Adventures in Relocating: Checking in After 1 Quarter of LA Living

After three months of living in LA, you’d probably expect me to have lots of stories from all these new things we’re experiencing. I don’t. Turns out life isn’t that exciting when you’re an unemployed writer trying to get by on the money from your childhood savings bonds, and it’s even less exciting when you have a puppy that demands your attention 18 hours a day.

Rather than end this post right here, I’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions that people might have asked me about my first quarter in LA.

FAQs

Question: You mentioned being unemployed. What’s the deal with that? Any jobs on the horizon?

Answer: I’ve learned that it’s tough to get a job when you haven’t started looking for one, and unfortunately, Julie isn’t making quite enough money yet for me to be a stay-at-home boyfriend. The blog is starting to pull in some revenue…I made $0.99 last month off my advertisements, but Word Press doesn’t allow me to claim any funds until I’ve made $100 or more. So in just eight short years, I should be able to cash out that first $100 from the blog. In all honesty, I’ve been waiting for someone to contact me about a job in the entertainment industry. I hear that’s how it works around here, you just wait for people to pursue you. I will have to start searching for a job soon, but football season is just a really busy time for me. Check back in February and I’ll probably have started my job search by then.

Q: What about your writing? Have you finished any major projects yet like TV or movie scripts?

A: Do 2,000-word blog posts count? There’s nothing major finished yet, but before the end of 2012 I’m planning to have at least two television scripts and one movie script finished. The goal is to continue blogging and writing a ton of football content with the hope that a popular blog/website spots my amazing talent and hires me for a seven-figure salary.

Q: Three months in LA…have you made any friends?

A: We do have a couple friends at this point, but there’s a 50% chance they’re just people who feel really bad for us. I do think at times we’re giving off a strong stench of our desperation to make friends (like when we were leaving a BBQ at a friend’s house a few weeks back and I said to the entire crowd, “It was good meeting everyone…we really need friends. When can we all hang out again?” Obviously we haven’t heard from any of them since).

Q: The people in LA have a reputation for being superficial, stuck-up and self-absorbed. Have you noticed any truth to this?

A: There are just as many superficial, stuck-up, self-absorbed assholes in LA as there are in any other major city. I don’t think douchebags are exclusive to Southern California. It’s just that our douchebags are tanner than yours.

Q: You’re living with your girlfriend. How’s that going?

A: Fine.

Q: Have there been any issues, fights or surprises during the first three months of your cohabitation?

A: I’ll be reading a statement that Julie has prepared for me: “Living with my girlfriend has been the most incredible and rewarding experience. There have been no fights or issues stemming from us living together. And every surprise has been a good surprise, like when I’m trying to sleep in sometimes and she’s awake and full of energy at 6:30am. It turns out I didn’t really want to sleep until 9:30 after all.”

Q: It seems like you’re unwilling to admit to any cohabitation problems that have happened in the first three months. Are there any problems looming on the horizon?

A: Possibly the issue of us only having one TV. I’ve tried to gently inform Julie that I plan to watch 12 hours of football on Sundays, three hours on Mondays and three more hours on Thursdays (and eventually three hours on some Saturdays). She actually got a dose of how disruptive football season can be when I taped 10 NFL preseason games on our DVR and it caused all of her Sex & The City’s to be deleted. She should be plenty prepared.

Q: One TV? How has that worked out so far?

A: It feels like my viewing of Sex & The City, Say Yes To the Dress, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Snapped has increased by 5000% since we moved. And yet, if I put the TV on ESPN or the NFL Network for 10 minutes, I get crucified for “always putting it on your stupid sports shows.”

Q: What’s something weird or interesting that will jump out to any visitors of your apartment?

A: Other than the patio being coated in a thick layer of dog piss (there’s a Thompson’s Water Seal joke here, but I don’t feel like writing it)? Probably the fact that nothing we’ve hung on the walls (pictures and shelves mostly) is even close to level. We’re blaming it on the apartment walls and floors not being level, but we wouldn’t even know how to test if that’s true or not.

Q: How about exploring outside of your apartment? Is there good sightseeing in LA? Where have you taken visitors?

A: The sightseeing in LA blows. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the sightseeing in Fitchburg, Massachusetts (which I wrote about in THIS) is better than the sightseeing in LA. I’m about done bringing people to Hollywood Blvd just to see them underwhelmed by all the “stars” on the ground. And sure, there’s the famous Chinese Theater and Kodak  Dolby Theater, but there’s not much to look at from the outside. The entire Hollywood Blvd area takes about 11 minutes to thoroughly see, and there’s a decent chance you’re gonna want those 11 minutes back when you’re finished. Other than the Hollywood sign, there are no other relevant landmarks worth seeing in LA. Oh, and if you’re like me and had this awesome image of the La Brea Tarpits in your head because of the movie Volcano (starring Tommy Lee Jones where the tar pits are literally erupting and spewing out tar throughout the movie), you’re going to be severely disappointed when you see the real thing:

Q: Any final thoughts on living with your girlfriend?

A: Yes, I’d like to address the one topic that every other couple brought up to us when we told them we were moving in together: pooping. Strange as it sounds, every couple we talked to said having to share a bathroom, particularly when one of us had to take a shit, was going to be the biggest adjustment. I’d just like to say that it hasn’t been a tough adjustment at all. I poop whenever I want, wherever I want in the apartment. And Julie has learned to simply go around the corner to the McDonald’s or Starbucks whenever she has to go number two. I don’t understand why this is such an awkward thing for other couples.

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Round 2 of NFL Predictions: NFC’s “Closest to the Pin” Contest

In order to really understand the game that Nkilla and I are playing against each other, and the wager we made on who is the better predictor of each NFL team’s record this season, you must read Round 1: The AFC Predictions.

In this installment of WBFF blog’s expert NFL analysis, Nkilla and I will each guess the total amount of wins every NFC team will get this year, and will be followed up with a comment from both of us (could be an insightful comment, could be a wacky idea, could be a hate-filled derogatory statement aimed at a team that has beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl twice in the last five years).

Here’s the NFC in alphabetical order:

Arizona

Rmurdera: 2 Wins “Can’t see them beating anyone except Miami and St. Louis in home games. Someone has to be the worst team in football.”

Nkilla: 7 Wins “It doesn’t matter to me who starts at QB here. They have a better WR & RB situation than last year, and the division is below average. All four of the teams in the NFC West are going to win between six and nine games. You can basically throw darts and hope for the best.

Atlanta

Rmurdera: 9 “Looks to me like a 6-2 1st half and 3-5 2nd half. I’m more than a little bored with the Falcons winning 10 games and getting crushed in their first round playoff game. Ready for another team (Minnesota? Carolina?) to fill that role.”

Nkilla: 10 “I think I’m a little overzealous on this team and I’m not sure why? Saints take a little step down due to their disciplinary “issues,” and I am not sold on Carolina yet. This team is probably at the point of needing to make the NFC Championship game at least or things might get blown up. Defense is average, but I think year 2 of Jones and Rodgers gets them to a division title. Depending on how many playoff road games they have to play may determine if they can make the Super Bowl.”

Carolina

Rmurdera: 6 “A “good” 6-10 season leads the Panthers to become next year’s sleeper media darling…the team that gets overhyped as the up-and-comer who’s going to make the playoffs (think Detroit from 2011, the Bears entering this season).

Nkilla: 8 “I know everyone thinks they make some sort of leap this year, but I don’t see it. Too much pressure and the league really started to catch up with Cam Newton the second half of last year. Look at his game splits if you don’t believe me. I’m not convinced Ron Rivera should be a head coach. They should be happy with .500.”

Chicago

Rmurdera: 11 “I’m so high on this team right now…top talent at the key offensive positions (QB, WR, RB), and even though I couldn’t confidently name four starters on their defense, the Bears D always seems to be solid. Add in a still-dangerous special teams unit with Devin Hester, and this team is ending up in one of three places this year: cinderella division winner, top wildcard team in NFC that no one wants to play in the playoffs, or getting ‘2008 Patriot-ed’ and somehow missing the playoffs even though they have 11 wins.”

Nkilla: 10 “I am probably crazy, but I think there is maybe a 20% chance that they take the division over Green Bay. They were humming along last year until Cutler and Forte went down. They are only two years removed from their NFC Championship game appearance. I really like their offense. My only concern is if the aging defense can stay healthy enough.”

