Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Bowl vs. #25 USC

Love this 9:30 pm kickoff. LOVE IT. I wanna build a fire and wear sweatpants and just cuddle the shit out of it for HOURS. 9:30 kickoff means there's AMPLE time to get out of work, get appropriately geared up, eat chicken quesadillas con jalapeƱos, play 6 games of euchre, drink 7 beers, and be PERFECTLY tuned for the game. What else could you ask for?

New Year's Day bowls are beyond overrated. Who wants to have to do something before like 5 pm on New Year's? Even if that activity is drinking-themed, I'm gonna go with sleeping until I can't and then easing into 2016 like an old man sliding into a hot bath on a cold January day.

If the playoff is out of the picture, I'm taking season finale night game over 11 am Hangover Bowl every single time.

PS - If I ever invent a marketable hangover cure, I'm ponying up all my SERIES A funding to sponsor the first bowl game on January 1st. The Hangover Bowl, cured by HANGOVER DESTROYER. That's the best sponsorship the world will ever know.

PPS - If you're actually working on 12/31 and you're not a nurse, doctor, or bus driver, then just quit that job because it's not fit for human endurance.


Seriously, this is a fresh list.
  • George Lucas, inventor of Star Wars. If you haven't see The Force Awakens yet, look away. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILERS INCOMING.
Things I liked: Rey, BB8 holding up the lighter for the thumbs up, Finn humor, potential Finn-Rey bonefest in VIII, gritty feel that matched IV/V/VI more than I/II/III, the moment Han and Chewy walked in, every time Chewy talked, Han dying

Things I didn't like: the plot being A New Hope all over again, speaking of which maybe the bad guys in this universe should stop making planet weapons that can be defeated by 7 X-Wings and loose intel, Adam from Girls being the main baddie, Han/Leia romance, obvious hinting that Rey is Luke's daughter (looking for something more clever here), supposedly non-Jedi (Finn) holding his own in a lightsaber battle with a supposedly powerful Jedi (Kylo Ren).

Overall it's a 4/5 for me. If it felt more like the original trilogy than the modern trilogy, then it was guaranteed at least a 3/4. Added point for Rey being a great character and the movie feeling like a truly great launching pad for what could be some potentially INCREDIBLE movies in VIII and XI.
  • Will Ferrell, actor. I got caught up in that SNL in the 90s thing that VH1 is always pimping, and my conclusion is that Will Ferrell is a top 4 all-time SNL cast member. I'd throw Farley in there as well, but I'm probably not old enough to judge all the 70s and 80s legends. So I'll give Ferrell and Farley the nod for the 90s+.
  • Neil Armstrong, astronaut. Bro.
  • Louis Zamperini, olympian and CAB (Certified American Badass). Seriously, if you haven't read Unbroken yet then figure your life out. The word 'hero' gets tossed around a lot, but it was meant for guys like Louis Zamperini.
  • Minnette Gersh Lenier (Ph.D. 1971) – teacher who used magic to improve students’ learning skills. WITCH
  • Art Clokey (M.A. 1956) – clay animator; creator of Gumby. Hardest hitting clay animator in da leeeeeague.
  • Jim Lovell, star of Apollo 13. Wait, are we SHARING Lovell with the Trojans? Whatever, he's more ours than theirs. DIBS ON LOVELL
  • OJ Simpson, football player. And that's all I have to say about that.
  • Mark McGwire, baseball player. Don't care they were all juicing. Sammy and McGwire going back and forth was the best thing ever. Also, hey Mark, sick bomb on #62. Really poked that one good.
  • Dan Bane (B.S. 1969) – Chairman and CEO of Trader Joe's. If I knew that the CEO of Trader Joe's was in play and I didn't include him I think my mom would disown me. Shop Trader Joe's.
  • Richard Knerr (B.S.) – co-founder of Wham-O; the creators of the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, and Superball. That's like the old school version of creating the Macbook, iPod, and iPhone. How come we don't see any commercially bankrupt movies about Dick Knerr?
  • Chris DeWolfe (M.B.A. 1997) – co-founder of MySpace and current CEO. Anytime I hear MySpace, this is all I can think about:

  • Mark McGrath – singer, frontman of Sugar Ray, host of Extra. Love the nerd wikipedia editor that slipped in 'host of Extra' to that list of accolades. Like ANYONE knows that Extra is still a show. He should officially change his legal name to Sugar Ray and invest in my hangover cure since it's equal parts secret ingredients and Sugar Ray music.
  • Ethel Percy Andrus (M.A. 1928, Ph.D. 1930) - founder of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). You're telling me the founder of AARP is named ETHEL? No way dude.
  • David Bohnett (B.S. 1978) – founder and former CEO of Geocities.com. USC got all the old internet on lockdown! Also, important to note that I've FINALLY been added to Rif's Place:

That site must have been made with Geocities, so without USC I never would be Rifkin internet famous. Thank you, USC.

PS - Gotta love Big Rif sneaking himself into the Other Rifkin's section. Classic Rif, just keeping you on your toes.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Will's is gonna turn into a zoo if I had to guess. Last game of the year + night game + marquee opponent + basketball team we need to drink to forget = come early and have some fun.



1) Michigan State, 12-1 (7-1). Hard not to be jelly of their football/hoops combined success. UW was never quite able to match up one of the elite hoops teams with the Rose Bowl football teams. A shame, but something to strive for.

2) Iowa, 12-1 (8-0). I almost felt bad when the magic officially ended. Sure, the Rose Bowl is nothing to scoff at. But you know they all started BELIEVING and really felt that perfection was attainable. Sorry, Iowa.

3) Ohio State, 11-1 (7-1). Posted on a band's FB page the day of a concert here in Chicago:

Christ, is that level of detail necessary? Such a casual 'oh my dad died and I don't feel like going anymore' comment. Got the heebiejeebies just reading that.

