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Blake Griffin Ate My Homework

So this just happened maybe 10 minutes ago:

I was doing some late-night homework while watching the game on TV, and my brain pretty much melted when I saw this live. Even the announcer has no idea what to do with himself, and just throws out a nonsense “Oh me, oh my!” call. Blake is so exciting every time he touches the ball, as evidenced by the fact that the other announcer’s voice went up a notch as soon as Blake caught the pass on the way to the hoop. Kylee had been feeling sick all day, but did I wake her up in the middle of the night to show her the dunk? Of course I did. She had no idea what was going on, but that didn’t stop me from replaying it for her several times. Now I have to try to forget the best dunk I’ve ever seen live to get some homework done. I’m almost positive that “I couldn’t finish my homework because I had a sensory overload watching an NBA game last night” won’t work as an excuse.

And you know what my favorite part is? If you look closely around the 0:27 mark of that video, you’ll see some white dude (in glasses and a blue sweater sitting just to the left of the hoop) cover his mouth while he soils himself with excitement. That’s probably why he stayed seated while everyone else immediately got out of their seats to cheer. Fan reactions to great sports moments are always the best, especially when they involve chubby, dorky white guys celebrating.

The title of this video was not of my making, but it seems fairly appropriate to say that if your local weatherman seems more concerned with a bug scurrying around than the GIANT GREEN HURRICANE OF DOOM approaching Florida, maybe you should get your weather elsewhere.

Oklahoma Sooners, Cleveland Indians, San Antonio Spurs/Oklahoma City Thunder, and Denver Broncos. That’s a pretty bizarre group of sports teams to root for, but that’s the sort of thing that happens growing up an Army brat. I never grew up anywhere near an NFL team, so when it came time to pick a team, I did what any preteen would do – find out which team was currently winning Super Bowls. In 1998, that team happened to be the Denver Broncos, and so a Broncos fan I became (on the other hand, my favorite baseball team hasn’t won a championship since 1948, so I can anti-bandwagon as well). I wasn’t too much into the Broncos, however, until my dad returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with a football signed by John Elway. That pretty much sealed the deal. Over the past few years, though, I was slowly starting to drift into football atheism. Maybe not atheism – I knew the Broncos existed – but I certainly was starting to wonder if I should care. I could never root for another team, but the Broncos grew increasingly frustrating to watch. They were stuck in no-man’s land. Year after year, they’d be just good enough to get a teasing whiff of the playoffs, and just awful enough to not get there. I started to wish 24-year-old me had sat down with 11-year-old me and explained that over the next 13 years the Broncos’ quarterbacks would include the likes of Jay Cutler, Jake Plummer’s Pedophile Impression, and Kyle Orton’s Possibly Worse Facial Hair. But because no such intervention took place, I was stuck rooting for those teams. And then, a miracle happened. No, seriously, a miracle.

When the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow, I’ll be honest – I didn’t like him at all. In 2008, Tebow crushed my hopes of another Sooners national championship when he led the Florida Gators to a 24-14 win over Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford and my beloved Sooners. Maybe I’m just overly cynical, but I found his rah-rah routine overly boring. It wasn’t until this absolutely insane stretch of games over the past several months that I started to grow attached to Tebow. His comeback wins defy explanation, and that’s why it’s equally entertaining to watch the game itself as it is to watch the ESPN analysts attempt to rationalize what just happened after the game. Even though this roller coaster has been awesome mainly because he’s pulled off some spectacular wins, I’ve figured out exactly why I love Tim Tebow so much – I go into each game with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. Tebow can pull off the most amazing comeback of all time one week, and the next week be absolutely abysmal, and it doesn’t shift my expectations at all. If they lose, I shrug and figure that’s what was supposed to happen. If they win, I am surprised without fail. Before the Broncos even played the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend in the first round of the playoffs, I was telling people that this year was so much fun I didn’t even care if the Broncos lost, and that was after a three game losing streak. I’d spent the majority of this past fall watching an uninspiring Oklahoma Sooners squad fumble their way to yet another disappointing season, and the Broncos were just plain fun in contrast. I didn’t care that they made the playoffs even without a winning record (8-8), every snap was a must-see moment.

That was never more true than in last week’s Steelers game, when in the first play of overtime Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass for the dramatic playoff win. I watched it live, and didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry, and eventually settled on a mix of both. Not only was his all-time great playoff performance awesome, but the stupid coincidences that popped up after the game made me laugh even harder. In college, Tebow always had Bible verses written on his black eye paint, one of his most common verses being the always-popular John 3:16. After the game, people started to notice that Tebow finished with 316 passing yards. And 31.6 yards per completion. And the Nielsen ratings peaked at 31.6. It was a stupid coincidence, but by golly if it wasn’t just fun to watch and talk about. Even after that dramatic win, the same old narrative popped up – Tebow couldn’t possibly work that magic in New England this Saturday, against a team that had already beaten the Broncos that season. For as many jokes that popped up touting the virtues of Tebow (Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if Tebow were alive then, it would’ve only taken the 4th quarter), there were just as many that mocked the struggles of Tebow (Superhero Tebow’s main nemesis is a supervillain called Open Receiver). Almost all of them were funny.

