The Boston Comeback That Made Almost All Of Us Look Like Fools (With a Big Assist From Twitter)

I’m sure guest-blogging extraordinaire Nkilla will be along later today with his Round 2 preview of the NHL playoffs, but it would be irresponsible of me not to post some disjointed, incoherent thoughts about what went down in Boston last night.

-I don’t care how spoiled Boston fans have been since the Patriots’ 2001 run. We were all thinking the exact same thing as last night’s 3rd period creeped closer and closer to the 10-minute mark: “Son of a bitch, we’ve been tricked again. This team is no different than last year’s gigantic disappointment. Only 115 days til football starts, thank the Lord.”

-God damn Twitter and Facebook. In the old days, I would have just told the person I was watching the game with that the Bruins were frauds, had no heart, should fire their coach before the final whistle…and then I could have denied it all after the comeback. Now my naysaying is all over the friggen web for eternity.

-Just imagine if Twitter was around during the 2004 ALCS. I can’t even fathom the type of hate I would have been spewing at the Red Sox after that 19-8 game 3 debacle against the Yankees in Fenway.

-Or even worse, imagine if they had liquor as tasty as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey back in 2004. Dangerous.

-Here’s a sampling of some of my Tweets and Facebook posts that historians 100 years from now will be laughing at as they put together a complete history of my life:

  • “1 of 2 things happens in this game: Bruins lead by multiple goals the whole way, or I chug Jack Daniel’s Honey for the next 3 hrs” (No exaggeration whatsoever. I severely underestimated how much I’d need so during the first intermission I sprinted to the store to re-load on the Honey. Best move I made all night.)
  • “I would tell Lucic to take the sweater off and exit the building right now if I were Julien. Awful, Nice season B’s” (In my defense, this was written the moment after Toronto scored their third goal, a goal that only happened because Lucic, having beaten Phil Kessel to the puck in the corner of the Bruins defensive zone, decided he wanted to make contact with Kessel more than grabbing the puck and clearing it out. It was an inexcusable play in my mind. As for the “Nice season B’s” comment, remember that they were now down two goals with 18 minutes to go and had scored all of three goals in the previous 162 minutes dating back to the start of game 5. I don’t think it was so wrong to write them off here.)
  • “Choking away a 3-1 series lead when 2 of final 3 games were at home is greater than or equal to a baseball team losing 9.5 game lead in Sept” (Fine, this one was a major exaggeration. Of course losing a lead like that in baseball when all you have to do is win 8 out of your final 27 games is worse than losing three straight hockey games.)
  • “I’d bet on Titus Young Sr getting signed by Patriots over Bruins coming back in this game” (And I’d still make that bet if the situation came up again. Remember, three total goals in 162 minutes and they needed three in less than 15 minutes!)
  • “I refuse to stop tweeting about the Bruins demise…It might just be the thing keeping them alive” (Rule #1 of debilitating superstitions: If good things start to happen while you’re behaving a certain way, don’t you dare change that behavior. My negativity just might be the thing that saved Boston’s season. I accept thank you’s in the form of paid writing jobs or straight up donations to the “Keep Ross Unemployed Fund.”)
  • “The Bruins treat playoff series like I treated college papers” (Pretty self-explanatory. Slack off until it’s so close to the deadline that you have a stress-related ulcer and then do just enough to not get kicked out of school/the playoffs.)
  • “So, New York, we meet again” (I don’t know this Rangers team, but I don’t care. They’re from New York. That’s all that matters.)

-I want to talk to someone who left the Garden when the Bruins were down 4-1 or 4-2. Not to make fun of them (Lord knows I was thisclose to changing the channel to watch the other game 7 going on at the same time), but to hear them express their feelings as they were driving out of Boston and realizing what was happening. Must have felt like a kick squarely to the testicles.

-Logic says the Bruins don’t get out of the 2nd round. Not only did they get outplayed in 4.5 of 7 games against the Maple Leafs, but they continued to lose key guys throughout the process…Andrew Ference, Wade Redden, Dennis Seidenberg. Good thing they have a guy who annually ranks as the best defensive-minded forward in Patrice Bergeron because they might just have to ask him to line up on the blue line if things keep going this way.

