Tuesday Top 5: Breakfast Cereals

July 27, 2010

Welcome to the start of a new weekly feature that will begin here on the blog, but carry over to the air: Jack & John’s Tuesday Top 5.

Each Tuesday, we will post each of our personal top five lists on a specific category.  You can look them over and then join us in an on-air discussion/debate on Wednesdays during the show.  Bring your own favorites and join in the conversation.

This week our Tuesday Top 5 is BREAKFAST CEREALS.

John’s Top Five:

1 – Cap’n Crunch

Cap’n my rear end!  The man should be at least a Four-Star General.  Best.  Cereal.  Ever.  Yeah, I can hear your complaints right now.  “Ohhhh, it scrapes the roof of my mouth!”  Bull honkies!  Yes, the cereal is hard.  But I think Tom Hanks said it best in “A League of Their Own” when he said…. (fast forward to about 1:15.)

And forget that rancid peanut butter version and I can do without Crunch Berries or Choco-Crunch.  Give me the real, leaded, pure Cap’n Crunch.  It’s nature’s perfect food.  (if all food was small, square and orange.)

2 – Grape Nuts

You wanna talk hard?!?  This is a man’s cereal.  It’s eating gravel.  It doesn’t have a lot of flavor unless you (cue Def Leppard) pour some sugar on it, but it’s good.  Nothing fancy.  And unlike some people who wait for the cereal to get soggy, I relish those first few bites when it still has enough bite back.  Work those teeth!  Grind!  Grind !  Grind!

3 – Cocoa Pebbles

I don’t like to drink the remaining milk in my cereal bowl.  I know that sounds weird, but I try to scoop any remaining milk with the final few spoonfuls of cereal.  But if there’s any leftover milk at the bottom of the bowl, it’s gone baby.  Down the drain.  There is one exception and this is it.  Cocoa Freakin’ Pebbles.  This is the king, queen, prince…. the whole royal family of chocolate flavored cereals.  Cocoa Krispies?  No.  Cocoa Puffs?  No.  Count Chocula?  No, but those marshmallows are tasty.  Nope, this is the big dog and it’s time to let the big dog eat!………or, actually, it’s time to EAT THE BIG DOG!  Woof!

4 – Sugar Smacks/Super Golden Crisp

These two are tied because they are the same cereal.  No differentiation between the two.  Except one has a frog on the box (“diggem”) and the other has a bear.  Pretty simple cereal when you think about it.  Sugar glazed wheat puffs.  And if you think you’re eating healthy, think again.  In a 2008 Consumer Reports study, these two cereals tied for the most sugar content – more than 50 percent (by weight), at least as much sugar in one serving as there is in a Dunkin Donuts glazed donut.  They even recommended parents find cereals with better nutrition ratings that these two.


5 – Raisin Bran

When I’m in the mood for flaked cereals, this is the go-to.  Don’t need figs, twigs or berries either.  Just gimme those “two scoops” and I’m set.

Jack’s Top Five:

1 – Cinnamon Toast Crunch

As you go through my top 5, you’ll notice that I put a very high value on cereal that doesn’t get gross after sitting in milk for 30 seconds.  There’s nothing less appetizing then pouring a bowl of cereal, and by your third spoonful, you’re eating something with consistency of a saltine soaked in water.  Cinnamon Toast Crunch combines a heartiness that withstands milk reasonably well with the magical taste that could only be attained by combining cinnamon, sugar, and some other ingredient with crack-like appeal and dusting it over what looks like little tiny pieces of toast.  Plus the after-cereal milk (see Bish’s reference above) from CTC is a beverage I’d buy separately if I could.

2 – Reece’s Puffs

It stands to reason that when the makers of my favorite candy bar took their product to the cereal world, I’m a big fan.  It should be noted that this product is a creation of the last decade, and back in my 1990s cereal-eating heyday (college and bachelorhood),  Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch occupied this spot.  Sadly, for the Cap’n, he’s been replaced with Reece’s, which is superior in every imaginable way.  Aside from Reeces’ fantastic ability to withstand milk sogginess, the peanut butter taste is more realistic and the paring with chocolate provides for a more diverse experience for the palate, not to mention better aesthetics.  The Cap’n’s peanut butter offering was much blander tasting and looking, and if you weren’t careful, it could easily be mistaken for the even less appealing Kix.

