I’ve been watching this silly game, American football, for many years now. As I become older and wiser, though, questions have started coming to mind. These, I’m sure, are things the NFL doesn’t like you to think about, but that’s their problem.
So here we are… today are the NFC and AFC Championship games… it’s not quite yet, you know, the “world championship” game (presumably labeled as such because the National Football League plays a game in London every year). These are the issues I have with the NFL and the sport it represents:
1) Field Officials dictate the outcome of games. Because of problems in past years, this is the first time the NFL has institutionalized a centralized officiating crew – in New York – to confirm calls. However, the only other time I’ve heard so much noise was when the NFL used replacement officials a couple years ago. The rules are too vague, and officials haven’t given enough time to confirm reviews with the home office. Officiating has been a problem for a long time (see the “Tuck Rule” for an example – inaccurate officiating that surely allowed a team to continue through the playoffs and, ultimately, “win” a Super Bowl).
2) Subdivisions suck. The Panthers – though they put up an impressive game against Arizona – they never should have been in the playoffs to begin with. A team with a losing, regular-season record should NEVER, EVER, EVER be in the playoffs. Currently, far superior teams in some divisions get shut out of the playoffs because of the current system requiring a subdivision winner. An example is that the Panthers (NFC South, 7-8-1 record) made it to the playoffs, while the Eagles (NFC East, 10-6 record) were shut out. In fact, seven non-playoff NFL teams had more regular season wins than the Panthers.
3) Home Field Advantage and Bye Weeks. If you’re a superior football team, why do you get to skip a game AND potentially play all of your playoff games at home? If you’re so awesome, shouldn’t you have to prove, just like any other team, that you belong in the playoffs? Maybe even have all playoffs games at “neutral” sites, and we’ll see who the better teams are.
4) Back to officiating… Playoff officiating crews have proven to be especially awful. No one seems to be able to explain why officiating crews stick together during the regular season and, in the playoffs, hodge-podge crews are thrown together. The regular-season crews learn to trust and understand each other. This year, we’ve seen good calls in the playoffs get overruled because another official saw the play go down a different way. In that case, officials determine the outcome of games when it’s close – not the teams. p.s. What happened to the centralized, New York crew that confirms calls?
5) The games aren’t exciting when you realize how slow-paced they are. You know, I actually get a lot of stuff done when I have the football games on at home. I half pay attention to what’s going on. I don’t subscribe to the NFL Network, I don’t buy football swag. I get crap done and think about how much of a time suck giving full attention to the games would be. It takes, what, 3 or 4 hours to play a game that, on the game clock, officially takes 1 hour 15 minutes? Check it out next time… anytime anything happens, the NFL goes to a commercial – a touchdown, a field goal, a kickoff return, a punt return. They have A LOT of advertisers, make a CRAP-TON of money from them, AND the NFL home office is actually considered to be a NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION…………….
6) NFL IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. I didn’t know about this until grumpy (like me today) sports guy on NPR, Frank Deford, mentioned that the NFL home office falls under the category of non-profit org (listen or read at NPR here). The commissioner, Roger Goodell, made over $44 million last year. I guess it’s “not profit” if the organization is funneling its money to the boss… then it’s just “salary,” right?
Speaking of, I once volunteered to help set up for a Super Bowl, and this is the sort of thing Frank Deford was complaining about. I didn’t think about it then… I was more thinking how it was an awesome thing to be able to put on my college applications (I was in high school then), and how it would be a cool opportunity to see the field being prepared for the game millions of people across the world would watch. Now that Deford taught me a thing or two, the NFL doesn’t need any volunteers at all. They could easily pay every single person that helps out… but they don’t do it because they don’t have to – they “AREN’T IN BUSINESS TO MAKE A PROFIT.” Pfhhhhh.
7) Conflicting Rules #1. For kickoff, the clock doesn’t start until the returner catches the ball and runs it beyond the endzone. Punt the ball, and the clock starts ticking at the start of the play. I don’t get why there’s a difference.
8) Conflicting Rules #2. Kicking the ball out of bounds on kickoff results in a penalty, with the ball then normally being placed at the 40 yard line. Kicking the ball out of bounds for a punt, I guess it’s considered strategic – or a big mistake, and there’s no penalty.
