Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weighing in on #Deflategate

If you don’t know what I’m talking about by the above title you are either:

a. Not a fan of sports (in which case, what are you doing here?) or;

b. Living under a rock. Seriously, this made the news in Australia and we don’t even have that sport. Everyone is talking about it, and everyone really needs to calm down.

I haven’t commented on Deflategate thus far due to the fact that I don’t really care. The Patriots were always going to beat the Colts. Frankly, Tom Brady could have taken off his shoe and used it instead of the under inflated football for the entire game and still beaten the Colts. They stunk that badly. I’m only commenting today because the whole thing has turned bloody funny. We had Mark Brunell crying (!) on ESPN because he just didn’t believe Tom Brady, Bill Belichick actually appearing honest (!), and Tom Brady saying ‘balls‘ A LOT in his presser causing the internet to explode with memes, and I love memes.

EMOTIONS.

So, as the story goes, 11 out of the Patriots’ 12 footballs brought by them to the AFC Championship Game last Sunday were found not to be inflated to levels required by the NFL rules, making them easier to throw and catch. The alleged deliberate deflation had apparently occurred sometime between the when the balls were checked prior to the game, and when they were checked again at halftime.

You may recall a little event back in 2007 called ‘Spygate’ where the Patriots and Bill Belichick were collectively fined $750,000 for violating league rules by videotaping NY Jets defensive coaches’ signals. Cheaters.

Now, hang on while I jump to conclusions here. Since they have cheated before, obviously Tom Brady and/or the Patriots cheated again. That is the general consensus.  As such, they should be penalised as far as the NFL can penalise a team for shenanigans – which, as I understand is $25,000 fine.

Pfft. Tom Brady has worn crap sweaters worth more than that.

Should every single game the Patriots’ played this year be reconsidered in light of Deflategate? No. That is stupid. And speculative. And wasting my time.

Should Bill Belichick be fired? Belichick actually seemed sincere when he said he “had no knowledge, whatsoever” of ball tampering. Also, I love the guy. Total jerk. Has no emotions.

Should the Patriots be denied their place in the Superbowl because they cheated? Hell no. I’d actually like to see a team compete against the Seahawks – not have a repeat of last years’ nonevent.

Should the NFL be supplying all game balls instead of leaving it to the teams? Absolutely! I can’t even believe they don’t!

Should Tom Brady should be fined for comparing something as trivial as under inflated footballs to an extremist group who routinely behead people? Oh, God. Yes. Idiot.

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The one where I lament the loss of Phillip Hughes.

Yesterday, Australia and the cricketing world were rocked by news that young Aussie opening batsman Phillip Hughes had succumbed to a catastrophic head injury after being hit by a bouncer at the SCG on Tuesday.

I would have written this post yesterday, but truthfully, I was too emotional. To say that I am heartbroken over the loss of a man I have never met seems to sell the feeling short.

After news broke yesterday afternoon, myself and two of my colleagues gathered in my office to discuss the tragedy, all three of us were teary and surprised by the level by which we were affected – my two colleagues in particular who freely admit that they have no interest in cricket had difficulty reconciling their responses since they were not invested in the sport in any way.

So, why had it hit us so hard? I think the truth of it was that none of us really knew how seriously Phil was injured. Because it’s cricket – a beautiful game, a gentleman’s game. People don’t die playing cricket, Phillip Hughes wouldn’t die. But they do, and he did.

The death of a young man in any situation is a tragedy, but when talking about it further, we came to realise that the reason this death felt so wrong was because of how unprecedented it was given the nature of the sport.

Take a race car driver, or a rugby player for example. If an athlete of that type had been killed or injured whilst competing, I would be shocked and saddened, but it’s something that happens sometimes, and despite how horrible those occurrences are, the athletes are aware of the associated risks. They will have weighed up those risks with their desire to compete and decided that the risks are acceptable. I don’t believe Phillip Hughes would have ever had that opportunity since I can’t imagine a situation where a cricketer would step up to the crease and wonder if they would survive the next over.

