Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, February 08, 2021

Pictured above is a flyer from the Mariella Pizza on 8th Avenue and 57th. As you can see, they’re pretty proud of the blessing bestowed upon them by Oprah as having the “best pizza in America”.

As well they should be. I’m sure thousands of Oprah acolytes have descended upon the shop in the year since Oprah’s pal Gayle picked the winner. And personally, I stop by this joint at least a couple of times a month, because I like the thick crispy crust.

Here’s what I find curious about this honor. Notice the parenthetical note:

(just a few steps away from her office)

That office would be the Hearst Tower, which I’d admired before. It so happens that O, the Oprah Magazine is published by Hearst Corp., and indeed, the mag’s offices are directly across the street on 8th Avenue.

So you know what I think? I think Gayle was running close to her deadline for this little pizza contest, and looked out the window, saw Mariella’s, and figured, “good enough”. Presto, a winner is located, thanks to location!

I would say I’m disappointed in Oprah’s less-than-exacting competitive qualifications. But what the hell, like I said, it’s still good pizza.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/08/2021 06:35 PM
Category: Celebrity, Food, New Yorkin'
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avoiding the tank
If you’re tired of seeing teams dog in it Week 17 of the National Football League season because they’ve already locked in their postseason berth, then you’ll like this: the league is considering changing the playoff structure to make it more record-based:

[NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell wants to make it so that in the first round of the playoffs, division winners wouldn’t automatically have a home game. If they played a wildcard team that had a better record, the wild card team would get the game in their own crib.

The idea is that it gives teams more incentive to play hard throughout the end of the regular season, so we don’t end up seeing something like a Charlie Batch vs. Jim Sorgi matchup in Week 17.

This deemphasizes the significance of winning a division, making that crown nothing more than a playoff ticket. I suppose there are scenarios where a division winner would still make it into the postseason despite having a poorer record than another conference team, which would preserve some importance for the division win.

Normally I’m not in favor of the disregard for divisional alignments, but I admit this is a good idea. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s better for fans to watch a “real” matchup late in the season instead of a backups bowl. You could argue that it robs the No. 3 division winner of a functional bye for its starters, but those are the breaks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/08/2021 05:42 PM
Category: Football
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