October 31, 2008


  • Aside from napping and eating my greatest skill in life is the ability to rapidly grow bad facial hair, so it comes as no surprise that at least a half-dozen "looks" from this very handy chart seem familiar. For instance, right now I'm sporting the lovely "ducktail" look, which is basically a cross between "reformed serial killer" and "homeless person who lost his razor." This is what happens when you work from bed.
  • In an effort to become the only site more obsessed with Keeley Hazell than this one, FHM.com has created "a digital shrine" to the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com. The "Keeley Collection" is very much not safe for work, but also very much worth quitting your job over.
  • Remember the extraordinary "it's just like a mini-mall" rap from last week's Link-O-Rama? Silly me, how could you forget. Anyway, his name is Sammy Stephens and ... well, his legend is growing.
  • Six words: Ricky Gervais. Thandie Newton. Porno reenactment.

    "She's got a much bigger part than me, I'm not doing this."
  • Earlier this week, after quoting a Baseball America article about Twins draftee Michael Tonkin being Jason Kubel's brother-in-law, my brilliant take was that "for some reason the notion of Kubel having a sister amuses me." Since then I've learned that Tonkin isn't married to Kubel's sister, but is actually the brother of Kubel's wife. More importantly, that information came via one of Kubel's two sisters, who was kind enough to e-mail me after reading about how her mere existence "amuses" me.

    Luckily she's apparently a longtime AG.com reader who's enjoyed my ongoing support of her brother, so my existence amuses her too. Phew. Also, just by e-mailing me once Kubel's sister now joins Pat Neshek's wife as my two top "inside" Twins sources. If, say, Boof Bonser's cousin or maybe the mom of Alexi Casilla's best friend ever drops me a line we can really start to get some juicy rumors going here. And people say bloggers don't cultivate sources and do original reporting!

  • For the past six weeks I've hosted a lengthy live-chat session here each Wednesday afternoon and there are always at least a handful of questions submitted about my television-watching preferences, so for anyone curious here's what the hierarchy of my DVR "prioritizer" looks like at this exact moment (the rankings change on a daily basis):

    1. The Office
    2. 30 Rock
    3. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
    5. Flight of the Conchords
    6. Poker After Dark
    7. High Stakes Poker
    8. World Poker Tour
    9. World Series of Poker
    10. Family Guy
    11. Homicide: Life on the Street
    12. Seinfeld
    13. The Daily Show
    14. In Treatment
    15. Big Love
    16. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
    17. Hell's Kitchen
    18. Gordon Ramsay's F Word
    19. The Ultimate Fighter
    20. PRIDE Fighting Championships
    21. Rescue Me
    22. Jimmy Kimmel Live
    23. The Life and Times of Tim

    Recently dumped from the "scheduler" were Entourage, True Blood, and Sons of Anarchy, the latter two of which sadly didn't hold my interest for more than a few episodes. In fact, The Life and Times of Tim is the only show that I'm still watching from this season's pathetic crop of debuts, which means even more Seinfeld re-runs than usual for me. If there are other shows that would fit well in the above list, feel free to make a suggestion in the comments section.

  • Remember the Marisa Miller-Ryan Braun commercial shoot that was linked to and pictured in this space a few months back? Well, here's the finished product:

    If three minutes of horrible acting, sexual innuendo, testicle-related humor, and the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com runner-up playing softball in short shorts is your thing, then it's the perfect commercial.
  • Rotoworld gets millions of visitors per week and I've been blogging here for over six years, but locally at least many people who meet me seem most interested in my affiliation with MinnPost. When former Minneapolis Star Tribune publisher Joel Kramer approached me a while back about the new project he was starting up it immediately struck me as an extremely worthwhile venture and now that MinnPost is celebrating its first birthday I'm very proud to have contributed a few dozen articles to a great site.
  • Like a boss announcing that the entire office is free to take Friday off before casually mentioning that everyone is expected to come into work on Saturday and Sunday, ESPN is rumored to be dumping Joe Morgan from their Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts ... and replacing him with Rick Sutcliffe.
  • I've always found it difficult to predict which articles will generate a big reader response, because it's rarely the ones you'd guess. For example, earlier this week over at Rotoworld my Daily Dose column that used Rams rookie Donnie Avery as an excuse to amuse myself with a bunch of The Big Lebowski references generated more e-mails than the combined total of my previous dozen columns. Seriously. The lesson? As The Dude put it, "That rug really tied the room together." Or something:

    Seriously though, he really was throwing rocks that night.
  • I've ceased giving regular updates on the newspaper world's plight because in a very short time it's gone from a relatively controversial stance to accepted reality, but Editor and Publisher reports that the industry hasn't ceased struggling. For the six-month period ending this September, print circulation fell 4.6 percent on weekdays and 4.8 percent on Sunday. As my MinnPost colleague David Brauer reports, that includes the Star Tribune falling 4.2 percent of weekdays and 8.6 percent on Sunday.

    Over the past two years the Star Tribune has lost 10.2 percent of its weekday print readership, which equals nearly 40,000 copies each day. Sunday's edition is down just under 50,000 copies during that same span. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has actually seen its print readership rise over the past year, however slightly, which shocks me given the newspaper's overall lack of readability beyond Phil Miller's excellent work covering the Twins.

    Of course, while print circulation steadily declines and the industry as we've grown to know it gradually morphs into something completely different, the Star Tribune is among many prominent newspapers with a rapidly growing online audience. The days of ink-stained pages landing on everyone's doorstep each morning are vanishing, but it'll be interesting to see what happens when "newspapers" join the ever-growing world of "online content" and have to compete for readership based solely on merit.

  • Disgruntled fans and crotchety old sportswriters love to rant about how easy today's athletes have it between the great jobs, huge salaries, and fame. However, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently provided a revealing glimpse into the dark side of playing football for a living, explaining that he doesn't like going to Washington because the Redskins' cheerleaders distract him. Here's his take on the nightmarish situation:

    They try to make their cheerleaders stretch in our tunnel before we come out of the locker room. The couple preseason games I've played down there, we've seen it. That's just not good. It can be [distracting], let's be truthful. I've heard a rumor that they're not allowed to do it anymore.

    Believe it or not he's actually right. Because of those aforementioned atrocities in Washington, last year commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to all teams banning the practice that has since been dubbed the "Redskins Rule." Seriously. So next time someone suggests that the life of a professional athlete is easy, think of all the poor NFL players in that tunnel in Washington. Godspeed, men.

  • Finally, in honor of tonight being Halloween and all this week's AG.com-approved music video is Michael Jackson and the slightly condensed version of "Thriller":

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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