Overrated: Vampire Weekend

January 31, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Never heard of Vampire Weekend? Good. You should thank us.

Look, in case you haven't noticed, Thunder Matt's Saloon has become the cultural nexus of the internet. We're on an incredible run right now of letting you know what's hip and what's not before anyone else does. We consider ourselves the inventors of the "Say you're a blog about XXXX and then don't make any of your posts related to that theme!" style of blogging. And of course, there's the Mustache Diaries. What happens 2 weeks after Chaim grows out his beastly bad boy facial hair? Esquire tries to pretend they were the ones to announce that the mustache is "back".

With our fingers clearly on the pulse of pop culture (or sometimes deep inside said pulse depending on how much pop culture has had to drink...), we can tell you to just save yourself the time and avoid Vampire Weekend. When I got the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, they ran an article on how this band is the "next sure-fire big thing". The Chicago Sun Times made a similar claim. They also have a 2 page spread in the latest GQ. This band is everywhere, and it seems like they're not done yet.

Look, I listened to their CD and it wasn't bad. But it's not fantastic by any means. It's just about average, but average is not going to hold up under the pressure of being the "next big thing". Remember how The Strokes were set to assume that same mantle? How about The Arctic Monkeys? Sure you've heard of them, but did they live up to the crazy world-changing standards that were laid out for them?

So do yourself a favor and stay away from Vampire Weekend. Or do what we're doing and just start calling them overrated and beat everyone to it.

Plus, they aren't vampires. They don't even have the decency to dress all goth so they look even a little bit like vampires. I'm calling shenanigans!

Thunder Matt Contingency Plan

January 31, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We've put it off long enough. The odds of Matt Murton being traded in the near future appear to be quite good, and it's time to address what will happen to the glorious blog named for the thunderous redhead.

First let's look at the possible moves. There's been three rumors that have been brought up as of late.
  • Trade Rumor #1: Baltimore - The ongoing offseason cocktease has been the rumors of the Cubs possibly making a move to land pitcher Erik Bedard and/or 2B Brian Roberts. Murton's name has come up as one of the possible bargaining chips.
  • Trade Rumor #2: Texas - Murton has been mentioned in a possible trade to land OF Marlon Byrd.
  • Trade Rumor #3: San Diego - Murton has drawn interest from Kevin Towers as he's looking for a corner outfielder. Khalil Greene could be the man the Cubs would receive in return.
As much as I don't want to see Thunder Matt leave, if it were to happen, I guess I'm pulling for the Baltimore deal in hopes that we could get another stud for the rotation or an actual honest to God lead off hitter, which is something the Cubs haven't had since 'Nam.

Khalil Greene is intriguing. Defensively solid, looks like Spicoli, good power with a low average opens up a possibility to become the Dave Kingman of shortstops. But the flip side of that coin is Thunder Matt would then be a Padre, which is a tough pill to swallow if I continue to root for him. Nonetheless the team comes first.

Why on earth would we trade for Marlon Byrd? I don't even have the energy to break this one down. Let's just move on.

So what will become of Thunder Matt's Saloon if Thunder Matt is no longer a Cub you ask? Well, we've laid out a handful of scenarios of what will become of this site.
  1. I will take a match to this site. Everything will be destroyed and we will disavow all knowledge that TMS or Matt Murton himself ever existed.
  2. We will renounce our fandom to the Cubs and join up with whatever team Thunder Matt ends up playing for.
  3. We change our name to Thunder Mats Saloon and follow the Toronto Maple Leafs instead.
  4. We sit in a dark room, drink bourbon and listen to "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan on continuous repeat, as we contemplate where our life went horribly awry.
  5. We forge ahead as the same shitty Cubs blog we've always been. We'll still support Thunder Matt wherever he lands and I'll continue to put trophies up whenever he hits another home run.
I can't be positive which scenario we'll officially adopt, but my guess is it will be #3.

The Rise and Fall of John Paxson

January 30, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Written by Max Foncito

It sucks to have to call out someone responsible for hitting one of the greatest shots in Bulls history, but the time has come for Paxson to grow a set of nuts and save his job.

Paxson was hired to replace the fat, delusional and past his prime Jerry Krause. As we all know, Krause was one of the most brilliant minds in the NBA and was responsible for surrounding Jordan with players like Pippen, Grant, Armstrong, Kukoc, and even Paxson himself in 1985.

Somewhere along the line Krause thought himself to be king, bought into his own hype and thought he could create a championship team without Jordan, Phil Jackson and the rest of the cast. He made a series of bad moves post-Jordan, the worst of which were the moves he couldn’t make. He couldn’t land any high profile free agents such as Tracy McGrady despite a boatload of cash and the third biggest market in the NBA, and he hired Tim Floyd. Eddy Curry turned out to be a lazy, fat pig and Tyson Chandler couldn’t develop in time. Enough said.

Krause stepped down in 2003 and Paxson was brought on board to put the Bulls back on the championship path. He inherited four talented but underachieving players in Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler, Jamal Crawford and Jason Williams.

Paxson had immediate success in making savvy deals and smart draft picks. He went away from picking raw talent out of high school and instead picked up players from legendary winning college programs. His first pick was Kirk Hinrich, a four year starter out of Kansas.

2004 was a banner year for Paxson. He drafted Ben Gordon, traded for the rights to Luol Deng and picked up Chris Duhon in the second round. Soon after the draft he offloaded the cancer of Jamal Crawford for a bunch of expiring contracts.

Paxson continued to make shrewd moves in 2005 despite not having a pick in the draft as he gang raped Zeke once again. The trade of a fat and broken Eddy Curry for cap space, a number one unprotected pick and the right to swap picks in 2007 was one of legend. Pax turned nothing into a big something.

The Bulls were looking like a future contender, had stockpiled high draft picks and more importantly had tons of cap room. 2006 and beyond looked like it would be back to contending for championships.

Unfortunately, it has been all downhill from there. It wasn’t apparent at the time, but many of the moves Paxson was about to make (and didn’t make) would send the team on a downward spiral that will be tough to recover from. Here are those moves:

Awful Move #1: Trading a 25 year old Tyson Chandler in anticipation of signing a 31 year old Ben Wallace.
Chandler was a player who had a maturity problem and was terrible offensively, but played his ass off and rebounded like a machine. He was a very young, skinny big man who was growing into his frame. At the time of the trade he was 23 years old and his contract was EXTREMELY reasonable ($10 million per season) considering what other centers had recently been signed for. The fact that he didn’t get enough minutes (27 per game) didn’t help either. Chandler has gone on to be a Team USA and All-Star caliber player for the second best team in the league.

Awful Move #2: Signing Ben Wallace for $14 million of the $16.7 million dollar cap space.
It looked like a brilliant steal at first. The Bulls got rid of a player who hadn’t developed quite fast enough and signed the 3 time Defensive Player of the Year from their main rival. In reality, they signed an over the hill player who was looking for a huge payday and an escape from Flip Saunders. Ben Wallace from day one had no intention playing with the same fire that he became famous for in Detroit. He shunned being named a captain, threw a fit over not being able to wear a headband and just looked like he had more interest in spending his money than playing basketball.

