Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trail of Lies

Great track... Fantastic video... Oh yeah, and this song just happens to have been written by one of the most talented up-and-coming songwriters on the Nashville scene: Lisa McCallum.

If you're hitting up Tin Pan South this week (and really, who isn't?), be sure to check out her set on Saturday night with Michelle Wright, Michael Logen, and Lauren Lucas at The Listening Room.

By the way, feel free to check out Katie Armiger while you're at it, and to vote for her song on the Great American Country countdown.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

I won't lie to you: I wasn't even aware of Earth Hour until 5:30 last night when my boss brought me up to speed. "It's really great", he said. "The entire neighbourhood turns off their lights, and since there's nothing to do, everyone is outside, walking around, talking to one another... You know, the way things used to be... It's really a great way to get to know your neighbours..." He then went on to explain how I should try to borrow somebody's dog, because walking around the neighbourhood with a little dog would be a great way to meet girls. Probably not a bad strategy, all things considered, but not exactly in my wheelhouse... I'm more of a stray cat kind of guy, truth be told.

But despite opting out of the dog-borrowing scheme, I did decide to take a wander through my neibhbourhood this evening, figuring that if Earth Hour could affect the social confluence in any way resembling that of the blackout of 2003, we would be in for some seriously jovial civic good times (I fondly recall living in London, ON at the time of the 2003 blackout. We walked the streets all night long as bars grilled their entire quickly-thawing-freezer's worth of meat on BBQs lining the sidewalks, serving beer from ice buckets to candlelit patio furniture until the the wee hours of the morning. With nothing else to do and no conceivable way to work the following day, people came together and socialized in a way that I'd never seen before. It was beautiful).

So at 8:30 this evening, I turned off the Pitt-Villanova game (kicking myself), and took to the streets. My neighbourhood was relatively dark, but no more social than it seemingly would be on any other night. I guess I half-expected everyone to be hanging out on their front porch, drinking beer and singing along with the neighbourhood acoustic guitar player, or to see the silhouettes of happy couples drinking in the romance as they danced in their living rooms to the backdrop of candlelight... But alas, it was business as usual. There wasn't the kind of foot traffic that my boss had promised, and there was a serious lack of girls walking the streets with little dogs in tow, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a charming young dude presumably holding a corresponding affinity for yappy canines... Maybe next year.

In any event, there were a few places along College Street that were down with the Earth Hour gig, most notably The Brass Taps (no Leafs game on; patrons happily drinking by candlelight), and Alice's Restaurant (although I have to say, the prospect of eating at a restaurant in the dark is far less appealing to me than the idea of simply drinking in one). But it wasn't until I got to the Ossington Strip that I witnessed the true meaning of Earth Hour.

The Communist's Daughter; a long-time favourite; was serving by candlelight, but it always is, so no surprise there. A rocking new Ossington watering hole, The Painted Lady, was also lit via flickering-flame, solidifying it's place as one of this blogger's future mainstays. And then I came to The Crooked Star, which was so perfectly embracing of everything that Earth Hour is supposed to mean that I decided to step inside, effectively ending my neighbourhood blogger's exploration the moment I walked through the door. For not only were all of the lights off inside The Star; and not only were there a pair of troubadours standing in the middle of the bar, wailing away on acoustic covers of the likes of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams; but the place was absolutely jammed with like-minded people who were all-too happy to be partaking in whatever it was that this Earth Hour was supposed to entail.

This was that neighbourhood setting I'd been hoping to find when I'd turned off my TV some 30 minutes earlier. It had the cold beer. It had the candlelit dancing. It had the good ol' fashioned acoustic sing along (my favourite was an impromptu version of a song entitled "The Earth Hour Blues"). And it had a group of people who happened to live in the same neighbourhood, that would no longer consider one another to be strangers from this point forward.

And sure, if you didn't know that it was Earth Hour out there tonight (as many, many people did not), you may not have even noticed that your city or town was reducing it's energy use for this particular hour. And sure, it's easy to proclaim that this effort is nothing more than a token opportunity for liberals to pat themselves on the back and feel good about something that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't really make much of a difference at all.

But in small pockets of wherever you happened to have been tonight, the entire concept of Earth Hour was alive and well, and it truly was making a difference. Because in small pockets, people were taking note. People were understanding that maybe they didn't necessarily need to have every light on all of the time, or that you could have a good time on a Saturday night without TV or the internet, or that candlelight is seriously underrated as a means of setting the mood...

