June 21, 2010

TTD Minute - Episode III

In this week's episode, Brent delivers our thorough recap of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

June 10, 2010

Herm's Guide to the World Cup

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanl........ oh who gives a shit.

Herm (you know, the foreign guy) wrote an English version of a guide to the 2010 World Cup, which begins Friday. He writes a Portuguese-speaking hockey blog, so it would make no sense for him to post it there. We, on the other hand, write an English nonsense blog, so it would make perfect sense to post it here. Today, Herm is an honorary TTD writer. Here are his words, with my pithy comments shown in italics:

The format

The World Cup has 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4. Those 4 teams will play each other once, with the top two in points from each group qualifying to the next round. After that, elimination games will decide who's through to the next rounds.

This shitty guide starts with a little about each team, group by group.


South Africa: the host country. It possibly will be the first host not to advance to the 2nd round in history of the World Cup. It probably will depend on the good will of referees to accomplish this mission.

I watched "Invictus" a couple of weeks ago. How can it be that Matt Damon did a decent enough job with a South African accent, yet he butchered a Boston accent in "The Departed"? He's fucking FROM BOSTON. It was as if Martin Scorsese told him, "I think it would work best if you sounded like a half deaf Bugs Bunny as opposed to an actual Bostonian." This question somehow managed to ruin both movies for me.

France: the runner-up of 2006, this year's version is weaker than any French team since the '98 championship. It's unlikely to miss the 2nd round, but “favorite” is certainly not the word to describe this team.

I know this is beyond cruel, but France's best player looks like (prepare yourself....) this. Holy hell. The Elephant Man just looked at that and said, "Oh my God."

Mexico: has the weird distinction of having lost more games than any other team in history, but it has a lot to do with playing in 13 WCs to this day, which is credited to playing the qualifying tournament in the weak CONCACAF. It might do some damage, but not much.


Uruguay: sure, they won two Cups before, but they came in '30 and '50. They'll try to fight Mexico for 2nd place, with the defense being its biggest strength (violently strong, sometimes).

I can't say it. I just can't say "YER-UH-GWY". It's "YER-UH-GWAY" to me. (Typing that phonetically was tougher than the pronunciation dilemma to begin with.)


Argentina: its head coach is Diego Maradona, known worldwide for his talent and problems with drugs. As a coach, Maradona is confusing and probably a distraction to his team. The only player with a guaranteed spot is Lionel Messi, currently the world’s best player, and that alone qualifies them as favorites.

Herm's from Brazil. Brazilians hate Argentina. I like Herm. I hate Argentina.

Nigeria: after beating Brazil in the ’96 Olympics and Spain in the ’98 World Cup, the futebol world got to know the Nigerian team. Some players are left from those teams, but most players are young and will work hard to try and reach the 2nd round.

Nigeria just played North Korea in an exhibition match which was marred by a stampede involving thousands of fans. Seriously, people? An exhibition match? At least wait until you beat the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

Greece: they will have to pull some upsets if they want to reach the 2nd round. Not that they care, since “upset” was the most used word in their run to the 2004 Euro Cup title, beating Portugal in the final.

I dare you to read all of the last names of Greece's roster without bleeding from the ears.

South Korea: their best finish was the 4th place in ’02, when they hosted the competition. That run happened mostly due to glaring refereeing errors in their favor, helping them beat Spain and Italy. Without the home factor, it will be a challenge to do some noise.

Don't count out South Korea, because they've got Sol. /slaps knee, laughs/


England: they lost stars David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand to injuries, but one would be crazy not to point them as perfectly capable of lifting the Cup. But they do have the tendency to play to their opponent’s level, so the weak group might not be so weak.

Tea and crumpets and shit.

United States: I’m sure some North Americans watched the Confederations Cup and got a little too optimistic. It might be an exaggeration, but don’t dismiss the team that almost beat Germany in ’06 and caused Spain’s latest choke last year. If they take advantage of England’s bad tendency, they might surprise some.

You may have heard that we are playing England on Saturday afternoon. ESPN has been advertising this like it's Revolutionary War 2: The Empire Strikes Back. Times infinity.

Slovenia: they live and die on Robert Koren’s effort, but they’ll probably die on this one…

Word, Robert Koren. Totally.

