If I haven’t mentioned this already, then shame on me, but True Detective is the best show on TV and might be the best show I’ve ever seen.
Side Note: If you don’t have HBO, get off your ass. They are absolutely crushing it. True Detective, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Rome, Game of Thrones, Entourage, Band of Brothers, The Pacific… I could go on. I’ve seen them all.
What makes McConaughey and Harrelson work is that they both understand their roles. (By the way you gotta see McConaughey and Jared Leto’s acceptance speeches for their Oscars, can’t find em on Youtube because of copyright crap or something or I’d post). Woody is the straight-forward, no B.S., “I will punch you in the face if you cross me or my family” type of dude. Very little deep reflection. McConaughey is different. Slow to react, very reflective, doesn’t let things go, thinks very, very deeply about life and his purpose in it.
But what makes the show great is their character development as it progresses. Harrelson sees his life deteriorate because of the way he is. While McConaughey begins to realize that Woody is pretty much his only friend and works on being less socially awkward.
So let’s say on this site I’m like McConaughey. I don’t write as often as Filler, but when I do it’s loooooooong (thus, the “Socrates” nickname I’ve earned). So today I’m not really ranting – that’s Filler’s thing. I understand our roles. But there’s a lot of stuff of different topics I felt like covering and I need to add a little comic relief to some of my writing. It’s not a rant, it’s my stream of consciousness, so here we go:
- The Dallas Cowboys and the new cap:
Schefty reported the other day that the NFL salary cap will increase this year even higher than expected. Bill Barnwell wrote a great piece about it for Grantland if you wanna check it out. http://grantland.com/features/the-money-pit/
The Cowboys reportedly asked Demarcus Ware to take a pay cut/contract restructure. Publicly, Ware and his agent have said nothing. If I were Ware I would tell the Cowboys to suck it and see if they called the bluff. That dude has been nothing been professional and tolerant to the absolute nonsense of that inept organization. After putting up with their perpetual mediocrity, there’s no way I’d even consider less money.
Although if the cap gets raised to as much as Schefter says it will, it may be a moot point, which kind of sucks for Cowboy-haters. The Cowboys continually overpay and mishandle their money thinking, “We’ll take care of being over the cap somewhere down the line,” and then the cap gets raised and their golden.
When Romo recently restructured his deal I thought, “Wow, Cowboys smartened up, realized they were WAY overpaying that dude and told him to take a pay cut.” Wrong. Romo is still making the same amount of money in the end, they just moved some money around and it’s a lighter cap hit on the front end. Kind of like paying the minimum on your Credit Card debt.
You win this round, Jerry.
- The Lebron/Durant MVP Duel:
Lebron scores 61 against a crappy team. Next night, Durant scores 41 and sits the fourth quarter out against a crappy team. THAT is why I love KD this season. Dude is sick of coming in second place and wants to win the MVP, but keeps things in perspective. I would’ve been tempted to drop 62 and check myself out just to stick it to the Lebron lovers (who now say he’s back in front for the MVP race). But KD said, “I made my point, now I’ll take the rest, thank you.”
Side Note: Westbrook posted a triple-double in 21 minutes of play.
If the Thunder figure out how to be better than they were when they didn’t have Westbrook in the lineup then watch out. I’m sticking to my guns though, Pacers over Thunder in 7. But there’s still that nagging part of me that says, “Lebron is trolling you. The Heat are going to turn it on at the right time and make you regret doubting their dominance.” Heat are only two games behind the Pacers by the way (WHAT!?).
Side Side Note: The Spurs look really, really good. Like, “we could take the Thunder in the Conference
I can’t wait for the NBA Playoffs (well, the second round and beyond at least). Speaking of…
- Charles Barkley ripping the NBA:
Sir Charles made two controversial statements this week. First, he said that the level and quality of play in the NBA is the lowest he’s ever seen, maybe the lowest in NBA history. At first I thought that was a stretch, but then I reconsidered.
To keep it in perspective, we have to remember when Charles played. I love NBA History (read my bit on Lebron and Mount Rushmore if you doubt me) and I’ve studied it a lot. Charles played during the 90’s, which I have always claimed is the most competitive decade in NBA history, overshadowed by a single dominant player in Michael Jordan. But people forget about Barkley, Magic, Isaiah, Olajuwon, Payton, Stockton/Malone, Drexler, etc.