And as this event becomes more and more mainstream in the years to come, my feeling is that there will be an ever-increasing number of people participating (this was only the 3rd year for the Earth Hour event, and it has grown exponentially in that short period of time). And just as those who participated this year will have undoutedly taken some small but important lessons from the experience of temporarily switching off, so too will future participants gain an invaluable insight into what it means to reduce the amount of energy we customarily employ.

And when you get right down to it, it can be a hell of a lot of fun to hang around in the dark in the city on a Saturday night in the spring.

Bonus Coverage: An Earth-Hour-friendly acoustic version (Tegan and Sara) of Dancing In The Dark.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to help you pass the time as you recalibrate the odds of winning your NCAA pool in a world without Memphis. As always, here is some of the best reading I've come across over the past week.

By Atul Gawande

Is solitary confinement a form of torture? Sounds a lot like it to me.

Tails of Manhattan
By Woody Allen

A great little short story by New York City's favourite son. Two former investors are reincarnated as lobsters. They wind up sharing a tank in an upscale, Upper East Side seafood restaurant. In walks Bernie Madoff. Comedy ensues.

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!
By Jake DeSantis

The other side of the coin. This is a letter from one of the much maligned A.I.G. employs who was scheduled to receive one of the bailout bonuses, eloquently explaining his side of the story, showing exactly how Edward Liddy hung his guys out to dry, and offering what he proposes to do with his share of the money. It really is a heartfelt treatise, and well worth the read, if for no other reason to bear witness to some of the ways in which politicians have been spinning this story.

Thanks to Rosco for the piece.

Winnie Cooper Gets Married: A Generation of Kevin Arnolds Weep

I won't lie to you. I may have shed a tear upon hearing this news. The dream is officially dead.

Let this be your warning: you will spend an inordinate amount of time on this website. The Chive bills itself as the world's largest photoblog, and there is some classic material to be found. Particularly the "Best Photobombers Ever" chapters.

Sporno: 20 Pictures in Which Sport and Porn Collide

This one pretty well speaks for itself.

The Meat Bracket
By Paul Lukas

I found this to be strangely entertaining and informative. Paul Lukas takes us on a vegetarian's nightmare: an NCAA-style single elimination bracket.... of MEAT!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Venture into the Shady World of Copyright Infringement

For months and months, I've been tossing and turning at night, unable to resolve this issue I've been having of late whereby most of the best articles I come across are not available to my loyal readers (unless said readers are subscribers the The New Yorker's Online Edition - a service which costs upwards of $100 per year). Every week, it seems, as I'm assembling the finest reading I've come across, I invariably wind up smashing my face against my desk out of sheer frustration for not being able to direct the dotcomrades to what I feel they might find profoundly enlightening and entertaining.

But at long last, those days are behind us. For I have discovered a way in which we all can enjoy the fruits of the labours of those who have struggled and toiled mightily, without having to worry about the absurd notion of compensating them for their efforts. Ahhhh... The democratizing effects of the world wide web.

And sure, you might argue that what I'm doing here is bordering on copyright infringement... and by "bordering on" I very much mean "blatant"... But I guess the legal team here at will cross that particular bridge should we ever happen to come to it.

In the meantime, do you yourselves a favour and read this piece, if for no other reason than because it was good enough to force me into making it available by all means necessary, moral and legal uncertainties be damned.

It chronicles the events of David Sedaris' recent book tour, and it is absolutely brilliant. I was literally laughing aloud when I came across the scene where Sedaris is perusing the Costco aisles with his brother-in-law, pushing an oversized shopping cart containing nothing but a gigantic box of condoms. It reminded me of that old story about the candy salesman and the Trojan rep...

So enjoy this before I'm slapped with a cease and desist order:

Author, Author?
By David Sedaris

If anything should be bracketed by matching bookends, I suppose it's an author tour. The ones I'd undertaken in the past began in one independent or chain store, and ended, a month or so later, in another. The landscape, though, has changed since then, and it's telling that on this latest tour I started and finished at a Costco...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lebron James is a Pretty O.K. Basketball Player, I guess...



In terms of the game's hallowed numbers, it doesn't quite resonate like, let's say, 50.4 -- Wilt Chamberlain's historic scoring average in 1961-62 -- or Oscar Robertson's 30-12-11 triple-double that same season.