3- Waffle Crisp

I believe Waffle Crisp, while not necessarily a mainstream cereal brand name, to be the single most polarizing cereal in the last 25 years.  Like the above entry, Waffle Crisp is relative newcomer, hitting shelves in 1996.  If you aren’t familiar with this offering from Post Cereals, you should be aware that as soon as you rip open that bag, the smell of maple syrup will saturate everything within a 50-foot radius from the box.  This intense syrup smell is repulsive to some (e.g. my wife), but it’s also the cereal’s saving grace, as its sheer intensity is incredibly pleasant to those who fancy that true waffle-eating experience.  This is also one of the rare cereals that actually tastes exactly the same dry or in milk.  I’ve talked about ability to withstand milk from a sogginess standpoint above, but it’s also important to note that milk also generally dilutes the taste of nearly any sugared cereal.  I’ve not found a product that is as resistant to this problem as Waffle Crisp.

4- Lucky Charms

On its surface, it seems like the concept behind Lucky Charms should suck.  Basically, they took a bunch of slightly frosted cereal pieces that look like they didn’t make the cut at the Alpha-Bits factory, and they mix in “marshmallows” that don’t have the consistency of anything I’ve ever roasted over a fire or put in hot chocolate.  Yet somehow, it just works.  Biting into the weird crunchy consistency of those marshmallows seems to produce some sort of endorphin rush in my body that I can’t explain.  In the end, I’m fairly sure that I’ve got a capacity to eat a larger quantity of Lucky Charms than any other cereal on this list.  Whenever I bust out the ‘Charms, it’s like some involuntary reflex comes over me that causes me to refill my bowl repeatedly.  After 15 minutes, I’ll get up and realize that I’ve been in some sort of Lucky Charms blackout and have eaten an entire box in one sitting.  It’s simultaneously satisfying and disturbing.

5 – Life

It’s probably clear from the rest of this list that I was denied sugary cereal most of my childhood, and when I got into my later teenage years and no longer had my mom regulating my cereal intake, I tried to make up for those lost years by consuming exclusively the most sugary, candy-like cereals to the point it almost became an addiction.  Thanks to that period of my life, I have virtually no taste for any non-sugared or ‘adult’ cereal.  I highly doubt I’ll ever eat a bowl of Rice Krispies, Cheerios or Wheaties again in my entire life.  That said, for some reason I still have a taste for Life that I can’t explain.  Perhaps it’s because when I ate it, I’d usually douse it with sugar, which seemed to stick better to Life, because of its vented construction.  I did enough experimentation in an attempt to alter the taste of crappy cereal that I know trying the same with Cheerios or Rice Krisipes just left you with a useless pile of sugar at the bottom of the bowl.

We’ll be discussing our lists and taking your calls tomorrow during the show to see if you think we’ve made mistakes or oversights.  Feel free to post your personal top 5 cereal lists in the comments section for the purposes of comparison and debate.


Dear Children of the Horn…

July 23, 2010

KU, OU, Mizzou, ISU, Okie State, K-State: Welcome to your nightmare

An article is fanning the flames of hate for Texas around the Husker Nation.  If you haven’t read it, see it here.

Now usually, I don’t get entangled in wars of words with other members of the media, but I thought just this once I could take this one time to make an exception.  There was just too many things left hanging that deserve a response, so let’s have some fun.

Husker fans, we appreciate the passion you show toward your football team. As Texas fans, we have always admired you and appreciated your tradition and class.

Really?  You admire something about someone else other than yourselves?  Holy freakin’ crap, the sky is falling!

But you began a dance with the dark side a few years ago by hiring a coach from the Bob Stoops tree.

I assume here, you are talking about one Mark “Bo” Pelini.  True, Pelini played for Bob Stoops’s father Ron at Cardinal Mooney.  True, the Pelini and Stoops families are close.  But while Bob Stoops was making his bones at K-State and Florida before going to Oklahoma, Pelini was playing for Ohio State; G.A. at Iowa; assistant at Cardinal Mooney and then off to the NFL with the 49ers, Patriots and Packers.  The only time Pelini worked under Stoops was for the single season at OU after the firing of Frank Solich – and that was a one year layover until Pelini found LSU.  While Pelini would be proud to call Stoops a mentor of sorts, his coaching acumen was most forged by Pete Carroll and George Seifert. 

