Tuesday, December 30, 2014

54 Reasons I'm Unemployed

Over the last year, I have been turned down for a lot of different jobs. Since I was getting unemployment for a while, I had to keep track of my progress, and I have continued to keep track, because...I don't know, I guess I like really depressing spreadsheets. But as they say, comedy equals misery plus time, and my misery should be able to provide a few chuckles for all of you as I have written reasons why I have been denied employment. None of these reasons were explicitly stated, but I read between the lines and provided my suspicions as to why I was not hired. Oh, and if you're wondering why I used an image of Right Said Fred at the top of this post, it's that like a quarter of the reasons I'm unemployed is a variation of me being too sexy.

Without further adieu, here are 54 reasons I'm unemployed.

1. Partner Development Manager 
They said they may have found better candidates for their open position, but that doesn't sound like they are even sure about their decision.

2. Development Consultant 
They said my math isn't good enough for the position. I would destroy them on multiplication tables.

3. Sr. Manager, Community Events 
They must hate my confidence, because they can never possess it and its magical powers.

4. Specialist, Community Events 
Their letter is always very nice, which helps my gentle heart take the horrific pain of rejection.

5. Disaster Program Manager 
They did not want me for the job, because I was already causing disasters in girls' panties across the nation.

6. Assistant Director of College Admissions 
I must have made it until the very end, not because I had an interview, but that it took them three months to finally deny me. So close.

7. Marketing Coordinator 
I forgot I even applied for this position, so it's not too big of a deal that I got turned down.
8. Assistant Director of Alumni and Parent Relations 
They didn't want to bring the sexy; they knew they couldn't handle the sexy.

9. Marketing Team Leader 
They probably think that having me around will make all of their customers self-conscious about their failure to reach physical perfection. 
10. Senior Specialist, Student Success 
They're a bunch of boners over there.

11. Student Services Administrator 
Apparently, I need a security clearance. No, my biceps do not count as a viable security clearance.

12. Marketing Strategist 
Only took them five hours, very impressive turnaround.

13. Marketing Strategist 
They are unable to offer me a position, must have eaten some bad chicken.

14. Sr. Marketing Manager, Community Relations 
They were scared of my aura; my good vibes gave them the heeby jeebies.

15. Donor Relations Coordinator 
They filled the position with some incompetent butthole who couldn't light my farts on fire.

16. Administrative Assistant and Outdoor Events Application Coordinator 
They did not think I was worthy of being a final contestant on their game show of who should get this job.

17. Venues Event Manager Senior 
I was given serious consideration, maybe had they been more laid back, I could have gotten the consideration necessary to get an interview.

18. Supervisor of Events 
They didn't give me this job, but they encourage me to apply for other opportunities. I assume this job was just below my skill level, and they want me to be a VP of Awesome.

19. Director of Student Athlete Development 
They sent me an email to let me know that they filled the position. They didn't tell me who got the job, so maybe it was me?

20. College Director, Student Support Services 
They said I didn't meet the minimum qualifications. Well, they need to get their eyes checked, because I have all of the qualifications I need, baby girl.

21. Campus Administrator 
They filled the position with somebody else, probably by accident, but now they're too embarrassed to let that person know, so they're just going to keep them around.

22. Financial Advisor 
Maybe they were right in asserting that someone with no money probably shouldn't be a financial advisor.

23. Assistant Director, Outdoor Recreation - Campus Recreation 
They knew nobody would focus on the outdoor activities if the ladies and non-traditional males saw me with my shirt off.

24. Marketing Coordinator 
That's cool; I was too badass for that position anyway.

25. Football Video Coordinator 
I love that they not only deny me in the email, but let me know who got the position. Congratulations, Phil C, you deserved it.

26. Assistant Director, Facilities and Operations 
I can't believe I didn't get a facilities job as they were no doubt dreaming of my pipe.

27. Game Operations Manager/Assistant Facility Director 
They filled the position with some stupid jabroni.

28. Student Affairs CRD2 
Gainesville is a shithole of a town anyway. Seriously, don't go to Gainesville unless you plan on tearing it up at the country bar.

29. Manager of Athletic Communication 
They decided to not bring me in for an interview since they were concerned that they would be overwhelmed with my charm.

30. Assistant Director, Student Affairs 
They treated me like a band-aid, and ripped me off from the position I was trying to protect from other, harmful candidates.

31. Manager, Community and Employee Engagement 
They probably thought I was out of their price range. I wasn't though.

32. Enrollment Development Coordinator 
They did not select me for an interview. Apparently, I am the weakest link. Goodbye.

33. Senior Events Manager 
They claim to have gone through careful consideration, but clearly, they were not careful enough as I slipped through the cracks.

34. Assistant Director of Recreation and Operations 
They seemed pretty bummed out by not meeting me in person. That seems about right; I'm an incredibly impressive individual.

35. Events Coordinator 
I don't know what they were thinking. It seems like they weren't thinking. And that's the problem. Hence, no employment for me.

36. Coordinator Special Events 
I think I'm too much of a free spirit for their corporate ways.

37. Communication Specialist
They ripped that band-aid off quick, only 24 hours, and I applied on a weekend.

38. Marketing Manager 
They rejected me harder than Dikembe Mutombo would an underhanded layup.

39. Recreation Center Director 
They didn't choose me for an interview, so I'm guessing they are going to offer me the job without an interview. That's cool. I hope it's a good offer.

40. Community Director, Special Events Fundraiser 
They didn't think I had the chops to make it happen. Well, that's pretty crappy foresight on their part.

41. Community Relations Coordinator 
I moved away, so they never had a shot at me anyway. You can't dump me, because I have already dumped you.

42. Membership and Program Marketing Manager 
Their email was classy; it's a shame their organization will never be as long as they don't lock me down.

43. Marketing Analyst 
I was too thug life for their hippy ways.

44. Marketing Manager (SFA) 
They sent me 8 rejection letters all at once. Seems a tad excessive.

45. Events Coordinator 
They decided they don't want to get the best candidate, because it would intimidate everyone around campus. Totally understandable.

46. Assistant Director of Marketing and Administrative Services 
They are clearly scared of falling in love, as they refuse to listen to their heart.

47. Assistant Director of Student Affairs 
I'm too sexy for that school.

48. Director of Online Education 
Apparently they don't recognize Hulkamania as a real religion.

49. Field Event Manager 
At least they regretted informing me. I know it hurt them nearly as much as me.

50. Marketing Communications Specialist 
I didn't even know what this company does, so it's probably a child sex slave operation. I'm glad they turned me down.

51. Student Support Counselor 
They thanked me for applying; I think they realized what a terrible mistake they made and are hoping they can get me for Campus President.

52. Career Outreach Specialist 
I'm watching an NXT Battle Royal so I'm immune from the pain of rejection. 

53. Marketing Position 
They like to advertise for positions that aren't actually available. These hydraulics people are crafty sons of bitches.

54. College Advisor, Career Development II 
Since I cannot maintain a job, I might not be a great go-to person for career advice.

So, yeah, that's why I'm unemployed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

How's Your Sleep Going?

People always ask about work, why not sleep? Spend roughly the same amount of time and the stories are usually just as interesting. And since everybody asks about work, it becomes so repetitive. Once I tell a work story once, I am completely over it, because even good stories get old quick. I mean the best story from work I have had recently is going to take a piss, and when I was washing my hands, watching a guy walk into the bathroom with his lunch and just lingering around, clearly waiting for me to leave so he could eat his lunch. I don't know if he was going to go after it at the sink or take it into the stall. I don't want to know, but needless to say, I now walk across the street in order to go to the bathroom in another building. I don't want to relive that every time somebody asks about work

Meanwhile, sleeping has been way more exciting. I've been sleeping real well. I have this plan where I turn on an old episode of Raw, and Marty Jannetty instantly puts me to sleep. It's amazing. Also, last week, my wife was out of town, and my dog insisted on snuggling, but where she usually likes to kick my wife in the middle of the night, she didn't move an inch for me. Unfortunately, my wife came back and was a blanket stealer, so there is some drama in the household. 

See? There's a story of triumphant sleep, unconditional love, and drama, all in a week's time. Sleep is way more exciting than work. 

And if you think this is just a long-winded way of saying I still haven't found a full-time job? Well, you'd be right. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Alone on Christmas

The title of this post makes it seem like it will be sad, but let me be very forward, this is not a sad occasion. I am cool with being by myself on Christmas. Christmas just doesn't mean that much to me.

Now don't get me wrong, Christmas was great growing up. I basically got everything I wanted outside of one Christmas, and I cried like a baby because of it (I'm pretty sure I was like 15 or 16. God, I sucked). But even though Christmas was always great growing up, the holiday itself doesn't mean that much to me. I currently live in Florida, so the idea of going up to Iowa during the winter has zero appeal to me. I will admit that upper 70 degree weather doesn't feel like Christmas, but I'm okay with that.

It means way more to my wife, and although she likes stuff more than I do, it's not about that at all. For her, it is a huge deal for her entire family, so the holiday represents way more than Jesus, Santa, and cold weather. My family gets together when we can; her family makes every effort to get together for Christmas.

My wife has been pretty bummed, because up until about two weeks ago, she thought she was going to have to work over Christmas. Then she found out she would be able to get the time off. I told her that even though I couldn't go, she should go back home to Ohio and spend it with her family. She didn't want to leave me alone on Christmas, but I had to assure her that for me, it's like being left alone on any other day. It means that Casey the Dog and I will spend way too much time together, and I will watch a constant stream of WWE Network.

That was enough to convince her to go, and she was able to surprise her family as Saturday night she snuck in and provided them a "Christmas miracle." Thanks to technology, I'm never really alone, as she texts, Snapchats, and calls. Calls are the worst. What a cruel world where I have to pause a Sabu/Alex Wright match from Nitro circa 1995 to talk to my wife.

And I'm enjoying my freedom. For Christmas Eve, I hit the gym, did my back workout, drank a smoothie, took the dog to the park, ate some Salmon for lunch, took the dog for a little walk, and then made Steak, grilled onions and mushrooms, and mashed potatoes for dinner. In between, I alternated episodes of Monday Night Raw and Nitro. My plan for Christmas day is going to be very similar outside of a run replacing the gym, and my meals changing a bit. It is going to be a very nice day.

That all being said, I am choosing to be alone. I can completely understand how involuntary loneliness can be awful this time of the year. I don't have great advice except for to try to make the best of the situation. Have some guilt-free binge watching, cook up your favorite meal, and most importantly, get some fresh air; it's amazing how much something that simple can change an attitude.

But I'm going to go take care of the important things in life. Poop out this steak (with the bathroom door open, no big deal), go for a run, and eat even more steak. Merry Christmas to you? Merry Christmas to me!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I've Become a Snobby Book Person

You know who sucks? The type of person where after you say you enjoyed something, they respond that the movie is not as good as the book. Ugh, that person is the worst.

