Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 3 Update: Suck it, Sam!

I said "Easy Rider"! Though both have Peter Fonda.
This week has been brutal. There's that... baseball incident involving Atlanta teams and my copy of Gears 3 is getting delayed until Monday, probably. Throw in an afternoon of Tae Kwon Do (it turns out I am great at punching and jumping, but I suck at kicking, although my youth soccer coach will insist this was always the case), a haircut, and a load of chicken wings later, and I want to kick back and watch Easy Rider. After all, Iron Dirigible doesn't kick off until Sunday. But I'm not going to let that happen. Why? Spite.

The English Muffin Power Hour has never had double digit updates in the span of a single month. There are many reasons for this, such as me being easily distracted and the average EMPH update requiring me to spend my down time not playing Gears of War, not macking on the fine honeys, not tricking the Bean and not performing any combination of the three. One day, I will trick the Bean into letting me play Gears of War with a fine honey. I will have met my soul mate then. But I digress. The point is there are seasons where I don't update ten times, much less months. So I made a wager with Sam that I could update the EMPH ten times this month. If I didn't, then Sam would continue to mock my infrequent update schedule. If I did update ten times, then I'd win... um... I'd win... comedy? Let's just say I'd win comedy. I probably should have demanded some sort of stakes to this wager. I think I've been tricked.

In any case, if I don't write this update, then Sam gets an optimal outcome: more than the average dose of Hunterian Humor and bragging rights. But I'm not going to let that happen. You may beat me by 40 points in fantasy football, Sam, but you'll never take my freedom! My freedom to blog at whatever pace I feel like! CHAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGEEEE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

This is triumphant screaming.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I see what you did there, fate. I was boasting about how I'd persevere through tough times and then the Braves go and blow a lead in the Ninth Inning and complete one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. While I watch. For thirteen innings. WHY?! WHY BRAVES WHY?! WHY DOES DEREK LOWE SUCK SO MUCH? WHY CAN'T ANYONE HIT TO SAVE THEIR SOUL? WHY DID BOURN TRY STEALING THIRD WITH NO ONE OUT?!

Excuse me. That was unprofessional. Anyways, the point is that not even the Braves' collapse can turn the English Muffin Power Hour into a hate-filled rant. Although even winning 1 in 3 games would have gotten us to the playoffs. And the terrible Houston Astros can mange to win 1 in 3 games. The terrible Houston Astros who beat the Braves in an 18 inning playoff game back in 2005, which precipitated the Braves' inglorious fall from grace. A fall from which they had only just recovered last year and now have managed to go back into shame and dishonor. I HATE ALL OF YOU CARDINALS! ADISUXCGHISUC! DYUWECGBOQGS!GYCUO! NL CENTRAL! ASTROS CAN'T DO ANYTHING! AAAAAA!! AAAAAA!!! AAAAA!!

But I will write about tonight's topic, even though I wore my rally cap and tomahawk chopped through the night and 2 OUTS WAS ALL WE NEEDED! HOW COULD YOU WALK 3 BATTERS IN AN INNING, KIMBREL?!

I'm officially at Bat Credit Card levels of mad.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iron Dirigible Week 2 Update: Update to the Future

If my calculations are correct, then this Iron Dirigible update is occurring precisely one hundred and sixty eight hours late. My experiment was a complete success! By typing at precisely 88 words per minute, the blog was able to generate the 1.21 jiggawatts of power required to activate the flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. Who knows what strange future this update will find? Maybe Bean will have won a football game by now.

So readership of the distant future, let me tell you who were the Pimps and Gimps of the Week in the distant week of September 18th, 2011!

Pimps of the Week

You'd think dual wielding hammers would impeded catching a football.You'd think wrong.
Let me tell you the tale of Miles Austin, the fantasy football John Henry. See, the San Francisco 49ers had developed a steam powered secondary. And Miles Austin said "A man ain't nothing but a man, but before I let that steam secondary beat me down, I'll pull my hamstring with a hammer in my hand". And so Miles Austin caught pass after pass, touchdown after touchdown, and scored 34 points. That was nearly one-third of all of Team Gray's points in Week 2. And Team Gray needed every point as they just barely edged out the West Katzen Maus Munchers by two points. Unfortunately, this also meant that East Katzen was invaded and the Baron burninated the countryside, burninating all the peasants. But is there anything more pimp than providing me an opportunity to make a reference to Back to the Future, John Henry, and Trogdor all in the span of a few paragraphs? No, no there is not. Anyways, the downside is that Miles Austin did pull his hamstring and will be out about three weeks because of it.

