Friday, 31 July 2009

Song of the day

Here's a link to a free download of a cool catchy little UK rap number:

Dead End

I don't like cricket...

Ok, I do like it.

I don't know a lot about it though, but I was pretty sure that the book on James Anderson was that he bowled a consistent line and length when fit, but that it wasn't a wicket taking line/length combination. 5 wickets in this innings so far seems to suggest that either:

The book is lying
He has changed something
The wicket is ideal

As I say, I don't know enough to pull an actual conclusion out.


I'm having a geekgasm right now. I never really got into Atlantis, and some of SG-1 left me a bit cold, but I loved the original Stargate movie, and I love John Scalzi, and I love me some Hamish Macbeth. Ergo the new stargate universe trailer looks pretty smashing to me:


There's more at whatever ( for excitement sake.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Song of the week

Here's a peculiar but fun video, which tickled me.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Supplemental Draft

Yesterday was the supplemental draft. In some ways, the supplemental draft is significantly inferior to the general draft. There is no circus, no hype, no Clay Travis prepping alongside the players. That said, there's something (in some ways) much purer about the supplemental draft. And it has some elements of ludicrous.

Just to recap how it works. Players who have not got eligibility left at the NCAA level, for various reasons, and who have missed the regular draft, declare themselves for the draft. Then the NFL teams email the league in a blind auction style, telling the league what round they would be interested in selecting any players in. The draft order is determined by number of wins in the previous season. The team with the highest bid wins. They lose the draft slot from the following year.

The reason that in some ways this process is a larger lottery than the draft (which is really saying something) is that the players have exhausted their eligibility for very good reasons: they are either not the sharpest knives in the block, have legal issues or are broken beyond regular repair. Here's the list of recent draftees.

Manny Wright - a genuine athletic stud, when healthy and not busting people up, the DT out of football factory USC was taken by the Dolphins, then reduced to tears by Nick "Satan" Saban. Struggling with his weight and mental health (not being helped by being belittled on national television, I guess) he made a swift impact for the 'Fins before bouncing out of the league, back to the Bills, the Giants for a superbowl ring but few tackles, and now into af2. His promise has been exhausted.

Ahmad Brooks - again, a stud with problems. Coming out of Virginia, this guy had potential to make an impact on a 3-4 defense, and went to the Bengals (character concerns, eh?) to be tutored by Marvin Lewis. Now he's at the 49ers, where Mike Singletary has shown himself to have an excellent eye for linebacker talent (snark) and in a system that might suit him better. Still, if you can't look good at the Bengals, surrounded by dross, then will you look good at the 9ers, surrounded by... oh wait... they're dross too.

Jared Gaither and Paul Oliver went in the 2007 supplemental draft to the Ravens and Chargers, who unlike the previously mentioned organisations didn't have to rush players into the lineup, and could develop them.

Because there's the second rub - the supplemental draft is like bringing in street free agents halfway through the offseason. The time rookies may need to adjust simply isn't there. However, what you do get is the ability to determine the natural physical level of the players, as there hasn't been the hothousing for the draft tests.

But of course, you do get the players at a discount.

I await to see how the Redskins misuse their draft pick, Jeremy Jarmon. Chances are he'll flame out, because the Skins are as disfunctional as it is possible to be in the NFL without being the Detroit Lions.

Song of the week

She's a dwelling place for demons...

I have a bit of a soft spot for Avenged Sevenfold. Ok, their name sounds like they should be a Christian emo-core band. And let's face it, they may be evangelical nutcases for all I know. But the tune Beast and the Harlot encapsulates perfectly why I like them. They chorus has this gorgeous melody which floats over the arpeggiating guitar. And yes, I may have just made up a word. The intro is a straight up thrash your head riff, which has a guitar screech out of it and then swaggering section. The drums are pulverising, the little kick flares directly under the chug of the verse guitar. It's spot on. The solo has a lot of tapping and silly bits, perfect for ludicrous shred pretending. Also the video is cool.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bad decisions and salaries

The guys who work in the NFL have a pretty unique salary payment structure and position.

In the Premiership the players have contracts which range anywhere from 1 year to a decade, and the wage values you hear about in the papers are the actual amounts they will earn on a weekly basis for the whole of their contracts. They aren't game cheques (amounts per week of the season) they are actual payments.

The same is basically the same in the rugby, except that rugby clubs are operating under a salary cap and recognise that the value of the player contract as an asset is a lot more fungible. This means that even established international players can be playing under one or two year deals. The old amateur ethos of the game means that the players are still at a point where (for the most part) they're glad to be being paid to go to the club, and not having to work the jobs they would otherwise be filling (this excludes the guys like Jamie Roberts, who's studying to be a doctor, and the guys who use rugby to pay for being an eternal student).

In the NFL annual salaries are paid on a weekly basis for the period of the season, with bonus cheques paid in the post season at a much lower rate. The good part of the salary of an NFL star is the up front cash lumps, which are pro rated for salary cap purposes, but are a real pain (one assumes) to manage cash wise. The players who hit it big get a massive influx of cash, and given the 8 years average career of the NFL player, need to invest wisely.

This story from the National Football Post, which I've seen mooched about for the last couple of days, is a case study in what not to do. Of course, the MLB has the same problem (see Moneyball for Billie Beane's sad story).

I'll probably witter on about salary cap stuff later - Profootballtalk is a pretty good place to start with any contract details.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Songs of the week

I have been following two blogs

metalhead and proud

ask earache

The former is a great blog where there are exhaustive lists of new records and singles, and quick track listings and reviews. It's an absolute goldmine for discovering new bands.

The latter is an email column from Dig, who is a legend in the metal world and top guy (having done a neat little internship at Earache I can confirm this), where he gives links and views, and is well worth a read if the heavy is your taste.

I've also heard two exciting new songs

Here's one by Amon Amarth

Viking metal! How excited am I? This tune has what I look for in a heavy tune. Driving kick drums and that punchy snare sound forming the heart beat of the track, setting the rhythm for the headbanging. A guitar riff which runs into a yowl. And the main guitar riff is extremely melodic - I think the test for heavy metal of this type is whether you can imagine the guitar being switched out with a choir without losing the menace.

Here's one by Shadows Fall

I just think this is quality dancefloor filler. A punchy opening and then a vocal drop, with a melodic hook which you can pull cool shapes to and puff your chest out like an undead parrot. This is important to me.

That is all

Crush of the day

I fucking love Jamelia

Best obituary ever

This is the most brutal obituary ever


Friday, 3 July 2009

Angela Gossow vs Song of the Week

Angela Gossow could so easily be the love of my life, in another place or time...


Maybe Jennifer won't approve.

Here's the song of the week, with unusually high quality audio for a bootleg


Goatwhore, ladies and gentlemen, Goatwhore.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


The "Sticky and Sweet" tour will be on Sky One HD. I can't imagine why anyone would want to see Madonna in HD. I've taken sexier shits after a night out on Hoegarden. Criminy.