Algeria: it’s the team that France could be. The greatest French player of the last decade, Zinedine Zidane, was born in France from Algerian parents. Most players on the current team have those same roots, and this semi-French team probably will do no harm.


Germany: a defensive team by nature, it will have to rely even more on defense without its best player, Michael Ballack, out with an ankle injury. They took down a great team every time they won the Cup in the past, Hungary in ’54, Holland in ’74 and the host country Italy in ’90.

Seemingly every team is coming in with some major injury to their best player or one of their best players. So perhaps losing their best player wasn't the end of the world. They're still Germany. (That's like when non-Wings fans use "They're still the Red Wings". Regardless of the circumstance, you're not completely safe until they're out of the tournament. )

Ghana: already a low-skilled team, they lost their best player due to injury, Michael Essien. Even without him, it’s still a very hard working team with a good eye for tactics. It’s probably the most physical team in the Cup, but not good enough to go past the 2nd round.

Serbia: they already participated in 2 World Cups, but this will be their first World Cup. What? They already played as Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro, but Serbia makes its debut in this edition. They will try to erase the bad image left after working as punching bags in ’06, trying to challenge Ghana for the 2nd place in the group.

Australia: it’s their third Cup, second in a row. They hope to repeat the ’06 performance, when they reached the 2nd round. With an old and experienced roster (all the starting 11 are older than 30), they have a decent chance to upset Ghana and Serbia.

Granted I know dick about this stuff but my first impulse is to predict Germany winning this group by a score of 80 to 0.


Holland: they choke so much that no one calls them chokers anymore. They will play as they traditionally play, with a stunningly good offense and a well-organized defense, hoping to win games by scores of 3-2 or 4-3. The star Arjen Robben is injured and is out of the group stage, but will be a major reinforcement for the elimination rounds.

"3-2 or 4-3"?? Whoooa, look out!. If you aren't watching close enough you might mistake Holland for the '84 Edmonton Oilers.

Cameroon: always the “African team of the future”, they count on Samuel Eto’o’s goals to qualify for the 2nd round. The problem is that Eto’o, a scoring machine for his clubs, but always disappears when playing for his national team.

Denmark: nicknamed “Dane-machine” in the 80’s, they enter this edition as heavy and boring underdogs, but their disciplined team can make it through the group stage.

The thing I know most about Denmark is that Andy from Fight Night is not a fan of theirs. Andy is from Norway. I like Norway. I like Andy. I hate Denmark.

Japan: the best Asian team in the Cup, but clearly not enough to do damage. They try to surprise with the usual speed and tactical devotion, but they will fail because of the usual weak offense.

"Best Asian team" has a 'tallest midget' joke ring to it, but you know, I'm no racist.


Italy: the ’10 team has the same core as the ’06 champions, which had the same core as the ’02 team, which already had some players from the ’98 team. In short, they’re old. But much like the Red Wings people say that every year and every year they make their impact.

I've been with Ms. Deke for many moons now, and somehow didn't know until this week that she doesn't like spaghetti. Who in the fuck doesn't like spaghetti. Long story short I think we're going to do a 'TTD Bachelorette' show in the coming days so I can find a normal girlfriend. (Hint: like spaghetti.)

Paraguay: the third force of South America will try to take advantage of the elderly Italians and steal the first in place in their group in order to avoid a killer opponent on the 2nd round. With a very good generation of players, they are more than capable of battling the current champions and crushing the other two teams.


Slovakia: the only team to debut in this edition, they will try not to be blown out by Italy and Paraguay. Some youngsters are quite good, but those are the exceptions in this team.

Marian Hossa, you slut.

New Zealand: they should stick to rugby. In their only World Cup, in ’82, they lost all three game with a combined score of 2-12, and the future doesn’t look better.


Brazil: after a disappointing performance in ’06, Brazil relies on its defense to extend their lead in number of titles. They have the best goalkeeper and defenders in the world, but the team plays a boring football that has nothing to do with what people think when they see those bright yellow shirts.

I've read that Brazilians not only expect their team to win, but to look amazing while doing it. Herm -- what is wrong with your people, man? This shit comes once every four years! Would a string of ugly 1-0 victories resulting in another World Cup be so bad?

Most importantly, Brazil's best player is named Kaka, which if you aren't 3 years old yet is Mexican for "poopy".