The Oklahoma Sooners, my favorite sports team, are a college football powerhouse – the opposite of an underdog. Tebow is the perpetual underdog, and that’s precisely why I love him. I had no idea how much fun it was to root for an underdog week after week, much less an underdog who made inspiring, inexplicable comebacks week after week. This entire season, I felt like those brain damaged patients you see on PBS psychology shows who can’t remember what happened 20 seconds ago, where everything that happens is new and unexpected. “What? A miraculous Tebow comeback in overtime? This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!” I never saw it coming, and that made it all the more riveting. No matter how many amazing comebacks he engineers, no matter how many all-time great playoff performances he puts up, there will always be legitimate questions about his quarterback skills. At times, his mechanics and decision-making can be so atrocious that it continues to give all the analysts ammunition for the “Tebow is just a flash in the pan” argument. This Tebow-driven season has been so wild that not only have I allowed myself to dream of the Broncos winning the Super Bowl over the 15-1 and seemingly unbeatable Green Bay Packers, I also fully expect the Broncos to lose to the Patriots this Saturday. If they win, I’ll just shake my head and laugh in disbelief like I always do. And it’s been so much fun that if they lose, I won’t mind one bit.

Every Vote Counts

I’m a huge fan of Oklahoma football and the Denver Broncos, so you might guess that I have a lot of thoughts on both, including Tim Tebow and how after crushing OU’s national title hopes a few years ago, he has won my affection in Denver. However, I thought I would wait until after the Broncos play the Steelers this Sunday to share those thoughts. So in lieu of a long and boring post about football, I decided to hold you over with a quick poll. I got a lot of feedback on my post about the Eighth Wonder of the World, Jess the Gender-Ambiguous Domino’s Employee. And by a lot of feedback, I mean my mom told me multiple times that she liked it. I also just found out that you can create a poll in these posts. So, I decided to test my polling skills by asking anyone who has seen the Domino’s commercial with Jess what they initially thought Jess’s gender was before they finished my thoroughly scientific breakdown of his/her gender status. Feel free to vote, but this isn’t a Chicago election, so please only vote once. We wouldn’t want the results getting distorted, although that would be kind of fitting given the polling subject.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and as my first post of the new year, I’d like to share a video showing why it is important for parents to teach their children basic physics, and also to teach them basic life skills such as if you ever find yourself picking up speed on a tricycle going downhill, taking your feet off the pedals is probably not a good idea. As this little girl found out, you are never too young to learn about inertia.

Hi, I’m James, and I’m an addict. (Insert chorus of “Hi James”). I’m addicted to McChickens. The McChicken has long been both a curse and a blessing for the select few who are brave enough to say those five simple words: “I’ll have six McChickens please.” First of all, there is no ordering just one McChicken. Alcoholics don’t have just one beer. Either you avoid the McChicken altogether, or you throw your hands up in the air, disgusted with yourself for ordering six at a time. You’re going to feel miserable afterwards, you might as well enjoy the process. There are several things about McChickens that can lead down the path of a degenerate. The most brutal part of addiction is the mayonnaise (for clarity’s sake we’ll call it mayonnaise even though I’m pretty sure Miracle Whip would threaten to sue if it was listed as an ingredient). The mayonnaise would be better classified as heroin on a bun. It is so addicting that going long periods without McChickens can give you what we addicts call the McSweats. Much like heroin users, McAddicts can go into withdrawal if they’re deprived of McChickens. The McSweats can happen at any time. Your body will go through wild temperature swings, and all you will be able to think about is your next fix. In fact, going long enough without eating a McChicken can lead to wandering on the street like Ron Burgundy, or crying in a McDonalds bathroom stall with mayonnaise smeared on your face.

Ron Burgundy trying to drown his McChicken woes with sour milk.

Eating McChickens, while giving a momentary high, inevitably leads to a huge crash. McDonalds, while evil enough to sell them to the public, at least has the decency to not sell McChickens on their breakfast menu. If they did, McAddicts would never be able to start the day. Eating a McChicken in the morning is basically telling yourself, “Well, there’s no point in showering today.” The mayonnaise makes you surrender any and all ambitions. The self-loathing and worthlessness you feel post-McChicken is never worse than when the “ingredients” lay siege to your intestines. In this worst-case scenario, the mayonnaise from a McChicken looks the same coming out as it did going in. A common misconception is that the McSweats occur immediately after ingesting a half-dozen McChickens, but those symptoms are better classified as diarrhea and general misery. So think twice at the window. Don’t let the shiny golden arches and the 99 cent price tag fool you. If you can’t control yourself, order extra napkins – for before, during and after the meal.

