Monday, March 17, 2014

Exciting News!

I left this message for Shawn while he was out to lunch last Tuesday to let him know that I had turned in my letter of resignation, effective March 31st. There are many more things I want to do professionally than be a low-level administrative assistant, so I've decided to tap into my creativity and start my own freelance social media contracting business. Since I graduated from college (almost ten years ago!), I've only ever worked these kinds of jobs where I sit at a front desk and answer phones, order office supplies, and generally not get to do much that interests me or leaves me feeling anything more than exhausted from boredom once I get home. My mantra for the last few years has been "I don't want to die an admin," and for the first time, I'm going to take a leap to make that happen.

This means that the blog will likely end, as I won't be around to make silly conversations on Shawn's white board. If something really exciting happens (like when the Ravens inevitably sweep the Steelers this season!), I might be able to pop into the office to write something, but I don't want to make promises I can't keep. I might be able to update with news about the Ravens and Steelers I think is relevant, but it wouldn't have the same sort of spirit and humor that the blog currently has.

Writing this blog has been a lot of fun, and it's really bittersweet that I'll have to give it up. If you follow me on Twitter (@nikkimarielynx), I'll post there anytime I update.

Until then friends, I remain your loyal fan,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Interlude: Marshall and the Case of the Bad Touch

This board tells the story of an embarrassing misunderstanding Marshall had while skiing one weekend.

Marshall and his friend Lori had been skiing most of the day when Lori decided to call it quits. Marshall wanted to get another run in, so they agreed to meet in the lodge at a pizza place after he was done. (See Marshall skiing in the bottom right corner. The snowman is there to establish that he's skiing on snow and not a random wave-like hill.)

Upon entering the lodge, Marshall went looking for Lori. She was wearing a distinctive red hat that Marshall could use to find her if they got separated on the slopes. He saw her - in her red hat with her blonde hair poking through - watching the football game on TV in a different part of the lodge. Thinking that there just hadn't been seating in their original location, Marshall walked up to Lori and wordlessly started giving her a back massage. After a minute or so, she asked who he turns out, it wasn't Lori at all! It was some random woman who happened to have Lori's same hat. She joked that he was lucky her husband wasn't around, and with many sincere apologies, Marshall left to find Lori in the pizza shop area, wondering where he'd been (upper right corner).

The story quickly spread through the office, everyone making sure Marshall told this person and that person, and eventually an artistic interpretation of the incident made its way to Tracy's white board.

Ray Rice in Trouble

Big Ben: "It's the Rays! So guys, quick question. How long before it's illegal to be named "Ray" and play in Baltimore?"
Ray Rice: "..."

By now, anyone who's a Ravens fan, a football fan, or someone who "enjoys" celebrity "gossip" knows about the incident of Ray Rice getting drunk in Atlantic City, allegedly getting into a physical altercation with his fiance, and knocking her unconscious. TMZ released a video showing Ray dragging his unconscious fiance out of an elevator. Attorneys for both parties claim that the video is edited (which, knowing TMZ and the people who give them their "news", could very well be true), and "only shows part of the story." While there's uncertainty about what sort of punishment Ray could receive from law enforcement, the Ravens, and the league, so far top Ravens personnel are saying that Ray won't be released.

(I'd like to mention that the "yards per carry" joke wasn't written by either Shawn or me. A work friend of Shawn's contributed that. He's not the only one making that joke.)

While Shawn and I are using this incident for blog fodder and are commenting on it with tongues firmly implanted in our cheeks, I'd like to go on record and say that I am INCREDIBLY disappointed in Ray Rice. While fans obviously don't know everything about the characters of their favorite players, Ray had always seemed to be a stand-up guy in the past. He has a close relationship with his mother, and he, his fiance, and their daughter have always been seen as a happy family.

I got into a discussion with my friend China and several of her friends on Facebook about whether or not Ray was "justified" in hitting his fiance after she allegedly spit on him first. They were of the belief that spitting on someone is the most degrading thing you can do to a person. China additionally took the stance of "equal rights, equal fights": women want equality with men in every other aspect of their lives except when it comes to having men fight back when women start physical altercations. If the fiance started something, she should have been prepared to finish it. I pointed out that a small woman like her hitting a big guy like Ray wouldn't (and obviously didn't) do as much damage as Ray hitting her back and that it was an unfair fight. We reached a stalemate, agreeing that the incident wasn't something we wanted one of our favorite athletes to be known for, but that we wouldn't see eye to eye about whether or not Ray was justified in his actions.

