Archive for September, 2012

Who is the real J. Peterman? An exclusive @burnSTYLEr investigation.

What’s a good sign that Seinfeld remains as the greatest TV show of all time? When you’re still discovering interesting tidbits 14 years after it ended.

Quick back story for those who don’t watch or aren’t as familiar with Seinfeld. In the later seasons, Elaine works for a man by the name of J. Peterman, who owns his own mail-order clothing company. Peterman, played by actor John O’Hurley, is an egotistical, eccentric boss with some of the funniest lines in the whole show. He is definitely one of my favorite non-recurring characters.

So, back to the story. Yesterday, my good friend @bairet tweeted the following:

Having not read the last part of his tweet carefully enough, I clicked on the link under the assumption that the J. Peterman site was a parody. To test my theory, I clicked on the “Hats” links in both the men and women’s sections, expecting to find an amusing “Urban Sombrero” for sale. To my disappointment, there was no Urban Sombrero to be found. That led the following manual RT with comment:

Bairet played along and responded with the following:

A parody J. Peterman website without ANY sort of reference to two of the more popular catalog items referenced in the show? Why even bother? This led me to wonder…was the site actually a parody? Was J. Peterman a legitimate clothing line? Did they steal the company name from Seinfeld, or did Seinfeld take a legitimate company name and use it in the show? These questions ate away at me for a good part of the afternoon. I  HAD TO know the answers. So I did what any curious, internet-savvy person would do: I sent an e-mail to the company.


A friend of mine sent me a link to your website, and I had a question that I was hoping you could help me with. Being a huge Seinfeld fan, I actually thought this website was a parody after the clothing company Elaine is employed by in the popular sitcom. However, after discovering that neither the Urban Sombrero nor the Himalayan Walking Boot were listed on the site, I realized that this was indeed a legitimate clothing line and not a parody at all.

So, this begs the question. Is the name of your company purely coincidental? How long has your company been around? Did it precede Seinfeld? Did Seinfeld borrow your company’s name for use in their TV series? Or did you acquire the rights from Seinfeld to use J. Peterman as the name of your company? I realize these are very random questions completely out of the norm, but I am dying to know the answers. I appreciate your assistance.

Thank you!

Tyler Burns

Less than an hour later, I received the following response from J. Peterman customer service.

Dear Mr. Burns,

Thank you for contacting us. We are in fact, a real company. J. Peterman (John Peterman) actually started out by selling one item, the infamous Duster, after getting several compliments on the one he wore. So, from there he slowly started selling more and more, and actually finding the items he would be selling by traveling.

Me personally being a HUGE Seinfeld fan, I decided to look up a bit more on the subject a while back. It turns out, Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld took interest in the J. Peterman Company, and wore his clothing etc. So, They actually made the first episode with the actor J. Peterman based on the actual John Peterman and his catalog. So, to answer your question,The J. Peterman Company was around before the show. One interesting fact about the actor John O’ Hurley and the actual company is that he is now, an investor in the company. Or so I have been told. I actually found a small interview with John Peterman if you would like to watch that. It basically explains the correlation between the real J. Peterman and the show. Hope this reply answers your questions! Feel free to contact us with any further questions, Seinfeld related or not!



[Note: before going any further, make sure you watch the video that Emily linked to. It’s mind-blowing!]

First off, LOOK AT THAT DUSTER JACKET! It’s beautiful, and TOTALLY J. Peterman. Man, I want one. Second, how incredible of a response was that? Not only is J. Peterman an actual clothing line, but John Peterman is an actual person! And John O’Hurley was so engrossed in the Peterman role that he is supposedly an investor in the company? How fantastic is that?

Maybe I’m a total Seinfeld nerd, but I cannot express how happy this little factoid has made me. I consider myself to be a huge Seinfeld fan, yet I had not heard of any of this before. I could be wrong, but I would say that a very small percentage of Seinfeld fans know about this, so I had to put it into a blog post to share with the world. I hope I’ve been able to brighten your day a little.

Thursday Night Football: Good for the Game?

