Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

Here are 15 Thoughts as the Football Season draws closer by the minute. I do need to mention that thoughts 1-6 were written sometime during the first two weeks of June. Everything from 7-15 was written in the last week. Do not forget to follow me on twitter @justinwjohnson. It is now football season and hopefully I can publish a 10 Things besides once every three months. That is very weak sauce by me and I am better than that. As always please leave your comments or email them to me even if you hate something because it is always cool to get feedback on your work. Enjoy the football and baseball and hopefully no work this Labor Day weekend.

1. NCAA Football Thoughts
It was an exciting week for me as Phil Steele's 2011 College Football Preview hit newsstands. For those of you that are not familiar with Steele's annual preview you should flip through it next time you visit your favorite book store. Here are some nuggets that I found intriguing as we are about 90 days away from kickoff. Again all credit goes to Mr. Steele.

a. In the last 12 years the National Champ had a second year coach four times. In that same time span the eventual National Champ was coming off a 5 loss season 5 times.
b. Correct me if I am wrong but I do believe it is Jimbo Fisher's second year as the head coach for the Florida State Seminoles.
c. The Noles do get to play Oklahoma at home this season. While Oklahoma is a top-5 preseason team they are beatable on the road. In fact in the last three seasons all 9 of Oklahoma's losses have come away from Norman, Oklahoma.
d. Some people are picking LSU to win the SEC West this season but Steele and myself are high on the Tide. This season the Tide lose their QB, Heisman winning RB and top WR. However, when BAMA brought home all the bacon in 2009 they had an inexperienced QB, lost a 1,000 yard rusher and had just four starters back on offense.
e. In 2011 7 starters are back on offense and the Tide have Steele's #4 D-line, #1 linebacking corpse and the #1 secondary in college football. They do not rebuild on The Capstone, They Reload.
f. Since 2004, Georgia Tech hasn’t had a single season in which it completed more than 50% of its passing attempts?  The high water point was a 49.3% mark in 2007. Why did Calvin Johnson choose Tech over Georgia?
g. Only UGA and USC finished in the Top 10 from 2002-2005.
h. Only five SEC Coaches have won 10+ games in four straight years. The coaches would be Mark Richt, Bear Bryant, Steve Spurrier, Vince Dooley and Phil Fulmer.
i. Under Saban, Bama is 13-3 hosting SEC opponents. The three loses were to a 12-2 UGA team in 2007, the National Champ LSU in 2007 and National Champ Auburn last season.
j. The Kentucky Wildcats have gone to 5 straight  bowl games after going to two bowl games in the previous 10 years.
k. Auburns six returning starters are the fewest in the NCAA and they lose 31 letterman from last season's team.
l. The ACC has had one just one team win a BCS bowl game since 1999 and that was VaTech in 2008.
m. Oklahoma is 23-2 in openers in Norman since 1986. Both losses were to TCU, once in 96 and again in 2005.
n. Mike Gundy is 0-10 versus Oklahoma as both a QB and head coach. Oklahoma State has dropped 8 straight to Oklahoma.
o.The home team has lost 5 straight games in the Miami-Florida State series.
p. The loser from the previous year National Title Game has gone 10-2 since 1998. The loses were by Oklahoma in 2005 and 2009. Oregon this season opens with LSU in Arlington, Texas.
q. Heading into this season South Florida is 13-2 against in-state schools outscoring them by an average of 10 points per game.
r. TCU has finished #1 in total Defense 5 of the last 11 years. They are just the 3rd team with three straight #1's.
s. This year's ARMY-NAVY game marks the 10th different venue and since 1963, only 1996 and 2010 saw both teams come in with winning records.Right now Army has lost 9 straight to Navy with the average loss by 26 points.

