Tag Archives: howigit’s blog

howiGit.com has Landed!

Hello world!

howiGit.com has landed, at long last — check it out at howiGit.com. This site (http://howiGit.wordpress.com) will soon be automatically directing visitors to the new site. If you have the old site saved or bookmarked on your computer, do me a favor and change the link to http://www.howiGit.com.

Thanks all, keep tuning in, and watch out for a Philly writer joining the team soon.

-G

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Tiger Woods — Still the Best Golfer in the World?

I was beginning to think about my 2011 Masters predictions post this week, when I woke up this morning to see this interview with Tiger Woods on ESPN. When asked “Who is the best player in the world?” Tiger could only respond with a smirk and another question, “When I get me swing dialed in?”

As much as Tiger now has his doubters, even given the fact that he hasn’t won a tournament since November 2009, I tend to agree with him. He’s had some pretty significant extracurricular activities to distract him and he changed his swing coach, both of which are in fact pretty good excuses for his performance as of late. But the guy is as hungry as ever — he’s just 4 measly little majors away from Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 (4 majors and measly can only be used in the same sentence because of Tiger) and clearly still believes that he will bring that record to his feet. Not to mention he’s still got more talent in his pinky finger than anyone on tour (although I do see that extra gear in Rory McIlroy as well).

As for the Masters, I’ve already predicted a breakout win for Tiger a few times over and missed, so I’m hesitant to do it again. Tiger is playing next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill — let’s just say that tournament will have a lot to do with my prediction. Stay tuned.

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Nate Dogg Dead — Rap Loses a Legend

Nate Dogg

The rap game lost a legend yesterday, as Nate Dogg’s family confirmed this morning that the Long Beach rapper has passed away. The cause of his death has not yet been determined, but Nate Dogg suffered from multiple strokes in the past few years. He was 41 years old.

Most known for his collaborations with other hip hop artists, Nate Dogg got his start along with Snoop Dogg and Warren G as a member of Long Beach’s 213 group. After Dr. Dre heard their record at a party, he signed the group. The rest is history. Nate Dogg went on to sign with Death Row Records in 1993, where he collaborated on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. Nate is also featured on many Tupac tracks, and recorded with Eminem, Snoop and Ludacris in recent years. Nate was nominated for 4 Grammy awards, most notably for perhaps his most recognizable song “Regulate” with Warren G.

Both Snoop and Luda were active on Twitter this morning, noting Nate’s passing and his contribution to their craft. A lesser publicized contribution, Nate served 3 years in the United States marines after dropping out of high school at age 16.

As a fan huge fan of mid 90’s and most notably west coast rap, Nate’s death represents to me another loss among the pioneers that built rap into a legitimate music form — and a reminder of how terrible rap has become since Nate’s generation.

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2011 Boston Red Sox Predictions

2011 Boston Red Sox

With Major League Baseball’s opening day looming just two weeks away (March 31), it’s time for my 2011 Boston Red Sox predictions. Following an offseason highlighted by the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, I think that NESN has said it best with their slogan for the Sox 2011 campaign — “We’re all in.”

The Offense — Contrary to popular belief, the Red Sox had plenty of offense last year — they finished second in MLB in runs and slugging percentage. This year’s offense is that much more dynamic — Carl Crawford essentially gives us a second Jacoby Ellsbury on the base paths, in the body of a much better hitter. A left-handed Adrian Gonzalez should bring Fenway’s right field fence to its knees, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are just hitting the stride of their primes, and David Ortiz is  coming off a good season. There will not be a more fun offense to watch in baseball, with the Sox combination of speed and power.

The Pitching — Critics like to poke holes in the Red Sox pitching staff. I look at it like this — John Lester has been just about as good as anybody the last few seasons. Clay Bucholz has finally lived up to his potential, following a 17-7 season with a 2.33 ERA. And my Red Sox pleasant surprise of the year is going to be John Lackey — I’m expecting a big season out of him. Clearly frustrated with his performance last year, Lackey arrived at camp 15 pounds lighter and ready to roll. I’d look for 16-10 or so out of him this year. That leaves us with the Red Sox perennial question marks — Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett. These guys both have fierce stuff, but get lit up more than your average patron at a Grateful Dead concert. Who knows what to expect out of these guys — if either of them give us a season substantially over .500 we can consider it a bonus. As for the pen, Papelbon is obviously a bit of a question mark. No pitcher has ever saved 35+ games in a season to more criticism. The likes of Daniel Bard and newcomer Bobby Jenks should help sure up the closing roll.

