Monday, September 30

It's Fall, Which Means It's Time to Drink!

Here in Austin, "fall" means we might see a few days under 100 degrees. Everywhere else, though, it means crisp, autumn days. And nothing goes better with that kind of day than a nice refreshing beverage. Enter GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout

The drink celebrates the brand’s brewing tradition with its mildly sweet, velvety taste and deep red hue. The stout is crafted with a blend of lightly roasted barley which allows for aromas of caramel and toffee and is supported by a sweet malty taste. When poured into a pint glass, the nitrogen widget creates the iconic surge, unleashing the sweet and alluring flavors and delivering a distinctively smooth, flavorful taste experience. And let's be honest, it's kinda cool to rock a nearly red beer. 

If you're sick of pumpkin-flavored drinks during the fall, this just might be your perfect substitute. I certainly don't mind a pumpkiny beverage, but fortunately I can consume a lot. You can find GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout online or just about anywhere beer is sold.

Your Daily Song: "Miami" by Will Smith

Hey, the Dolphins are playing on Monday night. Sometimes it's just that easy. Random fun fact: I heard this song at least four times as often when I attended The U as I have anywhere else. Impressive.

Sunday Thoughts: Week 4

Yes, yes, I know this is being posted on a Monday. But with the chaos that was the series finale of Breaking Bad, you'll forgive me for sobbing uncontrollably for several hours and being unable to compose myself enough to write about Week 4 yesterday. So, we're a day late, but the thoughts remain the same!

The Baltimore Ravens apparently have two good running backs in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. And they played a team that just gave up 654 yards to Bilal Powell. But did Baltimore utilize Raynard Rierce? Of course not. They ran only a combined nine times for 24 yards. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco passed the ball on 30 consecutive plays.

Sometimes the Worst Team of the Week is too easy. This has been the case virtually every week the season, so instead we're going to go to rename this the Worst Team of the Week That Isn't the Jaguars and give it to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hey, when your own quarterback is saying you're the worst team in the league, things aren't going well. And I couldn't think of a more deserving prick to be leading this team than Ben Roethlisberger. What a conceited jerk that guy is.

If you're a fan of scoring, this was your week. Ten different teams, counting the Niners 35-11 win on Thursday, reached 30 points. My Bears were the only ones to do so in a losing effort, which surely must be a point of pride.

Sweet lord, can anyone stop the Denver Broncos? There's been a theory going around that Evil Peyton Manning is heading up their offense, and won't stop until he gets a "666" of 600 points, 6,000 yards, and 60 touchdowns. I'm completely buying into said theory. They're the best team in the league right now BY FAR.

The best team in the NFC, meanwhile, is probably the Seahawks, who gritted out a tough 23-20 road overtime win against the Houston Texans, courtesy of Matt Schaub making a terrible throw that Richard Sherman picked off and returned for a touchdown. Much of said interception return was done without one of Sherman's shoes. Pretty impressive.

The Chiefs throttled the Giants pretty easily, 31-7, but New York's Antrel Rolle had one of the best interceptions I've ever seen. Check it out in GIF form.

Our Stupid Play of the Week is Geno Smith doing his own impersonation of the butt fumble. And, as you'd expect, it does not go well.

Tough day for refs. First, Nate Washington made a catch and landed on a ref, then got up and ran for a touchdown. Later in the afternoon, Brandon Boykin has no regard for refs in his way. NO REGARD.

Sunday, September 29

ESPN Hosts One-Handed Catch Contest, Adam Schefter Falls Down

The other day ESPN did a little segment on one-handed catches. To demonstrate, analysts Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson had a contest to see who could catch more out of five. The juggs machine was firing, the hands were working, and in the end, Carter wipes the floor with Keyshawn. But the real highlight is when Adam Schefter, looking every bit like Brick Tamlin of Anchorman fame, comes out to try his hand at being a wide receiver. And hilarity ensues.

Saturday, September 28

Actor Pretends to be Homeless, Impersonates Breaking Bad Characters

In a video that's kinda gone viral, a supposedly homeless man (but really just actor Miles Allen) rattles off a barrage of Breaking Bad impersonations for the enjoyment of people in a car. And I guess us watching. I enjoy his Walt Jr. and Mike the best, and while the entire thing is fake, the impressions are all too real. A perfect send off for the Breaking Bad finale tomorrow.

Your Daily Song: "Handclaps and Guitars" by Chiddy Bang

I first heard of Chiddy Bang thanks to NBA 2K12, and checked out their debut full-length album Breakfast. Good stuff all around, but this one might be my favorite (or at least a top three performance). Love that chorus!