And there’s the rub, and it’s infinitely sad.

A little legend, and by all accounts a super nice guy who paid a very steep price for playing the game he loved. Vale Phillip Hughes. Forever 63, not out.

And to you Sean Abbott, I believe I can speak for the entire country, if not the entire world when I say; mate, it’s not your fault. I wish the young paceman all the best and hope he gets what he needs to move past this tragedy, no young man should have to carry such a burden.

The one where I rate the @NHLBlackhawks suit game.

Oh look! It’s another one of those posts that is less about sport and more about the objectification of male athletes…..AND YOU LOVE IT!

Truly though, this post comes at the request of Mama Gray, who some years ago joined me in my love of the Chicago Blackhawks, even going so far as to (at my request) wear our lucky 88 Patty Kane jersey for every single Blackhawk game this last post season like the legend that she is, only complaining once that it was somewhat limiting her wardrobe. I myself wore the lucky 88 Paddy Kane jersey UNDER my work clothes, for Game 7 v Detroit the year before because I was convinced the Blackhawks would lose if I didn’t – and I work in an office…. have you ever tried to wear a hockey jersey under a pencil skirt and blouse?? Awkward. As. Fuck.

Anyway, this past week the Blackhawks had a red carpet event prior to their game v Buffalo, and I’m a Judgemental Judy, so this was the perfect opportunity to appreciate/throw shade at my Blackhawk boys.

Here we go…..

AndrewShaw

Andrew Shaw

First up we have Andrew Shaw. Andrew Shaw has a girlfriend. A girlfriend who let him leave the house with ill fitting trousers, that have failed in an attempt to reach his shoes. I will give him a point for at least wearing dress socks – but then I’m taking it away for wearing what appears to be a Burberry tie. I like Burberry – but wearing a Burberry tie is the most pedestrian “I’m trying to look flash and have no idea how since I’m really a bogan” move ever. On the other hand, if it isn’t a Burberry tie, it’s definitely an attempt at a knock off, in which case, Andrew Shaw is cheap. Or ignorant.

He also appears to be wearing button cuffs. Ugh.

Suit Game = WEAK

AnttiRaanta

Antti Raanta

You’ll note via the coming pictures that brown shoes are apparently a ‘thing’ with the Blackhawks. I don’t mind this look overall, but I’m undecided about the tan shoes and belt, I really feel like the suit may be a little too dark and the tan a little light. Good overall fit. Excellent cuff length.

Suit Game = FAIR

BenSmith

Ben Smith

Not sure if this is Harvey Spectre or Ben Smith. Either way he looks very nice. I’m going to overlook the tie length and approve of the pocket square addition. Points off for button cuffs.

Suit Game = FAIR

BradRichards

Brad Richards

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t you totally should – @graysfanatomy) may remember in January I was at the United Centre watching the Blackhawks play the Rangers. I also lost a bet to my best heckler buddy, and Rangers fan, Maree (shout out) when the Blackhawks lost. Said loss resulted in me having to wear Maree’s Rangers jersey in NYC for 5 days and to 2 Rangers games – which turned out to be fun. True Rangers fans were on to me though, and I ended up being heckled when a group of guys around me decided I wasn’t excited enough, this realisation was followed with a “Wait – you’re not even a Rangers fan are you?” and me dropping my head and muttering “I lost a bet”. Good natured banter and free beers ensued, and by all accounts a grand time was had by all. Anyway, as usual I digress (it was just so fun!). The point I was getting to was that said Rangers jersey was in fact a Brad Richards Jersey – and now Brad Richards is a Blackhawk. TAKE THAT MAREE!

Brad Richards scrubs up very nicely indeed.

Suit Game = STRONG

BrandonSaad

Brandon Saad

Manchild nearly had it right…….then he wore pants that are too short. HOW DID YOU NOT NOTICE THIS?

