So I log into my Yahoo page his morning and just happen to spot this (amongst a bunch of things that I get but rarely read---this was in the 'Popular Stories from Digg' subsection, so the byline may have been Digg's).
I dont know how well the screencap will show up (click on it if you want to see the slightly better version), but the top article in the section is titled 'Man calls 911 after Burger King runs out of lemonade'. That in itself isn't particularly funny or interesting ---crap like that happens every day--- but the byline to the story is pretty funny although it may have infringed on some of Comrade PhysioProf's Intellectual Property. I also guess that the byline serves as a piece of free and unsolicited advice to our favorite bartender Scribbler50.
It goes 'Lemonade is serious fucking business'.
I guess it is, in more ways than one since it beat out stories about Windows7 and jobs coming back to Apple in June.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Despite the fact that MLB has systematically made a mockery of the game and its followers for years now, everybody involved---the owners, the players, the commissioner, and, of course, the ‘ journalists’ who cover it---are making more and more money every year. Regardless of how the game itself has become increasingly crass and unwatchable, fans still turn out. More importantly, they pay obscene amounts of money to buy merchandise, sponsors still fork over cash that their companies don’t have and baseball revenues and profits just keep climbing.
I think that the main reason baseball is doing well financially despite having a horrible product is that they smartly cornered the marketing on ‘American’---The Great American Pastime! There is nothing better than having your enterprise being synonymous with flag and country. So I also think that the main reason so many people are still loyal to baseball is the same reason so many people still voted Republican in the last election --- they developed an affinity to an institution a long time ago, or had that affinity brainwashed into them when they were young by their smitten parents and influential elders, and now they associate blindly supporting that institution with being ‘a loyal American’ regardless of how corrupt, exploitative and self-serving the institution itself has now become.
By the way, baseball is not the great American pastime. It hasn’t been for a long time now. Heck, since the invention of the VHS cassette and certainly since the advent if the internet, the great American pastime has involved wood that's been more the result of the efforts of the likes of (insert favorite pornstar’s name here) than those of Louisville Slugger.
I’m sure that baseball was once upon a time the great American pastime. Back when there was no TV (or virtually none), when the competition for the entertainment dollar was merely a fraction of what it is now, it made sense to have a game virtually every day from spring to fall to provide the masses with a diversion from the daily grind. Back in the time when great baseball players worked another job in the offseason to make ends meet, when legendary players took time off during their prime playing years to enlist and serve the country at wartime, there were heroes in baseball. It was in those times that baseball wove itself into the American fabric. Now baseball’s annual revenues exceed the annual total budget for the National Cancer Institute. But hey, as the players, agents, talking heads, and general morons will tell you at every opportunity, no one will pay $100 to watch a scientist work in the lab! That is such a great argument that I will not even try to comment on it. Suffice it to say, the logic that underlies that argument explains a lot about our world today.
Anyway, if you think that baseball is anything but a money-grubbing business now, you are deluded. People who spend hard-earned money on merchandise from teams that haven’t been good in decades are stupid. It’s like regularly buying horribly stale milk from a bad dairy simply because your grandfather remembers it fondly. At every turn, the only people who treat baseball as anything but a business are the suckers…errr…fans.
I got a kick out of Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s response when he was asked if he regretted signing A-Rod, the latest greatest cheater who has thrown baseball fans into emotional turmoil, to a 10 year contract last year. This is what he said: "Well, we're not in a position to go backwards on this. The position we're in is to try to move forward and make sure that we can help him get through this. We've got nine years of Alex remaining. … We've invested in him as an asset. And because of that, this is an asset that is going through a crisis. So we'll do everything we can to protect that asset and support that asset and try to salvage that asset."
That was classic!
In MLB, we are talking about an organization here that called off a tied All-Star game (which, as they’ll tell you constantly, is a big celebration for the fans---everything is about the fans, you know) because they were worried some whiny-ass titty-baby ‘All Star’ might get hurt!! I’m sure Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig are proud.
But baseball’s profits keep growing. So why would I blame them for not giving a crap about their consumers? Consume away, idiots.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Here’s the summary, in baseball terms, of the pathetic interview of “Mr. Clean” Alex Rodriguez by legendary baseball writer, guru, grand-poobah and supreme leader of the army of insufferable smug baseball snob-bastards, Peter Gammons.
On the mound is Peter Gammons. Being a lifelong devotee of the pastoral pastime, and having long kissed Alex’s ass as the clean savior of the home run record, Peter is incapable of bringing any heat at Alex. Indeed, reeling from the potential implications of the recent revelations about Alex’s cheating, Peter is unable to raise his hand to pitch or even clench his fist sufficiently to throw a baseball. So he lobs a few underhand softballs at Alex, hoping desperately that Alex will hit a few glorious home runs and baseball will be all fine again. [You know, baseball. The same baseball that “…..has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again”. To many people that’s just a great couple of movie lines delivered by James Earl Jones, but to people like Peter they may as well have been sweet sweet Kool Aid delivered by 'Jim' Jones]
But this is crunch-time. The pressure is on and the stakes are high. It’s kinda like the playoffs; people are gonna get knocked out depending on how Alex does. So naturally, all that Alex can muster is a few weak pop-ups back to the pitcher.
But Peter, now feeling the full impact of the realization that he has devoted virtually his entire life to touting the purity, integrity and tradition of a game that lives by the credo “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying”, is unable to even try to catch anything or tag Alex or throw him out at first base.
So Alex reaches first base on an error. And a bunch of people are happy that, “Hey! At least he took an at-bat and reached base! That’s got to count for something, right?”
Monday, February 2, 2009
I was heartbroken when Arizona took the lead with less than three minutes to go in the game. Not in a “Oh crap, the Steelers are going to lose” kind of way, but in a “Oh crap, the Steelers are going to lose a Championship game that they had in the bag and could have put away long ago” kind of way. By the time the Steeler offense took the field for the final drive I had some optimism back. I told myself that Arizona has been vulnerable through the air and that Ben could move the Steelers down the field for at least a field goal. When the Steelers crossed midfield I found myself thinking in full attack mode again---screw the FG, go get a TD, the Cardinals have given up more TDs than any other team this year—etc. But the nagging feeling of “It should have never come to this” never left me, even well after the game. The win ended up being more relief than joy, and it still is a bit that way.
As Scribbler50 pointed out in a comment to the last post, the Steelers really need to find a way to score from inside the 5 yard line. I think the play calling in the red zone was questionable, as it has been all year. On the first possession, the Steelers should have run a play-action pass on 1st down. Arians should put the game in the hands of his best player and on offense it is unquestionably Roethlisberger.
Also, Tomlin should have gone for it on 4th down from the 1-foot line on the first drive. Run a QB sneak and they should be able to punch it in with Ben even if the defense is waiting for it. Should they fail to convert, they leave Arizona trying to negotiate early game offensive jitters as well as the #1 defense in the league from its own one foot line. If a team cannot take advantage of those offensive and defensive scenarios, juxtaposed as they were, it probably doesn’t deserve to win the game.
The officiating was mediocre and Arizona did appear to get the worse of what was called. I don’t think it affected the game but it took some shine off the Steeler win.
Santonio Holmes came up huge in this game and deserves all the accolades he gets. But Ben Roethlisberger was the Steeler offensive MVP for the game. Without his playmaking, including that final ridiculously precise pass over three defenders, they’d have been toast. If Ben’s last name were Manning, they’d be putting him in the Hall of Fame today.
If they had given James Harrison the MVP award I’d have been just fine with that too.