Portugal: favorites four years ago, now they reach the Cup under a cloud of doubts. Cristiano Ronaldo is a different player for Portugal compared to what he can do for his clubs, and they got to the competition after a lot of pain in the qualifiers. Should be in the battle for the 2ndplace.

Ivory Coast: they were supposed to fight Portugal, but an injury to Didier Drogba, one of the best forwards in the world, can end this dream. If the other “European” players on the team show up, they might spell trouble, but don’t count on it.

North Korea: *censored*

^ That made me really laugh.


Spain: chokers, chokers, chokers. Sure, they won the Euro Cup in ’08, but that’s just because Germany choked harder. They’ll steamroll through the group stage before facing Portugal or Ivory Coast in the 2nd round. The team is balanced and will try to shake the label off their backs.

Chile: having an Argentinean coach would be a hell of a reason to root against them, but they are the hope for the Chileans that suffered with earthquakes earlier this year. Some young values will try to make their nation forget the tragedy, and they’re capable of it.

Switzerland: after being eliminated in ’06 with giving any goal, they count on their forwards to provide them some quality. Will battle Chile for the 2nd place.

Honduras: while they missed the last 7 World Cups, they might not be the dead flies they seem to be. It’s unlikely to reach the elimination rounds, but they have a stingy defense and some decent forwards who’ll try to surprise Chile and Switzerland.

That’s it, those are the 32 team that will participate in the biggest sports event in the world (sorry, Olympics). But who are you rooting for? The World Cup is unique in a lot of ways, one of them being that not only are you allowed, but you are encouraged to have backup teams. You have Team A, which is your country. You have Team B, some team you like and want to see succeeding. And you have Team C, which is “whoever is playing Argentina right now”.

The whole point in having a ”Team X” is to have someone to root for if your team is eliminated, so the team must be strong. That’s why I set-up some info about the 6 teams with real potential of winning this edition of the World Cup, which makes them candidates for Team B. Here they are:


The good: has about the best fans in football. Not only Brazilians root for them, but a lot of foreigners too. It has a good defense that won’t cause you heart attacks.

The bad: The offense will cause you heart attacks. For no reason other than pride, coach Dunga left out some of the best players he could have, making the team too dependent on just one player, Kaka, who’s coming back from injury and is not reliable.

Comedy factor: Dunga’s daughter is a stylist, and often uses her daddy as a model. Look out for some weird shit like purple scarves and very busy jackets. Also, the underlying possibility of a drunken player rolling down the presidential ramp if Brazil wins it all.


The good: beautifully played football, they can confuse their opponent with quick changes in positioning and unnerve them with quality passes.

The bad: chokers. Holland always have to choose between playing well or winning, and usually chooses the first.

Comedy factor: look out for those goofy looking orange shirts. Especially if announcers start referring to them as the “Clockwork Orange”.


The good: one thing you always know, they will contend. Their defense is brilliant and can beat opponents on pure smarts or brute strength.

The bad: they are old. The team is not good enough to glide past the first round, and fatigue can cause them trouble on elimination games.

Comedy factors: Italians seem to think they are the best looking players in the world, despite their noses. Be alert to replays of Zidane headbutting Italian defender Materazzi in the ’06 final.


The good: very balanced team, can stop opponents while stuffing their nets. Their fans are also great.

The bad: they choke pretty hard, too. The creators of football only won one Cup, in ’66, and thanks to a glaring officiating error. They also have the tendency to get injured often.

Comedy factor: high. Defender John Terry had an affair with the wife of Wayne Bridge, former Chelsea teammate and also on England’s roster.


The good: probably the most balanced team today, the players have played together for a long time and have good chemistry.

The bad: most players are very important to their clubs, and the long season got them tired and ready to choke.

Comedy factor: any time they show their chokes. My favorite is the game against Nigeria in the group stage in ’98, with the Spaniard goalie pushing the ball inside his own net.


The good: they regained national pride after the ’06 Cup, even if failing to win. The team is going through a renovation without downfall.

The bad: they are defensive and boring, it’s genetic, and you can’t change it. With its best player injured, they will bore the hell out of us.

Comedy factor: comedy and Germans don’t match.


The good: destiny says they’ll win, since both Brazil (’94) and Italy (’06) spent 24 years without a title before finally getting it on penalty kicks, and Argentina’s last Cup was on 1986.

