Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl: Lesson in Hilarity

This Sunday, America will gather for the yearly tradition that is Super Sunday. What started as a few friends getting together to watch the best football teams battle for the title has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. Due to the incredibly high viewership, commercial time has become a hot commodity for businesses and advertising companies worldwide. And because most Americans are hungry for laughter, many of these companies decided to use their money and ad time to become amateur comedians. And we fell for it. Well, not me. I have NEVER actually laughed at ANY commercial in my entire life. Why? Because they aren't funny. The jokes are stale, and we have seen every situation over and over again.
Yet, every Super Bowl party or gathering I attend is a romp through Laughsville, USA:
"Hey, look-it's a baby!! He can talk!!! And he's buying stock!! Ha, ha, ha. That's hilarious"!
"P Diddy just tipped his sunglasses down from his eyes-that means he's confused. I can't stop laughing"!
"Willie Nelson and Busta Rhymes having a Coke together?? Hee, hee. They are so different from each other-this situation is both abnormal and outrageous"!
"That guy must really be a witch doctor-that guy's head is hilariously small!! He means business. Ha"!
Not a commercial passes without several people laughing as loud as can be. Why? No one knows for sure, but even worse than this is guy-who-laughs-at-Super-Bowl-commercials-they-already-saw-months-later-at-a-sports-bar. This guy is everywhere. Laughing and laughing and laughing at the exact same unfunny commercial they've seen dozens of times before. This guy needs to die. Right now.
In order for America to climb out of this recession, we need to get back to the basics. Super Bowl Sunday needs to be about football. A celebration of the wonderful season that was. And a sending-off of sorts, as football fades away for 6 long months. And most importantly, America needs to imprison the guys I described above. Get them off the streets where their incessant and unnecessary laughter poisons all within earshot. We need our football back. We need our quiet back. We need our country back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That's Enough, Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is an American icon. The winner of 14 gold medals over two Olympic games won many hearts and fans in Beijing with his dazzling swimming display. He deserves every accolade thrown his way for his hard work, dedication to his sport, and perseverance. I deserve for him to go away.
Since Beijing, Phelps has been everywhere. Commercials, talk shows, and worst of all, Saturday Night Live. His stiff performance as host on SNL garnered poor reviews, yet many forgave him, because after all, he is a swimmer, not an actor. Fair enough. Unfortunatelty, Phelps didn't take a hint, and continued his nationwide appearance frenzy. Wall Street, sports talk radio, Good Morning America-Phelps Mania was not slowing down, even 6 months after he took China by storm. Most upsetting to me, however, has been his desire to attend every single primetime football game of the season. "Hey, look at you hanging out in the owner's box! Wow-it's Michael Phelps, again. He's the swimming guy who saved America. I'm so happy to see him at this Bears-Saints game". Now, I can sort of forgive him for being at every Ravens game, since he is from Baltimore and all, but does he need to be at every nationally televised Browns game? No.
And last night, he attended the Celtics-Jazz game. Why? And why does ESPN feel the need to tell us this? Why interview him? What's left for him to say-"hey-I'll be at next weekend's Islanders-Red Wings game. You can shower me with more attention there".
Stop it. That's enough. We get it-you are a world famous athlete. Please stop drawing attention to yourself by attending every highly visible event across America. I don't want to see you anymore. Don't make me root against you at the London games in 2012. America needs a Phelps breather. Let us breathe, Michael. I need some air.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recycled Garbage

