Unpopular Opinion: Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is the Best Christmas Album of the Last 33 Years

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As many of you certainly know by now, we’re smack dab in the middle of Christmas SZN, which means it’s prime time for Christmas music. There’s a lot of great Christmas music out there, and, if you’re somehow new to the genre, it can be a little overwhelming. The market is pretty darn saturated (it’s still one of my biggest dreams to record a Christmas album. That’s how I’ll know I’ve made it. Just imagine the cover of Brian’s Den Home for the Holidays), and it’s very easy to go down the wrong path. Luckily, I’m a bit of a Christmas music expert, and, in the spirit of the season, I’ll gladly give my two cents on what kind of Christmas music you should be listening to. Now, you can go anywhere on the Internet and find Christmas album rankings, and all of them will have the same five ones and it’ll just be the most famous ones and all that. But here’s a little tip you can only get here: Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is the greatest Christmas album of the last 33 years. Why 33 years? Well, 33 years ago, this was released:

Enough said. With some notable exceptions, the majority of Christmas music was written before “Last Christmas” came out. So, for the most part, it was an even playing field for everyone who released a Christmas album afterwards, unless they felt like experimenting and releasing a new song. Some of these new songs worked. Most don’t. So, in the interest of creating the biggest pool from which to draw inspiration, only albums released after 1984 should be considered for the true connoisseur. Sure, there are some high quality pre-Wham! Christmas albums, but if half the songs you know and love haven’t even been written yet, what’s the point? I’d feel like I was cheating you, Christmas music neophyte, if I suggested a Johnny Mathis album that didn’t have a cover of “Santa Baby” included. Feel free to listen and enjoy, but some of the older albums have a much purer, more concentrated Christmas feel to them. Most of the time, only the more seasoned Christmas music listeners can handle the hopeful, more innocent, less cynical sounds of Bing Crosby and the like. We all know better than to feel optimistic about stuff these days, right? Every day was sunshine and rainbows for the folks in the 50s, and their Christmas music reflects that. So, modern=better.

I know what you’re thinking. “There must be a million Christmas albums released since 1984. What makes Kelly Clarkson’s the best?” Well, I’ll get to that shortly, but first I need to give out some honorable mentions, because there’s a lot of good Christmas albums out there. Two things to remember: 1. This is albums, not songs. I’m sorry I didn’t touch on your favorite song even though it’s really popular. That just means the rest of the album stunk. 2. This is non-religious only. There’s some hot, hot religious-only albums out there, but I figured I’d stick with the mainstream, mall soundtrack fare (for posterity’s sake, my top five religious Christmas songs: 1. O Holy Night 2. Oh Come, All Ye Faithful 3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 4. Angels We Have Heard On High 5. The First Noel). Most Christmas albums worth their salt have at least one religious song, anyway, so the singer can show off their range. It goes without saying, but if you like “Dominick the Donkey,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” or “Do They Know It’s Christmas” you should be euthanized.

Honorable Mention

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Mariah Carey-Merry Christmas

Need to give a shoutout to Mariah for the unquestioned GOAT secular Christmas song. “All I Want for Christmas is You” is somehow both the most overplayed song of all time and the one song in the world that never gets old. It’s a musical triumph. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve never listened to the rest of the album, so it could either be horrible or I could have picked the wrong album to base this whole post around. I’m gonna assume it’s just okay outside AIWFCIY, so I think it’s fine putting it here.

Best Song:

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Leona Lewis- Christmas, with Love

Man, I thought Leona Lewis had next in 2007. She’s got some serious pipes and I have no idea why she’s not the biggest star in the world now. Oh, well, at least she released a great Christmas album. Three original songs seems like a little much when two of them aren’t great (“One More Sleep” is my jam), but the rest of it is pure heat to warm up even the coldest of winter nights.

Best Song:

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*NSYNC- Home for Christmas

If you don’t like “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” you can go ahead and stop reading this right now.

