Month: February 2014

Top 10 Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon Week 1 Moments

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The opening week of Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon was this week, and as many of you know he is one of my favorite people on the earth. From his days at SNL and then at Late Night behind Jay Leno, the day that he was announced to be his successor was a very happy day in my life. I remember watching his very first tonight show in 2009, and never thought he would take over the actual Tonight Show, but am extremely glad and happy for him that he did. The Roots are an absolutely perfect band for him, and his show wouldn’t be the same without them. They are key in all of his musical bits, and add a critical part in his show. If the first week is this good, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 10-20 years.

If you missed any episodes this week, here are my top 10 moments/bits that took place.

10. The Opening Monologue – It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include this. For those that don’t know Jimmy or have never watched him before might have thought this was cheesy and fake, but those that have watched him over the years know that it came straight from the heart.

9. Michelle Obama Interview – Probably the best interview of the week. Jimmy is hilarious with her, and Michelle plays along great. You can tell she is having so much fun and everything is genuine and not fake. And no matter how many people hate her husband, it is extremely hard to hate her.

8. U2 Performances – The first night was a bit of a controversy guest wise, but U2 proved that they were still relevant, with some awesome performances. The first, on top of the rock, was a perfect venue and setting (has it ever been done before?) which proved to be awesome. And there acoustic performance on the spot during their interview was unbelievable and gives a little proof of how good they sound live. I’ll go to a U2 concert.

7. Harry Styles Interview – For those of you that don’t know Jimmy and Kristen’s late night relationship, just watch this. In a hilarious bit that almost seems completely improvised, they are dynamic together, and it makes me miss them on SNL.

6. $100 Bet – This is great just from all the celebrities that came out. The “To my buddy that said I would never be the host of the Tonight Show, and you know who you are, you owe me $100” line started it off, and the cameos are quite impressive and fun to watch.

5. Ragtime Gals – Ah, the Ragtime Gals. I love them and every time they come out. From when they performed “Sexy Back” and when they performed “It Wasn’t Me” they are always great, and extremely impressive the way they sing.

4. #Hashtag – The Justin Timberlake Hashtag bit started this one, and it is a great bit that I hope continues, this time with Jonah Hill. It even has a second cameo from Quest Love at the end that makes the whole bit worth it.

3. Ew! – The top 3 can be in any order really. The best part of this is how Will Ferrell completely plays it up with Jimmy, how Michelle Obama gets into it, and the step dad, Gary, is absolutely hilarious.

2. Brian Williams Raps – This is not only hilarious, but extremely impressive. In an interview with Jimmy, he says honestly that an editor from the Tonight Show just sits and watches Brian Williams to see clips for him to edit. One of my favorite bits of the week, and can’t wait to see more. If you missed the first time they did this, watch Brian perform “Straight Outta Compton” here.

1. The History of Rap 5 – Hard to beat this. Not sure how they have the breath to keep it up the whole time. What is almost even more impressive, is that the Roots are playing the whole entire time, switching from song to song. Absolutely unreal talent. If you want to watch the first 4, you can go here and watch them all in one video.

I hope this gives you something to look forward to, and if you missed any this week gives you something to look back on. Have any more favorite moments that I missed? Let me know.

JH

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Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics Preview

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So basically everyone has been talking about everything BUT the actual Olympic Games in the coming of days before the games start. From 57% of Americans thinking a terrorist attack is going to happen, to awful toilets, to killing dogs, to a Washington Post article hilariously following the tweets of reporters in Sochi, and basically nothing being ready. Here are a few photos in case you have missed it:

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Friendly bathroom sign that allows no standing up, no puking, oh and also no fishing.

More bathroom non-sense.

More bathroom non-sense. “Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet.”

On top of Roza Khutor, the resort hosting the alpine skiing events, where skiiers can handle there business.

On top of Roza Khutor, the resort hosting the alpine skiing events, where skiiers can handle there business with a view.

This is an unfinished Cultural Center in Sochi, that is covered up with a tarp....

This is an unfinished Cultural Center in Sochi…….that is covered up with a tarp.

But enough of that, I want to talk about the actual games so people can actually get excited about something that doesn’t involve bashing Russia. Here are some sports to be looking for, some schedules of events, a few predictions, and some top athletes in those sports. I don’t claim to be the end all know all in all of these sports, the resources I used to research will be at the bottom of this post.

