Tag Archive | "CraneKicker"

NBA Fantasy League Week 7: Risers And Divers

I thought, since the fine folks at Roto Analysis did a column for the league this week about risers and divers (about players), I would do a little bit here about risers and divers in the league.

Then I realized there’s only one significant riser, and only one significant diver in the entire league. The significant riser is Lee Russakoff’s Please Advise. He’s made an unheard of number of roster moves, and put his team in position to win the whole damn thing, trailing Pat Gallen’s The Verticoli by only six points. I wrote last week how much I despise Gallen’s hustle act, and you can be sure I’d love to see him fall. As much as I despise Russakoff, I despise Gallen even more.

But what fun is writing about people doing well? No fun at all.

Instead, I’m going to focus on a man who has watched the bottom fall out, after talking a whole bunch of trash. That man? CraneKicker. That team? Anthony Mason Haircut. A front-runner for most of the season, CK often bragged that he could do no wrong. The guy thought he was Kevlar. As it turns out, he couldn’t survive everything. After an injury to center Al Horford, CK’s team has dropped from first to seventh, and from over 100 points to 78.5. To put this in perspective, the Atlanta Hawks are 11-6 since Horford’s injury, and have fallen only one position (3rd to 4th) in the Eastern Conference. Anthony Mason Haircut proved itself as a team much like a house of cards, but made out of things much flimsier than cards. I don’t know what’s flimsier than cards. It’s almost like the team was a HOUSE OF PAPER.

Scram, CK. Yes, my team sits at 13th out of 14 teams. I don’t know what to say. I’m looking at an 8th place finish after Z-Bo comes back from injury though.

Now, on to the real analysis.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

(please note that MATT wrote this entire piece, but I refuse to leave MOE out of the mentions, because he’s named MOE, which is awesome.)


Obviously Lin-sanity has captured much of the nation’s attention regarding the NBA. Who else, though, is having an upswing of late? And who is on the decline in recent weeks as we reach the midpoint of the season? Here are some guys who are shooting up or down the rankings due to their recent performance:


1. Jeremy Lin

Let me preface this by saying Lin has moved up in everybody’s rankings for obvious reasons. His late-game heroics have been incredible, and should definitely be credited with the Knicks’ turnaround. Despite this “greatness” in the public eye, I’m still skeptical about his fantasy value. Lin has turned the ball over at a league-high rate since becoming a starter, and won’t be draining many threes (unless the clock is running out). In turnovers alone, he will have a negative value the same way Dwight Howard or Blake Griffin do at the free throw line. Lin’s points and assists have been incredible, but with Carmelo back he will surely be shooting less than the 19.5 field goals attempted a game in his first six starts. When Baron Davis comes back, the 39.7 minutes a game he has been getting should drop as well. In the end, while I am definitely in on Lin for his real-life value with the Knicks, he will lead your team in one category (assists) but hold you back just as much in another (turnovers). He is a hot commodity in every league, and I would sell high on him for that exact reason.

2. Nikola Pekovic

If I told you a player on the Timberwolves was averaging 16.6 points and 10.5 rebounds in February to go with a 62% field goal percentage, you may think Kevin Love has been shooting less the last couple games. Well, Love is a top five player for a reason, and is averaging much more than 16 and 10. For Nikola Pekovic, though, I’ll take it. He was an efficient per-minute player in a limited bench role earlier in the season, but has taken his new playing time by the reins and is flat out producing. While he will not provide many blocks for a big man, his point and rebound production to go with his solid percentages and acceptable free throw shooting make him a must pickup in any league where he is still available.

3. Joakim Noah

Noah started off slow. Really slow–as in average 8 points a game until two weeks ago slow. In his last seven games, however, he has looked like a new player, with 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game over that time period. Like Pekovic, he will give you production in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, and won’t kill you in free throws. He has more of a pedigree to keep this performance up and should be able to revert from his early-season performance to the solid fantasy contributor he has been for his whole career.

4. Gordon Hayward

He may not jump out at you from a box score, but Hayward does all the little things, and well. Still 21, the youngster is having the best month of his NBA career with 14.4 points a game on 56% shooting. Aside from rebound and threes, he can do everything else; he will get you assists, steals, blocks, and free throws, while limiting his turnovers to a very low rate. You could do much worse at a shallow SG position (he’s also eligible at SF) this year, and is a guy I like to keep his performance up if the minutes are there.

5. DeMarcus Cousins

There may not be a more infuriating, inconsistent player around the league than Cousins. When focused and determined, he can be one of the best centers in the league. Over his past six games, Cousins has been that guy, with 22 points and 14.2 rebounds a game. While he does turn the ball over a little too much, he will block and steal just as many times on the defensive end. The potential is there for him to be a top five center in this league, and for now, just ride him while he’s hot.

