Thursday, July 28, 2011

How To Jump A Bandwagon Like A Pro

After flirting with the idea for a couple years now, I'm officially diving headfirst onto the Sporting KC bandwagon (Kansas City's MLS team, to the layperson. MLS stands for Major League Soccer, to the super duper layperson.) Here are my tips to being a successful bandwagon jumper:

Read up and memorize. Stats, schedule, team history. And that entire roster better be burned into your brain, that's priority #1. After the basics are done, now you've got substitution patterns, strengths, weaknesses, etc. etc. As G.I. Joe used to tell us when we were young, knowing is half the battle.**

Pick a favorite player and study him. Besides giving you someone to cheer extra hard for, which is always enjoyable, it helps you sound more knowledgeable. Saying things like "We gotta get Omar Bravo some more touches here, let's go!" or "Watch out for Bunbury on this cross, this is his spot right here" makes you sound like you know what you're talking about, even if it's completely made up. Maybe Bravo is already dominating the ball, and doesn't need any more touches right now. Maybe it's not Bunbury's spot at all, but who knows? More likely than not, the person you're directing this bullshit to doesn't know for sure. You sounded cool though.

When in doubt, keep it simple. Along those same lines, at some point you're going to find yourself in some conversations with DIEHARD fans, and here's where you need to pump the brakes a little bit. You don't need to go blasting for the green with your 2nd shot on a par 5 from a bad lie (oh wait, that's the wrong sport. Still working on my soccer metaphors.) Let the real fan throw out all the opinions, and just nod and generally agree with everything he's saying. Don't go throwing out any crazy opinions that you might be asked to back up with facts. Also, when these real fans start making fun of the bandwagon fans (which they will, soccer fans are easily the most hipster-ish of all sports fans) you can chuckle along with them, but don't go overboard in your attempts to make fun of them; it will just result in more embarrassment if/when you are exposed as a poser. The guys sitting behind us at a recent game were mercilessly lighting up a few girls down the row from me, telling them things like "You know Sporting KC is the team in blue, right?" and "The reason they use their feet so much is because in soccer, you're not allowed to touch it with your hands." Rather than stick up for the girls, I nodded in agreement, and even threw out a couple of "Totally, bros. Totally." and some fist bumps. I was just glad they weren't making fun of me. (I'm not saying I'm proud of my behavior-but, you know....better them than me.)

Swag, swag, and more swag. How are people gonna know that you're a big fan if you're not sporting any of your new team's gear? By halftime of my first game in person, I was hustling to the concourse and shelling out a 20 scrill for some brand-new merch. Oh word, son? There was someone sitting in these seats in the first half who looked just like me? Couldn't have been me, I've had this shirt for months. Whoops, missed a tag there. Lemme pull that off real quick.

"I'm major league superstar Fred McGriff. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be a champion bandwagon jumper too."


**Speaking of G.I. Joe, I'd like to officially thank Bigsby for linking to one of these fake G.I. Joe public service announcements with the voices dubbed. I killed an entire lunch break watching every one I could find. For the record, this one is my favorite. The one you originally linked to took a close second. Thanks again, Bigs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Open Letter To Open Letters

Dear Society,

Stop writing open letters to inanimate objects or generalized groups of people every time you encounter a minor everyday occurrence. It stopped being amusing a long time ago.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Milk Was A Bad Choice

Off the top of my head, I'd have to say that the U.S. Women's soccer team holds my new personal record for the greatest gap between how much time I invested in something and how much I actually cared about it (not the greatest way to explain it, but bear with me.) Like, I only watched 2.5 games, and read a few articles online, and yet during the final the other day, I found myself jumping and yelling from the couch, and was legitimately depressed after they lost on penalty kicks. Contrast that to, say, The Sopranos, to which I dedicated about 75 hours of my life to, but then couldn't even be bothered to go rent the last season because I didn't care enough. I don't know why I was extra sad when the women's team lost, maybe because they're women? This was a superb article detailing that train of thought.

I know one thing that initially sucked me in was Hope Solo. What a smoke show. Between her looks, athletic ability, and awesome last name, there is no doubt in my mind that I would marry her (and take her last name.)

And then we would name our first son Han and I could make a million 'Han Shot First' jokes and life would be perfect.