Awful Move #3: Trading the rights of LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas.
This also looked like a good move. Thomas started out the 2006 season as a high flying stud and Aldridge spent it injured. Fast forward to 2007 and Aldridge looks like a future All-Star and Thomas looks more like Darius Miles.

Awful Move #4: Flirting with Pau Gasol instead of trading for him.
The thing the Bulls lack most is a low post threat. Gasol would have been the answer the Bulls were looking for, but Paxson was unwilling to give up any value to bring him to Chicago. Instead of leaving it alone, it continued to appear week after week in the papers and on the news and affected the team negatively.

Awful Move #5: Flirting with Kobe instead of trading for him (even though they never had a chance).
This trade never had a prayer given the fact that Kobe has the ultimate no-trade clause and wouldn’t have approved any package the Bulls wanted to send. He didn’t want to end up on the Lakers Midwest when Paxson would have gutted the team. The non-trade was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Due to this, Ben Gordon and Luol Deng pass up extensions.

So, the question is what the hell can Paxson do to save his job and the Bulls? Lucky for him he has a lot young talent and can make trades to right the ship. It won’t be easy, but Danny Ainge proved that you can make a diamond out of a lump of coal. Paxson has a decision to make, does he want to end up like Danny Ainge or this guy?

Johan Santana: #1 Douchebag!

January 29, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Hines Ward yesterday...Johan Santana today...I seem to be along the proverbial warpath. I know that continuing to point out every time an athlete is greedy/whiny would eventually take up every second of my time and wind up killing me, but it's a slow news day, so whatever.

Today's target is Johan Santana. Now I've always been a fan of Mr. Santana. I've never had any reason to not like him. He seems to be a pretty stand up guy and I don't think he's ever badmouthed any of his teammates, at least not that I can remember.

With the Johan Santana Derby upon us, rumor has it that the Mets are in the lead, with the Red Sox and Yankees indifferently behind. But in one last ditch effort, apparently the Twins have offered Santana a contract for 5 years worth $100 million.

Santana rejected it.

Now this may be the Twins' fault. After all, in the past, Santana has told the Twins that the earlier they approach him about a new contract, the more lenient he may be to give them a hometown discount. The Twins then proceeded to putz around until the last minute to do this. But then again, maybe the Twins weren't sure about their finances until now. You just never know.

Either way, there are only 2 things Santana should take into consideration when debating whether or not to sign with the Twins:

1. Am I getting a fair offer?
2. Is this team going to be competitive for the length of the contract?

There's no debate that Santana is getting a fair offer. Making $20 million per year for 5 years would make Santana one of the highest paid players in baseball history, pitcher or not. And seriously, what are you going to do with $100 million? That's way more money than anyone would ever need. Regardless of whether he could stretch another team to 7 years and $140 million or not, the 5 years, $100 million offer is more than fair. Add to that the fact that this is the Twins and the Twins don't make a ton of money, and this becomes a very generous reward.

And as far as the Twins being a good team for those 5 years, nothing is certain. But the future does look good. Known in the past for being cheap, the Twins' front office has been opening their pocketbooks as of late, locking up Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer to multi-year deals. Joe Mauer is still around. Delmon Young is going to be there a while. And don't forget about that Liriano character either. Add Scott Baker to the mix, and the Twins have a core of young players that most teams would kill for. And the difference between the Devil Rays and the Twins is that the Twins' young players are ready to win now.

So Santana has a fair offer of more money than most people will ever see in their lives. He'd get to play for a talented young team in a new stadium in front of fans that truly care about the team.

And he said no because he wants $40 million more dollars.

That is why Johan Santana is today's #1 Douchebag! Congrats!

TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #20 American Beauty

January 29, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Title: American Beauty
Year: 1999
Genre: Drama/Dark Comedy
Main Actors: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Mena Suvari, Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher
Ranked: Daft Funk #2, Dave Thomas #17

American Beauty is the story of Lester Burnham (Spacey), a man going through a mid life crisis. He can't stand his boring life with his domineering wife (Benning) and boring daughter (Thora Birch). After a chance encounter with his pot-smoking neighbor (an excellent Wes Bentley) and forming a crush on his daughter's teenage friend (Suvari), Burnham decides to take charge of his life.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
The main reason this movie kicks ass is because it's one of those "good movies" that absolutely everyone can relate to. It's sophisticated, but without coming off as pretentious. It's depressing, but in an uplifting way. It's somber, but wickedly sarcastic. Basically, you can describe this movie as either a drama with very funny characters and circumstances, or the darkest comedy you'll ever see. Either way, it works.

The acting in this movie is fantastic and every role is cast to perfection. You know these people. You've met Lester Burnham in line at the bank. You've ran across his wife at church on Sunday. You hung out with his daughter Jane in high school even though you couldn't stand her bitchy cheerleader best friend. You've got the pot-smoking teenage loner neighbor and his homophobic ex-military father. You've got the neighborhood gay couple. You know all of these people, and yet none of them come across as static or stereotypical. Whether you love or hate this movie, it definitely keeps you thinking for long after the "twist" ending, which actually works and doesn't feel forced (Are you listening, Mr. Shyamalan?).

Monster Role
This one is a tough one. Common logic would say to go with Spacey, who deservingly won the Oscar for Best Actor. But the monster role of the film was Chris Cooper's military father next door. Sure, we've seen Chris Cooper play the military guy/government agent before in...well, everything. But never has Cooper given a performance as nuanced and forceful as his portrayal of Col. Frank Fitts. While far from the main character of the story, you can argue that Col. Fitts is the most important person in the entire film.

Speaking of Monster Roles, it's sad that Thora Birch and Wes Bentley completely fell off the map after this movie. I thought they both did excellent jobs (especially Bentley), and neither of them did anything with the momentum they had coming off this Best Picture winner. At least Thora Birch has had the sense to make bad movies that no one hears about. Bentley not only sucked it up in last year's Ghost Rider, but also embarrassed himself in the parking garage thriller(!) P2 last year.

Knock Your Dick In The Dirt Moment
I'd pick the end of the movie. Unlike lots of twist/surprise endings, this one actually sneaks up on you. And you can't say you weren't fooled. After all, Lester told you it was coming at the beginning of the movie.

But since I can't go into detail without giving anything away, I think the scene where Lester quits his job is downright KYDITD-worthy. Who among us doesn't dream about telling off the corporate suits in charge? When asked to write up an analysis of what he does each day, Lester gives the following essay to his boss:

"My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell."

Or this nugget from the monologue leading off the movie:

"Look at me, jerking off in the shower... This will be the high point of my day; it's all downhill from here."

Who can't relate to that?

Watch this movie if you like.....
Dark comedy, the dude from Quantum Leap, Peter Gallagher's eyebrows, barely legal knockers.

"I rule."

Hines Ward: Good For You!