A Day in the Life of Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman is one of the manliest men out there. Won't you join him as he takes us through a normal day in his life?

Friday, September 27

Between Two Ferns: Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bieber

Goodness, these episodes are so painfully awkward. I love it.

Adam Eaton Strikes Out, Gives Catcher High Five

Down 0-2 in the count in a game against the Dodgers, Arizona's Adam Eaton takes a hard whack at a pitch in the dirt. He misses, and then decides to grab a seat on home plate to make it especially easy to tag him out. Well done, Adam.

Aaron Paul's Incredible Dog-Gender Guessing Talent

OK, maybe it's not THAT incredible. But Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul can guess the gender of a dog simply by petting its back. And you get to hear him say "bitch" a lot in this video. Isn't that all you need?

Thursday, September 26

Your Daily Song: "Get it Right" by Authority Zero

This song is high-energy, and just LOOK AT THAT JUMP towards the end. Massive.

Wednesday, September 25

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Go Overboard on Hashtags

As a frequent user of social media, I've seen many a hashtag in my day. Usually they're stupid (#crocsaremyfavorite), about alcohol (#getmydrinkon) or confusing (#flipcupsaladbeatbox). Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon demonstrate how to use all three variations in this sketch from Late Night. And Twitter will soon explode hashtagging about it.

Week 4 NFL Picks

Recently it occurred to me that, since I'm picking games every week for my NFL Pick'Em league, I might as well post about 'em, too. We only do straight up in this world, and my record thus far is 34-14. Let's do dis (home team in caps):

San Francisco over ST. LOUIS
These Thursday night games always terrify me. San Fran looks terrible, as does St. Louis. This one is really a tossup, but I'd like to believe the Niners are better than they've shown, and maybe they'll rally around this terrible Aldon Smith distraction to get a win.

Baltimore over BUFFALO
This is maybe one of my most confident games for the week, and I'm still not very confident in it. Baltimore's coming off a huge win over Houston, and Buffalo has looked shaky in its three games, but they've also been within a touchdown in their two losses, so they could easily be 3-0.

Cincinnati over CLEVELAND
I'm not buying the Browns as a good team, though they're better than people realize (and maybe even better with Hoyer and Gordon back and Richardson gone). This'll be a close one, but I think Cincinnati can pull it out, since they're very good at beating teams worse than them, and the Browns fit that bill.

Chicago over DETROIT
Nate Burleson breaking his arm is actually a big deal. He was emerging as the second receiver for the Lions, and now they'll be relying on Ryan Broyles and his balky knees. The Bears are on a roll, and they usually rock the Lions, so let's ride them.

KANSAS CITY over New York Giants
Kansas City is one of the surprise teams of the year (except I expected them to be good, BOOM!). I don't know if anyone predicted the Giants would collapse like this, and I'm sure they'll win a game at some point this year. I just don't see it happening this week.

Pittsburgh over MINNESOTA 
This will be a disgusting, pathetic game played in London. I honestly have no idea which one of these 0-3 teams is less worse. They've both lost to the Bears, and the Vikings have fallen to the Lions and Browns, while the Steelers lost to the Titans and Bengals. They've each looked both pathetic and great in the same game, so it's a real toss up.

Arizona over TAMPA BAY
Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman is completing like 4% of his passes, and his (and my fantasy team's) best receiver is day-to-day with a rib injury. Give me 'Zona and the painful missing finger.

Indianapolis over JACKSONVILLE
Maybe Indy's not too bad after all. The Richardson trade helps them in the short run, although I'm not entirely sure he's really that good. But it definitely looked like Ahmad Bradshaw was rejuvenated by this move, so may as well ride the Colts, especially against arguably the worst team in the league.

HOUSTON over Seattle
This may be a risky play, but with Houston coming off an embarrassing loss, expect them to put up huge numbers at home. Seattle looked rusty in their lone road game this season (a really boring 12-7 win over the Panthers in Week 1), and I'm banking on the same happening.

TENNESSEE over New York Jets
The Titans are better than people think, while the Jets have somehow stumbled their way to a 2-1 record. With the Titans at home, I'll pick 'em.

DENVER over Philadelphia
The Broncos look like the best team in the NFL right now, and I can't imagine Philly's offense doing well in the altitude. Let's go Broncs!

OAKLAND over Washington
Ugh, both of these teams have looked atrocious over the season. If Terrelle Pryor plays, I'm leaning towards the home dawgs. If he doesn't, I'm switching this to Washington before Sunday.

