Monday, August 30, 2010

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 71 - 08-30-10 - Holding out for a Hero.

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 71

Craig and Face on a Special Monday Bonus edition of the show. Face shared his story of encountering a wandering baby on an elevator...he seemed very concerned. We also played Episode 4 of The Shek Republic Life in a Week where we answer the question, "Who is your Hero and why?" Where we learned that the High Plains Grifter a.k.a. Jeremy Lane has very low standards for a hero. I finally was able to play the story from The Moth podcast from Michela Murphy about her trip to the 1981 All-Star game, and I finished up with a music recommendation from Frou Frou, a remake of the Bonnie Tyler song "Holding out for a Hero."

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Broncos Gameday Recap: Preseason Game 3 - vs Steelers

Broncos 34 Steelers 17

Finally! The Broncos have a preseason game in which they look splendid. And there was much rejoicing!

There is only so much I can comment about this game, as I watched it without sound inside a Japanese Steakhouse. I am a committed Broncos fan, but Hibachi trumps preseason football.

Hide the women and children, Ben Roethlisberger is in town...What? Too soon?

Of the things I can say for certain...

Caution, coach ahead. No offense, Josh, but that is one ugly shirt you're sporting tonight.

-I'd really like someone to explain to me why Josh McDaniels had a traffic cone on the back of his shirt on Sunday night.

It's not like Mike Tomlin looked much better in the goofy traffic cone shirt.

-Tonight probably marked the best a player named Syd'Quan has ever played in an NFL game. Syd'Quan Thompson was a monster. Since Thompson wears number 43 and has the same crazy Tasmanian Devil haircut as Troy Polamalu, I can only assume that Troy is his hero. On this particular evening, playing across the field from a man that I imagine he must idolize, the rookie outplayed Polamalu. Taking an interception back 48 yards for a score, and almost doing the same with a tremendous punt return in the 4th quarter.

Tim Tebow...Leader of Men. I like this kid.

-Tim Tebow showed some glimpses both of the reason that the Broncos decided to move up to draft him along with the reasons so many others felt that was a terrible decision. His 3rd quarter interception led to the Steelers first touchdown, but at least he hustled to make the tackle, and then he made up for it by leading the Broncos on a 74 yard touchdown drive. Hopefully, Broncos fans won't need to see him on the field this year, as Kyle Orton has been pretty solid this preseason, but it's nice to see some glimpses of potential from the 1st rounder.

Okay, Kyle. Celebrating is good. Making tackles and getting yourself hurt in preseason game is not.

-Memo to Kyle Orton: Please don't try to make tackles in meaningless preseason games! After throwing what appeared to be an interception (It was later overturned by the zebras), Orton tried to run down the defender and took a licking making the play in the 2nd quarter. There is simply no reason Orton should try to do that. His health is far too important to the Broncos at this juncture, and this game was essentially meaningless. Save it for when it matters, Kyle.

Chubby, yet lovable...LenDale White!

-I know his NFL tenure has been marred by laziness, distractions, and cheeseburgers, but I can't help it. I enjoy having LenDale White on the Broncos. Hometown boys are always fun to cheer for, and hopefully White can make an impact this year, even if just a little bit. It was good to see him get into the end zone.

-If Brady Quinn even makes this team, it should be as nothing more than the 3rd string quarterback. Quinn just doesn't look right back there. He came in the play after Orton got pounded and with a severe deer in the headlights look, took a sack. I think Tebow is the better choice as second on the depth chart at quarterback right now.

My boy Matt Willis goes flying into the air on a kickoff return.

-My newly adopted favorite son Matt Willis had another solid night with three catches for 55 yards. With Brandon Stokely still trying to get healthy, perhaps that will open up a spot for Willis. I'm ever hopeful, as I even drafted him on my fantasy football team today...Granted, he was one of my last picks in a 32 team league with 21 roster spots...but still, he is on the Vertically Striped Llamas, and we are hoping that he will get a chance to make an impact this year. (In a related note, a 32 team league with 21 roster spots is ridiculous. I can't recommend strongly enough against it. Our draft took 4 hours and 11 minutes today.)

