Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keep. It. Real. Housewives.

By Artistry

Sometimes the gap between "The Bachelor:  After the Final Rose" and the season premiere of "The Bachelorette" can seem like an eternity.  It leaves you feeling a little empty.  It's sort of like if your youngest child left home for good, and you knew you had to wait for two whole months until that child decided to drop out of school and move back in with you.  It's just a hard transition.  So we asked our Facebook followers to suggest the reality show they'd like to see us use to fill the vacuum, and the response has been overwhelming.  Two people suggested we cover one of the "Real Housewives" programs on Bravo.  GTOG is not about to ignore that kind of mandate.

We're going to give "Real Housewives of New York City" a shot.  Here's the issue:  it's already Season 4.  We've got some catching up to do.  I don't want to offend anyone, but you might be in the same boat.  That's why beginning Friday and continuing through the season premiere on April 7, our special guest blogger, the very funny and talented Sheer Elegance, will give us the lowdown on all of the key players.  Yes, she sounds like a shampoo, and yes, you're going to like her.  As for the show itself, no idea what we're getting ourselves into here.  But we'll be in it together.

Really Looking Forward to Meeting You.

Pirates Opening Day!!! GTOG's Official 2011 Major League Baseball Preview

By Finesse and Artistry

Finesse:  It was with a strange mixture of complete shock and overwhelming indifference that you and I found out just this morning that today is the start of another baseball season.  So far in 2011, our baseball coverage has been limited to breaking down the legal philosophies of the phlebotimist on the Barry Bonds jury and playing our daily "Guess The Real Pittsburgh Pirate" competition, in which we Tweet out two names, and leave it to our fans to decide which one is on the Pirates and which one is completely made up.  But now that Opening Day is upon us, don't you think that we owe it to the people to give our perspective on the 2011 season?

Artistry:  Considering that we feel we owe it people to give our perspective on the Real Housewives of New York City, I'm going with "Yes."  Already there is reason for optimism today, as team officials revealed that the Pirates have pulled their 25-man roster's total payroll to within $162,863,389.00 of the New York Yankees.  Pirates president Frank Coonelly says bonuses and "other variables" could shrink that number to as little as $156,738,389.00 by season's end.  Progress.  I think on the field the question on everyone's mind is how will the Philadelphia Phillies match up against our starting rotation of Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, and James McDonald.

James McDonald?
Finesse:  Any time the Pirates' opening day starter is coming off a 10-10 season with a 5.40 ERA, you can be sure of one thing: he didn't pitch for the Pirates the previous year.  Because if he had, he'd be coming off a 1-11 season instead.  I don't know about you, but I'm excited that the Pirates were able to sign Kevin Correia, a 31-year old pitcher who has won 34% of his career starts.  I imagine that the Yankees and Red Sox were showing tons of interest.  Huge coup by the Buccos, don't you think?

Artistry:  Kevin Correia sells tickets.  I think it's striking that Correia compiled his 5.40 ERA in San Diego, one of the best pitchers' parks in baseball.  Thank goodness our bullpen is so strong.

More Buccos analysis and predictions, after the jump...

GTOG Sells Out; We Immediately Forget Where We Came From

By GTOG Staff

We apologize to those loyal fans who were so accustomed to seeing an enormous "Subscribe on iTunes" box that we couldn't figure out how to make smaller on the upper right hand corner of our sidebar, but in making our decision to enable advertisments, we were just being economically rational people.  Owning the machine that is GTOG is like sitting on an oasis of crude oil - at some point, you have to drill, baby, drill.  Have we sold out?  Of course.  Will we actually be able to buy anything with our ad revenue?  Of course not.

For those who hate the new ads on the right, give it a chance.  It's pretty intuitive.  For example, we are working on our 2011 MLB preview post to preview the season that we just this morning remembered starts today, and in conjunction with the preview, we searched our site for "Barry Bonds."  The two ads that came up?  "Helping Africans in D.C." and "Music for a Visual Media."

It's like Google is inside our brains.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh No She Di'int: Miley Cyrus Attacks Rebecca Black

By Artistry

It seems Miley Cyrus is feeling a bit threatened. Now reportedly "hyper-focused" on her bleating singing in preparation for an upcoming tour, the artist who brought us timeless classics like "Closet Full of Clothes" and "Hoedown Throwdown" took time out to warn against a disturbing trend: young, talentless girls taking the nation and its pop charts by storm. "It should be harder to be an artist," Cyrus declared. "You shouldn't just be able to put a song on YouTube and go out on tour."

We feel like we've just been slapped in the face by one of our heroes. Whatever, Miley. We'll have you know two things about Rebecca Black: 1) Her "Friday" video is approaching 70 million hits on YouTube. That number has nearly doubled since GTOG's "Friday" podcast. You're welcome, Rebecca; and 2) she is back in the studio working on her next big hit, entitled, not unexpectedly, "LOL." 

"It's not just funny, it's not, ha ha, no nooooo. It's L-O-LLLLL. Textin' on my phone, yeah, got a new phone, gotta make me laugh, gotta make me smile, it's a new phoooonnneee."
 Will we eventually devote an entire podcast to this new single? Yes. I imagine we will.

Crosby Watch: Begin Phase 2

By Artistry

Sidney Crosby is reportedly hopping the plane to Florida.  Attention James Neal:  Keep your stick on the ice, and go directly to the net.

GTOPG: Good, We Didn't Want the Top Seed Anyway; Pens Lose 5-2

By GTOG Staff

This was what you call a playoff preview.  Get used to Bob Errey interviewing Danny Bylsma on the Penguins bench and Bylsma saying, "Gotta keep our cool, play the right way, and get to our game."  Get used to the Penguins dominating the first period only to end up tied 1-1 at intermission.  And if Marc-Andre Fleury is less than consistently great, Jordan Staal can't get off a shot on a breakaway, and nobody can pick a corner on Sergei Bobrovsky, get used to disappointment. 

And Nausea. Followed by Dry Heaves.
Now let's look at the positives. With no Sid and no Geno, the Pens don't have the luxury of thinking ahead to whether they will have home ice advantage in the second round or beyond.  The Pens chances of winning in Round 1 are right around 50-50, even if Sid returns.  That's just the way it is when you can't score more than 2 goals.  Given that, the only thing that we as fans should be looking at is the Pens' first-round matchup.  The ideal scenario would have been to get the #1 seed and host Buffalo or Carolina.  Unlikely after last night.  But, with the Caps also in the mix for the top spot in the conference, it's entirely possible that a win last night would have ultimately secured the #2 overall seed and a date with the Rangers or Montreal in Round 1. We're not in favor of hosting either a hot Rangers team or Mike Cammalleri's smile.  Give us Dwayne Roloson.