-You can never feel confident when two of your defensemen are a 19-year-old rookie (Dougie Hamilton) and a guy with nine total games of NHL experience (Matt Bartkowski).

-But there’s apparently no place for logic when it comes to the Boston Bruins and playoff hockey in general (as evidenced by the fact that the number 2, 3 and 4 seeds in the West bowed out in Round 1, along with the number 2 and 3 seeds in the East).

-As far as I’m concerned, Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien should grab a couple scrubs from Providence and sub them in for Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin for the rest of this playoff run. They are invisible. Marchand has all of three total points (all assists), ranking him 99th out of all players in the playoffs. But hey, he looks like Gretzky compared to Seguin….one point, an assist. There’s literally no one Julien can put in for them that will hurt the team more than they’re already hurting it.

-Bruins went 1-2 against the Rangers this year, but the two losses were as close as can be…one in OT and the other in a shootout. So there’s hope, I guess.

-Not that I would ever root for a triple-heart attack game again, but this just might have been the thing that gets my girlfriend legitimately interested in the NHL Playoffs for the rest of her life. I’ve been trying to tell her for the past week how amazing game 7’s can be, mostly because I wanted her to be OK with me hogging the TV for every possible hockey game, but now she’s going to think every game 7 is as crazy as last night’s. If that’s what it took, then I guess I’m glad it happened (Maybe her interest will stay with only the Bruins…she didn’t seem too thrilled this morning when I told her round 2 starts up immediately with two games tonight).

-I haven’t heard every sound byte from last night yet, but the leader in the clubhouse is Tuukka Rask saying “You’re either a hero or an asshole.” The Bruins seem to have a handful of both.

-Going forward I’ll make a deal with the Bruins. You play 60 minutes a game as if you actually care about winning in the playoffs, and I’ll stay away from prematurely writing your obituary on Twitter.

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My Life Explained in Exactly 4 Web Browser Tabs

You can forget about the post from last week that explained my daily routine. This picture’s a great representation of my typical day (probably click on the picture to see it larger):

 

 

 

Welcome to the good life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hectic Schedule of an Unemployed Writer

“So, Ross, you’ve been wearing that outfit all week…”

-Julie, on a Thursday

It’s safe to say Julie’s ready for me to be gainfully employed once again. Not because she’s sick of me spending her income on frozen waffles and legos, but because a job would give me a reason to take a daily shower, put on deodorant most mornings and change out of my basketball shorts & cut-off t-shirt combination.

It got me thinking that my handful of loyal readers probably wonder what the hell I do with my time every day. Obviously you all know I’m running a world renowned blog, and that’s some serious shit. But I’ll admit I have plenty of free time on my hands. So here’s a glimpse at my daily schedule:

7:15am: While half asleep, try to think of ways to delicately ask Julie if she can get ready for work in a quieter way. Or if maybe she can get ready in the living room instead of the bedroom.

7:15 – 8:15am: Get my 10th hour of sleep, obviously.

8:15am: Finally ready to start my day. After putting on the standard gray basketball shorts and cut-off t-shirt, I have a race against the clock: Can I get my dog outside before she pees all over the carpet? I currently have a 75% success rate with this task.

8:30am: Fire up the computer to see if I’ve received any emails from people offering me writing jobs. Quickly remember I haven’t sent out any resumes or writing samples so it would be really strange if someone did email me to offer a job.

8:35 – 9:45am: Get distracted by the internet—Twitter, espn.com, Bank of America (daily habit to check my bank statement to see if my old job accidentally direct deposited two weeks worth of salary into my account)

9:45 – 10:15am: Light breakfast to energize myself for the day….4 eggs, half pound of bacon, hash browns, 3 slices of bread, 6-8 pancakes (small ones). Leftovers go to the dog.

10:15 – 10:45am: Exercise time. Most days I go for a jog, and to stay motivated I reward myself by jogging to a fast food place that has awesome milkshakes. I like to think jogging to the milkshake place and back offsets the calories in the milkshake. This is the route I take to the restaurant.

