Very early on, I tried to steer my daughter away from the typical shows that modern 3- and 4-year-olds watch. Programs like Little Bear, Little Bill, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, and even Dora and Go, Diego! Go! . . . they are beyond terrible. (Little Bill is especially horrendous; I'd rather be Amish and not have a television than have to watch that one.)
In place of those shows, I suggested classic bits of awesomeness like Looney Toons and (the incorrectly punctuated) Scooby Doo, Where Are You! The latter especially has been a big hit in our house, but Sophia made me realize something. She'd only been watching the show for a few days, and I was watching an episode with her. When the bad guy first appeared, disguised as a monster of some sort, she said, "I bet that's just a person in a costume."
Of course, she was right. Yet, over the entire 25-episode run of SD,WAY! (or 41-episode run, if you include The Scooby Doo Show from 1976-1978), Scooby and Shaggy never figured it out. They were legitimately scared every single time. They treated every ghoul, owlman, and the like as if it was definitely a monster, without even entertaining the notion that maybe they just lived in a weird area, where would-be criminals thought dressing as the ghost of a werewolf was the most practical way to carry out their plans, probably because they failed to account for meddling kids.
The easy explanation is to chalk this up to drugs on the part of Scooby and Shaggy, and I suppose I'm fine with that. But what about Fred, Velma, and Daphne? More often than not, they weren't scared, and they seemed to know that it was not really a vampire in the spooky old house. Yet they never clued Shaggy or Scooby in; more frequently, they used Scooby and Shaggy as bait in some kind of ridiculous trap designed to snag the bad guy. The moral of this, to the extent there is one, is that people who do drugs should worry more about the guy who looks like a Nazi youth with an ascot than about running into a swamp creature. Guys in ascots are jerks.
Rushing yards needed by Arian Foster to reach 3,196 and pass Domanick Williams (nee Davis) for first all-time in team history.
This Seems Like A Good Spot To Put This Picture.
Games in which Arian Foster has had even a single carry and finished with a worse result than Chris Johnson's effort against the Patriots. Foster's worst game was 2 carries for 7 yards against the Rams in 2009, and his worst day ypc-wise was 1.36 (11 carries) against the Titans in 2010.
Rushing yards needed by Ben Tate to reach 1,000 for his career. If he did it this week against Jacksonville, it would occur in his 17th career game. For comparison, Arian Foster hit 1,000 career yards in his . . . 17th career game.
Two Girls, One Butt.
You might have heard by now, but TLC -- the "Learning" part is meant ironically -- has a new show about Brittany and Abby Hensel, conjoined twins from Minnesota. This is what it is, whether you consider that to be an indictment of modern society's voyeuristic tendencies, proof that good television like Mad Men is exceedingly rare and should be praised even more than it already is, or something else.
Me? I consider it to be a source of a lot of questions. To wit:
1. Do they have one social security number or two?
2. If you had sex with Brittany and Abby, is it a threesome? A two-and-a-half-some? Does the answer to this depend on the answer to #1?
3. Can they each legally marry a different dude? If so, how does the sleeping arrangement play out?
4. Related to #3, if you are having sex with Brittany, is it somehow different than having sex with Abby?
5. What if one was into bondage and the other was not?
6. How much would you pay to watch them get in a fight with one another?
7. Since each of them controls only one arm, how do you punish them if one girl kills someone?
Receiving yards needs by Andre Johnson to reach 10,000 for his career. AJ10K has a nice ring, doesn't it?
Receiving yards per game for Andre Johnson, the highest total in NFL history. The holder of the second-highest total, Calvin Johnson, is nearly 2 yards/game behind at 77.7.
Speaking Of Kid Shows.
At least one current little-kid TV show is fantastic. "There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation, then school comes along just to end it...."
Consecutive days, as of this writing, that the Texans have had at least a share of first place in the AFC South. Yes, I'm counting days between the end of the 2011 season and the start of the 2012 season. Why? Well, did anyone pass the Texans? No? Then that's why. (h/t the indefatigable Shake for pointing this out)
Career interceptions by Johnathan Joseph, tying him with three other players for sixth in team history. Those players? Fred Bennett, Petey Faggins, and Jacques Reeves. Putting those four in the same paragraph immediately makes this pop into my head:
Matt Schaub's passing yards per game as a member of the Houston Texans. That's higher than Peyton Manning's career yards/game (263.5) and right below Drew Brees' all-time NFL best yards/game (265.0). And, no, I don't think it's distorting the picture to not count his 38 games on Atlanta's active roster, in which he started exactly two games, against him. Not when we're talking about what he's brought to the Texans.
