Thursday, January 29, 2009

Video: Stephen Colbert On The Chicken Wing Shortage Before The Super Bowl AKA Wingageddon

Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert weighed in on the crisis that is affecting our country right now: the shortage of buffalo wings, AKA Countdown To Atomic Disaster - The Wingageddon.

As Colbert says, "Watching the Super Bowl without a plate of chicken wings, that's like making love without a plate of chicken wings." Amen!

Colbert goes on to outline just how horrific the effects of this wing shortage will be on the economy, from the bleu cheese miners, to the celery hunters, to the Hidden Valley ranchers, and finally Hooters waitresses. Additionally, you will never look at the Pillsbury Doughboy the same way again. This truly is a national crisis that must be dealt with at once. I place myself in nomination to be the new wing czar. Congress is taking no action so far. We want a wing stimulus package now!

Bonus video: Here's Stephen Colbert's interview of former Beatle Paul McCartney. The highlight is when Colbert gets McCartney to say that the Dalai Lama might turn to cannibalism if necessary.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

British Long Jumper Jonathan Moore Jumps Naked From Roof Of House

In an attempt to qualify for the new event of nude long jumping, British long jumper Jonathan Moore jumped from the roof of a house in South Africa, just 24 hours after finishing 4th in the Yellow Pages Athletics Series meeting in Potchefstroom.

According to Lappies Labuschagne, the owner of the house, Moore was first found outside wearing a tracksuit.

"He didn't react at all when I spoke to him. I tried English, Afrikaans and Tswana. He just wandered off," Labuschagne said.

Later on, the long jumper returned, this time having removed the tracksuit. It was at this point that Moore, "who was described as being in a trance-like state, climbed on to the roof of the house in Potchefstroom, spread his arms out and jumped."

Lucky for him his 6 or 7 meter fall was broken by a Ford pick-up truck. Moore then went and sat naked on a pile of bricks. He was still sitting there when police arrived.

Going out on a limb here (but not jumping naked off of it), it's safe to say that Jonathan Moore needs some help. You don't high jump off a roof naked unless you're on drugs, have a mental issue, or want to risk some serious damage to many parts of your body.

He will be getting that help, as UK Atlhetics will be standing behind him (hopefully not under him).

"Our primary concern is for the welfare of Jonathan and his family at this sensitive time," said a UK Athletics spokesman.

"UKA will do all they can to provide - or where necessary identify - the appropriate support to help nurse the athlete back to health."

Failing that, with the 2012 Olympics being in London, they could always just petition to have naked house jumping added to the list of events.

British athlete leaps naked from house roof [TimesOnline]
GB athlete injured in naked jump [BBC]

Monday, January 26, 2009

Super Bowl Analysis: Which Team is More Likely to Have Someone Get Into Trouble, Arizona Cardinals or Pittsburgh Steelers?

Last season, my not-so-expert analysis of which team was more likely to have someone get into trouble in the week leading up to the Super Bowl was correct, as the New York Giants managed to avoid distractions (for the most part) on their way to victory over the New England Patriots.

I'm back for round 2: Breaking down the various temptations that the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers will face this week while in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII.

Let's face it, there's a ton of fun stuff going on in Tampa, from parties to Hooters to bars to beaches to Ybor City to strip clubs. Yes, Tampa is known for its adult clubs, making the odds of a player getting into trouble at one of them quite good. My money is on Kurt Warner.

Sure, there are certain players who have higher odds than others of being arrested or causing a disruption (I'm looking at you Anquan Boldin). That aside, geography will have its affect.

Which team is more likely to have someone get involved in an off-the-field incident or be distracted this week based on where they are staying: the Cardinals or the Steelers? Lets break it down (places of interest have been marked on the map below, or click here)

View Larger Map

Basic Hotel Location

Arizona Cardinals: The Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals are staying at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay for Super Bowl week. The hotel is right next to the airport, which could be noisy, but it is also in a location that is right on the bay on a secluded street. With all of the security in Tampa, you can bet that not many people will be getting near the hotel unless they are staying there.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers are staying at the InterContinental Hotel Tampa. The InterContinental is also pretty close to the airport, but a bit further away. However, it is also in a busy area, right across the street from WestShore Plaza, a large shopping mall. As with the Patriots last year, being in a busier area for the Super Bowl week could be a distraction.

Team more likely to get in trouble: Steelers. While neither team has anything horrible nearby, the Cardinals are in a more secluded location a bit further from the action.


