Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 15

Florida coach Urban Meyer, who retired for like six hours because he was stressed, has found creative new ways to not avoid stress in his life. Apparently, he took his time off to enroll in the Nick the Prick Satan School of Influencing Media And Berating Reporters. This time, Not Really That Urban thought he would threaten a reporter for using a quote from a Gators player about Tim Tebow not being a “real quarterback.” First of all, the kid said the quote, not the reporter—maybe, just maybe, you may want to discuss it with him? And second, you’re the reason Tebow is not considered a “real” quarterback, by the way.
So gimme a fucking break, you fraud. Why don’t you just retire for another hour and catch your breath?

My daughter got bit at school the other day. The next day I sent her into her class with a shiv tucked discreetly into her tiny pink sock.
That’s how we roll on the North Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide.

Overheard at work as part of the worst segue ever:
This guy: “Dude, you know what’s sweet about having a gay hairstylist?”
Me: [stunned silence]
Me: “Um … no, I can’t say that I do.”
This guy: “They send you texts that refer to you as ‘Sunshine.’”
I’m not going to ask why your fairy hairstylist is sending you text messages. And I’m sure as hell not going to ask why they include the word “Sunshine” in any context.

Tremendous story developing at Butler, where 12-year-old coach Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to the Final Four, which will be held seven miles from Butler’s campus. The dude looks young enough to convince you that this has all been staged as part of secretly filming “Little Big League 2.”

Serious question: Are stabbings becoming more in vogue instead of shootings because knives are cheaper in this economy?

Let me get this straight: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington tests positive for cocaine, and because he confessed to it prior to his drug test coming back positive, there is no punishment whatsoever? I’m no lawyer, but aren’t we suspending guys for huge portions of seasons for what could be argued is taking the wrong kind of vitamin? I’m having a difficult time with this one, MLB.

Was watching Saturday morning cartoons with Ube and “Tom & Jerry” came on. It took a very short amount of time for me to be mortified … I had little to no recollection that much of the plot surrounded Tom chasing everyone around with a shotgun, blasting away. Jeezus. Where’s the remote?

So Joey Porter interferes with the police arresting his boy in a Taco Bell parking lot, slaps a cop’s hand, rolls his window up in cop’s face, then refuses to comply with orders to lay on the ground at gunpoint? Talk about putting your life on the line for a fucking chalupa. Where’s Taco Bell Denise to give you a “special deal” on not getting your ass shot for being a goddam ‘tard?
Welcome to my list of Players Who I Hope Suffer Serious Injury Soon.

Are Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds the best snack ever? Discuss.

It was comical to see not-black-enough-to-pull-it-off Nolan Smith get into a shoving match with a Baylor player at the end of Duke’s Elite Eight game with the Bears. His facial expression when he realized who he was dealing with, just before he began backpedaling, was priceless. Nolan, you’re a nice player and I know you want to show that Dookies can be “tough,” but you want none of a fracas with a team whose players kill each other.
[Too soon?]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Happened: Held Hostage By A Small Cardboard Box

There was this company once; it was based overseas. They had a salesperson; for the sake of this exercise, we’ll call her, oh, Worthless Piece of Shit … WPOS for short. In the span of 20 months as a sales rep charged with closing, WPOS closed no deals. Zip. Nada. Not shite. What did she do during this time? Well, she managed to work on her personal companies, steal money from her current company by arranging “business trips” to visit her significant other and personal-business contacts in other parts of the country, clip her nails at her desk, stab bosses and colleagues in the back to lead to dismissals, and manipulate the internal lead tracking system to make it appear as if she was doing, you know, worky-type stuff. Oh, did I mention WPOS made more money than either the CEO or COO of this company?

After finally accruing the stones necessary to cut ties after a seemingly interminable length of time, WPOS was sent packing. Except by “sent packing,” I mean, no arrangements were made for her to gather her personal effects or have them sent to her whereabouts. Instead, her possessions sat in her cubicle for a week before enterprising former coworkers took it upon themselves to box up her shite for her—with the side benefit that her primely located former cubicle would be quickly usurped by those more deserving. Following the process of carefully delineating WPOS’s possessions from company property and placing them in requisite separate boxes, the boxes were moved five feet outside of her former cubicle in an effort to ready said cube for takeover.

Not so fast, my friend. The overseas-based company, grossly overestimating American fondness for jobs that they are both fired from and don’t want in the first place, panicked, wondering if WPOS would sue them for firing them and try to “come back to the company.” [Pause for you to think about that] A hastily constructed e-mail was sent out instructing the remaining team not to touch WPOS’s belongings in case she changed her mind or was made uncomfortable by the fact that the cubicle she no longer works in at the company she no longer works at was disturbed. As the days passed, word finally filtered down that WPOS had made arrangements to retrieve her stuff from said company after-hours on a Friday evening—which would mark the first time WPOS had ever set foot inside company offices after 5 p.m. on any day.

Not surprisingly, Monday morning arrives and the previously mentioned boxes remain where they are. WPOS never showed up, never called, never explained. Queries are raised as to whether the remaining team still can’t move their cubicles. Finally, the team is instructed that WPOS has “rescheduled” the time when she will pick up her possessions for several more days. However, the remaining former coworkers are still not allowed to move cubes, apparently for fear that evidence that the company has moved on from an employee that engaged in theft and fraud during a memorable year-and-a-half tenure would somehow hurt her feelings. You know, more than getting shit-canned for not doing shit would.

Essentially, you have a company firing a worker for not doing shit, then relying on that fired person to actually do shit in order to move on as a company. Apparently, the company engaged in a fear that moving WPOS’s boxes five feet might cause her to change her mind and sue the company? Keep in mind that this is a company that has an SOP for how long employees are allowed to have computers remain on at an unattended desk for fear that sensitive information could be seen by uncleared eyes … yet the company is allowing a fired, disgruntled employee whose gravy train derailed access to the company offices a week and a half after she has been axed? Never mind that most companies won’t allow jettisoned former workers past the front desk and would have packed up the possessions, erased all evidence of the former employee’s existence from the records, and made arrangements with security to preside over the possessions until they are collected by the fired person. Hell, never mind that many companies would have sued the fired worker to claim stolen funds.

Someday, this episode will be one of many chronicled in a tell-all book about inane and mind-numbing work experiences … in a chapter titled “That Time I Was Held Hostage By A Small Cardboard Box.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stuff I Really Can't Get Away With Saying

Freaking. Preach. It.

Side note/update: Tiger Woods is still a colossal piece of shit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXII: Health Care For All Pisses Off Racists, Fear-Mongers, Plus One Of Best “Lost” Episodes Ever?

