Show me, don't tell me, You've figured out the score...Show me, don't tell me, I've heard it all before...Show me, don't tell me, I don't care what you say...Show me, don't tell me...You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge...You can raise objections, I will be the judge...And the jury...I'll give it due reflection, Watching from the fence...Give the jury direction, Based on the evidence...I, the jury...Show, Don't tell

Dec 23, 2008

Christmas shopping with Smitty and Johnny B

So here we are looking ahead to the last Sunday of the NFL’s 2008 regular season. Some teams have surprised us in a good way (Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore), some have surprised in a bad way (Jacksonville, Cleveland, Seattle), and some, to quote Denny Green, “Were who we thought they were!!!” (Giants, Steelers, Lions, Raiders). Surprisingly, there wasn’t much in the way of off-the-field issues this season. Well, except for that little self-inflicted gunshot wound to Plaxico Burris. But that aside, up until two weeks ago, we hadn’t heard a peep out of Terrell Owens or Clinton Portis. And the rest of the usual suspects- Ocho Cinco, Pac Man Jones, Phillip Rivers, Larry Johnson, Kellen Winslow, etc.- have been amazingly quiet and issue-free this season. As a reward for this good behavior, I’ve decided to load up the sleigh and deliver some Christmas presents all across the NFL this year. And to help me with the shopping, I’ve brought Johnny B along for the ride. (He drives a big van, usually carries extra candy canes, and his hair smells like cinnamon, so he’s really the perfect holiday shopping companion.)

Smitty: Johnny B, you there?

Johnny B: I'm here.

Smitty: You ready to go?

Johnny B: I’m as ready as Rosie O’Donnell at a Vegas buffet.

Smitty: Disgusting. Let's do some NFL Christmas shopping! First of all, before we get started, Merry Christmas to you and the entire B family. Anything special going on in the B house this holiday season?

Johnny B: Merry Christmas to you and yours. We do Christmas here on the 24th, then to my Dad's that night. Then it's an exhilirating thrill ride up to Columbus for the wife's family.

Smitty: Sounds, uh, great. Not as great as taking in a special holiday donkey show in Tijuana whilst sipping Jack & Nog bombs, but whatever.

Johnny B: That's what we do at our Saylor Park Christmas with my Dad's third wife and my denounced step brothers the first Saturday after Three Kings Day.

Smitty: Three Kings? You mean Little Kings Day? Get all hopped up on cheap malt liquor and go to Western Bowl for a few frames?

Johnny B: Three Kings Day! Mexican Christmas... never heard of it? It's a lot like Kwaanza but the corn has pimento.

Smitty: I thought Mexican Christmas was Cinco de Mayo. Or is that their 4th of July? Whatev. You ready to do some gift giving? We've got 16 games, 32 teams, and, like Santa, we're on a tight schedule here. Slide your skinny ass down the chimney for the Rams at the Falcons. What's in the bag?

Johnny B: I don't know what's in the bag but I do know what's in the Three Kings Trinity cake. Guess who??? Baby Jesus!

Smitty: It looks like Baby Jesus is holding a dildo.

Johnny B: I asked Him to bring Mamma Squintz a gift from the top of her list. Another answered prayer.

Smitty: If he throws in a ball-gag and some nipple clamps, she can cross off the top three. So nothing for the Falcons or Rams? No, wait, I've got something for each. For Super Ginger Kid Matt Ryan, I've got a huge gingerbread house for him to chill in. As for the Rams, they simply get the 2nd pick in the draft. Again.

On to the Patriots at the Bills. I say hoodies all around to the Pats. They lose Brady and still might win the division.

Johnny B: Gingerhouse for a ginger kid. Priceless. For the Bills, I say Santa takes them back to the North Pole and we'll call them the Arctic Chokes.

Smitty: I hate artichokes. Actually, I'm not much of a vegetable eater, period. I guess that's why I couldn't carry on my relationship with my first wife after the accident.

Johnny B: And it’s why I had to step in and satisfy her with weekly bedside visits to the ICU.

Smitty: That’ll be an interesting conversation between you and God someday.

Johnny B: I hope to skip that conversation and talk to him about why he let hair metal die an untimely early death.

Smitty: Amen. Speaking of an early death, I’m going to the Bengals game this Sunday with the Plain White Rapper. We’re both super-stoked to see these two dead teams walking. Actually, I’m super-stoked to get outta the house for some guy time.

Johnny B: Uh, “guy time”?

Smitty: Fuck you, Bilbo. Chiefs at Bengals. You know what, I think I’m gonna shop for the Bengals like MFB does. I’ll go after Christmas and pick through the leftovers. Maybe get Carson Palmer a new O-Line made up of journeymen and a couple more late round draft picks.. Or I could just get them all gift certificates to Chuck E Cheese.

Johnny B: The Bengals are pathetic. But there not the only suspect questionable team out there. Smitty, I know you secretly love the Chiefs. But I've got a question for ya... What do you call 47 millionaires around a TV watching the Super Bowl? DING! DING! DING! The Kansas City Chiefs.

Smitty: The Chiefs haven't been to a Super Bowl since Van Buren was president. But at least they've been there, …and won it. Speaking of pathetic, the Lions travel to Green Bay, their final stop on the Quest for 0-16. I'm going to go ahead and get them what everyone else is asking for in Detroit lately– a bailout. I’ll give ‘em fifty bucks in one of them Hallmark Christmas cards with the sarcastic old cartoon lady on it. But in return, they have to agree to secede from the NFL and go play in Canada.

