Monday, January 31, 2011

The NHL is greater than your sport

As much as the average hockey game blows and despite the fact that nobody with a normal haircut cares if the sport survives they do some things very right. While the NFL plays some lame game in London, the NHL puts their guys on a frozen pond outdoors, while MLB tries to hide their latin-stars the NHL embraces their foreigners and while the NBA puts together some lame All-Star weekend the NHL trumps them.

What I appreciate about the NHL is how well they market the roots of their sport to their main core audience. Just look at the winter-classic when they play a game outside or the sudden-death overtime in the playoffs. They have a great ability to keep fans involved by putting them on the glass and embracing traditions like throwing your hat or a dead squid on the ice. Their fans are hardcore as they all stick around till they announce the stars of the game which is a testament to the fact they are the one sport not afraid to market solely to red blooded guys. It is the only 'major' sport that you actually care about in the Olympics which might be the reason they can have stars marketed from Canada to Russia, from Finland to the US and each country has a style all its own. Add to that the fact they have the greatest trophy in sports which is given after the best post-season and you wonder why it never resonates with anybody.

See during their annual all-star game they arranged the teams by letting two NHL players pick their own teams, like a real pick-up game. If you are going to have an exhibition in the age of free-agency you have to do something to spice it up and the NHL has done this better than anybody. A few years ago they paired the teams down to continent of their home-country which creates a natural rivalry which baseball never accomplished even with their quirky home-field advantage in the World Series thing.
The other sports could learn something from the NHL which is able to keep the game fun while actually putting on a decent product. Just look at the embarrassment which was yesterday's ProBowl or the lame All-Star game the NBA will host in a week..

Well TOR has come up with some suggestions for improving the other all-star games

NBA. Can the whole all-star game, three point contest and slam-dunk and instead replace it with a 32 team 3-on-3 half-court competition. Each NBA teams sends it's three biggest stars to play the equivalent of a pick-up tournament in the kind of format these guys all grew up playing. Play to 21 with normal baskets counting for 1 point and 'threes' counting for 2. You get the ball back if you score just like on the playground. This will build camaraderie within teams, competition between them but most important let's NBA players do what they most love to do, allow for an opportunity to go one-on-one. How cool would it be to have Kobe, Pau and Odom go up against Lebron, Wade and Bosh? Just imagine the strategy where your have to decide if you go with two guards and a forward or three big guys. Let these guys play for pride and fun and you'll see rating explode.

Forget the ProBowl where nobody hits. If you aren't going to even try to tackle then get rid of that all together. 11 on 11 flag football with no tackling, no physical blocking which will emphasize footwork but a lot of long bombs and high-scoring. Want to get the kids excited, let them see you playing the game they play on the playground. It's a bit rock-and-jock but who cares since nobody watches it anyway let us at least see the players faces for a change.
Then change the selection process to put the top 3 fantasy players at each position in the ProBowl while letting the Houston Texans offensive line be artificial.

This one is tough because having this in the middle of the schedule will always be limited with pitchers needing rest. But indulge me, get rid of the stupid one game thing and instead do one of the following
Make it a 3 game series with the National League vs the American league squaring off in a city for a weekend. Think about how silly this single-game is, there is no baseball series at any level which is ever decided in one game so if you are intent on tying the World Series home-field advantage to it, then make it realistic.
Baseball is a game which escalate not just with every pitch but with every inning and with every game of a series, decisions you make in game 1 have an impact on game 3. You already get a roster of 30 players, let them play and let the managers manage.

