By In Stuff

The Lost Poscast

I have, at times, made jokes about how I’m the worst technical podcaster in the entire world. The thing is: I’m not joking. I have, in a short podcasting career, failed to record some of the best guests in the world. I had to do the podcast twice with Jim Nantz and with Kevin Harlan because of technical glitches. I once did a podcast with Keith Law where, sadly, you could not actually hear him because I decided in my infinite wisdom to place him three football fields away from the microphone.

This, looking back, seems funny. And the guests — bless them all — have shown infinite patience with my technical stupidity. But it’s not funny to me. It makes me want to throw up. These people offer their much valued time, and I keep screwing up the technical stuff. I mean, everyone knows I’m not a technician, but recording a conversation doesn’t seem like it should be this complicated. I’m sure it’s not. But it is for me. And it makes me sick.

I bring this up today because, yes, I did it again. I had this great podcast with my good friend, “Parks and Recreation” executive producer Michael Schur this week. And, because one wire was not plugged all the way in, his voice did not record. And I am currently banging my head against a wall.
The thing that hurts most about this one is that this podcast was so personal and fun — it was my favorite-ever podcast.

So, I’m going to write about it:

* * *

The first part: Michael and I talked about the MVP balloting. You can probably guess what we talked about there. In fact, a lot of it is in my last MVP post. Michael, of course, was Ken Tremendous of the legendary “Fire Joe Morgan” website, and so you know he simply has no tolerance whatsoever for people who will not at least try to embrace and understand new kinds of knowledge.*

*I tried to get him wound up a bit, because there are few things in the world funnier than Michael Schur getting fired up about stick-in-the-mud baseball thinkers. It might have helped if I had this article to read to him. But all in all he stayed pretty measured. He mostly said he was depressed by the voting because he really thought that the BBWAA was making progress.

The new knowledge makes it pretty clear that Mike Trout had a better year than Miguel Cabrera. It really adds up that way every single time.

I’ll show you some numbers again:

Baseball Reference WAR

Trout: 10.7
Cabrera: 6.9

Fangraphs WAR
Trout: 10.0
Cabrera: 7.1

Baseball Prospects WARP
Trout: 9.1
Cabrera: 6.1

Bill James Total Runs
Trout: 173
Cabrera: 150

Win Probability Added
Trout: 5.3
Cabrera: 4.8

Win Shares
Trout: 38
Cabrera: 32

And so on. Michael and I have seen no statistical way to take the contribution of both players — taking their entire season into consideration — and conclude that Cabrera had the better year. This doesn’t detract from Cabrera’s great season. It just shows you how amazing Trout’s season really was.

Michael went into great detail about how stupid awards like this are in the first place. They’re fun, but they’re dumb. Pretty much every single Detroit Tigers fan ranting and raving about Cabrera over Trout would take precisely the opposite side if Trout played for Detroit and Cabrera played for the Angels. And vice versa. And they know it. They HAVE to know it. That absurd column written by Mitch Albom mentioned above would be exactly 180 degrees different if Trout were a Tiger (though the ranting about those evil statistics would somehow still play a role in it). The argument about what “valuable” means — as if it’s some magical word that isn’t a synonym of “useful,” “helpful,” “effective” and “productive” — drives Michael insane.

“To say that Miguel Cabrera should be the MVP because he won the Triple Crown is really dumb,” he said. And he pointed out that if Mike Trout had three more singles this year — he reached base on errors seven times this year (to Cabrera’s four), so just make three of those hits — he would have won the batting title. And the Triple Crown would have not happened. And it would not have changed a single thing.

But, all in all, Michael tried to stay positive. He said that things have come a long way from when, say, Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young Award even though numerous pitchers were better, or when Justin Morneau won the MVP despite being about the 15th-best player in the American League. He brought up the fact that Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young with 13 wins in 2010 as a hopeful sign that the voters are looking beyond the outdated statistics. And when I told him that I thought Hernandez was just kind of a blip — there just wasn’t a good high-win option that year — he offered this: “Dude, why are you harshing my mellow?”

There is a lot of great other stuff lost forever, including my trivia question: Name the five pitchers since Dennis Eckersley who have finished Top 5 in the MVP balloting?*

*Michael got Verlander (1st in 2011, of course) and Pedro (2nd in 1999, 5th in 2000) right away. With a little prompting he got Greg Maddux (5th in 1994, 3rd in 1995). I didn’t even wait for him to try to guess the other two. They are: Randy Myers (4th in 1997) and Jose Mesa (4th in 1995). Baseball writers do like to think of relief pitchers as “valuable.”

