Deadspin in the Flesh

I first came across Deadspin on August 15, 2006. I was in my second tour of duty as an intern at NBC Sports and was still recovering from a freak “glass in the calf” incident. When surfing the world wide interwebs I stumbled across an article about “the real reason” Michael Jordan bailed out of Tahoe that year. The site it was on was one I had never heard of, but I read the “article” and then continued into the comments section. Instantly I was in heaven. It was filled with Simpson jokes, South Park jokes, and edgy humor. I immediately sent the site to the Chain of Gentlemen (back then it had far fewer subscribers, and regularly featured dirty words in the title that got Jim$ in trouble at work with the email police).

Deadspin is the godfather of sports blogs. Starting with Deadspin, I slowly started building up my daily blog portfolio, which was very tedious to keep track of what I read. Then came Google Reader, my savior, which I am not sure how I lived so long without. Now I read about 300 blog posts a day and it is my preferred method of keeping up with the world. Granted the world I am keeping up with is sports, technology, celebrity gossip, and in Tara’s words, cheerleaders. But in my defense, not all of the scantily clad women are cheerleaders.

Last month, Will Leitch, the editor of Deadspin released his book, God Save the Fan. Almost immediately he set off on a country wide book tour, the penultimate stop of which was at a Barnes and Noble in Tribeca. Much like a junior high school kid about to meet Hulk Hogan (or John Cena for middle school kids these days) I was excited to see him because he keeps me entertained on a daily basis.

Bloggers like to poke fun at themselves by talking about how they live in their parents basements and upon walking into the B&N that’s exactly what I found. As I stood there, however, I realized that is exactly what I was too. Living at home, in the basement, pretending not to be excited, and picturing the following conversation taking place:

Will: Hey, what’s your name?
Me: Nick
Will: Nick, nice to meet you, I think I would like to become your friend, we should go out for drinks afterwards to celebrate our new friendship. Then in the coming weeks we can exchange witty emails with the rest of the crew.

I was even prepared to drop the NBC Sports card somehow in case the above conversation didn’t take place as planned. Just after the stroke of 7:00, Will was introduced and I had the same sensation Moro must get when Terry takes over the shift at Fitzy’s. The first thing he did was telling everyone in attendance they were invited to a bar around the corner for drinks after the reading/signing (So it didn’t follow the above order, but I was half way there!). After a brief introduction, a couple of people from the audience participated in a reading of the John Rocker interview. This was followed a tightly moderated Q&A session ruled over by the Question Dictator with an iron fist. Then everyone lined up to get their book signed. I debated leaving right then because by that time I had already broke the news to myself that nothing was going to happen, but I stayed anyway. Here is the dialogue that ensued:

Helper: Would you like Will to personalize your book?
Me: Sure.
Helper: Who should he make it out to?
Me: Barbaro.
Helper: Barbara.
Me: No, B-A-R-B-A-R
Helper: mmmhmmm
Me: O
Helper: Ahhhhh BarbarOH
(Shuffles along in line, thinking of witty things to say)
Will: Hey
Me: Hey, nice to meet you
(Will looks at name to sign. Laughs heartily)
Will: Ok what’s your real name
Me: Nick
Will: Well it’s nice to meet you Nick
(Will half extends hand, then retracts, Nick extends hand out of habit)
(Handshake number 2)
Me: That was a little awkward
Me: Soooo, how tired does your hand get after one of these things…
Will: Not more tired than a normal day
Me: I guess that makes sense with the typing and all
Will: Yea I use my hands so much these days…but I’ve already said too much
Me: Well that explains the strong grip…
(Finishes signing)
Me: Thanks, have a good one
(Walks out of store and straight to the train)

So there as you can tell Will and I are practically inseparable now. But you know what, it doesn’t bother me; my social awkwardness is well documented by now (see: I don’t even like Coke). It was cool to meet him in person and sure, I wish I could handle social situations better but what it comes down to is the quote above (circa 2008), It is all about being content with who you are, and I would take the Chain of Gentlemen over the blogosphere anyday.

So in conclusion, be comfortable in your own skin, and everyone is pretty cool in their own right. Except Long Island Douchbags. They should just kill themselves.