I am that person.

Now, I will admit that I try to downplay it by saying, "I just couldn't get into it," but inevitably I reveal my true feelings. Moneyball is a great example as people really liked that movie, and at best, I thought it was okay. It doesn't help that I read non-fiction, so I feel offended that they are changing events that actually happened to make a more appealing movie. Case in point: Unless Billy Beane's daughter taught Barry Zito a curveball, I don't need to know about her.

What makes me bring this up is the movie, Unbroken. Basically anybody who reads non-fiction read Unbroken sometime over the last few years. It's an incredible story, and there is no excuse for it to not be a really good movie. Still, there is no chance that I will watch. There will be weird alterations, and I will get angry at the movie for it, so it is best that I just stay away. I loved The Blind Side as a book, but I refused to watch movie, and I feel like that is the best decision I can make.

I can't help but turn up my nose at movies where I have already read the book, but just don't be like that. If you enjoy those movies, enjoy the hell out of them. Movies are pretty great in that you get the basics of the story in two hours instead of six. And the people that brag about how the book is so much better are just annoying douches.

Okay, now I'm going to watch some original television that is not based off books like Game of Thrones...wait, what?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jay Cutler to the Buffalo Bills

My sources tell me that Jay Cutler to the Buffalo Bills is a done deal. Now currently, my only source is my dog. When I asked her if Jay Cutler was headed to the Bills, she started excitedly doing spins. She may have thought I said ball, but I think it still passes as journalistically ethical for me to run with the story. 

And come on. Doesn't this story make sense? Cutler has worn out his welcome in Chicago, and the Bills have a great defense and some good weapons on offense. All they are missing is a solid quarterback to make them a threat in the AFC. As a native Iowan, I am bound to support Kyle Orton, but for the second time in his career, Jay Cutler may prove to be an upgrade over him. 

The Bills do not have a first round pick this year, so adding a veteran is their best way to improve. Throwing a third round pick the Bears way is a great way for both teams to improve, the Bills immediately, and the Bears as part of a long-term rebuilding plan as warm bodies on defense would be a significant upgrade at most positions. 

I can't wait for this trade to get finalized. Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter, and any of you other news breakers out there, you MUST CREDIT HOTT JOE for use of this story. Ya'll fools be like a bunch of ice cream, cuz you just got SCOOPED.

Friday, December 19, 2014

In Defense of Jimmy Clausen

Man, people really hate Jimmy Clausen, but I don't totally understand why. Yes, he has a punchable face. Yes, it is easy to hate all things Notre Dame. And yes, he has not lived up to some lofty expectations. I know a lot of people are laughing at the Bears because they benched Jay Cutler in order to start Clausen, but I'm not so sure he's going to fall on his face like people expect.

Now Clausen can't change that he has a punchable face, nor can he change what college he attended, but I'm not so sure how big of a bust he has been thus far in his career. It's not like he was a first round pick; he wasn't selected until halfway through the second round. He's considered much more a bust, because Mel Kiper had him number one on his board. Honestly, the Rams may have been better off taking Clausen over Sam Bradford considering how things turned out.

Clausen started 10 games in his rookie year, and he was admittedly terrible. There is no getting around that, but a lot of rookies play poorly and then improve. And it's not like the team was loaded with weapons. The Panthers had Steve Smith and...Dwayne Jarrett? So it's not like this team was loaded with weapons.

What did he do after that year? He has started a grand total of zero games. In fact, he hasn't thrown a single pass. Actually, he hasn't stepped foot on a football field in the regular season since his rookie year. Clausen never really got a fair shake to prove himself.

Now I'm not expecting Clausen to light the world on fire, but what's the difference between Jimmy Clausen and Josh McCown? Clausen went to Notre Dame, so he had more hype. McCown had about four times as many starts over eleven years and repeatedly proved that he was not good, yet he got with the Bears and looked good enough to get a fat contract from Tampa Bay this past offseason. Clausen is young enough to still have some upside, so I'm not sure why McCown succeeded, yet it is ridiculous to think that maybe Clausen could do the same. McCown did have the help of having Brandon Marshall around last year, but that's not enough to count out Clausen from making a positive impact. He's not the first guy with the initials JC that worked miracles, but he might be the best.

Let's face it, a job is on the line. If Clausen falls flat on his face, Trestman is gone (even though I do not agree with that decision). But if Clausen succeeds, Cutler is gone, and Trestman is going to have another chance to make the Bears a winner.

You can shit on Jimmy Clausen all you want, but for the first time in two months, I'm excited to watch a Bears game, and that has to count for something.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jameis Winston's Character Concerns

Jameis Winston's character has been one of the biggest news stories of the past two years. He has been an incredible college football player, and despite that, his off the field activities have gotten as much publicity as what he has done on the field. Winston's character concerns have been something on my mind for a while, and as I am getting ready to start scouting the potential QB prospects for the 2015 NFL I draft, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject. 

To start off, most of the things he was accused of or caught doing are just dumb. Is he entitled? Yes, but that's not that shocking. I am sure everyone treats him like a god on that campus; it's not surprising that he has let it go to his head. If I were treated like a god between ages 18-21, I would have been a gigantic prick (I didn't have the benefit of being treated special, and I still did some stupid things that I'm not proud of during this time in my life). It's tough for me to worry too much about the following three acts.

Yes, he stole some crab legs. This is something a young guy does on a dare or just because he thinks he's entitled. Does the sense of entitlement worry me? Considering there is no concern over his work ethic, it's not a long-term concern for me.

Then he yelled something vulgar on campus. If any other student had done this, people would have laughed/been disgusted and moved on with their day. College students say and yell stupid things. 

The last small event that got way too much publicity was Jameis Winston dressing when he was suspended. This was given the most negative spin, but this could have easily been given a positive spin under the right circumstances. If it were a quarterback with a good image who maybe got suspended for some dumb NCAA rule and he came out to get his team ready for the game, he would be seen as a gamer who even though he wasn't able to play, wanted to do everything in his power to help his team prepare for victory. Since it was Jameis Winston, he is a selfish player who always wants the spotlight. It's not like Winston thought he was going to play if he dressed for the game, but him being out there to run drills can help his team win, so it could pretty easily be conveyed as an unselfish act of him putting the team first.

These acts may be dumb, but ultimately, none of these things really matter to me.

Then there is the sexual assault allegation. He's definitely guilty of the other three, but this one that we don't know about is my only concern, and it would definitely haunt me. There is a very good chance that we will never know the truth. I am someone who will gladly ignore things in order for my chosen team to win. I would gladly take steroids users on my team, as I see very little issue in performance enhancing drugs. Still, if the allegation was true, I would rather take a crappier quarterback and lose than win with Jameis Winston.

But as I said, we don't know. On the field, there are some question marks, but they pale in comparison to those question marks off the field. He's one of the two best quarterbacks going into the draft this year, and he has first round talent. But how can you pull the trigger on a guy like that? Can you really go to sleep easy making this guy a millionaire? At the same time, do you feel good about punishing a guy for something you don't know he did? It's probably easier to sleep knowing you let a talent pass through your fingertips because of those concerns, but that doesn't mean he won't be haunting your team down the road.

What would I do? Obviously, if I was with a team, I would talk to him and get all the information I could. But just off of the information I know, I'd draft him if he was the top guy on my board. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and I'd rather see ten guilty people go free than one person be falsely imprisoned. It's easy to hypothetically say you wouldn't draft the guy, because there is really no downside, and you can look like you value character over results. But honestly, if I did my due diligence and didn't find any damning information, I would take him.

But I'm not sure how well I'd be able to sleep after I did it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marc Trestman And The Future Of The Chicago Bears

The Bears have looked awful this season. It is shocking that they managed to win five games, because the team that has shown up the last two months probably didn't deserve to win a single game. Clearly, there are major issues. I don't think there is a chance that defensive coordinator Mel Tucker survives, and Aaron Kromer's tearful apology may not be enough to save his job either, which leads to the next natural question: Will the Chicago Bears keep Marc Trestman?

I understand that there is a very good chance that many will call for Trestman's head, because the Bears have taken a significant step backwards this season. There is no way to deny this, but how much of that can be blamed on Trestman? Let's take a hard look at the Bears, and yes, any look at the Bears is hard to put myself through.

The offense has looked sloppy, but the skill position players are undoubtedly there to have a potent offense. Forte, Jeffery, Marshall, and Bennett are all good to great players, so you could complain about Bennett's blocking issues and no other receiver emerging as a potent option, but that is pretty nitpicky and nothing to dwell on.

The Bears offensive line is bad; actually, that's not fair; they're simply not good. It's not like anybody stands out as terrible, but the fact that nobody stands out as great (Kyle Long being the closest thing, but he's still working through inconsistency) limits the ceiling of what you can expect out of their performance. They benefited greatly from continuity last year, so even just a single doesn't make one spot worse, it contributes in making everyone worse. The Bears succeeded as a line, because they worked as a unit and knew how to pick up stunts and blitzes. When they got beat, it was getting beaten by talent as opposed to mental lapses. Now they are getting beaten in both ways, and it is really slowing down the offense, especially in the run game.

Then there's Jay Cutler. I have always been anti-Cutler, but let's recognize him for what he is: A perfectly average quarterback. He's Even Steven. He will flash some brilliance, and flash some idiocy. It all balances out, but in the end, he's somewhere around the 16th best quarterback in the league. But his strengths do not fit Trestman's system, which is all about timing and quick decisions. Jay holds onto the ball a little long, but also has a cannon of an arm. Trestman was apprehensive about committing to Cutler when he took the job, because he knew that he had these weaknesses. Still, it is really tough to go from a solid quarterback to a question mark at quarterback, and they decided their best option was to focus on the positive and bring back Cutler for what basically amounted to a three-year deal. It's easy to call this a bad decision now, but it's also hard to blame them for making it as there was no right answer.

And sadly, the offense is the positive side of things for the Bears. The defense is atrocious. The first year it was clear that the Bears didn't have enough talent. This year, they brought in more talent, but it has not been enough to make up for the regression. Let's go through the defense quickly, because it's really depressing to think about.

The defensive line is...fine. They have some intriguing guys in the middle with Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton, Stephen Paea, and Jeremiah Ratliff. The outside guys are solid with Willie Young flashing in games and Jared Allen being playable. They are not the issue.

The linebackers are the worst in football. They are not only the worst linebacking corps, they are probably the worst unit in football at any position. Lance Briggs doesn't have it, we can comfortably call Shea McClellin a bust, and I was unfortunately correct about Jonathan Bostic.

In the secondary, Kyle Fuller has flashed, but rookie cornerbacks always look like garbage, so there is no need to worry yet, but I also don't feel nearly as good about him as I do about the guy taken one pick earlier, Aaron Donald. Tim Jennings is okay for now, but a little known fact about Jennings is that he is a human, so every year, he gets older...by a year. The safeties put their pads on correctly every week. If the linebackers weren't so bad, this unit would be in the running for one of the worst units in football.