* * *

The draft was my favorite one ever, and it’s utterly heartbreaking that it’s gone. We decided that this draft would be different from the others, and by different I mean: “Even more inane and useless.” We decided to draft “Things everybody loves that we just don’t love.” I went first.

My first pick: “Lord of the Rings”

One thing we were both careful to admit is this: We don’t see our failure to love these things as badges of honor. In some cases, we readily admit that it’s a grand failing on our part. I want to like LOTR. I really do. I love Harry Potter. I love Star Wars, the originals. I have a daughter who is totally into fantasy fiction. I try. But I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I went to see the first LOTR with my wife Margo and — this is absolutely true — five minutes into it I turned to her and said: “I’m already completely lost.” I don’t know what the ring is. I don’t know what it does. I don’t get why they want it or don’t want it or can’t have it or who they are … I just don’t understand any of it.”

There was a “Twilight Zone” or “Outer Limits” or something that I saw in an English class once — I don’t remember all the details — but in memory there was this guy who woke up one day and found that his wife would occasionally use a gibberish word. He was confused by this, but then he ran into a friend who also used the same gibberish word. And then he used another. And then another. And soon half the sentences were gibberish words. And then three quarters of them were gibberish. And finally every word was gibberish and the guy had no idea what anybody was saying.

That’s what watching or reading “Lord of the Rings” is like for me. I wish it weren’t so.

Michael, as you might imagine, is a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan, and this revelation was a big fissure in our friendship. But a bigger one was about to come.

Michael’s first pick: Bruce Springsteen

Michael says he wants to love Bruce. He loves Bruce the performer. He love Bruce the icon. He told this great story about working at Saturday Night Live and just walking in on Bruce Springsteen in the dressing room, lying on the couch and reading Rolling Stone and how much it meant to him. But he says that while he’s tried all the albums, while he has seen Springsteen perform live, while he has tried mightily, he just cannot love Bruce Springsteen. He says he expects to lose 4,000 Twitter followers for this admission.

I, as a gigantic Springsteen fan, absolved him by saying that you might have some control over who you LIKE musically, but I don’t believe you can choose who you LOVE musically. It’s something more visceral than that. To be honest: I was saying this to prepare him for my second pick. I also said I would unfollow him on Twitter.

My second pick: Wilco

One of my best friends in the world, Pop Warner — who is in the music business — has been on a one-man crusade to get me to like Wilco. And I am trying. I like some of their songs. I went to see them in concert. I have all of their albums (most of them because of Pop Warner) and listen to them. On Spotify right now I have a playlist called: “Wilco Attempt” which is a collection of songs that were chosen specifically for my tastes and are meant to engender a new kind of love for Wilco.

So far: No dice. I admire Wilco. I respect the music. I know that liking Wilco is a minimum requirement for anything resembling cool for my age bracket. But I just can’t get there. I fail the cool test dramatically. I suppose I’ll keep trying.

Michael’s second pick: Convertibles

If there is any one part of this lost podcast that kills me most, it is this — Michael went on an epic three-minute diatribe about how much he hates convertibles … it literally left me gasping for breath. He thinks they are stupid and pointless and why would he allow the elements in his car and how could anything possibly suck more than driving in a car with the roof down and on and on and it was absolutely hysterical. The best part, though, was when he was finished I asked him: “So you never drive a car with the sunroof open?” Which caused him to pause for the perfect half second of comic disbelief before screaming “NO!” and then going through the entire thing all over again. It was sheer brilliance, and I will never forgive myself for losing it.

I had no particularly strong feelings about convertibles before Michael spoke. Now, I do.

My third pick: Dunks

I don’t like the dunk. I just don’t. I mean, I admire the athletic ability it takes to dunk, and there are certain dunks where a guy will stuff the ball over another guy, and that’s amazing and all that. But all in all, I don’t like the dunk. I don’t like the way people awkwardly high-five after dunks. I don’t like the way SportsCenter will show you one dunk after another dunk after another dunk. I don’t like breakaway dunks, and I don’t like when people try to fancy up breakaway dunks. I don’t like dunk contest — and haven’t after Michael Jordan won his first one.

