Wednesday, August 29, 2007

F DirecTV

From the title you might think that I am just bitter because I'll have to leave my couch to watch Ohio State play the Youngstown Area Girl Scouts this weekend. Unfortunately, the only place to watch it is on the rumored-but-still-not-confirmed-to-exist Big Ten Network. As you may know, the only available cable system in most of NE Ohio (Time Warner) is in a contract dispute and does not have the channel at this time. (And, based on the fact that the NFL Network is nowhere to be seen, I don't think they are soft negotiators). As of Wednesday afternoon, the only places to see the game are on DirecTV, Insight Cable (in parts of central Ohio), and now on AT&T's new U-Verse. I don't know what side I'm on. Looks like the Big Ten Network wants a lot of money for a network with limited appeal. At the same time, they want to be on basic cable--and I see a couple very similar networks on basic cable in Cleveland--SportsTime Ohio and FSN Ohio.

My guess: We'll have a deal next week.

What I am still pissed at DirecTV, and this is going on somewhere like ten years now, is their exclusive deal with the NFL. King Kaufmann summarizes the most recent screwing of the fan.

Aug. 20, 2007 | Fewer headlines have ever been more apt than this one in Thursday's Hollywood Reporter: "DirecTV Tries New Offense for NFL Coverage."


Offense is right. As in offensive.


The new deal is that up to 11 games a week will be streamed online. Great news for the legions of fans who can't get the DirecTV satellite service or don't want to switch their TV provider just to have their choice of NFL games to watch on 17 of the 52 Sundays in a year. Right?


Wrong. The deal is only good if you already subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket, which, in the second most fan-unfriendly deal in North American team sports, is available for $269 but only to DirecTV subscribers. And! You also have to subscribe to the $99 add-on bell-and-whistle package known as SuperFan. Also, it doesn't work on a Mac.


The NFL has its reasons, millions upon millions of them, for having an exclusive deal with DirecTV. Limiting access drives up prices as long as there's sufficient interest, which it's safe to say there is in NFL football.


There's a calculus involved, a weighing of the extra profits against the bad feelings engendered by the league's giant "Screw you" to fans who don't want a football league dictating what TV provider they do business with. The NFL evidently made that calculation a few years ago -- and extended its exclusive deal with DirecTV.


So, fine. I think it's a poor decision in the long term, but then again, NFL fans seem incapable of being offended enough by the league's anti-fan stance to do anything about it. The single most fan-unfriendly deal in North American team sports is the NFL charging regular-season prices for exhibition games, and then forcing season-ticket buyers, the best customers, to buy those exhibition-game tickets.


But it seems to me the biggest market for streaming games online would be the folks who don't have Sunday Ticket, for whatever reason. How many of the people who are willing to pay $269 or $368 for a season package will be glad to see that most -- not all -- games will be online because they just aren't able to stay in front of the TV on Sundays?


Major League Baseball, a comparative piker in saying "Screw you, fans" despite that phrase being its operating philosophy, offers games online through MLB.tv as an alternative to the television Extra Innings package. You can pay by the month or by the year, and it's a lot cheaper than Extra Innings, as it should be at this stage in history. Watching things online just isn't as good as watching them on TV just yet.


As high as the price tag is for a season of Sunday Ticket, my guess, based on years of real-time and virtual conversations with football fans, is that a lot of them would be not just willing but happy to pay through the nose for individual games. I'd bet $20 for an individual game, $50 for one week's worth of games and $150 for a month's worth are price points that wouldn't go begging.


We'll never know as long as the NFL keeps getting richer by not giving the fans what they want.

Very Insightful

You may have heard this already, but here's Miss Teen South Carolina responding to a question on why 1 out 5 Americans can't find the U.S. on a world map.

My favorite parts:
• U.S. Americans
• The Iraq
• Like such as


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Riley Calls Drennan...sort of

I happen to bump into this on Youtube. Riley Martin recording calling in.

He shaved his chest before so it was only a matter of time...

Better or worse?

Monday, August 27, 2007

"How do you spell 'retard'?"

Nice to see that Brett Myers' anger management classes paid off. Remember, he had to take those after he beat the crap out of his wife on the streets of Boston?

