Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hungry Hungry Weber

Oh my, what are they feeding you?

This shot, featured in Gold & Black Illustrated, shows Illinois coach Bruce Weber caught in apparent attempt to eat portions of Purdue sophomore Marcus Green.

Weber, a former Purdue assistant, was obviously envious of the Boilermakers' success last Saturday. The Illini were drubbed 64-47 and left on even shakier ground vis-a-vis the NCAA tournament. Weber longed for the rebounding and 3-point shooting success the Boilers had and no doubt was willing to do anything to turn his team toward post-season success.

Not like this, Bruce. That's just unsightly.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hit it, Rockapella!

So, you know how sometimes you're scouring through the sea of crap that is the internet, only to stumble upon some strange, new world you never knew existed? Well, friends, I had such an experience a few days ago.

It started like any other venture onto YouTube. I was looking for Kelly Clarkson clips.

Done laughing? Oh, you're not.

Now?... OK. Seriously. I've come to embrace my guiltiest of pleasures (though Nelly Furtado may soon dethrone Kelly). But I digress.

Somehow I came across this clip of UCLA's the Scattertones:

I was sort of in shock. I guess I knew that a cappella groups still existed, but covering Kelly Clarkson? And incorporating beat boxing? When did that start? I quickly learned that this was just the tip of the iceberg. The Scattertones
have covered everyone from The Backstreet Boys to The Boss to...wait for it...Radiohead.

But the Scattertones aren't the only ones out there. They've got a rival in the Carleton Singing Knights. They've got indie rock covered, from The Postal Service to Daft Punk to...wait for it...Sufjan Stevens.

There's oh so much more a cappella out there. But the real question is this: Why have I been spending so much of my personal time watching it?

Then I remembered where my love for a cappella came from.....

Colts vs. Bears? Let Hip Hop Decide

Not to leave any stone unturned, Indy's own Mudkids have dropped some lines in praise of the Colts. They recruited Colts man-on-the-street Zack Legend to lend some production.

The highlight has to be the guy doing the "mime trapped in a box" on the steps of the RCA Dome with 1:11 remaining. Also, I admit I love the lyrical stylings of "a draw to Addai." That's poetry.

As of yet, there's been no response from Lil' Ronnie or Jim McMahon.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's Official!

It's official! God hates Tom Brady (and loves Marlin Jackson) as much as everyone else!

From our good friends at The Associate Press:

Indianapolis - Yes, Peyton Manning, it’s OK to pray for help on the playing field.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback said he sought some divine intervention before the Patriots' final drive in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, which ended with an interception thrown by Tom Brady.
“I said a little prayer on that last drive,” Manning said after the Colts’ victory earned them a trip to the Super Bowl. “I don’t know if you’re supposed to pray for stuff like that, but I said a little prayer.”
Religious experts said Manning’s prayer was appropriate as a gesture of faith, but they don’t agree on whether the Colts victory was the answer to his request.
Rev. Edward Wheeler, president of the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, said his college football teammates sometimes asked him to pray for victory, but Wheeler instead prayed for the team’s ability to play its best.
“I don’t think Peyton’s prayer was answered with a Colts victory,” Wheeler said.
Sister Terese Boersig of Carmel of the Resurrection Monastery in Indianapolis said Manning’s prayer “absolutely” was within bounds.
“Now, what would not be appropriate is if you prayed that Tom Brady broke his leg,” Boersig said.

Peyton gets a break from the G-man. It's about time, God!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Looking Good, Moose

Nod to Chicago's B. Page for pointing out the awkward similarities between Dan Vandervieren, freshman center for Purdue, and that chubby guy from the Enterprise Rental Car and Capital One commercials.
Averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds for Purdue.

Lucky to be getting David Spade's sloppy seconds.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Get him a bodybag, Johnny. YYEEEEAAAHH!"

For my first humble contribution to bad idea blue jeans, I bring you a music video from the band No More Kings, apparently decided that rather simply namedrop cheesy 80's icons (I'm looking at you, Bowling for Soup), they'd get nearly the entire cast of THE 80's movie for their song paying homage to its most famous line.

