Monthly Archives: October 2012

Jeff’s Week 8 NFL Picks

Sorry about the lack of picks the past couple of weeks folks. Been pretty busy with work and other things. I don’t have a whole lot of time here either, so no explanation or game by game breakdown. So without further ado, this weeks picks.

Home team in CAPS

VIKINGS over Bucs

BEARS over Panthers

Chargers over BROWNS

LIONS over Seahawks

PACKERS over Jags

TITANS over Colts

Patriots over RAMS

JETS over Dolphins

EAGLES over Falcons

STEELERS over Redskins

Raiders over CHIEFS

Giants over COWBOYS

BRONCOS over Saints

49ers over CARDINALS

Record so far this season: 13-5

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Unconsciouss Blogging: 50/50 Split

Hey there Stream fans! It’s Jeff again with another unconscious (drunk, not sleep deprived) blog.

The big news this week is that the NHL has indeed come back with a pretty fair proposal to the NHLPA. They have come to a common ground with a 50/50 split of revenues. This is a huge move for the greedy owners. At this point you should go back and read my first post on my opinion on the current lockout in the NHL. This has been deemed to be a great movement for an NHL season this year. We might even have a full 82 game season this year if the players agree to the agreement today. However, Donald Fehr has come back to say that they like the fact that the owners have come back to a reasonable agreement with the players. But he is saying that, while the 50/5o split is nice, the owners are still asking for too much.

This is where Fehr is losing me a litt… a lot! The biggest sticking issue of this whole disagreement has been about the revenue split. The owners were asking for way to much. They have come back with a 50/50 split, which is where every outsider knew this would end up at. If the owners were able to come to this agreement, we all assumed that the rest of the CBA would just be a matter of time. But Fehr is saying that the owners are STILL demanding too much out of the players. This is asinine. You get what you want from the owners, and yes they might still be trying to ask for more than you want. But this is called negotiating. The owners shouldn’t just immediatly cave to the middle road. They made this propasl expecting a counter proposal from the players. Yet, Fehr decided to say that the owners are still being too greedy.

I have always said that the burden of this lockout lays about 90% on the owners. Fehr has now changed my mind. He got a very reasonable proposal from the NHL. yet instead of going to the owners and negotiating the final aspects of this contract, he emails the players and basically tells them to not even consider this offer. I don’t understand his strategy here. We are on the cusp of an 82 game season, yet not the NHLPA is now delaying the process even more. You don’t take this public, you go into a meeting with Gary Bettman and hammer out the smaller details and get this season going.

Do I think we will miss an entire season now? No. I think there will be a season in some form this year. But to miss out on an entire season because you want more from the owners, you have to be kidding me! None of this makes sense to me. On Tuesday, I thought we were in for the whole season, now, we might miss the winter classic and a full season. The players assosciation is now just as guilty/greedy the NHL.  Get the season going, now!

Unconsciouss Blogging: The Walls of Jericho

Hello again everyone! Jeff here to spread the inner workings of my own mind. To start, if you haven’t read my first Unconsciouss Blogging post, you should at least read the first paragraph to prepare you for the ramblings that will consist of this post. Second, my last post was because of sleep deprivation. This one is more or less alcohol induced.

1:14 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Now, the point of my logging in to post my thoughts this evening. This ties in a little to the previous post about what makes a movie watchable to the point you can’t turn it off. However, this time I am going to be concentrating on television. I recentlly tried to come up with a blog post about how we might be coming towards the end of a “Golden Age of Television”. In that post I pointed out shows like Weeds, Dexter and Breaking Bad are either coming to an end, or have already ended. I am an avid fan of all three shows, in fact, those three are my favorite shows I have ever seen in any format. I can’t recall any moment in the history of tv that we have had such amazing programming going on all at once. In addition to the afformentioned shows, there are also extremely popular/high quality shows such as; Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy and the Walking Dead. All are great shows in their own right (from what I’ve read/seen, I haven’t seen a whole lot of any of those shows). From what I do know of said shows though, I can’t see them going on for more than another two to three seasons. Their story arches just don’t merit an extended run. All of these shows have a beginning, middle and conclusion that can be forshadowed in the first season or two. And for the sake of the quality of those shows I hope that the writers realize this.