But it's a big one at Hollinger HQ, anyway. That 31.89 mark is Michael Jordan's PER (player efficiency rating) from the 1987-88 season, the top mark for any season since the league started tracking individual turnovers in 1973-74. (We don't have enough information for seasons prior to that, unfortunately, so we can't properly evaluate Wilt or the Big O.)

And it's an important figure at the moment because it's under assault this season from LeBron James...

John Hollinger goes on to explain why Lebron James is having one of the most significant seasons in NBA history by referencing threads of numerical data that would get any statistical analyst worth their salt aroused in a borderline-sexual kind of way. Hollinger also goes on to say that LBJ's season hasn't been receiving nearly enough attention.

Well Johnny, consider this little entry the official tipping point for Lebron. Because as we all know, once a story appears on the blog, there's really no going back. Be prepared for an avalanche of LBJ stories in the coming weeks. You can thank me later.

(By the way, was this a loosely-veiled excuse to post the clip of LBJ going off for 16 points in two minutes last month? Possibly. I just can't get enough of the Bradley Center crowd going nuts for a visiting player, or the sight of the Cavs bench quite literally not being able to believe what they're seeing. In fact, it was somewhat reminiscent of this performance. And these ones.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friday Diversion

A monster edition of the Diversion this week. This should help you forget about the fact that the organizer of your NCAA pool emailed you halfway through Thursday's action to remind you that in this particular pool, if your team loses you cannot pick the other team in the next round... Not exactly a ringing endorsement of your abilities as a handicapper. As always, this is some of the best reading we've come across over the course of the past seven days.

By Roger Angell

A great review and recap of the book chronicalling Joe Torre's years in New York, looking back at what made the '96-00 Yankees teams so great, and conversely, what they've been lacking in the interim. There are some fascinating little anecdotes in here, including the story about Torre putting in a congratulatory call to Terry Francona and Tim Wakefield just minutes after losing Game 7 to the Sox in 2004 (Wakefield gave up the season ending HR to Aaron Boone the year before). A class act all around, this piece makes the case for Torre's induction into the grown-up's H.O.F.

By Paul Goldberger

A look at NYC's two newest stadiums. A nice history of baseball stadia, highlighting the pros and cons of both the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.

You Think Your Job Sucks? Try Working for Lenny Dykstra
By Kevin Coughlin

An unbelievable glimpse into what it might be like to work for Lenny Dykstra. Now this is the Lenny I always thought I knew. There is some seriously choice stuff in here, as recounted by the one-time photo editor of The Player's Club. The racial slurs are only slightly more shocking than the fact that Dykstra once asked to borrow his photo editor's credit card in order to pay for a private jet. Nails Never Fails? Well... Maybe just this once...

Thanks to Browner for the piece.

World Class Solar Tariffs on the Way for Ontario
By Paul Gipe

Good news on the renewable energy front... If that's your thing.

Daring To Dream
By Pat Forde

A look at a real-life "Hoosiers" team from Eastern Kentucky. It's a Cinderella story reminiscent of the glorious run that the White Oaks Wildcats took us all on during the OFSAA Tournament back in 1995.

Thanks to D-Hibb (#50 PF) for the link.

March Madness is Here: Top-10 Gus Johnson Freakouts

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Do yourself a favour and get on the Gus-bus.

It's Chipper Jones VS. The City of Toronto. Let's Watch The Fun
By Rich Chandler

Is it possible to criticize anything while going 0-for-10 when you're supposed to be representing your country?

I think it's safe to say that the opinion of anyone who prefers Atlanta's nightlife to Toronto's is less than irrelevent, but still... The good people at Deadspin do well to point out what the rest of us have known for years: Chipper Jones is a douchebag.

The YouTube clip of the week highlights one of the great Grammy performances of all-time. I remember seeing this back in 2003 and thinking it was completely bad-ass. My opinion hasn't changed in the intervening years.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let The Madness Begin!

If there were ever any doubt regarding the competency of President Barack Obama, it was dispelled entirely with the filling out of his NCAA bracket. The dude knows his hoops. I love the fact that he can actually back up his picks with knowledge of the teams involved (unlike yours truly), and that he'll be taking time out of his working day to sneak a few peeks at the action.

Unfortunately for President Obama, however, he will not be winning his office pool this year.

