What's Up!

August 23, 2009


url: http://whatsup.dmounited.com/x/2009-0823.html

Tucked away in the soccer headlines this week was a note that the U.S. Soccer Federation sliced off another 17 or so stadiums from its list of possible venues to host either the 2018 World Cup or the 2022 World Cup. Why should you care? You shouldn't really (let's be honest).

Nonetheless, let's look at what's the latest. For those that don't know, when FIFA meets in December 2010, they will select (at the same time) the hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The United States wants in on one of these Cups. Now, I'm not sure what phony-baloney reason FIFA is spouting as why they are picking both hosts at the same time, but let's run with it anyways.

If we want to be realistic, the U.S. won't have a shot in 2018. Why? FIFA's abandonment of its "rotation" policy. Not sure what I'm talking about? Let's step back. FIFA boss Sepp Blatter (Sepp is actually short for Joseph. Must be a European thing) desperately wanted to bring a World Cup to Africa, for no other reason other than to say he was the guy that brought a World Cup to Africa (not confirmed, but all clues point to that). After everyone in FIFA repeatedly shot down bids from African nations, Sepp introduced a policy where the World Cup would rotate amongst the continents. This was pitched as a way to create fairness and spread the game.

World Cup 2010So in 2000, the policy was instituted and the first continent to get the rotation... Africa in 2010. Finally, Sepp got his wish. The four bidding countries: Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and a Libya/Tunisia joint bid. South Africa got the nod (you may have heard about it). The 2014 Cup would be held in South America under the rotation, and the 2018 Cup would go to North America.

However, staring with the 2018 Cup, the rotation would be abandoned. Why? Well, the official reason is that for the 2014 World Cup, only Brazil made an official bid, and every other South American country endorsed it. This isn't a bad thing, but let's say Brazil's bid was crap and they have no way to host the event. Didn't matter, as they ran against no one for the right to host. FIFA deemed that this could set a dangerous precedent, so they opted to do away with the rotation system.

The real reason (yet completely unofficial and off the record) why this was ended? Europe. Europe has the highest number of FIFA delegates (and probably the richest). Not to mention that Europe has always been kinda snobbish about the World Cup. When the first World Cup was awarded to Uruguay, some European nations were so offended at the snub, they didn't even go. Now with Germany last hosting the Cup in 2006, under the rotation system, Europe would have to wait for another 4 Cups to pass (5 if Australia got counted in the rotation) before it had a chance to bid again, and some European nations were having none of that. Before the rotation actually got canned, Sepp tried to backtrack and suggest Europe could be next in the rotation in 2018.

But now, the rotation, and any realistic chance of the 2018 Cup in North America (probably a showdown between the U.S. and Mexico) is dead: it's open bidding for everyone. Now, I believe that the U.S. won't have a chance at 2018, or they would have allowed the rotation system to run as planned to North America. Instead they will now select two hosts at the same time (from the same pool of bids - probably done to disguise that 2018 is going to Europe, and it'll be England - you heard it here first), and the U.S. has said it would host either one.

This brings us to now (sorry, I didn't think I'd be on my soapbox for that long). Before it makes its final bid to FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation needs to select the venues that will host games. The original list had like 105 buildings, but after a couple of cuts here and there, the current potential venue list is at 28. FIFA likes 12-18 venues for the Cup nowadays (when the U.S. hosted in 1994, it used only 9). As the title of this piece was "Venue Pick'em," that's what I'm going to do.

Allow me to present the current list of potential World Cup host venues. I'll include some notes and rank their chances at selection (5 balls being best chance, 1 ball being no chance).