Arizona Cardinals: There is one casino in Tampa: The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Neither team is staying close to it. As I mentioned last year, there are many places to lose your money around the Phoenix area, meaning the Cardinals are used to having them nearby. However...

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh is only just getting places to gamble, and the one that has opened so far sounds like it sucks. Will the bright lights of the Hard Rock prove to be too much of an attraction to the Steelers before the Super Bowl?

Team more likely to get in trouble: Even. The Hard Rock is so far away that it is unlikely anybody will go. A trip out there is a DUI waiting to happen.

Nightclubs & Bars

Arizona Cardinals: There aren't many bars near the Cards' hotel, though they are staying closest to the World's First Hooters, which is located about 10 miles away across the Courtney Campbell Causeway. I believe Courtney Campbell was the first Hooters waitress. Even further away are some of the Super Bowl parties, including the Moves Magazine party hosted by Reggie Bush and Ray Lewis across the water in St. Petersburg. The Museum of Science and Industry is also hosting 2 huge parties on Friday and Saturday night, featuring celebrities such as Jermaine Dupri, Janet Jackson, Jaime Foxx, Nelly, Antonio Tarver, as well as "Lala Ali" and "Ken Griffin, Jr." Unfortunately for those of us looking for party photos & stories of athletes and celebrities doing stupid things, many of the traditional Super Bowl parties such as those from Playboy and Sports Illustrated have been eliminated, leaving just Maxim, ESPN the Magazine, and Madden as the standing large parties. Snoop Dogg will of course be present in Tampa Bay at the Bud Bowl Block Party.

Pittsburgh Steelers: As mentioned before, the Steelers are staying in a slightly more central location, closer to Ybor City, an area with plenty of nightlife with Spanish and Cuban flair. Ybor City is tres speedy but they throw such killer parties, at least according to Craig Finn, and who am I to argue with him?

Team more likely to get in trouble: Steelers, by just a bit. One thing to note is that most of the areas with good nightlife and the Super Bowl parties are actually quite far from where the teams are staying. That's good news, unless anybody tries to get behind the wheel. While they are not exactly in a hard-partying area, the Steelers are a bit closer to the action. If the Cardinals are smart, they lockdown that road to their hotel and make it their island before the Super Bowl, restricting any damage to the hotel bar.

Strip Clubs

Arizona Cardinals: Here's where we get to what the Tampa Bay area is best known for: its strip clubs. Local clubs are importing dancers from all around the country, and many plan on operating 24 hours a day in case players and fans get an urge to see breasts at 8am on Thursday. There is the Six Foot Rule, but it hasn't been enforced in years, so unless police have nothing better to do (unlikely), enthusiasts will be able to do as they please. There are too many clubs to cover in detail (43 in all), so I am going to focus on just two: Mons Venus and 2001 Odyssey (photos through above links are NSFW), which are right near Raymond James Stadium. Mons Venus has been repeatedly ranked in lists of the top 10 strip clubs in the country and features all-nude dancing & lap dances for a reasonable price. Not only that, patrons are allowed, nay encouraged to fondle the dancers. Let that sink in a bit, and we'll continue.

2001 Odyssey is located right nearby and offers similar activities, but with a spaceship theme. Between that and the parties at the Museum of Science and Industry, this Super Bowl is going to be a nerd paradise. How popular is 2001 Odyssey? More popular than the Stanley Kubrick film that inspired its name, at least based on the Google results. Plus it's right next to a Sonic, and who can beat that?

Pittsburgh Steelers: See above. Both teams are roughly the same distance from these two locations, though the Steelers are marginally closer and presumably haven't seen many attractive women in Pittsburgh.

Team more likely to get in trouble: Draw Both teams are close to the 2 biggest clubs, and both are right near the stadium, so we'll call it a draw and say everyone will get in trouble.

There you have it. It is clear which team has the advantage when it comes to avoiding possible distractions while in Tampa. Based on the above analysis, the Arizona Cardinals will be your Super Bowl XLIII Champions, but it will be very close. And if what I know about Tampa from Hold Steady lyrics holds true, everyone is going to do a lot of drugs and die. If anyone does murder anyone, I would like to put in a request. You may now ignore everyone else's opinion on the game and take your newfound knowledge straight to Vegas. I got it right last year, and I plan on getting it right this year. Go Cardinals.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Will There Be Enough Chicken Wings Available Super Bowl Sunday?