January 28, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Hines Ward is not pleased with Ben Roethlisberger. I don't blame him.

Relationships are very fragile things. With an overabundance of John Cusack movies, red roses, poetry and just the right amount of ether, anyone can get into a relationship. It's keeping that relationship together that's the hard part.

In case you're too lazy to click the link above, Ben Roethlisberger told the press that he'd like a taller receiver on the team to use as a bail-out option on scrambles.
"I'm always going to ask for a tall receiver," Roethlisberger said in an interview with the Post-Gazette. "That's just me. Our receivers are unbelievable, but our tallest guy might be Hines. Or Santonio [Holmes]. Hines is going to say he's 6 foot, but he's 5-11."
Naturally, this did not sit well with Mr. Ward.

"I don't hear Tom Brady or Peyton Manning asking for that," Ward said yesterday. "I don't know, whatever he says. I have no idea. To me, it's a rare combination of receivers out there who are good and tall. We won a Super Bowl, we didn't have a tall receiver then. I don't see Tom Brady caring about who's tall or not. He got Randy this year, but he did it before without him.''

This lovers' spat clearly shows us that the honeymoon is over for the "it" couple known as RoethlisWard.

Now this may look like a simple back-and-forth between frustrated teammates, but if you look at the subtext, it clearly shows a relationship on the rocks. I'll break it down for you:

What Was Said: Roethlisberger says that he wants a tall receiver for the red zone.
What Was Meant: Roethlisberger has tired of Ward's "lack of height" and wants a man with a little more "size" for his "red zones".

What Was Said: Manning and Brady did it without tall receivers.
What Was Meant: Ward is threatening to leave Roethlisberger for a more appreciative life-mate. After all, Manning would never throw his receivers under a bus. His offensive linemen? Sure. His kicker? Of course. But never his receivers.

What Was Said: "Our receivers are unbelievable, but our tallest guy might be Hines."
What Was Meant: "It's not you, it's me."

You know what? I'm proud of Hines Ward. After all, he stuck by his lover after a nasty motorcycle accident, giving him as many sponge baths as he needed while nursing him back to health. He stuck by Big Ben during his terrible 2006. And now that Ben's had his best individual season, now he's looking for a bigger, better receiver. What Ben fails to realize is that after Ward is gone, he may have a few one-season stands with bigger receivers such as David Terrell and Charlie Rogers, but he'll always long for the stability and workmanlike loving of Ward.

I am proud of Hines Ward for speaking his mind.*

*NOTE: I do not believe anything I just said. I think Hines Ward is a pansy. Roethlisberger went out of his way to make sure his wideouts knew that he was in no way slamming them, and that he'd just prefer a tall wide receiver, just as I'm sure every QB in the league would. But Ward took it as an opportunity to bitch and get his name in the papers. Did he go to his teammate directly and take care of the problem? Nope! He spoke through the media, the way a real coward prima donna does it. Hines Ward, I used to respect you. Now you can just go suck yourself.

A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

January 28, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz


Godzilla gets a MySpace Page

To sum up the much buzzed about Cloverfield, I turn the podium over to coaching luminary Dennis Green. Dennis...

DG: It was what I thought it was! (Storms off)

Thank you Dennis. Yes, 'Cloverfield' is exactly what you would expect, for better or worse. 'Godzilla' filmed via 'Blair Witch'. Those looking for something deep and profound, with more layers than an onion (like Lost) will surely be disappointed. If you're in it for the quick sugar buzz, and don't mind the absence of such silly things like character development and back story (not necessarily a bad thing in this case), then you may walk away happy. Either way, you'll walk away woozy and a bit nauseous. Literally.

The premise is simple. The main character, Rob is going to Japan. I think. There is a big surprise 'going away' party, and one of Rob's buddies Hud is documenting the festivities with a video camera. Rob's one unrequited love, Beth, shows up at the party with another guy. Rob gets sad and says mean things to Beth, who leaves. Beth is also sad. The next thing you know, things go boom, one thing leads to another and before you know it the head of the Statue of Liberty is lying in the street. Naturally, people take pictures with their camera phones. The city is under siege, but by what? My gut instinct was Roger Clemens.

Turns out I was wrong. It's a monster. Is that a vague enough description for you? We do get some shots of the beast, but since the whole movie is shown from the perspective of Hud's video camera as they run through the streets of New York, you don't get a money shot right away. Instead you catch a glimpse of the tail running between buildings, or an overhead shot of the creature from the TVs in a store window. Meanwhile Beth calls Rob. She's been hurt and is stuck in her building. Rob and the rest of gang decide, against all better forms of judgement, that they should go try to find her and save her.

'Cloverfield', while no cinematic masterpiece, is amusing enough so long as you check your lofty expectations at the door. There are some pretty neat shots of the monster towards the end, though you'd still be hard pressed to give even the most talented sketch artist a good idea of what it was that you were looking at. There are also some smaller, parasite monsters that jump off of the host monster and start attacking people. I imagine that the attackees were frustrated at best.

The camera shakes throughout and will leave you feeling like you just took a ride on a rollercoaster...while you were drunk. If you thought 'The Bourne Ultimatum' was shaky...this is like it's crack addled, ex-con brother who has Tourette's and is prone to seizures.

In the end, 'Cloverfield' is like a supersized Value Meal. Much better in theory than in reality, it tastes good going down, but is ultimately forgettable and leaves you a bit queasy.

Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Barf Bags Out of 5

There Will Be Blood

Love it or loathe it, you won't soon forget it.

Quite a few of the bartenders here at the Saloon have born witness to this film, chronicling the zany antics of oil tycoon Daniel Plainview, played with gusto and sadistic glee by the always great Daniel Day Lewis. A few loved it, at least one hated it and the rest fall somewhere in between. Count me as one of the ones occupying the comfortable middle ground, though the more I think about it (and it's been a month since I've seen it) the more I inch towards the 'love it' camp.

If I tell you that Daniel Plainview is an oil man, you will agree. Based very loosely on Upton Sinclair's book Oil!, TWBB tells the epic tale of Daniel Plainview, spanning from the moment he first discovers oil (illustrated during the daring and brilliant, not to mention wordless opening sequence) to his eventual decent into madness, fueled by greed and pushed to the edge by his arch-rival, a man of the cloth named Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano (the teenage kid from 'Little Miss Sunshine').

The film is epic in scale and filled to the brim with testosterone, dirt, mustaches and oil. It's chock full of colorful characters, majestic cinematography and is more quotable than any film in recent memory, Will Ferrell comedies included. Daniel Day Lewis is brilliant, whether he is chewing the scenery or just shooting subtle daggers with his eyes. The score is bizarre but oddly fitting for such a manic film. The ending, while ripe for parody, is as intense and pants pooping as anything you'll see on celluloid.

The film sort of lost me towards the end when it shifted from themes of greed, family, capitalism and religion and focused more on Plainfield's spiral into madness, but there is something to be said about a film that spurs discussion and sticks with you for weeks. Much like 'No Country For Old Men', this one won't be everybody's cup of tea, but for me it was one tasty milkshake. Drink it up!

