banner, an offense that I've seen spark fights in mid April Yankee games, never mind the anniversary of the worst day in American history. The plot thickens (or gets stupider) as we now learn that the guy in question is the father of New York radio personality and Wendy Williams lackey Charlamagne tha God (that's really his name). C the G explains that his pops is a Jehovah's witness and therefore doesn't acknowledge our national anthem. I know they don't celebrate birthdays or Christmas and Michael Jackson grew up as one so they're definitely weird, but I didn't know about the Abdul Rauf aspect of the religion. Either way, no matter his religious affiliation, we do know of one allegiance that is proof that he's an idiot with no moral values: he's a Cowboys fan.

I'm sure there's a couple nice Cowboys fans out there, maybe someone who was born in Dallas that isn't an unbearable loudmouth, but for the most part, Cowboys fans are assholes. You've seen the guys that pack your local NEW YORK CITY bar to root for their boys. Depending on their age, they chose the blue and silver during their 90's dynasty or latched on to them during one of their other winning years, but regardless of when they chose to align themselves with the devil (Jerry Jones), the fact is they are terrible people. We shouldn't be surprised at the behavior of this guy at the game on Sunday. He was simply fulfilling his destiny as a member of the worst people in the world. How 'bout them Cowboys?

Annoying Facebook Hell

Facebook. Everyone and (literally) their mother is on it by now, it's origin was the basis of an Oscar winning hit movie, it's available at your fingertips at a moment's notice, it pretty much has taken over the world. I absentmindedly check it throughout the day on my phone or computer, and I don't even know why. It's the strange instance where (and I know I'm not alone here) I get annoyed and frustrated just by scanning my "friends'" statuses. We all have those facebook friends, who you kind of know from that one class in 11th grade, or you met at a happy hour through an actual friend who you speak to in real life, that regularly post extremely obnoxious and self serving statements for the world to see. Like Dante's idea of Hell, there are many levels of annoying Facebook statuses (most of which I am probably guilty of, before you bring that up if you are FB friends with me).

First Level of Annoying:
The Humblebrag

Humble brag is a twitter term invented by somebody, and it is an extremely common occurence on Facebook. It's basically bragging about something about yourself disguised as being humble. For example:

"So gross! I guess this shirt makes my boobs look huge and these guys won't leave me alone! SMH!"

Yes, that is the classic humble brag. It's such a burden on this poor girl to be so attractive to men, and to have such large breasts. Boo hoo.

2nd Level: Food statuses

We all love food. M@d $cientist and I agree about nothing else in this world besides delicious food. Only thing is, looking at pictures of food is incredibly boring and uninteresting for the person not eating it. The cliched answer that everyone gives for why they hate Facebook and Twitter is "I don't care what you have for lunch" and it might be overused but it's true. Nobody cares. That creme brulee or crispy thai duck may seem like the greatest thing to ever happen to you at the apex of your hungry, boring life but, believe me, it's not compelling at all when viewed in a 3 inch box on your iphone with the caption "YUMMY I've died and gone to heaven!!!!". Maybe you could just die and do us all a favor.

3rd Level: Song Lyrics

I'm definitely guilty of doing this a couple times, but that only illustrates how damn tempting it is to post your favorite Led Zeppelin lyrics for the world to ponder and relish in how profound you are for picking out the one bar from the last Stephen Malkmus record that is SO YOU at the moment. Song lyrics are great, when sung by the artist who wrote them. A line here or there that captures your mood or is kinda funny is ok, I guess, but beware, copying and pasting the entire first verse of John Lennon's Imagine could get even John and Yoko to want to kick your ass.

4th Level: Statuses that begin "Dear..."

A particular favorite of females it appears, we all have friends who specialize in this type of status:

"Dear inanimate object (headache, subway, sandwich, pillow), I heart/hate/miss you so much. Love, annoying asshole you're regretting being friends with on Facebook".

I guess at some point this was cute and provided a funny, different spin on the usual "I have a headache" Facebook status, but now it's not so cute. It stopped being funny a long time ago, and has now become irritating and unbearable, like Entourage. Dear people who write these kind of statuses, please stop. Thank you. That is all.

5th Level: Political experts

Facebook is supposed to be a reflection of society and what people are thinking so it's to be expected that politics would creep in there sometimes. But, nothing is worse than the smarmy, know it all internet Rachel Maddow or Bill O' Reillys who simply MUST share his or her's disdain for Obama or the latest environmental or social injustice that HAS to be brought to the attention of the unenlightened simpletons who make up their internet friends. I'm not sure who's worse, the wanna be social crusader, the Harvey Milk of Facebook, who has to take up the cause for the downtrodden and abused by constantly posting links to the New York Times and reveling in his own do good liberal jerkoffness or the conservative blowhard dipshit who shows his own barely hidden racism and close mindedness by defacing your Facebook wall with all manner of xenophobic and ignorant tea party, Rush Limbaugh type garbage. Yeah, there's no right answer to that, they're both unbearable and should ctrl alt delete themselves. Jerkoffs.

The 6th Level: The guy or girl who's cooler than you

A wise man once said "don't act like you're too cool to be there if you're there". Unfortunately, there's a lot of unwise folks on Facebook who like to repeatedly tell you that they are cooler or smarter than you and you should be thankful to get a sentence or two a day from them to liven up your otherwise unsophisticated existence. For example, the twat who updates her Facebook to remind everyone that she is ashamed of her "friends" who like Jersey Shore. Or the douche who takes the time to go on Facebook and ask "who is Justin Bieber?" or something equally pretentious and insane instead of simply googling it. We're onto you Mr. and Mrs. hip intellectual facebook dickhead. At least you took the time out of your busy schedule of frequenting art museums and reading Tolstoy to grace us with your superior taste and intellect. Prick.