- The other day, Artistry pondered whether the Pens could advance far without a consistent offensive threat at center.  Whether the Pens have even inconsistent threats in Letestu and Staal is still up in the air.  But what isn't up in the air is that if those two play the way they did last night, the Pens aren't going anywhere.  Letestu gets a partial pass given that he was in his first game back from injury.  Staal, for as great as he is and as much as we like him as a player, may be one of the least creative centers in the league when leading a 3-on-2.  He's like Reality Staal.

- Down 3-2, the Penguins still had every chance to take back control of the game early in the third period.  The Flyers gave up several golden chances in the first five minutes.  Kris Letang had a wide open look cruising down the left side, but Bobrovsky had the angle.  Then Peter Laviolette called a time out.  As repulsive as we find Scott Hartnell, it's actually more upsetting that Philly finally has a good coach.

- Imagine how good the Flyers would be if Jeff Carter was still playing.

- The Flyers did a great job drawing penalties last night.  Of course, if Sid had done it, it would have been "diving."  When someone else does it, it is a "veteran play."  GTOG isn't wearing Black and Gold glasses - we understand that Sid draws penalties and that Matt Cooke commits felonies on the ice.  We just like to seize opportunities to illustrate to everyone else in the league that you do it, too.  See our Twitter commentary on the Todd Bertuzzi situation.

- Where were the Penguins when Detroit was looking to dump Ville Leino?

- The evidence shows that even these superstar-depleted Penguins are a good team.  You can see, though, how frustrating it must have been for fans of a team like Ottawa to watch Alexei Kovalev every night.  For every snipe job like the bullet he fired past Bobrovsky in the first period, for every dazzling no-look pass like the one he feathered to Ben Lovejoy on Sunday, there are about three plays where he holds the puck a beat too long and turns it over.  His blind drop pass - together with poor spacing by a backpedaling Kris Letang - led directly to Claude Giroux's winning goal.  This is an unofficial statistic, but in 2001, over the course of his 1658 minutes played, nobody took the puck off of Alexei Kovalev.  Alex:  that was 10 years ago.

- James Neal was largely invisible last night.  Anytime, Jim.

- Not many people know this, but when Pascal Dupuis comes home at night, immediately after tucking in his kids and softly kissing his wife goodnight, he tip-toes down into the basement, picks up a hockey stick, takes aim at the general vicinity of the wall, and uncorks a blistering slapshot. Just to get one more in before he goes to bed.

- Tyler Kennedy is like Tyler Kennedy on that drug from "Limitless."

Laced with NZT
Forget this one.  The important game is Thursday in Tampa.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hall of Fame Receiver Shakes Healthy Butt; Laments Weak Shoulders

By Artistry

We're still not watching "Dancing With the Stars," and we never will.  We'll be too busy watching "Real Housewives of New York."  But we can't ignore what Hines Ward is doing out there on the floor right now.  Listen to the reviews:

"Light"..."Quick"..."Dynamic"..."Spectacular rump." -

Actually, that was the only review I read. 

Ward reportedly revealed that his dance moves are more challenging than laying out Ed Reed, noting, "My shoulders are very weak, so to be in that posture for over a minute is very difficult."

Baltimore Ravens Placed Bounty on His Spectacular Rump
Now for today's video of Sidney Crosby dancing:

Post-Gazette Taking Our Advice From the Rebecca Black "Friday" Video

By Finesse

As we discussed at length in this podcast, the key to viral success on the internet, as proven by Rebecca Black's "Friday" song, is not quality - it's sequencing.  People need to know what they are seeing, be told exactly what they are seeing, be reminded what they saw before, and then be told what they are seeing next.  And then be told again.

So this morning, our friends over at the PG stepped up their game.  At 12:00am today, Ron Cook posted a column titled, "Hart Should go to MVP Fleury."  Not to be outdone, Bob Smizik whipped something together and at 12:30AM posted a blog titled, "Fleury Deserves MVP Consideration."  Maybe they had Smizik post something to answer all the one-word rhetorical questions in Cook's column? [I know, it's a rhetorical question].

Stay tuned later this afternoon for Artistry's post on the fact that Ron Cook and Bob Smizik wrote the exact same thing this morning.

Meanwhile, to get you ready for tonight, here is one of the greatest moments in Pens-Flyers history.  This video still makes me fist pump.

Monday, March 28, 2011

GTOPG: At This Point, It Only Takes About 3 Minutes To Beat Florida; Pens Win 2-1

By Artistry

Fortunately for the Penguins, the Florida Panthers keep getting worse.  Looking back, the Pens had to at least play a solid 20 minutes to beat them in November and again in December.  On Sunday, nobody but team MVP Marc-Andre Fleury showed up until the shootout, and they still managed to pull within two points of the Eastern conference-leading Flyers.  It helped that Tomas Vokoun, Florida's goalie and easily their best player these days, left the ice to take his talents to South Beach just prior to the start of overtime.  Poor Scott Clemmenson had no idea what to do with Alexei Kovalev, or his water bottle, for that matter. 

Kovy's hands are never the issue.  About midway throught the first period, I made the note "You can't lose this game.  But sometimes you do."  It makes no sense, I realize.  I think what that means is it's difficult to focus on stopping Alex Sulzer and Darcy Hordichuck when you would otherwise be eating Sunday brunch, shortly after ekeing out two intense overtime wins against fierce division rivals.  Whatever, it was bad.

Not much else to discuss, but let's anyway.

- The Panthers had no hope of scoring on Fleury on anything but a deflection.  He anticipated every pass and snuffed out every rebound.  If you polled NHL GMs right now and told them to pick a goalie to lead their franchise for the next 10 years, who do you think they take?  Carey Price?  Come on.  Now ask those GMs if they think Fleury's 7 year, $35 million contract was a mistake.

- For a shift or two, it looked like the Penguins had lost their number two center, Max Talbot, to injury.  Read that sentence back again. 

- No team can make a run at the Cup without a consistent offensive threat or two at center.  Can't be done.  In a seven game series, you need to be able to pressure and wear down a defense, or you will get worn down.  You can stay close, but you can't win more than a series or two.  Jordan Staal is a horse, but he's not a consistent offensive threat.  The Pens will not only need Crosby, they'll also need Mark Letestu and/or Dustin Jeffrey to be healthy and play a little bit better than anyone has a right to expect.  This could happen.  It's been happening all year.

- It's crucial that Brooks Orpik returned to the lineup now rather than at the start of the playoffs.  With the emergence of Ben Lovejoy, Danny Bylsma needs some time to figure out optimal pairings and distribution of minutes.  Doesn't Lovejoy warrant some additional power play time at this point?  Can we do worse than 2-for-58?