Dallas

Rmurdera: 8 “Four of their first six games are on the road, and they could easily be 1-7 halfway through the year (check out their schedule). As I look at the schedule closer, they actually only have three slam dunk wins in 2012 (home games against Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Washington). While I’m not ballsy enough to predict a 3-13 season for the Cowboys, a little bad luck and poor health should keep them towards the bottom of the NFC East hierarchy.”

Nkilla: 7 “Not liking how the preseason is going for them. Their top three receiving options have already been injured, and Tony Romo and Jason Garrett are incompetent enough on their own, nevermind together.”

Detroit

Rmurdera: 9 “Had them pegged for 11 wins before I realized Ndamukong Suh’s antics will cost them at least one game. I also accidentally assumed Matthew Stafford would be healthy all year even though that’s only happened once. Could seem them finishing below Chicago and narrowly missing the playoffs.”

Nkilla: 8 “First time they don’t have the last place schedule in several years. They still don’t have a running game and the secondary is not good. And as I mentioned before, I think the Bears are going to be better than people think. All those factors make me believe that Detroit is more likely to take a little step back rather than a step forward.”

Green Bay

Rmurdera: 13 “They’re actually a 14-win team but will likely bench their starters for the final game against Minnesota when they have the top seed in the NFC locked up. Boring analysis, I know, but it’s not like anyone would be dumb enough to predict only 10 or 11 wins from the Packers…”

Nkilla: 11 “After last season,I think they just want to be ready for the playoffs. They are not going to chase an undefeated season again. They’ll still be one of the top teams in the league, but I think they pump the breaks a bit in the regular season.”

Minnesota

Rmurdera: 7 “I originally had Minnesota down for two wins in 2012, but Christian Ponder made a believer out of me in the team’s 2nd preseason game (that’s how quickly I can change my mind. Show me one good throw from your quarterback, and I’ll bump your win total up by five). Easy first half of schedule before they go 1-7 in the second half.”

Nkilla: 6 “This is one of my most uneducated guesses. What do they get out of Peterson? What do they get out of Harvin? Is Ponder remotely competent? I think this is the team I’ve heard the least about in the preseason. No idea what that means for their season.”

New Orleans

Rmurdera: 12 “In a normal year, this team should be pegged for 13 or 14 wins, but with all the coaching and player turmoil from the offseason, I’ve gotta dock them an extra win, but still think they’re the clear favorite in the NFC South.”

Nkilla: 10 “If Brees is fully engaged, this could be your 2012 ‘Nobody Believes In Us’ team. Still tough to say how big of an impact the coaching and defensive losses are going to affect them.”

NY Giants

Rmurdera: 11 “Fuck the Giants.”

Nkilla: 8 “Just going middle of the road here. I am intentionally avoiding any news or research about this team so I don’t accidentally stumble upon any recaps of their 2011 season.”

Philadelphia

Rmurdera: 10 “Impossible to predict because of Vick’s pending injury and DeSean Jackson’s pending mailing-it-in-so-I-don’t-get-hurt moment. Let’s put it this way: I’ll be rooting for them hard to win the division over the Giants. And that’s saying something about the Giants considering how badly I despise Philly teams and their fans.”

Nkilla: 9 “Really tough pick for me. I wanted to go 10 or 11 and have them win the division (I do think they win the division), but they play an inordinate amount of games against teams coming off bye weeks. And teams coming off byes are fresh and tend to play better. This could be ‘the team no one wants to play’ once the playoffs get started.”

San Francisco

Rmurdera: 10 “Predicting them to struggle against elite offenses this year. They play six teams that fall into that category: Green Bay, Detroit, NY Giants, Chicago, New Orleans, New England. I see them losing each of those games.”

Nkilla: 8 “With the exception of some punt return fumbles in the NFC Championship game, every single little thing went right for this team last year. Everything. No way Alex Smith plays as ‘good’ again this year, and the defense has to regress some. And they have a brutal schedule. The 2012 49ers’ meltdown is going to be my second favorite 2012 NFL meltdown, trailing only the Jets meltdown. My least favorite meltdown – the replacement officials blowing so many calls and being the lead story on every Monday football show for the first three weeks of the season until the league settles.”

Seattle

Rmurdera: 7 “…But a good seven-win season, where they play a lot of playoff teams close? Sure, why not?”

Nkilla: 8 “I can’t wait to see which 12-4 NFC Wild Card team is going to get upset by the 8-8 NFC West division winner Seattle in the first round of the playoffs this year.”

St. Louis

Rmurdera: 7 “Sam Bradford and the St. Louis offense looked unstoppable against Kansas City’s defense in their second preseason game. I honestly don’t know if that makes the Rams offense decent or KC’s defense pathetic, but since I have a horrible read on this team, let’s just go with a boring seven wins.”

Nkilla: 6 “We get to decide if Sam Bradford is competent or not this year, right? I’m leaning towards slightly below competent. I heard rumors someone in a fantasy league traded Tom Brady for Sam Bradford last year. Can’t possibly be true, right?”

Tampa Bay

Rmurdera: 3 “Tough schedule playing six games in a good NFC South, four games against possibly the best division in football (NFC East), and then getting road games vs Denver and Oakland in the AFC. I think Josh Freeman’s a backup QB by mid-2013.”

Nkilla: 7 “Clearly these guys quit on their coach last year. I’m not saying they were as good as their 2010 record, but they shouldn’t be as bad as their 2011 record either. Nice little bounce back year. Would be a playoff candidate in six of eight divisions, but unfortunately they are in one of the other two.”

Washington

Rmurdera: 4 “Talked to my college roommate who’s a diehard Redskins fan last week, and his excitement and passion for this team convinced me to bump them from a 4-12 record to a 4-11-1 record. Predicting a tie in Cleveland for the RGIII’s, and another year of the college roommate watching Sunday afternoon Wizards basketball games in November instead of the ‘Skins games.”

Nkilla: 7 “I don’t think Bob Griffin III has as good of a season as Cam Newton had last year, but he should be competent. They made some upgrades at the offensive skill positions, and their defense was actually pretty good last year and should continue to be so. The problem: Should Mike Shannahan still be a head coach in the National Football League?”

Final thoughts on our NFC Picks:

-Out of 16 NFC teams, our predictions were within 2 wins of each other on 12 of them (and out of the 32 NFL teams overall, Nkilla and I were within two wins of each other on 25 of them). Not a ton of variety, but I think that’s pretty typical of preseason predictions when you have two NFL gurus making predictions.

-The biggest discrepancy between our predictions between both conferences was over the Arizona Cardinals. It was a five-win delta. Nkilla said, “It doesn’t matter to me who starts at QB here,” but every QB option for Arizona is terrible, and you can’t compete in the NFL in 2012 with a train wreck at QB. Time will tell, but I think this is going to be Nkilla’s biggest regret with these picks.

-To all the Chicago Bears fans out there: I’m sorry we ruined your season with the Gariepy double-jinx. No way the Bears perform how they should after both of us openly admitted that we’re irrationally high on that team.

-We’ll be back next week with our predictions for playoff teams, Super Bowl winner, individual regular season awards and possibly more. Happy “8 Days Til Opening Night” to you all.

Grantland’s Search for The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer: So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

[Editor’s Note: I decided to enter a sports writing contest for the first time in my life this week. Grantland.com is running a contest to find their next fantasy football writer. Here are the details: Fantasy Island. The contest called for an original article, no more than 750 words, giving your top 5 overall fantasy football picks for 2012, and also one sleeper pick. The toughest part of this was limiting things to 750 words. You’d never know it from my WBFF blog posts, but I tend to be a bit long-winded. Anyway, here is my submission to the contest. Feedback is welcome, but it won’t change anything since I already submitted my entry. Enjoy.]

So the top five fantasy scorers in 2011 were all quarterbacks, and you want me to go QB-heavy with my top five overall picks this year? I’ve heard a crazy rumor: the NFL is now a passing league! But I’m not taking the bait, at least not entirely.

Since you’re twisting my arm on QBs, I’ll take two at the very top of my rankings, Tom Brady (#1) and Aaron Rodgers (#2).

