Local vs National Politics, Sports League Web Strategy, Frozen Vegetables are Miracle Food, NFL Week 1 Picks

Twice this week I thought, “X would be a good thing to post on here,” then by the time I got to WordPress, I had completely forgotten X. I need to finish that API for my mind to fix this problem.

  • Politics-following types like me are wrapped up in convention coverage, but it’s important to remember that local and state politics way outpaces national when it comes to impact on your everyday life. To think selfishly about it: the federal government affects a much larger number of people, but what really matters is who’s more into you and your life each day. My father-in-law agreed heartily last week, noting the irony that he hasn’t bothered to learn the name of his own council rep in Florida despite regularly watching the news and keeping up with the national stage.

    So the next time your life literally stinks, ask yourself who deserves the blame: the President, or the Streets and San guy?

  • Now that pro football has rejoicingly returned (!!!), I’ve been visiting NFL.com every now and then for my dose of league propaganda. You’ll note that the NFL, just like the NBA, MLB and NHL, has all of its teams’ websites on a templatized system of subdomains that I’m sure is commonly administered. (Managed services for that data center is one high-pressure job at this time of year.) Co-branding abounds: we’re not supposed to think of the NFL as 32 teams, but as one league.

    This is the smart way to do it because of the way the Internet has changed sports fandom: Back in the pre-web dark ages, you got the box scores from around the league and the heavily skewed coverage of your local team, but that was about it. Now we’re more likely to get our sports news from a national outlet like ESPN.com than we are from just WTAE and the Post-Gazette, so it’s an array of coverage from an array of perspectives. As the fans are moving to a league-wide view, the pro leagues (in their infinitely market-centered way) are shifting their digital-marketing structure to follow: they don’t want fans to be fans of just one team, but of the sport and the league that governs it. Roger Goodell applauds this observation, but suspended me for four games for analyzing the NFL’s business model on more than a blind-obeisance level.

  • Speaking of web development, I wonder how many people nerd-raged the way I did when a Citibank radio commercial, as an allegory for confusing work discussions, said, “Should you use HTML or CSS?!” Not only is HTML no longer a geek-only concept, this question doesn’t even make sense: it’s like asking whether you should use the television or the cable box to watch TV.

    The number of nerds angered by that has to be at least in the hundreds. There have therefore been very few instances where the anger of hundreds has been as petty and ridiculous as it is right now.

  • With the news this week that organic food isn’t necessarily healthier than conventional food — nutrition-wise, at least; I assume organic’s lack of pesticides still makes it the preferred option for maximized third-arm avoidance — I think it’s time to celebrate the food that is the key to both eating healthy and saving money: the frozen vegetable.

    I don’t know why frozen vegetables don’t get more props than they do. I hear a lot about food deserts and fresh produce, and yeah, fresh produce tastes WAY better 90% of the time. But when I was a cheap lad of 22, and even today when I’m a cheap lad of 32, frozen vegetables were the way I added healthy balance to my diet while I kept grocery spending at ramen-noodle levels. Seriously, a large bag of store-brand peas, broccoli or mixed vegetables is only $1, and that bag is at least five meals’ worth of greenery right there. The American Frozen Food Institute needs to get out there and rebrand as a savior of healthy eating for the less fortunate.

    Clarence Birdseye, my stomach and wallet salute you.

  • And finally, the NFL picks return. Last year I finished 145-112 picking against the spread, which was good enough for second place in my league of former TIME.com coworkers. I guess some of them could conceivably read this and enter the same picks as me, but that would be some stalker-level stuff that would indicate a much bigger problem than cheating at Yahoo! Pick ‘Em football.

    NFL WEEK 1
    At NY Giants -3.5 Dallas (oops)
    At Chicago -9.5 Indianapolis
    Philadelphia -8.5 At Cleveland
    At NY Jets -2.5 Buffalo
    At New Orleans -7 Washington
    New England -5.5 At Tennessee
    At Minnesota -4 Jacksonville
    At Houston -12 Miami
    At Detroit -7 St. Louis
    Atlanta -3 At Kansas City
    At Green Bay -5 San Francisco
    Carolina -2.5 At Tampa Bay
    Seattle -2.5 At Arizona
    At Denver -1.5 Pittsburgh
    At Baltimore -6 Cincinnati
    At Oakland -1 San Diego

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