Johnny B: I’m going to get the Packers a six pack of I Told You So soda. You don’t trade a legend like Favre. Now what do they have to do up in Green Bay? Watch each other finger-fuck a block of swiss cheese? Go cow-tipping?

Smitty: I think they play a lot of Yahtzee and dance to polka music.

Johnny B: Which brings us to the Browns at Steelers. May Santa bring an ass-kicking to Turdlessburger this weekend. Not that I'm still bitter.

Smitty: I'm gonna ask Santa if I can borrow one of the mean, reject reindeer, fly to Hines Ward's crib, smash through his bedroom window and go hoof-first into his big-ass teef. Then I'll watch from a chair in a darkened corner as he's reindeer-raped. When it’s over and he’s lying there weeping, I’ll set down my glass of scotch, stand from my chair, shoot the reindeer, and remind him that “This never happened”. And no, I'm not bitter, either.

Johnny B: Sometimes I just don’t even know if you’re kidding. Do we need to take a break? I'm about as energetic as a Las Vegas whore at sunrise.

Smitty: You need some of that 5 Hour Energy shit that your buddy Braylon Edwards is peddling. Grab a Red Bull from the fridge and mix it with some vodka from the flask your wife's hiding in the linen closet (don't ask me how I know, I just do) and keep up. I’m gonna’ hit the fridge for some leftover KFC and a Coke. Meet you back here in ten.

(twelve minutes later…)

Smitty: Johnny, your not-so-secret favorite team, the Titans are at the Colts. Jeff Fisher gets what I always get him- a year’s supply of mustache wax. Which he never uses. I text him all the time, asking him to grease it up, 1800’s-style and pull the ends out. He’d look badass, like Daniel Day Lewis in The Gangs of New York. Didn’t he also wear his face fur like that in There Will Be Blood? “I drink your milkshake, Payton Manning, I drink it up!

Johnny B: I haven’t seen that movie. I heard it’s good.

Smitty: Good but not as good as The Gangs of New York.

Johnny B: You just like that one because of Leo Dicaprio.

Smitty: He’s a cutie.

Johnny B: Is he a bear or a tink?

Smitty: A tink, definitely. But if put with another tink, he’d take the bear role.

Johnny B: I was kinda kidding.

Smitty: Oh.

Bears at Texans. Chicago fans want what they always want- a decent quarterback. But just because Cub fans are a-holes, I give them another year of Kyle Orton and a gift certificate to Nathan’s hot dog stand. And the Texans, they have to promise to never, ever, wear their all red uni combo ever again or they ain’t getting’ shit from Santa Smitty. Did you like the all-red duds? I was watching one of their big, fat O-linemen running and I could’ve sworn I heard someone yell, “Hey, Kool-Aid!”

Johnny B: I thought they looked like eleven used tampons running around the field. But, it beats the Browns all-brown Mr. Hanky look from last year.

Smitty: If it’s brown…

Johnny B: …flush it down.

Smitty: You….complete me.

Johnny B: You’re gay.

Smitty: The G(ay) Men are at the Vikings this Sunday. It’s a must-win for the Vikes. Hey, because I’m catholic, I know that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. Does that mean that it’s also Purple Jesus’ birthday?

Johnny B: I don’t know.

Smitty: Purple Jesus gets gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Eli Manning gets twenty bucks to go get a decent haircut that doesn’t make him look like a nine year old. Whenever I see a head shot of him on tv, I expect them to pan down to show he’s wearing Garanimals.

Johnny B: I expect them to pan down to show he’s wearing footie pajamas.

Smitty: The Panthers are at the Saints. And speaking of haircuts, I’m hitching my sleigh to Jake Delhomme and the Panthers for the playoffs. I may even toss a little Sex Panther cologne under their tree. You down with the black cats?

Johnny B: I’m almost always down for some black-haired pussy.

Smitty: Raiders at Buccaneers. What do you get for the owner who’s got everything, except his sanity? How about a straightjacket for Al Davis with “Committed to Excellent care” embroidered on the back?

Johnny B: I’m getting Jeff Garcia an extension on his subscription to Playgirl and a movie pass to see Milk.

Smitty: Garcia’s not gay.

Johnny B: You told me he was.

Smitty: I tell you lots of things.

Johnny B: Tell me about the Seahawks at the Cardinals.

Smitty: I’m wrapping the Cardinals present right now- a brand new, state-of-the-art tourniquet to stop the bleeding. I mean, what the hell happened to thm? Did Kurt Warner’s deal with the devil expire early? My sources said it was good through at least mid-January. Maybe he missed a payment.

Johnny B: Speaking of the devil, Ray Lewis and his posse are beating people up again. I’m thinking of getting them an attorney for Christmas.

Smitty: Hmmm…Jaguars at Ravens. Ravens D-coordinator gets a wink and a nod from Santa Smitty ‘cause it’s now more obvious than ever that he’s the straw that stirs the drink in Charm City. Somebody please get him a head coaching position somewhere else so the Ravens can start sucking. As for the Jags, I’ll get them a signed okay from the commish to relocate to LA, or Portland, or Vegas. They weren’t selling out games in J-Ville even when they were good. Time to move on.

Johnny B: I’d move ‘em to Duluth. After touchdowns, they could sing “Du-luth, Du-luth, Du-luth is on fire!