The Final Level:

The shameless self promoter. The bloggers who litter your wall with links to their sports and lists blog or tubmlr. Welcome to hell, suckers!

Honorable mention: The person who can't stop sharing pics of their baby, the person who does a running commentary of whatever show/sporting event/award show (I'm guilty again), the girls who do those stupid "breast cancer awareness" games (how exactly is posting your bra color making anyone aware of cancer if nobody even knows what it means?)

Week 1 Picks Review

The Wins
Cowboys (+5) It was sweet to see Romo choke, awful to see Sanchez win, despite playing like junk. As a Giants fan this was the best possible result.

Ravens (-2) Looks like the Ravens took this one personal on covered easily. I don’t know if going for it on fourth down or the two point conversion are going to settle well. The November match up should be very interesting.

Lions (+1.5) Looks like I’ll have to sip the Kool-Aid one more week. Stafford limps off the field at the end of every series, but put up an impressive road opener that included over 300 yards and 2 TD’s to Megatron.

Bills (+6) Ryan Fitzpatrick throws 4 TD’s in Arrowhead and puts Bottle on notice. The Amish rifle and Harvard grad has my 3500+ pass yard prediction off to a good start.

Vikings (+9) The How long can Norv Turner keep a job with his team underperforming out of the gate every season? Marty Schottenheimer got fired after a 14-2 season and this underperforming moron keeps his gig?

Pats (-7) Last week I said, “The Pats also have a douche bag, homeless wizard for a head coach who loves running up scores on crap teams, inflating the numbers of the most P-Whipped QB this side of the Mississippi.” Mr. Bundchen supported these thoughts by airing out The Fish for 500+ yards and showing his Uggs commercial (not a very masculine line to chose to endorse).

Raiders (+3) Run DMC killed the Broncos last year and followed that up by running for 150 yards last night. Nice underdog win.

The Losses
Saints (+4) I didn’t think opening night and all the pressure could produce so many points. I was wrong and some bad short yardage plays didn’t help.

Giants (-3) Bad play calling and uninspired play on both sides of the ball. This should be enough for me to pick against these bums every week. However, I never seem to learn with my Giants.

Colts (+9) Exhibit “A” that Peyton Manning is the Most Valuable Player regardless of who wins the award at the end of the year. That was ugly.

Rams (+5) The Rams looked awesome for the first five minutes. That was about it.

Falcons (-3) I guess the Bears defense and Soldier Field were the two reasons I needed to pick against the Dirty Birds.

Browns (-6.5) Remind me to never pick the Browns laying more than a field goal…ever.

Seahawks (+5) Brutal. I cursed myself all game for actually picking Tavaris Jackson to do anything. Then something happened. Tavaris inexplicably had a huge moment cutting the deficit to two points and making my cover look awesome. I should have known not to get excited. Screw you Ted Ginn Junior...screw you.

The Pushes
Titans (+2) Kenny Britt and Hasselback got on the same page late in the game. Chris Johnson was a non factor. It’s not a good loss, but they showed a little life and some progress. It’s going to be interesting to see where this team goes.

Cards (-7) After saying, “I’m convinced Cam Newton is terrible and this entire Carolina team is going to be God awful,” the kid with fortune cookie looking ears throws for a rookie record. Arizona’s “D” is awful. Cam may not be as bad as I thought, but I have no way of telling. I expect a much different result and better gauge of where he is this week.

Season Record: 7-7-2

Monday, September 12, 2011

Inside The House of Namath: A Giants Fan Goes To A Jets Game And Harasses Usher

Over the summer I was lucky enough to get into the Legends Suite at Yankee Stadium so when I had the opportunity to attend the Jets-Dallas 9/11 game in one of the "Hertz Presidents Circle Suites" I jumped at the chance. I have to give the Yankees credit, at least they don't whore out every possible advertising opportunity  and end up with weird names like the Hertz Presidents Circle Suites

The topic of the Jets is a sometimes contentious one here at PTU so I should preface this post with the fact that I'm a die hard Giants fan but not as much of a Jets Hater as Hater J. I'm going to focus on some cool things in this part of the stadium that I usually don't get to see, but speaking of the game, the Jets didn't really win, Dallas just blew it as usual. Jerry Jones is never going to admit he made a mistake investing so much in Romo and the Cowboys are going to be stuck with him for a while. He has some talent, he is just the least clutch player ever.

In terms of the snootiness level, I'd have to say that the Yankees Legends Suite were a bit higher on the snoot scale. Here is a pic from the suite, which luckily our host stocked with beers, Patron, and Makers Mark.

While the guy who has this suite is primarily a Giants fan, he had some obligatory Jets fan artwork that will make Hater J cringe. Just take a look on the back wall in this picture and you will see what I mean. Would be really nice to be here when it is cold out since you can hide in the heated room and if you go out on he balcony they have heat lamps.

Last time in Yankee Stadium I obtained pictures of the fancy bathroom. Unfortunately this time the bathrooms weren't picture worthy and all I have is a picture of a flushing toilet which I will spare everyone from seeing.

Other then the Cowboys handing over the game much to the delight of Jets fans who already expect their team to win the Super Bowl, the highlight of the night was Usher sitting right below us. We thought about spilling beer on his head so we could get on TMZ but better judgement prevailed. Here is a pic of a typical Jets fan getting ready for the Super Bowl and another one of Usher looking up at us while in a drunken state we screamed some of his song lyrics at him.

I know this probably will probably make the Yankees fans embarrassed....

Apparently Usher is a Jets fan now, I'm guessing he probably hangs out with Mark Sanchez.

Here is one last picture to close the post out of Usher emailing PTU asking for us to do an interview, which we are working on.