Honorable Mentions: In my time, I would start with the honorable mentions first and build up to who the Pimp of the Week would be. But in the future, I'm confident that social media has dominated the world. By the time you read this sentence, you'll have 14 tweetbooks to read and repost on Googleopolis. My only hope is to lead with the interesting stuff.

Best Fantasy Pirate
Pimpmaster Doug had what I like to call the "Lonely Island Trio" going, with Vincent Jackson as Andy Samberg, Darren McFadden as Kiv Schaffer, Jahvid Best as Jorm Taccone, and Michael Bolton as Jack Sparrow.

Mad props also go to Team Tune, for winning a ridiculously exciting game 119-118. Better yet, Tune kept his pimp hand strong despite having two players (Kenny Britt and Peyton Hillis) score above 15 points. It helped that no one in his starting line up scored below nine points too.

Gimp of the Week

Half of the Velociraptors. Okay, I know it's not cool to keep picking myself for these awards but I seriously could not make a better case for anyone else. I had 5 of my 9 starters combine for just six points. The other half of my team managed to put together 69 points. I know everyone can't be Tom Brady good, but I'd settle for slightly competent. Even if the Underachieving half just a very disappointing 5 points per player, the Velociraptors would have finished with a much more respectable score. Can I declare this half of my team apocryphal?

Also worthy of dishonors are Deangelo Williams and the Bills Defense. Deangelo Williams made a strong case since, despite his impressive pedigree, he only managed an awful three points. If he had scored a below average six points, then the Maus Munchers would have won and Miles Austin would have been denied the triple threat of Trogdor, John Henry, and Back to the Future. So maybe it's for the best.

The Bills finished with -4 points, which is always worth serious consideration for Gimp of the Week. After all, the Bills defense was so terrible that they form a black hole of sucking that drains the points from nearby players. However, Bean's team also lost by 52 points. So it's not like the Bills would have impacted the final result a great deal one way or the other.

Fall to Pieces

From the get go, let me be clear, this is not a normal English Muffin Power Hour update. I know there isn't a "normal" EMPH update by the regular definition, but normally they're lengthy, funny, and generally impersonal. I don't normally like writing about myself, because it comes off as self-absorbed and I prefer writing about things that are interesting. I also avoid writing about things which are melancholy because there's enough suckiness in the world today without me contributing.

The net effect of those beliefs is that when I feel sad, I don't blog. In fact, almost every lengthy stretch of time without blogging can be attributed to something bad happening to me. I won't go into detail about what's happening, but life has been very rough for me lately in pretty much every way. The kicker is that, without a lot of imagination, life could be a lot better than its ever been for me right now. I could go into detail, but I'm in no way comfortable with that. I will not be beaten down by these times, I promise you that.

The good news is I have a lot of real good ideas for updates. I know I've fallen behind on Iron Dirigible updates, but both of those will be written in the next 48 hours. I even have a tentative daily update schedule filled with subjects that I could write 500 words about at the drop of a hat. I mean, I'm not sure if I can keep up with such a schedule, but having ideas drafted out ahead of schedule will certainly help.

Well, I don't want to reveal my crazy schedule yet, and I can't come up with a funny conclusion. Instead, I leave you with one of my favorite songs made in the last ten years.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Best Political Ad Ever

It starts slow but trust me, it's worth it. How can you not laugh at this video? It is the perfect blend of comedy: 50% serious political ad, 50% insanity. I could go on for a while about why this makes me laugh, but I'm running out of daylight to get a blog post in. I'll talk more tomorrow. Tonight, we laugh!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 1 Update: And They're Off!

Gimp of the Week

That should be pronounce "Vimmen".
They say save the best for last so we’ll start this week with the Gimps of the Week. First, we have a very unusual dishonorable mention: every single Houston Texan. You may say “But Hunter, didn’t the Texans crush the Colts, seen them driven away, and heard the lamentations of their women?” and I’ll respond “Conan the Barbarian, starring the Terminator and Darth Vader, was a great movie.” I’d also add that despite the complete humiliation of the colts, the highest scoring player in that game was, in fact, a Colt (Reggie “Bruce” Wayne with 16 points). Somehow, the Texans managed to win by a huge margin without having a single player score higher than 15 points. That’s like making the Dean’s List with nothing but B+’s. It shouldn’t be physically possible, but it happened!

Another dishonorable mention goes to Frank Gore. Despite not being eaten by a shark yet, he still managed to underwhelm in Week 1 by scoring just six points against the Seattle Seahawks (whose defensive line consists of coffee baristas and computer technicians). Also, I don’t think I’ve made fun of Bean enough recently.

