Nick's Knacks Nick's Knacks

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day - From the Hoff

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Hoff SPD

    Allow me to extend a little Luck O' the Irish your way, courtesy of the Hoff. 

    I know this is a photoshop job, as are most of the Hoff holiday images you'll find out there on the old internet, but don't you get the feeling that he'd actually go for something like this?

  • The Real Reason

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    By all reports, it’s a done-deal…the NCAA Tournament will expand to 96 teams sooner than later. For the record, I’m not patently against it as many “purists” are. What is a purist, anyway? Why don’t we just call the purists what they really are – cranky opponents to change:

    “Your old road is rapidly agin’.

    Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand

    For the times they are a-changin’.”

    Now, from time to time, the purist makes a great point. Take the professional athletes participating in the Olympics situation. The purist says, “Bah, I don’t like it.” Good call. Then there’s MLB’s Wild Card – Costas…err the purist… “Bah, I don’t like it.” WRONG!

    The truth is that it’s not about purist vs. activist. It’s about logic and argument. If it makes sense to leave well enough alone, then we ought to. If it makes sense to adjust in the presence of compelling evidence, then we ought to.

    To date, no fact, no stat, no case has been presented in this court room that tilts my scale in favor of expansion. And Sunday evening didn’t help.

    Once again, we’ve reached the hours after selection, and there’s (at most) a handful of controversy. Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, and Illinois – that’s about it. And that’s pretty much how it is every year. Generally, three to five teams on the outside have a legitimate argument for inclusion. Three to five…not 32.

    And so there it is. Three to five teams, and yet every year, we congratulate the committee for putting together a solid tournament field. Is it that hard? Here you go fellas:

    1 – Take your top 25 and add the “others receiving votes” in increasing numerical order. The most votes becomes 26; the second most votes becomes 27; and so on. That gets us around 42, 43 teams.

    2 – Factor in the automatic qualifying teams that did not make the top 42 or 43. That gets you to about 52 teams.

    3 – Sprinkle in the best of the bubbles, and there you go.

    Setting the bracket is not that hard - the real reason to leave the tournament alone.

  • That Guy?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    On yesterday’s show, Maino asked a seeming innocent question:

    “If I were to be featured on the cover of a magazine, what would it be?”

    First of all, he was already on the cover of Boomers, and in light of this photo pushed my way by Scotty B, he clearly was fishin’ – tossing out a question to which he already knew the answer:

    Maino Mag cover

    Maino’s got more magazine covers than Jennifer Aniston!

  • The Bigger Hit

    Posted by Nick Vitrano


    Remember Marion Jones? Well, she’s back.

    Apparently the IOC’s stripping of her 5 Olympic medals from the 2000 Sydney games, and a little prison time for lying to federal prosecutors, isn’t embarrassment enough for MJ. She’s signed a contract with the WNBA (Tulsa Shock). Yeah, the WNBA still exists…and they have a website and everything!

    Really quick side note on Jones and the IOC: in addition to reclaiming her Olympic medals from Sydney, the committee also DQd her 5th place long jump finish from ’04 Athens. I love that. I often struggle to recall who took silver. 5th place? Marion Jones is now the only 5th place Olympian that I know.

    So back to Jones and the WNBA:

    "I'm extremely excited to join the team and the WNBA," Jones said in a statement on the WNBA website. See, I told you they had a website.

    Apparently Jones is quite the baller – she attended North Carolina on a hoops scholarship, won the National Championship in 1994, and was drafted by Phoenix in 2003. She still ranks in UNC’s top 10 in career assists (5th), steals (3rd), and blocks (7th). She can play.

    I’m not trying to deny Jones the opportunity at a second chance. But in all honesty here – who’s taking the bigger hit: Marion Jones for associating herself with a non-entity, or the WNBA for associating itself with a disgraced athlete?

    Or perhaps this is a win-win. Desperate times call for desperate measures…and each side is equally frantic for a boost. And it just might work in the short term.

    I can’t say that I’m at all hoping it succeeds, but I am marginally interested in seeing Jones play.

  • Undisputed Champion

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


    It’s tough to find a candy bar that isn’t delicious. Snickers, Kit-Kat, Milky Way, Twix, Baby Ruth…heck even a 3 Musketeers will do in a pinch. I’ve always thought the Skor was a very underrated bar – never gets enough credit. The Heath has always had top billing. But Score is a smoother toffee, more buttery.

    Regardless of my affinity for all bars candy, there is one that will forever reign supreme in my heart. As a kid, my grandfather introduced me to the sweet combination of chocolate, peanut flavored crisps, and caramel, and like Ben Roethlisberger to college chicks, I haven’t been able to stay away. Too soon?

