Saturday, February 24, 2007

Apprentice LA: Assessing the Field

In the newest BlogMogger weekly feature, Mog legends JSugar and DJGel break down the current season of Apprentice: LA. The "interview" process is a few weeks in and The Donald has sent the initial group of stragglers packing and the field is beginning to shape up as the candidates begin to differentiate themselves with each challenge.

Also, if you like what you read, please remember to click on the Google Ads on the right side of the page. It's what keeps this page in business, and some of the things they advertise are actually useful (Vegas hotels, anyone?)

At any rate, we'll usually run these Apprentice recaps every Monday after the show airs, but because there's not a new one this week, and we didn't have our shit together, we're running this one on the weekend. On to the picks...

Team ARROW

This team is filled with outgoing, sales type personalities. After losing the initial challenge, Arrow was forced to live in tents in the backyard of the mansion and subsequently got trashed around a campfire while Kinetic enjoyed the spoils of victory by sitting on the plush couches and holding a strategy session. They are a "Russell Crowe" team - they bring the goods when it's time for a challenge but are loose cannons in their off-time.

Candidates

James (aka the Crazy Asian)

JSugar: this guy has extremely high energy at all times. In the first couple of challenges he looked like he would be the typical "marketing genius" candidate whose antics are labeled as creativity until his team loses and his teammates all throw him under the bus. However, last night he showed remarkable restraint and took a backseat while Surya ran the mall kiosk mission.

DJGel: Uh, yeah Jamie, "high energy" is one way to describe it. "High on cocaine" is another, more direct way of saying it. He's like Lindsay Lohan on a non-stop bender at Pure in Vegas after she hears that "Herbie: Fully Loaded 2" wasn't picked up. He's just way too over-the top to make it to the end. That said, for now, he's actually doing pretty well, and he could go a few more weeks before getting the axe.

- HEAT CHECK: JS: Temperate. James is looking good right now. If he can harness his energy as a positive on the "create a spectacle" challenges and tone it down for the serious business challenges, he should avoid Trump's fire.

DJ: Temperate, but somebody just turned on the burner...

Surya (the Textbook Buzzkill)

JSugar: Surya is clearly a bright guy and a hard worker but he lacks the "it" factor needed to win at this challenge. He over-analyzes and over-structures everything. Tell this guy you have an hour to kill and he will allot 6 ten-minute blocks to try to maximize productive leisure time. While he is a capable player, he's in a tough spot because he's too mechanical and rigid for Arrow, a loose and free-flowing team.

DJGel: Boy, for a nerd, Surya sure does have a temper. He had a huge blow up when former PM "Short Stuff" Todd said that Surya had been in charge of marketing. I thought he was going to let out some bombshell like, "Todd, you're managing style is worse than a Worldcom Executive!" What a tool. He's finished soon.

- HEAT CHECK: JS: Very Warm. He won the last mission as Project Manager but under the new rules he is now obligated to hold that post until Arrow loses. Unless they pull off a couple more Ws to establish Surya as a 3-time winner, the tight-knit fraternity vibe of Arrow will work against him as the kids will team up to get the line monitor fired. Unless someone else clearly causes their next loss, I think Surya is the next to go from Arrow.

DJ: Very Warm-to-Hot. I could see him going head-to-head with one of the powder kegs on this team and them both getting fired next week.

Stefanie (the Librarian)

JSugar: Stefanie is a successful attorney and wears the big red glasses to let everyone know it. She has been very solid in the first few missions, including an MVP performace in the bus tour challenge. However, in the early stages of the Apprentice, being the reason for a loss is a lot more hurtful than being responsible for a win is memorable, so I don't think anyone really has enough in the bank to survive a loss unilaterally being blamed on them.

DJGel: Yeah, I like this chick. She brings a lot of...err...assets to the team. She seems capable enough, too, even helping out gathering honey during the "beekeeping challenge" (I know, I know, what the fuck is this, Fear Factor?). She seems like the number 1 contender for the Final 4 on this team right now.

- HEAT CHECK: JS: Ice. She has proven capable in every mission and seems to be the best mix of an outgoing saleswoman and a traditional businesswoman on this team. She has shown signs of rubbing teammates the wrong way with her assertiveness and "teacher knows best" attitude, but if she reins that in I think she is looking very strong. I have her and Tim as the best so far.

DJ: Dude, she's HOT, bro. Oh, you mean, in terms of getting fired? Yeah, Ice Cold then.

Tim (The Harvard Guy)

JSugar:
He is the standard Harvard guy that Trump likes to have every year. The purpose of this candidate in the past has been to point out that he went to Harvard and is pretty smart when he does well, then ask him how he could be so dumb or how it feels to lose to a high-school dropout when he makes a misstep. Tim has positioned himself very well as he has been a solid contributor but has not set himself up as a fall guy by taking on too much responsibility.

DJGel: Now, I generally find these Harvard dudes fall into one of two categories: "Typical Harvard Dipshit" and "Cool Guy Despite the Fact that he Went to Harvard". Right now, I can't decide where Tim fits, simply because I've seen far too many of the first category and not enough of the second. I think he can go far, but you never know when these guys will become arrogant and bossy. Also, he's banging the less attractive chick on his team, which could handicap him in the long run.

- HEAT CHECK-- JS: Ice. If Tim continues playing the way he has been, he can share in the credit for the Ws and serve up Surya on a platter after the next loss. His biggest possible obstacle will be his flirtatious relationship with teammate Nicole - but as long as he doesn't let that cloud his judgment, he is my clubhouse leader.

DJ: Lukewarm. As I said, the chick is the problem here

Nicole (The Team Slut)

JSugar: Her energetic vibe fits in well with Arrow's rambunctious atmosphere and she seems personable and generally likable in the challenges. She too has been flying under the radar, letting others make the decisions and ultimately risk making costly errors that she can later capitalize on in the boardroom. It may be a wise move for her to step up a little bit soon though because if it comes down to her or Stefanie, she's gone.

DJGel: Yeah, I know why Jamie likes this chick. "Energetic vibe"? "Generally likable"? Sounds like someone's got a girlfriend. I know how you like the...how shall I say...women with loose morals, Jamie. Unfortunately, Tim already beat you to the punch on this one. She's nothing special, she already has a loss as a PM, and she's not cute enough to flirt her way out of the boardroom. NEXT!

- HEAT CHECK--JS: Temperate. She has shown no reason why she will do something stupid and get fired but she also hasn't really shown that she is integral to team success. If she steps up a little and they win, she becomes a contender. If she steps up and they lose, she follows Surya out the door.

DJ: Warm. Though Tim gains points in Trump's book by hooking up with her, to Trump, she just reminds him of his slutty ex-wives. I don't like her "business acumen" as much as Jamie does, either.

Frank (the Bronx guy)

JSugar:
Frank annoys the hell out of you at the beginning but he's getting better. He makes a first impression as the loud, obnoxious guy from the Bronx but the last couple of missions he has shown some corny charm rather than off-putting cockiness. If he can show some strategic ability and leadership skills, he may hang on for awhile.

DJGel: To borrow a phrase from my "Best/Worst Night of the Year" post, this guy is sticking his pecker in the piranha tank too much. Look, I agree that he's a damn good salesman, and he's got some goofy charm. However, he openly mocks people in meetings and is generally obnoxious. He's gonna fuck up one of these tasks bad, and he's gonna pay for it dearly.

- HEAT CHECK--JS: Temperate. He fits in well with the team so he is less likely to be taken into the boardroom. However, you get the feeling that he is kinda the team mascot and that once they milk him for the the attention he draws, the "suits" will turn on him to save their own asses.