I like layups. I wish there was a layup contest at the All-Star Game. The under-the-basket reverse layup that Dr. J pulled … better than any dunk ever. The Michael Jordan switch the ball from one hand to another layup … better than any dunk ever. The George Gervin finger roll … better than any dunk ever. I’m not saying that I want to outlaw the dunk. I don’t. I just don’t like them.

Michael, in this case, was more or less in agreement. He had considered putting the dunk contest on his list.

Michael’s third pick: Thanksgiving

Michael was quick to say he doesn’t hate Thanksgiving. He just doesn’t love it. He doesn’t love the food choices. He doesn’t love the overall atmosphere. He’s cool with families getting together for holidays — wishes it would happen more — but is just not a fan of the Thanksgiving thing. And now that he’s a father, he finds he can’t even watch as much of the football as he likes, which for him was really the saving grace of Thanksgiving in the first place. He just sees how much everyone out there loves Thanksgiving … and he doesn’t feel the vibe.

I, on the other hand, love Thanksgiving. Part of that is because it has always been one of the two big holidays in my family (the other being Oscar Night). But more, I like holidays where they tell me what to do. I’m much more baffled by holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day and Presidents Day when it’s not clear really what is expected of me. Am I supposed to barbecue? Am I supposed to wear a flag pin? I like doing my holiday duties. Thanksgiving, I’ve got it down — eat turkey, watch football, tell my mother she’s making too much food, wash dishes, get kids to say what they’re thankful for, and I’ve done my duty for another year.

My fourth pick: Cheesecake

Man, people look so happy when they’re eating cheesecake, don’t they? They’re just on some new plane of happiness when they’re eating cheesecake. And I cannot stand cheesecake. It’s baffling. I like pretty much all kinds of cake. I like pretty much all kinds of food that’s bad for you. I go into The Cheesecake Factory, and I see all those cakes behind the glass — what Jerry Seinfeld might call the jewelry case of cake — and it just could not look more awesome. And you look around, and there are people eating cheesecake and reliving the Meg Ryan scene from “When Harry Met Sally.”

And I’m missing all of it because I don’t like cheesecake, don’t like the taste, don’t like the texture, don’t like the name, don’t like any of it. I realize that I am missing out on one of the great things of life, and it makes me very sad.

It was at this point — me ranting about cheesecake — that Michael said the Poscast had reached its very lowest point in relevance.

Michael’s fourth pick: Champagne

Man, Michael hates champagne. He hates the taste of it, the smell of it, the pretentiousness of it, the fact that a $5 bottle and $1,000 bottle of champagne taste pretty much the same. He hates that people pour champagne on each other after championships, and hates that people bring over bottles of champagne to celebrate events. (“There are seven bottles of champagne in the whole world, and we just keep reusing them by bringing them over to new people’s houses for New Year’s,” he said). He really, really does not like champagne.

I’m not a champagne guy, but I’m not anti — so I asked Michael what he would prefer people use to celebrate. He said anything (including motor oil), but his top choice was orange juice. And we both agreed that the scene of a championship locker room would be improved by at least 500% if you had players pouring orange juice over each other.

My fifth pick: Sunny days

I really didn’t want to admit this one. My other choices here included cigars and zombies … I don’t get the zombie craze. I don’t. I think zombies are an incredibly stupid concept. Vampires, OK. But zombies? Can’t stand them. I have a good friend who is literally the world’s No. 1 “Night of the Living Dead” fan — no, seriously, No. 1 — and she might be horrified to hear me say this. But I don’t like zombies, don’t care about zombies, am not scared of zombies, would rather not think about zombies, don’t want to see movies with zombies, don’t find it the least bit amusing to put zombies in Jane Austen novels, and I was ticked off when zombies took over our “Simpson’s Tapped Out” game on the iPad.

Still, if I’m going to be true to the concept, I have to be honest: I just don’t love sunny days. I mean, I don’t dislike them … but I prefer cloudy days. I always have. Maybe this comes from growing up in Cleveland. But a gray day, a nice chill in the air, sweatshirt weather, that’s absolutely my favorite kind of day. I know I would love living in Seattle or Portland. I have people who live out there tell me that I would miss the sun, and I can’t dismiss that, since they know a lot more about it than I do, but I don’t think so. When the sun is out, I always find myself happier when it slips behind a cloud. Right now, in my office, beautiful blue sky, sunlight streaming through my window, adding glare to my computer screen, I’m thinking: It would be nicer is if it were cloudy.

