Purple Stuff Podcast: Super Bowl Commercials!


The latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is available now! Get primed for the big game by listening to Matt and I bullshit about some of our favorite Super Bowl commercials ever. In addition to the junk food, the commercials are often the highlight of watching the Super Bowl. It’s the one time that I actually watch commercials and not escape to the kitchen or head to the bathroom. The multimillion dollar ads can be sentimental, funny, and downright strange, but so many of them have been pretty epic. They better be for the price that was paid to air them! In this episode we cover everything from car commercials to a couple of incredible Diet Pepsi and Coca Cola ads as well as beer bottles and cans playing their own game of football. From there we’ve got a pertinent movie trailer and a heavenly old school AV geek store…it’s all here. I’m sure you have your own set of favorites and even most hated, but no matter what, they get us all talking about them. Dive in via your favorite Podcast app or listen at the link above. Thanks for listening!

The New Jersey Oscar Contender that Could Have Been…by N.J Holden


Always on top of his game, our featured writer N.J Holden (@exiledinNJ) uncovers something you may not have known about Silver Linings Playbook.

When Matthew Quick’s debut novel Silver Linings Playbook was published in 2008, I’m sure few envisioned the multi-nominated film that would follow it in 2012. With a dynamite cast (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro) and a proven director (David O. Russell), it should have been a celebration of the Garden State since the book takes place there. But the film, like so many adaptations, deviated from the source material, most notably moving the characters and plot from New Jersey to Philadelphia. While audiences and the folks at the Academy Awards have applauded and nominated the film for five Oscars (including Best Picture of the Year), I think we should look at the book, a celebration of family, football, mental illness, and New Jersey.

Pat Peoples is a former history teacher who returns from an extended stay at a Baltimore mental hospital to his childhood home in Collingswood, New Jersey. With his wife, job, and home all gone, Pat is a broken man who believes in “silver linings”, or a series of positive beliefs that he holds true to in hopes of winning back his old life. Following a strenuous exercise regiment and reading his wife’s school reading list, Pat tries to rebuild his life while under the care of his emotionally drained mother and emotionally distant, Philadelphia Eagles-obsessed father. In addition, Pat forms an odd relationship with Tiffany, a disturbed person in her own right who blackmails Pat into a dance competition with the hopes of reuniting him with his wife. Pat must also endure his precarious mental state which is always on the verge of snapping, especially by that wicked musician who haunts doctor and dental offices all over…Kenny G! The novel alternates between drama and comedy, with Pat’s humorous attempts at adjusting to life outside the hospital and his dark, growing obsession with finding out why he lost it all, something that he blocked from his mind. 
While the movie dealt with all of these issues in a more lighthearted, comedic way, Quick kept the focus on Pat and his quest for the happy ending that eluded him. In addition, the setting would make any native to NJ happy and proud, with its beautiful descriptions of towns and places that people south of Exit 130 on the GSP would recall. The book stays true to the spirit of the Garden State, embracing its quirkiness and tough attitude and love of food. Some have criticized the handling of mental illness; with Pat and Tiffany’s relationship being contrived since both of them are the only ones capable of understanding one another since they are disturbed. But the relationship is only a little bit of the novel, with a majority of it focused on Pat and his journey to a better life, however ludicrous or unrealistic it may seem. So before that day in February when we get to see who will take home a gold statue, be sure to give this book a read and remember that it could have been a celebrated New Jersey film…only if.

– N.J Holden

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 96: New Jersey Generals


Although it only lasted a few years, the USFL obviously left quite an impression. Think about it, people aren’t necessarily clamoring for NY/NJ Hitmen t-shirts from Vince McMahon’s ill-fated XFL. Even though it was short lived, the USFL created enough of a stir that the NFL wound up bringing up many of the star players and even incorporated some of the rules of the game we are accustomed to today.


Wikipedia notes that the NFL was clearly influenced by the USFL. Several rules and practices of the game we watch today were taken from the USFL game play such as the two-point conversion, challenging officials rulings using instant replay, and even a league salary cap was introduced. The main difference between the two leagues was that the USFL played their games in the spring and summer.

The local team for the NY/NJ area was The New Jersey Generals. After their abysmal first season, (the team went 6-12) the team was bought by Donald Trump. Aside from their rough start, their bright spot was running back Herschel Walker. The Generals breakout star won the rushing title in ’83 and ’85. The following year, Walker was snatched up by the Dallas Cowboys and then bounced from the Vikings to the Eagles and then to Giants for one season before going back to the Dallas Cowboys. Another major star who played for the Generals was quarterback Doug Flutie. In 1985, he helped boost the team to 2nd place with an 11-7 record before heading to the NFL.

Last month, what was first thought of as an April Fool’s Joke was actually dead serious. The USFL issued a press release stating that they would be back in business by Spring 2013. There’s no news yet on which 8 cities will have teams in the league.

Giants’ CRUZ: From Paterson To The NFC Championship!

You see those numbers under his eyes? That’s the Paterson NJ area code! 

The Sexy Armpit is celebrating The New York Giants huge win over the Green Bay Packers tonight. Next week The G-Men will be facing off against the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship. Before that we’d like to pay tribute to one of the G-Men who has been so instrumental to the team this year and that is Victor Cruz.

If you think you hear boos when he makes a huge catch or scores of TD, that’s actually a CRUUUUZ chant. It’s just like the BRUUUUCE chants at a Springsteen concert, maybe that’s because Cruz is also a Jersey boy. Cruz hails from Paterson, NJ, amid gangs, drug busts, and shootouts. That strife clearly could not distract him from becoming the NFL superstar that he has become.