Link to the audio here.

And a link to the transcript here (re-posted below):

Sam Carchidi: “You thought they both were pop ups?”

Brett Myers: “Yeah, didn’t you? You think they crushed ‘em?”

SC: “The first one I thought was out, the second one no.”

BM: “Yeah, cause you’re a retard, you don’t know s**t about f***in’ baseball. You’re filling in for somebody.”

SC: “How do you spell ‘retard’?”

BM: “You know how to spell it, it’s in your f**in’ vocabulary, I’m sure you know.”

SC: “You are classy, I’ll tell ya.”

BM: “Go on. [Get] outta here, you f**in’ idiot.”

SC: [pointing at Brett Myers] “You’re the f**in’ idiot.”

BM: “Hey! You pointin’ at me mother****er?! I’ll tell you what, dude, I’ll knock you mutherf***ing out! F**K YOU!!! You’re tough when f**in’ people are standing in front of you, aren’t you, you piece of sh*t! Come on! You f**ing idiot. Yeah, you’re tough when f***in’ people are standing in front of you, you stupid ass.”

SC: “I’m a retard?”

BM: “Yeah, that’s right, YOU ARE, you’re a f***ing idiot. You ask stupid ass f***ing questions!”

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vox in the Box (11)



Last time we met, Vox was gearing up for the Finals and countin' down the all-time greatest games in Cleveland sports history. I have an NFL preview in me, but I'd like to do some housecleaning for this edition and tidy up a few rooms in my brain. Can't stomach any more talk about the NBA ref fiasco, Bad Newz Kennels, BBonds, musical quarterbacks in Berea, Chief Wahoo's impotent bats, or the rumor that The Q in Quicken now stands for Quiet. (Major double symbolism there with the lack of Cavs offseason activity and the mortgage meltdown.)

So what's been going on in Voxville this summer? Well, I turned 10 on July 22nd and celebrated much like I did the night I was born, in a dark room...with just a video and a dream. I was turning tricks with a crucifix. I was hanging with Mrs. Vox during a fantastic episode of Big Love, when Bill left his heavy handed meandering at the casino door in the name of big business. So there's your abbreviated personal paragraph for all of you that read Vox for the "reveal." But Vox is so much more than a cheap, Internet confession booth. I know what I stand for. The V stands for Vexing, 'coz we all know yall love my ambiguity. The O represents Original, because, regardless of what readers think of Vox, you can't ever deny that my opinions are my own, and never parroted. The X? For X-Rated, since my thoughts are always dirty and Vox spits out vulgarities like P-Diddy writes checks.

Anyway, when your number one priority is caring for an infant aspiring to toddler status, there's not a great deal of time for summer partying. So I spent most of the past ten weeks, after the Goose went night-night, watching television and catching up on some films I normally would not have missed in the theatre. Hence, these Vox riffs on four 2006 flix, 4 reality shows & 4 HBOs:

Movies

Little Children: Arguably the film of the year in '06, although it's hard to compete with Departed. I rented this because I had to see Kelly Leak thirty years later, in his Oscar-nominated portrayal of a sex offender. I won't spoil, but let's just say there's a scene with Kelly that is so strange, shocking and off-putting that it's phenomenally hilarious. You have to see Little just for this particular part, trust me. Also, you have full frontal nudity with Kate Winslett. You may recall she showed her rack in Titanic, so I want to warn you that ten years haven't been kind to Winslett. Those great cans from the sinking ship are long gone, but she turns in the performance of her career.

United 93
: Finally saw this Paul Greengrass masterpiece. I watched it again immediately after my first viewing. Then I watched it in my head for the next 72 hours, memorized by it's authenticity. Performance and production were perfect; never a hint of sensationalism. Just the unbearable pain of that day. When our kids are in high school, I believe United 93 should be shown to all seniors in their American Government class. It will be very hard for them to ever comprehend how the events of 9/11 completely crippled our country, but for 90 minutes or so they can share in the fear, confusion, and desperation that we all struggled with on that day and the years that followed.
I also recently read Let's Roll by Todd Beamer's widow, Lisa. I'm not sure what I was expecting from it, but, unfortunately, it reads like a Christian self-help manual.