Like the Greek Pantheon, but twice as petty!
But the Gimp of the Week honors actually belong to a higher philosophy of Fantasy Football. Analysts say that you should never draft a kicker before the 16th round and a defense before the 14th round (and there are only 16 rounds). The train of thought is there’s fundamentally no real difference between kickers. The top scoring kicker was only 39 points higher than the 20th best scoring kicker (which is slightly more than 2 points a game). Inevitably, people in every league do that. But the Gods of Fantasy Football said “No More!” this year and decided to punish the people who took the top defense and kicker.

The top defense taken this year was the Pittsburgh Steelers (who averaged over 10 points a game last season). The Baron spent an 8th round pick on them, twirling his mustache all the while and wearing a picklehaube, saying that the Steelers would be essential for the invasion of East Katzen. But the Pittsburgh defense managed to be worse than nothing in their opener against the Baltimore Ravens (and it hurts me to write this next part). The Steelers were more like the Tin-Foilers given how Ray Rice tore them apart. They “contributed” -3 points to the Baron’s team. But that’s still not enough to win top dishonors.

How can you be worse than a negative? By being an absolute zero. Nate Kaeding, the kicker of the San Diego Chargers, was taken in the 12th round of the Iron Dirigible draft by Team Gray. Normally, Kaeding punishes owners by being average and somehow being projected to be the number 1 kicker the next year. Last year, he was taken in the 11th round (also by Team Gray) and finished as the 13th best kicker. So how does Kaeding upstage the Steelers Defense? He tears his ACL and gets injured for the entire season before he kicks a single field goal. Kaeding amounted to absolutely nothing this week and will be nothing for the entire season. It is the only time in Iron Dirigible history I can say a draft pick was a complete and utter waste from which nothing good could possibly come. And if making the single worst draft decision in the history of Iron Dirigible football isn’t Gimp of the Week honors, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Iron Dirigible Week 1 Review: The Preliminary Stuff

Well, Week 1 of Iron Dirigible Football is in the books and it was kind of a massacre. The closest game was decided by 20 points. While there were a hundred tales from this weekend alone, I think it’s important that we never forget the most important lesson this week. Bean lost, despite scoring the third most points. And isn’t that what fantasy football is all about: finding new and exciting ways for Bean to lose? By the way, for those of you who are interested, here is the Week 1 scoreboard.

Since this is the first update I’ve posted on the English Muffin Power Hour, I thought I would explain a few quick pointers of what these updates contain. Normally, I declare a fantasy “Pimp of the Week” and list several honorable mentions (usually two or three). These are players who go above and beyond what is expected of them and help propel their fantasy team to victory. There’s usually a pretty even split between superstar players like Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson and pretty good players who have crazy good weeks like DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin (quick poll: did anyone who doesn’t play fantasy football know who those guys are? Did this comparison do anything but further your confusion? It’s too late to bail out now though!). Then I list the fantasy “Gimp of the Week”, for the player whose ineptitude and incompetence crippled his team the most. This is almost exclusively well known players, unless a minor player is terrible in a particularly newsworthy way (like punting a puppy instead of the football). As a rule of thumb, the Pimp of the Week must be on a winning team and the Gimp of the Week must be on a losing team, for obvious reasons. Then I normally end by highlighting the Game of the Week for the upcoming weekend. I meant to write one of those for Week 1, but I caught a bad case of Football Fever and wound up watching the NFL instead.

Unfortunately, this introduction took longer to write than I thought, so I’m going to end this early and get into the actual awards tomorrow morning. But before I go, I’d like to mention a bit about another league I’m in. This league is run by Bean and is filled with a lot of his friends from church and Belmont. You might think that while Bean would struggle in a league a football enthusiasts such as myself and Pimpmaster/Witch Doctor Doug, he would most assuredly thrive against amateurs and casual fans. You would be wrong. Bean finished with the lowest score in the league this past week (and I beat him! Hurray!). Like I said earlier, the point of fantasy football is to find all the ways Bean can come up short (pun intended). More troubling, his old roommate had the second lowest. So it seems the Bean-adjacent are cursed as well.

P.S. I remembered a joke I wanted to use when talking about the Bean Curse. I predict that this year the Bean Curse will outdo itself. Frank Gore will be eaten by a shark in a Shark vs Man Gambling Ring, which itself is organized and funded by Michael Vick, who has grown bored of simple mammalian conflict and is trying to escalate to inter-phylum fights.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Degrees of Internet Fame

Long time readers may expect me to post a funny video relating to video games and then call it a day. And 99 times out of 100, you would be right. But today, you're getting bonus blog. This video was made by internet celebrity, Tobuscus, who is now one of my readers thanks to a misunderstanding of cosmic proportions. In fact, the proportions are so cosmic that the misunderstanding has floated into the blogosphere.