10:45 – 11:30am: You’d think a shower would be in order after such a long run, but you’d be surprised how many days a week I get home from exercising, sit in front of my computer and completely forget about my hygiene. So this time is usually spent looking at emails again.

11:30 – 12:30pm: Finally, it’s time to be productive. This is the first writing session of my day. What that means is I stare at a blank screen for five minutes, get frustrated that I can’t think of anything to write, then toggle over to twitter or a sports website and read through a few articles. This goes on for the full hour usually. By the end of this first session, I just like to convince myself that I have a good idea and when I sit down for session two later in the afternoon, I’ll finally start to write it.

12:30 – 1:30pm: Lunch. Even though I don’t have a real job, I like to stay in the rhythm of how a real job works. This means a one-hour lunch break. That’s the law. I don’t make the rules.

1:30 – 2:30pm: This is when I do some studying for my eventual career as a TV writer. Over this one hour, I can watch three episodes of whatever sitcom I choose. Recently it’s been Workaholics and The League.

2:30 – 2:45pm: Sit on the couch and send Julie text messages about things I think she should pick up on her way home from work. Usually it’s simple requests like a fountain Diet Coke, 50 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or a fire extinguisher. You can imagine that this is Julie’s favorite part of the day.

2:45 – 2:50pm: Gotta go check the mail. If a major film studio hasn’t emailed me a job offer, maybe they’re old-fashioned and sent me the offer via regular mail.

2:50 – 4:00pm: Time to come up with new story ideas for future TV scripts. Rather than sit at my computer and try to use my imagination for this task, I like to  generate story ideas by sitting on my balcony and trying to create backstories for other residents in our complex who I can see through their windows. For instance, why does the lady across the courtyard from us have to shake out her rugs twice a day? What’s going on in her apartment that’s making things so dirty? My theory is that she’s running a cocaine packaging and distribution center out of her apartment and she’s constantly getting residue on her rugs. Someday soon I’ll test this by running underneath her balcony and opening my mouth up like I do during a snowstorm while she shakes out the rug.

4:00 – 5:00pm: Shit, Julie’s gonna be home soon and I’ve literally done nothing productive today. Time to break out the notebook and index cards to make it seem like I’m deep into the middle of outlining a TV or movie script. A nice trick I’ve learned: the messier I make the kitchen table with all of my writing materials, the harder it looks like I’ve been working.

5:00 – 5:15pm: Julie gets home and sees me “hard at work.” She asks if I’m gonna be done soon so we can take the dog for a walk and chat about our day. I pretend to struggle to decide whether I should keep working or call it a night. I tell her, “I guess five straight hours of this is enough for today. Sure let’s go for that walk.”

5:15 – 6:00pm: Ross, Julie and dog go for a family walk while Ross thinks, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna write all day long. No excuses.”

The End.

Twitter’s Creepy “People You May Know” Algorithm is Smarter Than I Realized

Children of America, pay attention. If you want to know why software engineers and computer people are making all the money these days, look no further than the crazy algorithms that the Twitter engineers have developed to find people in the Twitter universe who I might know:

I just can’t believe they have the intelligence to realize me and Uncle Barack might know each other. So, children, if you’re thinking about your future in software, just realize you need to be at least smart enough to develop a program that suggests I might know who the President of the United States is. That’s the minimum requirement.

Summer Olympics Preview Part 4: Obscure Trivia, What to Watch, and Phelps vs Lochte Revisited

[Editor’s Note: And just like that we’ve arrived at Opening Day of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It seems like just yesterday Nkilla and I were discussing the crazy sport known as the Modern Pentathlon or the phenomenon that is olympic swimming. While those posts were actually weeks ago, we pretty much did just get done discussing the olympic sport best suited for a normal civilian to compete in successfully. We decided for our final email exchange to really empty out the proverbial notebook. In this fourth post, we ask each other some very obscure trivia questions, talk about the best events to watch and how to watch them, revisit the Phelps vs. Lochte debate, and show you the next “big” thing in Beach Volleyball. There’s something for everyone so please enjoy.]