Because as has been mentioned in this forum previously, there are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 ways to fill out your NCAA Men's basketball bracket, but only one way to fill it out correctly. And I'd like to go on record as saying that my bracket has been filled out just so.

(By the way, I love the fact that I look at my bracket here on Wednesday night and am able to talk myself into both Cleveland State and North Dakota State for the Sweet-16 because I happened to have attended a huge Cleveland State upset last year, and because Chuck Klosterman is from North Dakota and Gus Johnson will be calling the Minneapolis games... I'm guessing that by about 6pm on Thursday, I'll be lighting my bracket on fire and wondering just what the fuck I could have possibly been thinking.)

So fill in your brackets. Call in sick to work. Settle in for 12 hours on the couch. And enjoy the finest four days of sports the calendar year has to offer.

And if my history of sports prognosticating is any kind of an indicator, do everything in your power to avoid taking a Final Four consisting of Louisville, Memphis, Pitt, and Oklahoma, with Pitt beating Louisville in the National Championship.

Happy Bracketteering!

PS - For those looking for some last minute inspiration in filling out their bracket, check out the Sports Guy's podcast, where Simmons and Joe House go over every game in the tourney. This is surprisingly entertaining, particularly when they contemplate the possibility that this player is Lloyd Christmas' illegitmate son.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This is quite possibly my favourite week of the year. The days are getting longer, there's a hint of spring in the air, there are 44 hours of glorious college basketball looming on the horizon, and today, the entire working world will find themselves carousing in various dark and smokey Irish Pubs from noon until the wee hours of the morning, drinking obscene amounts of Guinness and Bushmills, and stumbling drunkenly in-step to the likes of The Pogues and Van Morrison while telling half-pissed strangers how much they love them.

Aye, it's St. Patrick's Day.

And if it's true what they say about everybody being Irish on St. Patrick's Day, than do as any good Irishman would and join the rest of us in disregarding any semblance of responsibility by getting completely and utterly pissed while you're supposed to be working. It's exactly what Saint Patrick had in mind when he banished snakes from the Emerald Isle some 1600 years ago.

So throw on the most hideously mismatching green ensemble you can find. Fill your pockets with as much cash as you can reasonably get your hands on. Read the following treatise by The Supa Pilot. Tell your boss you're going for lunch. Leave the car parked exactly where it is. Watch the following two videos:

...And then meet us at The Pour House.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Canadian Music Week

Editor's Note: Guest blogger and indie-rock savant Matt Brown occasionally checks in with his rare take on The Guyland Adventures in the world of music and debauchery. He's here to weigh in on this past weekend in Toronto, as the A&C Crew took in all that Canadian Music Week had to offer. And for the record, the Thursday night, 4:00 am Lincoln encounter could very well have been an entire blog entry of it's own. That is one of the greatest lines I have ever heard.

If you're a fan of beer and music in Toronto then there are two weeks on your calendar that are consistently more debaucherous than the rest: Canadian Music Week and North by Northeast.

This last week was the former. Here's how it played out for me:

Warning: This summary contains extreme biases and blatant propaganda


Things started with Zeus (a band recently signed to the label I work for) opening up for Sloan at the Mod Club. This was a match made in heaven as Zeus are also a Beatles-influenced band that uses a lot of harmonies. The crowd was large and attentive and the band was in fine form. A solid start. Next my co-workers and I rushed over to The Music Gallery to see Charles Spearin presenting his album The Happiness Project. For those of you not familiar with it, Charles' latest project involved him recording conversations about happiness with his neighbours and then building songs around what they said. It is a really unique and artistic project and it makes for an interesting listen on record, but it is truly something to behold live and The Music Gallery was the ideal venue.


It was not a good sign that I was already exhausted on Thursday morning (owing in no small part to trivia night at Fionn Maccool's on Tuesday). Having to write a midterm between the end of work and the beginning of the CMW festivities didn't help, but being a veteran of this week I knew that these minor glitches would not be cause enough for me to bow out. So I soldiered on and made my way down to The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern to take in a magnificent performance by Arts and Crafts' own Gentleman Reg. It seemed like a good way to cap a night where we successfully defended our title as Independent Record Label of the Year.

