Sunday, December 29

Sunday Thoughts: Week 17

Week 17. Any fantasy league worth its salt has already wrapped up, and teams all around the league are resting people, so games are usually duds. BUT, since so many teams are pathetically mediocre this year, we got a lot of barn burners in the last week of the regular season. Let's get to the action!

-It's only fitting that the Chicago Bears' Chris Conte messed up on what turned into the game-winning play. After all, he's been doing it all season. Da Bears gave great effort in a 33-28 loss, with Matt Forte scoring three touchdowns (just one score last week woulda been swell for the fantasy team, Matt). Aaron Rodgers looked rusty as all getup but still made the plays when he needed to, and a Packers/Niners rematch in round one should be pretty interesting.

-The Bears and Packers gave us our Stupid Play of the Week as well, courtesy of the entire Bears defense (most notably linebacker James Anderson). Jarrett Boykin scored a really weird touchdown on an Aaron Rodgers fumble because nobody on defense thought to pick up a ball that was just hanging out on the ground, even though I'm fairly certain diving on a loose ball is the second thing any defensive player learns. The first being tackling, of course. Which is something else the Bears don't really do well, so maybe it makes sense. Anyway, the Bears, as you read last paragraph, lost by five, so...not giving up a stupid touchdown would have been nice.

-Entering play today, somehow if the Dolphins, Ravens, Steelers and Chargers all won, the Dolphins would make the playoffs, but if they all lost, the Ravens would instead be the AFC's sixth seed. Those wacky tiebreakers! Fortunately, we didn't have to worry about that, as the Ravens and Dolphins both laid stinkers: the Ravens respectablyish lost 34-17 to a Bengals team that went undefeated at home this year, while the Dolphins, fresh off a 19-0 loss at Buffalo when they controlled their playoff fate, turned in just as putrid a performance in a 20-7 defeat at home to the Jets, who might be the worst team in the history of the NFL and still finished 8-8. Rex Ryan oughta win Coach of the Year. But that still won't stop the Dolphins from winning our Worst Team of the Week for consecutive weeks. Way to go, fellas.

-At the end of the day, the Chargers did everything they possibly could to lose to a Chiefs team playing virtually all second-stringers, but they snuck out a 27-24 overtime victory and will head to Cincinnati for the first round of the playoffs. I fully expect them to lose like 28-17, but they'll be a pesky out.

-The Chargers making the playoffs means the Steelers are out, as well. So Pittsburgh likely won't be docked a draft pick, as was insinuated when Mike Tomlin hopped onto the field "accidentally" to stop a Jacoby Jones return. The fact they were even in the hunt after being 5-8 three weeks ago just goes to show how awful the AFC has been this year.

-The Houston Texans are getting a mention only because they lost their last 14 games of the year. And a graphic from that game reminded me: they were actually shockingly close to going 0-16. In Week 1, they mounted a massive comeback and scored the last 24 points in a 31-28 win against San Diego, then in Week 2 they needed an Arian Foster touchdown and two-point conversion with under two minutes left to force overtime against the Titans before winning 30-24 in the extra frame. They're also getting a mention because their rematch with the Titans was a boring 16-10 loss, boring enough to win our Most Boring Game of the Week. Even Matt Schaub's last second comeback attempt fell flat, with an interception on the first pass from scrimmage. Enjoy that first pick in the draft, Houston.

-Peyton Manning set another record this week, and he did it in just one half of play. Manning went 25 for 28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos demolished the Raiders, 34-14. He finished with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes on the year, both single-season records.

-The Patriots, Colts, Seahawks and Saints all got solid wins to build some momentum heading into the playoffs. Of course, both the Pats and Seahawks have a week off anyway, and the Saints head on the road, where they're shakier than a Broadway show about blind trapeze artists.

-I'm kinda glad Arizona lost, because I'd be sad if they finished 11-5 and missed the playoffs. They were down 17-0 to San Francisco before bouncing back and tying things, but then their defense, which had been so great all year, allowed the Niners to march down the field in about 30 seconds and kick the game-winning field goal. San Francisco has looked rough at times this year, but they're a playoff-tested team that can do some damage, even on the road.

-One day, Dallas won't lose a game in heartbreaking fashion. That day was not today.

-Here's your last touchdown montage of the season. LET'S GET THE PLAYOFFS STARTED ALREADY.

Sunday, December 22

Sunday Thoughts: Week 16

A big congrats to Peyton Manning for breaking the single-season touchdown pass record, as he's now thrown for 51 scores in just 15 games. That's absurd, and a total he'll most likely add to in next week's season finale. Way to go, Peyton. Now, let's get to the rest of Week 16's action:

-The Miami Dolphins easily win our Worst Team of the Week. It never ceases to amaze me that a team can be fighting for its playoff life and still manage to lay a complete stinker as the Dolphins did, throwing for 82 yards in a 19-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills. As you may expect, four field goals and one short rushing touchdown makes this our Most Boring Game of the Week as well. Keep in mind the Bills were starting their fourth-string quarterback. NOT GOOD, MIAMI.