Smitty: Dolphins at Jets. If I’m the owner of the Dolphins, I put a lifetime contract under Bill Parcell’s tree. And a box of canollis. First year there as GM and he turns them from 1-15 to 10-5 and one win away from division champs.

Johnny B: If I’m the owner of the Dolphins, I’m sitting on South Beach with four breast-enhanced beach babes and sipping Waboritas til’ 4am every night.

Smitty: Your man-crush on Sammy Hagar always finds a way to make an appearance.

Johnny B: What can I say. He holds the key to my Three Lock Box.

Smitty: Sammy’s cool. At least he’s enjoying life. He’s not a bitter old man like Eddie or an insane vagrant like David Lee Roth. (Caution: foreshadowing) If Van Halen/Van Hagar was/were the Cowboys, I think Eddie would be T.O., Alex would be Marion Barber, David Lee would be Pac Man Jones, Michael Anthony would be Witten, and Sammy would be Romo.

Johnny B: Sammy would be the photographer for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Smitty: You’re right. So, Cowboys at Eagles. I'm getting Romo a new girlfriend. Jessica Simpson's hot but there are plenty of hot broads he can get his hands on. She's brought his game down from day one. Having her around is like carrying the cursed idol from the Brady Bunch's Hawaiian vacation.

Johnny B: I'm getting Andy Reid a WeightWatchers membership.

Smitty: Good call. Hey, Skins at Niners. The Niners get nothing for Christmas. Ever. I’ll get the Skins tickets to the presidential inauguration to see your homie Barack get sworn in.

Johnny B: I’m trying to forget about it and move on. I’ve got more pressing concerns. Like how I’m going to raise enough money to buy myself an Illinois or New York senate seat.

Smitty: It looks like Al Franken, Caroline Kennedy, and Jesse Jackson Jr may all be in the senate, joining Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Yeah, this is gonna’ turn out just fine.

Johnny B: We can always move to Austrailia.

Smitty: How about New Zealand? They have four-day work weeks and get an average of twelve weeks vacation.

Johnny B: Sounds like a strong union contract.

Smitty: Speaking of contracts, I’m getting Jay Cutler an extension on his contract for Christmas. The donkeys have melted down and will now probably miss the playoffs but it’s not his fault, their defense su-ucks.

Johnny B: The Broncos at the Chargers, eh? The Broncos are my other favorite team but you’re right, their defense is horrible. I’m getting them a new D-Line for Christmas, just in time to beat the Chargers this Sunday night.

Smitty: That’s it, Johnny. We’ve made it through our shopping list and, in the process, the Week 17 matchups. And as a sign of my appreciation, a couple gifts for you. A Denver Broncos cheerleader and a bottle of Cabo Wabo tequila.

Johnny B: Good Lord. And for you, two Corona cans and a salute for another year in the books.

Smitty: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Dec 10, 2008

Myths about MFB, Lovie, Bucco Bruce, The Hasselbeck Code, Fisher's Ferret, Bounties, Hoodies, and a Power Crystal

So I’m listening to a local sports talk show while driving the other day and Bengal Bob or Who Dey Steve or Delhi Dave or whoever the guy’s alter ego was, says something I’ve heard oh, about 12,489 times over the past few years. He says, and I quote’ “Mike Brown’s a good businessman but he doesn’t know anything about football.” It was at that point, I guess just due to years of repressed stern disagreement, that my brain had finally had enough. I started seeing blue and pink spots, tore the steering wheel clean off its mounting and careened headlong into a side-of-the-road fruit stand. Actually, I just muttered “what a moron” to myself and jammed my banana smoothie back in to the cup holder, but you get the idea. The point is, can we please invoke a moratorium on the whole “Mike Brown is a Good Businessman” theme? I mean, Jesus, people, it’s not only not true, it’s false (whatever). It’s borderline blasphemous, annoyingly egregious and downright insulting to bonafide businessmen everywhere.

Why is he a good businessman, because he negotiated a lopsided deal with Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati? We’re talking about negotiations with the likes of Bob Bedinghaus and Jim Tarbell, etal. Anyone could’ve distracted those groups by rolling out a brightly colored ball of yarn and some tinsel and written their own ticket. Oh, and beating the IRS in court, you say. Um, Mike Brown didn’t beat the IRS, his attorney, James Malone, beat the IRS. You think Mikey Boy with his speech impediment and monotone delivery is eloquent enough to sway a high level judge? Whatev.

Since when could someone inherit a business, fail miserably at one of the two main goals of that business, and be referred to as a good businessman? Uh, never. Unless your name is Mike F. Brown (more on the “F” later)> The two main indisputable goals of any professional sports franchise are to a) make a healthy profit, and b) win games, if not championships. While MFB has succeeded with a), he’s been horrible at b). Now, some will argue that ultimately, making money is more important than winning, so MFB has succeeded at the more important, and most important, goal of his business. I can’t and won’t argue with that but I will contend that the two goals are not exclusive of one another. Plenty of owners accomplish both goals with the understanding that winning often parlays itself into more revenue (see: Kraft, Robert; Irsay, Jim; Rooney, Family).

