Thursday, February 10, 2011

Minty Fresh!

Did I disappear? Nope, I just made you wait longer on this latest situation to break down. It's probably my longest break ever, but it's more about quality than quantity or so I hope. It's way past the point of everyone bugging me and telling me to get on my game and make a blog post, which I like hearing that. Time to cure some boredom. We have a lot to talk about during that time, so I shouldn't have to worry about things to ramble about. Sometimes that is good for the reader, other times they probably want to strangle me for going on and on about subjects they could care less about. What will you get here? Twitter (imagine me writing about that), Celebrity Deathpool 2011, Jersey Shore Season 3, Charles Barkley, bloody accidents, Toughman Contest, podcasts, movie review, my boy Dru Down, and tons more! Whew, let's gear up for another piece to soak your eyeballs into, it's time to get your read on!

As we do every year with the Lobstah gang, the 2011 Celebrity Deathpool has been out now for about a month. This is our 7th season at battling and I've had at least one death picked in all years except for 2005. Yes, I realize it's a demented thing to do, but it's competition, so we do our thing. In 2010, George Steinbrenner was my only guy that earned points. Corndog and ManDingo tied to win the title by each having Ronnie James Dio. Commissioner Kasher was the only one of the league to have two deaths, he had Zelda Rubinstein and Ernie Harwell. That gained him 32 points, while Corn and Dingo had 33 to get the win. Steinbrenner brought in 1 point for my team. Now it's time to unveil my 2011 picks since I know you're all on the edge of your seat in anticipation. The moral as usual, you can't ever go wrong by picking wrestlers unfortunately. A new wrinkle to this season is that we have to have a "long shot selection". The rule on that is that you have to pick someone 30 or younger in that spot. The moral, you can't ever go wrong with a handful of wrestlers, they're a mess.

1. Bobby Heenan (wrestling)
2. Superstar Billy Graham (wrestling)
3. Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall (wrestling)
4. Betty White (actress)
5. Harmon Killebrew (baseball)
6. Courtney Love (musician)
7. Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress)
8. Zakk Wylde (musician)
9. Scott "Raven" Levy (wrestler)
10. Phyllis Diller (comedian)
11. Jerry Lewis (comedian?)
12. Amy Winehouse (longshot, although she's on a ton of lists obviously)

Christmas is so far gone that it'd be somewhat pointless to talk about it this far out of the game. People are already starting the countdown to this year's Christmas, so I won't ramble onto that. I did have a great Christmas though, not one complaint at all. During that time, I hit up the movies and I'm due for some new ones again soon. What did Whitney and I watch a while back? It's time to review How Do You Know.

This one featured a big cast of characters. Who did they roll out on us? Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Kathryn Hahn to name a few. If Jack is in the movie, I'm interested if nothing else. He knocked his role out of the park, but that should be no surprise to anyone. Reese doesn't get enough credit, but she got it done in this movie. Ok, I'm mainly speaking on the looks side of things there, she gets a big thumbs up, but she also acted things out well too, as did Wilson and Rudd. It was a bit longer than I'd like, and Whitney fell asleep for part of it, but it was still a good movie. I tweeted about it at the time, but I'm going to lower my ranking after thinking it over. Our final grade? 7.4 out of 10.

Random save the day fact. I tweeted a little about this, but why not make a bigger explanation of it. I had a recent Thursday off from work for a snow day (sweet!) so I took Whitney to work since she didn't have to start till 11:00. That same day, I had a work training that was still scheduled, so I killed a few by getting a milkshake at McD's and hanging in the lot with their free wi-fi. Anyways, out of nowhere, I heard a big scream behind my ride. I didn't know what to expect at first. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw nothing. Then I checked the side mirror and I saw this lady in the 65-70 age range laying flat on her back. She busted herself on the ice and was staring at the sky. I get out of the car and a few other nearby people jump out to assist, along with her husband. We pick her up and blood is coming out of the back of her head. It wasn't crazy gushing, but enough that it was covering her hair a good bit and all on my hands. People were ready to call for an ambulance, but she said she was ok. The husband got her in the car as quickly he could and they took off. Not only did I have one good deed of the day by taking Whitney to work, but I also had a bloody mess of a situation that was averted soon after.