Dallas over SAN DIEGO
I don't believe Dallas is that good, and San Diego has been right there in every game, only managing to eek out one win. This does have all the makings of a 23-10 Dallas loss, so I fully expect to be wrong on this one.

ATLANTA over New England
The Falcons have to be better than this, right? And the Pats can't keep skating by with all this subpar play, right?

NEW ORLEANS over Miami
Both of these teams are better than folks imagined at the start of the season, and I like the Saints at home. Should be a very entertaining matchup.

And that'll do it! Our first week of byes is upon us, and I'm guessing about everything. Here we gooooo!

Tuesday, September 24

Your Daily Song: "Walk of Life" by Dire Straits

I randomly heard this song passing by a car one time, and it took me a LONG while before I finally remembered what it was called. But I figured it out, and now I can enjoy it. That little keyboard melody is too catchy! And try to watch this video without smiling. I don't think it's possible.

Woman's Wedding Gets Called Off, So She Feeds 200 Homeless People

Imagine your wedding day, whether it's already happened or has yet to occur. Beautiful, right? Now imagine if that wedding day was called off. You'd be crushed! But one woman took the opportunity to do something amazing.

Tamara Fowler found out 40 days before her wedding that it was going to be...well, cancelled. Rather than panic, the Fowler family called Elizabeth Omilami from the Hosea Feed the Hungry organization for her help in getting a group of the city's homeless people together. Children make up about 70 percent of Atlanta's homeless, so to make the dinner more fun for them, a clown was hired for their entertainment. Dubbed "The First Annual Fowler Family Celebration of Love," the family says it plans on hosting another charity dinner next year. Kudos to them.

Your Daily Song: "Drill It In My Brain" by New Found Glory

Say what you will about New Found Glory, but the fivesome knows how to write a great pop punk tune. This is one of them.

Monday, September 23

Everything is Samuel L. Jackson's Fault

Please allow me to apologize for any muthaf***ing language in this video from Funny or Die!

Sunday, September 22

Sunday Thoughts: Week 3

I was out of town this weekend and didn't get to watch nearly as much football as I would have liked (and DVR'd Bears/Steelers, so I haven't watched that yet), but the thoughts still must come! Let's get after it.

-The Panthers and Giants each had negative total yards halfway through the first quarter. While the Panthers eventually turned that terrible start around, the Giants apparently have not realized the season has started, and dropped to 0-3. Luckily, that division is so terrible that they can probably still win it.

-But that won't stop the G-men from being our Worst Team of the Week. They are bad and they should feel bad.

-In that same game, the Panthers had six sacks in the first 17 minutes after only having three in Weeks 1 and 2. Carolina finished with seven sacks. Many ended with Eli Manning making a similar face as the one above.

-Speaking of terrible starts, the New Orleans Saints had four rushes for -6 yards in the first half. Granted, one was a kneel-down by Drew Brees, but it still doesn't bode well. Fortunately, they got on track in the second half and ended up with positive rushing yardage. It still wasn't impressive, but at least it wasn't negative.

-There were multiple commercials for Ron Howard's new movie, Rush. One such commercial quoted some source as saying "One of the best movies of this year...or any year!" Way to make that more intense than it needed to be, commercial-building team.

-The New York Jets committed 20 penalties for 168 yards and somehow still beat the Buffalo Bills 27-20. Pretty poetic--one point given up for each penalty committed. I don't understand how New York is 2-1, and really one big play away from being 3-0. Remarkable.

-Our Stupidest Player of the Week once again goes to the 49ers Aldon Smith, this time for an off-field incident where he was driving drunk with marijuana in the car. That's pretty inexcusable, and coupled with firing guns at a party to get people to leave--former teammate Delanie Walker was also shooting to clear the way, and one man got shot in the leg, though the Niners's defense attorney is saying that said man accepted the possibility of being shot by simply attending the party--you can bet Smith is on thin ice with San Francisco. Or at least I hope he is, since voluntarily putting yourself in a position to potentially kill someone else on multiple occasions is something that should be frowned upon.

-For onfield performance, our Stupidest Player of the Week is Christian Ponder. I don't know how you can routinely have so many turnovers and still keep your starting job. Oh, maybe when you've had Joe Webb and now Matt Cassel as your backups. That's probably how.