More than a century in the making
Health care reform was painstaking
Now buncha whining old farties
Threatening tea parties
You’re irrelevant, so keep belly-aching

Northern Iowa ended the Kansas dream
‘Nova got bitched by Shamsid-Deen
Sparty ended General Grievis
Pitt played a lot like Beavis
Should be an intriguing Sweet Sixteen

Never picked up the phone a bit
“Shitcanned” in the UK = “not a good fit”
Stole from the company till
Clipped her fingernails at will
Get the F out, you fraud piece of shit

Hamstrings sidelined one of their best playas
How fragile you are, Jose Reyes
A fucking imbalanced thyroid?
Not even taking a goddam steroid?
Oh my Mets, you’re such a (Southern pronunciation) may-ess

Over a bottle, Jacob fights the evil fella
150 years ago, Richard lost Isabella
Then his soul he tried to save
In return he became a slave
Now can he save them from hell-a?

Last time

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 14

Really, “Repo Men”? Casting Jude Law as a tough guy? Really? What, was Hugh Grant unavailable?

Heard on the radio the other day that Robert DeNiro will continue his hard-to-watch career free-fall by portraying Vince Lombardi in ESPN Films’ upcoming and cleverly titled film, “Lombardi.” Yes, that ESPN Films: the one that brought you “Playmakers,” “Hustle” and “The Junction Boys.”
Say it ain’t so, Bobby; you are singlehandedly and seemingly voluntarily destroying what was once an epic acting career.

I don’t have the time needed to go into it all at great length, so read here if you’re interested. But let’s just say that Steven J. Payne, the vice president of Evergreen Entertainment, suffered two lessons when he cursed out a customer online: he convicted himself of ass-monkey douchebaggery of the highest order and he found out the hard way that social media can speed career suicide. Well-played, you walking dildo.

Every time I see Verne Lundquist on air, the more he looks like Boss Nass, the Gungan leader from “The Phantom Menace.”

Giving up on “Stepbrothers” marked the first time I’ve ever turned off a Will Ferrell movie part of the way through. I’m not sure whether it was actually that stupid, I’m getting old, or a combination of both.

I have lived in North Carolina for well more than half my life now, and I still involuntarily look around every time I am addressed singularly as “y’all.”

The Richard-centric episode of “Lost” this week was arguably the best epi that I can remember. But with only seven new episodes remaining, I am starting to worry that I’m never going to see Mr. Eko, Desmond, Walt or Michael again. Please prove me wrong, “Lost” producers.

An autistic 17-year-old from Chicago had the nation’s only perfect bracket headed into Sweet Sixteen weekend. 48-0. Holy shit. “Rain Man”? More like “Game Man.” Heyyyoooooooooooooooo! …

By now we’ve heard that Tim Tebow only scored a 22 on his Wonderlic test at the NFL combine. What we didn’t know is that before the test was administered, Tebow asked the group he was in to pray. Apparent, someone responded, “Shut the f#&k up,” which was met with general laughter. Now, I’m not as anti-Tebow as some—thought he does represent the football version of “Will” Hansblow—but I’m glad someone finally said what everyone else is thinking when Tebow gets all churchy.

This one goes out to all the rectal wizards who are screaming “Socialism!” without knowing how to spell it, much less know what it means. Enjoy it at your next tea party, bitches.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Have You Heard About The Tar Hypes (Sponsored By Nike, Vagisil And Air Jordan)?

Truly amazing video here. Couple this with the officiating and some think there was something shady going on to ensure a UNC-UAB NIT matchup for the city of Birmingham.

Here's the full-screen edition. Giddyup.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Your Center, Lebowski-Style

"Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."
-- Walter Sobchak

Ethos on a Lebowskinian scale ... Where do you fall on the chart?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Groundbreaking “Who Killed The Electric Car?” Takes Big Auto, Big Oil And Greedy Magoo Politics To Task

If you think the environment is pretty cool, don’t watch this movie. If you think the government always looks out for your best interests, don’t watch this movie. If you think the oil industry doesn’t control policy, don’t watch this movie. If you think the auto industry deserves our empathy, don’t watch this movie. If you think technology is pretty cool, don’t watch this movie.

But if you think, then you probably need to watch this movie.

Did you know that the average number of miles each American drives in a given day is 29? Do you know why the Japanese make the best hybrid car even though we developed the technology and have had the technology for far longer? Did you know that hydrogen-powered cars use four times as much energy as electric cars and their introduction to the market is perpetually 15 years from any given date? Do you know why cars are actually less efficient now than they were 20 years ago?

Think about it.

I dare you to watch “Who Killed the Electric Car?” without getting indignant, infuriated and fired up. This tremendously compelling 2006 documentary by director Chris Paine takes a murder-mystery approach to questions about why electric cars that once dotted California highways just disappeared and why a technology that has existed for 100 years has been buried? Voiced by Martin Sheen and featuring celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Ed Begley Jr. and Alexandra Paul, this flick takes a thorough, unflinching look at all of the “suspects” and lets you decide. At the risk of stating the obvious, let me just say that your tears for Detroit will dry up rather quickly.

Starting with a faux funeral for GM’s EV1, we’re led into a discussion about the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, a 1990 California law that forced auto-makers to develop zero-emission vehicles within a 10-year timeframe. GM paid the ZEV mandate lip service by putting their 20-something, inexperienced, newbie engineers on the electric car project in a quest to fail. In that respect, the success they enjoyed was as unexpected as it was unwanted. By 1996, technology such as the Ev1, SunRacer and Impact was appearing all over Cali roads -- yet, just a decade later, they were all gone.

That commercial there above was never aired. Despite its rapid popularity, the EV1 from GM was never marketed. The tagline “The electric is here” never truly reached American ears. Smog, the “black cloud of death,” took its place; the ozone hole expanded as the electric car disappeared. For whatever reason, the auto companies began marketing against themselves, performing acts of self-sabotage once they realized two things: one, that the American public actually wanted electric cars, which would have fewer dealer repairs and require less money to maintain, obviously leading to fewer profits; and second, that introducing a clean, efficient car to their fleets would shed light on the fact that the rest of their offerings were, therefore, dirty and inefficient.

Think about it.

The interviewees point out, and rightly so, that the auto industry will never do anything to help the consumer or environment without having laws in place forcing them to. In the words of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, car companies only excel at “looking backwards into the future.” It’s that “vision” that led the car companies to first sue the Air Resources Board, then enlist an auto- and oil-friendly government to project “progress” through the empty façade of hydrogen power and fuel cells.

