I’m going on a trip this Spring…

So I’m taking a well deserved vaca in June. The first real trip I’ve ever planned by myself, and the first vacation I’ve gone on in years (as the great Bill Belichick says, “No Days Off”). Gonna be a great way to expand my horizons and get some grade A #content for the Brian’s Den. There’s only one catch…I’m flying there. Normally, that means nothing. But now? Well, let me direct you to one of my favorite YouTube videos…

That’s right, I’m going to Denver (no, it’s not for the weed), which means I’m flying into and out of the Denver International Airport. The ultimate hub of conspiracies. I think it has ties to every secret society known to man (nothing gets my blood flowing like secret societies. Mention any of them and I instantly believe anything you say. I can easily be convinced the Illuminati are behind literally any event that has ever taken place. And have you ever walked by a Masonic lodge? You can feel the dark energy poring out). Crazy things reportedly go down each and every day. And the worst part? It’s all 100%, unequivocally true. Think about it- what’s the point of starting conspiracy rumors about the Denver airport? It’s such a random place. If this video was about the Pentagon or something like that I’d roll my eyes and move on. But the Denver airport? Now I’m listening. And it doesn’t take much effort to find other videos like this. There’s something going on at this airport, and I intend to find out what.

In the first piece of investigative journalism here at the Brian’s Den, I promise to expose every angle of the Denver airport’s many mysteries, and I intend to get as much of it on video as possible. I realize how dangerous this is. Delve even an inch to far into the thick web of influence and I’m likely dead, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I won’t rest until every stone is unturned: the murals, the rug pattern, the horse statue, the swastika runways, the underground series of tunnels and bunkers. I’m going to shed a light on all of it and show the world what’s going on. The Masons, Illuminati, New World Order, Nazis, and even the Skull and Bones Society better get ready, because I’m coming for them whether they like it or not.

BONUS: Best Conspiracy Videos

A good way to lose an hour, a day, a week, a lifetime is to get deep into YouTube conspiracy videos. A good rule of thumb is that a conspiracy video’s quality is inverse of the video quality-if it looks like it was filmed in 1982, then you’re in for something good. Here’s some of my favorites.

Listen, Tony Temple’s record is invalid. It’s really as simple as that.

I don’t know who NFLranking is, but the only thing he ever made was a 9-part series about how the 2002 Western Conference Finals was fixed. The more parts a conspiracy video series has, the better. NFLrankings was truly doing God’s work.

Flat Earth truthers are absolute idiots. Hollow Earthers? Well, there might be something to it.

Well, I’m convinced.

At the risk of disturbing the Beyhive, this might be my favorite. Beyonce sucks.

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NL Central Preview

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Back again with another MLB division preview, this time with the NL Central, home of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs(?). Don’t really expect the standings to look a whole lot different this season, so let’s dive right in. As always, win projections from Atlantis Casino Resort.

Chicago Cubs

127px-chicago_cubs_logo-svgWhat else can you really say about this team? Last year they put together one of the greatest seasons ever: Best pitching staff in the majors by ERA+, second in the National League in runs, one of the greatest defenses of all time, and had the best record in the league. And they’re adding Kyle Schwarber and Wade Davis? Won’t be long until the only curse associated with the Cubs is the Curse of the Pink Hats that has afflicted the Red Sox since 2004.

Centerfield is pretty much the only question mark. Losing leadoff man Dexter Fowler hurts, but 22-year-old Albert Almora is a good prospect, and if he ever finds a position, Schwarber’s offensive upside is far higher than Fowler’s. This is the best roster in the (National) league, and they should roll to another 100+ wins this year.

Over/Under 95.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading for Wade Davis

Burning Question: Can the Cubs survive Theo’s next soul searching journey?

Bold Prediction: Jason Heyward sets the record for grounding into 50 double plays

St. Louis Cardinals

216px-st-_louis_cardinals_logo-svgThe Best Fans in Baseball are probably excited for this season, but that’s mostly because smelling their own farts for so long has dulled their already limited cognitive abilities. This team just feels like it’s in no man’s land. They’re definitely not good enough to contend for their own division (let alone the World Series), but they’re not really that bad, not that the proud Cardinals would ever fully commit to a rebuild. I realize counting out the Cardinals is always foolish, but I really don’t see much when I look at this team.

Listen, they’re still gonna be decent. Their offense was good last year. Fourth in the majors in runs, most home runs in the National League, fourth in slugging, and they’re adding Dexter Fowler, who will add to their already solid team on base percentage. He’s not going to help their lousy defense, though. Or their middling pitching staff (rookie Alex Reyes is nasty). Or their lack of top-end talent. But hey, they have “great” fans, so what does any of that matter? They’re like the Atlanta Hawks of baseball. Good enough to finish above .500, not good enough to do anything else.

Over/Under 87.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Signing Dexter Fowler

Burning Question: Who’s going to break the news to Cardinals fans that Yadier Molina sucks now?