Best Song:

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Michael Bublé- Christmas

I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t mention the unofficial voice of Christmas, Michael Bublé. Somehow he only has one Christmas album despite the fact that you can find a Bublé cover of essentially every Christmas song ever made somewhere online. Pretty sure 90% of the Bub-god’s salary is made in late-November and December, and for good reason. This is a classy album that perfectly serves as inoffensive background music, but definitely lacks the kind of spiciness other albums have.

Best Song:

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Various Artists- A Very Special Christmas 2

This kind of represents the entire Very Special Christmas franchise. Despite my hatred of of “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” I’m a sucker for star-studded ensembles. Very Special Christmas is essentially just a Christmas music greatest hits album, so it’s kind of cheating a little bit, but it’s still great. Very Special Christmas 1 is disqualified for having “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” on it, but 3 is also excellent.

Best Song:

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Michael Bolton- This is the Time

Michael Bolton is a god who came to Earth to give soulful, sultry ballads to the masses.

Best Song:

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Various Artists- Christmas on Death Row

Just the album cover alone gets this a mention.

Best Song:

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NewSong- Sheltering Tree

Just kidding.

Best Song:

Alright, enough of the also-rans. Let’s get to the reason you’re here: Kelly Clarkson Wrapped in Red. What sets it apart? Why is it so great? Well, for starters, it’s a prime time name. Wrapped in Red just screams Christmas. It’s a miracle it hadn’t been taken before 2013. Next, the album cover is perfect (see top of page): simple, elegant, festive. That’s all you need. The back cover brings it too:

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Before purchasing this Christmas album, I wasn’t really in the spirit of things, but now that I’ve seen this picture of Kelly Clarkson playfully blowing snow in my face, I’m definitely ready for Santa to come down my chimney! But what really matters is the music, and folks, it doesn’t disappoint. Full disclosure: I’m a huge Kelly Clarkson fan and am almost definitely overrating this album, but I trust my own objectivity to know good music when I hear it. And there’s a lot of good music here. The title song isn’t great, which, admittedly, kind of throws a wrench in things, but it quickly picks up. “Underneath the Tree” is criminally underrated. Sure, it’s only four years old, but it has to be put in the same category as the modern classics.

So good. Then, if your spirits are riding too high, you can slow things down with another good original, “Winter Dreams.”

Just makes me want to cuddle up with that special someone (theoretically, of course). I like my Christmas songs to either get my toes tappin’ or to be slow and a little melancholy-but-not-really-since-everything’s-happy-during-Christmas. Wrapped in Red does that throughout. When it comes to covering the classics, it’s really just about song selection. At this level, everyone can sing, so as long as you just pick good songs and don’t try to “make them your own” (see: Christina Aguilera “O Holy Night”) you should be good. “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” are all elite Christmas songs. Kelly Clarkson could smoke a hundred packs a day, never sleep, and drink a gallon of coffee a day for the next year and still have a dominant voice, so when she gets ahold of your favorite Christmas hits good things happen. No, not every song is perfect. But the bad songs are like 6s or 7s out of 10. Still decent, and it just makes the great ones stand out more. I think I’ve made a pretty convincing argument, but if you still don’t believe me, go and sit by your Christmas tree. I don’t care what you do. Read, watch TV, just look at your phone, whatever. Just as long you put this album on. If the combination of Kelly Clarkson and Christmas trees doesn’t get you in the most festive mood you’ve ever been in, you’re a bigger grinch than the Grinch himself. Wrapped in Red is the perfect Christmas album. Kelly Clarkson: GOAT of American Idol, and now, GOAT of Winter.

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The FBI Needs to Arrest Rob Manfred for Allowing the Giancarlo Stanton Trade to Happen