So this brings us back to Marc Trestman. Clearly, the Bears have taken a step back this year, but I still think that he should stick around. Continuity is key for most successful franchises, and giving Trestman two years isn't really fair to him or the franchise as a whole. Three years is a minimum that I personally set for any coach, and I would usually lean towards four. In all honesty, I don't see any realistic way that the Bears can be a Super Bowl contender next year. There are just too many holes on the roster. Because of that, there is no real benefit in bringing in a new coach without giving Trestman another chance.

The Chicago Bears may have a good coach in Marc Trestman, but it's going to take at least another year to find out. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Perfect College Football Playoff

So this year is the first year of the College Football Playoff, and as always, there was much controversy in the method to determine the best team in college football. TCU was ranked 3 going into the final week and won by 52 points. They fell three spots in the rankings. Now Ohio State and Baylor were both impressive as well, but it does seem a tad absurd. Everyone's initial reaction is to expand it to 8 teams, but then we are just arguing over the 8th-10th spots.

I have a much better solution. There is a specific committee that is flown into Dallas every weekend to discuss things, so clearly they must have their shit together. So instead of a 4-team or 8-team playoff, why not just let the committee decide how many teams will be involved. This year, it pretty clearly would have been six teams. The top two teams would get a bye (although it is absurd that Florida State was not ranked in the top two, but I could write a whole post on that), and the other four would battle it out to get it down to four teams. With this strategy, you get in all the best teams without any of the extra riff raff.

Now this would put a lot more stress on the committee, because they would basically be shitting on Mississippi State, but that's okay, as you can definitely draw a line between them and TCU. It works no matter how many teams you put in it. TCU, Ohio State, and Baylor all could have lost and Oregon would have played Florida State for the right to play Alabama in the national title game.

There would be some logistical issues about scheduling the bowls with when and where they would happen, but logistics should not be what stops us from finding the one true college football champion. This is what America needs to focus all of its resources on. The battle of these schools in proving their athletic supremacy is essential to what we stand for as a nation. This is a $100 million idea, and sorry student-athletes, there is no leftover money for you.

Thanks in advance for the check, NCAA.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sensational Sherri Is the Greatest Woman in Pro Wrestling History

Pro wrestling, as a whole, has never been very progressive when it comes to its treatment of women. Even today, "Divas" are unimportant at best and are usually seen as a nuisance. Very few women have been able to rise above that level, but there are a few outliers. The Fabulous Moolah was probably the first, Trish Stratus and Lita managed to do it during the Attitude Era, and AJ Lee has had her moments as well. As great as these women have been, for my money, there's nobody that can top Sensational Sherri.

She was a manager that mattered. She was able to increase the importance of who she was managing while still letting the wrestler be the star. Her best run was definitely in the WWE where she took over Miss Elizabeth's role as Macho Man's manager and somehow kept pace with Macho Man during his promos. That alone makes her a Hall of Famer, because Macho Man was the most amazing combination of charisma, creativity, and insanity.

Macho Man would be the star in any pairing, but she added to the reasons to boo the man who was then known as the Macho King. After getting sent to the curb when Macho King lost a retirement match to the Ultimate Warrior where Savage reunited with Miss Elizabeth, she became the original singer of the greatest wrestling theme music of all time, "Sexy Boy," as she managed Shawn Michaels.

Everybody remembers HBK as a guy who was amazing in the ring and compelling outside of it, but he had to work up to that point. He was always good in the ring, but he got better when he became a singles star and had to put on full matches consistently. On the mic, he was pretty weak early on. He kind of reminded me of Dolph Ziggler in that you could see the potential, but there was something that was just a little off where he didn't quite get the reactions that he should have. Sherri truly was Sensational as the crowd absolutely despised her and she brought Shawn up a level as his manager.

Although her WCW career did not always keep her in the main event scene, she made a pretty amazing impact at her debut at Clash of the Champions. It was a mystery who she would be supporting, and it wasn't until the main event where she came out in Sting face paint to show her support for WCW's top babyface in his match to unite the World Titles against Ric Flair. Late in the match, Flair pulled Sherri in front of him and Sting accidentally hit her. Sting was concerned, and Flair rolled him up for the pin. She then revealed that her and Flair were in it together all along. Sting got mad, Flair cheapshotted him, and Sherri leg dropped his nuts. Hulk Hogan came out to restore order, but Sherri slapped him in the face and escaped the ring before he could do anything about it (Side note: The entire time that Hogan was in the ring with Sherri, Jimmy Hart was screaming "Hit her" into his megaphone. That probably wouldn't fly today). Overall, it was a pretty awesome performance from the woman who was now known as Sensuous Sherri.

Just as impressive as her ability to help elevate the person she managed, her ability to get her ass kicked during matches and just bounce back like she was a legitimate fighter meant that she was on her own level as a woman in wrestling. She would take bumps from the likes of Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and the aforementioned Sting, but that would just knock her down, and she wouldn't magically go unconscious for an hour like most women in wrestling. She got back up to cause more havoc. She was strong enough to choke Hogan during matches, and she actually got credit for hurting men instead of just distracting them. Hell, she even jumped off a cage in WCW to deliver a double axe handle to Hogan. After that, she handcuffed Mr. T, but then took an uncomfortable amount of offense from Hogan. It was pretty rad.

Sherri Martel had many nicknames through her time in pro wrestling, Sensational and Scary being the most notable. And both of those were fitting. The latter, because she could actually do damage to those who opposed the wrestler she managed. And the former, because she was likely the greatest woman in the history of wrestling. She truly was Sensational.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why CM Punk Will Never Fight in the UFC

This past weekend, the UFC announced that CM Punk had signed a contract for the UFC to fight in 2015. This was a big time news story for the UFC and will undoubtedly get them a lot of mainstream publicity. If CM Punk steps in the octagon, it will no doubt be one of the UFC's highest selling PPV's of the year. However, I still do not think CM Punk will ever fight in the UFC.

To become a mixed martial artist at the caliber of the guys in the UFC, it takes incredibly difficult training that involves a ton of pain and misery. Don't get me wrong, pro wrestling training is on the same level as UFC training, so it is not that I don't think Punk is tough enough. It's that he's 36 years old and has a body that has been ravaged by pro wrestling industries. With that against him, it will be incredibly tough to make it through a proper training camp.

Punk seems like a guy who is doing this to do his best, and I think his body will not allow him to do that. He is making the step up from hobbyist to fighter, and that is an incredibly large leap. He has primarily focused on jiu jitsu, but full honesty, jiu jitsu is one of the easier martial arts. It's fairly easy to stay injury free as the people you are training with are looking out for your health. Most people can handle that, and I think Punk can probably handle the striking aspects as well. But man, that wrestling part is brutal. Mentally or physically, wrestling will break you. It breaks everyone. A guy with no real wrestling experience cannot go through the proper training in one year to prepare himself for a fight in the UFC.

And that last point is the biggest issue. There is no way to train for a year and be ready to fight in the UFC. The UFC will do everything they can to make it happen, but I have serious doubts he will ever get in the cage. Even if he does, it will only be a UFC fight by name. It will not be the caliber that people are used to seeing in the UFC, because no athletic commission will give him a legitimate UFC fighter. He's going to be fighting a guy with a couple pro fights and no elite skills. And that's best case scenario.

Nothing against Punk, but I don't think he'll ever end up fighting. I think he'll struggle with injuries and realize that he can't put on a fight that is worthy of his own high expectations. I know this post seems negative, but it is nothing against CM Punk. He has an incredible opportunity, and it makes sense for him to take full advantage of it. I hope he proves me wrong, and if he does, I can guarantee I'll be watching.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

11 Things That Could Go Wrong For The 2015 Chicago Cubs

Guys, for the first time in a while, I am excited about a Chicago Cubs team. Like, I'm super pumped. Speaking of pumped, I need to pump the brakes on my excitement. And when looking at the Cubs, it is really not that hard to find places where they could disappoint. This team is full of question marks, so there is a lot that can go wrong. I am going to go through the team to find the 11 things that could go wrong this year from most likely to least likely.

1. Javier Baez
Baez seems as he will be getting plenty of playing time this season, but he hit .169 last year. He is going to strike out a lot, and although he has been able to adjust to the minor league levels, he is facing a different beast when it comes to major league pitching. If he can't find a way to make more contact, he could be on a plane back to Iowa by May, and as someone who grew up in Iowa, that is not a desirable outcome.

2. The Bullpen
The bullpen has been really bad these last few years. I think they have pieces that have potential to work out, because bullpens are a fickle beast. But with that fickality (totally made up word), they could just as easily fail again this season. They don't need a great bullpen, but if it isn't at least average, they are facing a steep climb to make the playoffs.

3. The Catching Situation
The Cubs acquired Miguel Montero to help shore up the catching situation along with Welington Castillo. Montero put up a good three year stretch, but that stretch ended in 2012. The past two seasons, he has struggled at the plate in what is a good hitter's park in Arizona. He did rate as a good pitch framer, but although I see value in pitch framing, I do think the value may be exaggerated. With Castillo and Montero, are the Cubs guaranteeing anything beyond a replacement level duo?

4. Kris Bryant
Kris Bryant is the sexiest prospect in the minors right now. Velocity is sexy, tools are sexy, but there is nothing sexier than home runs, and Bryant brings those in abundance. But he does struggle with contact, and he has yet to get a single hit in the major leagues, so until someone does it at the top level, there will always be question marks. There have been plenty of top prospects who failed to live up to the hype. Many Cubs fans seem to already be penciling him in for 30 home runs but counting on that production could leave them with a bitter taste in their mouth as the rookie struggles to adjust.

5. The Outfield
The outfield currently consists of Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantara, and Chris Coghlan. That isn't going to inspire a ton of fear in opponents. Coghlan had a bounce back year after struggling for a few years after winning Rookie of the Year in 2009. Although he could continue that positive momentum, he is turning 30 this season, so he seems like a pretty decent bet for regression.

Alcantara showed flashes during his time in the majors, but he never found the hitting groove that had Cubs fans excited about him while he was in the minors. He's not an elite prospect, so his ceiling is only an above average regular, but that's his ceiling, which means it is pretty likely that he falls well short of that during his first full season in the majors.

Jorge Soler is definitely the guy to be most excited about as he came up at the end of last season and acclimated himself incredibly well. Still, it was a very small sample size, and it would be foolhardy to be confident that he could repeat that performance. Soler could follow the Gregory Polanco path of getting off to a hot start but then struggling for months.

In summary, there isn't a single guarantee that any outfielder on the Cubs roster can even provide average value.

6. The Starting Rotation Outside of Jon Lester
Cubs fans feel as if the starting rotation is a strength, as it performed very well last year. It could be, but it is not hard to imagine it being a weakness of the team as well. Jake Arrieta had a breakout year, but sometimes these breakouts turn out to be just flashes of greatness, and it seems as though the best case scenario is a repeat of his performance, which leaves a whole lot of room for regression.

