Bath Time, Superbowl Sublime and Serial Crime

Justin February 13, 2012 0

There are many lessons to be learned in the wake of Whitney Houston’s untimely death.

We’re forced to look inward and, once again, rethink the way we, as a society, deal with fame. Whitney Houston is the latest in a long line of performers who couldn’t handle the crush and, ultimately, was forced to turn to drugs and alcohol to help her cope.

We consider the state of our meta-society, where news of Whitney’s death can not be fully processed until we turn to Twitter and gauge the collective reaction in order to form our own.

We grieve for a woman who was a once in a generation talent. One of the silver linings of this news has been the reminder of just how great Whitney Houston was. For the last two days, we’ve all been listening to songs we haven’t even thought about in 10, 15, 20 years. And they’re all fantastic.

But, there is one lesson that, to me, supercedes the rest. And it is this:

Full grown adults should not take baths.

Whether or not Whitney Houston drowned in the bathtub or simply died while sitting in it is immaterial to this argument. Taking a bath is disgusting.

You are sitting in a boiling vat of your own filth. And that’s before you do perform any acts that aid in your personal “relaxation.”

Remember in cartoons, when the main character was captured by savages? Those savages always dropped the characters into cauldrons of boiling water in order to cook them. THAT’S A BATH! Except its not as good because there are no delicious carrots or other vegetables to  make the broth taste like anything other than boiling human.

And bathtubs are too small. I’m about six feet tall. I can not comfortably fit in a bathtub. Either the faucet digs into my back or my feet are half way up the bathroom wall. You’re skin gets pruney. You’re feet fall asleep. The water gets cold.

Just take a shower. It’s cleaner, its safer and it’s far less time consuming.  Then you can get back to doing what matters: checking twitter to see what Cyndi Lauper has to say about the passing of Whitney Houston.

(Spoiler alert: she’s sad.)

Sports Illustrated: February 13th, 2012

Eli Manning, Football, New York Giants




We open this week in Sports Illustrated’s “Go Figure” section:


Jersey number Vikings RB Adrian Peterson announced he wanted to adopt, replacing his current 28.

$1 Million

Amount Peterson would have to pay to Reebok to buy back outdated jerseys, leading him to stay with 28.

I find this somewhat shocking.  I’m not surprised that the NFL told Adrian Peterson there would be consequences to changing his jersey number. That makes sense.  What I’m surprised by is the league’s naked show of concern for a corporate partner. Peterson was told he would have to pay a million dollars to buy up Reebok’s supply of #28 jerseys. It seems like the league should have kept that quiet. Instead, why not present it as a move to protect the millions of NFL fans who have bought Peterson jerseys. Roger Goodell could have come out as a really good guy by saying, “You know what, Adrian, your fans have paid a lot of money for merchandise with your number on it. Why not stick with 28, so those fans don’t have to throw away those jerseys and t-shirts?” Instead, the commissioner said he had to protect Reebok. I count it as a missed opportunity.



One Giant Leap For Manningkind by Damon Hack

SI sums up the Giants Superbowl win with three articles. This one, which serves as the full game wrap up, and two sidebars (which we’ll get to) that sum up the game’s key plays.

This article was well written though not particularly special. One thing caught my attention:

The night before the game, as they often do, Eli and Peyton talked strategy on the phone. “Four years ago [before Super Bowl XLII] we had a more specific Patriots talk, because I was so familiar with them,” Peyton said. “This year Eli played them, so he knew them as well as anybody. I always ask him, ‘Has it been a good week?’ He goes, ‘Good week, good week.’ He has to say it twice.”

In interview after interview during the post-Super Bowl week, Eli Manning told reporters that he had spoken to Peyton for the final time on Friday night. Now, Damon Hack says the brothers spoke on Saturday. Who’s lying?

This Year’s Miracle by Peter King

King focuses on Mario Manningham’s key catch in the 4th quarter.