6. Drew Gooden

When a journeyman like Gooden signed a 5-year, $32 Million contract, I’m not going to lie that I just laughed at the Bucks stupidity. With star Andrew Bogut now out, Gooden has done his best to impress me. He’s a solid overall player, who will fill all the “big-man” stats up for you. His shooting percentages may plunge as defenses continue to adjust to the Bucks’ new offense, but as long as Bogut is out, Gooden is a solid fantasy option in almost any league or format.


1. Jeff Teague

When he exceeded expectations to move from a “sleeper” to a legitimately useful fantasy player to start the season, Teague drew a lot of hype in fantasy circles. He has reverted to what made him the “sleeper” in the first place in recent weeks, with a lack of assists in recent weeks that just kills you at the point guard position. In February, he is averaging only 3.3 assists, and shooting below 43% from the field. While he is still a solid producer of three pointers and steals, I’m becoming very skeptical of his long-term value.

2. Nene

While he is definitely the first NBA player who could have his name pass for a European soccer superstar, Nene has looked like he actually wants to head over to the pitch to start off the season. He was clearly not in great shape over the offseason, and has not been able to keep up with the scorching tempo the Nuggets play at. With the depth around him, his minutes are down, and while the skills are there to be one of the most efficient big men in the league, I doubt he will perform like that this season.  He has been dinged up recently, and is shooting at his worst percentages from the field and from the free throw line since 2007.

3. Mo Williams

After Chauncey Billups got injured, everybody assumed that Williams could effectively step into his role as a shooter. Mo has fallen short of expectations in his recent play, and I fear he will never be too effective off the ball, completely negating his fantasy value. Since Billups’ injury, Williams is shooting only 33% from the field! While he will definitely supply threes and free throws, the assists will not be there with CP3 manning the point, the steals and blocks are completely invisible, and the points will not be high enough to make up for his other deficiencies.

4. Samuel Dalembert

Dalembert’s a complete stiff. And while that doesn’t matter for his fantasy value, per say, it does affect a lot of what he does on the court. While his blocks created some early season hype, he has fallen off from being fantasy relevant by posting 4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game in February. A one-category pseudo-stud just isn’t worth owning in any format.

5. Brandon Jennings

When a player has a breakout year, fantasy owners may just try to trade for that player blindly, basing their reasoning off of the hype surrounding him. While I do think Jennings has taken strides this year, his recent play suggests the inconsistency that haunted him his first two seasons in the NBA may still be daunting. He will never be a great true shooter, limiting his fantasy potential for threes and field goal percentage. Because he puts up so many shots (over 16 a game!), his performance will hold back your team’s even more. Jennings is doing a lot of things well this season, with career highs in points, steals, threes, and field goal percentage, and his lowest turnover margin ever. Despite these positives, I would still be very cautious with him going forward in any league where shooting percentages are a factor.

6. Mario Chalmers

I’ve always liked Chalmers for fantasy, but his value has slipped this year, and not just because of injury. While he ranks quite highly on the player rater, his turnovers have been rising as his assists are dropping. His steals are merely average for a PG, and while he has been shooting very efficiently and knocks down a ton of threes, the 2.5 assists he is averaging in February point to a swoon that could continue throughout the second half of the season.

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.

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Photoshop With Matt Mac: Cancun Canseco CraneKicked

Jose Canseco hit a baseball clear over them there mountains. Cranekicker called his bluff. Photoshop ensues…

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Crank Calls On Twitter: Madden, Julia Roberts and Mystic Pizza

CraneKicker = Genius


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The NBA Fantasy League Week 4: Let’s Get Dealing

Oh man, my team stinks. It really stinks. Team Free Boosie ranks dead last in the entire league in rebounds, assists and steals, and second to last in blocks and points. My team is the fantasy version of the Washington Wizards. When you look at the team, it seems like it has some good pieces, but it’s a terrible combination and managed the wrong way. I need to put the guys in a better position. I’m sorry, fanatasy Chris Paul. This one’s on me.

In other news, The Verticoli are running away with this thing. I’ve seen some shifts from week to week, but they’ve got an 18 point lead over the second place team. I’m going to give you some inside scoop on this though. Three letters, PED. The team is being investigated currently. I can’t say much more, but it all comes from a source very close to the situation.

If you’re looking for a team to make a move at some point, I’m going to go with the Delco Dirtbags. They’re laying in the weeds a bit, but I’ve heard from my sources that there’s a method here, and there might be a second half run in them.

Finally, everyone still hates Rick Penguino and his ZWR Penguins.

