Don't Call It A Bromance

Three amigos, one blog.

Bulls Fans: This is Your Guide to the Washington Wizards

WizBulls

Editor’s note: This is the 50th post in DCIAB history. Thanks to all who’ve supported us and read our work thus far. Hopefully we don’t totally suck. 

I was never a basketball fan in my youth, and thus never really developed a strong passion for the Chicago Bulls. Sure, I watched with joy as Ben Gordon tore through the Boston Celtics’ defense in game two for 42 points in a 118-115 loss. I also reminisced with fellow DCIABer Harry Kroll just last night about Andrés Nocioni, aka “That dude who played pretty well sometimes and hit a bunch of threes for the Bulls in NBA Live ’07″. I even own a pair of Ben Wallace’s shorts. They do not fit.

Nominally, I was a fan of the Bulls, but I just didn’t have the emotional connection with the team that I wanted. As I got more and more into basketball late in high school, I started watching a greater number of teams from around the league through nationally televised games. I started playing the wonderful NBA 2k series on my Xbox and enjoyed experimenting with some of the league’s unique players. By the end of my junior year, I was able to list on command the top seven or eight rotation players for all 30 NBA teams (I can no longer do this).

Through this basketball soul-searching, there was one team that always stuck out to me the most. One team whose players were quirky and fun to play with, yet a team whose bandwagon lay empty by the side of the road. A team that I would end up following for the last few years and whose games I would eventually start watching regularly. A team that I now annoyingly tweet about far too frequently for my followers’ tastes. That team was, and is, the Washington Wizards.

Nearly our entire readership hails from the Chicagoland area, so I suspect the majority of our readers are fans of the Chicago Bulls. Having watched the majority of the Wizards’ games this season, I feel pretty qualified to tell you what exactly this team is all about. Without further ado, here is your guide to the Washington Wizards.

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DCIAPC: NCAA Final Four Edition

Frank Kaminsky has carried the Wisconsin Badgers through a tough tournament draw. (image via Rant Sports)

Since DCIAPC is the most consistently successful feature our site has had, perhaps because it’s the only consistent feature our site has had, we decided to make picks for the penultimate round of March Madness! We’ll predict both Final Four games (against the spread, as always, because those who pick games straight up should be decapitated) [not really] and see who comes out on top. Just so you know, the only part of this article that is always mandatory reading is Bob’s game analysis. Actually I’m not sure Bob will have the best analysis because we’ve never done this for basketball. Just read the whole damn thing, except my parts.


By now I’m almost sure you’ve heard of Buzzfeed, everyone’s favorite site which takes advantage of the short attention spans of our generation by churning out mindless “content” overladen with absurd superlatives so people think their work is meaningful. In honor of Buzzfeed, here are The Seven Absolutely Positively Best And Most Magnificent Things From March Madness Thus Far That You Will Be Happy You Didn’t Miss Because They Are Unforgettable And Will Inspire You:

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Yeah, the HIMYM Ending Sucked, But Not Why Everyone Is Saying It Did

Last night’s How I Met Your Mother season finale met nearly unanimously negative reactions from fans and critics alike. The plot decision to have the mother be dead all along was certainly questionable and if you didn’t like it, that’s your right. (Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix and James Poniewozik of TIME had quite reasonable and well-written takes from that point of view.) My issue, though, doesn’t reside with the decision to make Robin the girl all along and kill off the mother. In fact, I think it’s a quite logical progression of things once you accept that the mother came down with an illness. (Again, if you can’t accept that, I don’t find that unreasonable.) Instead, the problem was in the presentation.