DJ: Warm-to-hot. He's a loose cannon, and he's gonna blow any day now.

Arrow Rankings (Best chance to win to Hot Seat)
JSugar:
1> Tim
2> Stefanie
3> James
4> Frank
5> Nicole
6> Surya

DJGel:
1> Stefanie
2> Tim
3> James
4> Surya
5> Frank
6> Nicole

Team KINETIC

This team is the exact opposite of Arrow - they are practically a team of robots. They excel in the preparation stages of the challenge and then fail in the sales aspects because they are up-tight and lifeless. That is not to say that they are necessarily less capable than their opponents, they just have to get missions that rely heavily on preparation and less on salesmanship. Just as the best candidates from Arrow may end up being the most reserved ones, the best from this team will probably be the most outgoing ones who are able to muster up enough flexablity to enact their superior planning.

Candidates

Jenn
(The Last One to be in the Boardroom)

JSugar: She was in the boardroom last time and was probably going to get fired if the Project Manager did not. She hasn't really done anything to differentiate herself in a positive way and I have a feeling she may try to take a leadership role in the next challenge since she was close to the firing range last time.

DJGel: My God it's tough to differentiate between these robots. Except of the tall gay guy, there isn't a different one in the bunch. Uh, yeah, I guess she went into the boardroom last time, but Trump could easily get her confused with one of the other robots. While we have some time here, has anyone else noticed that the promos for the next episode at the end of each episode have been ridiculous so far? It'll be a set up like "Next week...The Donald lowers the boom with the most explosive boardroom yet!" Cut to a shot of a fairly indifferent Trump, "You simply weren't wonderful." Man, they're really trying to sell this show HARD.

- HEAT CHECK: JSugar: Very warm. Like most of this team, she has not set herself apart. If she becomes PM and they lose, she's finished.

DJGel: Uh, warm, I guess. Which one is she again?

Kristine (The Jaw)

JSugar: I read her bio on the NBC site and I still have have no idea who she is or where she has been the past few episodes.

DJGel: Dude, this is the chick that has a jaw that would make Bill Cowher blush. At the right angle, she can be kind of cute. However, the only way to feed her is to give her a bag of in-the-shell walnuts to chomp on--otherwise she might bite her own tongue clean off. Still, sweet girl, seems capable.

- HEAT CHECK: JS: Very warm. If she gives Trump a reason to learn her name it will be immediately followed by "You're fired!"

DJ: Temperate. I think Trump appreciates a strong jaw in a woman. Says it "builds character"

Muna (The Jamaican)

JSugar: She hasn't done anything terrible and she is flying under the radar nicely while not being totally forgotten mostly because of her accent. It was curious however that in the last mission a major issue was that the target customer base was 50% Spanish-speaking and Muna didn't make it immediately known that she spoke Spanish. A good businessperson should realize that in LA, you want to ask every team member if they know any foreign languages.

DJGel: Ya Mon. I rip and I rhyme and I rhyme and I rip! Seriously, though, I see right through that phony baloney accent of hers. She seemed capable at first, but last episode she was clueless. I can see her either fucking up really soon and getting canned or hanging on for just a little while longer. Still, I don't think she wins unless Trump is setting up a fortune telling business or a Cruise Line.

- HEAT CHECK: JS: Temperate. As long as she doesn't make an egregious error it seems that she will avoid the axe. However, she needs to make a meaningful contribution in the next 2-3 challenges or else Trump might question her ability.

DJ: Temperate (for now). Irie, mon! Irie!

Angela (The Olympic Chick)

JSugar: She's been pretty solid and was smart to exploit the fact that she was an Olympic Gold Medalist in a supermarket challenge. She is a bit rough around the edges though and hasn't seemed overly personable but it could just be the uptight atmosphere of the team.

DJGel: I really think that this chick could go far. She hasn't done anything particularly great in the competition, but she's won an Olympic Gold Medal, which I think makes Trump cream his pants every time he hears it. I mean, she seems nice enough, but if it weren't for the gold medal, nothing would distinguish her from the other robots.

-HEAT CHECK- JS: Chily. There are others that are beggin to canned from this group so she's got some room to work and find a challenge where she can come up big.
DJ: Cold. She will go far barring a catastrophic fuck-up.

Heidi (The Head Robot)
JSugar: She is by far the best woman on this team. She has been a valuable contributor and solid leader on every task and hasn't gotten into any arguments with teammates. She is professional and clearly capable. Oh yea, she's smokin hot too. She's the prize of this bunch and be surprised to see her cut anytime before the Final 4.

DJGel: OK, she's still a robot, but she's done some things to set herself apart. 1) She's won twice as PM in the past. 2)She seems slightly more capable than the other robots. 3) She's pret-ty, pret-ty hot. There, I said it, OK? I'M IN LOVE WITH HEIDI! WHY DON'T YOU RETURN MY E-MAILS, GODDAMNIT!?! WE COULD HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE TOGETHER IF YOU'D JUST LET ME IN !!! Whoa...sorry there, folks. Yeah, I mean, she's ok, I guess. A big contender to win.

HEAT CHECK- JS: Cold. She is a proven leader and hasn't made any enemies. She is extremely well-positioned to maek a deep run.

DJ: Ice Cold. probably my overall favorite right now...and my pick to win the competition.

Derek (The Big Gay Guy)
JSugar: He has been solid throughout and has meshed well with the most important member of his team, Heidi. He has done everything asked of him and has not been the reason for any of the team's shortfalls. Oddly though his best and worst moment yet occurred simultaneously during the mall kiosk challenge when he smartly asked the mall personnel about the demographic makeup of the target customers yet somehow failed to communicate that information to his PM. He is my defacto #2 based mostly on the how unimpressed I am by the rest of the team but to leapfrog Heidi he is going to have to show some leadership ability and improve his communication skills.

DJGel: I mean, he seems capable. He is the gooniest-looking gay guy that I've ever seen in my life. And how fair is it that the team with him, a bunch of girls, and Surya (at the time) got to go to the Playboy Mansion as a reward? I mean, that's like giving Nicole Ritchie and the Olsen Twins an all-you-can-eat gift certificate to Morton's. Ridiculous.

HEAT CHECK-
JS: Cold. I think Derek is safe for now because there are so many vanilla candidates on this team and he at least has some potential. Overall, I think he's the only Kinetic member who has even shown the potential to be able to compete with Heidi.

DJGel: Temperate. He's been in the boardroom a couple of times, and I think he could be the casualty of "Well we have to fire someone here" syndrome.

"Stick a Fork in 'em" Award (SAF) (most likely to get fired this week)
JS: Arrow --> Surya Kinetic --> Kristine
DJ: Arrow --> Frank Kinetic--> Jenn

"Stone-Cold Lock of the Week" (SCL) (least likely to get fired this week)
JS: Arrow --> Stefanie Kinetic --> Heidi
DJ: Arrow --> Stefanie Kinetic--> Heidi

Kinetic Rankings (Best chance to win (1) to Hot Seat(6) )

JSugar:

1> Heidi
2> Derek
3> Angela
4> Muna
5> Jenn
6> Kristine

DJGel:
1> Heidi
2> Angela
3> Derek
4> Kristine
5> Muna
6> Jenn


Friday, February 23, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, February 23, 2007

HEADLINES

Mel Kiper Buys Gym Membership, Sneaks Self into 2007 NFL Draft Guide

Rodriguez-Jeter Joke Way Too Easy

Greg Oden to Pitch in Little League Series

Tim Hardaway Throwback Jersey Sales Surge in Bible Belt

NFL DRAFT PREVIEW
Keyshawn Johnson Rips Dwayne Jarrett: “He’s the Next Keyshawn Johnson”

CHARLOTTE, NC – In ongoing criticism leading up to this year’s NFL draft, Carolina Panther’s wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson unleashed another barb directed at highly-touted prospect Dwayne Jarrett when he said earlier this week, “[Jarrett] will be the next Keyshawn Johnson.”