Bully effort by the defensive boys tonight.

-So, the Broncos are finally in the win column in the preseason. I guess this is a good thing, but I'm more impressed that the defense finally looked somewhat solid tonight. I remain cautiously optimistic that this team will not completely suck. At the moment, I'm thinking around 7-9, and hoping for much better. One thing we will probably lead the league in is players named Syd' that's something.

Anyway, I probably won't be watching next week as there is no reason that any logical human being should subject themselves to the final preseason game, so until the regular season kicks off and these games actually start to matter...Go Broncos!

Lions vs Cape Buffalo - This is Amazing

This is some amazing video. Worth watching the whole thing, it's somewhat unbelievable.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 70 - 08-28-10 - People will come, Ray.

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 70

Episode 70 had a strong baseball theme, and then it morphed into something weird. The first hour was dominated by the Magnificent 7 - Top Seven Baseball Movies. We had some good discussions, including Craig taking almost 15 minutes to discuss how ridiculous "The Natural" was, even though it made the list. Face Ventura was around for most the program, and he and Elevation helped us discuss the movie list. We had a brief cameo from The Whale, who had us pondering if "The Naked Gun" could qualify as a baseball movie, and we kept Ed on hold for about 45 minutes until after we finished the Magnificent Seven. He made up for it by dominating the remainder of the very strange program. He and Elevation discussed MMA for a bit, then we were treated to recipes from Ed and a story about an unusual piece of litigation that he was involved in years ago. This was a normal show for an hour, and as soon as Ed came on, it became something somewhat insane. We spiraled out of control in quite the amusing way.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Broncos Gameday Recap: Preseason Game 2 - vs Lions

Lions 25 Broncos 20

Game 2 of the NFL preseason and it's already getting hard to care about it. The NFL needs to seriously do something about this...we don't need 4 or 5 games of this dreck per team. I propose two dress-rehersal games, and then let's get it on! September can't come quick enough.

Anyway, there wasn't much compelling about this game. The fans with tickets to the game had to be disappointed that Tim Tebow was on the sidelines, still nursing a rib injury incurred on the final play last week when Tebow with the clock winding down decided to crash into a defender so that the Broncos only lost a meaningless game by nine instead of sixteen, so at least THAT was a good decision...

Without Tebow, this clash of the Titans (Yes, that is sarcasm) was not exactly a scintillating affair. Kyle Orton, fresh off his one year extension this week, still looked solid, but not as good as he looked in the first preseason match with the Bengals. He went 16-22 for 177 yards, and looked pretty good doing it. He had one interception to old friend Dre Bly, but that was a result of Lance Ball having difficulties with a pass that hit him directly in the hands. So don't blame that one on the quarterback. Orton looks to be firmly entrenched at number one behind center, and any thoughts that Tebow might challenge for the starting position seem to have been laid to rest with a combination of Orton's contract extension, Tebow watching in civilian clothes on Saturday, and the fact that Orton appears VERY in control with McDaniel's offense.

Brady Quinn still looked bad, but not as bad as he looked in his previous outing where he appeared to have all the poise and confidence of a bologna sandwich. He wasn't a complete dumpster fire this week, but he still looks hesitant. He holds the ball far too long, a flaw which ended any chance of the Broncos getting a chance to win this game, as he was stripped deep in Lions territory as he was trying to lead Denver to a come from behind 4th quarter win. His fumble was recovered by the Lions, and that was it. Lions 25 Broncos 20.

If you're a Broncos fan, the Broncos gave you many reasons to be concerned on Saturday night. The running game looks dreadful. Granted, both Buckhalter and Moreno have yet to play, but the offensive line looks over matched and problematic. The O-Line even looks sketchy in pass protection, which is not a good development The first team defense showed some signs of life in the red zone, only allowing the Lions to get into the end zone once, but the Lions still managed to score on every one of their first half possessions, which is not a good thing. So, apart from being unable to run the ball, and being less than mediocre on defense, the Broncos should be just fine...Those things aren't important, are they?

