Friday, February 8, 2008

Vote right, or else....

We here at Straight Up Sports usually leave our political affiliations, along with our inhibitions and decency, at the door. But sometimes, events become too large to not comment upon.

As many of you may have heard, there will be a Presidential election this November, and that means we are in the thick of primary season. Sen. Barack Obama and Hil-dawg, as I like to call her(cheers to SP), fought to a near draw on "Super-Duper Tuesday" with Obama getting a slight edge. So, what happens right after the national news networks declare Hildawg the winner in Arkansas and Tennessee? God smites those states with a rash of tornadoes(see below).

Now you may call me an asshole or insensitive for posting this, and I wouldnt argue with that. But dont tell me Im wrong. Back in September of 2004, just 2 months before the last Presidential election, God had a message for Florida as well. After the total clusterfuck of an election in 2000, the big man upstairs wanted everyone to be sure that we all knew who HE was voting for.

Lets follow his advice this time people.

But what will Mike Mottau do?

Scott Niedermayer returns to Jersey tonite, as the Devils face the Ducks at the Rock in hockey mesopotamia, Newark. Lamoriello told the official newspaper of Tony Soprano, The Star Ledger that he plans on retiring Niedermayer's #27 after he retires.

I'm glad Lou isn't being stubborn or stupid about this. Any true hockey fan is aware of how valuable Niedermayer was to the Devils. The more neutral hockey fans on SUS could give a better perspective, but over the last 15 years, Niedermayer has been at least one of the top ten defensemen in the game, if not higher. The fact that no Devil defensemen score anymore and they have had power play issues since after the strike? That's because they still haven't replaced Niedermayer. Truth is, it's going to be a long time before they'll be able to replace someone like him. Anyone who watched the '03 stanley cup vs. the Ducks knows that he was responsible for seemingly every goal that the Devils scored that series. Ironic that Giguere got the Conn Smythe that season and Niedermayer got it last summer with the Ducks when Giguere deserved it.

Angry White Man (Price is Right Edition)

As a grad student, I tend to keep weird hours. Some of these weird hours allow me to watch Price is Right once or twice a week. And I gotta ask: Where the hell is my Plinko? Did Drew Carey get rid of all of the old games? For shame Drew. If Bob Barker were dead, he'd be rolling over in his grave right now. Now where will I go for moments like this:

"And he'll go to the grave as an angry white man..."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We pause from Patriots bashing to discuss (gasp!) some baseball

The new Yankee Stadium is $300 million over budget. And I guess that's kind of news, (especially if its taxpayer money) but holy shit, check out the amenities.

Among the quirks include:

a conference area with video conferencing so that a corporate group could have a daylong meeting and then stay for a game. A concierge will be available to procure theater tickets or restaurant reservations.

Finally. Straight Up Sports has found a ground worthy of holding the 7 of us in a room together. And more importantly, Brooklyn Hillbilly can use the concierge to get him tickets to his favorite play, Lease.

Saw this from a message board...

which was likely thiefed from another message board/vice versa/ etc..

I figured it was apropos with all this dynasty talk:

cue thiefed material:

...just how ominous the whole fall of the "evil empire" is, and the implications that surround it?

Think about it: the whole "dynasty" crap started with a lousy call by the officials forever etched in history as the "tuck rule"...

The tuck rule resulted in a controversial finish to an NFL playoff game on January 19, 2002, between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.

In the closing moments of the game in a snowy Foxboro Stadium, with New England trailing by three points, New England quarterback Tom Brady dropped the ball after making a passing motion, his fellow University of Michigan alumnus Charles Woodson tackled Brady, and the Raiders' Greg Biekert fell on the loose football. The officials initially called the play a recovered fumble, which would have sealed the victory for the Raiders. But after instant replay, referee Walt Coleman reversed this call, declared the play an incomplete forward pass, and gave possession back to New England. In explaining the reversal to the stadium crowd and the television audience, the referee stated that the ball was moving forward at the time it was dropped. In later interviews, the referee stated that it was his explanation, not the reversal, that was in error; the ball was moving backwards when it was lost, but the tuck rule applied.

In any case, Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri later tied the game with a dramatic 45-yard field goal, and the Patriots took advantage of the momentum they had seized, defeating the deflated Raiders in overtime on another field goal and eliminating them from the playoffs. Three weeks later, the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI.