Watch the video (I warn you, it's a glorious 8-minute epic. Ralph Macchio's entrance is equal to Margot Tenenbaum getting off the bus to pick up Richie), and answer the following multipe choice question:

The best part of No More Kings' video "Sweep the Leg" is:

a) the perfect replica of the fighting arena, complete with the red, yellow, and black brackets

b) William Zabka's willingness to appear as obsessed with his being THE 80's teen villian as the rest of us (Sean Kanan from Pt. III was a pathetic attempt to recapture the essense of Johnny)

c) the hirarity of seeing an old, bald Bobby utter my favorite line from the film, seen the title of this blog

d) the fact that Pat Morita is obviously looking down from heaven, thinking "Thank God I didn't have to do that. Fucking pathetic"

e) Mr. Belding's cameo, and his not-so-subtle insertion of his Saved By the Bell catchphrase

Middle Ground Hard to Find for Super Bowl

Much is being made of the Super Bowl XLI matchup that pits two teams linked by I-65. Indianapolis and Chicago are about 180 miles apart leaving many folks stradling an imaginary loyalty line, a McMahon/Harbaugh storied and ages old.

Where that fabled halfway point lies is up to some heated debate. Three towns are currently claiming to sport the line where you stop walking out of Bears country and start into Colts territory.

Say hello to Fowler, Remington, and the ever-popular Battle Ground.

All three towns are in northwestern Indiana. Fowler claims 2,271 souls and surprisingly Remington and Battle Ground both have 1,323 folks so the rivalry is already ripe (although that's based on Wikipedia). However, this debate is measured in miles and those are at a premium.

Remington is front page news in the Indianapolis Star with its thoroughfare - aptly named Division Street - keeping it 91.15 miles from the RCA Dome and 91.82 miles from UFO-Soldier Field.

Battle Ground - thanks mainly to bad math by WTHR - has been claimed to be "exactly half way between Chicago and Indianapolis." From there it's riding the coattails of a name gained through some military action by everyone's favorite one-month president, William Henry Harrison.

However, I've got to give my money to Fowler and the 100 Mile Rib & Chop House. The 100 Mile House is an institution around those parts named for its equidistance from Indianapolis and Chicago. To its credit they serve up a mean tenderloin and in turn will gain the most financial return by again getting its name in the paper. If there's anything to learn from this debate, there's money to be made.

What does it all mean? Not too much. Three towns get their names and resident media whores i, the news. The Colts continue to gain dominance in fan loyalty throughout its home state. And Indiana's own Rex Grossman has been voted the worst Super Bowl quarterback of all time.

Enjoy the ride.

craigslist exposed

It claims to be an all encompassing site. You need a roommate or apartment? Check. Looking for a new job? Check. Trying to sell that RV that sits in the front yard? Check. But does it actually work. In the first of a series, let's put craigslist to the test.

The first test: Missed Connections. It's a romantic notion isn't it? Your eyes connect from across the street/produce aisle/Starbucks/free clinic. But why sack up and approach the person you've shared that magical connection with when you can just scurry home and send an anonymous note through the series of tubes that is the internet? With this inspiration, I try to find a missed connection.

Missed Connection: Food Court, m4w

There will be many more to come. Trust me.

Indy Idol

For the last 6 seasons, television executives at CBS, NBC, and ABC have been at a loss for words. Each year, American Idol marches over the competition like Napoleon traipsing through Italy. Time and time again, the networks have tried something, anything, to slow down the ratings juggernaut, but nothing has worked. The Idol train has rolled on, leaving a wake of destruction behind. The season premiere of Idol last week was watched by 37.3 million people - the 2nd largest number in this history of the show! But this past week, one man decided he had seen enough. He took it upon himself to not only slow down the Idol juggernaut, but to kick it all the way down to third - third! - place.

That man's name? Peyton f'ing Manning.