Now on to the real analysis.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

Trades That Should Happen

The SpikeEskin.com Fantasy Hoops league is unusual in a myriad of aspects, starting with the fact that very few of the members of the league knew each other before the draft, the league’s irregular scoring, and the 14-team format (10? Sure. 12? Common. 16? Yeah, I’ve been in a few. 14? I’ve seen very few). The league is certainly not average. But in my opinion, the most inexplicable thing about the SpikeEskin.com league is its extreme dearth of trades. Through four and a half weeks (about 37.5% of the fantasy regular season) the entire league has made a total of one trade. To give that some perspective, RotoAnalysis.com writer Moe Koltun is in a league that has had 22 trades made to this date, and that’s in a league that includes a salary cap making trades more difficult to work. In the RotoAnalysis.com “Experts” league, there have been 8, with only 8 teams in the league (albeit with 22 man rosters). So, due to this lack of trades, we have decided to come up with some hypothetical trades for the league.

Get Rid of Pinky trades Andrea Bargnani & Tony Allen to Narcoleptic E Snow Experience for DeAndre Jordan & Derrick Favors

This might be one of the most logical trades of all time. “Get Rid of Pinky” really needs rebounds; “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” really needs free throw %. “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” really needs 3 pointers made; “Get Rid of Pinky” really needs FG%. The Bargnani for Jordan swap in itself would also be fair and logical, but I think the extra pieces benefit both sides (Favors has huge rebound + FG% upside, Tony Allen is a solid FT% guy and okay at everything else). Overall, this trade is nearly perfect, and if the trade negotiations in this league weren’t as extinct as the velociraptor, it surely would have been made by now.

Please Advise… trades Jodie Meeks & Brandon Rush to Narcoleptic E Snow Experience for Anderson Varejao

I mean the team name is “Please Advise…” so i figured we should help a brother out. Sitting in 7th place, a perfect trade partner sits right beneath you in 8th; another option for “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” as he tries to balance out his squad. His team ranks dead last in three pointers, while sitting in first in rebounds and blocks. “Please Advise…” is average in three pointers, while near the bottom of the league in rebounds, blocks, and points. It would be logical for the two of them to flip a shooter for a big man. “Please Advise…” still has D.J. White hanging around the roster, and decent enough guards sitting in his utility spots to hold the squad over until Manu is back (absolute fantasy stud. he was killing it before he got injured this year). As for “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience,” they have one player who has made more than 15 threes this season. While John Wall has a lot of upside, he hasn’t drained a three all season. Jodie Meeks and Brandon Rush have combined to hit 60 threes so far this year. It’s time to get Wesley Johnson out of that starting lineup, and use your depth at power forward and center to minimize the loss of Varejao, who has been a double-double machine, but is far from irreplaceable. Big Baby, Favors, Perkins, Hansborough, and Hawes (once he’s back) are more than enough to hold down your big man spots with the stud shot blockers you already have, and Greg Monroe who is on his way up the ladder to becoming a star fantasy player.

Free Boosie trades Stephen Jackson & Hedo Turkoglu to The Personal Fouls for Jameer Nelson & Mo Williams

This trade was a little bit tougher to develop than the first, but I thought that we needed to get Spike any help he could get after his abysmal start in the league, currently in 14th (better known as “Last”) place. After looking through the smorgasbord of categories “Free Boosie” is inept in, I came to the conclusion that the main problem was assists. In this trade, Free Boosie gains two players who are good in that category, while giving away one of his only categories with depth: 3 Pointers Made. I know on the surface it looks like a great deal for Spike, but Hedo Turkoglu has actually been by far the best player in this trade (6.23 Points on the “Spike League” Player Rater) where as Jameer Nelson has actually been the worst (0.86 Points on the “Spike League” Player Rater). It is a little bit of a buy low / sell high, but The Personal Fouls desperately needs 3 Pointers Made, and there’s always the possibility that Jameer Nelson’s continual injury issues once again resurface. However, for Spike, it’s more than worth it to take that chance because, what, worst case he finishes further in last? There’s nowhere to go but up.

Dino Radja trades Josh Smith to Delco Dirtbags for James Harden

One on one trades are always hard. I’m sure each of these respective owners loves the guy they own here—but with a swap, both teams could improve. Delco Dirtbags is sitting at 4th in the league, but has several teams nipping at its heels. Its two weakest categories are steals and blocks. Josh “Smitty” Smith contributes 3.2 “stocks” (steals+blocks), and his rebounds will surely help “Delco Dirtbags” get above average in that category. As for Harden, while he has been incredibly efficient, he provides only 1.0 “stocks” a game. His free throw shooting would be huge for Dino Radja, who rank 13th in the league in FT%, and 12th in the league in 3Pt, while being above average in steals and blocks. This is like the definition of a win-win trade. You’re both welcome.