It's only Monday morning, but guarantee you Fleury is already in the Flyers' heads.  LGP.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rob Rossi, citing Rob Rossi, says "Crosby return could come soon"

Crosby return could come soon - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If this doesn't put a hop in your step this morning, nothing will. But before you start ordering champagne, just take a step back and remember that "Sidney Crosby-Pittsburgh Penguins" is a marathon, not a sprint. Only when he's truly ready and able to absorb contact should he be returning.

But it's close.

And if he does come back, what can we expect?  Fortunately, there is precedent for this.

Has anyone in the history of the world ever been as good at anything as Mario was at hockey that night?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

GTOPG: Marc-Andre Fleury Puts De Onus in a Stranglehold. Pens Win 1-0

By Finesse

When the injury bug was tearing through the Pens' locker room like Barry Bonds at GNC, we assigned the burden of maintaining the Pens' season to Marc-Andre Fleury, recognizing that with no Sid and no Geno there were going to be a lot of 2-1 games, a lot of overtimes, and a lot of shootouts.  How has Fleury responded?

"I eat de onus for de breakfast."
Much is being made of Fleury's random March 25 shutout streak, a quirky stat that proves only that Fleury gets better as the season goes on.  Does anyone remember his first 8 games?  We're afraid to go back and research what we wrote about him then.  What a goalie.

For the second straight night, the Pens outplayed a division rival in a critical game.  After a blistering first period in which the Pens outshot the Devils by a 3 to 1 margin (Pens had 3 shots, Devils had 1), this one had 1-0 shutout on Patrick Elias snipe-job written all over it.  Fleury would have none of it.

Some other random reaction...

- Last night marked the return of Mike Comrie, he of 0 goals, 5 assists, and 0 impact in 16 games.  Guess what?  He didn't score.  He was placed on the power play at one point with Staal and Kovalev.  Guess what?  No power play goal.  The last time someone was that ineffective for 8 minutes and 7 seconds...well, you can fill in this bad joke yourself.

- Steiggy defended the first period of this game by saying that while some might find it boring, he enjoyed it because it was like a chess match.  Unfortunately, watching chess may be the only thing that is more boring than the first period.

Huge move coming up.
- Craig Adams attempted unlimited shots.  Alexei Kovalev had unlimited super soft passes intercepted.

- For maybe the first time in the Martin Brodeur era, the Pens looked completely comfortable playing the Devils' style.  And not only did the Pens look comfortable, they looked more comfortable than the Devils.  None of us wants the Pens to consistently play like New Jersey, but to have that ability in the arsenal is a huge weapon come playoff time.

- Speaking of playoff time, last night was likely the nail in the coffin for the Devils.  Pensblog has full coverage.  No one saw this disaster of a season coming for the Devils, but this is a temporary burial.  When they get Parise back next year, they will be right back in the mix.  But for now?  Good riddance.

- If Team Canada was picking rosters today, would Chris Kunitz be the Captain or just an Alternate?

- James Neal needs your support.  He may not be scoring in regulation, but he's won two games for the Pens this week in shootouts and he is consistently dominant, especially in the offensive zone.  The production may not be there, but this is no Ponikarovsky.  This is a thoroughbred.

- If the NHL went to 4-on-4 all the time, and did a re-draft of everyone in the league, Kris Letang would be a top-5 pick.  Maybe top-3.

- Finally, a thought on Sid.  He's looking good in practice, but that is no guarantee that he will return this year, or that you should want him to.  So I'm on board with Dejan Kovacevic questioning the wisdom of Sid returning, but his rationale for raising the question is crazy.  D.K. thinks that roughly three weeks is not enough time for Crosby to get into good enough shape to prepare for the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Let's get this cleared up once and for all - Sid's "conditioning" should be the least of your concerns.  He could gain 30 pounds of fat and still be one of the best players in the league (just look at Ovechkin).  So it's enough with the "he's not in game shape" concern.  Mario was never in shape, let alone game shape, and all he did was carry Hall-of-Fame defensemen on his back every spring.  Your concern about Sid should be about how he handles contact.  Other than that, he can lean on his stick in practice all he wants because if he comes back this year, it's going to be the other team's defensemen leaning on their sticks.

Game Shape.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rebecca Black's Next Challenge: "All Natural Disasters"

By Finesse

So much has been written and said about Rebecca Black, yet I feel we are just scratching the surface.  This is a youngster who dreams big, and no obstacle can stand in her way:  Consider:
  1. She defeated indecision, having selected the back seat over the front seat.
  2. She conquered the calendar, recognizing that Thursday is before Friday, then comes Saturday, and Sunday is afterrrwwwaaaaaarrddsss.
  3. She's had a stranglehold on fun since at least Monday.
  4. She's isolated the friend on her left, choosing only to recognize the friend on her right.
That's a lot for one person to accomplish by age 13.  So, naturally, she is on to the next challenge, and even if you may be skeptical, remember -- her YouTube video has something like 50 million hits.

From Entertainment Weekly:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: On Leno you said that you are donating most of your YouTube and iTunes proceeds to earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan. That’s really cool. What made you decide to do that? I don’t think anyone would hold it against a 13-year-old for keeping the money from her first hit record.
REBECCA BLACK: I felt really bad about [the disaster in Japan]. I’ve always wanted to do something about all natural disasters, and I realized now is my big opportunity where I can really help.
An admirable goal, to be sure.  Can she pull it off?  I wouldn't bet against her.

Hide Your Water Bottles

About :38 in.

GTOPG: You Just Got Kunitzed; Pens Win 2-1

By GTOG Staff

The Penguins, to a man, will tell you they've got their eyes on the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  They'll say that's why beating the Flyers in Philadelphia on Thursday was so significant.  Don't believe it.  Sure, they want to win, but catching Philly is only incidental.  The real goal over the last eight games of the regular season is to peak at the right time and head into April on a roll.  If last night is any indication, that's exactly what's happening.  Let the Flyers have their garbage point for getting to overtime.  Let them have the top seed and host the Rangers or Montreal in the first round.  Best of luck to them.  The Penguins killed the Flyers last night.  It didn't even matter what happened in the shootout, aside from the fact that Alexei Kovalev rented a young mule named Sergei Bobrovsky, beat him, mercilessly, and left him by the side of the parkway on the way to the airport for Chris Kunitz to finish off.