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Folks, I am currently both #triggered and #madonline. The reason? Well, it has something to do with yesterday’s catastrophic news that Giancarlo Stanton, National League MVP and Major League leader in home runs, was traded to the Yankees. Yes, the very same New York Yankees everyone knows and loves. The same Yankees that hit the most home runs in the league in a year where a league-wide record was set for most home runs. The same Yankees that somehow convinced the world that they were a bunch of loveable, plucky underdogs despite having the second highest payroll in the league and being the Yankees. I’m pretty sure Stanton was traded to the very same Yankees that the new Marlins owner played for once upon a time. After I saw the initial reports yesterday morning, I kept holding out hope that it wouldn’t happen. That someone would come out and say it was just a rumor or that the most perfect physical specimen in MLB history would somehow fail a physical. But of course I knew better. I wasn’t even mad in the moment. It was a bit nostalgic, honestly. It took me back to the days of pre-2004, pre-puberty me where I just accepted that everything would always break the Yankees’ way no matter what. As soon as I saw he was considering the Yankees I knew it was a done deal. We had already been given an unexpected gift when prize Japanese import Shohei Ohtani spurned the Yankees; there was no way they’d miss out on both of the big fish on the market. I was ready to just mope about it for a while, but now that the dust has settled and all the details are out I need some answers. This is some real shady shit, and the league should be embarrassed that they let it happen.

How are there not rules against this? Derek Jeter is a Yankee LEGEND. He is the Yankees. And you’re going to let him trade players to the Yankees within six months of him purchasing (with other people’s money) the Marlins? And for that? Starlin Castro and two nothing prospects is enough to get the best player in the National League? Are you kidding me? I mean, to be fair I was expecting it to be Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley straight up, but I think I would have preferred that. At least then Jeter wouldn’t even be trying to hide the fact the he was gift-wrapping Stanton to his former team. Literally everything Jeter has done since he took over has had moving Stanton to the Yankees in mind. Firing everyone in the organization so that Stanton was unhappy and wanted to leave. Announcing Stanton was for sale without consulting him first, knowing only two or three teams in the league could take that contract and effectively removing any and all leverage the Marlins had, ensuring they could accept the first offer Stanton agreed to, regardless of how terrible it was. Convincing Stanton behind the scenes that the Red Sox were a terrible situation (true), the Cardinals and Giants sucked (true), and that the Dodgers “couldn’t afford it” (hmmmmm), thus leaving the Yankees as the only realistic landing spot (I may have made up this part but you know it’s true). It just makes me so pissed, because there’s a 0% chance any of these guys plays one game for the Marlins this year. They’re just going to flip Castro and probably get a lot more for him than they got for Stanton. Unless the Yankees want him back, then all it will take is a signed copy of John Sterling’s Greatest Hits. So disgusting.

I’m not even upset at the Yankees. If someone wants to accept you steaming pile of garbage of a trade offer, it’s not your fault. And, if I can put on my logically thinking Yankee H8tr hat on, I don’t really see how this helps them in the long run. Yes, they will now hit the most home runs in the league, something they haven’t done since the 2017 season. The top of this lineup is reminiscent of the Jeter-ARod-Giami-Sheffield-Matsui-Posada days, but those teams didn’t win shit. Quite the opposite, in fact. They literally have the worst loss in MLB history on their resume. The Yankees’ starting pitching is still bad, and, with the Yankees trying to cut cost and avoid the luxury tax, they can’t really afford to go out and buy another one. The history of these long, huge money deals going into a player’s 30s is pretty gruesome. Just look at Albert Pujols, whose prime was better than Stanton’s and was hardly ever hurt. With another four years left on his deal, he’s arguably the worst player in the league. Stanton’s hurt almost every year. I, for one, don’t see any issues there. Lastly, something Yankee fans have been saying for years is that they would sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado just because they’re the Yankees. Well, next year is finally when both hit the open market. As we just established, the Yankees are trying to cut payroll. So you’re telling me they’re going to sign Machado and Harper to massive deals, keep paying Stanton $30 million a year, and then, with at least three mega-contracts on the books, sign Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez when they hit arbitration or free agency? Ummmm, yeah, I don’t think so. Unless, of course, the Yankees decide to move on from Sanchez and/or Judge, which I think would cause riots in the streets of New York. This trade kind of screws up any long term plan they might have had. In fact, the more I think about it, the only thing I’m upset about is that one of my favorite players is now on the Yankees and that I might have to admit to myself that watching Judge and Stanton hit 600-bombs all year will be entertaining. Astros are still the best team in the league. That being said, if the Red Sox don’t sign J.D. Martinez I might be out on baseball for the next ten years.