My favorite time of year is upon us: football season. More specifically, NFL football. When I first heard that there would be games on Thursday night starting in Week 2 of this season, I was pretty excited. Football = good, more football = better, right? Well, I don’t know about that. A recent conversation with my good friend Jordan Burkholder got me thinking that we may have a “too much of a good thing” situation with the emergence of Thursday night games every week. Here’s why:

1. Thursday Night Football dilutes the overall NFL experience.

Which day of the week first comes to mind when you think of the NFL? Sunday, right? Now, it’s not so simple. We had a Wednesday night game to open the season, a full slate of Sunday afternoon games, Sunday night, Monday night, and now every Thursday night through Week 15, with some Saturday games to wrap up the season and in the opening rounds of the playoffs. Look, I LOVE football, but there was just something about the exclusivity of NFL Sunday (and Monday) that I really liked. Last year, Thursday Night Football didn’t start until Week 10, so I think it felt like more of a treat once it finally came. This year, the “specialness” just isn’t there, getting hit with football four times a week right out of the gate (I consider Sunday afternoon and Sunday night to be different sessions). Would the Olympic Games be as special if they were every year? Would Christmas be as special if it were every month? You get my point. I think we’ve spread ourselves too thin here.

2. The quality of Thursday night games is just awful.

I mean, look at this lineup. There is no doubt about it: it’s PUTRID. I didn’t realize what we’d be in for this year until I actually sat down and looked at the schedule. Below is a list of every Thursday night game of the 2012 season. I have color-coded all of the games based on how I perceive their quality to be. Green = good, no color = OK, red = bad.

Week 2: Bears at Packers

Week 3: Giants at Panthers

Week 4: Browns at Ravens

Week 5: Cardinals at Rams

Week 6: Steelers at Titans

Week 7: Seahawks at 49ers

Week 8: Buccaneers at Vikings

Week 9: Chiefs at Chargers

Week 10: Colts at Jaguars

Week 11: Dolphins at Bills

Week 12: Thanksgiving, thus no NFL Network games (CBS, FOX, NBC)

Week 13: Saints at Falcons

Week 14: Broncos at Raiders

Week 15: Bengals at Eagles

I’m seeing two “good” games out of this lineup, one of which (Bears at Packers) turned out to be horrible. Of the “bad” games I’ve labeled above, the combined record of these teams last season was 67-125. SIXTY-SEVEN AND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE. A sizzling 0.349!  I’m sure there were a lot of limitations and scheduling hurdles when determining this lineup, but this is a very poor slate of games for prime time. I think I would have rather these games been flushed out on a Sunday afternoon. CARDINALS/RAMS? DOLPHINS/BILLS? Come on. These games have no business being in prime time. That’s what Sunday Ticket is for.

3. NFL Network’s broadcast leaves much to be desired.

Sunday Night Football on NBC has set the bar in terms of how a broadcast should be done, in my opinion. Sure, they’ve got a big advantage with the legendary Al Michaels and the play-no-favorites Chris Collinsworth in the booth, but that’s just the beginning. Sunday Night Football is just a really solid production from top to bottom. And have you seen their slate of games? My gosh. Have a look for yourself. Find me a bad game in there.

As for NFL Network’s effort on Thursday night, yikes. Mike Mayock is the only bright spot on that broadcast. He’s very smart and adds a lot to the color commentary. That said, the guys in the studio are simply unbearable. Rich Eisen does his best, but when you’ve got three loudmouths in Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, and the ESPN recyclable Michael Irvin, it’s just too much. And is Warren Sapp still around? He’s worse than all of those guys combined.

4. Thursday night games make managing a fantasy football team increasingly difficult.

If you think you’ve had to make some tough lineup decisions already, just wait another week or two when you’re juggling more injuries. Do you roll with your healthy backup player who’s playing in a bad matchup on Thursday night, or do you roll the dice that your stud listed as Questionable will be ready to go on Sunday? I’m from the school of “play it safe”, so I will undoubtedly be leaving plenty of points on the bench this year by burning my roster spots too early. We’ve only had this issue for a few weeks in years’ past when Thursday night games didn’t start until late in the season, so this could be a maddening year for fantasy football owners.