Bold Prediction: Cardinals fans will turn on Dexter Fowler for his beliefs by May. Oh, wait, it already happened?

Pittsburgh Pirates

87px-pittsburgh_pirates_logo_2014-svgAfter a million straight Wild Card Game exits, the Pirates took a serious step back last year. To gear up for the comeback season, they went out and added…Ivan Nova? That’s it? I know the Pirates aren’t a traditional free agent hot spot, but surely they could have done a little more.

It’s actually kind of amazing they even won 78 games last year. They weren’t good at anything. Their pitching was trash, led by a down year from presumed ace Gerrit Cole. The offense was trash, led by a career worst year from star Andrew McCutchen. The defense was absolute trash, led by everybody (so McCutchen finishes dead last among all centerfielders in UZR and he wants to complain about being moved to right? Makes sense). They have a lot of really good individual talents: Cole still has good stuff if he can get right mentally. Jameson Taillon is a promising young pitcher. Starling Marte had a great year last year, and longtime top prospect Gregory Polanco showed some signs. I think McCutchen still has something left in the tank. I mean, this is a pretty boring team, but I think their record will probably be a few games better this year.

Over/Under 85.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Signing Ivan Nova

Burning Question: What’s really the point of anyone in the NL Central trying for the next few years?

Bold Prediction: They will add to their recent run of success by not winning a playoff game again this year

Cincinnati Reds

176px-cincinnati_reds_logo-svgOnce I got to the Cardinals, I kind of started to regret doing this division. Because outside the Cubs, this division stinks. I foolishly thought the AL Central was the most boring division, but by the time I realized I was wrong, it was too late. Cubs could win 120 games going against these teams.

The Reds, in laymen’s terms, are very bad. They might have the worst pitching in the league (third lowest strikeout percentage combined with a league high walk percentage), and outside Joey Votto and Adam Duvall the lineup is terrible. They’re going to be bad again this year. Book it.

Over/Under 73.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Signing Drew Storen I guess?

Burning Question: Do Reds fans exist outside of Cincinnati?

Bold PredictionJoey Votto will request a trade before taking it back because he’s Canadian and doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers

Milwaukee Brewers

176px-milwaukee_brewers_logo-svgGod, what’s the point of this team? Seriously, what are the Brewers playing for? Maybe they can get their prospects some playing time? Is that it?

The Brewers are soooooooooooooo bad. They’re the worst non-Padres offense in the league, their defense is traaaaaash, their pitching was…somehow okay? The Brewers are wasting a great team gimmick by sucking so bad, and I’m sick of it. I’ll start a petition to become the GM of the Brewers. It’s about time someone steps in and makes the Brewers decent again. I know I could do a better job than the people in charge now. I’ll do the impossible and turn Milwaukee into a destination.

Over/Under 72.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Trading for Travis Shaw

Burning Question: Did Aaron Rodgers ever donate his salary when Ryan Braun was proved to be a liar?

Bold Prediction: They will sell at least twenty times more Miller Lites in the home opener than the number of games they’ll win this season

Nioh Review

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(I know no one cares about video games as much as I do, but I want to start posting more gaming stuff. Mostly so companies send me free copies to review. I’m a very generous grader. I’ll say anything you want. Just send me some free stuff. I’ll post my address. I’m #teamPS4, though. Unless someone wants to send me a free Xbox. Then I’ll gladly sell my soul to Microsoft.)

It was really hard but samurais are awesome.

Rating: 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣

I Burned the Roof of my Mouth and now I wish I was Dead

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The title says it all: I burned the roof of my mouth and now I want to die.

I was just minding my own business. Trying to eat some dinner in peace (what was I eating? Some nutritious soup? Maybe I was drinking some soothing tea? Was it a frozen pizza with an internal temperature of 1000000000º Fahrenheit despite resting for 10 minutes? I’ll let you decide). One bite in I knew. The roof of my mouth was burned. The thin, sensitive layer of skin that covered my palate was no more. If I had the chance, I probably would have jumped in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler. If I had a sharp enough knife, I might have considered engaging in the ancient art of seppuku to at least go out the honorable way, rather than live with this pain.

There’s pretty much nothing worse than burning the roof of your mouth. It’s the closest thing possible to Hell on Earth, perhaps other than Michael Stipe solo concert. I feel like one of the ghost pirates from the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Drink will not satisfy and food turns to ash in my mouth. Nothing tastes right. Everything is coated with those “skin re-grafting” overtones. And eating something like chips becomes an exercise in self-mutilation that even the ancient Flagellants would consider extreme. And now that we’re into Lent, I can’t even enjoy my favorite Easter-themed candy, Cadbury™ Mini Eggs (I’m open to running ads, by the way. Call me). It’s horrible. I can’t live this way. And it’s always such a lingering thing, too. It lasts at least a day longer than you’d think it would, and even then you’re so mentally scarred you can’t eat anything but pudding and ice cream for a few days after. If I could force one evolution on the human race, it would be to make the palate a little hardier. Why does it have to be so sensitive? A good rule of thumb I have is that if a tortilla chip is sharp enough to puncture something, it’s too weak to be a part of my body. Maybe some scientist out there is developing a synthetic palate that does all the same stuff but is just made of metal or plastic. If they need a guinea pig I’m here. I’m easy to find. I don’t ever want to experience this pain ever again, and I’ll do almost anything to make sure I never do. Except eating scalding hot food.