From: Rmurdera

To: Nkilla

OK, we’re in the home stretch for the London Games to kick off so it’s now or never to get any final words of advice out there to our beloved readers. Rather than pose the question of who are the hottest female athletes in the Olympics, several websites have already done the hard work for us. Here is the Bleacher Report’s “100 Hottest Female Olympians of 2012.” http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1223953-100-hottest-olympians-of-2012/

That covers all countries.

And Men’s Fitness has come out with their version, the Sexiest US Olympic Women: http://www.menshealth.com/olympics/sexiest-female-olympians

Instead of us debating who’s the hottest athlete, I’ve run some stats on the top 30 according to the Bleacher Report I referenced above (because who cares about anyone outside of the top 30 honestly?).

Here’s what I found:

-In terms of countries, Italy has 3 women in the top 30, Russia has 4 women in the top 30, and the US has a whopping 10 women in the top 30.

-In terms of sport, tennis occupies 3 of the top 30, volleyball and beach volleyball each have 3 in the top 30, track & field has 4 in the top 30, and soccer has 7.

How do you feel upon hearing those stats? Does it line up with what you would have expected? Is it really possible that the US has 1/3rd of the hottest 30 female athletes in the olympics? After all, there are 205 total countries competing in the olympics…seems a bit absurd to think such a large concentration of hotness is coming from one country.

And what about Soccer having the most spots? Are soccer chicks really that good looking? Would you have expected any other sport to make a run at soccer before I showed you these stats?

A little random trivia for you…I just mentioned that 205 countries are competing in this year’s Olympics. Can you guess how many countries are competing from each of these continents…Africa, Asia, and Europe? Don’t google it, just try to guess.

And finally, do you wanna weigh in for our audience on the whole “London is 8 hours ahead of the West Coast of the US so watching the important events on TV without having Twitter, Facebook or ESPN ruin the results ahead of time is going to be a challenge” issue? What’s the best way for people to watch the events? And remember that some people can’t sit in an office and stream the games live on their 2nd and 3rd monitors like you can…

From: Nkilla

To: Rmurdera

Regarding the attractive and obviously-smart-as-well women of the Olympics:

You retrieved your lists from websites that are primarily visited by US citizens, so I am not surprised how many of the top 30 are American. If you found a popular German site that came up with the same list, I wonder what the results would be. Although, the US tends to be able to qualify women for all events, which cannot be said for most other countries, so since US women make up the largest percentage of all female Olympians maybe it makes sense that they have a higher percentage of smart and attractive athletes. I almost want to apply math to the soccer situation as well. Each soccer team has 22 or so ladies to choose from so it probably makes sense mathematically that soccer yields the highest percentage of smart and attractive women. My prediction though is that there is going to be some women’s beach volleyball team that garners a lot of attention for something other than their play. I feel like it happens every Olympics. Misty May and Kerri Walsh are getting a little older now so they are past their prime with their “non-athletic appeal,” but someone is going to step up. My prediction is Kolocova & Slukova.

As for your “countries by continent” trivia, here are my answers:

Africa = 35

Asia = 37

Europe = 44

Those are all just guesses; I did not google it. Here is an interesting question related to country participation. For international soccer, England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all field their own teams as independent nations. Yet for the Olympics, they all compete as the single nation of the United Kingdom. Why? And could Canada and Australia join the UK team if they wanted?

The best way to watch the events is live, either at home or on your computer. Most of the medal events will happen late in the day London time, which means sometime between 9am-noon Pacific Time. When NBC shows the replay, you know they are going to save the best events for the end of their primetime broadcast, so we are talking between 11pm-midnight. I do not believe the average sports fan can keep themselves from finding out the results for up to 15 hours, so really if you care about not having it spoiled for you, then you need to find a way to watch it live.

I bought a copy of the Sports Illustrated Olympic Preview issue the other day because they try and predict the winners of every single medal, and I am toying with the idea of tracking how accurate they are. My guess is that they are going to be around 20% with picking the exact winner of the exact medal for each event. In terms having their three picks for each event win any medal, do you think they will be over or under 50%? I’m going to go with slightly over. They are also predicting the US and China to tie with 42 golds each, and the US to edge out China in total medals 99 to 97.