1:20 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Now, to the point of what made me want to post tonight. There are plenty of (recent) instances where the writers/producers of shows didn’t have a firm grasp of how the story should go from beginning to end from the get go. Great examples are both Lost and Entourage. Those two shows were both amazing at their time of inception. However, both suffered from trying to get too much out of their initial concept. In the case of Entourage, I think that they had a perfect ending to the show done with in season five. Vince sees his career basically ended in the fictional film Smoke Jumpers and his failing to resurect his career. He in the end is bailed out by his best friend E. Vince gets a part in a fictional version of the Great Gatsby directed by Martin Scorcese. This was the perfect time to walk away from the show. Yet the producers felt the need to continue the benign story archs to generate more money. Instead, we see these writers have to overreach their comfort zone and introduce new elements to each character that seem forgein to most of the viewers. In the case of Lost, they had a clear vision of what to do with the first two episodes. They then spun that pilot into a very intriguing story line that had viewers captivated with questions about what each character was hididing in their past. However, instead of slowly answering said questions, they just added more into the equation. So much so, when it came to the series finale, I didn’t know what questions needed answering, and which ones were left for us mere mortals to deduce on our own. In the end of the run of that show, I just found myself unsatisfied. There is so much left to be discovered. This is almost a case of criminal neglience on the part of the show runners.

1:31 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Of course there are the shows that ended far too soon. Shows that should have been given more of a chance. Ones that just weren’t able to connect with their audience until it was too late. Of the many examples (Deadwood, Arrested Development, Twin Peaks, The Black Donnelleys for example), I have found that the most agregious show ending way before it’s time is Jericho. The overall concept is simple enough. A small town reacts to a nuclear attack on the United States. However, there are so many other clever story lines that the producers added in. The least of which is the history and background of the lead character Jake. He was last seen in the town of Jericho five years before the events of the show. No one in the town (with the exception of maybe his direct family) knows where he went off to. He returens, and is the unlikely leader of this small town trying to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Denver (and later revealed to be much more of the country). In this basic story, there are several complex characters and back stories that needed to be explored (of which I will not go into to try and avoid spoilers). Not many of which are ones that you wouldn’t expect to see in the everyday life of citizens of a small town (with an exception or two). I think this is the main reason this show needed to run longer than it did. You can’t flesh out the accounts of normal people in two seasons (the approx. run of this program). It’s just not possible. Relationships evolve. People grow. It’s a very basic premise. In fact, it is one that Lost initially started to introduce to us in the pilot, but veered off into another extreme (and another, and another and another). I think that if Jericho came out before Lost, it would have been as popular, if not more than Lost ever was. But Lost trained our minds to expect a major life changing cliffhanger at the end of every episode, instead of growing with these characters. Lost used flashbacks to quickly unveil the background of each of the main characters, where Jericho used small contextitualized dialog to explain things. Jericho trusted (maybe wrongly) that the audience didn’t need the past shown to them to understand what each character was going through. Admittidly, in my initial journey through Jericho, I only watched most of the first season. I am currently going back (on netflix) and rewatching all of the old episodes I’ve seen and eventually venture into the second season. If my opinion changes in the coming days, I will let you all know. But until then, I will continue to champion this as a show that new its boundries, yet tested them every episode. It’s a show that relied on it’s acting to get it through it’s exposition and storyline. And it’s a show that should have been able to tell it’s whole story. Until the day I reach the season two finale, I will know I will hate the fact that I will not ultimatly find out what lies ahead for the people behind the walls of Jericho.

Shout Hip-Hip Hooray!

As anyone in the local Twin Cities metro in Minnesota, the country, or anyone who follows Major League Baseball even the slightest bit knows the Minnesota Twins have been dreadfully awful the past two seasons. Equipped with a new refreshingly gorgeous outdoor ballpark, which I like to refer to as the Target Field cathedral, fans from all over Twins Territory have been chomping at the bits to get a glimpse of the beauty in person. That is, until you follow-up winning the AL Central Division for the sixth time out of nine years in the inaugural season with losing 99 and then 96 games. Yikes…that was rough!

