Articles By: Matt Ford

HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout February 5, 2013 11:56 am

HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

Justin, Neal and Matt put the Super Bowl in context: How good are the Ravens compared to other SB winners? Is Joe Flacco a top-5 quarterback? What is the next step with PED testing in the NFL?

Once again, sports fans were treated to a memorable Super Bowl. The Ravens were thinking blowout until the blackout — did that affect their momentum? — and then the 49ers came all the way back to ultimately fall just short.

Meanwhile, reverberations of Ray Lewis’ alleged use of PED’s forced sports fans to consider their values — does PED use really matter to us?

And Joe Flacco emerged from a historic playoff run as an unquestioned franchise quarterback (what?).

Hear our thoughts below, and enjoy Matt’s three solid minutes of embarrassing technical confusion at the beginning.

Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012 January 3, 2013 11:27 am

Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

By Matt Ford

Better to be lucky than good.

Or, more like it, better dangerous than solid.

So who is the most dangerous team entering the 2012 NFL Playoffs?

Category One: The Psy “Gangnam Style” Award for “Congrats for Making It To The Big Time! But Now That You’re Here, You’re Going Away Quickly.”

Category Two: The Kwame Brown Award for “Just Look At Them! They Have To Be Better Than They’re Playing”

Category Three: The Looking At The Google Analytics Of HireMeGrantland.com Award for “Why Is No One Impressed By Us?”

Category Four: The Mumford and Sons Award for “Everyone Thinks We’re Underrated, But We’re Actually Overrated”

Category Five: The 2007 LeBron James Award for “We’re playing … him? Uh Oh.”

Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up December 17, 2012 12:56 pm

Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

Without further ado: Matt and Justin’s discussion of the NFL playoff picture leading into the end of the regular season, with special guest Neal Suidan.

All you have to do is click here and click “Listen” or “Download” once you get to our hosting site.

Our first post is about the NFC Playoff picture leading into last week’s games. Listen to how wrong we were about San Francisco after last night’s result, Neal’s analysis of his hometown Bears (and Bulls), Matt’s pipe-dream of a Redskins playoff run and more.

Our next pod is about the AFC, but includes a bonus round of which coaches should get fired (and Matt’s prediction of Chip Kelly to Carolina that he has been patting himself on the back for ever since), and Neal trying to Beautiful Mind his way through the muddy AFC North playoff picture. Justin’s breakdown of the Raiders, fortunately for you all, was omitted due to “microphone problems.”

Shortly, these episodes will be available on the iTunes store (Apple has to screen them first before they unleash our idiocy on the unwashed masses).

Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video) December 7, 2012 4:13 pm

Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

Justin Elliott’s Week 14 picks… on our NEW YouTube channel!!!

Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports? December 3, 2012 9:52 am

Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

By Matt Ford

Watching RGIII as a rookie is like the first time you heard OK Computer, or saw Louis CK’s standup a few years ago, or watched Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic Convention. “Holy shit!” you think. “Do people know about this yet?”

You form a special kind of relationship with an entertainer, athlete or politician after an experience like that — you realize: “Hey, this guy could be the real deal, and I think I just saw history.” Often, I find I become invested in people like that, rooting for history just to say in a few years, “I was there…”

RGIII to the rescue. He is, by many accounts, the most exciting player in the league. He draws friendly fans to FedEx Field. His value to a shrinking fan base is unspeakable. It’s hard to root against him, even if your team is playing against him.

Robert Griffin III has revitalized one of the most valuable franchises in the world. The value of hope is what Griffin brings to the table, in addition to all those other tangible assets.

Should You Watch It: Lincoln and Life of Pi November 29, 2012 11:15 am

Should You Watch It: Lincoln and Life of Pi

By Matt Ford

There are a ton of exciting movies out right now — some are better than others. (Sounds like a premise for future power rankings!!!!!!)

For help planning out your winter movie budget, here is a primer to two epics. First, Spielberg’s Lincoln, then Hollywood’s adaptation of Life of Pi.

I don’t have to tell you — everyone is saying it — they might as well just announce the Best Actor award at the Oscars already. Daniel Day-Lewis does a freaky good Lincoln, adding so much tenderness, thoughtfulness and dimension to one of the most complex American presidents.