The Pursuit of Happyness: They screened this one at my place of business, probably to inspire I mean brainwash us into overcoming obstacles and selling more product. After all, there is an underlying theme in Pursuit that money buys happiness, since Gardner could've easily traded his internship for an assistant manager job at McDonalds or a sales clerk position at Kiddie City selling Rubix Cubes. That would have at least taken him and his kid off the street. It's hard to make a movie like Pursuit without bumping into a Hollywood cliche at every street corner, so credit Will Smith with a transcendent performance. I know all the reasons I shouldn't like this movie, but I did. And I would happily watch it again with Mrs. Vox, but she's refusing to see it even once. So I told her what Gardner's bosses soon learned: Don't judge a book by it's cover. Pursuit somehow manages to add up to much more than the sum of its parts.

V for Vendetta: The Hadman and I are usually on the same page when it comes to quality films, but this was two hours I'd like back. I'm normally a sucker for Portman and misunderstood villains in masks and biting commentaries on political fear-mongering, but V went right over my head. All sorts of lofty ambitions here that I can usually get on board with, but it left me tired and confused. Considering every critic in America loved it, my assessment is probably way off the mark. But I disliked it so much, I'm not sure I can sit through it again. So let's get a sequel in the mix, V for Vox....starring me and Jennifer Love Hugetits locked in a cave, watching Family Ties reruns and tape of Lavereaus Coles.

Reality TV

Rock of Love: I was feeling the void left by the cancellation of RockStar after two stellar seasons, but, thankfully, Brett Michaels swooped in, saved my summer and stole my heart. Love Brett Michaels, and this show. I'm still a hater of this type of television, but there was bound to be a reality rose among all those worthless thorns, and this is it. I even started wearing a bandana again, as a tribute to Brett and broke out a few of my old Poison mix tapes. And I could care less which girl Brett picks. I just root for him to bang every contestant, and then kick them out. So far, he's been pretty successful. Lock the cellar door

Hogan Knows Best
: So much for the Internet rumor that the Hogans were divorcing. This show interests me because it portrays Hulk as stubborn, occasionally mellow and completely detached from "the business." Who knew there was more to Terry than vitamins, prayers and wrestling? Dude has a nice life now. His only worry is keeping Brooke out of trouble and hardest decision is choosing which pair of Oakleys and what color bandana to put on.

The Two Coreys: This was a perfect situation for Mrs. Vox and I because, growing up, she loved Corey Haim and I loved Corey "My father stormed the beach at Normandy" Feldman. Now I love Feldman's wife, Susie, too. She is classic bag-over-her-head-hot. Too bad the whole thing is ridiculously staged. Coreys, if you're going to stage something, don't do a reality show. Do a Lost Boys or Licensed to Drive reunion or a Stand By Me meets Lucas ripoff. Just don't try and produce spontaneity, then try and market it as your real life. Sick balls, Choppy! Eeeeiiiiiiii

Scott Baio is 45 and Single: I watched one episode of this sad trainwreck, just long enough to see Chachi meet up with Joanie and reminisce about their real-life teenage romance. I would've kept watching if they could've somehow worked in Potsy or Ralph Malph. Didn't happen. I started to wonder about a show called SamVox is 32 and Mainstream. The pilot could've shown me trying to be alternative at OSU, insisting I would never get roped in to marriage or the corporate world. Fast forward to 2007, and I an advertisement for everything I once disdained. John Smith and Aunt Toni guest star.

HBO

Big Love: After an uneven first season, this unexpectedly emerged as one of the best programs on HBO. The sophomore effort has a lot more at stake and really plays up the duality of Bill Henrickson. I keep waiting for him to bang Tripplehorn the way Mike Douglas did her in Basic Instinct, but Barbara seems determined to play the moral anchor this season. Which is fine...more Margeen for Bill and the rest of us.

