RANDOM BUT RELATIVE

What’s the Female Version of the Name Bruce?

brucejennerNot even sure there is one. Brucina doesn’t count, right? I’m sure there’s something in a different language that would qualify, but I don’t really have the time to research that one. Anyways, by now you’ve probably all heard about Bruce Jenner’s gender reassignment surgery. Don’t try to act not surprised. He was always a nice, gentle, mild-mannered person that liked to pamper himself from time to time. But that doesn’t make him any less of a man. And all the while we were thinking different media outlets were really barking up the wrong tree by bringing this identity crisis idea into the picture.

Wow. It’s happening. It’s already begun. And what’s not that wild of a idea for other people, it should come as a surprise to those legion of fans of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Now divorced from Kris Jenner, Bruce won’t have to deal with the extra bullshit that comes with being in the public eye all the time, right? Even with reality-star son Brody, there wouldn’t be another reason to find himself on TV, right? Wrong. He’s going to have his own reality show that has already started filming his process in becoming a women.

While the paparazzi will undoubtedly show glimpses of the man here and there, we won’t get the whole story and the reason behind everything without watching the show. Still, Jenner has long been annoyed with life as a reality show participant. He’d rather lay low and play golf in Malibu. Nice life, huh? Well he still may do some of that. But this time there will be cameras following him most everywhere he goes. He will have more ability to control the cameras and editing, so that might take some of the strain off.

d970215b330a47e3cdc3743c52293157The former World Champion and Olympic athlete has long been a picture of good health and the public perception of well-being wasn’t necessarily an issue thought to be surrounding Jenner. Just look in some of the magazine articles online. He looks very feminine. Bruce never liked having short hair and took care of his skin and dressed nice and other things that were certainly very metrosexual. But there’s a difference between using treatments meant for a woman and outright becoming one.

What might be more intriguing than a real-life show about the transgendereds (because there have been several on TV over the last couple years) may be the reaction to all of it. More importantly, how it is received in the LGBT community and from transgendered individuals of note. Chaz Bono is the most notable person that has since made a transition in the public eye and while he battled through weight issues, he seems to be making progress in all aspects going forward. While we wish Bruce Jenner the best, we can’t help but wonder how this may play out. But anyone that can live with those women in a house for more than a couple weeks at a time (much less a few decades) should be free to do whatever he wants to do.

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SPORTS

Not So Super, Bowl.

What are you most looking forward when it comes to Super Bowl XLIX? Is it the intrigue of all the extra-curriculars surround the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots leading up to the “big game”? Is it what Katy Perry will wear at halftime and how little of it there will be? Or maybe even what surprise guest appearances there will be on said halftime show (not that anyone can make Katy Perry sound great)? Or is it because after the game, James Spader and The Blacklist is returning before settling into a primetime Thursday night spot?

The Patriot offense will show up, but what about the defense? It all starts with Vince Wilfork.

The Patriot offense will show up, but what about the defense? It all starts with Vince Wilfork.

I’d choose the last question. Reddington is a bad ass. But on to the game. Anyone that said they thought the Pats would be in the Super Bowl after the first couple games of the season is lying. There were Patriots fans ready to throw in the towel with how poorly the O-line was blocking and there were even grumblings about whether Tom Brady had lost it. There’s no doubt he’s on the downside of his career. But he’s not in “Brett Favre-I-Want-To-Keep-Playing-For-No-Reason Territory”. And the Seahawks even had their own bout with uncertainty. It wasn’t until a 5-4 record woke them up as potential teams to steamroll through the last month of the season.

But we’ve seen remarkable performances by guys on both sidelines. Russell Wilson didn’t blow anyone away with his stats, but his on-field leadership and intangibles are what make him so tough to beat. And while no Seattle wide receiver had stellar numbers, the loss of Golden Tate was supposed to be a big one (and he proved to be a real talent in Detroit this season). Even the defense took its lumps working through different rough patches and injuries. Russell Okung was out in spots and yet Marshawn Lynch still reached Beast Mode despite all the worries that he couldn’t sustain the wear and tear of such heavy usage in the ground game.

And just when you think the Patriots have no one to throw to, they go out and pick up Brandon LaFell. All he did was become a legit threat with solid hands and a vastly improved route-running technique. While the running backs might not have been the most consistent fantasy guys, they brought great effort and good numbers to a team that was struggling early on. So many different guys came in and out of the lineup to eventually find a guy (LeGarrette Blount) who started the season on a different team only to get kicked off (for being a dick and a sore loser).

This game will come down to execution. Have we seen every wrinkle in Bill Bellichick’s master plan? Look for the Patriots to follow suit and throw away from Richard Sherman and instead go to whoever is matched up with Byron Maxwell.  The run game will be mixed in some, likely with some screen and hitch passes to utilize the shiftiness of Patriot receivers and to better account for defense secondary of Seattle. Don’t be surprised to see a few big downfield throws to change things up. But Rob Gronkowski will be seeing a heavy workload on Sunday. If he doesn’t have a big game, then New England will need LaFell to step up and make plays as Edelman and Amendola are possession receivers that typically run shorter routes.

Whether it's a kick or a return, special teams will play a part.

Whether it’s a kick or a return, special teams will play a part.

Look for plenty of blitzes from the defensive secondary of New England to offset the shortcomings they may have at those positions. Limiting the run game is very important and it starts with Vince Wilfork up front. The Pats should be able to get turnovers in this one, it just depends on what they are able to do with them.