The Question Marks — The Sox have 3 questions marks in my eyes. The first is middle relief, where the Sox did do some substantial offseason work. That said, I’m not as sure of the bullpen as the rest of Boston seems to be. I am always leery of relievers — a few closers aside they are usually just pitchers not good enough to be starters. I’m not predicting anything terrible here, I’m just not quite sure who is going to emerge as the backbone of the middle relief crew.

The second question mark I see is the shortstop position, which I consider to be the 3rd most important position on the field. I’m not buying into Jed Lowrie, and I never bought into Marco Scutaro. I was a big Nick Green fan myself and saw big things for him. Even so, every team has to have a weakness somewhere and I don’t think this is a big deal.

The biggest question mark in my eyes, by far, is at the catcher position. Jason Varitek is valuable in his leadership and the experience he brings working with the pitching staff, but he’s a glaring weakness in all other ways and likely won’t be able to play too many games. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is young, unproven, and inexperienced — not what you’re looking for in the catcher of a World Series contender. I think that the Sox will miss Victor Martinez much more than any player that they lost — Adrian Beltre included.

2011 Season Prediction – I’m not going out on a limb here at all, but I think the Red Sox will meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. While the Phillies’ starters are undoubtedly superior, I think that the Red Sox offense will be dynamic enough to score the runs needed to beat a lackluster Phillies offense. I hereby predict that the Red Sox will win the 2011 World Series — and don’t call me a homer — I predicted that the Yankees would win the last two seasons.

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The Red Sox Player Missed Most

Bill Hall

By Thalia Bardell, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA

I’ve made it pretty clear by now that I don’t think this off-season could have gone much better for the Red Sox – I may or may not have called my father after midnight in the middle of the week to inform him that we had landed Carl Crawford. His response – grumble, “great,” click – whatever, he goes to bed at 9:00pm these days. That said there is one player that I’ll be missing come April. Bill Hall.

Psych! I bet you thought I was going to say Adrian Beltre – No, I’m all about Youkilis at third base and prefer not to have Sox left fielders systematically taken down over the course of the season. Surprised? Yeah, me too – because I spent the entirety of last season ripping on Bill Hall. His name became an adjective; you totally blew something, you “Bill Hall’d” it – how’d the interview go? Oh man, I Bill Hall’d it. It’s similar to the expression “I dropped the ball,” because it seemed throughout the course of last season that all Bill Hall did was botch routine plays. In reality, he didn’t play that badly – it’s hard to catch the ball all the time when you’re playing every single position on the field – at the same time. That’s an exaggeration, but at times it felt like Bill Hall was the only healthy player on the Red Sox squad. The night he came in and pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning (the only pitcher that night to do so) I felt like David After Dentist: “Is this real life?”

Upon hearing that the Red Sox had not resigned Bill Hall for the 2011 season I felt oddly disappointed about it – my initial reaction was: How could we not resign this guy! He was our entire team! Obviously resigning Hall wouldn’t make sense for the Sox or Hall himself but hindsight is 20/20 and the reason I hated on him so much is because he was stepping in for players whose shoes were hard to fill. When you’re used to Dustin Pedroia, Bill Hall is just not going to cut it, even if he plays solidly. I didn’t know what I had with Bill Hall ‘till he was gone and now that he’s the regular second baseman for the Houston Astros he’ll probably bat .356 or something, rock Hideki Okajima every time he faces him, and I’ll start hating on him all over again.

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Happy Birthday howiGit’s Blog!

howiGit's blogThat’s right — on March 12, 2010, I wrote my first post introducing howiGit’s blog to the world. I wasn’t completely sure why I was blogging, and I certainly didn’t expect that this is what would become of it.

