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Analysis of Sweet Tea

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Once again, my wife has gotten me going on a topic that I must blog about, despite the fact that it is completely unrelated to everything else. Hopefully it will be half as popular as my basketball post, which was the last random rant I did and was linked to by ESPN. Yay.

Anyway, the topic is Sweet Tea! Huge props to Slate for doing a great article covering the phenomenon of sweet tea. No props for not having trackbacks. Lame.

Here are the facts of the matter as I see them:

  1. No restaurant in the northeast makes a good cup of iced tea. Too bitter or too sweet. They do not know how to make it happen.
  2. I remember my first day “up North”. I arrived at college, having never visited before applying/accepting/going, and I go out to eat. Appalled by a variety of terrible events: First, it’s not very good, which I kind of expected. Second, no free refills. No free refills defies the whole southern hospitality of sweet tea. I was glad to see that it got called out at the end.
  3. There is something I think was missed in the article and also missed in the 150+ comments on the article: True homemade tea needs to be SUN TEA. That is how I was raised. It heats and brews naturally for several hours in the hot sun and you are rewarded with the king of refreshment.
  4. I don’t feel the need to heat it hot enough to absorb all the sugar, because it must be sun tea! I am a believer in preparing simple syrup to accompany and sweeten.

Here is my recipe: Add one bag of “Lipton Cold Brew”, the large bags, and three bags of your favorite flavored tea, I like a nice peach ginger tea, to a one quart glass pitcher of water. Cover with Saran Wrap and put it out in the sun for a few hours. Remove tea bags, add some syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar, boil and cool) and enjoy!

Good sun tea is one of the few undeniable pleasures in life.

My analysis of “Who’s Now”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Who’s Now“, ESPN’s event to figure out who is the most “now”, has been pretty thoroughly ripped in the media.  Do I think it is dumb?  Yeah, probably.  Figuring out what “now” means is pretty dumb, and I assume it means something like “Who is the most popular person at this instant”, which is definitely not a contest I think about a lot.

Having said all of that, I want to break down the contest for you and predict my winner based on rigorous anti-science:

  1. First, let me start by saying that the beginning was also the end.  LeBron and Tiger had the highest votes of anyone in the first round, crushing their competitors, and now they are in the finals.  In fact, Tom Brady was the only person who #1 seed to not make it to the semi-finals and was also the only person who had the most votes in his bracket to make it through.  You expect #1 to cream #8, but the degree of creaming told the tale of the tape.  Peyton, LeBron and Tiger slaughter their #8 and cruise to the finals.  Tom barely beats David Ortiz and gets tripped up by Shaq in the semi-finals.
  2. Only two upsets would really have mattered.  If you look at places where people came close to winning without winning, only two of them makes a big impact.  Tony Parker upset Federer, but if Federer had won, Shaq would have gotten him next round.  Jeter beat Reggie Bush, but if Bush had pulled it out, LeBron would have crushed him.  Here are some ideas though: If TO had beaten A-Rod, then he would have faced off with Kobe.  Bad boys that bring it on game day.  The closest defeat was LT over Beckham in the first round.  If Beckham wins, he faces Nash and the winner then faces Tiger.  If LT had lost, its a different contest but Tiger still wins out.  The next closest defeat was Shaq over Phelps.  If Phelps wins, then it is Phelps vs Parker to see which underdog gets his clock cleaned by Brady.  Shaq actually defeated Brady, so that is a big swing.
  3. Parker’s upset and Shaq defeating Tom Brady are the only events in the contest where a lower seed advanced.  Federer being seeded #2 was clearly a bad decision by the committee that failed to recognize how “now” Shaq is (#3 seed).

I am sure that is more than you ever wanted to know about “Who’s Now”.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons – Eastern Conference Finals

Friday, June 1st, 2007

I spent the entire day raving about the Cleveland Cavaliers game, so my wife thought I should blog about it here.  Normally she tells me to stay focused on business-related topics, so if she thought it was blog-worthy then I must have a really unique message for everyone.  Go find a friend that TIVO’d Game 5 and watch it.  One for the history books.

I have been telling all of my friends the same story since this series started and I wanted to share it.  Watching these games reminds me of my middle school rec league (My rec league was probably representative of a typical little kid basketball league experience).  There were a bunch of teams (my team was one) that had a bunch of OK players.  We fielded five or six guys that did not suck.  We won some games – a few more than we lost – but were never amazingly good.  There were three kinds of teams we played:

  1. Many of the teams we played were similar to our team.  They had some players better and some worse, but never that different.  We all matched up well and had a good game.
  2. There were a few teams we beat that had nobody.  Our players were better across the board.  Every matchup was in our favor.  These were easy wins and there were always a couple.
  3. Finally, there was always some team that had a lot of bad players – every matchup was in our favor – EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE GUY.  He had hit puberty faster or the genetic lottery or something and was bigger, stronger, faster, and better in every way then every single one of our players.  By a lot.

Rec league approaches in this situation are funny.  We played a lot of Box-and-1 defenses, Triangle-and-2 defenses, things like that.  Usually it didn’t matter much what we did.

Anyway, I had flashbacks to middle school watching Game 1 and I think the entire world felt that way watching Game 5.  I think the Cleveland players felt that way during Game 5. At every matchup position, they lose: Wallace, Prince, Hamilton and Billups are all better than any player on the Cleveland team – EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE GUY.  And this one guy is so much better than any Detroit player that suddenly Detroit as a team looks overmatched.