9) Coach’s Challenges. Coaches are limited in the number of challenges they can make during the game (2 per half?). Considering the problem with officiating this season, coach’s should be able to challenge 3 times per half, since they have 3 time outs per half. You’re never gonna be able to convince me that shouldn’t be the case.
10) Overtime rules are stupid. Okay, check this out… two teams duke it out all game long. They’re pretty evenly matched, and the game ends in a tie. Luckily, one team ends up winning the overtime coin toss and chooses to receive a ball. They score a touchdown, like they did throughout the game (and so did the other team), but because they scored THIS touchdown, they win. That’s freakin’ goofy. The game was evenly matched, one team received the ball and scored a touchdown, and that’s it. It just seems weird.
11) I don’t buy into egocentrism/ethnocentrism. Until I stop hearing commentators saying “world champions” (yeah, I’m talking especially to you, Joe Buck) and stop seeing banners in stadiums saying the same, it’s just over-the-top and going to frustrate me. I touched on that a bit earlier, and there is nothing “world” about it. You want to see “world champions?” Watch the WORLD Cup. American football has been growing in popularity for the past few years, but it’s got a long, long way to go to be the world’s most popular sport. In the meantime, stop bringing “world” into it, or maybe show everyone how strongly you feel and call last year’s winning team the “champions of the universe.” I’d like to see how that goes.
For now, I’ve had enough. I really have. I’m turning the TV off at this point. I might come back but, for now, the NFL has a long way to go, in order to make it a legit (more than just a money-printing) operation. In the meantime, I’ll be busy living my life. See ya!
UPDATE TIME, YAY!
12) Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, has no spine and/or real power on his own. There was the whole Ray Rice fiasco, and the Commish said “Okay, you punched your wife. You can’t play in the NFL ever again.” Some time passed, and an arbitrator said “You can’t do that, Roger,” and Ray Rice was reinstated. He hasn’t played yet, but he’s allowed to. Meanwhile, in the NBA, Adam Silver told not a player, but a billionaire owner, “You’re banned for life, and you have to sell your team,” and the team was sold.
THEN, on the day I wrote the original post, it turned out the Patriots had used deflated footballs, thus breaking game rules for what we assume to be THE ENTIRE GAME. Goodell, who is allegedly a good friend of Patriots owner, Robert Kraft (and a picture of the two hanging out at an event at Kraft’s mansion is on Goodell’s Twitter page), then says “Oh, well, we’ll do an investigation and let you know what we find after the Super Bowl.”
Are you freakin’ kidding me?
Okay, so some people argue “Well, judging by the score, the Colts would have gotten clobbered anyway.” Oh, so you can tell me with a straight face that the Patriots are so terrible at cheating that they’ve broken the rules a total of two times ever (Deflategate and Spygate) and got caught 100% of the time? That organization has a history of controversy, including questionable officiating, giving the team a free pass through the playoffs (see “Tuck Rule” mentioned in point #1 above). It’s much older, but also see “Snowplow Game” if you don’t know anything about it.
So there you have it… the NFL sucks, and that’s why you should stop buying overpriced nick-nacks and put that money towards retirement or a legit charity – not the NFL charity.
I’ve come to a conclusion: Empirical evidence suggesting that the new age, world-is-connected idea is bullshit, considering that everybody, except those in Tallahassee (who think a football game is more important than morals, accountability, and societal norms) is rooting against the Seminoles. It’s no secret that the quarterback – the leader and face of the team – has been accused of:
1) stealing soda from a Burger King. An employee reported that, after not buying anything, the QB asking for a water cup and continually filled it with soda.
2) the QB was seen on surveillance video shoplifting crab legs. Where I come from, shoplifting equates to more than just community service.
3) the QB jumped on a bench at school and yelled/proclaimed “fuck her right in the pussy.”
4) the QB was handcuffed for shooting a BB gun at squirrels “on campus,” then was released when it was determined he was “not on campus.” “OOPS – THAT’S OUT OF MY JURISDICTION”….. that must happen alllll the time. Dang noobie campus cops.
5) the QB was implicated in receiving money for signing hundreds of autographs (this I’m not opposed to, if a university sells jerseys with your number on it and uses you as a money-making tool… though that still doesn’t mean you have the freedom to do whatever you want.)
