Week of February 12, 2016


Older Brothers (Except Me) are the Worst!

This is a pretty amusing story told by Eli Manning, about the way that his brother Peyton used to pick on him as a kid. That is them up there as kids. If you had an older brother, and especially if you grew up in a house with only brothers like I did, you know this story very well:

“[Peyton] would pin me down, you know, put his knees on my arms. He’d just start knocking on my chest until I named at the the time the 28 teams in the NFL. So I got smart eventually I could rip those off pretty quickly. We went college divisions, different things and then if he just wanted to make me cry he’d say, ‘Name ten brands of cigarettes.’ I’m like, ‘I’m seven years old I haven’t started smoking cigarettes quite yet,’ but that’s when I’d just start yelling for mom.”

Been there, Eli. My older brother would do the same, but he’d sing the ABCs and knock me on the chest one time for each letter. And then he’d get to X and pretend to lose his place and start over. Thanks, Sean. Justice came one summer day when my dad came home at lunch time for some reason and caught Sean in the act. -TOB

Source: Young Peyton Had a Very Specific Way of Picking on a Younger Eli”, Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (02/10/2016)

PAL: Shenanigans like this never happened in the Lang house. My older brothers supported me, mentored me on my spiritual journey…except that time Matt locked my in the hope chest in the family room. I had a bit of the ol’ claustrophobia as a child, you see. He and Libby laughed and laughed while I freaked out in a freaking hope chest. I could have died, Matt.

World Class Athletes & Working Stiffs: The Mavericks Lineup

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.44.12 AM

It’s official: the Mavericks surf competition is going off today! I was lucky enough to work with some of the surfers competing this year to put together their surfing playlists a few months ago (check out their playlists here). In meeting them, I had to remind myself these are serious badasses. They aren’t big, they aren’t rich, and their ages range from teens to late forties. You wouldn’t be able to pick them out of lineup. Yet, in some folks eyes these unknowns are every bit the world class athlete as LeBron James. Is what they do any less impressive? Nope. And, you know, the chances of them being busted in half every time they drop into a wave is a bit more daunting than an Andrew Bogut foul. Here’s a nice summary of these extraordinary average joes and what they do for their day job. – PAL

Source: “Big-wave surfing: Meet the working stiffs of Mavericks”, Elliott Almond, San Jose Mercury News (02/11/2016)

You Gotta Fight For Your Right to…PB&J?

NBA players have really weird eating habits. If you’ve ever read ESPN’s True Hoop blog, you may have noticed that Henry Abbott like to point out all the times NBA players mention that the Cheesecake factory is their favorite place to eat. The Cheesecake Factory kinda sucks – the menu is way too huge – a jack of all trades, master of none situation. But for NBA players, on the road much of the year – it makes sense. If you want to eat dinner with six of your teammates, it’s a good place to ensure there is something for everyone. Plus, the portions are huge. And it is in every major or mid-major city in the country, and the food is consistent.

I thought of the NBA player/Cheesecake Factory thing when I read this bizarre story about the Warriors this week. After winning the title in June, the Warriors overhauled their diet/exercise program for the players. Gone were cookies, candy, and sodas from the training table and charter flights. Also gone were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This would be very inoffensive to me. PB&J is alright. I liked them as a kid. As an adult? Man, that’s a boring meal!

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.50.50 AM

“Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter and jelly have no visible feelings for each other.”

But the Warriors players, amidst their all-time best 48-4 start to the season, were in near-revolt, led loudly by assistant coach Luke Walton and quietly by MVP Steph Curry. Did they get their PB&J back? Click the link to find out. This article is really funny. -TOB

Source: How Golden State Went to War Over Peanut Butter and Jelly”, Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal (02/01/2016)

Quiz Break! You be the judge: Catch or No Catch

Last football story of the year for me. We’ve all watched enough football, and after the last couple of years, I think we can all admit that we really don’t know what constitutes a catch in the NFL. Even TOB, who I hate to admit knows most of the rules in the major sports, was proven wrong while watching the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati playoff game.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.54.50 AMTime to test your skills, folks. Watch these catches, vote catch or no catch, and see if you know as much as NFL officials. Just kidding – they have no idea what a catch is either. – PAL

Source, “Catch. No Catch. You Make the Call”, John Branch, The New York Times (02/01/2016)

TOB: True, when we were watching live, I said no catch on that front flip/butt catch by Martavis Bryant. It was ruled a catch. However, from the article:

“In a telling example of the confusion that this issue has caused, the N.F.L.’s vice president for officiating, Dean Blandino, said the next day, “I don’t think this is a catch.” The ball appeared to be out of his control as Bryant took his steps before flying out of bounds, Blandino said, but there was not enough evidence to overturn the touchdown call by officials on the field.”

I got a 5 out of 7 on the quiz – but it was really a 6 out of 7, because I remembered the Larry Fitzgerald catch and selected “no catch” on purpose, out of protest, because that was not a god damn catch.

PAL: It wasn’t 6 out of 7. You scored 5 out of 7. There is no grey. If you want to protest, then do it on your own time. We’re trying to run a goddamn sports blog here.

Video of the Week

Eli’s reaction to Peyton winning his second Super Bowl, bringing them even:

PAL Song of the Week: Bob Dylan – “On A Night Like This

Check out the entire playlist of weekly picks here. It will bring you virility and wealth. Oh, and a spiritual awakening. That, too.

“What’s the guy, 40 years old? He’s got to meet Julia Louis-Dreyfus! What kind of person is that?”


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