Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wake Up With GTOG: Harrison to Pack Heat During Games Until He Regains Stamina

By Artistry

Steelers linebacker James Harrison will carry a semi-automatic weapon onto the field during early-season games, the team announced Wednesday. The 33-year-old Harrison has been battling fatigue as he recovers from off-season back surgery.

"This should back up the offensive linemen a bit and give James some room to do his work," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "If necessary, James will unleash hell during the football game."

Teammates suspect the move is only temporary and that Harrison will sheath his weapon once he regains his legendary strength but are afraid to ask.

"I love James Harrison," Ben Roethlisberger said.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GTOG Point-Counter Point: The Michael Vick Contract

By Finesse

There is one truth, and we both usually know what it is.  But on rare occasions, one of us knows the truth and the other one doesn't.  Today, there is a divide about the Michael Vick contract -- 6 years for $100 million, with $41 million guaranteed.  For comparison's sake, Ben Roethlisberger signed for 8 years/$100 million in 2008 with around $36 million in guaranteed money.

I just want to thank God that I signed that contract in 2008 before I was implicated in two sexual assaults.  Again, I apologize, although I didn't do anything wrong. But I'm still sorry. God is great. If I had signed that contract in 2010, I may have gotten less money. But God had a plan for me all along: have great success at a young age, nearly kill yourself in a motorcycle accident, sign a $100 million contract, be falsely accused of multiple sexual assaults, play in that game against Baltimore with a broken nose which showed the world how much heart I have and how everything I do I do for God and for my offensive line, and then wear a t-shirt to my wedding rehearsal dinner. That's essentially the story of Abraham from Genesis. Band of brothers.

My position is that this contract is going to be a huge letdown for the Eagles.  It's not that Vick isn't a good QB -- he is -- but expectations have risen to the level that anything short of a Super Bowl and the Vick Reclamation Project will be an enormous bust.  The problem is that Vick's ribs are like hearts on the Bachelor: you may not know when it will happen, but you know they're breaking.  And even though he's supremely athletic, good coaches can game-plan to stop him.  What you can't stop is a guy slinging darts.  Witness, Aaron Rogers.

Artistry thinks Vick has a lot of impact on a lot of games.  He also points out that $100 million is the going rate for quarterbacks.  What he doesn't point out is that I had first waiver pick in fantasy last year after week one and Artistry had last pick.  I told him I'd pick up Vick and then work a trade.  Artistry declined, even though his QB's were Brian St. Pierre and Peyton Manning's backup.  I stupidly passed on Vick, and just assumed he'd be gone before the 12th waiver pick.  Well, 10 other people are as dumb as me so he fell to Artistry and the rest is history.  The bottom line: bias.

No matter which way you come out, one thing is for sure.  The NFL is lucky to have Vick and Big Ben.

Simon Despres: Poised to Dominate

By Finesse

We've never really watched him play so we say this with almost no credibility: Simon Despres is going to be a beast.  Here is our reasoning:

First, his name is fantastic.  Second, he's big, fast, and rangy which is exactly what you want your defensemen to be.  Third, his name.  Fourth, we've never heard anyone say anything bad about him.  Fifth, if he does turn out to be as good as we hope he is then the Pens' defense will be insane, and we would like to live in a world where the defense is that good.

Je serai tres bon.
Here's the PG profile.

And to our fans, we know the site has been a little lacking recently.  I was on vacation and Artistry lives in a community where he has multiple children and no electricity.  This week may also be a little sporadic, but after Labor Day we go full speed.  Because like Ashley said about Constantine, when we love, we love hard.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Crosby: A History Lesson

By Artistry

The news that doctors expect Sidney Crosby to eventually make a "full recovery" gives us hope this morning, but still, uncertainties abound. How does the team prepare for the season? What if Sid is still on the shelf at the trade deadline? What do we do then? We'll get there, but first, a history lesson.

A former NHL superstar, forced to retire prematurely because of the same type of problem now plaguing the Penguins captain, said he thinks the injury might be more serious than the Penguins are reporting.

"You know the way hockey teams are," he said. "A serious injury is four to six weeks usually. When some-body says someone is out three to four months, you know something is seriously wrong. For anyone to say it's not a serious problem, they are trying to fool someone. If he has any kind of pain... he's going to constantly be thinking about it, thinking it might get worse. It's one thing to play with an injury you know is going to get better. It's another to play with an injury you know will never go away."

Penguins officials responded.

"We want people to understand we've been on top of the situation and in letting the public know (what's going on)," the General Manager of the Penguins said. "We're concerned some people might think maybe the Penguins haven't been honest in our disclosure ... that we're just trying to sell tickets and hide the facts. That's not anywhere near the truth. We've been honest and upfront about [this]. We're not going to try to hide it."