Twins fans have suffered through a lot of losing these past two seasons and Terry Ryan is adamant in making some changes. Think he’s all talk and needs to walk the walk if he’s going to talk the talk? Well first of all, he officially shed the term interim from his title showing that he’s just as pissed as us about how crappy they were under the first year of his reign. Second, he either canned or shifted/demoted all of the coaches and trainers except for manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson. It would’ve been impossible to get rid of one of those men because they’re a tandem that’s gone back to when they played in the minor leagues together. I understand that Gardenhire is the first MLB manager to not lose his job after leading back-to-back 95+ game losing seasons, but who is to say that a lot of the intangibles of hitting coaches, bench coaches, base coaches, faulty trainers, etc are really his fault? I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he and Rick Anderson do with new and hopefully capable minds at the helm of those now-vacant positions.

Now, I realize that generally people who comment on articles, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, or really anything on the internet are some of the biggest scum on the planet. They’re the people who are always shopping at Wal-mart when you decide to give it a chance and realize that you’re the best-off person that’s ever stepped foot inside the doors. What I don’t understand is where Minnesota Twins fans or any fans for that matter get such a sense of entitlement from winning the World Series in 1987 and 1991 which could be argued were won with a lot of luck?

The Twins Facebook page posted a picture of the newly constructed canopy over the new right field drink rail seating area at Target Field and all of the comments are still calling for Gardenhire to be fired or how it doesn’t matter what type of seating they have because the product on the field will just lose 90+ games again. There was also a young man who said he has been a Twins fan for 19 years but if they don’t fix the roster drastically he will cease his fandom. (As an added note, he was wearing a New York Yankees cap in his profile picture…WTF?!?!?!?!) Majority of the comments had nothing to do with the seating area and why the hell would that affect their fandom? Nobody is forcing them to buy tickets in that area. Nobody is forcing you to be a Twins fan. So why go on their page and comment on the picture? It makes me sick and so glad that the internet and blogs and internet comments didn’t exist in the 1990’s.

Remember how terrible the Twins were from 1992-2001? Remember Chip Hale? Remember when Bud Selig threatened to contract the team along with the Montreal Expos? I will never be that cynical about the Twins. Having your team on the verge of extinction does something to make you not jaded. I love my Minnesota Twins and will continue going to games if they win the World Series or even if they continue to win 65 games every year. Every new season creates hopes, desires, memories, and let’s you relive history or make history.

I love baseball and I love the Minnesota Twins. I don’t feel the need to comment on the internet or threaten to just toss my years of Twins fandom aside if the product on the field doesn’t change ASAP. It doesn’t happen overnight and there are so many different formulas and approaches to create a winning team. Will there be another World Series champion Minnesota Twins team in my lifetime? Who knows. What I do know, is I’ll be waiting, watching, and listening every year regardless if it happens or not. 

– Kyle

Unconscious Blogging

Okay, so I am taking our namesake pretty literally here. My issue is that I can’t sleep, and need something to take my mind off of my rambling thoughts. What better way to do that than to just throw them at the internet in a public forum? Now, seeing as this is just me sitting here and typing whatever thoughts I have in my head, I am going to keep this one very informal, and not edit/spell check this post at all. I’m also probably going to end up forgoing writing structure, such as correct punctuation, paragraphs and the sort.

See what I did there? New paragraph even though I just said I wasn’t going to be doing any of that nonsense! I mostly just looked at that first bit there as a disclaimer that I may or may not be interesting in this post. So let’s begin. As of right now it is 3:50 AM local time (central daylight savings that is). I can’t sleep. I’ve tried everything from just lying here with my eyes closed to watching really boring things I’ve seen a hundred times or so (Braveheart). The problem with that is, I always get caught up in the film. I know it front to back. I know what is going to happen and when it’s going to happen. However, I think this is a sign of a truely great film. No matter how many times you’ve seen it, you will stay with it and finish it to the end. These are the films that you stop and watch if you’re flippping through the channels on a lazy day off and watch, even if you have a copy of the movie sitting in your collectiion. Who cares about commercial breaks? Is this not a convienient time to get up and use the restroom? Or get yourself a snack? I find myself jumping on an internet connected device and surfing the world wide web. But as soon as those commercials are over, you are right back in for the ride for another 20 minutes until your next break. Now that I think about it, this is almost a preferred way of watching movies for me. This is assuming that the movie isn’t completely editted down until it’s just a bastardized version of the film I fell in love with. Sometimes though, edits add a new dimension to the movie watching experience. Take for instance the baseball classic Major League. That movie airs on Comedy Central at least once a month (yes, everytime I come across it, it stays on). That movie is even more hilarious with the edits for language. Can I come up with a specific example right now? NOPE. This is what happens when I’m sleep deprived. Back to my original point. Braveheart is a movie I threw in tonight for one of two reasons. It fits a discussion topic for this week’s Stream of Unconsciousness episode, and more importantly, it’s a film I enjoy, but wouldn’t say I love per se. It’s great, don’t get me wrong. I just wouldn’t say it’s a movie that is in my upper eschelon of films I’ve ever seen. So, what captivated me this watch through to keep me up all three hours of the movie? I’m not sure I can nail that one down to a specific reason. Was it because I haven’t watched it in probably over a year? Was it the story? Was it just my mood? Or was it just me coming down from a highly stressed night at work? I’m going to probably go with the combination of all of those factors. But first and foremost, it’s just a good movie. Again, not a favorite. Again, one I’ve seen multiple times. But there’s just something about it that captures me when I watch the film. As I think back on previous viewings, I can’t think of an instance of watching it where I didn’t complete the movie (unless I had other things that needed to get down such as work or previous plans).

4:07 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Sorry to suddenly divert my attention to other matters. But I’m listening to some music whilst I blog here, and Thistle & Weeds by Mumford & Sons just came up. I don’t know if there’s a better band to come out into the mainstream music scene than this one. They are creative, smart, unique and just damn fun to listen to.

4:09 Central Daylight Savings Time

It’s finally happened! Eyelids are now heavy. Breathing slowing and becoming more steady. My mind is clreaing. I think I may actually be ready to sleep. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. And welcome to my mind. This is not the last time a blog entry like this will occur. Very possible it will be the last one where a decent amount of alcohol isn’t involed though. Before I log off, I want to remind you to tune in to the show this monday! I will be going over my picks and how much I suck at predicting NFL outcomes. I’m sure we’ll be discussing the MLB playoffs. Ther’s also the ever entertaining second hour of the show, where almost ANYTHING can be discussed.

4:14 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Time to sleep. Hopefully a lucidd dream is in my future. If you haven’t experienced one in your sleeping life, you are missing out. Just a dream, except you are fully aware of what is happening. The first time I experienced one, I noticed something just wasn’t adding up in my dream. Things just weren’t logical. How did I go from point A to point B instantly? Why can’t I read? Why is the light level never changing? I realized I was dreaming. This jarred me, and I woke up immediatly. After a few of these anomalys, I started staying in the dream a little longer. Eventually, I was in complete control of my dream world. It’s amazing! Definatly experience this if you can at some point.

4:18 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

Really don’e this time. Sleep well everyone, and have a pleasant day!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(-Jeff)

EDIT:

4:35 AM Central Daylight Savings Time

While the lights were going out in my head, a thought crept in that started to fester. I wonder how easy it is to search for us using google. Initially content with just the thought, I needed to do a search. I just typed in Stream of Unconsciousness. We are on page 22. It brings you to our ‘About’ page… that is all (for now)!

Word of Todd: They Say Yes Sometimes

Let me start off by apologizing to all for making the first non-sports post here.  We had a good run for a while.  Anyway, this piece is the result of time+caffeine while waiting for a flight.

Myself and other Unconscious Contributor Kyle Brager had the good fortune of seeing the brilliant Louis CK last evening.  He was hilarious, of course, but also rather inspiring.  He had an extended bit about dating and remarked how odd it was that women ever agree to go out on dates.  They know all men want to do is sleep with them, and yet they go out with us anyway.  People get together all the time, so try.  They say yes sometimes.