The issue the NBA is really having right now is that it is absolutely dominated by superstars and they’ve made it unbelievably easy for them to team up and make super teams (looking at you Miami, Boston a few years ago, possibly LA next). Without the star power, you just can’t compete. The bad teams are so, so, so very bad. I’m genuinely concerned that the Sixers will not win another game this year. That is not a joke.
David Stern’s deaf ear to this issue over the past five years is a joke, and Silver needs to do something about it. It was like David Stern kept waving his hands saying, “look at how great Lebron is making NBA basketball” in the “these are not the droids you are looking for” voice.
The formula is simple: Be in a big market, trade away any decent assets you have, clear cap space, get lottery picks, sign big stars. Any combination of those things is the recipe for success. The result is that there are only a few really good teams that can contend now. Everyone else is in the process of building (which looks more like a holding pattern for the fans) or they’re tanking. On purpose.
Side Note: This isn’t terribly new – even the Spurs tanked in 98’ to get Tim Duncan. And how’d that pan out for them…?
The evidence is strikingly obvious. Look at the standings. Just two teams can contend in the East, five in the West (sorry Golden State. You can shoot, but I just don’t see it this year). Everyone else is building or tanking (or they should be).
And the product we have to watch in the meantime is awful. Unless I see one of those 7 teams playing one another, I’m not watching the game. I can’t even watch Knicks’ games anymore and they’re MY team. My wife gets scared, the puppy runs into the other room, and I stop drinking Sam Adams and start drinking Jack Daniels. But when those top teams do play each other, I can’t say there’s ever been a distinctly more exciting product to watch (since the 90’s). ESPN/ABC/TNT all know this and that’s why national TV games are dominated by about 8-10 franchises right now.
Even the first round of the playoffs is going to be atrocious. Right now in the East we’re looking at:
(1) Indiana vs. (8) Atlanta (might watch just to see my boy Paul George)
(2) Miami vs. (7) Charlotte (unwatchable)
(3) Toronto vs. (6) Brooklyn (name just THREE Toronto Raptors… yea, didn’t think so)
(4) Chicago vs. (5) Washington (unwatchable unless #JimmerMania kicks off… more on that later)
This leads to Charles’ next statement: http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/414537-barkleys-unique-solution-for-tanking?eref=fromSI
Chuck proposed that the NBA give lottery teams only one ping pong ball for the draft. I get what he’s trying to say, “Stop encouraging tanking,” and I agree. I don’t know if that’s a good or viable solution, though. After all, the worst teams in the NFL get guaranteed top picks based on their terribleness – or turribleness as Chuck might say – and the NFL doesn’t seem to have the same problem. No, I won’t watch Jacksonville-Oakland, but I will watch Jacksonville-Arizona, and that’s the problem. In the NBA, I won’t watch Milwaukee-Philadelphia and I won’t watch Milwaukee-Phoenix.
I think a better solution is to find a way to stop teams from stacking like Miami. The two obvious methods are manipulating the cap and getting rid of max contracts. If Philly or Cleveland have cap space and they can pay Lebron twice as much as an aging Miami team, I think that moves guys like Lebron from “probably staying” to “maybe staying.
- Jeb Bush’s son (George W. Bush’s nephew), also named George, won a primary for Texas Land Commisioner:
I like it, Bushes! Keep that dynasty rolling. The formula works! Next he runs for governor, maybe the White House after that. Why should the Kennedys have all the fun?
- Syracuse in freefall:
Remember when we were talking about the Cuse running the table? They’ve lost four of their last five. Last night they lost to lowly Georgia Tech at home! And remember, the game they won against Maryland wasn’t pretty. Hey, maybe they’re trolling us. Maybe they are the best team in the country and they decided to tank at the end of the year so they’d rest a bit, get a 3-seed, and stay out of the spotlight… Doubtful. They probably just aren’t really that good. But then again, that’s coming from a UConn fan so take it with a grain of salt. Although much like UNC, they’ve placed themselves in position to be a great game to watch no matter who they’re playing in that they can beat – or beaten by – any team in the tournament. And I mean any team. They’re loaded with talent but they don’t play defense until about 9:47 left in the second half. Don’t believe me? Fine:
Syracuse (-6) OVER last year’s Florida Gulf Coast tourney squad. You taking that bet? Didn’t think so.
Side Note: I had a bit in here about Oklahoma State being good again and that they’re only one of a list of about four teams I would be deathly afraid of facing come tournament time, but Filler stole my thunder. Watch. Out.