One day, I was walking up to UDF, listening to my iPod and having a smoke....and I crossed paths with two young missionary Mormons canvassing my neighborhood. They politely stopped me and handed me some literature about Jesus Christ and the Church of Latterday Saints. I said "Can I ask yall a question?" The one boy, eager to answer, said "sure" in a way that conveyed his unbridled enthusiasm to convert me right there in the middle of Maplegrove. "Do yall watch Big Love?" I said. Mormon One blushed, speechless. Mormon two said, uncomfortably, "Uh, that's not really how things are." Too bad. I just might've been down with Mormonology.

Entourage: As WhitePell observed earlier, there is nothing to not like about Entourage. Except E. They kick E out of the house, move Walsh in....and it's arguably the best sitcom in TV history.

John From Cincinatti: JFC, Jesus Fucking Christ. This show was set up to conquer the world. Premiered after the finale of Sopranos, and it had epic drama written all over it. Plus Rebecca DeMornay, Zach from Saved by the Bell, and a mystical surf family that recalled both the white trash, live-to-ride counter-culture of a Van Nuys-like town and the magic idealism of ET and Star Wars. Mitch Yost is Ben Kenobi and Seanny is Kelly Leak. Problem is, YOU NEED A FUCKING PH-D IN METAPHYSICS TO UNDERSTAND IT. I've never watched a show with so much potential and such poor execution. I still don't even know why Ed O'Neil is on the show, and I stopped caring who John's father is. I never did. I just wanted some understanding of what was going on, but the writers of JFC made sure that would never happen. A heartbreaking thumbs down.

Flight of the Conchords: The 10:30 time slot has been so elusive for HBO. Mind of the Married Man, The Comeback, Lucky Louie, etc. All cancelled prematurely; all great programs. Enter Conchords, which is some of the biggest rubbish I've ever viewed. You know how Hadman felt about Rick Manning in the mid-90s. Well that's how I feel about Jemaine. If he ever came into my living room, I'd have to punch him on principle. Those New Zealand accents are nails on a chalkboard to my ears. Please cancel this show, BO. Please. I cannot stop watching it.

I'd love an easy transition into the Random Top 10, but I can't think of one. So without wordy delay, here are SamVox's Top 10 Fantasy Girls, 2007. This summer, I came to the bitter realization that some of the chicks on my list, i.e. Elizabeth Shue, Kyra Sedgewick, Stephanie Seymour, etc. are all into their forties. Like Andy Dufrain replacing Rita Hayworth with Farah Fawcett, I have to usher in a new generation of women. I don't have much to say about these ten girls, 'coz that's obviously not the point.

1. Isabella Soprano, Prostitute. Part of the appeal was that if you had an extra $2k and could make your way to the Cathouse in Reno, you could bang her. But I recently learned that she only shows up when the HBO cameras are rolling.

2. Fergie, Pop Star/Class of '93. As of last month, my friend Froms still didn't know who Fergie was. So the picture up north is for him.

3. Charisma Carpenter, Actress/Looks hot pregnant. Is it blasphemy to say she'd have made a better Buffy?

4. Brooke Burke, Model/Jew. Before I knew who she was, I had a friend at AwfulMax, not Fruitbowl, that told me he was dating her. I must come off as super-gullible. It actually pains me to know that Brooke Burke exists.

5. Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Actress. No explanation necessary.

6. Michelle B, Nude Model & British Adult Film Star. Also known as Michelle Barrett. I'd tell you more, but this is a family blog. Just Google her.

7. Eva Herzigova, Supermodel. Although my preference for American girls is well documented, I have been fascinated with Eva ever since a rumored affair with Bono in 1994. By the way, Bono is not with Penelope Cruz. He celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary three days ago. The Hewsons are fine. So don't ask me about it when you see me. I'm tired of dispelling the rumors. I should be on Bono's payroll as a publicist.

8. Elisha Cuthbert, Actress/Girl Next Door.. She's Canadian. Maybe she'll work at the Downer someday.

9. Ginnifer Goodwin, Actress/3rd Wife. Remember the Big Love episode where Bill goes down on her? I was hooked. Also Jewish.

10. Nikki Cox, Actress & Comedian/Current Sportsbook.com Covergirl. She dated E from Entourage and Bobcat Goldthwait. Now engaged to Jay Mohr. It's obvious any guy has a chance with her. Attainable often equals attractive.