Avatar set the standard for 3D CGI-heavy filmmaking, yes. Life of Pi matches or exceeds Avatar. Consider the challenge for the director, Ang Lee: well more than 50 percent of the film revolves around interplay between a teenager… and a tiger… alone… in the Pacific Ocean.

Should You Watch It: Argo and Skyfall November 12, 2012 3:39 pm

Should You Watch It: Argo and Skyfall

By Matt Ford

It’s an exciting time to be a moviegoer.

Here’s why: movies like Skyfall are rebooting the action genre, which of course includes the James Bond series. Bond movies will no longer be formulaic flicks with pithy pick-up lines, vapid women and happy endings; the new Bond is flawed, injured, cynical, self-loathing, and even — occasionally — out-matched.

Bond is one thing, but it will not be contending for Oscars next March. (Although co-star Javier Bardem might.) The movie it topped at the box office this weekend — Ben Affleck’s Argo — most certainly will.

It’s hard to explain what’s so great about Argo until you see it. In brief, Argo is brilliantly paced — the plot covers a lot of ground quickly — well-acted, unpredictable, occasionally hilarious, and confidently understated. After the movie was over, I quickly hoisted it into the “Best Movies I’ve Ever Watched” category. I know — bold.

So, on one hand, we have an action movie trying to be more complex; on the other, a spy movie trying to keep it simple.

Does it work for both films?

Completely Arbitrary Awards: NFL Halloween Edition November 2, 2012 11:03 am

Completely Arbitrary Awards: NFL Halloween Edition

The Charleston Chew “Why The Fuck Did I Select This Candy?” Award for being a terrible fantasy draft pick: Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden.

The “Toothbrush In The Candy Bag” Award for the worst fantasy pick possible: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars.

The “Wait, Is That A Costume Or Is That Just What That Guy Wears?” Award for strangest team of the season: The New England Patriots.

The “Cool Dad” Award for the old guy who can hang with the kids: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos.

The “Aren’t You A Little Old To Be Trick-Or-Treating” Award: Randy Moss, WR, San Francisco 49ers.

The “Twix Bar” Award for playing in a small market (when do you eat Twix besides Halloween?) but being absolutely amazing: CJ Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills.

Should You Watch It: Seven Psychopaths October 16, 2012 2:36 pm

Should You Watch It: Seven Psychopaths

By Matt Ford

How to describe Seven Psychopaths:

Take a dash of goofy/gritty crime classic Snatch, throw in a Coen Brothers twist of nihilism, and sprinkle the disjointed (but purposeful) vignetting of Pulp Fiction. Then add a hearty helping of Christopher Walken, and you have Seven Psychopaths.

Shorter: It’s like a better version of Smoking Aces.

Seven Psychopaths is about a Los Angeles screenwriter, played by a (surprisingly?) capable Colin Farrell, whose writer’s block is mended by his homicidal homeboy (Sam Rockwell). The two end up teaming with a dog kidnapper (Walken) who steals Woody Harrelson’s shih tzu and has to suffer the consequences.

From the get-go, this movie is wildly entertaining. The humor is biting, the storytelling is suspenseful, and the character development is well-executed.

Here are five reasons why you should see Seven Psychopaths:

Power Rankings: Where Does The Nationals Choke Rank In Recent DC/Baltimore Sports Losses? (You Know It’s Bad When It’s Not Even Close to No. 1) October 13, 2012 1:44 pm

Power Rankings: Where Does The Nationals Choke Rank In Recent DC/Baltimore Sports Losses? (You Know It’s Bad When It’s Not Even Close to No. 1)

By Matt Ford

Friday’s Game Five letdown by the Washington Nationals was, as Tim Kurkjian said, “possibly the most depressing loss” in baseball history… But only No. 4 on this list.

But how do those losses stack up against each other? How can you quantify the worst losses in DC/Maryland recent history when there are just SO MANY to choose from!

So, with one being a blowout regular season loss and 10 being a “Franchise-breaking, you can’t mention it without someone hurling a chair at you, go on a run two weeks later at midnight because you accidentally thought about it” kind of loss, Power Rankings of the Worst Losses in DMV History.

But at the end of the day, hopefully we can have some perspective.

Other News

  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    Justin, Neal and Matt put the Super Bowl in context: How good are the Ravens compared to other SB winners? Is Joe Flacco a top-5 quarterback? What is the next step with PED testing in the NFL?