All You Need To Know About Captains

In the course of our travels one evening, Moro randomly began a highly advertised man crush on Terry, and I’m sure if you asked him he would reply, “HOW COULD YOU NOT?!?! DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY WE ARE?!?!?!” Anywho, He refered to Terry as the Social Captain of Rockland County. This idea was new to all of us, but we decided it was not worth going into. Eventually however, Moro talked about it enough that it became part of our lexicon. But in case you were wondering, it still makes absolutely no sense. So what better way to to solve this puzzle than to ask the man, the myth, the legend himself.

Mr. Moro – I was hoping that you could take some time out of your busy day and/or night to answer some questions I have about Captains. Being that you are a foremost expert, I aspire to one day know almost as much as yourself.

1. I have read some of your reports, is it true that Terry was the first “Social Captain of Rockland County” that you identified?
He’s always been the Captain. I just made sure everyone was aware.

2. How did Terry have this title bestowed upon himself?

You see Rick, to be the Captain of an area is an honor. You HAVE to know all the bartenders, HAVE to know all the places to go EVERY night, and HAVE to be aware of events going on in your region. Terry simply knows whats going on – the ins, outs, and secrets of this suburb we call Rockland. Why do you think he gets large tips? It’s an extra Captains fee! Terry was bestowed with this title after the last Captain left Rockland to move to the city.

3. Do Terry’s parents know what they have created? Does Sunra know
how lucky she is?

Yes, yes, and hopefully yes. I sure know that we all know how lucky we are to have such a great leader, and hopefully, those close to him know as well. I mean, did you SEE the standing ovation he got in Fitzy’s on his birthday? That’s no ordinary patron coming in.

4. So these regions you discussed previously, how are they determined?

Great question Rick. Obviously mid-sized to large cities have great nightlife. But a place like Rockland, there is no huge city. Basically places that aren’t a big city (i.e. Chicago, NY, LA, Atlanta, etc.), you start with the County. The County HAS to have a nightlife scene. In Rockland, its Nyack. If a County does not have one town that is the “scene”, you stretch to two counties. Therefore, Rockland is one district. IF, however, one county has a city that has a population of 100,000, that city within the county has its own Captain. Take, for instance, Hudson County in NJ. The city of Hoboken has 100,000 residents, therefore, has to have its own Captain (Jim$). Rockland has no such city of 100,000, therefore, warrants its own County Captain.

5. What happens if one Captain moves into an already occupied district?

Another great question Rick. Let’s say for example Terry moves to Hoboken. Terry certainly has credentials to be Captain, and will expect to be the Captain is his newfound area of residence. HOWEVER, Hoboken has its own Captain – Jim$. In this case, to determine the Social Captain of the region, it is only fair to gather the residents at the best local bar, and watch a drink off between the 2 candidates. We call this game “Power Forever”. Now, the rules state that the invading Captain has to drink 2 shots right off the bat, to give the current Captain a handicap. Which makes sense, because, well, the other Captain is invading the current Captain’s area. So its a drink off, last one standing is the Captain.

6. How many Social Captains are there in America? Worldwide?

LOTS. Worldwide, MILLIONS. There is even a Captain Planet.

7. Who was the first known Captain?

Interesting question. There are many theories of who was the first known Captain. It is unknown at this point who was the first known Captain in America. But there are early reports that the Captains would have drink-offs as early as the 1700s. You think the Revolutionary war was decided on the battlefield?!?!? Get real! It was decided in the bars between the Captains of the American towns and the Captains of the invading British that tried to be Captains. The Americans won most of the Power Forevers, and thus, won their independence.

8. Will you have to kill me upon telling me all this information?

All this information is out there in your local library!

9. How can one start on a path to becoming a Captain?

Internship – by following around a Captain and his daily duties.

10. What kind of duties to Captains have?

Sleeping until 4pm, adding new things to the local menu of a restaurant, visiting the sick, providing inspiration the kids, kissing babies, throwing out the first pitch of local little league games, doing whatever they want, etc. Very broad question here.

11. What other known Captains are hanging around the Tri-State area?

Jim$ is the Captain of Hoboken. Various districts of NYC – Derek Jeter, Jerry Seinfeld, etc. etc.

