Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Top Chef Power Rankings (08/03/10)

This was an interesting week. Lots of chefs were cooking out of their element. Only 3 of the 9 had any experience with Ethiopian food, and apparently only Angelo had any real experience. Then after the quickfire, a few judges did not get a good draw and had to cook more dishes they weren't experienced with. I thought the guest judge summed it up the best, I am summarizing what he said, "Just cause you are a good chef, doesn't mean you have traveled the world."

I felt kind of bad for Stephen, since he had last draw. Saying that, he has been on the bottom numerous times and he apparently butchered so I can't blame the judges for sending him packing.

Next week is my favorite episode, RESTAURANT WARS!

Top Shelf

1. Angelo Sosa

Angelo just barely hangs onto the top spot. Angelo continues to thrive in quickfires, and do good, but not finishing in the top, on the quickfires. Angelo hasn't finished on the top since week 3, so he better watch out or Kelly will pass him by.

2. Kelly Liken

I really was tempted to have herfinally unseated Angelo in the competition, but she just short. If Angelo doesn't finish in top of the quickfire I would have moved her to the top. Also her bottom finish last week did not help her either. Her dish was a huge hit with the judges, so much so, that I thought she was actually going to win. Another top finish and a medicore Angelo finish, and she's number 1.

3. Tiffany Derry

Tiffany swept the show for her first wins of the season. She has been risen into the top three. She is the only chef who has not been in the bottom (technically Angelo to, but he had immunity for the losing team). I think she is really starting to shine and could surprise some people.

4. Kenny Gilbert

Kenny continues to talk a big game, but finishing in the middle. I still think he is one of the top 4 chefs in the competition, but stop talking and start putting up stats. I think his biggest problem is he always tries to do too much. Every quickfire it seems like he's doing something two or three ways. He needs to focus on one piece and make that the best he can.

Best of the rest

I really think there is a distinct line between the top 4 and the next 4. I could see Ed sneaking into the top 4, but really, no one else.

5. Ed Cotton

Ed was still a little upset about the pea puree and did alright in the quickfire. He did not rise to the occasion on the elimination challenge. I think his dish might have been overall worse then Stephen's, but his better track record kept him alive.

Could go either way

6. Kevin Sbraga

Kevin still can't shake the title. He even said it last night that he has been on the top 4 times (with 1 win) and on the bottom three times. That's really crazy if you think about it, he's talked to the judges all but 1 episode this season. Kevin did very well for his first attempt at Indian inspired cuisine finishing in the top. When he picked India 6th and then said he never cooked Indian food, i as worried for him.

Back of the pack

7. Alex Reznik

As most of you know, I have defended Alex most this season. I am not sure if he stole the pea puree or not, but I think it's time for him to go. He's had a good season with a win and a couple top finishes. He was so thrilled to get Spain, but he fell flat on his face. He does seem like a spaz in the kitchen, which is never a good thing for the show. I think him and Ed not getting a long could keep him around longer, but, there's only 8 people left.

Chopping Block

8.Amanda Baumgarten

She is the lone member of the chopping block this week. I was tempted to have two on the chopping block given that Amanda could end up on the winning team of restaurant wars, but no one else truly seemed to warrant it. Maybe she's not as bad as I think,but I feel like she is the bottom of the group

08/05/10 Numbers

White Sox Magic Number

Days Until College Football

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Reason To Watch The CFL

Hey, remember Marcus Thigpen? He was awesome returning kicks for Indiana, and spent some time in various NFL training camps, but never really got a chance to play in the States.

Well, now he's starring for the Hamilton TigerCats of the Canadian Football League. Conveniently enough, ESPN3 (The Ocho) plays TigerCats games. You can watch their most recent one here.

From the Montreal Gazette:

In Hamilton's first two games, he scored on a kickoff, punt return, a missed field-goal return and pass. He's attempting to become the first player in league history to score five ways in a season. He needs only a rushing touchdown, which seems virtually certain, now that he's being used occasionally at running back.

This is awesome. Hopefully Marcus gets a shot back here in the NFL. Somebody (cough COLTS cough) can always use a good returner, right?

The Ozzie "Rant": Finally, An Intelligent Perspective

If you heard about Ozzie Guillen's comments regarding Latinos in baseball, then I'm sure you saw the coverage: Guillen, as usual, is portrayed as the crazy guy. What people miss, in general, is that the White Sox manager is one of the most intelligent men in baseball, bar none. I'm serious.

Howard Bryant at ESPN took a few days to get this together, but I'm glad he did. This article is a nuanced and smart look at what Ozzie was trying to say, and the realities of MLB today. Definitely a must read. For all that we bash on ESPN here, this one is good.

Big Ten Power Rankings (Early Edition)

There's some easy parts and some tricky parts about deciding who the favorites are in Big Ten football this year. The easy? Well, you know Ohio State's gotta be the favorite. And you know who the top also-rans are -- it's Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin in some order.

Oh, and Illinois is terrible.

But the tough part? Deciding what to do with rankings number 5 through 10. Here's how I think the Big Ten is looking going into the 2010 season. Just for fun, I'll throw Nebraska in there too.

1. Ohio State - Terrelle Pryor is the conference's best Heisman candidate, although there are several others worth consideration.

With WR Dane Sanzenbacher back (and I didn't even look up that spelling!) as well as Rolle at linebacker, the Buckeyes are what we always expect them to be - a great team with great depth who won't spend any time outside of the Top Ten nationwide.