I’m an enormous Oklahoma Sooners fan. So naturally, I was puzzled when rumors started flying about that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech were possibly leaving for the Pac-12 conference. Sure, there’s more money to be made, but the Pac-12 makes no sense for the Sooners. First of all, we would be joining the conference that screwed us out of a BCS bowl game in 2006 with the worst call by a replay officiating crew in college football history:

Since I linked that video, let me spend a few seconds bitterly complaining about it again.

1. Oregon touched the ball first, before it crossed the 10-yard mark.

2. Oklahoma recovered the football (Allen Patrick #23, gets up with the football).

3. The moronic officiating crew quickly looked around, saw that the Oregon players were celebrating, the crowd was cheering, and decided that was enough evidence for them to declare Oregon possession.

4. The even more moronic replay officials watched 5 minutes of replays showing Oregon players celebrating and relayed to the officiating crew that Oregon indeed seemed too excited to not have gained possession.

5. Dan Fouts, the announcer in the video, says it’s a terrible call. Oh, and Fouts is an Oregon alum.

Secondly, OU has virtually no history with any schools in the Pac-12. Sure, it would be awesome to see Utah host Oklahoma in a conference game (just so I could go in person), but I don’t care about any other schools in the Pac-12. On the other hand, I hate Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M (which recently defected to the SEC), Oklahoma State, and a handful of other Big 12 schools with a passion. Watching Texas struggle to a losing record last year was supremely gratifying. Even though I was too young to remember most of the glory days of the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, I was still sad to see them move to the Big 10 conference. In the end, rivalries are what’s most fun about college football. I like hating my opponents. I like being able to gloat that Oklahoma is to Oklahoma State as Cesar Millan is to dogs. You have to show the dog who’s boss. Without any of the history tying the schools together, college football would be pretty boring. So I hope Oklahoma and all its surrounding schools stay in the Big 12, where replay officials wear contacts.

Could Jess Be Any More Ambiguous?

Well, I decided to start blogging. If you are going to be reading this blog regularly, there’s a high chance you are either a) my mother or b) masochistic. I’m not sure how often I’ll update this, but at least if I get bored it won’t end up decomposing underneath my bed like my last attempt at a journal. Anyways, with my inaugural post, I would like to begin by asking the age old question: Why do parents give their children unisex names? My television viewing experience is pretty much limited to 24/7 ESPN, so I’m not sure if this is the case on other networks, but there is a Domino’s Pizza commercial airing right now that plays all the time. Like, all the time.

In this commercial, we’re introduced to Jess, a Domino’s employee who is super excited about pizza. The enthusiasm isn’t the problem. I actually like Domino’s. The problem is that in addition to their new feedback system, Domino’s also unveiled their new male/female hybrid employees. I could not tell for the life of me if Jess was a male or female. I’ve seen this commercial dozens of times, and every time it came on I tried to look for any subtle clues that would point me to Jess’s gender. Like any other problem, I decided to tackle this dilemma the best way I could. I analyzed the different parts of Jess’s appearance and demeanor and assigned male or female points for each. Let’s break this down:

1) The name is about as unisex as it gets. Sam, Alex and Sidney could conceivably be worse, but the name Jess isn’t exactly a neon sign proclaiming gender one way or another. My first impression was Jess is a girl’s name. 2 Girl points.

2) The hairstyle leaves a lot to be desired. Jess has his/her hair spiked on top, with the hat resting on the hair almost in a cocky way. The rest of the hair is short and relatively trim. The hairstyle is decidedly “butch”, but in its essence gives off a male vibe. Which was the point either way, I guess. 3 Guy points.

3) The voice sounds like a female. Slightly gruff, but female nonetheless. It could pass for a prepubescent boy, but other than the hairstyle, Jess looks to have grown out of that phase. 4 Girl points.

4) However, as one of my friends pointed out, if you watch the commercial on mute, Jess is a guy. 5 Guy points.

5) Besides Jess, the commercial features Jose, the store manager. It would seem overkill to have two dudes so excited about pizza working in the same store, so I assume Dominos wants to get out the message that pizza is for girls too. 2 Girl points.

All in all, Jess has earned 8 Guy points and 8 Girl points, meaning we’re no closer to learning the truth than we were before. Lucky for you, I know how to use Google. It turns out Jess has a facebook fan page celebrating Jess’s inclusion in a Domino’s commercial as a landmark achievement for…lesbians. Yes, Jess is female. See, I wasn’t surprised to find out that Jess was a homosexual, I just wanted to know what side of the fence Jess was doubling down on. I also wanted to throw some kudos out to Domino’s for raising awareness of this unisex naming problem. I’m sure there’s a facebook page somewhere for that.