Why Brady over Rodgers? Well if these guys are both such safe picks, which they are, why not go for the guy with more upside? Rodgers’ offense averaged 35 points per game last year, the first time in his career that his team exceeded the 30 points per game mark. In three of Brady’s last four healthy seasons, his offense has averaged over 30 points. And while the Packers’ 2012 offense is basically unchanged from 2011, the Patriots added Brandon Lloyd, who many are predicting could do what Randy Moss did for the Pats’ offense in 2007. You can’t go wrong with either QB, but I’m taking the one who has a better chance of throwing to a record-setting offense in 2012.

You wanted me to consider Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford for the top five in 2012? Here’s what I’m considering: We’ve always heard the Saints’ offense works so well because Brees and Sean Payton basically share a brain when it comes to running it. So what should we expect when half of that brain is banned from the team this year? Not worth the risk…Pass. As for Stafford, come talk to me when he has consecutive seasons of good health and elite numbers. Pass again.

Though it’s tempting to put Calvin Johnson in my picks, I’m going with three running backs to round out my top five. Welcome to the party, LeSean McCoy (#3), Ray Rice (#4) and Jamaal Charles (#5).

McCoy barely beats out Rice, my tiebreaker being “overall team offensive competence.” Since 2009, McCoy’s first season in the NFL, the Philadelphia offense has been significantly better than the Baltimore offense. I will always trust an offense that runs through Michael Vick to generate more scoring opportunities and longer drives than an offense that runs through Joe Flacco. I’d actually trust an offense that runs through me over a Flacco-led unit. And if you think McCoy can’t sustain his 20 touchdown total from 2011, think again and realize how badly the Eagles DON’T want Vick trying to run for TDs on the goal line.

And why Charles, coming off a lost season from an ACL tear in 2011, as my fifth-ranked fantasy player? Because most importantly, he looks like the Charles of old. Watching his preseason work so far, there’s no hint of any lingering issues from the knee injury. He’s had almost a full year to recover, and remember that before the injury Charles was the next big thing, the guy most likely to have a “Chris Johnson in 2009”-like season. True, it seems like he’ll never get more than 250-275 touches in Kansas City, but he didn’t need any more than that to produce over 1,900 total yards in 2010. The bonus is that the Chiefs play 10 games this year against teams that ranked in the bottom 12 in run defense in 2011. I like Charles’ odds to have some monster games against such soft defenses. You go ahead and enjoy a safer pick like Arian Foster. I’ll go for the home run. Oh, and Matt Cassel is the Chiefs’ quarterback. Romeo Crennel knows that. I think they’ll run the ball plenty.

Give us a sleeper, too, you say? A genius pick that no one else would have the balls to put out there? Look no further than Minnesota Vikings savior Christian Ponder. I’ll wait for the laughing to stop.

As a rookie in 2011, he played in nine full games, putting up double-digit fantasy points in six of those. In 2012 he has a (hopefully) healthy Percy Harvin and a shiny new toy in Jerome Simpson. Tell me you’d rather have a Sanchez, Cassel, Palmer or Locker, but then go look at Ponder’s preseason stats as well as the defenses he faces in weeks 7-14 this year (four consecutive game against teams ranked 22nd or worse in pass defense last year). Now tell me again with a straight face that you’d rather have those guys over Ponder. Can’t do it, can you?

Introducing the “Molly Rules”: A Warning to Bay Area Residents Who Plan to Meet Our Dog

Dear SF Bay Area Residents Who Will Have the Pleasure of Meeting Our Dog Molly This Weekend:

While Julie and I are ecstatic to introduce our little girl to all of our friends and family, we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what to expect both with the puppy’s behavior and some of our training/obedience methods.

This is an incomplete list so please check with Julie or myself before you interact with the dog. Even eye contact with Molly without our permission can lead to a disaster that ends with a trip to the emergency room.

Rule #1: If Molly greets you by trying to jump up and put her front paws on your thighs or waist, we’d appreciate it if you grab those front paws and hold her up in a “slow dance” position until she starts to squirm and get really uncomfortable. Then hold her up for an extra three seconds after she starts to squirm. We think she’ll eventually associate jumping on people with that uncomfortable “standing on two legs” feeling. And yes, when you finally let her down, she’s likely to lunge at your arms and try to bite them. Please see rule #2 for instructions on biting.

Rule #2: Molly is a puppy and will have her “puppy moments” when she tries to bite anything and everything. If you find yourself in a situation where Molly is lunging at your arms, hands or genitals with her mouth open, we’d like you to not pull those body parts away from her mouth suddenly. We think this will only entice her to attack your further. We’ve read that if you actually move towards her mouth with the body part she’s going after and dare her to bite it, she’s less likely to keep attacking. If she does latch onto that body part, just give her a stern “no” while pushing her away. It’s important to stay calm even if she has the tip of your penis between her teeth. Thank you and feel free to wear a cup if you’re planning on seeing us.

Rule #3: Now let’s say Molly gets into a “mood” and she starts trying to bite any human within a 10-foot radius of her. If Julie or I are paying attention (you can assume I won’t be on Saturday after about 4pm based on the amount of alcohol I’m planning to consume), you might hear one of us yell out “OCTAGON!” What that means is we need to quickly set up our 3-foot high metal playpen gate in an octagon shape surrounding the dog. Putting Molly in the octagon sometimes is the only way to ensure she can only hurt herself or the metal gate, nothing else. If you hear us yell out “OCTAGON,” look out for a temporarily psychotic dog.

Rule #4: Speaking of biting and chewing…If you happen to own a house or rent an apartment that we’ll be bringing Molly to this weekend, just know that anything that’s not nailed or screwed into the floor can and will be chewed and carried around your place. Plan accordingly. It is not Molly’s fault if she chews on your shoes, your flatscreen TV or even your baby’s dirty diaper. If it’s within her reach, she thinks it belongs to her.

Rule #5: There’s a good chance Molly has a minor case of separation anxiety, meaning whenever humans stop playing with her, she’s likely to start barking and crying. Our strategy with this is to immediately leave the room that she’s in when she starts to bark. The thinking is she’ll eventually learn that barking makes all the humans leave, but staying quiet makes us appear. So if she starts barking this weekend, even if there’s a group of 15 of us hanging out, we’d appreciate it if everyone follows us into a different room to prove a point to our dog. This is likely to disrupt conversations and possibly drinking games, but it’s a good way to avoid an octagon situation.

Rule #6: One of the many things we’ve learned from the Dog Whisperer is that you shouldn’t use your dog’s name when yelling at her, correcting her, or basically when she’s doing anything negative. So if she bites you, chews on something of yours, or pisses on your oriental rug, please don’t say, “Molly, no!” Here are some helpful nicknames that I use when correcting her: “Asshole,” “Little Bitch,” “Dickhead,” “Piece of Shit,” and “Fucker.” You’re welcome to use any of these names, or feel free to invent a new one.

Like I said earlier, this is not an exhaustive list, but these are the big ones. Keep them in mind when hanging out with Molly and you’ll probably be safe.

Round 1 of NFL Predictions: AFC’s “Closest to the Pin” Contest

As mentioned in a post last week, Nkilla and I have made a wager on who can be the better predictor of each NFL team’s exact record for the 2012 season.

The Setup: We both privately picked the number of total wins we thought each football team would get this year and sent them to each other for comparison. Before disclosing the predictions, I had to put a “+” or “-” next to half the teams, and Nkilla had to do the same. This was to ensure that if we both picked the same number, there would be a tiebreaker. For example, if we both picked 10 wins for Pittsburgh and it was my team to pick the tiebreaker, I’d put a “+” next to them if I wanted to up their win total to 11 in the case of a tie, or I’d put a “-” next to them if I wanted to down their win total to 9 in the case of a tie with Nkilla. Confusing, I know. Luckily we only picked the same number of wins for three teams out of 32 (all of our ties were for teams in the AFC North randomly).

The Wager: If Nkilla wins, I agree to a full day and night of babysitting for him and his wife at a future date to be determined. If I win, Nkilla is paying for my buy-in to a $60 poker tournament in Vegas next March (Fine Print: If I win $1,000 or more in that tournament, Nkilla will receive 40% of my profit. Seems fair considering the most he gets out of me is babysitting, but I could possibly win thousands of dollars off him).

We’re starting with the AFC. I’ll name the team, and then share both of our guesses and a comment we each made that elaborates on our prediction.

Here we go…AFC in alphabetical order:

Baltimore

Rmurdera: 10- wins (becomes 9-win prediction due to tiebreaker) “Watch this defense get torched in back-to-back weeks early in the season by Philadelphia and New England. Terrell Suggs will probably say the Patriots are cowards for playing the Ravens while he’s not healthy.”