AtlantaGeorgia Dome71,250Hot Georgia summer neutralized by being indoors. Decent soccer city.
BaltimoreM & T Bank Stadium71,008Yes, in close proximity to DC, but is that a bad thing? It's a beautiful stadium.
BostonGillette Stadium71,693Has MLS franchise. Hosted '94 Cup.
CharlotteBank of America Stadium73,778Maybe if it were college soccer.
ChicagoSoldier Field61,000Has MLS franchise. Hosted '94 Cup Opening Ceremony. Saw Oprah fall during said ceremony.
ClevelandCleveland Browns Stadium72,000Have no read on Cleveland, but might make cut if bid wants maximum venues.
DallasCowboys Stadium100,000Yes, a 100,000 capacity. And have you seen that videoboard? City has MLS. Possible location for the Cup Final.
DallasCotton Bowl89,000While this venue hosted 94 Cup, Dallas will only use one stadium, and this ain't it.
DenverINVESCO Field76,125It's a mile in the sky. Just sayin'.
DetroitFord Field67,188The city hosted '94 Cup at the Silverdome (even bringing in real grass). I think Detroit hosts again.
DetroitMichigan Stadium108,000While on the list due to its capacity, I think Detroit only gets one venue and will use Ford Field.
HoustonReliant Stadium71,500Has MLS franchise, and this stadium has successfully hosted big international matches.
IndianapolisLucas Oil Stadium64,200Is Indy really soccer-crazy? No, really... is it?
JacksonvilleJacksonville Municipal Stadium82,000Some thought this town was too small for the Super Bowl. Now imagine an event like that, 3 times in a month. Just sayin'.
Kansas CityArrowhead Stadium77,000Possible, but not likely.
Los AngelesRose Bowl92,000+Hosted '94 Cup Final. Might host another Final.
Los AngelesLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum93,607L.A. won't use two venues, and I think the Rose Bowl is where it's at.
MiamiLand Shark Stadium75,540Average all the way around. Depending who you ask though, Miami is either soccer-crazy or soccer-ambivilant.
NashvilleLP Field69,143Is Tennessee really soccer-crazy? I'm not even sure it's hockey-crazy and it has a NHL team.
New YorkNew Meadowlands Stadium82,000Like the country's largest city isn't going to host some games. Puh-lease. Just ignore the fact that the stadium is in the neighboring state.
OaklandOakland-Alameda County Coliseum63,026I don't think FIFA would like playing in a baseball stadium.
OrlandoFlorida Citrus Bowl65,616Hosted '94 Cup, but I think the new stadium in Tampa down I-4 gets the nod.
PhiladelphiaLincoln Financial Field67,594Getting MLS franchise. Good soccer base. Good stadium.
PhoenixUniversity of Phoenix Stadium71,000Hosted Super Bowl, and major international soccer matches. Plus, it's indoors, thus negating the nuclear Arizona summer.
San DiegoQualcomm Stadium70,500Can't give you a reason why not. Also can't give you a reason why.
San FranciscoStanford Stadium50,500Hosted '94 Cup, and I think the Bay gets love again this time.
SeattleHusky Stadium72,500Really? Seattle will only use venue, and it won't be here. Keep reading...
SeattleQwest Field67,000Success of Seattle Sounders in the city? Undeniable. Success of international soccer matches there? Undeniable. If they don't host some games, it would be a travesty.
St. LouisEdward Jones Dome67,268Of all the domed venues (or even those with retractable roofs), this wouldn't make the Top 5, and I think FIFA likes to be outdoors.
TampaRaymond James Stadium65,856If Florida gets only one venue, it'll probably be here.
Washington, D.C.FedEx Field91,704Due to its size, and location in the nation's capital, a good choice for the opener.
Washington, D.C.RFK Stadium56,692Unlikely that the Capital would get two venues. Not impossible, but not likely.

Alright, now that you've had a chance to review the current list, where would you pick to host some World Cup games? For me, since it already has existing stadia (and doesn't have to build any new ones specifically for the Cup), I think the U.S. will use a big number: 15.

Here's my picks... Do my picks match yours? We'll find out in 16 months.

Oh, and just so you're up to snuff on the bid, here are the other countries vying for the World Cup: Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have declared their desire to host. There are joint bids from the Netherlands/Belgium and Portugal/Spain (though I think FIFA isn't feeling the joint bid anymore). Lastly, Qatar and South Korea are bidding, but only for the 2022 Cup.

Good luck to us... good luck to the U.S.

What's Up!