As for the other sports: the Rider cup is kind of cool while the Davis cup is kind of lame but none of them do it as well as the NHL.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

PIX is our pick

I am a bit of a news snob. I haven't watched local news in years, never pick up the Metro paper and although I love to listen to local AM sportstalk you'd never catch me on WOR for local politics talk with Ed Koch.
I admit I get most of my news from the footballguys free-for-all, the NY Times and the Daily Show although I will pick up the Daily News a few times per week to keep me updated with the goings on in local news and information but for any issue larger than an MTA strike I go to the Times. As for TV, I really only follow the network news for real info although I keep one eye on the opinion political outlets to see what the whack-jobs from both sides are up to.
Well although I stick with national outlets as a rule, I started to change my mind when I turned on Channel 11 last night. Hoya goya they got some chick prancing around named Jodi Applegate and news has never looked so good. I can't speak for her reporting acumen but I can report that this chick has got a gigantic rack. This broad walks around in 4 inch heels, a skin tight shirt and a pencil skirt which barely reaches her knee. Thanks to the heels the entire ensemble makes her ass pop like a balloon and her chest stick out like a set of bazookas and I am now hooked.. I heard her tell me about a bank-robbery gone wrong, the aftermath of this weeks big snow-storm and the reaction to some local Chinese businesses refusing to put us English signs and let me tell you I was fascinated. Now I cannot tell you anything about her stories but I am pretty sure she's either sporting the newest Victoria Secret amazing bra or my TV screen is warped....
Sadly her partner in crime looks like Long Duk Dong, the G-weatherman is pulling a Weekend-at-Bernies deal and Sal Marciano knows less about sports than Cathy No so you really got to take the good with the bad.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011


When I woke up this morning I knew something was terribly wrong. The heat was on, nobody had broken into the house and from what I could tell WWIII had not officially started. What I did find was a black-hole, an area in time and space from where no information exists. Sometime after 1:38AM the Verizon Blackberry service crapped out again. This had been an issue recently and to the BB addicts it is the equivalent of prohibition.
Now as any regular TOR reader will know, we still believe the BB is the greatest business invention since the invention of the compound interest rate but when the item we most rely on becomes unusable then I get worried. Granted it's Saturday morning so the effects will be minimized but it once again proves how vulnerable we are to the glitches of technology. The sad thing is thy Verizon's entire success is about it's network reliability but anybody who uses it has started to see it has just about reached its limitation and this is before the Verizon IPhone hits the market which will likely congest the network even more.
Now I had a great blog about the local news phenomena typed up and ready to post but now you'll have to wait a day for that and I hope it tastes good a day old

Friday, January 28, 2011

So about those plug in hybrids

So with January already being the snowiest winter of record and this winter well on it's way to be the wettest ever, you do wonder what the global-warming crowd has to say now.
Now I know that the whole discussion becomes one about global weirding not warming but as I prepare to spend another weekend digging out my hybrid car I really wonder if this wasn't some kind of scam perpetuated by the manufactures of those funny hybrid batteries.

Now I got into a discussion with a guy last week who told me that my carbon-footprint with the hybrid was actually greater than it would have been if I bought an F150. To me the issue has never really been about global-warming as much as it is depending on a limited resource, especially one harvested mainly by oligarchies who hate us. I want to get off fossil fuels to starve the beast.
Now what I've never quite understood is how they will figure out true gas mileage for plug-in hybrids. In the case of my hybrid the battery charges from the engine so all the energy it takes is still from gasoline, but a plug-in hybrid will get a substantial amount of it's energy from the grid.
Now does this mean the VOLT will have a miles per kilowatt rating or will there be some complicated conversion that nobody can quite understand sort of like the QB ratings?
But really since a huge amount of the energy which comes from the grid was derived from coal will a plug-in hybrid actually indirectly cause more smog than a standard gasoline car? Although I guess West Virginia doesn't officially hate us... well maybe some of us.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

the pole

Let me just start off by stating that I have gone to Montreal with $300 worth of singles in my pocket, have saved on a hotel-room by spending the night bellied up at the Spearmint Rhino and believe FD's should be considered a national historic landmark.  

So I hope everybody knows exactly where we stand on the whole  'we love chicks and we hate dudes' issue.

I do have an issue with strip-clubs and it has nothing to do with taking advantage of women who have had bad relationships with their fathers or see it as a stepping stone to an acting career.   See I have never understood what is so appealing about the stripper pole.   Who the hell needs to see some chick with veins popping out her neck, completely red-faced as the blood rushes to her face hanging like she's some kind of statue while 'pour some sugar on me' blasts from the IBL speakers?  I can see that it is incredibly athletic when a chick hangs upside down from the rafters but I'm at a strip-club not a gymnastics meet.   