NFL Week 14 Picks

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After yet another Thursday night game filled with injuries, I think it’s fair to ask: has Color Rush killed football? I know it’s sacrilege to suggest, but, as far as I know, no one has gotten hurt on a Sunday or Monday the whole season. Every single concussion and injury has happened on Thursday night. I guess the players just aren’t as tough as they used to be. In olden times, players could handle wearing Color Rush jerseys. They didn’t let the explosion of color trick their brains into thinking it was “concussed.” Such a shame how far this league has fallen. Used to be filled with proud men who could handle Color Rush. Now we’re just left with boys who’ve never worn an alternate jersey before in their life. SMH, man. SMH.

(Side note: Matt Ryan’s MVP just keeps getting funnier every week. Brady has one of the best seasons of all time, but since he does every year and people are tired of him they give it to someone else. Turns out Matt Ryan absolutely SUCKS, but as long as it’s not Brady, right? Can’t wait for Carson Wentz to win this year. When we look back on Brady’s career when he retires in 15 years, the fact that he only won 2 MVPs will be the most egregious error in sports history.)

Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New York Giants

If I know the NFL like I think I do, I’d wager the Giants are about to go on a late season winning streak now that they’re freed from the shackles of Ben McAdoo and totally screw themselves out of a good draft pick because football is dumb.

Pick: Giants +4

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

If I know the NFL like I think I do, I’d wager the Packers win this and somehow stay alive until Aaron Rodgers comes back and leads them to the NFC Championship Game.

Pick: Packers -3.5

San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans (-3)

This game will finally answer the age old question: Who has better backups, Brady or Belichick? One of the most underrated part of the Pats run of dominance is how terrible every assistant becomes when they leave Bill’s warm embrace. Can he make anyone look like a good coach? Would Ben McAdoo look competent if he was under Belichick? Would Dan Quinn? Is there anyone stupid enough to hinder Belichick’s genius? Based on what we’ve seen from Bill O’Brien, I’m leaning no.

Pick: 49ers +3

Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)

Not going to lie to you, folks. I have absolutely no interest in watching any of this game. Not saying I won’t watch it, just saying I don’t want to.

Pick: Bears +6.5

Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Carolina Panthers

I want to to close you eyes. Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. Imagine yourself walking through a field of tall grass. You notice a tall tree nearby and decide to sit underneath. The ground underneath you is pleasantly soft and you let the shade cool you off. You hear birds chirping overhead. You are totally at peace. Suddenly, a bird lands on the ground next to you. Without warning, it squawks, in English for some reason, “Case Keenum is an MVP candidate.” Then you wake up.

Pick: Vikings -3

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-4)

I don’t care how bad the Raiders are, the Chiefs should never be favored again. Like, as long as the franchise still exists, they shouldn’t be favored. What a disgrace they are. Remember when the Chiefs were going to the Super Bowl and the Pats were dead? Good times. Good times.

Pick: Raiders +4

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Bucs

No line yet because Matt Stafford might not play, which opens up the door for something I think we all really want: a full game of Jake Rudock! Legitimately might be the worst game of all time.

Pick: Bucs I guess

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

No line yet because Tyrod Taylor might not play, which opens up the door for something I think we all really want: another game of Nathan Peterman! Legitimately might be the worst game of all time.

Pick: Bills if Tyrod plays, no one if he doesn’t

New York Jets (-1) at Denver Broncos

I’m going to admit something here that I’m not sure I ever would: I kind of love this Jets team. There’s just something about Josh McCown’s no-porn-watching ass that’s just really entertaining. He thrives in chaos. He thrives in the mud. He thrives when the other team has quit. If that doesn’t perfectly describe what this Jets-Broncos game is going to be I don’t know what does.

Pick: Jets -1

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers (-6)

Imagine if the Chargers actually won one of their first four games? Crazy that they’re clearly the best team in the division and started 0-4. I’m just glad the Redskins are essentially out out it, because when the Skins are irrelevant it’s time to fire up the name debate again. Is it time for the Redskins to distance themselves from Washington? You tell me.

