Family Guy Killing Off Brian Griffin Is Great Publicity Stunt

I will start off by saying that I’m not the biggest Family Guy savant in the world, I’ve watched probably 50 or so episodes and I can live or live without it. It has its moments where it’s incredibly funny, other moments I shake my head and pray that I have an old episode of Community on my DVR.

The internet was all abuzz on Monday about what went down on Sunday’s episode of Family Guy. The writers of the show decided to kill off Brian Griffin, the beloved family dog. Brian finally died after it looked like Family Guy itself would die about a million times during its run.

No matter how you feel about Family Guy or the killing of Brian, you know about this move if you are tuned in. It has been 35 hours since the episode aired and I haven’t seen Brian or Brian Griffin not be trending on Twitter since.

Congrats to Family Guy for getting what they wanted, the publicity storm that comes when you kill off a major character in your show, especially in today’s day and age. Throw in that the key demographic for Family Guy is the 18-30 year olds that will tweet and facebook about it makes it even better.

Everybody is talking about Family Guy. I’m talking about Family Guy. People who don’t know anything about Family Guy are talking about Family Guy.

The killing of Brian is the animated equivalent of the ending of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, everybody is talking about it. If they love it or if they hate it, it doesn’t matter because a lot of people are going to be tuning into FOX on Sunday to see what’s going on in Quahog.

The staff at Family Guy and FOX wins because this should result in a ratings boost for a week or two. The publicity stunt of a plot-twist works amazingly well if you pull it off right and it appears Family Guy did just that.

Besides, if you’ve ever watched Family Guy, you know that the show is crazy enough to think up a scenario to make Brian come back from the dead if they really feel the need. Anything goes on Family Guy, to the extent network television will let them.

Many people have asked why wasn’t it Meg that was killed off. To that I say, “Shut up, Meg.”


Submerged Model T Should Kick-Start Our Imaginations

Paranoia runs high throughout society these days. Many worry about who knows what about them, not acknowledging the information they are scared others may know probably comes from their own postings on their selected social media profiles. There’s a more fun paranoia to embrace, though.

It has been reported across the Twin Cities media landscape that below the Mississippi River near Winona, an antique Model T is submerged underneath the waters. The classic Ford was first located on October 9 via sonar. Three weeks later a dive team was set in and discovered the Model T is located anywhere from 150-200 feet off the shore. It appears the car is about half covered by the sand and muck of the Mississippi River bottom.

The car is at least 86 years old and it won’t be known how long the Model T has been in the river until it’s eventual recovery. Which begs the question: what else is in our backyard  that we don’t know it’s there?

Let’s not be so straight-lined that we instantly think about the pollutants and the toxins and the bad things that could be in the air and our water supply. Leave those dreary topics for a dreary day. No, let’s let our minds wander and imagine what wonderful things possibly could be in the bottom of our own favorite rivers.

The possibilities are virtually endless, right? A Model T, a huge motor vehicle, has been at the bottom of the Mississippi River in close proximity to a pretty populated area and nobody ever came across it. Treasure chests filled with Honus Wagner baseball cards, million dollar bills and rare Playboys could all be at the bottom of the river or deep in the wooded forests.

Wander with me. Let you imagination go. Go to a world of make believe. Anything that you could dream of could be right under our feet and we just don’t know it.

Our imaginations tend to start to leave us behind as we, as humans, get older and allegedly mature. Maybe, just maybe, if we let ourselves believe there are buried treasures in the bottom of the river, we can find childhood happiness in our adult world.

Find Your HAS: Happiness Achieving Status

Make fun of country music all you want, but each song tells a story that everyone can relate to on some level, which is the great appeal, in my opinion. A song that does precisely that is Jason Aldean’s “Keep the Girl” from his 2009 release Wide Open. The song is filled with great lines, but one that sticks out is the opening line,” This life is full of choices, hard to make one with all the voices in my head.”

Can’t put it any better than that.

When do we know to pull the plug, especially on something that used to be great or on something is so life changing?

The thing about life is that it has the ‘human element’ or emotion. In sports, that’s not the case. There’s analytics and within a couple clicks of a mouse I can tell you very quickly that even though Prince Fielder plays in every game, his stats diminished tremendously this past season.

This isn’t possible in real life situations. We desire human interaction, appreciation and validation.

Everyone gets tied up in emotions. We are human, it’s natural. We care about what others feel, sometimes to a fault. We aren’t all Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, who doesn’t get personal with his players, so, in essence, they are easier to cut.

A well-referenced stat for baseball geeks is wins above replacement or WAR, which, at its most simple level, pinpoints if Player X is better than a replacement player/average MLB player. Life needs a WAR system.

I purpose Happiness Achieving Status or HAS, a statistic or system that highlights if you are happier with Situation A or Situation B.  It takes work to figure out your HAS. Hell, it takes a lot of soul searching, but you need to try to achieve the highest score possible.