-Not to be outdone, the Baltimore Ravens' level of ineptitude was quite high this week, as well. After a gritty 18-16, let's-not-score-a-touchdown-whatsoever win over the Lions last week, the Ravens promptly came out at home against the Patriots, a team they've had past success against, and...lost 41-7. The Patriots had two defensive touchdowns in the final minute to make things a little more of a blowout, but Baltimore again was abysmal offensively. I'm fairly certain Joe Flacco only completed two passes in the first half.

-Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions were 6-3 a little over a month ago, in the driver's seat for the playoffs. Now they're 7-8 and have no shot of making the postseason. They lost to the Giants, who you may remember gave up on football about three weeks ago and scored zero points as recently as last week. 

-Hey, it's another team that likes shooting themselves in the foot! The Green Bay Packers' Matt Flynn wins our Stupid Play of the Week. I'm not sure if jumping while throwing is something he practices often, but yikes. This is bad. The Steelers ended up winning by seven, so...that kind of was the game. Yet the Packers, just like all these other godawful teams, still have a shot to make the playoffs. Even the Steelers, who were 4-7 and 5-8, have a shot. Meanwhile, one of the Cardinals, Panthers, Saints or 49ers will not make the playoffs, despite the fact they may all finish at 11-5 (or, at the very worst, 10-6). Pathetic.

-Let's give the Cardinals some dap, too. They overcame four interceptions from Carson Palmer and got a 17-10 win in Seattle (while almost earning our Most Boring Game of the Week award). Considering the Seahawks haven't lost at home since the Carter administration, that's really impressive. Arizona had to win its last two games (against Seattle and San Francisco) to make the playoffs, and they're halfway there.

-Continuing on positive mentions, the Chargers were locked in a tight one with the Raiders, but managed to pull away and keep their dim playoff hopes alive. Of all these crappy teams fighting for playoff spot in the AFC, San Diego is the most entertaining to watch, so I'm pulling for them.

-The Colts and Chiefs gave us a preview of a likely first round matchup as they squared off in Kansas City. And Indy throttled the Chiefs, scoring the final 23 points in a 23-7 win. This Indy team has now demolished the Niners and Chiefs on the road, and took care of the Seahawks and Broncos at home. Yet they also barely beat the Raiders, lost at home to the Rams by 30 and on the road at Arizona by 29. They're an enigma for sure, but my doppleganger Andrew Luck and company will give anyone fits in the playoffs.

-If the Bengals are at home, they look really good. They're 7-0 in Cincinnati this season and have scored over 40 points in each of their last four games. That doesn't bode well for Baltimore next week. Of course, now that I wrote that, the Ravens will win 38-7 in Week 17.

-The Bears are bad and they should feel bad.

Celebrities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves, (Mambo) Number Five

Jimmy Kimmel Live is back with another installment of "Mean Tweets." They're just as mean, and they're just as funny. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 21

Chuck Norris Does The Splits; Predictably, It's Awesome

Chuck Norris wants to wish you a merry Christmas. And he also wants to show up Jean-Claude Van Damme, who also did a nice split of his own a few months back. Check out that flexibility!

Friday, December 20

Your Daily Song: "Dance With Me Tonight" by Olly Murs

Retro 50s sound, hand claps, and smooth vocals over some horn action in the background? Yes please!

"Darth Vader In Love" Movie Trailer Is Fantastic

Fellow Internet Icon-ers Bad Weather Films are on a roll with their movie trailer parodies. The latest is a look at Darth Vader's personal life, and it's full of fantastic little moments. Especially a spot-on Rob Schneider parody. It's-anice!

Thursday, December 19

ESPN Personalities Parody Dick Vitale In Honor of His 35th Anniversary Calling Games

Dick Vitale first announced a college basketball game in 1979. In case you were wondering, it was a game between DePaul and Wisconsin. As the legendary broadcaster enters his 35th season of calling games, ESPN gathered 35 of his colleagues to do their best impersonation of Dickie V. The results are...well, mixed, but entertaining nonetheless.

Wednesday, December 18

#XMAS JAMMIES Is Making Christmas Viral This Year

The Greenroom, which as far as I can tell, is a man that used to anchor for a North Carolina news station and a woman who may or may not speak to Robert Downey Jr. in one of the Ironman movies, as well as their two adorable kids. They're going to make videos like these in 2014 a lot more frequently, and this foray is a pretty admirable start. Set to Will Smith's "Miami," "#XMAS JAMMIES" will get your heart in the right place for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 17

A Hot Cup of Holidays - 2013 Edition

Ahhh, the Christmas season is right around the corner. And rather than frantically shopping last minute, I (mostly) will be doing my shopping online. You should, too, since there are plenty of great things out there that you can conveniently get right from your couch. Or desktop. Or dog. Wherever you put your computer when you're using it.

