Monthly Archives: March 2009

Operation: Judge A Book 1


Jason Hartless Jr“First Division”
Upon first look my “free association” with the album cover is TURD MONGER. I think I’ve seen this kid on Oprah or some shit being a waste of sperm. “I’m ten years old and can play drums!” Fuck you kid, I was ten and rollin’ blunts. Suck my dick. This album looks like it will be this shitty cheeseball dickin’ around on his Junior drum set with some other douche I’m sure playing guitar or keyboards.

The Verdict:
Holy shit. I can’t believe shit like this gets put out. Did anyone actually stop and listen to what the fuck they were doing. The kid sings on this. He’s a fucking tone deaf fuck yelling “All american boy” about a dozen times a verse. Can you guess what else? Some douchefuck plays guitar on this. Generic rock bullshit from some pisshead kid who plays drums as good as anyone else his age I’m sure of it. As for the relationship of the album cover to the music, the kid looks like a tool and this music is for tools so….GREAT JOB. If you actually bought this album, shame on you. Seriously, shame on you.


A new project…

I decided to abandoned the Operation Ear Bleed project for a new, more economic venture.

I am going to start doing Operation: Judge a Book By It’s Cover.

What I’m going to do is find an album based on the interest I have of it’s cover art, give my assumptions before listening, listen to it, then give my reaction of the cover art compared to the actual music provided. I will include the cover art with every entry if it’s available. Are you ready?


Pro sports leagues in India

Five years ago there weren’t any major sporting leagues in India. That’s not to say that team sports aren’t popular in India; the men’s national cricket team is the most popular in the world and the men’s national field hockey team was once the dominant force in the sport. However, India’s team sport infrastructure has always been fractured for a variety of reasons, including economy, crappy administration, distance, and infrastructure. It’s not that there weren’t professional opportunities for some athletes but the competitions were scattered with many different competitions. For example, soccer was divided into several small regional/state leagues that didn’t amount to much. The cricket season was even more confusing. There were corporate teams in the Japanese tradition that held little interest for fans. A player might spend part of the year on a corporate team and then another part of the year on a regional team. Due to the mentioned restrictions, this was just the way it had to be.

Things began to change in 2005 when the Indian (Field) Hockey Federation, in partnership with ESPN, launched the Premier Hockey League, effectively the world’s first professional field hockey league of any note. Although the sport is widespread, the only time it traditionally musters much spectator support is the Summer Olympics. The PHL is changing that to some degree, with seven teams currently competing around the country.

Two years later, soccer finally organized a high-profile, national competition known as the I-League (in the Asian tradition of Japan’s J. League, Korea’s K-League, Singapore’s S. League, Vietnam’s V-League, Australia’s A-League, and Oceania’s O-League). The league has expanded to 12 teams but they’re spread around only 4 cities, based on soccer enthusiasm. Still, it’s a good start and should improve the national team.

Cricket got into the game at the same time, although “illegally”. The Indian Cricket League began play in 2007 as a rebel league. Organized outside of the official cricket structures, anyone and everyone associated with the league is an outcast, banned by their national associations. Regardless, the league was an instant success.

The following year, the Indian Premier League began play. With endorsement from all of the official cricket channels, the league has been just as successful as the ICL. The competition between the IPL and ICL is somewhat reminiscent of league wars in the United States, including National League vs American League, NFL vs AFL, NHL vs WHA, and NBA vs ABA. Each of these cases resulted in some level of merging. In spite of the hardlining of cricket officials, the ICL seems destined to be accepted at some point unless it kills itself off.

All of these leagues have massive potential for growth. For now, the PHL, I-League, ICL, and IPL will continue to fight for attention in the faltering economy and quickly cluttering Indian. If things go well, India could have the largest systme of pro leagues outside of the USA and Britain.