Nkilla: 10 wins “I’m thinking average year for them in a tough division. They probably win the division, but I think a relatively quiet year.”

Buffalo

Rmurdera: 12 “Feeling like the Bills can go 8-2 outside the division. Whether they can pull off a win against the Patriots this year or not, I think they’re in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.”

Nkilla: 9 “I feel like they made a lot of noise before the draft with free agents, and then everyone forgot about them. I don’t think they challenge the Patriots for the division title, but barring a meltdown from Fitzy I think the playoffs are in play.”

Cincinnati

Rmurdera: 9- (becomes 8-win prediction due to tiebreaker) “Does the AFC North get 3 teams into the playoffs for the 2nd straight year? Is 9 wins good enough once again for the Bengals? Looking at a very weak AFC landscape, it seems like only Cincy, Buffalo and San Diego have a shot at the 2nd wildcard spot (assuming of course that Baltimore or Pittsburgh get the 1st wildcard).”

Nkilla: 9 “Year 2 of the Ginger Prince at the helm. Year 2 of the Ginger Prince to AJ Green. I can’t imagine why they don’y keep progressing. Well, other than the fact that they are the Bengals.”

Cleveland

Rmurdera: 4 “I’m predicting a 4-11-1 record for the Browns this year. Week 15 against the Redskins screams “tie” to me.”

Nkilla: 5 “Assuming that Richardson comes back fine, and assuming that Weeden plays better than the average rookie because of his age, they could be frisky. Unfortunately ‘frisky’ in The Cleve probably means ‘an entertaining 5-6 wins.'”

Denver

Rmurdera: 10 “I believe Peyton will be healthy all year and the offense will immediately jump from 25th in points per game to something like 14th. And the young defense will continue to improve. Weak AFC West = 10 wins and playoffs for Manning & friends.”

Nkilla: 8 “Not sold on Manning’s health, and I think the defense regresses some from last year. I would have gone even less wins if the division was decent.”

Houston

Rmurdera: 13 “If their running game and defense is as good as last year, it almost doesn’t matter if Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson stay healthy. They get to play in an extremely weak AFC South once again.”

Nkilla: 9 “They lost some key pieces on defense, plus they have a first-place schedule for the first time ever. That being said, their running game still makes them a dominant team in a division where the other three QBs are Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and a rookie.”

Indianapolis

Rmurdera: 4 “100% increase in wins from last year gets the Andrew Luck era started off on the right foot. Indy fans try their hardest not to get upset when they see Manning and the Broncos in the playoffs.”

Nkilla: 6 “It has been ten years since we knew before the season started that the Patriots/Colts game would not be meaningful and not be a primetime game. It feels strange.”

Jacksonville

Rmurdera: 2 “Someone has to tie Arizona as the worst team in football. Maurice Jones-Drew or not, this is a terrible team that will only win a 2nd game because the Jets will be in full meltdown mode by the time they visit Jacksonville in December.”

Nkilla: 5 “Vegas should post this prop bet, right? – ‘over/under for combined wins by NFL teams from Florida in the 2012 season: 16.5′”

Kansas City

Rmurdera: 7 “Jamaal ‘fast black’ Charles is back, and I believe he’ll be a top 5 running back, but Matt Cassel is still Matt Cassel. The Chiefs take a backseat to Denver and possibly even San Diego in the AFC West.”

Nkilla: 8 “I cannot figure out why KC is the trendy pick to win their division. The Romeo ‘RAC’ Crennel error (pun intended) in Cleveland was only two seasons ago. How does everyone forget so quickly? I actually think on paper the team is solid and could be a 9-10 win team with an average performance out of Cassel, but Crennel should have followed McDaniels’ lead and gone back to being a Patriots assistant.”

Miami

Rmurdera: 4 “Feels like I’m being generous with 4 wins. The Dolphins basically gave up on the season the moment they announced the rookie, Ryan Tannehill, was their starting QB.”

Nkilla: 5 “With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select…”

New England

Rmurdera: 15 “I’m having trouble even finding their one loss…at Baltimore is the obvious one to look at, but in a nationally-televised game against a weaker-than-usual Baltimore defense, I think the Pats’ offense can outscore Joe Flacco and the Ravens. But I refuse to predict a 16-0 season for New England, even if it seems like a good possibility once again.”

Nkilla: 13 “Even if they pump the breaks in December, I think 13 wins is in play. Also, there is an 87% chance my son’s first word is ‘Gronk.'”

NY Jets

Rmurdera: 7 “Might be worst offense in the NFL this year. I have them starting the season 0-5. If they start 0-6, that means a week 6 loss to the Colts at home. Looking forward to Tim Tebow’s first start in Week 7 at New England.”

Nkilla: 9 “Emotional hedge. If they somehow pullout 9 or 10 wins, I probably win this one. If someone told me I could either have A) The Patriots go 19-0 and the Jets go 6-10 or B) The Patriots go 8-8 and the Jets go 1-15 and fire Rex Ryan, I would obviously pick A, but I would also at least think about it for five minutes before I decided.”

Oakland

Rmurdera: 5 “More fun than predicting how few wins the Raiders will get this year is trying to guess at which point in the season they’ll be calling JaMarcus Russell’s agent to see if he can come in and compete with Carson Palmer for the starting QB job.”

Nkilla: 7 “I like that McFadden’s goal is to play 16 games this year. Nice to see he has no aspirations of making the playoffs. Or is that 13 regular season games plus a Super Bowl run?”

Pittsburgh

Rmurdera: 10+ (becomes 11-win prediction due to tiebreaker) “Predicting all 4 AFC North teams to go 3-3 within their division makes life easy and may just be the way things go this year.”

Nkilla: 10 “I actually think 10 wins might be a little high, but they have a good coach and they always seem to get about 10 wins, right? I don’t think it is more than 10. Could be less. Their running backs all seem banged up and Roethlisberger has been hit a lot for a not-so-old-yet QB.”

San Diego

Rmurdera: 8 “Going to be a tough year offensively for this team. By the way, is Norv Turner still the Chargers’ head coach? Didn’t he get fired by the fans about 13 times in the past five seasons?”

Nkilla: 6 “Sure seems like they are in for an injury plagued season, doesn’t it? Can I lock them up for a bounce back year and 10 wins in 2013 though? Do I get any advantage by doing that right now?”

Tennessee

Rmurdera: 6 “This team is starting the season 0-7, especially with Jake Locker at QB. They play four games against playoff teams from 2011 and three tough road games in that opening stretch.

Nkilla: 7 “Even if Chris Johnson returns to 2012 form and Kenny Britt played every game, I feel like 8-8 would be the ceiling for this team.”

Final Thoughts on our AFC Picks:

1). The largest gap we had for a single team was 4 wins, for Houston. It sounds like Nkilla expects them to be a little worse on defense this year than last year (I disagree). Regardless of the defense, it seems like we both expect them to win their division even if their top offensive players were to miss some time…that pretty much sums up the AFC South this year.

2). Nkilla and I are really locked in on the AFC North. We picked the same number of wins for three teams—Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pitt—and we would have had the same for Cleveland if I hadn’t come up with my wacky “Cleveland ties Washington” idea. Are we both geniuses with this division?

2). Since I’ve gotten to see all of Nkilla’s picks—NFC included—I can tell you he has the worst record in football being a 5-11 team and the best record being 13-3. I wonder if he realizes that in each season over the past 10 years, there has been at least one team with 4 or less wins. And in eight of those 10 seasons, there has been at least one team with more than 13 wins. Seems like Nkilla is “playing it safe” by not picking anyone to be too good or too bad. Time will tell if that strategy pays off or not.

We’ll be back with the NFC predictions next week.

What’s in My Google Search History? – Round 2

If you haven’t seen my first version of “what’s in my google search history” that I posted on March 1st, give it a look here: Is your google search history as ridiculous as mine?

We all have some ridiculous, strange searches in our history because whenever we have a question about any topic these days, we whip out our phone, Mac or obscure Microsoft device. I’m not immune to this. Whereas my last post about google search was promoted as “what the average 29-year-old has on his recent search history,” this post is best described as “what the average 29-year-old who recently moved to LA, adopted a puppy and spends all his free time blogging has on his recent search history.”

Enjoy.

“Is sheetrock easy to cut” – Yes, it is. And no, it’s not a good material to use as a shelf to hold heavy items.