The Big Atlantic Tip-Off in scenic Beckley, West Virginia. To some in the area, this is the former Coal Classic, a basketball tournament they have every year for the high school and younger levels. Some major talent has been through this tourney over the years and each time around, they bring in guest speakers. This is the same place where I got to fulfill a lifetime goal by meeting the Basketball Jesus himself, Larry Bird. This year? Sir Charles Barkley. Ozzie and Mudcat are huge Barkley guys from way back, each Sixer fans. I of course was in for a sports related road trip. We went four deep with Ozzie, Mudcat, Matty Cakes, and myself. With that gang, it was sports trivia up and down, my favorite kind of trip with the guys is when the sports almanac is busted out. Time flies when we do this and it's been a tradition with our crew for a long time.

We made it there early as each of us are people that always like to be on time. And by time, I mean be early. Yes, I'm one of those. Anyways, we were wandering around the halls and were just hanging out looking lost for a bit as we were one of the first few people in the building. This random guy asks us if we're with the news or what we're here for. We told him we were just there for the dinner and to hear Barkley speak. I then went to go in the bathroom beside us and the guy said hold on, it's taken. It took us a while to figure out what was up, but apparently Barkley was in there doing his stuff. A few seconds later, within 5 minutes of being there, out steps Sir Charles and he goes, "minty fresh!" That's a line we're going to beat into the ground for sure. He was a lot bigger dude than I expected, but more on that later.

A good crowd was there, but not nearly as many were there when I did the Bird trip. Others that have been in the past have been my boy Lou Holtz, Dr. J, John Elway, Tim Tebow, and a slew of others. We knew the talking segment that Barkley was going to do for everyone would be a riot and it was awesome. The stories he told were hilarious and we ate it up. He also did a Q&A session after he gave his speech, which he wasn't shy to answer anything of course. One that was asked is how the Original Dream Team of 92 would fare against today's team. He laughed at that comparison and said that today's team doesn't have any true big guys. He said that Ewing and The Admiral would dominate Chris Bosh to where it wouldn't even be funny. And that's without even getting into Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc. The best player he ever went against he said was Kevin McHale, he had high praise for him. And he votes Jordan as the best player of all time.

Ok, I'll wrap this Barkley segment up. Going in, we figured he would only sign things or have time for the VIP tickets. We didn't have that, but he was willing to meet and sign stuff for everyone in attendance, so I have to give props for that. Ozzie said, "This is a top three event in my life. The other two go without saying." To Ozzie, Barkley is his Bird if that comparison makes sense. Now he just needs to meet Bo Jackson and he'll be set. We all got an autograph, picture, and shook his hand. It surprised us how huge his hands were. He also took time to say a few things to people as they met him and legitimately seemed like he wanted to be there. On calling him Mr. Barkley, he told me, "Nah, no mister. Just call me Charles!" Good stuff right there. If you ever get a chance to hear Barkley speak and like his style, it's worth your time and then some, trust me. He's also very big on helping the kids out and stresses everyone to get their education, he spoke a lot on that.

Toughman Contest! You can probably go back to my January blogs in the past and get an idea of what I'm about to type here too. Friday is when I hit it up each year, I can't get enough of going to our local Toughman Contest. Why Friday and not championship Saturday? You get more fights first of all. Second, you get to see the bums who have no business being there get punished. Then on top of that is the crowd atmosphere. I've been to other local shows, but Clarksburg's is a completely different animal in my opinion. You see some of the area's finest, both literally and figuratively. Some have asked, how were the ring girls? They had six this year, the most in history. I'm not expecting any major quality, but this was bad times indeed. The dance moves they'd do were a laugh in and of itself and some girls got no reaction. Crowd fights? Of course. There was only one on Friday, which is a surprising. Someone ended up getting tased in that mix ("don't tase me bro") and the announcer kept saying, "The fight is in the ring everybody!" That cracked me up, but maybe it's just me.

As far as the fights, there were 35 this year, which is a lot lower than usual it seemed. A year or two ago, I remember being there when they had 50 total fights. The guy who ended up winning the heavyweight division was the real deal. He's an assistant football coach at West Virginia Wesleyan and 6'0"/280lbs. You wouldn't think at that size, he'd be agile and would tire out fast. Not this guy, he's a beast. He came in with that pissed at the world attitude, stared his opponent down like he killed his dog, and just busted him up for a few rounds. Somehow the guy he fought that night could take a punch like no other, this was on Friday. Another fight I enjoyed was in the light heavyweight class and this guy with a nickname of Deebo, straight from the Friday movies. He was doing Roy Jones Jr stuff in his prime out there, dancing around, doing whatever he wanted. In a first for me, after the fight, the opponent got on his knees and bowed because Deebo put on such a good performance. That's a major sign of respect there. Minus my back getting wrenched by sitting in those bleachers, it was once again a quality experience and one I highly recommend if you've never been.

