Thursday, June 19, 2008

Are Golfers Athletes?

You've probably heard this question many times...I know I have. And the answer to the question is, of course, no. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, I believe that in order to be considered an athlete, one condition must be satisfied: The sport said person plays requires athletic ability: This means quickness, agility, speed, strength, vertical leap, hand-eye coordination, etc. In other words, talent is more important than skill.

Golf does not satisfy this condition. The only talents required for golf are hand-eye coordination and the ability to look good in polos. (Also, if the uniform required for your sport can pass for a "business casual" dress code, you are not an athlete.) Golf is basically a skill game. The more you practice, the better you are. It's that simple. Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world because his father stuck a club in his hand when he was two and made him practice every day. Tiger doesn't possess any special talents; he is somewhat athletic, but the worst player on a decent college football team is more athletic than he is. Now I'm willing to guess that if I (or any other semi-coordinated person) practiced constantly, I could be a very good golfer. In fact, after not having picked up a golf club in 5 years, I actually took golf lessons last summer. And I went from being downright awful to somewhat decent after 5 half-hour lessons. There is no doubt in my mind that if I practiced enough I would be a great golfer. Now, no matter how much I practiced, I would never be a great boxer, or basketball player, or hockey player. Why not? Because those sports require talents that I simply do not possess. Golf, bowling, darts, billiards, etc. are all skill games that require no athletic ability, but rather a lot of practice perfecting the skill.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Knowshon Brings The Noise

I may be the only Ohio State fan that loves the SEC. Every year, it gives us intense games, never-ending displays of freakish talent, plenty of colorful characters (I'm looking at you 'Ol Ball Coach), unparalleled fan passion (read: obsession), hot girls in sundresses; basically, everything we love about college football. And thanks to the one and only Knowshon Moreno, the fire that burns deep within my loins for the SEC has become even hotter.
For the uninformed, Knowshon is a running back for Georgia, and he is very good at what he does. But I really love Knowshon because of his work off the field. First of all, his name is Knowshon Moreno, and if having that name alone isn't enough to get you a scholarship and a starting spot in an SEC backfield, I don't know what will. His face belongs on the All-"Awesome name of a Southern football player that I wish was my name" Mt. Rushmore. (The George Washington spot is still reserved for Ethnic Sands of course.)
But other than his unreal name, Knowshon devotes his time to informing us of the dangers of noise pollution. The link will take you to a two-page research paper about the dangerous effects of noise pollution, an assignment he was given as a result of getting a little too rowdy after celebrating a win. Sit back and enjoy while Knowshon cracks an egg of knowledge on you.

(Semi-serious note: I am in no way trying to insult Knowshon. While his paper does have some spelling and punctuation errors, it is still better than probably 60% of college papers these days. Instead I am insulting the Georgia administration for making him write such a stupid paper and also whoever snitched on him for being a little too loud at 11 PM on a Saturday night.)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back It Up Like Brrr Brrr: The Genius That Is Lil Wayne

So my girlfriend and I decided that we need a vacation. In debating where to go, we could have picked the normal hotspots for Ohio folk: Florida, Vegas, Wal-Mart, etc. In the end, we chose New Orleans. (Apparently my “You’ll love the food down there” argument worked perfectly…she is planning on a weekend of eating Cajun food and I’m planning on a weekend of drunken debauchery on Bourbon Street) That’s right, New Orleans, the birthplace of my idol, Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne is the best rapper alive, which is a fact Weezy will make sure to remind you of on nearly every mix tape song he puts out. Tupac is the greatest of all time and someone I grew up listening to, and Eminem was my favorite during my high school/early college years. But for the past few years Weezy has been the man. (I was never a big fan of Jay-Z; he always has catchy songs but I was never wowed by his actual rapping skills…plus he stole Beyonce from me.) But the difference between Tupac/Eminem and Weezy is that the former sing about inner turmoil and you can actually feel their pain. Wayne is just crazy. He consistently makes me laugh; in fact, he’s probably the only rapper that has ever made me laugh repeatedly. He throws out random sports references in his lyrics (Eric Bienemy, Steve Largent just to name a few), claims to actually eat other rappers and consistently makes hilariously outrageous comments like: Bitch I’m paid/That’s all I gotta say. That comes from “Stuntin Like My Daddy,” but the genius of it is that it’s the very first line, and he in fact says a whole lot after it. My all-time favorite lyric of his comes from his amazing Da Drought 3 mix tape: When I was five my favorite movie was The Gremlins/ That aint got shit to do with this but I just thought that I should mention. Now this comes in the middle of a verse talking about how adept he is at dealing drugs and all that fun stuff, and out of nowhere he starts talking about Gremlins.