Hit it Fergie--

i be on the movie screens
magazines and boogie scenes
i'm not clean, i'm not pristine
i'm no queen, i'm no machine
i still go to Taco Bell
drive-thru, raw as hell
i don't care, i'm still real
no matter how many records i sell
after the show or after the Grammys
i like to go cool out wit da family
sippin', reminiscin' on days when I had a Mustang


I am the Dutchess in the box

That's the S to the A, M, V, the O the X...
Blogging 'bout your movies, music, Cleveland sports and sex...

Parting is inevitable

Vox in the Box (17)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Put Quinn In?

Dorsey, Anderson.
Frye, Quinn. I say play whose
ass the Buckeyes kicked.

Okay bad haiku, but then again, it's not Wednesday. Even the biggest optimists on this board (hmmm...) can hopefully see that Frye and Anderson are not the answer. Now I realize that Dorsey and Quinn looked good against substandard talent, but still. It wasn't Quinn's dump-off assisted stats, but the throws he made, and not to mention the poise in clock management, was impressive. Final stats: 13-20 (including 4 spikes). Two or three very impressive throws.

A lot more impressive than the DA drive that led to third-and-2 from the 7-yard line. Confusion at the line: timeout. 6 yard run to the 1 yard line. More confusion: delay of game. Immediate next play: more confusion, timeout. False start, 5 yard penalty. Interception. You could have bottled that series up and it would have reminded me of so many Browns games in the past 7 years. Tony Grossi comments that "Anderson could be in the process of playing himself off the team." He also says that he is told that Frye was told three times last week to throw the ball away if there wasn't anyone open inside the 5; instead he ran it to the two and time ran out. Genius.

Personally, beyond giving Brady some serious reps next week with the first team, I am not sure what the proper move for the season opener is. Let Brady experience game-speed conditions from the bench for a few weeks (and in the meantime, get Crennel fired), or throw him in there and see what he can do. People will point to Tim Couch but obviously (on paper) the O-line should be a lot stronger and so he won't be on his 4% body fat ass all that often. The fan base will almost certainly be calling for him to play, either at first, or on every Charlie Frye overthrow.

The PD also reports the "new" crackdown on fan behavior. There are nine offenses that can lead to ejection, arrest, and arrest and loss of ticket privileges for future games. They are using foul language or gestures; throwing objects onto the field; entering the playing field or interfering with the progress of the game; interfering with others' ability to enjoy the game; wearing obscene or indecent clothing; refusing to show your ticket stub when asked by a stadium representative; attempting to sit in seats without the proper ticket; excessive standing; and smoking. I seriously hope arrest is not the penalty for "excessive standing." Two (related) things I notice missing from that list: public drunkenness and vomiting. Thank goodness.

Jim Ingraham of the News-Herald points out an unsettling fact:

The Indians have now been bad for longer than they were good.
You could look it up.
For the first two months of the season, April and May, they were 33-19.
For the last 2 1/2 months, since June 1, they are 33-35.
I'm no Branch Rickey, but those numbers would seem to indicate there is a greater likelihood that by the end of this season the Indians will be looked upon as not a very good team rather than as a legitimately good one.
Todd Boeckman will apparently be the Buckeyes' starting QB.

Hoynsie answers a mailbag comment that must be a joke. Right??: "I think the Tribe will be fine when they get David Dellucci's right-handed bat and defense in the lineup. He's a proven winner." Notice that Dellucci is left handed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pluto to the PD? True.

Edit: Actually this is not a rumor, here's the post on the ABJ website

Some of you may have heard this today on KNR and other places, but I guess there's a rumor going around that Terry Pluto is going to be heading to the Plain Dealer. I don't know when, but thought I'd pass along the info since I know some of us really enjoy reading him.

I think it will really help the PD since their sports page isn't great compared to the ABJ. Hopefully they don't limit the columns or make some of them "print edition" only, like they did with Hal in the News Herald. Overall good move by the PD, one can only take so much Bud Shaw and Bill Livingston.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Quinn's in



Brady Quinn ended his holdout and signed with the Browns today. Here's the excerpt from cleveland.com:


---Brady Quinn and the Cleveland Browns agreed to a five-year contract this morning, ending the holdout of the No. 22 pick in the draft. He missed 15 practices.