5. Speaking of injuries, how hard are the Thursday night games on the players?

You’d have to ask them, but it seems like playing a game on only three days’ rest is a tall order. The Packers got beat up in a late game against the Niners in Week 1, then traveled back home to prepare for a huge game against the Bears just four days later. Had their bodies recovered? Would Greg Jennings have been able to play if he had three more days’ rest before a Sunday matchup?

The NFL is a business. I get that. And I’m sure there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that I’m not aware of. I’m just an armchair quarterback calling it like I see it, but from where I’m sitting, Thursday Night Football is not good for the game. The NFL thinks we want football 24/7. Am I in the minority when I say that I’d prefer to see quality football over the course of two days each week, just like the good ol’ days?

Highlights of the BMW Championship

Is there anything that could possibly upstage the opening weekend of the NFL? Well, being within arm’s reach of Tiger Woods is a start.

I just got back from my weekend working the 2012 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. I signed up to volunteer for the event over two years ago, so it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. There ended up being a huge waiting list to work the event, so I’m glad I jumped at the opportunity when I did.

I had trouble getting anyone else to sign up with me, because a) the event was so far off, and b) you had to pay to volunteer ($135). This may sound steep, but when you consider that a day pass was $75 and a week pass was $195, it’s actually a steal. All volunteers get:

  • A logo’d windbreaker (seriously high quality, with a $145 price tag)
  • Two logo’d dri-fit golf polos ($68 price tag on each)
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Entry to the grounds the entire week of the tournament, even when you aren’t working
  • Preferred parking with separate volunteer shuttle access (which was huge once it started getting crowded)
  • Free food and drinks
  • Unique chance to get closer to the players than you would as a spectator

Once my volunteer application was accepted, we were given a chance to pick our top three areas that we’d like to work. There were a lot of options, with anything from concessions to driving high-rollers/execs to and from hotels the airport in BMWs. I wanted to work an area that would get me on the course and as close to the players as possible, so I chose the Marshal position. Marshals are responsible for keeping the crowd under control, spotting balls, etc. Marshals are stationed on the tee box, along the fairway, and near the green. I was assigned to hole 7, a 454-yard par 4.

My shift on Saturday was on the green, which was OK. The downside was that I was pretty far away from the players. I couldn’t hear much chatter between the players and their caddies, and my spot wasn’t much better than what the gallery had. I had heard talk that the 7th tee was the best spot to work because you had a nice view of the par 3 6th green, and the 7th tee box was tucked back in a wooded area so it was pretty much just you and the players. I arrived to the course extra early on Sunday to make sure I got that spot. Fortunately, I got it. Here was my view from the 7th tee:

My job as a Marshal on the tee was simple. I had a bright yellow paddle, so as each pairing approached the tee box, I would wave the paddle to signal the fairway Marshal that balls were about to be flying. He would signal back that the fairway was clear, giving the players the green light to swing away. Once the ball was struck, I would then use the paddle to signal whether drive was heading straight, left, or right.

The leader board heading into the final round of the BMW Championship was unbelievable. The only players that I cared to see who had already passed through hole 7 before my shift started were Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler. Some of the notables that would be passing through hole 7 during my shift: Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell, Bo Van Pelt, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and Vijay Singh. Wow!

I watched each pair tee off on the par 3 6th, sink their puts, then I’d jog up to the 7th tee and watch the players approach the box. It was interesting to see each players’ demeanor as they approached the tee box (often dictated by their performance on the 6th). Most were all business. Some strategized with their caddies. Since each pairing was a separate storyline of sorts, I’ll just list some of the highlights:

