Let me just say, first things first, please watch the video above.
Honestly, you, savvy and jaded consumer of the Internet, probably think you have seen it all. And to be fair, there's a lot out there that has already been through your browser and is now passÚ: a dog pedaling a bike, a dog singing along with an iPad (now available on iTunes!), and the list goes on and on. But the video above of Mary Ray performing a swing-dancing routine with her dog (and, spoiler alert, A SECOND DOG JOINS HALFWAY THROUGH) at Crufts — which a cursory Google search tells me is the "Biggest and best celebration of dogs" in the U.K. — is much more of a spectacle of human and canine resolve than most anything you've seen before. Move over Titus, the trick-shot baby, there's a new inspiration in town.
Bonus: For more heartwarming comments, check out the YouTube comments for the video, which show genuine support for Mary Ray and this routine. It will make you believe in people again.
There are some people (namely this blog's editor Chris Ryan) who don't want to believe in anything good in the world. People like Chris feast on negativity, they get off on the nightmares and failures of others. When they see a video of what looks to be a 2-year-old child making basket after basket, they don't want to believe that it's just another instance of human will and perseverance prevailing against all odds (previous examples of this resolve include the discovery of fire, man landing on the moon, the Harry Potter series). These naysayers doubt and undermine our heroes (in this case, baby Titus) until we have nothing left to believe in.
The fact of the matter is, Titus is making these shots, we will prevail, and nothing will ever overcome hope, the human spirit, and hard work and effort.
Pretty cool, right? I'm not an NFL scout by trade (sorry if there was any confusion or I misled you in any way), but this 2011 video of Monmouth University's Dan Sullivan seems very impressive! Now, it's possible that, in college weight rooms all over the country, there are just tons of jacked dudes high jumping over shit left and right like they're Luigi in Super Mario 2, but as I mentioned before, I am not an NFL scout and do not have too much insight into the behind-the-scenes of college athletics.
Shout-out to Dan Sullivan for showing that with determination and perseverance the human spirit can really accomplish anything, or at least jump really high.
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan surprised his former teammate Scottie Pippen for Pippen’s 47th birthday party Monday night. Pippen’s wife, Larsa, planned the secret bash at Chicago hot spot Sunda. Bulls family, including team president Michael Reinsdorf and his wife, Nancy, NBA power broker William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, Antoine Walker, Ahmad Rashad, and new Bulls recruit and Chicago native Nazr Mohammed gathered to celebrate at the club with Pippen. Sources told us the fun night ended with a dance-off between Jordan and Pippen to the Trey Songz and Fabolous song, “Say Ahh.”
Bryce Harper 5/27/12 4th Home Run #4 Ticket Unused! - $6.00
On the surface, this seems like a perfectly harmless and inconsequential eBay listing that like many others before it makes you ask yourself, "All right, who would really buy this?" But then when you look a little closer, this item makes even less sense, because the very question you just asked gets answered when you see that there are only six available — AND FOUR ALREADY SOLD. Four people saw this listing and then bought it — and that is just in the last 36 hours.
Let's go one level deeper here. The page counter currently has 27 views, according to the little counter thing on the bottom, so that means, besides Sarah Larimer (who found this listing) and me, of the 25 people who previously looked at this item, four of them could not contain their excitement at the opportunity to buy a ticket stub for a game that (most likely) they did not attend and felt compelled to pay $6 to "buy it now." That's almost a 20 percent conversion rate (the rate of views that turn into, in this case, sales) — do you know what converts that high? Almost nothing! The average conversion of selling things on the Internet is LESS THAN 3 PERCENT. Think about what's happening right now: Bryce Harper is bending the conventional laws of the Internet at his whim with ticket stubs of a random game in which he hit a home run. IS THERE ANYTHING BRYCE HARPER CAN'T DO?!
As we enter the last few days of the Souper Bowl, I think it's safe to say that we've all learned a lot of valuable lessons: what it means to overcome adversity, and the significance of having a unified vision for success, for starters. But most importantly, we've learned a lot about ourselves. (Namely, we've learned that we all care way too much about soup and an online tournament of soups put together by a group of people who run a sports and culture website on the Internet means way too much to us.)
Chicago Bears/Jay Cutler Sports Plaque -- $19.95
The idea of having this picture of Jay Cutler displayed above the quote, "For the last time, I cannot flag someone for making you cry," is one of those ideas that you and your buddies talk about while watching football one Sunday, it's getting a lot of LOLs around the room, really killing, and then you -- being your enterprising self -- decide to actually go and get it made. You put it on eBay, and that's when you realize, zero bids later, that it's way better in concept than in actual execution. Don't let this discourage you from taking the bull by the horns, though. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take," said NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, and I'm not entirely sure, but I believe he was referencing this very scenario of commissioning a plaque of Jay Cutler to be sold on eBay.
Welcome back to your monthly dose of Schadenfreude. Here at the Depressed Fan Base Committee, our job is to kick a city while it is down. And man, there are some down cities in this country. This month, 10 voters identified 35 cities as worthy of recognition. Along with the Top 10 list below, nominees included Detroit; Atlanta; Stillwater, Okla.; every city in Texas; the entire state of North Carolina; and the Three M's: Montreal, Manchester, and Milwaukee. (They still call those “The Three M's,” right?)