-Tribut Apparel is a solid choice for both guys and girls that need a little upgrading to their wardrobe. And with pricing between $19-$89, the music-meets-fashion tees and, hoodies and accessories are affordable, too. Check out their Fall 2013 Collection here.

This shirt looks as good as Jimi's guitar sounds.
-Nordstrom has a lot of clothing and accessories for the holiday season, but my favorite is from For $10, you get a little tag, but the real gift is in giving: the $10 goes toward a pair of New Balance shoes for kids in need.

-Rachel Hofstetter's book "Cooking Up a Business: Lessons from Food Lovers Who Turned Their Passion into a Career -- and How You Can, Too" may be a mouthful to say, but it's a great read for those friends of yours interested in pursuing their own business. And after all, shouldn't you be doing what you love?

-Henry Bushkin's "Johnny Carson" gives an in-depth look (Bushkin was Carson's lawyer) at who many consider the greatest host in late night history. And it's often dark and a little grim. Carson is such a likable and kind person on-camera that it's a little disorienting to see him portrayed as a loner offscreen. But it's certainly an entertaining read.

-I've always looked forward to Matthew Berry's articles on The man doles out mostly good fantasy advice, but his stories before he gets into the nitty gritty are what keeps me coming back. He's tackled everything from his own personal struggles with bullying to his experience on The Howard Stern Show. In "Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It," he does repeat some of those stories, but there's plenty of new material in here, and lots of good family-friendly messages.  

In related news, there's about a 100 percent chance my fantasy season is ending today in heartbreak.
-Even here in Austin, it gets cold during the winter months. Mujjo's Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves keep your fingers warm while allowing you to still do things that require regular fingers, like, for instance, handling a touchscreen. Since we're all on our phones 24/7 anyway, it works well.

-Cards Against Humanity has been around for a couple of years, but it's still quite fantastic. It's everything I enjoy about Apples to Apples, except it's actually fun and provides for some of the most ridiculous answers I've ever heard. If you haven't played this "party game for horrible people," you essentially fill in the blank of one card with another card in your hand, and the funniest pairing wins. Very simple, often lowbrow, always hilarious. I also give bonus points to the company for raising their prices on Black Friday.

-For the (healthier) foodie, this sampler from Dry Creek Olive Co. offers a variety of options that gourmands will love. Plus olive oil is really good for you, so that's a nice little bonus. 

-One acre of Mars apparently costs about $30. That's not too shabby for a place that may someday be our home.

-What would a gift guide be without some shameless self-promotion? My album Pedestrian at Best is the perfect way to stay warm, because tapping your toes and bobbing your head keeps the blood pumping. It's science.
I scoff at dangerous intersections.
*Note: I received a few of these products to review free of charge (especially my own CD). I wouldn't include them in here if I didn't like 'em!

Monday, December 16

Sunday Thoughts: Week 15

It's cold outside, but it's warm in the NFL. Let's get to it!

-Poor, poor Cowboys fans. I really don't even have anything else to say about that. This team loses time and time again in the most heartbreaking fashion, it almost hurts to watch.

-The St. Louis Rams have to be laughing all the way to the bank. Not only did they get a nice win against the Saints (who look miserable outside of N'Awlins), they caught a break when Washington went for two against the Falcons in the final moments of their 27-26 loss. As you can probably guess, that two-point conversion was not completed successfully, and Washington's loss means St. Louis's gain: remember that the Rams still have like 17 draft picks as part of the Robert Griffin III trade. Also, Zac Stacy and his ginormous neck were one of the few players on my fantasy team who actually outperformed his projection. Love that big neck.

-Jamaal Charles had a terribly pedestrian day rushing the football, gaining 20 yards on eight carries, punching one of those totes in for a touchdown. But then you move over to the "Receiving" column and you see that he had 195 yards and four scores on eight catches. He's the first running back in history to have four receiving touchdowns, and he made the Oakland defense just look silly all day long in a 56-31 trouncing of da RAIIIIIDAAAAAAHS. 

-BREAKING NEWS: In Week 16, I'm going to suit up for the New York Giants, who again win our Worst Team of the Week award. I don't give a turd who you're playing, there is absolutely no excuse for such an anemic performance. Five interceptions, four sacks allowed, 181 total yards and ZERO points. This is two years in a row where the Giants have put up a zero in one of the late weeks of the season. Eli Manning has to be the worst quarterback to win two Super Bowls, right?