  • After teeing off on 7, Luke Donald took a Ziplock out of his bag and pulled out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m sure plenty of players carry food with them, but this is something I had never seen on TV before, so it struck me as being pretty funny. Did someone make it for him? Did he make it in his hotel room? If so, does he bring peanut butter, jelly, and bread with him to tournaments? All questions I wish I had answers to. One of the best golfers in the world isn’t too good for a PB&J.
  • Tiger bogeyed the 6th, so he was extremely unhappy as he approached the 7th tee.  He took the head cover off of his driver and slammed it down on his bag. I didn’t hear any swearing, but he was hot. Dustin Johnson was first on the tee, so when Tiger was off to the side doing a practice swing, the head of his driver came within about 3 feet of my chest. I was watching him the whole time so I saw it coming, but it was closer than I thought it would be. Definitely a unique perspective that I’ll never forget.
  • Before Graeme McDowell teed off, his caddy turned to one of the other Marshals and asked him if he had any gum. He was disappointed to hear that he did not.
  • I watched 34 players tee off on 7. The only player out of that entire group that acknowledged the gallery whatsoever was Phil Mickelson. He had quite a following being in the final pairing with Vijay Singh, so when the crowd started cheering his name as he approached the box, he tipped his cap several times and smiled. That was cool to see. This isn’t to say that the other players were rude by any means. Most were just very focused and had their head down most of the time. Which is fine. Everyone approaches the game differently. But I was impressed by Phil.
  • By far the highlight of the day was a funny little encounter I had with Adam Scott. By the time Scott’s pairing made its way to 7, I had a nice system going with the fairway Marshal. Once both players were on the box, I’d raise my paddle to see if the fairway was clear, and he’d immediately wave his flag back to indicate that all was clear. However, when Scott was lining up his shot, the fairway Marshal never waved back at me. I wasn’t sure what he was doing. Then, the fairway Marshal started waving his hands around like a maniac. We were all puzzled. Adam Scott looks back at me and goes, “What does that mean?” Instantly, I felt this hot sweat come over my body, as both players, their caddies, and every person in the gallery were looking at me and awaiting an answer. I replied, “I think that means to hold on.” Scott seemed to agree, so we waited another 30 seconds or so. The guy was still waving his arms around, then suddenly walked off the fairway. Even more confused now, Scott’s caddy Steve Williams turns to me and says, “I think we’re probably good.” As if anything I would say next would hold any weight whatsoever, I agreed and said, “Yes, we’re clear.” Adam then stepped up to the tee and crushed his drive, so all was well. I was seriously relieved.

Working the BMW Championship was a unique sports experience that I’ll never forget. It really is the best way to see a golf tournament. Pay a little more than a spectator, get all-access to the course for the entire week, and get up close and personal with the greatest players in the world. This experience definitely ranks toward the top of any sporting event I’ve ever been to.

Draft Recap

My favorite fantasy football league drafted today, and it was as good a time as ever.  I usually follow up the draft with a lengthy analysis of everyone’s picks and season outlook, which I just finished.  I spent enough time on it that I thought I’d make it a blog post, even though most of you have no idea who these people are.  Enjoy (as best you can).  I’ll include screen caps of everyone’s team in case that is of interest.  Note:  this is a 10-person PPR league with yardage bonuses.  Everyone had two keepers going into the draft.


Great draft today, all. It lived up to expectations and I had a lot of fun. I’m always curious to see how everyone’s team stacks up, so I thought I’d take a few minutes (OK, probably over an hour) to pour over everyone’s team and distribute my analysis. I was going to start by tallying up the projected fantasy points for everyone’s team, but it wasn’t working. Some people have 3 QBs which skews the totals, and others have no K or DST which also inflates their total score. So I scrapped that and have opted to go with a team-by-team narrative instead. These are in no particular order.

Rosenbaum (Keepers: Michael Vick, Ray Rice):

You really flipped the script on everyone by keeping Vick over Mathews. I know Leeper’s draft strategy was definitely turned on its head as a result of this move. But after seeing QBs fly off the board in the first round, this was probably a good move. Nobody went more bold in round 1 than Rosey in grabbing a 2nd QB early. Romo certainly has plenty of weapons, but injuries are running rampant in Dallas these days and he could get the crap beat out of him with that shaky O-line. There’s nothing to say about Rice. Your WRs definitely aren’t sexy, but should do the job. As long as Harvin takes an Excedrin before each game, you should be fine on that front. I think you’ll be starting Lance Moore before long; that was a great value pick. BJE is not an ideal PPR back, but his goal line carries could pick up that slack. Your have some decent RB depth in the event that BJE doesn’t pan out.


