Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big Ten Football and Fictional Seinfeld Movies

Okay, since football season is approaching, I thought I'd post another one of those silly "X compared to Y" things. So, without further ado, I give you: Big Ten Teams as Fictional Seinfeld Movies.

"Death Blow" - Ohio State
Kramer's friend Brody ropes Jerry into bootlegging "Death Blow" during "The Little Kicks" episode. Jerry does such a fantastic job of shooting the bootleg that Brody strongly insists that he also film an arty movie called "Cry, Cry Again." Death Blow is apparently a badass character in the movie. Jim Tressel, and perhaps even Terrelle Pryor, could be OSU's Death Blow. Their recent string of success has Michigan fans in a state of depression and fear. And much like Brody asking Jerry to shoot another bootleg, the BCS keeps asking OSU back to the title game, despite how they keep butchering it.

Tagline: "Death Blow: When someone tries to blow you up, not because of who you are, but for different reasons altogether!"

"Cry, Cry Again" - Michigan
As referenced above, "Cry, Cry Again" is the arty movie that Jerry refused to bootleg for Brody, so Kramer does it himself - poorly, according to Jerry, who now thinks of himself of an expert in bootlegged movies. The end of the movie is taped over by Elaine, who filmed herself dancing to see how bad she really was. Michigan has lost five of the last six games to OSU, and their fans have cried and cried again over this development. The Wolverines are trying to get their mojo back with the hiring of Rich Rodriguez - not unlike the character in "Cry, Cry Again" who buys a loaf of bread.

Quote: "He's trying to buy a loaf of his soul."

Meet Rich Rodriguez - a loaf of soul.

"Sack Lunch" - Michigan State
"Sack Lunch" is the movie that Elaine wanted to see instead of "The English Patient." The implication was that mindless crappy summer comedies are sometimes better than the critically acclaimed dramatic epic blockbusters. MSU would like to win awards and accolades like "The English Patient," but they're most likely going to be relegated to "Sack Lunch" status - sometimes decent, sometimes bad, always hilarious in spots.

Quote: "So d'you think they got shrunk down, or is it just a giant sack?"

"Rochelle Rochelle" - Illinois
During the episode called, appropriately, "The Movie," the gang is supposed to meet up to see "Checkmate" at the Paragon - or is it the Paradise? Things got all wacky and George ended up seeing "Rochelle Rochelle" instead, where he also ran into Jerry and Elaine. I get the feeling that Illinois is going to fall flat this year. Much like "Rochelle Rochelle," I don't think there's much substance there. Both "Rochelle Rochelle" and The Illini have flashy features - nudity, Juice Williams, Arellius Benn, nudity, Ron Zook - but neither is ultimately very satisfying.

Tagline: "A young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk."

"Prognosis Negative" - Iowa
During the episode called "The Dog" (starring the unseen Farfel), Jerry, Elaine and George have to repeatedly scrap plans to see this movie together due to Jerry's unplanned dogsitting duties. Eventually, Jerry and George go see it together while Elaine stays at Jerry's with the dog. Iowa seems to be getting worse every year, and I thank the heavens above that Michigan didn't hire Ferentz this offseason. Their prognosis is indeed negative for the upcoming season.

Quote: "No, it's supposed to be really bad, *really* bad. I mean it's long, there's no story, it's so unbelievably boring."

"Ponce de Leon" - Penn State
While Jerry stayed home with the dog, Elaine and George went to see "Ponce de Leon." George and Elaine had differing opinions on the quality of the movie. Elaine gave it a thumbs down, and George gave it a thumbs up. Penn State is similarly getting mixed reviews for the upcoming season. They don't have an experienced QB, they lost their top running back, their top receiver, and their top CB. I don't see a whole lot there to think they'll be anymore than a middle-of-the-pack team in the Big Ten. In addition, JoePa is like a hundred years old, but continues to coach like he's dipped into Ponce's fountain of youth.

Quote: "When Ponce looked in that mirror and saw that he hadn't changed, and that tear started to roll down his cheek? ... I lost it."

"The Pain and The Yearning" - Minnesota
Elaine decides to see a Gene pick, "Weekend at Bernie's," instead of this 192-minute-long Vincent pick. Minnesota fans, after a dreadful 1-11 season last year, are experiencing much pain and yearning. Unless Tim Brewster shows some sign of progress, Gopher fans are really gonna be yearning for a return to the Glen Mason years.