Another fun thing about the SI preview: They put a fun little sentence about the sport or competitor for each event. For instance, after the Men’s Individual Archery picks, they wrote “Two-time champ Im (the gentleman they picked for the gold) has 20/200 vision.” So my guessing game back at you: here are my favorite tidbits; Can you figure out what event they belong to?

“The Wangs are not related.”

“Nevin beat his cousin Michael to win the Irish nationals.” (This one is only good once you figure out the sport and imagine that the Irish qualifications happen drunk one night outside a bar.)

“McKeever will soon qualify as a chartered accountant.”

“Ex-bartender Heath can mix 150 cocktails.”

“Daley’s coach taunted Qiu on Twitter this year.”

“Fox-Pitt’s middle name is Speed Lane.”

“Orozco had three background roles in Law & Order.”

“New Zealand’s Logan Campbell opened a legal brothel to fund his training.”

“Cheywa attended police college.”

From: Rmurdera

To: Nkilla

Let’s tackle the trivia portion of your email first.

Africa actually has 51 countries participating while Asia and Europe have 45 countries in the olympics. The reason I asked—and really the only reason this caught me off guard—is because my entire knowledge of Africa and its countries is from the board game Risk. And in that game, there are all of six countries represented. I always thought there was something like 6-12 total countries on that continent.

For your really random and obscure trivia questions, here are your quotes again with my answers and my rationale:

“The Wangs are not related.” = Table Tennis: because Wangs = Asians and Asians = Good at Ping Pong

“Nevin beat his cousin Michael to win the Irish nationals.” (This one is only good once you figure out the sport and imagine that the Irish qualifications happen drunk one night outside a bar.) = Wrestling: because your clue of being drunk outside a bar makes me think it’s a head-to-head fighting type of event, and I don’t see the Irish having anyone entered into Boxing

“McKeever will soon qualify as a chartered accountant.” = Sailing: because people charter things like planes and boats, right? And a lot of accountants probably like sailboats.

“Ex-bartender Heath can mix 150 cocktails.” = Handball: because playing handball seems to be as athletic of a sport as mixing cocktails.

“Daley’s coach taunted Qiu on Twitter this year.” = Badminton: because I have no fucking clue.

“Fox-Pitt’s middle name is Speed Lane.” = Track & Field: because speed lane makes me think of a fast runner.

“Orozco had three background roles in Law & Order.” = Shooting: because this one was obvious…Law & Order is about the police, who have guns, which maybe means this guy shot a fake gun in his background roles and that helped him become an Olympic shooter.

“New Zealand’s Logan Campbell opened a legal brothel to fund his training.” = Water Polo: because it seems like the type of sport that New Zealand would be randomly good at.

“Cheywa attended police college.” = Modern Pentathlon: because at police college you’re probably schooled in shooting, riding a horse, running and maybe sword fighting, and those are four of the events in the Pentathlon.

One final topic I want to revisit before we sign off for good on the Olympics Preview is the Phelps vs. Lochte debate. Even though the rivalry’s cooled down a bit since the US Swimming Trials were broadcast a few weeks ago, it’s going to be ratcheted back up on Day One (July 28th) when they begin their first event, the 400M Individual Medley. Are you rooting for the favorite, the dominant force, the Tiger Woods of swimming (Phelps, obviously)? Or are you rooting for the underdog, the guy who would be the favorite if Phelps wasn’t around, and apparently the more likable guy (Lochte)? Everything I read says that while Phelps doesn’t show much personality to the public, and he doesn’t do much with his time besides swim and pretend to eat at Subway, Lochte is the polar opposite…he’s apparently a “fun-loving, easygoing guy,” and besides swimming he likes to play basketball, volleyball and go surfing.

Do you root for dominance to continue, even if the person doing the dominating doesn’t relate to regular people very well? Or do you root for the underdog who’s apparently a lot more relatable to a normal person?