“capricious” – I’d estimate I use google for help with spelling, grammar, definitions of certain words, and the correct way to use sayings about seven times per week. Here are some other ones:

-“if i do say so myself”

-“word to describe someone who always tries to fix things”

-“pre-pubescent”

-“correct spelling of moustache” – don’t some people spell it “mustache” and some spell it “moustache”??

-“once and awhile”

 -“jujube”

-“ostracized”

-“recluse”

-“reminiscing”

“how do minnesota people talk” – If writing doesn’t work out, acting is next on my list. Trying to expand my portfolio of accents.

“texas accent” – Ditto.

“cliche texas sayings” – Was planning for a trip to Texas and wanted to be able to mimic/offend all of the locals.

“longest labor ever recorded” – Trying to find stats to make my brother and sister-in-law feel better as their labor was getting on to 20 hours.

“little red schoolhouse in wakefield ma” – Any good pedophile always keeps a detailed list of every suburban schoolhouse.

“mint ice cream recipe” – If the acting backup plan doesn’t work out, the backup to the backup plan is to open my own ice cream shop where we sell only one type of ice cream.

“saudi arabian women” – Part of my nightly porn search or a suggestion to Julie on how she should dress?

“celebrity with small bust” – Thought I saw a celebrity, but couldn’t put my finger on her name. Figured there were only a couple of them in all of LA with a small chest.

“terminal cancer” – My latest movie idea about a man who has cancer, but as long as he stays inside an airport terminal, the cancer doesn’t spread throughout his body. Just wanted to make sure no one else had already come up with such a brilliant idea.

“best boogie boarding in southern california” – Apparently Julie and I are into boogie boarding so much that we’d be willing to drive anywhere in SoCal to find good waves.

“diplomatic immunity” – Was trying to find out how I can acquire this type of immunity. Turns out you can’t just apply for it or get on a waiting list.

“size of professional boxing ring” – Turns out I do not have enough space in my apartment to build one of these.

“gmail” – What kind of idiot searches google for gmail? This kind of idiot.

“how many cups in a quart” – Typical monthly conversion search. A great example of why children don’t need to learn in school anymore. Just use google as your brain.

“real simple writing contest” – I’m trying to start off nice and slow with my writing career.

“how to use camera on macbook pro” – Another frequent kind of search for me…I’m so Mac-tarded that I often have to search for instructions on how to do simple functions on my computer.

“drew barrymore in never been kissed” – Favorite actress in my favorite movie.

“girl from tom sawyer” – Becky Thatcher is the answer. Random trivia for the month of August that I needed to verify.

“lamaze classes” – Hmm, not sure about this one. Let’s assume I was looking up info for a blog post or story idea.

“dennis hopper” – My monthly “is this actor still alive” google search.

“sunny side up” – Ever looked up instructions for something on google and felt really, really dumb after doing it? That was me when I looked up how to cook eggs sunny side up (instructions: crack egg into skillet, don’t flip. That is all).

“other name for skirt steak” – Kilt steak is the answer.

“best nfl betting games to play with friends” – I probably should have followed this with an immediate search for “LA area gambling addicts meetings.”

 

Finally, here’s the dog-related search terms. No need for explanation on each. Let’s just say Julie and I are extremely thankful that google exists otherwise our monthly vet bill would probably be in the range of $5,000, just for the vet to keep telling us we’re fucking nuts and our dog is fine.

“dog whisperer organic dog food”

“fake grass for dogs”

“dog lethargic after shots”

“dog panting while asleep”

“correct bath temperature for dogs”

“is rawhide bad for dogs”

“how often do you brush your dog’s teeth”

“how often do you clip your dogs nails”

“training a puppy not to bite”

“how do I calm my puppy down”

“dogs eyes rolling back in head when sleeping”

“puppy separation anxiety”

“crate training problems dog won’t stay in crate”

“how do i get my puppy to hold her bladder”

“dog hiccups”

“can puppy eat peanut butter”

How to Get Your Girlfriend to Hate the Football Teams You Hate: Prey on Her Irrational Emotions

There’s a high probability that I’m going to spend most of this NFL season watching games with only one person, my girlfriend. It’s really not an issue because I watch football the same way no matter who is in the room with me…I pretend like they don’t exist. But one thing I want to put an end to before it even happens is the tragedy that occurred with my oldest brother and his wife. You see, he never properly conditioned her to hate every non-Boston team, so one day years ago she decided Peyton Manning was her favorite quarterback. And even though at first it seemed like she was joking just to fuck with us, she followed through and constantly cheered for Manning, even when the Colts were playing the Patriots and she was surrounded by New England fans.

I can’t live in a world where the only person watching football with me is potentially finding random reasons to like Patriots’ opponents. But the women I know aren’t going to be swayed with actual football stats, like me saying, “Oh, you shouldn’t root for the Jets because in 2011 they had the 21st-ranked passing offense and the 22nd-ranked rushing offense. They’re actually a terrible team.”

Instead I’ve decided to create reasons Julie should hate certain teams by playing to her irrational emotions. Sometimes the story I tell her is mostly true, and sometimes it’s completely fictitious.

For example, when the Patriots played the Eagles on Monday night, it gave me the perfect opportunity to make sure she’d never accidentally root for Philly (even though the Patriots don’t play them in the regular season, you never know who they’re going to see in the Super Bowl). This time I was able to use two truths to get her to hate them:

1). “Did you know this Eagles wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, admitted earlier Monday that he didn’t give 100% effort at times last season because he cared more about getting a new contract (and staying healthy) than doing what it took to help the team.”

2). “Oh, and just in case you forgot, Julie, Michael Vick was a dog killer.”

Her response: “Oh, fuck them then.”

Before I run down my list of other teams I “shared” stories about to Julie, I should tell you that I began this experiment with one team last year, and it is working perfectly. When I was watching the Steelers/Colts game earlier Monday morning, Julie saw a picture of Ben Roethlisberger and immediately asked, “Isn’t that the rapist?”

Yes, yes it is. At some point last year, I fed her the story of Roethlisberger’s “run-in with the law” when he tried to assault a college student in Georgia. Safe to say Julie won’t be rooting for either of the Pennsylvania-based football teams this year.

Let’s quickly run through some of the other stories I’m working on for Patriots’ opponents/rivals:

The Jets? “Did you know they traded for Tim Tebow, but the head coach and starting quarterback won’t let him play because they’re anti-God and anti-virgin?”

The Broncos? “Well first of all, they traded away Tim Tebow after he led them to their best season in six years. I think it was because he’s too much of an inspiration. And did you know that Peyton Manning was actually the one who orchestrated the firing of the Colts’ head coach and general manager after last season? Yeah, seems like he was trying to save himself by throwing them under the bus. Weird.”

The Ravens? “Do you know that they lose to the Patriots every other year, and after every loss the entire team complains that either the Patriots cheated or that the refs caused them to lose? And there are also a couple guys on that team who have publicly stated they want to hurt Tom Brady.”

The Bengals? “You know they used to have Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens as their wide receivers, right?” (In this case I’ll probably have to explain more about Owens’ history as the biggest douche bag in football, but Julie decided just a couple weeks ago she hated Johnson after seeing him act like an asshole on HBO’s Hard Knocks and then hearing the news about him getting arrested for hitting his wife.)

The Texans? I don’t know what to do with this team. There are really no true stories I can exaggerate to make them sound like a bad team. I might just go with: “Did you know they’re thinking of picking up Chad Johnson?”

The Giants? “It turns out the reason Peyton and Eli’s brother, Cooper, never played football is because when they were growing up, Eli was jealous of Cooper and decided to put a Tonya Harding-like hit on Cooper’s knee.”

Actually, why do I even have to create a lie for this one? I’m just gonna go with: “Do you know the only reason Eli is on the Giants is because when he was rewarded with being the 1st overall pick in the 2004 draft, he threw a hissy fit about having to play for a bad team in San Diego and got his Daddy (a pedophile by the way) to help orchestrate his immediate trade to the Giants?”

 

Yes, that should do for now. I’d be open to hearing suggestions on better lies or stories for teams I didn’t spend time on in this post.

In On Meaningless Preseason Football, Out on the Red Sox…Was I the Last One Still In On Them?