Tagline: "An old woman experiences pain and yearning."

"Blame It On The Rain" - Indiana
This is the movie that Elaine and Todd Gack go see when Means To An End is sold out. So, basically, it was their fallback or plan B. Indiana is a fallback school for two to three star recruits who don't get offers from ND, Michigan, OSU, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, or Iowa.

Quote: "Come on. Dustin Hoffman in Star Wars. He made a bet he knew he was going to lose just to take you to dinner "

"The Other Side of Darkness" - Northwestern
This movie was a direct-to-video release (Kramer - "that makes me the premier") that Kramer rented and led him to pay a visit to a lawyer to make out his living will. However, he had only watched the first part of the movie, in which a woman went into a coma. After watching the rest of the movie, during which the woman comes out of the coma, Kramer has second thoughts - he had no idea that you could come out of a coma. Northwestern is like the woman in the movie, but we're just not sure which part. Are they going to be comatose this season, or are they going to be refreshed and ready after coming out of their coma?

Quote: "I, Cosmo Kramer, having just seen the movie The Other Side Of Darkness, and not wanting to be in a coma like that lady in the movie, hereby want Jerry Seinfeld to remove my life support, feeding machine, lung-blower, etc, etc, etc."

"Blimp: The Hindenburg Story" - Purdue
This is the movie that was playing in the "The Puerto Rican Day" episode. George wants to shout out a great line ("that's gotta hurt!") during the movie, but a dude with a laser pointer gets more laughs. Purdue is kinda blimp-like. They're predictable, they have the old-man smell/feeling (Joe Tiller looks like Wilford Brimley), and they're bound to go down in flames at some time during the season.

Quote: "Damn you, laser guy! You had to grab it all with your lowbrow laser shtick! You're just a prop comic! Where's the craft?!"

"Chunnel" - Wisconsin
This is the movie that Elaine, Jerry, and Susan go see together, much to the dismay of "Independent George." The plot is so confusing that Elaine and Jerry end up discussing the plot during the whole movie ("I thought he was with them - isn't he with them?"), thereby pissing off Susan. Every year, Wisconsin seems to have a glaring deficiency, but they somehow end up near the top of the Big Ten standings, mostly by sticking to conservative grind-it-out running and good defense. Their success is as inexplicable as the plot of "Chunnel."

Quote: "You're killing Independent George! You know that, don't you?"

And, of course I always love to pile on the Irish when I can, so here's a team that plays several Big Ten teams every year (OK, so it's an actual movie - so sue me):

"The English Patient" - Notre Dame
Elaine didn't like the movie, but no one could believe that she didn't like it. It was a totally overrated and overhyped movie that was full of itself and boring, even though it won a lot of undeserved awards. You see where I'm going with this. Do I need to say anymore?

Quote: "I can't do this any more. I can't. It's too long. (to the screen) Quit telling your stupid story, about the stupid desert, and just die already! (louder) Die!!"

Leave more ideas in the comments.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Barack Obama and "Distortions"

Barack Obama distorted the bible? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't just about every single preacher do that? Religion is largely based on religions leaders interpreting ancient texts (the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran) and presenting them to people in such a way that they decide that your interpretation is the best one and the one that makes the most sense to each individual - and then those people give you money. Whether these interpretations are "distortions" or not is a judgement call. One man's distortion is another man's interpretation. Senator Obama read the bible and picked out a passage and mentioned it in a speech, including an interpretation of what he thinks it means. How is that different than Reverend John Doe picking out the same passage and using it in a sermon on Sunday, providing his own interpretation of the passage? Isn't the entire reason for different sects of religions (Islam - Suni and Shia; Christianity - Catholic, Protestant; Judaism - Hasidic, Reform) the differing interpretations of their religious texts? Even within religious sects like Protestants there are sub-sects like Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc.

I guess my point is this for this Dobson fella: calling out someone for "distorting" the Bible is really treading on shaky ground. If you are going to call out Senator Obama for distorting the Bible, you better start calling out every clergyman in the country for distortion as well. He just didn't like Obama's interpretation. To Senator Obama, perhaps Dobson's view is a "distortion." Pot, meet kettle.