The Seahawks game plan is simple. Hand it off to Marshawn Lynch, throw it deep every so often but get it to Doug Baldwin if in trouble, slow down the Patriot passing game, and try to dictate the pace and the clock. Seattle proved that they can fall behind by a wide margin and come back to win playing against a good offensive team when they beat the Green Bay Packers a little under two weeks ago. Still, they want to avoid those situations if they can. And that all starts with calling a meticulous and concise game on the ground.

Seattle will bring plenty of pressure on defense while leaning on their secondary to make big plays and scare the Patriots away from coming across the middle of the field. If they can push around Blount then they will be more than halfway to achieving a repeat. Much like last year’s Super Bowl, look for the Seattle linebackers to make the biggest impression upon the final score. Also, special teams may be as unlikely a source of points as any but the talent is there to thrive.

Seahawks 31, Patriots 24

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SPORTS

A Game Behind the Game

Tom Brady is no cheater, or is he?

Tom Brady is no cheater, or is he?

As Super Bowl XLIX (49 for those of you who don’t remember learning roman numerals) approaches and the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks get ready to do battle on the field, we talk about what’s been going down prior to the game in Arizona. It’s no surprise that there’s off the field BS that everyone is having to deal with. It’s even less of a surprise because of the two teams playing in the game. You’re always going to hear things about Tom Brady and Richard Sherman and, of course, Marshawn Lynch.

Unfortunately, overshadowing what should be a pretty awesome game, we’re stuck talking in the media about Brady softening up his balls (yes Kelly Ripa, that joke is still funny) and what has become DeflateGate. But it’s always something with the Patriots. And you’ll also get my opinion on all of these matters. In this case, it’s the competitive advantage of being able to get away with things that aren’t 100% in the rules. It’s much like the issue that John Harbaugh had with the way the Pats lined up in the Divisional game (ultimately resulting in a big touchdown play between Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola). That situation was legal, but wasn’t dealt with well enough. The Baltimore defense should’ve been given the time to substitute based on what New England was doing.

Anyways, the way you grip the ball means a lot to how well you may throw and catch it in tougher weather conditions. Last week wasn’t a problem because of the final score, but what if the score had been closer? Roger Goodell has a lot of making up to do after somehow managing to keep his job. He should start by making an example of a team that consistently gets away with smaller infractions. Yes, the Pats gave up draft picks after SpyGate. But the Patriots front office is too smart. With a team of great players coming still in the prime of their careers, New England used their picks wisely and used the free agent market to their advantage (as they continue to do). Over time, they trade back in the draft with current and future picks to garner more choices. This time around, the penalty should be a little bigger. While the offense isn’t earth-shattering, it’s the idea internally and outwardly that the Pats can get away with most anything that most people believe.

Next topic. Richard Sherman playing with a jacked arm that has been hyperextended for a while. The dude is a warrior. He’s not my favorite, but he has heart and he cares enough to risk further injury by playing through the pain. Sherman is outspoken in the annoying kind of way, but this might be something worth commending the guy on. But speaking of speaking, Marshawn Lynch continues to have fun with the media and the policies for player-media interaction. Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a big deal if the NFL took that $500,000 fine and gave it all to charity, or if Lynch went ahead and did it himself. But this really isn’t much different than Josh Gordon smoking weed.

Why? Well, these guys are given a very specific gift when they are born. After some hard work and lucky breaks they become pros and get to play games for a living. All that is asked of these guys is that they follow some rules. If they’re really good, they get paid more than the league minimum (which is more than you’d think it is). They don’t play with guaranteed contracts, but having a fall-back that is potentially coaching in college or as a TV analyst isn’t the same as working at a fast-food restaurant. If someone told me they would pay millions of dollars but I couldn’t drink alcohol anymore it would be a pretty simple decision. Just speak to the f-ing press, dude. You look immature more than anything when you get up to the podium and say the same thing over and over.

If one thing can be agreed upon, it’s these two teams are likely the most arrogant of any in the league. I’m not talking about their fans or front office anything other than that. Oh yeah, I’m including their coaches. Bill Bellichick needs to throw that three-quarter sleeve hoodies in the fire where they belong and Pete Carroll just needs to calm down. Dude is way too hyper.

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Music

The Help

Do stars really take care of their kids?

Do stars really take care of their kids?

Former nanny of Mariah Carey is suing her former boss for unfair treatment, saying she was overworked and not allowed to take breaks or eat. Turns out the nanny also was making $90,000 a year in salary. Of course, she doesn’t have a union and filing a grievance isn’t really an option. She didn’t have benefits (or so we’d assume), but everyone is allowed health insurance in this country so deal with it.

This appalling because of how far the letter of law seems to stretch in court these days. How is this even something you can sue for? You see all these Housewives suing each other for making “false statements” about each other. Aren’t those shows all about gossip? Who would have thought any “character” would go outside the confines of their “set” and file official claims?

It’s people like this nanny that need to go crawl back into whatever hole they initially emerged from. Post-90s Mariah Carey (or when she was actually relevant in music) I would’ve last at this kind of case coming up. 2000’s Mariah Carey that lives in a fucking mansion with a CANDY STORE isn’t all that crazy to consider having a babysitter make these kind of claims. But at the end of the day, while tough working conditions aren’t so great and maybe not so fair you could always have it worse. Imagine having a corporate job that you went to college and grad school to get that still only pays you $75,000. Then try and go bitch about being owed $100,000 in claims. Oh, and being fired “because the kids liked you too much” isn’t a real thing. She just ripped that off of some interview Carey did a little while back about wanting to be the most important women in her kids’ lives.

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