Give me a chick to do a sensual stroll across the stage, maybe gyrating up and down on the floor a bit and if she must use the pole as a phallic symbol but keep the triple lindy to somebody wearing a one-piece

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NY Times App

If there is an app out there which I would have more of a love-hate relationship with than the NY Times one I'd like to hear about it.
See the Times app gives you a downloaded copy of the entire newspaper in minutes, laid out in an easy to follow format with categories listed clearly on the bottom. The content is first-rate and although you don't get the pleasure of feeling the physical paper in your fingerprints you are also not struggling to try to unfold and refold it while crammed in a subway so it looks like somebody is trying to potty train a puppy on the D train.. The other positives include no black grime on your fingers and the cost is free as opposed to $2 per day and $5 on Sundays.
So riddle me this TOR, with all these positives why the rant??
Well its easy, this app either freezes or craps out once per day. It's as if it's run on windows because you wind up pressing the equivalent of ctrl- alt-delete three times per reading.
Now I hear the USA Today app is first rate although I am not sure how well a pie-chart will look on my IPhone.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When did our congress become a middle-school cafeteria?


You know there are too many political shows when discussions of seating arrangements at the State of the Union seem like they are more of the story line than the actual content of the speech. 

TOR will be sitting at the edge of our seats tonight as Obama gives his State of the Union Speech –not because we expect anything worthwhile but more because there won't be anything on to compete with it.  

Our expectations aren't very high as these things seem to have enough fizzle to last about one news cycle and this administration seems to send put out a carefully constructed press-release every time Obama takes a shit so it's not like we don't know where he stands on most of the issues.

We do expect Obama to give us some lame 'the state of our union is strong' rhetoric, we expect a few tears from Boehner, we expect a few congressmen to stand up when they aren't supposed to because they won't have their buddies sitting next to them to cue them when to stand up.    

We are glad that we won't have to figure out if Pelosi is sending out telepathic signals with her blinking, we will be glad to know that Biden will probably have a hard time not scratching his backside half-way through it.   We'll be interested to see if crazy Joe Lieberman will decide to try to bump Lee Corso on College Gameday.    We like to see I John Kerry walks out early like he did a few years ago, We'll be interested to see if John McCain builds a wall to keep the New Mexican representatives from entering his hemisphere.   We'll be interested to see if Obama uses a bit of the Walt Clyde Frazier Just for Men material.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Freeze Frame

There isn't anything that is more annoying to me than people who walk around when the temperature is in the single digits claiming they aren't cold.   Every time the temperature drops into the single digits you are assured of two things, an icicle growing on the end of my unit and a bunch of jackasses claiming it isn't cold.   I'm sure that people look at NFL players in short-sleeves playing on frozen tundra and believe that they too have to claim to be immune to the cold.    Have you ever notice that the second these dudes get off the field they are throwing a huge tarp over their body and sitting on one of those heated benches underneath a bunch of heat-lamps.    Walking around in short-sleeves when it's 8 degrees is about as bright as meeting a stripper in Tijuana and  assuming she's really a she.

Over the weekend with the temperature in the low 20's I walk into Starbucks and see a guy holding court exclaiming that it wasn't cold and that he only felt a little chill on his face but his body was fine.   Honestly this dude looked like he was going through atrophy on the spot yet needed to try to convince everybody that he may as well have been standing on a beach in Punta Cana.    It's people like this that makes me hope that the global warming thing is really a hoax and they go out skinny-dipping in the Antarctica to prove them right, if nothing else it would be a good method of population control.

I know there must be a level of machismo which comes along with having leather skin but generally it is the level of stupidity always shines through

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Final Countdown

With the announcement on Friday that he was hosting his last show on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann threw the blogosphere for a loop. Not only does MSNBC lose their #1 show, the liberals lost their number 1 cheerleader and everybody immediately started to speculate who would fill the void.
The obvious choices would be Bill Maher, Mike Greenber...I mean Rachel Maddow or that fat unfunny dude Ed but any direction they go on we have seen the end of MSNBC relevance. My guess is that Comcast -the new owners of NBC- probably like to tone down the partisan rhetoric as it may go against their core philosophy of providing media to people or more likely it is just their way to muzzle the wacky liberal voices.