The former NHL superstar? Mike Bossy. The Penguins GM? Craig Patrick. And the player in question is Mario Lemieux. Yes, these are actual quotes pulled from a Pittsburgh Press article by Gerry Dulac, dated October 26, 1990.

Imagine if Twitter existed in 1990.
There are plenty of other headlines and columns from that summer of 1990 that echo the media frenzy of August 2011. Go ahead, dig into the archives. You'll find a Vancouver Province column dated September 28, 1990, wherein Jim Taylor suggests Lemieux's retirement may be imminent:

"Because right now that same young giant who can do so many marvelous things with that body that has never failed him is unable to reach down and pull on his own socks. In the weeks and months ahead, the biggest pain may lie in not knowing when - or if - it will end."

Lemieux came back to play in late January of 1991, and proceeded to win back-to-back Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup trophies.

Suck it, Bossy.
Will Sidney Crosby's career follow a similar path? Will he be back in one month, six months, or next year? Who knows. Maybe we should learn to live with uncertainty the way we did 21 years ago. And heed the words of defenseman Jimmy Johnson from that Dulac article:

"We know how important he is to the club, but we put it in the back of our minds because he's not here and we got to do it without him. We'll be grateful when he gets healthy, but he's got to get healthy to live a normal life. Life is more important than this game. There's no question, when he gets healthy, he'll come back and be the same old [insert name of captain here]."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forget the Earthquake: 5 Other Signs of the Apocalypse

By Artistry

OK, maybe none of these things are necessarily apocalyptic, but they're not good. Open your eyes people. Open your eyes.

5. WNBA rookie Jantel Lavender allegedly assaulted her ex, slamming his head into the wall and launching a devastating kick right into what the ex-boyfriend told police is his "growing [SIC] area." (Via @lindsapple)

Ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from growing area
4.  Kevin Stevens ate Tom Barrasso. Don't believe it? Well, for one thing, did you see Barrasso during the 1991 Stanley Cup team golf outing? No, you didn't. For another, Tom Barrasso was always a bit of an a--hole, am I right? This just makes sense.

There's a team in the belly.
3. The zeitgeist is turning from concern about Sidney Crosby's health to criticism of his telephone etiquette. When someone says, "How are you," the proper response is apparently either "I'm skating" or "I'm irreparably concussed, and you?"  Nobody has any patience for ambiguity, ok Sid?

2. People in Boston really don't believe that Matt Cooke is a human being.

1. Move over Ashley, ABC found someone just as not charismatic to steal your spotlight. Ben Flajnik is the new Bachelor. Get in line, Ladies. You bring the sunscreen, he'll bring the see-through shirt that ensures you cannot take your eyes off his man-nipples.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wake Up With GTOG: Steelers Sign Timmons; Kasey's Heart is on Fire

By Artistry

The Steelers bet big on another linebacker Tuesday, signing Lawrence Timmons to a reported 6 year, $50 million deal. Let GTOG do some quick math for you: that makes a total of about $170 million doled out to four players this summer, none of whom are Troy Polamalu. And Ed Bouchette just tweeted that the Steelers are done for the summer. How many $10 million/year defensive players can the team afford?

Chin up, young Samoan.
If you find yourself feeling blue this morning - because you didn't get that big contract extension, or you got sucked into another Sidney Crosby-related pity party on Twitter, or maybe because somehow you ended up watching two hours of "Bachelor Pad" last night and can't get it out of your mind - Kasey the "Guard and Protect Your Heart" guy has a new song for you, to let you know that you are loved.

You are so welcome.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carl Lewis Cannot Outrun Music Video Past

By Artistry

Controversy Monday surrounding the New Jersey state senate campaign of legendary Olympian Carl Lewis. It seems the wife of a state assemblyman sent Lewis a fairly mean and racist email, leading to the resignation of said assemblyman (story via Gawker). We're not concerned with the comings and goings of the resigning assemblyman or his idiot wife, but this does give us another occasion to raise the question: what the hell is this?

If you're running for the state senate against Carl Lewis, don't you play this on a loop at all campaign events? Isn't this a ready-made opposition ad? What am I missing?

Pirates Still Lead the League in Lowering the Bar

By Artistry

Pittsburgh sports fans usually demand excellence.  The Steelers have 6 Super Bowl trophies?  We think they should have 7 or 8.  The Penguins won a Stanley Cup with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?  They better win a couple more.  Jamie Dixon's hair is now a fixture in the Sweet 16?  Let's see that body and sheen in the Final Four.  It's this kind of mentality, this competitive pride, that has for many of us made it so difficult for so long to even acknowledge the "efforts" of our Pittsburgh Pirates.  There is nothing lovable about having the longest losing streak by anybody ever. 

With the caveat that we really do admire the diehards who stuck with the team through two decades of near hopelessness - we diehard Penguins fans know suffering, too - the resurgent optimism surrounding the Pirates never entirely made sense to us, and the reaction to news this week that the Bucs just signed the statistical equivalent of a 40-year-old Kenny Lofton to a possible 9-year contract really has us puzzled.