I hate hypocrisy. I'm outraged at Dobson's outrage.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Death and Tiger Woods

Death and Tiger Woods. That appears to be the focus of this blog if you look at the couple weeks. Each of the last six posts on this site have dealt with one of those two topics. Why am I obsessed with death and Tiger Woods? It's kinda depressing.

The Tiger Woods part I can see. I think Tiger is pretty cool. He's got a great job, a hot wife, and all the money he'll ever need. Writing about Tiger Woods is understandable and excusable, especially considering his amazing US Open victory. However, the death posts are harder to understand. Part of the reason for this is that sometimes when I'm looking for blog post ideas, I'll peruse "this day in history" sites and sometimes the most interesting stuff is about death (OJ, Rod Beck, Vince Welnick, etc.). And Carlin just died, so I had to write a brief tribute to him. Anyway, those are just excuses for my recent tendencies (as the saying goes - excuses are like assholes...). Now, since the eleven readers of this blog are not exactly in a position to psychoanalyze me, I will try to do it myself. Why am I writing about death? Let's look at the possibilities:

I have a deadly disease or someone close to me just died
I feel fine and no family members have died recently - but I do have a bit of a cold that's been hanging on by a thread for the last two weeks or so. Perhaps a doctor visit is in order. If someone in my family dies in the next couple weeks, perhaps these death posts are a premonition (cue the Twilight Zone music).

Football season approaches
This is an interesting one. While I consciously have a great deal of optimism about the upcoming season and the start of the RichRod era at Michigan, perhaps subconsciously I am dreading the possible results. Who's gonna play QB? Will the leftovers from the Lloyd regime fit in with the new style? Will the Barwis training methods kill some players before the season starts? Why can't we park in the Grey Lot anymore?

Tiger Woods knee injury
Could it be that death and Tiger Woods are related in my mind? His US Open victory was no doubt inspiring, but maybe the news that he's shutting it down for the rest of the year is like a death in my mind. No more Tiger news for the rest of the year? I may have to do some work around the house on weekends now. Epic tragedy.

Sports news lull
Basketball season is over. Hockey season is over. Tiger is down for the year. Baseball season is mired in the "dog days" of an extremely long season. The Triple Crown went unclaimed yet again. Until the Olympics start and football season starts, the sports landscape looks kinda bleak.

Lack of creative ideas
When I can't think of anything on my own, the "this day in history" posts are a bit of a crutch, and I've probably been overusing those recently.

Busier at work
Don't get me wrong - I like being busy at work. But when I'm busy thinking about mundane engineering stuff, my creative juices are not overflowing.

Realization of my own mortality
Yikes. This is mid-life crisis stuff. I don't think I'm there yet.

While this is not exactly earth-shatteringly disturbing or anything, I would like to get back to posting funny stuff again as soon as I find some inspiration. I am confident that since the Olympics and football season are approaching, I'll find something fun and interesting to write about. But for all or some of the above reasons, I am in a bit of a down cycle. Not to worry though. I feel a Summer Olympics post gurgling up inside me. Or maybe that's just the breakfast burrito I just ate.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Day In History - Rod Beck

Sorry to dwell on death, but today marks the first anniversary of the death of baseball pitcher Rod Beck. Beck was a good relief pitcher for four different major league teams - the Giants, the Cubs, the Red Sox, and the Padres. He died at the age of 38, and the cause of death was not disclosed (although cocaine was found in his home after his death). He was always a bit of an oddball, and looked very intimidating on the mound, mainly due to his considerable girth, his intense scowl, his badass fun manchu mustache, and his professionally sculpted mullett. Ironically, he cemented his legendary status not as a major leaguer, but during a stint in the minor leagues. While pitching for the Cubs minor league affiliate in Des Moines, Beck lived in an RV behind the team's stadium and always welcomed fans in for a cold beer, to use his restroom, and just to talk baseball. He had a neon blue martini-glass-shaped light in the window of his camper. The rule was: if it's on, the bar's open. And it was always on.

Another American original, taken before his time. There's no one left in the league like him anymore. Rod, the light is on for you and George Carlin tonight. When you see George stroll by your camper, invite him in for a cold one.