“His hands are good and he’s physical, no doubt,” Johnson said. “But he ain’t fast enough for the pro game. He’s basically just benefited from playing against slower college cornerbacks.”

The two Southern Cal alums have been at odds since Jarrett, a junior at the time, declared for this year’s upcoming draft. Johnson has been critical of Jarrett’s lack of speed, lackadaisical work-ethic, and over-confidence which Johnson claims is “arrogant for someone who’s never really done anything except be over-hyped.”

Johnson predicts that “[Jarrett] probably go way too high [in the draft] and be a glorified possession receiver.”

AUTO RACING
Apparently Something Really Exciting Just Happened in NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – On an action-packed weekend that saw a high-scoring NBA All-Star game and MLB spring-training kick into full-swing, apparently the Daytona 500 was the most exciting event of them all.

The Weekly Mog senior NASCAR correspondent Ron Bayer provided updates from all the racing festivities that surrounded one of the circuit’s premier events.

“There’s certainly been no shortage of revelry for the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of NASCAR. Or is it more like a game of the World Series? I think it might be like a leg of the Triple Crown. Which is also a racing sport. I don’t think the season’s over or anything so I guess that makes sense.”

“There were, uh, a lot of white guys in the stands and the excitement was palpable,” reported Bayer. “The track was, y’know, pretty big and is apparently an oval. I guess I only mention that because I thought it was a circle. And, don’t get me wrong, the cars were going pretty damn fast! I won’t deny that!”

Suspected of being an important event for NASCAR, the race at Daytona showcased what appeared to be technical savvy.

“They had to get more gas and change their tires during the race which I suppose they did pretty quickly. Which makes sense since they’re racing,” said Bayer. “Do they use gas? The cars were going pretty fast so I guess it’s possible they use, like, liquid hydrogen or something.”

It appears that Daytona’s finish did not disappoint. Going into the final lap it was neck-and-neck between a yellow-and-red car and a black car. Both drivers avoided a massive wreck that was described as "totally awesome” by Bayer.

“I didn’t really see who won although [fellow correspondent] Jeff [Stiles] told me it was super close. I was pretty much watching the wreck which basically the only part of the race that I really understood. Yeah, NASCAR’s kind of decent I guess.”

MLB PREVIEW
Barry Bonds 22 Home Runs Shy of Being Culturally Irrelevant

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – You’ve heard of Barry Bonds. You know the accolades. You know the physique. You know the attitude. Finally heading into spring training this week, he’s only 22 home runs shy of becoming immaterial to national consciousness.

The San Francisco Giant’s first workout of spring training was devoted to working out the kinks and meeting new players to the squad.

Barry Zito, perhaps the biggest free-agent signing of the off-season for all of Major League Baseball, was among the new faces seen joking with his new teammates.

“It was cool to meet the new guys and I guess I’m just excited to be playing again after all the hassle of the off-season,” Zito told reporters before the day’s first practice. “And, of course, I met Barry. Well, actually, we kind of just nodded to each other. Come to think of it, though, he had his iPod headphones and sunglasses on so I guess maybe he was just bobbing his head to the music.”

At the start of batting practice, Bonds looked a bit rusty swinging the bat. Suddenly, though, he turned on a Zito breaking ball and sent a towering shot over the right-field fence.

In jest, Bonds raised his arms in a triumphant pose.

“I’m ready,” he said.

“That’s typical Barry,” grimaced Giants pitcher Noah Lowry.

Added Lowry: “I, uh, still think we’re a year away. Just got to make it to next season.”

New York Times sports columnist Nick Harbaugh has been particularly outspoken about Bonds’ march on history.

“Ten, twenty years from now, we’ll all remember where we were when we no longer had to talk about Barry Bonds,” Harbaugh said. “Just thinking we’re only 22 away from that, it kind of makes your skin tingle. It’s a true milestone.”

As practice wrapped for the day, several players lingered to talk with the press about Bonds and what he means to the Giants franchise.

“What’s there left to say about Barry? I guess the stats speak for themselves. And he’s certainly used some, uh, unorthodox “methods” to get where he is,” said teammate Mark Sweeney, raising index and middle fingers on both hands to imply quotation marks. “And when he finally decides to retire, we’ll know the difference in the clubhouse. For instance, we won’t all have to wear swimsuits in the showers because, y’know, someone else insists.”

Think BlogMogger sucks? Email the team at blogmogger@yahoo.com. Be sure to check out the links to the side as well.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost Bloggin' 2-21-07

It has been a couple of tense, exciting, dare I say "spicy" weeks for our favorite band of castaways on the mysterious island. Both resident hip hop columnist, author of the Weekly Mog and resident Lost guru Half-Man Half-Am-Asian and I have been watching intently, and we recently had a conversation about the daring escape, Desmond's freakish new abilities, and intriguing new possibilities for the future.

DJGel: Alright, Dave, here we go. We have a lot to cover here, including my new grand theory of Lost. Basically, for those who didn't see the show, Sawyer and Kate were able to escape with the help of Alex – Rousseau's long-lost daughter. Juliet is a fertility doctor who is basically being held hostage by the Others, same as Jack. Also, we learned that the Others haven't been able to communicate with the outside world since Desmond turned the failsafe key – more on that later.

Also, we found out that after Desmond turned the key, he went back in time to jolly old England, where he was reunited with his incredibly hot, rich girlfriend, Penny Widmore. He then realized that he could tell the future because he had already lived it once – perhaps a telling clue. Penny's dad told Desmond that his bottle of whiskey was worth more than Desmond, and told him to fuck off. Also, a creepy old lady told him that he couldn't avoid ending up on the island – it was his fate, and he can't cheat fate, no matter how hard he tries. Apparently no one can. Desmond saved Claire from drowning earlier in the episode, and then got tanked with Charlie and Hurley with a bottle of Sawyer's expensive whiskey. We ended the episode with Desmond telling Charlie that he's going to die – at which point I literally stood up and applauded.

Wow, that's a lot. Did I miss anything? Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

1/2 Man, ½ Am-Asian: Good synopsis. Not that I ever had any serious doubts, but these last two episodes (especially the most recent) can only be summed up with Harry Dunn's immortal words, "Just when I think you can't get any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!" I mean, in fairness, by the end of the first half of this season I was beginning to suspect that the writers were going the one-step-forward-two-steps-back route by unveiling several new mysteries for every explanation. But now? I can't wait for next week's episode. What are the odds that I'd be saying that about an episode that only features Desmond, Charlie, and Hurley? This is basically the television equivalent of the 2006 Cardinals winning the World Series.

For the first time in a long while I'm happy to sit back and see what unfolds with Desmond, the "flashes", and Charlie dying. Especially that last one. I'm really going to savor this. The only question I would like some feedback on is whether Juliet somehow can will people to die. Clearly her ex-husband could have been killed by the Others considering how nonchalantly they approached her after he got hit by the bus (which was really cool, by the way), but I'm thinking maybe she has some be-careful-what-you-wish-for power mixed with bad luck, sort of like what Walt might have had. It seemed like she realized at the end of her episode that if she didn't do something, Ben, Kate, and Sawyer would all die because she had said they would/should at some point. Thus she shot Pickett and saved Ben as well. Any thoughts or did I miss something really obvious that just made me look stupid?