-Our Stupid Play of the Week has to be the Cowboys attempting a pass on 2nd down when they needed to milk the clock and had been gouging the Packers' defense all day on the ground. It was intercepted, and the Pack came back to score the winning touchdown after being down by 23 at halftime. It's one of the worst collapses I've ever seen, and another notch on the belt for a Cowboys coaching staff that is chock full of questionable decisions and playcalling.

-Who would have thought that the team to finally keep Josh Gordon to a reasonable stat line was a team that had given up 16,000 straight 100-yard rushers and went from Monsters of the Midway to Muffins on the Bidet? That's right, the Chicago Bears held Mr. Gordon to just 67 yards on three catches, with about two-thirds of them coming on a late touchdown. Jay Cutler also made his triumphant return, and threw a couple of early deflected touchdowns before looking like the (good side of the) Jay Cutler of old. And Alshon Jeffery continues to just make absurd touchdown catches.

-I have the Dolphins' TE Charles Clay on my fantasy team. Last week he was on my bench and went off, scoring 25.5 points with our settings. This week? I started him, and he finished with 1.1 points. Sounds about right. I don't think I've ever played him when he's had a good game. Speaking of which, huge win for the Dolphins against a Pats team playing to essentially clinch first place. The Fins are (for now) in that second wild card spot, though they'll have to wait for the Ravens to play Monday night before finding out if they're in the driver's seat for the rest of the season.

-Today I learned Minnesota had lost four games in the final minute. I guess they could be a lot better than 4-9-1 after all. Something named Matt Asiata scored three touchdowns for the Vikes (albeit on about 1.6 yards per carry) in a surprise upset of the Eagles. And once again, Philly's insistence on not running the ball with LeSean McCoy, despite him being a top three running back, is quite infuriating, both to actual Iggles fans and McCoy's fantasy owners. If you couldn't guess, I'm one of them.

-Another bullet point for how shitty the Giants are, along with this enjoyable story from October

-Our Most Boring Game of the Week was in a fairly ho-hum town (though Leslie Knope would disagree): Indianapolis. The Colts pretty easily took care of the Texans, though they recorded what, by my count, is the twelfth safety this year. So there's that.

-The Titans scored 17 points in a span of 3:12 to almost make a crazy comeback of their own against the Cardinals. But Arizona pulled out a 37-34 win in overtime, so all the Titans did was make their fans wait longer to get home. Thanks a lot, Tennessee. 

-The Bengals are bad and they should feel bad. 

-Enjoy the touchdown montage for this week! Not quite the 100 that were scored in Week 14, but still not too shabby.

Sunday, December 15

Your Daily Song: "Problems" by Joseph Currency

Yes, it's shameless. But hey, it's a catchy song, no? Check out a single from my album Pedestrian at Best, available on all kinds of digital media, including iTunes and Spotify.

Thursday, December 12

Conan, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube Go on a Joyride

I can't imagine a more perfect trio than Conan O'Brien, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. And when they're using the new ride-sharing app Lyft? Hilarity ensues. Check it out.

Monday, December 9

Your Daily Song: "Cabin Down Below" by The Royal Concept

You may recall another song by The Royal Concept being featured on this blog recently, or me writing about their concert I attended. But hey, Swedish people have always been very friendly in my limited interaction with them, so why not give 'em some love? This tune has an absurdly catchy chorus, and even better, a SAX SOLO. So saxy.

Sunday, December 8

Sunday Thoughts: Week 14

-The Lions/Eagles game was quite entertaining to watch. Partially because the Lions' Jeremy Ross had a punt and kickoff return for touchdowns, partially because LeSean McCoy ran for 217 yards and two scores, but mostly because the game was played in insane blizzard conditions. The Lions fumbled six times (good luck seeing a fumble in this play), and after an 8-0 first half, the teams combined to score 46 points in the second half.

-Speaking of teams scoring a lot in the second half, the Vikings and Ravens each scored three touchdowns in the final quarter after playing what was going to be our Most Boring Game of the Week. But luckily, games are four quarters instead of three, and the Ravens eked out a win after seemingly blowing the game, then seemingly winning it, then seemingly blowing it again before finally actually winning it. Seriously, there were 28 points scored after the two minute warning. Absolutely incredible.

-Speaking of teams blowing games, the Browns did just that. With nothing to play for, they dominated New England all day and were leading 26-14 with just over a minute left before Tom Brady connected with Julian Edelman for a really nice touchdown throw, then, after Edelman drew a defenseless receiver penalty on that very play, the Pats recovered an onside kick and marched 40 yards to another touchdown, this time to Danny Amendola. Even after all that madness, the Browns came down the field and gave Billy Cundiff a shot at a 58-yard field goal, which was woefully short. It was an awesome comeback, though the Pats likely lost stud TE Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL. Oh, and Josh Gordon now has 776 yards in the last four games. THAT'S INSANE.

