Moto Mondays: Where’s The Love For James Stewart?

After a disappointing opening round, James Stewart has been a steady contender in the supercross championship series, claiming back-to-back victories over the past few weeks and a pair of second place finishes last month. But until JUST this past weekend, it seemed that the media was shorting Stewart on the respect he’s deserved.

In winning the Monster Energy Cup this past October, JS7 made a statement to the motocross world that he was back on the top of his game. But somehow during this season, the announcers and live TV never really brought to attention on what Stewart was doing in the races. Even last week when Stewart won his first SX race of 2014, the live coverage was focused on the 3rd through 7th place spots almost the entire race, never really mentioning James after his early pass on Villopoto until he had crossed the finish line. He rode flawlessly, but was somehow an afterthought to the rest of the pack.

It’s understandable that there is a lot going on with a very deep field in the 450 class. Rookie Ken Roczen is turning heads with his ability to keep up with the best in the world, Chad Reed was (until last week’s injury) going into the biggest comeback run of his career, and Ryan Villopoto is of course having an interesting year as the 3-time defending champion who is all of a sudden not dominating as he used to. But those are not reasons to forget about James Stewart, who has quietly been moving up the points chase and is now within striking distance of a championship himself.

Over the past few years, Stewart has been prone to crashing often, and between injuries and unfortunate position drops due to his wrecks he has been held back from reaching the top of the final standings at season’s end in both MX and SX. His style has become reckless and even desperate, losing control of his bike from pushing it beyond it’s limits. But lately, Stewart has reeled in his focus and is riding much smarter, all while still not sacrificing his speed. He deserves more respect than he’s been given this season, and his confidence in himself has slowly but surely started to return.

When I watch him ride, I see something different in him than I’ve been used to. It’s been years since he won a title in professional motocross, and the fans have almost forgotten his dominating run from over half a decade ago. The circus of his success has died down, and the doubters have emerged in full force. The result is that Stewart now has regained what pushed him to win before: he has something to prove again.

I admit that I had often rooted against Stewart in years prior, wanting to see attention be granted to newer upcoming riders. But even as a fan, I feel that the Villopoto domination has become stale for the sport. I’ve become much more interested this season as a result of knowing that there are now a handful of riders who can consistently race and win, not just a couple named “Ryan.”

With Reed out of the picture, the next best comeback season could very well belong to Stewie. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m making it official now: I predict and hope for James Stewart to win this year’s SX title. And I hope to God I didn’t just jinx him.

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Wing Review: Tilted Kilt

Tilted Kilt Wings

When you think of Tilted Kilt, the first thing that comes to mind is young, attractive, slutty (but usually nice) women wearing skimpy clothes. This thirst trap is so real that when they opened a location in Granger, Indiana, they basically stole half of the nearby Hooters’ staff and quickly put them out of business (and for this reason I will have to travel if I ever want to review Hooters’ wings). But in addition to flirtatious girls who get over-generous tips from lonely middle aged men, they actually serve some pretty good food. They changed up the night of their wing special on me three different times, but recently I finally got a chance to review their wings, which pleasantly left me very impressed. Almost as impressed as I was at how many women working at a single restaurant had tramp stamp tattoos.

WING REVIEW (all scores out of 10):

Size: 8

These wings were bigger this time around than they had been on my previous visits to Tilted Kilt, and I left my meal feeling full and satisfied.

Texture: 10

The perfect amount and consistency of sauce, combined with the perfect cooking time for the skin to be slightly crispy with the meat well moisturized. I tried to figure out a way to insert a sex joke in here but everything I came up with just sounded creepy.

FLAVOR REVIEW:

Guinness BBQ: 8

It was actually likely better than an “8” but it was kind of rich so personally I found it slightly overpowering in flavor. But if there’s anything I don’t really mind the overpowering flavor of, BBQ and beer would be it.

Kilt Burner: 10

This is a supposedly just Tilted Kilt’s own name for buffalo sauce, but the Kilt Burner was unlike any buffalo sauce I’ve ever had before. I honestly can’t put it in words, but it is as close to delicious perfection as I could ever dream a hot wing sauce to be. Considering I don’t even usually like buffalo sauce on it’s own, me giving it a rating of a 10 is basically a miracle. I highly recommend it.

TK Signature Sauce: 3

It was supposed to be their own version of “sweet and spicy,” but it honestly just tasted like sugar and vinegar. One of the worst sauces I had ever had. This sauce is going to severely hurt their otherwise radiantly positive wing score… Ouch.

OVERALL WING SCORE: 7.8

Had I switched out the TK Signature sauce for another, Tilted Kilt would probably have gotten my best score of all time, especially considering they were the first ever to be awarded perfect 10s in 2 separate categories. However, part of the challenge of my wing review is that any and all wings must be taken into consideration if I happen to order them. Improve or scratch that one flawed sauce and I would say that Tilted Kilt just may have the best wings in town.