Jade (Keepers: Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster)

I will admit, your team looks decent on paper now that I see it assembled. But that draft…man. The look of shock in the room when we heard you take Hernandez with your first rounder…PALED in comparison to the look of horror when you took AKERS mid-draft. Truly baffling. That said, let’s get back to your team. Rodgers and Foster…what more is there to say there? Absolute studs. Murray could be a nice #2 (especially where you drafted him), but there is risk there. Your WRs: I mean, yeah, not bad. Colston will be sneaky good this year. It’s impossible to know whether Cruz will repeat this year (as an Eli owner, I’m hoping he does), and Decker has a high ceiling with Manning at the helm. If RGIII is this year’s Cam Newton, your team will compete, but I’m seeing a one game over .500 season for you, just missing the playoffs.


Merz (Keepers: Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson):

This team is an enigma. I just don’t know what to think. I really do think CJ will bounce back this year, so no problems there. That said, I think Andre is past his prime. You’ll be lucky to get 9-10 games out of him this year. Bradshaw isn’t a bad #2, but I could see Wilson eating into his production. That, and I think the Giants will throw a lot. I think Gates will have a big year, but again, there’s always injury risk there. As for your QBs, I would have to say that this is probably up there with the weakest tandem in our league. If Rosenbaum’s theory of QBs winning the league holds true, this team will struggle.


Burns (Keepers: Drew Brees, LeSean McCoy):

For the third consecutive year, this team is anchored by the trusty Brees and McCoy tandem. I just love these guys so much. As for the draft, I think I did OK. All of the studs I was hoping I’d have a chance at in the first round (Sproles, Charles, Graham) were taken in front of me, so I decided to pull the trigger on Gronk. I like this pick and think it will pay off even if he regresses from his historical season. If he doesn’t pan out, guess what…I’ve got the other huge target for Brady in Mr. Brandon Lloyd. He is going to be special. My RB2 spot is a concern, but I tried going heavy on RBs late in the draft to give me someone to fall back on if Martin is a bust. I think the Brees/Eli combo again this year is going to be tough for many teams to overcome. I give myself a really good shot at winning this year.


Sean (Keepers: Cam Newton, Larry Fitzgerald):

This is a typical Sean team: full of guys I don’t like. Newton, Lynch, Gore, Floyd—more chances of bust than boom here. I can’t like your first pick enough, though. Graham is a stud. Fitzgerald will be Fitzgerald: somehow producing with abysmal quarterback play. Concerns: six WRs is just excessive, especially when I view three of them completely droppable. Two TEs is also one too many. I view your RB situation as pretty fragile. You got Gore very, very late, so you don’t have much to lose there. I suppose you got his handcuff, but is Kendall Hunter any good? I don’t know. LaMichael James could wind up being their guy by mid-season. Who knows. Anyway, you are on thin ice, my friend. Sub-.500 season coming up for you.


Brennan (Keepers: Matt Forte, Roddy White):

Man, I really like your RBs. If Bush and Freddy can stay healthy (and on the field, in Bush’s case), I think you’ve got one of the best 3-RB packs in the league. You did the best you could at QB. There wasn’t much out there and it would have been ugly had you passed on Rivers in the first round. This is another team with six WRs, so you may find yourself scrambling for RB depth should an injury come about. Britt was a nice late pick; he could blow up. I think Brennan could be sniffing a playoff spot this year. Carry him Mr. Forte, indeed.


Leeper (Keepers: Peyton Manning, A.J. Green):

Clearly coming in with the weakest keeper situation, Leeper had his work cut out for him in the draft. Talking nothing but Julio Jones/Jamaal Charles all week with his #2 overall pick, Leeper’s world was rocked when Rosenbaum opted to throw Mathews back into the pool. Frankly, I was shocked when Leeper took Mathews. The injury risk alone would have had me passing on him in the 9th spot had he fallen to me, but I have never been much of a Mathews fan. He could be a Forte-type PPR back if he can stay on the field, so maybe it’ll turn out to be a great pick. Time will tell. I think getting Steven Jackson with his next pick was a steal. He’s no longer sexy, but the guy just gets it done and snags a good amount of balls. Great pick there. WRs: top two are very, very nice. I’m telling you guys: Antonio Brown will be a top 12 PPR WR this year. This guy is the black Wes Welker. The Steelers didn’t just pay him $42 million in the offseason for nothing. They are going to use him a lot. I was pretty disappointed with the Finley pick. He was a trendy name a couple years ago, but I have moved on from him. I think Leeper has a good balance of WRs/RBs. My guess is he’ll ditch his 3rd QB after week 1, but for now, this team is much improved over last year.


