Monday, September 30, 2013

How Overrated Is Cooking for Yourself?

Kerry and I were looking forward to a home-cooked meal tonight -- and by "home-cooked meal," I mean Ellio's and chicken noodle soup* -- when we heard a huge crash in the kitchen.

*Yes, apparently newlyweds still eat Ellio's. In our defense, Kerry prepared and cooked the soup and it was delicious. No Campbell's for us, baby!

Here's what happened:


Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Should Coaches Treat Sideline Reporters?

Gregg Popovich is one of the most respected coaches in the NBA -- in all of sports, really. He's also widely considered a genuinely nice guy. Pop's been described as a teddy bear, a sentimental friend, and the funniest coach in the league. However, he's also known to frequently act like a jerk. Popovich's wrath is most likely to be felt  by an oft-maligned group -- sideline reporters.

In a story entitled "Do Not Disturb: Gregg Popovich", ESPN dug up the following quotes about the Spurs coach:

"There is absolutely a level of anxiety each time I have to do an end-of-quarter interview with Pop. My one thought: Don't make him angry."
--Doris Burke

It is very nerve-wracking. I never think of Pop as trying to make you look bad -- you never take it personal because it's just Pop being Pop -- but you know he's going to be kind of snarky. So you're doing your job, but you're also thinking, 'I don't want to be embarrassed on live television.'"
--Lisa Salters

There is nothing -- nothing -- that I do or people that I interview that fill me with as much agita as getting ready to interview Pop at the end of the third quarter of a Spurs home game."
--David Aldridge

Popovich's split personalities are documented in a story by 2011 Sportwriter of the Year Joe Posnanski, who subtitled his Popovich feature "The Bully, The Buddy, The Winner."

All of this brings us to Brian Kelly. The Notre Dame coach saw his team turn the ball over three times yesterday in a frustrating 35-21 loss to Oklahoma. It was a game that tried the patience of fans, and obviously the coach was going to be upset. Viewers who stuck around for NBC's on-field postgame coverage saw Kelly embarrass NBC sideline reporter Alex Flanagan.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Funny Are These Mispronunciations?

I finished Season 1 of The Wire last night (way late, I know), and I was cracking up every time Bubbles said McNulty's name. "McNutty." Maybe it's just me, because I couldn't find anything else on the Internet about it, but I loved Bubbles' pronunciation.

I've written before about comical accents and the dastardliness of the English language. Here are my Top 5 favorite mispronunciations:

5. John Madden: "San Antonio Holmes"
I couldn't find a YouTube clip of this, but I know Madden said it at least once when Holmes* was on the Steelers. Turns out that an Internet stranger named davatron agrees with me. I really miss Madden's mispronunciations and made-up words like "audibilize."

*My buddy Pete is a huge Jets fan, and he despises Santonio Holmes. I think the breaking point was when Holmes threw the ball to the 49ers for a touchdown last season. Last week's Jets win was bittersweet for him (BitterPete?) because Holmes got the glory of the game-winning TD. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

How Much Did These Yankees Impact My Life?

I was talking to my dad the other night about how the conclusion of this Yankees season can only be described using the cliché "the end of an era." Mo's gone. Pettitte's retiring again, but this time for good. Jeter's on his last legs (leg?). End of an era, for sure.

Then, I thought about it a little more. My dad grew up during the Mantle era, partied through his mid-twenties watching the Bronx Zoo Yanks, and suffered with Mattingly's Quadruple-A teams. For him, this is absoultely the end of an era. The completion of another epoch in his baseball life.

But for me? These are the Yankees I've watched since I first discovered the game. It's the end of the only era of baseball I've ever known.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How Drunk Was Ben Franklin?

I've been reading Bill Bryson's book Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States, because I'm fascinated by the dastardly English language. Oh, and because I'm a huge herb.*

*Do people still say "herb"?

I just finished a section about Ben Franklin in which Bryson discusses Franklin's various pursuits, including science, politics, business, and womanizing. Bryson also mentions that Franklin "wrote essays on everything from how to select a mistress (take an older woman) to how to avoid flatulence (drink perfume)."

While I was pleased to read that one of our Founding Fathers liked fart jokes, I was especially intrigued to read that in 1737, Franklin wrote the first list of American slang terms for drunkenness. I couldn't resist Googling it, and I easily found Ben's 228 synonyms for "drunk".

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Fun Is the Murphy's Masters?

This past Saturday, the entire staff of How Blank played in a golf tournament known as the Murphy's Masters in our home neighborhood of Peach Lake. It had a lot of local flavor (see: #3 below), and we got to hang out with one of our most loyal and cherished readers, Dermot. We had an impromptu editorial meeting and it was decided that a recap for such an occasion was necessary. Here are the 5 best things about the 2013 Murphy's Masters. If I forgot something in the later hours of the event, then it's probably best left in that moment, like the picture of Fran's pale thighs that I'll mention below.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How American Is Sunday?