That's a lotta Tabata.
Jose Tabata is a fine player, from what I understand. It's swell that he likes Pittsburgh and signed a very team-friendly deal. And it's nice that we haven't already traded him to the Cubs for a AA league back-up catcher.  But anybody celebrating this news is looking at the wrong headline.  You should be looking at the one that says, "Compromise will be key to McCutchen deal."  Andrew McCutchen is far and away the Pirates' best player, there is no way he is going to "compromise" his ability to command an enormous contract, and - here is the real key - Neil Huntington knows it.

"Andrew McCutchen is certainly a great young player in the making," the PPG quotes Huntington as saying. "We hope to keep him here many, many years into the future. But, if we're not able to find common ground, we've still got many years left with Andrew."

Inspiring stuff. We don't even need to break out the GTOG translator for this, do we?  There is no chance - zero - that McCutchen is a Pirate after his contract expires in 2015.* He'll likely be gone in a trade before then. That's not Huntington's fault, and it's not McCutchen's. That's baseball in the 21st century. Unless and until Bob Nutting sells to Ron Burkle, the best the Pirates can hope for is periodic quasi-contention. There has never been any sign - regardless of how much the team is spending on draft picks - that these Bucs will pay real superstar money to anybody.  So please spare us the pep talk about how great things will be before the next great inevitable disappointment.

* I really, really hope I'm wrong. I'm not wrong.

Friday, August 19, 2011

GTOPG: Steelers and Joe Buck Combine Efforts to Destroy Eagles and America, 24-14

By Artistry

No sooner had young C.J. Corn rocked the national anthem with a gorgeous falsetto that hypnotized the Heinz Field crowd into a state of near total silence, and no sooner had Fox announcer Joe Buck begun three hours of the most insipid conversation anyone has ever had with Terry Bradshaw (think about the implications of that statement), than it became clear that this Philadelphia Dream Team thing is a bit of an embarrassment to dream teams, and the Steelers, on the other hand, might just have 7 Super Bowl trophies if Troy Polamalu's achilles tendon had made the trip to Dallas last winter.

- Polamalu's explosion is back, which is a good sign, but he was again recklessly running back an interception in a totally meaningless game, which is not.  If he keeps closing on receivers like that for a full season, no opposing player will ever feel completely safe on (William) Gay Island.

Take a knee.
- The defense generally looked terrific, although I would offer two notes of caution: 1) Mike Vick looked intent on throwing interceptions just so he could try to take guys out at the knees on the ensuing return; and 2) James Harrison keeps tweeting Friday about people sticking these needles in his ass to quell the pain in his wonky back.

- Mike Vick is on average the #6 overall pick in fantasy drafts. He won't be mine.*

- Ben Roethlisberger looks terrific. Unfortunately, he will look progressively less terrific if he gets hit three times on every drive. Losing two lineman a game to injury is not a winning formula.

Offensive line? Good to meet you. Band of Brothers.
- Only a continually decimated offensive line can stop Rashard Mendenhall this year.  The Bin Laden apologist Super Bowl scapegoat looks primed for a 1,500 yard season. Try to ignore all the unnecessary spin moves. Focus on the way he hits the hole at the line of scrimmage. Explosive. Watching Mendenhall, Ike Redman, Mewelde Moore, and that Jonathan Dwyer carve up the middle of the Eagles first team defense makes GTOG feel much better about running back depth.

- The Steelers receiving arsenal is even more impressive. Emanuel Sanders is still hurt, and Mike Wallace got Nnamdi Asomugha'ed, but Hines Ward looks sleeker and hungry as ever, Antonio Brown completely smoked Asante Samuel on the first touchdown, and I feel for any defense forced to contend with the fearsome Byron Leftwich-Jericho Cotchery connection. Cotchery is rangier than I thought he was. Solid player.

* Classic misdirection by me. Now I can take him when he slips to the second round.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today, We're All Frick Park Market

By Finesse

Mac Miller comes through again with the debut single Frick Park Market off of his upcoming Blue Slide Park album.  What a screenshot.  Probably didn't have to go more than a few blocks to find those Furries.

Full video here:

Undeterred, Islanders Players Plan Their Own Viewing Party

By Artistry

When the New York Islanders organization finally yielded on Thursday to the NHL's strong suggestion that the team not have a great big party to celebrate one of the more disgraceful episodes in modern NHL history, Islanders players refused to take the news lying down.

"That was the highlight of my whole life," Matt Martin said of the February 11, 2011 game against Pittsburgh, when he and a bunch of his teammates turned a hockey game into WWE Smackdown Royal Rumble. "When I heard the team was having an official viewing party to let everybody relive that moment when I attacked Max Talbot from behind, I invited family and friends from around the world. I got a block of rooms at the Marriott Courtyard.  Now what?"