It has become a regular occurrence in professional sports-the recycled coach. The Carolina Hurricanes took it up a notch recently when they fired Peter Laviolette to re-hire Paul Maurice.
I have never been more stunned in my life. It's not as if the Hurricanes hired Scotty Bowman, or another well regarded Stanley Cup-winning coach, they hired Paul Maurice. A total bore and a failure. After getting run out of Raleigh in 2003, he shockingly got another job as the head coach in Toronto and again failed. Not only does he have a proven track record of ineptitude, his style bores the fans to tears, so it's not as if an exciting fast-paced brand of hockey is going to arouse interest among casual fans. It arouses tears, frustration and sleep.
Why did the Hurricanes hire him, you ask? Because he is a good friend of the GM, Jim Rutherford. That's a cute story. Unfortunately, you have a business and franchise to run. This isn't your grandson's recreational soccer team. This is a professional franchise. I find this move wholly unforgivable. After digesting this move for over a week, the only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that the Hurricanes want to move. Attendance has been lagging due to the economy, and this move will guarantee even more people will stay home. The losing will continue, and the style of play has become more unwatchable. There is no reason to go to the RBC Center anymore to support a franchise who values a personal friendship between the owner and GM with a man who has tried and failed at coaching much more than it's relationships with the city and fans, and it's duty to put an honorable product on the ice.
Jim Rutherford has made many moves which have benefited the Hurricanes greatly over the years, but this weird move trumps them all. It's time for you to be fired, Jim, your friendship with Raleigh is over. Unfortunately, Jim's friendship with the owner, Peter Karmanos is just as strong, so this is not going to happen. Go ahead and move the Hurricanes to Winnipeg. The strong friendship bond between the owner-GM-coach has superseded common sense, and has survived the loss of millions of dollars over the years. Canadian winters are no match for that.

Monday, December 8, 2008

90210-Episode 10 Summary

Brothers in Arms
One good tactic of 90210 is that they seem to immediately pick up where they left off last week with no time elapsing. Unlike me, who took over 3 weeks to finish this summary. The mysterious lost son of Principal Dad is introduced after meeting Annie and Naomi last week. Dixon seems to be troubled by this.
Unfortunately for him, I don't care, so let's move on.
Congratulations, Naomi-I now love you more than Adrianna. You have Navid to thank for that.
Also, since when do high school guidance counselors feel like it's their job to intervene in normal friendships? I guess now, because Kelly Taylor seems to think her job entails forcing Annie and Naomi to be friends. Not likely.
Annie can now add stale jokes to her repertoire in addition to terrible acting. She spends her time putting down Naomi with awful jokes and uninteresting drama.
Principal Dad is obsessed with his new found son, and is ignoring Dixon. This spells trouble, as Dad somehow took every job the unlikeable Mr. Mathews had, and is now the lacrosse coach.
How does this happen?
Kelly Taylor attempts to rekindle her friendship with Brenda Walsh for some reason, which ends with an awesome rejection. She deserved that. Later, after being hospitalized, they reconcile. Kill me.
Back to the good stuff-Principal Dad, now the lacrosse coach, terribly, TERRIBLY, pumps up the team for the big SoCal Regional Final against Bel Air. The team is hyped and starts the "Beat Bel Air" chant. I hope they lose 18-0. The game begins, but Dixon seems off. He is instructed to hit Bel Air at "the top of the triangle", because their middies did stuff to them last time inside this shape or something. However, Dixon is preoccupied due to Principal Dad being head over heels in love with his new found son. Dixon ain't having that, and shows this by pouting and lack of effort. Well played. The game plays out with a hard-rockin' soundtrack, and with Dixon refusing to pass he ball. West Bev trails 6-4 when Principal Dad demands the team not panic. Good coaching. He takes Dixon out after another few minutes of lackluster effort, to which Dixon responds "screw you". How about screw you, Dixon? You are costing your team the chance to advance further in this vague state tournament. The game ends, with no winner declared, and Dad heads into the locker room to yell at Dixon. He acts like a baby, but when Dad apologizes for giving Real Son all the attention, they make up.
Oh, wait-the game isn't over. I guess that was halftime. A 45 minute long halftime, where no one was allowed in the locker room except the coach and his adopted son. The score is knotted at 12! Huge drama! 10 seconds left, and Ethan slowly does a 180 spin move and scores at the buzzer to win it. Good for them-on to the next round! Dixon and Real Son make up and make plans to hang out together. Awwww.
The family then invites Real Son to live with them for awhile, but he makes a private phone call, and it appears everything is not as it seems. Looks like we have a fraud on our hands.
How will this play out? We'll have to wait until January 6th when the series returns. Until then...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All Apologies