But somewhere – say, with about one second left on the clock in last year’s Big 12 championship game – you changed. I don’t recall Osborne ever going into a rage with officials after losing a tough game, and he’s lost a ton of games much bigger than the one you lost to Texas last December.

That’s Bo.  He’s not Tom Osborne.  We get that.  Osborne has also been compared to Joe Paterno and I once saw Paterno chase a ref up the ramp after a game at full sprint.  Just sayin….

I don’t remember him cussing his opponent, or blaming the referees or money or anything else for a loss. Heck, he’s even friendly with Barry Switzer.

Yes, and Pelini is friends with Bob Stoops.  Your point?

Since December, when the referees (accurately) “put one second back” on the clock, you’ve become a loud, antagonizing, arrogant, ignorant, fact-ignoring, excuse-riddled shell of a program you used to be. You’ve become Oklahoma.

Here’s where we can find common ground.  I too feel that the one second was correctly put back on the clock, but let’s face it, due to the embarrassingly incompetent final few seconds of that game it’s hard not to still feel a little peeved about the result.  Ask any team that’s been beaten by a freakishly unusual circumstance.  Hail Mary passes.  The Stanford band.  The ’72 U.S. Olympic basketball team.  Right or wrong it sucks to lose like that.  Your fans…ANY fans would still harbor bitterness….especially after watching Nebraska’s so-called “One Man Gang” defense (Suh) utterly confuse and befuddle the great Colt McCoy (and cost him “his” Heisman) and the supposedly unstoppable Texas offense.  It also is extra galling when your charm school doctorate head coach boldly goes on national TV right after the game and says “we knew we had time left all along.”  BEVO CRAP!  Mack Brown had no more grasp of the situation than Barack Obama has a firm hold on the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  While your defense was also stout that night (thanks in part to the worst offensive game plan this side of the 2004 Iowa State game) you won because of dumb luck.  Didn’t cheat.  Didn’t pay off anybody.  But dumb damn luck.

Worse – for you – you’ve done something Osborne wouldn’t have dreamed of doing: you’ve publically called out an opponent. As everyone from Lincoln to Austin has heard, the crack group of Nebraska marketers (another oxymoron) decided to produce a video (www.redoutaroundtheworld.com) that encourages fan zaniness with a thinly-veiled ultimate goal: Beat Texas.

Again, won’t disagree.  The “Beat Texas” thing was not Nebraska.  But it was also conceived well before the Big Ten/Big 12 discussion, too.  Last winter in fact.  The original thought was to pick this one game to bring back the alums for a celebration (see, last year’s OU game and the 2003 Husker Nation celebration.)  So why not do it during the biggest game of the year?  We didn’t even need to play last year’s conference championship to know what the biggest home game on the 2010 schedule was going to be.  Of course, things changed dramatically since the decision was made last winter to use October 16th as the target date.  That’s Nebraska’s fault for not changing with the dynamics of the situation – they’ve admitted that.

To his credit, Osborne has ordered the ‘Beat Texas’ part of the message deleted, but he is definitely a part of this entire build-up. He’s the director of athletics, and he’s the one who hired the coaching staff. And maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by Osborne’s role in all of this. After all, he’s the one who orchestrated the Huskers’ move to the Big Ten, though he has denied that Nebraska moved primarily because of angst against Texas.

Let me repeat something I wrote here back in June about this topic.  THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU, TEXAS!  Sure, having you goat-ropers around has made things difficult and sometimes unbearable to deal with, but when an offer like the Big Ten comes around, YOU TAKE IT!  Athletically, academically, culturally.  It all fits for Nebraska.  Even better than if we were just still in the old Big 8.  This move will impact the entire university for generations – and very, very, very likely in a positive way.  Nebraska doesn’t have the population and the big money.  It needs every advantage it can get both on the field and in the classroom to be a top-flight school.  Big Ten money, Big Ten power, Big Ten academics and Big Ten prestige give Nebraska that advantage.  The Big 12 can’t do that.  Even riding your esteemed coattails.