Pride of Long Island
"I'll tell you now what," said smallish call-up goon Michael Haley, who so bravely challenged Pens goalie Brent Johnson to fight during the Smackdown game.  "If the team is caving to league pressure not to show the game, we're moving this party to my place."

"You live in a studio apartment in Bridgeport, CT," observed mutant experiment Trevor Gillies, who took a running leap at Eric Tangradi's head during the game in question. "I think you were just called up just for like that one game. You expect us and all of our fans to move our big viewing party - the offseason staple of the New York Islanders - to the home of our AHL farm team?"

"I think that sounds appropriate," said Penguins GM Ray Shero, with characteristic diplomacy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Frustrated at Losing Plaxico, Steelers Banish Remaining Tall Receiver

By Artistry

The Steelers finally cut ties today with Limas Sweed, who reportedly is still laying on the turf at Heinz Field after dropping a pass in 2009.

You're fine. Really, don't get up.

Wake Up With GTOG: You Don't F**k With Joe Paterno

By Finesse

He may be old, he may be frail, and he may constantly get run over by his own players in practice, but Joe Paterno will not tolerate your nonsense.  Word emerged yesterday that Paterno has kicked starting senior running back Stephfon Green off the team, saying “Stephfon had some problems with me, and I think right now, for the benefit of everybody, especially the benefit of the football team, it might be better if he backs away.”

We obviously have no idea what happened, but we will say this: If you're a rising senior tailback who rushed for over 1,000 yards the previous year, and you are slotted in as the unquestioned #1 back after the school's all-time leading rusher (Evan Royster) graduated last year, and you can't find a way to get along with your 84-year old coach, then you should probably be looking in the mirror to find out what went wrong.

Because Joe Paterno won't put up with your nonsense.

Long Live The King.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The First Rule of #Crosbywatch is There is No #Crosbywatch

By Artistry

Rob Rossi got half of Pittsburgh to stay up late Sunday night waiting for this report, which came in response to some guy tweeting that Sidney Crosby won't be ready for the start of the season:

"The occasional recurrence of concussion symptoms has not forced Penguins superstar center Sidney Crosby to 'shut down' his offseason training, general manager Ray Shero said late Sunday. 'There are going to be some symptoms with this injury, but nothing where he's had to shut it down or anything,' Shero said, noting that he was in contact with Crosby over the weekend. 'He's pushed himself, which is good.'"

Now that we've cleared absolutely nothing up, let's revisit what we've been saying for the past 6 months. None of this business - not the official team statements, not the tweets from people citing anonymous sources, and not the creeping feeling of dread you might feel when you're laying awake at night - none of it matters until we see what happens when Crosby has not only been cleared for contact but actually takes contact.  Might as well enjoy the rest of the summer.  There is still a long way to go before the reckoning.

Slept Better Than You Last Night

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Islanders' Viewing Party: Hey, At Least Serial Killers are Principled

By Finesse

The Islanders are throwing a viewing party for their fans to re-watch the February 11, 2011 game against the Penguins where Trevor Gillies single-handedly disproved evolution.  The Pensblog, understandably, is entertainingly against it.  Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy really reaches to defend the viewing party on the grounds that there is something "admirable" about the Islanders owning this part of their identity.  He's taking the position that when you do something embarrassing and wrong, it is better to dig your heels in and double down on the disgrace because to not celebrate it would be -- gasp!! -- hypocritical.  Because that makes sense.  Maybe the next time a pedophile is released from jail and immediately goes online to watch child porn, Wysh can commend him for not being a hypocrite.

Can't wait to watch this again!!!
Whatever.  We're actually not that inflamed by this because, as Wysh pointed out, we don't have to watch.  But we'd be curious to know the reaction people would have if the Pens hosted a party to celebrate Matt Cooke's Greatest Hits...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

GTOPG: 5 Hazy Recollections of Steelers 16-7 Loss to Redskins

By Artistry and Finesse

Sometimes you need a lengthy and unnecessary lockout to make you forget just how not compelling the NFL preseason can be.  GTOG was completely focused and locked in for Friday's exhibition opener at FedEx Field, right up until the inevitable touchback off the Graham Gano opening kickoff.  We mostly forget what happened after that because 1) we're easing into the season; and 2) we're drinking as we ease into the season. Here are 5 Hazy Recollections from the preseason opener:

5. We could have sworn that was Rex Grossman and Tim Hightower carving up the Steelers' first team defense, but it didn't faze us. You have to understand, this game meant to the Skins what a regular season game against the Penguins means to the Capitals: It's the Stanley Cup + the Super Bowl + the World Series.  It's everything.  Didn't you see the way Santana Moss would spin the pigskin on the turf after a reception like he was celebrating a championship? Wait. We're being told he does this every game.