12. Is this not the most retarded thing that has ever been created?

Debatable (ed. note: Could be a close second to the Pet Rock. But then again it did make a million dollars…)

13. If my dog runs away, would my local Captain be able to help me
track him down?

Depends on the time of day your dog runs away! If he runs away at 2pm, I think you’re out of luck because your Captain is still sleeping! (ed. note: If you local Captain is still sleeping, Moro is available to help. He once found a dog that ran away. True Story)

14. Is there a lot of animosity between Captains?

Only when a Captain tried to invade another Captains’ residence. But overall, all Captains get along. Those National Captains meetings get a little crazy at points.

15. Beep Bop Boop Bip?

Bobby McFerrin is a gentleman. Stewie is the Captain of Family Guy.

16. If Terry is unable to fulfill his duty, who takes his place? What would it take for this to happen? Who else is in the Captain’s Cabinet?

Wally. Hands down! There was enough support for Wally when he was in the running with Terry that he can be a respectable Captain. He has all the features to be a great Captian of Rockland. He lives in Nyack, co-owns and works at a Nyack bar and overall, is a gentleman! However, it would take nothing short of an nuclear holocaust to remove Terry from his position. Terry can’t even get cancer, cancer once got Terry though.
The Captain’s Cabinet is a behind the scenes council and consultants that Terry relies on to inform him of issues within the sectors of his district. They inform Terry of any issues happening in their sectors that could affect the social scene in Rockland County. For example, if a new bar is opening up in Nyack, the Cabinet member of the Nyack sector of Rockland informs Terry that we have a potentially new arena for a social scene. The Cabinet member also informs Terry of risks of this new arena to other existing arenas in Nyack. For example, lets say a new club opens up in Nyack. What is the risk to Black Bear? OVI? Bruxelles? Is this new bar going to cause a danger to the business and social scene of those bars? Assuming Terry approves the opening of this new bar, he may show up for the grand opening, cut the rope to the entrance, and shake hands with the Owner. Some members of the Captain’s Cabinet and their representing sectors include:
Congers – Nick Casanova
Nyack – Chris Moro
New City – Ostro [sic]
West Nyack – Doug Mohr

etc., etc.

17. What does the future hold for Captains?

Interesting question, and I’ve heard many different viewpoints on this subject. There are many different styles of Captains, and, Captains have to alter their styles as the years go on, and Technology grows. The question is best left for the Future to answer. (ed. note: That is deep)

18. What benefits are associated with being a Captain?

Ladies. Lots of them. (ed. note: Obviously some captains get more ladies than others *cough* Jim$ *cough*)

19. Terry and the President of the United States of America walk into Fitzy’s, who gets the table by the megatouch? What about Terry vs. Jessica Alba? Chad Pennington? Chester Taylor? (He scored three touchdowns in one game!!!!)

Terry wins hands down in all those situations. It’s kind of like a “veto” from Congress. Congress can override a veto from the President, and so can Terry if the President walks into Fitzy’s and wants to sit in his chair. Plus, I mean, does the President know he will get his butt kicked from Terry if he takes his chair?!?!? I mean, we’re talking about the Captain of Bergen Catholic lacrosse in 1995!

20. Can Terry call for thunder whenever he needs it? Security!

Thunder is his middle name.

So there you have it folks. Please feel free to pass along and questions or comments you would like Mr. Moro to follow up on. And for the record, after the interview I took a run over to the New City Library to see what information I could dig up on my own. I found out that the institute of Social Captains is one of the more progressive in the history of the world. Notable African American Captains include Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Jim Crow. Famous women Captains include Betsy Ross, Pocahontas, and Annie Oakley. But did you know Harriet Tubman was also a multi-region Captain after winning a power forever at every stop on the Underground Railroad?

Title Track (2.18.08)

A title track two months in the making, so even though all of this is old news, just deal with it.

In a Sports Business Daily Article from January 10 (so you can see how long I have been procrastinating) they were talking about Kelly Tilghman’s “racist” remark about lynching Tiger Woods. Since the black community was involved, The Reverend Al Sharpton had to be involved. While on CNN he stated “If I got on this show and said I wanted to put some Jewish-American in a gas chamber, I don’t care what context I said it in, the entire Jewish community would have the right to say I should be put off this show…” Now I may be over analyzing this using that statement in an example is a context, so since those words came out of his mouth I would like to urge the Jewish community to shut down Al Sharpton, he really pisses me off.