6) oh yeah, there’s the sexual assault investigation. Although the QB has never gone to trial or faced any charges, the G.D. primary investigator has done work for the main financing arm of FSU Athletics – the Seminole Boosters. No weird, conflict of interest there at all. No sir! The latest is that the QB’s lawyer is pushing to have the code of conduct hearing being delayed until after the football season. How amazingly convenient that would be.
Maybe the problem is society. It’s that, after the QB’s half-game suspension was announced, fans in Tallahassee were loudly proclaiming “If we lose this game, it’s because you ratted out our QB for asking for EVEN MORE ATTENTION and yelling inappropriate things!” Football is more important than real life, of course! The problem is the lawyers pushing to have hearings pushed. It the university, allowing to have hearings pushed. It’s the Seminole Boosters. It’s the campus police. It’s the TEAM. It’s society, for tuning in, hoping for the worst (including me) and the sponsors, who are making a ton of money because people like me are tuning in, hoping for (finally) a repercussion for one (or many) wrongs. The problem is the coach, for acting like there’s a conspiracy brewing when your team’s rankings drop after the receivers drop passes, the QB throws a bunch of interceptions, and the team has crappy opponents most of the season.
Sure, there’s a conspiracy, and ulterior motive, if you want to call it that. The brewing conspiracy is that the majority wants YOU to fail. People are fed up with this crap, with the complacency and excuses.
If the universe has shown it doesn’t revolve around new age, the-world-is-connected ideas, people are at least waiting for the concept of karma to prove itself.
Personally, given the QB’s ankle issues as of late, I wouldn’t be at all opposed to hearing about an abduction from campus and a “Misery” moment. In good conscious, I absolutely can’t support any S.O.B. who has had innumerable societal infractions. After all, I’ve heard there is some truth to any rumor.
It’s amazing to think that numerous crazies have scaled the White House fence for no apparent, good reason this year but, to my knowledge, no dipshits have tried to bring some vigilante justice to an equally important force in America – NCAA football.
Speaking of, I swear I want to sell out professionally.. to make as much money as possible and move to another continent, because American football and half of society on that continent is so occupied with complete bullshit. Check out yahoo.com right now. What you will see is likely this: “news” about how Amanda Bynes is insane or bipolar, Kim Kardashian “breaking the internet,” with naked pics of her huge ass (weird, since she’s not even the most attractive Kardashian, anyhow), or Kristen Stewart suffering a “nip slip” at an awards show.
We think we’re so advanced and ahead of the world, but how can we be when we’re really more like a bunch of neanderthals, getting off on pics of nip slips (how exiting, right?!) I have nipples, and you have nipples, too. We’re also completely obsessed with hoping a bunch of down-south football players lose. I can think of anything more inconsequential, except that a single, alpha male in our society is working towards being awarded, at the highest level, with prestige and millions of dollars in his pocket, and it’s driving me crazy that society will likely allow that to happen.
That’s right – “millions of dollars” – just like other alpha males such as Ben Roethliseberger, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Taylor, and Dave Meggett. Upstanding citizens.
One can only hope that such a person goes the way of recent, polarizing figures and, at most, the QB ends up getting signed at the highest level, and then absolutely nothing comes from it. That would reinstate my believe in not the new age, world-is-connected ideas, but instead, pure karma.
The more I learn about copyrights, social media, and unorthodox business practices, the more I learn how scummy BuzzFeed’s business model is. They occasionally put together interesting, time-killing lists that many people share and talk about, but it turns out that’s often at the expense of copyright holders. I discovered a couple weeks ago that BuzzFeed lifted one of my pictures from Flickr – a place where none of my photos are downloadable, which means they had to screen grab the picture, then upload it to BuzzFeed’s server and to their Twitter page. I already have a decent concept of intellectual property/copyright laws and decided to dig a little deeper into the company’s business practices. What I discovered is that multiple copyright infringement lawsuits have been filed against BuzzFeed.
That company’s stance has generally been that they can grab photos from any source and, by creating a list of “Home Organization Hacks” (or whatever list it may be), the use of the lifted photo as part of a group of lifted photos is “transformative.” By that, they seem to be convincing themselves they are creating a new, unique work that serves the greater good of the world. But would people even be as interested without images that supplement the text? Sometimes it’s not even about the text. How about all of those collections of “12 Amazing Images You Have to See” or “The 10 Best Album Covers”? In those cases, the posts couldn’t even exist based on descriptions alone. That’s because all of those images, even the supplemental ones, are essential in achieving the goal – providing a visual experience that leads to more page clicks.
BuzzFeed’s CEO has even said, “I would love if every image contained some secret metadata and a way to license that image…” Well, my files on Flickr DO include metadata, and that information isn’t retained when you screenshot one of my images because you don’t see a download link. There is no download link as a deterrent. I fully know it doesn’t stop theft, but you also aren’t going to come away with the full-res photo. I’ll provide that to you for a fee. And I obviously have the resources to track down unauthorized use, .
While on the topic, I license photos all the time for work. Once you establish a relationship with a photo provider, it’s an easy process. Depending on the photo, a single one is usually hundreds of dollars for worldwide use but can sometimes cost thousands. In using any photo, I have to get approval from lawyers and a license agreement has to get signed. We don’t even think about pulling any random images from who-knows-where and using them without permission because we would get sued… rightly so because we respect the rights of those who create intellectual property.
So alas, believing in the adage “You use it, you bought it,” I’ve sent an invoice to BuzzFeed. This is me being nice – seeking rightful compensation, rather than going to court. I’m hoping the result is simple enough because I can be a real pain in the ass when the boxing gloves come off.
Bottom line – Don’t enable BuzzFeed. Aside from the deals they officially broker with content providers that have armies of lawyers (i.e. Reuters, Getty, AP), evidence suggests the other part of their business model comes from snagging whatever photos they can quickly/conveniently find and pretend they are in the public domain. They aren’t, and such a business model can’t and shouldn’t be sustainable.
Check it out… they spelled my name wrong at the end of the video, but it’s not about me anyhow – it’s all about raising money for the ALS and Diabetes foundations… A few years ago, one of our crew members, Joey, was diagnosed with ALS. Since then, so much has happened behind the scenes. The cast is always so generous throughout each season, so the crew always gives back around the holidays by pooling money and giving them nice gifts baskets and vouchers for amazing restaurants in L.A.
A couple years ago, the cast made sure all that money went to Joey, to go towards his medical bills. In addition to our contributions, the cast wrote checks, and the total ended up being almost six figures. It was an emotional day, with all this going on in the “squad room” set, which is the orange-walled room with cubicles so often seen on the show. There was hardly a dry eye in the room.
Seeing first-hand how devastating the disease is, I donated to the ALS Association (and Alzheimer’s Association) last year. Since then, it’s been astonishing seeing how awareness has picked up. I know many of you have donated, and many of you have done the Ice Bucket Challenge. Thank you for that. To take it one step further, some of our crew have created two one-of-a-kind jackets, with the proceeds going to the ALS and Diabetes foundations…. take a look here – http://www.ebay.com/sch/31archer/m.html?item=111482517423&hash=item19f4e037af&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
I know $1,000+ is steep for many folks, but if any of my friends happen to win the auction, I will send you a poster autographed by the cast and a season 12 “cast and crew” hat.
Again, whether it’s via the auction or donating on your own, thanks so much for your generous contributions
I’m fighting an ongoing battle against copyright infringement. It’s sometimes a tricky subject – which battles to pick – and sometimes the choice is completely obvious. I host a lot of photos on my Flickr account. I try to only post my best and most unique photos, and I’ve discovered people out there exploiting my work.
My “better half” asked “Why don’t you just put a watermark on your photos?” In the photo world, that’s always a dilemma. A clear, unobstructed photo looks, well, clear and unobstructed. It’s most aesthetic. It just looks good and, if anyone wanted to license a photo, I wouldn’t have to look through my 100+ GB archive of photos from my domestic and international trips. I could just grab the full res. image I uploaded to the server and provide it to the licensee.
In an attempt to protect myself, and my property, I’ve added to every Flickr post: “Please don’t use this image on websites, blogs, or other media without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.” It’s starting to seem that’s insufficient. People must think they can host photos of their public structures (and that it doesn’t void my rights) or photos as a not-for-profit use on a blog. They’re wrong.