I am sure that MSNBC will probably fall into some level of CNN insignificance so we can start writing it's obituary but the more interesting though is the speculation of where Olbermann ends up. Now he's going to first have to go on some Conan type sabbatical where he'll be forced to avoid interviews but it won't be long before he turns back up on Cable News and we predict that he'll end up sailing in enemy waters. See if Roger Clemens can do the pinstripes, if Hogan can join the NWO and Stalin can ally with the West then Olbermann can work for Rupert Murdoch.
This will come down to two things for Krazy Keith.. pride and money. FOX can pay him more than anybody but more importantly there is nothing that will piss an ex-wife off like sleeping with the enemy. This is Brad Pitt banging Angelina times 10.
I am convinced that he'll not just go to FOX but like the Rocket he'll dominate. We have seen this story before, think Favre in his first year in Minnesota.....hell has no fury like a broadcaster scorned....

And you may ask why FoxNews would do it, the answer is simple it comes down to dollars and cents. TV is about rating and nobody knows this better than old Rupert. Olbermann can push buttons and can get ratings, now imagine you put him on the death-star and watch the fireworks (and ratings) explode.

You can see it now, Olbermann and Beck at is that for Fair and Balanced???

This will be like Hannity and Colmes II except unlike Alan Colmes was that he didn't have the personality to carry the conversation and Hannity just outclassed him at every turn. It was like watching the Nixon-Kennedy debates in reverse. Hannity handsome and polished and Colmes a sweaty mess. . BUT Olbermann could hold his own and this could make for must watch TV and FOXNews will continue its dominance.

But you also know how this story ends and you don't have to think back to far. Game on the line and ball in his hands with a chance to go to the Superbowl and Olbermann will throw across his body across the field into the waiting arms of Tracey Porter.

Then again if he decided to team back up with Dan Patrick I would not complain.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Loving Memory

I understand that a loss of a loved one is painful, I understand feeling like you want to do something to remember them by and I understand putting a bumper sticker on your car to show the world your kid is an honor roll student but I don't understand putting a giant decal on your window to honor a lost brother or great-aunt.
I do not want to come across as callous or insensitive but this type of 'honor' is tacky.
First of all who in their right mind would want to be honored this way, drivers hate other cars so there is a chance that your car with Uncle Joey's decal will cut somebody off and that driver is going to be cursing your uncles name. I don't see the honor in that

Then the question is where do you stop? If you put a huge decal for Uncle Bill then what happens when your cousin Pauly drops dead? Do you remove Bill and then give the honor to Paul or does Bill have to share the spotlight

But really my issue is what happens when the car is sold. If you are the buyer of a Nissan Pulsar with a huge 'In Memory of' sticker are you obligated to keep it on the car?
It sounds ridiculous bit it would be disgraceful if you removed a tomb-stone or take down those white bikes that people affix to a telephone pole so how would this be any different??
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Friday, January 21, 2011


Usually I worry about spilling ketchup on my shirt before a meeting but now I got bigger issues. I walk out of a lunch meeting the other day and I pull the ultimate fat-guy move... I sit down and all of a sudden.....SNAP. My first though is that I ripped my groin or got a hernia but to my surprise I look down and it was my belt which snapped. Now I'm not nearly as fit as I was a few years ago but I wouldn't consider myself a belt-breaker either... So I'm chalking this up to Chinese manufacturing
Who does this happened to? Only a Righetti has his belt break en route to a big business meeting.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vegas Baby Vegas

There are a lot of thing unacceptable in Vegas but that's also what makes it so appealing. In many ways it is really a depressing place. People losing their life-savings at the tables, other people trying to live some life-long dream and others just hoping they can spend a weekend and it staying in Vegas.
What is the most depressing is the amount of young kids I see around here. I am not talking about 14 year olds at the pool but 2 year olds in strollers or baby carriers. This is not Disney World or Sea World, this is an adult playground..