You know, one of my only regrets about college is that I didn't take full advantage of Sunday. I usually treated it as a sleep / recovery  homework day. Basically, I wasted 1/7 of my college experience.

Now, though? I'm atoning for my past transgressions, and Sunday is my favorite day of the week.*

*Yeah, Friday, you read that correctly.

Here's what I'm looking forward to today, which I'm calling Do-or-Die Sunday.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"How Much Do I Owe Ya?"

I was at softball the other night because I'm a grown-ass man and I can't live without it. I had written a check for the league to our team captain Todd the previous week, and Todd asked me if I remembered what I had written on the "Memo" line. I honestly couldn't rememeber, but apparently I had scribbled "Keep the change, ya filthy animal!" Todd said the bank teller started cracking up when he saw the reference to Home Alone.

After Todd finished the story, a slew of similar quotes obviously followed. "Leave it on the doorstep and get the hell outta here!" "How much do I owe ya?"* "Acey said 10 percent." "...Little Moe with the gimpy leg, Cheeks, Bony Bob, Cliff..." 

*Convenient title, eh?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Much Do I Love My Neighborhood?

An Ode to My Adopted Neighborhood

Woodlawn. Bronx, New York.
It's a place where people from Westchester County feel equally at home as those from County Kerry.
Where the bartenders know your name better than Sam Malone or Coach ever would.
It's a place where "Crackie" and "Horse" are the nicknames of grown-ass men.
Where great drinkers are celebrities, and actual "celebrities" would go unnoticed.
Where "What's the craic?" is heard as often as "What's up?"
And where "BRX BMBR" and "WDLWN" are actual license plates.

How Will Kentucky Treat Me?

I'm venturing to the other side this weekend and attending a wedding where I only know 3 people. 2 of them are getting married. On top of that, it happens to be in Kentucky. In case you don't know me, my general appearance and actions tend to scream "northeast", for better or worse. Wish me luck as this Yankee attempts to hob knob with southern gentlemen and ladies.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How Badly Will I Suck at Twitter?

I know Twitter is supposed to be user-friendly, but this is coming from a guy that never joined MySpace, had to be coaxed onto Facebook, and has a phone that looks like this:

I wouldn't call myself technologically illiterate, just a little slow.

But I am 26 and I do have an iPad, so I'm planning on developing a devastating Twitter game. One of my favorite novelists, Kurt Vonnegut, ends his masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five with the question "Poo-tee-weet?" My answer: Yes, Kurt; after work I always pooh, and now I'll certainly tee-weet.

I've been beaten to Twitter by the likes of Stan Lee, the Dalai Lama, Pope Benedict XVI and my brother-from-another-mother Pope Francis. Still, I'd like to think that I'm just fashionably late to the party. And even if my devastating Twitter game never develops, at least you won't have to suffer through long blogposts, just 140-character bits of nonsense at a time.

Follow me at @frantweet12.

How Much Do Grown-Ass Men Need Softball?

First, a note about the title of this post: Sports Illustrated just ran an article entitled "Dez Bryant Is A Grown Man." I thought it would have been much catchier had it read "Dez Bryant Is A Grown-Ass Man." So, yeah...

Anyways, I recently started fall softball just a week after my summer beer-league team lost in the playoffs. My multiple-season fetish with the big yellow ball puts me firmly in "Overweight 25-to-49-Year-Old" territory. And you know what?

Friday, September 6, 2013

How About 5 More Disney Songs?

Because five just wasn't enough.

Here's my order for five more, without repeating a movie:

5. Peter Pan - "What Made the Redman Red?"

Not a Disney classic, but every time I watched this part growing up, I wanted to be Michael paling around with the Redmen and smoking peace pipes.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Athletic Are NBA Players?

I put up a poll a couple weeks ago asking you guys to determine which sports league has the best athletes. The results are in, and it turns out that my readers don't like democracy or America. Just 16 people voted, and five of those were my wife, my best man, the other How Blank blogger, my dog, and me. Special thanks to the 11 other people that knew how to read one simple question and click a mouse.

Thanks for voting, Harry! You're a true American.
Seriously, though, my friends and I have argued about this topic for years, and I'm pleased that the NBA won the poll. The final results:

NBA -- 7 votes
NFL-- 3 votes
NHL -- 3 votes
International Soccer Leagues -- 2 votes
ATP -- 1 vote
PGA, MLB, and Car Racing -- 0 votes

Here's why I agree with the voters that the NBA has the best athletes:

Monday, September 2, 2013

How Long Ago Were the '90s?

On Saturday, we were playing the game "Catchphrase" and my friend's 21-year-old brother confused Jerry Seinfeld with Jerry Springer. He said of Seinfeld, "I think he's the guy that has the TV show where people fight over each other's baby mamas." I was as flustered as Seinfeld would be during an encounter with Crazy Joe Davola. I couldn't believe a person just five years younger than me would mix up Springer and Seinfeld. Were the '90s really that long ago?

Not to go all VH1 on you or anything, but here are 10 other observations about the '90s that I've made recently: