Nick's Knacks Nick's Knacks

  • CHURCH BELLS ARE RINGING

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Mike Tomlin

    Ludicrous. Insane. Stupid. Idiotic. Reckless. Dense. Irresponsible. Nails.

    With 3:58 to go and a two point lead, Mike Tomlin did the unthinkable and seemingly illogical – he onside kicked. It’s easy to call him a moron. Heck easy is an understatement. I don’t know what the success rate is of kicking deep in that situation, but I do know that the recovery rate of an onside kick is 20%. So by opting for the improbable, Tomlin essentially handed the Pack an 80% likelihood of posting go ahead points, even with Crosby’s head more messed up than the east coast right now.

    It may have been ludicrous and insane and stupid and idiotic and dense and irresponsible and other synonyms, as well. It also was ballsy. It was take charge. It was aggressive. With a gassed and porous defense, Tomlin stared down the great odds stacked against him…and won.

    What do you mean he won? They lost the kick! We scored the go ahead TD! Yep, and Pittsburgh won the game.

    Tomlin’s decision to give Green Bay a short field, preserved 2 minutes of clock. And we all know what happened then. In an ironic twist of fate, Mike Tomlin’s onside kick with under four minutes remaining and two point lead was the perfect call.

    It’s not the decision I would have made. I still believe it to be the wrong decision. But it was precisely that seeming lapse of sanity that gave Pittsburgh the opportunity to claim victory. And they did.

    Omar Epps…err Mike Tomlin…whipped out the church bells last night. And when the clock hit :00, the rings of triumph were unmistakable.

    Next time, Tomlin. Next time.

     

  • BUDDING RECORDING ARTISTS?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Microphone

    Who knew we had such musical talent in this building?  I mean, I knew they spun the hits over at WIXX, but I had no idea they could lay them down!

    They don’t exactly give Weird Al a run for his money, but they’re ours, and we love them.  The long awaited…well, the awaited…“Packerama,” as performed by Katie and Maino:

    "PACKERAMA"

  • SERVICE!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Prince CTS Synergy DB 26 tennis racquet

    When I went to St. Norbert, I had the privilege of living in the school’s oldest dormitory for two years – the first by assignment…the second by choice. It wasn’t tough to get into Burke Hall. It was the sort of dorm that you avoided if you could. It was like moving into a fixer upper – the delusions of what could be far outweighed what really was.

    But there was a certain charm to Burke Hall that one learned to appreciate (which explains why I went back for a second dose). It was like that old, broken in baseball cap. It was so beaten to he*l that you knew, no matter what you threw at it, it couldn’t look any worse than it already did. It was comfortable. It was reliable. It had bats. Burke Hall had bats, that is, not your baseball cap. It also was a fairly happenin’ place to live. Read into that what you will. It was college. I make no apologies.

    Okay, so back to the bats…

    Every once in a while Burke Hall would erupt in screams – not the usual “hey it’s college” screams, but earsplitting, wall piercing shrieks of genuine terror. That’s when I knew it was go time. The slamming doors and cries of helplessness were my call from Commissioner Gordon.

    It was time to grab my Prince CTS Synergy DB 26 Mid Plus and go to work.

    Positioned in the doorway, it was a fairly simple task, to tell the truth. Just wait for Batty McBat to approach, and – THWAP – give him a little cat gut sandwich. Order restored to Burke Hall.

    The toughest part was waitin’ around, so I can’t claim any legitimate heroism. I mean, it was a tennis racquet. That’s a fairly substantial striking surface. It’s not like I was using a hockey stick! Now that would be impressive. I’d like to see that. You? Well here you go:

    Well played, gentlemen.  Well played indeed.

  • FAST FORWARD

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    “It gets late early out there,” Yogi Berra once said. Of course, Yogi was referencing the adverse sun conditions in Yankees Stadium’s left field, but it more than applies to the folks out Bristol, CT way.

    With a just over 1/3rd of this year’s NCAA basketball schedule in the books, Joe Lunardi already is engaging in some tournament bracketology. Nothing like talkin’ who’s in and who’s out in December! We haven’t even developed the NFL post-season picture, and Lunardi’s already got the NCAA basketball playoffs in the photo album.

    But alas, he’s simply doing his job…and I have to admit curiosity.

    This much is true: even with the season just past infancy, half the tournament field is a given. All Lunardi is doing is identifying trends and projecting out. It’s no different than if he simply had ranked the teams 1-65. But something about seeing the nation’s top programs in bracket form implies finality, and finality invites criticism. That’s just the way it is.