Last night at 10PM I see a 14 month old sitting at a Hooters in a casino. What is wrong with you people when you are bring a toddler to a casino, let along to Vegas in general.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


When Mrs. TOR got a free year subscription of a magazine, I have to say I was kind of hoping she was going to choose US Weekly.   Not because the writing is good, the content is worth anything or because I just need to know who wore it better but mainly because there always seem to be a lot of hot chicks plastered over the pages.    Well I was mighty surprised when she opted for Cosmo, a magazine I have literally never before picked up.     I'm not sure why I haven't picked it up but good god was I shocked when I finally did.  
Every article is about chicks banging dudes, chicks going down on dudes and advice to chicks to dress and act more slutty.  

Look at the articles they are featuring this week (or month..i'm really not sure)

77 Sex Positions in 77 Days
75 Crazy Hot Sex Moves
Sex Tips from Guys  (I  imagine this will feature more JBs)
Sex positions you never tried
Bedroom blog

The more I think about it, this is totally Playboy, there are articles about sex positions, advice columns and a smoking hot chick on every cover..  Yeah maybe they don't have a naked photo-spread but those are always a bit overrated anyway..  I cannot believe that a chick can read this at an airport or subway without having anybody look twice.    This is the equivalent of Penthouse letters which is completely NOT acceptable living-room reading.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One of the greatest inventions of all time

We can get to the moon, we can send millions of particles at the speed of light over the French and Swiss border and we can run figure out how to take caffeine out of a coffee bean but we have yet to figure out how to make a NY style pizza taste as good coming out of the oven as it does when it's reheated..
Although I won't anymore I remember my family getting a pie every Friday night. We'd pick it up and open the box and inevitably there would be cheese stuck to the cardboard and half the cheese would slide off when you picked up a slice and this is not to mention the fact that you'd burn the roof of your mouth.
Well this is the issue with pizza, the fresh out of the oven NY style pizza doesn't work in our hurried society, .like a fine wine or a pint of Guinness you have to let it settle. But herein lies an opportunity, a pizzeria who sells full reheated pies. See the fresh pizza is still a bunch of hot ingredients while in the reheated version the cheese and the sauce have had a chance to meld together, the crust has picked up some tensile-strength and the flavor has had a chance to seep into the crust.
This is why l will no longer order a pie and instead walk in and ask for 8 slices packed in a big box.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

10 days

When two friends of mine announced that they were going to the Dominican Republic for a winter getaway, I must admit I was a bit jealous. I'm not a resort guy but as I've gotten old and fat it has started to sound tempting. They were planning on laying out by the pool, dipping their toes in the warm Caribbean sea, drinking fruity drinks and chowing down on top cuisine. It sounded like an awesome long-weekend especially as NYC was getting pounded by snow.
But when we got some more detail about the trip it occurred to me that they were planning on spending 10 days on a resort in DR.. Ten days is an eternity especially when sitting on a beach. Now I will freely admit that I am not one who can easily relax and I might be extreme for my need for excitement but even discussing this trip with friends who have perfected the art of relaxing, this seemed long.
Now if you were in the Mediterranean for a long week to explore the Greek isles that would sound like fun, if they were traveling through south-east Asia I could see that being a great adventure but sitting on a beach for 10 days listening to Lady Gaga sound like torture . I know myself and after I finished my copy of US Weekly after the first 2 hours, I'd be jumping out of my skin and I'd be well on my way to stake out an internet cafe..
I'd be comatosed from alcohol poising after 3 days on a resort, poking my eyes out after 5, hoping for food poising after 7 and ready to jump into the shark-pool after 9.