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.

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Ask CraneKicker Volume VII: Who Should I Root For?

New to spikeeskin.com, our favorite Twitter all-star @CraneKicker answers your pleas for advice. If you’d like to ask a question for next week’s column, email to @cranekickchronicles@gmail.com.

Hello all and Happy New Year. Hope those gym memberships haven’t gone to waste yet. Welcome to a special NFL Playoffs edition of “Ask Cranekicker.”

With the formalities of the Wild Card round out of the way – Falcons stunk as usual, Tebow doing what Tebow does, all the home teams won – it’s time to tackle a question that Eagles fans have been trying to come to terms with for a few weeks now: Who should I root for in the playoffs?

Should you even care about the playoffs? Of course you should, football is the best. Should you go out and buy a new hat and jersey and basically front-run your way into February? That’s your call. I wouldn’t. But it’s nice to throw a little extra interest in one direction this time of year when your team is out of the playoffs because they blew like five 4th quarter leads and then everyone got hurt and then hey look we’re going to win the last four games but oops too late should’ve got a linebacker or three yo Ronnie Brown don’t throw the grenade bro….

Sorry. I got off on a tangent there. That’s on me. I have to do a better job. Here’s a look at who is still in the running for the Lombardi Trophy.



New England Patriots –

Why you should like them: Tom Brady is really, really, really good. Camera shots of Gisele will never get old. They aren’t the Jets.

Why you should hate them: Boston fans are the worst. They are the Patriots.

Best name on the roster: Zoltan Mesko (P)

Fun Fact: Kyle Arrington, who tied for the league lead in interceptions with seven, was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2008 following the draft. He was cut that September.

Likeability Grade: C-

Denver Broncos –

Why you should like them: Tebowmania – it is awesomely unexplainable and angers as many people as it thrills. It would be great to see Brian Dawkins get a ring.

Why you should hate them: Tebowmania – it is awesomely unexplainable and angers as many people as it thrills. They have hideous uniforms.

Best name on the roster: Elvis Dumervil (DE)

Fun Fact: In addition to Dawkins (when healthy), former Eagles Brodrick Bunkley and Joe Mays are starters on the Denver defense.

Likeability Grade: B+

Baltimore Ravens –

Why you should like them: Quarterback Joe Flacco (Audubon HS), tackle Bryant McKinnie (Woodbury HS) and linebacker Jameel McClain (George Washington HS) are all local products. Terrell Suggs went to Ball So Hard University. They have a marching band.

Why you should hate them: Their fans chant “move those chains, move those chains” after every first down. They have three mascots.

Best name on the roster: Haruki Nakamura (S)

Fun Fact: You’re all going to lose your minds if former Eagles assistant John Harbaugh wins a Super Bowl.

Likeability Grade: B-

Houston Texans –

Why you should like them:  They are playing with a third-string rookie QB. Jeff Garcia is on the roster. The original QB/Center tandem has local ties: Matt Schaub went to West Chester East High School and Chris Myers married a local girl and can be found in the summer down in Sea Isle City. Most importantly, their cheerleading squad has TWO SETS OF TWINS.

Why you should hate them: Arian Foster thinks Fantasy Football is stupid. The Oilers were much cooler.

Best name on the roster: Mister Alexander (LB)

Fun Fact: Texans safety Quintin Demps was the favorite to start at free safety for the Eagles in 2009, however he couldn’t beat out rookie fifth-round draft pick Macho Harris, who didn’t even play safety in college.

Likeability Grade: B+



Green Bay Packers –

Why you should like them: The Aaron Rodgers/BJ Raji State Farm Discount Double Check commercial is funny. Greg Jennings is the man. Home field advantage = more of this.

Why you should hate them: They won last year and are everything you wish your team was. You blame Casey Matthews for not being Clay Matthews.

Best name on roster: Jermichael Finley (TE)

Fun Fact: Andy Reid still wears his Packers Super Bowl ring all the time because it’s the only one he has.

Likeability Grade: B-

New York Giants –

Why you should like them: NO.

Why you should hate them: YES.

Best name on roster: Prince Amukamara (CB)

Fun Fact: Eli Manning is not Peyton Manning.

Likeability Grade: F

San Francisco 49ers –

Why you should like them: Longtime Eagles kicker David Akers broke the NFL single-season record for most field goals a season after the Eagles front office cast him away. You can use the “I loved Joe Montana as a kid” excuse.

Why you should hate them: Nobody likes aggressive handshakes. They came back from 20 points down against the Eagles to win, which ultimately played a huge factor in the Eagles missing the playoffs.

Best name on roster: NaVorro Bowman (LB)

Fun Fact: The father of 49ers Super Bowl hero John Taylor was my uncle’s mailman.