President Jimmy Carter’s visionary stance on energy and the environment was quickly dismantled by the modern-day Mr. Magoo, Ronald Reagan, whose first renovation to the White House was to remove solar paneling and declare “war on the sun.” In the words of one of his cabinet members, Reagan effectively “kept the junkie hooked up,” by maintaining the U.S. pipeline to and dependence on foreign oil flowing. You follow that up with the Bushes and their merry band of criminal petro-politicians, and the result is not just forced technological stagnation, but a slow shift back to the Dark Ages of transportation history. Not to mention helping to usher in the age of terrorism.

When Mel Gibson is asked, “Who controls the future?”, he pauses before responding, “Whoever has the biggest club -- to bash with and belong to.” It’s why big oil bought up all the trolleys years ago, and it’s the same reason big oil bought up battery technology and effectively censured it and made it disappear.

One reporter in the documentary remarked that when Americans hear terms like “living cleaner,” what they immediately think is, “You’re going to make me live like a European,” in a small car, in a cold house. Our society’s herd mentality seems more than happy to follow along blindly, purchasing whatever is put in front of us and yielding to big business’s whims. “If you feed people enough,” said one former EV1 owner in the film, “they believe that’s the diet.” Monopoly ain’t just a game by Parker Brothers, folks. Open your eyes.

Think about it.

By the end, all the “suspects” in "Who Killed the Electric Car?" were found to be complicit, evoking the image of “death by a million cuts.” At one point, one of the original EV1 engineers gains access to an EV1 in an underground museum, leading the curator to remark how they are so lucky to have a car that represents such a big part of automotive history—to which the engineer sadly replies, “The thing is it shouldn’t be a part of automotive history.”

Yet this flick is partially about the strength of activist consumers. EV1 lovers, vigilant environmentalists and socially aware common folk all helped to shed the light on GM destroying the EV1 for no reason in the middle of the night and in the middle of the desert, crushing brand-new, perfectly working cars for the sake of keeping the public blinded to the reality of electric-car technology and keep it mainlining foreign oil.

But the push for green, clean, plug-in hybrid technology persists, thanks to recent, forward-looking, open-minded governmental changes and the rise of grassroots movements like Plug In America, along with the involvement of brave folks like former CIA director James Woolsey. The hope and optimism behind these efforts are the reason why Paine is reportedly working on a sequel, “Who Saved the Electric Car?” or “Revenge of the Electric Car.”

In this David vs. Goliath battle, despite the conspiratorial, immoral and illegal efforts of a rich and conscience-less Goliath, David is finally throwing enough rocks to scare the christ out of him. And as charming invention-inspired couple Stanford and Iris (not Stanley and Iris Ovshinsky) tell us in this memorable film, they would much rather educate than agitate -- but sometimes you can’t have one without the other.

Think about it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXI: Who Will Make You March Mad? Plus Sawyer and Miles Are Ponch And Jon?

March Madness is here with a flash
CBS will make lots of cash
Work productivity down a notch
Expansion would make it a botch
Which Cinderella will make a mad dash?

More evil than a band of Siths
More hypocritical than a priest draining fifths
They’re in bed with the insurance biz
Every rep. making sure he gets his
Republicans making up health care myths

A so-so actress with a bomb or two
She was the pride of EZU
Won an Oscar for a Disney flick
“Blindsided” is the norm, Sandra Bullock
When you marry a dude with many a tattoo

With a run they captivated Greensboro
Has Sid Lowe hit the coaching lotto?
Defense and heart plain to see
Now another run in the NIT?
“Impossible is nothing” is their motto

Crazy Claire holds hands with and attacks Kate
Sawyer and Charlotte had an interesting date
Sawyer was a flash-sideways cop?
MIB had him make a Hydra Island stop
Stealing the sub is the Sawyer-Kate fate?

Last time

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 13

In my mind, here’s when March Madness truly began this year: Montana was down by 20 at halftime (40-20) to Weber State in the finals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament -- on Weber State’s home floor, no less. However, Montana’s Anthony Johnson scored 34 second-half points on his way to 42 overall to edge a shocked Weber State squad. Kudos, young man.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating here when I say that the following is the greatest story I have ever heard. And I don’t know where it’s OK to start or stop laughing with this story:

Basically, an adult Down’s Syndrome patient called his sister to tell her that he had caught a troll and locked him in a closet within his house. The sister chalked the story up to, well, you know, and ignored the idea. However, after the story was repeated, she decided it would be best to check for herself. Upon arriving at the house, she noticed that the closet door was locked, with a chair under the doorknob as well. Opening the door, she discovered a midget Census worker inside! Long story short, the poor wee fella had knocked on the Down’s man’s door as part of his job, at which point the Down’s man wrestled him to the floor, locked him in a closet and then called his sister to relay the exciting news. Census guy quote of the year: “I’m not a troll.” Story addendum quote of the year: “He had a good attitude about it all.”

True story. It was on Facebook and everything.

Apparently, the young Wayne Newton looked an awful lot like K.D. Lang.

Has there ever been a coach and a program more, er, mismatched than Cincinnati and coach Mick Cronin? This guy looks like some type of science professor, and he’s presiding over a gang of ornery-looking um, players for the Bearcats (emphasis on gang). He’s married to a black woman, so maybe that helps him relate. *shrug*

It is very rare that this happens, and I couldn’t believe it myself, but I found myself agreeing a lot with Dick Vitale on Selection Sunday. First, he took issue with Wake Forest making the tourney over Virginia Tech, especially since the Hokies had a better conference record and won the head-to-head matchup. I’ve been screaming about the Deacs for weeks, and I couldn’t understand why they were never really discussed as a bubble team. Here’s a team and a coach who have perfected the late-season choke jobs, and they lost five out of six to close the regular season (narrowly edging a flawed Clemson team in the regular-season finale to cement their NCAA berth) and then get shit-housed by the league’s worst team, Miami, in the ACC Tournament.

Second, Vitale called out the money-grubbers who are actively trying to get a serious discussion of tournament expansion on the table, with an eye on inviting 96 teams instead of 64 65. When you’re scrambling to find worthy teams just to fill out the field of 65, how watered down is it going to get if you expand? As Vitale screamed noted, the only thing they’ll accomplish is destroying the “Big Dance” while padding their pockets a bit more.

Tyrel Reed of Kansas does not look like I expected him to look.

A friend of mine went to Moe’s for lunch on the first day of the ACC Tournament. Noticing that none of the televisions was showing the game, a question was asked to the cashier as to why the ACC Tournament wasn’t on. The response? “What is that?”