August 14, 2009


The difference between me and this guy... he gets paid a 7-digit salary to get a four-seamer right between the eyes. I do it for free.

"Alright, Jimmy. Keep your eye on the ball. But I DON'T MEAN LITERALLY!"

What's Up!

July 10, 2009


I have two members of my team that can shoot frakking fireballs from their frakking hands! Your argument has just been invalidated!

You know what makes this holy f*cking super awesome? This photograph was not manipulated in any way shape or form. That's right... no PhotoShop. Don't believe me. Confirm it with my flame-throwing teammates... if you dare.


What's Up!

June 28, 2009


url: http://whatsup.dmounited.com/x/2009-0628.html

Anime Expo 2009 is right around the corner (literally, as in 4 days away as of press time). Once again, the Demosthenes will be covering the event as part of AX Backstage, the official broadcast partner of Anime Expo.

Long time fans of both AX and D-mo will know that this will be the third year I'm covering the event. But as always, I will not be alone. Allow me to introduce the hosts for this year's AX Backstage.

Fun Facts:
-First year hosting.
-Used to be a Disneyland Ambassador.
-Dominates video games.
Fun Facts:
-Only one on team that speaks Japanese.
-Does a spot-on Christopher Walken impression
-Loves tofu.
Fun Facts:
-Used to be a cosplayer.
-Went to USC (and proud of it).
-Classically trained singer.
Fun Facts:
-Used his 2-month daughter as a prop during a shoot last year.
-Will one day buy his own tachikoma.

If you want to know more about Anime Expo 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, visit

And if you want to see the handiwork of the crew above during the convention, visit www.axbackstage.org starting July 2nd.

Until then... peach out!

What's Up!

June 27, 2009


For the first time in 15 years, Demosthenes Spiropoulos, Robert Valdez, Matthew Walker, Adam de la Garza, and Federico Moran were together in the same room.

Major? Let's just say that this was the equivalent of a reunion of the Rat Pack.

What's Up!

June 5, 2009


url: http://whatsup.dmounited.com/x/2009-0605.html

I was thinking about writing this one for some time, and figured now would be as good as time as any.

As opposed to the Top 5 Video Game Consoles of All Time, which were objective, unbiased rankings, what I am about to present are very much subjective, as I list my personal favorites.

Today, I announce my Top 3 Fast Food Hamburgers and my Top 3 Fast Food Restaurants.

Before we begin, let me say now that my list will not match yours. That I know for a fact. This is due, primarily, to proximity. If you grew up next to a... let's say Wendy's, that may be your favorite due to the fact that you probably ate there so much. Consequently, you may love White Castle, which, to my knowledge, don't exist in southern California so I couldn't grade it and doesn't make the list.

Again, purely subjective. And if you don't like it, post your list on your own website. So with all those pre-qualifications out of the way, let's begin.


Double with Cheese

Honorable Mention) Wendy's: Double with Cheese
Depending on the restaurant and who's making it, this could be an average burger, or the best burger you've had in forever. Unfortunately, that inconsistency keeps it on the outside, looking in. Truth be told, it's quite an unremarkable burger, aside from the square patties, but again, it has the chance to be the best burger you've had.

Double Double

3) In-N-Out: Double Double
I was introduced to In-N-Out late in life. However, people who go regularly profess that it's the best. Dare I say, it almost has a cult-like following. I prefer mine with grilled onions (and truth be told, I need at least a 3x3. If you don't know what that is, ask the next time you're there). The freshness of the ingredients does equal a quality burger. However, that freshness mandate keeps the operation to the West Coast. I do like the fact the burger is a little pink in the middle, and in general, the burger itself is sloppy, gooey, and delicious. The reason the Double Double is at #3 is because one is not satisfying enough.

Western Bacon Cheeseburger

2) Carl's Jr.: Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger
The pioneer of the bacon-onion ring-bbq sauce burger, this burger is better than any copycat on the market today. Even though it comes with nothing else on it, this is a supremely delicious burger (although, I prefer the original over the Six Dollar version). The barbecue sauce is the key. It's the right mix of savory and sweet, and Carl's onion rings are right for the job, too. Even though Carl's Jr. does have other tasty sandwiches, I will get this every time without fail.