For the week of Jan. 15-21, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships:

1. "AFC Championship Post-Game Show," CBS, 47.7 million
2. AFC Championship: New England at Indianapolis, CBS, 46.7 million.
3. "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 37.44 million
4. "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 36.94 million
5. "AFC Championship Post-Game Show," CBS, 29.39 million
6. "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 21.94 million
7. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 21.41 million
8. "Golden Globe Awards," NBC, 20.04 million
9. "Desperate Housewives," ABC, 17.14 million
10. "NCIS," CBS, 15.95 million

I for one will not attempt to explain how the AFC Chamionship Post-Game Show ended up in both 1st and 5th place, but it's good to see that between the Colts and Idol, Grey's Anatomy was bumped down to 6th place. Of course Grey's is still #1 with a bullet in the highly coveted "18-49 year old homophobes who routinely call co-workers faggots" demographic. 2nd place in this demo? You guessed it: According to Jim.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Colts Fighting a Ketchup Conspriacy

The Indianapolis Colts might be up against more than a damaged Rodney Harrison, Tom Brady's heroics and Belichick's game plan.

There's ketchup to be had.

As reported at Inside Indiana Business, the manufacturers of Heinz Ketchup are suing Elwood, Indiana's Red Gold Inc. for its sponsorship of the "Red Gold Red Zone" at the Colts' home stadium. Each time the Colts score from inside the 20, Red Gold donates tomato products to Indianapolis area food pantries - amounting to over 136 TONS over the past four seasons.

Turns out H.J. Heinz isn't fighting over Red Gold's altruism, no Heinz is none too pleased with their use of a certain term: Red Zone.

Hold the phone, Heinz owns the red zone? According to the cease-and-desist order they do. Better not tell Joe Gibbs who coined the phrase in 1982.

As the press release notes, Heinz started sponsoring the "Heinz Red Zone" at Heinz stadium in nineteen ninety-heinz (Heinz is in ongoing litigation over the rights to numbers 33, 57, and 99). The kicker in all of this - if you score from the disputed Red Zone in Pittsburgh the scoreboard goes nuts and poor people go hungry. Heinz in no way donates any money or product based on Steeler success. It's all advertising.

But wait, there's more: Who's thrown their hat into the melee? New England Patriots fan, Senator John Kerry. Seems Kerry has wagered Indiana Senator Evan Bayh a swift boat-load of clam chowder versus some South Bend Chocolate Company caramel corn. Oh wait, who is Kerry married to again? F*ck'n Teresa HEINZ Kerry, the Ketchup magnate herself! We've got ourselves a conspiracy wrapped up in a two-front war Napoleon would be proud of.

I encourage you to contact Red Gold and voice your support of Red Zone independence. If a team and city can't celebrate a Marvin Harrison touchdown with their local tomato canners, I don't want to be an American anymore.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Attack of the Cartoonish Columnist

As pointed out on yesterday, there's a growing trend for sportswriters to eschew the head shot in favor of the fully body shot.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star has taken things to the next level and fully embraced his cartoonish nature.
This portrait accompanied an article deatailing Kravitz's wishy-washy opinions of the Colts season. Kravitz - known for the longlingly profound zinger post-script to most columns (that usually reads like a third grade morality lesson) - is depicted as a top-heavy cartoon (absolutely true) bounding (most likely false) toward a story with a lean, critical eye (openly contested).

The sad reality of this caricature of a caricature: it's drawn to scale. Kravitz truly is a big-headed, undersized reporter with spindly legs, miniscule feet, and a squirrel living on his face.

Monday, January 15, 2007

More shocking than Jack Bauer's beard

By 8pm Sunday night, I found myself feeling ready to throw up over a football game that would not be played for a week. This is not the kind of behavior that should be acceptable from a 28-year-old man, but my hatred/fear of all things Tom Brady-related is difficult to harness. I decided the best way to calm myself would be to dive into the 2-hour premiere of 24. After all, there's nothing more calming on a Sunday evening than suicide bombers, bombing raids, and Jack Bauer apparently turning into a vampire. But the best moment for me came 7 minutes in to the new season when I sat up and wondered, did I just see Stephen Merchant working at the counter-terrorism unit?