George Carlin - Occupation: Foole

I was shocked and saddened when I woke up this morning and read that George Carlin died yesterday. He was one of my all-time favorite comedians and, as far as I know, was one of the first comedians to be featured on HBO. My family had HBO back in my teen years of the early 80's when "Carlin on Campus" and "Carlin at Carnegie" were on. He had a wonderful way of looking at language, religion, and life in general that resonated with me personally. He's probably most famous for "The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV." "Why don't you list them out," you say? Sure, why not. If George could get away with it in 1972, I should be able to get away with it on a seldom read blog: Shit Piss Fuck Cunt Cocksucker Motherfucker Tits. As a tribute to George, I suggest everyone go out and use at least one of the "Seven Words" today. Here's to you, George.

Leave your own favorite George Carlin memories in the comments if you wish.

ADDED: Since this is nominally a blog about sports sometimes, I feel like I would be remiss if I did not mention the sheer brilliance of Carlin's "Baseball vs. Football" bit. It's a classic.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Woods - US Open Champ

So, Tiger pulled it out on the first sudden death playoff hole to finally put Rocco Mediate away on the 91st hole of the US Open. One thing's for sure - Rocco has certainly found himself some new fans. He fought all the way and gave Tiger all he could handle. But twice in this US Open he made putts on the final hole when he had to - on the 18th on Sunday to get into a playoff, and on the 18th today to send it to sudden death. Amazing.

I'd say Tiger is playing pretty well the last couple years. Since he missed the cut in the 2006 US Open in his first tournament after the death of his father, he has been on a tear. In the last eight majors since then, he has gone 1-1-T2-T2-T12-1-2-1. Four wins and three second place finishes in eight tries. During that same period (about two years) he has won a total of 17 tournaments. The dude can play - even with an injured knee.

My hat's off to you, Tiger. It's good to be the king...

Tiger Woods

Well, I have not been able to find a picture of it yet, but I know it's out there. Tiger has done it again. He has managed to mess up another great high five opportunity. After sinking the twelve footer on the 18th hole of the US Open on Sunday, Tiger and caddy Steve Williams attempted another high five and came up woefully short. Steve ended up with Tiger's forearm in his hand. I know in the heat of the moment, after making a pressure putt, it's tough to execute a successful high five, but Stevie and Tiger should either practice this move, or try something else. What else would be appropriate:

- The Chest Bump: This one may be a little risky for Tiger with his injured knee, but the chest is a much larger target than the hand. It might have to be a somewhat subdued "feet on the ground" chest bump.

- The Exuberant Hug: This one is a good choice. Not much chance of a miss here. Just open your arms and grab. However, Steve is usually holding the flag stick in this situation, so there could be significant injury risk.

- The Primal Scream: If they scream loudly at each other just inches apart, that would eliminate the need for any body contact at all. Not much chance of anything going wrong, but it is kinda weak. This is the equivalent of laying up.

- The Kiss: A big wet kiss is always good for a celebration. In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard gave each other a big kiss, and it was not at all gay. Okay, it was a little gay. This is a high risk maneuver. If the kiss goes on too long, it could get awkward for everyone. This is the equivalent of going for the green over the water out of the bunker - while wearing a hot pink shirt with an ascot.

- A Dance: If Tiger can practice for hours on the range, I think these guys can manage to come up with an NFL-style celebration dance that is dignified enough for the golf course. This would take a little practice and creativity.

- The Lap: After making the putt, Tiger could take a lap around the green, Hale Irwin style, and high five the gallery. This is a nice one for the fans, and could be done in combination with any of the other celebrations. But Tiger's knee could make this a bit of a dodgy proposition.

- The Laydown: Tiger could just collapse in exhaustion and relief after making the putt. Stevie would then jump on top of him and dry hump him for 4.8 seconds, because five seconds would be totally gay.

My advice to Tiger: either practice and correctly execute the high five, or try something else. It's very embarrassing for you. My choice for Tiger and Steve would be a big hug, followed by a 0.5 second long kiss. Anyone have any other ideas?

NOTE: I am aware the the high fiving picture of Tiger and Steve shown above is from the Masters. If anyone has a screen shot of the offensive high five from yesterday, please direct me toward it in the comments.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This Day In History - OJ

If the gloves don't fit, OJ's full of shit.