If you're looking for positives, Jabar Gaffney appears to be quickly becoming Kyle Orton's favorite target, hooking up for nearly 1oo yards in a half with the starter. With Brandon Marshall going to Miami, it looks like Gaffney's role will be much increased. Eric Decker also made his Broncos debut, and looked very solid, which is encouraging...The Broncos may not be as bad at wideout as was feared during the offseason.

Other random thoughts:

Calvin Johnson is really good. Like, amazingly incredible. Matthew Stafford obviously is a big fan of him, throwing the ball to him in very difficult spots, and Johnson comes through. Those two may have a very solid season together. The Lions are going to be a lot better than they have been the past few years...Seeing as how they have lost 37 of their past 40 regular season games, that is hardly a bold prediction.

Those uniforms the Broncos wore on Saturday night should become their permanent ones...The Broncos should wear orange, they just should. I know I've gone on and on about this in the past, but those uniforms just feel more "Broncoey"

The preseason is dreadful, and I just can't talk any more about this game. The Broncos lost, but it totally doesn't matter. The year the Lions went 0-16 they were undefeated in the preseason. I don't feel like giving up hope on them before the games actually start meaning something, and there were certainly positive signs, but everything about this season screams rebuilding year for the Broncos. I'm curious to see how McDaniels deals with this team he has put together. My hopes are high, and my expectations are low. The season will probably fall somewhere in the middle. About a month ago I was saying 3-13...Now I'm more thinking 7-9...It's still not good, but it's better than I was thinking. Go Broncos!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 69 - 08-21-10 - It's all about the Wrestling

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 69

This was the wrestling show...don't get used to it as this is not a topic we're going to cover often. I tried to explain why I hate Pro Wrestling, as wrestling fans Face Ventura (With his brand new intro music) and Elevation defended the pseudo sport, and The Whale looked on. Even as I was hating on the WWE/WWF, I had the shocking admission that there is one thing in that stupid world that I do like...My new hero Razor Ramon a.k.a. Scott Hall. I could listen to that guy talk for hours. The Ed dropped in and had an epic performance, as he showed the world what his wrestling promos would sound like if he actually were a wrestler. Rolling Presidential is surely shaking with fear by now. I also played a commercial for Arnold's Clown College and Balloon Emporium. It debuted to mixed reviews, but I swear that's the copy the sponsor wanted...And yes, I realize My Arnold impression is terrible. We played Episode 3 of "The Shek Republic Life in a Week" as the gang discussed the most beautiful women on earth. The Vertically Striped Music Recommendation was the song "Lazy Eye" by the Silversun Pickups...Great song, but I still can't believe that's a man singing.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Seprit but not Eqwil" by The Ed

Who am I to question Genius? Presented in it's entirety and without several badly needed edits...Vertically Striped Socks is proud to present the mind altering "Seprit but not Eqwil" by The Ed...

"Things go around like they say they shuld, but aint evrythang created the way it shuld be. We got birds and bees and a’s and b’s. But some bees sting and some b’s spell. It is like when you look in the tallest part of the world and see that it aint that far away if you got airplane ticket mony. Things are never what they seem to be unless you find that the trooth is lying in the underfolds of your belly. Dirt is part of the planet, yet most people hate getting dirty. Why wuld that be? Do you think you cant get dirt on you becuz you aint got enuff mony to buy some tide or Clorox. I meen these things are all queschins that are never reely ansered by the people who make up the queschins and ansers for tv and radio. Peeple think that just becuz you got a house or a condo that living by the numbers is just a random occurance. Well it aint, the numbers get divided by 3 and then you add 4 to them and then you get the true meening of separit but not eqwil. As I approach the final stages of my eggsistence I see that the wurld has become a wurld of hello-intelligence and goodbye to you ignorance. The wurld cannot cuntinue two be spaced out in a rage of humility and destinations covered by a pyrax of determination. You just gotta count you blessings and if you got less than 10 then you is in a big truble spot of mellodation. This is all I can say two get you two reelize the pertination of eggzamination two get the wurld back two where it belongs."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Broncos Gameday Recap: Preseason Game 1 - at Bengals

Bengals 33 Broncos 24


When is a 33-24 loss encouraging? When it's the opening preseason game, and your starters outplay their starters 14-0. It was a beautiful night in Cincinnati, and the Broncos had a whole offseason of rust to shake off, as well as a whole brand new shiny quarterback to show off. It was a festive night for Broncos fans, even if it doesn't take long to remember why preseason football sucks.