    The Whatchamacallit, as it is known, was always my first purchase at the 76 gas station after Saturday afternoon paper route collecting. Yes, before the pack of Topps or Donruss…before the RC Cola…before the Big league Chew…I wrapped my grubby little paws around a Whatchamacallit. Instant happiness for a mere 40 cents.

    I don’t know what they cost these days. It’s been years since I’ve bought one, as the classic candy bars are getting increasingly tougher to track down. But one of our fine young listeners, Marcus (who turns 10 today – happy birthday, Marcus) plowed a few my way at last year’s 5th Quarter program, and I would freakin’ kill for one right now.

    It’s the time of the year when we’re all finding new an interesting ways to bracket obscure categories of competition. In that spirit, I give you the Whatchamacallit – my #1 seed in the candy bar tournament of chocolate.


  • The Soup Awards

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    “The Soup” on E! is one of the best shows going. Every week, host Joel McHale takes snarky shots at the week-in-TV in a stand-up comedian’s style. It’s great entertainment and a great way to stay up on everything pop culture. I don’t miss an episode, nor can I resist any of its special offerings like this past weekend’s Soup Awards (in honor of the Academy Awards).

    I just got around to firing up the DVR on this one last night.

    In one of the nonsensical categories, I can’t remember which one, The Today Show on NBC won a Soup Award for this debacle back on Halloween. It’s of those that makes you go: “Did that really just happen?” It’s fantastic:


  • NCAA Freezes Out The West…Again

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    SNC Hockey Team

    The St. Norbert College Green Knight hockey team is doing its best skating at just the right time. 8-0-2 in their last 10, SNC routed UW-River Falls on Saturday for the Peter’s Cup title and an automatic bid to the National Tournament.

    The top seed in the West Region (and a #3 national ranking), you’d think that SNC would have one of the easier roads to the Frozen Four. That is to say, SNC’s reward for generating top billing would be a first round bye. After all, five schools are granted automatic entry into the Quarterfinals. You’d think SNC would have to be one of them.

    Think again.

    Once again, the top seed in the West Region of the NCAA Division III Tournament will have to play its way into the Quarterfinals, and watch while 5 schools from out East – Middlebury, Plattsburgh St., Bowdoin, Oswego St., and Norwich – literally skate into the round of 8.

    “There must be an explanation for this,” you might be thinking.

    Yep – East Coast bias. It really is that simple. It’s the reason the tournament is annually held out East. It’s the reason that the schools from the West are annually screwed over.

    Solid work again from your NCAA.

    Go get em’ Knights.


  • Exactly What I Was Afraid Of

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Look Away

    My lovely wife gifted me the Wii for Christmas 2009. If you do not have a Wii, I highly recommend acquiring one or marrying someone as cool as my wife.

    Despite already reaching “pro” status in a number of Wii sports offerings (it sounds far more impressive than it really is), I still consider myself a Wii novice. As I’ve worked towards the arena of “bragging rights,” I’ve become increasingly aware of my body movements while engaging the Wii controller. They run the gamut from awkward to downright obscene in appearance. It’s the latter that concerned me while discussing Wii curling on the show this morning – specifically, the sweeping.

    Thank you to “captdamnit55” for this link which more than validates my trepidations:

  • Packing the Bags

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Destin Bridge

    Heading down to Destin, FL for a wrap around weekend of nothin'.  See you all next Wednesday.

  • The Big O...No She Didn't!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Oprah Winfrey

    Did she legitimately not know, or was this an ill-conceived attempt at humor?  Either way, Oprah takes the Donkey Of The Year Award (so far):

    Nice work, O.

  • Barry Melrose is a "Bleep"-Face...Seriously

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Chicken Poop Lip Balm

    You may not be able to make chicken salad out of it, but it does wonders on crow’s feet.  Just ask ESPN’s Barry Melrose.  In case you’re not yet on-board, there is obscene language coming…twice, in fact:

    Shortly after, ESPN issued the obligatory on-air apology (interestingly enough, not from the mouth of Barry Melrose):

    What’s the deal with Dana Jacobson apologizing for “putting him in that position?”  What position?  Asking him a question?  It wasn’t like they hit him with:

    “Hey Barry, what’s a two-word slang phrase for coward – 11 letters?”


    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Sherlock Holmes

    It looks like President Clinton is going to be all right. Admitted to a New York hospital with chest pains, two stents were inserted into one of his coronary arteries and Clinton was released this morning.

    Clinton underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004.  Photos taken of bypass grafts he received four years ago revealed that one of the grafts was blocked.

    The question is: how does a guy’s bypass graft get completely blocked in that short time?  Clinton’s cardiologist, Dr. Allen Schwartz, says lifestyle is not the answer:

    "This was not a result of his lifestyle or diet, which have been excellent," he said, adding that Clinton is "in excellent condition, as evidenced both by what he does and objective testing."

    Really, Dr. Schwartz?  Then how do you explain this?