In the final season of HIMYM, the first 22 half-hours were (mostly) spent in a progressively annoying hotel over a two-day span with absolutely no plot development. The exceptions of course were the wonderful interactions between Josh Radnor (Ted) and Cristin Milioti (the mother, who we find out is named Tracy seemingly seconds before she’s dead). Then, the final two half-hours span from 2014 to 2030 with a number of major life events occurring for all the characters, most notably the death of the mother and Ted getting together with Robin. This creates the presentation that those 16 years played out very quickly, like the following:

Barney and Robin’s marriage instantly dissolves because they cannot deal with her busy work schedule. Barney immediately returns to his old, perverted ways while Robin flees from the gang as fast as she possibly can. Barney knocks up some random one-night stand (his 31st of the month!!) and becomes a father. Meanwhile, both Ted and Tracy and Marshall and Lilly pop out some babies before Tracy tragically passes away. Ted then leaves the hospital where she died, briefly chats with his kids in the living room and then they all have a good laugh about the tragic death of their beloved family member before he runs to Robin for their happily ever after.

The above is horrific. It’s insensitive at best and downright terrible and indefensible at worst. However, this isn’t actually how the plot moved, just how it was presented to us. In reality, Barney and Robin spent three years trying to make their marriage work despite Robin’s demanding international job. Sometimes life gets in the way and three years is certainly a respectable amount of time to fight it before giving in. Barney didn’t have a child for a few years after that, and I think it’s quite reasonable to assume he didn’t get back to his extremely eligible bachelor ways for a while as he dealt with the divorce. Meanwhile, Robin was clearly quite conflicted about leaving the gang because she cared for them but couldn’t avoid that the gang consisted of her ex-boyfriend who she still had feelings for, her ex-husband and a perfect couple that had everything she didn’t have. The finale touched on this but only briefly.

Moving on to the whole death of the mother plot line, the mother died in 2024. Ted and Robin didn’t get together until 2030; he waited SIX YEARS before going back out there. And why not go for Robin? She was the next best option after the mother, which is really the key here. Ted didn’t choose Robin over the beloved mother, he went to her well after the mother had passed. But the absolute worst thing about the finale was how much it trivialized the mother’s death. One second, Ted sat next to her as she laid in a hospital bed and the next he was yucking it up with his kids about how he had the hots for Robin. (“Whenever she comes over for dinner you guys are so obvious!”) While six years have passed and it’s certainly acceptable for him to return to Robin at this point, the show does a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE job of showing this. Seriously, from the awkward editing (they shot the kids’ lines in 2006) to the disgusting emotional tone of the whole thing, it’s hard to put into words how indefensible that scene where he talked to his kids was considering the context of the episode.

I really liked the flash-forwards in the finale and the moments with the mother throughout the season, but I cannot understand why we spent 22 episodes of it stuck at the Farhampton Inn to build to a wedding that was wiped out in less than 10 minutes of “Last Forever”. Instead, why didn’t we take those 16 years and spread them over the full 24 episodes of Season 9? We’d still get the interactions between Ted and Tracy and the show could build to Ted and Robin’s inevitable moment in a much smoother fashion, not to mention it could give Tracy’s death the emotional penance it was due. All along, the show built to Ted and Robin ending up together; the fan base would have definitely accepted that more if the end actually, you know, built to Ted and Robin ending up together.

As a week-to-week watcher since Season 2 eight years ago (shoutout to friend of the blog Mike Rosenberg who got me in the door on the show quite early), I grew up with How I Met Your Mother. I can’t say I’ll really miss it because the great HIMYM that ran from seasons 1-4ish is long gone and has been in steady decline for a while now. Nonetheless, a great final season and series finale would’ve done wonders to send off the show; we received neither. While I was okay with the decision on the final twist, I will just never be able to wrap my head around why the writers stalled out nearly a full season of nothing to then trivialize the emotional climax of the mother’s death (that only surprised those who weren’t paying attention) and ruin the show’s inevitable Robin-Ted payoff when there was so much material there to build the final season around.

 

 

What’s Really Important In Life?

Note on this post: I wrote this about a year ago and have gone back and forth on whether to run it or not since then. After some recent edits, it’s as timely as ever with college application results really starting to flow in for current high school seniors, so here goes nothing.

Like Matt’s wonderful “Tollbooths”, this post is going to get a little personal. If you’d prefer more humorous, light pieces where I mercilessly go after innocent people, I’d suggest you go here, here, or here instead.

