Sunday, July 11, 2010

GTOG Inbox

By GTOG Staff

If there is one thing we get a lot of at GTOG, it's adoration.  If there are two things we get at GTOG, they are adoration and emails.  Enormous, voluminous amounts of emails.  We're hesitant to even give out our email address ( because negotiations with Google over more storage space are still ongoing and are in a very delicate stage.  If we knew what bandwidth and servers were, we'd be on the phones with the investment banks to ask for funding to purchase our 4th server and 8 more terabytes of bandwidth just to accommodate our emails.  Or something.

Anyway, we have spent the past 48 hours sequestered in our respective homes culling through emails from all over the world.  There are only so many that we can share due to the fact that we have jobs, so if yours didn't make the cut, keep sending to

Q: I think it's safe to say that each of the four remaining contestants on "The Bachelorette" are there for the right reasons.  So whose walls are most likely to come down on Monday night's special home town date episode?  And whose journey will come to an end?
Denise O'Hanrahan
McKees Rocks, PA

GTOG:  We'll tell you whose walls better come down tomorrow, Denise.  Roberto, as striking as he may appear while either hovering half naked above a Broadway stage or wearing his Single-A baseball uniform, needs to open up to Ali in a way that allows her to connect with him emotionally.  And he needs to do it fast.  GTOG wonders if he has it in him.  We're guessing the teaser for tomorrow night's show suggesting Frank has a girlfriend is a red herring.  Think it through.  Ali is admittedly insecure.  Frank has a meltdown every time Ali spends time with another guy, seeming genuinely perplexed that this would happen on a reality dating show.  He's by far the neediest guy still standing.  And he still lives with his parents.  GTOG is guessing Frank makes Ali feel pretty good about herself.  No way she sends him home until she's sure one of the other three will agree to guard and protect her heart.  The thinking here is that Kirk's walls continue to come down, to such a degree that Ali can almost touch his soul.  And in the most shocking rose ceremony since Portugal, Roberto goes home.
More Reader Emails After the Jump... 

Q:  Sorry to inundate you with more emails, but I was wondering what you thought about what the Steelers have been up to lately?  You haven't really said much about them and they really are the most popular franchise in Pittsburgh.  What do you think about potentially signing Flozell Adams?
Joe Kopeckionio
Dormont, PA

GTOG:  Joe, thanks for your email.  GTOG loves the Steelers and we plan to devote significant real estate on the site to the Steelers when we get closer to the season.  Just like with the Pens, there simply is not that much going on right now with the Steelers.

Here is what GTOG knows about Flozell Adams - he's fat, he has his own rule, and John Madden used to say he was good on the Thanksgiving Day games in Dallas.  That's enough for GTOG.  The one problem we have with him is that he only has 4 career fumble recoveries.  That's simply unacceptable production for an offensive lineman.  His former teammate Nate Newton only had 5 career fumble recoveries, indicating that Dallas Cowboy offensive linemen don't have a nose for the ball of cocaine.

Q:  Who doesn't read GTOG?
Sean Gryzbowski
Polish Hill

GTOG:  Great question, Sean.  We haven't been able to track that information.  We haven't had the time.  But we know who is reading.  Shortly after we advised Ray Shero to sign Matt Cooke to a 3-year/$4.5 million contract, Shero signed Cooke to a 3-year/$5.4 million contract.  We figured Jaroslav Halak could be had at 4-years/$16 million.  The St. Louis Blues were listening, signing Halak to a 4-year/$15 million deal.  It sure looks like Rob Rossi and Pensblog were both paying close attention to our takes on the Hamhuis trade and our preview of the Penguins' Top 5 Targets of the Offseason, respectively.  Puck Daddy apparently took note of our post on ESPN's atrocious hockey coverage and stole our suggestion about counter-programming for Versus.  Even the great Bill Simmons, of whom we are fans, must have been reading out post about LeBron's "cop-out" signing with Miami several hours before posting his column with the verbatim opinion.  It's not easy being the worldwide leader in blogging, but GTOG welcomes the challenge.

Q:  Did you watch the World Cup Final today?  Honestly, did you?  I'm guessing you didn't, actually.  Let really be honest here.  For a minute.  Please.  Good for the Spanish.  Bad for the Dutch.  Keep out the Koreans.
Ron Cook
Cranberry Township

GTOG:  Ron, thanks for the questions and sentence fragments.  We're big fans.  We did not watch the World Cup final match for reasons previously articulated by GTOG.  In fact, Artistry and Finesse went instead to watch the Washington Nationals play host to the San Francisco Giants, which should give you some idea of how little we prioritize soccer.  We did hear on ESPN's pregame show that the Dutch are dangerous offensively.  We wish soccer fans of every nationality the very best while choking on their own vuvuzelas.

Q:  September 11th was an event that changed our lives forever and dramatically altered the course of human history.  It was a tragedy that touched all decent people in every corner of the world.  Countless heroes emerged on that fateful day, but I can't help but imagine that there are some unsung heroes who don't get their proper due.  Do you know of any?
Ellicott City, MD

GTOG:  No one we know personally comes to mind, although luckily GTOG went to the Washington Nationals game today and they had a giant banner that really clarified things for us.

Look, we all know that the Washington, DC area does not have the most distinguished sports history in the country, but what exactly is the point of the "Heroes of September 11th" on this banner?  GTOG is all for honoring heroes of September 11th, but last time we checked, Vince Lombardi wasn't coordinating the rescue effort at Ground Zero and Bones McKinney (he of the 9.4 PPG career average) wasn't rushing into a burning building.  Interestingly, the 9/11 banner is only the second most ridiculous banner in the city.

(Laughing at the Mystics Attendance Champion banners will simply never get old.  They are the Uranus jokes of sports banners).