I could go all day talking about his lyrics (The rap game is crazy, it’s more crazy than it’s ever been/ I’m married to that crazy bitch, call me Kevin Federlin), but I’ll just end with this: I’m extremely excited about my trip to Lil Weezyana, and it’s not because of the jambalaya.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reason Number 24 Why The NFL Sucks: Overtime Rules

This will be an ongoing (possibly never ending) series of posts describing in detail the many reasons why the NFL sucks.

This one completely baffles me. NFL lovers actually believe the college overtime system is messed up. Let’s break this one down. In the NFL, the coin toss is beyond huge because the winner of that gets the ball first and only has to drive about 30 yards and kick a field goal to win. Speaking of which, approximately 99% of NFL overtime games are won by kicking a field goal…how exciting! Remember that wonderful OT game last year? Here’s how it ended: The team that won the toss received the kickoff and returned it to the 25 yard line. After a couple of conservative play calls, the team reached the opponent’s 30 yard line. Then they ran the ball up the middle twice for no gain and kicked the winning field goal on third down (because if there is a bad snap the holder can spike the ball and they can kick on fourth down—the announcer will no doubt mention this repeatedly). The kick is good! YAY! Now you may be asking yourself: Which game was that? THAT WAS EVERY GAME…every OT game in the NFL plays out exactly like that. A team gets to the 30 yard line, runs two plays up the middle for no gain and then kicks a field goal. Now in college each team gets the ball once and gets a chance to score; what a novel concept! College football bashers always say they don’t like when championships are decided by judges and votes (stupid argument by the way, but I won’t get into it now). Well I don’t like when games are decided by coin tosses and kickers.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Walking In Memphis

Memphis is the most interesting place I’ve ever visited in my life. Two weeks ago I spent the weekend in Memphis for the Beale Street Music Fest and I still have not gotten the experience out of my mind. I’ve realized that the main reason for my astonishment is that you never hear anything about Memphis. You’ve probably never been there and you probably don’t know anybody who has been there. Even if you’ve never been to places like LA, Vegas or Miami, someone you know has and you’ve already heard about places to go, things to see, etc. So in a way you’ve already been there.

Nothing could prepare me for what I was going to see. Living in Columbus, OH the past two years and being very much involved with the drunken debauchery surrounding Ohio State football games, I thought I had seen it all when it comes to partying. Umm…not exactly. The first thing I noticed when I arrived on Beale Street is that there are no laws. I was offered drugs and the services of a prostitute within 10 seconds of each other. The police set up barricades along the entrances to the street and you had to show your ID just to enter the street. Once inside, anything goes. For those fans of The Wire, Beale Street is the real life Hamsterdam, the area set up by rogue po-lice Major Bunny Colvin where drugs (and anything for that matter) are legal as long as you stay in the designated area.

The main focus of my attention was on the strange dichotomy of people. The male population was pretty much divided 50/50 between white Southern frat brahs sporting the John Parker Wilson hairdo and crunkish black guys auditioning to be an extra in the next Three 6 Mafia video. There was no in-between, except for me, an average looking white dude who loves Memphis rap music (Project Pat, Three 6, etc.) Needless to say, I was in heaven. I was walking down Beale drinking a big ass beer and eating a barbeque pork sandwich while oogling Southern belles, watching guys backfip all the way down the street, and listening to blaring rap music coming from every direction. Not to mention my sighting of Memphis balla Joey Dorsey, who is by far the largest man I have ever seen in person.

As for the actual Music Festival, it rocked. The festival is held on the first weekend in May and is set up on 4 stages on the banks of the Mississippi River (where Beale Street dead ends to the West). I got to see Project Pat, Colbie Collait, and Arrested Devolpment among many others. And yes, I may be the only person in the world who loves all three of those musicians. Unfortunately, my group had to drive back to Ohio Sunday morning and missed the last day of performers, which would have included O.A.R. and Fergie. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be back next year. I mean if any single town can produce Elvis, BB King, Johnny Cash, Three 6 Mafia, and Justin Timberlake, you know it’s a place worth coming back to.