For you Red Sox fans out there, when was your “I’m out on this team” moment? Mine was this past Saturday. It was about two in the afternoon when I was casually flipping through channels and paused on their game against the Yankees. Julie saw the game on and asked why I hadn’t been watching it from the start. Uhh, isn’t it obvious, Julie? Because I’m busy watching a Jaguars vs Saints preseason football game, durr.

So on a day when the Sox were putting up a convincing win against the Yankees of all teams, I was not only choosing to watch a meaningless football game between two teams I don’t care about, but I was finally ready to proclaim the baseball season over. I have a feeling many of you were probably out on them long before I was. And if that’s true, good for you. If you were lucky enough to somehow ditch the Red Sox way back in April or May, congratulations, you wasted a lot less time this summer than I did.

Now before you all start screaming at me for being a fairweather fan, you should realize I’ve hung around for plenty of playoff-less Red Sox seasons. But isn’t it OK to give up early on a Red Sox team that is easily the least likable of my lifetime? I can deal with watching meaningless games in September, but I can’t deal with watching meaningless games in September while the actual baseball takes a backseat to ridiculous drama between the players, manager, ownership and local media. If I want a dose of daily drama, I’ll start DVR’ing Days of Our Lives again.

And for the few people reading this who are excited for that moment in six weeks when the Sox miraculously clinch a playoff spot just so you can rub it in my face, here’s a dose of reality:

The Sox would probably have to go 33-8 over their final 41 games (would get them to 92 wins) just to have a shot at a wild card spot. Does it seem like they have that type of run in them? What if I told you 29 of those 41 games are against playoff-caliber teams? Would that help you detach yourself from this team and move on with life?

All of this is a long-winded way of saying I have another dilemma. Just like I wrote about back on April 12th (“Should I Pay to See the Red Sox or Not?”), I now have the option to go see the Sox play in Anaheim in 10 days, but I’m on the fence. Do I go because it’s the Sox and it’s a stadium I’ve never been to? Or do I skip it because it means paying for a ticket, enduring 90 miles of driving (half of which would be during rush hour trying to leave LA), and trying to root for a team that doesn’t seem to give a shit about winning?

I think a quick look at the NFL preseason schedule just made my decision easy…the Patriots play the Giants on the same night as the Red Sox game. Yes, it’s a preseason game, and yes, the NFL Network is bound to show 355 replays of the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the Giants from six months ago, but that still might be less painful than watching the most pathetic team in baseball.

Reader Trivia Answers: We have a Winner! (And Many Losers)

I promised answers to all the trivia I unleashed on my readers earlier this week, and I never break a promise.

Let’s begin with the three poll questions I posed in this post.

First, the answer to which country (not counting the US, UK, Australia and Canada) has read my blog the most. Germany was the runaway winner according to my readers’ votes with 42% of the total vote, followed by Japan and Singapore, each with 21% of the vote. But none of those answers was correct. The right answer is Egypt, which got only one vote. Congrats to whoever said Egypt!

Next, there was the question of which blog post was the least read of all time. According to the voters, this was an obvious answer. A whopping 63% of the responders said “Euro Update: Are We Supposed to be Excited about 1-1 Draws” was the least read blog of all time. I get the reasoning behind this…no one likes soccer. But the soccer blog was not actually the least read. The post titled “March Madness: More Than Just Basketball to Help End Relationships” is actually the least clicked on blog so far. Once again, only one person voted for this option…congrats once again to that person (and if the same person got the Egypt answer correct, wow).

The final poll question in this article asked the readers to vote on which blog was the most read of all time. For those of you who voted for the Bieber Blog, the Bachelor Parties Blog, the Opening the Kimono on Work Jargon Blog or the Scamming Restaurants with the Bereavement Menu blog, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. None of those blogs even cracked the top 15 for most overall views. So it’s down to either “A Thorough Examination of Bird Poop Being Good Luck” or “Perfectly Good Excuses For Leaving Work Early.”

Those two posts are actually the top two most read on my blog, but in what order?

Almost 60% of the voters picked the Leaving Work Early post as the winner. And not a single person voted for the Bird Poop post. The readers missed badly here…the Bird Poop post is the most-read blog of all time!! And the Leaving Work Early post is a DISTANT second…over 100 less views than the Bird Poop.

Why is the Bird Poop article so popular? No idea, but it’s amazing that when I look at my stats every few days, the Bird Poop post has increased by another 5-10 views. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for the WBFF blog.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…did anyone guess all 12 pictures correctly in the Around the Clock Trivia from Monday?

Out of all the responses, this picture seemed to trip people up the most:

That is a picture of a lake in Wakefield, Massachusetts…Julie’s hometown.

Out of hundreds of guesses, there were three people worth highlighting. Two of them (Mike “The Dream”, and Aaron “Pueto”) only got one picture wrong: Mike, guessing Wakefield was actually the Ozarks, and Aaron guessing “somewhere in Europe” for picture #3, which was Barcelona (Aaron was technically right, but the judges were looking for something more specific).

And finally, we had one winner: Neil “Nkilla” Gariepy. Here was Neil’s guesses:

1. LA
2. Boston
3. Barcelona
4. Fitchburg
5. San Francisco
6. Heavenly/South Lake
7. York Beach
8. Yosemite/Vernal Falls
9. Monterey
10. Napa/Sonoma
11. Wakefield/Lake Quannapowitt
12. La Jolla/San Diego

So, Neil, what will it be? A free In-n-Out/Five Guys meal on your first trip down to LA? Or an autographed photo of two of LA’s most famous people? You do not get any bonus prize for being extra specific with your answers.

If I do future contests, I will probably put in fine print that “immediate family members of WBFF blog employees are ineligible” so that other people besides Neil have a chance to win something.

Laying Out the Blog’s Grand Football Season Plans (And 10 Reasons the Patriots are Guaranteed a Spot in the Super Bowl)

Every August the same thing goes through my head as I get ready for the NFL season to begin: What else can I sign up for to further commit myself—financially and emotionally—to obsessing over football? It was only six or seven years ago that fantasy football was the only game/pool/gambling I was involved in when it came to following football. Then I added a “survivor” pool; then I did weekly picks against one person for $20 a week (somehow he won a car  off me in November 2005 just for winning a single week); then I joined a weekly pick ’em league with about 20 other guys; then I setup an account with an online gambling website to bet on individual games. And because that wasn’t enough, last year I tried to convince four other guys to buy into a $1,500 season-long pick ’em league through the Las Vegas Hilton with me (a pool that includes Las Vegas’s most notorious sports gambling professionals…a good idea for us to join obviously…fortunately my friends didn’t go for it). Two days ago I sent an email out to a couple friends asking if there were any pools or games they knew of that I could get in on.

What is it about football that gets me worked into such an irrational frenzy? I’m actually not going to bother trying to answer that question in this post. Is there even a simple answer as to why football is the greatest form of entertainment that exists in the world? We all have our reasons…and if you’re reading this, shaking your head and saying, “Football? The greatest? I don’t even understand the rules…why do they get four tries every time they get the ball?”…then there’s probably going to be a lot of blog posts over the next six months that just aren’t for you.

But for those of you who are as obsessed with the NFL as me, get ready for lots of WBFF football content over the coming months. Starting next week, I’ll be playing a game with everyone’s favorite guest blogger, Nkilla, where we argue about the total number of wins each NFL team is going to get this year. We’ll split it up into an NFC post and an AFC post, and then right before the regular season opener we’ll go through our projected playoff teams, Super Bowl winner and individual regular season awards winners.

You might wonder why the WBFF blog is trying to tackle (first football-related pun of the year!!) a topic that is exhaustively covered already by actual sports writers. That’s easy: because I’m funnier than them, I’m more knowledgeable about the NFL than them, and I’m more unemployed than them (meaning I’ll gladly waste an entire day scanning through the TV broadcasts of 16 different football games trying to count how many times all the commentators said the word “penetration” that particular week. Those are the type of stats you can expect from me that no one else will be discussing).

On a weekly basis during the NFL season, you can expect me to make predictions for each upcoming game, criticize any broadcaster, analyst or pre-game show host who dares make a mistake, give plenty of fantasy analysis (trying my hardest never to tell you stories about how badly my team got screwed since everyone hates other peoples’ fantasy football stories), and anything else that seems entertaining.

My calendar is clear for every game of the season (my calendar is actually clear from now to eternity as it turns out), and I’ve already bought my girlfriend a dog way sooner than she was expecting to get one so that she’ll have something to occupy her time for 12 hours each Sunday (and for three hours every Monday and Thursday).