Q:  I was at the Pirates' game last week and Andrew McCutchen is really spectacular to watch in person.  Do you think that he will be with the Pirates for the long-term and help make them a contender again?
Neal Huntington
Pittsburgh, PA

GTOG:  Quite simply, no.  Here is our advice to Pirate fans - don't pay any attention to the Pirates' prospects or anyone that they draft because if they are even half decent, they will be traded in order to "stock the system with more prospects."  Instead, pay attention to who the Yankees and Red Sox are drafting because those are the guys who the Pirates will eventually be trading for and, if those guys ever turn out to actually be any good, will be trading back to the Yankees and Red Sox.
While we really don't care for the Yankees or Red Sox, we will give them credit on one thing. Those two teams do an incredible job of inflating the value of their minor leaguers, which enables them to rip off teams like the Pirates.  Part of that is because the Pirates are stupid, but part of it is that those are the two most popular teams so their prospects get a lot of ink...and an organization like the Pirates can easily conflate name-recognition with quality (see Morris, Matt).

Q:  What do you guys think about Entourage this season?
Apollo, PA

GTOG:  Connie, if we actually had thought about Entourage to answer your question, it would have been more thinking about Entourage than the writers of that show have done in 3 years.  It is undoubtedly the worst acted show on TV.  Jeremy Piven is playing Jeremy Piven playing Ari Gold.  Kevin Connolly can't, and shouldn't, be taken seriously by anyone in anything.  Kevin Dillon is such a bad actor that he is bad at portraying a bad actor.  And Adrian Grenier's acting is what would result from two buses colliding head-on during a nuclear explosion in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  (Not to be critical).

Q:  What was the most boring part of the Nationals' game today?
Courtney DeAntonio
Hollywood Tans, Robinson Town Center

GTOG:  It's difficult to come up with the MOST boring thing at a Nationals game in which Strasburg isn't pitching, but we've narrowed it down to three finalists:
  1. The first pitching change of the 7th inning
  2. The contest in which two 8 year-old boys were attempting to throw sausages into buckets atop their little sisters' heads
  3. The second pitching change of the 7th inning
This is a really close call, but we're going to have to go with the second pitching change because it occurred right as Adam Dunn was coming up with the bases loaded with the Nats down by 3 (we think it was Adam Dunn and we think they were down by 3, but is it really worth checking at this point?).   Pitching changes are the absolute downfall of attending a meaningless regular season baseball game in person.  Finesse was at a Pirates game a few weeks ago and the first 5 innings flew by - a couple exciting plays, a lot of not exciting plays, and some Pirates striking out.  But then...the 52-minute 6th inning came and the game was ground to a complete halt.  Today was the equivalent of Sidney Crosby having a breakaway and then the other team's coach deciding to call timeout, walk as slowly as possible to the goalie, take the goalie's stick away, pat the goalie on the butt, stand there and talk to the other players while waiting for a different goalie to slowly walk 280 feet to the net, giving the new goalie the stick, the goalie warming up for 3 minutes, then asking Crosby to resume the breakaway but only after Crosby takes 45 seconds of practice swings.  Because the amount of pitching changes tend to increase during close games, fans are secretly, or openly in our case, rooting for the games not to be close.

Undoubtedly the most curious part of the game today was the 9-year-old boy sitting behind us who spontaneously sung out, "Toothpaste is the most wonderful thing you could get at a ballgame!"

Q:  What is your take on the Blackhawks having the best odds in Vegas to win the Stanley Cup next season at 11-2, followed by the Pens and Caps at 6-1?
Chris Osgood
Out of Position, MI

A:  We find it stunning that the Blackhawks are still the favorites after losing so many players and not having their goalie signed.  Because of the salary-cap nightmare that they created for themselves, this was an off-season of loss, with almost nothing gained (similar to the Pens last off-season).  The Hawks have lost Byfuglien, Versteeg, Sopel, Eager, Madden (likely), and haven't re-signed Niemi.  That's like losing Scuderi and Gill, but much worse.  We try to be as unbiased as possible at GTOG, but the Penguins should be the Vegas favorites and should have better than 6-1 odds.

Q:  What is your favorite commercial?
Britt'nee Agostino
Monessen, PA

GTOG:  Easy one.

Q:  Guys, Ben is a big fan.  Ben writes to let you know that Ben is making great progress in making a clear distinction between Clark Kent and Superman, to the extent that those gentlemen are metaphors for "off the field" Ben and "on the field" Ben.  Ben is recapturing the essence of who Ben was growing up, and Ben's dad even went so far as to mention to Ben that it's good to have his son back.  At the end of the day guys, Ben just wants to play football.  Ben still believes in his guys even though Big Willie went down.  Band of Brothers.
Heinz Field

GTOG:  Ben, we think it's best if maybe you don't talk for a while.

Q:  On behalf of the city of Cleveland, I'd like to thank you for your kind words about our fans in this, a time of great heartache for all of us.  I don't know what the &%$* that ingrate Lebron was thinking when he stabbed us in the &%$*@&^ back, but I have more class in my left $%# than that &%$#^ has in his entire @%#&$%^& &*%$.  How could he leave us like that?  That's not the way you raise your children to act.  My question is in two parts:  what was the most devastating free agent defection a Pittsburgh sports team has endured in recent years?  And how did ownership respond?
Dan Gilbert
Cleveland, OH

GTOG:  Our answer is in two parts:  1)  Marian Hossa; 2) Mario didn't say anything.  He walked downstairs to his wine cellar and poured himself a glass of vintage Bordeaux.  Then he went back to work.

Q:  Have you ever seen such finesse?
John Casey
The Parkway Going to the Airport

GTOG:  No, we haven't (6:25 mark).

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