DJGel: Not at all. Good stuff, Dave – I like the theory. Juliet does have something about her that seems..."abnormal"...somehow. Also, remember how Sawyer makes that comment that Juliet would have shot Kate in cold blood back in the first set of episodes. Granted, this could be because her sister died, or she's sick and tired of being on the island, or she's sick of Ben's pathetic attempts at sexual harassment. But it would be quite the coup for the Others to get a fertility doctor with Walt's powers.

I do have a new favorite theory that was only strengthened by the last episode. Recall that Tom told Jack that they haven't been able to contact the outside world since Desmond turned the key. Well, my theory is that they somehow have been transported back in time – the island, the people, everything. They're back in like 1960 before the internet and all that good stuff. Ben could possibly be Claire's kid – just grown up all the way. And they could be in some kind of a "time loop" – where the result is always that Desmond turns the key, and sends them back again. That's why Desmond can see the future – he's already lived it. And some force on the island wants it to keep going – hence that creepy old lady in the flashback who was desperately trying to play a Judy Dench character. However, at the end, Desmond has to realize that he CAN change things if he wants, and does something to break the cycle. This allows for my other crackpot theories – namely the "Jack becoming the leader of the Others" – to continue – it's more of an overarching framework for the show.

If you like that one, I've got a whopper involving the Kennedy Assassination and aliens that's a doozy. Seriously, though, thoughts?

1/2 Man, ½ Am-Asian: For once I can actually say that we may unearthing some stuff that may actually be happening in the show. I think there are clearly some overbearing themes of loops – remember that Desmond tried to sail off the island but only ended up coming back – and prolonging the inevitable like the button in the first hatch. So, DJ, I think you may be on to something here. If you'll allow me to ride your coattails, I'll suggest that they are in some type of time loop; I'm not sure if I think they're actually back in time but I like where you're going with that one. Additionally I think that there will eventually be another key-turning incident or some equivalent but Desmond realizes that they need to break the cycle. Off the top of my head, I think the Others are messing around with fertility and children because they need a new type of person who isn't bound by the universe's "course correction." Thus they wanted someone like Walt and possibly Juliet because they could will their own futures; however, in the case of Walt, the results were bad and often led to worse consequences (i.e. the Others saying they "got more than they bargained for" or whatever they said). Why does a Matt Millen draft come to mind when I think about this?

Anyway, any other theories?

DJGel: I do like your Walt theory. I think there's some merit to it – kids are more like "blank slates" than their older counterparts. It would also explain why Ben kind of lets Alex run around doing her own thing, fucking "Carl" or whoever the lucky guy of the week is – basically trying to break free of the "course correction" you mentioned. Either that or he's the shittiest father who ever lived.

On another note, did I mention how hot Desmond's girlfriend looked in that flashback? I mean, Jesus, talk about tearing up a winning lottery ticket. Although I'm beginning to think that the first time he left her, it was because he somehow already subconsciously knew that he would make it to the island – he's a weird dude. Still, you're telling me that this dirt poor guy actually gets sick of this chick paying for everything? I mean, granted, her dad did tell Desmond that his whiskey was more valuable than Desmond was, but he probably thinks that about most job applicants. Wouldn't you rather have a taste of Jim Beam Black than listen to some pimply-faced young weasel explain why he's “the perfect fit” for your company? I just think that somehow, the island's pull on him started way back in the day, to the point where he met Jack ahead of time so that he wouldn't kill him when he first met him.

And, yes, I am still sticking to my "Jack leads the Others" theory, as it looks like he finds out a bit about them in next week's episode.

Now that I've proven that I'm crazier than Hurley, do you have any thoughts?

1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian: Of course you've already got the ball rolling, but I think we should focus on our woefully inaccurate predictions for the rest of the season. So what have we got so far? From two weeks ago we learned that Juliet will supposedly be let off the island, Ben should recover from surgery, and Jack's still being held hostage. Kate and Sawyer presumably will make it back to the original island (if they haven't already). From last week I hope we can safely assume that Charlie will die or come close to dying (don't underestimate the writers' ability for a cop-out on this one, but a man can dream...) and Desmond will continue to have some "flashes" that hopefully we'll be privy to as viewers.

Obviously a lot of stuff can happen; we're only a bit past the halfway point and just about any episode's cliff-hanger ending could probably serve as an ending for the season. However, things tend to come to a head at the end of the season as history shows us. So is Charlie's potential death and Juliet's exodus a big enough finale for Lost? I doubt it. I still like where you're going with Jack: I anticipate next week Jack will start being assimilated by the Others. After last week's episode, the teaser said next week will provide a lot of answers and therefore I think a lot will revealed to Jack. What will that be? As usual, hard to say. I'm sticking to my theory of creating a new generation that aren't bound by "course correction" who can survive whatever catastrophe all other people seem to be destined to face (i.e. whatever the first hatch was "saving the world" from). I just hope it doesn't involve Hurley procreating on any level. Hmmm, on second though, maybe that's the disaster: a fat, naked Hurley banging some poor chick. I also think Juliet won't leave – we're losing too many important characters too fast – so I'll guess that she'll stay for Jack since he clearly needs a love interest now that Kate and Sawyer are knockin' boots. Lastly, I think Charlie will seek the help of the Others (plus or minus Jack, depending on if he turns) since they should be the only ones with any chance of preventing him from getting course-corrected into a coffin.

So, to do something completely unnecessary which will likely be proven false as early as next week, what do you think we're building to for the finale and what will be the cliff-hanger at season's end?

Desmond's girl is pretty damn hot, by the way. I feel like that deserves another mention.

DJGel: Jeez, looks pretty good, Dave. You paying attention, abc? I like all of those theories; I just want to expand on them a bit.

-Juliet leaving – I don't think that there's any way she leaves the island till the end of the season, at the earliest. I think Jack will end up revenge/hate fucking her to get back at Kate. I also think she's not done putting bullets in people yet.

-Charlie's death – My God, this can't come soon enough. I think you might be on to something with the whole "he goes to the Others to try to get out of this" scenario. I think that they might force him to do a little "dirty work" for them, since he's proven to be an able mercenary before when he kidnapped Sun for heroin. Still, I think the writers might try to pull off the whole "Star Wars" thing – make Charlie into kind of a bad guy and then kill him off after he does something terrible.

-Hurley fucking – this could be a great one. I don't know which would be funnier – Hurley getting with another hot chick and sealing the deal this time, even though it's abundantly clear that the actress is uncomfortable the entire time, or him somehow "seducing" Rose, incurring the wrath of Bernard and leading to one of the funniest/most awkward fights in television history.

-The Cliffhanger – it has to be something BIG. I remember watching last year's finale and being totally blown away. They have to give us a big piece of the puzzle – either they've gone back in time, or something happens to prove that they're in a loop – they all die, and then the crash happens again, or something to that effect. Maybe the tsunami is involved – remember, they're getting to December of 2004 in real time in the show right now. Or, maybe the afore-mentioned fight between Bernard and Hurley has some dire seismic consequences of its own. Who knows?

Any final thoughts before this week's episode?