I think this applies to every area of life.  Try, sometimes “they” say yes.  Whatever you want sometimes works out.  Sometimes a company agrees to hire you.  Sometimes your boss will give you a raise/promotion/access to his private bathroom.  Sometimes the Apple store does have some more iPads in the back and the Asian hipster employee was holding out on you.  After all, what’s worse than hearing someone say no?  Wondering if they would have said yes.

Welcome to the blog, everybody.  Please stick around.

Jeff’s Week 5 NFL Picks

Well, with failing to finish my picks last week due to work and other commitments, I am determined to get at least more games under my belt this week. Again, not using point spreads at all here, just a straight win or loss prediction.

Home team in CAPS

Cardinals over RAMS

Okay, I can’t get a Rams prediction wrong two weeks in a row, right?… Right? Anyways, in this week’s Thursday night game, I see the Cards taking this one based on their talented, if not overachieving defense. Kevin Kolb is doing just enough to not lose games, and with the way the defense has indeed been playing, I can see that being enough to overtake the Rams in a close game.

BENGALS over Dolphins

This one should be pretty easy for the Andy Dalton lead Bengals. Their offense will be able to pull this one from the Dolphins, who despite not terrible numbers from their defense, can’t seem to find ways to win games. Oh yeah, that’s because they went with Ryan Tannehill with their QB this year. As long as he keeps turning the ball over, the Dolphins will be struggling all year. But on the plus side, Blaine Gabbert was doing the exact same thing last year, and just look at his improvement this year.

Packers over COLTS

The Pack Attack should be too much for a young Colts team that is going to continue it’s growing pains this year. Despite close games this year, the Packers offense will be too much for this defense to contain. As we all know, the Packers should also be 3-1 instead of 2-2 this year. Long story short, Packers finally dominate a team this year and win by 2 scores.

Ravens over CHIEFS

An easy pick this week. The Ravens might be the second best team in the AFC this year going against one of the worst teams in the league. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and comapny will destroy the Chiefs to the tune of two touchdowns.

GIANTS over Browns

Eli Manning is having another elite season as the Giants signal caller. The Giants are a better team than their record indicates, and came within an offensive pass interference call last week of winning that game. Look for them to get going against the Browns. Even the Giants banged up secondary will be able to contain this pathetic Browns offense. The Giants pass rush will also look to take over and be in Brandon Weeden’s face all game long.

STEELERS over Eagles

The Steelers used the bye week to get healthy in a big way. After coming out of the gates slow this year, the Steelers get Rashard Mendenhall, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison back from injury. In Harrison’s case, it’ll be his first action of the year. With both Polamalu and Harrison back in the lineup, the Eagles will need to come out of the gates strong, or else they may end up not being able to get the lead at all in this game. However, the Eagles defense has been formidible this year as well. If this game was in Philly, I might go with the Eagles. Steelers win by a field goal.

Falcons over REDSKINS

Matty Ice will continue his MVP quality season against a banged up Redskins team. Without Orakpo and Kerrigan I don’t see the Skins being able to get enough pressure on Ryan. He will have all day to find his weapons downfield. And if the pass rush does pick up, the Falcons won’t be afraid to turn to Michael Turner out of the backfield. Falcons win by a touchdown.

Seahawks overr PANTHERS

I have a hard time believing that the Panthers can win a game until they show that they have a running game past Cam Newton. Newton leads the team in rushing yards with 167 on the year. Russel Wilson needs to step up as well. The Seahawks have the worst passing attack in the league. However, Marshawn Lynch is looking like a stud this year, and will carry the Seahawks past the Panthers by six points.

Bears over JAGUARS

I don’t see the Bears falling behind at any point in this game. Their defense is too old good this year to let the Jaguars get anything started in the air or on the ground. All this means that Jay Cutler won’t have anytime to mope or get cranky, so he should have a good day as well. Bears win by nine.

VIKINGS over Titans

The Minnesota Vikings will continue to shine in their surprising season this year by taking advantage of playing a not so good Titans team at home. On paper, these two teams are actually very similar, so this one might be close. This is assuming that Chris Johnson can prove to us that he isn’t washed up and can actually be a productive back, forget about 2,000 yards anymore. Just show us a sign that you’re still alive. I think that being opposite Adrian Peterson might bring out his competitive side and he has a good game. However it won’t be enough against the ball controlling Vikings. Vikings win by a touchdown.