2. MLB Thoughts From 12 Weeks Ago
a. I was reading some articles late Thursday night and I came across these stats and my mind was blown. How are their only two teams not to make the playoffs in any sport in the 25 years since 1986. Between the four major sports, 98 franchises have been around since at least 1986. Ninety-six of them have been to the postseason in that span. Not the Royals or the conglomerate known as the Expos/Nationals.
b. The Royals have come close to making the playoff just three times in the past 25 years, and they weren't that close on any of them. In 1989, they were the third-best team in baseball with 92 wins, but Kansas City still finished seven games behind the A's. In 1994, they were 64-51 and three games out of the wild-card spot when the strike ended the season. And in 2003, the Royals shocked everyone by winning 16 of their first 19 games. They led the division by seven games at the All-Star break.Only to finish 2003 seven games out of first.
c. Is this changing with all the top prospects the Royals are thought to had. Let's not forget the Royals have had young prospects before not pan out. Some examples include Bob Hamelin who beat out Manny Ramirez for the 1994 Rookie of the Year award. The next season he hit .168, and the Royals cut him a year later. Angel Berroa was Rookie of the Year in 2003, and within three years he was arguably the worst everyday player in the majors.
d. I still think their is something special being built in KC.
e. The Phillies starters ended June w/1.96 ERA - 1st team since July '92 (Cubs, Braves) to go full month under 2.00.They went 17-10 in June despite losing the first 3 games of the month. The Braves did go 17-9 in the month. Some pretty good baseball being played in the NL East.
f. Speaking of good baseball in the NL East the Nationals went 16-12 in June. They were set up to have a great month until they lost the last three games of the month. The Boys in Queens aka the Metropolitans were 16-11. We will not discuss the Marlins.
g. As of July 1st the Padres have 19 wins in 30 day games and 18 wins in 52 night games.
h.On June 29th Cliff Lee had is third shutout win in the Month. As of that date the Marlins only had three wins for the whole month.
i. Jose Bautista has 43 homers in his last 433 at-bats with the BlueJays. He hit 43 HRs in 1,314 career ABs with the Pirates.

3. Best Baseball Books I Have Read
About a month ago three months ago on the Poscast with Joe Posnanski, Michael Schur (creator Parks & Rec) and Posnanski have a draft with their favorite Baseball books. This got me thinking to the best baseball books that I have read. Here are my starting nine with links to Amazon for more book info.

1. Moneyball- The best baseball book I have ever read and the book I judge all baseball books by. I read this book in about 4 days while in college. This book has been made into a movie that looks tremendous with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. Here is the Trailer.
2. The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth- With 20 books already written on Babe Ruth (one of my favorite characters in history) Leigh Montville combines this research into a fascinating read. Montville who also wrote Ted Williams in 2004 brings fresh observations to his subject, one being that Ruth probably suffered from attention-deficit disorder, which accounts for his inexhaustible energy for everything from baseball to food to alcohol to sex, and not necessarily in that order.
3. Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston- I read this book for a Race and Sports class at UGA and was absolutely fascinated by Howard Bryant's research and reporting. Bryant relays the seldom-told story of Jackie Robinson's April 1945 tryout with the team, which resulted in someone (possibly owner Tom Yawkee) booming out a racial epithet. Having passed on Robinson, the Red Sox did the same with Willie Mays. The franchise was the last to include an African American player on its roster.In reading the book one can clearly see why the Red Sox went 86 years with out winning a world series. It wasn't because of some Curse of The Bambino.
5. The Game According To Syd -Read this book when I was 12 years old and knew that day I wanted to work in baseball. I still find the story on why the Pirates were the first team to change color of the brim of the hat to grey instead of green because it improves a players vision. Flipped through the book couple weeks ago and it is still intriguing.
6. Are We Winning? Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball-Will Leitch is a modern day hero of mine. Kid from small town that loves his team, moves away to NYC. I moved back but Leitch started a website called Deadspin and now writes for the New Yorker and New York Magazine.
7. The Teammates- Explores Dom Dimaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr as Dimaggio and Pesky drive down to see friend and former teammate Ted Williams who they all know is dying. A lot of stories of growing old and living life outside of the spotlight after being in the spotlight for so long.
8. Last Night of The Yankee Dynasty-Buster Olney uses game 7 of the 2001 World Series as the backdrop and explores how the Yankees went from the grinders of the mid to late 90's to baseball highest payroll and why the World Series titles did not continue when the payroll increased dramatically.

9. The Yankee Years-Joe Torre and Tom Verducci not only give great insight to Yankee history but MLB history as whole in the years from 1996 to 2007. Not all Torre as David Cone gives a lot of insight into those mid 90's Yankee teams.

4. Best Baseball Books I Have Never Read
1. Veeck As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck- To be fair I have read about 5 chapters of this book as student at NYU, then I got an email the book was overdue and turned it in without checking the book again. What was I thinking?
2. The Bill James Historical Abstract- The book that started the sabermeterics movement.
3. The Natural- One of my favorite movies, why have I not read the book?
4. The Last Hero:A Life of Hank Aaron-Enjoyed Howard Bryant's book on the racist Red Sox. I know I would enjoy it on the Home Run King
5. The Machine- Written by Joe Posnanski what else do I need to say.
6. 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports- Ted Williams hit .406 and did not win the MVP because of Joe D and the 56 game streak. Man Uggla's streak was a lot of fun to follow this summer and he did not get within 20 games of Joe D.
7. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy- One of the most mysterious players to ever play. Maybe the most talented lefty pitcher ever.
8. Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero- Did you know in games when Williams had three plate appearances he reached base at least once 75% of the time.
9. A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone- Ever since David Wells book who was a drinking buddy of Wells I wanted to know more Cone. Man he broke my heart with the Blue Jays and Yankees.