1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian: I think we've beaten this horse pretty good. Here's my last question/answer: Who will next episode focus on and what can we expect? I propose that, if we can trust the teaser (which we can't), the episode will probably have to spotlight someone/something important to a lot of story-lines. Charlie might be good since he's the obvious choice following last week's ending but I think that's too easy or obvious. Clearly we've been getting much more background on more mysterious characters so I'll offer up Ben as our next man of the hour. I have no idea what to expect other than a flagrant debunking of all my aforementioned theories.

DJGel: I've actually heard that this next one is going to be how Jack got his tattoos – and it involves sultry seductress/barely-able-to-speak-English Bai Ling, so that should be interesting. I don't think that I can take another Charlie episode – yeah, he was in a band, he did heroin, we get it. I would, however, gladly take a Charlie ep if it would be like Eko's last ep – the last one before he dies.

Don’t discount the possibility of a John Locke episode, either. If it is a John Locke ep, I imagine it will be about him doing something incredibly gullible or stupid – maybe Sawyer's lady friend from his flashbacks tells him "you know, if your hand is smaller than your face, it means you have cancer..." Locke responds "Really?!?" puts his hand up to his face, and Sawyer's girl punches him right in the face, leaving Locke bloody and crying. Or whatever, fuck it.

Allrighty, I think that's it. Thanks again Dave.

1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian: Good stuff. I think it's 'bout time we hit the ol' dusty trail. Later.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, February 16, 2007

HEADLINES

Father Andy Reid Vows to Crack Down On Drug-Related Incidents

Stephen Jackson on Why He Fired the Gun: “Didn’t You See the Brawl?”

Duke Basketball the New Duke Lacrosse?

Orioles Lose Anna Benson for the Year
BALTIMORE, MD – In what has already been a lackluster off-season for the struggling Baltimore Orioles organization, another blow was dealt this week when it was reported that Anna Benson will be lost for the season. Benson will undergo season-ending removal from Baltimore gossip after having husband-related complications in January. The former Penthouse and Maxim centerfold had been a lone bright spot for the perennial AL East bottom-dweller thanks to her consistent sex appeal. Her CRA (covers run average, or the number of magazine covers run per nine months) of 1.76 ranked first among AL East wives and will be sorely missed. The clubhouse also benefited from her presence because of her upbeat, salacious antics. As of press time there were rumors of the Orioles considering acquiring Jillian Barberie to fill the void left by Benson.

Mike Piazza to Reveal He is Straight in Forthcoming Tell-All Book
OAKLAND, CA – In a groundbreaking revelation that began to reverberate around Major League Baseball on Wednesday, Oakland Athletics designated hitter Mike Piazza has identified himself as heterosexual.

Piazza, who has also played for the Dodgers, Mets, and Padres, comes out in an upcoming book entitled "Fielder’s Choice" to be released later this month.

Derek Jeter, perhaps the most famous openly heterosexual athlete in the world, praised Piazza’s decision to finally dispel rumors about his sexuality and said it's imperative for straight athletes to come out.

"It's hugely important for the kids so they don't feel alone in the world. We're role models. We're adults, and we know we're not alone but kids don't know that," he said. "He will definitely help a lot of kids growing up to feel better about themselves. Kids need to know a tightly manicured goatee is not just for homosexuals."

Some athletes have come out as heterosexual in the past. Former NFL running back Eddie Brown came out in 1992; offensive lineman Jeff Johnson and defensive lineman Daryl Shields came out more recently. Louis Braford, an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants and the Seattle Mariners in the 1970s, and Matt Kraner, a utility player in the 1980s and 1990s, have also come out. Former NBA referee Dave Warren has also said he is heterosexual.

"What Mike did is amazing," said Braford, who came out in 2000. "He does not know how many lives he's saved by speaking the truth."

Splitsville!
Chargers to Schottenheimer: It’s Over!
SAN DIEGO, CA – As far as relationships go, the San Diego and Marty Schottenheimer were one of the best. Both the Chargers and Schottenheimer have had professional success and also enjoyed tremendous popularity in the world of professional football. Their relationship had been going strong since January 2002 despite rumors to the contrary. Just weeks into 2007, though, another rumor surfaced about the relationship, claiming that the bond between the two parties had soured.

After the Chargers’ disappointing playoff loss to the New England Patriots on January 14, Schottenheimer chose to spend the ensuing weeks in posh St. Tropez, France while the Chargers returned to San Diego.

While spending the off-season apart did not mean they had broken up. A source close to the Chargers claimed, “They had been planning to be together in San Diego with those close to the organization, but [the Chargers] came back alone and [Schottenheimer] jetted to St. Tropez." The source goes on to reveal that on January 23, Schottenheimer headed off to the Le Beauvallon nightclub in St. Tropez where he told vacationing patrons that "Me and the Chargers? We're done." Schottenheimer went on to say that "the breakup is for keeps!"

Another source had a detailed account of the break-up announcement at the San Diego nightclub Insomnia where [San Diego general manager A.J. Smith]was partying with offensive line coach Jack Henry and team president Dean Spanos. "Around 2 a.m. he was with a dozen friends in the VIP room when he was asked where the Marty was. A.J. said, ‘It's over!' He didn't seem at all unhappy."

The Chargers and Schottenheimer were first known to be an item back in January 2002. Throughout their relationship, rumors had surfaced that perhaps the lack of playoff success of Schottenheimer was too much, but they had overcome such problems. San Diego on the other hand, has never won a Super Bowl. The two, however, never seemed to let the lingering rumors get to them.

In what has been a whirlwind of speculation for the last week, another rumor has surfaced that the Chargers have been keeping company with ex-offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Sports Illustrated quoted an eyewitness as saying, "I saw Smith give him a warm kiss on the cheek and squeeze his hand repeatedly." Although Cameron recently accepted the head coaching vacancy with the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers position has long rumored to be his “first love.” The witness goes on to claim that, "[Smith] left with his arm around his shoulders."

“Marty couldn’t believe [the Chargers] went behind his back to court a possible replacement," says a Schottenheimer pal. "Marty was very jealous of Cam.”

A former scout for San Diego says, “[Cameron] has always liked the Chargers. They’ve always had a flirtation – that’s why Marty was threatened by him.”

Adds the source: “they definitely got together after the playoffs.”

Indeed, sources in both parties’ inner circles tell The Weekly Mog the two are in the beginning stages of a relationship they hope to pursue in the near future. Stoking the fires of an early exit from Miami have been Cameron’s recent admission that he “really [respects] what Nick Saban has done with his career.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blogmogger Translator for Women

It's been awhile since my last post (NBA ME-ter) and since then BlogMogger has generated so much buzz I thought I had tinitis (ringing in the ears - who said my college "Listening" course was a waste of time?). However, a common complaint of the female fans of the site is that Mogger "skews" male, so to help remedy this I thought I'd share a quick checklist of phrases and references common to the 18-34 year old male's vocabulary to help our female base fully enjoy the Mogger and better understand their male counterparts.

" Got a big day planned. Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, don't know if we'll have enough time..." (Old School)
While you may recognzie this as one of Will Ferrell's more famous lines from Old School, it is also a versatile adage for young males. It is the rare reference that can be utilized both to insult your friend and for self-deprecation, the two mainstays of movie line quoting.
- example of insult : A buddy with a girlfriend is talking about leaving the bar early
- In use: "What, you have a big day planned tomorrow? Gonna hit Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens and Things? Not sure if you'll have enough time?
- Self-deprecation in use: "Guys, I gotta head out early. Big day with the wife tomorrow, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot..."