From there I made a quick run up to Supermarket to indulge my curiousity about a singer-songwriter from BC named Dan Mangan. He did not disappoint and I will bestow upon him the award for Best New Discovery of CMW 2009. Next I headed back down to Queen Street to catch Inward Eye at the Rivoli. It was here that I made a critical switch from beer to white lightning. This is a tricky maneouver and should not be attempted by amateurs, but when done properly it can lead to a cleaner, less bloated hangover- important on a weekday. The boys in Inward Eye were signed to Sony BMG as teenagers a few years ago (when it was still Sony BMG) and they've been waiting patiently for the label to put out their record. They are amazing performers with some great tunes, but it seemed to me that the waiting game had (unsurprisingly) not helped their creative process. Here's hoping the wheels grind back into motion and the band gets a chance to properly mine their talents soon.

It was at this point that my boss recalled that he had a new Drake Hotel credit card with a $1500 credit on it and the Drake had extended bar hours. So naturally we were headed west to put the fresh plastic to good use. I'm a little hazy on the details of what happened at the Drake. I do remember that there was a rotating cast of characters, multiple transitions from the main level to the basement and back again, and a slow procession of people quietly going MIA. We would later discover that a co-worker who shall remain nameless passed out on another co-worker's floor (the victim of an electrical storm) having failed to call his girlfriend and tell her that he wasn't coming home. They say you win some and you lose some. I'm calling this one a no decision.

My night ended as I hopped out of a cab on Roncesvalles Ave. A black man in a Lincoln who looked like he could play linebacker for the Argos pulled up as I was waiting to cross the street and engaged me in a conversation that went like this:

Man: Hey, do you know a good place to get a drink at this hour?
Me: The Drake is open till 4
Man: That means it closes in 4 minutes. There aren't any good after hours clubs?
Me: Hmm... Since the Matador closed I really don't know of any. Sorry.
Man: Do you know if there are any bisexual clubs?
Me: There probably are, but I don't know where. Sorry. Good luck.
Man: OK, thanks anyway.

*I cross the street*

Man (after pulling a u-turn): Just to be clear- you aren't into the bisexual thing, are you?
Me: I'm not. Sorry. Good luck man.
Man: Damn, tough to get a blowjob in this town.

Yeah, it was time to go to bed. Alone.


Friday was an exercise in perseverance. The Friday of CMW is always the most trying night. The people with a normal day job and a rational mind stay home on Thursday and many of the out-of-towners and networking industry weasels are gone by Saturday. But Friday it's all hands on deck. If you want to see well known bands you're well-advised to pick a venue, get there early, and stay put. Even though I knew this to be the best strategy I didn't get to the Horseshoe early enough and there was a long line by the time I arrived. Sometimes if you know the right people, have the right business cards, and/or are able to lie through your teeth you can still weasel your way in. But in the early part of Friday night my game was a lot like a guy who shows up 30 pounds overweight for spring training.

After getting rejected at the Horseshoe I met up with my co-worker Patrick and a couple of guys from The Waking Eyes and we went to Sneaky Dees where The Waking Eyes guys and I got denied once again. Undeterred we continued on to Rancho Relaxo to warm up, hear some tunes, plan our next move, and grab a few white lightnings. That next move, it turned out was to head to Central (a great little bar that noone seemed to know existed) and see former Waking Eye Bucky's new band The Liptonians and generally celebrate the town that the Weakerthans hate.

With the Liptonians set over and last call in our rearview mirror it was clear the only thing left to do was head... back to the Drake. In a stunning reversal of fortune from only four hours prior, we were ushered past a large lineup and escorted by the hostess downstairs through an employees only stairway to a loud party featuring remixed hip hop that was admittedly far trendier than yours truly. But, I appreciate talent as much as the next guy so we lingered just long enough to take in the view before heading upstairs for a quick drink. As we left the Drake we quickly paid a local entrepreneur $5 NOT to sell us some coke and then retreated to the Rock Castle of my friend David where we coached him through a heated text message exchange with his landlord. As the clock struck 5 I decided that going to bed when it was light out on the SECOND last night of CMW was not a wise idea and beat a hasty retreat.


The last night of CMW began at the place that feels more like home to me than any other with a set by Young Galaxy. From there it was a quick walk and a short streetcar ride to C'est What to see Fred. One problem- it turns out that there was an administrative error on the part of the person who put together my schedule for the week (that would be me) and I had missed the Fred show by about 24 hours. As Demetri Martin put it: "Timing is everything- that's a". So I quickly pounded back a hemp ale and hopped a cab to Lee's Palace.