5. Non Baseball or Football Thoughts from Weeks 12 Ago

a. I watched Franklin and Bash with the roomdawg this past weekend. Very enjoyable and will be part of the summer viewing this summer.
b. For those not familiar with Franklin and Bash it stars two very memorable characters. Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) plays Jared Franklin. The other character is Peter Bash and is played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. If you do not know Mark-Paul's other major character in television history do not talk to me as we are no longer friends.
c. I watched some of the spelling bee on television and this year's winning word was cymotrichous. For those that did not have Ms. Taylor as their 11th grade teacher cymotrichous means having wavy hair.
d. I can use the word in a sentence and the sentence is: The coach is a big fan of the broads with cymotrichous hair. Is that even an acceptable sentence?
e. All of the draft talk in the poscast got me thinking and what will be the next great draft idea that we could share with you the readers. So far my drafts ideas include; Sports Movies, Lunch Spots in the ATL,Garth Brooks songs or favorite UGA football players of all time.
f. Any other thoughts for a draft?
g. This past week the Captain emailed me an amazing link. It was titled Who Had the Best Civil War Facial Hair? Click the link to check everything out. Personally I like Ambrose Burnside. My buddy Andrew is a big Carter Littlepage Stevenson fan.
h. Speaking of my buddy Andrew, he had a birthday on Saturday. Feliz Cimpleanos!
i. Last week I dicussed some great country breakup songs, no idea why I did. In researching those songs I found some classic 20 year old Doug Stone songs. I totally forgot how awesome these songs were. The first Doug Stone that I listened to for the first time in about 12 years was Why Didn't I Think That. The second Doug Stone song was In A Different Light. Youtube user countrycutie424 who put this video together used the Jim/Pam dynamic in the video, All Office fans will find intriguing. If you love both Doug Stone and The Office you will find the video to be AMAZING. The third Doug Stone in the trifecta is I'd Be Better Off In A Pine Box.
j. Safe to say the greatest kicker in Screven County history Donald Sheppard and my buddy Goat are the only one's who enjoyed reading letter I. That's how it goes sometimes.
k. This was the Boston Globe's feature property Saturday Night/Sunday Morning on That's high living. In all seriousness I would love to have that view from my balcony. However, I would prefer to have a house here with my own private beach.

6. What I Read 12 Weeks Ago

The first read from weeks ago takes a look at Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and his rise from video intern to head coach. Spoelstra had the job of breaking down video after Heat games and would often deliver the video straight to the Fed Ex plane at 2:00 in the morning so the tape would be waiting at the hotel when the Heat coaches would wake up hours later in a different city. Fascinating by his climb up the ranks to head coach in the NBA.

The second comes from Sports Illustrated and takes a look at Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar. Salazar who lost his left eye and almost his life in a freak accident in spring training overcomes long odds just to coach his team this season.

The third story comes from one of my favorite new web sites which is Grantland is Bill Simmons new website where he has put together some of the best writers in the business and they look at everything from baseball to football to movies to wedding announcements in the NY Times. This story breaks down the process of becoming a movie star and asks the question do we currently have any true movie stars?

7. Halftime
This week's song that Smoak and myself use to rock out to while cruising the mean streets of Sylvania is Bourbons & Lacs by Master P from the Ghetto D which in my very white opinion is one of the best rap cd's but what do I know? The trivia question we had last time was to name the 6 players to have hit at least one homerun in 40 different ballparks. This was an impossible task as no one answered correctly. The right answer will be added when I get into work Thursday afternoon. So check back this afternoon. This week's trivia is SEC football the last SEC Champion to not win a National Title?

