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Assorted Thoughts and Observations

There's a decent chance we're going to have a Rangers-Giants series. No "Cliff Lee returns to face the Phillies", no rematch of Yanks-Phillies, no real story at all except the games themselves. Well, I do have the Rangers at 14 to 1, so that's a story to me. Maybe someone could consider whether Tim Lincecum smoking weed is better than Ron Washington doing coke.

There are only three sane ways to watch NFL Sunday Ticket: (1) Focus on one primary game and only switch away to another during commercials; (2) Watch the red-zone channel where they do the switching for you; or (3) have 7 TV sets and leave them on all the time (like you do in a sports bar). Otherwise, you end up jumping around randomly, switching accidentally to games with commercials and seeing random snippets of various games mostly out of context. I suppose if you had a big enough TV, you could watch all the games at once on that one channel, but I don't.

Saw "Up in the Air" on HBO last night for the first time. It was pretty good, not mind-blowing, but I relate to the George Clooney character (except that I'm younger and better looking and the only people I get to fire have already quit). Thing I couldn't figure out was whether he was the hero or the anti-hero? While it seemed like he spent all his time escaping, at least he made the effort with that super hot 30-something (who turned out to have a husband and kids), while she clearly was betraying her family, Clooney's sister was marrying a total clown and the young girl from Cornell who he traveled with took a crappy job to follow some douche who dumped her. At least Clooney was still free - everyone else had "landed", but seemed pretty badly compromised.

Started using Twitter more, but obviously late to the party. Have only 300 followers while people in the industry have tens of thousands! You have to love how simple it is though - you have a number, and everyone can see how influential you are. I would put my handle here, but self-promotion is so undignified.

While I'm not going to complain generally about living on Venice beach, the quality of the take out Asian food is sub par. Mao's Kitchen is passable, but it's not really Chinese Food as anyone knows it, and the other Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai are total garbage. If they had this place near me, I'd order from it three times a week. (Seriously, mind-blowing hallucinatorily good). Honorable mention goes to the best Korean restaurant in town. For Thai, east Hollywood has a bunch of good ones. And lots of good Vietnamese on the East Side, too. (This Pho joint is far from the best, but it's decent, open all night and saved my life a few times when I used to live in K-Town.

You have to boost Chris Johnson's stock even further in light of what happened last night the same way you had to boost Tom Brady in 2007. Clearly, he's aiming to set records, and Jeff Fisher is on board even in a blowout when it made no sense to have him in the game. It infuriated me because I should not only have won but had the weekly high-score in the 14-team Yahoo Friends and Family League, but for Johnson's late TD.

Thinking of buying a blu-ray player, but no idea which one I should get. I'm still using a 10-year old DVD player, so I want an upgrade, but then again, is there any need for blu-ray when pretty soon I'll just stream movies directly?

There's been a dust-up about James Harrison's comments after KOing both Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi Sunday. He said:

I don't want to injure anybody. There's a big difference between being hurt and being injured. You get hurt, you shake it off and come back the next series or the next game. I try to hurt people.

I have to agree with Harrison, who was subsequently fined $75,000 for his work. It's his job to make offensive players fear and dread coming into his area of the field, and anything he can say to create that impression further is good. As in poker, table image is important. But it's the league's job to fine and/or suspend him if he violates rules against helmet-to-helmet contact.

Already wrote a blog praising Tom Brady when he refused to watch "Hard Knocks" because he hates the Jets. More good stuff from Brady here - when he mocks Terrell Suggs for talking trash after yet another loss to the Pats. Genuine dislike between rivals raises the stakes of the competition.

Michael Jordan thinks he could score 100 points in today's more offense-friendly NBA, and I don't necessarily doubt it. He also grudgingly admitted Kobe Bryant would have to be one of the top-10 guards of all time. Bryant's response:

It's an accurate statement. I'm definitely one of the top 10 guards. It could mean two, it could mean one, it could mean four or five. I'm definitely one of the top thousand. Look, I know how he feels about me...

Kobe's definitely in my top thousand guards. Overall? Definitely top 2000. Funny how Jordan - for all his ridiculous accolades is still pissed off about anyone even jesting with wondering whether he was the best. Makes you wonder how mentally sick you have to be to be that great at something. And take it from someone who is *sick* when I say that, though unfortunately not sick enough.