From the opening shift, the Pens had a playoff focus and the change in their mentality from the early days without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin until now has never been more apparent.  Think back.  Do you remember when you wondered how this group of forwards could generate scoring chances and, even worse, that they seemed to be wondering the exact same thing?  When you thought having Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy on either of the top two lines was a liability?  When Ben Lovejoy was a frequent healthy scratch?  Think about how far we've come.  We know it's a lot to process.  When you're ready, think about these things, too:

- Kunitz has pulled off an unlikely in-season transformation from wildly overpaid rich man's Craig Adams to legitimate first line winger, playmaker, finisher, punisher, leader, and American hero.  He's always brought a physical presence on par with any winger in the league.  His assist on Tyler Kennedy's goal was a perfect illustration of what an underrated passer he is.  And he now has 22 goals in 59 games.  Let's put a finer point on that last statistic.  That's a 30 goal pace over 82 games.  In a year when no one is going to score 50.  Largely without Sidney Crosby in the middle.  Folks, Chris Kunitz is a bargain.  GTOG contributor Eloquence took it a step further this morning.  "It's trendy this time of year to talk team MVPs," he said.  "It's not Kunitz. But he should be in the conversation out of respect."

GTOG milestone: searching for this image brought us to GTOG
- On a night when at least a half-dozen Penguins made us stand up and salute, Kris Letang took it to yet another level.  His last shift in overtime may have been his best of the season.  It may have been the best shift this season by any Penguin, period.  Of course, he couldn't find the net.  But can anybody think of another defenseman in the league today who could so dominate in every facet of the game like Letang did for that single minute?  Realize what we have here:  a superior talent and, as Eloquence put it, "a Crosby-like competitor."

- Looks like Letang has an understudy.  Brooks Orpik's return seems imminent and the question of who out of Niskanen, Lovejoy, and Engelland gets a spot on the third pairing has been answered.  And answered emphatically.  Ben Lovejoy has not only skyrocketed past Engelland and Niskanen on the depth chart, he is playing like a bona fide top 4 defenseman, if not better.  Dan Bylsma is clearly taking notice, as Lovejoy had 21 minutes of ice time last night compared with 14 for Niskanen (who is starting to become noticeable for the wrong reasons) and 11 for Engelland (who got pushed around on the Flyers' goal).  It appears Engelland will be the odd man out, but if the playoffs have taught us anything, it's that defensemen get hurt.  Stay ready, D.E.

Never know when you'll have to beat up Colton Orr
- Staying true to our commitment to improved sequencing, James Neal is on the verge of a 5 goal game.  Last week he was on the verge of a hat-trick.  Next week he will be on the verge of an 8-goal game. And yes, it's entirely possible that he will not score any more goals in the regular season, in which case, assuming his stellar play continues, he will be poised to score 14 goals in the first round.  Just keep shooting, Jimmy.  It's coming. 

- Dustin Jeffrey deserves better. 

- The most laughable moment of last night's game: Steigerwald getting excited about the passion in Comrie during footage of injured players practicing. It sucks Malkin won't be back for playoffs, but at least Comrie will be ready to go!

- Jordan Staal may never approach 70-80 points like Claude Giroux, but make no mistake about it - Staal is the superior physical being.  Staal on one late shift physically lifted Claude Giroux onto his back like a toddler, and twirled him around like they were on the merry-go-round.  Giroux's response?  He took a petty slashing penalty.

- Was that injured linesman's name Pierre Shampoo?  If so, that's got the current top-spot as GTOG's #1 name of 2011.

- Kovalev is still a liability when he doesn't have the puck.  Sometimes he's a liability when he does.  But if the tank was empty on Monday in Detroit, Kovy found a gas station somewhere on the Pennsylvania turnpike and managed to floor it a few times over the course of the night.

- Out of all the restricted free agents in the league this summer, Tyler Kennedy has to be the toughest to price.  Is this really what you're going to get from him?  Is this just an extended hot streak?  What is happening here?

A lot of heroes on Thursday.  But today i-is Friday.  The Devils are in town.  LGP.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting To Our Priorities: Huge Game Tonight. Huge.

By Finesse

Lots has been going on at GTOG headquarters, and by "lots" we mean discussions about The Bachelor and a 13-year-old girl named Rebecca Black who has a terribly hilarious YouTube video.

But we know where our bread is buttered.

Pens vs. Flyers

Pens have a huge game tonight in Philadelphia.  Whatever slim chance the Pens have to overtake the Flyers for the Atlantic Division crown (and the #1 or #2 seed in the conference) will likely be lost if the Pens can't come away with a clean two points tonight.

Pens have 92 points with 9 games left.
Flyers have 97 points with 10 games left.

Philly has been cruising most of the year, and since the Crosby injury, many of us, me included, have ceded the division crown to the cross-state rivals.  But things are different now.  Cede we not.

Go Pens.

GTOG Podcast: How Can The Rebecca Black "Friday" Phenomenon Work For Us?

Rebecca Black, the 13-year-old "singer" whose song 'Friday' has accumulated 40 million YouTube hits in less than 10 days, is taking America by storm.  We at GTOG are not immune.  But rather than ridicule the song like most of the "haters" out there, we dissect the song frame-by-frame and ask ourselves, "What lessons, other than fun, fun, and fun, can we learn from Rebecca Black?"

The podcast breaks the video down into 4 parts, so you can queue up the video below and follow along with us.  Enjoy.

Click Here to Subscribe on iTunes

Check out our initial reaction to the video here.

Fan of Fun, Partying, Weekends, and Fun.  But not Seat-belts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Thought 73 Home Runs at Age 37 Was All Natural, I Swear: Breaking Down the Barry Bonds Jury

By Artistry

The Barry Bonds perjury trial is underway in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and the prosecution is reportedly already putting jurors to sleep.  Government lawyers are so boring.  Here's the question today as we settle in for up to a month of testimony that we have no intention of covering:  will anybody buy Barry's story?  Bonds claims he told a grand jury the truth in 2003, when he said he never knew he was taking steroids.  He apparently thought his head and home run total were inflated due to some combination of flaxseed oil and arthritic cream.

The Miracle of Arthritis
Now prosecutors will trot out a score of witnesses to paint a picture of a man who is not only a liar, but also an a**hole.  In short, the government will say, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Barry Bonds is a lying a**hole.  Remember, it is the goverment's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a lying a**hole.  It isn't enough to show that Bonds is probably a lying a**hole.  They really need to nail this down. 

You woudn't think prosecutors have such a tough road to hoe, given all the steroids and syringes they found in Barry's buddy Greg Anderson's home and the multitudes willing to testify that Bonds is, at the very least, a big a**hole.  But these things can be trickier than they might appear to the layman.  That's why GTOG is lending its legal expertise to an analysis of the 12 men and women who will decide the home run king's fate.  Here's how it breaks down:

• Juror 56: Woman, 57, nurse. 
• Juror 42: Woman, 19, college student.
• Juror 36: Woman, 25, aid-giver to developmentally disabled.
• Juror 6: Woman, 30, autism support specialist.
• Juror 97: Woman, 27, phlebotomist.
• Juror 69: Man, 68, temporary shipping clerk.
• Juror 66: Man, 60, data center engineer.
• Juror 3: Woman, 51, client service administrator.
• Juror 19. Woman, 26, food server.
• Juror 90: Man, 57, IT manager.
• Juror 73: Woman, 28, nurse.
• Juror 21: Man, 68, retired cashier.