After his coaching career ended, Osborne spent some time representing his state in Washington, so between rubbing elbows with politicians and Oklahomans, maybe we shouldn’t be altogether surprised by his transformation. It gets pretty muddy in there with the pigs.

I’m going to forgive your ignorance on this subject.  Yes, Tom Osborne was in Washington, but the man is as grounded and steadfast in his beliefs, faith and integrity as he has ever been.

The problem with your newly-discovered petulance is that not only do you not have the tools in the toolbox to complete your task (a.k.a., an offense), but your attempts to drum up support are not only completely unoriginal, but also personal.

Yes, the offense sucked last year.  So that means it will suck every year henceforth?  Someone tell Taylor Martinez, there might be time to transfer.  And by the way, what do you mean “personal.”  The video said “Beat Texas.”  That’s personal?!?  Dang, no wonder you guys send people to death row for jaywalking.

Still, how can we Texas fans not appreciate you imploring your backers to “Be Loud”? After all, Texas came up with that line more than 10 years ago.

You invented the line “Be Loud?”  Damn, so you did come up with something more than just Jimmy Dean sausage (mmmmmm, sausage.)

You’ve also asked your fan base to “Come Early,” which must’ve excited your marketing folks when the idea was first tossed across the picnic table outside the barn. Texas first thought of this in Ricky Williams’ Heisman year

And you came up with the concept “Come Early” too?!?!  Son of a bi………..

The “red-out” aspect of your promotion is quaint, but unoriginal. Do you really have to tell Huskers’ fans to wear red? Really?

Agreed.  I hate it too.  Been doing it since the invention of red polyester.  We are not fashion trend setters.

Here’s the deal: had you won last December’s game (you didn’t), Mack Brown would’ve been the first one to cross the field and shake your coach’s hand. He would’ve been gracious in defeat, as always. The refs wouldn’t have been blamed. Bank accounts would’ve have been blamed. DeLoss Dodds wouldn’t have had to be in the tunnel after the game calming down his coaching staff (Will Muschamp being the possible exception).

No, Mack Brown would have been too busy running from the posse who were out to hang him for his dumbass handling of the last 30 seconds.

And like you, the Longhorns will be ready on Oct. 16. A game that would’ve been a great game between a pair of programs with mutual respect has now become a “game to circle” for both teams.

Oh crap!  (yelling off mic) “Hey ma!  You know that Texas game that nobody gave a crap about?  Yeah.  Well since Nebraska started that redout video thing, we’ve done pissed ’em all off.  Yeah, that Big Ten talk and conference championship game really didn’t mean a whole lot.  Yep, it was going to be just another Saturday.  But now……Boy Howdy are we in for a heap a trouble!”

The problem for you, though, is simple: you don’t have the players to make your dream come true. Your marketing team certainly has plenty of swagger, but your real swagger – spelled S-U-H – is not walking through that door.

(Off mic again) “Dammit, ma!  Why didn’t you tell me that Big Suh wasn’t gonna be around anymore?!!?  Yeah, apparently not only was he the only player on the Blackshirts last year, he took the whole damn swagger with him, too!  We cain’t win without swagger!  It’s like Austin Powers without his mojo!”

When next year begins, you’ll beat Western Kentucky and Idaho, and then you’ll lose in Seattle to Washington, to a team with one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

That’s okay, he’s playing Prince Amukamara, one of the best defensive backs in the country.

You’ll beat San Diego State,

When did San Diego State appear on our schedule?

and then you might very well lose also to Kansas State in Manhattan one game before hosting Texas. It’s a very real possibility that you’ll have two losses before your red-out game with Texas. Your video will look silly then; you’ll have burnt orange crop circles in your corn.

Burnt orange?  In the corn?  (pause for thought)  FREE CAP’N CRUNCH FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you’ll lose to a Texas team fueled at least in part by your lack of respect given since last December. Your red throng will file out of the stadium disappointed, again, still bitching about that one second from last year’s title game.

No, probably cursing Shawn Watson for his game plan.  That’s how we roll.