Rex Ryan is the Doyle Brunson of the NFL. In Super System Brunson talks about pounding and pounding on people with raises and re-raises to the point where he picks up a ton of uncontested pots. When someone does finally play back, Brunson usually has the worst of it, i.e., is an underdog, but he's won so many other pots that overall his strategy is profitable. And of course, he will draw out sometimes, too. Rex does the same thing, relentlessly blitzing, making the quarterback get rid of the ball too early, knocking him down and keeping him off balance and guessing. When teams do pick up the blitz or take shots down the field, they'll often succeed, but overall the relentless pressure will cause mistakes, break up the offense's rhythm and cause them to fall behind. As good as Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are, they'll get beat in one-on-one situations sometimes, and Rex knows this. But overall, it's a winning strategy.

Hang onto to Steve Smith (CAR). He might be out another week or two, but with Matt Moore back, he can be a top-12 receiver over the final two months.

Comments

By: Scott Pianowski
On: 10/19/2010 4:33:00 PM
Chinese food is very regional. I grew up on the version I got in New England, and that's what I really miss.
 
By: Chris Liss
On: 10/19/2010 4:51:00 PM
I grew up on NY Chinese food which is some of the best, and it was before PF Changs made sugary high-end-Chinese-food-for-white-people the standard most people go by. But even by NY standards, this Sichuan place in San Gabriel (out by where Erickson lives, but he's too backward to avail himself of it), blows away all but the very best stuff I grew up with. It's crazy spicy - tons of chiles, garlic and this other kind of pepper than numbs your mouth and sends endorphins to your brain. But Boston Chinese was pretty high quality, too from what I recall. Grand Chou Chou in Chinatown there made some pretty mean dumplings.
 
By: Kenn Ruby
On: 10/19/2010 7:55:00 PM
Chris, you've finally fulfilled your goal of being a restaurant critic!

I remember all of your crazy bets when you were in Vegas (have you torn up your Panthers and Lions tickets yet?), but I also remember how excited you were about the Rangers. Looking good right now - hope it'll make up for the other bets.
 
By: Chris Liss
On: 10/19/2010 8:41:00 PM
I just want to eat for free and talk about it... And I haven't torn them up, but probably soon. Other bet was G-Men, got them at 16 to 1, and think I got 25- to 1 when I went back. I'm a Yankee fan, so I'm not rooting for it yet, but should the Rangers win, they better beat the Giants/Phils, and it'll pay for all of those bets I made on both trips.
 
By: quails144
On: 10/20/2010 12:28:00 AM
The PS3 makes a deadly blu-ray player, once you buy the little remote for that.

Otherwise they're all similar... whatever the latest version from samsung is always good.

Being an all-underdog, all-the-time type of guy, how do I choose between the Giants and Rangers?
Though it hasn't come to that quite yet.
 
By: uwmichael
On: 10/20/2010 6:26:00 AM
Chinese food is totally regional, like you say Pianow. Now that I live in DC, I miss what I had in Chicago. If you're in the North Shore area, I strongly recommend Pineyard in Evanston.

As for Sunday Ticket, I'm a fan of focusing on one game, and checking in on a couple during commercials, then catching up with Short Cuts during the week.

Interested on where you have Felix Jones ranked among RBs for the rest of the year.
 
By: matthewthill7
On: 10/20/2010 7:24:00 AM
Love the Red Zone channel. Wanted to get DirecTV (for Sunday Ticket) but my apartment doesn't have the right exposure... picked the only local fiber company instead, discovered RZ one day (on accident) and was very impressed. The idea of DTV Sunday Ticket is great, but RZ is about 90% of the experience for a lot less money (Sunday Ticket costs a grip). RZ is really well done; they do a fantastic job swapping games w/o missing much action, and they show every single TD of the day... which is nice for us fantasy players.
 
By: Erickson
On: 10/20/2010 11:17:00 AM
Chris is right - you can take the boy out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the boy. I just don't like spicy food all that much, especially the very spicy Chinese variety. That's a shame, as I know I'm cutting myself out of a lot of fantastic food out here.
 
By: smckeown
On: 10/20/2010 9:21:00 PM
You're a handsome dude, but you're not better looking than Clooney.
 

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