Big Mac

1) McDonald's: Big Mac
I know, this probably has thrown any credibility out the window. Call it the "Mystique of the Middle Bun," but the Big Mac is my favorite burger. Would I call it the best burger on the planet? No. But as I was making this list, the underlying question I asked of each burger was, "If this was the only burger I could have for the rest of my life, would I be happy?" With the Big Mac... absolutely. I think this definitely plays into the proximity variable, as McDonald's was the closest chain, and really, the chain of choice growing up. Honestly, it's not a bad burger, and when was the last time you heard someone say, "I don't like the Big Mac." I don't think I ever had. So for me, my top burger is the Big Mac.



Honorable Mention) Subway
Surprised? Me, too. Let's leave it at that.


3) McDonald's
With the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and those tasty fries, McDonald's makes the list. It was at #2 and actually dropped to #3 because they pulled one slice of cheese from the $1 Double Cheeseburger, and now call it the McDouble which is still $1. They still have the Double Cheeseburger, but now it' $1.49. Really? A 50 cent slice of cheese? Nonetheless, they also have good shakes, decent apple pies, and the best toys in kids meal combos.
Del Bell

2) TIE - Del Taco & Taco Bell
So I'm cheating by putting two restaurants in the #2 spot, but it really was a tough choice. Both have unique pluses, both have unique minuses. If I could take the best from both restaurants (a "Del Bell" if you will), it would be the best restaurant on the planet. Del Taco gets bonus points for having a tasty burger on the menu. Taco Bell gets bonus points for having a fantastic sauce (as in "I take packets home to use in other food applications" kind of fantastic). I like Del Taco's steak, but I like Taco Bell's ground beef. And just when I was going to give the nod to Taco Bell for being ridiculously cheap, I remembered I can get fries with my burritos at Del Taco. Arggh! They remained tied.

Jack in the Box

1) Jack in the Box
You might be asking yourself, how does Jack earn top restaurant honors when not one of its burgers made my Top 3? Easy. Variety. Jack has the widest selection of burgers, in addition to the widest selection of non-burger items, on any fast food menu. And they're all great. The last 20 years has really since a Renaissance at the "Box," and it's gotten, dare I say, more sophisticated. Personally, I think their sirloin burgers are the best of the bunch (quality-wise, and I mean out of ALL the chains), but even the classic Jumbo Jack is a winner. The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger is fantastic when I want a meat fix. The Ciabatta burgers are great. How 'bout Jack's Spicy Chicken? Yum. And let's not forget Jack's tacos. I've told too many stories that start, "So it was 2 in the morning and I was chowing down some Jack tacos..." I mean, they're so good, even Burger King tried to copy them. And just to seal the deal, I can say with no hesitation that Jack in the Box has the best breakfast menu in fast food (and as the ads say, it's available all day). With taste, value, and variety, Jack in the Box is the clear cut winner. Oh, and the boss is a pretty swell guy, too.

So there you have it. My lists. You may not agree with me (hell, even my wife doesn't agree with me), but you have to admit, I make some decent arguments. Now, truth be told, I'll eat anywhere, so for places that didn't make the list, don't think that I don't love you (Arby's, you would have cracked the list if you were a little less expensive. I love your roast beef). It's all a matter of personal tastes... and I think my picks taste better.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Oh, and if you're stumped as what the "Two Clowns" have to do with this... you're thinking too hard.

What's Up!

April 23, 2009


url: http://whatsup.dmounited.com/x/2009-0423.html

As was posted on the DMO Facebook page the other day, I have started running. I know... go me. And then I said that I got the Nike+ iPod doohickey, and that spurred a lot of questions about it. I said I would write about it once I get a few runs in; lo and behold, here it is. And yes Nike + iPod does equal AWESOME.

First up, the shoe. Now when I went shopping at the new Nike Outlet Store at The Block at Orange, I wasn't angling for the whole Nike+ thing. I was merely looking for a comfortable shoe... in a size 15. Let me tell you, it's way harder than it sounds. Luckily, a Nike-owned store always manages to have a decent selection of large sizes. I tried on a few shoes, and settle on this one.

