On Buying a Hat

Hats are remarkably effective at preventing sunburn, especially on the ears and neck. So why is it that wide-brimmed hats are unfashionable? I know haberdashers blame Kennedy’s inaugural address, but he had fair skin and must have needed to add sunblock to his hair gel.

Would it be appropriate to paint my scalp with a permanent sun-repellent lacquer?

Liars Seek Penance, or Why I Believe Tim Donaghy

Chris Villani of WEEI reported via Twitter that Tim Donaghy, the disgraced former NBA referee, said that the Orlando Magic should "dust off their golf clubs" after he heard the referee lineup for tonight's Game 6 between the Boston Celtics and the Magic. Donaghy's a liar and a problem gambler, but I believe him for a few reasons (the Kendrick Perkins technicals in Game 5 among them). Mainly, I believe that Donaghy seeks penance from the public, his family, and himself, and that full disclosure of his lies and the lies of others is the only way he'll ever find relief.

This is beyond a publicity stunt for Donaghy. At this point, what does he have to gain in publicity from telling the truth? His book deal was already shelved, he'll never get the chance to return to his life's passion, and he'll never even be able to restore his good name. The only salvation he'll get will come from outing others living the same lies he once lived. He'll receive no financial reward, but he'll slowly gain back his self-respect.

Internal Web Statistics Are Only Relevant Internally

Compete.com finally released its April 2010 traffic update, concluding the April 2010 stats update for all the major providers. The Compete interface is by far the most useful, and more data is always useful, period. 

Moreover, the amount of website traffic data renders internal data even more irrelevant for external reporting. I’ve seen a few sites in the sports media space discuss internal stats recently, and I’m always amused to visit Compete, Quantcast, and comScore to see the external numbers trail internals by multiples of up to 10x. The only relevant numbers are public, verifiable numbers, which is why I’ll only use internal stats for evaluating relative performance rather than absolute performance.

What Makes a Laptop?

The Yankees' ban on the iPad has been enacted, like its ban on laptops, to prevent fans from "getting distracted and getting hit in the face by a ball."  Doesn't any smartphone provide a similar distraction?  If my smartphone lets me watch YouTube videos, and the game is a ten-run blowout, I might end up watching the YouTube videos instead of the game. I should be able to waive any liability the Yankees would have for me watching stolen clips from Family Guy instead of Kansas City's at-bats in the eighth inning.

Run to Home Base Recap

I finished the Run to Home Base 9K today in 52:38, which is in the 30th percentile for men 20-29, but in the 32nd percentile for men 30-39 (one more year to go!). My mile time was 9:25, which is the fastest mile pace I’ve run in any race longer than a 5K, and the course layout (narrower running lanes along a route I jog routinely) definitely helped. The full results are here.

Lessons learned:

1. Ow.
2. The Green Monster is really tall.
3. It was great running alongside the service members and their family members. A few service members carried flags and full backpacks, and they didn’t stop to rest, so I didn’t want to stop. They kept me going throughout the race.

Does 30 Rock Really Need Guest Stars?

Last night’s season finale of 30 Rock broke new ground for Season 4 — it was the first time an A-list guest star was actually funny. Matt Damon’s character of Carroll (Carol?) will be a super-duper foil for Liz Lemon until Liz ruins it (I’m imagining something involving an air marshal).  This was the first time all season that a guest star’s VORP exceeded that of a normal cast member (excluding James Franco, who moved from A-list to the SNL-style guest star after his appearance on General Hospital).

I like 30 Rock because of Liz Lemon’s neurotic thoughts. Tracy Jordan’s EGOT quest. Frank’s hats. Kenneth. Liz and Jack’s never-ending flirtation. Buzz Aldrin, Al Gore, Padma Lakshmi — none of them ever got the right comedic timing down, and they took precious screentime and plot time away from the real characters we love. And Cerie, too. 30 Rock shouldn’t need guest stars to be successful or to drive a decent-enough rating to stay on for another couple years. Just film Liz and Jack talking for 30 minutes straight and I’ll pay $49.95 for the DVD.

NYPost.com: All LeBron, All the Time

I love the New York Post's undying devotion to the fantasy that is LeBron James in a New York Jersey uniform.  An entire subsection (nypost.com/lebron) is dedicated to the 21st century's Karl Malone.  What's even better is the takeover advertisement by the Nets, a team that LeBron will never, ever play for, but one which will nonetheless sell the fantasy for the next few months.

Perhaps NESN should do a Taylor Hall section — 24/7 Taylor Hall, all Taylor, all the Time.  Kind of like a Justin Bieber fanpage, but with more missing teeth.