Not sure how this keeps happening, but I’ll take it

Of all the strange anomalies to ever occur in sports, I think at this point, it should be worth mentioning Duke’s struggles against Virginia Tech: in basketball.  For the third-straight time while Duke was a top-5 ranked team in the nation, they’ve gone into Blacksburg and left losers

In 2011, they were #1 in the nation and lost to the unranked Hokies.  In 2018, they were ranked #5 in the nation, only to get upset again by an unranked Hokies squad.  And then came last night, where the #3 Duke Blue Devils, clearly starving for talent because they only had R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish but no Zion Williamson, were clearly depleted beyond survival, and did the job to #20 Virginia Tech.

Full disclosure: I didn’t even watch the game.  I knew it was on, I like college hoops well enough, but Duke is Duke, and Tech is still Tech, even if college basketball is very much their secondary sport.  I figured it would be just another L, which would likely bounce Tech out of the top-25.  Lo and behold, I glance at my news feed in the evening, only to see headlines about how #20 Virginia Tech upsets #3 Duke in Blacksburg, again, and suddenly I’m laughing aloud in my recliner.

Not only will Virginia Tech not be bounced from the top-25, a win against Duke will likely shoot them up a few positions, while Duke will undoubtedly drop, again, hopefully out of the top-5.  This reiterates the sad notion of just how much Duke has put all their eggs into the Zion basket, and despite the fact that they still have two of the top recruits in the nation playing their asses off, it’s like the rest of the entire program has thrown in the towel because Zion’s not there. 

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I was hoping it would smell delicious outside

Unfortunately, it did not, even with forty thousand pounds of chicken on fire not that far from where the office is.

It’s been a while since there’s been a good story of food getting spilled onto Atlanta highways.  I think the last time I wrote anything about the subject, it was the kind of self-conflicted incident where cows got loose on I-285 and I-75 where at first I wanted to make jokes about how there was free beef on the roads, but felt sad and empathetic for the actual living cows that were probably just scared beyond measure, wandering wildly around in search of safety.

In this time, it’s not a new realization, but I’ve found plenty of evidence that I’m far from the only person fascinated by the topic of trucks overturning on roads, spilling their cargo all over the place, although I try to keep it mostly local to Atlanta or just Georgia if I can.  I don’t have my own (still defunct) site to refer to for stories about trucks overturning, as much as I’d like to be an authority on the topic.

But this also isn’t the first time that chicken has been on the menu on the roads of Georgia.  However, this is still somewhat fascinating in the simple fact that there was just so much of it.  I mean, 40,000 lbs. of frozen chicken – that’s a whole lot of god damn chicken.  I can’t imagine the sheer number of chickens necessary to get 40,000 lbs. of it, much less the fact that that’s probably factoring in the lack of weight from the parts that aren’t meant for average consumption.

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Thoughts on True Detective S3

*There will likely be spoilers mentioned in this post, not that it matters considering the whole “I’m still offline” thing

Now that the third season of HBO’s True Detective is now in the books, I feel the compulsion to write some words about it.

Firstly, the show has completely redeemed itself from the terrible celebrity circle-jerk known as the second season of True Detective.  Although this line was pretty classic, there’s no mistaking that it was an utter bomb, especially in comparison to the first season.  I can’t really take Vince Vaughn seriously, and there’s no doubt he always has to try to get in some wisecrack into whatever role he’s doing, no matter if he’s supposed to be a cold and callous hustler.

Frankly, when I saw the initial teasers for season three, and how it only seemed to have the star power of just Mahershala Ali, I thought to myself that this might have some promise.  I’d been high on Ali after how much screen presence he demanded in Luke Cage and House of Cards, and I figured he seemed like the just right balance of recognizable actor without making himself bigger than the show itself.

Overall, I will say that S3 of True Detective was pretty outstanding.  Considering the plot of the show was basically three different timelines, several of the show’s actors like Ali and Stephen Dorff were playing triple-time, and really flexing their acting chops portraying their characters in three different decades.  For me, their scenes together really capture the bond between two men who have served, been partners, and lifelong friends on top of it all, and I felt that the show’s strongest moments often involved the two of them having intense and meaningful discussions.

The story did an excellent job of slow-releasing the characters and the revelations of the multiple plots going on throughout three different decades, all trying to solve the same murder/disappearance case, and at the end of every episode, I would always proclaim that “all the pieces of the puzzle haven’t been revealed yet!”  And despite the fact that the series took place in three different eras, all the clues were still drawling a pretty linear path towards the same goal.

However, as much as I enjoyed the season as a whole, it wasn’t without flaws; obviously this is talking about the ending of the series that left me about as satisfied as eating 95% of a Willy’s burrito – the show never really finished, because there were some pretty large things left unexplained!

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UNC-Duke, and the sad state of the future of basketball

Fact: #8 North Carolina defeats #1 Duke in the latest edition of the so-called greatest rivalry in all of sports

Fiction: #8 North Carolina defeats #1 Duke in the latest edition of the so-called greatest rivalry in all of sports solely because super-prospect Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury 30 seconds into the game when his foot exploded out of his shoe when trying to pivot

There’s a lot to talk about when it came to last night’s UNC-Duke matchup; it was the hottest ticket in all of sports, with tickets costing only second to the Superb Owl, the fact that among the litany of celebrities present for it was previous president Barack Obama, that it was the first time of the year where Duke’s super squad would be meeting arch-rival North Carolina for the first time, among other things.