Pizza Hut is Introducing “Pie Top” sneakers for March Madness

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New York Daily News– “Pie Tops” — a limited edition sneaker for March Madness — allows you to place orders by pressing a button on the tongue that connects to an app, according to Ad Week.

The white and red sneakers have a geolocation built into them that allows the pizza to be delivered to wherever you are.

(Before we start I have to give a quick shout out to the NY Daily News for using what is a clear picture of a Domino’s pizza in an article about Pizza Hut. It’s the little things that make old newspapers so much better than websites such as this.)

They went all in on being the wacky brand a long time ago, but it’s good to see Pizza Hut further their brand as the leader in pizza innovation. This is a genius marketing scheme, especially since they’re only making 64 pairs. Nothing gets people’s blood flowing like a limited sneaker release, and 20 years from now, the resale market for these things will be insane. Granted, Pizza Hut technically see any of the profits for the secondary market, but the publicity is worth it.

It goes without saying that Pizza Hut should make sure that I get a pair. Having gone on record as saying that I sometimes want their pizza, I’m pretty much their greatest champion. In fact, I kind of wanted some Pizza Hut last night, but I didn’t get it. I’m not saying it definitely would have been different if I had some Pie Tops, but it might have been. Pizza Hut needs someone with my huge sphere of influence to have access to their product at a moment’s notice. Maybe make it all free, too. With franchising options. I’m just trying to look out for Pizza Hut here. They’re a clear third dog in the Great Pizza Race. Letting 64 randoms get these shoes instead of me isn’t the way to change anything.

Steve Kerr yelled at John Wall last night proving the Warriors want everyone to hate them

So this happened last night (easily the most noteworthy thing from that game). Steve Kerr yelling at John Wall a little bit. Now, it way seem like a throwaway sequence, but it’s just another example of the Warriors’ bizarre quest to get everyone to hate them. Drayman Green is still going after Paul Pierce, kicks everyone he sees, and still acts like no one believes in him despite the fact that he’s a two time all star and was 2nd Team All NBA last year. Kevin Durant signed as a free agent (the ultimate sin) and has wasted no time ruffling feathers, most notably slandering Shaq in wake of his very public feud with fellow Warrior Javale McGee. They keep taking goofy team pictures that get shredded online. Zaza is his typical self, cheap shotting everyone he sees then getting held back before anyone can fight back. Kerr bashed the players for their all star votes, and hasn’t been shy making political comments. They just keep going out of their way to make you hate them, and their online army of fans don’t do a whole lot to deter any of that. Makes me long for the old Golden State, when Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson were running pick and rolls with Andris Biedrins as Al Harrington spotted up on the wing in front of a raucous crowd. Or a few years ago when Monta Ellis was averaging 25 a game and once every five games or so a random guy like Anthony Morrow or Kelenna Azubuike would have 40 or CJ Watson would have a triple double. Back in the early days of Steph when the explosions were rarer and only the people in the know got to experience them. They used to be such a fun team, but the last couple years have sucked the fun out of a team that theoretically should be the most fun team of all time.

Now that that’s out of the way, the real reason I wanted to write about this was to talk about Steve Kerr’s past life as the color guy in NBA Live 06, the most over-the-top, least realistic, and most fun basketball game ever made.

Steve Kerr was the angriest announcer of all time. He took bad decisions as a personal offense. I don’t know what was going on in his life when they recorded the audio, but it couldn’t have been good. Maybe his wife was nagging him hard or his daughter just brought home her first boyfriend, but whatever he was dealing with had him in a seriously horrible mood. If you took a 3 with a big man he wondered if you had graduated 1st grade. After a bad turnover he’d just sit in silence out of pure rage. And nothing, and I mean nothing, got him more fired up than fouls. One time I let Kyle Korver pick up a third foul in the first quarter and he practically threatened to kill my entire family. He was ready to fist fight Marv Albert in the player’s place if you let a star player get into foul trouble. And he’d keep bringing it up, too. That same game I was down like 5 points at the end of the third quarter and he said I’de be winning if the idiot coach hadn’t let Korver get a million fouls. The only way to make him happy was scoring with either Amar’e or Manu Ginobili. He was even pissed off during the All Star Weekend modes. It was crazy. If my hard life growing up in the wintery streets of Rutland, Vermont hadn’t already jaded me, 13 year old me might have been traumatized by being screamed at over and over by virtual Steve Kerr. Can’t help but think last year’s finals might have been karma coming back around.