Obviously, the bottom line of any company, hell, any household for that matter, is affected by two things: money coming in and money going out, MFB limits the amount of money going out better than any owner in the history of owners but he does a terrible job of maximizing money coming in. Think of it this way: If your wife tells you that the checking account is getting frighteningly low and the household budget is in the red each month, you have three choices- 1) cut expenses, 2) work hard to get a promotion, raise, bonus, etc., 3) cut expenses and work harder for more money. MFB’s mindset is to cut expenses to the bone. This doesn’t make him a good businessman; it merely makes him an unimaginative tightass. On the flipside, someone like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (and about 29 of the 32 current NFL owners) has the mindset to work harder, win more games, expand the fan base, market to new client bases, and increase demand to he can raise prices and increase revenue. It’d be one thing to give MFB a pass on this because, well, who are we to say how he should keep his business afloat but that’s not what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about is increasing profits. MFB cuts to the bone to increase profits, not to make ends meet. Hell, in today’s NFL, the negotiated television contracts combined with the negotiated salary cap have set up the owners to the point where they are guaranteed a healthy profit for the year before they even roll the tackling sleds out for training camp.

I like to compare the NFL to McDonalds. It’s a unique product, widely loved and consumed, part of the fabric of America, with a brand name that makes it nearly impossible for one of its franchises to fail. Outside of having to fund a rabid cocaine habit or a serious gambling addiction, it’s basically impossible to fail with a McDonald’s franchise. Mike F. Brown’s like the owner of the shittiest McDonalds in town. Sure, he makes a healthy profit but the coffee’s always cold, the floor’s always sticky, the drive thru is mind-numbingly slow, the workers always seem to screw up your order, and the bathrooms smell like a homeless guy with four cats lived in it for the past week. But people begrudgingly go there because it’s the only McDonalds in the neighborhood and they need their weekly Big Mac fix (or McRib, depending on your part of town). If he just hired better management, spent more to get better front line help and put the needs of his customers first, he’d make a much larger profit. Why cut back and piss off your loyal client base when you can spend a little more, make a little more, and improve your image? Especially when your client base is not only paying for your product but also paying taxes to pay off your building for you.

Side note: If MFB actually did own a McDonalds, it wouldn’t be more than three months and Ronald would be asking to be traded and Mikey Boy would be trying to rehabilitate the Hamburglar, right?

MFB was handed a golden goose by his father and instead of taking care of the goose, feeding it well, giving it a good life and putting it in a healthy environment where it can yield the most golden eggs, he’s got it leg-shackled to a pipe down in the basement, feeding it month-old bread crumbs under the flicker of some failing fluorescent lights while blasting propaganda messages and German death metal through an old loudspeaker. He has not been an adequate caretaker of the goose. Nor has he been an adequate businessman. A good businessman would know his or her own limitations, react to customer feedback, reward productive and loyal employees (Willie Anderson), weed out poorly producing an malcontented employees (Cinco and Henry), feed revenues back into the company to increase product quality and productivity, look for innovative ways to get a leg-up on the competition, and strive to help improve the overall good of the community in which the business resides. That’s not Mike F. Brown. Never has been, never will be. Oh, and the “F”, it stands for “Fucking”. (Because it fits and it flows beautifully)
Now that we’ve debunked the MFB “good businessman” myth, whaddya say we shoot down some other commonly accepted falsehoods around the NFL?
Bring on the matchups….

Thursday Night
Saints at Bears
Myth: It’s been widely reported (at least amongst my friends) that the mother of Bears head coach Lovie Smith was a huge Gilligan’s Island fan and named her son after Thurston Howell III’s wife.

Reality: Surprisingly, this is not true. His real birth name is Lovie Lee Smith and he was named after his great aunt Luvana. Lovie grew up in Sandy, Texas with his parents and three brothers- Ginger, Mary Ann, and Skipper.

Buccaneers at Falcons
Myth: From almost the time it was initially unveiled, the Bucs original logo, Bucco Bruce, was thought to have been a tribute to a band of gay pirates that roamed the Caribbean in the early 1800s.

Reality: Actually however, the logo was the creation of then Tampa Times cartoonist Lamar Sparkman who was commissioned to design a logo that didn’t look too much like that of the other “pirates” in the league. You may recognize some of Sparkman’s other works such as....

Seahawks at Rams-
Myth: Recently, it has been rumored that the terminology used by Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in this commercial was just jibberish and had no meaning whatsoever.

Reality: Well, while it’s true that it is not actual terminology from the Seahawks playbook, it does have meaning. Its code formerly used by Matt and his brother Tim when they were younger and chasing tail. This particular code was the one Matt texted to Tim when Tim first introduced Elizabeth (now his wife) to the family. It decodes as follows: Change Right (Republican Hottie), A Right (Nice Ass), Two Jet Dancer (Nice perky tits), Fake Forty (You should definitely get her drunk by spiking her drink), at Shallow Cross (in the back of your XR7).

Bills at Jets-
Myth: It’s been a common belief that Fireman Ed, the fan wearing a Jets-themed fireman helmet who starts the J! E! T! S! cheers during the Jets home games, is an actual NYC fireman. In reality, the clown’s name is Ed Anzalone and indeed he…..Wait a minute, I’m getting way off point here-

Reality: J! E! T! S! Suck! SUCK!! SUCK!!!

Titans at Texans-
Myth: Titans head coach Jeff Fisher has a pet ferret named Pastorini that he keeps in his mustache.

Reality: There is no animal living in Jeff Fisher’s mustache. But he does have a pet ferret. During the season, it lives with Mama Squintz, usually taking warmth inside her girdle and occasionally heading south to forage for crumbs stuck in her pubic hair.