I fully expected Michael to come in with the hammer on this one. Instead …

Michael’s fifth pick: The beach

Sometimes — every now and again — you find that you and a good friend have more in common than you ever expected. Once, my friend Chuck Culpepper and I were talking music and out of nowhere we found that we shared the guilty pleasure: George Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice.” That’s a whole other story.

At the end of the draft, Michael and I found that we share our general ambivalence for the bright sunniness that seems to make everyone around the world so happy.

Michael made his choice more specific — it isn’t just the sunshine that doesn’t excite him, it’s also the sand, the heat, the whole bit. He finds the beach beautiful, and is not opposed to walking along the beach with his wife. But he just doesn’t love it. And, in the end, we found ourselves together, a couple of miserable people looking for gray days without cheesecake or convertibles, Wilco or Springsteen, Thanksgiving or dunks or Lord of the Rings. We would have toasted each other. But Michael doesn’t like champagne.

* * *

We are (as usual) offering cool prizes for two lucky winners (and, as usual, we might forget to award it) — if you would like to enter, all you have to do is decide who won the draft. In this case, as Michael says, the winner of the draft is the person whose five choices makes them the more miserable person. If you think Michael’s choices were more horrifying, you can mark your comment with #harshmymellow. If you think mine are more horrifying, make your comment with #cheesecakerules.

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66 Responses to The Lost Poscast

  1. Brian Asher says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good sirs,
    I do not wish to pick a winner in this contest. It appears you have both already lost.

  3. Yeager says:

    You lost me at Lord of the Rings but then straight up murdered me with cheesecake.


  4. #harshmymellow.

    Thanks for writing up the podcast. I always want to listen but feel like I never have the time. Nor do I remember to listen when I do have the time.

    Can you give some other draft subjects? I want to start doing this with our couple friends.

  5. Not loving sunny days is just the saddest thing ever. I have only saved one fortune cookie fortune in my life. I am looking at it right now. It reads, “To love and and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides.” Feeling the sun on you is comparable to love. That’s what you don’t love! Love! I want to help you somehow, but I don’t know where to begin. #cheesecakerules

  6. John says:

    Clearly #cheesecakerules. Also, way easier to read this at work than to listen to the podcast.

  7. Joseph Finn says:

    Dear god, try being a Chicagoan and having to admit that you don’t care about Wilco (snore) and downright hate cheesecake (I don’t like sponges, sorry). You’d think I was a child murderer.

    So yes, Michael’s are worse. Thanksgiving? Really? #harshmymellow

  8. Joe says:

    Hatred for Thanksgiving < Hatred of Wilco. #harshmymellow

  9. Bryan says:

    Literally shouted “NO!!!!!” when I read your tweet about this. I demand SoE buy you an intern who makes sure your podcasts record.

  10. sjs says:

    I think Michael wins, because the things he doesn’t love seem to have a higher happiness ceiling (HHC?) than Joe’s list. So, formally, #harshmymellow. Let’s break this down.


    1. Not liking LOTR seems fine to me. It’s not an uplifting or “happy” story, it’s a story about overcoming this massive adversity and the little guy winning. Or something. I’ve had a tough time getting through the third book. But it’s not a universally loved story, I don’t think.

    2. Wilco. They’re not this massive band that the world adores. They strike me as an overcast day type of band that you might listen to when you’re feeling just OK or feeling a little bummed out. I don’t think you reach for Wilco when you’re at your apex or your nadir. They’re around, they’re talented, but they’re a band you can not listen to and you’ll still wake up the next day.

    3. Dunks are pretty great, but Joe’s argument about lay-ups and finger-rolls is really compelling. There are a million great dunks a year, but an awesome lay-up will make me stand up and make that guttural “ooooh” noise that dunks can’t muster.

    4. Cheesecake is horrible for you. It’s delicious, but give me an apple pie.

    5. Sunny days are great. This is is my toughest one to accept, but since Michael said the beach, you’re automatically trumped. The beach is a sunny day with toppings.


    1. Bruce is America. He’s America and you’re supposed to love him and Bob Menendez is trying to shoehorn his name in the Pledge of Allegiance somewhere.

    2. Convertibles are America. They’re Route 66 and making out in the back seat and turning around to get your baseball cap but you don’t care because you’re outside and driving at the same time.

    3. Thanksgiving is a day when your jobs are eating and sitting around and watching football. No one bothers you if you take a nap because THAT’S part of it, too.