[pause for effect]

When the ACC Tournament was patiently explained, he replied that “basketball” (the Big East Tournament) was on one channel, while soccer was on two others. Looking around, it was realized that apparently the workforce was made up of Menudo.

Message? Boycott Moe’s.

Seven children. Six women. Five states. There’s something beautifully symmetrical about that, Antonio Cromartie. What a class act—sounds like you truly belong with Rex Ryan and the Jets.

Is any else getting tired of Jon Scheyer’s donkey kicks on three-point shots? Hell, Reggie Miller thinks that’s a pretty gay move. Between his jimmy legs, the incessant hand-checking, and the flying body blocks by Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek when stepping out on screens, the Blue Devils are among the chippiest teams in the land.

It’s going to be funny when, like every year, the Blue Devils get into the NCAA Tournament and can’t find refs willing to bail them out on those calls, and then act surprised when they are bounced relatively early yet again.

I think ESPN’s Doug Gottleib has done pretty well for himself—for a guy who was kicked out of Notre Dame for stealing credit cards from his roommate. But methinks his smarmy, egotistical air and perspective on college-aged student-athletes would go over a bit better if he wasn’t a convicted thief.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

"May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always
at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand."

"St. Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here's a toasting to his health;
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good St. Patrick
And see all those snakes again."

"Here's health and prosperity,
To you and all your posterity,
And them that doesn't drink
with sincerity,
That they may be damned
for all eternity!"

Erin go bragh ...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Happened: No-Talent Ass-Clown Pulls A Vanilla Ice

So I looked in the rear-view mirror while stopped at a light on the corner of Six Forks and Atlantic and saw a white dude with Oakley sunglasses swaying and gesticulating to gangsta rap. Dear lord, if he only knew how much he looked like Michael Bolton from “Office Space” in this epic opening scene.

Monday, March 15, 2010

To Ube From Cup A Joe, Volume VIII

Love's In A Name ...

Ever Ube to me
Yet others
My own tiny Puddin’ Pop
A Wriggle Monkey who wriggles nonstop
Our own Little Miss Peanut, ‘tis true
A Fidget Monster with eyes so blue
A Booster Seat and my Mini-Scoot
A Toadstool with love at its root
A Dumplin’ on a Sunshine day
A Wee Buggin on a Gigdmo word play
A Tater Tot for a morning meal
Small Pants make all seem so real
A Tadpole under shade of night
A Punkin by dawn’s first light
Wee Britches in the day’s middle
Lunchtime for my Tiny Little
Big Girl in a smallish shirt
At Christmastime, a Tree Skirt
A Tidbit as time does fly
Ever after, our own Small Fry
Beautiful, Wee, Pretty, Tiny
Charmin(g) is the song of your hiney
Wee Loly Bean, when it’s time for a hug
A smile easily found, with thoughts of my Lola Bug

Friday, March 12, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXX: Yet Another Conservative Hypocrite, Plus Linus Tries For Redemption

Drove drunk off the gay-club grounds
From the passenger seat came slurping sounds
Got pulled by a copper for a DUI
Said, “But I’m an anti-gay Senator guy!”
Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds

Return of the shoulder-Hanging Chad
Seeing #10 back makes me glad
Henne could use a mentor
Not just a clipboard renter
Drafting Pat White still makes me sad

Quite a downfall for one Corey Haim
As Lucas, he acted quite lame
A “Lost Boy.” say the headlines
A sad reality show gave us signs
All punchlines aside, what a shame

Nobody said it would be easy
A student paper can be a bit cheesy
No pay and takes loads of time
But losing it would be a crime
Thinking of no Technician makes me queasy

To Alex, history he did teach
His blackmail was a bit of a reach
For Linus, is redemption in store?
In that sub is Charles Widmore
An emotional reunion at the beach

Last time

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ACC Tournament 2010: Predictions, Part Deux

In part one, we took a look at the first round and quarterfinals matchups. I’m always a bit leery to see so many favorites winning their way on through, but it is what it is, and brackets are usually best filled out on your gut instinct.

That being said, here’s how I see the semifinals and finals playing out …


Game 9, 1:30 p.m.: #1 Duke vs. #4 Virginia Tech
For the first time in a long time, the Devils have enough bodies to throw at the Hokies on the interior to offset Jeff Allen. Brian “Frankenstein” Zoubek is actually playing fairly well (though analysts are going a bit overboard in describing his game), and the Blue Devils have the backcourt to really make Malcolm Delaney work hard on both ends of the floor. Chasing Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith will take a bit away from Delaney’s offensive game, and he isn’t likely to get the bailout calls he gets against every other team against the Dookies.

Winner: #1 Duke.

I could see coach Seth “Don’t Call Me Stanley Tucci” Greenberg getting T’d up in this one, but it’s not going to matter. The feisty Hokies fade away in the second half, but Virginia Tech can take some solace in finally advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Duke and Coach K—who seems to putting a lot of energy and focus into this team, leading one to wonder whether he sees it as his last, best chance to do something great—move on to the championship game.

Game 10, 3:30 p.m.: #2 Maryland vs. #3 Florida State
Though he can’t wait to try to stick it to Coach K again, Gary Williams knows he can’t overlook FSU. The Terps have a decided coaching advantage over Leonard Hamilton and the ‘Noles, but Florida State plays the type of defense that can overcome a lack of offensive firepower and bench personnel. However, there is only one difference-maker in this game, and unfortunately for FSU, he don’t be wearin’ garnet and gold.

Winner: #2 Maryland.

I just don’t see General Grievis being denied in this one. The ‘Noles do a good job of limiting breakout opportunities, so this could be a low-scoring war, but the Terrapins should advance on Vasquez’s will alone (*fill in your own Tyler “Will” Hansbrough joke here*). Overall, the Terps just have more talented players that understand their role and buy in than the Seminoles do.


Game 11, 1 p.m.: #1 Duke vs. #2 Maryland
I’ll be the first to admit that this doesn’t happen very often: the best two teams squaring off in the ACC Tournament finale. But during a campaign where the haves and the have-nots are so clearly delineated in the league, it won’t exactly be shocking. The two squads have seemingly been destined to meet for all the marbles for a month now, and everyone finally gets what they want here. In their matchup near the end of the regular season, Maryland got a few very strange calls to help sway the contest in their favor, but the iffy officiating is going to be all in the Devils’ favor in this one.

Winner: #1 Duke.