While the NFL has defended the call, not everybody has agreed. Bruce Allen, who ran the front office for the Raiders at the time of the game, still believes it was a fumble. "The rule itself doesn't bother me," he said. "But the way the rule is written, it was a fumble." - Tuck Rule - Wikipedia

That ridiculous controversy paved the way to their first Lombardi.

Fast forward to 2/3/2008, three SB titles behind them, and the fourth, complete with the only 19-0 perfect record, within reach. Tom Brady, the touted MVP and leader of that unstoppable force known as the New England Offense was on the very brink of perfection and perpetual icon status. However, he couldn't do jack shit against the Giants' defense primarily because he was harassed all day by that defensive line. And, who led that defensive line in the rampage that destroyed the empire? Remember, the player with 6 tackles, 2 sacks (the second with under 1/2 a minute to play that basically sealed the game), and the forced fumble? You guessed it - some unknown named Justin Tuck.

In other words, the empire crumbled and crumbled hard, because this time it was the victim of the "Tuck rule"!

Coincidence? I think not! It's Karma at it's finest, baby!

Now, this team will never be the same, and we haven't yet begun to see how far the "mighty", that asshole "mastermind" coach, and their whole smug prick fanbase will fall!


Spags stays!

The maestro returns!

Once again, take it away Johnny:

Step aside Frank Sinatra, Hoboken has a new favorite son.

Props to Drizz and that crew for the pic and story.

The Giants Defense: The Past, The Present, and The Future

Originally the plan was to look at who played well and who played poorly this year on the D. A Super Bowl later, it's time to scrap that plan and look at how each defensive group began the season, ended it, and what the future holds:


The Past: Strahan was out of shape, Osi was invisible, and Justin Tuck was the only guy who showed up through the first few games. Until the Skins and Eagles games, these guys were being completely pushed around.

The Present: Best D Line in football. Spagnuolo did what Tim Lewis never could: play Tuck, Osi, and Strahan in such a way to maximize their pressure. They pressured Romo, got to Brady, getting past two of the best O-lines in the game. They rid themselves of the well-deserved reputation that dogged the Strahan-era defense of disappearing in crunchtime. Osi and Tuck should have been co-mvps of the Super Bowl.

The Future: My guess is that Strahan is done. He hasn't shut up since the Super Bowl ended and looks ready to ride this to a career in broadcasting. That leaves Osi, Tuck, Cofield, Lil' Fred, Alford and Tollefson, all of whom are signed for next season. This unit has always underwhelmed when Strahan didn't play in the past, but they should be fine next year with Osi and Tuck anchoring the ends. And the three solid DT's.


The Past:
Kawika Mitchell didn't have a clue, Mathias Kiwanuka was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, and Antonio Pierce blew an airhorn every time reporters asked him a question. Yeah, there's a reason that this team gave up 80-something points to begin the season.

The Present: Antonio Pierce has become one of the more recognizable faces in the game, as the quarterback of this defense. No one looked happier at the parade, and no one took more pleasure in refuting the nay-sayers. (RESPECT as my old roomate would say.) Kawika Mitchell turned into a force on the defense, including a great Super Bowl. And while Kiwanuka became the charter member of the fractured tibula club, Reggie Torbor filled in pretty well. (Did anyone else not notice Torbor on the field for the entire game? That's a good thing, right?)

The Future: Some drunk guy who I don't respect or trust told me that Lance Briggs wants to come to the Giants because he and Pierce are boys. I'm ok with this. Kawika Mitchell is also a free agent. I'm ok with bringing back Kawika, but I'm also ok with bringing in a pro bowler. And Kiwanuka should return to form next year.


The Past
: Even when our defense was good, this unit was awful. Sam Madison was smart but old and slow, Dockery played hard but was a midget, and Corey Webster was simply a tackling dummy with a #23. Not to mention that Gibril Wilson was becoming overrated and James Butler was unknown, which might be the nicest thing you could say about anyone on this unit.