Where Matt Schaub's 2009 season (4,770 yards) ranks all-time.
The Big-Picture Point Of The Last Three Stats.
Can we please stop with the "Matt Schaub is just a game manager" talk? He might not have a laser-rocket arm (or even a regular, liquid-fuel-rocket arm), but Game Managers don't put up numbers like he has. He's a very good QB and a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak's system. If that makes him a "system" QB, then fine, whatever, but it doesn't discount the quality of his production in my book.
One of the best parts of BBQ in America is the regional differences. Yet, sadly, many people are wholly unfamiliar with these regional styles. This season, the 2DH is going to feature a different BBQ region and a recipe from that region. This week: Eastern North Carolina.
Outside of North Carolina, there's a common misconception that "North Carolina BBQ" always refers to a whole smoked pig that is picked or chopped and served with a vinegar and red pepper-based sauce. This is not accurate. North Carolina BBQ is actually divided into two parts, Eastern and Western, and it's the Eastern style that most people associate with the whole state.
The most interesting part of the meat in Eastern NC bbq is how subtle the smoke flavor is compared to most any other regional version of smoked pork. This is due to the pig's skin and internal bone structure (the pigs are generally splayed and smoked over wood coals, bone-side down) preventing much smoke penetration into the underlying meat. Some pitmasters will flip the pig during the cook and baste the internal cavity with a spicy, vinegary mix, but that's less common, and the amount of flavor that actually imparts is debatable.
Once the pig is cooked, serving generally goes one of two ways. If it's a social get-together, rather than a BBQ restaurant, the pig is often presented whole, with the skin split open and peeled back so that guests can pick bits of meat from whatever part of the pig they prefer. (Hence the term "pig pickin'.") In a restaurant setting, all of the meat is pulled from the pig, then it is chopped and mixed together. In either case, the meat is almost always topped with the aforementioned vinegar and pepper sauce. My variation on that sauce, while not 100% authentic to the region, stays pretty true to the roots, while adjusting the flavor slightly so that it can stand up against the smokier taste of pork that is not cooked in whole-hog form. Enjoy.
Eastern NC-Style BBQ Sauce
1 1/2 cups of distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter (optional)
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat just until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Add everything but the butter and stir to combine. Let the sauce cool, then store in the fridge. For the flavors to combine properly, you're going to want to make this sauce at least a day ahead of time. At least. Try to do it further out than that if possible.
Also, if you want to add the butter, wait until just before serving the sauce. Warm the sauce over low heat, add the melted butter, and stir. Butter is totally optional, but many of the flavors in both black and red pepper are fat soluble, and the addition of butter will bring them out.
Funniest Conversation I've Had In A Long Time.
Watching the Penn State / Ohio game on September 1, I was momentarily confused by the presence of names on the PSU jerseys. So I texted a buddy to see if this was a new thing or if I was just losing my mind.
Me: Hey, has PSU always had names on their jerseys? I don't remember seeing that before.
Paul: No, it's new this year. Part of the sex-offender-registration compliance.
Points allowed by the Houston Texans' defense in 2012, the lowest total in the NFL.
Passes batted by J.J. Swatt on Sunday.
Interceptions by your Houston Texans' defense. The last time they intercepted three passes in a game? January 7, 2012, in the playoff win over the Bengals.
Wins by the Dolphins over the Texans in the history of ever. The only other team to never beat the Texans? The Bears, who are 0-2. Oddly enough, not counting other AFC South teams, the Dolphins are also one of three teams that the Texans have played 7 times. The Browns (3-4 v. Houston) and the Raiders (2-5 v. Houston) are the others. And you can lump Cincinnati in as well if you want to count playoff matchups.
Yeah, Because THAT Makes Sense.
In a discussion in this thread, Nash brought up the idea of maintaining possession to the ground when making a catch and how, in some situations, that rule does not seem to be enforced properly. Edubbs pointed out that, because Jacob Tamme grabbed the ball outside the endzone and stuck it across the goalline before he was dispossessed of the ball by the defender, the play was over before the ball came out. Taken to its "logical" conclusion, this weird quirk in the rules means that a player who is one yard outside the endzone and a player who is one yard inside the endzone could make the exact same movement -- grabbing the ball as he is going to the ground, jutting it over the goalline, then losing possession when hitting the ground -- and only the guy outside the endzone would score a TD. That certainly seems to be how the rules are interpreted, anyway. So I figured we'd take a look at just what the NFL Rulebook says about possession and catches and TDs and whatnot.