Quick list of the female athletes I've been the most smitten by in my life:

1. Anna Kournikova in 1998 (really, it's not even realistic how hot she was)
2. Dominique Moceanu in 1996 (acceptable because I was 13 at the time)
3. Shawn Johnson in 2008 (completely unacceptable because I was 25 at the time)
4. Hope Solo in 2011
5. Natalie Gulbis in 2006 (although heads up, Michelle Wie is getting SUPER hot)


Congrats to Paul and Mandy on the birth of their first child, Leah, a few days ago. I think it's hilarious, some of the friends that have been the first of us to have kids. During freshman year of college, if I would've parlayed Lane, Paul, Russell, and Ike all having kids before the age of 29, I wouldn't be typing this right now, because I'd be living on a yacht in international waters, and the internet connection would probably be pretty spotty. Either way, I'm a mighty proud uncle right now.


I've been feeling very 90's lately (more so than usual) thinking about things that were awesome back then. So a new feature on The Slice: Things That Used To Be Awesome. This one is circa 1994. I'm trying to bring it back by making it my text message ringtone. TOASTY!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Awesome Alert

Now that I found this website, the question becomes: Am I going to write every single blog in this format for the rest of my life?

Answer: Very possibly. Very possibly.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh No You Di-in't

My mom has never been a fan of technological upgrades of any kind (my least favorite Christmas ever was 1989, when EVERY SINGLE one of my friends who didn't already own a Nintendo got one that year, while my parents steadfastly refused to give me one- as clearly video games were the worst thing on the face of the Earth. The next year, my grandparents stepped up and got us a Sega Genesis without telling my mom first, and she was furious for months. Big ups, G'ma and G'pa. Holler at your boy.) She resisted getting a cell phone until LAST YEAR, motherfucking 2010, and only then because she was tired of everyone nagging her for not having one. Needless to say she's not thrilled with it.

So typically, she almost immediately started receiving calls and texts from wrong numbers. Apparently the previous owner, 'Andrea', didn't tell a single soul that she got a new number, and my mom dealt with the consequences. So after weeks of that mess, she went and got her number changed. The problem, of course, was not solved. She has now been getting hit with a barrage of new wrong number calls and texts all over again, with most of them sounding like they belong to 'Jon.' Only now these communications are smothered with a hot greasy layer of disrespect. Like after receiving a "Happy Birthday, Bro" text, my mom will politely respond that they texted the wrong number, and then she gets a "sorry about that, loser" answer back. And then he continues to text 'Jon' like he wasn't just told it was the wrong number.

I have also imagined this anonymous texter as looking about as douchey as a typical John Mayer picture, which helps explain why I already hate him so much.

So clearly I can't let this disrespect of my mom stand. We're talking about unchecked aggression here, dude. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, dude. Across this line, you DO NOT....sorry went into Walter Sobchak mode there. Anyway, I got this guy's number from my mom, and now I'm going to be throwing some phone shenanigans his way. I hope he has his glove oiled up and broken in.

If you'd like to join in, his number is 701-368-9196. Let's use the power of the internet for good here. Maybe he stops screwing around with his cellular telephone after he gets a taste of the proverbial medicine.

Remember, this could be your mom we're talking about here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mind-Humping Movies

I LOVE mind-fuck movies. My mind absolutely loves it when it gets bent over a public restroom sink and taken by force. Or when it gets lured into an old conversion van with no windows by the promise of a bike and/or candy, then gets driven out to the woods, raped, and chopped into seven different garbage bags and scattered across the county. (I was gonna make a Casey Anthony joke here, but I figured this paragraph already went far enough.)

I realize this isn't the case for everyone- just recently my roommate and I watched Vanilla Sky, one of my all-time favourite (do you ever just want to start spelling like a Canadian? Sometimes I do) mind-fuckers, and as the credits rolled, she announced simply "That might have been the worst movie I've ever seen in my life" and then walked out of the room. Also, even though this movie technically isn't a mind-fucker, when we got to the part in No Country for Old Men when there's the flash forward and Josh Brolin's character is dead (spoiler alert!) my dad threw a five-minute tirade about how movies can't just follow a character around for 90 minutes, then suddenly kill him off with no explanation, and goddammit Jim, you and your bullshit movie suggestions sometimes!

But for me, they're the best. Half the fun is watching the movie once, being confused as hell, sprinting to the internet (figuratively) and reading various explanations and interpretations, watching it again, letting it marinate in my brain, then watching it another handful of times over the next few months.

My favourite mind-fuck movies, in no particular order:

The aforementioned Vanilla Sky- I don't understand why that movie got terrible reviews. I thought it was fantastic. Suck one, Siskel & Ebert.

