The Weekly Tendown, January 30 2011 - February 5 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dear Internet:

Dear Internet:

I'm going to just slide in under the Sunday wire.  Here's Tendown 63.

1. I Write the Stories.
I spent the week posting Super Bowl lists.  The 25 greatest performances in Super Bowl history.  My Super Bowl 45 prediction. (I had the Steelers getting 3, had the Packers to win outright.  Thought I'd push for a minute there.  That finishes off my playoffs, 8-3 against the spread and straight up.) Here's Every Super Bowl winner by Pythagorean record.  That first one took like three days; this is not a great use of my time.

I'll check some numbers later this week, but Rodgers sure looks like a good MVP pick.  Not the best night for Christina Aguilera.

2. My Ex's Parents
In the spirit of my movie pitch in a previous Tendown, The Jannetty, here's another romantic comedy.

One sentence pitch - a guy moves in with his ex's parents.

So, the economy is bad, a guy loses his job, his longtime girlfriend breaks up with him - and as people do, he has to move back home with his parents (he's like 30).  But his parents are dead - so he moves in with his ex's parents.  Hilarity ensues

They live several states away - they had a good relationship with the guy, but virtually none with their daughter.  So, they've never visited the parents - but the guy facebooks them, maybe in secret.  He has nowhere to go - but they really like him, so he moves to his ex's old hometown, small town, several states away.  

The woman's sort of cold, prickly, type A-ish.  The guy is affable, not particularly successful.  The guy moves to his ex-girlfriend's small hometown, where she hasn't been in years - and he spends his time trying to repair her relationships from her past - trying to fix her past essentially.  He's able, in talking with her parents, her old friends, her high school boyfriend, to get a better understanding of who she is - none of them have good memories of her, but he creates an impression of her that is favorable, almost heroic - in an attempt to aid her in some way.

We get the woman to come home - I think through some sort of honor that she will receive in her hometown, a key to the city/high school alum of the year type of thing - an honor based on this person he's purporting her to be.  She comes back home - goes through the discomfort of being there, but is able to become the person that they believe her to be, based on how they treat her.

The man has always been in love with her, but now she grows closer to that high school boyfriend - and that allows for the man to grow (why is he so well liked - perhaps because he's overly selfless, spending so much time, for example, trying to fix the life of his ex girlfriend, and why is he so selfless, lack of confidence, fear of rejection if he puts himself out there) so he has to decide if he'll put his own needs ahead of the high school boyfriend, put himself on the line to win her over - in trying to fix her past, he winds up repairing his future.

But with jokes.

3. Who Made the Moon?
I think of Bill O' Reilly as not stupid.  Wrong, about everything, as right wingers are, but not stupid.

Recall, a couple of weeks ago - he argued that a god must exist because otherwise, why does the tide go in and out?

The answer - the moon - apparently was presented to him, as he responded this week - "well, how did the moon get there."

Here's Colbert's response.

4. Rape With Benefits
Last week, I mentioned the Republican proposal to limit the availability of federal funds for abortion to "forcible rape" - as opposed to other types of rape.  They thought better of it this week, but not before Kristen Schaal killed them dead on The Daily Show.

5. Not a Conspiracy, No.
Students of mine rarely want to discuss current political events, particularly international events, but two this week wanted to know if there was some type of conspiracy to take over the world.  Why?  Here's Maddow talking about Simple Jack.

Egypt's a populist uprising.  You know, about freedom and stuff.  We're for that.  That's why we've spent the better part of the decade killing Iraqis, right?

Here's Chomsky

What’s happening is absolutely spectacular. The courage and determination and commitment of the demonstrators is remarkable. And whatever happens, these are moments that won’t be forgotten and are sure to have long-term consequences, as the fact that they overwhelmed the police, took Tahrir Square, are staying there in the face of organized pro-Mubarak mobs, organized by the government to try to either drive them out or to set up a situation in which the army will claim to have to move in to restore order and then to maybe install some kind of military rule, whatever. It’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen. But the events have been truly spectacular. And, of course, it’s all over the Middle East. In Yemen, in Jordan, just about everywhere, there are the major consequences.

The United States, so far, is essentially following the usual playbook. I mean, there have been many times when some favored dictator has lost control or is in danger of losing control. There’s a kind of a standard routine—Marcos, Duvalier, Ceausescu, strongly supported by the United States and Britain, Suharto: keep supporting them as long as possible; then, when it becomes unsustainable—typically, say, if the army shifts sides—switch 180 degrees, claim to have been on the side of the people all along, erase the past, and then make whatever moves are possible to restore the old system under new names. That succeeds or fails depending on the circumstances.

6. Health Care
Here's analysis of the finding that Health care reform is unconstitutional.

7. How to Beat the Lottery

Here's the best article you'll read this week.  It's about cracking the code for a scratch off lottery ticket.

8. How much would you pay to not be Governor of California?
How about 144 million dollars of your own money?

9. The New Jim Crow
It's the war on drugs.

10. The World Champion San Francisco Giants

It takes 11 postseason wins to become World Series champions.  This was our sixth.  NLCS.  Game 4.

Game 4 was what we had come to expect - a nearly 4 hour long gutbucket of anxiety.  2 singles off of and 2 wild pitches by Joe Blanton got us a first inning run.  Posey drove in his second of the game in the third, doubling home Huff to put us up 2-0.  Madison Bumgarner, 21 years old (5.1 combined WAR/WARP) got into trouble in the 4th, putting 2 on with 1 out - but got Werth and Rollins, the latter on a called 3rd strike, to maintain our lead. 

But he didn't survive another inning.  Two consecutive singles started off their fifth - and after a successful Joe Blanton sacrifice, two consecutive singles cut the lead in half and chased Bumgarner.  Casilla (4.6, which is a strong year for a short reliever) followed up his crummy Game 2 with a crummy Game 3, giving up a 2 run double to Placido Polanco - then a walk, hit batsman, and a wild pitch that gave the Phils 4 in the inning and we were down 4-2.

We got one back in our half - Aubrey Huff (12 - our best first base season in two decades) singled home Andres Torres to get us into their bullpen - and that paid off an inning later when we scored two in the 6th to retake the lead 5-4 after a Burrell walk and back to back doubles by Cody Ross and the forgotten Pablo Sandoval. 

Like most SFG fans, I have a strong affection for Sandoval, who had emerged in 2009 as our best position player since Bonds, but his bat dropped off badly in 2010 and he was an afterthought in the postseason - he had a chance here, after that two run double, to really re-assert himself - but with one out and the bases loaded in the 7th, he ground into a double play.

Our set up man during the season was Sergio Romo (4) he and Casilla really a terrific late inning bridge to Wilson - but Romo was blistered by the Braves in the NLDS, so his coming on in the 8th to protect our 5-4 lead, after an inning opening  Howard double, felt loaded with all sorts of peril.  

It was a reasonable feeling.  Werth doubled to tie it at 5, and the series was in the balance.

Nothing for us in the bottom of the 8th.  Nothing for them (whew) in their 9th.

The 11th pitcher of the game was Roy Oswalt, who had burned through us pretty easily in Game 2 - but after a Sanchez lineout opened the inning - we got him.  Huff singled.  Posey's fourth hit of the game singled him to third - and Juan Uribe's fly ball to left scored the winning run.

And 3 games to 1 was a pretty big hammer to drop.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


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