NFL Week 17

The final week of the season is by far the most frustrating to me. I stay far away from any game where starters might be rested or teams might be tanking for draft position, unless I'm super-confident. Do you feel comfortable with picks in the last week? A few I would go with:

Chicago at Detroit -3
San Francisco at St. Louis -7
Baltimore at Oakland -10
Cincinnati at NY Jets +10 (I'm pretty sure the Bengals are still jockeying for their exact playoff position?)

Music Tuesdays (feat. Smile Like You Mean It)

For the record, Smile Like You Mean It is not a band, it is a blog run by Caitlin McCabe - or as we call her, C-Mac. After going toe-to-toe in last week's cool commercial throwndown (how dare you pick against us, Grace :), we'll keep it collaborative with some music picks like we've done before.

DJ Earworm - United State of Pop 2009 (Blame it on the Pop)

Our friend luseelooo linked me to the below mashup, with which I immediately fell in love. We all already know from our discussion of Music Tuesdays at Smile Like You Mean It that I'm a fan of EDM, and while it may not have surfaced here at FIWK, I'm a huge fan of Glee, so it makes sense that I'd be a fan of DJ Earworm. I challenge you to listen to this mashup of Billboard's Top-25 of 2009 and not bob your head; you can't do it.

Weekend Comedy 12/28

This was taken directly from the commercials that Scott threw down earlier this week... make sure you watch his "auto tune the ads" link, it's fantastic also

NBA Salary Woes: The Maynor Trade

Yesterday the NBA's Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder completed a trade that sent guard Eric Maynor and forward Matt Harpring from the Jazz to the Thunder in return for the rights to a German forward who will never play in the NBA. The only reason the Thunder included anything at all is because NBA rules say teams have to trade something tangible. The real benefit that the Jazz received from the Thunder? As John Hollinger's article explains, the Jazz will save more than $10 million dollars by dumping two dead-weight contracts on the Thunder, who are far below the luxury tax threshold.

Commercial Throwdown - American Express vs Virgin Atlantic

Caitlin of Smile Like You Mean It is championing this commercial from Virgin Atlantic:

You are now free to vote for ours, which is superior. Just like our last throwdown was superior.

Neither is as mind-blowing as the HTC 'You' commercials but ours amused me as much as the Jack in the Box prison commercial, albeit with a different humor style.

Side note: this song, Bach's Prelude to Cello Suite no.1, is amazing and also featured in one of the best moments from the West Wing

Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 12/22

Two weeks ago, I noted that I thought that Alex Smith could (and would) be a strong starting QB in the NFL over the next half-decade. That said, I was extremely frustrated with his performance this weekend (42.3 passer rating) due to what appeared to be horrible decisions - not throws. However, Mr. Maiocco has calmed me down with his article in the Press Democrat yesterday - an article focused on consistency.

It's widely known that the Niners haven't exactly the best run organization this decade, so we'll look to one of the best for guidance after the jump.

Scotland's Hebrides

In the same vein as my Western Australia wanderlust, I present to you a kickass series of National Geographic photos of Scotland's Hebrides islands. I haven't been to the upper highlands or the islands around Scotland, but this looks amazing. Even a basic Google Image search for 'Hebrides Scotland' turns up amazing photos. What's the most photogenic scenery you've been to, and how does this compare?

NFL Week 15 Picks

The picks this week are weird. Three games are off the board (at least where I'm looking) owing to either injuries or "will the team rest its key guys" questions. A lot of other games are also in doubt because of resting the starters concerns. Here's what I would pick this week:

New Orleans -7 vs. Dallas
Baltimore -10.5 vs. Chicago
Oakland +14 at Denver
NY Giants -3 at Washington

And I have the following question: is Cleveland (+1.5) at Kansas City the worst game of the year? Or is that reserved for the Kansas City - Oakland game in a week?

Mr Period and Friends

The topic of our favorite accoutrements came up recently over at C-Mac's blog, leading to a reflection of my all-time favorite shirt. I would like to share the subject of that shirt with you. He is Mr. Period from Penny Arcade. He appears occasionally to help gamers with their grammar and to clarify social misunderstandings, when not counseling confused numerologists. He is also the subject of this badass garment.

Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 12/15

I guess we found "Frank the Tank". I told you he was fun to watch - he's an absolute beast when it comes to breaking tackles, and has an awesome explosion when it comes to cuts in the open field. Both can be seen in his Week 14 Highlights.

On a post-related note, anyone care/able to explain to me the "Crabtree Shuffle" seen after the jump?

NFL Week 14

Man, did we drop the ball, but now we're going to get back on track up on the horse. I actually picked the Browns +10 last night, but didn't say it here, so I won't count it. Indy (-7) vs. Broncos looks good. Minnesota (-6.5) vs. Cincinnati could be interesting. Jacksonville (-2.5) vs. Miami could be close with playoff implications and the battle for AFC supremacy in Florida. I don't know who to pick in the NYG (-1) vs. Philly. If SF had won last week and Arizona had lost, then this week's matchup would be REALLY interesting, but now it's not. How do you feel about that Scott? It wasn't until I checked the NFL TV Distribution Map at that I realized there are 10 early games on Sunday and only 3 afternoon games...does that seem strange to anyone else? The sports bar is going to be almost empty when I go watch the Chargers.

Famous Bruins Draft

Ok. we're going to keep this draft idea going... we'll just switch up the topics each time. Fors this draft we're going with famous UCLA Bruins. The only rule up for debate is whether this should only include students, because John Wooden actually went to Purdue. First up, Scott, then MP, then Aaron, then Royce... standard snake style draft and all.

Random Thoughts Thursday

Inspired by Aaron's random thoughts, the assorted links blogs by Matthew Yglesias and Marginal Revolution, and Ezra Klein's "tab dump" posts, here some links I've been reading but don't have a strong angle to craft whole blogs around:

- I enjoyed this transcript of William Faulkner's great acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature while looking for a transcript of Obama's acceptance speech

- the public intoxication blog's fondness for the scale of 1 to 10 makes me want to use the scale in more daily situations... how much did you enjoy these random links, on a scale of 1 to 10?

- the site It Starts With Us is interesting (if sappy) for its concept, and I agree generally with this article describing why your attitude matters - because you influence others by proxy, and vice versa

- National Geographic has a photo gallery of the Best US Drives; a quiz about Jamaica; and a wintertime photo tour of the US

- the list of men who look like old lesbians that Scott linked to... seriously, it slays me

- Bill Simmons' discussion in his BS Report on 12/7 with Dave Jacoby that they had a fantasy draft of "celebrities most likely to be unfaithful in the next 12 months" a la Tiger... I move for FIWK to conduct more such random fantasy drafts

Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 12/9

Arghhhhh. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Grrr......... What happened to Frank Gore?

Listing the ways why this List of Lists rocks...

So, while wandering through one of the blogs on my list (look! another list!) of "blogs through which I wander" (cause, you know, it couldn't be my list of "blogs I wander through" due to that whole preposition deal...), I came across their "Top 20 Internet Lists of 2009".

To better illustrate why I am in love with this list, I will, of course, provide a list:

Don't Tread

MP shared this rap about soccer with me, and I am passing it along:

I Am Tiger Woods...But Who Am I?

Who is Tiger Woods, really? Is it a question that any of us - anyone at all - can answer with any certainty?

I don't mean for this to turn into a People-style expose on all that has happened in TigerWorld of late. Rather, this will be my take on the bizarre and meticulous crafting of Tiger's image and persona.

Madden style fantasy draft

Ok, we're going to do a Madden style, new franchise, four team fantasy draft. The four of us are going to draft every position, both offense and defense, one at a time, snake style draft. You have to explain your pick and maybe eventually I'll organize all the picks somewhere. Now this is a new franchise so age and salaries matter. We'll use a $127 Million salary cap. For each pick give the name, position, age, and salary (the cap #). Then explain your pick. You also need to come up with a team name. Yes, each of these teams will be loaded (kind of like 4 Pro-Bowl teams instead of two). Royce is up first, then MP, then Aaron, then Scott.


This is by Amy Hoeck. Here are some of her other works of art. I ask for your opinions.

I like that it is a unique idea. I like her ability to capture photographic details, such as light reflecting off the ketchup or the cellophane wrappers (on one of her other paintings). I want to spread the word among our vast readership.