The Cubs also brought back Jason Hammel who excelled for them, but quickly imploded after being sent to Oakland. Depending on Hammel going back to that first half glory instead of the second half gory that he had in Oakland may prove to be a poor decision.

Are you buying Kyle Hendricks? No offense to Hendricks, but his season seems a tad unsustainable for future years.

And that is followed up by Travis Wood who fell off a cliff after having a great year in 2013 (Fun fact: I saw him hit a home run in San Francisco that year). His true talent level is probably somewhere between his performances from the past two years, but that may only be good enough to be a fourth starter.

The Cubs starting rotation has been one of the few bright spots from these past few years, but expecting it to continue that way is far from a guarantee.

7. Starlin Castro
After falling off a cliff in 2013, Castro bounced back to his previously established level of play in 2014. He seems to have settled at the level of good, not great, shortstop. But the guy has never been known for his intangibles, so it wouldn't be that shocking if he fell back this season.

8. Jon Lester
Lester is the ultimate prize of this free agency period, so the Cubs are counting on him to supply great performance and lead the pitching staff. We are just a couple years removed from a 4.82 ERA from Lester. Although I think that will continue to be an outlier, what if he is only a #3 starter and not a 1 or 2? That's not that hard to imagine, and things are only going to go downhill as he ages. There's a decent chance that he supplies a 3.50 ERA instead of a 2.50 ERA. That's good, but it might not be good enough to lead the Cubs to the playoffs.

9. Anthony Rizzo
He could fall back to a .233 average? I mean, that is a possibility. But yeah, I'm definitely to the stages of grasping for straws at this point.

10. Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon has never won outside of Tampa Bay. Does he have what it takes to succeed or will the bright lights of the Windy City overwhelm him into managing like Dusty Baker? Okay, it will be tough to come up with one more ridiculous than that.

11. The Cubs Are Cursed
But yes, this one is more ridiculous.

So there you have it, 11 things that could ruin the Chicago Cubs 2015 season. Before I went through all these things, my prediction was 162-0 while sweeping through the World Series, but I have to temper my expectations. After going through all of these potential issues, it is clear I was a tad too optimistic, so 150-12 while only winning the World Series in 5 games. I have to stay realistic; I hope you can too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What It's Like To Be A Temp Worker

Last week, I talked about how the unemployed lifestyle ain't all it cracked up to be. It was kind of a bummer piece. But even though I haven't gotten a full-time job, I have been working temp jobs to fill my time and make some money. Let me just start by saying. temping isn't awful. It isn't great, but it is way better than not working at all. I have been very fortunate in that I have worked with really nice people in all of my positions. The biggest downside of temping is everybody sucks when starting a new job, and right when you start to get in a groove with things, your time there is done, and you are forced to start over somewhere else again. I'm not sure if anybody remembers the show "The Pretender" where the main character had a different job every week like fighter pilot, emergency room doctor, or bounty hunter. But temping is a lot like that, except WAY less exciting.

My first position was working in the marketing department of a local college, and they thought they would find something for me until they realized I was more talented than they initially thought and we mutually agreed it was not going to be a good option.

After that, I had a week off until I took a different job at the same college where I worked as a receptionist. On paper, it was a sweet gig. I just had to sit up front and could do whatever I wanted. If I wanted to cruise the internet, go ahead, pop in some headphones and learn Spanish, sure, I even wrote a book (with drawings) for my wife for our anniversary. The problem was that I was stuck there. Outside of going to the bathroom and taking a lunch, I had to sit out front and be present. It definitely sapped my motivation as time went on. They offered me the position full-time, but I'm not sure if I could have made it another month, as I was anxious every day from being forced to sit still.

My most recent position was an events position for a nonprofit. Everybody there was really nice, and I fit in the culture really well. It was a temp-to-hire position, so it was actually really promising. On my first day, my boss told me that if I proved myself, they would probably be willing to offer me the full-time position in two-to-three weeks.

I started tackling projects to the best of my ability, and somehow this backfired on me. After two days of working with my boss, she told me that I was too talented for the position. In all reality, the position was totally fine by me; it was basically just like my old full-time job, and I enjoyed that position. It was a job that would make sense for me from what my past experience was. Telling me I was too talented was the ultimate mindfuck. How can I properly respond to that? How do you tell someone that you're not that great, and this is the position for me? Do I assure them that I will fuck stuff up from time to time? I tried to agree with how great I am (it was not that hard), but at the same time saying that I would like the opportunity as I am not in the position to shoot for the stars at this point in my life.

They were concerned I would leave the position, I told them that I would stick with them through their busy period at the very least before even considering any other positions. My boss wanted to offer me the position, but the President wanted to do her due diligence and interview other people while also considering me.

It took two months for them to finally get around to the interviewing process. In that time, I had done every assignment incredibly well and just about everybody loved me there. In a building of 20 people, half of those told me how much they wanted me to get the job or assured me I was a shoo-in for the position. I figured they'd bring in a few token candidates before offering me the position. Instead, they decided to interview nine people for the position.

Still, this was a slam dunk opportunity. The first interview was with my boss and the HR lady. I presented myself incredibly well, and it was a breeze. If I was in a frat, I would say I crushed it, or slayed it, or possibly combined the two and crush-slayed it. But it went well. My boss told me that I made it to the final two, and I politely thanked her while thinking to myself, "No shit, Sherlock; there was no way I wasn't going to make it to the final interview."

And that brings me to another point. One of my weaknesses is not being great on paper, my other issue is confidence. Most people will tell you to try and be confident during an interview; this has never been an issue for me, but the opposite has been. I am too confident when I go into interviews. Even jobs I have gotten in the past, I was told that my confidence worried them. Basically, I walk into my interviews like I'm interviewing for a porno and I'm packing a footlong in my pants (Speaking of that, maybe bringing in a $5 footlong from Subway for the interviewers would help my chances). So, yes, confidence is an issue for me, but not in the same way as other unemployed people.

Speaking of that confidence, my next interview was with the President of the nonprofit. We hadn't talked a ton, but I had the ultimate advantage as she was a fellow alum at the University of Iowa. Hawkeyes stick together, so this interview should have been even easier. And it was an easy interview. The only weird thing was that she said she was looking forward to getting to know me better on a personal level, and then proceeded to only ask me work-related questions. If I don't mention my wife, pup dog, or pro wrestling, it is probably not a personal conversation. Still, I had proved myself for the last two months, so as things were winding down, I was only wondering how much money they were going to offer me.

Welp, that didn't quite work out, as they gave the position to the other candidate. Through the grapevine, I learned that my confidence was definitely not seen as an asset. So now I'm back on the hunt for my next opportunity. Should I try to tone down my confidence? Sure, I should, but change is hard, and I'm a snowflake, and they should appreciate me for being special in my own way.

Long story short, unless my Mom is in charge of hiring, I'm probably going to be bouncing around temp jobs for a while longer. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Breaking Down the WWE's ICOPRO Commercials

One thing that is abundantly clear when watching early episodes of Raw is that Vince McMahon really wanted ICOPRO to succeed. It was around this time when Vince created a bodybuilding league, because McMahon was and still is obsessed with physiques but is unfortunately in a very small minority when it comes to that. Still, with that obsession with bodybuilding, he also got into the supplement game with ICOPRO.

Now you may be asking yourself: ICOPRO, that's six letters, this must be an incredibly long name, but don't worry, it actually stands for Integrated COnditioning PROgram. He would have gone with ICP, but let's face it, McMahon is not down with the clown and would never pledge his allegiance as a Juggalo.

The most important part of ICOPRO is that it led to wrestlers being involved in awkward promotions for the product with the simple catchphrase of, "You gotta want it." Let's first check in with Bret Hart.

He had the opportunity to speak the most, but only mixed in the catchphrase within a full sentence in the middle of his nine second soliloquy. He also mentions that an "integrated approach to training" is what ICOPRO is all about instead of saying an Integrated COnditioning PROgram, which is what ICOPRO is actually all about.

And that is just about what he said. It is much more important to talk about what else is going on in this commercial. He has an ICOPRO tank which is understandable. His hair is wet, but Bret Hart was in a consistent state of wet hair, so I can't complain too much about that. Leather workout gloves? Come on, Bret, you are better than that, and to be fair, Bret proves that he is better than that as he is holding onto the WWF Title, which I guess he is using as a weight belt? If so, that is about as boss as it gets.

Next up, we have Lex Luger.

Lex delivers his line very well, and I at least give him respect for not wearing workout gloves. But I do wonder why anybody would need an outfit change for a workout? What I'm guessing is that bodybuilding tank actually started off as a shirt, and it eventually just shredded to the point where he had to go to his black ICOPRO shirt. Also, some shorter shorts would have helped, as I got way too intimate with Lex's "total package."

Finally, the bad guy, Razor Ramon.

Out of Bret Hart, Lex Luger, and Razor Ramon, you would assume that Razor would be the one guy you would want speaking, but it was the opposite as the bad guy didn't say anything. He did get the Lex Luger treatment with a wardrobe change, but that makes sense when he switched from curls to military presses. Still, Razor remains a true baller as he works out with a toothpick in his mouth. That's a boss move.

And those three guys make me want to give ICOPRO a try. I can work out with a toothpick in my mouth, a title belt around my waist, while letting the ladies know my circumcision situation without ever uttering a word. Unfortunately, ICOPRO has not been made for about 20 years. But this is the cause that a wrestler needs to take up and make happen. CM Punk failed with the ice cream bars, but couldn't Cesaro bring back ICOPRO? Why Cesaro? Well, I'm guessing that whatever was in ICOPRO can no longer be legally manufactured in the United States, so Cesaro is the perfect guy to open up the European markets. Come on, WWE, you've gotta want it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The 3 Best Jobbers in WWE History

There are some times where I will wax nostalgically on the past. This happens most often when looking at the WWE, or the WWF as it was known in the good old days. Watching the early days of Raw long for the days of jobbers. They are nearly extinct when it comes to WWE television, as the closest thing that they have really had were a variety of skinny guys that Ryback would beat up a couple years ago. Some would argue that Heath Slater is a jobber, but he wins occasionally and has a real gimmick where he speaks. That man is a superstar, and I'm looking for true jobbers.

Because of that, I would like to look at some of the best jobbers during the glory days of wrestling. Now there are people who will look at guys like The Brooklyn Brawler or Barry Horowitz, but those guys are way too mainstream and even had some victories. I want my jobbers to be total losers, and none personified the term better than these jabronis.

3. Reno Riggins
Riggins probably has the second best jobber name of all time. That's not just for jobbers; that's for wrestlers in general. Reno Riggins is strong. It may have even inspired Lorenzo Lamas's character in Renegade, Reno Reigns. Although he had a fairly good career in smaller organizations, he was strictly brought in to get beaten down when he made it to WCW and the WWE. Here is the definition of a squash match.