The worst and most blatant infringement I’ve seen so far was a company offering one of my images for sale on a coffee mug. That’s insane and to think there are no consequences…. wow.
Here’s the tally so far (and don’t worry, I’m not going to link to weird sites that might blow up the internet):
my post: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53135611@N08/5992643526/
not my post: https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed/status/421021189826674688
Santa Barbara Mission
my post: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53135611@N08/6031391488/
not my post: https://plus.google.com/113662442292147469372/photos/photo/5727270185275512002?pid=5727270185275512002&oid=113662442292147469372
Old Lemon-Monroe High School – Monroe, Ohio
my post: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53135611@N08/7039953453/
not my post: (removed after sending a “cease and desist” notice) http://kamgraphics.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Lemon-Monroe-2012.jpg
Old Lemon-Monroe High School – Monroe, Ohio (again)
my post: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53135611@N08/7039953453/
not my post: http://www.monroelocalschools.com/popup-news.cfm?id=414
In-N-Out Burger sign
my post: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53135611@N08/6115300870/
not my post: http://www.socalcarmeetsforum.com/viewimage.forum?u=https%3A%2F%2Fc1.staticflickr.com%2F7%2F6089%2F6115300870_eb8246246d_z.jpg
This is a fair warning to the infringers of the world: Do your research. It’s gonna get easier, not tougher, to track down stolen content. I’m protecting myself, and the hammer of justice soon will be coming down with more force and more frequently.
If you think it’s okay to use photos in an unauthorized fashion, read this:
“The $8,000 Mistake That All Bloggers Should Beware”
I get about six weeks off work every year (unpaid), so projects around the home/apartment are a great way to keep from going a little stir crazy. This time, one of the projects was to build a king size headboard from scratch.
There are more headboard styles than I ever realized and, upon settling on the elegant, yet fairly simple “Cleveland” style, it didn’t take long to realize that making angular wood cuts isn’t very conducive to the limitations a small apartment and lack of a true workspace brings. Thus, we decided to keep it simple – very simple – and left the plywood mounting board rectangular, which is the way we had Lowes cut it.
There are some shops in L.A. that specialize in foam, but the reviews on Yelp made them all seem more pricey than they need to be. As an alternative, we bought two queen size mattress toppers, which can be easily cut up and pieced together as a backing on the mounting board. The other materials – the fabric, batting, and trim nails – all came from a fabric store. Also needed were a staple gun, wood screws, and spray adhesive. The “E6000” adhesive worked only well enough to get the job done.
To start the labor, we mounted the 2×4 supports to the back of the plywood sheet. One support was attached to the left edge, one to the right edge, and one across the top to keep the plywood from bowing.
The next step was to attach the foam to the board. We found the best way was to roll up the foam and, as you slowly unroll it on the board, spray the adhesive on both the wood and the foam. As previously mentioned, the E6000 spray wasn’t so great, but the foam did stick after letting it sit for a while.
From there, the second layer of foam was cut to size, then held in place while the headboard was flipped over on top of the batting. The batting was then pulled tight and stapled to the 2x4s (and plywood at the bottom).
We then stood the headboard up to make sure there were no major wrinkles evident and that the foam was looking pretty even. Things were looking good, so the headboard was again laid face down in preparation for attaching the outer layer of fabric. We went ahead and stapled the top of the fabric to the top 2×4, following a point on the pattern across to make sure the fabric would appear straight on the visible side.
The, the headboard was again stood up in order to double-check that the fabric looked straight. It did, so we proceeded to pull the bottom of the fabric tight, which was then stapled on the back to the plywood. Once that looked good, we pulled the sides tight and stapled those, too.
What I was expecting to turn into a headache – mounting the headboard to the bed frame – turned out just fine. One mount on the bed frame appears bent, so I was wondering if I could straighten it out, if the wood legs of the headboard would need wheels, etc. It turns out, however, that the headboard is solid enough to stand against the wall, especially since the top of the bed supports the bottom of the headboard.
I want to set the record straight. The above screenshot is from msn.com, taken on April 13, 2014. Recently, tragically, a young man was gunned down by police in what is being cited as a case of mistaken identity. It’s really a shame, as it was a senseless accident, and that young man was apparently eager and excited to get his professional life started.