Wing Review: O’Rourke’s Public House

O'Rourke's Wings

I’ve had very mixed feelings on O’Rourke’s wings since almost every time that I’ve had them they seemed drastically different. One time they were tiny, the next time they were huge, one time the boneless were better, and one time I didn’t even know if the boneless were made from real chicken. Fortunately for O’Rourke’s, I only base my review grades on the trip I take to intentionally review the wings, and this time they were actually on point. Let’s see how well they did according to my ranking system.

WING REVIEW (all scores out of 10):

Size: 7

The traditional wings were much bigger than they had been in the past, about the average size than you would expect from most restaurants.

Texture: 7

Also pretty standard for what you’d expect from a good chicken wing. Not too much sauce to where the wing is drenched but plenty enough to cover it in bold flavor. I’ve had O’Rourke’s wings before that were a little over-cooked and dry, but these were just right.

FLAVOR REVIEW:

Jack Daniels: 4

I couldn’t actually tell what it tasted like, but I’ve had my fair share of Jack before and this was not that flavor. I was indifferent about the actual flavor, but I had to deduct points for false advertising.

Jim Beam BBQ: 9

Now this sauce, on the other hand, was packed full of the flavor of the beverage it was named after. Add the classic component of BBQ to the mix and you have yourself one fine wing sauce, unique in flavor and as great as you’d expect.

Buffalo: 8

I am very picky when it comes to buffalo sauces, but this one was on the upper end of the scale. Not too oily, but not too thick and salty either.

OVERALL WING SCORE: 7

Like I stated before in the article, O’Rourke’s wing quality has been all over the place over the past few years, but it is nice to know that they can put out a decent wing when the cooks pay attention to what they’re doing. They would have scored higher if It wasn’t for the mystery sauce incorrectly labeled as “Jack Daniels.”

WARNING: This review is in regard to their traditional wings, not their boneless ones. The boneless “wings” they currently serve resemble perfectly round chicken meatballs, oversoaked in sauce and about 1/2 the size of a real boneless wing. I would probably review them as a zero. Avoid this fake food.

What The Hell Was That???

Yesterday I watched something on TV. I’m sure many of you saw it too. It had a stadium, a field, grown men wearing jerseys… it was something resembling a football game called the Super Bowl. But there’s no way it could have been a football game, much less a championship between a number one offense and a number one defense, right? Because if it was, it was the ugliest and most disgusting title game imaginable.

Image property of USA Today

Image property of USA Today

The league’s best ever offense was completely swarmed on nearly every play and only managed to put up 8 points the entire game. All the records that both Peyton Manning and the Bronco’s offense broke and set this year were all destroyed and forgotten in front of all of America in 60 minutes of play. From the very first snap of the game, resulting in a safety, Denver was doomed. The offensive line gave Manning no protection at all. The running backs couldn’t find a single hole to run through. The wide receivers who actually managed to get open were all running underneath routes, and I can’t tell you how many times I saw one of them catch a pass with only a few yards left to get a first down and decide to run east and west and into Seattle’s defense instead of just diving for the gain.

I’m not sure who was calling the majority of plays for the Broncos offense, whether it was Peyton Manning himself or Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, but it was a complete symphony of moronic conservatism that has no place in a Super Bowl, your last game of the entire season and a must-win, much less while your team is getting absolutely blown out. Screen pass for no gain. Draw for no gain. Screen pass for no gain. Punt. Repeat. WTF? Even in the fourth quarter down by four scores and near the opponents’ 40, the Broncos elected to punt the ball away. Excuse me idiots, but you do realize this is a timed match, right?

And even myself, a long-time Peyton Manning fan who likes to consider him as the greatest player of all time, has within one game become unsure if I will ever be able to call him that again. For years with the Colts, I had to justify and re-justify over and over to my ignorant and uneducated friends why Peyton and his Indianapolis squad were much better than their Cowboys or Bears teams. Apparently, winning only one Super Bowl isn’t enough to solidify a team’s greatness anymore. And with this game, a win for Peyton would have done all the talking for me. He would have cemented his legacy, and I would not have to bring up numerous statistics to back him up ever again. But now, with possibly the most humiliating loss in Super Bowl history given the team offense you had to work with, I myself am considering Manning a post season nightmare. I’m unbelievably happy that the Colts went with Andrew Luck, and for all those in Indy holding on to #18, you can now officially sigh in relief and let go.

I wasn’t going to be upset if the Seahawks won; traditionally, great defenses have the upper hand, and I actually expected them to edge out a slight victory. But a complete annihilation and blowout of the best offense in history from beginning to end? They definitely deserve this championship. They just became the new ’85 Chicago Bears, except even more deadly because we don’t expect this team to self destruct anytime soon. They already have a huge target on their back going into next season, but what’s funny is that whoever they play becomes the targeted.

Peyton said in the post game interview that he wasn’t “embarrassed,” that he hates the word and tried to denote it by claiming that his team has worked unbelievably hard and they should be proud to have made it this far. But he was stuttering and choking on his own words, similar to the way he stuttered and choked in the game. I never had a reason to say this before, but I will definitely say it now; Manning, you SHOULD be embarrassed. 43-8? If that isn’t embarrassing, than I don’t know what is.