I stood in line for a while at Lee's Palace until my boss and Jian Ghomeshi showed up and I became cool enough to skip the line and catch the last couple of songs by Elliott Brood. The 12:45 set belonged to Wayne Petti and the crew that make up Cuff the Duke. Wayne and his girlfriend Kim are two of the nicest people you will ever meet and CTD are extremely adept at bringing the country tinged rock, making this show a no brainer. The added bonus on this particular evening was that Holly Andreychuk and the Brothers Elliott (also known as 60% of The Buffalo Builders) were rounding out the evening with a 2:15 set. They deserve a lot of credit for givin 'er despite a noticeably depleted crowd and Holly managed to inspire at least one girl crush in the process.

With the live music portion of the evening now complete I stopped in for a slice of pizza before heading over to my boss' place for a nightcap. It would likely be a career limiting move to discuss much of what happened at this particular party so I will only divulge that it turns out even super cool indie rockers love their guilty pleasures from the '80's. Eventually people started to fade (or pass out on the couch of people they had just met) and so it was that the 2009 version of CMW came to a close for me some time just after 6:00 a.m.

The final (very unofficial) tally: 14 bands, 10 venues, 2 house parties, hundreds of dollars in cab fare, countless white lightning, dozens of bottles of 50, a few pints of Keiths, a couple tall cans of Moosehead, and a polish beer I'd never seen before and wouldn't be able to identify in a police lineup. And only one massive infusion of caffeine- a new CMW record in the red bull era. Good times as always, but I need a break. I'm not going to drink again till... St. Patty's day on Tuesday.... and I won't be going back to the Horseshoe anytime soon... except Julian Taylor's set on Thursday...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Diversion

It is Canadian Music Week in Toronto, and there are a lot of hungover people out there today. I am included in that mix. Here´s a little something to get you through to 5 o´clock. Quick and dirty:

Brewed Awakening
By Elizabeth Bromstein

A Coles Notes look at Ayahuasca from last week´s NOW Magazine.

Wiggle Room
By David Foster Wallace

Big run on David Foster Wallace here. This is an excerpt from the novel that Wallace was never able to finish. Brilliant stuff. Not for those who are big fans of the ¨paragraph¨.

Terrell Owens on Buffalo: ¨Ummmmmmm¨
By Will Brinson

Apparently the guys at NFL FanHouse have the same read on this thing as I do. But hey, anything is better than 7-9 right?... RIGHT???

Now go check out some music in the city this weekend. You´ll need THIS to know what´s going down and where. highly recommends Blacky Jackett Jr. at the Tattoo Rock Parlour tonight at 8:30. Solid old school Alt-Country vibe, if that´s your thing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

T.O. to The Bills


It didn't take long for T.O. to find a new home.

Terrell Owens has agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, according to sources.

The Bills called a 6:15 p.m. news conference Saturday to announce the signing. According to a source, the entire contract is guaranteed.

Owens visited the Bills on Saturday. He was released by the Dallas Cowboys late Wednesday.

Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in a text message Friday that his client wouldn't be out of work for too long. Negotiations had begun with several teams, Rosenhaus said.

"There are several teams that are interested in signing Terrell," Rosenhaus said. "I have been in negotiations with these teams. I will not identify the teams at this time. Terrell and I expect to have a deal in place by the end of next week if not sooner."

The Cowboys paid Owens a $12 million signing bonus last year, which was included as part of a new four-year, $34 million deal. Dallas took a roughly $9 million salary-cap when it released of Owens.

There has been talk since the end of the Cowboys' 9-7 season, in which they missed the playoffs, that they would consider cutting Owens to improve locker-room morale.

Owens finished with more catches (69), receiving yards (1,052) and touchdowns (10) last season than any player on the Bills' roster.

The Bills were in need of a receiver to take the pressure from Lee Evans. They got one of the biggest names out there.

The question now is how T.O. will deal with Trent Edwards, who is only entering his second full year as starter. Owens has made life difficult for quarterbacks in the past and joins an offense that struggled mightily last year.

The Bills were 25th in the NFL in yards gained and failed to have a 300-yard passer.

Kill me now. Seriously.

Best case scenario? T.O. breaks a short dump off, takes it to the house, steals a set of pom-poms from one of the cheerleaders, crowd-surfs his way up into Ralph Wilson's private box and give the Bills' 90-year old owner a lap dance, and then in the post-game presser tells reporters that he just wanted to make it rain, penalty flag style.