    4. Champagne is a silly drink for silly people who think they’re much more important than they actually are.

    5. The beach is where you go to do nothing and get a sunburn and complain about how hot the sand is and how cold the water is and then you’re exhausted for no good reason. Then you probably eat something that was cooked outside and have a beer. If you went to the beach it was a pretty good day.

    And now I’m done. Joe, I wish you hadn’t lost that Poscast. Can you do a test run from now on? Maybe you and Michael both talk for 30 seconds, then you check if the machines are doing their jobs?

    Finally, I figured Joe Biden would be a pretty good actor and I was right.

  11. Forty says:

    #harshmymellow He was more miserable in 3 of 5 compared to your 1 of 5

  12. obclhorn says:


    I agree with you about maybe one thing.

    I agree with Michael about four things.

    Therefore, you are more miserable.

  13. My #1 choice would have been steak. It’s not that I dislike steak, but I feel like it’s wildly overrated.

  14. Enjoying a good lay up or finger roll is fine, but the greatest moment in NBA history was a dunk:

  15. Thanksgiving, Champagne, Convertibles and the Beach are some of the best things in life, and it makes me sad for Michael that he does not like them. But…sunny days? Sunny days!? It’s fine to love cloudy days, but you can’t not love sunny days. To borrow an old FJM-ism…$#@% the heck?

    So I have to declare this one a draw. #harshmycheesecake

  16. springer says:

    Tough one, because I agree with most of what both of you said. In a narrow victory, though #cheesecakerules

  17. Exodor says:

    Please come join Rob Neyer and I in Portland. It seems to be the hip place for sun-hating Royals fans.

  18. Cellarguy says:

    I saw Lyle Lovett the other evening in concert and in explaining the origin of one of his songs he made the very percpetive comment that, in terms of bringing and keeping people together, hating the same things is usually a much more powerful force than loving the same things. Probably especially true if two people are hating things that *everybody* else loves…

  19. Brian Moritz says:

    Since I always thought I was the only former sportswriter in America who didn’t love Bruce … #harshmymellow

  20. DRL says:

    Reading you and enjoying P&R has given me occasional web delusions that: “Hey, if I were neighbors with Joe or Mike, we’d be friends.” No longer. I worry about both of you and wouldn’t want you infecting my kids with your anti-Thanksgiving, anti-LOTR vibes. But especially you. #cheesecakerules

    My list:
    Downton Abbey – Julia Roberts – Back rubs – Michael Jackson – Apple devices

  21. Alex says:

    Not loving sunny days indicates to me that neither of you has ever lived in the Pacific Northwest.

  22. DJM says:

    If I was voting on who I disagree with more, Michael would win. I like Springsteen even if I’m not a real strong fan (I’m not that way with any music, really, other than Weird Al). I would love to own a convertable. I love Thanksgiving, though I would agree that it is overrated. I have no opinion on Champagne. And I love being at the beach.

    But Joe’s #5 pick is the LaDainian Tomlinson of this draft. I simply cannot process how someone can not like sunny days. That is a Louis C.K.-level of misery right there. Of course, it also explains why you prefer vampires to zombies.

    Joe wins.

    P.S.–I would be glad to help you record the Poscasts to prevent anything like this from happening again. I don’t have much to offer in the way of technical skills, but I would certainly do a good job of sitting petrified and unable to speak while you or Mike Schur attempted to talk to me.

  23. Matt says:

    Tie for most horrifying is broken by Sunny Days. What a sad, sad life. #cheesecakerules

    Because no one asked:
    Swimming pools – Apple devices – lipstick – sports cars – Nirvana

  24. Mike says:


    I love LOTR, Wilco, dunks, and sunny days… you are clearly doomed to misery, Joe.

  25. Daniel Flude says:

    I’m with Michael on four out of five of his picks. I just can’t get behind the Thanksgiving pick.

    Joe…I’m sorry, I love LOTR, cheesecake and sunny days.

  26. rcharbon says:

    #cheesecakerules Though that’s the only one on your list I agreed with.

  27. Edward says:

    I thought the movie version of “LOTR: Fellowship” was incredibly better than the book. I saw the movie before reading, and very nearly put the book down before I forced myself to slog through it and the remaining two. I’m glad I did, because “The Two Towers” is really where the action picks up. But I was pissed that I had to burn through 300 pages of character set-up first.

  28. Rozzie says:

    Wow, Michael is really on point with this one (aside only from Thanksgiving).