Things we learned in this match:

1. Reno Riggins is not related to John Riggins (helpful).
2. Reno Riggins is also not related to Christopher Columbus (I don't know why I would have thought he was).
3. Mabel is not related to Barney, even though they both wear purple (that's not how relation works).

Commentary in the 80s and 90s was truly a wondrous thing.

2. Tony Roy
Tony Roy had potential as he was in great shape for a jobber. But that hair? That hair is the hair of a full-blown jobber. The most successful person to have that hair is Spark Plug Bob Holly, who always got beat as Spark Plug, and then shaved his head to finally become somewhat relevant. Tony tried the shaved head thing and became Antoine Roy, but you probably don't remember that gimmick either. For relevant videos, I could have gone with something from his WWE days, but this seems most relevant.

Just firing frisbees up into the crowd to get completely over with the crowd. If you're looking for some WWE material, here is an epic match against IRS.

1. L.A. Gore
So this man is the reason that Reno Riggins only has the second best name in jobber history. L.A. Gore is about as perfect as it gets. He is the perfect combination of Hollywood and raw violence. He is all that is man. He managed four matches on Raw in 1993, which may have given him more appearances on WWE's flagship show in that first year than Undertaker and Hulk Hogan combined. Here is his epic match against Mr. Perfect.

L.A. Gore did not do his homework. You simply can't go for a back body drop against Mr. Perfect as it is the easiest setup for the Perfect Plex. Gore took a four year break from WWE before making a one match comeback to lose to Scott Putski.

L.A. Gore, you may have been forgotten by many, but for my money, there's no better jobber than you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Being Unemployed Sucks

Being unemployed sucks. I have been without full-time employment for nearly a year and a half. That sounds bad, and it is bad, but it could be worse. I got a severance package from my last position, so I was still getting paid for a few months, and then I collected unemployment for a few more. In May, my wife got a job and we moved, and in June I began taking temporary positions. Still, after nearly a year and a half and nearly 1000 positions applied for, I remain unemployed.

One thing I like to do is read about the unemployment statistics and stories. Well, I don't really like doing it, but I do it, and this is definitely a case of misery loves company. At first, the one thing that surprised me was the number of people that had just given up on finding a job, but as time has gone on, I understand it more and more. I have been able to stay motivated at most times, but there are days where I just don't want to look at open jobs, because I have already convinced myself that there is nothing out there for me. Those are the sad moments, which happen slightly more than the angry moments where I get mad at nothing in particular, just my inability to move forward.

I only have myself to blame. I have made irresponsible decisions when it comes to my career, and this is the side effect of those decisions. In 2010, I left a job that I enjoyed in minor league baseball to move to Albuquerque to get my ass kicked every day training in mixed martial arts. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, but it doesn't exactly pop on a resume. Combine that with the long stretch of unemployment I had after leaving my last job in Iowa, and there are definitely some red flags for potential employers. I suck on paper, and it prevents me from proving how great I am in person, but whining about it won't help. It's nobody's fault but mine, so all I can do is suck it up and keep plowing forward.

90% of the time, I keep a positive attitude. Logically, I understand that feeling sorry for myself isn't going to help, so I might as well keep a good attitude about things. As I said, this works 90% of the time, but there are other times where it gets super fucking depressing. Like, holy shit, what is wrong with me? I'm not gonna lie; I've had a couple days where I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep, because the only thoughts on my mind are about my inability to get a damn job. It is that sense of failure that just weighs me down. I know that sulking isn't going to help, but sometimes, it has gotten the better of me, and I give in to start new the next day.

I'll admit that seeing that in writing is pretty sad, but I'm still fine. Everybody gets depressed here and there; Most people have it way worse than I do, so I am definitely not looking for a pity party. I just have one area that causes me a ton of grief. I'm incredibly happy to be married, as my wife helps me feel like the luckiest unemployed guy in the whole world. If I was not married, I would really be struggling, but she has been beyond great the entire time (I could probably write an entire post that just focused on how great she has been). Also, shout out to Casey the Dog as she helps me get outside to play with her. Just getting out and breathing in that fresh air is really helpful, and it is something that I would be lazy about and avoid if I didn't have the dog forcing me to play.

I am actively failing to find a job every day, but eventually I will succeed. Will that make it a more enriching experience when I do find a good job? I'm not gonna bullshit you; it won't. It will simply be a feeling of relief, because in the day-to-day struggle, it can be pretty miserable. Still, in the grand scheme of things, I'd say I'm still coming out ahead. I have a great wife and dog, I live in Florida instead of the Midwest; so my December has 80 degree weather instead of 8 degree weather. Being unemployed sucks, but it's not the end of the world. Now if you'll excuse me, my dog is pestering me to play ball. I could use the fresh air, and this is one job I plan on keeping.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Hottest and Coldest Takes on LeBron James

Hot takes are all the rage these days, and it would be irresponsible for me to not teach all of you the ins and outs of the take world. I will do this by taking something that everyone has a take on, LeBron James's legacy. Some hot takes have him as the greatest thing since the steam engine; others say he's overrated. What I am looking to do is take the hottest of takes and eventually work it down to the coolest of takes. Let's take a trip down the Take Turnpike and see where we exit.

Take: LeBron James is the greatest basketball player ever and could take any four guys and beat the Dream Team. 

This is a very hot take, but it is so extreme that people know to keep their distance from this take. It's the sun. We know it's so hot that we're not even going to touch it. People will likely insult you while staying away from your take if you make it this hot.

Take: LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan.

This take actually may be even hotter as invoking Jordan's name inevitably brings out a lot of emotion in people. I will admit that my fingers were burning a little bit as they moved across my keyboard. This take is a hot stove, and the people around you are children. They know the stove is hot, but they have to touch it to find out exactly how hot it is. This is a take that will immediately spark debate, and the great thing is this debate will never be settled, because it can never be settled. Even though this is not the hottest, it is the worst take in that it will make both people who get involved in the debate worse people by the end with neither budging an inch on their side of the take.

Take: LeBron James is a great basketball player. 

Now we're getting into some tamer takes. LeBron James seems like a great basketball player at first glance. Still, this take has some spice to it, as people love to complain that the league has gone soft, and LeBron would have never made it in the 80s (always the 80s, despite just about everything in the 80s being terrible). Those guys played the game the right way, and they weren't buddies with their opponents. This take is a jalapeno. It's got enough spice to it that you wouldn't want to rub it in your eye.

Take: LeBron James is a good basketball player.

Okay, this is a fair take. It would take a real asshole to argue that LeBron James is not a good basketball player. Still, it's possible, especially with the 80s toughness argument. Instead of using that to say he wouldn't be great, it's just as easy to say he never would have made it in the NBA facing real tough guys like Bill Laimbeer and Kevin McHale (yes, all arguments against LeBron must also have a tinge of racism in them; I don't make the rules, but I must follow them). Still, this is not a hot take compared to the (racist) alternative. It's basically the equivalent of putting some fresh ground pepper on your meal.

Take: LeBron James is a basketball player.

Now that's a cool take. It is impossible to argue with this statement. Well, almost impossible. I mean, at the moment you are reading this, he might be taking a shower or reading to his kids. I can take a shower and read, but it doesn't make me a basketball player. There is no way to predict the future and say that he will ever play again. He might just be a professional clean guy or book reader. On top of that, language is fluid, so definitions are constantly in flux. What we today consider a basketball player may turn into a completely different meaning down the line. Still, this is about as spicy as a glass of orange juice.

Take: LeBron James was considered a basketball player during his career in what was known as the National Basketball Association, although the meanings of basketball and the NBA as a whole is in constant flux and is no way set in stone for eternity, or even the next hour. 

Finally, we have reached the coolest take. There is no argument here, just a cold glass of milk that can cool down even the hottest of takes on LeBron James.

Both hot and cool takes are a tricky world, so please leave them to the professionals like PFT Commenter and...yeah, probably just PFT Commenter.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Want to Hang Out with The Fabulous Freebirds

Being born in 1984, the entire 80s is a dark period for me when it comes to WCW wrestling. I either remember or have rewatched numerous times the important matches from the WWE, but that era of WCW is a pretty big dark spot in my knowledge of pro wrestling history. Watching the WWE Network has been fantastic in that I have learned so much about that era of WCW. Maybe the most important thing that I have learned is there may not be a group of pro wrestlers that I would rather hang out with than the Fabulous Freebirds.

Although their ring work would never win any awards, these guys understood that wrestling is sports entertainment as they knew how to entertain a crowd. Although purists probably consider Buddy Roberts as a true Freebird, for my money, there was no greater combination than Michael P.S. (Pure Sexy) Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Jimmy "Jam" Garvin (who was also referred to as "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin).

Jimmy Garvin is the happiest person on the planet. They did a promo after wrestling to a time-limit draw, and all he could do was talk about how great a draw was. He admitted that it wasn't as good as a win, but it's still pretty damn good. Also, Michael P.S. Hayes was a guy I only remember late in his career when he had lost a step (or 30), but he was pretty great in his prime. Those two guys were originators in the field of West Coast Dance as they would take turns dancing as the other one just aggressively pointed at him. It was wonderful. Then Terry Gordy was one of the ugliest people ever, but a total bruiser. He was rightfully phased out, so Garvin and Hayes could follow their true destiny and become the hard partying rock stars of wrestling.

To simplify it, the best I can do is a comparison to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I can just about guarantee that Michael Hayes used the D.E.N.N.I.S. System, Jimmy Garvin used the M.A.C. and Gordy took the scraps. I guess this makes Buddy Roberts Rickety Cricket and DDP is Schmitty.

Guys, if you're reading this, I'm near the Tampa area, and my offer stands to party. I'll supply the booze, you supply the stories, and together, we'll have one hell of a time (And if you need chicks, we can go to a strip club, just don't tell my wife). 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About The Furious 7 Trailer

Two minutes and forty-two seconds. It doesn't sound like much time. It is less than 1/20th of an hour. It is only about 1/500th of a day. Overall, that little amount of time really shouldn't matter. Still, any individual second can count, and this weekend, I found something where every one of the 162 seconds matter. The Furious 7 trailer was released, and it is glorious.

Since I am on the verge of dying from anticipation, Lukewarm Jonah sent in his comprehensive breakdown of the Furious 7 trailer:

So I don’t think I’m overstating the fact that the most important event in human history just happened.  The Fast And Furious 7 trailer dropped.  I’m going to break down the trailer with as much detail and thought that a super fan like myself can.