-Speaking of insane, the Steelers almost had two insane returns, one at the end of the first half and one at the end of the game. Troy Polamalu returned a missed field goal about 30 yards before tossing a lateral to a teammate, and after a few more laterals the Steelers finally got taken down at the Dolphins 40 yard line. The end of the game was even more chaotic, as Emmanuel Sanders caught a pass with no time left, then the Steelers lateraled five times, the final one being a pitch from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown, who ran down the sideline and scored! Well, he would have, but he stepped out of bounds on the way, negating what would have been the craziest win of the day, and possibly the decade.

-Speaking of silly things, the Panthers' Greg Hardy was wearing shades and said his name was "Kraken" from "Hogwarts" on Sunday Night Football. Fantastic. Also, the Saints have a player named Cameron Jordan, while the Browns have a Jordan Cameron. How wiley!

-Speaking of wiley gone wrong, our Stupid Play of the Week comes courtesy of me, in my fantasy league. I had picked up Caleb Sturgis but dropped him in lieu of Jay Feely because he was kicking in more favorable (i.e. less snowy) conditions. Sturgis had 10 points and Feely had four, plus a missed field goal. That's not the stupidest part, though. One hour before kickoff I had the Fins' Charles Clay in my tight end spot. But I decided to go for upside over reliability, and started San Diego's Ladarius Green instead. Clay finished with 25.5 points; Green had zero. ROMOOOOOOOO!

-Speaking of things that make you yell in frustration, our Most Boring Game of the Week would have been Cardinals/Rams, but it was quite entertaining seeing Kellen Clemens get absolutely obliterated by the Cardinals underrated defense. So instead we'll say the most boring game is the one that also featured our Worst Team of the Week, the Chargers versus the New York Giants. I don't understand how this franchise has won two Super Bowls, because they have looked absolutely miserable all year. What was most embarrassing was that they still technically could have snuck into the playoffs as the day began, but that was quickly (and mercifully) quashed. They're a joke.

-Speaking of jokes, we have Mike Glennon throwing for only 90 yards and the Bucs winning by 21; the Raiders defense giving up 37 points to a Jets team that had only scored 20 total points the previous three games; the efforts of the Washington Redskins special teams; and the idea of the Broncos scoring fewer than 30 points in a game ever again.

-Speaking of this is the last paragraph, there were 85 touchdowns in the early games. And they're all here in this montage. Enjoy!

Your Daily Song: "Anthem Of Our Dying Day" by Story of the Year

I heard this song for the first time in awhile yesterday, and it brought back some good high school memories. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 5

Your Daily Song: "The Best Christmas Song" by Jon Lajoie

This song is stupid, but boy, does it get in your head easily. Or at least my head. So listen to it now!

Tuesday, December 3

Your Daily Song: "Dreams" by Eric G.

Anytime a song has a smooth bass line, I'm a fan, and this tune by Eric G. is no exception. Reminds me of some of those nice r&b hits from the 60s and 70s, and the guy's got a nice crooning voice. His new album drops in 2014, but for now, this should keep you satisfied.

Ron Burgundy Interviews Peyton Manning

We're ALMOST at the point where I'm getting sick of Will Ferrell being in everything as Ron Burgundy, but we're not quite there yet. He's anchoring the 6pmEST/5pmCST edition of Sportscenter on Thursday along with Champ Kind. And of course, that means he sat down with Peyton Manning for an interview. Watch as Peyton tries to avoid cracking up. And FAILS.

Sunday, December 1

Your Daily Song: "Last Night" by Good Charlotte

I heard Good Charlotte on the radio today, and it reminded me of this video, which features one of my favorite shows of all time: Double Dare. They even got Marc Summers to cameo! Good stuff all around.

Sunday Thoughts: Week 13

Man, it feels good to be back. Let's get to it.

-Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery combined for 510 receiving yards, and each of their teams both lost in relatively heartbreaking fashion. The Browns lost to the suddenly red-hot Jaguars on a last-minute score by Cecil Shorts, while the Bears' normally reliable Robbie Gould missed a field goal (that the Bears elected to kick on second down), allowing the Vikings to march down the field and win with a field goal of their own in overtime.

-I didn't reflect this in my Pick'Em league (though I did pick it correctly), but looking back on things, the lock of the week should have been the Bengals beating the Chargers. Anytime you think San Diego's about to turn the corner (beating the Colts, upsetting the Chiefs on the road), they lay a stinker like this one. It's like clockwork.

-Meanwhile, the dysfunctional Dolphins put the slap on the New York Jets, who are not only our Worst Team of the Week, but they may also be the worst five-win team in the history of the NFL. They've scored 10 points or fewer in five games (including a total of six the past two weeks), and counting this game against the Dolphins, they've lost four games by 20 or more. Absolutely incredible.