Nike Dream

This is the Nike Dream+. The sales guy roaming the aisles was practically tripping over himself singing the praises of this shoe. He even argued against a more expensive shoe I was looking at. Truth be told, this is the most comfortable shoe I've worn in a long time. Apparently, this shoe sold out in most stores and originally retailed for $140, though at the Outlet Store, I only parted with $80. Nice.

Now after two runs, I feel that this is an exercise activity I might actually stick with. So, because I like being a technology whore, I got the Nike+ sensor and receiver.

The Gear

The red arrow points to the sensor that goes into your shoe. The green arrow points to the receiver that plugs into your iPod. According to the manual, this combo works with iPod Touch and all generations of the iPod Nano (although the Touch already has a receiver built in and doesn't need the external one). If you have another type of iPod, I don't know what to tell you (I can't give you ALL the answers). The yellow arrow points to the new Nike+iPod menu option you now on your iPod.

The Nike+iPod menu is where you operate out of. You can set a Basic workout (where you just press start and run), or you can set a goal by either distance, time, or calories to burn. At press time, I've tested Basic and Distance. With the Distance workout, it gives you automatic updates ("Point 5 miles to go," or "400 meters to go," etc.). However, with any type of workout, you can press the center button (on the nano) and it will give you your time, distance, pace and calories burned.

Oh, and since it isn't clear on any promotional materials for this thing, here is where you put your sensor. It goes under the insole of your left shoe. If you buy a Nike+ shoe, but don't have a sensor, that space will be filled with a snug foam insert.

Nike Dream

Alrighty then. You've got your shoes, you've got your iPod, you've got your sensor, and now you're running. First off, good for you. My new favorite running phrase is something along the lines of: "It's not important that you finished, but that you had to the courage to start." But wait... THERE'S MORE!

Once you get home, and plug in your iPod to your computer, iTunes will fire up, and behold a new Nike+iPod tab along the top.


It records your run history onto your iTunes. Cool in and of itself, but it will also automatically upload this data to nikeplus.com. This is where the fun really starts.


When it fires up, it'll give you your last uploaded run. But as you can see, there are all sorts of nooks and cranies in this site to help you run. You can collect trophies, join forums, compete in challenges, and on and on. But let's say, you just want to focus on you for now. You're starting out and don't want to get too ahead of yourself.

If you click on the run graph, it'll give you a more detailed of that run.

The dots along the graph are where I hit the button for a status update. The red dot that appears radioactive is where I deployed my PowerSong. You can preset any song to be your PowerSong, so if you need that extra burst of energy that can only be provided by your favorite tune, you can call upon it at any time (once it's over, your regular playlist resumes). I think the dip is where I slowed down waiting for Val (yes, I'm running with the Mrs. Go us.)

You can click on My Runs on the bottom left of the page and it'll give you your recent runs.

Here, I only had two runs in the books, and if you mouse over them, it'll give you a snap shot of the details. You can also name your run. The Elks Lodge Loop is called that because the route takes me past the Elks Lodge (where there is bingo on Tuesdays. Only a $15 buy-in).

Now, on that run, Val re-aggravated a calf injury she got during a jousting tournament (yes, you read that right. What can I say? My lady's hardcore), so the pace was varied, as evident by the race graph.

Now, another neat feature about the nikeplus website is that you can set goals for yourself. I've have selected three goals to complete, which allegedly will award me trophies of some sort. Here's are my goals, and my progress, after my run tonight.

So there you have it. The whole Nike+ iPod goodness. If you were thinking about getting it, I hope this helped you make up your mind, one way or the other.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm not running the entire distance. Let's be realistic, I'm over 300 pounds, and it's been a long time since I ran... anywhere. However, I feel better physically after my "runs," and the stretches of the run where I am actually running are getting longer. And remember, the fact that I had to courage to start this speaks volumes.

But if you really want to know what encouraged me to start running in the first place, it was for one simple reason...

Fat daddies don't live long.

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