"Who's the big winner? (Insert Friend's name) is the big winner!" (Swingers)
Purpose: to attempt to lift the spirits of a friend who is down or dragging during the night.
- Ex) Bummed Friend: "I'm kinda tired, this party is lame, I think I'm getting sick"
You: "Aw, Who's the big winner? (___) is, that's who! Say it with me, "____ is the big winner"
- Note: this is definetely obnoxious and should not be used in the case of actual sickness or depression from a breakup. Fully expect a "Fuck You" in response.

Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez (Sandlot)
Sandlot is the story of kids growing up together and playing baseball on the local Sandlot that evrey guy you know has seen and loved. Benny is the leader and star player of the team and also can grow a full mustache at the age of 12.
Purpose: to convey the relative greatness of a athletic performance by a friend
- ex) "You should have seen ____ in our softball game today. He's no Benny the Jet, but he's pretty good."

"Code Red" (A Few Good Men)
In the movie, two marines accidentally kill a Private while administering a hazing ritual ordered by their commanding officer (Jack Nocholson).
Purpose: imply that someone is slacking
ex) "___ hasn't hung out with us in weeks. He says he has too much reading to do. We need to give him a Code Red" or "_____ keeps asking questions at the end of class, someone should give him a Code Red"

"threw him under the bus"
To put all of the blame for a group failure on one person.

"pulled a _____"
This can be a complicated one to execute properly. The idea is to identify an embarassing behavior of a friend and then label that activity as "pullin a (insert name)"
ex) You have a friend who has a tendency to fight (guy) or cry (girl) when they get drunk. When another friend gets combative or emotional when he/she drinks, you say "whoa, don't pull a ____"
- Note: this is best used when someone has messed up in a clutch situation such as striking out, missing a key shot, forgetting a deadline

"Thanks, Johnny Drama" (Entourage)
Vinnie Chase's older brother who hangs out with Vince's friends. Drama has been around the block a few times before and as such has nuggets of wisdom to pass on about a wide variety of subjects. This is used to sarcastically ackowledge the advice of an older friend.
ex) Older: "You gotta put ketchup on your eggs, bro"
you: "Thanks, Drama"

Assorted "You're a woman" jokes
Used when a friend is acting less than "manly"
ex) your buddy orders an iced tea from a cocktail waitress in Vegas
You: "Hey, did you ask her if she has any extra tampons?"
"What's the matter, does your vagina hurt?"
"Did you remember to pack earrings to go with your skirt?"
"What's the matter, your bra too tight?"
- Note: use by a female scores major points

If you haven't already, see Dumb and Dumber at least 8 times
This movie is a gold mine of guy quotes for almost any situation. A quick sampling:
- "So you 're tellin me there's a chance?" - used when you have just been told that something is a long shot, as in response to "Your chances are one in a million"
- "Samsonite, I was way off" - used to recover after a clear error in memory
- "Kick his ass, Seabass"
- "You are one pathetic loser" - don't be fooled, this should only be used if you also have failed at the level of the person youa re mocking - otherwise it's hurtful
- "that John Denver is full of shit" - used to deride a culturally respected but lame figure
- "Just go man" - used whenever someone complains that they really need a bathroom

There's a lot more but I don't want to overload you, this should be enough to get you started. If you have any questions or need a translation of any other phrases you have heard guys you know use, feel free to post a comment or email blogmogger@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Best Off-Season Signings 2007

This was a tough list to make--this off-season, everyone was overpaid. I know that Major League Baseball is apparently flooded with cash from all of these new-fangled "internet deals", but this off-season struck me as especially ridiculous. In a year like this, the best strategy a team could adopt is to keep the contracts short. The last thing you want to do is panic, get caught up in a bidding war, and end up giving Barry Zito a seven year contract. This best signing list should probably be called the "Which teams managed to address a need and not kill themselves with a devastating long term contract" list. Notice I also call it the Off-Season signing list so extensions come into play.

5. Kerry Wood, Cubs, 1 year $1,750,000

If you are anything like me you probably thought that you would never see Kerry Wood on a best signing list, but here he is. I realize that he has no chance to become the elite starter everyone thought he could be. I realize that his body is as fragile as A-rod's ego. I realize that he is the biggest franchise saboteur in recent memory. I realize I might be slightly influenced by the fact that I had K-Wood on my fantasy team for his 266K year in 2003. I also realize, however, that K-Wood knows how to get Ks. Even in his injury-plagued 2005 season he struck out 77 batters in 66 innings. He could become a solid reliever (possibly a closer) that you can call on in tough situations because he always has the chance to come up with the big strike out that your team desperately needs. Even if he gets injured again, this is a modest, one-year deal that won't fuck the Cubs for the next 8 years , unlike their other signings. Perfect time for the "one-year take a risk on K-Wood's upside" before deciding to ink him to a long term deal (or not). So congratulations to Jim Hendry for making one decent signing on his way to destroying the Cubs' franchise this off-season, well done sir.

4. Aaron Harang, Reds, Contract Extension 4-year $36.5 million

Now I know this isn't a "sexy" signing for the Reds. It is actually quite the opposite since Harang has a mug that could haunt a house, but he is a solid pitcher. He also pitches in a hitter's park, has gone for over 200 innings with an ERA under 4.00 the last two years, has low walk numbers, and could be entering his prime at 28 years old. Also if you take into account the fact that Zito got a 7 year/$128mil deal and Gil Meche inked a 5 year/$55 mil deal, this deal looks fucking fantastic. Harang is a lock to pitch better than Meche during his contract, and he could pitch at a close to Zito level for a lot less money.

3. Jason Schmidt, Dodgers, 3-year $47 million

This is the definition of a "good for this crazy year" signing. Schmidt is 34 years old, but this is only a three-year deal. And I'm not afraid to say that I THINK SCHMIDT STILL HAS SOME FUCKING GAS LEFT IN THE TANK!!!!!!!!! There, I said it. The amount of gas you think he has left in his tank is ultimately how you will evaluate this deal. Also, by going to Dodger Stadium, he might start getting better gas mileage than a Prius. Keep in mind he had a 3.59 ERA last year and he threw a shutout.

2. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays, Extension 7-year $126 million

Extending a middle of the order, 28 year old, All-Star center fielder for the same contract that Barry Zito signed is good business. V-Wells had a little bit of a drop off during the 2004-2005 years, but it looks like he has recommitted himself to the game and staying in shape, and will be a franchise cornerstone type player for many years to come. Go ahead and write him down for .300-30-100 with an OPS around .900 for the next 5 years. The only person this might have been a terrible signing for is V-Wells himself, because he could have gotten a ton more money next year when he was a free agent. He could have even signed with a team that has a chance to win their division within the next 100 years. Just a no-brainer good signing.

