Friday, March 29, 2019

Posters, Posters, Posters!

Over the years I have amassed quite a lot of artwork of my own doing. On this blog alone, I have created hundreds of original pieces of art - so, about a year ago, I decided that I was going to start selling posters through a little this-and-that eBay store that I run with my wife as a neat and fun way to make a little bit of extra money (ie. daycare support!).

The store is doing well and we enjoy messing around with it. We aren't changing the world with the number of posters we have sold, but we have sold a few.

This has prompted the set-up of a mini-poster boutique site called Poster Attic, that you can visit here -

The selection is a little small right now because I'm still building it out. If you would like a wider selection of poster and prints head on over to our eBay HT Spirits store where there are over 100 unique posters to browse.

I hope you'll see something you like.


Both my wife and I have B.A.'s in graphic design and fine art. From 2001 - 2017 I worked in online distribution, assembly, and manufacturing with, Inc. and Amazon.

If you would like to follow comings and goings of our little poster biz you can follow:

Here's what the stores look like:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Crew WhoScored Median Ratings

I don't have a lot on the Columbus Crew yet because the MLS season has yet to reach at least 5 games. Why 5? Because I've learned that these are still preseason games. You also have a wonky international break in there to start the season.

Nevertheless. Here are median WhoScored Player ratings through four games...

7.39Gaston Sauro4
7.13Pedro Santos4
6.98Gyasi Zardes3
6.97Zack Steffen3
6.83Jonathan Mensa4
6.82Federico Higuain4
6.78Wil Trapp3
6.64Harrison Afful4
6.53Waylon Francis3
6.38Justin Meram3
6.30Luis Argudo1
6.19Ricardo Clark2
6.11Hector Jimenez3
6.03Patrick Mullins1
5.98Eduardo Sosa1
5.92Joe Bendik1
5.90Jerome Williams1


1. Gaston Sauro and his two, headed set-piece goals have him in the top 10% of league performers so far (anything greater than 7.30).

2. Pedro Santos is the only other player worth noting in regards to good play. At 7.13, he's in the top 25% of performers.

3. Robinho's play has been slightly better than Meram, but not as much as many would like to think. Robinho is probably a better option at this point, but he doesn't look markedly better than Meram. The spot is up for grabs. I honestly think Jimenez should get 3 games starting there, or even Clark.

4. I still think it's going to be a tricky year for this team. There was lots of energy to start the year, but once the season settles in I think it's going to kinda get... blah.

5. Four goals in four games isn't blowing anyone's hair back. Particularly since two of them came from a central defender. 7 points in four is a gift.

I wish I had more, but there isn't much going on with this team so far. Not particularly good, but not horrible either. The East is really bad this year, however. Columbus just needs to do what it's done best over the last decade, play hard, be a tough out.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

2019 Crew Season Opens, Concerns

The 2019 MLS season got underway yesterday. As with most years, it was a bit sloppy and incomplete. It is difficult to draw any conclusions until somewhere between week 5 and 10. However! This being my 10th season covering the Crew closely, I feel comfortable in drawing a few thoughts out of the mist and listing them out.

1. Porter's team plays more like a Robert Warzycha team: Or perhaps, because this was more of a NYRB II team practically playing a low block, they made Caleb Porter look more like Crew circa 2012. Sloppy play and very little composed possession in the opponents half.

2. Opportunity lost: Because MLS balances the rosters (best they can) teams with a decided advantage have to get 3 points out of games like this one. Crew playing at home, 1st of the year, against a B lineup... has to turn into 3 points. Even if it's a sloppy win.

3. Crew weaknesses, all over: To the right and left of Federico Higuain are weak spots for Columbus right now. I put some of that on Porter for wanting to bypass the midfield and go somewhat direct, but also because father time is catching up to Justin Meram (who was ineffective yesterday) and Pedro Santos (only 22 passes, 60% completion) has some sort of mental issue when he gets close to goal. There was even a moment late on where he scuffed a shot, went down in a heap and Higuain trotted over as if to say "come on man, let's go, get up." Artur also had a bit of a sloppy game and wasn't able to get into any sort of attacking position, which makes his role somewhat redundant with Trapp in there.

4. Porter overthinking it: With just about the entire team returning, you should have just rolled a solid XI out there from last year and won this game. But he is tinkering with how they play, which is absolutely his right. It's a concern, however, that the team looked a bit lost. Credit goes to NY a little, but that was not exactly a Supporters' Shield-winning lineup out there.

5. Fox Sports Broadcast: Looked like Fox. Production is much improved over Spectrum Sports. I wish the video quality were better, but it is what it is. Neil Sika and Dwight Burgess are back doing what they do giving us long-winded backgrounds on players that nobody asks for instead of calling the game. The GREAT GREAT news is that Chris Doran is on the 97.1 FM radio call. I caught some of it. He is excellent.

6. 17k Showed Up: Nice turnout for a cold home opener for Columbus. If the team hadn't gone through what it went through last year I would say it was a good turnout, but as circumstances are what they are - It was somewhat disappointing. It was a busy sports day in town. The Columbus Blue Jackets had a game earlier and the Buckeye basketball team played at Purdue, but that's always the excuse in town. I'm not sure I expected a sellout, but I'm sure many did.

What's funny about these broad points is that fans of the team will be discussing each of them for the rest of the season.

Most have Columbus finishing middle of the pack this year. I'm not sure anything happened last night to change that prediction up or down, but it did make me feel more confident that this team will end up fighting to make the playoffs after the summer transfer window.