No We In Team

We won the national championship! We just didn’t bring our A-game and you guys beat us in all facets of the game. We have dominated our rival the past 5 years. If you follow college football as closely as I do you will hear statements like these all the time, at the office, talking with friends, online forums, etc. And I have to be honest, it annoys the hell out of me.
Why do fans say “we” and “us” when talking about their favorite team? Unless you are a player or a coach, you should not be saying “we” when discussing your favorite team. It is disrespectful to the actual members of the team when you lump yourself in with them, when they are the ones sacrificing so much. I don’t care if you are a student (or alum) or how much merchandise you buy or that you have had season tickets for 20 years. No matter how much money you give to the school, you are not a member of the team. We all pay taxes that fund our troops fighting overseas, but in no way would I ever say something like: “We are fighting a determined enemy over there.” I am not fighting anybody…other brave souls are fighting for me. Now I know comparing the sacrifices of football players to soldiers is a little extreme, but the same logic applies. As a former college football player, I know how much these players sacrifice every day. And as a fan I know how little I sacrifice while cheering on the Buckeyes…my buying of a ticket or jersey does not compare to the blood, sweat and tears the athletes give to the team. (I should note that I did not attend Ohio State but I grew up in Ohio and have been a fan for a long time. But I wouldn’t even say “we” while referring to my alma mater’s team, a team that I actually played for just a few years ago.)
The greatest thing about college football is the passion it generates in the fans. I understand this, but we all need to keep things in perspective. The “gang mentality” in this country makes us all overanxious to feel like we are part of a group or team. Well, when it comes to our favorite football team, we are not part of the team as much as we like to think we are. Despite the many dollars we spend cheering on our favorite teams, no amount of money can compare to the efforts put forth by the athletes and coaches themselves.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


I call this the “Saved By The Bell” Phenomenon: You watch a movie/TV show a million times as a kid and fall completely in love with it. You think it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever seen. Then about 10 years go by without seeing it and when you reach your twenties (and have actually developed some taste and intelligence) you happen to see it again. And it’s the most surreal experience of your life. How could I have possibly liked this movie as a kid? This is the worst dialogue I have ever heard. The shoes on my feet must have cost more than the budget for this movie. Would my IQ be 10 points higher now if I didn’t watch this every day after school for an entire year? But the strangest thing about this phenomenon is that you still love it, just because it reminds you of a time when you didn’t have to worry about paying student loans or getting that strange noise in your car checked out. So without further ado, here are my 7 favorite movies from my childhood that I now realize suck but still love anyway:

License to Drive
To me, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were a better one-two punch than Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Then I grew up. But bonus points for featuring a very young Heather Graham. It’s strange watching this movie now knowing young Heather is about 10 years away from playing Rollergirl.

Over The Top
This is Stallone at his best (or worst?). Most people know Sly as Rocky or Rambo, but not me. I know Sly as an arm-wrestling, truck-driving badass with the biggest brat in the history of cinema for a son. I loved the move he did with his hand that would magically make his arm stronger and help him win the match. Also bonus points for the theme song that I can still hear in my head after all these years (Meet me halfway…Dah da da Duh…Across the sky).

3 Ninjas
Along with its sequels (Kick Back & Knuckle Up), this series of films was like The Godfather Trilogy to me as a child. Terrible dialogue and first-ballot Hall Of Shame fight sequences did not stop me from adoring these movies. But I now realize that Tum Tum was partially responsible for the ongoing obesity problem our nation is now facing.

Star Wars
Actually I never saw this movie as a kid; I didn’t see it until I was 18. And I thought it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. I’m just putting it on this list because all the Star Wars fanatics must have fallen in love with it as kids and live in denial as adults about how terrible it is.

No Holds Barred
Hulk Hogan delivers at Oscar-worthy performance in the movie that introduced me to the word “dookie.” Plus Debo terrified me long before he was terrorizing Craig and Smokey in Friday.

This movie might be the main reason why my mind is so warped now. I was way too young to be watching Arnold kill 137 people while delivering 137 terrible puns. Here’s a completely true story: When I was about 4 my parents put me in a room by myself and turned this movie on to keep me occupied. Two hours passed and my parents came back into the room to check on me. I had taken a green crayon and colored the walls, floor and myself green in an attempt to camouflage everything I saw. My parents still haven’t let me live that one down.

Howard The Duck
Wow. Just wow. This was my absolute favorite movie as a kid. I probably watched it twice a day for two years straight. My parents must have seriously considered putting me up for adoption every day during that span. I saw it again a couple years ago and it was like a religious awakening. As a kid I was too naive to realize that this movie was actually filled with sexual tension between Lea Thompson and a wise-cracking duck. But I still love this movie so much that if it was playing on TV during the Ohio State-Michigan game I would have a tough choice to make on which to watch.