Worst case scenario? See: T.O.'s entire career up to this point.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to help pass the time as you wait on the San Jose Sharks to come in at 3-1. As always, this is some of the best reading I've come across over the course of the past week, with a tip of the cap the the Dotcomrades.

The Unfinished
By D. T. Max

Chances are that if you're reading this blog, you will enjoy immensely the writing of David Foster Wallace. I received an email from a loyal dotcomrade about a month ago which stated: "I'm halfway through "a supposedly fun thing i'll never do again". I'm not sure who's imitating who, but the similarities are uncanny."

Seeing as I'd never read Wallace to that point and he's been dead for 6 months, we'll have to chalk it up to coincidence. But needless to say, I'm a fan of his work. I especially love his conception of what writing should be: "Fiction's about what it is to be a fucking human being." And: "Good writing should help readers to become less alone inside."

This is an in-depth look into the life and work of the great David Foster Wallace.

Thanks to MC of the Callaghan Auto Parts Empire for turning me on to Wallace in the first place.

Welcome To The No Benjamins Association
By Bill Simmons

One of the finest pieces that the Sports Guy has ever penned, this is an in-depth look at the current and future financial state of the NBA. To say that things look bleak for the professional sports landscape in the coming years would be like saying that Lebron James has a knack for making things happen on the court.

The Starter Jacket Trend
By Patrick Ronan

A look back to the early 1990's when we all rocked the Starter jacket. All of my friends had them. The Raiders. The Dolphins. The Bills... I'm proud to say that the only Starter I ever donned was that of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I still get a little teary-eyed when I see a borderline-homeless walking the streets of Toronto rocking that fabled black-and-blue pullover. And yes, that Starter "S" zipper needs to make a comeback in a serious way. And I'm anxiously awaiting the follow up piece on Zubaz...

This American Life: Plan B
Click HERE for a complete synopsis

A reader emailed me the link to this most excellent podcast saying that the first act ("Cuevo Man") reminded her of me.... We'll go ahead and call it the back-handed compliment of the week.
There are four separate acts of entertainment in this fantastic podcast, each touching on the subject of what becomes of our lives when our Plan "A" doesn't quite work out. The first act involves a man who is paid to be a professional partier (Cuervo Man!). Act III invovles a plan to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr. in order to raise capital (how had I never heard this story before?), and Act IV will bring you into the fascinating world of telemarketing, courtesy of Wire Tap's own Jonathan Goldstein.

The Adam Carolla Podcast (with Bill Simmons)

If Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life" is considered high-brow podcasting, Adam Carolla's foray into the medium is the exact opposite. The Sports Guy stops in to discuss all of the pressing issues of the day, including tipping the bathroom guy at the strip club, politically incorrect movie pitches ("Just One of the Gays"), Carolla's "spunk-shui", and an unbelievable story involving Norm McDonald and his best friend's lawnmower.

The YouTube clip of the Week comes courtesy of my buddy Flats, who alerted me to the ongoing prank war over at College Humour. Believe me when I say that the Yankee Stadium Proposal Prank is phenomenal:

But I have to give the nod to Streeter for pulling off the Half-Court Hoax at the Terps game (video evidence can be seen HERE). That was sheer genius.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kent Huskins to San Jose: Sharks Instantly Favoured to Win The Cup

From The Mercury News

The Sharks geared up for the playoffs today by acquiring left wing Travis Moen and defenseman Kent Huskins from the division-rival Anaheim Ducks for two prospects and a conditional draft pick at the NHL trade deadline.

The acquisitions follow the same pattern that General Manager Doug Wilson established last summer of bringing in players and coaches who have won the Stanley Cup with other organizations.

Moen, who has four goals and seven assists in 63 games with the Ducks this season, is a scrappy forward who played a major role on the Ducks' checking line during their 2007 Stanley Cup title run. He is expected to bolster the Sharks' third line, which has been hit by injuries all season.

Huskins has been sidelined by foot surgery, but Wilson said he is expected to be cleared to play for this weekend's games. He becomes one of eight Sharks' defensemen with significant NHL experience, and Coach Todd McLellan said he will use the next 20 games to see where he best fits in.

Anaheim receives forward Nick Bonino, the captain of the Boston University team ranked No. 1 in the NCAA, and Timo Pielmeier, a goalie for St. John's in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Remember in the early 1990's when it was cool to wear the black and teal San Jose Sharks Starter jacket to your local Junior High? Well, it's time to dust off all of those Pat Falloon rookie cards, because for the first time in the history of the franchise, the San Jose Sharks are legit contenders for Lord Stanley's Mug. Happy days are here at last.