The premise of the whole system is basically a pros and cons list of every major decision you have to make in life. You don’t need the HAS system to figure if you want Subway or Jimmy Johns for lunch, but you probably need it if you are deciding if you want to live in the house next to Subway or the one next to Jimmy Johns.

Here’s what you have to do. Write down all of the pros and cons of both situations and then cross off anything that is not directly about you, yourself and I. I’m not pushing a system that turns everyone into a heartless, emotionless person, but the fact of the matter is that the person that needs to be happy in your life is you. Happiness is the key.

If you aren’t happy everything else will falter and break eventually. Finding your place in this world is no easy task, it’s an incredible task. Once you find it though, it’s a grand form of euphoria and you won’t be able to remember why you needed HAS in the first place.

The things that make you happy will follow wherever you go and if they don’t follow, well, they probably didn’t truly make you happy in the first place.

There is no number associated with the HAS system, it’s all a series of multiple feelings. You’ll know you have achieved the highest possible HAS when you feel complete happiness in your mind, soul and gut.

By the end of “Keep the Girl”, Jason Aldean figures out that he needs to both chase his dream and keep the girl. That’s figuring out your HAS.

Cleaning the Glass: Rebounding Makes Hall of Famers

Imagine tying your shoes. Your mind didn’t instantly put a tied shoe on your foot. First you put your shoe on, grabbed the laces, crossed those laces and on and on. You went through the fundamental steps of tying your shoes in your head.

There are fundamentals in anything and everything, especially in the world of sports. Fundamentals is probably the second most muttered word from the know-it-all in the stands. If you sit in the right section you might even get them used consecutively.

The fundamentals of basketball, or at least what should be fundamental, could fill a wall-sized list. Dribbling, passing, shooting and rebounding are the ones that come to mind first, rebounding being the one that sadly gets forgotten about.

You can go to any high school basketball game across the country and if you listen closely can hear a majority of everyone in the gymnasium scream “box out” at the same time. If the visitors keep getting the rebound the cry will only grow louder and louder until something gives.

Rebounding is forgotten by many players, because it isn’t as sexy as putting up points. If chicks dig the long-ball in baseball, they dig the guy who puts up 22 a night on the hardwood. If these chicks knew what they were actually looking for they’d be checking out the guy who is boxing his guy out of the gym. The brute.

Dennis Rodman made a career out of rebounding the basketball. It is hard to sacrifice your own point potential to just make darn sure your team gets the ball back anytime the ball goes up and doesn’t go through the net. If you get rebounds, you get results.

The top 14 rebounders of all-time in the NBA are in the Basketball Hall of Fame or will be when they are eligible. 17 for sure out of the top 20 will be in the Hall, that number could go up to 18 if Dikembe Mutombo makes the cut.

The top twenty doesn’t even include Hall of Famers Dennis Rodman, Patrick Ewing, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson.

The best big men of all-time knew how to rebound and it made them that much better players. Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell both averaged over 22 rebounds a game over there career and still found time to do some scoring as well.

Height helps of course, but not every basketball player that is blessed with it uses it to their advantage.  It isn’t all big men, though. The top fifty rebounders of all time is littered with small forwards. Fiftieth on the list is point guard Jason Kidd.

Simply rebounding will get you on the basketball court more. Rebound like a crazy man and you may just end up in the Hall of Fame… and be good friends with a dictator.

NBA Christmas Jerseys Reminder of a Fifth Grade Tirade

Nobody has ever confused me with the fashion police. I feel like I have style, but then I see what some members of the opposite gender are attracted to and I can’t quite figure out where I stand. Welcome to the struggles of being an introverted male in the 21st century.

Despite my fluidity in my own fashion game, I do know that the new NBA Christmas uniforms are just asking for trouble. These new uniforms have sleeves, a new fad in the NBA that I find myself being okay with, but they also have the team logo on the front of the jersey and that is it. No number.

In fifth grade, our basketball team had uniforms with a remarkably hideous logo on the front with the only inkling of a number being on the back. I, a pudgy easily-tempered fifth grader, tried to make this work to my advantage.

Before the game, our coach got on us rascals after we found ourselves complaining to the referees the game before. “The next person to complain with a ref will be sitting right next to me,” coach said.

Just moments into the game, I hack some kid going up for a shot. The refree is trying to see my number, so I keep spinning around and around and around so the ref can’t see my number. This goes on for a lot longer than it probably should have until the ref asks, “What’s your number, son?”

I turn my back to the ref and with as much attitude as I could give I throw my arms over my shoulders and point to a huge with 2-6 on my back. Then I started walking towards the bench, there’s no way I wasn’t being benched after that theatric performance.

Our bench was on a stage on this court, so everyone could see the picture. From left to right, it went me, 10 chairs, a handful of reserves and my uncle. Did I mention my uncle was our coach?

The first guy to go complain to the refs after being told not to was the coach’s own nephew. I listened real well back then.

Thankfully, my anger issues have subsided and I no longer can scream at refs while being on the playing surface, but I will never be able to look at these huge logoed jerseys and not think about what happened when a bunch of fifth graders wore the same thing.