Archive for June, 2009

Jackson’s Legacy

There’s no denying Michael Jackson’s impact. Love him or hate him, he had an impact on you. Regardless of the affairs of his private life, he was revolutionary and controversial from the get go. Whether it was music videos, dancing, or his patented one glove spin and grab move, he got your attention. Thriller is to this day probably the greatest music video of all time. Movies have paid homage to it and rock bands have covered elements of it. Beat It made it into a recent version of Guitar Hero.

But there’s more.
Continue reading ‘Jackson’s Legacy’

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Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth

Not quite of biblical proportions. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really quite minor. But yesterday was NOT a good day for me. At all. While at a conference a few weeks ago my wife won a 42″ LCD TV, which was extremely exciting because we never win anything in raffles or the like. Last week, we get the word that it’s being shipped out, and follow the tracking of the package online. We learned that it was slated to arrive yesterday, so I took the day off to accept the TV, get it set up, and do some other stuff that we’d been needing to take care of. My first indication that something was amiss should have been when I noticed a tear in the front portion of the box.

More after the jump. Continue reading ‘Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth’

Stanley Cup: Game SEVEN, baby!

A year ago I profiled the Stanley Cup Finals, and expressed my hope that the series would be exciting. The series was decent, but it didn’t ever seem like the outcome was in doubt. This year we have a Game 7. Exciting! Though I haven’t had the chance to watch much of the games, here’s hoping that the game is exciting and close. It could be just what the NHL needs (especially after the monumental mistake of scheduling a game the same night as one of the NBA Finals games). I’m pulling for the Pens, but given the fact that the Red Wings have only lost one game at home in the playoffs this year, I am not incredibly hopeful. Tune into NBC tomorrow to see the exciting conclusion!

As a bonus, here’s a fun little clip from the Failblog.

AT&T and the New iPhone 3GS: Pricing Shenanigans

iPhone 3GS: Not too expensive (unless you are already a customer)!

iPhone 3GS: Not too expensive (unless you are already a customer)!

Yesterday Apple announced its new iPhone 3GS, which sports accelerated browsing, longer battery life, a better camera (that can capture video too!), voice activation for everything from phone calls to the iPod, and increased processing power. I have a first-generation iPhone, and though I wasn’t tempted to upgrade to the 3G, the 3GS has really caught my attention and made me think about the upgrade.

Pricing for the iPhone is now $99 for the existing 3G, $199 for the 16GB 3GS, and $299 for the 32GB model. Not too shabby, right? Not at all… unless you’re an existing customer that doesn’t qualify for an upgrade. Check out the fine print from Apple’s page:

Requires new two-year AT&T wireless service contract, sold separately to qualified customers; credit check required; must be 18 or older. For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).

WHOA. Seven hundred dollars for the 32GB if you’re a “non-qualified customer,” which includes existing AT&T customers? What’s up with that?

This is something I don’t understand in the slightest. Just days before this announcement, my wife (an existing non-iPhone AT&T customer) checked into her upgrade options for a 3G. $400/$500 for the upgrade. At that point, it’s pretty much a dealbreaker. I would suspect that to be the case with most existing customers. Who wants to pay $500, or even a ridiculous $700, for a phone? It seems to me that AT&T is punishing their existing customers for having signed contracts with them. What does AT&T stand to lose by selling the phone to existing customers at the same price? They still have to re-up on their contracts for another two years… To me, it seems as if AT&T is telling their existing customers to shove it just because they already signed a contract with the carrier. It makes no sense to me.

If anyone has any insight, please enlighten me.

Top 5: Most Hated Sports Teams

It’s time for another installment of Top 5; it’s been a long time. This time I bring you my Five Most Hated Teams. These are the teams I love to hate. These are the teams that when a favorite player of mine goes to play for them, I have a hard time ever rooting for them ever again (with one notable exception, see below). When these teams lose, I take delight in the losses, regardless of who deals the loss to them. I invite you to peruse my list, formulate your own, and share it!

1. Detroit Red Wings

http://pbpope.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/redwings.jpgThe Red Army. The Dead Things. The Santa Suits. Call them whatever you want. I hate them. Maybe it’s the fact that before the NHL instituted a salary cap, they had virtually unlimited funds with which to sign players. Maybe it’s the fact that they always are in contention to win the Stanley Cup. Whatever the reason, though, they’ve been the team that I’ve hated for the longest and the most. While they might not be my Stars’ arch-nemesis anymore, I still hate them with a fiery, burning passion. For some reason I think they have the most intimidating uniforms in all of sport. The full-red look just unnerves me. Plus, anytime they travel their fans come out of the woodwork in support. They have the largest contingent of away fans of any hockey team, I’d wager. It’s frustrating. Have I mentioned that they ALWAYS win? It’s obnoxious.

2. Manchester United

I hate Man U. Eighteen months ago, this team probably wouldn’t have even cracked my Top 5, though it might have. But, as you know, I’ve gotten into soccer in a big way as a Liverpool supporter, and I’ve quickly become acquainted with the Evil Empire and the evil that they stand for. Up until recently, I had trouble deciding whether they were #2 or #3, but recent developments lead me to conclude that they are indeed #2. If they keep it up, they may just challenge the Wings for the title of Most Hated. Why do I hate them? They are what the Yankees were in the late ’90s. Free spenders who always win. Always. What’s more, they’re pretty-boy prima donnas that will fall to the ground clutching appendages if you breathe on them or look at them the wrong way. Their star, Ronaldo, could miss a wide-open shot on a break, then turn around and blame a teammate for the miss. It’s never his own fault. Their only redeeming quality – their coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, is a snappy dresser. But even he’s impossible to like.

3. New York Yankees

yankees_logoThe “original” evil empire. Vast resources to spend, and spend them they have. They’ve dropped in my rankings due to the fact that they haven’t won it all in awhile, but they remain my most reviled team in baseball. Large amounts of fans at away games. The fact that the Rangers can’t seem to win a series against them. They spend ridiculous amounts of money. Did I mention their fans are annoying? The reasons to hate the Yankees are well-documented and prolific. You all know them.

Those three round out the Axis of Sports Evil. No question. The last two are much harder for me to pin down. Hence the reason there’s a tie for #4.

4. Philadelphia Eagles/Washington Redskins

philadelphia-eagles-logo These two teams seem to function as a combined arch-nemesis of the Dallas Cowboys, who are my team and have been since the womb. Though there was a brief stint in the early/mid ’90s where the 49’ers were the arch nemesis of the Boys in Blue, the long term rivalries of the Redskins and the Eagles outpace the 49’ers. Plus, the Niners have a Baylor grad at the helm now; plus they just can’t seem to win. Rarely are both the Eagles and the Skins a formidable opponent, hence the reason they share the Number Four spot on the list.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers LogoAnd… The Lakers. The hatred of this team really stems mostly from a hatred of Kobe Bryant, but whatever. They’re #5. They’re sort of the Wings/ManU/Yankees of basketball, I guess. Given that I don’t care for NBA basketball all that much, my hatred of this team is tempered to a slow simmer. But it’s there.

So there you have it… My Top Five Most Hated Sports Teams. What’s yours?

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