-Carolina is scary good. Cam Newton's not even playing consistently well and they're kicking butt. It's all about that defense, baby! I really wish the Panthers were playing the Seahawks next week, and hadn't already faced them in Week 1. But they do still have a pair of games with N'Awlins, which should be fantastic.

-Look at that, the Atlanta Falcons aren't completely dead! My preseason Super Bowl pick showed some nice resolve in gutting out a 34-31 win in Buffalo. Granted, the combined records of the teams Atlanta has beaten this year is 12-24, but a win's a win.

-Our Stupid Play of the Week was alluded to before, but it's the Bears deciding to kick a field goal on 2nd and 7 from Minnesota's 30. You have a quarterback that had thrown for over 350 yards and a running back who had ran for 120. I think I like those odds a lot better than the off chance a pass gets tipped and intercepted or there's a fumble or dumb penalty. Granted, Robbie Gould is usually money from any distance, but why not at least take a shot at scoring a touchdown and removing any doubt?

-Speaking of field goals, our Boring Game of the Week comes courtesy of the Titans and Colts. Five field goals and a lot of Donald Brown for the Colts, and some Ryan Fitzpatrick dumpoff to Chris Johnson shenanigans for Tennessee. Thrilling. In "Only Someone With T.Y. Hilton On Their Fantasy Team Would Know This" news, T.Y. Hilton has now faced the Titans twice this year, and has five grabs in each contest. 44 yards in the first game, and 46 in this one. That's almost the exact same performance. Oh wait, it IS the same performance: a disappointing one. I have a hard time seeing the Colts going anywhere in the playoffs--Reggie Wayne is apparently too important a piece to really overcome against good teams.

-The ending of the Giants/Redskins game was bizarre. Not just due to the poor officiating, but also because the effectively last play of the game, when Will Hill stripped Pierre Garcon and it was awesome. Check it out.

-And, of course, the RedZone recap of Week 13 is awesome. Enjoy.

Auburn and Alabama Give Us Best Iron Bowl Ever

We use a lot of hyperbole here on A Hot Cup, but in this case, it's absolutely justified. After eeking out an incredible win on a hail mary last week against Georgia, Auburn went one further this time around. After AJ McCarron completed a 99-yard pass that looked to cement the win for the #1 Crimson Tide, Auburn made like a horse and said "neigh." The Tigers blocked a field goal, then connected on a 39-yard pass with under a minute left to tie the game and set the stage for a wild finish.

Nick Saban opted to put a second back on the clock after T.J. Yeldon ran out of bounds at Auburn's 39-yard line. That meant he could kick a 57-yard field goal attempt. With his backup kicker, after the starter got benched, going 0 for 3. That also meant that Auburn could try to return said field goal, which of course was missed. Luckily for the Tigers, Chris Davis had been put in as the return man, and he took it 109 yards for the walkoff, probably gettin' themselves in the National Championship game score. Check out Yahoo for a way more in-depth writeup, but HOLY COW.

Saturday, November 30

Pistons Usher Engages in Dance Battle With Young Kid, Everybody Wins

It's pretty much everyone's dream to be a dance champion, or at least make it on the Jumbotron at a major sporting event. This kid went to a Detroit Pistons game and achieved both of those dreams, as he took on a Detroit Pistons usher in a fun dance battle during a timeout. Apparently this is a typical thing for the usher--he's actually known as The Dancing Usher, but hey, it's still quite entertaining. So enjoy it!

Friday, November 29

Your Daily Song: "Get Rhythm" by Ry Cooder

Apparently this is a Johnny Cash hit, but I first heard it about three days ago when my dad told me to listen to it on our plane ride home from Spain. And it was a DELIGHT. Toes, start tapping!

Man Uses Chatroulette to Spoof Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball, Results Hilarious

Our favorite Chatrouletting YouTuber Steve Kardynal is back at it again, this time using the webcam website to create a parody of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. My reactions are the same as last time: "People still use Chatroulette?" followed by raucous laughter. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 28

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite holidays is upon us, so here's both a primer on the holiday, as well as a music video about turkey, mashed potatoes, and other basic words that the singer knows. Yes, they're both a year old, but hey, tradition's gotta start somehow!

Sunday, November 17

Your Daily Song: "Hit It" by American Authors

Can't get over how catchy this song is. This past Wednesday was the first time I had ever heard American Authors. I've probably listened to this jam at least 20 times since then. Hit it!

Sunday Thoughts: Week 11

Guess what, kiddos? Week 11 is going to be the last thoughts you're getting for a couple of weeks, since I'll be out of the country all of Week 12, and traveling during the Sunday of Week 13. But we'll still try to get something in then. My only prediction for Week 12 is that I'll hate the Jets and either the Lions, Steelers, Chargers, Cowboys or Bengals will lose a game common sense says they should win.

