Monthly Archives: January 2015

Super Bowl XLIX – Layman Preview

Let’s say you don’t watch football all year. Let’s say you want to turn on the Super Bowl just for the ads, or Katy Perry. No one will fault you…but wouldn’t you like to not be the least knowledgeable one at your Super Bowl Party this year?

So here is a list from this mornings Skimm (which I’ve talked about in the past, here):

theSKIMM’S GUIDE TO THE SUPER BOWL

THE STORY

Areeeeee youuuuu readyyyyy?! It’s time for Super Bowl XLIX. The Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Go.

HOLD ON, DOING THE MATH.

It’s number 49. Two teams, one Katy Perry, and too many pigs in a blanket.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Sunday at 6:30pm ET at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Watch it go down on NBC, or on NBC’s live stream if you’re willing to chance buffering.

JUST SO YOU KNOW, I HATE FOOTBALL AND PLAN ON IGNORING THIS.

You go Glen Coco…but, more than 110 million people are expected to tune in for this one. That’s more than a third of the US population. And legacies are on the line — the Seahawks are the first defending Super Bowl Champs since, well, the Patriots in the 2000s. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is aiming to become the youngest QB in history to win two Super Bowls in a row. The current record-holder? Patriots QB Tom Brady.

HOW DO I PRE-GAME?

With puppies. The 11th Annual Puppy Bowl will be on Animal Planet from 3-5pm ET, and the paws are out. Expect an epic matchup between teams Ruff and Fluff.

I’VE BEEN HEARING A LOT ABOUT SHRUNKEN BALLS?

Welcome to Deflategate. The NFL’s been looking into whether the Pats intentionally deflated footballs to make them easier to grip in the rain during the game that got them to the Super Bowl. More than a few have heard all they ever want to hear about deflated balls in their lifetimes. Others can’t get enough of them. TBD on what all this could mean for the Brady Bunch. PS: this isn’t head coach Belichick’s first ‘Gate, either.

IS IT HALFTIME YET?

Get ready for cupcakes and unicorns and sparkles. Katy Perry is coming at you like a dark horse. Lenny Kravitz will show up at some point.

LET’S TALK ADS.

Ad Bowl is back. And it’s expensive. As in, 30 seconds will set you back $4.5 million. The spoilers? Victoria’s Secret models will be there. Budweiser’s going to make you cry into your crudite. Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel struggle with tech in a BMW. And “Avocados from Mexico” and “Mophie” battery phone cases bought their first spots, because you love guac and your phone’s never charged. Gotcha.

WHAT’S THE SPREAD?

Not talking about your artichoke dip. The spread is the expected difference between the teams’ final scores. If you ask Vegas, it looks like the Patriots are favored to win. But just barely. So Seattle fans, don’t get your fleeces in a bunch.

WHO DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Patriots

Tom Brady…QB. Mr. Gisele Bundchen. If the Pats come out on top, he’ll be one of just a handful of QB’s (like legends Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw) to take home four Super Bowl rings.

Rob Gronkowski…Tight end and Brady’s right hand man. Just call him Gronk. He’s usually the one with the ball in the end zone. Doing things like this.

Darrelle Revis…Cornerback. Matched up against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, this time on the field. See: Twitter feud of ’13.

Julian Edelman…Wide receiver. Moonlights as the Pats other quarterback. He’s the one that did this to win the playoff game against the Ravens.

Jamie Collins…Linebacker. The center of the Pats D. He’s come a long way this season.

Seahawks

The 12th Man…this is what Seattle fans call themselves, since they’re so loud they become the “12th man” on the field — especially during home games. No really, they think they are on the team.

Legion of Boom…Not a video game. The nickname for the Seahawks’ Defensive Backs, which have been considered the best in the NFL for years.

Russell Wilson…QB. Young and down with G-O-D. Every time he passes the ball, feel free to yell “Wiiiilllsooooon.”

Marshawn Lynch…Running back. Nickname: “Beast Mode.” Likes: Skittles. Dislikes: the media. Played the silent game with reporters for years, until the NFL started fining him. Now, he sometimes says insightful things like “yeah” and “nope.”

Richard Sherman…Cornerback. We all remember him from last year as the self-proclaimed “best corner in the game.” No one’s really challenging him on that. Could get a Super Bowl ring, and a baby on Sunday.

Kam Chancellor…Strong safety. Played a lot of leapfrog as a kid. Gronk is his Golden Snitch — he’ll try to catch him the whole game.

theSKIMM

Both teams were the No. 1 seeds in their conferences. The last time they faced off was years ago, and the Seahawks won by one point. This could get really good.

Who You Root For – College Sports

I’ve never been a huge fan of college football or college basketball.

For starters, if you didn’t go to a particular college, then who do you root for?

Logic would have you pick a local college, which would have most of us rooting for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds…but no one would actually root for them by choice, instead you’d go for a “UNC” or “Duke” or “Florida”….in other words become a bandwagon team for a perennial potential champion.

And no one likes someone who hops on a bandwagon.

The other problem I have with college sports is that if you didn’t go to that particular college, and have no ties to the team, how can you follow a team that potentially throws out their roster every season and starts fresh, as their best players are going on to the majors?

In basketball, not such a big deal to follow 11 fresh players…but as many as 53 new players on your football team…how can you pledge allegiance to a team like that unless you went there?

So this is why I couldn’t’ve cared less this year about the College Football Championships, and sure I’ll watch the highlights and see potential draft picks…and the same with March Madness, it’s 4 weeks of: Who cares? Who cares? Who cares?

