Miscellany

Weekly Conversation: Houston

Last Week’s Game

Seth: Hey, hey, hey! A last minute win against a team that Texas Tech lost to last year and rather than sitting at 1-1 to start the year, Texas Tech is starting 2-0 with a chance to go to 3-0 next week in Houston. We’ve kind of always said that if Texas Tech can get just enough stops, they’ll certainly put enough points on the board to win. What were your general thoughts about the game?

Travis: I’m perhaps the worst interlocutor available for this topic because I saw very little of the game on Saturday. We were having an end-of-season basketball party so I could only watch through the window for most of the game. However, I did have a chance to watch most of the 4th quarter including the defense rising at the end to get a stop and Shimonek’s poise in driving the team 90 yards in 12 plays and chewing up 4:31 on the clock for the game winning score.

My friends on the super secret group text were pissed and I kept seeing how the team doesn’t have heart and Kingsbury should be fired, but I can’t say I agree. Tech controlled the game for the most part (save the 3rd quarter) and pulled out a win in the end. Shimonek seems to be the real deal, we finally have some semblance of a running game and the defense is better. Not great, but better.

Suburban Gangsters

Travis: So this summer we’ve seen a sea change in how major sports sites are operating. Tons of writers are being laid off and more pressure is being put on sites that don’t pay their contributors. It seems as if the model just isn’t working. Any thoughts on the current state of sports journalism, particularly on the interwebs?

Seth: I’ve always thought that SB Nation was headed to an employee vs. independent contractor fight because of the direction given to the writers and the relatively meager compensation in comparison to work requested and work performed. This seemed inevitable and I think I’ve mentioned it to you a handful of times. Of all of the sites that they’ve bought, they have always relied on common folks to write for the team blogs while paying the other writers, presumably well enough to make a living. That model still works great so long as the IRS doesn’t get involved and say that these independent contractors are in fact workers. As Al Capone will tell you, it’s the IRS that gets you in the end.

And SB Nation should just openly acknowledge that they are in fact, taking advantage of their writers, that this is and should be a hobby for you and that you can expect very little in pay. You are essentially an intern. I think SB Nation has now labeled team sites as essentially message boards and no offense to message boards, but message boards require zero input from the person running the site. With blogs, you try to have good writers, who can lead a discussion and make everyone feel a bit more cozy.

What about you, are you ready to join that class action lawsuit and buy that island you’ve always wanted?

Travis: My island is going to be lit.

I’ve always been sort of neutral on this topic, but recently I’ve started to think there is a problem with how they are set up. I look back on my time covering the Spurs as a great experience, but I was never paid one dime for all the work I put in. And some would argue that you should be able to parlay an experience like that into a full-time gig, but look at what is happening in the industry right now. The full-time writers are all getting laid off.

So I’ll probably never be too outspoken about it, but if someone wants to give me some back pay, I’d gladly take it. I generated a ton of clicks and buzz that year with my words.

This Week’s Game

Travis: So what are you thinking heading into this weeks game. I’m nervous, especially because of the 11am start. That’s not #RaiderTime.

Seth: I don’t think that Houston has faced an offense like Texas Tech’s and I think that given Kingsbury’s propensity to be pretty good at this offense thing (not perfect, but pretty good) I’m expecting a decent number of points. Houston’s offense is not what it previously was, and although Allen is okay, I don’t think he’s elite and I don’t think that offense is even close to being what Arizona State is offensively. So, this game maybe sets up to be a bit different than what we normally see in the Big 12, which is a prolific offense against what is most likely a very good defense and one of the best defensive players in the nation. And that means Texas Tech’s defense is going to need to be better at giving up chunks of yards like against Arizona State, but I also think they’ll have opportunities for turnovers like they’ve had the first two games. Get some turnovers and flip the field and the game is significantly different.

I tend to not too worked up over the time because the other team has to play then too and if this team wants to stop playing at 11:00 a.m. then get some wins.

What about you, how do you see the game playing out?

Travis: It’ll probably be another high-scoring shootout and there will be lots of grown men mad on the internet. I’m sure Tech will start off slow, but by noon, they should start rolling and we’ll see lots of quick scores.

So as I get older I’ve realized there are two things in this world that I love: sound and light. I love to have speakers everywhere and accent lighting is my favorite. The best thing ever this week are portable Bluetooth speakers I bought a few months ago for just a little over a hundred bucks. The sound is great, and you can pair them for stereo sound. We use them outside all the time and they stay charged for hours.

Absolutely the best purchase I’ve made in a while. And they’re waterproof! They even come with their own little floaters, though I haven’t tried that out just yet.

What about you? What’s your best thing in the world this week?

Seth: My best thing from me this week is this Esquire article from boxer Jake LaMotta. Who doesn’t love quotes like this:

I’m ninety and I’m still doing pretty good. There’s an old saying that when you get old, you can’t function. That’s baloney. If you’ve got a beautiful, lovely, gorgeous wife and she loves you and you love her, then it’s only natural.

Most of the time husbands and wives argue about stupid, foolish things. If it doesn’t mean that much to you, give in to your wife. If you don’t give in, you’re giving in to not having sex.

When you finally analyze the whole situation, you realize the arguments were stupid in the first place.

Random Top Five

Seth: So let’s get to our top five. Top five months of the year. I’ll go first.

1. March (it’s my birthday month and a great month for weather)
2. October (it’s the first month where things really start to cool off)
3. May (it’s the perfect month temperature wise)
4. November (it’s football weather and Thanksgiving is a good family time)
5. April (another great month for weather)

Travis:

1. December
2. November
3. June
4. March
5. October

February is lame and August can suck it. I hate August.

Game Prediction

Travis: So what’s your bold prediction for the weekend? As I said earlier, I think this game will start slow but end up relatively high scoring, and closer than we like. I say Tech 38-32.

Seth: You totally stole my score prediction. I’m actually pretty close to that, Texas Tech wins 38-34. Let’s party.

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