The Present: Everyone talks about how it all made sense to Eli Manning; no one was saying the same thing about Corey Webster who went from being godawful to being a pretty good cornerback. Aaron Ross played as well as anyone could expect from a rookie in the playoffs. (Was I just drunk, or did he pull a Torbor and basically disappear from the Super Bowl. This is a good thing though for a CB, assuming he played.) Sam Madison, after being hurt, did a damn good job in the Super Bowl, and Kevin Dockery, who should have been covering Wes Welker did a good job of getting healthy in time for the super bowl and not making an ass of himself.

The Future: With the exception of Madison, this is a very young group. Webster is entering his 4th year, Ross his 2nd, and Dockery his 3rd. The big question with this group is whether Corey Webster will continue his rise among the top 20 cornerbacks in the league. (This shouldn't be an accomplishment, but consider that he began this season as the worst starting cornerback in the league.) I'm thinking he'll continue to improve. Oh, and Gibril Wilson is a free agent. He's pretty good against the run, and it'd be nice to see the Giants sign him. It may not be a bad idea to draft a cornerback, but we'll leave that for another time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Expected, Surprising, Shocking: a review of the most important contributors to the Superbowl Champion New York Giant's offense

I am still in shock 3 days later. Not only did I experience my first ever championship with my favorite sports team, I did so at the expense of the universally hated Pats. As we at SUS try to make sense of it all I will attempt to explain how many of the playoffs most valuable players on the offensive side of the ball transformed their games throughout what is now a championship season. This photo appears courtesy of Newsday.

They are who we thought they were!! Plaxico Buress, Amani Toomer

The Giant's top two wide receivers played all year at a consistently high level. Plaxico had a phenomenal and gutsy season amassing over 1ooo yards and 12 touchdowns while playing through a chronic ankle injury. Fittingly, Plax ended his 2008 campaign by catching the championship clinching touchdown by faking Ellis Hobbs out of his gourd. Amani Toomer, expectantly, made huge catches on 3rd down all season long and continued to be one of the league’s finest #2 wide receivers. His playoff brilliance surprised some, but not this Amani loyalist. As I have said previously in my prior articles; he may not be a great player but he is a great Giant, we love you Amani.

I thought you'd be good but not this good- Steve Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Offensive Line.

I have been a Jacob's fan ever since his first 3rd and short carry in 2005. I always thought he had potential to be a 1000 yard back over a full season. However, I didn't expect him to amass 1000 over a season in which he only played in 10 games. His bruising style did cost him 6 games to injury but his production and consistency in the 10 games he did play was surprising to even his staunchest supporters. I will always remember his first run in the NFC title game when he simply ran over a Packer linebacker and without saying it protested, "this is our game tonight son."

Steve Smith was a great pick in the 2nd round of 2007 draft for the Giants. He offered them a nice third receiver who has great hands and a wealth of big game experience. However, injuries kept him out of action for most of the season's first 11 games. When he did play at the end of the regular season, he was entirely underwhelming. He was victimized by the dropsies and the fumbles. However, the post season marked the beginning of a possibly fine career as a receiver for the Superbowl XLII champions. He has shown veteran savvy in the big spot (his horrid misplay on an intercepted pass from Eli in the Bowl not withstanding) and some of the softest hands on the club. He had several huge first down catches against Green bay in the NFC championship game and a gigantic first down conversion on third and 11 in the games waning moments to put the Giants on the doorstep of glory. I look forward to many excellent years for you in the Meadowlands.

I knew going in that our offensive line would be a fairly solid group. While we were losing Luke Petigout we still retained Center Shaun O’Hara and Guards Kareem McKenzie and Chris Snee. They opened up gaping holes for much of the previous 2 season for Tiki and Brandon but were overshadowed by Tiki's star status. This year with less fanfare surrounding the Giant's running back position, the offensive line got to take center stage. Whether it was Brandon, Derrick Ward (remember him?) or Amhad Bradshaw (more on him soon), the line did a tremendous job creating holes for whoever was waiting for Eli to hand off the ball. In addition, they did a phenomenal job of pass blocking all season and in the playoffs allowing Eli to emerge as a start quarterback by season's end.

Wow, did not see that coming- Eli Manning, Amhad Bradshaw, David Tyree.