4.  At some point around halftime, we got a shot of Mike Tomlin wearing his trademark black long-sleeve shirt. It appeared to us that the head football coach is putting on a significant amount of weight. It wasn't so much that he looked like he ate Max Starks, but you could argue it looked like he was trying to swallow Max Starks. We made this observation at a bar on a TV screen that was barely within our peripheral vision, so we could be making it all up. But if Tomlin is putting on tons of weight, the Steelers should put a stop to it. The Bill Cowher-2009 Tomlin-Sean Payton model is far preferable to the Rex Ryan-Andy Reid-Charlie Weis triple fudge sundae.

Hopefully unleashing diet in December.
3.  He may not have even played, but any time the Redskins are brought up, it reminds us of our disdain for Chris Cooley. Rarely has anyone achieved so little, yet had so much to say (us maybe?). Here in DC, Cooley is talked about as if he is some sort of superstar tight end, which he might be if he 1) didn't get hurt all the time; and 2) was better. Unfortunately for him, he's not. We will be devoting space on the site this season to chronicling his numerous impending failures.

2.  Ike Taylor broke his thumb and never returned to the game.  The blow was softened this morning when Steelers trainers discovered that Taylor still has 9 remaining healthy thumbs.

1.  We witnessed another absolutely classic performance by Big Ben as he shook his injured hand on camera while running up the field before ultimately icing the hand on the sideline. He's so consistent.

Three more preseason games to go. Buckle up.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rebecca Black: "I Can't Follow My Dreams While Going to a Normal School"

By Finesse

Just when you think you know Rebecca Black, she rewrites the script.  We loved her boldness and directness in "Friday," but we became exhausted with the hubris pervading her follow up hit, "My Moment."  On balance, and after a GTOG Board of Directors meeting during which tears were shed, we decided she was a Villain for ditching the friend on her right side to reach for brighter stars.  But then we retroactively made her a Hero when we heard that some little shits caused her to drop out of school by teasing her about her commitment to driving down the highway without a seatbelt while singing about fun, fun, fun, and fun.  We were confident in our decision to make her a Hero as late as early this afternoon when Gawker cruelly ridiculed RB's performance on "America's Got Talent," which we thought was a brilliant combination of bright lights, stairs that Rebecca was walking up and down for no apparent reason, and Nick Cannon shouting indiscriminately.

But then Rebecca took it to a whole new level.  With complete and total disregard for Twitter's 140 character limit, Rebecca clarified exactly why she decided to be home schooled.  Behold:
Hey guys! So, Nightline didn’t tell the whole story about why I decided to be home schooled. Although the bullying was one reason I left school, the MAIN reason was that my school has a policy that missing school because of work would be unexcused, so I entered a California online high school for performers and athletes to get credit for work they do at home or on the road. Bottom line, I can’t follow my dreams while going to a normal school. It’s just not possible in my school district.
At the outset, we'd like to reiterate that we still want to strangle the little shits who are teasing Rebecca because they are jealous that she took an idea that everyone thought was settled -- Friday -- and made it ... FRIDAY!

So true.
But this is bigger than bullying.  Rebecca has opened our eyes and allowed us to see the real problem facing America's children.  The problem is not bullying in schools; the problem is school.

Rebecca's wisdom has us concerned for the next generation of Dreamers.  Like Rebecca, will future children's dreams also be stifled by the inconvenience of normal school?  Will irresponsible school policies like "keeping attendance" crush the dreams of those who want to travel to New York on a Wednesday to be on The Today Show?  Will bureaucrats on the Board of Education pull the plug on the mic just as Nic Cannon gives the signal to start singing?

There's a lot of pessimism in America right now.  But the future is bright as long as we have kids like Rebecca who have no tolerance for outdated concepts like "report cards" or "K through 12" and are willing to risk everything in pursuit of what we can all agree is a higher calling: getting hits on YouTube.

The Capitals Get Serious: Boudreau Wipes Sauce Off Face; Reviews Line Combinations; Insists Alex Ovechkin Does Realize He is Team Captain

By Artistry

As sure as the brutal heat of July gives way to the insufferable heat of August in our nation's capital, another hockey off-season of hand-wringing is now shifting to official pronouncements about how great the Capitals are going to be this year.  Happens every time.  You know training camp is around the corner when Ted Leonsis starts touting the potential of a Roman Hamrlik-Mike Green pairing, linking to ESPN articles about the team, and bragging about being friends with Stephen Hawking.  Nobody raises an imaginary Stanley Cup like this guy.

Boyd Gordon of Executives
But a casual glance at this week's Washington Post sports page tells a different story.  That's where the ever-quotable coach Bruce Boudreau has been blathering on in an unfiltered stream of consciousness providing real insight into the total panic new confidence pervading the organization.  Let's break down Boudreau's thoughts with a little help from the GTOG Translator.

