The Humanoids: For The Win

There are lots of losers every week. I’m sure most people would include yours truly in that category. I’d imagine that I would classify myself in that category after tonight’s $50 million Lotto Max draw. (Though I’d consider myself a winner if I won a free ticket.) That being said, there are a lot of folks that had good weeks this week. Now watch in amazement as I try to drag them back down into the dregs of loserdom with me. Some people can pull rabbits out of their ass, I can turn gold to lead. Everyone has their own skill set.

Meanwhile, we’re back to being busy on the radio front. The next show is shaping up to be a solid one. Not an instant classic but an above average half-hour of talk for campus radio. Naturally, the Extra will be even better. All sorts of TV talk, love gone wrong and Christopher Walken’s poker face. That goes down on November 10th at 6:30PM. While you’re here or catching up on the radio show, drop by our new buddies at Lion’s Den University. They’re up and coming stars in the blogosphere and a regular stop when I make my morning rounds of the interweb.

New York Yankees
YANKEES WIN! THAAAAAA YANKEES WIN! You’ve just been Sterling’d. It only took 10 years and something in the neighbourhood of $1.7 Billion spent on players but the Yankees finally won their 27th World Series. Here’s another way of thinking of it between 2001 and 2009, the Yankees and the Marlins each won one World Series. In that time, the Bronx Bombers spent something to the tune of $1.5 B in player salaries. The Fish spent about $350 M. That means it’s time for the salary cap debate again. The Yankees outbid, outplayed, and outmanaged every other team this season but everyone says it’s because they spent around $200 M on players. They say you can’t contend for a crown unless your payroll is well in excess of nine figures. I guess that’s why the Yankees have won 2 crowns this decade. Of course, those Marlins have little intention of ever contending for a title. When you average spending less than a quarter of what the top team is spending, you’re either banking on a good farm system or you don’t give a shit. The Yankees are evidence that a cap could help baseball but the Marlins are evidence that a floor wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Hideki Matsui
hideki-matsui-and-wifePedro’s got a new daddy. Sure, he knocked in four runs off Pedro in Game Six but those were the only four runs that Pedro allowed. I’d call that daddy material. And the baseball writers in attendance at the game considered becoming Pedro’s daddy to be the only criterion necessary to be named the World Series MVP. Thanks almost entirely to his 6 RBI effort in the championship clinching game, Godzilla was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2009 World Series. Even better for him, he was immortalized with the John Sterling call “A THRILLA FROM GODZILLA!” He also said he had the best game in World Series history, apart from Reggie Jackson, in a clinching effort. Yeah, Sterling backtracked mid-sentence. Anywho, Matsui is set to be a free agent this off-season. Has anyone done anything better immediately before their contract expired than Matsui? Sure his knees are shot but going eight-for-thirteen with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs will go a long way to make people ignore it. So play it again, John: “IT’S A THRILLA FROM GODZILLA!”

Jimmie Johnson
Speaking of teams that we love to hate, the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson. He’s won the last three Sprint Cup titles going away and he’s all but officially locked up the 2009 Sprint Cup crown. While four titles isn’t unprecedented, four in a row has never been done before. He’s one titles in two different Chase formats, in two different cars, and on different tracks scheduled in the Chase. No matter what NASCAR tries, they can’t seem to stop him. Until this year when they seemed to give into the inevitable and are almost trying whatever they can to give Johnson his historic fourth title in a row to drum up interest in the sport. He’s like the late 90’s Yankees. He’s so good that he takes all the fun out of the championship battle. At first during the Chase, I thought it would be neat to see Johnson make history. Now, I’m just bored of NASCAR and I’m a big enough fan to pilgrimage to a track for a weekend of racing. I think NASCAR should try a new Chase format again next year: Everyone drives Cup cars while Jimmie runs Nationwide cars. Maybe Jimmie should only be allowed to count points from his best 8 races while everyone else gets all 10 Chase races to count for points.

csi-fishburne-carusoI used to watch CSI on reruns. Then I realized that it wasn’t very good when I watched last season so I could watch Laurence Fishburne take over the lead role. Suffice to say that they turned Morpheus from badass to pansy almost immediately. But the teaser for next week’s big CSI three-way sweeps special got me excited. Fishburne will be appearing on all three shows next week. While I’d rather see Caruso and Sinise also moving between shows (especially Caruso’s glasses), something good looks to becoming out of this. A very short clip in one of the promos (like less than a half-second) shows Morpheus with a shot gun. Now we’ve got the badass Fishburne that we were all hoping for. They could have made him the Dirty Harry of CSIs when they started Fishburne’s run. Hopefully this is the first step in the right direction.