Suit Game = WEAK

BrentSeabrook

Brent Seabrook

Not sure if Brent Seabrook was trying to look like he doesn’t really care to be there, but he certainly pulls it off. You know what else he pulls off? Slob. Bad hair, take away coffee, the suit doesn’t fit well, nor does his shirt – where are your cuffs?? Half an inch – that’s the minimum amount of cuff you should be showing MINIMUM. The tie is too long (a pet peeve of mine) although it is quite a nice knot. Also, why is there a puck in your pocket??

Gentleman! I beg you, close your jackets!

Suit Game = SO WEAK

CoreyCrawford

Corey Crawford

Hello Wall Street. Corey looks bang. No further comment.

Suit Game = STRONG

DanielCarcillo

Daniel Carcillo

I don’t like Daniel Carcillo. Therefore I don’t like his outfit. Next.

Suit Game = WEAK

DavidRundblad

David Rundblad

Well, hello handsome. Lovely hair, neat pocket square. I’m generally not keen on skinny ties, but this one werks.

Suit game = STRONG

DuncanKeith

Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith is adorable. His wife is one of the 2 luckiest women on the planet. I’m thinking though, that perhaps Dunc was hanging with his bash brother Brent Seabrook prior to this event since they both look like shit (SORRY DUNCAN!). Even Duncan’s hair looks unwashed. The suit itself is not horrible, could even be nice if tailored correctly, which it isn’t. craptie.com.

Suit Game = WEAK

JeremyMorin

Jeremy Morin

Yes! Faith in humanity restored. Look at those lovely cuffs. LOVELY. I’m choosing to ignore your Burberry tie since it is purple and not obviously Burberry. Close your jacket and you are perfect Jeremy Morin.

Suit Game = PADAWAN

JohnnyOduya

Johnny Oduya

Johnny Oduya is my birthday twin and on occasion my fantasy husband – but not in that suit. So, I’m not going to be too hard on him. But WTF is going on here? No, just no. Each piece is probably lovely on its own, but a godawful mess together.

Suit Game: WEAK

JonathanToews

Jonathan Toews

Here is Captain Serious, looking, well, serious – and like he is about to pull out an arabesque right there on the red carpet which would be sure to entertain the woman on the right there who looks way too happy to be in Tazer’s presence. I like what he has done here, the jacket is quite nice, though long in the sleeve.

Suite Game = STRONG

MarcusKruger

Marcus Kruger

Marcus Kruger could have walked straight from the pages of GQ magazine. Marry me.

Suit Game = THE STRONGEST

MarianHossa

Marian Hossa

Mama Gray’s favourite, both on the ice and in a suit – so I’ll need to be very careful with how I proceed. JK he is fabs – good enough to leave my father for Mum.

Suit Game = STRONG

NiklasHjalmarsson

Niklas Hjalmarsson

Niklas wins. This look is just lovely on him, although it is a little late in the year for a suit of that colour, and his trousers could really do with a belt. Still, two thumbs up.

Suit Game = JEDI MASTER

PatrickSharp

Patrick Sharp

Ah, the husband of the other luckiest woman on the planet. He’s a bit older than the other lads, hence the more classically styled suit, which works very nicely indeed on Mr. Sharp. I’m only going to pick at sleeve length cos ugh.

Suit Game = STRONG

PattyKane

Patrick Kane

My boy Paddy Kane. I can see cuff, of a very nice rose coloured shirt. Pant length is good, jacket is closed, what appears to be a very nice double windsor knot and shoes that don’t say “Look at me, I’m wearing shoes!”. Aye, he’s bonnie.

Suit Game = YODA

*

*

Okay, so if I have taught you people anything today let it be these things:

1. Always wear shirts with French Cuffs. ALWAYS.

2. A minimum of 2cm of cuff should be showing from your jacket.

3.  You will always look better with your jacket closed. You can unbutton it when you sit, but not before.

4. Your tie should reach your waistband or your belt buckle. If it is longer than that START AGAIN. DON’T BE LAZY.

5. For the love of all that is holy, have your suit properly tailored.

Explained: How The Bloody Hell Does The College Football Playoff System Work Anyway??