Blink and you'll miss him. Who knows what the rest of the season has in store, but I'm hoping that at some point Gareth Keenan can serve as a team leader for a raid on a terrorist compound.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

15 - 6

I didn't know Civil War generals had garage sales.

Bottom Line

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What Can Stop the Bleating?

I'm from Indianapolis.

We're pushing 800,000 people, three marquee auto races a year, great cost of living, a ridiculously beautiful minor league ball field, a Final Four every five years or so, the Pacers and since 1984 the Colts.

Those same Indianapolis Colts will take on the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs this afternoon, yet matchups have not been dominating the coverage. Sure, there's been the requisite talk of Ray Lewis's defense versus Peyton Manning's offense, but too much time and ink have been devoted to the indignation Baltimore has against Indianapolis for the 1984 departure of the Colts.

If you don't know how moment-to-moment and profound that instance was, take a listen to this audio.

Evidently, Baltimorians-ites-philes-ists still hold a grudge for the Colts's move 22 years ago - When Reagan was president, Thriller was king, stamps were 20 cents, and both the Raiders and Redskins could make it to the Super Bowl. Who could blame such disgust when the team slips out in the middle of the night? Who could blame them then? But as of now, Baltimore really should have moved on. Some reasons for closure

  • Rohn Stark, punter and last Baltimore Colt to wear the blue and white in Indianapolis, left the organization in 1994 spending three more seasons with Pittsburgh, Seattle & Carolina.
  • February 8, 1996 Art Modell moves the then Cleveland Browns to Baltimore filling the 13 year NFL-less void.
  • Robert Irsay, the man who moved the team to Indianapolis, died on January 18, 1997.
  • The Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.
  • Johnny Unitas openly swore his allegiance to Baltimore and not the Colts organization.

Whether or not Baltimore decides to move on is up to their fans. I've been to Baltimore - and not just the inner harbor mind you - and I've trapsed through many of its 4,000 or so documented neighborhoods (the actual number may be lower). I've had crab cakes at Phillip's. I've been openly gawked at for being the only white man on the street car. I've had beers in some awesome pubs while meth heads are being rounded up on the curb. It's a neat town, a unique town, a place most people would visit but only a select few would stay. And those few are the Baltimore loyals, committed to their city's image even more than Hasim Rahman.

So what will it be Baltimore? Will a loss today finally settle the score? Will a victory prove your inherent dominance? Will Ed Reed return a pick-six and point at Unitas and Art Donovan's numbers enshrined at M&T Bank Stadium?

Or will Robert Irsay continue to be a spook story you tell your kids - "If you don't eat your meat, ole' Bobby Irsay will come and move your parents to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. And you won't have anyone to love you for 13 years or until some other team craps on their city and moves downtown."

It's really looks like Baltimore is too happy with disgust. So, what's it gonna be?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Paypal freezes fund for slain soldier

This blog is far from serious. Our hard-hitting exposes usually focus on uncovering mysteries such as why indie rockers and faux-political pundits are at war, or what exactly Mickey Mantle did under the Yankee Stadium bleachers. This is one of the few times that I'll get on a soapbox, but the story here justifies it, and the more people that know about it, the better.

Deadspin is one of the favorite sites of the BIBJ collective, and last October, they announced a fund to raise money for a reader who's brother was killed serving in Iraq. Thousands of dollars were raised through a Paypal account, and now (due to Paypal's own errors), Paypal is now refusing to release the funds to the slain soldiers troop for 180 days.

You can read all the details at the link below, but I would encourage anyone who uses Paypal for any transactions to take the time and let them know what you think of this amazing lack of rational thought. I have used Paypal on many Ebay transactions in the past and have had minor difficulties from time to time, but nothing on this level. If they don't correct their error, I will never use the company again. Fuck 'em.

Paypal Doesn't Want Slain Soldiers' Families to Receive Financial Aid.