Boudreau, on implementing a new system:  "I'm hoping that we can be a hybrid,” Boudreau said. “There's some parts we changed [last season] that I really loved. But when you're playing like that, you have to score a lot of goals [on] dump-ins and you have to score a lot of goals off the forecheck because the quick-break isn't there. I'd like to get back to being more of a quick-break team.  I'd like to be a quick-break team but not [have forwards] taking off, waiting at the blue line."

GTOG translation:  "I'm hoping I can figure out what the f*** I'm supposed to do here.  I say 'Play offense, boys' and we lose.  Then I say 'Play defense, boys' and we lose.  It strikes me that I now have only two remaining options.  I could tell the boys not to do anything.  You know, you're doing too much, do less.  But I'm not sure we have the personnel to do that, and I'm not the general manager.  So I'm in a position where I need to look these guys in the eye and say look, 'play offense and defense, boys.'  Christ, I hope to hell this works."

Boudreau:  "Our depth is tremendous.  I go over the lines, as you know, every day."

GTOG translation:  "We have not one, not two, not three, but four lines. We have three defense pairings. Two goalies. You doubt that? You want to challenge that?  You are talking to the authority, ok?  I assess these figures and then I reassess them on a daily basis.  What I do with the remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes of each day is none of your business, though I will say this:  a man has to eat."

Student of the Game
Boudreau, on Alex Ovechkin:  "The whole leadership role is taking on a different [meaning] to him now. We're not all 22-year-old guys anymore. He's the captain. I think he's a great captain on the ice because no one works as hard as him, and no one wants to win more than him. He's going to take it a step further. That's maturity. It's not anything more than that.”

GTOG translation:  "I told Alex he is the captain. He was all like, 'What? I'm the captain?' And I go, 'Yeah, you have been for a while. Sorry if that somehow wasn't clear.' And as I say this, I'm pointing at the 'C,' on his chest, but I think that went just completely over his head."

Boudreau, on Ovechkin changing his whole approach like a desperate Tiger Woods changed his equipment, grip, and swing:  “I fully expect Alex Ovechkin to come back into [training] camp mean as a bear. I'm sure — and it's well documented — that individually for him, he took more criticism at the end of last year for his totals in goals and points, and not being up for the Hart, and not being up for other awards. He's so proud, he's probably like, 'I'm going to show you.' That's his M.O. It's not bravado. It's a quiet, 'I am one of the best, I want to be one of the best and I'm going to show 'em I'm one of the best.’”

GTOG translation: "Alex had every opportunity to grab the league by the throat last season, and he blew it. Crosby went down. Malkin went down. The East was his for the taking, and he barely cracked 30 goals. He played well in the Tampa loss, but you think Crosby would ever allow his team to be swept by Dwayne Roloson? Come on. I hope he has some pride. And I hope he stops tweeting. That's his M.O. Seriously, he just tweets inane stuff all the time, like, 'I go to my boyz house! Where Sasha???? Hahhahahahah!!!' What's a kid like Jay Beagle supposed to do when his captain is the social networking equivalent of an 11-year-old girl? How does he learn how to act? Does he go read 'Ted's Take?' You see the problem."

Boudreau, on gearing up for the season:  “I'll be phoning everybody to make sure that they know the importance of getting off to a fast start. This is a very serious year for us. Even though every year has been serious, we want to take it that step further, and that's going to take a real commitment from everybody. We're not those [young] guys anymore. Guys have been in the NHL five, six, seven years now. We're taking a little bit more of a serious tone."

GTOG translation: "We can't have anyone freak out out there, ok? We've got to keep our composure!!! We've come too far!!! We've got too much to lose!!! [Slamming chair against wall] We've gotta just keep our composure!!!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Outrage: Bullies Target Our "Friday" Girl

By Artistry

It's OK to mock a culture that elevates something like Rebecca Black's "Friday" video to a level of popularity approaching Michael Jackson's "Thriller."  It's also OK to satirize that video until the end of time or dissect it second-by-second like we did on this podcast.  But it is not OK to bully 13-year-old Rebecca Black.  The poor girl reportedly had to leave school because some pissants sitting in the back row in Social Studies class wouldn't let up about her sitting in the front seat, having cereal, Saturday coming after Friday, or what have you.

Listen you little shits.  GTOG wants to have a word with you.  One day you'll learn the difference between what's funny and what's cruel, but since you haven't yet, let's make this easy.  We apologize for our tongue-in-cheek inclusion of Ms. Black on our "Villains" list and are hereby retroactively making her a hero.  Much like the United States Constitution, GTOG's Heroes and Villains list is a living, breathing document, and unlike the federal government, we're capable of swiftly implementing fundamental change and putting our hands firmly to the wheel of justice when the circumstances so demand.  Consider it done.  Keep your chin up, Rebecca.


Wake Up With GTOG: The Law of Averages

By Finesse

When the Pirates were in first place just 3 weeks ago, the enthusiasm was through the roof.  Now that the Bucs are 10.5 games out of first place and falling off the face of the Earth, people are scrambling for answers.  Here are three popular reasons people are throwing around for why the Pirates are suddenly playing like ... the Pirates.