-You know what's more fun than a rain delay? Being in the city as it's happening. Chicago had some crazy weather this afternoon, and was reaching halftime as all the other early games were ending. It was fun watching punts and passes just get tossed around like a rival Pikachu after you use Earthquake. After about five and a half hours, the Bears escaped with a 23-20 win in overtime. Boo-yah!

-The Lions and Steelers combined for 605 total yards in the first half. That's a high for the NFL this season. Calvin Johnson and Antonio Brown each cracked 100 yards and pulled in two scores in the first 30 minutes. Not bad at all. But what IS bad? The Steelers jerseys. They look like bumblebees out there. Also the Lions' second half. Stafford had like two completions and a meager amount of second half yards. 35, to be exact. What a waste. Let's add the Lions to the list of teams that blow games they should win. AND THAT'S WHY THEY'RE BAD AND SHOULD FEEL BAD.

-This is the last time I believe in the Jets again. I made a last second switch to pick New York when I realized the Bills were starting a rusty EJ Manuel and missing their top two receivers. Yet it DIDN'T MATTER because the Jets are terrible. Of course, they're just continuing a pattern of winning a game and then losing one, so I'm sure they'll sneak out an improbable win next week. But for now, they win our Worst Team of the Week and I hate them. The Houston Texans are a close second for worst team. Mainly just because they were at home. Atlanta was #3.

-Actually, we need to delve more into this Texans loss. The defense gave up three touchdown passes to something called Matt McGloin, which is often confused with a groin injury. Also, Case Keenum was benched for Matt Schaub (the irony) and one of their offensive linemen had three false starts. Yikes, they are rough to watch.

-RGIII is realizing points in the NFL aren't nearly as easy to come by as points at Baylor was (and still are. I think they just scored again as I type this). Washington's QB wins our Stupid Play of the Week as he was attempting to lead a comeback from down 24-0. With his team trailing by 8, he backpedaled about 15 yards and then threw up an absolute duck that was easily intercepted by the Eagles' Brandon Boykin.

-Jacksonville's Jason Babin made a tackle against Andre Ellington where he literally ripped out a chunk of Ellington's dreads. Then he held it up like it was a freakin' rabbit he bagged in Oregon Trail. Except he was able to carry all of this back to the wagon.

-The best defense in the NFL? While I love my fantasy stalwart the Panthers, the Bengals may have just staked a claim. Andy Dalton threw for 93 yards and the team scored 41 points, courtesy of two defensive touchdowns. Let's repeat that for effect: The Bengals red-headed monstrosity of a quarterback threw for UNDER ONE HUNDRED YARDS, at an alarming 3.4 yards per attempt, and his team put up a fortyburger and won by 21. Heck, WR Mohamed Sanu threw a 25 yard pass. That's more than a quarter of what Dalton put up in 27 passes. If Cincinnati had any kind of talent at QB, they'd be a SCARY team.

-Our Most Boring Game of the Week was actually pretty hard to find, since even the blowouts were pretty entertaining. Since seeing the Jets get routed is still funny even if I happened to pick them this week (stupid), we'll go with what was touted as America's Game of the Week by Fox: the Packers at the Giants. Outside of a nice pick-six by Jason Pierre-Paul, this game was a lot of snoozing. Remember when both of these squads were good? For Packers fans, Aaron Rodgers can't return fast enough.

-The top running back performance of the day was Tampa Bay's Bobby Rainey. He ran 30 times for 163 yards and two TDs, and also grabbed a four-yard reception for a score, too. Who woulda thunk it?

-Prior to today, the average fantasy performance for a team defense facing the Saints was 1.3 points. In NINE GAMES. The Niners put up a little bit better effort, but still, that's incredible.

-Our RedZone recap is mighty entertaining today. Let's get it.

Saturday, November 16

Your Daily Song: "Get Free" by The Vines

I heard this song for the first time in a LONG while today. And it brought back some great memories of 2004 or whenever it came out. Lots of unintelligible stuff. Beautiful. 

Friday, November 15

Let's See a Show!: The Royal Concept, American Authors, Misterwives

Sometimes you go to a show and the energy is just outrageous. Songs have you tapping your toes, you want to jump, dance, and generally just act like a fool. And you don't feel bad doing it because everyone's right along with you. Last night, I went to a show just like that.

Yes, Stubb's in downtown Austin hosted a fantastic show featuring The Royal Concept, American Authors and MisterWives. I've been to a couple shows at Stubb's and always enjoy the ambiance. Their downstairs has a good sound, and is big enough that you're not constantly bumping into people. That's a big plus when you're throwing your arms in the air.

MisterWives kicked things off with a fun set that unfortunately I missed the beginning of. Thanks to some shenanigans from a softball league I play in, I had a doubleheader scheduled that lasted longer than expected. But hey, going 3 for 4 with a pair of runs and ribbies isn't too bad. I'll take it. 