UPDATE, 11:34pm EST: Hooray! The revolt has worked, and Paypal has released the money that was never theirs! God Bless America! And parts of Canada.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Where's My Keys

Today was not a good day.

I had to call a tow truck after stopping at the post office on my way home from work and realizing my car had no intention of restarting. This was overly upsetting considering the amount of work I'd had performed in the past week. It sure as hell better be just a bad distributor cap.

Lucky for me though, the ride with the tow truck operator was a decent one full of good conversation and insight on everything from how this guy is too tall to drive the flatbed to the misadventures of Jamaal Tinsley.

Evidently the Pacers point guard is a frequent customer of this towing service. In fact, earlier the same day, before my car crapped out, Jamaal Tinsley had a flat tire while at Indianapolis's most upscale hotel, The Conrad. My Midwestern intuition got the better part of me and the following abridged conversation tripped between me and the tow truck operator.

RMcL: "You mean Jamaal Tinsley doesn't know how to change a flat tire."

TTO: "It's not like that. He's got a brand new Yukon with 24" rims. He doesn't have a spare."

RMcL: "I guess they don't make 24" doughnuts."

TTO: "Yeah, he's always calling us. He's locked his keys in this car like three times."

RMcL: "So did he ride in the truck like a schmuck...kinda like I'm doing now?"

TTO: "He was long gone. Probably went to practice. The valet had the keys and told me Tinsley would be at Firestone at 5:00 to pick it up."

So if you're ever in downtown Indianapolis and see a brand new Yukon with 24" rims running with the doors locked be sure to look around. Odds are there's a #11 patting his pockets and thumbing a ride.

Sure, he can dish out over 6 assists a game, but he can't remember it's keys first then lock the door.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dwight Freeney? Never Heard of Him.

That's Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney dominating the front page of Sunday's Indianapolis Star. The Colts and the entire city celebrated the 23 - 8 victory thanks mainly to an unrealistically amped up Colts defense. Freeney was a major part of that success getting great pressure on Trent Green and being the anchor for the Colts pass rush.

Freeney is well-entrenched in the hearts of his fans despite leading the league's worst rush defense. Evidently, he hasn't made that big of an impression on the copywriters at his local rag though.

Hopefully Freeney doesn't feel slighted. Lil Ronnie was listed as starting long snapper.

Friday, January 05, 2007

What do Martin Luther King and Ponch have in common?

Watch the video here. The reaction of the woman wearing the Bears jersey when she realizes who she's talking to is tremendous.

MUNCIE -- After being stabbed in the leg, a community activist got into a shouting match in an ambulance with a star of a reality show being shot in Muncie, Indiana.

Randall R. Sims, 53, was listed in fair condition Thursday at Ball Memorial Hospital, according to hospital spokesman Neil Gifford.

Before being taken by ambulance to the hospital, Sims exchanged angry words with -- and announced plans to sue -- actor Erik Estrada, a reserve city officer starring in the CBS-TV reality series Armed & Famous.

Muncie police arrested Cynthia Shouse, 28, on a preliminary charge of domestic battery with a deadly weapon. She was being held without bond Thursday in the Delaware County jail.

Two boys in Shouse's home, ages 10 and 11, were released to a grandmother, according to police reports.

Police responded to Shouse's residence around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday after the woman called 911 and reported Sims had been stabbed, police reports said.

"Basically, they got into a fight," MPD detective Barry Privett told The Star Press. "There was probably alcohol involved, and she ended up stabbing him."

"Shouse indicated that she had been drinking with Sims and that he was abusive to her and that she stabbed him because he would not leave and would not get off of her," the affidavit said.
Police believe Shouse might have been acting in self-defense, but because she was uncooperative, they were forced to arrest her, Privett said.

Celebrity officer Estrada assisted at the scene and eventually became involved in a shouting match with Sims in the back of an ambulance, which Estrada had entered after being asked to remove handcuffs from Sims's wrists.

The argument began when Sims -- who referred to Estrada by the name of another Hollywood actor, Emilio Estevez -- said he didn't want to appear on Armed & Famous and intended to sue the former CHiPs star.