Thunder Matt Rating: 3.5 Milkshakes Out of 5

Lightning Round


IMBD Cribbed Synopsis: Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.

Review: The first 45 minutes of this Oscar nominee had me questioning my sexuality, as I actually really, really liked it. Then the underfed but always alluring Keira Knightly disappears for the next 45 and we're stuck with James McAvoy wandering around a battlefield in WWII, but not actually fighting. I don't want to watch James pine for true love. If I watch anyone pine I'd like it to be Keira. James, you're at war. Man up and start shooting someone.

Finally Keira re-enters the picture, but at that point my interest had waned and I kept replaying the earlier love scene in my head, wondering if I had really glimpsed a boob or not. Top it off with a Titanic-esque ending and what you have here is a missed opportunity, not a Best Picture Nominee.

Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Possible Boob Shots Out of 5

P.S. I Love You

IMDB Cribbed Synopsis: A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.

Review: Wow. Clearly I see a lot of movies. The majority of the time my wife lets me do the picking. This is what happens when I hand over the reigns. Seriously, this made 'Atonement' look like 'Rambo'.

Hilary Swank is married to the guy from '300', who is a sensitive Irish rocker that dies and leaves her letters that are supposed to help her move on. She visits Ireland and pumps another Irish rocker guy. She would appear to be working her way up the chain to Bono. But seriously guys...this is a chick flick in the truest sense of the word. At the showing I attended, there were probably 50 people and it was all women save for me and one other poor sap. Ladies, if you like to weep and watch the guy from '300' walk around with his shirt off, by all means. Lisa Kudrow is also in this and Good Lord does she look old and weathered. P.S., my testicles still haven't grown back.

Thunder Matt Rating: 1.5 Tissues Out of 5

Be Kind, Rewind

In Theatres: February 22, 2008

IMDB Cribbed Synopsis: A man (Black) whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store. In order to satisfy the store's most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films, which include Ghostbusters, The Lion King, and Robocop.

Review: An original concept from a great director (Michael Gondry - 'Eternal Sunshine') had my hopes up for this one, but ultimately you may want to wait for it to come out on VHS. As seems to be the theme with this last batch of reviews, this one starts out promising but can't sustain the initial momentum. This one has a very retro feel to it and not just because they're peddling VHS tapes. It's like one of those 80's movies that you stumble across on Comedy Central on a Saturday morning and end up watching the last 2/3 of it, and before you know it its past noon and you're still in your boxers. A sudden wave of guilt washes over you, knowing that you just wasted half your day following the trials and tribulations of a young Anthony Michael Hall.

To be fair, this one does have it's moments and gets bonus points for creativity. Jack Black is his usual Jack Black-y self, and whether you think that's a good thing or a bad thing, its his maniac energy keeps the film afloat. A scene with him and Mos Def attempting to break into a DVD store with hilarious results is a testament to his ability to make ordinary material seem so hilarious. The real highlights though, are the recreations of old films like 'Ghostbusters', 'Boyz in the Hood' and 'Robocop'. Some are funnier than others but you have to admire the creativity that goes into each one.

Ah, if only the expository stuff was near as interesting. Much like the films that it attempts to recreate, this one should at least have a long run on cable.

Thunder Matt Rating: 2.5 VHS Copies of 'Strange Brew' Out of 5

Recap Of Love: II

January 24, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Rock of Love is back. I am not impressed.

Because of this, the recap of the first 2 episodes is going to be just like the women in this season: Quick and dirty.

I can't tell if it's because I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the initial group of tramps from season 1 or if this new season is too new for me to have any kind of connection, but I'm just not feeling it so far. Through 2 episodes, all of the girls sort of blur together into a single mass of silicone, collagen, nappy hair extensions and cheap tequila. I suspect this is how Bret sees them as well. After this coming week's episode I'll probably spend a little more time breaking down the individual girls, but for now, I just want to push through the first 2 episodes to get this over with.

The show started off just like last year. All of the girls were standing outside of the Rock of Love house, waiting for Bret to show up on some kind of sports car/motorcycle/Segway. They go through the girls to get their initial thoughts on the show and on their obsessions with Bret Michaels.

Now last year, there were a few girls that I would say were pretty attractive, some that were moderately not-ugly, and only a few that we refer to around the Saloon as "Two Baggers". All the girls this season? Minimum 4-Baggers. You would pass out before getting close to being drunk enough to make out with any of these girls.

So just like the opener of last season, Bret picks 4 girls to stay behind while the rest go into the house to party. But instead of sending them home, Bret...ALLOWS THEM TO STAY AS HIS "VIP'S"!!1! OMG!!!

(Anyone who didn't see that coming is still smarter than these girls)

I think the reason these girls suck so much is because all they're going to do is try to out-whore the ones from the first season. All of these girls saw the original Rock of Love ladies and said "Well I could be sluttier than that!" Unfortunately, they all apparently lived at the top of ugly trees and hit every branch on the way down. Then they realized they forgot their slutty clothes at the top, climbed up to get them, and fell and hit every branch on the way down yet again.

The rest of the first two episodes of this young season went by slowly. Here are some highlights:

1. One of the girls had so much plastic surgery on herself that Bret referred to her as "a trailblazer, like Lewis and Clark." Yes, the Lewis and Clark that you're thinking of.
2. One of the girls made Bret chocolate pudding and rubbed it all over herself during a peep-show challenge...and STILL didn't make Bret's top three. These girls are stepping things up to a whole new level.
3. One of the girls drank so much during the first night of partying (there's always one...) that she missed the first round of eliminations because she was passed out in one of the bedrooms. When she woke up the next morning, she was kindly asked to get the fuck out.
4. One of my favorites...after elimination, everyone gathered together and cracked open an ice cold Bret's Brew! Yes, there's a brand of beer made just for the show that all of the remaining contestants drink to close out every episode.

To pass the time until something cool happens, I started keeping track of the number of times Bret says "awesome" in each episode. After the first episode, I expanded the list to include other words Bret seems to be fond of. I guess I jinxed it because he kind of trailed off on his use of the major "Bret Words" in episode 2. Check out the results from the second episode:

Awesome: 5 times
Chemistry/Connection: 6 times
Gotcha: 4 times
Cool: 5 times

Now that might not seem that impressive, but take another look. This is an hour long show. Take away 20 minutes for commercials, and it's a 40 minute show. I would estimate that the girls in the show talk for about 60% of the time, so that would leave Bret with about 16 minutes of speaking time per episode. Considering he used 20 of the special "keywords" in these 16 minutes, you can really appreciate how limited his vocabulary is.

Even more impressive is the fact that in the first episode, Bret said "awesome" 18 times. That's right...Bret said awesome MORE THAN ONCE PER MINUTE!!! That's so...AWESOME!!!

