Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick Takes - Mystery meat

These aren't the tacos you're looking for. Move along.

Taco Bell can be a rather unfriendly co-host at times. I haven't had it in probably a year, but this weekend, I decided to take the plunge and loaded up on delicious tacos + burritos. Hours later, I was genuflecting to the porcelain gods and wondering why I thought it was a good idea to get back on the wagon (is it on the wagon or off?). But was it really Taco Bell's fault? Was I subconsciously preparing my stomach for what could happen based on hearsay and the occasional past experience, which made a normally stalwart Viking stomach into a nauseous little girl who had too much candy's stomach? Did I convince myself that Taco Bell = X (fill in your own adjective so I don't get sued), and therefore Consumer = Sick?

Or was the combination of subpar meat and multi-colored mystery sauces to blame? I don't know, I'll never know, unless I go back to Taco Bell, order the exact same thing, eat the exact same amount at the exact same time of day, and then observe myself like a rhesus macaque in a cage, which I'm probably more excited about than any normal person would. I get to be my own science experiment?! Awesome! I get to observe myself like some sort of dual wild animal/primatologist?! Sign me up!

Someone should set up a Web site that proposes scientific experiments that people can volunteer to do on themselves (with the appropriate legal waivers, of course). Whether direct cause and effect experiments or even just simple observational ones (yes, I will eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week and record my bodily responses), as long as there's some sort of cash incentive, I think there's a huge market for modern scientific explorers like myself to conduct contained experiments! Make it so, world. Make it so.

  • Aaron Rodgers is pretty much a lock for MVP in the NFL this year. The Packers QB has led his team to an undefeated start and is putting up historic numbers that have never been approached by another quarterback in NFL history. But what's really interesting to me is that the Packers receiving corps leads the NFL in drops. How much better would Rodgers' already-untouchable numbers be if his receivers could actually catch the ball? Scary.
  • And then there's the opposite: Tim Tebow. Tebow apologists out there are pointing to the dramatic come-from-behind, overtime victory that Denver pulled out in Miami (against the worst team in the NFL), behind two Tebow TD throws and a last-gasp Matt Prater field goal, but I don't know that I've ever seen a professional quarterback that looked so bad. And I live in Seattle!
  • One more thing about Tebow, and then I'll just walk away for the rest of the week (promise). I've heard so many talking heads on ESPN explain that they love and believe in Tebow because "he's a good guy," referring to his oozing Christianity and rampant positivity. But, and this should really go without saying, being a good guy doesn't mean a damn thing in sports. These are professional athletes, their job is to play sports, not to be "good guys" (whatever that even means). If he was running for office or something, sure, go ahead and list that as an attribute if you want, but him being "nice" is as important on the football field as him being Christian is. It's completely inconsequential, and if he keeps completing only 40% of his passes, he'll get to be another one of those nice guys who says it wasn't god's plan for him to play football.
  • The refereeing in the NFL has never been more atrocious than it is right now. The inability to consistently call anything has made the game frustrating to watch and, for the players, frustrating to play. I can't imagine that's something the NFL commissioner is shooting for. In the Seahawks game alone, there were a handful of questionable calls that made me want to go do something else (and I did, I went to Uncle's Games and bought Magic cards because I'm awesome). The personal foul call on Kam Chancellor for tackling the quarterback too hard (I seriously can't fathom what they flagged him for), negating a sack and causing an irate Pete Carroll to be forced off the field by the officials, was so ridiculous even the announcers were upset. And if you can wake an NFL announcer up from his talking coma, you know you've done something wrong. The point of a referee is to make sure the game is being played fairly and at the highest level possible. I think they forget that sometimes, hell, I think the league forgets that sometimes, and it turns the referees into trigger-happy police. Nobody wants to watch an NFL game to see close-ups of an old man in weird clothes explaining shit. Nobody. And nobody wants to see some of the best athletes in the world afraid to touch each other for fear of getting flagged or fined. NFL refereeing is a joke, and the only reason it's not a bigger deal is because the refereeing in every other major American sport is too.
  • Legitimate question: Do the Colts even like playing football?
  • Ndamukong Suh and a Lions teammate were accused of taunting Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan after he went down injured, with a Falcons player accusing Suh of "talking trash" and mockingly telling trainers to "get the cart." I think when you play against a guy whose first name means "HOUSE OF SPEARS" you should just be glad you get to go home at night to your wife and kids.
  • The Raiders threw six interceptions yesterday in a tough loss, three coming from new quarterback Carson Palmer. But don't worry, it always works out well to sell the farm to pick up a mediocre quarterback, right Arizona?
  • You know the old saying that the "best" player on any NFL team is the back-up quarterback, because of fans' idolization of what the back-up quarterback could be? Well, back-up quarterbacks are 1-18 this season after replacing the starter. Statistics make me happy.

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