In a stunning transaction, the Anaheim Ducks have opted to dismantle much of their 2007 Stanley Cup Championship team, sending standout defenceman Kent "The Commish" Huskins to the best team in hockey. To say that there are a lot of broken hearts in Orange County today would be a monumental understatement.

It's a move that essentially raises the white flag on the Ducks season, but clearly bolsters the Sharks blueline, making the No-Cal Fish the runaway favourites to come out of the Western Conference this spring (current Vegas odds have them at 3-1 to go home with the Prom Queen).

You might as well go ahead and book your room at the Quality Inn right now.

In case you missed it the first time, when The Commish finds himself on the blueline of the best team in hockey, it usually winds up looking a little something like THIS.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Everything's Amazing; Nobody's Happy

I have no idea who Louis C.K. is, but I like his style.

But seriously, when I was at Starbucks this morning and I ordered an extra-hot, no-foam, no-fat, Venti-soy-latte with a double shot of espresso, the barista had the audacity to leave the foam in my drink... Luckily for everyone involved, I threw the extra-hot concoction back in her face and then smashed one of those aluminum half-and-half cannisters through the glass pastry case at the front counter, ensuring that this indefensible transgression never occurs again.

Thanks to Johnny D at The View From Here for passing this along.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lamenting the Wedding DJ

So, I was at my buddy D-Hibb's wedding last night, and it was an absolutely glorious affair. It was the first Italian wedding I'd ever had the pleasure of attending, and I have to say, I loved everything about it: the quick ceremony, the shots of Amaretto in the receiving line, the multi-course meal that lasted for 3 hours, the ice sculpture, the midnight dessert buffet... The fact that the tables surrounding me could have doubled as my high school reunion didn't hurt, nor did the fact that I wound up drinking enough Gin and Tonics to kill a small Bolivian Guerrilla platoon, but regardless, the night was one of the most enjoyable I can remember having in quite some time.

But if the evening fell short in any way (through no fault whatsoever of the bride and groom, it should be noted), it was in the DJ booth. There just wasn't the kind of rockin' good time flow that you'd like to see at a wedding reception. In fact, the only string of success I can remember was the trifecta of Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" (always a highlight when the oldsters imitate this dance), followed immediately thereafter by Bob Seeger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" (I'm pretty sure there's a law similar to primae noctis which states that no marriage is legally valid unless this song is played at the reception), the set wrapping up with Kenny Loggins' "Footloose", providing my buddy Davie Walsh the requisite stage for his Kevin-Bacon-Knee-Slide, unquestionably one of the highlights of the night. But aside from that little flourish, it just seemed like the DJ never found his groove. He didn't even have Guns 'N' Roses' "Patience", which is only one of the all-time great love ballads... Simply inexcusable.

In any event, these indiscretions got me to thinking: Is there such thing as a good wedding DJ? Because believe me, I've been to my fair share of nuptials, and I can't ever remember stumbling out of the reception at the end of the night, thinking to myself: "You know what? That DJ knocked it out of the park tonight!" It just seems like at every wedding, I find myself looking at the tumbleweeds blowing across the dancefloor at various points in the evening and wondering whether or not I might be able to do a better job.

Because maybe I'm missing something, but how hard can it be to play what the people want to hear?

I'm telling you, give me my techniques, my laptop, and an internet connection, and I can guarantee that I'd have the dancefloor jammed all night long. I mean, if you just stand up there and take requests all night, isn't it a lock that the people will wind up dancing to the songs they want to dance to? What better way to feel out your audience than to let them tell you what they want to hear. And in this day and age, shouldn't any competent wedding DJ have access to every song on the face of the earth? Because at the off chance that someone requested something that wasn't already on your hard drive or in your vinyl collection, wouldn't it be easy enough to download it and play it right there on the spot?... Hell, if I were at the helm, I'd even have a projector in place to show the YouTube clips of the songs I was playing, like some kind of Much Music video dance party, circa 1993.

So consider DJ Eric Foreman officially in play for your next wedding. I have no idea what a regular, run-of-the-mill wedding DJ charges, but you can go ahead and pay me in Gin and Tonics.

See you on the dancefloor.