There have been a slew of kickass Cruz moments this year. Cruz made a 99 yard touchdown on Christmas Eve 2011 against the Jets and he also now holds a Giants record for most receiving yards in a single season, but perhaps his biggest accomplishment was becoming a dad just last week. He’s already turned down the chance to be on Dancing With The Stars because he’s onto bigger and better things such as possibly taking a vacation to Disney World! Be sure to check him out next Sunday when he salsa dances all the way to the SUPER BOWL after the Giants beat the 49ers!!!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwj90GMIeu8?rel=0]

Harry Carson’s Captain For Life: My Story as a Hall of Fame Linebacker Review by Nick Holden


The game of football has, is, and always will be a violent spectacle of human bodies crashing into one another at high speeds, with teams of players vying for victory at all costs. For legendary New York Giants linebacker (and Franklin Lakes resident) Harry Carson, his thirteen year career remained relatively low-key, yet his impressive numbers and his toughness earned him accolades from his fellow players, coaches, and legions of fans all across the country. But it all came at a high price for Carson, who documents his professional and personal highs and lows as member of the Giants and beyond in his new book Captain for Life: My Story as a Hall of Fame Linebacker. Staying free from the controversy that plagued players such as fellow teammate Lawrence Taylor, Carson had his share of drama yet stayed true to himself, his family, and the game, all the while paying for it with his body, the effects he still feels to this day. 
Carson, in a simple prose, charts his journey that started in a small North Carolina town during the time of the segregated South. Despite being small and ill-coordinated, he slowly rose through high school and college as a fearsome defensive end and dedicated student, winning raves both on the field and in the classroom. Drafted by the Giants in 1976, Carson was switched to linebacker and played among such notable players as Brad Van Pelt and Brian Kelley. This defensive trio, dubbed “The Crunch Bunch”, was considered one of the best linebacker teams in history. Later, after the drafting of George Martin and Taylor, the Giants rose from a last place team and the joke of football, to winning Super Bowl XXI and securing a place in history. Carson was also elected to the Pro Bowl nine times in his career and later, after much frustration and near misses, he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
But while he was shutting down players and putting up impressive statistics, Carson’s body bore the brunt of his physical play as he suffered several injuries; blown knees, torn muscles, and the general grind of his position would take its toll, causing him to eventually retire in 1988. But to Carson, the worse was the repeated hits to his helmet that left its mark on his body; the brain doesn’t respond well to collision, and taking multiple hits over time would cause more damage than he would realize. Carson speaks at great length about his battles with Post Concussion Syndrome, an illness that is brought on by one or numerous concussions. Once thought to be a myth in football, it is slowly become more and more prevalent in past and present players. He talks about the subtle signs such as severe headaches and sensitivity to light and noise early in his career to the more serious effects, such as drastic mood swings, slurred speech, and problems with motor coordination, symptoms that continue to afflict him. Carson breaks down the machismo of football players and is honest about his condition, saying that the game is largely responsible and he fears that while only a handful of players have come forward, many are afflicted with PCS yet ignore the many symptoms. In recent years, an alarming number of past players have died, and studies have shown that many have had brain damage that contributed to their demise. Carson now speaks about the importance of recognizing the signs of PCS and travels around the country, speaking to players about the disease in the hopes of warning them before it is too late. He deals with the pain every day, knowing that one day his mental faculties might be fully gone, and is sure that if more people know about the risks, players will think about life beyond football instead of just making the plays.


One thing that sticks out about Carson is his frankness about everything, from his faults as a player early in his career to his bitterness about how his career ended. He also talks about the mystique of a football player, stripping away the glamour to tell it how it is; a game that swallows you mentally, physically, and emotionally. He shares his perspective of the game as a player, detailing what separates players from stars, and how he lasted so long (the average career span of a player is around four years; Carson stayed around for thirteen), competing with veteran players and winning over coaches and fans while staying away from many dangers that derail players; drugs, alcohol, and other scandals. His tell-it-like-it-is attitude and funny insight make Carson both down to earth and a likeable fellow, but his downbeat attitude toward the game that made him a name might turn off some football fans in addition to the lack of any type of photography; it would have been nice to see some pictures here and there. But if you’re a true Giants fan or a fan of Carson, Captain for Life is a must for the bookshelf.

– Nick Holden

Atlantic City Card Sharks


If trivia was a possible area of study in college I would’ve excelled rapidly to a master’s degree in it. To prove it, I offer a bit of trivia for you in honor of Shark Week. Not to be confused with the classic game show involving those supersized playing cards, Card Sharks, The Atlantic City Card Sharks were a team in the NIFL for only one season. Unfamiliar with the NIFL? Don’t worry, I polled the entire universe and even parallel universes and there were only 26 people who remembered the NIFL. The National Indoor Football League was completely separate from the Arena Football League (The AFL), but according to it’s official website, “high quality entertainment” was the goal of the team in it’s first and only season.


The Card Sharks were coached by former Oakland Raider Mike Siani. They played home games at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and after a record of 9-5, the team folded in 2004. Perhaps the only greater accomplishment than gaining a winning record in the NIFL was the fact that Trump Plaza issued a commemorative limited edition $10 dollar casino chip in the Card Sharks honor.


I say they should’ve kept those dancers around, and even the mascot! I wouldn’t mind watching them put on a little show while walking down the A.C boardwalk. Hell, why don’t they just have the Card Shark mascot run rampant on the A.C beach? He could weave in and out of the crowds of people suntanning while making lewd hand gestures, stealing people’s drinks, and sprinting into the ocean yelling “SHARK!” at the top of his lungs…now that’s high quality entertainment!