PS - FB should be able to disable the 'like' button in instances like this. What a weird thing to like.

4) Wisconsin, 9-3 (6-2). Boy is it a bad time to be a UW hoops fan and a believer of the 'where there's smoke there's usually fire' mindset regarding rumors and rumblings. DO NOT LIKE

5) Michigan, 9-3 (6-2). Michigan/Florida is a real sexy matchup for the 2016 Hangover Bowl cured by OXYCLEAN HANGOVER-DESTROYER.

6) Penn State, 7-5 (4-4). Wait aren't I supposed to be real impressed with what Franklin's done at PSU? If he doesn't win 8+ games next year, do we get to start wondering if he's not the golden god he seemed like he was?

7) Northwestern, 10-2 (6-2). How often does a 10-2 team have a negative point differential in conference play (148 PF/162 PA)? I'm calling bullshit on Northwestern football 2k15.

8) Indiana, 6-7 (2-6). Too bad they couldn't hold off Duke in a postseason game oh god I'm still not over the NCAA tourney.

9) Minnesota, 6-7 (2-6). Skinnemax is getting pretty weird in its older age:

10) Illinois, 5-7 (2-6). Bottom rung hoops and football programs with complete school/athletic department instability. This Is Illinois.

11) Maryland, 3-9 (1-7). On the recommendation from a friend, I ordered these socks and I am ON BOARD. Wearing them for the first time right now and WTF why didn't someone tell me I needed good wool socks in my life sooner? Probably gonna order 12 more pairs and never look back.

12) Purdue, 2-10 (1-7). purdue

Rutgers) Rutgers, 4-8 (1-7). Need one of those fancy White House petitions to get Rutgers out of the conference. How do those work?

14) Nebraska, 6-7 (3-5). I was walking my friend's dog the other day and caught one of my favorite things in the world:

FLYING POOP BOX IN THE SKY! I have no idea why, but anytime I see a portable watercloset floating through the sky amid a jagged wall of glass-faced Chicago skyscrapers, I get irrationally worked up. Just slays me. I think it's the thought of Joe from the local 181st Pipefitters relieving himself while the boys take him for a scenic tour of downtown Chicago. Construction prank jokes are DANGEROUS. But not as dangerous as unions.

PS - All I know about unions I learned in season 2 of The Wire.


One of my favorite things is discovering a new song I really like that's been around for a while and pretending it's brand new and I am the first human to like it. No one has EVER heard this song before! I'm spreading it around since I'm always conducting bandwagons from the get-go.


UW's Dirty D vs. USC's Potentially Devastating O. Strength on strength when USC has the ball. They're probably littered with 4 and 5 star athletes, and the usual speedy west coast offense vs. plodding midwest defense tropes will be out in full force. Except the only problem with that is the UW defense is about as good as any defense in the nation. Gotta figure Wisconsin only stands a chance if this game is played in the teens-low 20s. If USC drops 4 touchdowns on us, then we're in trouble.


My how the time flies

End of a career is here

Fare thee well, Sunshine


So much to love about this. I guess the reporter is known around Detroit for doing hoodrat shit like this, and if that's the case then I may have to move to Detroit. Top moments:

4) "Oh no you DI'INT!"

3) "Means she'd be going to jail for a while"
"2 years"
"2 years.. which solves the homeless problem"

2) "Is that power hooked up legit there? That's not legit. No, you're stealing a little bit of power..."
"I am... blessed"

1) Her boyfriend being this guy in real life:

SEE? Even World of Warcraft-obsessed video game nerds can have meaningful relationships with real-life people!

PS - Talking about how blessed you are as you get sent away to prison for 2 years for squatting while on probation is why every time I see #blessed I just want to delete the internet from my life.

I love that this makes me think being a garbageman is fun! Might be time for a career pivot!

He went to Harvard. People forget that.


Finally made my way to Owen and Engine - this burger did not disappoint. I give the waitress credit for trying to sell me on the 'just get it the way it comes if it's your first time' idea, but there's no way I'm going cheeseless on a burger in 2015. But yeah, when it comes to the actual meat itself, this is the best tasting burger I've had. Here are my burger power rankings in Chicago based on just the quality of the meat in the burger:

1) Owen and Engine
2) Butcher & the Burger
3) Au Cheval
4) Kuma's

Plus, $16 for that meal, a shot of bourbon, and a beer is about as good of a deal as you're going to find. Highly recommended all around.


A photo posted by RedEye (@redeyechicago) on

Well I mean this is pretty awesome. Good job, person who took this before the RedEye re-posted it.


There is literally no way we're losing in Joel Stave's collegiate swan song. If I know Sunshine (I don't!), he's saving his best for last. Fly us to the moon, Joel. This is your BBQ and it tastes good. THE PICK:






    It must have been all that food porn.

    1. I'm still alive. May come back for the Big Ten Tournament. Otherwise I might scale back to only football going forward. Good to know you're concerned, though.

  2. I'm concerned that you aren't concerned about basketball anymore. Was it the National Championship loss? Was it Bo retiring? Is it Greg Gard's exceedingly shiny complexion? The lousy first half of the year?

    And speaking of football, how do all pre-season (way-too-early) Top 25 rankings exclude the Badgers? AFTER A BOWL WIN AND RETURNING 90% OF THE TEAM.

    Iowa getting shanked too, but they deserve it after completely dropping the ball in their 2 biggest games of the year. Go back to the hog farm, Hawkeyes.

    And nice pick, per Joe Hyland, for that bowl win.

  3. Do you want to prevent hangovers naturally? Then you should take Detoxicated. It a natural hangover supplement that is formulated by a medical doctor. And it works! My friends and I all use it and love it. Best vitamins for hangovers