Packers at Jaguars-
Myth: Everyone in Green Bay is fat and lives on a steady diet of cheese, sausage and Krispy Kremes.

Reality: This is a completely overblown stereotype. Our studies show that at least seven people in the Green Bay area are not, I repeat, not morbidly obese.

Chargers at Chiefs-
Myth: Due to the disappointing season in San Diego, the natives are restless and fingers are being pointed. A local fan group which calls itself The Current, has started circulating negative talk directed at quarterback Philip Rivers. On their official web site which doesn’t exist, the claim is made that Rivers is nothing but a quick-tempered red neck with a bad haircut and a weakness for roasted possum.

Reality: Rivers is actually a pretty decent red neck quarterback with a quick temper, bad haircut and a weakness for roasted possum.

Niners at Dolphins-
Myth: Before the game winning two-minute drive against Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII, Joe Montana lightened the mood in the huddle by pointing out John Candy sitting in the stands.

Reality: It’s true. Damn the Niners, Damn them straight to Hell!!!

Lions at Colts-
Myth: If the car industry bailout does not get through Congress, the Ford family will be forced to sell the team. On the list of prospective new owners is Detroit native Robert James Ritchie, aka Kid Rock.

Reality: William Clay Ford is on record as saying that he will never sell the Lions, bailout or no bailout. Ford says the Lions are “part of the Ford family and have a special place in our hearts, just like the Tempo, the Festiva, and the Pinto.”

Redskins at Bengals-
Myth: The name “Redskins” is a derogatory term used since the European colonization of America to describe native American Indians, referring to the reddish tint to their skin. The Native American community continues to be outraged by the use of this term by a major sports franchise residing in our nation’s capital.

Reality: The term “Redskins” hasn’t been hurled at anyone as a racial slur since about 1792. In fact, in 1933, George Preston Marshall, the owner of the team, which was then located in Boston, renamed it the Boston Redskins in honor of the head coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, an American Indian. When the team moved to Washington in 1937 it was renamed the Washington Redskins. George Marshall clearly did not consider the name disparaging. Marshall also owned one of the original ABA teams, the Blacksburg Blackies, and also a fledgling Texas League baseball team, the El Paso Beaners.

Vikings at Cardinals-
Myth: It’s been widely reported in the blogosphere that Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner sold his soul to the devil this past summer in return for one more MVP type of season.

Reality: True, but this is not the entire story. Warner actually sold his soul, a couple of rare Mick Jagger-autographed copies of the Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet album, and a case of Shiner Bock. Apparently Shiner Bock is very hard to find anywhere east of the river Styx.

Steelers at Ravens-
Myth: The Ravens defense has a bounty out on Hines Ward.

Reality: Roughly ten different NFL defenses have a bounty out on Hines Ward.

Patriots at Raiders-
Myth: The secret to Bill Belichek’s success lies somewhere within his hoodie. Some even claim that it contains the contents of the briefcase from Pulp Fiction.

Reality: The hoodie is simply a fashion statement. Belichek’s success comes from a power crystal surgically implanted into his navel which harnesses an incredible amount of wisdom and positive energy which he then transfers to his team.

Broncos at Panthers-
Myth: Broncos head coach Mike Shannahan wears dentures.

Reality: Surprisingly, no dentures. He just grinds his teeth a lot. But he does have a lazy eye and knee-buckling halitosis.

Giants at Cowboys-
Myth: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has had several cosmetic surgeries, including an earlobe reduction.

Reality: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has not had any cosmetic surgeries. He stays young by dancing with former child actors.

Monday Night
Browns at Eagles
Myth: The brass at ESPN and NBC are seriously regretting the scheduling of the Browns for so many prime time games this season and are vowing not to get caught up in the same type of hype over a similar team next season.

Reality: ESPN and NBC are already internally committed to four prime time games each for the Texans, Dolphins, and Cardinals in 2009.

Nov 26, 2008

Equal Time to discuss gravy, turkey, bird on bird violence, Andy Rooney, Gary Coleman, Black Caesar, and Al Davis' last wishes

Apparently political talk radio is smoking it’s last cigarette, hands & feet shackled and walking down a long hallway towards a chair with a bunch of straps, some wires and a big metal hat thingy on it. Along the hallway, a mostly wealthy conservative contingent of radio hosts including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage are hollering and rattling metal cups and meal plates against their cell bars in protest of the death sentence. Meanwhile, outside underneath the glare of television cameras, left wingers with homemade signs are eagerly anticipating the flicker of streetlights which would signify the death of their most unyielding nemesis.

The whole scene is where it is right now because of some saber rattling and congressional hallway discussions by leftists like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others who are a bit jealous, nervous, and can’t quite figure out why conservative talk radio is successful and liberal talk radio is not. They’ve made some unsettling noise about re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine to level the playing field. And make no mistake, this noise may be more than just noise, and that realization has conservatives collectively pacing a hole in the floor.

So what exactly is this Fairness Doctrine? Well, The Fairness Doctrine is a policy which was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission, requiring radio and television stations to grant equal time to a political candidate, group, etc., to present an opposing viewpoint to one already aired. It was introduced in 1949 and applied on a case-by-case basis until 1974 when the FCC decided that Congress had delegated them the power to enforce it and got all heavy-handed & shit. After thirteen years of the FCC powertrip, Reagan appointed new members to the FCC who repealed the doctrine, stating that "the intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of [the Fairness Doctrine] restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters ... [and] actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and the degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists". Effectively, this put the Fairness Doctrine on a dusty shelf in the cellar right in between the National Prohibition Act and the Sedition Act.