It was a great play. It was a great throw, a great catch and  great job by Manningham to keep his feet inbounds. He showed a lot of football smarts in the moment. Which is why the subsequent events have been so surprising. Mario Manningham has been interviewed a lot since the Superbowl. He does a nice job of athlete-speak. He deflects accolades and credits his teammates. But, when it comes to actual conversation, Mario Manningham sounds like a dummy. During appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and, last night, on the Grammys, Manningham showed a shocking inability to carry on a conversation. (John, from 200 miles from the citi mentioned this to me during the week.)  Manningham went to the University of Michigan, one of the top schools in the country. Even if he blew off every class during his time in Ann Arbor, you would think being around smart people would at least rub off a little. It’s especially obvious when Manningham appears alongside Victor Cruz, who has embraced his sudden stardom with the ease and articulation of a 10 year vet.

Oops! I Scored! by Jim Trotter

Here’s a story about Ahmad Bradshaw’s Super Bowl winning touchdown, which the Patriots let him score and which some Giants didn’t want to happen.

In all my years of watching football, I think this was the strangest play I’ve ever experienced. Bradshaw scored a touchdown to put the Giants ahead with less than a minute to go. At the moment it happened, I sent this text message to BShrek:

I don’t know how to feel about this

And I wasn’t alone. It’s possible Bradshaw’s touchdown was the most anti-climatic climatic play in sports history. Pats fans were disappointed because their team was now losing. Giants fans were pissed that Brady had so much time to engineer a comeback. Even Bradshaw didn’t know what to do. He didn’t celebrate on the sideline. He just sort of stood there with a confused look on his face.

The Great Recruiting Scramble by Albert Chen

Chen chronicles the week leading up to national signing day from the perspective of the Rutgers football program, which had to scramble to cement commitments after head coach Greg Schiano decided to leave with little warning.

As I’ve said time and time again, I don’t care about college football. But, I enjoyed this piece. Maybe it’s my Jersey roots, but I liked getting an inside look at how the coaching staff and athletic department function. I was especially impressed by RU’s athletic director hiring himself as a football assistant so he could help with recruiting. It’s a clever move, within the rules, that shows the school’s willing to think a bit differently in order to survive the loss of Schiano.

The New Man In St. Louis by Tom Verducci

A profile of St Louis Cardinals 3rd baseman and World Series hero David Freese.

Tom Verducci’s article tries to paint Freese as a hard working local St. Louis kid who has finally reached his potential. He wants it to be a feel good story.  One problem (actually 4 problems:)

After the 2009 season he was arrested for DWI in suburban St. Louis with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. He had been arrested previously for the same offense in ’02, when he was underage (19).

Asked about the incidents, as well as a charge of obstructing a police officer while a minor leaguer in the Padres’ system in 2007 (he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years probation), Freese says, “I wouldn’t be here talking if I didn’t think I have things in line on and off the field. I’m in a special place right now.”

It looks like this “feel good story” is actually a problem drinker who lacks respect for authority. Maybe St. Louis shouldn’t hitch its wagon to Freese quite yet.

This Is How To Dougie by Kelli Anderson

A profile of Creighton star forward and coach’s son Doug McDermott

Here you are, America. Here’s your annual mid major white guy to root for in the NCAA tournament. McDermott follows in the immediate footsteps of Gordon Heyward and Jimmer Fredette.  As far as I can tell, that’s the only thing that makes him interesting. At least Jimmer had mormonism and a weirdo older brother who thinks he’s a rapper.

Man In Full by Chris Ballard

A profile of high school wrestling coach Mike Powell, who’s trying to make a difference in the lives of his wrestlers while fighting a no-win battle with a debilitating illness.

Chris Ballard is my favorite SI writer. This article proves why. It’s heartbreaking without being morbid. It’s uplifting without being saccharine sweet.  It makes you want to be a better person. I won’t actually change the way I waste my life, but for a few seconds, I did consider it.

Point After by Phil Taylor

Taylor focuses on the fact that the Pats didn’t do the small things. He says that’s the difference between being a multiple champion and being a true dynasty. He’s right, but this is a completely disposable column that adds absolutely nothing to the greater discussion. In recent months, I’ve begun to really enjoy Taylor’s writing. I feel like he’s finally grown into the role of back page columnist. This column feels like a back slide.


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