The Williams-K subplot will be hilarious to watch as usual, but the Terrapins’ Meximelt won’t be able to do enough to overcome Duke’s “Creepy Three” of Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith all by himself. On the plus side, College Park authorities won’t have to worry about the in-breds rioting over a college basketball game this time. Never has a fanbase deserved to lose more than the Maryland morons … it takes a lot to be compelled to cheer for the Dookies, but the Re-Terps crowd certainly finds a way to make it happen. And as a bonus, the rest of the league gets to finally see the merciful end of the ACC career of everyone’s most hated 34-year-old Venezuelan, General Grievis Vasquez.

So with a mighty shrug o’ the shoulders, that’s how I see it. Giddyup.

ACC Tournament 2010: Predictions, Part One

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, I took a shot at predicting the ACC Tournament. I’m back for another attempt, which is fated to end miserably. Still, I forge ahead, just as the woefully disappointing ACC does as they storm Greensboro for what is still considered (justly or no?) the premier conference tournament in the land.

Here goes …


Game 1, Noon: #8 Boston College vs. #9 Virginia
Essentially, the Eagles run a version of the Wake Forest-Georgia Tech cut-blocking scheme in football. Their flex offense is all flying elbows and moving screens, and their team is essentially made up of guys that look like they’re football players. Joe Trapani is a nice player, but they forget about him too often. B.J. “I Borrow Money From My Brother” Raji and Rakim “And Eric B.” Sanders provide matchup problems, but Reggie “Not Mr. March” Jackson is a bit out of place at point guard, making B.C. susceptible to the press. Tyler Roche is a sharpshooter off the bench, but Boston College at times appears to be more interested in dictating pace than scoring points. Coach Al “Choppers” Skinner presides over ugly basketball and questionable class, but the Eagles are no fun to play for anybody.
The Wahoos and new coach Tony “I Left My Heart In Pullman, Washington” Bennett were the toast of the ACC early on, but it’s been a freefall back to earth for the Cavaliers. Bennett simply doesn’t have the horses and lost his cool in the regular-season finale vs. Maryland at the most inopportune of times. Losing Sylven “Can’t Spell My Own Name” Landesberg, one of the league’s finest players, to academics is a head-scratcher on the eve of the ACC Tournament. The reality is that Bennett, like Duke football coach David Cutcliffe, got a lot of publicity mileage out of a surprising start, allowing him to seemingly get a free pass during a disastrous eight-game losing streak heading into tourney time. I really can’t name any other Cavs players outside of Mike Scott (seems like I remember they have a smallish shooter and a lot of guys from Africa), so I’m just not going to try.

Winner: #8 Boston College.

In the battle of too-cool-for-ties coaches, the Eagles outlast the Cavs in a hellaciously ugly game in which Virginia demonstrates that they just want their season to be over more than B.C. does.

Game 2, 2 p.m.: #5 Wake Forest vs. #12 Miami
The Demon Deacons ended their inopportune slide and arguably salvaged an NCAA tourney berth with a narrow win over Clemson in the league’s final regular-season game. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Wake is made up of a top player with a penchant for disappearing (Al-Farouq Aminu), a point guard who can’t shoot (Ish Smith) and a host of role players who refuse to accept their roles (L.D. Williams, Chas MacFarland). Like last year, the Deacs are entering the postseason playing their worst basketball of the year, a staple of Dino Gaudio teams: The talent is there, but the heart ain’t.
The Hurricanes can be dangerous if Dwayne Collins is healthy, but unfortunately that is rare. Beyond that, they have a lot of head cases and gunners who aren’t quite talented enough to play the playground ball that coach Frank “I Really Don’t Look Like My Name” Haith allows. Also, the ‘Canes struggle when they— … aw hell, who am I kidding? If “the U” itself doesn’t give a shit about “the U” basketball, why should I? I’m just going to stop this charade right here.

Winner: #5 Wake Forest.

The Deacons were very fortunate to grab the #5 slot, because they would be a prime candidate for a first-day upset if they were playing almost anybody but Miami. The rest of the field just needs to hope that Wake doesn’t start finding itself after a cupcake game to start the tourney.

Game 3, 7 p.m.: #7 Georgia Tech vs. #10 UNC
Ah, yes. The “Underachiever Bowl.” Should be a dandy.
The Yellow Jackets consistently seem to do less with more than just about anyone in the nation, and it may finally be catching up to coach Paul Hewitt. Despite an insane rollover contract that guarantees him $7 million even if he is ousted, speculation persists that Hewitt’s time could be coming to an end in Atlanta. I think I could win 20 games with Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal and Iman Shumpert, but the reality is that GT has shit the bed once again, and is on the outside looking in for NCAA Tournament consideration. Turnovers and inconsistency in the backcourt have stymied the Jackets’ efforts against opposing pressure and have led to an inability to feed the post, where Tech is strongest.
Roy “F Haiti, What About Me?” Williams seems like he’s spent more time throwing his players under the bus, worrying about heckling fans, and engendering pity for a vastly overblown injury and inexperience situation than he has in actually trying to coach. The Heels’ players look like they’ve had enough and the lack of caring and energy on the floor is almost shocking. Role players Deon Thompson, Marcus Ginyard and William Graves haven’t been able to assume leadership roles on or off the court, and the one player who gave the Tar Heels a definitive positional advantage, Ed Davis, is out injured and already focused on the NBA. John “Black Gumby” Henson and Dexter Strickland have flashed their abilities at times, but Larry Drew Jr. is a head case and this team has quit on Roy, plain and simple.

Winner: #7 Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets at least seem to be mildly interested in playing, while UNC packed it in a month ago. That combination points to a relatively easy GT victory in this matchup of disappointments.

Game 4, 9 p.m.: #6 Clemson vs. #11 NC State

If I was lazier, I could just copy-and-paste what I wrote the last three years about the Tigers, but I owe you more than that. Clemson wrapped up a rollercoaster league slate with a disappointing loss to Wake Forest in the regular-season finale, once more stumbling to the finish line after a rousing start. Trevor Booker continues to be a beast on both ends of the floor, and underrated Demontez Stitt and surprising Jerai Grant give him a couple of strong running mates. However, the younger Tigercubs haven’t progressed as quickly as some expected, and this team misses strangely departed deadeye Terrence Oglesby more than most realize. Coach Oliver “I’m Still Not Lou Gossett, Jr., As Much As You Want Me To Be” Purnell has done a tremendous job with the Tigers, but can he actually win anything of note?
The Pack was once again sunk by Division III-caliber guard play, though they rallied to win three of four to conclude the regular season. Tracy Smith is the most underrated player in the ACC, but too often he’s the only option for a team that can’t knock down open shots or get out of their own way too often. State is more than capable of toppling heavyweights when they limit turnovers and convert easy opportunities, but those times have been few and far between for coach Sidney Lowe (hey, are there any rules against Wolfpack Women's coach Kellie Harper coaching both teams in ACC Tournaments?). The late-season emergence of C.J. Williams gives the Wolfpack a slashing wingman; unfortunately, it comes at the same time as sharpshooter Scott Wood has faded badly. NC State has had to hitch its wagon to the Jekyll and Hyde duo of Good Javy/Bad Javy Gonzalez and Good Farnold/Bad Farnold Degand -- no wonder Lowe’s goatee is looking so gray.