South Park
south-parkWhen these guys are on their game, they can have some of the best political and social commentary in the world. Their most recent episode was a commentary on the evolutionary meaning of certain words. In this case, it was the changing meaning of the word “fag” from being a pejorative directed to homosexuals to a more general insult in recent years. The FCC must cringe every time they watch an episode of South Park. They write all sorts of stuff that would make the Janet Jackson nipplegate look like an episode of Barney the Purple Dinosaur. I’m sure the FCC regrets not being able to touch South Park because everything they do is rooted in common sense that most people see but are too afraid to say. Everyone knows that “fag” is hardly used as an insult against homosexuals but it carries that stigma from years of association with being an anti-gay slur. Kudos and kudos again to the folks writing South Park. If only the could have done something with the meaning of “Maple Leafs.” I’m sure the powers that be at MLSE would rather it mean anything but “Losers who haven’t accomplished anything meaningful in the last 42 years.”

William Shatner
william-shatnerHe’s still kicking around. I think he might be the only man whose career hasn’t been entirely destroyed by starring on the original Star Trek. After all, how many other TV shows and movies did Nimoy and Kelley star in after ST:TOS was cancelled. Anyway, I’m not talking about the latest development in Bill’s TV career, though I’m sure it’s something scintillating. No, Bill was on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian the last couple of nights. First, he read Levi Johnston’s tweets in the classic Shatner-ian style. The next night, he read the real Levi Johnston’s tweets in the classic Shatner-ian style which was even better than Wednesday night. I don’t know how Bill ended up as a regular guest on Conan but I don’t think that anyone really minds. As most folks surely thought while watching the new Star Trek movie, more Shatner makes the world a better place. That makes me think, I should use that Shatner rap thing bouncing around YouTube on the It Came From YouTube segment of the radio show. Hell, I could spend a whole 20 episode season of the radio show with classic Shatner clips. Maybe if there’s a Season Four of The Lowdown radio show, we’ll drop in a new segment called “Shat Attack” or something like that.

strikeforce-fedor-emilianenkoWelcome to the second MMA promotion to try its hand at making an impact through the magical medium that is network TV. Okay, so the last lot that tried their hand at MMA on CBS (EliteXC) went broke. The differences between the two promotions are epic, though. EliteXC put together card based on who would draw better ratings rather than put on good fights and their main attraction (Kimbo Slice) was more of an image or personality than a fighter. Strikeforce is actually a serious and established promotion and their main attraction (Fedor Emilianenko) is one of, if not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Putting him on the card isn’t going to attract many mainstream fans. He just doesn’t have that mainstream appeal that a Kimbo Slice was able to drum up. However, real MMA fans and followers will be all over a free Fedor fight… Even if it will be a beatdown of epic proportions. And Gus Johnson will be there. I’ll be tuning in just for a classic Johnson “WOW!” I can hear it now “FEDOR WITH THE KNOCKOUT! WOW! FEDOR! FEDOR! FEDOR!” Come to think of it, Gus Johnson reminds me of vintage WWE commentator Jim Ross.

foo-fightersIn the span of less than a week, two big bands had two concerts broadcast for free online and done two very different ways. U2 was live on YouTube from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. In addition to the 97,014 people in the stadium, there were millions watching live on the internet. The Foo Fighters ran their concert from a small studio for Facebook. There was no live crowd but just a small jam session. The big difference between the two might have been how the shows were run. U2’s was a big concert. It was like any other concert that U2 would have played on their 360 tour. The Foo Fighters show, which was done to promote their new greatest hits concert, was a much more interactive show. They had a computer in studio that was opened up to some Facebook page that let them see what the people watching were writing. Hell, they were taking requests from the viewers for what songs they should be playing. I didn’t see either concert but I figure if I wanted to see a band play in front of a massive crowd, I would want to be in the massive crowd. Sitting back and watching U2 play to 97,000 people and watching mindless comments scroll across the screen is a waste of a concert being played in front of 97,000 people. The Foo Fighters will never pass for being as good or influential as U2 but they sure have this internet thing down far better than the Irishmen.

It’s those Irishmen again. This time, they aren’t doing such a good job. Well, that’s a bit of an inaccuracy. They played a free concert in Germany to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The only problem was with the organizers of the event. It’s a free concert but if you aren’t on the property that U2 had set up shop on, then they wouldn’t let you watch the band. The organizers blocked people on the street from watching the free concert by putting up a wall. There’s a delightful bit of irony. A free, six song concert that was held to honour the beginning of an era of peace was marred by a barrier to provide security. Kinda like the original Berlin wall, I’m sure. Interestingly, the promoter was MTV who was also broadcasting the show live on TV. As one person turned away at the gate said, MTV cares more about the number of viewers than the message they’re sending. I guess for all the charity work they do, U2 still worships at the alter of the all mighty dollar. A bit harsh for an ironic concert but you gotta wonder.


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