It was a tale of two games, the first quarter versus the rest of the game. The first teams looked swell. Kyle Orton looked like Joe Montana, consistently making good decisions and better throws. He threw for two TD's, including one that came from a beautifully run route from Eddie Royal, who will hopefully rebound from a down sophomore year to lead the rather underwhelming receiving corps this season.


Once the second quarter started, things look less bright. Brady Quinn looked atrocious. If the former Notre Dame star is going to resuscitate the expectations he had when the Browns drafted him, he's going to need to look significantly better than that. His accuracy was all over the place, and he stared down Britt Davis late in the first half which led to an easy pick six for David Jones (It made me feel good to know that he was literally taking a football to Davey Jones' locker, though...)


The event that was most anticipated in this game, namely Tim Tebow making his debut in the NFL, was mostly nondescript. He was booed lustily by many in the Cincy crowd, he had a beautiful long pass down the sidelines that bounced off his receiver's hands, he was abused by a large Bengal defender into what looked like a fumble returned for a touchdown...until Josh McDaniels threw out the red challenge flag and it turned out that he only threw an incomplete pass on the play, plus he barreled his way into the end zone for a meaningless touchdown on the game's final play.

If I were to give one word to describe Tebow's performance, it would be awkward. He didn't look terrible, he didn't look great; he looked mostly like a talented rookie with a weird throwing motion who has a lot of growing up to do, but shows promise. I am encouraged by how he handled the night, even if there were far too many three and outs to my liking, and if he keeps trying to pile drive defenders, he is going to get destroyed at this level. All said, though, Tebow should probably be number 2 on the depth chart at this least if tonight is any indication of what has been happening thus far in training camp. Quinn looks atrocious.

Matt Willis: So Unknown, that this was the best photo I could find of him.

If anyone made an impression tonight, it was Matt Willis...a Wide Receiver that I had never heard of before this evening. He was making some impressive grabs and was coming down with catches despite getting severely interfered with. His only negative play was failing to corral a Tebow pass that would have been another long gainer, but number 12 has definitely impressed me with what he did on the field tonight. I find myself greatly hoping he makes the team, just so I can shout, "That's what I'm talking about, Willis!" when he makes a play...because that would be glorious.

So to recap, it's preseason, so who cares who won. I guess you'd rather be on the other end, but there is reason for optimism after this generally entirely meaningless game. Best player of the night: Kyle Orton, who was superb. Worst player of the night: Brady Quinn who was whatever the polar opposite of superb is. Tim Tebow's debut? A moderate success...and yes, I'm all about talking about Willis.

Other noteworthy things:

1. Carson Palmer has a brother, this brother is also a quarterback, this brother also plays for the Bengals...I had no idea until tonight. Also: Carson has nothing to worry about.

2. I didn't say much about the defense, but I should throw a shout out to Champ Bailey. This just in, he's still good.

After a long and painful offseason, it's good to have the boys back. Go Broncos!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Craig Explains the Universe: Episode 4 - One Very Secure Bunny

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 68 - 08-14-10 - Murphy's Law Edition...The Audio Trainwreck!

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 68
This was the Murphy's law edition of Vertically Striped Radio. Everything that could go wrong, did. First of all, Face had an emergency in his family, so he wasn't able to call in. Next, my son's nap didn't take at first, so I went to play a clip from "The Moth" which is a terrific podcast of people sharing stories from their lives...only the audio clip crapped out after a minute, so I tried it again...and it crapped out again. So, listeners got to hear me put my son into his bed against his wishes for a nap that he desperately needed. Riveting radio, I'm sure. One thing that did go right is Episode 2 of "The Shek Republic in a Week." which was a solid edition of people giving their take on mustard. I played my buddy Doug's goof-up as he worked dispatch for the Colorado State Patrol, and I had a Magnificent Seven list of the 7 Best Zoo animals. It was mostly Craig flying solo until the Whale jumped in for the final 15 minutes. The music recommendation was Arcade Fire's "Half Light II (No Celebration)" from their new album "The Suburbs" We had our moments this week, although mainly it was an audio train wreck...I guess they can't all be home runs. This one surely wasn't.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Magnificent Seven: Top 7 Goofy Professional Sports Uniforms