I'll give this season a few more tries before I call it a complete waste, but it really has to step up to impress me. It hasn't been totally bad per se, but there hasn't been much to impress me either. I guess this whole review could have been summed up by fellow Rocker of Love E-Claire when she said the following earlier today:

"The girls are sluttier, they're dumber, and Bret still says 'awesome' a lot. That's about it."

Until next episode, I'll leave you all with a few glimpses into the world of Bret Michaels and his Slutty Vixens.

Bret picks out the women to spend the night with him like groupies. Wait...they're all groupies. Nevermind.

The Meat Market is open for business. Each girl comes with 4 shots of hard liquor so you can look them in the face and not throw up.

The 4 VIP girls. There are the best of the group?

...I don't think I need to comment.

Disgusting. Next.

This is the amount of Bret's Brew Big John has to down before every taping of the show so he can temporarily forget about the total sham his life has become. Also, he's an alcoholic.

The Mustache Diaries - Days 18 and 19, aka The Big Reveal

January 24, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

In a futile and ill-advised attempt to gain the respect of firefighters and police officers everywhere, as well as to inject some much needed testosterone into my aura, I've decided to try to grow a mustache. I will chronicle the impending fallout. This is my story.

*Pictures have been altered to protect the innocent. And guilty.

As I sit here and type this, my upper lip is naked and cold, utterly soulless. A piece of me is gone and I fear it will never come back. Me and my mustache had many good times together. I would stroke him thoughtfully and he would laugh at all my jokes. My mustache had a name. His name was Dale. Dale is gone...but not forgotten. I love you sweet mustache. (whispers) I love you.

It all happened last Thursday, on a sunny day in Southern California while preparing for the bachelor party of Saloon bartender Brant R. Brown. The 'R' stands for Randall. I nervously put the razor to my delicate chin, and within minutes, I became something more than just another douchenozzle with a goatee. No. I became the proud owner of a Fu-Manchu. Immediately I could feel the effect. I developed a previously unseen bulge in my pants. I had muscles, whereas before I was built like 1991-era Dustin Diamond. My voice lowered and I became adept at juggling and long division. So this is what its like to be a man? Yes. Yes it is.

I liked this look. A little gay cowboy/YMCA meets hipster sheik. But it worked in a strange way. Bars up and down the coast of Southern California quivered in my presence. From the backseat of our minivan cab I repeatedly yelled at our cabbie, "I have a mustache!" and cackled maniacally. (I really did do that. Sadly, that's not made up.) This was the greatest day of my life. Later that night, I passed out. Was it from too much alcohol or too much testosterone? Results are inconclusive.

The next day I took a gamble. Whilst shaving and nursing a hangover that would slay the mighty Zeus, I decided to go one step further and shave this glorious Fu-Manchu into the patented 'motorcycle cop' look. So I did. There was a knock on my door almost immediately. Chris Hansen from 'Dateline NBC' stood there, his hair perfectly coiffed. I invited Chris and his camera crew in, offered to whip up some French Toast, and proceed to innocently tell him how much I love kids.

Let's be honest with each other. Let's call a David (spade) a David. I looked awfully creepy. What was once kitchy was now terrifying. It worked a little better when I was hearing a hipster t-shirt and a pair of Chip Wesley's aviator shades. But later in the day, when I had to throw on a nice shirt for Brant's wedding rehearsal? When the t-shirt comes off, so does the irony. Now I was just a nightmare for concerned parents everywhere. There goes the neighborhood.

Alas, that look only lasted half a day. After I shaved I felt really awkward. It was like Sampson (Ralph) without his hair. It was terrifying, but with the help of some expensive group counseling I was able to get over it. The recovery period wasn't pretty and I may end up relapsing into facial hair purgatory before it's all said and done.

I think a lot of good came out of my experiment. The world was held captive and followed me (and Dale) on my journey. If I inspired but one baby-faced man (or woman) to push their chips to the middle of the table and exclaim, "I'm all in", then I've done my job. Hop aboard the daddy's mustache and let's go for a ride. You'll see things you never could have imagined.

Day 18 (The Fu-Manchu)

Comments: Ok, I have dark black hair. Why the shit is my mustache brown, bordering on a whispy blonde? Oh Dale!

Comments: You can only partially see, but my t-shirt is just a blue shirt with a bearded guy's face on it, no explanation. It couldn't have been more appropriate.

Comments: One nasty side effect of the stache? I became a huge Rush Limbaugh guy. Well, not so much me as Dale. Dale loves to read.

Day 19 (To Catch a Predator)

Comments: The bright lights of the Dateline camera crew left me temporarily dazed.

Comments: No, I will not smile. Dale is not happy-go-lucky anymore. Dale is angry and not so much 'law abiding'.

Bartender Banter: Winter Doldrums Edition

January 23, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

God damn snow!

I used to hear people in Southern California say that people living in the Midwest were fools to endure such miserable weather. Well you know what? After spending 5 days in Laguna Beach for ThunderFest 2008 I'm finally in agreeance* (sic) with them. We're complete assholes for sitting through shitty winters up here.

Not much news about the Cubs discussed around here lately. I guess they signed Jon Lieber. Makes sense since bringing back Trachsel worked out so damn well. Next on their wish list, Kevin Tapani. Yeah he's 44 years old, but he's a spry 44.

I decided to put my name on the waiting list for Cubs season tickets, just to see where I would be in line. 79,363rd bitch! No budging.

Can we officially declare this the Dark Ages for sports talk radio? ESPN Radio isn't almost unlistenable now, it IS unlistenable. Seriously, how in the hell did Stephen A. Smith get his own show? All he does is yell at you. I feel like I did something wrong. Pair him up with Hillary Clinton and it feels like your parents are scolding you, but it's not like when you stayed out past curfew as a teenager. It's more like you did something unforgiveable like punch out a nun or something. In fact if I heard them both yelling at the same time I'd feel like punching out a nun. Don't even get me started on Stephen A's strange stints on MSNBC.

ANYWAY, back to sport talk. It's terrible. Apparently they all follow the same steps.
  1. Find the hot button topic of the day.
  2. State your stance on topic.
  3. Continually repeat your stance over and over for 2 hours.
  4. Take phone calls while you keep repeating stance.
  5. Yell a lot and cut off your callers mid-sentence.
  6. End show, go back to your lonely darkened apartment.
  7. Drink scotch by your lonesome until you pass out in your easy chair.
That's about it. My personal favorite is when they talk about "not talking about" something. I kid you not, I once tuned in and listened to Linda Cohn talk about how she was not going to talk about the Michael Vick story. She talked about "not talking about it" for a full hour! Christ, fine if you're not going to discuss it, but move on and talk about something else then.

Not all is lost however. There are two shows I can still fully endorse out there. The first is the Dan Patrick Show. Dan was the anchor of ESPN Radio for years and without him that ship drifted out to sea and got lost. You can tune in to a live stream of his show in the mornings at his website http://www.danpatrick.com/. The second show is Tony Kornheiser, which made it's return this week after another hiatus for Monday Night Football. Kornheiser can be heard at DC radio station 3WT. He's still by far my favorite sports talk show, despite the fact he hardly talks about sports. You could almost say that TMS is the "Tony Kornheiser" of Cubs blogs. You know because of the lack of Cubs coverage, not for the exemplary writing.

