Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear the Jets

You're welcome. Yeah, that's right. You beat the Patriots. Way to go. Good on you. You slayed the Brady-Manning dragon in successive weeks, and now everyone is pulling for you to pull the AFC hat trick en route to the Superbowl by cutting the always classy Ben Roethlisberger down a few pegs.

So I say again: you're welcome.

In December of 2008 the New York football Giants gave up a ton of points and lost to these same (or similar) New England Patriots in a regular season game, only to beat them a few weeks later in the greatest game thing that has ever been played happened. Sound familiar?

There are still no words.

How did the Giants do it? How did they beat the team of the 21st century? They did something that no team had been able to do for most of the last decade: they designed a game plan that neutralized Tom Brady.

First, you run the ball. It eats the clock and keeps Brady off of the field. Next, you blitz like crazy. Brady hates to throw under pressure, hates to get hit, and needs time to adjust to it. And third -- and by far the most important -- is that you change it up before he can adjust to the pressure. You mix it up at the line of scrimmage with defensive audibles and fake looks. So when you've blitzed him every down for three, four, five series in a row, you drop back into coverage and he has nowhere to go.

Sound familiar? It should, because that's exactly what the Jets did to the P-EE-triots (Simms, Phil) on Sunday night. They were a bit less effective with the run than the Giants were in 2008 (though they still would have held the ball longer than the Pats but for a seven-plus minute drive in the fourth quarter). But they were almost perfect on defense: Brady was hit seven times, sacked five and forced to throw his first interception since he was eight years old. He was under pressure from every angle, but then suddenly he wasn't. Expecting pressure, he would instead have all day to throw, but no one was open. Of his sixteen incomplete passes, at least five or six were balls that were just thrown away.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Patriots were the best team in the NFL this year. To beat them, the Jets needed to execute a perfect game plan perfectly. The players get credit for the execution, but they have the 2007-08 Giants to thank for the blueprints.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Tim Gunn, or Whichever Hipster is in Charge of This

I just want to send a thank you out to the fashion community for bringing a couple of trends back into style. First of all, whoever decided that flannel shirts were back in style, thank you. It gives me an opportunity to restock. I never really gave up on flannel because I love it, but I had been rocking 3 flannel shirts from the 1995 era for the longest time. Not only was the rotation of flannel lacking, but no one told me in 1995 that I was only 165 pounds and 5'9", so all of those old school flannels are size XL. It's unclear to me today why it was cool to wear clothes that did not evn remotely fit, but it made so much sense back then. I didn't even question it. And that's not really to say that I was cool, but, you know, I tried.

Secondly, whoever brought cardigans back into style, thank you a thousand times. Literally for years I have been looking to buy a cardigan because I have always loved them. And now I have more cardigans than anyone really needs to have in their collection. In middle school I used to rock a white cardigan with my Bugle Boy pants and I thought I was the shit.

(Funny story I heard recently. My cousin recently got married and in one of the speeches from his groomsmen, they recounted a story in which my cousin, never lacking in confidence, got a bus for a school trip or some such thing and announced to a group of kids, "If something smells in the back of the bus, it's me....because I'm the shit.")

I have taken recently to rocking a flannel shirt with a cardigan on top. A juxtaposition of styles that really just makes me happy in my heart. You know, life is really about the small things. And while the rest of the world around me goes to shit, at least I have flannel shirts and cardigans.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Several One Sentence Thoughts On Rap Music

I'm pretty confident that Illmatic, by Nas is the best rap album of all time.

While I don't want to front on A Tribe Called Quest, I think it's entirely possible that Outkast is the best rap group ever.

While I don't want to front on The Low End Theory, my favorite Tribe Called Quest album is Midnight Marauders.

I still think my favorite rap album is Reachin', by Digable Planets. It's possible that's no longer the case, but I think so.

Eminem somehow loses credibility for me by associating himself with terrible rappers.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Jay-Z is the best rapper ever.

I miss good rap music.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Driveway Basketball

This is mad random. Especially considering our lack of posts recently, this one isn't especially important or anything, but I have a few free minutes and an idea (Tremendous cream. Fuck a dollar and a dream). I was just thinking about playing basketball in various people's driveways when we were younger.

It's interesting how basketball games develop out of necessity. For example, if you had 3 people or 5 people then you would play 21. This is an interesting game in that it was basically just every man for himself. Every player had their own score and the first one to 21 was the winner. Even though it was basically 1 on 4 every time, there was very little defense ever really played up until someone got to like 16 or 17 points. And you had to decide on specific rules for each game like if there were 3 point shots and if there were foul shots. The foul shot rule was super important because once someone got to 17 you could just hack them every time if there were no foul shots. It made the game last much longer. I played a countless number of games of 21 in the driveway of a guy who I'm sure we all know with a preternatural math ability and an MIT degree. I'm not sure why we always had an odd number of people over there. I guess you could play with an even number, too, but I'm not sure why you would.

What really tickled me when I was thinking about it, though, were the games we used to play in Diesal's backyard. Diesal's court was like the perfect size. My driveway, for example, was fine for 2 on 2, but beyond that there really wasn't enough room. Diesal's driveway expanded out to be wide enough for 2 cars and it made for a perfect 3 on 3 court. What really made me write this post was how I was thinking about the number of occasions where we would show up at Diesal's house about noon, start a game of 2 on 2 between, say Diesal, Open Bar, myself, and maybe Ian Ziering or Scooter (why, Diesal?), and play until it was dark with very little interruption. Like I can remember at least a few times where we would count by ones and the final score would be like 192 to 185 or some such thing. I wonder if Diesal still has that video of us playing 3 on 3 in his backyard when we were 12 or 13. That is a very funny video.

I don't really have a point, except for that Diesal's driveway was perfect for basketball. You know, I'll bet Side Bar's driveway would have been really good for basketball if they would have had a hoop.