Since I reached the point in school where I started getting grades (this was in seventh grade), my parents had certain expectations for what my grades should be. Let’s just say they were a little different than what I wanted to put into school. They had both done extremely well in high school and attended prestigious institutions for their college years, where they both finished very high in their respective class and expected no differently from me. These expectations weren’t unreasonable; if I had put the effort into high school classes that they had, similar results probably would have followed.

But I didn’t. I received a few C’s. I turned in some papers late. I did poorly on some tests because I didn’t study. At the end of the day, I ended up with a pretty good GPA instead of a great one. In many ways throughout high school, I felt like I had failed. It wasn’t just the expectations of those around me that instilled this feeling; every college I visited proudly trumpeted things like their average GPA, ACT/SAT score, and class rank of their admitted students.

Why didn’t anyone care about anything besides my performance in high school classes? The only thing on earth that seemed to matter or say anything about me as a person were the three digits and one decimal point that comprised my weighted GPA. While it absolutely mattered that I had become one of the editors-in-chief of the New Trier newspaper, no one seemed to care. It also didn’t seem like it mattered that I was a good kid that had never been in any trouble aside from when I talked too much for a teacher’s liking in fourth grade and when I was pulled over during a failed late night IHOP run when my parents thought I was sound asleep (an epic story, but one we’ll have to save for another time). Why didn’t any of this stuff matter?

Thankfully, I have a little more perspective after completing high school and nearly a year of college and here’s the thing I’ve come to realize: in the end, those statistics are rendered trivial the minute the process of applying to and selecting a university or college to attend is completed. Sure, they are most likely the reason you end up where you do (with obvious exceptions being athletes, musicians, and the like), but once you’re there they could not be any more meaningless.

While it’s not at all the point of the post, many would suggest that the college where these stats plant someone does matter in life. So, as a necessary digression, let me say that the college one attends doesn’t matter either. An extensive study done by Alan B. Krueger at Princeton and Stacey Dale at Mathematica Policy Research showed that there is virtually no difference between the career earnings of students that graduated from Ivy League schools and students that got into an Ivy League school, but chose to go to a less prestigious institution. Taking the focus away from the specificity of the Ivy League and looking at the larger picture, this shows that monetary success in life has nothing to do with where you went to college, but how driven you are to succeed. It’s absolutely true that students in the Ivy League tend to be more driven than those that are not, but I’m saying that someone’s intelligence and work ethic determine their success in life, not their alma mater.

Additionally, it’s common knowledge that a graduate degree matters more to employers anyway. While it’s undoubtedly easier to get into a great grad school from MIT than Michigan State, it can be done from anywhere with hard work. I’m going to get back to my main point before a Princeton alumnus starts giving me an entitled and patronizing retort about alumni networks. Every single university has an alumni network and chances are there are some very successful people in each one.

As a high school student, it’s very hard to see the big picture when you have all the pressure of applying to college bearing down on you, whether it’s coming from your parents, what you read, or even just yourself. But what really matters isn’t your GPA or your ACT/SAT score. In the end, what’s really important is your relationships with others. Life is temporary and at the end of yours, no one is going to hold up your high school report card and remark, “Susan was a great person because she had a perfect 4.00 GPA in high school seventy years ago!” Anyone that thinks that their sterling SAT score matters when they’re 30 will have their character seriously questioned if they brag about it to others.

Our society forces high school students to constantly ask, “What is my GPA and what can I do to raise it?” over everything else. While this isn’t a bad question and students should always strive to succeed in school, we should be asking more important questions like, “Did I tell my family that I love them today?” Instead of worrying about an SAT score, ask yourself, “Did I show my best friend how much I appreciate all that he’s done for me throughout my life?” People are and should be defined by how they treat others, not by their GPAs.

If you’re in the middle of high school, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. I know from experience how easy it is to lose perspective on what’s truly important. But what should rise above all else in your life isn’t your GPA. It’s your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. In ten years, no one will care what grade you received on your US History final. Chances are no one will even care in 10 days. People will remember what you did to make them happy and their lives better.