What else? Oh yeah, the Cubs posted their depth chart on the official site. Thunder Matt is listed as Soriano's backup in LF. Thanks for playing Matt. We'll enjoy the occasional times you get a chance to pinch hit.

New England vs. New York in the Super Bowl, or as I called them, "God Dammit!" versus "Ahhh Horseshit!" I hope Eli contracts airborne AIDS.

If you haven't noticed the spiffy little button for TMS Radio in the sidebar yet, it's about damn time you acquaint yourself with it. We've pumped over 1100 songs into that son of a bitch at this point. I'm not going to guarantee you'll like every song but at least it's better than hearing the same .38 Special song at the same time every day on your shitty FM classic rock station.

Oh yeah we have another death to report. No, not Heath Ledger. Suzanne Pleshette passed away.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suzanne Pleshette, best known for her role as Bob Newhart's wife on television's long-running "The Bob Newhart Show," has died, just days before a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Pleshette, who underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer in 2006, died of respiratory failure Saturday evening at her Los Angeles home, said attorney and family friend Robert Finkelstein.

I'm a little too young to recall the original Newhart Show, but I do remember her in the movie "Hot Stuff" starring alongside Jerry Reed and Dom DeLuise. That movie earned a spot in the pantheon of "Movies that HBO constantly aired during the 80's that I always sat and watched". Other members of the pantheon include "Just One of the Guys" and "Midnite Madness".

Score 6 points to Tommy Buzanis in Death League.

That's all for now. Rockies in 6.

* I included the (sic) because I never feel like people will understand it's a lame joke about Fred Durst.

Pointless Game in Big China

January 22, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

"You know what Jack Burton always says... what the hell?"

Such is the reasoning behind the big (only) MLB news of the day, the Dodgers and Padres will play some spring training games in
China. Why China? Why the hell not?

The only real positive I see coming from this is the smoggy air in Los Angeles will seem clean to the Dodgers after breathing the toxic air in Beijing for a few days.

Oh, and by the way, this is another big fuck you to Vero Beach from Frank McCourt. This will be the team's last year in their long time Florida Spring Training home before they move to the Cactus League in 2009 and they've just lost three games to the land of brocoli beef and lead paint.

Working on MLK Day? Boo....

January 21, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Corporate America doesn't care about black people.

Thats all I can take away from the phenomenon that has swept the nation: people are at work on Martin Luther King Day.

My last job was with a small company where the hiring was done by a batty old woman who probably still used the term "colored". There weren't any black people working there and the only latinos were exceedingly white. Given these facts, it wasn't much of a shock that we didn't celebrate the late Dr. King's birthday.

Since then, I've moved into the hellish and soul sucking world of corporate America. Eleven thousand employees in sixty countries, lots of lip service paid to diversity, but no MLK holiday. Wow...

Are we regressing? Twenty years ago Arizona lost a Superbowl because the gaggle of ninety year olds who ran the state refused to acknowledge Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. Today, its on the books in every state, but unless you work for the government, chances are you're sitting in your life crushing cubicle like me.

The Man is still alive and well. He runs corporate America and he runs the government. Its the perfect way for him to play good cop/bad cop. The Man in Congress can say, "Sure, here's your holiday Black America." Then The Man in a shadowy smoke filled board room somewhere can say, "Not so fast - we're still in charge here. Everyone is going to work to pay for my cokehead son's new yacht."

Is it really any wonder why race relations are still an issue when 99% white corporate board rooms can't even acknowledge a fucking holiday to celebrate a truly great man that brought our country out of the racial dark ages?

Eat my ass corporate America.

Cubs of Yore: Domingo Ramos

January 19, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Hey-o, hey-o, hey-o, hey-ooooo! Don't worry, we haven't left you. It's me, The Hundley, here, one of the few bartenders not currently attending the wedding of fellow barkeep, Brant Brown. As the self-appointed "leader" of the remaining B-Team, I've (temporarily) put Rygar on pause, set down the Mt. Dew and the Cheetos, and put on my tending apron to keep ya'll enlightened. Recently, our beloved Cubs have inexplicably signed ex-White Sox, Shingo Takatsu to a minor league deal. The only fathomable reason is for him to rejoin his ex-teammate, Neal Cotts, in the minors , where they can keep each other company and talk about the 'Good Old Days' of when they (their teammates) won a World Series. I can't believe Shingo Time didn't make the list of the top free agents this offseason. That Hendry sure can pick the sleepers!

In the meantime, take a trip down memory lane...

Nickname: Sunday Branch, DoRam

Played for The Cub: 1989-90

Random Write-up: It's funny, but I always remember him being a lot heavier than the baseball card shows him. I have no idea why I always think of him in a Cub uniform, it was probably because my dad pronounced his name with an extremely exaggerated Mexican accent, which would cause my brother and I to have pop shoot through our noses. And yes, this was in the days that pop came in a glass bottle, sonny. Little did I know that life would never be better...but I digress. Domingo Ramos was certainly not known for his power. In 12 big league seasons, he hit a mere 8 dongs and had a career slugging percentage of .297. Needless to say, he made his living as a "defensive replacement". Had a very respectable .955 fielding percentage as a lifetime infielder. He played most of his career in Seattle, which would explain his career high 3 steals in 1983, most likely attributed to the caffeine-heavy house blends at Starbucks. With his gaudy career numbers, he inexplicably fleeced the Cub for $310,000 in 1990.

What the hell?: He was once involved with Lloyd McClendon and Vance Law in a triple play against the Expos.

Rangers scouting director Joe Klein almost cried the night he heard Righetti had been swapped as part of a nine-player trade. What made the deal worse was that the Rangers were supposed to get back one of the jewels of the Yankees' farm system, second baseman Damaso Garcia. Corbett had been instructed to demand Garcia be included in the deal but got confused and asked for Domingo Ramos instead. "Brad!" he was told after the trade. "You were supposed to get Garcia." Legend has it that Corbett hung his head and apologized, saying: "Hell's bells. All those Latin names sound alike." (source) cannot verify

Also of Note: Career (estimated) earnings of $605,000. Was born in The Dominican Republic. Hit below the Medoza Line five times during his career. You can view all of Domingo's jerseys at Dressed to the Nines. I made up the nickname "Sunday Branch" because it's a literal translation from Spanish to English. Actually "DoRam" is made up as well. Let's be honest, he wasn't good enough to have a nickname.

Death League Update: Checkmate Bobby

January 18, 2008 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Up until yesterday Bobby Fischer was enjoying his golden years in Reykjavik, the same place he defeated the evil Russian chess master Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union during the Cold War in 1972. He will be remembered for a lot of things: child genius, recluse, outspoken critic of America, Chicagoan, anti-semite, the founder of professional chess.....wait, what was that? Yep, you read that right. In an interview with a Philippines radio station hours after September 11th, he allegedly called reports of a plane hitting the Pentagon "wonderful news" and said American foreign policy had provoked the attacks. After calling for President Bush's death, Fischer also stated he hoped that a Seven Days in May-type military coup d' etat would take over power in the U.S. and then execute "hundreds of thousands of American Jewish leaders", "arrest all the Jews" and "close all synagogues".