Personally, I think the movement to reinstate the FD smacks of a fascist attempt to move to a one-party system and pronounce Obama as the King of the Americas. (To Obama’s credit, word is that he doesn’t want the doctrine or the title, and also realizes that a crown would look kinda silly with his big ears. However, he was quoted as saying that a scepter and robe would be “hella tight”.)

In case Pelosi, Reid and others haven’t noticed, this isn’t the three-network-1950’s and there are plenty of places to get your Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, or Green fixes- cable television, political blogs, magazines, newspapers, online newspapers, newsletters, YouTube videos, podcasts, satellite radio, flyers posted in the bathrooms of alternative dance clubs, and, of course, am/fm talk radio. No matter what your political, economic, social, environmental, or religious views, there are literally hundreds of outlets for you to plug into. Hell, there’s even a site for Mormon Pro-Choice Libertarians in favor of Gay Marriage, opposed to Clean Energy and ambivalent on Free Trade. The site is www.blacksheepoftheosmondfamily.com
(Not really.)

If the liberals want equal time, it’s quite simple: find entertaining liberal show hosts who can somehow convince those who can speak English and afford radios that the liberal agenda is not dangerous morally, economically and militarily to our American way of life. I doubt they'll be able to pull that off, but I also doubt that Obama will want to campaign in four years and have to answer questions about why he silenced his critics by raping the First Amendment. I don’t think he’s that stupid. In fact, I don't think he's stupid at all. But just in case, I will practice incorporating the Fairness Doctrine by presenting this week’s Matchups with time given for dissenting points of view.

Now, on with the matchups….

Turkey Day

Titans at Lions
Nothing says “Thanks” like an 0-12 start. Pass the gravy, Detroit.

Counterpoint: The Lions have an excellent chance of winning this game. Sure they’re a heavy underdog but they’re used to this short week of preparation each November and that should help. Also, gravy is bad for you.

Seahawks at Cowboys-
I’ll likely enjoy this game like I’ve enjoyed all the rest of the Cowboys late afternoon Thanksgiving Day games- sprawled on couch, pants unbuttoned, gravy stain on shirt, semi-conscious due to combined effects of tryptophan and bourbon.

Counterpoint: The senseless and cruel killing of turkeys this time of year for our own gluttonous satisfaction is something about which we as Americans should be ashamed. My family enjoys tofu turkey with breadcrumb stuffing and we never drink around the children. What? No, that’s right, we’re not Catholic. How did you know?

Cardinals at Eagles-
Birds versus Birds on Thanksgiving Night? Genius!

Counterpoint: Bird on bird violence is no laughing matter. I propose we pass legislation to fund psychological testing in our national aviaries and promote a strong public afterschool program for the young birds to help keep them off the streets.


Saints at Buccaneers
Did you see Drew Brees on Monday Night? Dude was unstoppable. Like Mama Squintz with a fresh plate at the Old Country Buffet. I’m beginning to think that Brees’ facial birthmark gives him mystical powers inside the Superdome. Kinda like the Heroes characters are affected by solar eclipses. Kinda.

Counterpoint: We think Mr. Brees should have that birthmark checked by a dermatologist and Mama Squintz should have her cholesterol checked by her primary physician.

Giants at Redskins-
There’s just something about late-season NFC East games in DC that reminds me of listening to Summeral and Madden while sitting around my grandparent’s living room after a Sunday family dinner.
It also reminds me of Andy Rooney. 60 Minutes always followed the late CBS game and my grandpa loved Andy Rooney. For that main reason, I tended to gravitate more towards grandma.

Counterpoint: Andy Rooney was the smart comedic voice of his generation. His wit, wisdom and insight simply could not be denied. May he rest in peace.
What’s that? Really? Still alive? Jesus, what is he, like ninety five? And still on the air? Wow, well obviously we haven’t watched 60 Minutes in quite a while. Man, that’s crazy.
Hey, what about Wilford Brimley, he still alive?

Niners at Bills-
Damn the Niners. Damn them straight to Hell!

Counterpoint: God bless the Niners! Just kidding, we hate the Niners, too. F-You, Joe Montana!

Colts at Browns-
Don’t look now but the Colts seem to be getting their shit together. If they can just keep Bob Sanders healthy, they’ve got a decent shot at taking the AFC. And how the hell is Sanders always hurt anyway? Stocky little black dudes never get hurt. They’re like bumper cars. They can bounce off of stuff all fucking day. I remember back in the mid-eighties, Gary Coleman visited our grade school to give some kind of lame "stay off drugs, stay in school" talk. Afterward, a few of us offered him some smokes, took him out to the back playground and beat the snot out of him. And you know what? That little sumbitch wouldn’t stay down. He kept getting up, all pissed off, saying “Don’t make me call Mr. T to come down here”. Finally, after about a half hour, we all got tired and laid down. Arnold simply got up, walked off with our smokes and hopped in a limo. Maybe he should play safety for the Colts.

Counterpoint: We are... without words.

Ravens at Bengals-
Bring on the girls, it’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!

Counterpoint: Bring on the boys, it’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!

Panthers at Packers-
I hope Coach McCarthy still has the store receipt for his defensive unit. If he’s lucky, they’ll let him return it for something a little more sturdy, like a pile of matchsticks or a 60” x 72” framed piece of tissue paper.