Ok, the Jersey Shore freaks like myself are locked into this season like no other. I'm sure I lose brain cells watching, but it's pure entertainment times twenty. I always get a kick out of the people that early on bashed it constantly, yet now they're the ones that are watching like the rest of us. The new addition of Deena Nicole seems to be a great find. To me, what makes the show is still Situation's facial expressions and his quotes. So far we've also had the Snooki arrest segment, fake Ronnie (one of my favorite things they've done in a while), Sammy apologizing to the girls and the grenade whistle begins! Now they are going to be having Season 4 in the homeland of Italy? Count me in, although you knew that anyways. That should be an interesting dynamic and I'm glad they're keeping the original crew strong. Ratings wise, it's a no-brainer. Sit back and watch the ride.

Podcast time. Which ones have I been checking out on a regular basis since the last time I updated you? 90% of my iPod usage is strictly for podcast listening, love it. I have a ton of music on there too obviously and will use that for workouts and running, but podcasts get the first priority before I switch over. There are three main ones I'm on a kick of at the moment. What are they you ask? Be patient folks, it's coming. Actually, I can't see anyone sitting on the edge of their seats wondering what podcasts I listen to, but stranger things have happened. The go-to is still of course The BS Report from The Boston Sports Guy Bill Simmons, ESPN style. I've written about him a ton over the years, so not a lot else needs to be said. Another is a more recent addition to my list. That'd be Tim & Sid: Uncut. My boys from Canada hooked me on this. It's about an hour each day and it goes by really fast, that's how you know it's good. Sports, pop culture, and it's all uncensored if that makes you more interested. Check these guys out, you won't be disappointed. Third will pertain to the wrestling fans and I've probably wrote about this one before. This is the Pro Wrestling Torch (PW Torch Livecast) and they also go about an hour a day. I wish I could listen to more, but it's tough to fit them all in. I haven't heard much Tony Kornheiser or Colin Cowherd lately either, regular staples of mine in the past.

I have a lot of CDs to review one day, but today I'll just touch basis with one of my all time favorites. For those who know me, you know I'm a big Dru Down fan. A lot of this knew this from my AIM name when I'd be on there a lot more and didn't have a clue who he was. Then they'd ask and would get the connection. Time to break this one down for the rap fans.

Dru Down: Chronicles of a Pimp. This is Dru's first solo CD in years. Of course I was pumped up when I got word of this through the grapevine of Dom in Germany, one of Twitter's finest (@StripClubPapst) and a longtime blog reader. I'm sure I'm biased towards anything Dru related, but this is very good, one of my favorite recent CDs. For those wondering what songs to get off of this, I could list a lot, but I'll just whet your appetite. Rather Be With Dru, Old School, and Bout Dat Money are top notch worthy. For the people that might not know much on Dru, let me know what you think, bad or good. Check this out from one of Bay Area rap's veterans of the game. And yes, he keeps his same style from what you always have remembered him as, so that deserves a thumbs up.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: Since the title of this blog is Charles Barkley related, I'll have to go back a few weeks on this video. Tracy Morgan is a character anyways, but his thoughts on TNT during live TV made the rounds and had everyone talking. Barkley even answered questions about this segment in Beckley. Anyways, if you're in the dark and haven't seen, here you go:

3 Quick Thangs:

1. Time for a cheap plug for a game I've been playing a few months now. I'm not sure if it's just for iPhone or what, but download We Doodle. My name on there is Bird33WV. Others of the crew that are in the mix are Corndog (corndogtaylor) and Sims (SiMZiLa), be sure to fire off a request to them and get your battle on.

2. More plugs you want? We'll go Twitter style. This time, here's a list of people you need to add on your list for no other reason than entertainment value, some quality post guys here and I don't say that lightly. Chester (@mchesher03), Uncle Wilbur (@blangfrd), and Josh Oz (@joshoz01). Get on it.

3. It's not too late to get your Valentine's Day presents. Just sending a friendly reminder for those who may forget. Enjoy!