Quick Facts

  • 88 Countries are involved in the Winter Olympics (in comparison, there are 205 countries that participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics).
  • Russia has the most participants (233) followed by USA (230) and Canada (221).
  • There will be 294 medals handed out.
  • The countries fighting for the top medal count: Norway, USA, Germany, Canada, and Russia.
  • The countries fighting for the top GOLD medal count: Norway, USA, and Canada.
  • There are 15 sports and 98 events taking place over the next two and a half weeks.

New Events

There are some new events to be looking forward to in these Winter Olympics, here are my favorites with a list of the rest at the end:

  • Team Figure Skating: February 6-8
    • One of the most anticipated new events of this 2014 Olympics. Ten teams of 6 skaters will compete (mens singles, womens singles, pairs, and ice dancing) will each perform a short program. The 10 teams get narrowed down to 5 where they then advance to a long program to determine the medals.
      • Look out for Canada. Have potentially the best all around team. USA and Russia will be in contention as well.
  • Slopestyle (Snowboard and Ski): Mens and Womens SB: February 6 and 8; Mens and Womens Ski: February 11 and 13
    • Heard of Shaun White? This is the event he dropped out of, which is extremely unfortunate as he would’ve been a blast to watch. The rest of the competitors will be performing tricks down a 1,900 foot long course consisting of rails and jumps. Should be an exciting event.
  • Ski Halfpipe- Men: February 18th; Women: February 20th
    • This is awesome. It is exactly like snowboard halfpipe, but on skis.
  • Women’s Ski Jumping
  • Team Luge Relay
  • Biathlon Mixed Relay
  • Snowboard Parallell Slalom

Classic Events

Here are some of my favorite classic events and people to look for in this years Winter games.

  • Ice Hockey- Medal rounds: February 20-23
    • One of the most popular sports in the Olympics, and arguably one of the most important medal opportunity as well. In most countries, hockey is the most popular sport and the most competitive, so you can imagine how important it is to each country.
  • Figure Skating
    • Probably the most popular sport among American families, figure skating is back in full swing during these Olympics. Figure skating can be the most unbelievable sport to watch, but also the most devastating when a favorite falls and there chances go down the drain.
      •  In the men’s competition, the heavy favorite is Canadian Patrick Chan. With American Evan Lysacek out with injury, the United States doesn’t have a top contender.
      • In the women’s competition, Mao Asada (Japan) and Yuna Kim (South Korea) are favorites. For USA, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold could reach the podium, though I do not think they have a shot at Gold. Meryl Davis and Charlie White should be a lock for a top medal in the Dance category for the United States.
      • Though the Americans don’t have any top individual skaters, the depth of the team could be key for them medaling in the new team category. Canada will be a top contender, as well as home team Russia, but United States could surprise everyone with flawless performances.
  • Bobsled
    • One of the more popular sports in the Winter Olympics, also the most fun to watch. Who wouldn’t like watching 2-4 human beings sliding down ice at 90 miles an hour?
      • In Two-Man and Four-Man bobsled for the men, most Americans who don’t know Steven Holcomb, will know him by the end of the Olympics. No one really knows how well him and his team is going to do. He dominated everything 2010-2012, but struggled in 2013 in Europe. Alexander Zubkov of Russia is a top bobsledder, who could steal medal opportunities from the U.S.
      • In the women’s competition, Elana Meyers is “driving” the top U.S. team, with Jamie Greubel driving the other. Controversial Lola Jones (who complained about how much Olympians get paid) will be the brakeman for the Meyers team. The United States will look to earn multiple medals in Bobsled and compete with the tough Canadian and always tough German teams.
  • Alpine Skiing
    • Skiing is to the Winter Olympics as Swimming is to the Summer Olympics. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are to the Summer Olympics as Ted Ligety and Bode Miller are to the Winter Olympics (not near as big though).
      • The men may struggle this year (which would really hurt the medal count). Ted Ligety has a chance to do some damage, and barring any bad messups, Bode Miller could surprise some people. Look for Ligety and Miller in the Combined; Miller in Downhill; Ligety in Giant Slalom. Aksel Lund (Norway) is a big favorite to take home several medals in skiing.
      • The women’s side is a bit short with the injury of star Lindsey Vonn. Mikaela Shiffrin could do some damage in Slalom, but look for the U.S. women skiiers to struggle a bit in Alpine skiing.
  • Biathlon
  • Cross Country
  • Curling
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Luge
  • Nordic Combined
  • Speed Skating

Predictions

  • Russia wins Gold in Hockey and the U.S. medals (though it will be tough).
  • U.S. gets swept in figure skating, besides the new team event.
  • Norway will win the total medal count, with the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Russia right behind.
  • U.S. will win the most GOLD medals (barely).
  • No terrorist attack will happen.
  • Sochi will end up being a good host city.