It’s getting close to that glorious time of year where I am notably absent from any and all social gatherings on Sundays, and Mama Gray asks redundant questions like “Are you really going to sit there and watch football all day?” Really Mum, is that even a question? I can’t even. Seriously.

There are some important changes to this year’s college football season. After 16 years, the seemingly erroneous and vastly confusing Bowl Championship Series (BCS)  system, which used voting by 167 pollers and computers to generate rankings, has been sacked. This sees the introduction of a new, four team bracket, college football playoff system, aptly named College Football Playoff or CFP (genius!).

The College Football Playoff format means we are no longer required to have some kind of Good Will Hunting sized, mathematically blessed brain in order to keep up with the rankings which were previously determined by using computer generated figures and percentages as well as all sorts of other rules to gain points, generally all things that made little sense to me given my inclination to have little or nothing to do with anything remotely mathematical. If you want to give it a go, Wikipedia sums it up pretty well here.

The new system will instead utilise the combined brain power of ‘The Thirteen’*. ‘The Thirteen’ have been introduced as people of integrity consisting of a mixture of current athletic directors, former coaches, a former NCAA executive VP, a former sports writer, Archie Manning and former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

The appointment of Condy, the daughter of a football coach and self professed “student of the game”  to ‘The Thirteen’ was obviously met with harsh criticism given that she has a vagina never played the game herself, and therefore has “no business” involving herself since “College Football has never been how she’s made a living” (Birmingham Columnist Kevin Skarbinsky’s words – not mine) and apparently career changes are not allowed. We all know what the boys club was really thinking though. YOLO Condy.

‘The Thirteen’ will pore over numbers each round, taking into consideration such factors as strength of conference, win/loss record, points, time in possession, efficiency inside the 40 and various other computer generated figures before releasing their top 25 rankings on Tuesdays beginning the 28 October 2014, finally deciding on the final four, December 6. The Rose Bowl and The Sugar Bowl will be host to the College Football Semifinals this year, with the # 1 ranked school taking on # 4, and # 2 taking on # 3, the winners of each will play for the National Title Monday 12 January 2015 in Texas.

Whilst the rankings of ‘The Thirteen’ are all that count, The AP rankings will be available before that of ‘The Thirteen’. People of integrity or not, ‘The Thirteen’ are (assumed) human beings, and therefore subject to influence. It will be interesting to see how the rankings stack up.

One of the myriad of issues surrounding the BCS System was that of bias. In an attempt to eliminate bias from the new College Football Playoff system, ‘The Thirteen’ will not be allowed to vote for a team where: they or their immediate family members are paid by that school, they provide professional services to that school or they are a coach, administrator or student athlete at that school. Seems pretty obvious, but good job for trying guys.

Call me Negative Nancy, but all I see here is one big mess, kinda like the old mess, except now instead of blaming computers when we don’t see the results we want, we get to blame actual people! The problem is we have a season that lasts only 12 games, with teams only playing a maximum of 4 out of conference games – not enough chances for the teams from weak conferences to impress, and not enough data. Win/loss numbers will not be as important as the casual football fan may think. Schedule strength will be everything. Big football schools from strong conferences like the SEC can probably afford to lose a game and still make the Playoffs, where schools like those in the Big 10 who hope to make the Playoffs will have to get through the regular season undefeated just to have a chance.

Oh, and there is no limit as to how many teams from a single conference can make the Playoffs. Good times.

*Not an official title

Spirit Animal Awards

Today, in nominations for my 2014 Spirit Animal, we have Henry (I’m going to take a stab and assume his second name is Stern from his Insta account, also it says so on the picture below). Henry came in last place in his Fantasy League and as punishment had to pose for a number (12 in fact) of hilarious pictures to be made into a calender. The best is the copy of Prince Fielder’s shot from ESPN The Magazine’s ‘Body’ issue, but you can see other such gems as George Costanza pose, and Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball pose on his instagram account here.

henrystern photo.PNG-1

Werk.