Pick: Chargers -6

Tennessee Titans (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

Are the Titans going to win 11 games this year? Somehow, it’s looking like a yes. I have no idea how they keep winning. They aren’t good at anything. The only thing they’re good at is being less bad than their opponents. That’s all that really matters, I guess.

Pick: Titans -3

Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)

I really want to say that this is kind of where it all starts to fall apart for the Jags, but just thinking about the Seahawks offensive line coming to Sacksonville has me shaken up and I don’t have a dog in the fight. I know Russell Wilson is impossible to tackle, but not even he can escape four freakishly athletic huge guys at once every single play. First team to 9 wins.

Pick: Jags

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (-2)

Whoever loses can’t be a pleasant surprise anymore. Those are the rules. Eagles looked like booty last week offensively. They looked like booty defensively. And now they have to face a better team than they did last week? Especially now that the Rams get to be the Wildfire team? Take the under, but this one might get ugly.

Pick: Rams -2

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)

I might be breaking some news to you here, but word on the street is that there’s no love lost between these two teams. Shocking, I know. Not only is 4.5 too many points for this rivalry, but I honestly don’t know how the Steelers get up for this game after what happened to Ryan Shazier. Really scary scene that’s going to be ingrained in their minds for a while.

Pick: Ravens +4.5

New England Patriots (-11.5) at Miami Dolphins

It’s honestly offensive to me that the Pats have to play the rest of these games. What’s the point? Who benefits from this? Just chalk it up as a win and everyone goes home happy and healthy.

Pick: Pats -11.5

BONUS COLLEGE PICK

  • Army vs Navy -3

Now That the Browns Have Fired Their GM, Is it Time for Me to Throw My Hat in the Ring?

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ESPN– The Cleveland Browns fired Sashi Brown, their executive vice president of football operations, on Thursday. Brown headed the personnel department for the past two years.

Head coach Hue Jackson will remain on the job and will return for the 2018 season, “but we feel it is necessary to take significant steps to strengthen our personnel department,” owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement.

Other front-office members also are expected to be let go as the team reshapes its front office again, sources told ESPN.

First of all, R.I.P. to Sashi Brown’s career. When the Cleveland Browns think they can do better than you, that’s got to be a death blow. Also, how can you be fired from the Browns if your last name is Brown? Doesn’t seem right.

Anyway, now that the Browns are once again searching for leadership, it got me thinking that it might be time for me to step into the NFL front office world. I realize the Browns aren’t exactly the ideal starting point, but what better way to become a legend than turning the Browns into contenders? People may say that I have no qualifications or experience, and, though it’s true I haven’t actually worked for an NFL team before, I have a functioning brain, which is more than I can say for 99% of all NFL executives. The Browns also hired the guy Jonah Hill played in Moneyball to run the show, so the Browns saying I have no NFL qualifications would be pretty rich. I’ve played a lot, and I mean a lot, of Madden. I’ve done an infinite amount of fantasy drafts, so I know how roster construction works, and I passed fifth grade math, so I think I can figure out how to manipulate the salary cap in my favor. Lastly, as I’m sure you’re all aware, I’m an NFL expert. I don’t think I’ve gotten a single pick wrong this whole year. I know the league inside and out, and, again, I have a brain. I can fix the Browns. Matter of fact, I can take the Browns to the Super Bowl within five years. Actually, make that three. If the Browns hire me as GM, they’ll win the Super Bowl three years from now. How? Well, I’m glad you asked. I hereby present my simple fifteen-step plan to fix the Cleveland Browns.