The bad: destiny says they won’t win. FIFA’s been awarding the world’s best player since 1993, and the winner never lifted the Cup on the following year.

Comedy factor: oh, this will be fun…

  • Coach Maradona says his players can have beer, barbecue and sex all they want during the competition (to which Brazilian coach responded “not everyone likes sex”)
  • Diving: soccer players are known for diving, but Argentineans take it to a new level. It’s wonderful watching it, every single trip is reminiscent of “Sonny in the tollbooth re-enacted by Jim Carrey”
  • Mullets. Lots and lots of mullets. The best is from Carlos Tevez, who looks like a crossdress between Blanka from Street Fighter and Sloth from Goonies



June 7, 2010

Top Ten Cereals


Cracklin' Oat Bran narrowly edges out Frosted Mini Wheats to squeeze onto this list. Truth be told, I haven't tasted the C.O.B. in years, but my dad used to by this stuff every week when I was a little kid. It's the only cereal he'd eat, and because of that I always had to steal it to eat it. I'd always want some and ask him if I could have a bowl, and then we'd go through this 5 minute process where he would stare at the half-eaten box, then look back at me like he was contemplating donating me a kidney, and ultimately, pull the "look over there!" point-and-run getaway. I cherished the few bowls that I had.

UPSIDE: The milk makes it truly awesome; kind of like dunking a cookie.
DOWNSIDE: You feel like you're 75 years old because it's fucking Cracklin' Oat Bran.


Look, I am honestly, really not a woman. This cereal has a reputation for being rather girly and I just don't get it. Does it strengthen the uterus? Does it come with a complementary box of tampons? No. If you're a dude and you pour yourself a heaping bowl of Special K and tell me it's not the best damn thing you've had all week, you're lying to yourself.

UPSIDE: It's good for you, allegedly.
DOWNSIDE: Oh my god it actually does strengthen the uterus.

8 ~ KIX

"Kid tested, mother approved". I don't really give a flying shitstain if Mother approves or not, this is some high quality stuff right here. It's so simple yet so addictive. I don't think I can have less than 3 bowls in one sitting -- 2 is just never enough. I was displeased when they went the way of the berry and tried to spice it up and make it more attractive to the kiddie crowd. What's not to like already? It's crunchy on the outside but has that soft interior texture that pleases the palate.

UPSIDE: More taste, Less filling.
DOWNSIDE: You might eat an entire box in 15 minutes, which isn't really a good thing.


Yabba-Dabba-Defuckinglicious. That's right, it's Fred and Barney and their fruity best, without that nag Betty barging through the door wondering why you didn't take out the trash. And there's usually an expertly crafted maze or some other zany shit like that on the back of the box. This was arguably the best cereal to come out of the Stone Age.

UPSIDE: Flavor to the max.
DOWNSIDE: You can't have more than 2 bowls without having to call in to work. It's almost too much. By bowl #3 it's like you're eating a rainbow.


It's really a love/hate thing. I mean, there might not be a better tasting cereal on this list. Honestly, it's tremendous. Peanut Butter may be the best tasting thing that we humans have invented yet, but (and I think you already know where I'm going with this one) I'll be damned if I haven't had one fucking bowl of this cereal without tearing the roof of my mouth apart so bad that the milk ends up turning red. A little graphic, yes, but it's the honest truth. Seriously, are there not little microscopic razors inside each of those peanut butter balls? It's one of natures biggest cock-teases, this Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. It tastes so good but it leaves you in shambles by the time you're half way through.

UPSIDE: Perfection of flavor
DOWNSIDE: Oral rape


Now, I'm not a big fan of the Life brand, but I'm pretty fond of it's cousin, Cinnamon Life. Not only is it tasty, but it's got a classic name -- you know that you're eating only the best. "He likes it! Hey Mikey!" Yeah, that little shit better like it. You'd have to be a spoiled bitch not to appreciate what's going down your throat when you're eating Cinnamon Life.

UPSIDE: It tastes good.
DOWNSIDE: There have been a few times where I've actually choked pretty bad while eating Life. There's something deceptive about it that allows me to think that I can fit like 4 bites in my mouth at once, and then BAM -- it gets me again. File this one under "Choke-y Cereals" right along with the Mini-Wheats.

