August 31, 2007

Summer Survival Tip #14: Be Sure to Drink Plenty of Fluids

I remember seeing the Boston Marathon in person a few years ago on a historically hot day, and near the finish line, a number of competitors were essentially wandering around like zombies. This was of course due to the effects of the heat and dehydration -- I believe the technical term for it in running circles is "Completely losing your shit."

Some of these people were going the wrong direction, having 90 degrees to their right and heading directly towards the spectators along the sidelines. Others were literally crawling on the ground, and the worst of the bunch looked like they had been plucked straight out of the Thriller video: Arms half-bent and partially extended outwards, staggering down the concrete like the undead (or perhaps in this case, the soon-to-be dead).

I guess when you think about the fact that these people were probably in dire need of medical attention of some kind, the whole thing isn't all that funny.

And it probably goes without saying that I was laughing uncontrollably.

It appears as though a similar sort of delirium has set in with the ostriches shown at the race track in the video above. And while I could do without the crazed laughter and running commentary of the people standing behind the video camera watching the spectacle, there's something about watching an ostrich spin around in circles over and over again that just never really gets old.

August 26, 2007

Has Anybody Seen the Stapler?

Look, I'm sorry, okay? We're sorry.

Bruce, the OCC intern -- he's sorry.

Manfred, the part-time OCC janitor -- he's sorry. Look at him, he's sitting in the corner, crying.

The fact is, it's been very busy around here.

First of all, I'm in Japan. How do I know I'm in Japan? Because this was just on my computer screen a minute ago:

例: スクーター、旅行、秋

Crazy, right? Yeah, tell me about it.

In any case, you'll have to forgive the lack of posts. A few quick thoughts to share from the world of sport:

-All of you Mets fans who so cleverly opined "Braves Suck" during our visit to Shea Stadium earlier this month, I regret to say that your brilliant prophecy/sharp-tongued witticism has come to be reality. The Braves do, indeed, suck. The pitching has taken on an absolute d-day quality, which is to say that when anyone other than John Smoltz or Tim Hudson is on the mound, it's probably best to dive underneath the couch and start collecting canned food.

And clearly, there must be at least a tiny bit of tension in the clubhouse, because the Braves just cut Bob Wickman loose in a rather surprising move. He wasn't pitching well, but he also wasn't pitching so badly that he needed to go. It's a move that screamed of attempting to mix things up, and you don't just dump a 280-pound trucker on the side of the road unless you feel he's going to attempt to seize control of the radio.


-In other news, it recently came to light that The OCC attended the same summer camp as Orioles manager Dave Trembley. Entertaining to us, probably not quite as entertaining to you.

-Quick question: Does anyone else have the problem (or perhaps we should say "delightful predicament") of seeing golfer Lorena Ochoa's last name written in headlines and immediately thinking of former Mets outfielder Alex Ochoa? Okay, just wanted to check.

(That, in case you were wondering was our way of confessing that we have absolutely zero interest in watching televised golf.)

And on that profound note, we unfortunately have to run. But please remember -- always, always remember:


August 20, 2007

Someone Get This Man a Suit of Armor

Consider the following recent Falcons QB-related occurrences:

The Falcons trade away promising backup
Matt Schaub -- who some believe will develop into a great NFL passer -- to Houston.

Michael Vick becomes embroiled in dogfighting conspiracy; is now set to plead guilty to charges and will probably never play in Atlanta (and may never step onto an NFL field) again.

Friday, another Falcons QB --
D.J. Shockley -- tears his ACL and is out for the season.

Now think back to years past:

A young, tuna-steak raw
Brett Favre was more or less completely overlooked during a brief stint in Atlanta.

Chris Miller was talented but infuriatingly fragile.

Billy Joe Tolliver was mainly just known for having a silly name.

Bobby Hebert never seemed to belong anywhere other than New Orleans.

Jeff George was talented but surly and didn't seem to know how to win.

Chris Chandler seemed to know how to win but wasn't that talented and once broke a rib reaching into his fridge for a can of soda. *

(* not true but could almost be believable given Chandler's injury history)

Browning Nagle was named Browning Nagle -- a name that sounds like it could describe a uniquely mesmerizing formation for a turd (check it out -- I just left a Browning Nagle in your toilet).

All of this of course begs the question:
Is the Falcons QB position cursed?

If it is cursed, that cannot bode well for the chances of new Falcons starter
Joey Harrington, a great college player who has had a fairly miserable NFL career. Given Harrington's general inability to catch a break (or make his own breaks), is anyone else concerned about his well-being and general safety?