    But upon examination of Lunardi’s bracket, any inclination I had to critique was overwhelmed by impish delight. Midwest quadrant – Providence site - #14 seed…UWGB! And wait a minute. What’s that I see? A forward slash? Horizon League automatic qualifier? Sweet! CHECK OUT THE BRACKET HERE

    It’s early. Scratch that. It’s REALLY early. But no matter how this map unfolds between now and Tuesday, March 9th, right now it’s fun. GB is on the map, and that doesn’t happen very often around here.

    Well done Coach K and company. Keep it goin’.

     

  • COINCIDENCE, ER NO?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    So Mike McCarthy-Corleone paid a visit to Fredo Crosby yesterday , stating at his press conference, “I’ll just say this, I have all the confidence in the world in Mason Crosby.”

    Yeah. So do I. “Winkie” ;)

    It’s not a surprise to hear this type of verbal affirmation from the Packers. I mean, what is Mike McCarthy supposed to say? “We’re just gonna start going for it every time because Mason is clearly ‘bleeped’ in the head?” That’s not going to happen, especially considering the position in question, and the lack of viable options at that position.

    Kickers are quirky. They’re fragile. And for good reason. If they miss, it’s rarely a “no problem” scenario. And when a miss occurs, they might not get a chance to redeem themselves for another week. The opportunity to get back out there and right a prior wrong simply isn’t there for kickers.


    Lonesome kicker

    J | MySpace Video

     

    So protecting Mason Crosby is a foregone conclusion.

    Then consider the pool of talent from which Ted Thompson could pluck a leg, and shielding ours from the slings and arrows of malcontent is even more critical.

    Mike’s doing the right thing here. He will protect his player in the public, and deal with the doubt in private. But let’s not kid ourselves. There is doubt.

    Take this for what you will: Biren Ealy is now on the waiver wires, opening a roster spot at 1265.

    It’s not insane to believe that Ted is simply cutting dead weight, preparing himself in the event that a sudden move would have to be made (at any position). He is, of course, primed at every area to act in the blink of an eye, armed with a list of characters he’d pursue in the event that a dude goes down. Biren Ealy wasn’t doing anything for this team, so perhaps Ted is simply eliminating step one.

    But I’m not sure that, in professional athletics, such a thing as pure coincidence exists.

     

  • LADY CHRISTOPHER GAGA

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Kevin Spacey is hit or miss with me. I want to really get behind him. I do. I think he is a brilliant actor…one of the best of our time. He just freaks me out. Like in ‘Se7en’ – he was way too good at playing serial killer guy. I’ll admit that I don’t know too many serial killers, or any serial killers (I hope), so my assessment of his portrayal doesn’t carry the most weight, but he pretty much fell in line with how I think most of us treat that subject. It’s givin’ me goosebumps just thinking about it. And then there was ‘American Beauty’ guy – an eyelash away from making Chris Hanson’s next documentary. Just flat out sick.

    The irony of struggling with the acceptance of a man whom I’ve come to know only through his portrayal of fictional characters is not lost on me. I get it. I just can’t get beyond it. That being said, his appearance on SNL a while back, and his “Christopher Walken Han Solo Screen Test” skit, was one of the best pieces of impersonation comedy I have ever witnessed:


    Kevin Spacey Star Wars Auditions - Christopher Walken

    | MySpace Video

    So, from Kevin Spacey as Christopher Walken, to Christopher Walken himself. Sort of. Here’s Christopher Walken doing Lady Gaga:

    And now for the mash-up:

    Priceless.  Thanks for the mash-up heads-up, Susan.

  • LAY OFF ME I’M STARVING!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Wow…like Christina Aguilera, this one “keeps gettin’ better.”

    Tiger’s crossed over into double digits (allegedly), and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this to stop until we get to a full round – 18. Or 36. Ah what the heck - how ‘bout a full tournament - 72 anyone?

    Unfortunately for el Tigre, the more he plays, the more torn up these fairways are getting. Here’s lady #10:

    GOO! I know the old adage is “any port in a storm,” but we’re talkin’ a Clooney storm here! I mean, near statistical impossibility that these fronts will converge at precisely this time and place. This is not good …not good at all. If it was possible to lose any more respect for the guy, it’s happened. They say her name is Mindy, but I don’t know. Something about her has me feeling more along the lines of a Cindy:

    And Gatorade has had enough, err sort of had enough, err not really had enough. I don’t know, they’ve dropped him:

    In a statement to CNBC, Gatorade officials said: “We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010. We hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon.”

    Interesting that none of those other products are named herein, and even though we’re three weeks away from 2010, the folks over at big ‘G’ aren’t quite prepared to unveil their new plans.

    Translation: since Thanksgiving, we’ve been working hard to come up with some new stuff.

     

     

  • CHECK ALL FLIGHTS – SUBPEONA ALL PHONE RECORDS

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Brett Bielema - Colbert Report

    Is Bret Bielema the next head football coach at Notre Dame? It’s a possibility if you believe footballcoachscoop.com. The rumor site is reporting that sources have informed them that Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick is interested in speaking with Bielema upon his return to the mainland. Bielema and the Badgers are in Hawaii for a Saturday night affair with the Rainbow Warriors.