Before I moved to Tennessee, I had the online alias "Egoraptor" because I love velociraptors and was also a Latin Nerd. Fact: Simply being in Latin does not make you a Latin Nerd, I had to push the second declension to a whole new place to get that title. Anyways, shortly after moving, my friend sent me an invite to a small, invite-only e-mail service, GMail (back before Google took over the world). Naturally, I picked Egoraptor as my screen name because that was the trend at the time.

Flash-forward six years to today at 12:30 Central Time, I get an email from Tobuscus, Internet Celebrity (which is what is printed on his business cards), asking me if I would animate a new video for him about Dead Island, a video game about zombies. Now, those of you who know me know that I can barely draw stick figures, much less animate anything. I knew I recognized the name Tobuscus from somewhere and about 15 seconds later I realized "It's the literal trailers guy!" and "so that's why his business card read Internet Celebrity". It turns out there's another Egoraptor out there, who is a reputable Flash animator. But I still got to see (or at least hear) the next Tobuscus video weeks before it would debut.

I explained things to Tobuscus, Internet Celebrity, and he laughed at the whole situation. He found it hysterical that the owner of would happen to be a fan of his work. Tobuscus also explained that if I revealed the location of the unreleased video, he would break my Internet Legs and toss me in the Online East River.

So everyone, visit his YouTube channel. Tobuscus, I hope you enjoy your time here at the English Muffin Power Hour and thank you for making the blog Second Degree Internet Famous. Fun Fact: Internet Celebrity is given to everyone whose videos aggregate over 200 million views. So I'm like 1/100,000th of the way there.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blade Runner for Cats

The first thirty seconds of this video is the feline version of the classic film, Blade Runner. The last thirty seconds is the photographer ruining cinematic gold.

All it needs is some serious back lighting and to have the cat narrate while the andro-kitty approaches him.

Alternative Title: Do Andro-Kitties Dream of Electric Mice?

Also, while you're here, I've made a gentleman's wager with Sam (of Iron Dirigible fame) that September will be the first month the English Muffin Power Hour reaches double digit updates. I'm going to try to get into a regular writing groove now that I'm back to work.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Bean Curse

Last time we were here, I mentioned that my good friend Bean had a penchant for ruining the livelihood of football players. Every year he has ruined (or at least significantly inconvenienced) the players he has taken in the first and third round of the Iron Dirigible draft. Inexplicably, the second round picks escape unscathed (usually, but I'll talk about that later). Despite having the 1st, 2nd (twice) and 3rd pick in the prior four seasons, Bean has never managed to have a winning record. So how does this happen? Let's examine the history of... THE BEAN CURSE!

2007- LaDainian Tomlinson & Marvin Harrison

Found on Page 7 of Google Image Search "Fantasy King"!
 In the beginning, no one could suspect that Bean would be the Reverse King Midas of fantasy football. LaDainian Tomlinson, also known as LT (because football fans are ridiculously creative), was the king of football back in 2007, both fantasy and real world. In the actual football terms, he had just shattered the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns and gained over 1800 yards during the 2006 football season. In fantasy football, he was king because he had slain the foul beast Grendel and strangled an enormous sea serpent while swimming against some punk in the Baltic Sea. Or maybe that was Beowulf. Bean had the #1 draft pick in 2007 and LT was a no brainer. Bean would also draft LT again with the second pick in 2008. Year after year, LT’s yards went down, his touchdowns went down, his crops turned to ash, and the sun no longer shined on San Diego. The year after he escaped from the clutches of Bean’s fantasy team, the withered husk of LaDainian Tomlinson had career lows in total yards, games played, and yards per carry.

Similarly, Marvin Harrison was in a good spot. He was the number one receiver for Peyton Manning, which meant he didn’t even have to try hard to look good. Sadly, Harrison would wish to be as blighted as LT was for being on Bean’s team. 8 months after being drafted (and underachieving all year long), Harrison was investigated by authorities for his involvement in the shooting of a drug dealer. Unfortunately for Harrison, this was not because he had not become a gun toting vigilante ala Kick Ass (a movie which I have never seen, but understand it involves Nic Cage acting crazier than usual). Now his crime is being investigated by the FBI after they successfully proved that Harrison (now out of football) provided the gun, bullets, and likely the trigger finger for the crime, while Reggie Wayne enjoys all the perks of being Manning’s new BFF.