Bob also enjoyed a game of pinball every now and again. But really, who doesn't? He was 64. 8 points to me.

Worst. Offseason. Ever.

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Is revenue sharing good for baseball?


...and no.

With the rich sharing with the poor and every team raking in millions of dollars a year just from TV and internet revenues, even the lowliest teams can afford to lock up their young talent and prevent them from reaching free agency (Unless that team is run by an owner that would rather line their pocket than put a decent team on the field. See the Marlins, Twins and A's.)

The downside of this is that there aren't as many high-profile free agents hitting the market as there used to be. Everything seemed to come to a head this offseason. Between the A-Rod fiasco and the continuing Johan Santana/Erik Bedard circlejerks, this offseason has been boring as hell.

All you have to do is take a look at the top 10 rated free agents left on ESPN.com to really get an idea of how truly bad this offseason has been. I know it's about 6 weeks till pitchers and catchers report and most of the "decent" free agents have already been signed, but it's not like we had a bunch of Hall of Fame players on the market this year.

Let's take a look at that list.

1. Barry Bonds
The best free agent on the market is a 43 year old with no knees that's guaranteed to infect a clubhouse faster than an outbreak of the clap? Awesome. Remember that Barry is in a little legal trouble right now and that he may not be able to play baseball this season, unless you count the softball team that Cell Block E is putting together.

2. Kyle Lohse
You thought last year's spending spree on pitching was crazy? Wait until Kyle Lohse gets a 4-year, $40 million deal. I think he deserves it. It's not every day that someone puts together a season for the ages like Lohse did last year for the Phillies: 9-12, 4.62 ERA. The Phils didn't make the playoffs becuase of Lohse, they made it despite him.

3. Mike Cameron
At first I thought that this wasn't too bad a ranking. Sure, Cameron's batting average isn't scaring anyone, but he's a legit 20/20 threat every year and plays stellar defense in center field. But then I remembered 2 important things. First, Cameron is suspended for the first 25 games of next season. And, a bit more importantly, HE'S ALREADY SIGNED WITH THE BREWERS! Way to stay on top of things, ESPN.

4. Brad Wilkerson
I have nothing against Brad Wilkerson, but there's no way he should be ranked the 4th best free agent right now. Come to think of it, the only thing Brad Wilkerson should be ranked as high as 4th in is "Guys That You Can Tell Smoke Pot Just From Looking At Their Picture".

5. Bartolo Colon
Sure, he won the Cy Young a few years ago, but he has yet to crack 90 MPH in the Winter Leagues. Not once. Oh, and I seem to remember the Expos trading for him years ago. Anyone the Expos have ever wanted can't be any good in my book.

6. Octavio Dotel
This guy couldn't even stay as the closer for the Royals. The Royals, people. And speaking of, doesn't it seem like the Royals haven't had a decent fantasy closer in forever? Sure, they've sucked, but even crappy teams can have a guy rack up 25-30 saves. I seem to vaguely remember Mike McDougal being decent a few years back, but other than that? Nothing.

7. Shannon Stewart
With Bartolo Colon being at #5, Shannon Stewart is looking up at him on this list. Anyone who has seen Colon over the last 10 years knows that he is one of the last people anyone would ever want to view from directly below. Being below Colon is Stewart's punishment for conning his way onto any top 10 list.

8. Kenny Lofton
Don't you think someone who is 145 years old is owed a little more respect than being 8th on this list?

9. Livan Hernandez
See #8 (As you can probably tell by now, I'm getting bored with this list. Do you blame me?).

10. Armando Benitez
I'm pretty sure the only reason Benitez is on this list is because no one wants to see a "top 9" list. 10 is much more even and acceptable. Benitez is lucky, because if that weren't the case, he'd have to lift that 5.36 ERA from last year and find another list to be on. I suggest the National Competitive Eating Rankings.

Why is this guy making $40 million more than you will see in your life?

The Mustache Diaries - Day 17

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

In a futile and ill-advised attempt to gain the respect of firefighters and police officers everywhere, as well as to inject some much needed testosterone into my aura, I've decided to try to grow a mustache. I will chronicle the impending fallout. This is my story.

DAY 17

Comments: This may be the last day for the full goatee. I board a plane headed for California tomorrow to attend Brant Brown's wedding. Tomorrow night is the bachelor party. What screams 'crazy bachelor party' more than the over-hyped unveiling of a patchy mustache? That's right, nothing does. Seriously, this thing is like the Cloverfield of mustaches. Alas, it will probably be gone the next day, as I'm not one to try to steal Brant's thunder on his wedding day and sully all of his memories. I'm thinking fu-manchu though for tomorrow night. Any other suggestions? Pictures forthcoming, probably on Monday.

ThunderSim 2008: Conference Championships

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Christ I'm sorry. I've just ran out of time folks. I'm flying out to California tomorrow and don't have enough time to give a full report on these games.

Why am I heading out to California? Well for TMS Summit 2008, in sunny Huntington Beach. Estimates have shown that possibly 5 bartenders could converge for this historic occasion. Well actually 6 if you want to count the J.D. Salinger of the Saloon, the elusive Martin Gramatica. Some of the hot button issues to be discussed include:
  • Coming to an official consensus on which condiments are in fact over/underrated.
  • Is Chaim's mustache truly real, or just an elaborate hoax?
  • What about Beecake?
  • Establishing a Thunder Matt Disaster Mitigation Plan, to implement if and when Matt Murton gets traded.
  • Who needs another beer?
Full reports with photos of various bartenders in comprising and provocative situations are to come.

*One note about that Chargers-Pats game. Randy Moss got hurt, and the Pats lost in overtime after a botched kick return plants them on their own 2 and they give up the safety. Yeah, that's gonna happen....

Under/Overrated: All-American Edition, Vol. 1

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz


Puppies: You might say, 'But Chaim, everybody loves puppies!' You'd be wrong. You don't know some of the people I know. Plus, with all this rampant dogfighting going on*, the popularity of puppies is at an all-time low. In this post-Vick society we live in, saying you love puppies is akin to aligning yourself with Hitler. All that said....puppies are underrated. Fucking puppies dude. They're cute. Sure they may piss on your new shirt and eat your copy of the New Yorker before you're finished reading it. But look at the little guy. Awwwww....he's just a little fucking puppy!

Baseball: Football is really king here in America. And I'm not talking about the kind that Mexican people pronounce 'futbol'. But really, baseball is America's past time. And with the advent of the Mitchell Report, I fully expect baseball to reclaim it's crown as 'America's Game'.

Tractors: I forsee a day when this is really all anybody drives. John Deere Tractors. These things are beasts. Hey pretty boy...I raise your Hummer with my industrial size Combine Tractor! Who's got the bigger dick now?