Wow. Today marks 14 years since the murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in what has to be considered one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the history of the U.S. justice system. The L.A. district attorneys at the time had enough evidence to hold a trial, but were lacking critical evidence that could have tied the suspect, Orenthal Simpson (apparently some sort of famous athlete of some kind), to the crime scene. If only they had definitive proof that the suspect was at the crime scene - you know, maybe his blood or something. If only they had a way to test the blood that they found - you know, something like DNA testing that is commonly used today by crime labs and TV shows alike. If only they could have found a footprint with a distinctive tread pattern at the scene, and then tied the pattern to a pair of shoes of the same size to the suspect. If only they could have found the victim's blood on articles of the suspect's clothing, or in the suspect's car. But alas, none of these items were presented into evidence*, the suspect was found not guilty and this case remains unsolved. Thank god that the acquitted suspect is still searching for the real killers, or this case might remain unsolved forever.

The OJ Simpson trial was quite a spectacle. But the trial did do one thing for America. It spurred the public's interest in DNA evidence and crime scene investigations (forensics) in general. While there were lots of cop shows and lawyer shows before the OJ trial, I cannot think of too many that were related to forensics. "Quincy" is the only one that comes to mind. Since then, the following forensics-focused shows have aired on TV and have flourished (these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head):

- CSI: Miami
- Without a Trace
- Cold Case
- Crossing Jordan

In shows like these (and even in real-life trials), DNA evidence is considered practically infallible. Fourteen years ago - not so much. I have a feeling that, due to the public's mainstream exposure to CSI-type shows, if the same trial were held today, a different verdict may have been reached.

*may not be true

U.S. Open Preview

I hate to say it*, but this U.S. Open is Phil Mickelson's to lose. He'll never have a better chance to beat Tiger Woods, who's operating with one bad wheel and is bound to be a bit rusty after two months away from competitive golf. And for the first two rounds, he'll be playing head-to-head with Tiger in the same group. If he's ever going to stand up and stare into the eyes of Tiger and beat him, this is as good a chance as he's going to get. Although Phil has won three majors, he has yet to shake the label of being a choker in big tournaments. He has finished second in the US Open four times, and twice he double-bogeyed late to lose the Open (2004 and 2006). This is his chance to finally shed that label and bring home the hardware and and $1+ million winner's check.

TRIVIA: Not only have the last four winners of the U.S. Open have been foreigners (Goosen, Campbell, Ogilvy, Cabrera), but they are all from the southern hemisphere. I have no idea what that signifies.

NOTE: To review my "Masters Lookalikes" post from a couple months ago, click here.

* If you think this is an attempt at a "reverse jinx" in an effort to provide karma for Tiger to win, you are correct. I'd love to see Tiger win. The first five words of this post are not true. I do not hate to say it. When I say it's his to lose, that's exactly what I expect Phil to do - lose.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NBA Finals

I'm trying really hard here to get excited and involved with these NBA finals. But instead of watching game three right now, I am writing this (well, admittedly, it's on in the background).

While I think it's safe to say that David Stern did a few cartwheels when Detroit and San Antonio got eliminated (don't get me started on how Tim Duncan is the most boring athlete in professional sports -- that's another blog entry for later), I just can't see how many people are excited about this series. Are you?

Let's discuss.

First, there's Kobe Bryant. League MVP. Okay, he's really good. Maybe even deserved the award this year. But no one likes him (yet another aside -- is Kobe our generation's Ty Cobb???). I lived in LA when the Lakers won their recent three championships and while I rooted for them, I never really could get too enamored of Kobe. Shaq, now there's a guy you can root for, laugh with and even at, and generally want to watch. Side note: Kobe gets acquitted for rape and last year made around $17MM in endorsements. What does that say?

Next, the Celtics. You can root for KG (guy who's never won one, maybe should have won the MVP); you can root for Paul Pierce (guy who's been on this team for so long and contributed much); or you can even root for Ray Allen (understated but great, kind of like a Joe Dumars type). My problem is that these guys don't really seem like a team. They feel more like a bunch of hired guns brought in to get the job done. Not much emotion or camraderie.

