Dec 312011

Nöykkiö ‘niners is the champion!

The bowl game was again an eighteen point victory, and the second ever for a team fielded by me (the first one happened in 2007).

Key to the game was quarterbacking, on both ends of the gridiron. While Drew Brees produced once again (and dismantled the 27 year old Dan Marino yardage record in the meanwhile), the opponent’s playmaker, Tony Romo, netted a zero against the Eagles.

As in the semifinal, I was losing bad, before the last game of the week. In Monday Night Football Saints dismantled the Falcons, and the duo of Brees & Colston netted me 40+ points, and Matt Bryant, Atlanta’s kicker, added twelve. Apart from a suspiciously quiet Greg Olsen (a fat zero from a game where Panthers scored 48 points), the whole team delivered.

The draft, where I picked last went much better than I originally thought. Out of top 15 players, Nöykkiö ‘niners fielded three (Brees, Jones-Drew and Welker) and the top defense (SF). Two players were hurt by long injuries and would probably been higher in the standings (Austin and Forte). Then again, a lot of players went down this season, so I was lucky to retain the top guns in healthy form.

Bring on the next season.

And in the real world: Niners and Saints both in the playoffs.

Dec 302011

The semifinal game was against the #2 seed, again a longish shot at success.

Apart from Drew Brees (35 points), no-one really exceeded expectations. Wes Welker had a quiet night, and Marques Colston had no touchdowns. San Francisco’s defense shone again – another 18 points, this time off a susrprisingly well-dominated Steelers (a convincing 20-3 victory).

The game was tight, and at one point during Sunday (after the first set of games and the ones played on weeknights) I was something like 45 points behind. Slowly but surely the ‘niners fought back, and in the end clawed an eighteen point margin to come out with a ticket to the bowl.

Dec 302011

The last regular season game had a lot going for it. On account of the four game skid midway of the season, the Nöykkiö Niners were far from being guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. I had to win, and I had to win a team who was ahead of me in the standings and had whipped the niners earlier in the season.

The game was a high-scoring thriller.

And the victory rests on the shoulders of one man only – Maurice Jones-Drew scored four times and netted the niners a neat 37 points. When Marques Colston caught two touchdowns (of four Brees threw), and Marion Barber filled Matt Forte’s boots with a very respectable performance, the ‘niners came out ahead.

The bad news of the week was the confirmation of Matt Forte’s injury, the good news the return of Miles Austin (in the hope that I would never have to rely on the spectacularly unreliable Tebow->Decker connection).

Dec 302011

Regular weekly reports were amongst the casualties of the blog falling silent.

Even if the season is done already, I’ll still do the updates, albeit in a brief form, unaccompanied by peripherally appropriate imagery.

The game was significantly tightened by the heroics of the opponent’s quarterback. Cam Newton scored 38 points, a formidable tally, even on top of his elevated expectations. Drew Brees answered with 25 points of his own, and the game was finally settled by ‘niners shutout of St. Louis (netting a gain of 19 points from D/ST – as the opponent’s choice of Cincinnati proved to be sub-optimal.

By far the worst news of the week was the loss of Matt Forte to a knee injury. Its seriousness was downplayed at first, but it soon devolved into season-ending – capping the Bears’ monopoly on bad luck this year.

Dec 302011

Nadja the Watchcat

One of the reasons why the blog had its silent period was the short and terminal illness of the household electronics use prevention officer, Nadja the cat. Who liked to sit on laptops, irrespective of whether they were closed or not, and especially if somebody was using them already.

The inherited elderly cat was a constant bundle of joy, and I still miss her seriously.

Dec 042011

Back in 1982, the world cup in Spain was the first big football event that I have more than a fleeting memory.

And I was a Brazil-supporter from the very beginning. Their samba-football was nothing short of enthralling. And the twin maestros of the midfield – Zico and Sócrates were the playmakers of the team. Sadly, the team got outplayed in Paolo Rossi’s most dominant display of opportunistic offense, and probably the finest Brazilian team since 1970 was thus knocked off.

Today the news from Brazil spread a sad message: Sócrates has succumbed to blood poisoning.

Even though he never got to lift the cup, the sublime heel tricks and no-look passes will be cherished evermore.

Dec 032011

Some Kind of Monster posterSome Kind of MonsterSome Kind of Monster proved that it’s not easy being a part of the biggest metal act in the world.

The turbulent period between Re-Load and St. Anger is shown with at least some bearing to reality. It’s hard to say how much of the material is genuine and how much is acted, but it’s a powerful film about an absolute social and creative block the band steamrolled into during the late nineties.

The resulting album wasn’t that good, but I’m sure it exorcised a few demons.

Movie Monday #27: True Story.

Dec 032011

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas posterI don’t really have a christmas movie tradition beyond the “go see a movie on the 23rd with high school friends”.

Hence, picking a single movie is somewhat artificial.

But if I were real pressed for a name, I’d likely give Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Which is, obviolsy, directed by Henry Selick.

The americana/misguidedness/holidays-mixture is a heady one. And as bonuses the film is short and contains a scene with a big snake eating something he really shouldn’t.

A winner, clearly.

Dec 032011

The spam keeps on piling up, and I’m seriously tempted by a CAPTCHA plugin. After all, if one such could prevent the regular influx of bogus comments to the entries dealing with Alfred Hitchcock, I’d be so much happier.

Dec 032011

Finally won again, the progress was getting desperate to say the least.

The game was a shootout – both teams put up 100+ points.

In the end it was the huge effort by Drew Brees (four thrown and one run TD) on Monday Night Football that settled the result. Slotted in Eric Decker (off a zero-catch game last week) since every other WR was hurt. And the Tebow-Decker connection rewarded – a touchdown and some decent yardage. Wes Welker had a monster game once again, but Matt Forte continued to be quiet on the offense. San Francisco’s defense was outplayed by the home team in Baltimore, and they netted just a single point.

The bench is on the depleted side due to Austin’s persistent injury, Beanie Wells put up close to 27 points against St. Louis, and was the most effective RB of the week (and probably leads to selection headaches this week).

Green Bay continues their perfect season, and the ‘niners suffered their second loss, the Saints looked awesome in a victory over Giants. And the poor Colts are still winless, making the case for Peyton Manning’s past MVP awards ever so much stronger.

Bring on week 13!

Dec 032011

Gowalla logoGowalla, my favorite location location-based social network, changed its form significantly this fall.

Significantly enough that I pretty much dropped it when it turned from user-generated content to “stories” and curated travel guides. I did use it in Prague, where a guide was available, but thought it was a much lesser experience than what I had previously got on earlier trips.

The new direction seems to have not been enough for the company to keep it afloat independently, and they were acquired by Facebook yesterday, leaving its future even more unclear.

Dec 012011

Wolverine 101When I saw the Dorling Kindersley’s Wolverine: Inside the World of the Living Weapon on the shelf of the local library, I assumed it would have been a leisurely-written mostly fanboy-ish guide to the world’s favorite short-tempered canadian mutant.

How wrong I was.

And how out of touch of the world of mutants I was.

During the last two decades the storylines have gotten complicated enough to warrant page-long explanations in miniscule font even for the Cliff’s Notes version. The brawl-prone Wolverine is seemingly involved in the most complex and multi-layered conspiracy that spans decades, hundreds of issues and heavy-handed work on retroactive continuity.

No wonder the volume of modern X-men I borrowed in the summer made sense only very occasionally.