-Week 3 and the Green Bay Packers do not get along. As I'm sure you recall last year, the Packers lost to the Seahawks on a late Hail Mary, and the replacement refs were promptly...well, replaced. This week, the Pack spotted the Bengals a 14-0 lead, then scored 30 unanswered to go up 30-14, and were clinging to a 30-27 lead with about five minutes left in the game. They went for it on fourth and inches near midfield, resulting in a Jonathan Franklin fumble as he tried to jump over the line of scrimmage but had the ball punched out. Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson recovered the fumble, then he had it knocked out of his hands, only for the ball to roll forward five yards into Terrence Newman's paws, who promptly returned it for the game-winning touchdown.

-Thanks to that Bengals play, I learned that, while an offensive team can't advance a fumble like that, a defensive team can, if it's outside of the final two minutes. That seems weird and inconsistent, but hey, so is football.

Your Daily Song: "You Might Think" by The Cars

Catchy songs are my favorite. Catchy songs with creepy funny music videos? Even better. Le'ggo.

Friday, September 20

Louis C.K. On Why Girls Can't Have Cell Phones

Louis C.K. is a genius. That is all.

Your Daily Song: "Blind" by Face to Face and Rise Against

Rise Against recently released a compilation album, and it included this cover of a Face to Face song. Really dig it, and although this live version doesn't do it nearly as much justice, the recorded versions on YouTube are bad quality, so this'll work!

Thursday, September 19

Bill Nye the Dancing Guy

Who knew that our beloved Bill Nye the Science Guy would one day appear on Dancing With the Stars? Well, I guess anyone who watches the show could have guessed, since everyone seems to end up on there. In any case, take a look at his first dance and the practice leading up to me. It's quite awkward and awesome. We wouldn't expect anything less.

And Tyne, Bill's dancing partner, doesn't even know the difference between a beaker and a flask. What was she watching as a kid?!?!

Wednesday, September 18

Sports Anchor Knows How to Entertain

Meet Adam Lefkoe, a Louisville sports anchor, who likes to pay homage to those who came before him. Watch as Lefkoe seamlessly drops 46 rap references into his sportscast, and he finishes it off with a mic drop.

As if that wasn't enough, Lefkoe did a similar thing last week, dubbed Seinfeldcast. That one only had 41 references to the sitcom (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's still quite impressive.

Your Daily Song: "Ghost Town" by Radical Something feat. Outasight and Kinetics

Hot dawg, is this beat something you can tap your toes to. I first saw Radical Something at Billboard's First Look concert last April, and you could tell they were on their way to big things. This song is the next step. Check it out, and if you dig it, there's a download link RIGHT HERE. Insanity!

Rockin' Wellness Provides a New Way to Do Breakfast

If you're anything like me, you'd rather spend an extra eight to 15 minutes in the morning sleeping, rather than preparing and/or eating breakfast. But that stomach gets hangry mighty quickly, so you gotta give it something. The folks at Rockin' Wellness believe their new whole-body nutritional shake might just be that something, and you know what? They may be right.

I got to sample said shake, and it's actually pretty tasty. It's not a protein powder, and it's not some variant of Muscle Milk. It's all-natural, vegan-friendly and made with organic ingredients. Considering I struggle to get in my daily dose of vitamins, fruits and vegetables, this is a pretty nice complement to what I eat during the day. If you find yourself in the same boat, give this a try!

Tuesday, September 17

Your Daily Song: "Standing Still (The Girls I Call Don't Listen Anymore)" by The Danger Bees

This is a catchy song a la primetime Weezer, and the music video shows a bunch of kids murdering the band. What more could you want?

Monday, September 16

Your Daily Song: "Tumbleweeds" by Jesse Woods

My goodness, is there an instrument more beautiful than the cello? Texas' own Jesse Woods is venturing a guess of "no," and he uses it to perfection in this hauntingly mesmerizing song "Tumbleweeds." Check out his whole album Get Your Burdens Lifted, too.

Old Sesame Street Clip Is Still Awesome

If this doesn't brighten up your Monday, I want you to stop reading this blog*. You're already a lost cause. To quote the top comment, this video, starring Kermit and a girl named Joey (or maybe Joy or Jody) is so cute it makes me want to light myself on fire. Enjoy!

*Just kidding, you can keep reading.

Sunday, September 15

Sunday Thoughts: Week 2

Week 2 has (almost) come and gone, and I'm fairly certain it kicked the pants off of Week 1. Very few games were blowouts, and the ones that were you probably would have guessed said blowouts would occur (unless you're a Giants fan, oops). What did we learn this week?

-CLOSE GAMES ARE EXCITING. From my Bears scoring a touchdown with ten seconds left to Stevie Johnson giving the Bills a win with maybe the most wide open touchdown ever scored from within the 5-yard line, there were a whole host of games decided by a field goal or less. And that's AWESOME. There's one game in particular I'd like to call out, though...