PATRIOTS over Broncos

This one I went back and forth on. In the end I decided that Tom Brady will be good enough to get the Patriots the victory. I’m expeting a rather high scoring game between these two. I could easily see this game going the other way if Peyton Manning shows up for it and continues to improve in his first game against his old rival Brady. However right now I see the Pats winning by seven.

49ERS over Bills

I would say that the Niners are back after the beatdown they gave the Jets last week. The defense will be able to contain Ryan Fitzpatrick and the high flying Bills offense. The main issue for the Bills is their defense. They are giving up 400 yards and 33 points a game. We all saw that this Niners squad can put up those type of numbers against a much better Jets defense last week. This one isn’t close, Niners by at least 14.

CHARGERS over Saints

Speaking of bad defenses, the Saints will try not to embarass themselves when Philip Rivers and company come to town. This Saints defense is bad enough that Ryan Matthews may even have a good game. Drew Brees will need everything in his bag of tricks to help his team stay close with the Chargers. He almost pulled out a win against the Packers last week. Unfortunatly for him though, he won’t be playing against the Packers defense. Chargers will win by ten.

Texans over JETS

The Texans have the most complete team in the league. The Jets? Not so much. The Jets will have trouble scoring for the second straight week, and will do their best to not get shut out two weeks in a row. Matt Shaub and company will march up and down the field. Look for Andre Johnson to be moved around the field enough that Antonio Cromartie will have an easier time remembering his kids names than finding Johnson on the field. Texans win in a blowout.

Ha! For all you naysayers out there that don’t exist, I got it done! And in time for the Thursday night game. We’ll see how we do this week.

Record: 3-2

MLB Playoffs Eve: Moneyball 2, Trifecta Tiara, Mandatory Game 163s

Hey there SOUC-aholics, it’s Kyle.  It seems as though since I am back from my DMB hiatus on the show that I would figure out how to do this blog thing that Jeff was harping at Todd and I about.  Since Jeff already ranted about the NHL lockout, which I’m very depressed and irate about, I decided now was a good time to share my opinions on the final week/day of the 2012 MLB season.

There are many great storylines floating around this year’s version of the MLB playoffs. The biggest and maybe one of the most anticlimactic attention-getting headline is the fact that the A’s won the American League West. This is a team that started the season with a $55 million payroll, lost Gio Gonzalez (one of the names being mentioned for NL Cy Young), plays in the same division as the back-to-back World Series losing Texas Rangers and the Albert Pujols and Mike Trout-led California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. (Had to, pick a damn location and have that be your city/state affiliation already.)

The Oakland Athletics not only came back from being 13 games back in the division in June, but they were 5 games back with 9 to play. They also won the division and let the Rangers settle for one of the two Wild Card places at home against the Rangers!
Sounds pretty similar to how the Rays dethroned the chicken and beer Red Sox does it not? Sure some of the overlooking could be due to the fact that the game was played during the day in California whereas game 162 between the Red Sox and Rays was on ESPN or ESPN2 during prime time. (Thanks ESPN’s east coast bias!) Add in the same scenario between the Orioles and Yankees, I’d say Bud Selig was quite the genius making the division such a sought after accomplishment.

I mean, who wants to play a mandatory game 163 to see who plays a division winner? Nobody. Being a Twins fan and having that happen consecutive years going 1-1 was enough. Sure they’re exciting and keep you on the edge of your seat but that’s what makes it so rare. The rarer, the better.

Speaking of rare, Miguel Cabrera accomplished a feat that no player has done since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967. Lead the league in Batting Avg, HR, and RBI.  Miguel Cabrera also became the first wife-beating alcoholic to win the Triple Crown! A lot of people are already making the claim that he should automatically win the AL MVP because of the Triple Crown. Unfortunately for Cabrera, AA doesn’t award the MVP. Ted Williams won the Triple Crown twice and didn’t win the MVP that same year. Although history shouldn’t be the only factor for deciding the MVP, it should definitely be taken into some consideration. I’m not really good at wrapping up blogs since this is pretty much the first one I’ve ever written so….

I never mentioned anything about Moneyball.

– Kyle