So the NBA tries as it might. Pairing Magic with Larry Bird in that strange half-screen morphing ad campaign is an awkward and almost desperate move. Yeah, this series is really like the Magic/Bird, showtime vs. Celtics dynasty series of legend. Right.

Lot's of other mini-stories too. Perkins from Beaumont, Texas. That town has to be one of the worst in the country. And this guy came straight out of high school. Or Powe. Kid was homeless and went on to excel at Cal and now in Boston. In a way, David Stern is getting just what he asked for -- the promotion of the individual and not the team.

It's not that these finals are awful. They just aren't what they used to be. I think I'll stick with College sports. Or maybe Tiger will put on a show this weekend.

Ho hum.

Scandal! Scandal!

Well, it's 2008, and Bill Clinton's past is coming back to haunt him again. The former President's sexual misdeeds are about to be capitalized on yet again by his "victims," Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers. Apparently, these two women are creating a website to describe in detail their encounters with Clinton. Let's begin with the assumption that perhaps Americans are hungry for more details of a former President's sex life. Fine. It's a stretch, but stay with me here. Gennifer Flowers may have an interesting story or two to tell, because she allegedly had an affair with Clinton for twelve years. There could be lots of interesting stories about deviant behavior, possible Clinton perversions, dressing up as Little Bo Peep, beastiality, whatever. But she already told her story in her memoir published in 1995. Are we to believe that she held some stuff out of the book, and only now is she willing to reveal new secrets? Paula Jones' claim is that a state trooper took her up to Bill's hotel room once, and he propositioned her. That's it. And she already told this story to a grand jury. You wanna pay $1.99 to hear Paula Jones retell a story of a single incident that's already in the public record? You wanna pay $1.99 to hear Gennifer Flowers retell a story from her book, which you can probably find for $0.99 in the bargain rack at the local thrift store? Be my guest.

Now, let's forget about my assumption that people still care about this. Talk about striking while the iron is ice-cold. What year is this again? If it was 1998, this might be a good idea. But it's not. I'm not about to claim that there are not suckers out there that are willing to spend money on stupid things (there undoubtedly are), but asking people to spend $1.99 to hear two women retell old stories does not seem like an idea that is destined to succeed. In fact, I would not be surprised if this website is gone in a couple months.

One word to describe this ill-concieved business venture: dumb. What, you have a better one? Put it in the comments then...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Golf Outings for Dummies

Charles Barkley is #5 and #8, and maybe #12. Where do you fit in?

Summertime is, of course, a great time for golf. There are casual rounds with friends, company outings, group outings, etc. Often, these outings use the scramble format. Sometimes you know the people you're playing with, and sometimes you get stuck with some interesting characters. We have a fraternity golf outing coming up, and I got to thinking how many different types of guys you could have in your scramble foursome. Do you have an outing coming up? If so, you might find some of these people in your group.

1. The Ultra Serious Golfer
This guy is always talking strategy for the foursome. He may or may not be a good golfer, but he thinks he's smarter than everyone by suggesting that "on this hole, we should try to bomb one out there." Thanks for the advice, Gary McCord. He's obsessed with winning. Even when the team is two over after 16 holes, he insists that we still stick to "our strategy," which is actually "his strategy." Usually an insufferable prick.

2. The Guy Who Thinks He's Good, But He's Not
This guy is always insisting that he go last because he's an "A player." His handicap card, which he takes out of his wallet and shows you three times during the round, says that he's an 8, but his scattershot drives tell you otherwise. He routinely turns in bogus scores so he can brag about his handicap. He's got the best equipment and latest technology (laser range finder, training aids, practice putting rig).

3. Drunk Guy
This guy is most likely not a good golfer. His main goal is to find the beer cart girl, and he will buy a dozen beers at a time when she does eventually show up. He might be useful for the front nine, but by the back nine he's a drooling, slurring mess who can't even manage to tell if he's using a 6 iron or a 9 iron. Usually a fun guy to have on your team unless he's a depressing or violent drunk. Usually buys beer for everyone, but drinks most of it himself. Also, most likely to dive into the lake on the 18th hole to retrieve a club thrown in frustration.