Why is it that the Giants are amazing at picking late round running backs but suck at picking 1st round running backs? The same team that brought you some horrific busts like Ron Dayne and Tyrone Wheatley has also brought you Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs and now Amhad Bradshaw. Bradshaw started out as a third string running back that barely got a sniff of the action. It is amazing, looking back, that he had to watch the trudging and plodding Reubeun Droughns consistently get stuffed on third and shorts. Nevertheless, Bradshaw finally got his chance when Derrick Ward, who played well in his own right this season, suffered a season ending injury against the Bears in Week 14. Bradshaw's big moment came on an impressive, National Football League season high, 88 yard touchdown run in the snow in Buffalo to clinch the Giants a spot in the 2008 playoffs. In the playoffs, he had an impressive 8.3 yards per carry and routinely got tough yards up the middle despite being dwarfed by his backfield mate Jacobs. He looks like he might be a star running back for New York or elsewhere for years to come.

David Tyree has been a phenomenal special teams player his entire Giant's career. However, I did not know he was even capable of making the best catch in Superbowl history. He also caught a touchdown earlier in the game to give New York a 10-7 lead. His incredible leaping catch over "Roidney" Harrison will forever warm the hearts of Giants fans everywhere. How he was able to use his own helmet as an extra set of hands to hold on to the ball, only G-d and David Tyree himself know. Congrats to a local kid done good.

Ahhhhh, here comes an abridged version of a previous post, where I inserted my foot into my mouth and admitted that I was wrong about Eli. Eli was simply awful most of this regular season. He was terribly inconsistent in terms of his accuracy and showed that he could not throw the ball in cold or otherwise inclement weather. Many, myself included, questioned if he could even be an adequate NFL starter let alone a Superbowl MVP. However, with one throw in week 17, it seemed that Eli arrived. On the first play from scrimmage in week 17 vs. the now 18-1 but then 15-0 New England Patriots, Eli threw an absolutely perfect in stride bomb to Plaxico. Eli went on to throw 4 touchdowns in this game including some while on the run and in the face of a complex and constantly changing Bellicheck defense. While I was not sure this performance would in fact propel Eli to winning the Superbowl MVP; I saw for the first time all season the play of a quarterback that actually lived up to his pre-draft hype. I need not elaborate on Eli's stellar post season play. You all saw his gutsy effort in sub-zero Lambeau field. You all saw the finest play ever by a quarterback in the big game, the 3rd and 5 scramble and bomb to Tyree. You all saw Eli hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Tom Brady was left to wonder what could have been. I just wanted to say one more time......... Eli I'm sorry sooooooooo sorrrrrrrry. I can't wait to see how you continue to develop and grow as the quarterback of the now three time Superbowl Champion New York Football Giants.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Some thoughts about the actual parade

The actual parade itself sorta sucked live. It was just put together. I was at the '96, '98, and '99 Yankee Parades, along with the '95, '00 and '03 Devil celebrations, and this just lacked the flow that those events had. There was a 20 minute period in the middle of the parade where simply no one passed by.

Say what you want about the Devils celebrations, which are basically a glorified parking lot pep rally, but they did get two things right:

1. Because the NHL players wear helmets, it is tough to identify all but the stars of each team by their face. Thus, for the pep rallies, the Devils all wore their jersey on top of their street clothes. But the Giants? The only one who wore a jersey was Plax, in support of his brother from another mother, Jeremiah Shockey. When all the Giants wear the SB Champs sweatshirt, it becomes tough to identify all but 10-15 players.
2. The Devils always appeared onstage with their wives/girlfriends when they were recognized. This led to at least one, if not two rounds of "Who's girlfriend is the hottest?" And inevitably, a 4th liner always comes out of nowhere to blow us away. This year, the family rode in a separate bus. And we're left to wonder if any of the Giants even have wives or girlfriends.

As for the City Hall ceremony. I'm not saying that it looked like a high school celebration, but between seeing everyone seated onstage in rows, and seeing each row rise separately, i began to get Vitamin C's "Graduation Day" song stuck in my head. It was worth it though when players didn't remember to take the key to the city in their left hand and shake with their right. And more importantly, Strahan finally has the key to something that his ex-wife can't take away.

Wow. It all makes sense now.

I was wrong. (Again Devo?) I always thought that Tom Brady was a Yankee fan. But Brady, in a recent interview with Straight Up Sports, said "My favorite team in all of sports was always that 2001 Mariners team. What can I say? The way that they just cruised through the regular season was amazing."