1. Jeff Weaver, Mariners, 1-year $8,325,000

I told myself I wasn't going to use bold type and all caps to express my anger over this signing, BUT I CAN'T FUCKING HELP IT!!!!!! IT HURTS!!!!!!! IT HURTS ME DEEP IN MY SOUL!!!!!!!!! STOP CRYING YOU PUSSY AND TYPE THE REST OF THIS ENTRY!!!!! STOP LOOKING LIKE A FUCKING AMATEUR!!!!!! YOU DON'T WANT THE FIVE PEOPLE WHO READ THIS BLOG TO SEE YOU THIS WAY!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS LIKE YOUR THIRD GRADE BIRTHDAY PARTY ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!................deep breath............ What a great signing by the Mariners! They get a pitcher who had a great run in the post season for the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. A top-notch competitor--just ask Tony LaRussa or Dave Duncan. The great part of this signing is that it is only a one-year deal, which comforts all the people who are worried about the fact that Weaver struggled early last year before putting on the best September-October performance the World has ever seen. Wow, what a great low risk, high reward deal for the Mariners! Pretty strange how the Cardinals, who are rolling in cash after the Weave carried them to a World Series title, were only willing to offer a one-year, five million dollar deal. It's even weirder considering the Cardinals let most of their starting staff walk and the biggest new addition to the club was the 3 year/$10 million signing of Adam Kennedy. With that thriftiness and the fact that they are swimming in money after the World Series victory, it's very confusing that they couldn't offer more than $5 mil to someone who would have filled a huge need. You would have to think the extra $3 mil would be worth it simply for the innings the Weave provides. THAT OFFER WAS A SLAP IN THE FACE AND YOU KNOW IT JOCKETTY!!!!!!!........deep breath......... Anyways, congrats to the Mariners on a great signing. Even though Weaver struggled in the AL West last year, but would be a Cy Young contender in the NL Central. Well done, Mariners.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lost Season 3 Second Half Preview

It's finally here, boys and girls. Tonight is the premiere of the second half of Lost's Third Season. To commemorate the occasion, I recently had a conversation with resident hip hop guru/author of "The Weekly Mog" Half-Man-Half-Am-Asian. Here's what we came up with:

DJGel: All right, obviously Lost is one of the greatest shows on TV, if not THE greatest, so let's give the readers some of our thoughts going into the second part of Season 3 here. Where did we leave off back in November?

1/2 Man ½ Am-Asian: Well, basically Jack's holding it down for Island 1 and trying to spring post-coital Kate and Sawyer.

DJGel: Exactly. Ben may or may not die on the operating table. Locke's leading an expedition to get the prisoners back. And Charlie and Claire are annoying the shit out of everyone.

1/2M 1/2A: True. And what's our Iraqi friend doing again?

DJGel: I believe he's going north with Locke to regulate on some Others. Needless to say, if Sayid has a gun and sees any Others, they're fucked.

1/2M 1/2A: I think that it warrants mentioning that some new hot chicks may be in the mix now.

DJGel: This is true. Obviously the Brazilian dude's girlfriend is amazing. And call me crazy, but I kind of have a thing for that Juliet, too.

1/2M 1/2A: Crazy like a fox. Let's "keep it real" for a moment, what about the other major characters like Hurley?

DJGel: What about him? Will he continue to actually get fatter on a desert island? Will he ever get another chick as hot as Cynthia Watros all up on him? I think they have to kill him of sooner rather than later, though I've made no secret of my dislike for Hurley.

1/2M 1/2A: You may be right. That brings me to a good question: do you think the writers are getting lazy?

DJGel: I do insomuch as I think they just look for theories on the internet and then make them part of the show. I mean, the writing was so tight in season 1, and season 2 was just incredible that they have some pretty lofty standards to live up to—much like Seinfeld in its later days. I just hope that we don’t see Matthew Fox throwing around racial slurs in a comedy club ten years from now.

1/2M 1/2A: Do you see a turnaround in the next half?

DJGel: I sure hope so. I mean, they have to have some kind of plan, right? I do think that when you go back and re-watch season 2, the fist 5 or 6 episodes were pretty slow, but they set up a huge finish, which I hope is the same case here. Let’s keep going with this – Do you have any personal favorite/likely theories as to what's going on here?

1/2M 1/2A: To be honest, there are so many components of the story line that are unresolved and don't seem to be getting any closer to being resolved that most theories I've thought just don't seem comprehensive enough. For instance, what sinister force brought the lesbian from The Fast and the Furious to the island? Clearly, though, we're getting close to an answer about the smoke-monster. Thoughts?

DJGel: Well, my theory is that it can just assume the form of whatever dead bodies he takes in. Notice Jack's father, Eko's brother, maybe even Vincent the dog – they’re all dead, and, at least in the case of Jack and Eko's brother, they're now gone.

1/2M 1/2A: I like where this going because it may mean we might see more of Eko (a personal favorite of mine).

DJGel: True, I mean, every day he was hustlin'. He didn’t take shit from anyone, and he even scared off the smoke monster once before. He cut up those two rival drug dealers like Patrick Bateman after he realizes that he doesn’t have the best business card. Though this raises the possibility that it might also lead to some…how shall I say…”shittier” characters coming back as well.

1/2M 1/2A: Wait a minute, that may mean more Michelle Rodriguez. Scratch that, she and Tank Johnson probably have some rigorous tryouts for the Bengals coming up.

DJGel: Or she and Billy Joel are planning an illegal street race, only it’s set to take place on Fifth Avenue during evening rush hour. Any other thoughts on Eko?

1/2M 1/2A: What is there to say? The dude was a gangster is every sense of the word. I sure hope he comes back because if they keep cycling through black characters’ story lines, as has been the trend, that only leaves… Rose. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

DJGel: Ugh. I feel like someone hit me ion the stomach with a 2 x 4. I’ll be shitting blood for a week.

1/2M 1/2A: Let's focus this a little, what do you expect from Wednesday's episode? Is this possibly another ruse by wily Ben?

DJGel: I don't think so, unless Jack is in on the whole thing. Shit, who knows? Maybe Ben will just wake up in the middle of surgery and strangle Jack to death, or that guy from Dateline’s “To catch a child predator” will bust in and try to interview Ben while he’s in cardiac arrest. I'd be ready for it right about now. But how the fuck do Kate and Sawyer get off the island, or, the other island, I should say?

1/2M 1/2A: Refresh my memory – are there any boats still available for them?

DJGel: The Others did take Desmond's boat back with them, and they mentioned something about a "sub", but who knows if that's a ruse or whatever

1/2M 1/2A: And then what happens to Jack? He's still hostage right?

DJGel: Oh yeah. I have my own theory about this one. Ben dies, not because of Jack's bold move but rather some big scheme of Juliet’s, and Kate and Sawyer escape. But Jack stays behind – and becomes leader of the Others. It would be an interesting little twist.

1/2M 1/2A: Hot damn, that would be a twist indeed.

DJGel: Especially considering Jack probably couldn’t stand going back and being kept up at night by the sound of Kate and Sawyer have loud, passionate yet gentle sex every night.

1/2M 1/2A: Would the Others still be adversarial under Jack's sanctimonious rule?

DJGel: Well, judging by Jack’s track record, I imagine moreso. I mean, look how Jack’s reign over the survivors of the crash ended – it was pretty much a small, military junta that gauged its power by whether or not it had the guns at any given moment. Combine that with his selective disclosure of what the fuck was going on on the island, and it’s practically Russia under Uncle Joe Stalin. Ridiculous.

1/2M 1/2A: Ah, so they would probably play the "we're not the bad guys" card even more, assuming he's privy to the real agenda of the Others at this point?

DJGel: Right, well I think they'd have to make it so that, at first, he would be like "Let's be friends with them", the Others would keep showing him shit to turn him, and eventually, he'd buy into the "We're the good guys" thing. The season finale would be some new piece of the puzzle that would either vindicate the Others for saying that they’re the Good Guys, or make Jack feel like an asshole. That said, once this theory gets out, there's an 80% chance the writers will just steal it and use it anyway, so you're welcome, ABC

1/2M 1/2A: I think it’s safe that Jack will be crying diffusely during this time. But I think we're missing something here: FOR GOD’S SAKE! WHAT ARE ROSE AND BERNARD DOING THIS WHOLE TIME?!?!

DJGel: They're having incredibly loud old people sex on the beach every night. At first, people would tell them to "Please keep it down" politely. However, by now, other survivors are just yelling "Shut the fuck up!" or "Is that two walruses fucking?"