It will be interesting to see how the league handles this off-field, especially considering their previous lack of involvement in punishing players for misconduct in the past. For now, I know that Ray and the Ravens are hoping the Combine will take some of the spotlight off of them.

Valentine's Day

Angry Troy & Angry Ray have a very odd way of showing affection to one another, but at least it's coming from a place of mutual respect. I wonder if Regular Troy got anyone Valentine's Day gifts? He seems like the type to send at least a thoughtful card.

Speaking of....

I had some cards of my own to hand out!

The adorable puppy and kitty cards were VERY popular with my coworkers.

I hope you all were able to celebrate love and affection, even if it involved (appropriate, consensual) tackling.

Nikki Post - Apology

Hey everyone, I'm sorry that I haven't updated in a while. My husband and I just bought our first home, so between that and work ramping up with things to do, I haven't had time to post the excellent things that Shawn and I have been coming up with this off-season. Unfortunately, Ray Rice gave us something to write about lately, so we've got two posts about that. I'm just going to post them all in succession to get them out of the way while they're still barely relevant; don't forget to check out the "archives" list on the right side of the blog page.

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Well, That was Unexpected

For obvious reasons, we had to write this, take the picture, and immediately erase it before someone in the school noticed that we had a character on Shawn's office's door cursing out someone else's mother. We had another idea for a "Troy's Anger Translator" post, but ultimately deemed it too "not okay" for publication. Let's just say that Shawn and I got a lot of laughs out of it.

These types of post will probably be showing up every now and then as "filler" during the off-season, which is approaching entirely too soon. We'd also like to get Ray an Anger Translator, as the idea of it also made Shawn and me giggle maniacally.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

This is SportsCenter...These are Feuding Airports

Only a few more days left, boys...

The Twitter account for Denver International Airport has been going at it all week with the Twitter account for Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport. It's been pretty great to follow.

Sick burn example, DIA:
Sea-Tac puts its rep on the line:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Talk Softly & Carry A Big Head of Hair


Troy: "As you can imagine, I am very upset that the Steelers are once again not in the Super Bowl. I don't wish to offend anyone by expressing my opinion on the matter, so I'll let my Anger Translator, On-Field Troy, do my speaking for me."

On-Field Troy: "Super Bowl? SUPER BOWL! This ain't no Super Bowl without the Steelers! Yo mamma makes a better Super Bowl after eating a gas station burrito than this!"

Yes. That word in the picture IS "better" and not "butter." The idea of a Super Bowl made of butter is hilarious and intriguing, but not what Shawn was going for.

Rumor has it that sketch comics Key & Peele got their idea for Obama's Anger Translator Luther from Troy Polamalu. I'm sure Troy was nice enough to let them use the idea without crediting him.

While Troy is a lovely human being off the field, doing charity work, mentoring younger players, and donating organs to those in need, Troy ON field is a dangerous beast without any sense of morals, integrity, or respect for human life. See the videos below for a few examples of how the big-haired veteran we know and love can turn into a monster for 60 minutes every Sunday.

Much like a football-playing Superman, Troy can jump offensive lines in a single bound.

Sometimes Troy's Anger Translator gets a little...TOO intense...

Head & Shoulders isn't the only product that Troy feels passionate about!

Horses Vs Birds

I confess: I'm not entirely certain who I want to win the Super Bowl. On the one hand, I don't care because the Ravens aren't playing, and I'm not particularly emotionally invested in either team. On the other hand, I usually root for the underdog in Super Bowls not featuring my team, and that would be the Seahawks this year. On the first foot/third hand, the Broncos are my city's team, and I do love me some Peyton Manning. I have several Broncos fans who would be overjoyed at their team winning the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998; I like those people, and I want them to be as happy as I was last year. (I will NEVER be that happy ever again.)

I'm pathetically, hopelessly dead last in the work playoff pool this year after having won it all taking my team in every game for big points. One of the women in the pool didn't even play last week, and I'm STILL behind her!! I plan on letting my dog make my picks for this one. I'll be filming it and will obviously post it here for all to see.