Big ups to SHMUCK for "finding" this photo...

People you (or at least I) find at a Giants Parade

Jersey Guidos!-See above photo. What surprises me more is that they actually gel their hair up before a Giants parade when everyone else sorta rolls outta bed.

Guy who compares everything to the '86 team-This guy is either fat, old, or both. In my case, he's 350 lbs, is surprisingly current with his Jacobs jersey, and chants "D-Fence" every time a player, offense or defense comes by, because that's the way the '86 team rolled.

The Douchebags who get to watch from a balcony- One of these guys made a paper airplane which almost hit an unsuspecting 6 year old in the eye. Way to impress the ladies with your airplane, you serial killer. Speaking of 6 year olds...

The little girls who go with their Dad-In their defense, this is a great way to bond with Dad. Or at least, it sounds like a good idea until they realize that the only thing they can see is '86 Giants Guy. I learned this lesson at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade when I was 6. But unlike me, these 6 year olds will be able to get into bars in 12-13 years while their male counterparts are left out in the cold. Speaking of which...

The young boys who go with their Dad-See above for the negatives. But on the bright side, none of these lil' dudes had to deal with the Brown/Kannell/Graham dark years.

The two guys who were probably taking a walk and had nothing better to do. Were these guys Giant fans? You couldn't tell by the way they were dressed. They weren't dressed for work, but you couldn't tell that they were Giants fans simply by looking at them. One of the guys, as the parade was about to start, was just reading his NY Times. My guess is that they were FBI trying to infiltrate Al-Qaeda

And finally, last but in no possible way least...
The kid who tried to befriend me. What an asshole. Over the years, I've learned that I have two peeves: 1) Al Qaeda, and 2) People who think they're funny, continuously make jokes thinking they're funny, but have absolutely NO comedic timing. (Devo, doesn't this sort of qualify as self loathing?) Well, I'm pretty sure this kid wasn't #1, but he continuously made awful jokes throughout the entire morning. That, combined with his herpes sores made me slowly but surely inch away from this dude, even if this meant me being that much farther away from Plaxico & Co. Speaking of this kid, I'm not saying there were a lot of high schoolers at this shindig, but there was enough acne in the crowd to feed a 3rd world country.

A Parody of Sorts

So on a football forum today I found a thread that showed alternate lyrics of Skid Row's "18 and Life" Now, if you havent heard the sond before, listen to on youtube at this link before you look at the lyrics:

Now that you've done that feel free to read the lyrics, or watch the video again while reading the new lyrics along to yourself. It's quite amusing.

Tommy was a young boy, He had an arm of gold.
Practiced 9 to 5 and worked his teammates to the bone.
Barely drafted out of school, way back in the 6th round.
Fought like a switchblade so no Bledsoe could take him down.
He arm was money, but noooooo good on the run.
He walked the streets of Foxboro and he fought the League alone
but now it's

18 and 1 you got it
18 and 1 you know
your crime is choking and it's
18 and 1 o no!!!

No condoms in his wallet, some say he has VD.
It kept his motor running but it never kept him clean.
They say he loved Brazilians, "Tommy's the wild one."
He wouldn't marry cause these models just give it up.
Bang Bang knock 'em up, Tommy's party never ends.
You couldn't think of gameplans with Gisele's head in your lap
and now it's

18 and 1 you got it
18 and 1 you know
your crime is choking and it's
18 and 1 o no!!!

"Losses will never happen" they all heard Tommy say
He fired his last pass to the wind and blew Randy Moss awaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

18 and 1 you got it
18 and 1 you know
your crime is losing
and it's 18 and 1 o no

Monday, February 4, 2008

A question for Gmen Nation:

Is anyone else walking around with a "I boned the prom queen" stride in their step?