Souder (Keepers: Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden):

Those RBs…if these guys stay healthy and live up to expectations, wow. Souder had no choice but to take Stafford with his top pick. Stafford will be Souder’s rock and will be keeper-worthy for years to come. I don’t mind the gamble on Richardson. Souder’s WR core will not jump out of the page at you, but they could be solid. I will say that all four of these guys tend to lean on the big play as opposed to a heavy volume of receptions, so there is some boom-or-bust risk here given the PPR format. But I think there will be plenty of weeks where they all put it together and give Souder big points. Gerhart was a very nice handcuff, but I really hope you won’t need him. The only major concern I have here (aside from AP’s knee) is the QB2 situation. Alex Smith didn’t make too many mistakes last year (only 5 INTs), but he had 9 games where he threw for under 200 yards. 11 games where he threw 0 or 1 TD. In all honesty, this is the one team where playing a QB in that OP position is not a no-brainer. Souder will need to get creative here. Aside from that OP spot, this is a greatly improved team that will make strides. Bold prediction…wait for it…a playoff spot for Souder this year.


Andrew (Keepers: Maurice Jones-Drew, Wes Welker):

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when Jarred was poo-pooing on Welker being a legitimate keeper going into this season. The man led the league in receptions last year by 22 catches! 2nd in receiving yards too. Welker has a doctorate in PPR. And MJD…man, how lucky did Andrew get here? MJD announces his return THE MORNING OF the draft. The fantasy gods were smiling on Andrew today. To the draft: I have no qualms with your top pick here. I was salivating at the thought of Charles at #9, but alas, he didn’t fall. Great pick. Dez Bryant’s ceiling is sky-high, so he is bound to break out, right? I hate Shonn Greene, but as a #3 RB, alright, fine. Major concerns: your QBs. The third most shocking pick of the draft (behind Jade’s two) was Matt Schaub. I can’t remember which round you grabbed him in, but I do know it was before Eli Manning, which I think you will sorely regret. Schaub is coming off of knee surgery and is on a team with a crippled top WR and will also run the ball A LOT. Schaub is a sexy name, but not a sexy QB this year. I’m OK with you taking a flyer on Luck as your #2. I think he’ll be serviceable. Now, let’s talk about your bench. Reggie Wayne: I really like him this year. You got him late and I think he will reward you. Moving on…the rest is just ugly. A 3rd QB, and a readhead to boot? Even given his ginger status, I say he has a better year than Matt Schaub. Stokley? No reason he should have been drafted. Chemistry with Manning or not, this league is just not deep enough for Stokley to be relevant. And finally, T.O.? I get that he’s your guy and you feel the need to draft him every year, but why do you still have him? This should have been an immediate drop after the draft. Please hit the free agent pool ASAP and rid your roster of this jobless clown.


Roberts (Keepers: Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson):

Good lord. This is easily the deepest WR core we have ever seen. Calvin, Jordy, Marshall, Stevie…WOW. I just don’t know what to say. That is an unreal lineup. Sproles is a great #1 PPR RB, so long as he can repeat in catching 5-8 balls a game. I have no concerns there. Turner is an OK #2. The fact that you got him while still going WR heavy early in the draft is impressive. Your TE may not be ready to go in Week 1, but there are other options out there. My biggest concern is your RB depth. Things could go south if either Sproles or Turner go down. That said, I could see Roberts breaking the single week scoring record sometime this season. His WRs are that explosive. And of course, Brady is going to have a seriously huge year. Look out for this team. This is a virtual playoff lock.


Projected final regular season standings (I haven’t done the math to see if these records are even mathematically possible):

1. Burns, 10-3
2. Jarred, 9-4
3. Brennan, 8-5
4. Souder, 8-5
5. Jade, 7-6
6. Rosenbaum, 7-6
7. Leeper, 5-8
8. Andrew, 4-9
9. Sean, 4-9
10. Merz, 3-10

Rebuttals, rippings, and counterpoints are all welcome.

Good luck to all this season!