I hate Obama’z stimulus plan. I really don’t know where I fit on the political spectrum but I know that this is way more socialist than I think is reasonable. The concessions we’ve made as a supposedly capitalist nation are just as dramatic as the concessions that Russia as a supposedly socialist nation has been making since 1990. You have to dance with the one that brung ya or you lose all integrity. There is now a precedent that whenever huge sectors of our economy fuck themselves, the government will rescue them. However, this whole thing has yet to play out and I’m very curious if the government itself will survive the bailouts or if the fedz will end up just as fucked as the banks and carmakers. The government is throwing out money that it doesn’t have, borrowing against the future, which is a ridiculous risk. I’d much rather see us enter a full depression and eventually emerge a more sensible and stronger nation. If we’re going to be socialists, then go all the way but don’t try to play it both ways. Throwing out nonexisting money isn’t much better than just printing more money, which would be almost as disastrous. All the corporations in trouble need to declare bankruptcy and sort out their affairs or go under, or the US government is going to end up having to do the same.


Tony Meier, aka Disco Kid, I thought you might want to know that the upcoming Punch-Out game for Wii features an opponent named . . . Disco Kid. Sorry, man, they ripped you off. He’s on the cover of the box but he looks nothing like you. In fact, he doesn’t exactly look like a “disco kid” at all. He’s that nondescript blonde meathead on the bottom right, above King Hippo.

Disco Kid sux

North American Soccer League vs Major League Soccer

Believe it or not, the USA and Canada shared a semi-high profile soccer league from 1968-1984. This league, the North American Soccer League, started as box office poison but by the late 1970s was attracting many over-the-hill superstars like Pele, Pete Best, Johann Cruyff, and averaging almost 15,000 fans per game. The league destroyed itself in 1984 but after a 12 year hiatus a new attempt at a big soccer league in the region was initiated with Major League Soccer. MLS is now 13 years old itself, which is the exact same point at which the old NASL started to peak and crumble simultaneously. There are many parallels and also differences between the leagues. Is history repeating itself or will MLS kick ass?

Fans avoided the NASL in its formative years, with average attendances around 3,000. On the contrary, MLS started fairly strong with 17,000 average in its first year, staying in the 15,000-17,000 range ever since.

After the NASL decided it was viable, it exploded very quickly and had over 20 teams at its peak. Supposedly, overexpansion was to be avoided by MLS but it recently announced it plans to have 20 teams by 2012 – doubling the size of the league over a ten year period.

Only two MLS teams have folded and only one has relocated. The NASL had one team or another fold or relocate almost every season.

Because soccer was (still is?) relatively unpopular in the US, most of the players in the NASL were foreigners. The league required only that 2 US citizens be on the field at any time, meaning there was little opportunity for American players to secure roster positions and improve the quality of American players. MLS initially only allowed a few foreign players per team, creating a haven for American soccer development. The situation is even reversed now, as most of the best US players play in the more prestigious leagues in Europe. To cope with expansion, MLS is now allowing up to 8 foreign players per team, acknowledging that the American player pool, especially with its best players in Europe, can’t sustain high quality play in a 20 team league.

The NASL threw a disproportionate amount of weight behind its New York Cosmos franchise, with many of the superstars ending up there. For some reason, MLS has followed suit to some extent, with the Los Angeles Galaxy, paying ridiculous amounts for David Beckham and also signing the most famous American player, Landon Donovan.

It took a decade, but MLS is finally becoming a home to the big-name has-beens. Beckham is the most famous (although he still plays for England so might not really be a has-been) but others like Lothar Mattheus, Hristo Stoichkov, and Cuautemoc Blanco have followed suit in recent years and rumors constantly abound regarding other players.

Most MLS teams have or are attempting to secure their own stadia. NASL teams shared stadia with NFL or college football teams.

MLS compete in the super old US Open Cup tournament, which pits them against minor league teams. The best MLS teams also compete in the CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament involving teams from all over North/Central America and the Caribbean to determine region’s champion. The NASL created a vacuum for itself and gave a cold shoulder to these tournaments and their organizers.