4 ~ CHEX

The highest ranked of the "Old People Cereals". This one is pretty versatile...not only is it great to eat for breakfast, but it comes in a wondrous "mix" that you can eat in your car. Breathtaking in its simplicity.

UPSIDE: For some reason I can eat Chex really fast without getting sick. I guess that's good.
DOWNSIDE: It made me say "Breathtaking".


CTC is a sultrous harlot that I nor anyone else can resist. For a brief time during my high school days, I consumed Cinnamon Toast Crunch with the relentless fervor that only one of those "80 cents-a-day" African children can relate to. I had a birthday where I literally asked for it. It was on my official list. It read "Cinnamon Toast Crunch", as if my mom couldn't fucking buy it on a regular ass grocery day. That's how hooked I was. But after a while, my interest in it tapered off....I had too much of it at once....I started seeing other cereals, and after a while, I really only sought out Cinnamon Toast Cruch for a once-in-a-blue-moon "booty call" type of morning.

UPSIDE: Oh, you.
DOWNSIDE: Hasn't quite tasted the same since 2001


What more can you say, really, than:


UPSIDE: (see above)
DOWNSIDE: It kinda seems like they stole the formula for Alpha-bits and then just threw marshmallows in there to brainwash the youth of America into forgetting that Alpha-bits ever existed. But I don't know who owns what cereal or which came first or whatever.....I'm not about to go all "chicken or the egg" on everybody right now.


No other possible choice.

Cap'n Crunch is the absolute king of Saturday morning, the emperor of milky breakfasts, the sultan of everything that is merry and delicious and delectable about the most important meal of the day. It is simply a god. It's talented yet troubled creation, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, has had it's bright moments but it can't even hold the jock of its Crunch Berries. Yellow #5, fruit, milk, a bowl, what more could you want out of life.

June 1, 2010

One More Year

Ansar Khan -- who can be wrong for the rest of his life so long as this is true -- says that Nick Lidstrom is returning on a one year contract. I think I will cry now. (Mainly because of my own stench; I haven't showered since like Game 2 of the Sharks series. But sort of because of Nick.)

Now, what I'm about to do is going to make you not read this site ever again: I'm going to Twitterlink myself. Then I'm going to quote myself from my own link:

"In honor of Lidstrom's return, I will not go to the bathroom for the rest of the week. The Perfect Human does not poop."

And now that you're not reading, here are some other ways that we can honor one more year of our captain by emulating his flawlessness.

  • Follow my lead and not poop. Just eat a lot of cheese (or avoid it completely ... I know it has to be one or the other for you) and hold on for dear life.
  • When spotting an attractive lady while walking down the street, refrain from "hollering" at her, gluing yourself to her leg and dry humping until you pass out from heat exhaustion. Instead, tell her that she is a valued member of our society and should be treasured for her unsurpassed intellect.
  • Nick draws obvious comparisons to Jesus Christ because of his serene and peaceful aura, his fashionable sandals, and his love of all Earthly creatures. Yes, "even Ville Leino." Go 20 minutes today without thinking about framing Leino for Grand Theft Larceny Murder Kidnapping Arson Double Murder Rape.
  • If you write a blog, stop writing it. Basement-dwelling pussies write blogs.
  • Duplicate his diet of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and angel tears.
  • Help an old lady cross an intersection safely by convincing all of the drivers to turn around and go volunteer at the nearest homeless shelter, all with a subtle wave of your hand.
  • Walk into your place of employment and say, "You know, even though I'm the best employee you have, and maybe the best that has ever worked here in the long and storied history of Such-and-Such Place, I want to continue slaving away for you BUT ONLY if you agree to pay me less money."
  • Nick is one of the greatest hockey players of all time, but is an even better family man. Out of love for his wife, he himself gave birth to all of their children. He pulled this off with a homemade womb and birth canal created from recycled pop cans.
  • It's a little known fact that Nick has never once uttered a curse word in his whole life. This cannot be imitated by you even for one week, because it is impossible to sit through an entire home Blackhawks game without screaming, "STOP PLAYING THAT FUCKING SONG" at your television.
  • Pay a bill on time. You know what Nick's credit score is? It's ☺. A fucking happy face. Seriously, it's not even a number.