Dear Russell Wilson-

I sincerely apologize for my earlier blog about your lack of talent, and for all of my inner hatred that was directed towards you from September through October. I was wrong. You have blossomed into a great quarterback and a valiant leader. I believe I ranked you # 328 out of 330 FBS QB's back in September, but you have proven to be more like #24. But you're #1 in my heart. The entire football program is headed towards a very good place in the near future, and I will look forward to seeing you help lead them to that place. The pride I have in NC State football has rarely been stronger, and the light at the end of the tunnel looks bright. Congratulations on being named quarterback on the All-ACC 1st team, and please accept my humble apology.
Best of luck in the upcoming bowl game, 2009, and beyond.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today's "Mayne" Complaint

"Mayne Street", starring Kenny Mayne debuts this week. Thankfully, I believe it is in the form of webisodes, so I will not accidently become exposed to it while flipping my TV to ESPN. For those of you unaware, Kenny Mayne is a sportscaster. A really, really unfunny one.
America thought this guy was hilarious during a series of commercials for ESPN a few years back, which ultimately led to this web series. America was wrong, but at least network executives could see right through this hack and not offer him a TV deal.
He also single-handedly ruined Sunday NFL Countdown with his awful, unfunny segments where he would clown around with NFL players. This was always followed by uproarious laughter from Chris Berman and the studio guys, making matters even worse.
My hatred of Kenny came to a head during this year's "Celebrity" softball game during MLB all-star week. I know what you're thinking, "hey Lob, why are you watching that horrible event"? If you remember, my hobby is making myself angry, and this game had it all- Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike + Mike, and Kenny Mayne, among others. I could talk about how contrived and maddening this game was all day, but let's focus on Kenny. For starters, he was the manager of one of the teams, and walked around like he was Mr. Big Shot. Pardon me, Kenny-I'm not sure where your ego comes from, but you are not funny, no one thinks you're clever, and 80% of the people on your team have NO IDEA who you are. The fans in the stands did NOT come to see you, so take it down a notch.
He also refused to take himself out of the game. Everyone else only got to play an inning or two, but Mr. Mayne thought he was too important in this totally meaningless event to sit himself. Fans in the stadium only caught brief glimpses of actual stars like Chris Rock, so this clown could play the whole game. Also, he CONSTANTLY talked to his infielders while in the outfield. He screamed lame jokes towards Billy Crystal during play, because he was microphoned, and wanted to hear himself talk while pretending to be good friends with actual celebrities. The other players could not have cared less.
If you love America, Kenny, do us all a favor and go away. You are among the most annoying human beings on Earth. No one likes you. I wish being unappealing was a crime. You would spend the rest of your life behind bars and I could spend the rest of my life without you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

90210-Episode 9 Summary

Is That All You Got, Kansas?

Much like the state of Kansas itself, a particularly boring episode greets us this week. No booze, no drugs, nothing.
Adrianna continues her unforgivable romance with Navid, Naomi plots and executes a devious plan to out Ethan and Annie. And speaking of Annie, she again fails miserably at acting in a particularly bad scene. I am starting to warm up to Naomi. Maybe it wasn't such a stretch that the entire cast suddenly wanted to befriend her. I want to be her friend now, too. I especially appreciate her calling Annie "Kansas". Love it.
The one good thing from this episode is the apparent firing of Mr. Matthews. His suspension somehow turned permanent, and he's off to find himself. He should come to my house-I'll tell him who he is.
Yep, that's all I got this week, Kansas. If 90210 won't try, I won't, either.
Although next week brings the return of the once heavily-hyped lacrosse team. That should be a doozy.