Unless you went there of course.

How To Die On Vacation

One of my neighbors is sitting Shiva, and I thought I’d share a little bit of their story with you, without giving out names.

My neighbors are an older Russian couple, who over recent years have gotten closer to Judaism, and have been going regularly to shul.

They had always been going on cruises, and in recent years he had said he wanted to go to Hawaii on a cruise.

After a while his wife relented and off they went for a cruise through the islands of Hawaii.

A few days into the cruise, he complained about his high-blood pressure, which had always been an issue, and saw the Cruise Dr. in the morning, who told him it wasn’t much to worry about, but he should take it easy for the day.

In the afternoon she decided to go for a swim, and he went to take a nap poolside.

As she walked back to him to wake him, before a planned revisit to the Dr. in the afternoon, she knew from looking at him that he wouldn’t wake up.

He died peacefully, in his sleep, on a cruise ship in Hawaii.

It took them about half a week to get the legalities sorted out, so that they wouldn’t conduct an autopsy and so that she could fly back with the body.

#RIPLeon

Snow Day Stuck In NYC

With the snowstorm that was supposed to hit NYC last night, I was put up at Paramount NYC for the night, and spent the evening trying to find things to do in the city.

Paramount Front

I started off exploring the club-like lobby of the hotel, which was entirely too dark for anyones tastes…let’s just say I couldn’t even see the buttons in the elevators.Paramount Lobby

I had wanted to go see a movie at AMC Theaters, but unfortunately they were already closed for the storm when I got there at 4:15PM, so instead I ventured over to Dave & Busters and their newer entryway layout…which does nothing for the gaming area, which feels like the same old self.

After that I headed over to Le Marais for supper, and was one of maybe 15 people there at the time, and enjoyed a nice steak and fries for dinner.

Steak and Fries

From there I headed back to the hotel for a bit to discover more of the Paramount.

They had a nice 2nd floor sitting area overlooking the lobby, as well as a 24-hour gym.

Among the cool things was that each floor had built into the mirror across from the elevators, the weather for the day, as seen here:

Paramount Weather

The other mystery that the hotel gave was…Normal bottles and really large glasses? Or normal glass and really tiny bottles?

Hotel Amenitiies

Lastly I went out with some coworkers to see what was still opened in the storm, and stumbled into Bourbon Street NYC.

Bourbon Street

All in all it wasn’t a bad night in New York City, and we shall see if tonight is a repeat, or if I can make it back to Brooklyn to dig out the driveway at home.

The Dog Pooper

One of my neighbors has a dog.

Thankfully, it is a quiet dog, but his adult son takes him for morning walks to do his daily constitutional, and doesn’t clean up after him.

I know it is him, because I have seen it (as well as have it on video) multiple times.

We have even approached him and asked him to “clean up after your dog”, which shouldn’t need to be asked, as it’s the law, and comes with a $250 fine.

After he’s been asked, he’ll do it in front of other houses for a few days, before coming back to mine.

One day, his dog passed a royal decree in front of my house, as another neighbor walked by. So, like the good dog owner that he is, he bent down, as if to “pick up after his dog”. As soon as the person passed though, he picked up a rock, put it down next to the pile (as if to hide it?) and walked away.

So let me ask my loyal readers: What should one do in this situation?
Besides you know…this:
flamingBagResized

Managing Money During Low Gas Prices

Isn’t it great? Gas prices are at a low we haven’t seen April 2009, averaging $2.04 (as of 1/22) nationwide.

While it is great for travel, and for driving to/from work, it can mess with your overall spending.

For example, if you normally designate $100 a month for gas in your budget, you may only be spending $80 now.

The question becomes, what do you do with the extra $20?

Do you spend it? Do you instead just adjust your budget, allocating $80 a month for it?

The best suggestion I can offer: Leave your budget at $100, and pocket the savings.

I don’t think prices will hit the $4 mark again anytime soon, but if they start to creep back up towards $3+, it won’t hurt your bottom line, as the money is still there and waiting.

P.S. If you don’t have a monthly budget…then it is something to think about!

Backstrom – Preview

Backstrom premieres tonight on FOX at 9PM, and features former The Office star Rainn Wilson, as well as Dennis Haysbert (The Unit).

Wilson plays Lieutenant Backstrom, a homicide detective in Portland, Oregon, who to put it quite simply is an unhealthy smoking alchoholic, who is unfriendable, hates everyone equally, but enjoys the little things in life.
Oh, and he’s an absolute genius.

I believe that Backstrom lives intensely in the moment. On a higher plane of existance from which he is able to hear the universe speak

Backstrom becomes his suspects and victims to try and see what happened thru their eyes, and figures them out (usually correctly).

Living in a house boat, with an old friend, who happens to be a criminal, gives Backstroms connections he needs to help solve his cases.

I don’t see the worst in everyone, I see the everyone in everyone” -Backstrom

Many will compare this to the “House of police”, and it may very well be, which to that I say: Bring on that 8 season goal!

To take from the show: I really believe, that this show absolutely will, be a fan favorite for all Rainn Wilson fans…and as such, this show may very well live (or die) on his popularity.

I’m you, watching this show, and enjoying it.

After watching the first 3 episodes, I can say that it is indeed an enjoyable show, and I look forward to the rest of Season 1!

Overall it’s an 8.5 out of 10.

backstrom