Counterpoint: The NFL’s return policy clearly states that items must be returned within sixty days of purchase. Coach McCarthy cannot get his money back or even a store credit. We will, however, trade him some slightly damaged plywood in exchange for Al Harris’ dreadlocks.

Dolphins at Rams-


Falcons at Chargers-
The Norv Turner Farewell Tour heads back to San Diego!

Counterpoint: Norv Turner is not soley to blame for the Chargers failures this season. They have a hot & cold redneck quarterback, LT is obviously not completely healthy, and Shawne Merriman is on injured reserve. In our opinion, Norv Turner is just the scapegoat. An ugly scapegoat with an uncanny resemblance to Principal Skinner.

Steelers at Patriots-
Is it just me or are the Steelers basically the cast of a seventies blacksploitation cop movie? You’ve got the chief who wears gold-rimmed shades and leather jackets, a few big, crazy, beefed-up muscle heads, a light-skinned guy who smiles too much cause he’s stealing product from the evidence closet, a token white guy who thinks he’s a brother, and the requisite guy from the islands who’s real quiet and mysterious until the shit hits the fan and he goes apeshit. All that’s missing is some stop-action camera work from CBS and some cheesy catch phrases.

Counterpoint: We see the Steelers more like a wholesome middle-American family. They share with one another the good times and the bad, the heartache and the joy of life in the NFL. They are a beautiful collection of flowers amid the backdrop of a hardened steel town.

Chiefs at Raiders-
Time for this week’s pop quiz…
According to his attorney, what are Al Davis’ wishes for his body when he dies?
a) To be cremated and kept in an urn at his daughter’s house
b) To be buried next to his mother
c) To be cast off into the bay, Viking style, on a burning raft
d) To be preserved in a cryogenic chamber and kept in his luxury box at McAfee Coleseum.
e) To be cremated and sprinkled across Mama Squintz’ love box

Answer: d), then a year later a) for two months, then e)

Counterpoint: We believe Al Davis to be an alien life form and suspect that he, like Keith Richards, cannot be killed.

Broncos at Jets-
J! E! T! S! Suck!, SUCK!!, SUCK!!!

Counterpoint: B! R! O! N! C! O! S! Suck!, SUCK!!, SUCK!!!, SUCK!!!!, SUCK!!!!!, SUCK!!!!!!, SUCK!!!!!!!

Bears at Vikings-
Why in the fuck does NBC have Keith Olberdork on their NFL Sunday Night studio team? And why does the musical number at the beginning of the game feature Faith Hill singing crappy cheeseball lyrics over a Joan Jett song while we’re bombarded with shameless product placements for Sprint? Motherfuck, it makes me want to cornhole somebody with the business end of a post hole digger.

Counterpoint: We like the swarmy sarcasm of Keith Olbermann and Faith Hill makes us feel funny in our happy place. Keep up the good work, NBC!

Monday Night

Jaguars at Texans
(Extra-heavy sarcasm alert)
At long last, our first MNF game of 2008 wherein both teams are virtually out of playoff contention. You know what this means- we're in for three hours of Kornheiser timidly trying to be clever, Jaworski overanalyzing meaningless action, and lots & lots of Andrea Kremer . Freaking awesome!

Counterpoint: We also expect more than the usual amount of camera time for the home team’s cheerleaders.

Nov 19, 2008

Why I'm going back to school and why I've chosen to attend UCLA (a photo essay)

No commentary on the matchups this week (insert applause here). I'm simply too busy with my UCLA application and I'm also being proactive and have begun writing a eulogy for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Thursday Night

Bengals at Steelers-


Texans at Browns-

Bills at Chiefs-

Patriots at Dolphins-

Bears at Rams-

Bucs at Lions-

Jets at Titans-

Niners at Cowboys-

Vikings at Jaguars-

Eagles at Ravens-

Raiders at Broncos-

Giants at Cardinals-

Panthers at Falcons-

Redskins at Seahawks-

Colts at Chargers-

Monday Night

Packers at Saints

Nov 12, 2008

Forgive Me Father....

So I’m working at our parish’s Monte Carlo this past Saturday night and I start thinking, “Why is it that I volunteer my time for all sorts of church fundraisers but I only go to mass twice a year?” Good question. Why raise money for something I hardly ever attend? And more importantly, why don’t I attend? After a few seconds of deep thought, I ultimately concluded what I always conclude- I don’t attend because I just don’t get much out of the mass.

According to my calculations, I’ve sat through somewhere between 1,200 – 1,300 catholic masses in my lifetime. Just how many times can I say the Our Father, the Apostolic whatever, share the sign of peace, hear about Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, or mouth the words to “One Bread, One Body” and actually squeeze any morsel of meaning out of it? It’s like going to see the same film 1,300 times. An art film. Partly in Latin with no subtitles and more than a moderate amount of required viewer participation. I mean, I know how it’s going to end- with me uninspired and dangerously close to falling over asleep and cracking my skull on the pew. That happened to Scott Davis in the sixth grade and it looked painful & embarassing so I'd rather try to avoid that if possible. Anyway, the only difference from one mass to another is the homily, or as I like to call it, Father's Halftime Monologue.