The trailer starts out with Dom (Vin Diesel) talking on the CB radio to his crew.  The shot goes from him, to Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), to Roman (Tyrese) and we hear from Tej (Ludacris) who is asking Roman if he’s freaking out which he clearly is.  Now why is Roman freaking out so much?  I mean they’re all in cars, it’s basically where they live.  It’s no stretch to call them the greatest team of drivers ever.  Roman says he’s not freaking out but Tej calls him out and he and Brian O’ Connor (Paul Walker) have a good laugh.  Roman wants someone to walk him through what they’re supposed to be doing.  Come on Roman know the plan, I mean you’re probably just driving and pulling off a heist or something get those butterflies out of your stomach.  The red light goes off, some sort of rear door opens and we get to see everyone in some sweet rides.

Cut to an exterior shot of an airplane!?  What the hell?  They’re in an airplane?  In cars?  Now this I’ve got to see.  I mean they have a lot of experience in airplaning from the last movie, but I didn’t see any doomsday devices handed out.  O’ Connor says “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better” to his boy Dom.  Dom says “Here we go” while Roman provides some comic relief by blessing himself.  What is going on here?  Holy shit they throw the cars in reverse and skydive out of a fucking plane, IN CARS!  Parachutes deploy and they make it onto the road no problem.  Tej sums it up better than I ever could, “Hell Yeah!”  I would just like to take a minute and point out that the trailer starts with the crew skydiving out of a plane in cars.  That’s the start, we’re just ramping up from here.

The crew is now driving on a road, all normal like, when they pull up on a bus.  Oh we’ve seen this before.  Clearly they’re going to be taking this bus down.  Are they springing someone from a prison bus?  Pulling off a big heist?  Who knows?  But we all know that if there’s one thing that Dom and the crew can do it’s pretty much anything they want involving moving vehicles.  But “Oh Shiiii….” Tej again has the perfect words for this situation.  The bus presses a magic button and guns come out of the side and start firing.  O’ Connor’s car is lit up with gun fire and he seems to pull off to the side.  But no big deal, reunited lovers Dom and Letty “Hook ‘em up” and fire gatlings into the bus and pull off the back with a little help from Tej’s magic button and the power of brakes.  Dom says Brian is up, but wait a minute I thought he pulled over.

Naw girl, he’s freaking surfing on his bullet hole ridden car while being pushed by Tej’s hummer.  So he hops into the bus taking some chump down in the process.  While it’s not shown, it’s safe to assume he takes down the other jabronis on the bus and shoots a lock on a door, pulls the hood off of some person, and surprise, it’s an attractive female.  Brian, being the all american good guy, tells her they’re going to get her out of there.  She has to jump onto the hood of Dom’s car and really seems to have no problem doing so.  She screams, but I assume Dom uses his super driving skills to chill her out.  But there’s a problem.  With all the jabronis Brian took down, there’s no one driving the bus and it flips!

The bus rides along the road on its side for a little bit before coming to rest.  Whew!  That was a close one.  Oh did I forget to mention that it comes to a rest over the edge of a cliff?  Because that’s exactly what it does.  O’ Connor hops out the door which is the part that’s hanging over a cliff.  He climbs up the side of the bus like a boss but the rocks are starting to crumble.  He breaks out in a dead sprint across the bus while it’s falling over the cliff.  Things look bleak, but Letty is racing towards the bus.  She power slides as Brian is still running across the falling bus.  He leaps and catches the spoiler on Letty’s powersliding car.  Holy shit looks like he made it out of this one safe and sound.  The bus falls off the cliff and all those kidnapping dickheads on board presumably fall to a terrible death.  And that’s the end of the trailer.  Or is it?  It’s not.  No all of this insane action has happened in about the first minute and a half.  How are they going to top all this?  Strap yourself in and get ready for a hell of a ride.

Dom’s on the phone with some limey who killed Han (Sung Kan).  The limey says that Dom doesn’t know him but he’s about to and the scene where he crashes into Han and walks away is shown.  The tea sipper is shown to be Jason Statham.  Dom tells his crew that it looks like the sins of London have followed them home.  Also of note, new rescued girl is with the crew now.

Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) makes his first appearance and you know business is about to pick up.  He explains that new foreinger is Owen Shaw’s “Big bad brother.”  Man, Dom and his crew have horrible luck.  It seems like every movie they keep running into someone bigger and badder than before.  I have a theory that Fast 8 will feature Owen’s brother Deckard’s bigger badder cousins, Nic Cage and Jean Claude Van Damme.  Also as you just read, Hobbs’ file contains the name Deckard Shaw, so it’s safe to assume that’s Statham’s character.  We get a couple seconds of Deckard being a badass against some randoms, just to establish how tough he really is.

Tej makes a statement that really sums up what’s going on “We’re being hunted.”  Look I don’t care how tough you are, how tough your brother is, you’re not going to hunt down Dom’s crew.  They show shots of Dom, Hobbs, and O’ Connor getting ready by having some sweet/giant guns and bullet proof vests.  It’s interesting to note that O’Connor is wearing an FBI vest, so at least O’Connor is back on the legit side of the law.  After this, there is a very poignant shot of Dom and O’Connor where Dom states “One last ride.”  Sadly, Walker’s death does mean that this is truly their last ride together.

Cut to shots of insane cars driving… in the desert????  I know it’s the desert because there’s a shot of sand and camels.  What have the guys gotten themselves into now?  Oh there’s an insane party going on with gold painted girls and quite possibly Little John DJing while a bunch of presumably rich people throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care.  Cut to a shot of the crew dressed to the nines.  Tuxes, suits, dresses, they are straight crushing walking down stairs.

Cut to a shot of a car race, where Dom’s Charger can be seen.  I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that he wins the race.  Good news, there’s also a sweet shot of some booty as a chick bends over and drops the scarf to start the race.  Letty’s driving, then there’s some red and an explosion.  Gunfire in that red building, then cut to a shot of Dom driving his Charger.  Lots of Fast and Furious action going on here.  We see that Dom has a cut on his hand as he shifts, I assume from backhanding some bad guy too much.  The word vengeance hits the screen and we go back to the real star of the movie, Hobbs.

Hobbs utters possibly the greatest line ever spoken by anyone, “Daddy’s got to go to work.”  Oh and work he does.  His arm is in a cast which is very confusing.  My theory is that Shaw blindsided Hobbs just like he did to Han.  Only Shaw was driving a tank, Hobbs was just standing around, and he had just finished drinking a kryptonite smoothie.  Seems like the most logical way Hobbs could end up with a broken arm.  So it’s tough to tell if Hobbs rips the cast off, or just simply flexes and breaks it apart.  But the message is clear, Hobbs doesn’t let a minor setback like broken bones slow him down.  Now he fights some dude with a shaved head that at first I assumed was Shaw, but upon pausing the trailer, it looks like just some random jabroni that a smackdown must be laid down upon.  Hobbs makes this guy look like a punk even with one arm and punches him through a glass window.

We get a shot of Shaw looking tough with a gun, as a familiar voice, Kurt Russell, tells Dom something that sounds like, “This is a world that doesn’t play by your rules.”  Followers of Dom know that he has a code, and spoiler alert, we’ll hear more about that code later on in the trailer.  It’s not all “Show me how and drive and I’ll show you who you are.”

More quick cuts, Shaw shoots a gun, possibly at a sick red car that’s driving in a sick house.  Hobbs is firing a gatling gun, just like Roadblock in GI Joe.  Letty’s in a red dress, Dom’s in a tux with Letty in a red dress, kidnap victim is coming out of the water in a bikini as Roman and Tej look on.  A helicopter flies, O’Connor drives a car like a champ.  Dom and Shaw appear to have samuri swords in each hand as they fly at each other.  Shaw’s sweet ride is wrecked while Dom’s Charger seems to be in pretty solid shape.

The next shot has Shaw against the cement part of a street light with Dom winding up for a home run swing.  Sadly, it appears that Dom is swinging a crowbar and not a samurai sword.  He misses and explodes the concrete.  Smart fans will remember that Dom is especially deadly with wrenches, so it makes sense he’s a complete badass with a crowbar as well.  The trailer then shows shots of Tej, Roman, Letty, and the first shot of Mia (Jordanna Brewster) O’Connor’s wife and Dom’s sister.  She looks concerned, and I mean super concerned.  Kurt Russell’s voice speaks over these shots and tells Dom, “Like it or not, you and your friends are part of this now.”  Dom responds with the wisdom that cannot be taught or learned, it has to be God given.  “I don’t have friends, I got family.”  Boom!  Suck on that Shaw, you and your brother may have been blood, but you don’t have shit on Dom and his family.  Cut to a long shot of O’Connor and Roman in the background.  Furious 7, weird title, coming April 2015.

And that’s your trailer folks.  I’m writing this from my smart phone as I’m already camped out in line for the movie.  If you have any other questions please feel free to ask, because I feel that I’m the foremost expert on all things Fast and or Furious.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What Does Jose Canseco's Missing Middle Finger Mean For His Career?

News of Jose Canseco shooting off his middle finger has the whole world in mourning. It took me a while to gather my thoughts. Jose is a very emotional person, but emotional people need logical people to balance them out, so instead of the emotional take of me cutting my own middle finger off to donate to Jose, I have decided to take the rational take.

What does this mean for Jose Canseco's career?

Baseball
We will start with the obvious in discussing his baseball career. Jose assured the world that he could still hit 40 home runs in the major leagues if he was just given a chance. Most people openly laughed at this belief, and I was laughing too; I thought that number was way too low. Turns out other people thought it was too high. This made me think that he probably had it just right. This is the easiest one to figure out. Since he would hit 40 home runs with ten fingers, but now he only has nine fingers, he would still hit 9/10 of the home runs he predicted. So a team should definitely still sign him.
Conclusion: 36 home runs.

Writing
Jose Canseco is a published author who is known for his inventive spellings and sayings on Twitter. Now that he is typing while missing a vital finger, clearly he can't be as great as he once was, but I still believe him to be great. He's been going on a tweeting spree referring to Leila as his fiance which would imply that she is a man. Blowing off a finger can only end in one way for Jose Canseco's writing future.
Conclusion: All the misspelled words.

Mixed Martial Arts
Although Canseco's record may indicate that he has fallen short in the world of fighting, don't let these stat nerds fool you. Canseco fears no man, and if you think Jose will ever stop challenging Shaq to a fight, you have another thing coming. Obviously losing a finger will make things incredibly difficult for Jose, but don't ever count him out. Nick Newell has done incredible things while missing half of his arm. Since Jose is only missing a finger, I think I know how this story ends.
Conclusion: UFC Champion

So, yeah, I think things are going to turn out a-ok for Jose. Best of luck to him on a speedy recovery.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Essential Breakdown of My 2014-2015 Fantasy Basketball Draft

After wrapping up the longest fantasy baseball story ever told, I figured that if there was one thing that my loyal readers needed, it was more fantasy talk. But fear not,  my friends, as I have at least moved onto basketball. If you have not had your draft yet, this actually might be helpful, as I will highlight my best and worst picks while highlighting my own thinking on my picks in the round. We can trade draft picks in the league I am in, so just a heads up, I have 4 of the first 14 picks in the draft, and I am going to throw the world's biggest hissy fit if my team doesn't win the championship.