I empathize for his family and friends, but I have grown weary of the sensationalist crap put forth by the media. Facts are facts, and they can’t be changed by a headline. Below is from the LA Times, and is a more accurate representation of the truth. In other words, if you are in search of “news,” don’t trust MSN. A Production Assistant typically has a long road ahead to become a Producer.
Another example of the Hollywood sensationalism took place when Gabriel Ben-Meir, a Production Coordinator, was killed execution-style and then was cited as an “MTV exec.” Below is from the UK’s “Daily Mail”:
When this happened three years ago, I was constantly interested in story updates. After all, that took place in my neighborhood, and Ben-Meir and I both worked on “Dudesons in America.” I met him once but wouldn’t say I knew him personally. And what I couldn’t get, aside from another senseless death of an “aspiring” anyone/anything, was the association I saw on “Daily Mail” and other sites that promoted a “Coordinator” to an “Executive.” Based on the media’s logic, which is basically “Are you a Production Assistant? A Coordinator? Anything? Okay! Then you’re a TV Executive!” then I’ve been an Executive for seven years now. The only problem is that, as a Coordinator, I don’t make Executive decisions. I sometimes do make decisions that affect what a viewer at home sees on the screen, but the more crucial decisions I have to run up the chain – to my bosses, who are… well… you guessed it… Producers.
First and foremost, when working with any electronic gear, make sure the equipment is completely unplugged from any power source, including USB.
– a thin-bladed knife (a utility knife is best, as it will likely get covered with epoxy)
– a Phillips head screwdriver
– pliers (needle-nose are preferable)
1. Take the thin-bladed knife and, at one of the front speaker housing corners, wedge it between the black, plastic, speaker housing face and the silver trim piece.
2. Gently and slowly rock the knife back and forth to cut through the adhesive that’s holding the face plate to the speaker housing. Take care to keep the knife lateral to the face plate… the back of the plate has a black coating on it, making scratches transparent and very visible from the front.
3. Make 4-5 passes around the speaker housing with the knife, cutting a little further into the adhesive each time.
4. Once the face plate starts to come loose, with your hands, gently go around the housing a few times, prying the face plate up a little more each time. Since it’s plastic, be sure to not bend the plate too much, as it could break.
5. Once the plate is off, grab the Phillips head screwdriver and loosen the eight screws holding the housing together.
6. Once the screws are loosened, slowly pull the housing apart. Be careful because the speaker wires don’t have much extra slack.
7. With the needle-nose pliers, clamp and remove the speaker cable leads and the tweeter leads.
With that, you should have successfully disassembled the Logitech Z-1o speakers.
In this case, it turns out the problem is a blown speaker, as you can see the tear in the cone. Boooooo!!!!
Hey, all. To get right to the point, I have an old Samsung Gravity 2 (model SGH-T469) that I no longer use, so I offered to give it away to someone who can make use of the phone. I, of course, want to make sure everything I put on it comes off it before the device leaves my hands for good. One major snag popped up, though – I lost the Master Reset password.
After trying no less than 40 possible combinations, I put my old pal, Google, to the task. In general, those Fixya and Wiki Answers pages seem to be little more than hugely unorganized data aggregate sites. They’re like those reverse phonebook pages that have EVERY SINGLE NUMBER COMBINATION listed so the search results will lead you to their page…. only those “help” sites list all possible model numbers, whether they have any useful info for those devices or not. So after searching numerous sites, I finally found a random page that was a huge help. I’ve since closed out of it so, without proper attribution, I’d like to say a big “thank you” to whoever you are.
It turns out that, from the main screen, you can put in a keypad combination to reset the phone – with or without that Master Reset password. Admittedly, I cringed a little when I hit the “OK” key because, well, it’s a little scary trusting that a random code found on a random website ISN’T going to turn the phone into some sort of drone device or whatever.
So, after removing the SIM card, this is what I keyed in from the main/home screen:
Upon hitting “OK,” BAM! This message popped up: “Please wait as the phone will automatically restart after full reset is performed”
So there you have it – a simple solution for a lost Master Reset password on a Samsung Gravity 2, model SGH-T469.