Disclaimer the First: We're not doing Happy Valley or Syracuse, so don't even ask. I had a whole slew of jokes lined up, but the Department of Justice flagged every single one. Come on, DoJ, don't you guys have something better to be flagging? I've got a neighbor who listens to Bruno Mars nonstop, and he doesn't even get audited by the IRS.
First off, anybody who clicked this blog post is a sick soul who likes to revel in the pain of others. The bad news is, that makes you an emotionally stunted human. The good news is, you're among friends.
One of our main gambits here at Grantland is to chronicle the misfortune of others, and I like to think we approach the task with just the right amount of glee. How else can you explain the dual act of convening a panel to vote on the city facing the toughest time in sports, and then mocking them? We're the bad guys in this movie, and there's no uplifting ending. In fact, the ending is the saddest part of all — the most depressed city. It's a little like Forrest Gump, if Gump had accidentally fallen into a manhole in the first 20 minutes and the rest of the movie was about Lieutenant Dan getting progressively angrier in a traffic jam.
And now it's November, which is a sad month in its own right, what with all those turkeys being hunted. So as you might guess, we're in pretty high spirits.
2 CHICAGO BEARS CEILING FAN LIGHT PULLS FOOTBALL NFL FANS SPORTS MEMORABILIA — $4.99
What's the most handsome a guy would have to be for a girl to still hook up with him after she saw these in his house? I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're anything below Rob Lowe attractive (let's say you're John Stamos), she's going to see these light fixtures and leave. That being said, if you have a girl who has the sense of mind to leave a dude's house because of some ugly ass light fixtures, she's a keeper, switch out the fixtures and try to get her back!
3 SETS VINTAGE MINNESOTA TWINS GAME WORN STIRUPS PLAIN AND TC — $50
The listed price for these game worn stirrups is $50, but this seller has got to know that no one's going to pay $50 for some dirty old oversized socks. So what's the real "best offer" price here? To me, if someone offers $5, he or she has got to take that and run, because when you're competing with golf lamp at $25 (which is both functional and doesn't smell like shit), you're fighting a real uphill battle.
I'll be honest, I know it's hip to be disaffected by things and "snarky" about them and whatever, but I think this item is very appropriately priced. It's $12, roughly the same price for a movie ticket in most cities, and that seems like a very reasonable amount of money to pay for a piece of some pretty cool turf in a nice case. In fact, a quick call to a framing store tells me that if you had brand-new, not-particularly-special turf, and wanted that put in a case, it would most likely cost more than the $12 that this encased turf would cost! (Me: "How much would it cost to have a 3"-by-3" piece of turf encased?" Frame store guy: "Sorry, we don't do that here.")
This week's grossly overpriced item is this empty box with a picture of Wilt Chamberlain on it, which previously held a basketball and is now being sold for $40. Even if you're the biggest Wilt fan and are like, "OK, I HAVE to have this box with Wilt's face on it," you're still getting ripped off, because the box looks like it was hastily opened by some overzealous kid in the 60s who had no idea that 40 years in the future, there would be something called eBay on the Internet (which he also didn't know would exist) by way of which he could sell, to a stranger, the box that he just opened like some sort of crazy animal. Did you really want to play with your basketball so badly that you couldn't open the box like a more civilized person? Really? Is that how your parents raised you? Ugh, you disgust me.
This listing is for a fake ring. You, the purchaser of this ring, are not a champion. Is the eBay auction for this ring the first thing you've ever won in your entire life? It wouldn't surprise me if it were. You are almost as bad as the kid who didn't know how to properly open the Wilt Chamberlain basketball box.
Honestly, as far as Phillies Champagne vintages go, 2011 was a pretty decent year. The grapes aren't as good as the ones they used in 1998, which were far and away the best of the last 20 years. Most experts say that the best non-dry is the Padres 1988, if you're talking since the turn of the century, anything Mariners 2003 to 2007 is probably your best bet. Most likely, the best value play is, surprisingly, a Rockies 2008, so if you can find one of those, pick it up. It's a brut extra, but you definitely won't regret it.
Now we're f-ing talking. This thing is more than 11 feet tall and is made of fiberglass and steel. STEEL. The only thing that makes me skeptical about how much someone could actually enjoy being the owner of this gigantic non-functional bell is the seller's (sort of desperate) description:
This Liberty Bell was taken from the Angels Stadium in Los Angeles about 5 years ago but is estimated to be 10-20 years old...This is the ultimate baseball stadium collectors item and will only grow in value as the years go by. Perfect for stadium seating collectors too. It's original costs were estimated to be $20-25k. When I transported this home it literally stopped traffic. This item is located in San Diego so please be ready to pick up with a flatbed trailer. I may be able to deliver for a substantial fee. Email me with all questions....reasonable offers considered.
"Reasonable offers considered." AKA: "I seriously need to get rid of this bell, my wife is really pissed I spent upwards of $20,000 of our money on a gigantic non-functional bell."
I can't say that I support the sale of this WWF Championship Replica belt, because, to be honest, if you're in possession of something like this, you better have earned it. Being a guy who has WWF Championship Replica belt that he just bought for more than $170 on eBay is like being a guy who has to pay his friends (replica friends?) to hang out with him. Do you want to be that guy? Do you want to be a friendless loser who is paying for his replica friends? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Here at The Triangle, we are committed to answering your most burning questions. In the second issue of our mailbag, the Bake Shop, we discuss a new era of sports films, the people we’d want to be reborn as, and false prophets.