The first thing to note is it's unlikely any of the jurors are big baseball fans, and that's not an inference based on having eight women and four men on the panel.  In most parts of the country, the defense probably wouldn't want baseball fans on the jury, because in most parts of the country, baseball fans hate Barry Bonds.  But in San Francisco?  99% would be dismissed from consideration because they would openly admit they'd never convict him.  Giants fans tend to adore Barry Bonds. 

With that baseline, let's look at the women jurors.  They look loaded with empathy.  The defense has to hope that with an aid-giver to the developmentally disabled, an autism support specialist, and a couple of nurses in the jury room, somebody is bound stand up for the guy who, despite his grotesque mellon, has the voice of a wounded child.  On the other hand, those caregivers aren't going to like what they hear from all the witnesses who Bonds has mistreated over the years, and I can't imagine that Bonds will take the stand.  Once you look up "phlebotomist" like I just did, you know juror 97 isn't going to approve of what Bonds was pumping into his veins.  As for the 19-year-old college student, guarantee you she nodded off during opening statements.  She'll go with the flow on this.  Finally, you think the food server or the client service administrator is going to rock the boat?  Put the 8 women jurors in the prosecution's corner.

As for the men, they're all older, between the ages of 57 and 68.  Even though they don't follow the Giants, they may get nostalgic when people talk about baseball, remembering a time before big money, steroids, and free agency.  Juror 21 will wipe a tear from his eye as the Assistant U.S. Attorney invokes Hank Aaron's name.  Maybe these four will all line up squarely behind the government, too.  But watch out for juror 66.  Perhaps underneath that yuppified exterior, the 60-year-old data center engineer longs for the California of 1969, when a then-18-year-old had a few things he could count on in this world:  illegal drugs, free love, and a thrill-a-minute young outfielder named Bobby Bonds.  Three things that tell him, "You must acquit."  Just saying. 

If you're looking for a jury consultant for the criminal trial of you or someone you love, email us at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We Prefer to Get Down on Saturday, As We Are Usually a Bit Tired on Friday

By Artistry

It was with a mixture of confusion, awe, and pride that I watched the video Finesse sent me last night.  You may be among the 35 million people who have seen it already.  If you haven't, pull up a chair.  Meet Rebecca Black.  She loves Friday.

I watched this with pride because only in America would parents have the opportunity to encourage their daughter to do anything, even something that will in all likelihood force her to change schools to avoid ridicule.  Unless the kids she goes to school with are the kids in the video, in which case they will all be deliriously happy it's Friday and so focused on fun, fun, and thinking about fun that they'll accept her unconditionally.

I was in awe, as evidenced by my mouth hanging open the entire time I watched, and then I just couldn't speak for a while.  This thing affected me profoundly.

It also left me bewildered, because GTOG recently made a video that's clearly superior, cost roughly $4 to produce, yet has only a tiny fraction of the views on youtube.

Why hasn't GTOG Everybody gone viral?  Not enough music?  Our failure to point out that yesterday was Thursday, tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterward?  No front seat-back seat conundrum?  Confusing, right? 

OK, Rebecca Black.  You've thrown down the gauntlet, and we respect your audacity.  You leave us no choice.  We're making a GTOG music video.  And we're planning an emergency podcast to break down "Friday."  Frame by frame, if necessary.

GTOPG: Two More Points in the D; Pens Win 5-4

By Artistry

There were a lot of distractions over the last 24 hours.  Everybody had something to say about Matt Cooke.  Then Matt Cooke was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.  Later, Matt Cooke said he was sorry.  The Penguins took the D by storm and jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Red Wings.  Then they nearly collapsed completely.  Then they escaped with two points thanks to a James Neal shootout bullet that Jimmy Howard never saw.  After a long and harrowing day, this made you get up off the couch and do a little two-step.

Now, upon reflection, we can take Monday's events and boil them down to three essential truths:  1) The Penguins power play continues to push the limits of incompetency.  It is something like 2 for its last 60.  It is currently so discombobulated that the forwards were literally clearing the puck from their own offensive zone.  As if they were killing the penalty.  This does not bode well; 2) the league's best penalty killing unit already misses Matt Cooke badly; and 3) Hines Ward was "in control out there" last night, according to DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba, "and normally we don't see that until the third show." So true, Carrie Ann. These are the things we need to discuss going forward, and the rest of it will all fall away, at least until Matt Cooke throws his next elbow.

The Pens were in control out there for a while, too.  But let's stay grounded.  The Red Wings looked like Ottawa, giving up more odd-man breaks through 40 minutes than they did in the 2008 and 2009 Cup Finals series combined.  To make matters worse for Detroit, Jimmy Howard may have been drunk.  And Pascal Dupuis scored two goals by accident. 

If the first two periods weren't as good as they looked, the third period wasn't as bad.  As soon as Hank Zetterberg got a lucky bounce off a skate late in the second to make it 4-1, you knew the Wings were going to make a run.  Brent Johnson was just not up to the task at the start of the third, giving up a softy early.  Next thing you knew, Alexei Kovalev gets two minutes for being completely overmatched in the defensive zone, and the Pens were on the ropes. 

Even with MAF in net, this wasn't going to be a blowout.  In Detroit, you expect drama, and you expect the Penguins to win in overtime. 

- Johnson owed us that glove save late in the third.   

- The Staal-Kennedy-Kunitz line continues to impress. The Wings often have difficulty with Staal and Kennedy, and adding Hands to that line takes it to another level entirely.  All three of them are playing with unprecendented confidence right now.  How do you break them up?  You can't.

- Pierre Maguire loves the leadership of so many people.  As a player, I imagine he was hard pressed to decide whom to follow. 

- Let's be honest with Alexei Kovalev, because we love him and he deserves it.  He was beyond bad last night.  At one point, late in the third, he wasn't flying with the puck through the neutral zone so much as he was waddling.  He was virtually helpless in the defensive zone.  He couldn't handle pressure on the power play and tossed the puck blindly to where he hoped the point men would be.  He was just completely out of gas.  I still think, if he's used judiciously, Kovalev can be a force.  But right now he's making the old-man version of Billy Guerin look lightning quick.  Not pretty. 

- Kris Letang doesn't get mad, he gets really mad. Love his fire.  But he was so worked up, he made an overly aggressive pinch on the late third period power play that almost cost the Penguins the game.

Huge 2 points.  Thursday in Philadelphia?  Huger.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 10 "Puck Daddy" Commenter Offerings on Matt Cooke

By Artistry

Some days we really have to scratch and claw to come up with material. This is not one of those days.  Something about Matt Cooke throwing an elbow gets folks riled.  Without further delay, here are today's Top 10 offerings on Matt Cooke from the sober and judicious individuals who comment over at Puck Daddy:

10.  "Anybody have a link to where I can find the Cooke hit? Didn't get to see it." - BradleyS, never heard of the Google.