Likeability Grade: B


New Orleans Saints –

Why you should like them: Shrimp Creole. Gumbo. Po’ Boys. Muffaletta. Crawfish Etouffee. Jambalaya. Beignets.  Jazz. Beads. Huge Ass Beers to go. Drew Brees is awesome. Steve Gleason.

Why you should hate them: You’re still bitter about losing the Sheldon Brown game. Sean Payton kinda owns the Eagles.

Best name on roster: Isa Abdul-Quddus (S)

Fun Fact: Payton was once the Eagles quarterbacks coach and had the pleasure of working with talented gems such as Ty Detmer, Koy Detmer, Bobby Hoying and Rodney Peete.

Likeability Grade: B+

So there you have it. Choose your side. Who am I rooting for? I’m pulling for a Saints/Texans Super Bowl with Saints victory. That’s a long shot, but overall I am going with the Saints. Not much to dislike about that team or city. And (IMPORTANT) they have sweet uniforms.

REMINDER: I am still fielding questions on all topics, so ask away here.

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Ask CraneKicker Volume 5: The Ultimate Christmas List

New to spikeeskin.com, our favorite Twitter all-star @CraneKicker answers your pleas for advice. If you’d like to ask a question for next week’s column, email to @cranekickchronicles@gmail.com.

Hello friends of Spike Eskin.

I was going to talk about the Sixers mascot choices today but everyone else has already done that. I’d talk about the Eagles, but really who cares we know they’re going to win out just to piss everyone off and still miss the playoffs.  Big month ahead for the Flyers but we can get to that later. Phillies hot stove is starting to heat up. How about that Laynce Nix signing?!

Laynce. I can see it now – t-shirts made with the Lance chips logo but spelled with a “Y” in the middle.

Yeah that was my idea so whoever decides to steal it, make sure I get half the profits or I’m sending Krasno, Krasno and Onwudinjo on your asses.

To the questions!

(Just one question is being addressed this week – I wanted to give it the attention it truly deserved)

My mom keeps asking me what the hell I want for Christmas.  I’m a 33 year old, divorced dude who basically works all day, runs a couple nights a week, and just wants to watch sports and be left alone.  So, what the hell do I want for Christmas?


Without knowing anything more about you than what is listed above, I have devised the following Christmas list.

Nike Lunareclipse










I’m sure these are really good running shoes based on the reviews (4 ½ stars out of 5), but really all you need to care about is how they look, beings you are a fairly young, single man with a job. So you are what the ladies refer to as “available”. These sneaks are pretty fresh looking and are functional enough if you do indeed decide to go for a run. Or jog. I think they’re calling it jogging these days.

Bonus points for the color description – Anthracite. I’d have called it Neon Laffy Taffy, but that sounds much fancier.

$130 – available at: http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-315685/pgid-315687.

Hey speaking of running – it’s cold out there. Why not keep warm with this stylish Nike Therma Fit Training Hat?









ure, you can find it with other logos or without a logo at all, but I think you should go with the Army one. When people see you exercising while wearing this hat they will basically think you are a bad ass. Couple that with some neon anthracite shoes and you’re well on your way to being declared awesome.

$22 – available at: http://goarmysports.cbscollegestore.com/

Enough about exercising, you can’t stay out being the coolest runner in the neighborhood all night people will start to think you’re weird. You should probably keep some good reading material available at home to help you unwind and/or bring to the bathroom for a quick read. But not TOO long in there (see Ask CK – Vol. 4 for further info on that). Mad Magazine is a great choice. Entertaining, informative and I can guarantee none of your friends get it delivered to their house.










$19.99 for one year – available at: https://ssl.drgnetwork.com/ecom/dcc/app/live/promosub?org=dcc&publ=MD&key=IWBMD01

Now THESE are pretty cool. Mr. T In Your Pocket. A few Christmas’s ago I bought a bunch and gave them out to my friends. Big hit. You should probably have one too. Shut up fool.











$10 – available at: http://www.80stees.com/products/Mr-T-Pocket-Keychain.asp?gclid=CIu4soOi7qwCFchM4AodcUIRdA

I believe you are a Philly sports fan and the Winter Classic is coming up. Since you like staying home I won’t suggest tickets, so maybe something to wear while you watch the game? Flyers Winter Classic Bullies Tee.










$27.99 – available at: http://shop.nhl.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12288775

Booze? Of course booze. Johnnie Walker Green Label. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.











$55 – available at: the liquor store

And finally…

Anyone who follows me on Twitter has undoubtedly seen the championing of this next item for as long as I’ve had it. It was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received and I appear to be the only person around lucky enough to own one since I am the only one who ever talks about it. LL BEAN RUGBY ROBE.