Thanks for reading, and here are some pump up videos in case you need to get more excited about these Olympics.

And this one from Bleacher Report

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the 2014 Winter Olympics!

-JH

http://www.sportsmyriad.com/2014/01/2014-medal-projections-can-usa-break-record/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20140127/oly-medal-projections/?utm_hp_ref=style&ir=style
http://www.sportsmyriad.com/medal-projections/2014-medal-projections-medal-count/?lcp_page0=2#lcp_instance_0
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303553204579347083918487674?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303553204579347083918487674.html
http://www.tvguide.com/News/2014-Winter-Olympics-Sochi-New-Events-1077333.aspx
http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/sochi-medal-count/
http://www.sbnation.com/2013/7/19/4538446/2014-olympic-games-mens-hockey-schedule-released
http://www.sochi2014.com

Why The Super Bowl Is The Best + Predictions + Bets

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I’m not really sure this is an argument, but I do know some people that would argue a game 7 in the World Series or Stanley Cup, or even a game 7 in the NBA finals are the best moments in sports. That is until the first Sunday in February where everyone remembers what game is actually the best game.

Before I release some facts, go around your friend group, and think of the people (guys and girls) and if they are watching the Super Bowl or not. I could guarantee 98% of those people are watching (remember, almost all of those friends have NO allegiance to either team). Now remember the World Series, NCAA national championship (football and basketball), Soccer, Hockey, etc. and remember if that many people were watching those games? Absolutely not. The Super Bowl appeals to both men and women, and is very good at it.

Over the past 5 years, the Super Bowl has averaged 107,238,000 million viewers and a Nielsen average of 45.3. In comparison, The last 5 World Series matchups have averaged 15,640,000 and a 9.32, the last 5 football NCAA national champions have averaged 26,480,000 and a 16.88, the NBA championship closing games have averaged 21,600,000 and a 12.62. My prediction is that this Super Bowl will break the record for viewership (111,300,000) and have one of the highest Nielsen ratings ever.

This year, every second a commercial runs that company is paying $133,333. Just think about that when an ad busts, a company boosts sales, or nothing happens. No other sporting event draws that much attention, that much money, and with the popularity of the sport getting even bigger, there is no telling where “The League” will go from here.

 

PREDICTION

Now I am not going to get into too much depth to bore everyone away. At the beginning of the year, I predicted a DenverSan Francisco Super Bowl, (given San Fran would get home field, which they arguably should have if not for an awful call against New Orleans, but I will stop complaining) but the team I was down on all year ended up making it in because of their tenacious defense and home field advantage. In my prediction, I predicted that the Niners luck will run short in back to back years, and the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning will be crowned champions. With much review and research, and a whole season worth of games watched, I will stick with my prediction and ride away with Miles and Thunder and the Denver Broncos. Even though they have had an easy schedule throughout, I believe that that helped them stay relatively healthy (sorry Vonn) and fresh in the playoffs. The way I look at this game, is that there is no way I will pick against one of the GOAT in Peyton Manning. He will be able to move the ball against the “vaunted” legion of doom, and the Seahawks will not be able to keep up. Russell Wilson’s time has not come yet, and Peyton will make that clear tonight.

Denver- 29

Seattle- 20

 

Betting Section

Denver -1. -120

Prop Bets:

  • Denver scores last 1st Half. -110
  • R.WIlson passing yards u 212.5. -110
  • P.Manning no interception thrown. +155
  • P.Harvin pass receptions o4. +100
  • W.Welker pass receptions o5.5. -120
  • SEA converts a 4th down. +140
  • W.Welker scores first TD. +1100
  • M.Lynch scores first TD. +600
  • Coin toss lands tails. -101
  • P. Manning wins Super Bowl XLVIII MVP +110
  • M.Lynch 1st rush att un 3.5 / no rush. -130
  • M. Lynch receiving yards over 15.5. +125
  • W.Welker receiving yards > J.Thomas receiving yards. pk -115
  • M.Ball receiving yards u10.5. -125
 
 

-JH