So I guess I'll just cheer for both teams but say that the Broncos will win the Super Bowl this year.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

No One Cares About the Pro Bowl

Ray Lewis is in the top ten of NFL players who have been to the most Pro Bowls in their careers. With 13 appearances as of 2012 (he obviously didn't play the year the Ravens went to - AND WON - the Super Bowl), he's tied for second with greats such as Jerry Rice and Reggie White. Players old and young were excited to have him on their team; he mentored them, joked with them, and soaked up the Hawaiian sun with his teammates and colleagues.

It's one thing not to play in a Pro Bowl because you're preparing for Super Bowl Sunday, but how will Ray feel about not playing in one because he's retired? Antsy? Relieved?

Deion Sanders, one of the "captains" of the two Pro Bowl teams (along with Jerry Rice), tweeted that he was going to "suit up" for the game, despite the fact that the NFL repeatedly and vehemently denied that this was true. (Apparently, the bigwigs don't have a sense of humor.) Frankly, I think this would be hilarious. "Prime Time" was a flamboyant and talented player, and having him play would actually make the Pro Bowl worth watching. Let's face it: people only have the game on to get a football fix before the REAL bowl, and even then, they only have it on as background noise.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Too Much Free Time

For the first time in five years, the Ravens aren't going to the playoffs. Frankly, we didn't deserve to win. We played like shit all year on all sides of the ball (except the Justin Tucker side, a.k.a. "the sexiest side of the ball"), and the fact that Andy Dalton threw FOUR PICKS and STILL got his team the division championship is [expletive deleted] ludicrous. But that was 2013; today is the second day of a shiny new year. A year when we'll hopefully fire (out of a cannon) Michael Oher, the most penalized player in the NFL. (Scroll about 2/3 down to find the stats; I can't direct link to it.) A year when we find a way to create an offensive line that keeps our (overpaid?) quarterback from ending up flat on his back like a high school kid on prom night. A year...sorry, I zoned out there, thinking about how happy I was a year ago. How full of hope and excitement that maybe - just maybe - this would be our year. *sigh* Those days seem like a lifetime ago.


I've found myself with an abundance of time this January during Sunday afternoons and evenings. I plan on visiting some places in Colorado I've never been to, maybe catch up on my reading, walk my dog a little bit more. I don't really have any team that I want to go all the way more than others. I'm basically rooting for everyone who plays the Broncos and the Patriots. One and done, baby. That's all I want. Shawn told me that someone had asked him if he'd finally root for the Broncos this year. His reply: "I'd rather root for ball cancer."

Me: "If I had a dollar for every time someone in the Ravens bar screamed, 'Hurry the fuck up, Joe!' at the TV, I could buy a pile of coke the size of this building."
Shawn: "You know who DOES have a dollar for every time someone's yelled that? Joe Flacco."

*rimshot* Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Goodnight.

Playoff Hopes and Dreams

The time for participation in my work's playoff pool has arrived, but so far only three people (myself obviously included) have signed up. Shawn said that if we don't get more people by tomorrow, he will have to cancel the pool. I asked him to forward this to the other invitees, as he had bcc'd everyone, so I couldn't email them directly.

Dear fellow playoff pool members,

I understand that last year was a difficult one for all of you. I rode the dark horse all the way to the Super Bowl and playoff pool victory and didn’t even have the courtesy of buying you all drinks. (My credit card balance, however, felt that I had made the right choice.) This year, however, my beloved Ravens aren’t in the playoffs, so it seems that you will all have a good shot at winning. Remember, my first year here saw me getting a pathetically low amount of points, as I had no team to believe in. I find myself in a similar position this year. My only dreams remaining are that the Broncos and the Patriots will be sitting at home on Super Bowl Sunday, watching the same commercials I am and wondering when their lives went so terribly, terribly wrong.

So I implore all of you to join in the fun again this year so we can keep the tradition of mocking Shawn’s single-digit final score alive. Without a high number of participants, Shawn will cancel the playoff pool, and I’ll find myself devoid of any interest in football on Sundays for the remainder of the month. Please, give me something to live for; my Ravens certainly didn’t this season.

Nikki Cimino
Reigning Playoff Pool Champion