I’ve always had a problem with the homily. Well, not always, I’ve heard a dozen or so in my lifetime that made me shrug & raise an eyebrow, maybe shake my head and concede agreement. But the majority of the time it’s just some common sense rooted in the “Do unto others” lesson and dished out by a man who’s never had to deal with a wife, raise a family, make a house payment, or work at a job that would fire you if you were to found to be sodomizing a twelve year old boy. Not super inspiring. Instead, I get more inspiration and enlightenment from people who get paid to be interesting and thought-provoking. Those who, if they fail in either category, cease to be employed any longer. I’m speaking of authors, screenwriters, playwrights, talk show hosts, speechwriters, joke writers, songwriters, editorialists, and the people who do the in-store advertising for Steak ‘n Shake (I love their fucking placemats).

What can I say; we each are moved by different messages from different sources. Mine just so happen to come from almost everywhere except the church. That doesn’t mean that I disagree with the church. On the contrary, I still hold almost all of the same values and beliefs that were drummed into my head during my formative years. Not that you necessarily care but I’m pro-life, pro-charity, pro-Golden Rule, and anti-anything that violates the Ten Commandments. Except number ten, I mean, that’s just not seemingly possible. And of course number four is obviously tough for me given the whole premise of this entry.

So anyway, back to the original question- “Why is it that I volunteer my time for all sorts of church fundraisers but I only go to mass twice a year?” The answer is actually pretty easy. I do it because I believe in the church community, more specifically, in the good that the church community can do. The charitable works of the church are almost unparalleled and the lessons & loving support of the community can do wonders for our children’s moral compass and sense of belonging. Plus, Monte Carlo night, the festivals, bingo, - they all involve beer, gambling, and a nice handful of milfs. There are more reasons but you don’t really care. Hell, I’d put down $10 worth of leftover Monte Carlo night poker chips that less than three of you are still with me and actually reading this. I’ll put down another $10 that one of you still reading is Mit. What up, Mit? Catholic boys in the HOUUUUSE!!!

Now, on with the matchups….

Thursday Night

Jets at Patriots-
Thou shall not retire, unretire, then seek fortune elsewhere. If so, the Lord shall empower an unlikely force to dash your hopes and generally fuck up your world when you stand on the precipice of glory.


Broncos at Falcons-
Thou shall not make it look easy as a rookie quarterback. Unless you are a ginger kid. In that case, the Lord shall give you a pass to make up for creating you as a ginger kid.

Vikings at Bucs-
Thou shall not pose as a purple version of my son. Unless, of course, you are hella-quick, can turn five yard losses into twenty yard gains, and can smack the shit out of dreadlocked defensive backs.

Ravens at Giants-
Thou shall not commit murder.

Raiders at Dolphins-
Honor thy contracts and obligations, that your days may be long upon the land despite any deteriorated mental state or simple loss of thine fucking mind.

Saints at Chiefs-
Thou shall not go for two when thou’s team is just an extra point away from tying the game with mere seconds left on the clock. Remember this, for the Lord likes overtime.

Lions at Panthers-
Thou shall remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your pool boy, nor your coaches, nor your players, nor your equipment manager, nor your trainers. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
(The Lions are not only on their way to 0-16, they’re going to fuckin’ heaven.)

Eagles at Bengals-
Thou shall honor thy father and mother. Do not desecrate that which your parents have given you. Shall you find yourself in need of a general manager to help preserve the fruit of your father’s labor, then by all means, hire a general manager. If thou fails to do so, I shall send an inbred militia to your doorstep.

(Oh. My. God.)

Bears at Packers-
Thou shall not bear false witness against da bears. Also, no gay stuff.

Texans at Colts-
Thou shall not claim that everything is bigger in Texas. I am all-knowing and I can tell you that not everything is bigger in Texas. Case in point: penises. Not many black guys in Texas. Penises are much bigger, on the average, in Mississippi and Uganda.

Rams at Niners-
Damn the Niners, Damn them straight to HELL!!!!

Cardinals at Seahawks-
Thou shall not think it’s going to be easy to just waltz up to Seattle and bitch slap the defending division champs. What do you think; they’re just going to lay down on the week Hasselbeck returns to action? Whatev. Oh, and uh, thou shall not steal.

Titans at Jaguars-
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. I don’t care if you’re 9-0, Jeff Fisher is not Me. Would I be caught dead with that mustache? Seriously. Yes Gabriel, I remember the muttonchops I sported, but that was in the 70’s. I let a lot of shit slide in the 70’s. I’m telling you, I have not taken the image of Jeff Fisher. And anyone else who thinks tha- Moses, take off the Titans jersey. Fuck, you guys. You know what, ZAP! There you go, now I’ve just made it so they’re gonna lose in Jacksonville. Maybe at about 4:00 this Sunday you’ll finally believe me.

Chargers at Steelers-
Thou shall not deliver cheap shots as a wide receiver. Doing so will elicit a bounty on thine head, a bounty sought by every defensive player in the league as well as my arch angels. Watch your knees, Hines.

Cowboys at Redskins-
Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's. Even his cheerleaders. Okay, maybe his cheerleaders.

Monday Night

Browns at Bills
Thou shall not take this blog seriously. God, if you’re watching (and I know you are), please do not smite me or deliver plague onto my family, friends or cattle. This is all meant in jest and in no way meant to demean you or disrespect you. May the glory and honor be yours almighty father, forever and ever. And the lesson, as always: I’m an idiot. Seriously, I’m heavily banking on the fact that you have a kickass sense of humor. You like pie, right? Let me buy you a slice of key lime and we’ll talk this out. Actually, let’s hug it out first. No? Okay, the pie, then who knows, maybe hugs.