On Thursday, a story broke that some restaurants around Buffalo were experiencing shortages of chicken wings & very high prices, causing worry among owners and wing fans alike who are hoping the issues of the Northeast do not spread further through the country.

Damn right that's a problem, as this weekend is of course the Super Bowl, a weekend that accounts for 5% of all wing consumption during the year, with over 1 billion wings eaten in all. That's a lot of chickens that died for your sins.

The potential chicken wing crisis started when producer Pilgrims Pride filed for bankruptcy December 1st. Pilgrims Pride was responsible for 25% of U.S. chicken processing. Higher gas and feed prices have also led some farms to decrease production.

At the very least, this production shortage is affecting wing prices. This week, the Georgia Department of Agriculture quotes a price of $1.425 for chicken wings, well above the 2008 high of $1.27.

Some restaurant owners were even calling for a boycott of their suppliers, citing prices that have almost doubled. Forty pounds (of wings) would be like $85,  said Sam Musolino, owner of Sammy's Pizzeria. Good luck getting football fans to boycott eating buffalo wings, Sam.

Naturally, the National Chicken Council has been doing some damage control over the weekend, telling everyone that there are no wing shortages, and everything will be just fine.

"Eat all you want. There are plenty more," said NCC director of communications Richard Lobb.

If recent gas shortages can be held as an example, the National Chicken Council will have nothing to worry about. People will rush out to buy as many wings as they can so they will avoid a shortage, thus creating a shortage. So great marketing there, Chicken Council, there's no better publicity than someone saying your product is running out.

Just make sure the Bear's Lair is well-stocked, as that's where I'm planning on watching the Cardinals against the Steelers. Or perhaps the deal with the Devil that got the Cardinals into the Super Bowl meant that Cardinals fans don't get to eat wings during the game?

Chicken wing shortage ahead of Super Bowl [UPI]
Super Bowl wing supply is plenty, companies say [NWANews]

Friday, January 23, 2009

Video: Australian Open Streaker During Match Involving Williams Sisters

During today's Australian Open doubles match between Venus & Serena Williams and Ayumi Morita and Martina Mueller, a streaker ran on the court for 14 seconds, 7 seconds of which have been preserved on video so far.

The streaker was captured and banned from the tournament.

According to security officials at the Australian Open, "The focus of the on-court security team is always on player protection. They are instructed not to chase offenders as their focus at all times must remain on the players. The on-court actions of the security personnel reflected this focus on player protection."

So if you plan on streaking at the Open, feel free to run around as you wish, since you won't get chased.

As for the match, the Williams sisters won in straight sets.

 Edit: More video from ESPN - including a very large black box

Streaker interrupts Williams doubles match [Reuters]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

London Gym Uses Humans As Weights

Who wants to spend time lifting heavy pieces of cold metal when you can lift warm bodies instead?

That's the premise behind a new offering from Gymbox in London. The gym has several employees on staff available for you to lift while working out.

Since everyone is a different strength, Gymbox has a range of human weights that goes from a midget named Arti, who weighs 66 lbs., to "Super Human" Matt Bernard, who weighs well over 300 lbs.

As if this wasn't ridiculous enough, the weights "wear black leotards with their weights printed across their chests and sit on adapted machines to let the weightlifter visualise what they are lifting."

Not only that, they also shout encouragement, since everyone needs to be yelled at by a little person while working out.

Gymbox owner Richard Hilton said "Creating a mental image or intention of what you want to happen or feel is proven to improve physical and psychological performance."

So if you want to lift midgets, then lifting midgets will improve your performance. That sounds pretty straightforward, but there's a very fine line between midget lifting and midget tossing.

If bulking up by lifting people is not your cup of tea, then don't worry. Gymbox has plenty of other fitness activites, ranging from the ridiculous to the insane.

Some of the highlights:

  • BALLET POLE The elegance and grace of Ballet mixed with the sexiness of pole dancing
  • BITCH BOXING Sorry guys, this one’s for the girls! Time to glove up and get down on that boxing ring, ladies.
  • CHAV FIGHTING Protect yourself form the ‘YOUF’ of today. Learn how to defend yourself from gangs of HOODIES, avoid HAPPY SLAPPINGS and feel safe in KNIFE CRIME-ridden London.
  • CHEERLEADING Gimme a G, gimme a Y, gimme an M, gimme a B… Shake your pom-poms and feel like a true American cheerleader.
  • KANGOO What do you get if you cross roller-skating and trampoline? Well here it is.

What do I get if I cross roller-skating and trampoline? Many broken bones.