But when the hoopla all died down and the final horn blew, it was #8 North Carolina cruising to an easy victory against the #1 ranked Duke squad on the road, where the Tar Heels scored the first basket of the game and never looked back the whole rest of the way.

The thing is, as the game chugged along with Duke being completely incapable of closing the margin to under seven points, the ESPN analysts began preemptively apologizing for the anticlimactic and completely uncompetitive contest, and were making all the excuses in the world that Duke was “devastated’ and “shell shocked” over the loss of their superstar (and likely one-and-done-er) Zion Williamson, after his shoe blew up on him 30 seconds into the game, leading to, a knee sprain.

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Not sure how I feel about a Hulkamania biopic

Source: Netflix to develop a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth playing the role of Hulk Hogan

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this.  My knee-jerk reaction is “oh fuck no, how dare someone try to profit on my nostalgia??”  But when I take the time to read about the details of this project, there are more reasons to feel like it might not be as terrible as I initially would assume it would be.

Namely the fact that Hulk Hogan himself is overseeing the whole thing, and that it’s going to be distributed by Netflix.  And Netflix is pretty solid when it comes to creating original content that doesn’t always suck beyond belief; and it’s funny that I hold more stock in the fact that Netflix is helming this over the fact that Hulk Hogan is consulting over his very own biopic as reasoning it might not be terrible.  As much as I love the Hulkster, the guy hasn’t always been the bastion of good decision making throughout his career and life.

Don’t get me wrong, my optimism for this is kind of at like a… 40 out of 100, in that I think there’s only a 40% chance that this is going to be any good.  Netflix or not, it’s probably going to be a trainwreck all the same, because although Hogan and Netflix are involved with this, it’s worth mentioning that one of the producers in this is still Eric Bischoff.

Look, nothing against the man himself, but as history has shown, combining Hogan and Bischoff has led to a notable amount of failures.  They basically tanked two separate wrestling federations when they got together, and who knows how many other business ventures they’ve sabotaged, inadvertent or deliberately.  It’s no secret that both could probably benefit from the payday of a Netflix project, but if this is the only reason why they’re doing it, it’s doomed to fail before it even gets off the ground.

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Here’s a crazy idea for MLB

Fans don’t care when millionaires squabble: Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright latest to opine about the current state of MLB where free agents go unsigned, thinks a strike is becoming inevitable

A part of me thinks, or at least wants to declare, that if baseball goes on strike again, I should just be done with MLB, because punishing fans because two sides of ridiculously wealthy parties can’t come agree on which side should be entitled to more money.  It’s a ridiculous squabble no matter what way it’s looked at, where it’s abundantly clear that neither has any concern of how it looks from the perspective of those not a part of it.  But the reality is that I like sports too much, and even if there were a strike, and then they come back at a different time, I’d probably still end up watching again, much to my dismay.

On one side of the fence, we have the players, where many players have been very outspoken this offseason, about how it’s becoming ridiculous and indefensible that some very prominent free agents, namely Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel have not been signed yet, and Spring Training has literally just begun.  Ironically, nothing has been heard from the actual “victims” of this trend, and all remarks have been coming from mostly players who are currently locked into cushy, long-term, multi-million dollar contracts, because it’s easy to fling stones from pedestals.

On the other side of the fence, we have the ownership and front offices of all the Major League Baseball teams, whom throughout the last decade-plus, have all entered an era where statistical analysis has risen to prominence, and through such number crunching and analytical predicting, it’s taken a tremendous toll on how they view the financial worth of players, all across the spectrum. 

In layman’s terms, teams themselves have become risk-averse and less willing to haphazardly sign players to ridiculously long and high-dollar contracts, fearing the high possibility of “bad contracts” bogging down payrolls and inhibiting the team from succeeding on a long-term basis.

In short, the players are accusing the owners of being cheap and hoarding the revenue for themselves, calling them greedy.  They want more money to go in their pockets.

In short, the owners are telling the players that this is the way the game is evolving, and that they need to deal with it and get with the times.  They want more money to stay in their pockets.

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Love this fire from Craig Calcaterra

Go on, get ‘em Craig: NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk writer Craig Calcaterra lights into the Atlanta Braves front office after their apparent ambivalence for the success of their baseball team

I don’t follow a tremendous amount of sports as much I once used to, but there are a couple of names that I’ve grown to really enjoy and respect throughout the years.  Joe Posnanski and Tom Verducci come to mind pretty quickly, but after reading this scathing editorial by Craig Calcaterra, I have to say that I think he’s ascended to that level of “this guy often piques my interest, no matter what he’s talking about.”

I’m not going to bother narrating the things that he wrote, because his piece in itself is pretty brilliant, mirrors a lot of the same thoughts that I have about the Atlanta Braves, Major League Baseball and professional sports itself, but I just really want to extol just how much I loved the fire coming from Calcaterra.

He’s totally right; the Braves are operating as if they think that their fans are idiots.  Unfortunately the arrogant front office, most notably represented by president Terry McGuirk and GM Alex Anthopolous, aren’t entirely wrong either; lots of the Braves’ fans are idiots.  Lots of baseball, and professional sports fans are idiots.  Most fans of anything in general are often idiots.  Not that there’s anything wrong with some blind faith in the things that people like, but when it comes to analytical thinking, that’s just stuff that some people don’t want to do, and it unfortunately puts them into the category of being idiots, as far as front offices are concerned.

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