$79 – available at: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/70799?page=mens-rugby-robe-fleece-lined

That should just about cover it. Hope you’re not on the naughty list.

Keep the questions coming here.


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Ask CraneKicker Volume 4: A Blue Penis Is The Cure For The Common Cold

New to spikeeskin.com, our favorite Twitter all-star @CraneKicker answers your pleas for advice. If you’d like to ask a question for next week’s column, email to @cranekickchronicles@gmail.com.

Good afternoon.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I did. I ate a lot. But then I woke up on Friday with a pretty sweet bronchial infection that included a side of supersnot and extra coughing, so my leftovers were somewhat tasteless – not to mention I ran around outside all day, which didn’t help matters.

Here’s how I attempted to take care of my symptoms since I hate going to the doctor:

Friday – Mucinex Fast-Max syrup. I kid you not, this tastes like the pink stuff you used to drink as a kid when you got an ear infection. Remember that medicine? IT WAS SO GOOD. Tasted like bubblegum married ice cream. I was really excited when I found out the Mucinex product tasted so great. It works pretty well too.

Saturday – Multi-vitamins and Neti Pot. You don’t Neti Pot? Step your game up, the Neti Pot is magical. I don’t care if it looks like I’m sticking a blue penis into my nose, it does wonders. It gets ALL the crap out.

Sunday – Some over the counter stuff I picked up at Hess while buying the new Hess truck for my nephew. It didn’t work, but the Hess truck is totally sweet. It has a truck and a race car this year. Although the $27 price point is a bit ridiculous for two plastic toys that don’t even have remote controls.

Monday – Robitussin DM Max Cough + Chest Congestion.  It’s working ok. I felt pretty good overnight. Easy to swill from the bottle. (I ran out of the Mucinex)

Tuesday – Neti Pot and General Tso’s chicken.  Felt pretty good this morning after a Neti Pot in the shower. General Tso’s kept me going through the early afternoon. If this trend continues I doubt I will go to the doctor on Friday as planned (yes, a week later).

I could go on about the nose peen all day, but I have questions to answer. Leggo.

CK:  Wine coolers or Zima?

Thanks. – From Mike Tolen

The last time I had Zima was after my 8th grade graduation party. My friends and I snuck out and met up in the woods. Somehow there was Zima there. I think a sister or cousin bought it. We drank Zima on a trestle for a few hours and probably acted like idiots and thought we were way cooler than we should have. I recall one kid slipping through the train tracks up to his knee and scraping his entire leg. Not sure how he explained that one to his parents, but that wasn’t even the worst thing that happened. At some point after drinking some Zima I threw up on my friend. It was bright red. All pizza rolls I think. Really gross. Needless to say word spread quickly and we all got in trouble just in time for summer to start. So my answer to your question will always be wine coolers.

What’s the inspiration behind the Crane Kick Chronicles? And if you could have a cranekickoff with any three people in history, who would they be? From Andrew O’brien

There is no inspiration really. I think I’ve been asked that a few times and given a different answer each time. I think my dad did it randomly once and I took a picture. I tend to blame the idea on him but really it started out of nowhere as a joke. Next thing I know people are craning left and right. And this was way before planking or owling or Tebowing. Seriously I have an email folder full of random people doing crane kicks that I just forget to post. I guess I should do that more often. It’s funny sometimes.

Three people in history to do a cranekickoff? Hmmmm. I think I’d like to see Manute Bol do a crane kick…and maybe Abe Lincoln… annnnnnd Martha Stewart.

And finally….

My question is: “How long is too long to admire a dump you just took?” From Ryan @Petzrawr

The only thing I admire is my score on High Noon. A few games on the iPhone and I’m out. Anything longer than that is too long in my book.

Until next week, send your questions here.

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Ask CraneKicker Volume 3: Twilight, Harry Potter and Eva Mendes

I’m a little side tracked this week. I’m currently in training (mentally) for the Man of the Year competition. It’s basically the yearly Olympics for immature adults – i.e. my friends and I. There’s a trophy awarded to the champion and all entrants get a commemorative shirt to go along with a pulled groin. I came in second last year in the inaugural event. Maybe third. I forget, but I know I was in the lead heading into the home stretch and closed terribly. I plan on winning this year despite some of my stronger events being replaced with some new, completely unsafe tasks.

Here’s the schedule for the 2011 MOTY –

Outdoor Events:

Obstacle course
100 meter dash
Home run Derby
Knife throwing

Indoor Events:

40 oz. dash (beer chugging)
Cool hand Luke (who can keep their hand in a bucket of ice the longest)
Push-up contest
Beer pong tournament

Did I mention this takes place the day after Thanksgiving? Should be fun throwing up all day. Wish me luck.