8. Georgia Thoughts
Pretty much every day for the past month I have been asked what I have thought about the Dawgs this season and would we be back as a program. I have given the same answer: some days I wake up and I see 6-6 again and other days I wake up and see 11-1 or 10-2. Lately I have woken up and have been thinking more 11-1 or 10-2. The two thing that gives me hope are 1. Year 2 in the 3-4 with Todd Grantham, this hopefully means no more thinking....just playing fast and making plays. In addition, hopefully Grantham has figured out some things scheme wise against the spread and teams that will run the triple option against us. Last season our defense was embarrassing on 3rd down. That can only improve in 2011. 2. Two big donkey's in the middle of the field. Juco transfer John Jenkins and redshirt sophomore Kwame Geathers. Jenkins will wear number 6 and Geathers will wear 99. These guys will play nose in the 3-4 right over the center and should require multiple blockers on every play and thus freeing up Christian Robinson and Alec Ogeltree to make plays. I would not be surprised if Ogeltree does not led the team in tackles his first season playing linebacker after playing in the secondary all through high school and his freshmen season last year.

The motto with the offense is in Aaron Murray we trust. Everyone is making a big deal about UGA losing AJ Green and Kris Durham but I find it funny no one is mentioning the fact Boise St lost their two best receivers from last season. The pundits assume Kellen Moore we keep putting up the numbers he has in the past but why are they not saying the same thing about Murray who had a really good season playing tougher competition as a freshman. I am not going to lie I am a little nervous about the offensive line and the lack of depth upfront as this group can not have many injuries. The last time UGA was this inexperienced along the OL was in 2003 and Mark Richt did his best coaching job leading the Dawgs to an 11-3 record with two of those losses to eventual National Champion LSU. I am very excited to see Isiah Crowell and while I do not expect much from him early in the season he might become more of a weapon as he learns more of the playbook and gets accustomed to the speed of play in the SEC.

On Saturday night in the Georgia Dome I have no idea what will happen. I know what I want to early break for Georgia whether it is a turnover, blocked punt, big kick return and let the 80% Georgia crowd let loose after 9 months of frustration turns into pure pandemonium. I remember reading a quote from Terrence Edwards after the 2002 SEC Championship when we blocked a punt after holding Arkansas to a three and out he said the dome sounded like a bomb went off with the pro Georgia crowd rocking the dome. Another thing to keep an eye out on both sides of the ball....can the QB's and receivers make adjustments when they can not hear each other. This is especially important with both teams starting new recievers. I remember the 03 SEC Championship game against LSU and Nick Saban blitzing from every angle causing David Greene to throw multiple intersections right to the Bayou Bengals. What does not get told is some of the receivers making wrong reads and passes thrown right to the Tigers that night.

(Side note that has nothing to do with anything: JaMarcus Russell was a backup on that 2003 LSU team and in pregame warmups I remember asking a LSU fan who that guy was because I have never seen anyone throw a football like he does. Not many can throw the pigskin like he can, it's a shame he didnt care about the mental part of the position. The Sunfire also popped a flat in the parking lot before the game and it was no fun riding back to Athens on a spare. Ben Ross and myself did have a really good tailgate however.)

Back to the game on Saturday, I think Georgia's defense led by the two large human beings upfront will provide the difference and the Dawgs win 31-21. Do not forget the role our great specialist will play in the hidden yardage game.

9. NFL Thoughts
Once again Phil Steele provides the nuggets, I give you some of the most interesting items from his magazine. Both his college and NFL previews are must reads.

a. The Patriots have won 8 straight after the bye week, the Colts have won 6 straight after the bye, and the Eagles have won 12 straight after the bye week. No other organization is close to a streak like this, any wonder why these three teams are thought to be some of the best organizations in football.
b. Meanwhile the Jags have won six straight before the bye while they are 2-6 the week after the bye in the last six years. On the other end of the spectrum the Bills have lost six straight games the week before the game.
c.In the Patriots last 42 December games they are 37-5.
d. Baltimore has lost 5 of their last 6 trips to Cincinnati. How does this happen?
e. Reason for hope in Houston: Last season the Texans were #30 in Defense but they bring in Wade Phillips as defense coordinator and should not have 2 lb's lose 25 starts to injury this season.
f. Indy has never lost to Houston in Indy and have outscored the Texans by an average of 33-17. 
g. Over the last 5 seasons the Jaguars are 3-12 in their last three games of the season.
h. Denver has dropped the last three to the Raiders at home and 4 out of their last 5 to the Chargers at home. The 59 points scored by Oakland were the most points scored by an opponent in Invesco Field history. (Side note: of the 7 NFL venues I have ever visited Invesco Field at Mile High is my favorite.)
i. On the other hand Denver has beaten the Chiefs 10 of the last 11 games in Denver.
j. The Raiders have lost the last 8 games after the bye week. Safe to say the Raiders are the opposite of New England and Philly.
k. The Cowboys have not won a playoff game since 1996. Maybe on of the more crazier stats in the NFL.
l. Including the playoffs Philly is 8-1 versus the Falcons since 2000. They have outscored the dirty birds 65-24 in their last two meetings.
m. The New York Giants are 11-4 the last 5 years in NFC East road games.
n. The Redskins and Cowboys have played 102 times with the Cowboys holding the edge 60-40-2. The Skins are just 3-16 in their last 19 visits to big D.
o. The Super Bowl champions from the previous season has won 11 straight season openers by an average score of 25-12. The Broncos were the last Super Bowl champ to lose a season opener the following season in 1999.
p. The NFC South Champion has never repeated with the Saints 2nd place finish last year was the best finish ever. The other seven years the champion has finished 3rd 5 times and 4th twice. The Falcons won the NFC South last season as an FYI.
q.Coming into this season the Saints have won 5 straight Monday Night Football games by an average of 33-22.
r. The Falcons have lost 5 straight to the Houston/Tennessee franchise. They have not beaten the Titans/Oilers since 1990.
s. The Bucs have lost six straight non-Sunday regular season games. Last win was on MNF in 2003 against the Giants.