On that first day, howiGit’s blog had 11 readers — on a recent day past we had 2200+ readers. We’ve had articles reach #1 on Google searches, we’ve had 300+ posts, 3500+ comments, and subscriptions are growing every day. I started out solo and the site has grown to having 6 steadily contributing writers. We’ve certainly come a long way and I’d like to thank the following people for being a part of the action.

howiGit Writers

  • Jimmy Cunningham
  • Alan Raff
  • Matt Moore
  • Thalia Bardell
  • Buster Paris

Other Contributors

  • Mark McCormick
  • Patrick Klimm
  • John Levine

Fellow Bloggers

  • Rob Lunn
  • Chris Ross
  • The Sports Minion
  • The Sports Glutton
  • Chris Kelley
  • Big Dan

Publications

All of our regular readers and commenters, led by:

  • Teck
  • A.Rab Money
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Some dirty kid I went to college with…
  • And the lovely, Kelley Shelpman

Big things are coming down the pike for howiGit’s blog in 2011 — you’ll be seeing a new redesigned version of the site launching this upcoming week. The redesigned site will help us grow even more, and we’ll also be adding a Philadelphia writer in the upcoming weeks as well.

Keep tuning in, and we’ll keep on bringing it. Between the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and Patriots there’s got to be a championship on the horizon for 2011.

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Tiki Barber — What Are You Up To?

Tiki Barber retirement

By Jimmy Cunningham, howiGit New York Writer, Manhattan, NY

This week Tiki Barber filed papers to reinstate himself into the NFL and announced that he was going to attempt to make a comeback. My question is; what is Tiki up to? Tiki has not played football since 2006 and if he comes back he will be the oldest running back in the league. Tiki says he has seen his twin brother, Ronde, still having fun out there and when he recently began working out again he saw that he still had some strength. To me something smells funny. I’ve narrowed it down to three possibilities:

1. Tiki loves attention more than “The Situation”– Tiki likes to hear himself talk and likes to be in front of the camera. He likes being the center of attention and maybe he saw the spotlight fading and decided he had to do something to keep his name in the news. His contract was not renewed by NBC and he has been working for Yahoo video. I am sure there will be some sort of reality show following Tiki around as he attempts to get back into the NFL.

2. Tiki needs money– Yahoo is probably not paying Tiki as much as NBC was and Tiki is going through a divorce after leaving his pregnant wife (a la the always classy Tom Brady). Between losing a network TV contract and probably paying a good chunk to his scorned wife, maybe he simply needs a pay check.

3. Tiki knows something we don’t– It is possible that Tiki knows something about the on going labor negotiations that we do not. Maybe something will work out favorably for veteran players in the new deal. Maybe the decertification of the union can work favorably for Tiki. Maybe Tiki just wants to be involved because he pokes his shiny head in everything.

What I do know is that Tiki will not be back with the Giants, which I am happy for. I appreciate everything Tiki did for the Giants and he is an all-time Giant great. But he burned that bridge. Does Tiki have anything left in the tank? Who knows, but I am happy to let the Bucs, Steelers, Redskins, or Saints figure that one out.

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howiGit’s Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs

Katy Perry Firework

As a blogger, I feel like I can’t hide anymore — guilty pleasure songs are by nature songs that you don’t advertise your affection for. But it would be cruel of me to keep these gems to myself, and you likely can’t resist them either. So here it is, howiGit’s tell-all of my Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs. So what exactly is a guilty pleasure song? Ask yourself this one question — would your high school bully make fun of you for listening to it?

Don’t hate; celebrate! (I felt I needed a cheesy phrase to capture the essence of this post, I apologize) Here we go…

1. Meredith Brooks — I’m a Bitch

It feels so good to say it. Play it loud. This one only beat out #2 because I’ve been belting it out for longer.

2. Katy Perry — Firework

I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I love you Katy.

3. Alanis Morisette — Ironic

My favorite song in third grade (in contention with TLC’s Waterfalls), who can’t relate to 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife?

4. Katy Perry — Teenage Dream

Another great video. Katy is dreamy.

5. Savage Garden — Truly Madly Deeply

Pretend you didn’t read this one.

6. Coldplay — Fix You

Was I broken?

7. Miley Cyrus — Party in the USA

Gotta love the energy Miley is bringing.