Sims is best known locally for his role in ultimately successful efforts to persuade city leaders to rename Broadway in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Apparently referring to those efforts, Sims told Estrada he knew nothing about King and had only been in Muncie "for two days."

Estrada told Sims he had been in town for six weeks, also noting he had been born in a Harlem hospital and grew up in Spanish Harlem -- a Manhattan neighborhood that has battled problems with crime and poverty, and was cited by King in a landmark 1967 speech in which he called for an end to the Vietnam War.

The encounter between Estrada and Sims ended with an exchange of obscenities before the celebrity officer left the ambulance.

Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle said Thursday night that he had not yet seen footage from the event and could not comment on whether Estrada had acted appropriately in his dealings with Sims.

In the past 14 months, Sims has twice been charged with driving while intoxicated, in November 2005 and again last Oct. 26. Both cases are still pending in Muncie City Court.
Shouse was convicted of burglary in 2000, and remains on probation in that case, according to Delaware County court records.

She also has misdemeanor convictions for driving while intoxicated (in 2002 and 2004), criminal conversion (2002), battery (2003) and driving without ever receiving a license (2005).
While Shouse was uncooperative, police also filed a battery report on her behalf against Sims, Privett said.

Police also cited Sims for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

That deserves a wow

I've heard good things about the show Friday Night Lights, but as with most shows, I'm hesitant to jump in mid-stream. Luckily Bravo was showing a marathon of the season thus far on Saturday, so thanks to my trusty DVR I was able to catch the first half-season in a weekend. The show itself is pretty good, and my main criticism of it thus far is the ridiculous scripted play-calling within the games (at one point, facing a crucial 4th-and-1, the fictional Dillon Panthers run a ridiculously stupid double reverse. Another time, trailing in the final seconds, the team runs two straight sweeps. Is Mike Martz their offensive coordinator?)

Alas, my criticism that the play-calling within the show are too far-fetched to be believed may take a backseat this morning, after witnessing the real-life insanity of the Fiesta Bowl. A quick rundown of the finish to a game that Hollywood could never recreate.

  • Oklahoma, down by 8 with 1:30 left, scores a touchdown. The Sooners then throw an incomplete pass on the 2-point conversion, but Boise St. is called for a penalty. On the retry the Sooners convert, but are flagged for a penalty of their own. They follow by succeeding on their 3rd try and tying the game.
  • On the next play from scrimmage, Boise State's quarterback throws a terrible pass right to an Oklahoma DB, who runs it back untouched for TD, putting OU up 35-28 with a minute left.
  • Boise State rebounds and drives to midfield with time running out and facing a 4th-and-18, when the Broncos pull out the hook-and-ladder and it works to perfection for a game-tying touchdown with 7 seconds left. Just insane. But it gets better
  • After Oklahoma scores first in OT, Boise State lets a halfback take the direct snap on 4th-and-2, and the halfback throws a touchdown pass. Naturally.
  • Boise State goes for the win instead of another overtime, and on the ensuing conversion attempt, they pull out the Statue of Liberty! This was the point where I screamed out loud in my apartment.
You can witness the insanity below, and the sequence is (hyperbole aside) maybe the most amazing thing I've seen in sports. By the end of it, I wouldn't have been surprised to see Rudy or Radio make a play. The playcalling of Boise State is the true mark of a coaching staff whose collective cojones cannot be contained in Tostito's bags. Oh yeah, after the game, Ian Johnson (who scored the winning conversion) proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend. Unfortunately it was ruined by FOX blowhard Chris Myers interviewing Johnson (with his girlfriend right there) and saying "So I guess you're going to propose to your girlfriend now." Way to ruin the surprise, Myers! Why don't you remind them that Boise isn't even really a state while you're at it, killjoy.

UPDATE: Here's the Chris Myers fiasco, about 1:00 into the clip below. Gotta love how dismissive he is in introducing the whole thing. And I have no idea who the local sports hack is that pops up at the end of the clip.