The deal guarantees Quinn $7.75 million. According to a league source, the total package could approach $30 million if Quinn triggers all the escalators in the deal.

Quinn is making arrangements to get to Cleveland from Phoenix, where he has been working out during his holdout.

He is not expected to play in the Browns' preseason opener Saturday against Kansas City.----


If nothing else right now, this is a good PR move as the Browns head into the preseason. Although you have to wonder if Quinn would be penciled in at starter if he'd reported to camp on time. This isn't '99 when Couch was thrust into the role behind an awful offensive line. On paper at least, the current o-line is probably the most improved position on the team. What's more, Frye and Anderson haven't exactly sparkled during camp. All that being said, we all know how Romeo feels about playing rookies, and Quinn struggled during minicamps. All I know right now is this: A.J. Hawk's brother-in-law has a lot to prove.

I Hate......


1- pitch counts

2- 1-batter relievers

3- hitters standing at home plate admiring their home runs

4- chicks that crave attention from as many guys as possible

5- my left hand

6- the phrase "at the end of the day"

7- the NBA's non-traveling calls

8- Vader's inferiority complex around the Emperor

9- nothing about Entourage

10- the DH

11- Kyle Farnsworth

12- reality TV

13- Taco Bell

14- the fact that Jennifer Love Hewitt hasn't gotten naked in a movie

15- how effing short life is

16- self-absorbed people

17- how the warden treated Andy (revenge is sweet)

18- these poker players on TV who have played for 5 years & think they're geniuses

19- traffic

20- Marbury

21- Paris Hilton's face

22- that Conan will probably sell out on his raunchy jokes when he moves to 11:30

23- loose change

24- Jim "Boy band on the side" Dolan

25- humidity

26- Tabitha

27- Christie's tires (kidding!)

28- 7 a.m.

29- my lack of propinquity to the Jake

30- Long Island's skank epidemic

31- that i can't throw as hard as I could when I was 16

32- that everyone's out to "get theirs"

33- people who talk trash on pogo.com

34- rolling rock

35- that I'm in dead last in fantasy baseball

Monday, August 6, 2007

Danny Ferry for... One?




Has anybody filed a Missing Persons Report for one Mr. Danny Ferry? Maybe he hasn't realized that the summer "vacation" is over and free agency came.... and basically went.

Ferry's tenure as Cavs GM is turning out a lot like his NBA career... hit a big shot here and there, contribute during garbage time, but mostly sit on the bench and watch. I'm sitting there folding clothes this past weekend and I see the ESPN ticker across the bottom of my screen...

"Brevin Knight signs free agent deal with..." go to commercial... DAMN IT!

Back from commercials... ticker starts over.... BASTARDS!

NBA subheader comes up.... nothing on Brevin Knight... mother f#cker!

Go through the whole ticker again.... NBA... Brevin Knight signs with the... Clippers?

Huh? We can't attract a free agent like Brevin Knight to a team that went to the championship, has Lebron, and for who he's already played with? Who knows if Knight was on the radar screen... but I ask why not? We don't need a scoring PG... we need someone who doesn't turn the ball over,makes good decisions, and plays defense... we need Eric Snow, younger, quicker, and a with a better shot. Brevin Knight.

It's not even Brevin Knight... its that I see all these teams getting better (especially in the East)... and the Cavs standing pat, resting on their improbable run last year. Does anyone look at this team and say they're confident they will make it back to, let alone win, the NBA championship?

Apparently Danny Ferry does.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Things that bug me


I don't think I like the expression "on the bump". "Carmona is on the bump tomorrow." Just say mound.

To revisit an old debate, I don't like "Grady had 4 RBI last night" I prefer "RBIs".

I also don't like it when someone refers to their Individual Retirement Account as an Ira (as in Newble). I prefer I-R-A.

It's been a while since I have seen an episode of GI JOE, but wasn't it more of a liability for Tomax & Zamot (Cobra Commanders identical twin troops) to feel each others pain?
Now you know.
And knowing is half the battle.