But then your hopes will be buoyed with another thought as you click on the radio

Hopefully listening to 1400 KLIN, of course.

and begin to listen to a litany of excuses for the ninth loss to UT in 10 tries:

I’m sure that Mack Brown’s customary dumb luck against Nebraska will somehow play a factor.  (SEE: Jammal Lord INT after deciding to punt to DeJuan Groce in 2002; Terrence Nunn fumble in 2006; taking three quarters to figure out that Jamaal Charles could run against the worst NU defense in history in 2007; last year’s CCG….)

the Big 12 North is crummy,

See what you’re stuck with Missouri, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State?……they still love you in Austin.

so maybe we’ll win the division again and make things right by facing Texas for the championship in Dallas.

Actually, we’re hoping for Oklahoma.  Remember, our coach is a Bob Stoops disciple.

Texas fans would like that very much.

But who will you root for if it’s Nebraska-Oklahoma?

(Sarcasm mode, off)  See y’all in October!


July 22, 2010

If you haven’t heard already, Drive Time Lincoln’s Kevin Thomas is getting married next week.  As is the wedding tradition, there is a bachelor party.  But Kevin is not the strippers and booze kind of guy (well, at least not the booze), rather he is golfing with members of his wedding party and family next week.

Unfortuantly for Kevin, he knows people who are familiar with video production.  Here is their preview of The Kev Open.


Oh, and when golfing as part of a wedding party, take it from someone who knows all too well………WEAR SUNSCREEN!

Baby Mitchell Pics!!

July 19, 2010

The oft-opinionated stuff we post on here generally makes at least someone mad, so I thought it was time for a post that will make exactly no one mad.  Here’s a few snapshots of Jack’s daughter, Norah Jane, on her first day of life.  Baby is very healthy and big (8 lbs 12 oz!) and Mom continues to recover nicely.  Jack will be back for real later this week but is scheduled to appear as a guest on the show Tuesday at 7:50 to provide an account of some of the entertaining moments in the last 48 hours.

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Suh The TV Pitchman

July 19, 2010

While we await Norah Jane baby pictures from daddy, here’s the latest ad campaign from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike featuring former Husker Ndamukong Suh.

I wonder if he has any of his old Nebraska Adidas stuff he would care to part with now that he’s a Nike man?

Not that any of it would fit.


July 19, 2010

NOTE: Daddy will post pictures and have more about his personal experience when he has time

After Thursday’s false alarm, it appeared that the Mitchell’s would have a relatively sedate weekend.  When I didn’t hear anything upon going to bed late Saturday night, I thought that it might be another wait-and-see workday.  But upon my awakening Sunday morning in anticipation of the Special Olympics opening ceremonies, there it was waiting in my Blackberry in-box.

12:30am – Meagan’s water broke

With that the adventure had begun and by the time I rolled into the parking lot at Devaney to prepare for the opening ceremonies, a new baby girl was brought into the world.

Norah Jane is 8 lbs, 12 oz.  Born at 11:09am, Sunday.

Baby, mom, dad and new big brother Johnny are doing fine.

Show Rewind 7/15/10: The False Alarm

July 15, 2010

The show started with exciting news as Jack was at home anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Mitchell.  We had received word Wednesday afternoon that the contractions were coming more rapidly and with some intensity, so we thought we might have a new member of the morning show family by the time we hit the air at 6am.

We were wrong.

Things had stabilized and the happy parents remained in hurry-up-and-wait mode.  One writhing in pain, the other calmly assessing the situation and absorbing the occasional contraction from the new life growing inside her.  Thankfully, video camera were there to capture the moment.  Sadly, we could not afford color cameras and for some strange reason Jack was speaking in a thick Cuban accent and calling his wife “Lucy.”

Meanwhile, the show went on.  Senator Johanns joined us to explain his new amendment to the health care reform law designed to save small businesses a mountain of new paperwork.  We also learned about the massive airlift bringing in over 3,000 athletes for the Special Olympics USA National Games and found an organization against a proposed legalization of medicinal marijuana.

Oh, and John (The Grand Champion of the Birthday Game) evened the score against Chris for the week, setting up the dramatic fifth game Friday.

Will Jack be there?  Or will he be wearing his catcher’s gear in anticipation of the arrival of Baby Mitchell?