Anyway, back to the show: MisterWives had five folks up onstage, but in actuality they're just a trio. Regardless, they kick some major butt. Lead singer Mandy Lee has some amazing pipes and a big stage presence--when she asks for audience participation I really want to help out. Even only hearing a few of their songs, you just know this band is destined for big things. Doesn't hurt that their sound is awesome, too. So much soul! And more whoas, please!

American Authors was up next, and I overheard some guy in the audience saying they were surprised by how much energy MisterWives had, and that AA would not equal that whatsoever. Well, random guy in the audience, within 20 seconds of the first song beginning, you were proved WRONG. I thought these guys were the best of the bunch. Zachary Barnett rocked the mic with both singing and a little bit of rapping, and it was cool seeing James Adam Shelley alternate between different sized guitars and the occasional banjo. There was also some timpani action and a lot of "whoos." Never a bad thing.

There was a fun moment too when Barnett saw someone taking a video of the band on their phone, and while singing grabbed the person's phone and shot point of view for a few seconds. I'm sure that person enjoyed the change of scenery.

The final act, and who I was graciously invited to see, was The Royal Concept. Like the previous bands before them, they commented how cold it is in Austin currently, and how they thought when they left Sweden they'd actually have some good weather. Little did they know...time to get it together, Austin!

In any case, lead singer David Larson utilized a vocoder pretty nicely, making his voice sound like all kinds of robots. The band has said they wanted their music "to make people dance more than when a DJ spins records," and they absolutely got the crowd going last night. The group did a little Daft Punk medley, debuted a new song they had never played in the U.S. before, and ended with their hit tune "On Our Way." They also said that song was going to be on the show Glee, so I'm sure we'll start seeing The Royal Concept all over the place. And I'm totally okay with that. You can get their album here, and if you get the chance to see 'em on the rest of their tour, check this show out!

11/15 - Atlanta, GA - Vinyl #%
11/18 - Washington, DC - 6th and I #
11/19 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts #
11/21 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre #
11/22 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
11/23 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore #%
11/25 - Toronto, ON - Virgin Mobile Mod Club #%
11/26 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues (Cambridge Room) #%
11/27 - Detroit, MI - Shelter #%
11/29 - Columbus, OH - The Basement #
11/30 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge #
12/01 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club #
12/03 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre #%
12/04 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court #%
12/06 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret %
12/07 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project #
12/08 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater #
12/09 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent #
12/11 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues (Delta Room) #%
12/17 - Tulsa, OK - The Vanguard #%
12/18 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar #%

12/19 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird #%

#- With American Authors
%- With MisterWives

Wednesday, November 13

Yahoo Makes a 30 for 30 Spoof About Space Jam

Growing up, Space Jam was one of my favorite movies. Heck, it still is. I may have watched it 29 times in a month (that month was a non leap-year February). The story of Michael Jordan teaming up with the Looney Tunes to defeat evil monsters who have possessed NBA players? It's genius. And now, Yahoo! has made a parody of ESPN's popular 30 for 30 series, with some big names from the basketball world giving their take on what might possibly be the greatest game of all time.

Tuesday, November 12

Ranking the Pokemon: #55- Poliwrath

Poliwrath is kind of a weirdo. Not just because of its 8th-grade-looking hypnotic scribble on its chest. Or...maybe that's its mouth? I don't know. Maybe it's just one big white heart with that blue man suit and gloves on.

In any case, Wrath of Poly has pretty average stats across the board. Its HP, Defense and Attack are a little above average, while its Speed and Special are slightly below average. Poliwrath also gains the Fighting type, making it a helluva lot more vulnerable to both Psychics and Flyings, which are fairly common types.

But holy cow, look at that moveset! Surf. Psychic. Earthquake. Blizzard. Submission. Water Gun. Er...well, that last one, maybe not so much. But equipping Wrathy with Earthquake and maybe something like Submission or Double-Edge takes advantage of that higher Attack, while Surf utilizes the STAB by being a Water-type move (in case you were concerned what element surfing might incorporate). The fourth move is up to you, but I honestly might even ditch Double-Edge and go a double dose of Psychic, with Hypnosis and Psychic. Since only Bugs are resistant in Generation I—yes, Ghosts are too, but the only Ghosts are also Poison-types, which as you know by now, Psychics OWN—that move'll still do decent damage to anyone, even with Poly's lesser Special.

Finaly, Poliwrath's eyes kind of look like ping pong balls with dots drawn on them. And I like playing ping pong. Bonus.

Battling Grade: B-

Previously: #56- Electrode

Your Daily Song: "My Body" by Young the Giant

This song has been popping up in all sorts of commercials lately, and when it came on at work, well, now it needs to be a daily song. And I'd like more. Get it!