8. Phil Collins — In the Air Tonight

He’s a weirdo, and I’m not sure this entirely fits “guilty pleasure,” but this song does something for me.

9. The Cranberries — Zombie

Watch the video.

10. Kelly Clarkson — Since You’ve Been Gone

Kelly had to sneak on here somehow.

That’s it — now that I’m sufficiently embarrassed I’m off to burst like a Firework and Party in the USA. I’m sure I forgot a ton of great songs, so feel free to send your favorites along.

(Sigh)

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Murphy, Pavlovic, Arroyo — The Celtics that You Don’t Know

Carlos Arroyo Celtics

The Celtic's Carlos Arroyo

By Matt Moore, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA

Since the trade dead line in mid-February, the Celtics roster has been turned upside down.With 21 games left, it’s up to Doc Rivers to find a fit for all the new acquisitions, and for those players to learn the system and find a role. We’ve already had a pretty good look at what Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic can do. Krstic is fitting nicely as the starting center, and Green has found himself contributing late in games. But besides these two, the Celtics also have three other new players. Let’s take a look at each, and what they can potentially bring to the C’s for their playoff run:

Troy Murphy: Murphy is a veteran with size and good outside shooting. He looked pretty rusty in his first few outings, but it was expected after only playing in 18 games prior to arriving in Boston. Playing in Indiana last year, he posted an impressive 14 points and 10 rebounds per game, while having a decent percentage from behind the 3-point arc. Coming off the bench for the Celtics won’t give him an opportunity to match these averages, but it shows what Murphy is capable of producing. No one the Celtics brought in can match the defensive presence of the departed Perkins, but Murphy is another big body that can get rebounds, help control the paint, and also chip in offensively. You can see why the Heat wanted Murphy just as bad as the Celtics did, and thankfully Murphy chose Boston. It’s hard to say how much Murphy would play in a shortened rotation come playoff time, behind Green and Glen Davis. But if called on, Murphycan hit a big shot when needed.

Sasha Pavlovic: Pavlovic wasn’t a name that many people were talking about coming to Boston, but after being bought out the Celtics made a move on him. At 6’7”, he has good size and is a career 40% shooter from the field and 35% from behind the arc. He also comes with playoff experience, as a role player during Cleveland’s winning seasons. Doc Rivers has praised Pavlovic for his defensive abilities. One thing the Celtics lacked was a player off the bench who could shutdown, or at least contain, an opponent’s primary scorer. They had that with James Posey and then with Tony Allen; now they are hoping that Pavlovic can help along with Green. Pavlovic rounds out the roster and gives the Celtics another player that Rivers can put on the court with confidence when needed.

Carlos Arroyo: The most recent addition is Arroyo, who was let go by Miami after they signed Mike Bibby. There was some talk of Bibby coming to Boston, but in my mind that would not have been a great fit. Besides his past issues with Boston’s fans, Bibby isn’t the productive player he used to be. Arroyo is a welcome surprise to the Celtics, and a better pick up than Bibby. Primarily a back up his entire career, Arroyo puts up decent numbers for a reserve point guard. He can distribute the ball and shoots at a high percentage. Adding another experienced point guard was a key following Delonte West’s most recent injury. Avery Bradley can’t be expected to back up Rondo if West ever went down during a playoff series. The Celtics now have a little more insurance at the point guard spot.

Time will tell how these players work within the Celtics system and with the core players already in place. Expectations for these three aren’t as high as Green and Krstic, since the Celtics didn’t give anything up to acquire them. Nobody is claiming that these three are the final pieces that will guarantee the Celtics an 18th banner. But looking at the roster, you have to like it a little better than when it featured Semih Erden and Luke Harrangody. Any contribution they can make will be welcomed. How many healthy players we have and how deep of a rotation Doc wants will determine their playing time in the playoffs. But if it comes down to it, I have confidence that these three, especially Murphy, can make a difference in a few games.

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Calling All Guilty Pleasure Song Submissions

Boys to Men

The time is here for our next music list — I’m working on compiling my own personal list of my Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs of All-Time. I definitely have about half of the list lined up, but I need some help remembering other guilty pleasure songs — so please send yours along. And yes — that is Boyz to Men.

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