Section 2 Ball in Play, Dead Ball
Article 3 A Loose Ball is a live ball that is not in player possession, i.e., any kick, pass, or fumble. A loose ball that has not yet struck the ground is In Flight. A loose ball (either during or after flight) is considered in possession of team (offense) whose player kicked, passed, or fumbled. It ends when a player secures possession or when the down ends if that is before such possession.
Article 7 A player is in possession when he is in firm grip and control of the ball inbounds (See 3-2-3).
To gain possession of a loose ball (3-2-3) that has been caught, intercepted, or recovered, a player must have complete control of the ball and have both feet or any other part of his body, other than his hands, completely on the ground inbounds, and maintain control of the ball long enough to perform any act common to the game. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground or if there is any doubt that the acts were simultaneous, there is no possession.
This rule applies in the field of play and in the end zone.
Note 1: A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception, or recovery.
Note 2: If a player goes to the ground out-of-bounds (with or without contact by an opponent) in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, or there is no possession.
A catch is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a pass, kick, or fumble in flight (See 8-1-3).
Note 1: It is a catch if in the process of attempting to catch the ball, a player secures control of the ball prior to the ball touching the ground and that control is maintained after the ball has touched the ground.
Note 2: In the field of play, if a catch of a forward pass has been completed, and there is contact by a defender causing the ball to come loose before the runner is down by contact, it is a fumble, and the ball remains alive. In the end zone, the same action is a touchdown, since the receiver completed the catch beyond the goal line prior to the loss of possession, and the ball is dead when the catch is completed.
Rule 8 Forward Pass, Backward Pass, Fumble
Section 1 Forward Pass
COMPLETED OR INTERCEPTED PASS
Article 3 Completed or Intercepted Pass. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).
Note 1: It is not necessary that he commit such an act, provided that he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so.
Note 2: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.
If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any part of his body other than his hands to the ground, or if there is any doubt that the acts were simultaneous, it is not a catch.
Item 1: Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
Item 2: Sideline Catches. If a player goes to the ground out-of-bounds (with or without contact by an opponent) in the process of making a catch at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, or the pass is incomplete.
Item 3: End Zone Catches. If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.
Rule 11 Scoring
Section 2 Touchdown
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when:
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line and is in possession of a runner who has advanced from the field of play; or
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball passed over or inside the pylon; or
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line; or
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line.
(2) If the player is attempting to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7
SO...putting all that together, it would appear that Tamme's TD catch was properly called. He grabbed the ball just inside the one-yard line using two hands close to his body, satisfying 8-1-3(a). Both feet hit the ground in-bounds, satisfying 8-1-3(b). And he held the ball long enough to make a football move, which he made by extending the ball outward with both hands and reaching for the goalline, satisfying 8-1-3(c). Because he did this from outside the endzone, as soon as the ball broke the plane, it was a TD and the play was over, per supplemental note (1) to rule 11-2-1. And the going-to-the-ground rules did not apply because he did not go to the ground to complete the catch; he went to the ground when he was tackled after already breaking the plane.
That said, I do think there's a general trend of officials to screw these kinds of catches up. It certainly seems like, for plays made near, but not in, the end zone, they frequently invoke supplemental note (1) to rule 11-2-1 without first going through the checklist of whether possession was established under 8-1-3. As supplemental note (2) explains, however, note 1 only applies where possession is established prior to breaking the plane. If the player goes to the ground to make the catch, even if his momentum on going to the ground carries him into the end zone, the explanation of rule 8-1-3 found in Item 1 should apply.
Random '90s Rap Video.
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.
[Author's note: It's a sad day in Two-Day Hangover Land. It seems that Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer has gotten married and changed the name on her public profile to the much more professional sounding, "Marijuana Sawyer-Clardy." Dang. Thankfully, we have a long memory around here, at least when it comes to stuff like this, so we'll just forge ahead and pretend like nothing has changed.]
Much like the decision to name your daughter "Marijuana Pepsi," the Cleveland Browns' decision to kick an extra point after going up 15-10, with plenty of time on the clock for the Eagles, made no sense. 16-10 is not really much more helpful than 17-10; a TD beats you either way. The payoff for going for two in that situation was so much higher than the cost of failing on the conversion that it seemed like a no-brainer. Then again, they are the Browns, where the motto is "Thank God The Rams Are Even Worse."
TXT MSGS Of The Week.
It sickens me to say this, but [Reggie] Bush has impressed me with how hard he is running.
I ordered Papa John's at halftime, and they answered the phone, "proud sponsor of the Dallas Cowboys." Had I not had a 40% discount, I'd have hung up on the bitch.