When the NASL exploded, so did salaries, which helped kill the league. MLS has a strange system that involves a strict and still rather low salary cap with exemptions for “Designated Players” (aka superstars). This often results in a few very highly paid players on one end and some making as little as $20,000 on the other end. The salary gap results in a talent gap. As Sports Illustrated recently pointed out, there are several quality American players that are able to make more money starring for minor league teams than by sitting on the bench for an MLS team. The idea that quality players are skipping MLS for minor leagues was supported recently when Montreal Impact and Puerto Rico Islanders* made it to the playoff stage of the CONCACAF Champions League while all 3 of the 4 eligible MLS teams fell earlier.

*=these teams play in the USL Division 1, USA’s top minor league, but entered the Champions League as Division 1 teams representing their respective nations

National Game Registry 1980: Battlezone

original platform

notable conversions
Atari 2600 (1983)
key personnel
Ed Rotberg

Battlezone is a tank simulation game utilizing wireframe vector graphics. The objective is simply to pilot around an obstacle-littered field, battling tanks and other vehicles. Enemies appear before, behind or to the sides of the player, sometimes visible only on a radar display. This requires the player to think spatially in three dimensions, uncommon for the time. In the original arcade release, the player views the action through goggles that eliminate outside distractions, while the the controls involve a realistic tank setup.  The Atari 2600 version, released a few years later, replaces the vector graphics with full-color raster visuals and an impressive pseudo-3D effect.


Battlezone was inducted on March 23rd, 2009.

Return to the National Game Registry to view more inductees.

National Game Registry Magnavox Odyssey2 / Philips VideoPac

United States Library of Congress

The National Game Preservation Board selects the best video games for permanent maintenance in the United States Library of Congress National Game Registry. Only games of the highest standard are chosen. Fame and popularity are not factored into selection decisions. The NGPB maintains that many great games have been commercially unsuccessful. On the other hand, popularity and commercial success do not guarantee admission in the Registry.

K.C. Munchkin
K.C.’s Krazy Chase

Easily the best sports tournament in existence

Have you heard of the Homeless World Cup?  If not you may be forgiven thinking it sounds like a joke but it’s real and it’s awesome for many different reasons.  The tournament is held annually in host cities around the world.  The members of each team must have been homeless at some point in the previous year, a group that consists of both our typical American idea of the urban homeless person as well as the millions of refugees stranded around the world.

The tournament is positive on so many levels.  First, it provides the players with a goal and a real activity other than simply surviving or finding distractions that may do more harm than good.  The despondent woman sleeping in alleys in Manhattan or the teenage boy that lives in a filthy camp in Afghanistan can have something to work for.  Many homeless Americans have described their lives as very boring and unstimulating which means that any activity helps to some degree.  The competitors get to travel to a place that many of them would never see otherwise and although the lodgings are modest, they’re downright decadent compared to the living conditions of many of the competitors..  For many of the players, the experience can act as a catalyst for starting a new life.  As positive as the tournament is, no one wants to see repeat participants – they’d rather all of the players be able to become “ineligible” for a Homeless World Cup.

The playing field consists of an interesting mix of athletes new to soccer and has-beens that once had a chance at a pro career.  Even though it’s a tournament for the homeless, it’s very competitive.  Many of the players don’t have the luxury of dreams; winning a championship against opponents from around the world is everything to some of them.  There has been a great trickle-down effect since the tournament began in 2006.  There are now homeless soccer programs in cities around the world.  The United States team is now selected from organizations around the country that compete in a national championship tournament.  This means that there are goals and dreams at many levels; even if a player can’t make the World Cup team, he or she might make their city/state team.  Failing that, they might do well in their local league.  For every player in the Homeless World Cup, there are hundreds more benefiting from the movement.

For the record, the sport played at the Homeless World Cup is soccer, although it’s a rather unique version quite different from standard field soccer, and possessing a few qualities from futsal, USA-style indoor soccer, and UK-style five-a-side soccer.  The playing area is very small, and each side has 4 players on the court at a time, including the goalie.  Substitutions are frequent and there are runner boards surrounding the court (like in ice hockey).  The United States system is calling the movement street soccer and it describes that actual game quite well.

For more info:

If Israelis don’t want to be compared to Nazis, then they shouldn’t act like Nazis