    Per the website’s sources, a talk between Notre Dame and Bielema is expected to take place Sunday or Monday.

    It sounds crazier than it is.

    Bielema was Barry Alvarez’s handpicked successor at Wisconsin. Alvarez was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame before taking the reins with the Badgers, and has maintained a positive relationship with the university over the years.  Heck, the Alvarez to Notre Dame rumor vultures circled above his entire coaching tunure with Wisconsin.

    For what seems like forever, there have been talks of a nonconference football series between these two schools…talks that heated up this spring as the 2012-2015 slate was being finalized.

    So, with a history and a genuine rapport, it’s not insane to believe that Alvarez has pumped up his disciple to the Golden Domers.  As the now AD, sure he would lose his coach, but his ego would experience the ultimate inflation...his appointment the ultimate validation.

    Stay tuned.

     

  • A.I. ON GOLDEN POND

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Katharine Hepburn

    A far cry from his “practice” tirade,

    Allen Iverson channeled his inner Katharine Hepburn in his return to the Philadelphia 76ers presser:

    Not on board with the Hepburn reference? CLICK HERE

    It’s not that I find his performance insincere. You can’t fake that kind of emotion. But what’s going to happen when Eddie Jordan decides his team is best served by A.I. takin’ a seat? What kind of press conference are we going to hear then? Which A.I. will surface at that point?

    I don’t think this is a bad move for anybody. At 5-13 at the time of the deal (now 5-14), there’s little harm (present or potential) that could come of this for Philadelphia. Iverson will immediately put fans in the seats and still has enough ability to contribute to that team, a team with a need for service in the role he fills (Lou Williams out for two months with a jaw). As for the ultimate malcontent himself, he gets to make a million plus to play the game he loves and rehabilitate his image at the same time. Not a bad deal at all.

    So while I admire the apparent change in Iverson, I’m hesitant to believe it’s anything other than, at best inconsistent…at worst temporary. Let’s just say I’m keeping this audio close. A.I. may need to be reminded of it in the days to come.

  • ELIN THE TERRIBLE

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Tiger Woods Game

    Tiger’s got his. Now Elin wants a piece of the video game pie. And when Elin wants somethin’…Elin gets somethin’.

    PLAY THE GAME HERE

  • EENY, MEENY, MINY…DOH

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Tiger and Jaimee

    Wow! Apparently Tiger’s been markin’ his territory all over the globe. And like Rick Pitino, Tiger’s proven himself not only a snake, but an idiot as well.

    Don’t mistake this for any sort of defense of his infidelity, but are you kidding me, Tiger? Calls and texts from your personal phone? Seriously? You didn’t have an associate’s phone you could have used? You didn’t think to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a Tracfone – you know the untraceable, disposable deals? I mean, you didn’t even use an alias! Talk about an open and shut case. You didn’t even leave the door open to a hint of a shadow of a doubt.

    The voice mail turns the stomach.

    The texts are even more disturbing. (as read by Mary Hart)

    The biggest mistake Tiger made (after he cheated) was not coming clean.  Certainly not easy, but this whole ordeal would be a whole lot easier right now if had. Of course, the easiest way to avoid the discomfort is not to step out in the first place!

    The defenders of privacy have already started to surface, Woods included. From his website apology:

    “But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.”

    WRONG! Not the case for you, Tiger. Like it or not, the Tiger Woods rules are different. Take a peek at the old savings account if you need a reminder.

    You are the best professional golfer in the world. The game made you rich. The game brought you fame. Your status within the game brought the sponsorships and endorsements to your front porch. And you were the one who invited them in. More money...more face time...and you seem to have forgotten, more responsibility. See, that money is my money - the public’s money - doled out based on a perception of you…not only who you are as an athlete, but who you are as a man.

    Tiger said yes to the check, and immediately assumed the responsibility of being above reproach, for as the face of Nike…as the face of Buick…he’s said to the world, “I’m not only a great golfer, I am Tiger Woods.”

  • AN IMPOSSIBLE MISS

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Soccer net goal

    For such a big ash net, it’s a wonder that soccer is not a more high scoring affair. I think that’s the predominant hang-up for us Americanos. We like our “football” action packed. We haven’t the patience for the nuances of the pitch.

    Interesting that we’ll sit through three hours of shutout baseball, thunderously applauding the defensive gems and unhittable stuff of each respective hurler. But soccer? What was the final? 1-0? Pfft.

    Anyway, this dude, Rocky Baptiste, isn’t doing anything to help us, the offensive minded critics, out:

    Way to try to boot that one home with authority, Rocko! Worst…miss…ever.