2008- LaDainian Tomlinson & Terrell Owens

Well, I covered LT in depth last section, but let me add this. Once he had a year to detoxify the Bean Blight coursing through his veins, LT saw a significant increase in rushing & receiving yards despite being over the hill in running back terms. Bean drafted 2nd overall this draft, a big step down from 1st (insert sarcastic quip here).

Pictured: Buffalo's Stadium
Terrell Owens, dubbed TO by the original and creative sports media, was actually enjoying something of a career renaissance. Despite being driven out of San Francisco and Philadelphia (for the crimes of being obnoxious, egotistical, and witchcraft), TO formed a bromance with Dallas Quarterback Tony Romo and was reaching numbers close to his career high in yards and touchdowns. Small tangent: Romo was going through a phase where he was really into obnoxious, self centered idiots. TO was his favorite receiver and he was dating Jessica Simpson. Back on topic, after being drafted by Bean, Owens had 300 yards and 5 touchdowns less than the previous season. Dallas, sensing that the football gods had forsaken them, cut ways with Owens. As for Owens, he was forced to wander through football hell (Buffalo, where much better teams stomp you into oblivion again and again) and then into purgatory (Cincinnati, where he saw improved production but never achieved anything of substance) and then into blissful irrelevance.

2009- Michael Turner & Brian Westbrook

From Michael Turner, 2008. "Thanks for picking LT!"
By this point, the Bean Curse had established its almost Biblical powers. In fact, Michael Turner had made a career for himself by stepping up when LT began to feel the effects of the Bean Curse and not only received a big deal with the Atlanta Falcons, but also put up an LT-like 1700 yards with 17 touchdowns to match. So naturally, Bean had to fill the LT-shaped void in his team with yet another 2nd overall pick. Turner was, shockingly, doing well until he hurt his ankle. An ankle injury may seem minor, especially to a football star, but when Bean is involved, anything is possible (so long as it results in comedic tragedy for football players). Somehow, Turner winds up missing nearly half the season with this ankle problem and barely gains half the yards he did the season before.

However, that was nothing compared to what happened to Brian Westbrook. While Westbrook did not become the subject of a federal investigation or be forced to navigate his way through the football afterlife, he did suffer the most severe and sudden case of Bean Curse ever seen. Westbrook had a truly amazing season two years earlier, but minor nagging injuries kept him from repeating the same feat again in 2008. Bean, sensing weakness like a shark senses blood in the water (with his nose), added Westbrook to his team with his third round pick. Not only did Westbrook’s injury get much, much worse, but he also put up career lows in every meaningful statistic. His numbers were awful by anyone’s standards as he finished the year with 274 rushing yards. For frame of reference, Vince Young had 281 rushing yards for the Titans and he only played 12 games that year. Westbrook went on to be cut and forgotten by Philadelphia, buried in the depth chart in San Francisco, and exiled to an island this year along with TO and Marvin Harrison.

2010- Ray Rice & Miles Austin

In a stunning twist, Bean abandons his long-standing philosophy of drafting at least one aging injury-prone superstar and goes with two young, high potential players in offenses that revolve around them. So the Bean Curse had to get creative with how to ruin their value. Ray Rice experienced a touchdown famine throughout most of the season and had to split his meager scoring opportunities with Willis McGahee. While not as huge a disappointment as LT or Westbrook, Ray Rice finished outside of the top ten last year.

Meanwhile, Miles Austin had replaced TO in Romo’s heart. By this point, the Bean Curse had realized that Bean would take “Romo’s Favorite Target” rather than any specific player. Thus, Romo was struck down with a collar bone injury and Austin’s value suffered under the leadership of Jon Kitna, whose claim to fame was leading the Detroit Lions to the worst record in football history (0-16, a mark which can never be beaten).

Maybe I’ve been too hard on Bean. Maybe he’s finally realized to stop buying the hype and going after injury risks and stars who have lingered past their prime.

2011- Michael Vick & Frank Gore

Or maybe not! Fun fact: In their combined 13 years of NFL service, Vick and Gore have played a full 16 game season only once each. Last year, Old Man Gore broke his hip in Week 11 and missed the rest of the season (and I say this as a two-time former owner of Old Man Gore). At least with Vick, Bean’s getting a player who was formerly under investigation by the FBI rather than currently. This year broke tradition with Bean actually drafting sixth instead of his usual second.

A Desperate Plea from Vick & Gore

Well, that concludes my piece on the Bean Curse. Fun story, I actually had this written out earlier and it came to about 600 words long. I accidentally deleted it during Managerial Economics today and had to rewrite the entire thing. Somehow, it wound up being twice as long.