From: Nkilla

To: Rmurdera

OK, here are the answers to my trivia quotes:

“The Wangs are not related.” = Women’s Singles Badminton

“Nevin beat his cousin Michael to win the Irish nationals.” (This one is only good once you figure out the sport and imagine that the Irish qualifications happen drunk one night outside a bar.)  = Boxing (Irish not entered in boxing? Come on, Rmurdera, they would not let the legacy of Hurricane Peter McNeeley die.)

“McKeever will soon qualify as a chartered accountant.”  = Men’s 200m Kayak Singles

“Ex-bartender Heath can mix 150 cocktails.” = Men’s 200m Kayak Doubles (Seems like if you are good at kayaking you have a lot of free time. Maybe you should take this up).

“Daley’s coach taunted Qiu on Twitter this year.” = Men’s 10m Platform 

“Fox-Pitt’s middle name is Speed Lane.” = Equestrian (So just to be clear, “William Speed Lane Fox-Pitt” is the name of the jockey, not the horse.)

“Orozco had three background roles in Law & Order.” = Gymnastics

“New Zealand’s Logan Campbell opened a legal brothel to fund his training.” = Taekwondo (Makes sense, right? A pimp needs to be able to beat down both employees and customers when necessary.)

“Cheywa attended police college.” = Steeplechase (Also makes sense, the running and jumping over things.)

As for your Risk perspective on Africa, does that mean you have thought the USA was made up of only two states (an eastern state and a western state) for the past 30 years? Also, in any history class throughout high school or college, if there was a question on a test as to how a war started, did you simply just write the one word answer: “Siam”?

I’m going to keep the Phelps vs Lochte argument simple since I already talked about it in part two of our Olympic preview:

After seeing Lochte’s picture on his wikipedia page and seeing he is from New York, I decided he looks like a typical Yankees fan so I am completely “Team Phelps” when they go head-to-head, but I’ll switch back to “Team Lochte” any time he is competing against the Russians.

Finally, for anyone wondering what events they should consider watching over the first weekend of the games:

MUST WATCH:

Men’s 400m IM Final – Saturday 11:30am

Women’s 400m IM Final – Saturday 12:10pm

Women’s 4×100 Free Final – Saturday 12:40pm

Men’s 100m Breast Final – Sunday 12:00pm

Men’s 4×100 Free Final – Sunday 12:50pm

Men’s 200m Free Final – Monday 11:40am

IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE BY A TV:

Men’s 132 lb Judo Medal match – Saturday 8am (Although if this is not exactly like the All Valley Karate Championship from Karate Kid, including music, I’m going to be pissed.)

Men’s Team Archery Medal Match – Saturday 10am (I’m expecting Hunger Games, but with adults)

Men’s 400m Free Final – Saturday 11:50am

Men’s 145 lb Judo Medal match – Sunday 8am

Women’s Team Archery Medal Match – Sunday 10am

Men’s Individual Sabre Final – Sunday 11:10am

Women’s 100m Fly Final – Sunday 11:30am

Women’s 400m Free Final – Sunday 12:15pm

Men’s 161 lb Judo Medal match – Monday 8am

Women’s 100m Back Final – Monday 11:50am

Men’s 100m Back Final – Monday 11:55am

Women’s 100m Breast Final – Monday 12:10pm

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR WIFE/GIRLFRIEND HAPPY:

Men’s Team Gymnastic Finals – Monday 8:30am

To: Nkilla

From: Rmurdera

I know you had addressed the Phelps/Lochte rivalry earlier, but I was hoping you’d give us a little more substance than “Lochte’s a Yankees fan so I don’t like him.” My opinion is that I want Phelps to dominate again. I hate an underdog success story. I always root for the scenario where I’ll be able to tell your kids someday that I saw the most dominant athlete at a given sport in his prime. That’s why even amidst the Tiger Woods personal life meltdown a few years ago, I’m still hoping he crushes the Major Championships record. I always root for the favorites, at least until the first sign of disappointment. No one jumps off a bandwagon quite as quickly as me.