1/2M 1/2A: I think you may be on to something.

DJGel: I mean, it's the only possible answer, right?

1/2M 1/2A: It makes too much sense to be false.

DJGel: Here's one for you – John Locke – profound philosopher/King, or weak, gullible pussy?

1/2M 1/2A: Cop-out answer: a little of both. Clearly he was before arriving at the island. I mean who fucks up such a sweet set-up like living on some weird pot-smoking bastion? But on the island, it's like he gets tested, fucks up a little, but he keeps getting vindicated and coming out stronger. So let's hope he stays a little more Lord-of-the-Flies and less fatherly mentor.

DJGel: Exactly – he needs to start throwing those knives of his around a little more to get shit done. Now, we touched on this next one earlier, but I think it deserves a bit more attention. Who’s the hottest chick on the island that we've seen so far?

1/2M 1/2A: Since I lived in Australia for half a year, I was actually partial to Claire for a little (minus the blatantly fake pregnant suit). She’s cute and I’m all about the Australian accent. But whoever decided to give her the only part where it's necessary to say "BAH-Y-BEE!" the whole fucking time really screwed up.

DJGel: This is true. I mean, does Claire care about her baby? I couldn’t tell. Seriously, no wonder Charlie tried to drown the little bastard in Season 2.

1/2M 1/2A: I know, and now she’s messing around with the little hobbit.

DJGel: True, but Evangeline Lilly is getting railed by him in real life. I had always been partial to Kate, but Juliet has that weird "cougar" vibe about her. It’s intoxicating. And the Brazilian guy's girlfriend is unbelievably hot now. I mean, all of this is kind of fucked because they've been on an island without showering for 2 months now. They all smell worse than day-old Sasquatch Cooch

1/2M 1/2A: I was also about to give it up for Kate 'cause she's always been saucy but I don't know what's worse: Charlie or Dominic Monaghan?

DJGel: I think if you met the real guy, you'd hate him even more because he's probably a lot like Charlie, only dorkier, if that’s even possible.

1/2M 1/2A: Wow, so it's really anyone's ballgame. I've got faith in the new chicks.

DJGel: I do too.

1/2M 1/2A: Not to get too Brokeback here, but does the fact that Kate totally gave it up to Sawyer help or hurt?

DJGel: I mean, he is the biggest badass by far on the island, but something tells me that she's playing him for a fool, AND HE'S BUYING IT!

1/2M 1/2A: So the hunter has become the hunted...

DJGel: Exactly. Something like that…OK, well I’m about out of time, but real quick – your thoughts on what's going to happen Wednesday?

1/2M 1/2A: I think Sawyer and Kate have to get back to the original island. How? I have no idea. And I agree with you, I think Ben dies but this is somehow a ruse by Juliet. Yourself?

DJGel: I agree with all of that, and additionally, I hope my Jack theory also starts going into motion, but that one might be a long shot.

1/2M 1/2A: It won’t be such a long shot once you post this.

DJGel: I guess we’ll see on Wednesday. Thanks Dave.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Weekly Mog: America’s Sports Review

HEADLINES

Michael Vick: “I Got the Marijuana From Mark Sweeney’s Locker”

Monkey on Peyton Manning’s Back Removed, Revealed to be Eli Manning

Manu Ginobili Rumored to be Sleeper for Best Actor Oscar

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Thursday, January 25
Roger Federer Defeats That Guy Who Dated Mandy Moore
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – On the courts just outside downtown Melbourne, top-ranked Roger Federer defeated that guy who dated singer/actress Mandy Moore from 2002 to 2004. Federer made short work of Andrew S. Roddick, a relative unknown on the tour known mainly for his exploits off the court, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2. Federer moves on to his 10th singles title match while Roddick, whose career peaked in 2003 when he hosted Saturday Night Live, is rumored to star in a reality TV show for the CW network this summer.

NFL
Friday, January 26
Reggie Bush, All NCAA Football Players Received Gifts, Reports Every NCAA Football Fan
LOS ANGELES, CA – In a startling new development in what has been a ongoing blemish for NCAA Division 1 football, a report was issued Friday morning that purportedly indicates that 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and every NCAA football player accepted gifts while still in college.

The report is being described as a joint effort by a consortium of every person to have ever paid any attention to college football – from athletic directors to spectators – and is titled Big Surprise.

Suspicion has swirled around the star tailback and every one of his fellow football players since they first entered college in 2002 and 1863, respectively. Among the reported transgressions are accepting cash from boosters, receiving preferential treatment from professors, prematurely speaking with agents, family members/relatives receiving career opportunities at the university, lax enforcement of academic standards, exemption from rent, and numerous recruiting violations including, but not limited to, sexual acts by female students and strippers.

Among the tactics used to support these claims against the former USC star and every other D-1 football player have been taped phone conversations, anonymous tips, fellow student testimony, automobile purchase records, player academic transcripts, simple public observation, and common sense.

Ben Cross, key informer for the NCAA investigation because of his relative proximity to a university, has been outspoken about his role in a scandal that implicates Bush and all other collegiate football players.

“Since I live in Austin [Texas], I guess my suspicions started after the [University of Texas] Longhorns made it to last year’s national championship game,” said Cross. “Once all the players started driving Cadillac Escalades, I knew something didn’t quite add up.”

Added Cross: “I guess I owe a lot to the fact that I was thinking pre-law for, like, a semester when I was at [local community college] Concordia.”

If the allegations are proven true, the national champion from every year may have to forfeit its title.

SUPER BOWL XLI
Monday, January 29
Rex Grossman Euthanized After Months-Long Struggle
CHICAGO, IL – So many Chicagoans felt a stake in Rex Grossman’s recovery. They empathized with his struggle, remembered his potential, and hoped for steady progress although they knew it would be grueling.

The former Heisman Trophy finalist was in the fight of his life. It was this fight that embodied the blue-collar spirit of Chicago. He was their inspiration.

The 22nd pick in the 2003 NFL draft, Grossman was an instant celebrity. And this season he finally took the Bears on his shoulders. For a city in desperate need of a sports icon since the departure of Michael Jordan, Grossman seemed to be settling into that role this season. His perseverance during his expected ebb and flow of his first full year as a starter endeared him to the city – and the nation.

Ultimately, it became too much to endure.

Grossman was euthanized Monday after complications from his gruesome breakdown during Week 13’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, ending an four-month ordeal that catapulted him into the nation’s consciousness as much because of his plight as his success.

"Certainly, grief is the price we all pay for love," Bears owner Virginia Halas McCaskey said.
A series of bad starts – including a 1.3 quarterback rating in the loss to the Vikings –proved to be too onerous for the former University of Florida standout. Grossman was given a heavy dose of a tranquilizer and an overdose of an anesthetic and put down at 10:30 a.m.

"I really didn't think it was appropriate to continue treatment because the probability of getting better was so poor," said Bears quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

Wilson, fighting back tears, added: "Grossman had many, many good days."

Grossman underwent nearly two-dozen measures to help the recovery progress, including accuracy and footwork drills as well as tape study, under the supervision of Bears coaches. The playbook was tweaked to emphasize the run to ease pressure on his sensitive passing arm, tight ends were inserted at the ends of the offensive line for extra protection – extraordinary measures for such a bleak prognosis.

McCaskey was with Grossman on Monday morning and made the decision in consultation with head coach Lovie Smith.

"We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without increasing struggle," McCaskey said. "It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him, then it would be time."