There are thousands of sports uniforms throughout history, most do their job of providing the team with an identity that fans can rally around and more importantly, a color scheme and logo that management can use to sell merchandise. Every now and then, however, the uniform designers fall short...or trip on acid, either way. Saturday on Vertically Striped Radio, we broke down the Top Seven ridiculous uniforms from professional sports. Here is a list of some of the most glorious departures from the uniform norm.

Honorable Mentions:

Green Bay Packers Throwbacks for the upcoming season: Yes, the Packers are actually going to wear these on the field. I'm reserving judgment, as they might look kind of cool on the field, but brown helmets to replicate leather helmets? Yikes.

Montreal Canadiens Throwbacks from last year: When I see these, the first thing I think is PAJAMA PARTY!!

Saint Louis Blues Alternate (1996-97): The Blues are saved from being on the list by the fact that common sense prevailed and they made like Nancy Reagan and "Just Said No" to these atrocities. Frightening how close these were to actually making the ice.

The Magnificent Seven:

7. San Diego Padres - Camouflage Uniforms: Okay, I get that there is a huge military presence in San Diego, and the Padres will do anything to try to attract fans to the stadium, but Camo should only be worn if there is a chance that you will either be firing a gun or having a gun fired upon you. Nice to see that the Padres are prepared for either desert or forest combat, though.

6. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim - Alternate (1995-96): With a logo straight out of Saturday morning cartoons, the team that already faced the handicap of being labeled "The Mighty Ducks" had even more wrong with them as they took the ice in these atrocities. Yes, that is the actual logo.

5. Seattle Seahawks - Radioactive Snot Green Jerseys (2009): When Aquaman gets the ich, this is the color of his snot. Also, it was briefly the main color of the Seattle Seahawks. Fortunately, the Hawks have decided to "retire" this jersey, worn only one time last season against the Chicago Bears in what very well may have been the biggest clash of classy versus unclassy uniforms in the history of time.

4. Chicago White Sox in Shorts (August 8th, 1976): In the hundred and forty or so year of Major League history, baseball players have worn shorts exactly one day. August 8th, 1976. I think there is an exceptionally valid reason we haven't seen it more often.

3. Washington Wizards - Alternate: Contrasting pants and shirts look fine in many sports...Basketball is not one of them. Making this even worse is the faint gold color the Wizards went with. All of the uniforms on this list are goofy, but doesn't mean I dislike them all. However, these uniforms are perhaps my least favorite sports uniform of all time. I'm not sure I could design a worse uniform if you gave me a six figure budget and allowed the color pink to be involved.

2. Vancouver Canucks (1975-1982): So I understand that the Seventies were a different time, but how does this design get off the designer's drawing board and get the green light in any time period? I shudder to think that some version of this conversation took place, "Hey, V necks are hot right now, our team's city starts with V, let's work with that." Even worse, though, that color scheme and uniform replaced one of the best uniforms in sports, the green and blue colors with the Hockey Stick "C" logo. Shameful.

1. Denver Broncos - Vertically Striped Socks (1960-61 and 2009): Yes, I have based my entire web presence on this uniform, but that doesn't blind me to the fact that they are pretty insanely goofy uniforms. I love them despite their ugliness, not because I am blind to the fact that they are in fact ugly. As much as I love them, the fact remains that they were bought second hand by the Broncos first owner from a defunct college Bowl game, and that after only 2 years, the socks were burned in effigy at a public bonfire due to the hatred the city had for them. How many uniforms are so hated that they get their own public bonfire? My beloved Broncos and their Vertically Striped Socks have clearly earned their top billing.