Bikes: Are bikes uniquely American? Don't tell that to those folks living on that landmass known as 'Asia'. But for our purposes, and according to a few Norman Rockwell paintings I've seen, yes, they are. I'll ride one of these things. Shit. They work your leg muscles, help reduce fumes and whatnot, and are useful for popping sweet wheelies.

Jeans: I have an abnormally short torso, so I'm not a fan of tucking in shirts. In khakis, where tucking is mandatory, from a distance and to those with vision problems, I appear to be a head perched atop two legs. With jeans, there is a distinct 'no tuck' rule, which I love. Jeans can be dressed up, dressed down...they don't give a shit. They last for years and are one of the few articles of clothing that actually look better when they're a bit worn in and faded. Though don't be tricked into thinking that you can make this American standard into shorts and still look cool. You would be wrong, as these are mockingly referred to as 'jorts'. And for Christ Sakes, don't swim in your jeans either.


Apple Pie: Booo! Screw this noise. The only time I will accept this into my life is if it's accompanied by a half melted slab of vanilla ice cream. Do people still put these on their windowsills to let them cool down? What a gay practice that was. You could do such much better. Stop living inside your little box. Chocolate Mousse, Key Lime, Rhubarb, Cherry. I could go on folks. I imagine you listen to Nickelback while you eat your Apple Pie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: See 'Apple Pie'. Are you that unimaginative? Are you a shut-in? Is your favorite drink 'tap water'? Chances are if you answered 'yes' to any of the aforementioned questions, then you love chocolate chip cookies. Oatmeal. Sugar. Peanut Butter. Hell, even a godddamn Monster Cookie is a better choice. Also, these cookies must be chewy. Who likes the little hard ones? Gross. If you enjoy hard chocolate chip cookies, you have probably also been seen on 'To Catch a Predator'.

Mickey Mouse: This guy just needs to be put in a wood chipper. Bugs Bunny bitchslaps Mickey Mouse.

Pizza: I'm gonna get it for this one. Sure, it's easy and it's cheap. That's half the appeal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good slice as much as the next fat American. But given it's insane popularity, pizza is probably overrated. It epitomizes how fat, lazy and unimaginative we've become as a society. That said, I made a frozen pizza tonight. Alas, I am fat and lazy. Case closed.

All-American Teams: Does anyone watch the McDonald's All-American game? Liar. All-Americans have been dead to me since Bob Hope stopped announcing the football All-Americans on his Christmas Special. That last statement definatively puts to rest any speculation. Yes, I am in my late 70's.

McDonalds: Though I've cheated and ordered their breakfast on occasion over the past few years (when I've been in the mood to get explosive diarrhea), I have pretty much eliminated this corporate monstrosity from my life. I'm not a big fast food guy to begin with, unless I'm on a road trip or high on heroin, but this place is the lowest of the low. I don't get why people jizz all over their fries either. They're about as limp as Bob Dole before he found Viagra. When and if I have kids, they won't be eating here. I'm a sadistic son of a bitch.

The All-American Rejects: There's a reason this country has rejected you. What song do you even sing? Who's to say really? I would venture to guess that your jeans are too tight and at one point or another you made a suggestive pass at Ashlee Simpson.

*Oh if I had a nickel for every weekend where I uttered the phrase, 'No, really, I'd love to come to the dogfights tonight, but I promised my wife that we'd spend some quality time together. You know how it is.'

TMS Presents: Last Guy to the Party Cubs News

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Hey guys, did you hear? The Cubs might get Brian Roberts! And word on the street is that the Cubs might sell the naming rights to Wrigley. If all that weren't enough to make you literally rip your dick off your body, the Cubs Convention is this weekend!

Oh, you heard already? What? You checked our blog on a daily basis since the news broke last week, hoping to have a forum on which to discuss such titillating tales? Seriously? You finally gave up and decided to pledge your allegiances to Hire Jim Essian instead, given our recent track record of shoddy and uninformed reporting? I have to admit, you make some valid points.

What? No, sure. Go on. You don't give a shit about our taste in movies, music or books and think that I look like a 'gaywad' with a goatee? The new layout looks like it was designed by Poopypants McGee? You son of a bitch. I don't like you, but I respect your opinion.

Well, here you go. Let this be your forum to discuss Cubs news, both old and new. Actually, could you just break the news for us? In the comments section? Chances are we won't get around to it.

Yeah. I did steroids. I did steroids while I made love to your mother at the same time. Tricky, but doable. I also stole her wallet. I don't give a shit. I'm Brian Roberts motherfucker.

You Make The Call

January 15, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Terrell Owens..............................or..............................Terrell Owens

50 States/50 Bands: South Dakota to Wyoming

January 15, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Suffering from insomnia one night, a vision came to me. It was, of course, not particularly useful. It was a vision of me recommending a musical act from each of the 50 states. More motivated than I have been in years, I sat down and hammered it out. Eons came and went. Civilizations rose and fell. Now I'm ready to share my baby with the world in five easy to digest posts. Naturally, the list reflects my own personal biases, so bring on the arguments. In some cases, there was no band or artist I liked from a particular state, and you can generally tell which ones those are.

Those download recommendations with an * can be heard on TMS Radio - so tune in and have a go.

*Note - TMS Radio appears to be fucked at the moment. These will be uploaded at a later time.

South Dakota - Native American Indian Elder Joseph Flying Bye - Thunder Matt would listen to this if he were into Native American music, which I’m sure he is.

*Download - The Night is Sacred

Tennessee - Isaac Hayes - Hello Children, I’m a scientologist loon.

Download - Chocolate Salty Balls

Texas - Willie Nelson - Where is this guy’s Realm of the Red? Willie credits pot with saving his life.

*Download - Pancho and Lefty

Utah - The Used - Ah yes, the unbathed, foul mouthed products of Mormon oppression. Take a look at the lead singer and think twice before you force your son to go to church against his will.

*Download - The Taste of Ink

Vermont - JoJo - Who? 17 years old and more accomplished than I will ever be. What a bitch.

Download - Too Little, Too Late (if you really must)

Virginia - Missy Elliot - The only big time rapper on the list. There are better ones, but they have the misfortune of hailing from states that had better music to offer.

*Download - Work It

Washington - Nirvana - The band that almost single handedly resurrected rock after the synthesizer era deserves a place in any serious music fan’s collection. Did you know Kurt Cobain killed himself?

*Download - Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam

West Virginia - Brad Paisley - One of the other decent modern country artists I mentioned in an earlier post. Old school style, but modern subject matter.

*Download - You Need a Man Around Here

Wisconsin - Garbage - Sure the singer is Scottish, but the band formed in Wisconsin. Its for the best, the backup candidate was Liberace.

*Download - #1 Crush

Wyoming - Chris Ledoux - Wyoming is a beautiful state, but a dry hole musically. Rodeo star/country musician Chris Ledoux lived there for awhile. He died.

*Download - Western Skies