  1. Get a new coach. Hue Jackson stinks. The new coach would preferably be a good coach.
  2. Make sure LeBron leaves this offseason. Cleveland isn’t a “three good teams” kind of city. Just to be safe I might ensure Francisco Lindor has a serious “accident” on the way to Spring Training.
  3. Give Josh Gordon as much money as he wants to make sure he stays around forever.
  4. Stop drafting bad players.
  5. Draft good players.
  6. Don’t sign bad players in free agency.
  7. Scour other teams’ practice squads to find cheap, overlooked talent that will allow me to game the salary cap system by building the roster around minimum wage and rookie-deal players while paying huge money to good free agents, most of which will play offensive or defensive line and defensive back.
  8. Take every “freak athlete but raw” project player that teams give up on after two years.
  9. Unless they’re a key player, cut anyone with an adidas or Under Armour sponsorship. Nike pays the bills around here.
  10. Build a new stadium (using tax player money, of course) as far away from Lake Erie as possible while still being able to claim to be in Cleveland. Too much bad history.
  11. Go back to the uniforms from three years ago.
  12. Call Calvin Johnson and give him 35% franchise ownership if he comes back.
  13. Trade down from the number one pick so I can get more picks and draft Lamar Jackson.
  14. Strongly encourage my coach to play a hyper-aggressive, never punt, go deep all game, all-or-nothing style that leads to blowouts when it goes well.
  15. Profit.

That’s it. That’s my plan in a nutshell. If I’m given the freedom I need, Browns are Super Bowl champs in 2021 at the latest. Can’t wait to get into the Hall of Fame.

My Christmas List

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Dear Santa,

I hope this finds you well. I understand this is a busy time for you and your staff, but, assuming you’re reading this, it appears I was correct in assuming my oversized envelope labeled only with magazine cutout letters spelling “I have Mrs. Claus” caught your attention. I realize it may seem extreme, but you do what you have to to stand out. To clarify: I do not actually have Mrs. Claus, so if she is currently missing, I would appreciate being removed from the suspect list. Thank you.

Anyway, as I’m sure you know, it’s the Christmas season. And, again, as I’m sure you know, the Christmas season is all about other people to buying you things. Or something. Either way, you’re the man to turn to when it comes getting stuff you want without paying for it, so I figured I’d drop you a line. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I have been good this year. I rounded up my change to help St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital the last time I went to the mall, I exposed a deep-seated conspiracy that goes back decades, I helped prop up the struggling hot dog industry, I saved New York City, and I recycle. Sure, I’m not perfect. I don’t always come to a complete stop at stop signs. I downloaded some music without paying for it. I speak to my family only slightly more often than Aaron Rodgers does. But I think you’ll find the good far outweighs the bad, and that I’m more than eligible for a haul of Christmas gifts. And while this is more of a guideline than a list of demands, I would prefer if you kind of stick to the script. I know it’s your workshop’s specialty and all, but I’ll be pissed if I get some crappy wooden toy. It’s 2017, the last thing in the world I need to a wood dog with wheels that I can pull around. Just give me coal instead, at least it has a practical use. Anyway, without further ado, I present my 2017 Christmas List.

  • A ton of money
  • My own Chick-fil-a franchise
  • A Japanese Cherry Tree sapling imported from Tokyo
  • The complete Take That discography
  • A signed copy of The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance
  • 20 more years of Tom Brady
  • A pony
  • One of the Crown Jewels, don’t really care which
  • A stylish collection of ascots so I can add some smoking lounge chic to my wardrobe
  • Gold
  • Frankensense
  • Myrrh
  • A couple Bitcoins
  • A Nintendo Switch with Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey
  • An end to fast food regionalism so I can have In-n-Out, Whataburger, Bojangles, Raising Cane’s, Zaxby’s, Cook Out, and every other Southern place without having to base a vacation around trying them
  • An all-expenses-paid vacation to go to every regional fast food place in America
  • An apparel and shoe sponsorship with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour
  • Musical talent
  • A saltwater aquarium complete with a full range of fish. Seahorses are most important aspect
  • An appointment with the Pimp My Ride crew
  • A 10-day contract with literally any NBA team
  • Make UConn men’s basketball better
  • A role as whatever superhero is left in the next round of Marvel movies
  • A pair of game-worn Pitbull gloves
  • Access to the Book of Secrets
  • Tickets to Hamilton so I can tell people I’ve seen Hamilton
  • Matchstick Men on DVD
  • Russia to get re-instated into the Olympics so there’s someone to root against
  • Russia to win the World Cup in the most obviously rigged way possible because it would actually be kind of funny
  • A job as a nature documentary cameraman
  • My own used car dealership
  • A better cable company than Optimum
  • A private jet
  • Some kind of holiday in August
  • To find a hidden oil reserve in my backyard
  • A better feel for interior decorating
  • A lifetime supply of Cheez-It
  • A lifetime supply of DiGiorno
  • My own Margaritaville location
  • A time machine
  • Another time machine that I can give to a responsible person to undo anything I would do using my time machine
  • Better WiFi
  • A complete brontosaurus fossil
  • Someone who follows me around telling me not to eat all the really unhealthy stuff I eat
  • My own house flipping reality tv show
  • A good app idea that someone else designs but I get to sell
  • An English bulldog
  • Some new Transformers. Don’t know what they’re like now but I want to get back in the game
  • Another pony so the first pony has some company
  • My own Domino’s franchise
  • Diplomatic immunity in every part of the world except New England
  • A Manhattan brownstone
  • No more automated calls
  • A maid who’s only job is to fold laundry
  • The eradication of Dominick the Donkey and everyone who likes it
  • World peace and all that
  • An authentic Turboman