    Once again, sports fans were treated to a memorable Super Bowl. The Ravens were thinking blowout until the blackout — did that affect their momentum? — and then the 49ers came all the way back to ultimately fall just short.

    Meanwhile, reverberations of Ray Lewis’ alleged use of PED’s forced sports fans to consider their values — does PED use really matter to us?

    And Joe Flacco emerged from a historic playoff run as an unquestioned franchise quarterback (what?).

    Hear our thoughts below, and enjoy Matt’s three solid minutes of embarrassing technical confusion at the beginning.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    Note: This piece refers to the playoff draft on the last HMGL podcast. If you didn’t listen to it, check it out here.

    Wild Card Weekend Standings:

    (+1 point for advancing to the divisional round)

    Justin (3) — DEN +1, GB +1, BAL+1, IND 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (DEN/BAL, GB)
    Worst-case: 2 points (DEN/BAL) win, GB loses

    Matt (3) — NE +1, ATL+1, Hou+1, Cincy 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (NE/HOU, ATL)
    Worst-case: 2 points (NE/HOU) win, ATL loses

    Neal (2) — SF +1, SEA +1, WAS 0, MIN 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (SF, SEA both win)
    Worst-case: 0 points (SF, SEA both lose)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Power Rankings Sports Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    By Matt Ford

    Better to be lucky than good.

    Or, more like it, better dangerous than solid.

    So who is the most dangerous team entering the 2012 NFL Playoffs?

    Category One: The Psy “Gangnam Style” Award for “Congrats for Making It To The Big Time! But Now That You’re Here, You’re Going Away Quickly.”

    Category Two: The Kwame Brown Award for “Just Look At Them! They Have To Be Better Than They’re Playing”

    Category Three: The Looking At The Google Analytics Of HireMeGrantland.com Award for “Why Is No One Impressed By Us?”

    Category Four: The Mumford and Sons Award for “Everyone Thinks We’re Underrated, But We’re Actually Overrated”

    Category Five: The 2007 LeBron James Award for “We’re playing … him? Uh Oh.”

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Without further ado: Matt and Justin’s discussion of the NFL playoff picture leading into the end of the regular season, with special guest Neal Suidan.

    All you have to do is click here and click “Listen” or “Download” once you get to our hosting site.

    Our first post is about the NFC Playoff picture leading into last week’s games. Listen to how wrong we were about San Francisco after last night’s result, Neal’s analysis of his hometown Bears (and Bulls), Matt’s pipe-dream of a Redskins playoff run and more.

    Our next pod is about the AFC, but includes a bonus round of which coaches should get fired (and Matt’s prediction of Chip Kelly to Carolina that he has been patting himself on the back for ever since), and Neal trying to Beautiful Mind his way through the muddy AFC North playoff picture. Justin’s breakdown of the Raiders, fortunately for you all, was omitted due to “microphone problems.”

    Shortly, these episodes will be available on the iTunes store (Apple has to screen them first before they unleash our idiocy on the unwashed masses).

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    (Nothing like a winless week to really make you want to show your face on camera.)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott’s Week 14 picks… on our NEW YouTube channel!!!

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    By Matt Ford

    Watching RGIII as a rookie is like the first time you heard OK Computer, or saw Louis CK’s standup a few years ago, or watched Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic Convention. “Holy shit!” you think. “Do people know about this yet?”

    You form a special kind of relationship with an entertainer, athlete or politician after an experience like that — you realize: “Hey, this guy could be the real deal, and I think I just saw history.” Often, I find I become invested in people like that, rooting for history just to say in a few years, “I was there…”

    RGIII to the rescue. He is, by many accounts, the most exciting player in the league. He draws friendly fans to FedEx Field. His value to a shrinking fan base is unspeakable. It’s hard to root against him, even if your team is playing against him.

    Robert Griffin III has revitalized one of the most valuable franchises in the world. The value of hope is what Griffin brings to the table, in addition to all those other tangible assets.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    By Justin Elliott

    Overall Record: 32-26-2

    As you can see, until Week 12 it has basically been feast or famine with at least four wins or losses for eight straight weeks.

    If I could only channel those good weeks I would have a chance at winning this thing. But the odds of that have to be like one in a million…

    If my odds are good enough for Lloyd Christmas, they’re good enough for me. So onward with my Week 13 picks.

    Read more →