The goal of television advertisements is get people to be aware of your product. This is why ratings are so important (even if they use an archaic means of tabulating them). With cable and the internet and DVR and the like ratings points are becoming harder and harder to come by. There is only one show that is a guaranteed ratings monster. The Super Bowl. Hence why companies don’t hesitate to spend buku-dollars on a :30 spot. This year the commercials were adequate at best and the one that stood out the most was widely regarded as racist and is no longer being shown on TV. Still weeks after the Super Bowl has been over, no one is talking about the Bud Light Commercials, the Fed Ex commercial, or SARS’ GMC hybrid commercial, but the Sales Genie ad is still being debated. So in a way the big winner of the night was Sales Genie. If down the line some Male aged 18-34 ever needs some kind of sales lead, odds are he is going to remember Sales Genie and he’ll think to himself, “Man that was one racist commercial, but who cares….I was kinda laughing underneath the PC facade”

Speaking of Bud Light commercials. Everyone I know mostly gets Bud or Bud Light when they go out. And even if they don’t, most people generally stick to the same thing each and every time. So in reality, I feel that beer companies are really advertising to the 18-21 demographic because if you get them to order a Bud Light that first time they go to the bar, you may be able to have them for a while. Too bad beer vendors can’t advertise on Nickelodeon, you know they would if they could.

I am officially announcing that my favorite show on Television right now is Friday Night Lights. In related news, my favorite show that will only be on DVD two months from now is also Friday Night Lights

Here’s to the Syracuse Basketball team. As much agita as you gave me so far this season, I’ve really enjoyed the ride. Now if someone can please lock Donte Green and Johnny Flynn in a room for the off-season so they can’t declare for the draft, that would be greatttttttt.

Daryl – It must be nice to be Dougla$ and partake in free pancake day
Anfron – He doesn’t even have to get up off his couch..they bring the free pancakes to him with a side of stripper

Anfron – Bah we just started a new product line and the prefix for each part number is “MCC”…i think i might put some effort into this job and offer my first put of input to try and convince them to remove the second “C”

Rick – Moon Cricket College?
Ostrowe – At Moon Cricket College, they teach such clases as How to Bet $2 on Every Single Play in a Football Game and How to Make a Quick $100 at the Preakness
Rick – Here at MCC we are dedicated to giving you the most well rounded
education in the hood
Ostrowe – Not to mention our award winning photography class, How to Add Color to Pictures

Anfron: Jim$ first publication….How To Make A Million Before You Turn 20
Mar: Jim$ second publication – How To Bang A Million Chicks Before You Turn 20

SARS’ Legend of Terry: The way my dad told me the story (and his father told him), was when Terry was in second grade a bear attacked his school. All the other kids ran from the bear except for Terry, who refused to move until he finished his chocolate milk in one of those little breast implant type bags they used to serve them in. Well, the bear made the mistake of knocking Terry’s chocolate milk out of his hands, and you and I both know you don’t fuck with another man’s chocolate milk. Terry wrestled the bear down with his bare (no pun) hands, and was about to finish him off, when to everyone’s surprise, he let the bear up. He then offered the bear a beer, and just as the bear was about to chug an iced cold one with Terry, Terry turned around and gave him a stone cold stunner and waved both his middle fingers at him. At least thats the way my family has been telling the legend of Terry from generation to generation

I never thought I would be saying this, but the Slam Dunk contest was amazing this year. Between Gerald Green’s Birthday Cake Dunk, and Dwight Howard being amazing here & here, it was a lot of fun. But it was Howard’s third dunk that was by far the most amazing:

The only problem all night with the contest was that TNT insisted on starting with the trailing steady-cam which was terrible at capturing the magnitude of every dunk. It wasn’t until the third replay on every dunk that you could see exactly what happened.

One of the recent Degrassi episodes was about Ellie and her boyfriend, Jesse. The episode was titled “Jessie’s Girl.” At first I thought it was a pretty glaring typo, then I remembered that all Degrassi titles are the name of songs from the 80’s, in this case, the Rick Springfield song where he pines over the girlfriend of his friend Jessie. Maybe Rick should have just pointed out that his friend had a girls name.