9.  "Who's the goon now? Someone needs to put Cooke back in his cage. See what I did there? I used the same quote that the classless Pens annouce [sic] said about Gillies." - Rob, logician.

Artistry's Badge
8.  "Well Mario the whiner what are you gonna do????, Remember his whining when the Islanders and Pens fought brawls earlier this year and he called them goons and demanded suspensions. Look in the mirror Mario, you have the biggest cheap shot goon in the league. Fighting is one thing but intention to injure actions on unprotected players is another. Are ya gonna speak up Mario? Nah I didn't think so." - Joe Montana, thinks he is actually talking to Mario and that he is Joe Montana.

7.  "If you think that the NHL will suspend Matt Cooke for anything more than 4 games, you're crazy.  The NHL will never suspend a Penguin for any great length of time."  - Brodeurman89, playing XBox with his sister in-law during Eric Godard's entire 10 game suspension.

6.  "As long as Mario don't do a thing about this guy I can't have any respect on what he whines about." - Tony, who we have a great deal of respect on.

Can't get no respect on.
5. "What a gigantic piece of @#$%. This *&;#$&*; needs to go. He's a two-bit goon that is never going to learn and the league needs to realize that ***holes like Cooke don't deserve all these chances. If it were my decision, and unfortunately it is not, he would get the rest of the season, playoffs, cup if they make it (and I hope they DON'T) and monetary fine on top of it. One's the f***ing door, have a nice life. It's criminal what this guy is doing on a nightly basis and they're only making it worse by keeping scum like that around. You want to eradicate the problem???? Get rid of the players who continue to pull this crap every time they step foot on the ice. I love that they have to hold these big important meetings to discuss the headshots and concussions every time this @#$% happens. WHY DISCUSS IT?!?!?!?! THREE STRIKES AND YOU...ARE...OUT!!!!!!!! HOW F***ING HARD IS THAT?!?!?!?!" - Tweekerdog, whose decision it unfortunately is not.

4.  "I agree with Tweekerdog." - CS, justifiably afraid of Tweekerdog.

3.  "Too bad he's not playing versus Detroit tomorrow or Bertuzzi would've had something to say to this rotten piece of @#$%." - Gustavo, clearly unfamiliar with Todd Bertuzzi's pre-Red Wings history.

Gustavo thinks he's crying because Cooke isn't playing tonight
2.  "Every team has a dirty player, like Washington has Ovechkin." - KevinH., winner of free GTOG t-shirt.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

GTOPG: Well, That Sucked, Too. Pens Lose 5-2

By Artistry

The Penguins on Sunday capped off what was by far the second-worst Pittsburgh sports weekend of the year with a rapid and stunning collapse against the New York Rangers.  Trust us, that won't be the headline on Monday.  All anyone from Don Cherry to Larry Brooks will want to discuss is Matt Cooke's elbow to Ryan McDonagh's head, his inevitable suspension, and whether he is a reincarnation of Stalin, Ghengis Khan, or Attila the Hun.  The unoriginal pundits - is there any other kind? - will gleefully eviscerate Cooke and retroactively declare Mario Lemieux an even bigger hypocrite than they just told you he was.  And they'll be missing the point.  Matt Cooke hurt his own team far more than he hurt anybody else today.  The Pens were absolutely dominating the Rangers until Cooke took his pointless run at McDonagh, outshooting them 29-14 after two periods, and wearing down a defense corps missing its best player in Marc Staal.  Suddenly, Cooke was ejected, and despite a spectacular short-handed goal by Chris Kunitz that gave them a brief 2-1 advantage, the Penguins were in trouble.  McDonagh didn't miss a shift.  His teammates were inspired.  Matt Niskanen chopped Ryan Callahan in the nose with his stick, and in the span of about 30 seconds during the ensuing two-man advantage, the Rangers took a 3-2 lead.  Just like that it was over.

Matt Cooke will be suspended. Probably for 8-10 games. As a repeat offender, he deserves it. It's not debatable, and we won't give it another thought.  Nor will we be dragged into the mud when people call for Cooke's head - because, let's face it, he's essentially a war criminal - and wish for bad things to happen to the Penguins.  Those people all need to just relax and listen to our Bachelor podcast.  The thing that will continue to bother us is that Matt Cooke lost us a crucial game.  And that's why we want to see him beheaded.

Other thoughts on Sunday's tilt:

- The Penguins power play has no sense of purpose, and it has no finish.  It is purpinishless.  Yes, it deserves its own word.  We tweeted between the second and third periods that the Pens needed to find a way to run the power play through Alexei Kovalev.  They did that for the last man-advantage chance of the game - and generated decent opportunities - but it was too late.  The referees may largely swallow their whistles in the playoffs, but that only makes the rare power play chance that much more significant.  If the Pens don't find some rhythm, it's one and done.  It's an awkward dance they're doing out there right now.

- Finesse points out that with Sid and Geno on the shelf, the Rangers and Penguins are pretty much the same team.  If they meet in the playoffs, it could well be a Lundqvist/Fleury duel decided in overtime of Game 7.  Ryan Callahan?  What a player.

- James Neal is like a bull-rushing defensive end.  The man is taking the puck to the net, and he's not apologizing for it.  He's going to put his body on you, and there is a strong likelihood that you are going to fall down.  And I swear he almost shot a puck through Henrik Lundqvist's shoulder early in the third period.  None of this shows up in the box score.  But thinking of him on Sidney Crosby's wing makes for a pretty delightful daydream.

- Neal's spectacular pass to spring Jordan Staal on a breakaway will show up in the box score.  Kind of a surprisingly handsy move by Staal to tie the game at one.  He's still improving.  Staal has been a point-a-game guy lately (pretty sure, look it up), which is as it should be.

- I like Kunitz on Staal's line, and with Neal in the fold, we can afford to keep him there.  The shorty by Kunitz in the third, tucked far side top corner where the crossbar meets the post, belongs in a museum.  In an alternate universe where Matt Cooke doesn't come out of nowhere to elbow somebody no one's ever heard of and Pitt doesn't foul like 800 feet from the basket with virtually no time on the clock in a tie game?  That's the game-winner.

- If you know us, you know we don't gloat when we're on top. We may bask, but we never gloat.  And we don't pout when we're down.  There will be no wallowing.  We get Detroit on Monday, with Datsyuk, Franzen, and Hudler all on the shelf.  Take it.  LGP.  GTOG.

GTOPG: Well, That Sucked. Pitt Loses 71-70

By Finesse

We've seen this movie before.