4. The Guy Who Plays Once a Year
This guy only gets out to play when there is an occasion - a supplier freebie, a round with the in-laws, charity scramble. He's just happy to hit a good shot every once in a while, and is usually one of the more interesting guy to play with because he doesn't spend all his time playing golf. Usually plays in tennis shoes and either inappropriately long cargo shorts with lots of pockets, or blue jeans. Sometimes plays with rental clubs, or clubs that were manufactured in the 70s (such as "Golden Bear" or "MacGregor" or "Wilson" clubs). Uses predominantly x-out balls or range balls during his round, unless he finds some in the woods.

5. The Guy Who Looks Good, But Is Not
This guy belongs to a country club. He plays at least twice a week. He goes to the range every weekend. But he can't seem to get the handicap below a 25. He's taken lessons, but he always reverts back to that ungainly loopy swing with the hitch in it that he slices like a banana off the tee every other hole. He dresses impeccably, with his club logo golf shirt tucked into his Nike golf shorts, and wearing shoes that appear to have been polished at the club about an hour ago. He can shoot anything from 88 to 115.

6. The Guy Who Analyzes His Swing After He Gets In The Cart
This guy, after hitting a duck hook into the water for the third time on the front nine, gets in the cart and proceeds to analyze his swing for you. "I think I got caught behind that one and used too much hands. I think my club face was too open at the top and I over-rotated my hips. Maybe next time I'll try to come around quicker so my hands can catch up and I don't come over the top and turn it over." Or something like that. He read all the buzzwords in Golf Digest and has no idea what they mean. But he'll claim that he's been tinkering with his swing all day - and he'll explain that that's why he's been spraying shots into the woods. His swing looks exactly the same to you every time.

7. The Guy Who's Always Quoting Caddyshack
This guy, like most red blooded American men of a certain age, has seen Caddyshack approximately 500 times and knows every line. But this guy insists on using a Caddyshack quote at every opportunity: Cinderella Story, Right in The Lumber Yard, Billy Baroo, On your Deathbed You will Receive Total Consciousness, Big Hitter The Lama, It's a Hybrid, Free Bowl of Soup, License to Kill Gophers, Be The Ball, etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with Caddyshack quotes - in fact, everyone should use at least one per round. But using them constantly throughout a 5 hour round gets a little tiresome. So what? So let's dance...

8. The Gambling Guy
This guy, despite the fact that you are playing on the same scramble team, insists on trying to incorporate some sort of a gambling format so that he can have some "action." He's got his bookie on speed dial, and places several bets during the course of the round - partially because he's trying to impress his team members, and partially because he's simply a degenerate douchebag. Talks incessantly about sports and sporting events he has either won big on, or barely lost because of a last minute backdoor cover. NOTE: Speaking of The Gambling Guy, I would absolutely love to play golf with Charles Barkley. He would want to bet on everything, and he would lose just about every time. His swing is horrifying. You could walk away from a round with Charles with some serious spending money for the evening. And the best thing is, he'd take you out for a steak, and to the best strip joint in town after the round. And he'd probably still pay for everything.

9. The Humble Guy
This guy usually has a handicap of 5 or less. He doesn't brag about how good he is or point out how bad you are. He just hits his typically great shots and even helps out the lesser players with their deficiencies, but only if asked. He helps read putts. He usually is on the winning team because not only is he a good player, but he helps make the other players better.

10. The Cocky Guy
This guy also has a handicap of 5 or less, but he is constantly giving the other players unsolicited advice on their shots, thereby ruining their confidence. Has seven sets of golf clubs and a club assembly jig in his garage. Tells you several times throughout the round that your clubs are a half inch too short for you and that the loft and lie of your pitching wedge need to be adjusted. Also, tells you that he can make you some clubs that would better suit a high-handicapper like yourself. Because of his constant badgering, by the back nine you become "Drunk Guy." It's all you can do to keep from wrapping your 9-iron around his neck.

11. The Guy Who Can't Putt
No matter how much practice this guy gets in before the round, it takes him about 14 holes to figure out the speed of the greens. Every putt is either left four feet short or sails ten feet past the hole. When he does get the right speed, it's offline by 20 degrees. On the 17th hole, he'll drain a 30-footer for birdie. This guy is usually also The Guy Who Plays Once a Year.