ROUND 1
1 LeBron James, Cle SF      The Outsiders
2 Anthony Davis, Nor PF   Flint Tropics
3 Kevin Durant*, OKC SF   The Outsiders
4 Stephen Curry, GS PG     Butt Stuff
5 Chris Paul, LAC PG         The Kid From Thunder Struck
6 James Harden, Hou SG     For the love of the game
7 Russell Westbrook, OKC PG Wennington Baseline
8 Blake Griffin, LAC PF     Team Agan
9 John Wall, Wsh PG           Team Roy
10 Carmelo Anthony, NY SF Team Ehrecke
11 DeMarcus Cousins, Sac C   The Outsiders
12 Serge Ibaka, OKC PF       Team schneider

Best Pick: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo is about as much of a guarantee that you can get in the top ten. He has always been healthy, and he always finishes in the top 10. Worst case scenario is that you get the tenth most valuable guy at the ten spot. Carmelo may not be a winning player in real life, but he is one in fantasy. I was very disappointed that he got taken one spot ahead of me.

Worst Pick: Blake Griffin
It's tough to fault any of the picks in the first round, but you are taking a gamble that Blake is going to take a step forward this season. He definitely could, as everybody has been raving about his progress in the offseason, but even if he takes a step forward, he'd still only max out around the eighth most valuable player in the league.

My Pick(s): LeBron James, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins
I took LeBron #1, even though I doubt he is the number one rated guy at the end of the season. He is the safest guy to take that will guarantee be a top five guy, and I traded for so many top basketball picks that a safe pick here made total sense, especially with my second pick. Most people may think this is too high for Kevin Durant, but I am in a special situation where I can manage having him on my IR spot while he recovers and still be strong early on in the season. When healthy, he is the best fantasy player to have, so playoff time, I'll be ready to destroy people. Finally, I took DeMarcus Cousins. I would have liked Melo to fall to me, but I am totally good with Cousins, especially since he is just fun to cheer for. I definitely thought about Ibaka here, but in a toss-up situation, I'm going to take the guy I like more.

ROUND 2
13 Damian Lillard, Por PG   Team schneider
14 Kevin Love, Cle PF          The Outsiders
15 LaMarcus Aldridge, Por PF Team Ehrecke
16 Kawhi Leonard, SA SF    Team Roy
17 Ty Lawson, Den PG         Team Agan
18 Kyrie Irving, Cle PG        Wennington Baseline
19 Al Jefferson, Cha C          For the love of the game
20 Derrick Rose, Chi PG      It's Not The Same Macklemore
21 Dirk Nowitzki, Dal PF     Butt Stuff
22 Chris Bosh, Mia C           Flint Tropics
23 Kyle Lowry*, Tor PG      Team Marcysquirts
24 Goran Dragic, Pho PG     Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Derrick Rose
This is because I am a Bulls homer, but did you see him against the Cavs the other night? It was magical. D-Rose is BACK. If just one of my predictions for this year comes true, I want it to be me cruising to a fantasy championship, but if two of my predictions can come true, this is the one I am hoping for the second most.

Worst Pick: Kyrie Irving
The other guy on the Cavs is someone I'm not as sold on. He is going to have to work without the ball in his hands, and I don't see him adapting nearly as well as Love. Also, he does have injury issues, and I would not trust his health enough to invest a mid-2nd round pick.

My Pick: Kevin Love
Kevin Love is consistently a top-5 fantasy player when healthy. I understand he is no longer the number one option, but he is still going to be a huge focal point for that offense. With LeBron and Kyrie alongside him, he will get more open three opportunities, but can also hang out near the rim and get more chances for offensive rebounds and putbacks. I actually had him ahead of Cousins on my list but figured I could wait on Love as worst case, I would probably end up with Ibaka. Love fell, and I am very happy to have him.

ROUND 3
25 DeMar DeRozan, Tor SG Flint Tropics
26 Andre Drummond, Det C Team Marcysquirts
27 Dwight Howard, Hou C    The Kid From Thunder Struck
28 Nicolas Batum, Por SF     Butt Stuff
29 Monta Ellis, Dal SG         Team Ehrecke
30 Marc Gasol, Mem C         For the love of the game
31 Kenneth Faried, Den PF    Wennington Baseline
32 Joakim Noah, Chi C         Team Agan
33 Mike Conley, Mem PG    Team Roy
34 Kemba Walker, Cha PG   Team Ehrecke
35 Klay Thompson, GS SG   The Outsiders
36 Victor Oladipo, Orl SG    Team schneider

Best Pick: Joakim Noah
This was a tough one, but Noah provides so much in every category but three pointers that he may end up being the best big guy in this round despite being the last one taken. The other guy I would make an argument for is Mike Conley who is usually pretty healthy and will provide strong point guard numbers. He probably won't be a whole lot better than 33rd overall, but it is unlikely that he is much worse.

Worst Pick: Victor Oladipo
He put up solid numbers last year, but he had the ball in his hand a lot more than he will have it in his hands this year with the addition of Elfird Payton. He's a fine player, but I feel like his best case scenario is being around mid-30s at the end of the year, and if his shooting doesn't improve, he could be about twenty spots worse.

My Pick: Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson provides on the scoring stats, because the dude can shoot. But his defense has improved over the last few years, and I think he might improve some of his other counting stats as he has shown a more well-rounded game each year he has been in the league. He was a safe choice, who has some upside, but probably won't be too much more valuable than 35, and he does add value as shooting guard is a very shallow position in the NBA.

ROUND 4
37 Paul Millsap, Atl PF         Team schneider
38 Al Horford, Atl C              The Outsiders
39 Eric Bledsoe, Pho PG       Team Ehrecke
40 Rudy Gay, Sac SF            Team Roy
41 Kobe Bryant, LAL SG     Team Agan
42 Dwyane Wade, Mia SG    Wennington Baseline
43 DeAndre Jordan, LAC C   For the love of the game
44 Jabari Parker, Mil SF       It's Not The Same Macklemore
45 Nikola Vucevic, Orl C     Butt Stuff
46 Thaddeus Young, Min SF The Kid From Thunder Struck
47 Jrue Holiday, Nor PG       The Outsiders
48 Gordon Hayward, Uta SG Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Eric Bledsoe
I love Eric Bledsoe, as he could easily be a top 15 fantasy player if he stays healthy throughout the season. The issue with him is health and likely reduced playing time with the addition of Isaiah Thomas. Still, if he does stay healthy, he will outperform his draft slot and be a very valuable guy who can play both guard positions.

Worst Pick: Jabari Parker
With any rookie, there are going to be growing pains. Jabari is very talented, but he is not a generational talent, as he wasn't even the first pick in the draft. I do think he will likely be the best rookie, but considering some of the other talent available on the wings at this point in the draft, it was too much of a reach for my liking.

My Pick(s): Al Horford and Jrue Holiday
Al Horford is incredible at basketball. His pectorals are incredible at tearing in half. Did I take the wrong injury risk by going with him over Bledsoe? Possibly, but I am going to trust in Horford's talent and assume that pectorals will not constantly rip in two. When he's on the floor, he's one of the best big men in the league, and I have no doubt that he will outproduce his teammate, Paul Millsap, who was taken one pick before him. Also, I love Jrue Holiday. He is a really good point guard who has the talent around him to make plays. Health was a concern last year, but if he would have been healthy last year, he would probably be taken in the early third round. Without him, the Pelicans struggled, but they could make a huge leap with him running the show for the whole season.

ROUND 5
49 Ricky Rubio, Min PG              The Kid From Thunder Struck
50 Chandler Parsons, Dal SF        The Outsiders
51 Deron Williams, Bkn PG         The Kid From Thunder Struck
52 Derrick Favors, Uta PF            Butt Stuff
53 Brandon Jennings, Det PG          It's Not The Same Macklemore
54 Brook Lopez*, Bkn C              For the love of the game
55 Nerlens Noel, Phi C                 Wennington Baseline
56 Wesley Matthews, Por SG             Team Agan
57 Jeff Teague, Atl PG                  Team Roy
58 Josh Smith, Det SF                   Team Ehrecke
59 Pau Gasol, Chi PF                    Team Marcysquirts
60 Michael Carter-Williams*, Phi PG Team schneider

Best Pick: Wesley Matthews
Matthews has quietly turned into one of the best shooting guards in the league as the guy can flat out shoot. If you told me his stats at the end of the year were exactly the same as Klay Thompson's, I wouldn't be surprised (although as a Klay Thompson owner, I'd be slightly disappointed). He's just a really solid player. He won't be great, but he'll probably outperform his draft spot by about ten positions. A similar guy is Jeff Teague who was doing some great things when Horford was still healthy at the beginning of last year. In a completely different vein, Josh Smith has enough upside that his risk is worth it at this point.

Worst Pick: Michael Carter-Williams
He is coming off a serious injury so he will likely not be playing at the beginning of the season, and he is someone who was great at the beginning, but then really struggled while having a few bounceback moments at the end. His big question was his shooting, and I don't know if he really answered whether he can shoot. Making it worse is that Rajon Rondo was sitting there, who is better than MCW in just about every conceivable way. I hate Rondo, but I'd draft Satan for a fantasy championship.

My Pick: Chandler Parsons
The worst case scenario for Parsons is that he matches his Houston numbers, but I do think he has a good chance to improve on what he has done in the past. Having Dirk stretching the floor gives him an opportunity to penetrate where he is very good at finishing. Also, there are likely going to be some open three opportunities with Dirk on the outside and Monta driving to the hole. I was actually hoping for Gordon Hayward to fall a couple spots to me, but I was totally happy to still get Parsons.

ROUND 6
61 Tim Duncan, SA PF         Team schneider
62 Andrew Wiggins, Min SG Team Marcysquirts
63 David Lee, GS PF            Team Ehrecke
64 Rajon Rondo*, Bos PG    Team Roy
65 Terrence Jones, Hou PF    Team Agan
66 Luol Deng, Mia SF           Wennington Baseline
67 Tony Parker, SA PG        For the love of the game
68 Zach Randolph, Mem PF It's Not The Same Macklemore
69 Joe Johnson, Bkn SG        Butt Stuff
70 Bradley Beal*, Wsh SG   The Outsiders
71 Lance Stephenson, Cha SG Flint Tropics
72 Jonas Valanciunas, Tor C Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Rajon Rondo
Our league has a lot of Bulls fans, so that means we are required to hate Rondo, and that showed in our draft, as he was only drafted as high as he was because the guy who picked him didn't show up and auto-drafted his team. Still, Rondo is good in fantasy basketball situations, so it was probably the best pick of the round. But as a Bulls fan, Rondo is the worst.

Worst Pick: Andrew Wiggins
I think Wiggins will be solid this year, but the guy is raw. He can definitely have some 30 point performances, but consistently, I don't see him getting it done to the level of some of the other guys drafted in this round.