In case you’re not convinced yet, just know that nobody on this planet is more committed than me to dissecting the 2012 NFL season.

Having said all that, let’s quickly get some thoughts on the Patriots out of the way now. I promise to give equal amounts of blog space to the other 31 teams over the course of the season (unless the Pats’ offense starts putting up record-breaking 2007-like numbers on offense, then I’m scrapping all other ideas to focus solely on how great they are).

I realize I’m not exactly going out on a limb saying that the Patriots are an absolute lock for getting to the Super Bowl. After all, they’re the odds-on favorite to win the AFC, and they’re tied with Green Bay as the favorite to win it all (according to Bovada’s sports betting website). But something funny happened in April that made me think sports fans outside of New England aren’t respecting this team as much as they should. Even though the Patriots had just come off consecutive years of winning 13 or more games in the regular season (and getting all the way to the Super Bowl in the most recent playoffs), a friend of mine from New York tried to discredit the entire 2011 Patriots season by simply saying, “they didn’t beat a team with a winning record until the AFC Championship Game.” I thought at first this was an isolated incident and chalked it up to jealousy…this guy is a fan of a San Francisco 49ers franchise that hadn’t been relevant in about 14 years prior to their overachieving 2011 season. But as that night wore on, more people started to agree with him that the Patriots weren’t very good in 2011; they were just lucky that they never had to play a decent team.

Whatever. Patriots fans have been dealing with jealous dumbass detractors for 11 years now. But in case you really believe the Patriots were overrated last year and won’t do shit this year, here are the top 10 reasons (out of something like 75 total reasons) the Patriots are a lock for a spot in Super Bowl XLVII:

10). Bill Belichick seems to finally have realized what we all realized three years ago: that Tom Brady isn’t gonna be around forever so stop constantly trading away draft picks for additional future draft picks and just load up on the immediate talent. Instead of trading first round picks for a boatload of future first, second and third round picks, Belichick actually traded up into a better first round position twice this year to get his guys: Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower (both play defense, where clearly the team needs the most help). He knows now is the time for another “three Super Bowls in four years” run.

9). We’ve never gotten to see Tom Brady play in a regular season immediately following a Super Bowl loss. How pissed off is he? How motivated is he? He’s now lost in the Super Bowl twice to Peyton’s dorky little brother. I can’t help but think he’s gonna be on a mission this year (I know, I know, when is he not on a mission?).

8). Another Brady motivator: He won his third Super Bowl in 2005, and only now does he finally have a couple guys nipping at his heels for most Championships among active Quarterbacks (Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger). A fourth Super Bowl victory for Brady would pretty much assure that no current QB ever passes him (and would solidify his spot atop the all-time QB list).

7). As if the Patriots offense, which finished 2011 as the second-ranked passing offense and third-ranked overall offense in the league, needed any more help…they added a legit deep threat in Brandon Lloyd and get an even-more-experienced Tight End tandem that’s unmatched in football. Oh, and Wes Welker is playing for a contract (aka pissed off at the Patriots for not giving him a long term deal), which should mean about 150 catches over the course of 16 games. Is 40 points per game realistic for this team?

6). Have you seen the rest of the AFC this year? The weakest its been in a very long time. Outside of New England, the next best contenders are the Ravens, Texans, Broncos and Steelers, probably in that order. You could make the argument that the Ravens and Steelers are both due for a letdown because of their aging defenses and a brutal AFC North division where they’ll beat up on each other and have to deal with frisky Cincinnati and Cleveland teams. The Texans have Matt Schaub at QB, who’s never won anything significant, and their second-best offensive player, Andre Johnson, is one of the least durable Wide Receivers in the league. And finally, Denver has Peyton Manning, coming off three neck surgeries and no competitive football for about 20 months.

5). Because it’s been 15 months since a Boston team won a professional Championship…way too long in my opinion. And let’s go ahead and assume the Red Sox aren’t pulling off the most miraculous resurrection in sports history this year. We’re dying for that next title.

4). A young, healthy defense means the Patriots could be ranked in the top 10 defensively for the first time since 2008 (compared to 2011 where they were ranked 31st and 2010 where they came in at 25th). We all know about the rookies expected to make an immediate contribution, but the Patriots will also get a healthy Brandon Spikes, Ras I-Dowling, Jerod Mayo and Patrick Chung. Those four, all projected starters last year, missed a combined 32 games. If we never see Julian Edelman lining up on defense this year, it means the Patriots will definitely be a top 15 defense, if not a top 10.

3). Did I already mention the other top contenders in the AFC?

2). Their schedule. If people bitched about the Pats not beating any good teams last year, wait until they see the schedule for 2012. They have the easiest strength of schedule in the entire league, playing only four teams that had a winning record last season. They get six games against the AFC East: they won’t lose to a terrible Dolphins team, they’re gonna be pissed off that Buffalo beat them once last year so they’re not losing to the Bills, and the Jets are gonna be so busy dealing with the Sanchez/Tebow platooning at QB I doubt they even get to seven wins this year. The NFC division the Patriots get to play is the West…the 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks and Rams. The one “decent” team from that division, San Francisco, plays in Foxboro, where the Patriots don’t lose games.

1). Do you realize that the Belichick-era Patriots are two plays short of having a Quarterback with five Super Bowl wins and a head coach with 7 Super Bowl wins? I realize plenty of teams could say they were “one play away” from some significant achievement, but if the Patriots just make an average defensive play towards the end of each of their last two Championship appearances, there’s no argument that Belichick and Brady are the greatest ever at each of their positions. No other team in the NFL can compete with that resume.

Second Interactive Post of the Week: Most Popular and Least Popular Blog Topics

For the second time this week, the WBFF blog is running a reader trivia game. Unlike the “Around the Clock” post, there will be no prize awarded…this is more of a poll to see if the popular answer matches up with the facts.

This blog has been in business for about seven months, and we’ve gotten nearly 6,000 total hits. The Word Press website breaks down the stats so I can see which individual blog posts have gotten the most hits. I’m curious to see which post my readers think has been the most read and which post has been the least read. Keep in mind that random google searches play a role in this so the posts that had topics of mass appeal are likely to get extra views.

You know what? While we’re at it, let’s throw in a third bonus poll. Let’s see if my readers can guess which country has clicked on my blog the most, not counting the “Big Four” (US, UK, Canada, Australia).

Below are the polls for your consideration.

And for those who submit a response to these polls and for the people who replied to the “Around the Clock” trivia post, I’ll be posting the correct answers by the end of the week.

Why Babies are Easier Than Puppies: Supplement to the Puppy Adoption Blog

In my original post about Julie and I adopting a puppy, I completely forgot an entire section I wanted to write. It’s a list of reasons why raising a newborn baby must be easier than raising a puppy. I must have gotten distracted when my puppy started gnawing on my computer, my wine glass and five of my books all at the same time.

Here’s an incomplete list of those reasons:

1). A baby can’t gnaw on anything, let alone a computer, wine glass and stack of books.

2). Wherever you put a baby down, it fucking stays there.

3). When you feed a baby, I assume he doesn’t take his mother’s nipple by his teeth and start squirting milk all around the room (as our beloved Molly likes to do with her water dish and sometimes her food).

4). A baby poops and pees in a diaper, and only in a diaper (I’m thinking my brother and sister-in-law haven’t yet had to clean shit or piss off of their carpets or patio from my nephew’s BMs).

5). I doubt a baby ever transforms into “deranged wild animal mode” and tries to rip out the jugular of its parents.

6). If you’re cleaning a baby because they have a dirty diaper, I don’t think the baby is gonna grab the diaper in his mouth and start marching it around the house for everyone to see…while also trying to eat his own feces.

7). There’s no way a four-month-old baby could crash through a three-foot metal gate, jump up and over a couch and sprint into your bedroom during the seven seconds you turned your back to look through the fridge.

8). Question: Before taking a baby on a car ride, do you have to A) trick her into a crate with treats, peanut butter and a plethora of toys, or B) physically shove her into a crate and try to shut the door before she escapes? No? Didn’t think so.

9). Let’s say you were to leave your baby home alone for a couple hours (which most parenting books highly recommend), and that was thing that upset her most in her tiny little world. If she were to cry for the entire two hours, would your neighbors five houses down be able to hear it? No again?

And it’s puppy difficulties over baby difficulties in a landslide!!