If you had to be trapped in an elevator for 48 hours with any 3 people, who would they be, and why? (James Franco is not an allowable answer.) – From Matt (@shmeelz)

I’ve thought about this for way too long.  I’ve decided to wing it because I want to go eat something asap.

Here goes.

  1. The dude who shot Osama bin Laden – I am still really intrigued by that mission. I think after the first 24 hours he would start to loosen up with the confidential information. I would want to know every detail from start to finish of exactly what happened. Things like:

What music was playing to pump you guys up for the mission? (AC/DC prolly)

Were there any weird animals in the compound? (Three horned goats?!?)

When you landed back at the base was there a king’s feast with giant turkey drumsticks and growlers of beer? (I made that one up in my head because it sounds fun)

What was bin Laden wearing when you shot him? (please say tighty whities and a Mets headband)

Would he tell me the truth? Who knows? But 48 hours is a frigging long time and I’d need some solid story telling. I think he’d lay it all out there eventually. And by eventually I mean Eva Mendes will be able to get it out of him.

2. Eva Mendes. Self-explanatory. She’s super hot. (Also: see above)

3. Lindsay Lohan. I’m 100% certain that she carries a fifth of booze in her purse at all times. That will come in              handy. Also, she will probably go crazy at some point around hour 28 and hopefully someone will hear her                    yelling and speed up the rescue efforts.

GO. What is the difference between Harry Potter and Twilight?  Despite
having NEVER SEEN HARRY POTTER. LAME…. – From Jen A. Miller @jerseyshorejen

It’s true. I have never seen Harry Potter. I may or may not have seen Twilight.

Ok – I’ve seen three of them. But NOT in the movies. That’s for nerds. I’ve only watched them by accident while clicking around on the TV. Except for that time I was asked to get one on Blu-Ray from Netflix. (The scenery looked really great in HD and the flying wolves and vampires were totally cool and don’t even get me started on that Bella Swan…she’s so mysterious)

Anyway, this is how I see it:

Harry Potter is basically a bunch of 6th graders who play polo on broomsticks and practice wicca, while Twilight is basically a bunch of high schoolers who play baseball in the middle of the woods and skip school when the weather is nice. That’s really it. Sure there are monsters in both, but from what I’ve heard the monsters in Harry Potter are basically ripped off Orcs from Lord of the Rings. Actually, I just picture Harry Potter as a whole being a knock off of Lord of the Rings. If Lord of the Rings is Top Gun, Harry Potter is Iron Eagle. Think about it. JK Rowling… JRR Tolkien. Voldemort… Sarumon. Hogwarts….Mordor. Total rip.

Meanwhile, Twilight is more of a Lost Boys prequel. But with Native American wolves and the guy from Can’t Hardly Wait who now has a bunch of emo kids. By the way, he looks way too young to have all of those kids. Not to mention he’s entirely too sickly looking to be a doctor. I wouldn’t trust that guy. He looks like he has tuberculosis. Did you know that dude was married to Kelly Taylor from 90210 in real life? Yeah me neither.

So to recap: Harry Potter aka Iron Eagle II: The Craft < Twilight aka Lost Boys with Wolves < Lord of the Rings.

Hey CK, you want my Aunt’s pumpkin muffin recipe? It’s really good.


Max L.

YUP. With cream cheese icing. Make it happen.

Until next time. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and please be safe. And by safe I mean stay the hell away from Wal-Mart on Friday.


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Ask CraneKicker Volume 2: How To Stalk A C-List Actress

New to spikeeskin.com, our favorite Twitter all-star @CraneKicker answers your pleas for advice. If you’d like to ask a question for next week’s column, email to @cranekickchronicles@gmail.com.

Hi again.

I have to admit, I basically expected this space to consist of bad jokes and my opinion on nonsense for the most part, but here we are just two weeks in and a pretty important request for advice lands in the “Ask Cranekicker” mailbox, which is great. Not saying I’m qualified or anything, just saying that it’s important to communicate and I will always try to point someone in the right direction who isn’t feeling so great about what’s going on in their life. Why? I’m nice sometimes I guess. (editor’s note: this qualifies as a disclaimer – spike) Here we go.

First time, long time.

My celebrity crush isn’t your standard Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba. My celebrity crush happens to be Party of Five’s Lacey Chabert. My love for her stems back to 1995, back when I was 11, back when Sid Fernandez was anchoring the Phillies rotation. I’ve seen her mainstream movies (Mean Girls), a TV movie where she played a quadriplegic, and even a god awful straight-to-TV, Cinderella-themed film: Elevator Girl (she carried a terrible script and lousy cast). Ms. Chabert is shorter than me (not easy to do) and around my age. I have never heard of her dating a fellow celebrity, which I, perhaps wishfully or maybe just pathetically, interpret as her preferring “regular guys.”