Then again I've been stuck on the D train heading to work for over 2 ours because of a stalled train on the bride while wearing pants that are too thin for the 10 degree weather and I think the guy next to me just shat himself.
So maybe an US Weekly and a Corona doesn't sound that bad right now
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Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hitting a birthday milestone used to be exciting. You'd get all your friends together at the bowling alley or later on at an Irish bar and just rip-it-up. Well 35 years later you wake up feeling hungover even if you didn't drink, tired from always being tired and heavier than you've been in 10 years.
Now you get calls and texts from friends which is nice but you are also bombarded with emails from Facebook that there are wall-posts from people you haven't seen in a decade or heard from since your birthday last year and I gotta figure out if I have to send back 50 thank youse. But even this is manageable cause there was some thought or effort put to it
What is worse there are 5 emails in my inbox from places like Manhattan Volvo, ING Direct, wishing me a happy birthday. It is different when 10 years ago you'd walk into your bank and the teller said hello because their might at least be some genuine feeling behind that and an actual relationship built upon it. There was a time when you knew your butcher in the grocery store, now you get an email from FreshDirect trying to entice you to buy again.
But what we deal with now this is not a genuine but yet another lame promotional attempt which somebody in these marketing departments have come up with the idea that they believe are probably not-offensive. I get so much junk-mail, promotional offers and spam, the last thing I need to hear is a generated message from a car-dealer who I didn't buy a car from wishing me anything. Let me tell you..not only am I offended I'm also annoyed to the point that I will be less likely to buy their product the next time.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have lived in New York City for a decade and have take the subway 1000's of time at every part of the day and night. I have also eaten just about every cuisine ethnic or American the city has to offer from fatty duck in China town, Tandori in Curry Hill, rotten cabbage in K-town, dogs from Papayas, dirty gyros from the grease-carts, rice and beans in Spanish Harlem, greasy pizza, calamari in a plastic container from the corner deli and some of the best egg-and-cheese bagels you can think of.
What I have never tried are those donut sticks that the Guatemalans sell in the subway. I am not sure why I wouldn't because I certainly have eaten at plenty of places without that A grading posted in a window. I buy the italian ices from the same guys in the summer time and would easily buy a bottle of water at a crosswalk . I also have no issue with street vendors having my share of dirty-water dogs, chicken on a stick and knishes so I"m far from a germaphobe.
But I can't seem to get over the filth factor of serving fried bread from a big tray planted on a granny shopping cart on a subway platform. The only thing I can equate it to is having no desire to have the Sushi at FD's. You just can't mix those two elements.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Guns 'N People

A friend asked me today what country had the most guns per person, he thought it was the US and my guess was Canada because of something I remember from that terrible Michael Moore movie. 
When I went to Wikipedia I was floored.
The list goes as follows
Guns per
100 residents

Now mind you that this is not the percentage of people who own guns but the total amount of guns in the country divided by the total amount of people.  My guess is that US Citizens may have a higher population of gun owners but also have many people who have an arsenal in their closet.  

Now we believe that there is a right to own a gun although we are not at all comfortable with some psychopath having an automatic with clips of 30 bullets but we have some TOR observations
·         if you are topping any list and Yemen is finishing with the silver medal than this might not be a list you want to be on.
·         This list just divides total guns by total people, where is the list of percentage of people who own guns?
·         But even if you take that into consideration there are 90 guns for every 100 people in the states and I the CIA.Gov website says that 20% of our population is under the age of 14.  I can't imagine that there are that many 10 year olds with guns so if you subtract the amount of pre-pubescent kids from the list there are more guns than adults. 
·         How the hell Switzerland so high, what kind of militia is are those chocolate lovers forming?
·         How Mexico #18 on this list, all I hear about is is huge weapons caches in places like Juarez.  Does this mean that the guy enjoying the siesta are the ones without the guns and only a small percentage of Mexicans (drug warlords) have a ton of them?
·         All my European Friends and Family are always knocking the states for the amount of gun violence but countries like Greece, France, Sweden and Finland are all in the top 10.
·         Where the hell are Afghanistan and Somalia on this list.. those warlords are giving a kid a gun as they are shooting out of their birthing canal.
·         I have yet to hear a decent argument for the gun-show loophole.   This is like saying that a kid can't buy alcohol except when they go to a beer-show they can all of a sudden get sloshed  (actually this sounds like the Patty's Day Parade so forget it)