Around the Clock Trivia: WBFF’s First Legit Reader Contest

While I’m busy cleaning up my puppy’s bodily fluids (and solids), I thought it would be fun to engage my readers in a game of “guess those 12 random locations.”

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I’m a pretty big Pinterest basher. After all, it’s the thing that causes every girlfriend to freak out when you throw away a wine cork (“I was gonna use that wine cork to make a corkboard, and then use the corkboard to make homemade wine corks!!!”)

But I’ll be the first to admit that Julie hit a home run with her Pinterest-inspired homemade wall clock:

Rather than use pictures of ourselves for the 12 numbers—which would have been a progression of photos with me wearing less and less clothes in each—we chose 12 different locations that had some kind of meaning or relevance to both of us or at least one of us.

The challenge to my readers, of course, is to name all 12 locations. You don’t need to be too specific…the town or city will do. For instance, if we had a picture of the Space Needle on the clock, you could guess Seattle and you’d be right (we don’t have Seattle by the way).

The first person to guess all 12 locations correctly—and since there’s no way anyone will be able to do that, I’ll award the person who gets the most correct—will win an actual prize with real value. Even if you’re unsure, give it a try. My prediction is that no one gets more than eight right.

The prize will be your choice of a fully paid In-n-Out Burger meal (this prize can only be redeemed in LA, in person) or a specially autographed photo of two of LA’s most famous people (shipping included).

Below are the 12 pictures with a corresponding number before each picture. Please reply in the comments section, email me, tweet me or MySpace Message me:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

Adoption Process Complete: Announcing Our Little Bundle of Joy

Last week the WBFF blog was a little light on content, don’t you think? And while it would be easy to blame it on the recovery I needed from the college reunion the prior weekend, that’s not really the reason at all. The last two days for Julie and I have been full of feedings, interrupted sleep, crying, cleaning up accidents and 5am wake-up calls. If you’re thinking that we welcomed a little bundle of joy into our lives, you’d be right. On Thursday morning we adopted….a four-month-old…little girl…named Molly. She’s healthy, happy and loves to chew on Bull Penis!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some stats for you to digest while wondering how the hell someone would allow me to adopt a living creature:

10: Number of shelters/animal control centers we visited over a three-day span before finding the right puppy

1: Number of times a shelter told us we could adopt a dog we really wanted, only to inform us two minutes later that they made a mistake and another family already put a hold on that dog

1: Number of people who cried when the aforementioned teasing happened (I’ll let you guess who that was)

1: Number of visits to the Vet’s so far

47: Number of questions we were prepared to ask the Vet as first-time dog owners

44: Number of questions we forgot to ask the Vet

2: Number of shots Molly got on Friday (2nd round of vaccinations + deworming)

62: Number of dirty looks Molly gave us after we let the Vet give her shots and jam a thermometer up her ass

2: Number of times Molly puked in the car

1: Number of times Julie blamed me for a car-puking because I just had to go through Wendy’s drive-thru for a fountain Diet Coke, prolonging Molly’s car ride

83ish: Number of times we’ve thought Molly was dying because we have no clue how a normal puppy is supposed to act

4: Number of times we’ve questioned whether the adoption shelter we got Molly from was legitimate or not

1: Number of times Molly has tried to eat by sucking on my bare nipple (here’s hoping for more)

6: Number of dog-owning friends we consulted with on all things dog before adopting

6: Number of dog-owning friends whose advice we ignored the moment we brought Molly home

27: Number of dog-related google searches in the past 48 hours (some examples: “how often should you brush a dog’s teeth”, “best dog food for a puppy”, “puppy too lethargic”, “puppy too energetic”, “puppy seizures while sleeping”)

12: Number of dog supply items purchased on Amazon…with us thinking we wouldn’t need to buy anything more for a while

12: Number of additional dog items we’ve had to purchase from Petco/PetSmart in two days

40: Percent of Molly’s peepee times that have happened in the correct spot (as opposed to the 60% that have landed on the carpet)

7: Number of months we were going to wait before getting a dog after we initially discussed it

2: Number of months we actually waited

The Legendary ShitList Returns: Elevator Etiquette, Plane Deboarding Process, Socially Inept Adults

With the past six days being my college reunion/binge drinking/sleep deprivation vacation, I hardly feel like writing anything. And since I’m so overtired, the only thoughts going through my head are pissed off, negative ones. So what better time than now to rejuvenate an old favorite from my college blogging days…it’s time for Rmurdera’s ShitList.

What is a ShitList? Simply put: a list of pet peeves…things I currently hate or find obnoxious to the point of sending me on a profanity-laced tirade.

This week there are only three on the List:

3. Elevator Etiquette – How often do you try to get off an elevator and there’s a person trying to get on it who just barrels right into it without giving you a chance to exit? I swear this happens to me in seven out of every 10 elevator rides. It’s really ridiculous to have to explain to someone how the order of entering and exiting an elevator should go, right? Is it really elusive to some people that if you wanna get on an elevator and ride it somewhere, you need to let the person who’s already standing in the elevator off first? But here’s the thing: I don’t think people misunderstand these rules at all. I think most people are self-absorbed dickheads who are so wrapped up in their need to get somewhere quickly (or more likely mentally consumed by whatever is on their iPhone), that they lose all sense of being in a social environment where other people exist. I bet everyone who reads this and agrees that they’ve had people do this to them have also been culprits of doing it to others. Please do me a favor and when the elevator that you called for finally arrives, take two extra seconds to let the door completely open and see if there are people inside of it. If there are, I think you know what to do.

2. Going With the Flow in a Group Setting – Let’s say you were on vacation with a group of 10 people. And let’s say that at some point during this vacation the other nine people wanted to do something you didn’t really feel like doing…like maybe they wanted to play a board game. Wouldn’t you do one of two things—either suck it up and play the game, or go off quietly by yourself and read a book or watch a movie? Pretty logical I’d say. Or I’ll give you another scenario: You’ve suggested a game for the group to play and they’ve all agreed to play. But because it’s a large group, it’s naturally taking some time to organize everyone and get them all into the same room. Wouldn’t you show at least an ounce of patience and politely wait for them to finish what they’re doing? In both scenarios, “going with the flow” seems to be the right mantra. You know you’re in a large group and you can’t get your way exactly how you want it so a normal, well-adjusted person would simply go with the group flow. Apparently there’s a different school of thought that says if you don’t get your way you throw a tantrum and have a complete meltdown. I’m talking slamming doors, screaming at people, yelling that you “don’t tolerate stupidity,” and telling the group, “Now I know why they call them board games…because they’re fucking boring and you’re all a bunch of [expletive deleted] losers.” Seems like the type of person who should be isolated from the public, right? Or at the very least, someone who shouldn’t go on vacation with other people.

1). Plane Deboarding Etiquette – Since this might be slightly trickier than elevator etiquette, I’ll give the detailed breakdown (I’m being extremely sarcastic with that sentence. Plane deboarding is not trickier than getting on an elevator! It’s a simple “wait your turn” process.). When the plane has landed and the front door is open, you exit. But here’s the tricky part that most people don’t seem to grasp: You exit in an orderly fashion with Row 1 exiting first, then Row 2, then Row 3, and it progresses on a row-by-row basis from there. But aren’t there two Row 1’s, you might ask? Yes there are…one on the left side of the plane and one on the right side. Typically the rows are slightly staggered so that Row 1 on the left is slightly in front of Row 1 on the right. If that’s the case, then Row 1 left goes first. If they aren’t staggered, then each set of “competing” rows simply has to show some courtesy and decide who goes first. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? So why is this on my ShitList? Because people seem to think that since they are in an aisle seat and get to stand up in the aisle first when the deboarding begins, they can charge up the aisle and out of the plane ahead of the poor souls sitting in the window seats in rows ahead of them who haven’t had a chance to step into the aisle yet. There is nothing more frustrating to me than trying to get out of my row and into the aisle, only to have a bunch of assholes from the cluster of rows behind me trying to pass me. And when I say “assholes,” I’m talking about men, women, children, elderly people…anyone who does this move is a completely despicable human being. And no, men do not have to be gentlemen and let a woman go ahead of them if she’s out of order. There is no such thing as chivalry during the plane deboarding process. If you are with me on a plane and people start line-cutting like I described above, you better not get embarrassed easily because I love calling these people out and then “accidentally” ramming my carry-on bags into their legs as I follow them out of the plane.