-The end of the Texans/Titans game was full of all kinds of shenanigans. For starters, the Texans ran a play to center the ball and wind the clock down for a potential game-winning 46-yard field goal. Houston's kicker, Randy Bullock, had already missed two attempts earlier in the game. Now, if I'm Tennessee, and I have ALL THREE TIMEOUTS remaining, I'd probably use one of them to save some time. But they didn't--they let it run all the way down to five seconds. I get that you want to ice the kicker and all that, but kickers tend to be waiting around all game anyway. And I'd rather have the extra 20 or so seconds to, you know, not immediately lose the game if he makes it, or to start at midfield with 20 seconds left (instead of zero), if he misses it. Anyway, Bullock made his first kick, but it was nullified by a Titans timeout. The second kick got blocked, but it was due to a Titans player jumping offside to block said kick. The third attempt hung in the air forever, then finally dinged the left upright and missed. CHAOS. Fortunately, the Texans managed to win in overtime anyway, but I doubt Randy Bullock will be employed this time next week. Or even this time tomorrow.

-Today I learned that, during a punt, a player on the receiving team can touch the ball without penalty if someone on the kicking team touches it first. In a pair of different games, that exact thing happened, with a player on the kicking team making one of those cool "jump-from-in-front-of-the-endzone-catch-the-ball-in-the-air-and-toss-it-back-into-the-field-of-play" moves, then the ball hitting a player on the receiving team. Despite a lot of confused announcers and refs throwing their hats, it seemed that the receiving team would still get the ball, had said ball not ended up out of bounds in both instances.

-The Chiefs and Dolphins are sneaky good. The Giants and Redskins should be nervous as held. The Jaguars are bad and they should feel bad. And the Lions seem incapable of beating the Cardinals, despite the latter not having an offensive line for years. So...maybe Lions fans should be nervous, too.

-Our Worst Team of the Week is once again the Jacksonville Jaguars, who for much of the game were held to three points. Which would have meant that through two weeks they had a field goal and safety to show for 120 minutes of playing. But they got a late touchdown (with a failed two-point conversion), so now they're up to nearly a point every 10 minutes. Not too shabby? No, it's beyond shabby. Because shabby equates to ramshackled, and to say the Jags are that is an insult to the word.

-The Stupidest Player of the Week award goes to the Niners' Aldon Smith, who slapped Breno Giacomini in the, helmet after the Seahawks picked up about half of a 2nd and 28. Of course, slapping is a personal foul, and the Hawks got a first down instead of a 3rd and 13 or whatever it would have been. Silly.

-It's only Week 2 and I'm already kicking myself for benching various people on my fantasy team. This is gonna be a loooong season.

Harvest Snaps For Your Next Party

As someone who embodies the phrase "snacks on snacks on snacks," I'm always looking for things to eat that are tasty and not incredibly painful on my waistline. After all, I think I've gained something like 47 pounds since moving to Austin*, which is no good.

Enter Harvest Snaps--they're like chips, but more pea-shaped. Which makes sense, since the Snapea Crisps are made from naturally dried peas, which make up 70% of the product. Meanwhile, Lentil Snaps are made from 65% Lentils and contain 5g of protein and 13% of your daily dose of fiber. And since both of these are baked, they're lower in fat and sodium than most other potato chips.

But of course, the big question you're asking yourself (, I guess, since I'm the one eating them) is "how do they taste?" Well, cheerful reader, I'm glad you asked. Harvest Snaps sent me six different flavors for samplin', and I can say there are a few real gems in here. I actually prefer the Lentil Snaps: The Tomato Basil tastes pretty close a pizza rolled up into a small chip, and the Onion Thyme is a great time for your taste buds (how clever, Joey, a pun on thyme). As for the Snapeas, they're still good, just not as tasty as the other ones; the Lightly Salted is probably my favorite, and the Wasabi Ranch is the most interesting. Though I'm not sure I could eat too many in one sitting--they pack a punch!

Alls I know is I'll be popping some of these the next time I watch football, which seems to be on the daily lately. It wouldn't hurt if you did the same.

Key & Peele Update the East West Bowl Game for 2013

You may recall the premise of the East/West College Bowl, which made its first appearance last year as a skit from Comedy Central's Key & Peele. The names are silly, the personas are ridiculous, and they're back at it again this year. Highlights (for me, at least) included the "Online Classes" degree of Wingdings, and Harvard University. Also, I'm just glad they got "The U" correct this year, after foolishly saying "University of Miami" last year. Way to go, fellas.