Winner: #11 NC State.

They say the ACC Tournament doesn’t really start until the first big upset, and the Wolfpack is capable of pulling it off here. These two teams played to a three-point game in their only meeting, and if State can attack the press rather than just try to beat it, they have the horses to make the Tigers one-dimensional -- and kick-start the tourney.


Game 5, Noon: #1 Duke vs. #8 Boston College
Unlike its teams in recent memory, the Blue Devils are much better positioned to withstand games in which they don’t shoot well. The sort-of emergence of Brian Zoubek on the boards and the sometimes-slashing game of Nolan Smith have given Duke other ways to win. Jon Scheyer brings a well-rounded game to a point guard spot he’s taken to relatively well, and Kyle Singler continues to be an extremely difficult matchup. Smith head-scratchingly disappears for stretches of time, but this is the most physical Devils team I can remember, with Zoubek, Lance Thomas and the Plumlees bringing a presence on the interior. However, Duke is very thin in the backcourt, and has run out of gas in the postseason in recent years -- will Coach “I Swear My Hair Is Still This Color” K trust Andre Dawkins enough to give him meaningful minutes when it counts?

Winner: #1 Duke.

Plain and simple, the Eagles just don’t have enough firepower to match the Devils’ scoring ability, even if they can limit the tempo. Duke can nearly match B.C.’s physicality (the Duke-Wake Forest game early in the campaign was the most physical game I can ever remember in the ACC) and has the ball-pressure skills to drive the Eagles guards nuts. The Blue Devils overwhelm Boston College here.

Game 6, 2 p.m.: #4 Virginia Tech vs. #5 Wake Forest
The Hokies have developed a nice three-pronged attack in Malcom Delaney, Jeff Allen and Dorenzo Hudson, and coach Seth Greenberg works the refs and a gameplan with equal aplomb. A perennial bubble team, Virginia Tech has overcome yet another horrible out-of-conference slate by winning enough key games to propel themselves to a seemingly easy NCAA berth. While a tremendous player, Delaney has mastered the art of getting undeserved trips to the charity stripe: Step 1, dribble out of control into other players. Step 2, yell loudly as you travel/charge. Step 3, flail arms about. Step 4, fall to court with a resounding crash. Step 5, proceed directly to free-throw line as other team stands around with arms upraised and quizzical looks. Hudson is a gunner who is nearly as adept at shooting Virginia Tech out of games as he is bringing firepower, while Allen is a consistent interior threat.

Winner: #4 Virginia Tech.

I usually favor the more disciplined and determined team in matchups like this, and while Wake has the better players, the Hokies have the better coach and system. Going forward, one has to question the postseason chances of a team that pins a huge part of their hopes and offense on referees bailing out a guard, but Virginia Tech is a bad matchup for the Deacs -- and everyone else.

Game 7, 7 p.m.: #2 Maryland vs. #7 Georgia Tech
General Grievis Meximelt has the Terrapins clicking in a big way, and the ACC’s best coach, Gary Williams, is pushing all the right buttons. If Vasquez isn’t the conference Player of the Year, there should be an investigation, and even though he’s the most hated player in the league (hell, on the East Coast maybe?), he is an undeniable force. Rookie Jordan Williams has given the Terps a needed presence in the paint, while been-there-forever Eric Hayes (I’m pretty sure the Vasquez-Hayes backcourt played with Len Bias) benefits big-time from the attention Vasquez draws. The only question for Maryland is whether they have enough other pieces to withstand the inevitable out-of-control stretches that Vasquez suffers through in each and every game.

Winner: #2 Maryland.

In a surprisingly dangerous matchup for the Terps, Maryland outlasts GT in a close one. The Terrapins pressure the ball enough to make life uncomfortable on the Tech guards and make it hard for them to get the ball inside, where the Jackets could potentially make life miserable on the Terps. I could see Williams getting in foul trouble for Maryland and the Yellow Jackets giving the Terrapins a scare in a big way.

Game 8, 9 p.m.: #3 Florida State vs. #11 NC State
The Seminoles lead the nation in field-goal-percentage defense, and coach Leonard Hamilton (finally) has a lot of pieces to the puzzle in Tallahassee. Solomon “I Didn’t Do It, I Have An” Alabi is a rejector on the interior, Ryan Reid is rugged on the interior, Chris Singleton oozes athleticism, Michael Snaer is one of the best freshman in the league, and Deividas Dulkys can “stroke it from distance” (that’s what she said). FSU occasionally bogs down on offense, but forces you to be highly disciplined on offense and does a strong job of dictating the pace of play.

Winner: #3 Florida State.

The Pack knocked off the ‘Noles earlier this year, but it took a huge game from freshman Scott Wood. I question whether State can play disciplined enough ball on back-to-back days in the tournament to win this one, and FSU pounces on other teams’ mistakes. The Wolfpack should keep it close, but the Seminoles pull it out in the end.

P.S. A chalk Semifinal Saturday? This just feels wrong …

Now, on to part deux ...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 12

Someday I’m going to become a millionaire by opening up a tattoo removal shop focused solely on former NBA and college basketball players. Some of these jackasses are going to wake up one day and be 60 years old, wondering why the hell they have a tattoo of a flaming basketball with a random number in the middle of it.

I love some of the return-to-the-roots and old-school-references type of stuff that is taking place on “Lost” as they enter the home stretch. Things like Jack and Hurley revisiting the caves and finding Shannon’s inhaler are nice reminders of the “simpler” days of the show.
Also, the actor who does the Martin Keamy role (Kevin Durand) does a TREMENDOUS job. Severely underrated character.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say … WHERE THE HELL IS DESMOND?!

Witnessed: Old dude in a business suit rolling down Spring Forest Road on a Segway in the rain. I can’t exactly explain why, but that made my day.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool us all three times, shame on Ben Roethlispervert.

This happened: Saw an “ECU Engineering” sticker on a car stopped at a stoplight. I laughed and I laughed.

With 4:10 remaining in the first of the Clemson-Florida State game, Clemson had 6 points. SIX. And the halftime score was 21-19. Rather embarrassing for the #3 and #5 teams in the ACC at time, no?
Just one of the reasons why I believe no ACC team will advance past the Sweet 16.