  29. daveyhead says:

    And I thought I was a weirdo for not liking the Grateful Dead and watermelon.


  30. The only pick I would say I really love is Thanksgiving, so #harshmymellow. All of the good food and family time with none of the commercialism and stress.

    The Lord of the Rings and Springsteen are the worst. Great first picks.

  31. Lou W says:

    Before I get to my vote, here’s my secret. #IHatePodcasts

    I hate them, I simply don’t have the time to listen to a PodCast when, as in this case, I can read the meat of the conversation 30x faster. I’m sympathetic to the writers who enjoy the chance to converse, without the effort of writing, but Simmons and now you, it sucks!

    So, while I feel really bad for your ongoing technical problems, I have to admit that I really enjoyed reading this column, and I’m sad that your inevitably improving skills as a producer will lead to less (100% free!) writing for me to enjoy.

    Finally, while you are both miserable human beings, my joint hatred of Cheesecake and love for Thanksgiving throws my vote to #harshmymellow.

  32. Joe,

    Have you tried reading the Hobbit?

    I think it’s a lot easier to get into than the Lord of the Rings. And it’s actually book you can read with your kids. Plus the movie is coming out in a couple weeks.

    • Nick says:

      I came here to post exactly this.

      I re-read The Hobbit a couple of months ago for the first time since I was 12 or 13, and really loved it as a stand-alone book. Previously, I had always thought of it as a small children’s tale written before Middle-earth as we would come to know it had really been developed, and incomparable with the LOTR, with its much greater scope. But The Hobbit is really a fabulous read, and I was surprised how many aspects of the greater story to come were already hinted at, more so than I had remembered.

      I absolutely can’t wait for the movies (and I basically don’t watch movies anymore) and I might read the book again before the first movie comes out.

  33. Mak says:

    It sure is a shame that this podcast was lost.

    Gotta go with #harshmymellow though for the winner.

  34. I agree with most of both lists: LOTR (like the books but movies are nothing like the books), Bruce, Thanksgiving, dunks, sunny days (I live in Seattle and love it), the beach, and zombies. All excellent choices. I can sympathize with disliking convertibles (I think they’re fun) and don’t really mind if you don’t like Wilco.

    That leaves cheesecake. The one item on either list that is truly wonderful. Sorry, Joe, but your life is more miserable. #cheesecakerules

  35. #harshmymellow

    And because playing along is fun:

    -Disney World (I grew up in Orlando. I’ve been there sixty times. T first thing so many people say when I tell them I’m from Orlando is, “Oh yeah, I love Disney World.”)
    -Pumpkin Pie/Pumpkin Spice
    -Red Velvet Cake
    -The Super Bowl
    -Cat pictures/memes on the internet.

  36. Ironically, Joe really likes the Springsteen song “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day.”

  37. The Skald says:

    #harshmymellow Because of Thanksgiving. That said aside from your cheesecake thing I basically agree with you. I like the LOTR movies, but the books are unreadable.

  38. #cheesecakerules

    My draft:

    1. Jesus. Many non-christians, when discussing their lack of belief, like to proclaim a sort of disingenuous love for the secular Jesus, saying he was “a great moral teacher” and “the things he said were so beautiful and profound” and on and on and on. I disagree. Even taking the story at face value, I don’t think the words of Jesus can even remotely compare to the great philosophers. Socrates is a thousand times more wise than Jesus could ever hope to be. I would expect much greater insight from the supposed “son of god.”

    2. Summer-I’m over it, that’s all. I much prefer the more mild spring and fall seasons, when I can get all the beautiful weather and still be able to walk down the street without sweating all over the place.

    3. Eric Clapton-Anything after Cream/Derek and the Dominos is saccharine, sappy garbage. Wonderful Tonight is woefully bad self-parody. And as a guitarist he is VASTLY overrated, and calling him a bluesman is an insult to real bluesmen everywhere.

    4. The Olympics-I just don’t care. Simple as that.

    5. Hip-hop music-with some notable exceptions (ie Tupac) I find this entire genre to be one great arrogant prideful celebration of stupidity. Hip-hop culture is one of proud, unabashed, flaunted stupidity and ignorance.

    Looking at this, it seems I win the miserable contest. So there.

  39. timifill says:

    Ok, you’ve got Schur’s ear. Please please convince him to do another one of those one-day FJM comebacks on Deadspin (or maybe SoE could steal the feature) just so he could tear apart that Albom article you linked to. It was like a greatest hits collection of the dumb arguments against statistical analysis.