In particular, if Harrington does somehow harness his talent and begin to play well, the Falcons should absolutely not let him out on the field in anything other than a full suit of chain mail.

Because you just know that if Harrington does improbably start throwing the ball efficiently, his right arm is going to get severed off in a bizarre backfield collision and go helicoptering into the stands, giving one confused young fan an unexpected souvenir that he goes home and frames in a glass case, only to have the haunted, dismembered limb bring him a lifetime of brutal misfortune.

August 16, 2007

Your Patience is Appreciated

Greetings friends. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the dearth of posts this week. It has been exceedingly busy around these parts, as we've been spending most of our time daydreaming about Guitar Hero and trying to figure out how to use water wings to solve the world's healthcare problems.

Please stand by -- new posts are coming soon.

Thank you and good day.

August 13, 2007

Breaking News: Hank Aaron Congratulates Barry Bonds (Again)

Last night during its broadcast of the Braves-Phillies game, ESPN cut into the action with a mid-inning replay of the congratulatory speech that Hank Aaron made after Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run.

The video and audio of Aaron was the only thing on the screen for about one minute of game action in the 7th inning. And it was somehow very fitting that while ESPN was re-airing that speech, Braves second baseman Martin Prado doubled into the left center field gap to score Brian McCann and cut the Phillies’ lead to one.

It was fitting in part because it was a perfect emblem for all of the exciting baseball that unnecessarily took a backseat to Bonds’ anticlimactic, horribly tainted chase over the past weeks and months.

And secondly, Prado’s double being missed entirely during the re-broadcast of Aaron’s speech made some sort of strange sense because in a way, that speech is all about what you can’t see. Namely, you can’t see the gun that’s (figuratively speaking) being held to Hank Aaron’s head just off camera. Because there’s absolutely no way that those congratulations to Bonds could truly be heartfelt. It’s just not possible. Even if Hank didn’t think that Barry had cheated – which you have to believe Hank does – he still wouldn’t be particularly pleased. But to think that he was really feeling anywhere close to gracious at that moment is absolutely absurd.

For the record, when the tape of the speech was over and the broadcast returned to live action (with the score suddenly and inexplicably 4-3 instead of 4-2), play-by-play man Jon Miller acknowledged Prado’s double, but didn’t issue anything even remotely resembling an apology – as if completely cutting out run-scoring hits in a close game is routine practice when it comes to talking about something that infuriates a large majority of baseball fans in the first place.

Of course the ESPN broadcast team didn’t intend to miss Prado’s hit, and no doubt everyone involved was pretty unhappy when that hit coincided with the one-minute window when Aaron’s speech was airing.

But that’s beside the point. The point is that the Barry Bonds consumption and obsession has gone too far. He hit his “historic” homer; now it needs to immediately be put in the past. We all have to deal with that dubious record however we want to deal with it and move on to things that are happening right now.

Such as that run-scoring double that just soared into the left center field gap.

August 08, 2007

Feeling Rather Chipper, Thank You

Last evening, approximately 13 brave souls set out on what some would classify as a death mission:

To go to Shea Stadium and rabidly cheer for Chipper Jones and the Braves, with each member of the group spelling out one letter of C-H-I-P-P-E-R'-S C-H-I-P-S in the upper deck.

Somehow, we survived. Here's what to know about what went down:

Upon entering the upper deck and walking across a sizable section of the stands, the reaction from the crowd was dramatic -- a chill-inducing smattering of boos, in part spurred on by the use of foam tomahawks and the matching t-shirts everyone in the group was wearing.

To get a sense of how loud that reaction was from the Mets fans, we actually walked to our seats in two different groups because of various concession purchases, etc. And when the second group was having a little bit of trouble finding its seats and one of the members was looking around confused, a random woman in a nearby seat said, "Your friends went that way."

Now some notes, by the numbers:

# of members of the group after we added three random Braves fans from Mississippi (one of whom for some unknown reason was wearing cut off jean shorts, loafers and ankle socks): 22

# of times that guy in jean shorts was called "gay" or some derivation thereof by surrounding Mets fans: 18

# of derisive comments about how backward the South is from angry Mets fans: 33

# of said comments that resulted in a long, drawn out exchange about the virtues of using carrier pigeons instead of cell phones that left one Mets fan rather perplexed and agitated: 1

# of beer bottles thrown at Chipper's Chips: 2

# of (completely full) water bottles thrown at Chipper's Chips: 1

# of peanuts thrown at Chipper's Chips: 3

# of Mets fans ejected for threatening members of Chipper's Chips: 12

# of Mets fans who escaped from security after being escorted out, leading the members of Chipper's Chips to think that they would be bludgeoned with lead pipes upon leaving Shea: 6

# of Braves runs: 7

# of Mets runs: 3

# of Chipper Jones hits: 3 (single, double, triple)

# of times security guard told us "Don't come back tomorrow": 1

# of references to The Warriors trying to get back to Coney Island as we rode the 7 Train back towards Manhattan: 14

# of whynattes consumed at the after party: 21

# of hours until we do it all over again:

23 and counting.