Now, Where was I?

Super Blog

6:05 – Everyone in attendance starts questioning if Moro even knows when the game starts.

6:06 – Moro walks in with a giant box of food. He doesn’t know who he is rooting for.

6:11 – The Giants come out to “Stronger”. Joe Buck does a good job of letting the scene speak for itself. He doesn’t talk for a minute.

6:13 – Rick gives up keeping a running diary

You Know You’re A Piccinich When….

Dmo decided that he wanted to skiing at least once this season so in early January we looked at the calendar and decided that Super Bowl Saturday looked good. I raved to him about Okemo so we decided we could try to make a hike up there. The Squareboobs Mountain Estate is a short walk from the lift so we asked her early in the week if there was any chance we could crash there.
On a good day, it is about a 4 hour hike up to Ludlow, Vermont, but the quality of the mountain makes it worth it. We planned on leaving Friday night and of course a monsoon hit the area and it poured starting at 9AM and lasted well into the night. Nonetheless we maintained a positive attitude and if necessary we ready to brave the storm.

6:50 – Rick gets home from a long day of work and finishes packing.

7:15 – Dmo arrives to pick up Rick after a long day of sitting on the couch. But in his defense he did have a long commute this morning from his bed upstairs to the couch downstairs.

7:20 – While attempting to leave, Dmo does not unlock his car doors which leads to us having to stand in the rain for longer than desired.

7:30 – We stop at Fitzys to see what numbers Dmo has in the box pool. 6-3 Patriots isn’t as bad as the 9-9 that Dmo was expecting. It stands to be noted that when we walked in Tommy and Diane were slow dancing by the dart board.

7:35 – Terry and Tommy bid us adieu and hope we have a safe trip.

7:43 – We get on the highway and instantly visibility is at about 10 feet. This is going to be a glorious ride. ETA is about 1:00AM right now

7:55 – We call Squareboobs to ask about weather conditions up north and tell her our ETA. Things don’t look good.

8:04 – We get to 684 and visibility falls to about 8 feet. We begin to question the trip.

8:06 – We call Squareboobs back to tell her we are not going to make it. She is very understanding. Fine character. After 30 minutes of driving we are only 20 minutes away from home. That would have made for a depressing drive.

8:07 – We turn around and head back to Fitzy’s. Can’t wait to see the look on Terry’s face.

8:21 – Of course as we approach the bridge the rain slows down and we are now making good time back.

8:23 – Of course as we get on the bridge traffic comes to a stand still as the radio informs us there are accidents on the northbound and southbound lanes of the bridge.

8:35 – To pass the time, we send Abby a “How’s Evelyn” text message.

9:08 – We finally make it to Fitzys, Terry is glad we are still alive.

9:45 – Anfron arrives.

9:50 – While playing a game of Horse (darts), Joe the Bartender grabs Rick’s ass. He turns around 30 seconds later and realizes that I am not who he thought I was. But he crowned my ass. And I let him off the hook.

9:58 – Tara does know what’s worse: a guy grabbing my ass, or a girl grabbing my ass.

11:20 – After playing darts against Bobby, who may or may not have been in a metal band, Anfron and Dmo decide we are going to Lace.

11:45 – We make it to Lace a full hour and fifteen minutes before we would have gotten to Okemo.

12:30 – Still no strippers have talked to us.

12:45 – A stripper comes over and when she asks Anfron is she can give him a lap dance he tells her that he is winded. Rick and Dmo start laughing, and the stripper walks away. That right there is the story of our life.

1:10 – Erin Andrews is here tonight. But she stays away from us.

1:20 – Standing next to the lap dance area is sad and hilarious at the same time, the guys in there getting multiple lap dances are……I don’t even know.

1:30 – Rick and Anfron throw Dmo under the bus. Then Rick throws Anfron under the bus.

1:45 – Dmo drops Rick off at home vowing to call him at 6:00AM so they can go snowboarding.

10:30 – Rick and Dmo wake up.

2:20 – Anfron picks up Rick and Dmo from their houses to go to Mountain Creek.

6:00 – Anfron fucks an Asian right in her ass on the gondola.