10. MLB Power 9
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. Atlanta Braves
3. New York Yankees
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Milwaukee Brewers
6. Detroit Tigers
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Texas Rangers
9. Anaheim Angels

11. Preseason College Power 10
1. Alabama-Two years ago BAMA had a first year QB and won it all with their defense and running game. Saban knows the script and will stick with the script.
2. Oklahoma-Probably the most talented team in the country but will have two very tough road contests at Florida State and at Oklahoma State.
3. Oregon-Despite only returning 11 starters they return QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James. They do have to travel to Dallas to play a very talented LSU team to open the season. The final three weeks could be tricky with a trip to Stanford and home games against USC and Oregon State to finish the season.
4. Florida State- The ACC's most talented team that does not get any favors from the schedule maker. After home game against Oklahoma the Noles must travel to Clemson the following week. At the end of the year they will visit the Swamp to play the Gators and might have to face a 12-0 VaTech team in the ACC Championship.
5. LSU- Very talented team that will face it's share of distractions at the start of the year. The Tigers play away from Tiger Stadium in three of their first four games. This includes games in Arlington against Oregon, at Mississippi State and at West Virginia. The Bayou Bengals have won 17 straight September games.
6. Stanford-The Cardinal return the best QB in the country so normally they would be ranked higher however the loss of coach Jim Harbough is a huge loss for Stanford in my opinion. They do play Notre Dame and Oregon at home.
7. Boise State- Besides the contests against UGA and TCU they Broncos should win every game they play by just getting off the bus. Kellen Moore returns for his senior season but he does lose his two top receivers. I hope UGA beats this team by 30 points. 
8. Texas A&M- Aggies get bot Texas and Oklahoma State among 5 Big 12 games at home this season. They do play Arkansas and Oklahoma away from College Station. The Aggies were very luck last season only losing 4 starts to injuries.
9. Wisconsin- The Badgers only leave the state of Wisconsin once before October 22nd and that is a neutral sight game at Soldier Field against Northern Illinois. Transfer QB Russell Wilson from NC State could have a Cam Newton affect on this talented team.
10. Arkansas- Tyler Wilson replaces Ryan Mallet and the Hogs should nice miss a beat on offense. The injury to Knile Davis hurts but this offense should roll up the points. They do have to play at LSU and at Bama plus Arkansas in Arlington, Texas. Every other game should be a win. Upset a couple teams on the road and Arkansas could easily be playing in Atlanta in December.

12. NFL Division Winners/Wild Card Teams
South-New Orleans Saints
East-Dallas Cowboys
Central -Green Bay Packers
West- St. Louis Rams
Wildcard-Atlanta Falcons
Wildcard-Philadelphia Eagles

South-Indianapolis Colts
East-New England Patriots
Central-Pittsburgh Steelers
West-San Diego Chargers
Wildcard-New York Jets
Wildcard-Houston Texans

13. What I Read The Past Couple Weeks

The first read of the week is a 1995 memo from Bill Gates about this thing called the internet. Click here for a pretty fascinating read.

The second read is an oral history of the television show Friday Night Lights which is the best show no one watched. Why would anyone put a show about high school football on Friday night? Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.

The third read is titled The Day Kennedy Died and profiles the surgeon that looked after both JFK and Oswald on that fateful day in Dallas.