Continued on next three pages. Make sure to read all of it.

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas,

Brian

Are People Actually Upset That Ohio State Didn’t Make the Playoff?

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So the College Football Playoff foursome was announced yesterday, and, even though I’m sure you’ve heard every possible take about it, but I just had to throw my two cents out because, well, I’m very narcissistic and think you care about my opinion. Anyway, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama all made it, putting an end to the weeklong “Alabama or Ohio State?” debate that saw the good people of America be held hostage by two of the three worst college football fanbases (if only Penn State was in the mix, then it could have been the unholy trinity). Most reaction I’ve seen has been pretty measured and reasonable, but I’ve seen a couple thinkpieces that make me want to bang my head against the wall until I think like a retired NFL player. It’s baffling to me that anyone thinks Ohio State should have been in.

Listen, it’s obviously an imperfect system. Even though the playoff had been gathering momentum for years, when they introduced it three years ago it kind of felt rushed. Well, now that we’ve seen it works it’s time to do some tinkering. I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say expanding to 8 teams is necessary. The Power 5 conference champions then three at large teams, including any undefeated mid-major team. If this year’s playoff was Clemson-Oklahoma-Georgia-Alabama-Ohio State-USC-UCF-Wisconsin I think everyone would be happy. But only four teams make it, and it should be the four best teams. Period. Alabama is better than Ohio State. They just are. Yes, Ohio State is hot. But they also lost by 15 to Oklahoma, not the worst result ever, and by 31 to Iowa. 31!!!!! TO IOWA!!!! Iowa is terrible. They won one game after beating Ohio State. Outside Clemson’s bizarre loss to Syracuse it might be the single worst loss of the season by any team. Iowa has, what, five or six guys that’ll play in the NFL? Ohio State has five or six first round picks! They should have destroyed Iowa. They should have destroyed Wisconsin, but stopped trying after they went up 14-0. How can you look at this team and say “yeah, they’re definitely one of the best four. Have been all season?” Alabama was literally ranked ahead of them every single week. Alabama has more talent than everyone but Clemson. Did they struggle down the stretch? Sure. Did they have a brutal schedule? You betcha. Do they always get the benefit of the doubt? Yes, and for good reason. Would you be surprised if Alabama won the title? I wouldn’t. Honestly whoever wins the Sugar Bowl is winning the championship. Remember when Ohio State played Clemson last year? Clemson won 31-0. The B1G stinks. Ohio State played a soft-ass schedule and somehow lost two games. Alabama played a gauntlet of a schedule and only lost once. Pretty cut and dry, if you ask me. Yeah, Alabama didn’t make their conference championship game, but why should that really matter? Not playing that extra game didn’t turn them from the second best team in the country into the fifth. That’s asinine. They’re there because the deserve it, end of story. Now expand it to eight so we can debate who the ninth best team in the country is.

Also, for what it’s worth, USC is better than Ohio State and should have been getting the hype Ohio State got.