England's Gymbox in Bank lets you bench press midgets [The Daily Telegraph]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arizona Diamondbacks Fire Mascot D. Baxter The Bobcat After DUI Arrest

Ever seen a drunk bobcat? The Arizona Department of Public Safety has.

Arizona Diamondbacks mascot David Hamilton AKA D. Baxter the Bobcat was canned by the Diamondbacks front office after they learned he had been arrested for suspicion of extreme DUI. It was either that, or rename the mascot DUI Baxter the Bobcat.

Not content to just get a regular old DUI, here's what the police got Hamilton for:
  • Hamilton was pulled over off the Loop 101at 95th Avenue and Peoria on Sept. 10 (an off day for the Diamondbacks in the middle of a homestand)
  • An officer spotted Hamilton traveling approximately 95 mph on the 101.
  • Hamilton was driving a Scion with the Diamondbacks' logo (great advertising & team spirit!)
  • He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.155, close to twice the legal limit of .08. (more great spirit of another kind)
  • He told the officers he had smoked weed earlier in the day
  • To top it all off, the mascot costume was in the back of the vehicle (it's a shame he wasn't wearing it while driving)

For some reason, the D-backs brass no longer wanted a drunk, stoned mascot, and thus, he was fired.

"After concluding our own investigation and gathering the facts involved, we felt it was necessary to take corrective action," Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said. "We will pursue a replacement for the mascot that is such a large part of our fan experience immediately."

Please don't. D. Baxter the Bobcat only marginally made sense when the Diamondbacks played at Bank One Ballpark (BOBcat, get it?). Now that they play at Chase Field, the mascot makes no sense. Let the mascot go away.

It's a shame the team has canned Hamilton, since they're missing out on a new marketing opportunity. The Diamondbacks have always tried to attract children and families, which is why Baxter exists. But a drunk, stoned bobcat? Now there's a mascot that grown-ups can get on board with.

D-Backs fire D. Baxter after DUI arrest [AZ Central]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Video: I Love The BCS Song - Will Forte on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update

On last night's episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, Will Forte sang a song he wrote about his passion for the Bowl Championship Series, called "I Love The BCS." He pretty much summed up how most college football fans feel.

Here are the complete lyrics from SNL:

I love stepping in dog crap
And I love it when children get sick
I love paper cuts on my corneas
And I love the BCS

I love hanging at the DMV
And I love finding out I'm adopted
I love eating tacos filled with uncooked chicken
And I love the BCS

Oh yeah, I love the BCS

It's the best system ever devised
Neck and neck with the electoral college
And if you've got some kind of problem with that
I invite you to s my d
S my d
S my d
S my d
BCS S my d

I love the smell of sick people's farts
And I love George W Bush
I wish he could be my dad and my lover
And I love the BCS

I love thinking about Bush with his shirt off
I love taking off his pants with my mind
He's the lame duck that I really want to f.....

Cause, I love the BCS
Oh yeah, I love the BCS
And my hemorrhoids
I love the BCS
Robert Mugabe
I love the BCS

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Congressman Asks Pelosi To Change Schedule So He Can Go To BCS Title Game

Many people take sports way too seriously. Add Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida to that list of people who have misplaced their priorities at one time or another.

Stearns sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi requesting that several votes be rescheduled so Congressmen from Florida and Oklahoma can go see the Gators & Sooners in the BCS Title Game in Miami on Thursday.

In his plea, Stearns wrote:
"As you may be aware, on Thursday January 8, the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma will play for the national football championship. Members of the Florida and Oklahoma delegations have expressed interest in attending the game as the congressional schedule allows. However, votes are currently scheduled to continue into Thursday night and Friday afternoon. We ask that you move these votes to either Wednesday and/or Thursday morning to allow Members to attend this historic game."

How terrible that these Congressmen might actually have to do their jobs instead of attending some football game. It's not like the economy is falling apart, or we're undergoing a transitional period, or there that there's an international crisis going on right now.

And what votes does Congressman Stearns want rescheduled? Oh, only some minor issues... including the certification of the Electoral College vote that will make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

So to recap, Florida vs. Oklahoma is more important than the next President in the eyes of Cliff Stearns. Florida, you have some great representation there.

The saddest thing is that a lot of people will actually agree with him. Not Nancy Pelosi though, as she has rejected his request. Maybe she'd be a bit more sympathetic to his plight if San Francisco ever had any teams that didn't completely suck.

Fla. congressman asks Pelosi for football break [AP]