We are the champions my friend. A few people I will never forget

I just wanted to say on this night of great celebration for us members of Big Blue Nation, my grandfather Mark Jacoby bought our family season tickets for the 1958 season and we have never looked back since. Even though he left us in 1998, he is not forgotten. I hope you saw this game, Grandpa ( he was at both Super bowl wins for the Giants prior to today). In addition, let us not forget the late, great Wellington Mara who is one of the seminal owners in NFL history. We love you Mr. Mara and we are proud to hoist this trophy in your honor. Thank you 2007 New York Giants for truly restoring the pride of this great and historic NFL franchise. Also, I'm a jerk for not believing in my boys. I will forever cherish this team for being my favorite team of all time. This is one of the greatest nights in any Giants fan's life.


the only coach to win 4 superbowls is still LEGIT!!!!!!!!

life is good!

When there's nothing left to say, it's always Johnny Drama time:

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Queen said it best;

We (the Giants) are the champions!
We are the champions!
No times for losers (The Patriots)
Cause we are the champions!
Of the World!

You know what they say: Cheaters never win!

18-1! Yeah mother%^@*ers!

Rockville, Maryland is Giants Country!

Went on a 1-2 mile walk to the local CVS rocking the Tiki jersey, and as I walked, let's just say that cars were hootin' and hollerin' at me like I was White Boy's sister. (Not pictured above)

The 42nd Annual Madden Superbowl Simulation: PATRIOTS 13, AMERICA'S TEAM 3

In what should be a tradition in every PS2/xbox/wii household, I simulated the Super Bowl this morning. ( has been doing this the last few years for every game, but I go back to the last Pitt/Dallas superbowl, so screw them.) Some notes about the game:

-5 minute quarters (I tried 8 minute quarters yesterday and the game ended up 54-44 with 5 minutes still to go; including 3 consecutive Wes Welker kickoff returns for touchdowns.)

-I started the game out on All Madden but promptly switched to All-Pro after the first four drives of the game ended with interceptions.

-Neither team had much offense: Eli Manning was 5-21, 78 yards, 3 ints, 0 tds. ( A solid 3.0 QB rating. Go Eli!) Brady was a solid 10-26, 109 yards, 1 td, 2 ints. Maroney was the only offensive player who showed up, 16 caries, 75 yards, and a 4 yard rec td. Maroney should've been the mvp of the game, but Madden gave it to Ellis Hobbs, who had an int and not much else.

And with this Madden analysis, the game has officially been scrutinized from every possible angle. Game on!

Happy SuperBowl Sunday!

I should be ecstatic. My beloved baseball team has just made a trade worthy of, well, the Yankees. I mean its the kind of trade the Yankees would make without blinking an eye. For the Mets and for us Mets fans, this is huge. Santana is a two time Cy Young winner, 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA in eight seasons. All of this should make me freaking out with excitement.

Right now, I'm just apprehensive. Call me pessimistic, but throughout my Metsfan life, I've been living with a whole lot of disappointment. Last year's collapse is just the latest in a long string of unrealized potential or 'blockbuster' moves gone awry. As soon as Santana's deal was announced, $137.5 million until 2013 with an option for 2014, I thought about pitchers and how they hardly get deals like this (well, until Barry Zito last year and now). Why is it that? They are so much less consistent than a regular player. What happens if the arm that controls the pace and make-up of the game gets overworked? Overthrown? Injured? There's also the aspect that everyone speaks of when a player comes from a teeny tiny market into the media firestorm that is New York. Will he crumble in this setting like Kenny Rogers or will he thrive like Mike Hampton (but hopefully for more than a year)? My other point is that I have spent years watching my team either completely fail or come excruciatingly close to glory.

My good friend from Boston likes to rub it my face that he's from Boston and his teams are dominating. He made a comment to me the other day, "You love to root for terribly unclutch sports teams..." For Santana to come here and fail or disappoint would be just another example of why the Mets have played second fiddle in New York and have been considered 'unclutch' for all these years. I'm not saying that I want or even believe that Santana is going to fail. I'm just saying that I can't let myself get too excited about it, because if I do, I know there's a good chance that I'll be crushed yet again. I need to see him pitch with the Mets for a game or two before I can get myself really really excited about him, but can you blame me?

Enjoy the SuperBowl tonight everyone! Eat and drink up. My two boxes are: Giants- 8, Pats- 7 and Giants- 9, Pats- 5. Let's make it happen so I make some $ boys!

Btw, if you like foreign films, check out The Diving Bell and the Butterfly about a man with locked-in syndrome who writes a book using his left eye to blink out the words- its a true story!