When so much goes so wrong in such a short period of time, it's hard to digest what happened.  We could sit here on our couches watching Cliffhanger and drinking Odwalla Superfood and bang out 1,000 words on any number of topics, including:

a) Nasir Robinson's historically stupid foul with 0.8 seconds left 90-feet from the basket;
b) Pitt's failure to get a shot off with 9-seconds to play and a 1-point lead;
c) Yet another super-easy basket against at the end of a game;
d) Gary McGhee's new nickname, "Net Negative";
e) Jamie Dixon's deer-in-the-headlights coaching in the final minutes of tight games; or
f) Whatever super-glue/clay hybrid formula that was holding Dixon's hair back ...

...but, we have a heart at GTOG.  Pitt's players know they screwed up.  Here's Robinson, after the game:
"I take the blame," Robinson said. "I take the blame for this loss. I made a dumb play. I apologize to my teammates and the fans."
Apology accepted.  Robinson is a good player.  No need to pour salt on the wound.

The key takeaway from this game is a bigger picture problem plaguing the Pitt program and it was exemplified in the failure to get a shot off with 8 seconds left.  You don't need NBA talent at guard to execute a last second play -- witness Butler's hot-knife-through-butter basket with 2 seconds left -- but it sure would help.  Pitt plays in a big city with beautiful facilities in the most consistently competitive and high-profile conference in the country.  But they can't recruit a quick, confident guard who can shake loose late to get a shot off?

The reason Pitt is successful is that they have all the right pieces - toughness, athleticism, shooting, quickness, passing, etc. -- but the problem is that those skills are scattered around 8 different guys.  Woodall the quick one.  Brown the athletic one.  Gibbs the shooter.

But where is the one guy who can do all of that at once, or at least most of it?  I'm not asking for Kemba Walker.  I'm just asking for someone who can get the ball to the rim late in the game and maybe stop the opposing team's guard from getting into the lane.  You can blame Dixon for whatever play it was that he drew up, but the larger question we need to ask is where is the guy who can make a play when everything else breaks down?

Ron Cook coherently summed up what happened last night, assigning the blame to the players, not Dixon.  We agree, but with one important caveat.  They're Dixon's players.

Friday, March 18, 2011

GTOPG: Basketball Game Breaks Out During Whistle Blowing Contest; Pitt Wins 74-51

By Finesse

I had the distinct fortune of being present at Pitt's victory yesterday over UNC-Asheville, and while I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to attend, it doesn't change the fact that it was one of the most poorly played games I've ever seen in person.  Add on top of that the determination by the officials to get both teams in the double-bonus as soon as possible, and this game was a true test of fan endurance.

Despite being up by only 5 points at half time, it never felt like Pitt was truly in danger of losing, if only because UNC Asheville was so bad.  Pitt won by 23 points, but this game was no blowout.  Pitt got the early second half lead into the 8-11 point range, but never could get the score that would have started the blowout until much later in the half.  And the man to credit for finally getting it done is Ashton Gibbs, because if not for his deadly 3-point shooting, this would have been down to the wire.  Some other quick thoughts:

- As we wrote last time about Gibbs, he can't jump.  He can shoot, and he can pass, but just watch him shoot - he barely gets off the ground.

Great hop shooter.
- It's easy to criticize Gary McGhee, so before I take the bait I'll compliment him for playing hard.  But really, the decision early to run the offense through McGhee is like the Pens running their power-play through Mike Rupp.  You root for the guy, but it's just not going to work.

- Brad Wanamaker was a hugely disappointing no-show yesterday and my friend and I were debating from the peanut gallery during the second half whether Wanamaker was even sweating.  For a senior playing in what could have been his last game, he was beyond passive to the point of appearing disinterested.

- On the positive side, GTOG likes Gibbs and we like Nasir Robinson.  They are both slow and undersized for their position, but they seem to have some capacity to score.  Robinson finishes at the basket and Gibbs, when open, is as good of a shooter as their is.

- Another guy we like, who apparently is somewhat polarizing in Panther-Nation, is Travon Woodall.  He is no Gibbs when it comes to shooting, but he can break a press with his dribble and, more importantly, he can set Gibbs up for open 3's.  Against a team like Asheville where Pitt would definitely have a size advantage, we advocate playing Woodall and Gibbs together.  If it means less Gilbert Brown ball-handling, then that's another reason to do it.

- As I reflected on the ugliness of the game with my father - a Pitt season ticket holder - he did not try to calm me or talk me down.  With resignation, he simply texted, "I saw 18 just like it!"

- Finally, while no one is feeling great about the way Pitt is playing right now, they nonetheless are one win over Butler from yet another Sweet 16.  Can't complain too much about that.  So before anyone jumps on us for being too negative about a team that won the Big East regular season title and earned a #1 seed, we remain cautiously optimistic.  Go Pitt.

He may be gone, but his spirit lives on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GTOPG: Pens Do What Good Teams Do; Crush Terrible Team 5-1

By Finesse

The Pens have scored 10 goals in their past two games, roughly equaling to their entire output from February, and have been able to coast through the third periods relatively comfortably.  It's a welcome development, no matter how poor the opponents have been.  And, make no mistake about it, Edmonton and Ottawa are brutal.  Awful.  Their respective goalies made James Reimer, who put up the worst against-Pens goaltending performance of the season in Toronto a few weeks back, look like the love-child of Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Martin Brodeur's sister in-law.  So before we pronounce that the Pens are arriving, we obviously have to recognize the level of competition we have seen the past two games.

Nevertheless, the last two games should be hugely encouraging for Pens' fans.  When you purport to be a good team that can do damage in the playoffs -- and that's certainly the Pens' mindset -- you should be able to dominate the worst of the worst teams in the league, especially as the season is winding down.  And that's what the Pens have done, led by the best left-winger in the history of the Eastern Conference.

Looking at everyone who he's better than.
So while you shouldn't pop any champagne bottles, you can be happy.  The Pens are keeping pace.

Some further reflection....

- Of course we exaggerate about Kunitz, but he's been the Pens' best forward since the two big injuries.  In the last 14 games he has played, the Pens are 11-3, all without Sid.  Not a coincidence.

- Creeping up on Kuntiz for the designation as "playing the best at forward of any Penguin since the injuries" is Tyler Kennedy.  His deflection last night was Sid-esque.  He's almost certainly pricing himself out of town this off-season, but good for him.

- When we aren't doing Bachelor podcasts, we actually record Penguins-related podcasts, and one of the things we have often discussed is the quality of defensemen that Ray Shero has stockpiled which afforded him the luxury of having - and then trading - Alex Goligoski.  Has anyone missed him?  Of course he could help on the power play, but let's be honest.  The power play wasn't that good with him.