1) The Schedule. There's no question that the Pirates have had a brutal schedule during their recent 4-16 stretch (Cardinals, Braves, Phillies, and Giants, with the Brewers and Cardinals coming up next).  But they also got swept by the Cubs (.422 winning %) and were outscored 11,465 to 7 by the Padres (.436 winning %).   No one was blaming the schedule when the Pirates went 6-4 against the Nats, Astros and Cubs at the beginning of July.

2) Clint Hurdle. In the past 20 games, the Pirates have lost 3 in extra innings, and had we stayed up to watch, we may have found reasons to question some of the moves that Clint Hurdle made in those games.  But it isn't Hurdle's fault that the Pirates have virtually no power at the bat or on the mound -- 23rd in homeruns (and falling), and an astounding 28th in strikeouts.  Managing is a lot easier if the Pirates don't go 17 innings in a row without scoring during the infamous 19-inning loss to the Braves.

3) Jerry Meals. Speaking of that game, some have started saying that Jerry Meals' brutal call at home plate has somehow jinxed the Pirates and caused their downward spiral (the Pirates are 2-13 since that game).  If this is the actual reason for the Pirates' downfall, it's also the most disturbing.  When a historically bad call happens, good teams move on.  Bad teams feel sorry for themselves and file a formal complaint with the MLB that serves no purpose other than to provide an outlet to whine.  Selig wasn't reversing the ending of the game so harping on it for several days like the organization did served only to foster a "man, aren't we unlukcy" mentality.  Of course MLB knew the call was bad -- they didn't need the Pirates to remind them.

So, why are the Pirates fading?  The law of averages.  The hitter's numbers are settling where they should and, more importantly, so are the pitching numbers.  Over the course of 162 games, things tend to fall where they should.

Though we are optimistic about the future, we have to remember: These are the Pirates.  Our walls will stay up.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

GTOG's First Annual Heroes and Villains List

By GTOG Staff

During the 14 months of GTOG's existence, we've experienced our share of highs and lows.  We've seen GTOG become the most-visited website in Indonesia because of that country's obsession with Step Up 3-D; we've been called out on Twitter by the NBA player who organizes "Lapdance Tuesday;" we've spent entire mornings bombarding the Twitter accounts of ex-Bachelor contestants, to varying degrees of success; we've been shunned by the most unreadable reality TV blogger on the Internet; and we've recorded podcasts from hospital rooms.  Through it all, we made a list.  We checked it over once, briefly.  And if you're on it, we feel strongly about you, for better or worse.  If you're new to the site, consider this a primer of where our loyalties lie.  Without further adieu, and in no particular order, we bring you GTOG's heroes and villains of Year 1.

Read on for the full list of Heroes and Villains....

Friday, August 5, 2011

Not Even Ben Roethlisberger Being in Batman Can Dampen Our Enthusiasm for Batman

By Finesse

Very few things have captured the yinzer imagination more than the new Batman movie being filmed in Pittsburgh. GTOG is ecstatic. It is definitely more significant than Richard Gere being in Ford City for Mothman Prophecies, although it pales in comparison to when Paul Newman walked the streets of Johnstown for Slap Shot.  Here is actual footage of a girl outside the War Memorial when she first saw Newman:

Now, because of some connections between some Steelers minority owners and the makers of Dark Knight Rises, several Steelers, including Ben Roethlisberger, will portray football players in the movie.  Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette (this is a real quote):
"I'm kind of getting everybody together," Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette today. "I heard it's going to be a neat thing at the stadium. I don't think it will be a big part, it's not like we're chasing Batman down or anyting. It's something neat that in 10 years or 20 years we can tell our kids we were in a movie. Thomas does movies big and I'm sure it will be a big-time movie and something fun to be part of."
What leadership by Big Ben to get everybody together.  Band of Brothers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wake Up With GTOG: Girl Swag

By Finesse

There really aren't any words to describe this.

All we can tell you is that we have pre-production meetings scheduled this weekend to discuss a new music video staring Artistry's 3-day-old daughter called "Baby Sass." It's going to go viral.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fictional Steve On The Defensive

By Finesse, with Artistry's Blessing from the Maternity Ward

[Read our Finale recap here and listen to the Raw Emotion Podcast here]

Fictional Steve ( is at it again.  He's bathing in self-adulation today over the fact that he had all of the spoilers correct for this season on The Bachelorette.

Taunts the dog because the dog thought Ben would win.
This is today's F-you to all the "haters" out there:
So I’m curious how many people are still doubting what I told them was going to happen back on June 1st? Funny, after Ali and Roberto’s season, people were saying that I’d never get another spoiler again from this show and that was the end of me. Might’ve been the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Especially considering ever since that season, you have known what was going to happen going into every episode of “Bachelor Pad 1″, Brad’s season, Ashley’s season, and now “Bachelor Pad” 2″ by coming to this site. Sorry, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I will continue to talk about and spoil the show, and haters will continue to talk about me. That’s the way it works, and I’d have it no other way, so keep it comin’.
Fictional Steve, you're so gangster.  Excuse me, gangsta.