2. Iowa - Adrian Clayborn was the best defensive player in the Big Ten last year, and proved it with his highlight reel field goal block and TD return against Penn State. He's back this year to make his case as a top five NFL draft pick.

Ricky Stanzi? I'm not quite as sold. But the Hawkeyes are aiming for ten wins and a BCS game.

3. Wisconsin - John Clay is the Big Ten's best running back and a dark horse Heisman candidate - think Toby Gerhart, but Clay does it against better defenses. Wisco is coming off a big bowl win and looking to improve.

4. Penn State - Even though they lost a ton of players, JoePa recruits better than anyone not named Sweater Vest in the conference. Plus, that home field advantage at Happy Valley is awesome.

5. Northwestern - My love for Pat Fitzgerald is well-documented. He's Joe Paterno in diapers. The Wildcats are marketing Chicago hard this year, with hopes of improving attendance at Ryan Field, and I believe there are plenty of wannabe fans in the area that should flock to what is a thoroughly enjoyable gameday experience.

Dan Persa is more than capable at quarterback. The biggest question is whether the 'Cats can rely on Arby Fields to actually gain yardage at RB. Northwestern hasn't really had a good running back since Damien Anderson. Finding one would be a huge plus.

5a. Nebraska - That defense was one of the best in the nation last season, but loses Ndamukong Suh and Barry "Bears Practice Squad" Turner, and their offense is nothing to write home about.

However, cornerback Prince Amukamara (yes, I cheated here) is a superstar in waiting, and I expect the Blackshirts defense to make the Huskers' last season in the Big 12 a memorable one.

6. Michigan State - Kirk Cousins returns at quarterback, and is probably the Big Ten's biggest darkhorse Heisman hopeful as a junior. But Sparty has had a ton of offseason controversy and I just don't see them sneaking up on anyone.

7. Purdue - Miami transfer Robert Marve (QB) is carrying the hopes of Boiler Nation. Danny Hope is a good solid coach, but I don't know that Purdue has the depth or talent to do much more than hope for six wins.

8. Indiana - With Ben Chappell back at QB, and probably the best wide receivers in the entire Big Ten, Indiana figures to score a ton this year. Fred Glass has done a great job getting butts in seats at Memorial Stadium.

But after losing DEs Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton, LB Matt Mayberry, and safeties Austin Thomas and Nick Polk, the Hoosiers will have some serious issues on defense. Can the Replogle Brothers become the faces of a retooled D? They'll put up great stats, but IU looks to be giving up 28+ a game this year in the Big Ten.

However, soft out of conference matchups (Arkansas State is the best of the four) should guarantee at least four wins, or else Bill Lynch is a goner. Is it wrong to say that my heart wouldn't exactly be broken by that?

Whatever, I bought my season tickets.

9. Michigan - I thought Rich Rodriguez was amazing at West Virginia. What happened? It's looking more and more like Carr should have stayed in Ann Arbor, and Rich Rod should have stayed in Morgantown. Capital One Bowl > No Bowl.

10. Minnesota - If you can't win with talent like Eric Decker, you can't win without talent like Eric Decker. Tim Brewster is gone after this year.

11. Illinois - After a train wreck in 2009, Illinois isn't looking a whole lot better in 2010. It may be a long year in Champaign. And, by the way, I do expect Ron Zook to join Brewster on the firing line.

White Sox on ESPN tonight

The only reason I am making note of this is because of what ESPN normally shows. If you turn on ESPN to watch a baseball game, 98% of the time (completely made up stat) the game will feature one or both of these teams; Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs. Maybe you hadn't noticed but those six teams get more air time then any other team. I know ESPN is in the business of making money and those six teams move the ratings needle which means more money for Disney. That's why I think it's good tonight to see an important game played between two teams that weren't mentioned before.

Anyway, go White Sox and good luck to Edwin Jackson in his White Sox Debut

Naperville Central Featured in Kenny Chesney's "Boys of Fall"

Naperville Central is featured in the new Kenny Chesney music Video "Boys of Fall." Sean Payton is filmed giving Central a pep talk before the Naperville Central vs Naperville North game at North Central College. You can also see my former sophmore coach now Head Coach Mike Stein as well as my former O-Line Coach Coach Kenyan and other coaches who have been around since my time there.

My cousin John was there for the filming of this, he's an assitant O-line coach, but I did not see him in the video.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Important Numbers

Armchair Superstar is going to begin the countdown of two major numbers

White Sox Magic Number

Days until College Football starts

Monday, August 2, 2010

This is the Worst Article I've Read in a Long Time

So I clicked on the link to this article expecting to find a fun read ranking the best sports months of the year. I couldn't even get half way through it before I had to write about it. I almost didn't want to link it because it gives him extra hits.

After getting to #5 worst month (October) I was so fed up I scrolled down to see what was number 1. Any guesses? February!?!?!? the month universally regaurded as the worst month of the sports year. It's ranked #1 soley because of the Super Bowl. yeah the event is great but everything else sucks. MLB and NFL are done, NBA, College Hoops and NHL are in full mid-season cruise control with no real care. The Daytona 500 is fun, but that it. 2 days does not make a great month.

Back to October, the reason he ranks it so low is because the World Series has featured "Phillies, Rays, Rockies, Astros and Cardinals. Those clubs just don't make the nation tune in." Umm What? First off, the nation loves the Cardinals and Phillies. Secondly, WHO CARES WHAT TEAMS HAVE BEEN IN RECENTLY!?!?!?! That shouldn't effect a months status.

I'll prob do my own power rankings soon, but this is crap and more crap.