- When Brooks Orpik returns, either Niskanen, Engelland, or Lovejoy will have to be scratched in the playoffs.  GTOG is going to step out on the limb here - it won't be Lovejoy.  In the 48 games he has played over the past two seasons with the Pens (36 this year, 12 last year), he is a +17.  He is equal to Engelland in most respects, and the one area where Engelland is better than everyone - fighting - is not important in the playoffs.  When the playoffs come around, I hitch my wagon to whatever defenseman is better at getting the puck out of the Pens' zone.  That's all I care about.

- Could Matty Ice be the healthy scratch on D in the playoffs?  Conceivable, although an Engelland-Lovejoy pairing caught against the Stamkos-St. Louis line after an icing call is a scary proposition.

- Inserting our career-high third statistic into this post, Brent Johnson raised his record on the season to 10-5-3, with a phenomenal 2.10 GAA and .921 save percentage.  He has had some shaky outings here and there over the past two months, but if you're taking stock in what Dan Bylsma is saying in the papers this morning about the Pens wanting to catch the Flyers, then you have to remember what BJ was doing at the beginning of the year while Fleury was, um, finding his way.

- Finally, the Pens are off until the commencement of Hate Week on Sunday: vs. Rangers, at Wings, at Flyers, vs. Devils.  If the Pens can hold their own next week -- I'm thinking 4 or 5 points, with 2 coming against the Flyers -- then first place in the Atlantic is within reach.  But first place in the conference?  Unfortunately, it looks like there may be a train pulling in ahead of the Pens...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

After After the Final Rose: Feelings are Still Naked and Raw

By GTOG Staff

We're still reeling this morning after the most shocking Bachelor finale ever, stunned that Brad chose to continue his Journey with Emily when we went all in on Chantal.  You can catch us with our walls down on the post-rose, Monday night podcast here:

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Just when we were at our most vulnerable, Jimmy Kimmel revealed the identity of the next Bachelorette.


If misjudging the true nature of Brad's heart wasn't enough for us to endure, now we need to listen to Ashley talk to a therapist about reconciling her career ambitions with letting down her walls as she twirls her new hair extensions.  Honestly, for GTOG, this is adding insult to injury.  Chantal O. was clearly the right choice here.  We're still processing all of this, and we thank you for your bearing with us during this difficult time.  We just feel so exposed right now.  We'll be rolling out additional thoughts today as we slowly reconstruct our walls.

[NOTE TO U.S.Americans: Employment obligations and the like-such-as prevented us from doing as much writing on the Finale as we would have liked.  However, employment has also enabled us to afford the computers with which we record our podcasts that you should definitely listen to.  Thanks, everyone.]


Finesse, 3:15 PM - I'll answer for you.  No, it won't be a problem, because Brad has already worked this out in his head by adding a twist to his bi-hourly balcony gazing.  Between Brad's emotional confessional to a middle-aged male stranger named Neal and the final rose ceremony, Brad stood on his balcony staring in the direction of Antarctica, but instead of maintaining his stoicism, he actually did a few 180 degree turns.  He gazed, turned his back to the water, peered inside for several seconds, turned, and re-locked in his gaze.  We should have known right then that he was all business.

Finesse, 3:10 PM The fans are demanding more from us, Artistry.  In that light, I've thought even more about Brad's decision to ask Mrs. Ricky Bobby to, "please give me your forever" and now I'm swinging back into the confounded camp.  Two points working against them:
  1. Mrs. RB is 14-years Brad's junior.  In other words, when he was 14, she was 0.  When he was 30, she was a sophomore in high school.  When he was 34, she couldn't get into his bars in Austin.  Sure, one could argue that this won't matter when he is 92 and she is 78, but I have a funny feeling we will not be crossing that bridge.
  2. Based on the "overnights," it is unclear what degree of intimacy has been explored between Brad and Mrs. RB.  You'll recall Mrs. RB's hesitation about spending the night with Brad, but let's go back even further to Brad and Mrs. RB's magical evening smothered in blankets in a barn where Mrs. RB insinuated that she had only been intimate with one man in her life.  I'm not judging her, but Brad certainly did, as he recoiled in horror/delight, "GREAT!"  Is that going to be a problem for them?
Finesse, 12:58 PM - As we discussed on the podcast, Brad's "Channy, Channy, Channy" was a clear signal of the end for Chantal O.  But she can always take comfort in Brad's declaration that he feels like he has known her for 5 years.  When you think about that, it's really a remarkable level of knowing someone.  In reality-world, he knew Chantal for 6 weeks.  In fantasy-land, he knew her for 5 years.  Extrapolating that out for the other key figures in Brad's life, it means that he feels like he has known his own mother for 1,646 years.

Approximately 6,600 years of knowledge
Artistry, 10:31 AM - (Sigh) Channy, Channy, Channy.

Artistry, 10:25 AM - I'm afraid Emily and Brad are in for a bumpy roller coaster ride of emotion and that Brad should have gone with the immediate gratification Chantal was best equipped to provide.  No reason to drag Little Rickee into this.  Looking ahead, we're also deprived of watching Chantal as the Bachelorette.  The reason she would have been the best choice is summed up in the sequence where she upped the ante by insisting she would marry Brad immediately, on the spot.  Chad's brother observed, "This really screams her feelings for Brad."  It also screams insanity.

Finesse, 10:12 AM - Ali and Roberto have no more fervent supporters than us. The buzz this morning is that Brad and Mrs. Ricky Bobby are doomed as a couple, as the nation learned last night that they have already broken up once and that Brad has a bad temper. Stunner, I know. But as I've thought more about this, the more I'm thinking Brad and Mrs. RB have a shot at happiness. And using their vernacular, let's climb the Adverbial Stairs to see just how happy they can be together.

Extremely hugely important aspect of their relationship
Artistry, 9:48 AM - It was awe-inspring to see Roberto and Ali, Jason and Molly, and Trista and Ryan come out to support Emily and Brad on "After the Final Rose." That was like seeing Jordan, Magic, and Bird take the court for the first time together as the Dream Team in '92. Helped get me through the night.

Artistry, 9:45 AM - I just turned on the lights. One step at a time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

GTOG Podcast: Recapping the Bachelor Finale. We Were Dead Wrong.

By Finesse

With the emotions still raw from a shocking Bachelor finale, Artistry and I gather on the line to lick our wounds and figure out where we went wrong.  We had put all our eggs in the Chantal O. basket only to find that Brad's journey would end in the arms of Mrs. Ricky Bobby.  In an emotional podcast, we discuss how this happened and what it all means.  You should also make sure to listen to our highly acclaimed podcast previewing the finale and wrapping up the entire season.  

Also, check back to the site throughout the day on Tuesday as we will trickle out some more thorough analysis of last night's Journey.

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A modern day love triangle.
Thanks for listening everyone, and if you enjoy, please pass along!