12. The Guy With The Bad Temper
This guy gets very upset at missing any shot. Usually, after topping his fifth consecutive drive into the pond in front of the tee and using several curse words, he'll slam his club back into his bag and insist that he "was hitting everything perfect at the range" and that he can't fucking believe how fucking bad he's fucking playing. Shit. Then he'll get behind the wheel of the cart and stomp on the gas and give you whiplash.

13. The Bad Etiquette Guy
This guy does everything wrong. He'll drive the cart onto the tees and the greens. He'll walk right through the line of your putt. He'll leave the cart right in front of the green. He'll constantly talk on his phone throughout the round. He will fart in the middle of your backswing. He'll yell across three fairways to get the attention of the beer cart girl. He doesn't mean to do it. He just is oblivious. Might also be Guy Who Plays Once a Year or Drunk Guy.

14. The Fart Guy
This guy will fart audibly at least twice per hole. I don't think much more needs to be said about this guy. He could be, and has been, just about everyone who has ever played a round of golf after a night of drinking. If you don't know the guy you are playing with, and he's the Fart Guy, something very strange is afoot. This behavior is generally only accepted if the players in the foursome know each other. Fart Guy is differentiated from Bad Etiquette Guy in that he farts at appropriate times and not in the middle of your backswing. He'll fart in the middle of his own backswing, but not yours.

15. The Hungover Guy
This guy will spend the front nine barely able to speak and downing Gatorade like he's just spent a month in the desert. He'll puke in the bushes while you're waiting on the third tee. At the turn, he'll get a sandwich and take a crap - and he might turn out to be your best player on the back nine. Hungover Guy might also be Fart Guy.

16. The Complicated Scoring Guy
This guy wants to implement a scoring system so needlessly complex that none of the participants have any idea while they are playing whether they are scoring well or not. System usually involves much more math than is necessary. Person implementing this scoring system is typically a control freak who can't understand why no one can understand his "simple" system. "So you got a par there, but because it an even numbered hole, you get to take one off your score. But then you add one back to the total because you three putted. So it's still a par." What?

17. The Obnoxious Guy
This guy is obnoxious in every way. He rolls golf carts on steep inclines. He drops his pants in front of the beer cart girls. He hides the golf balls of groups following behind him. He hits into groups in front of him, just for fun. He jams the flagstick into the ground twenty yards off the green. He'll fart on purpose in the middle of your backswing. Obnoxious Guy is differentiated from Bad Etiquette Guy in that he knows the rules and chooses not to follow them.

I have either been or played with every single one of these people at one time or another. You could say that each of these Guys is based on a specific person but, in actuality, most people are probably a combination of two or more of these, depending on mood, alcohol consumption, playing partners, etc. I can say for sure that I have been at various times These Guys: 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, and 15. Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or lay claim to these identities yourself. Specific stories are welcome as well. If good ideas are submitted, I'll even add to the list.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Grateful Dead and Spinal Tap

Today is the two year anniversary of the tragic death of former Grateful Dead keyboard player Vince Welnick. The Grateful Dead's "hotseat" was the behind the keys, but Spinal Tap's hotseat was behind the drum kit.

On the left is a list of Grateful Dead keyboard players and Spinal Tap drummers. On the right is a list of the various ways they died. Match them up correctly and win yourself a big pile of nothing. It should not be to tough to determine which are Spinal Tap and which are Grateful Dead. The trick is, how good are you at matching the fictional drummer to his fictional demise.

1) John "Stumpy" Pepys

2) Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs

3) Peter "James" Bond

4) Mick Shrimpton

5) Richard "Ric" Shrimpton

6) Ron "Pigpen" McKernan

7) Keith Godchaux

8) Brent Mydland

9) Vince Welnick

a) Spontaneously combusted onstage

b) Car accident

c) Gastrointenstinal hemorrhage

d) Died in a bizarre, unexplained gardening accident

e) Speedball overdose

f) Allegedly sold his dialysis machine for drugs, presumed dead

g) Committed suicide by slitting his own throat in front of his wife

h) Choked on vomit of unknown origin

i) Onstage explosion

Rest in Peace, Vince.

answers: 1-d; 2-h; 3-a; 4-i; 5-f; 6-c; 7-b; 8-e; 9-g