I would walk to the ends of this earth for this girl, Mr. Kicker. So my question is this: How do I meet Lacey Chabert? – From Dave @wheresbenrivera

Good old Gretchen Wieners? I like this celebrity crush for a few reasons. For starters, Lacey Chabert is hot and has a sweet lisp. Really that’s enough reason but if you need more, she seems nice, has a bunch of cash and probably (maybe) knows how to cook French-Creole cuisine. You really don’t see or hear about her on the circuit all that much and if you do some Googling there’s basically nothing in terms of relationship info. So either she flies way under the radar or she dates dudes that TMZ and Ryan Seacrest could care less about. This is potentially good news for you.

Now, being that she is a celebrity, I wouldn’t recommend trying to meet her without some sort of middleman. Most celebrity hookups are arranged by business managers or agents (which is a really sweet deal if you ask me – it’s like passing notes). So have your people call her people. Who are your people? Your mom probably, but that’s ok, women are excellent matchmakers.

Who are her people?

Lacey Chabert’s Managers:

Aron Giannini or Jeff Golenberg

The Collective

9100 Wilshire Boulevard

Suite 700 W

Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Phone: 310-288-8181

Lacey Chabert’s Agent:

Sara Ramaker


360 North Crescent Drive

North Building

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Phone: 310-288-8000

Lacey Chabert’s Attorney:

Fred Toczek


10880 Wilshire Boulevard

Suite 2070

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone: 310-441-8000

Let’s hope that last one doesn’t get involved but I listed it just in case. Good luck!

Say you had one “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” wish like in those commercials. What would you use it on? – From TH (@tholzerman)           

I can’t stand traffic. I’ve sat on the Schuylkill Expressway on many occasions terribly frustrated because not only is the traffic hellish, but people in the Greater Philadelphia area really know how to compound the situation by driving like a-holes. Merging and lane changing and brake slamming and cell phone talking line crossing etc, etc, etc. You all suck at driving. I suck at driving. WE suck at driving. It’s part of the game around these parts.

Which brings me to my State Farm wish. I wish my car could change into a helicopter at the push of a button. How incredible would that be? Traffic jam? See ya. I’m gonna push this button and a propeller is going to pop out of my roof and I’m going to fly home. Would I fly all of the time? No. I don’t want to be a pilot. I just like shortcuts. Would everyone else have helicopter cars too? Nope. Just me. It’s my wish. I don’t care about how anyone else gets home. I’m going Airwolf.

Dear Cranekicker,

I am in a hellish situation in which I have to go on cyber school since I am on disability. I’m very upset because I am at a Partial Hospital Program and I have a bad case of IBS, a condition in which if you get stressed out, you alternate between getting diarrhea and constipation. You can also get pain in your stomach. Anyway, kids flip out since it’s a psych classroom and I need to wait a couple of weeks until I start cyber school. I am sick of having to go to the bathroom when kids act out. My mom really is upset with me because I have Asperger’s Syndrome, very bad anxiety, and a mood disorder, which is a very bad combo. I act out every morning at school in order to attempt to get suspended, it hasn’t worked. What should I do about this dilemma? I have no idea anymore. I tell them day in and day out that the program is getting to me severly. Thanks for your help in advance. – From kylkoneski

I’m sorry to hear about what sounds like a pretty uncomfortable situation for you, but the good news is it sounds like it’s going to get better soon.

My first piece of advice to you would be to forget about trying to get suspended. I know you think getting out of there sooner would help you feel better about things right now, but really, getting yourself into trouble will ultimately make your mood and anxiety worsen. You’ll have to answer a bunch of questions you won’t feel like answering and then who knows what else could come out of it. You don’t want to risk the cyber school being taken away or pushed back; it’s only a few weeks away and then you’ll have a fresh start.

Also, does this school have any counselors that you can really talk to about how you’re feeling? Opening up to someone who is qualified (more qualified than me, anyway) will really be helpful, but you have to be honest and don’t be embarrassed.

As for the kids in your class, forget about the ones who are giving you a hard time. Don’t allow them to bring you down. If anything, show them that you accept your bathroom situation for what it is and continue to go about your business. If someone acts out the next time you have to go, say something that will show them it doesn’t bother you…. “Yeah I know I go a lot… just be happy we’re not going on a road trip together any time soon.”

Most importantly, just remember that there is a light at the end of the next few weeks. Keep your head up and keep talking to people about how you feel.

That’s all for now. Send more stuff in and I’ll be glad to share my thoughts again next week.

PS – Steve Smith stinks.

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