Inception- the most recent addition to the list. Not as difficult to understand as some of the other movies on this list, but the different theories and hidden secrets I've read about online make it more interesting every time I watch it. This might go in my top 10 favourite movies of all-time. The Departed, Shutter Island, now this one.....Leo is pretty awesome when he's not sketching pictures of a naked chick on a sinking ship.

Donnie Darko- very underrated-- unless you've seen it, in which case it's overrated, because everyone who sees it hypes it up too much, myself included.

2001: A Space Odyssey- I wasn't smart enough to have anywhere near a clue what that movie meant until I read the book. Now I think it's awesome, lack of dialogue and all.

Mulholland Drive- representing all the David Lynch movies on this list, just so I don't have to list them all, and because this is the best one of the bunch. This movie took over my brain like no other movie before or since. I still pick up more clues towards the prevailing theory every time I watch it. David Lynch is the Dude.

And now I can add Primer to the list. I just watched it for the first time and did a quick read-through on Wikipedia, and my head is swimming. It was made on something like a $7,000 budget, and deals with the ethics of time travel (like Back to the Future) and the consequences of having other versions of yourself running around (like Back to the Future) but NOT trying to get your parents back together at the 'Enchantment Under the Sea' Dance or getting rich off of a Sports Almanac or trying to claim you invented Rock 'n' Roll (unlike Back to the Future.) Also, there's this. So it's pretty awesome. The whole thing is on youtube; here's the link to part 1.

If anybody has suggestions of movies of this nature, I'm all ears. I'll just need a few weeks to figure out Primer first though.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spoiler Alert!

I enjoy talking to random people in everyday situations, striking up a conversation and just bullshitting a little bit. Most of the time I'm gonna lead off with some kind of stupid joke. Sometimes a little friendly banter starts....sometimes I'm left with the shambles of a Lloyd Christmas conversation.

So yesterday I walked into the grocery store and the girl behind the counter at the satellite bank branch was reading a Harry Potter book. Assuming she was re-reading the books in anticipation of the last movie being released soon, and making a play on all the internet spoiler jokes regarding the Potter series, I gave her a smile and a "Reading Harry Potter huh? Hey, you know Dumbledore dies, right?"

Eeee boyeee. I knew I was in immediate trouble when her cohort behind the counter froze and almost dropped her water while giving me a wide-eyed look. And my fears were confirmed when the victim glared at me, slammed her book shut, and asked me if I was "being serious right now, dammit." Turns out she was reading the series for the first time. Whoops.

In my defense, the Harry Potter books have been done for four years now; Dumbledore dead for six. I'm sorry that this chick managed to live in a cave since 2005 and not heard about the death of ol' Albus. C'mon.

In her defense, there's no reason why she should expect a random stranger to stroll by and casually drop a bomb like that without any sort of provocation. None. Also, I'm the guy who stays a year behind on most TV shows I enjoy, so I can buy the DVDs and hammer out the entire series in a couple days. If a conversation about the current events of one of these shows breaks out, I either put my fingers in my ears and make noises until it stops, or I make the others immediately stop the conversation altogether. So I should know better when it comes to spoilers.

Turns out that when you act like a sarcastic dick to strangers, you're going to come across as, well...a sarcastic dick.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I was recently emailed this article from ESPN on the College World Series, specifically because of this paragraph:

"The stadium itself, I can't say a bad thing about it," a man who would identify himself only as Jim said as he tossed beanbags in Lot B and drank a purple concoction. "It's all the s--- outside of it that bothers me."

Now I don't quite remember giving an interview to an ESPN reporter that day....but I do know I was throwing beanbags for the better part of six hours (Gangel and I, Team Tanktop, are almost impossible to beat, as the randoms that let us use their boards found out) and I do know that I was drinking a purplish concoction at one point (sadly not a Flaming Moe, it was some kind of gross energy drink and vodka) and I do know that I mostly agree with the above quote, and I'm also pretty sure we were in Lot B that day.....all things considered, there's a decent chance that quote was from me and I just don't remember it. Pretty strange coincidence, anyway.


Unrelated but pretty funny:

Remember the LeBron commercial, shortly after The Decision? This one? Some gentle soul remade it with a Brett Favre look-alike, and it's hilarious. "Should I start leaving voicemails? Instead of dick pics?" Classic. Have a good 4th of July. As Steg would say, let's keep it real while keepin' it safe.