  40. Andy Coppock says:

    I could care less about convertibles and Springsteen, prefer beer to champagne, not really into the beach, and I’m ambivalent about Thanksgiving. I guess that means…


  41. doc says:

    Oddly enough, I can see not liking LOTR (which is, for me maybe the most important book–it’s all onebook–I’ve ever read) and I can understand not liking Bruce Springsteen (who, for me, is not as important as Bobby Zimmerman, but not far off).

    LOTR is a hard book to *like*. It does not have a happy ending; there’s way too much going on to keep track of; some of the good guys aren’t all that good; sometimes it’s not all that clear what “good” means. The good guys win almost by inadvertance. Tolkien clearly dislikes the modern world, democracy, and a lot of the things we all think are important. Women have no (well, very, very little) role in his world. So I have never tried to persuade people that it’s a great piece of literature. I’m not sure it is, but it matters to me.

    And I can understand not liking Springsteen, not living and dying with his music. One thing is the hype, from very early on (I mean, come on, “I have seen the future of Rocl’n’ro;; and its name is Bruce Springsteen”? Really?) But the big thing is, I think, the same reason that I understand not liking Dylan (who is, for me, and has been since “The Times They Are a-Changing,” the most important songwriter of the late 20th century). And the thing they have in common is the absolute, complete certainty of their rightness. How many of Springsteen’s songs sontain any (much) ambiguity? How many of them invite you to disagree with the sentiments expressed? He’s RIGHT, and there’s no room for doubt.

    So I get all that. But cheesecake? Chamoagne? You lost me there…

  42. Joe- Please do not lose future Poscasts. I really enjoy them. That is all.
    Actually, 2nd thing- I was driven insane this week watching Harold Reynolds and Al Leiter, 2 former players who I really like on TV, talk about Miguel Cabrera being the MVP largely because of “leading his team to the playoffs”, i.e. leading his team to the 7th-best record in the AL against an easier schedule than the 6 teams above Detroit in the standings. For f’s sake, it was like being a liberal listening to Sean Hannity as your primary news source.

  43. (1) Steven Spielberg; (2) pie (not including pumpkin pie, which is delicious); (3) college football; (4) The Beatles; (5) Guinness.

  44. Joe Bob says:

    All of the comments re: LotR are talking past Joe. He chooses it not because of his preferences (cf Sunny Days) but because of [i]how[/i] his mind works. There are plenty of reasons to like/dislike that have been given here, but those have nothing to do with Joe. His mind just doesn’t work in the way needed to get to the level of preferences with it.

    What’s fascinating is that it’s exact same mental block that causes the podcasts to be screwed up.

  45. jprose says:

    Hi Joe,

    I love reading you. This is great. The fact that this reached one of you saying that you don’t like “sunny days” is incredible. Incredible. Good work

  46. RJL says:

    I actually don’t care for most of the things on the list, but by naming cheesecake, you just went way off. Cheesecake is the best thing on the list, and while I an agree with hating the beach, “sunny days” is probably too far. So #cheesecakerules.

    BY THE WAY, the episode you are thinking of is a “New Twilight Zone” episode called “Wordplay.” You can watch it here:

    It starts off somewhat funny and then turns horrifying.

  47. macomeau says:

    When it comes down to it, we’re asked to choose who’s choices make them the more miserable person. By that measure, I have to go with Michael.

    I love the Lord of the Rings, but not liking it won’t make you miserable. I like Bruce Springsteen, but there are some parts of his catalogue (Nebraska) that can be downright depressing. 0-0

    I’ve never consciously heard a Wilco song, so I hope that not loving them doesn’t make you miserable. Convertibles are legitimately fun. I really wish I’d heard Michael’s rant about them, but not liking them is a little miserable. 0-1

    Dunking is hilariously overrated. Simple as that. I’m Canadian, but our Thanksgiving isn’t terribly different from yours. That is the actual intent is the same, not the shopping and whatnot (which is actually filtering up here. We’re going to have Black Friday sales this year. Friday is not a holiday here. I know there’s a whole history behind why we have Thanksgivings, but it got lost a long time ago. Now it strikes me as just an excuse for a day off and some shopping. No points either way for this round. 0-1