You can’t drive until you’re 16, vote until you’re 18, or drink until you’re 21 (well, legally). But it’s never too early to start making a difference in the lives of those you care about.

Yes, These Are Actual Posts In Class of 2018 College Facebook Groups

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything in these parts and an even longer time since we’ve done Unnecessary Rage at Dumb Facebook Statuses. If you’d like to go back to a simpler time here on DCIAB, you can check those out here, here and here. Don’t judge us too much. Because we always like to have fun at DCIAB, I’m going to take you back to our roots and make fun of anonymous people on Facebook so I can feel better about my abundant personal flaws. In this edition of my desperate grab for some self-esteem, I’m going to look at some actual posts in various colleges’ Class of 2018 Facebook groups. While I redacted all names and locations to make this as anonymous as possible, I emphasize that these are all 100% real.

Before I start, here’s a quick PSA:

Do you like binge-watching Netflix? Do you enjoy going to college sporting events? Are you more of a night person than a morning person? Would you consider yourself a “work hard, play hard” person who enjoys going out but tries to prioritize schoolwork first? Do you procrastinate from time to time? Congratulations, you are EVERY SINGLE INCOMING COLLEGE STUDENT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. While completing the absurdly masochistic activity of scrolling for 30 minutes through a few different Class of 2018 Facebook groups, I found that many people seem to think they are unique or desirable because of the above qualifications. If you’re going to post in a group to try to find a roommate or some friends, good for you! But I would suggest actually writing something unique or desirable about yourself. Alright, now let’s get onto some people who made me laugh at them, not with them. 

Hey I’m [redacted] from [reacted major city] and I’m looking for a room mate, inbox or friend me if you want to talk. I will bring a gamecube if that sweetens the deal

Oh cool! Can’t wait to kill time between classes playing timely titles like “Madden ’04″ and “Mario Party 6″! This would have been an extreme deal-sweetener…in 2005, when I was in fifth grade. And unless you have a TV to go with that GameCube, it’s just a fancy paperweight.

Hey guys, my name’s [redacted] but everybody calls me Coby (pronounced like Bryant, beef, etc), and I apologize for my profile picture, lol.

Thanks for the clarification on how to pronounce “Coby”. And getting technical for a moment, it’s just incorrect to assert that “Coby” is pronounced like “Bryant”, “beef” or “et cetera”, let alone all three. Accepting that I understand what he was trying to say even though it was wrong, I still don’t understand what the “etc” represents, because there is no natural progression the list could continue to take past “beef”. Moving on, if you feel the need to apologize for your profile picture because it’s humiliating (and I assure you, readers, it is extremely humiliating), why do you have it in the first place?!?!

I take school seriously and will be majoring in Athletic Training, so I’ll want to go to lots of sporting events!

Watching football games from the stands will really help your education!

Hey, I’m an intelligent person that actually plans on going to class and I can’t wait to attend Florida State University this fall!

Fine, fine, I made this one up. I tried to sneak a fake one by you guys but this one was way too conspicuous.

My friend is going to [redacted school in the Midwest] next year, and loves to point out how it’s ranked right above [redacted warm-weather school]. I told her we’ll see if she still thinks it’s better when I’m sending her pictures of palm trees in January.

“HEY EVERYBODY! My friend is going to a better school than I am and is a more diligent student because she chose to go to school in order to get the best education possible instead of tan! Look how intelligently I make major life decisions! I bet you all feel just terrific about attending the same university as me.” (Full disclosure: I go to the University of Miami. But just because it also has palm trees doesn’t mean I didn’t choose it for the right reasons.)

Wat up my niggas!!!! My friends call me E like my boy from Entourage….Still looking for a roommate w/ similar interests who’s tryna kill it at [redacted university] but also knows that they gotta get shit done. Hmu and follow me on instagram

This comes from a white person from an affluent suburb of a major city. For the very few people that haven’t figured this out yet, this is not a good look. If you want to try too hard to appear “ghetto”, at least do it the conventional way and memorize the lyrics of intolerable rap music in an attempt to appear cool.

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