If my tattoo removal biz doesn’t work out, I want to be reincarnated as Gibril Wilson’s agent. That piece of shit earned $24 million guaranteed the last two years, both of which ended in him getting cut, by the Raiders and the Dolphins, respectively. The worst safety in the league makes $24 million and gets cut by the two of the worst teams in the NFL over the last decade?
God bless America.

This happened: A complete rectal wizard driving east on Six Forks Road in the far left lane tries to cross three lanes of traffic in a 100-foot span during rush hour. And how does this dick-monkey commence this effort? By attempting to simply ran his car into other cars in the next lanes to force them to stop so he can pull in front of them. Nice job, dick monkey! Where the F do these people come from? Better yet, when are they going back?

Mind-numbing sports cliché of the week: “Despite being down by 35 points, Roy Williams continues to coach his team like it’s a one-point game.” Really? What the fuck else is he going to do? Can I ask, quite honestly, what the hell his other options are? Go have a Coke and a smile out on the concourse? Go hide in the locker room and rock in the fetal position in the corner of a shower stall? Go up in the stands and have someone removed while the game is going on? Gimme a break, guys.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen those InventHelp commercials on ESPN. Is it me, or is that guy Clarence McGhee the whitest black dude in the history of the world? Hell, he makes Theo Huxtable look like Flavor Flav.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Public Relations Explained By Cartoon Robots

"I've honored the f$%@ing embargo."

Monday, March 08, 2010

No-Holds-Barred “Trouble the Water” Asks What It Means To Be American, Ya Heard Me?

It took three long years to turn incredible footage shot from a flooding attic in the besieged Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans into a searing social commentary on what happens when a government turns its back on its own people. It took three long years to finally find the lens that helped turn conversation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from pity to accountability. It took three long years for the floodwaters of Katrina to finally subside enough to unearth “Trouble the Water” amidst the Big Easy’s forgotten, abused and destroyed debris.

Few projects have ever been so worth the wait.

Trouble the Water” was a work that Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, the producers of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” among other stellar films, refused to give up on. No matter how many bridges were burned by the release of “Fahrenheit,” no matter how many naysayers said no one wanted to see a Katrina movie told from the black point of view, no matter how many obstacles jumped in their path, Deal and Lessin wouldn’t relent. They felt they owed it to those who suffered through so much with the help of so few.

“Long before the economy was in trouble, long before there was Iraq, there was Katrina,” Lessin told “This story needs to be told.
“The people of New Orleans made us pledge that we would get it done.”

Getting it done meant battling against all odds to ensure that the producers who finally took the Bush Administration to task in “Fahrenheit” once again were able to shine a light on perhaps the biggest crime perpetrated by “W” and his lying, fraudulent, criminal cronies. And as every door seemed to open into another dead end, providence seemed to intervene when Lessin and Deal found Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott, in a Red Cross Shelter, proclaiming the words, “Look, y’all. We have a story to tell.”

And little could Lessin and Deal have known what a tale it was.

Shooting on a $20 hi-8 camera, 24-year-old Kimberly chronicles the impending arrival of Katrina, its devastating effects during its siege of New Orleans and its heart-breaking aftermath. Brutally, brutally honest, the footage makes no attempt to disguise the fact that Kimberly and Scott are unapologetic, self-proclaimed “street hustlers” with troubled pasts and difficult presents. The movie isn’t 5 minutes old before Kimberly is asked if she still has some weed, and as the story unfolds, it is revealed that Kimberly was the author of the long scar that climbs along Scott’s cheek (courtesy of a razor blade) and we’re shown footage of Scott dancing around with an AK-47 in a haze of pot smoke.

Yet, the sins of the photographers could never alter the reality posed by the footage; for the camera never lies. In harrowing, never-before-seen film (seriously), we’re given front-row seats as the Roberts and family and friends huddle in an attic, their lives hanging in the balance. We feel the floodwaters lapping against our legs as we’re shown heroes from the workaday world using discarded punching bags as canoes in an effort to save the sick, the elderly, the young, the lame. We ride shotgun as Kimberly and Scott pilgrimage across Louisiana and into Tennessee in search of safe haven, buoyed by hopes that the lives they hated can begin anew, their sins washed away along with their homes and possessions. We followed in their footsteps as they navigate the red tape to try to get promised FEMA funds, as they bury loved ones, as they try to save who they can, as they eventually return to New Orleans when all else fails. We peek over their shoulders as they interact with National Guards troops, as they discover dead bodies in houses that haven’t been inspected two weeks after the storm, as they recount a harrowing faceoff at an abandoned Naval base where scores of refugees went for solace, only to be ushered away at gunpoint by unfeeling, faceless robots.

As the tagline indicates, “It’s not about a hurricane. It’s about America.” Too often, this flick displays, in black and white, that America means bureaucratic failure, latent hostility and complete governmental complicity; Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times calls “Trouble the Water” a “remarkable story of community resilience in the face of government indifference.” By an unexplainable refusal to acknowledge that Katrina ever happened or that one of the nation’s most treasured cities lies underwater and its citizens die on the edge of highways awaiting water, just water, we are demonstrably shown that, just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, W diddled while New Orleans drowned.

The pessimist could argue that the documentary is one-sided and that Kimberly could be using the movie as a vehicle to further her aspiring rap career, under the name Black Kold Medina. Even if those things are true, who are we to say that we are witness to the only side that matters, and that Kimberly doesn’t deserve a boost considering what she and her community went through?

The reality is that “Trouble the Water” represented a story that desperately needed to be told; nay, had to be told. Reflecting this truth is the fact that this documentary was met with a proverbial boatload of awards, winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Grand Jury Award at the Full Frame Documentary Festival, both in 2008. The piece was also nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2009 and was tabbed as the best documentary of 2008 by the American Film Critics Association and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Considered by most to be one of the top 10 films of 2008, “Trouble the Water” was an emotional tour de force for Lessin, for Deal, for Kimberly and Scott.

This incredible work is, at times, both sad and humorous enough to reduce you to tears, to make you weep both for the future of our country and for the enduring spirit of its least privileged. It can make you cry for the New Orleans that was, the New Orleans that will never be again and for the New Orleans that, warts be damned, still remains, as proud as ever, chin lifted to the sun over the Mississippi. “Trouble the Water” is all these things, and many more.