My Pick: Bradley Beal
This is me taking advantage of having many early picks and having the luxury to stock a talented player on my bench for first month or so. Beal is awesome, and I would have taken him two to three rounds earlier if he had been healthy. I could see him making a big step forward this year with his name being just behind James Harden's for best shooting guard in the league.

ROUND 7
73 Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil SF Flint Tropics
74 Tyreke Evans, Nor SF              Team Marcysquirts
75 Marcin Gortat, Wsh C              It's Not The Same Macklemore
76 Kyle Korver, Atl SG                 Butt Stuff
77 George Hill, Ind PG                 It's Not The Same Macklemore
78 Trevor Ariza, Hou SF              For the love of the game
79 Greg Monroe, Det PF               Wennington Baseline
80 Brandon Knight, Mil PG          Team Agan
81 Markieff Morris, Pho PF          Team Roy
82 Ryan Anderson, Nor PF           Team Ehrecke
83 Elfrid Payton, Orl PG               Team Marcysquirts
84 Jeremy Lin, LAL PG                Team schneider

Best Pick: George Hill
Somebody has to put up points for the Pacers; why can't it be George Hill? The other options are not all that appealing. Hill will have the ball in his hands a lot more, and that alone should mean that he sees an uptick in his production.

Worst Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Everybody loves Giannis, but he has a long ways to go before he is a truly valuable fantasy option. He will show brilliant flashes throughout the year, but he is still raw. I think he takes a step forward, but taking him this early requires him taking a leap forward, and he is at least a year away from that.

My Pick: No Pick
This was a good round to not have a pick, as the talent is starting to get pretty uninspired.

ROUND 8
85 Tobias Harris, Orl PF       Team schneider
86 Reggie Jackson*, OKC PG Flint Tropics
87 Arron Afflalo, Den SG     Team Ehrecke
88 David West, Ind PF          Team Roy
89 Nikola Pekovic, Min C    Team Agan
90 Jose Calderon, NY PG     Wennington Baseline
91 Robin Lopez, Por C                 For the love of the game
92 J.J. Redick, LAC SG        It's Not The Same Macklemore
93 Jeff Green, Bos SF           Butt Stuff
94 Danilo Gallinari, Den SF The Kid From Thunder Struck
95 Darren Collison, Sac PG   Team Marcysquirts
96 Larry Sanders, Mil C        Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Larry Sanders
I feel like Sanders will bounce back from the year when everything went wrong. Him putting up 10-10 for points and rebounds while adding a couple blocks a game seems like a likely scenario.

Worst Pick: Tobias Harris
This was a really tough one, because none of these picks were really bad. They were mostly middle-of-the-road picks who are all kind of varying degrees of fine. The reason I picked Harris is because the Magic drafted Aaron Gordon who is also a fringy forward who can play either spot, and they are going to give him minutes to see what he can do. Oh yeah, and they added Channing Frye to soak up some minutes as well. Otherwise, I think Tobias Harris is a pretty solid player who I enjoyed having on my team at the end of last year.

My Pick: No Pick
This was kind of an uninspired round, so I didn't really have any regrets.

ROUND 9
97 Isaiah Thomas, Pho PG    The Outsiders
98 Roy Hibbert, Ind C           The Kid From Thunder Struck
99 Jimmy Butler*, Chi SG    The Kid From Thunder Struck
100 Kevin Martin, Min SG     Butt Stuff
101 Jared Sullinger, Bos PF    It's Not The Same Macklemore
102 Patrick Beverley, Hou PG    For the love of the game
103 Alec Burks, Uta SG          Wennington Baseline
104 Eric Gordon, Nor SG       Team Agan
105 Jordan Hill, LAL PF        Team Roy
106 Jamal Crawford, LAC SG Team Ehrecke
107 Tyson Chandler, Dal C         Team Marcysquirts
108 Omer Asik, Nor C            Team schneider

Best Pick: Roy Hibbert
This was an inspired round as there were a lot of high upside guys taken that could pay off. Hibbert was dominant at the beginning of last year, and I think he will be much closer to that than he will be to the guy who looked like a statue down the stretch and in the majority of the playoffs. He could easily lead the league in blocks. By the way, I liked a lot about this round as Butler was a nice value pick. Beverly is now a full-time point guard. Jordan Hill will put up counting stats on a terrible team, and Asik will get consistent minutes again to be the defensive anchor for the Pelicans.

Worst Pick: Kevin Martin
What is the benefit of giving Martin minutes over Wiggins and LaVine? Anyone? Anyone at all? Yeah, I think he will see a big decrease in minutes and production. He's also a likely trade candidate for a contender to have even less of a role off the bench.

My Pick: Isaiah Thomas
I love Isaiah Thomas this year. He was int he top 20 in fantasy production last year. He did switch teams, but the Suns have said they are planning on rotating all three of them in the game, so he can still expect to get 25-30 minutes, with the majority coming with the bench unit where he will have free reign to score at will. His numbers will drop, but not to the point where he should have fallen to this spot. I'm not sure if there was a player I was targeting harder than Thomas.

ROUND 10
109 Avery Bradley, Bos SG    Team schneider
110 Anderson Varejao, Cle C Team Marcysquirts
111 Trey Burke, Uta PG         Team Ehrecke
112 Mario Chalmers, Mia PG Team Roy
113 Andrew Bogut, GS C       Team Agan
114 Taj Gibson, Chi PF          Wennington Baseline
115 Nene Hilario*, Wsh PF    For the love of the game
116 Spencer Hawes, LAC C         Team Ehrecke
117 J.R. Smith, NY SG           Butt Stuff
118 John Henson, Mil PF       The Kid From Thunder Struck
119 Paul George*, Ind SF       The Outsiders
120 Julius Randle, LAL PF     Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Trey Burke
Man, I really wanted Trey Burke too, but it made sense that he didn't fall to me. I think Burke will take a significant step forward this year, and considering that Mario Chalmers went one pick after him, how good of a value must Burke be? Like, Burke could play the year with Ebola and still probably outproduce Mario Chalmers.

Worst Pick: Mario Chalmers
Let me just repeat this: Trey Burke could outproduce him with Ebola.

My Pick: Paul George
It's a keeper league, so Paul George in the 8th next year is incredible value, especially since he has already been seen knocking down jumpers. He might be back by Thanksgiving, who knows? But yeah, he'll hang out on IR this season, and next year, I get first round talent in the 8th.

ROUND 11
121 Dion Waiters, Cle SG      Flint Tropics
122 Doug McDermott, Chi SF   The Outsiders
123 Terrence Ross, Tor SG     The Kid From Thunder Struck
124 Enes Kanter, Uta C          Butt Stuff
125 Andre Iguodala, GS SF    It's Not The Same Macklemore
126 DeMarre Carroll, Atl SF         For the love of the game
127 Draymond Green, GS SF Wennington Baseline
128 Ersan Ilyasova, Mil PF     Team Agan
129 Josh McRoberts*, Mia PF Team Roy
130 Bojan Bogdanovic, Bkn SG Team Ehrecke
131 Jameer Nelson, Dal PG         Team Marcysquirts
132 C.J. Miles, Ind SF            Team schneider

Best Pick: Ersan Ilyasova
We're getting late in the draft, so it's going to be tough to find great picks. Ilyasova might get back to where he was a few years ago. It is at least a possibility.

Worst Pick: Dion Waiters
I do not like Waiters's chances of fitting in on this new-look Cavs team. I very much think he will find the doghouse quickly, and his best case scenario is getting traded to a bad team for a second round pick where they will not mind him throwing up ridiculous shots while teammates who are wide open slump their shoulders in disgust.

My Pick: Doug McDermott
He's kind of been doing a little bit of everything this preseason. I think his minutes will increase as the season goes on, and he will score no matter what. He's not great, but I think he can add top-100 value.

ROUND 12
133 Gorgui Dieng, Min C       Team schneider
134 JaVale McGee, Den C      Team Marcysquirts
135 Amir Johnson, Tor PF      It's Not The Same Macklemore
136 Matt Barnes, LAC SF     Team Roy
137 Marcus Smart, Bos PG      Team Agan
138 Tim Hardaway Jr., NY SG Wennington Baseline
139 Danny Green, SA SG       For the love of the game
140 Carlos Boozer, LAL PF         It's Not The Same Macklemore
141 Miles Plumlee, Pho PF     Butt Stuff
142 K.J. McDaniels, Phi SF    The Kid From Thunder Struck
143 James Ennis, Mia SF        The Kid From Thunder Struck
144 Paul Pierce, Wsh SF         Flint Tropics

Best Pick: Paul Pierce
Pierce still has old man game (old man game that he has had since age 16), so he should at least be a solid late round addition, especially early on with Beal out. That's not bad for the end of Round 12.

Worst Pick: James Ennis
Who is James Ennis? I am nearly positive he is a rookie, because his name sounds familiar. Did he play at Syracuse? Maybe. But I don't know who this is, and I know over 50 NBA players, so I will assume he is not good.

My Pick: No Pick
I cannot identify all of the players in this round, so I'm not too worried about missing out.

ROUND 13
145 Aaron Gordon, Orl PF      Team Marcysquirts
146 Otto Porter Jr., Wsh SF    The Outsiders
147 Nick Young*, LAL SG         The Kid From Thunder Struck
148 Andrea Bargnani, NY PF Butt Stuff
149 Channing Frye, Orl PF         It's Not The Same Macklemore
150 Timofey Mozgov, Den C For the love of the game
151 Anthony Morrow, OKC SG Wennington Baseline
152 Tony Wroten, Phi PG         Team Agan
153 Wilson Chandler, Den SF Team Roy
154 Jodie Meeks*, Det SG         It's Not The Same Macklemore
155 Dante Exum, Uta SG         Team Marcysquirts
156 Evan Turner, Bos SG         Team schneider

Best Pick: Channing Frye
Yeah, he is hurt to start the year, but he can be a nice fantasy addition when he comes back. They paid him a lot of money, so he will get minutes, and that is a nice asset in the final round.

Worst Pick: Jodie Meeks
If you hold onto Jodie Meeks until he gets healthy, you have a very sad fantasy basketball existence.

My Pick: Otto Porter Jr.
Beal is out early, so I am going to hope that Porter has discovered offense after struggling with injuries in his rookie year. He has a 50/50 shot of surviving two weeks on my roster.

When it comes down to it, my team is the heavy favorite, but Team Ehrecke and Flint Tropics both have a lot of talent on their rosters (Weirdly, two of my favorite picks from those teams play in Utah with Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward). If my team stays healthy, I'm untouchable, but I highly doubt that will happen, so the key will be filling out the back end of my roster, as there are definitely some changes on the horizon. Best of luck to everyone in your own fantasy basketball leagues, and if you can acquire 4 of the first 14 picks, do that; it will make things so much easier.