    Cheesecake. Wow. This is a big one. Cherry cheesecake is my all-time favourite dessert. I can tell a story about me chasing a raccoon around a camp site because it stole the last piece of cherry cheesecake, which I was saving for a late night snack. It later brought the pan back. Cheesecake is the food of the gods. Champagne is, on the other hand, probably the most overrated drink in the history of mankind. 1-1

    Honestly, not liking sunny days is baffling to me. Even reading the reasoning. Sunny days in the middle of summer are great. Sunny days in the middle of winter, with a carpet of brilliant white snow on the ground, may be greater still. Especially after the grey, sweatshirt days. On the other hand, the beach is sunny days with cherries on top. I think this calls back to the convertible pick, really. Sunny days, driving to the beach are what makes a convertible. If you don’t care for sunny days, or the beach, of course you don’t like convertibles. 1-2

    Michael wins because of his whole, interconnected, miserable outlook. #harshmymellow

    • So this has me wondering…if you caught that raccoon, what would have happened next? Would you have tried to eat the raccoon-germy cheesecake? Would you have tried to reason with the raccoon to give the cheesecake back? I’ve found that most raccoons are cranky about sharing their food. I think the first rule of camping should be “If the raccoon gets your food, just walk away.”

  48. Vin says:

    Let’s do a tally….


    Agree: The beach, Bruce Springsteen. Beaches CAN be very nice, but people endure crazy amounts of suffering to go to them. Also, massive, crowded beaches absolutely suck. And, despite reading this blog, I’ve never understood Bruce.

    Don’t care: Convertibles. They seem fun to me, but eh, I don’t have a strong opinion and have never thought about it.

    Disagree: Champagne, Thanksgiving. Champagne is tasty and gets you drunk – what’s not to like? But Thanksgiving might be the most miserable pick of them all – how do you not like Thanksgiving? It distills the very idea of a holiday down to its very essence. You get together with people and eat and drink – no religious stuff, no politics, not as socially fraught as Christmas or Halloween, based on a vague myth but not nearly as hoo-rah patriotic as, say, July 4th. I love the entire holiday season, but even my most Grinch-y friends like Thanksgiving.


    Agree: Dunks. Dunks are showy, overdone, and boring compared with real basketball.

    Don’t care: Lord of the Rings, Cheesecake, Wilco. I like all three of these things just fine, but I could see how you might not like them – LotR is overrated by some people, cheesecake’s usually good but it often looks better than it is, I enjoy Wilco but do find them boring sometimes. So, I’m not really motivated to mount a defense of any of them.

    Disagree: Sunny days. Now, I happen to share Joe and Michael’s dislike of very warm weather. My favorite days are clear, crisp – and sunny. Sunny does not necessarily mean warm.

    After running through the list, I’ve gotta give it to Michael on account of Thanksgiving. That one I REALLY don’t get.

  49. troy says:



  50. Gary says:

    Driving to Oklahoma this past weekend – and through far too much of it – with the sun shining brightly in a clear blue sky, I kept complaining to my wife that I wish there were clouds. So I definitely get having sunny days on the list.

    And while the Born to Run album is one of my all-time favorites, after that I just didn’t care much for Springsteen. I do like Wilco to a degree, I like cheesecake and champagne, don’t even want to try to understand LOTR and am happy to never go to a beach again.

    So I vote this a draw. You’ll have to try again.

  51. Carly says:

    I mostly agree with Michael, so I want him to be the winner… but I guess that inherently means that from my perspective, Joe is the more miserable person? #cheesecakerules (but really I don’t like it either)

  52. Mike Snell says:

    That was great. I may have enjoyed reading this if not more, than at least on par with your podcasts. A treasure either way.

  53. #cheesecakerules

    1. Summer
    2. Outdoor festivals
    3. football (pro/college/high school/whatever)
    4. Steak
    5. Dancing

  54. Can’t wait to move to the pacific northwest!!
    I’ll throw in basketball

  55. Poseur says:

    The best thing Wilco ever did is Mermaid Avenue, and that’s because it’s really Billy Bragg doing a bunch of Woody Guthrie covers while Wilco plays in the background. Billy Bragg is sort of great.

  56. #harsh my mellow…

    Doesn’t like convertibles, the beach and Thanksgiving? Does he just sit around crying most of the time?

    I am with you on Wilco and cheesecake, though, Joe.

  57. tom cruise says:

    After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechlessstreet teams

  58. Literally shouted “NO!!!!!” when I read your tweet about this. I demand SoE buy you an intern who makes sure your podcasts record.


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