The U.S. Bill of Rights says that, as an American, I have "the right ... to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." That sounds like a lot of work, but I'm going to pay tribute to America just the same. I refuse to do a straight-up recap of last night's Hard Knocks. What's my grievance? No Mary Garrard, no peace. Until Mary Garrard and her ratchet accent come back on my screen, I'm not going to treat Hard Knocks like the masterwork of documentary filmmaking that it probably is. I'm going to just give you my raw notes. BRING BACK MARY.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, that we’re back in the middle of the lockout-shortened, hyper-accelerated NBA regular season. It’s a Wednesday night and there are 13 games on the schedule. As a fan, it’s hard not to feel excited — Memphis is playing Oklahoma City, the Clippers are hosting Dallas, and Miami is facing the Knicks at the Garden. Then you turn on your television and the only game that is broadcast nationally is the Charlotte Bobcats versus the Sacramento Kings. Upon discovering this, you probably wonder, How the hell did this happen? (Unless you’re a graduate of Brigham Young University or a native of Glens Falls, New York, in which case you shout “Jimmer Time!”)
Fortunately, the networks that broadcast NBA games know better than to screw over their audience like that. Unfortunately, the networks that broadcast boxing do not.
Everything I know about history I learned from Game of Thrones. And I know I am not alone. The HBO series is so painstakingly realistic; it runs like a Ken Burns documentary, except it's interesting.
Those of us who love Soccer — America’s Sport of the Future Since 1972 — can only look with envy at the millions of fans the book series has garnered in the United States. I am among them. Finishing the five-book series certainly ranks as the greatest accomplishment of my life (marriage, witnessing Everton become league champions in 1986-87, becoming a father, and getting Dana Plato’s autograph off eBay round out the Top Five).
To celebrate the show's return to HBO, and in a craven attempt to lull die-hard Tyrion Lannister aficionados from the geopolitics of Westeros to the goals, dives, and feigned injuries of top-quality soccer, we have worked with Men in Blazers listeners to construct this GAME OF THRONES–to–ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE converter based on the characters we will meet in Season 2. (Mild, obtuse spoiler alert.)
A quick note: Given the finale last night of the HBO hock-umentary 24/7 Rangers/Flyers: The Road to the NHL Winter Classic, I'm hijacking this week's NHL goaltender blog post for a mashup of TV recapping, some leftover observations from last weekend in Philadelphia, and a little bit of goalie news. Consider this post HBOalies of the Week. We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming next week.
1. Greg Schiano, football coach, Rutgers University
College football is the most compelling sport in America, yet nothing is more torturous than listening to college football coaches speak publicly about their teams. I know this because I spent Tuesday morning standing in a hotel ballroom in Newport, R.I., while eight Big East coaches filibustered for a solid hour. I heard them reminisce about games played in 1991, speak about punters with irrational brightness, thank people who I'm not sure actually exist, and trumpet the competitive supremacy of a conference that has a direct tie-in with the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. I heard one coach chastise a player for going to class too much, which was either the closest thing to joke anyone made or the closest thing to the truth anyone spoke. "That was the most boring hour of my life," one player said, as he headed toward a battery of television interviews. "My god."