- Jersey girl sues her parents for not paying for her college and supporting her financially:
Rachel Canning, an 18-year old from Jersey decided she could sue her parents for not paying for her college and giving her financial support. That’s hilarious and further proof that the spoiled Facebook generation is generating some of the most-spoiled turds we’ve ever seen. The girl got suspended from school for truancy, claims she got kicked out of the house (she was 18, that used to be called becoming an adult), and her own sisters aren’t even taking her side. Seriously, you can read the article, I can’t make this up. Her entire family was just like, “Is she seriously suing us? Where did this come from?” Hilarious. Remember when college was that thing that you had to take out loans for/maybe get a scholarship for? Oh wait, lots of people still do that. http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/05/living/nj-teen-sues-parents-for-college-education/index.html?hpt=hp_c2 And oh by the way, the judge in her case absolutely ripped her to shreds in the court room.
Filler and I are now fielding suggestions for the name of the forthcoming national movement that will be the hysteria of Jimmer Fredette lighting it up in Chicago. I personally like Jimmer Mania, but you Chicago fans can do better (lookin at you Logan!).
I’m dead serious about this. I have an unreasonable excitement about Jimmer Fredette in Chi-Town. I think the Kings handcuffed this kid and now that he’s on a big market team, I expect something on the level of Linsanity to occur in Chicago. I lived right outside NYC when Linsanity was going on and I spent almost every weekend in Manhattan for that one or two month period when New Yorkers were losing their mind about Jeremy Lin. Which is exactly why the Knicks not making a move to get Jimmer and at least generate some interest back into New York basketball is a crying shame. Can you imagine that kid at the Garden? Ugh.
But good for you Chicago. All kidding aside, the guy can flat-out shoot and the Bulls needed a shooter on that squad like the Sixers need a lottery pick. Apparently he’s already shattering records long held by Michael Jordan http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/jimmer-fredette-already-broke-a-chicago-bulls-record-held-by-michael-jordan/ Just watch him check into that game. I got goosebumps.
- Angry, Angry Putin
I’m pretty sure the only reason Putin invaded the Ukraine is because we beat Russia in hockey and they just didn’t show up come elimination time and it was really embarrassing for him. That’s hands down the only logical explanation, right?
- Brandon Browner, Steroids, the Seahawks and the NFL
Brandon Browner’s year-long suspension was mysteriously cut down to only four games this year (in addition to the games he missed last year) after he threatened to sue the NFL. The official reasoning of why this isn’t sketchy is that apparently Browner was classified as a third-time offender when it wasn’t totally clear that he wasn’t a second-time offender. Whatever. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but this confirmed what I already thought:
– Half the Seahawks defense has done steroids at some point. Six Seahawks have tested positive for PED’s since 2011.
– It is really easy to test positive for stuff and then have the slate wiped clean, and for some reason when it happens in the NFL, no one cares! Sherman’s positive test result was overturned “based on irregularities with the sample-collection process” #TheRyanBraun method works!
– The NFL doesn’t care about PEDs, neither does the mainstream sports media, and apparently neither do you and I. If we did, why aren’t we talking about this? We care more about Richard Sherman’s postgame interviews than the FACT that he tested positive for PEDs. We just love football and we give it a pass that we don’t give to baseball.
- The Eagles will cut Michael Vick, and possible Desean Jackson as well
Rumored destinations for Vick: NY Jets and Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson is lobbying HARD for Vick to come to Minnesota. I love it. The Michael Vick Effect in full form. We’re so entranced by his laser arm and quick legs that we ignore the fact that he never makes it through an entire season and that he’s so football bipolar that an MVP-candidate season can be followed up with a 4-12 season a year later (that happened). Gotta love it. How desperate is AP for a real quarterback? As for New York, nothing says “we don’t care about Geno Smith’s confidence” like letting him take a pounding his rookie season and then bringing in the media frenzy that is Michael Vick. As for Desean Jackson, I just don’t see Chip Kelly and that fan base letting that happen. Although nothing surprises me in the NFL anymore, I just don’t think this one will happen. With the new cap space, I think Jackson is safe.
And that’s it for My Stream of Consciousness. Hope I didn’t encroach on the rant. Parting shot: If you haven’t heard, a Duke University student has appeared in almost a dozen pornos to pay for college by becoming a porn star. Go out there and be somebody!