Here's the bottom line with this guy.  He's a fraud.  His posts are all 6 pages long and it's a Where's Waldo exercise to find something entertaining in there.  He might have 20 times more readers than we do (kidding, it's more like 100), but that doesn't mean he's better, or even any good.  After all, Curtis Martin retired with five times more rush yards than Bo Jackson, but the two aren't even comparable.  Bo knows football.  GTOG knows the Bachelor.

Fictional Steve gets off (perhaps literally) on the fact that he "spoils" the ending of the Bachelor for people.  OH MY GOD STEVE! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO HAS A FRIEND WHO WORKS ON THE BACHELOR AND HE TELLS YOU EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN! OMG WE R SOOOOOOO JEAL!! LOL!  He then gets hyper-sensitive when he screws up and gets a "spoiler" wrong, which we're told is more often than he leads on.

Indulge GTOG for a moment as we assign appropriate levels of blame for Fictional Steve reaching such lofty heights in the cutthroat Bachelor-recapping business.

- 64% blame goes to Fictional Steve.  Although he is supremely untalented, he does have a very successful show-ruin-er blog.  The problem is that while he purports to be lampooning the show, he is actually taking it incredible seriously.  This is his life.  This is his raison d'etre.  It's what drives him and what motivates him.  We suspect that he hibernated for weeks after he screwed up the Ali and Roberto pick.

[Side note: Fictional, how do you screw that one up?  Seriously, that was the easiest one ever.  We don't even have acquaintances who feed us unedited footage of the show and we still saw the writing on the wall.  And we knew it even before the baseball uniform.]

Our crystal ball.
- 30% blame goes to people who read it.  I'd love to hear one good reason why people read his site.  So you can know who wins?  Boy, is that joyous!  What is fun about knowing who wins on a reality show before it happens? Hey everyone, I know who wins Celebrity Apprentice this year, and it hasn't even aired yet! Who wants to date me?!?!

6% blame to us.  GTOG is humble.  GTOG appreciates what we have.  Every reader is precious.  But maybe we haven't done a good enough job of explaining to the world why they should be reading our site, and not his.  How much of this is on us?  We have to start by looking in the mirror, and we might not like what we see.

Bachelorette Finale Recap: A GTOG Scrapbook

By Finesse

[You can listen to our after show Raw Emotion Podcast here]

So it was said by Artistry. So it came to pass.  On the same day his daughter was born, he was able to revel in having correctly predicted JP as the recipent of The Final Rose. A hearty congratulations to him.

But enough with the fluff.  Let's get down to the analysis of what happened and let's do it in pictures as a way to honor JP's rose-clinching scrap book.

Ashley's Journey to Get Proposed To continues in Fiji, or as Ashley puts it without a single breath in between words, "I've-continued-my-journey-through-the breathtaking-islands-of-Fiji-Fiji-is-the-perfect-place-to-write-the-last-chapter-of-my-love-story."  And yes, that's another $10,000 to ABC from the Fijian Ministry of Tourism.  She begins as so many Bachelorettes before her have, by voicing over carefully edited montages of past events in the present tense.  Her performance is flawless.  She gives both Gentlemen glowing reviews but to the well-trained ear, JP comes out of the gate with all the momentum.

We start by meeting Ashley's family, which consists of: 1) a completely disinterested step-father; 2) a mother with absolutely no authority over any of her children; 3) a tattoo-covered sister who set the modern-day Bachelor franchise record for lowest likability score in the shortest amount of time; and 4) a younger brother who was wearing a tug-of-war rope around his neck.

If this guy was never in front of you in line at a CoGo's buying cigarettes, then you've never been to Pittsburgh.
The love story continues after the jump...

Monday, August 1, 2011

GTOG Raw Emotion Podcast: Bachelorette Finale Recap

As one Journey comes to an end, another one begins. On the same day that Artistry's daughter is born, he phones in live from the maternity ward to tell us how he is feeling and to recap the Bachelorette Finale. We talk about where it went wrong for Ben, whether it was that see-through sweater from last week that cost him the title, and where Neal Lane gets off asking the questions that only Chris Harrison should be asking. It's about as emotional as a podcast from the hospital can get. It's the GTOG Raw Emotion Podcast.

Click here to subscribe on iTunes.

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Seems about right.

GTOG Nation Welcomes Artistrette

By Finesse

Join me in welcoming the newest addition to GTOG Nation, Really Little Artistry.  She was born at 2:30 this morning.  A hearty congratulations to Artistry, Mrs. Artistry, Little Artistry and the whole bunch.  What a family.