August 05, 2007

Let Mr. Berry Handle This

Thanks to all of you who attended the candle light vigil we held for Julio Franco last Wednesday. For those who missed the event, it was a very nice ceremony. Several people poured out liquor and a couple nostalgic types fired off six shooters into the night sky (fortunately no one was injured when the bullets came crashing back down towards us at full speed).

Just so there's no confusion, Julio Franco is not dead -- he was designated for assignment by the Braves last week (in baseball, this is kind of like dying, but slightly less severe).

For those who feared we may never see Julio in a Major League uniform again, fear not -- it appears as though he's headed to the minor leagues and should be back with the Braves next month. Reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"Julio Franco's agent, Chuck Berry, said Friday that Franco plans to accept his minor league assignment with the Braves. He's expected to clear waivers Monday.
Yes, you read that correctly -- Julio Franco's agent is indeed legendary rocker Chuck Berry. Never mind that the dude was born in 1926 -- Julio Franco was actually the doctor who delivered Chuck Berry from the womb.

Interesting note: Despite the fact that they've known each other for over 80 years, Berry has only been Franco's agent for a couple of months. He took over when Julio had a falling out with his previous agent, Mark Twain.

August 02, 2007

Come On In

At one major nationwide hotel chain, instead of having a traditional Do Not Disturb sign, there’s a little card you put in the key slot that says in capital letters, “THERE’S A GOOD REASON FOR YOU NOT TO KNOCK RIGHT NOW.”

Is this supposed to be amusing or clever? Because it is certainly not amusing, and any cleverness intended to be contained within this phrase is lost on me.

More importantly, I resent the implication that just because I don’t want you to barge in and clean my room, it means that I am definitely doing something shady. Sure, for all you know I’ve got a whole horde of howler monkeys tied up hand and foot in here while I read them Shel Silverstein poems, but isn’t it just as likely that I’m sitting in front of my laptop typing an innocent blog entry, and I simply don’t want you to come in and replenish my shampoo because you doing so will undoubtedly interrupt my train of thought?

If you insist on making your hotel’s Do Not Disturb signs have a little bit of humor, at least give me a few options to choose from so that I’m not incriminating myself for something I haven’t done. Some suggested possibilities:




Now if you'll pardon me, I have to run. These howler monkeys aren't going to feed themselves.

August 01, 2007

Riddle Me This

In a strange sequence of Internet browsing-related events (the machinations of which need not be illuminated here), we recently found ourselves clicking on a question from the Yahoo! Answers page.

The question that caught our eye, asked by user rob5279 was, “Where did Shaq play college basketball?

And at this precise moment, it dawned on us just what a valuable tool Yahoo! Answers can be.

Imagine a forum whereby the 5,279th yahoo named Rob can type in the most obvious question of all time and then – after showing a little bit of patience – he can come back to see what brilliant answers people wrote back. The wonders of the Internet!

For the record, the answer he got, from go_duke_5 (sadly, go underscore duke underscore 1 through 4 were all taken), was “LSU. He was the #1 pick in the 1992 draft. He was very dominant. Best Answer Plz.”

Apparently the “Best Answer Plz” here is a request to make this the #1 answer (apparently the format for this thing is that a whole bunch of people respond and then someone chooses the top response). We’re not sure we like go_duke_5’s somewhat cocky tone – Shaq went to LSU. He was awesome. And so am I. Next question, bitch – but we can’t front on his stats. (Yes, they keep stats on this thing.) Consider this: Of the 114 total questions that go_duke_5 has asked, a whopping 7% of them were chosen as best answers. Incredible!

Actually, that might not be very good. Because looking at rob5279’s stats, he’s at a far more impressive 14% best answers on 537 answers.

Which begs the question: If he’s so damn smart, why the hell was he asking such a colossally stupid question in the first place?

Based on this incredible discovery, we’ve been inspired to start a new service on this site. It’s called OCC! Tips. Here’s Tip #1:

Use google.

Any questions?