14. Non Football or Baseball Thoughts

a. Pretty good summer. Made a trip to LA which was awesome. First time in LA and I have to go back. The weather is something else and I think I would like the laid back California lifestyle. Like every else it cost to much to live but to visit it was solid.
b. Of course I also made a trip to NYC with a day trip mixed in to Atlantic City. Went to White House Subs in AC for the first time. That place is legit. When I was in AC I also went to see Stone Temple Pilots at the Borgota. Solid spot and small venue which is always nice for a concert. First time seeing STP in person and they absolutely rocked it. Very good show.

c. Other concerts this summer include Chesney at Lakewood in May and Montgomery Gentry at Turner Field in June. I also did see Corey Smith in July at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. Pretty cool set up, its a shame the venue is up in the Burbs and not closer to the City.
d. Everyone knows Corey Smith for "21" and "Every Dawg." I have yet to meet anyone who went to UGA or has visited Athens on a weekend who does not love the song "21." The song Every Dawg basically are my exact thoughts every Sunday morning I spent driving back from Jacksonville after having my heart ripped outby the Gators every year. That has to change this year.
e. Other Corey Smith songs that are must listens include Maybe Next Year and If I Could Do It Again.
f. It has been a pretty good summer of movies. The best movie I have seen this summer is Horrible Bosses. The second best is Hangover 2. Other movies that I have enjoyed this summer include Friends With Benefits, Super 8 and 30 Minutes or Less.
g. I was disappointed with Bad Teacher and Captain America. In the case of Captain America, just because a movie is in 3D does not make it a good movie. I left the movie theater a little disappointed that night.
h. A couple of movies that I have yet to see but hope to include Bridesmaides, Cowboys and Aliens and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
i. This movie might look like the best one of the summer. The movie is called The Devil's Double as Latif Yahia is an Iraqi forced to act as a fedai ("body double") for Uday Hussein the son of Saddam Hussein.
j. My quest to see a new ballpark each summer continued as I attended a game in Anaheim between the Angels and Royals. Very cool ballpark and very family friendly atmosphere. Other ballparks I have visited this year besides Anaheim and of course Turner Field include Citi Field in NYC, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati and Nationals Park in our Nation's Capital.
k. It has been a decent summer of television. In my opinion Curb Your Enthusiasm is the best comedy on television right now. We have had some classic episodes this season with Larry David and Rosie fighting over a broad and Larry proclaiming that "the tie goes to the hetero." The Palestinian Chicken episode might be the best Curb episode ever in my opinion.
l. Is Larry David getting more creative the more shows he writes?
m. While I have enjoyed Entourage a lot this season it has moved more from a comedy to a drama and that should happen as characters age and develop. I am disappointed they haven't worked in a joke about Turtle losing a ton of weight.
n. By the way Eric is turning into the worst excuse of a Hollywood manager/agent that one has ever witnessed. It's Hollywood and what do you care about your ex-fiance anyway?
o. Royal Pains on USA and Leverage are must watches for the roomdog and myself.
p. Why am I not watching Breaking Bad?
q. What other great shows am I missing? I need to watch The Wire, Rescue Me, and Mad Men. What other great shows am I missing out on?
r. Go ahead and pick on me for not watching The Wire and Mad Men.
s. What other shows look good this fall?
t. Very excited for college football and shenanigans in Athens and other municipalities around the SEC this season. Feel free to make your way to Athens for a tailgate or two or three.

15. The Fun Stuff

Tweet of The Week From 12 Weeks Ago
This week's tweet comes from @BENGREENMAN who is an editor for The New Yorker.
Spelling Bee: Champion says "it's hard to find the words." That was a good joke. Too bad the unctuous interviewer didn't get it.

Not sure if I got it either.

Photo of The Week From 12 Weeks Ago
Mark Cuban with the Championship trophy. Just awesome.

Tweet of The Week
Comes from @justinwjohnson who is me. In the words of DP on self promotion....if not me, then who? If not now, when? This tweet comes from me two mornings ago after it was announced the Miami players would only be suspended one game while my man AJ Green got four games last season.

If AJ Green would have traded his jersey w/ a hooker instead of sold it would he have only been suspended one game?

Quote of The Week
From Larry David a couple weeks ago. See this clip for the whole dialogue.

I want to make that smaller.

Photo of The Week

A deer running through flood waters in Lincoln, NJ. This was the third time ever a hurricane has made land fall in the Garden State.

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