Kudos to the bravery it took for Kimberly, Scott, Lessin and Deal to never stop troubling the water … until this evocative work of art rose to the surface.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXIX: Science, Facts Terrify The Small-Minded, Plus “Lost” Sets Up Closing 10 Epis

Global warming is next up for the geeks
Won’t stop at creationism, these religious freaks
Some truly believe it’s all a hoax
And I’m not making these jokes
All I can say is that our “society” really reeks

The Olympics came off quite clean
Canada-USA hockey, a great final scene
Apolo Ohno used Jedi mind tricks
To make others fall during his medal kicks
See alla ya’ll again in 2014

Of controversy, we’ve had our portion
Health care ended by abortion?
Can’t appreciate the irony
When you’re blinded by hypocrisy
The whole debate killed by news distortion

We opened up the box with much glee
With happy thoughts of everything HD
I set it up without much trouble
Then paused amidst the Styrofoam rubble
And said quietly, “Holy shit, that’s a big TV”

From the temple Dogan did Sayid expel
The Man in Black has extended his spell
Sacrifice was Sayid’s fate
‘Til his scale tipped toward hate
Now Kate to follow Locke into hell?

Last time

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Palinbot Vexes Larry King

This is my first effort in the movie-making biz, so go easy on me.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Give To Hope For Roy Now

When I heard Roy Williams utter this line, I cringed and knew it would come back to haunt him. That mindset alone makes him deserving of this skewering at the hands of a Duke sophomore.

I will admit that the line about John Henson freaking killed me.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What Was Michael Scott Like In The Sixth Grade?


Detention? F that, give this kid his own damn show!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Diamond-In-The-Rough “Big Fan” Asks: How Far Would You Go To Protect Your Favorite Player?

Spence Olchin of “King of Queens” is a New Yorker who is approaching middle-aged, works as a subway token collector, lives with his mother and is obsessed with science fiction. Paul Aufiero of “Big Fan” is a New Yorker who is approaching middle-aged, works as a parking deck attendant, lives with his mother and is obsessed with the New York Giants. It seems Patton Oswalt, who plays both roles, has painted himself into a bit of a corner. Luckily for Oswalt, the formula works -- in a big way.

Oswalt and director Robert D. Siegel have stumbled onto an interesting premise with “Big Fan,” one of the stars of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival: what choice does hero worship allow you to make after your hero assaults you? In his directorial debut, Siegel -- the screenwriter for the critically acclaimed “The Wrestler” -- takes a no-holds-barred look at what happens when the fantasy world created by the biggest sports fan out there crosses into -- and helps to destroy -- that fan’s real world.

While he’s trapped in his workaday “box” in a parking deck, Aufiero whiles away the hours by writing out scripts to read aloud during the Sports Dogg radio show, where he’s created the persona “Paul from Staten Island.” Like the “Clones” who call into “The Jungle” on the Jim Rome Show, Paul is able to hide behind this pseudonym, transferring himself from a meek loser with no confidence into a trash-talking, stat-spewing hyper-fan every night -- even if he’s sometimes reduced to a whisper so as not to wake his cranky mother. In this role, he nurtures an ongoing, back-and-forth, give-and-take battle with his on-air arch-nemesis, “Philadelphia Phil,” mouthpiece of the hated Philadelphia Eagles.

As we follow Paul during his everyday routines, we see that the Giants essentially represent the extent of his life. Here, Siegel seems to purposely effect very slow pacing, hammering home the point that Paul has nothing beyond Sundays. He and his buddy Sal (Kevin Corrigan), who is “Paul from Staten Island’s” biggest fan, get all geared up in G-Men attire, get out to games at 10:30 in the morning ... then have to rig up a way to listen to the games on the radio in Paul’s beater from the Meadowlands parking lot because they don’t have tickets. The scenes of Paul and Sal awkwardly dancing, hugging and cursing the refs as they listen to the radio is alternately hilarious and pitiful.

One day, by happenstance, Paul and Sal happen to see their idol, Giants defensive end Quantrell Bishop, at a gas station. Not sure what to do, they follow Bishop and his entourage first to a stop at a crackhouse on the wrong side of the tracks, then to an upscale strip club ($9 for a Bud Light). Paul finally musters up the courage to walk up to QB’s table and introduce himself; flustered, he lets it slip that he followed Bishop all the way from the alleged drug stop. Paranoid, Bishop launches into a rampage, attacking Paul with kicks and punches that send Paul into a semi-coma.

Paul wakes up three days later in the hospital with a concussion, only to learn that Bishop has been suspended for kicking the shit out of him. Torn between the destruction of the image he had of Bishop and his loyalty to the Giants, Paul elects to refuse to help the investigation. In perhaps the film’s most poignant moment, we are witness to Paul’s internal conflict when he has to slowly put on Bishop’s jersey again—figuratively donning the skin and adopting the name of the man who inflicted so much physical and emotional damage on him.

When his brother, a crackpot lawyer, files a $77 million lawsuit against Bishop without Paul’s knowledge, a hysterical scene ensues where Paul confront his brother as he’s taking a dump. Eventually, “Philadelphia Phil” connects the dots, learning that Paul Aufiero and “Paul from Staten Island” are one and the same, and after he calls Paul out on the air, Paul calls into the show to say it’s all a misunderstanding and he’s dropping the lawsuit. However, his mother interrupts the phone call, chastising Paul for speaking too loudly when she has to wake up early in the morning. When Paul curses her out on air, he’s kicked off the line, literally and figuratively severing the connection Paul has with his “safe place” on the radio, where he can be the faceless, confident man he’s always wanted to be.

Enraged, ridiculed and shamed, Paul goes undercover to find “Philadelphia Phil,” who is perfectly played by Michael Rappaport. At the risk of giving away the ending, let’s just say that Siegel finds his chops with the penultimate scene, creating a hyper-intense atmosphere where the tension builds and builds into a crescendo. The entire scene serves as a tremendous depiction not only of the incredibly obnoxious Iggles fan base, but of the passion and hatred that permeates the entire Giants-Eagles rivalry.

If you have a close affiliation with any sports team, this independent drama encroaches on must-watch territory. “Big Fan” is an ode to the elevation of sports as a major part of existence for so many, and Oswalt does a stellar job of capturing the desperation and obsession that defines so many who place love of team before self. Critics have called his performance “fearless” and “terrific,” and Oswalt was tabbed as a “Breakthrough Actor” by the Gotham Independent Film Awards. Sure, he’s sad and pathetic as “Paul from Staten Island,” but he’s also driven, which seems to make him almost honorable in our eyes, in some strange, undefined way. By adopting such a relatable, Average Joe, everyman persona, Oswalt succeeds in earning our respect through pity -- while carrying a movie.

Doug Heffernan would be proud … even though he is a Jets fan.