All it took was a new NFL collective bargaining agreement to make my globetrotting and oft voguish colleague, Mr. Allen Krause (9 year-old version pictured above), rejoice like he was at a Justin Bieber concert. Now that we know there will be football, Mr. Krause can use his soon-to-be Detroit Tigers disappointment as a perfect segue into yet another Detroit Lions season of disappointment.
The world will be good.
Still, I have a hard time congratulating a group of unionized millionaires on doing what they should have done to begin with. I know the owners were skimming and scheming, but these things need to be addressed and taken care of PRIOR to a lockout, PRIOR to pissing off a Joe Six-Pack fan base, PRIOR to holding my sports news hostage.
DIDN’T THEY LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE 1994 MLB STRIKE!?!?!
Look, I nearly died in ’94. I was crushed like a man forced to watch his lover in bed with another man. I went so far as to QUIT baseball for the entire 1995 season. If it weren’t for an Albert Belle sized tub of syringes and a jheri curl renaissance, I might still be hootin’ and hollerin’ over the CICL.
But, as is usually the case, no one cares how we, the fans, feel. As long as we keep schleppin’ out the dough, sports franchises and the athletes who make them will continue to spit on us. Because they can.
And, I can attest, a certain Mr. Krause would be the very first in line with a pocketfull of benjamins for some Matt Stafford lugeys.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Tracy Tzu: You’re acting like a child.
Stanley White: Well, a great man is one who in manhood still keeps the heart of a child.
There’s no baseball till Thursday. At all. Do not tell me there is. YOU CANNOT DISSUADE ME.
So this week I thought I’d let you kids know what has been filling the void in my life and I’m sure without a doubt you WANT to know this crap because everything is about ME.
Year of the Dragon. This is when Mickey Rourke was absolutely killin it in the mid-eighties and was on his way to becoming the next Marlon Brando. He’s volatile, violent, smooth, exasperating, and so un-George Clooney that real men felt they could be him. After this film, he had a bad boxing career, messed up his face, had multiple plastic surgeries and started living in a closet with his poodle before eventually reinventing himself. If he had died when he was 30 (and I’m shocked that he didn’t) he’d be mentioned in the same breath as Hendrix, Morrison, and Cobain.
Film Score that hurts it’s so good:
Either watch Vertigo or just check this Bernard Hermann link. Between Jimmy Stewart’s obsessiveness and the awesome direction of Hitchcock, the music from this movie makes me weep like when I watch a Derrick Rose crossover. It goes from wispy to dramatically sad to the most desperate feeling music could ever make you feel.
Watch Lombardi on HBO. As a Bears fan, spending and hour and a half focusing on a Green Bay legend was a little surreal, but it was so good I was swept up in the majesty of his greatness. He was also a genuinely well-liked guy. I would have put on a jock strap for the skipper. Or is it gipper?
QUESO FUNDIDO WITH CHORIZO. This stuff is unbelievable and I get it mostly at El Cid in Chicago or Arturo’s Tacos. Hot gooey cheese and meat you slather on tortilla chips. Eat it fast or else it turns into playdough.
Sea Salt Brownies from Trader Joe’s. They won’t make it home. At least not all of them. I’m not a sweets guy but these are so good I’d submit to the true death True Blood style if its my last meal.
Casey Anthony is not hot, but I’d probably do some shots with her.
So that’s what I did so far this week because there’s NO BASEBALL!!! I mean Jeffy and I still watched the fake game that decides the fate for home court advantage in the Super Bowl but that’s just because we like to snuggle and eat salty brownies.
Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.
Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.
Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person. I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy. But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.
So here ya go. Let the judging begin!
Yankees fans, I’m judging you. You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?! When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”. And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.
Mitt Romney, I’m judging you. Come on, dude. How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!? Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?
National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?! Good grief! Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime? You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal. Just ask Whitney Houston.
Donald Trump, I’m judging you. The birther thing, well, I can see past that. But your hair. Seriously. It’s not funny anymore. It’s disturbing. I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.
And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…
MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you. If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size. Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Regardless of who wins the Super Bowl, we, the people, the Joe Plumbers and Jane Six-Packs of the world, will most definitely be subjected to interview after interview after interview of big dummies with fat paychecks who don’t actually say… anything.
This is nothing new, dear readers. The gene pool is ridiculously consistent in its distribution policies. Sure, I can’t throw a football 60 yards on a line to a moving target, but I can speak three languages. I can’t hit a curveball over the left field wall, but I can read books and formulate coherent thoughts through the power of writing.
It’s a balance thang.
And though I often harp on my dislike of hearing my favorite professional athletes speak (Albert Pujols and his non-stop Jesus mouth comes to mind), I sure as hell hope Big Ben or Aaron Rodgers will follow South African rugby star Brendan Venter’s lead:
By the way, Mr. Venter is a medical doctor too.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
With tomorrow being the Superbowl and all, not many people care to focus on the happenings of the baseball world. Well, when in Rome….
I think the best place to begin is with an idea that seems antiquated in and of itself: white running backs. Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are.
But, as good as those guys may have been, they can’t hold a candle to this:
We miss you, Barry. Detroit isn’t the same without you, even though you definitely deserved better.
Happy Superbowl Weekend!
Just like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:
A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop. I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence. Yeah, kinda makes me sick too. But I can’t lie. He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him. And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no?
Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.
So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings.
The American Way.
Se la vie.
Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster. On the cheap! Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year! If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million! WTF?!?!?!?
Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler. For realz.
In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:
“you can never quiet the stupid.“
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As a man, the sport simply speaks to the inherent barbarism that has trickled down my side of the species for time ad nauseum. Some of my fondest high school memories revolve around strapping on the pads and hitting people as hard as I possibly could, without getting in trouble for it. In fact, I can honestly say that I enjoyed getting hit — laid out on my back with stars circling overhead — more than doing the hitting (see Fight Club).
And the language of football is deeply connected to the language of our cave-dwelling ancestors:
Arggh. Me want. Arggh. Me take. Arggh. Touchdown!
Football provides that wormhole back to warriorism — where heroes are born for their stubbornness to quit, where the last guy standing reigns supreme, whether he’s got all of his limbs or not. From this we have been treated to Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Reggie White — WARRIORS the whole lot!!!
And I respect that. All of that. Every single bit of it.
Still, football ain’t baseball.
It’s not even close.
So, for me, when football playoffs come around, it’s just not the same as when baseball playoffs come around.
I don’t obsess over every matchup. I don’t lose sleep at night wondering how the benches will play out. I don’t break things or make women cry or have the cops called on me for repeated noise violations. And this is for games in which my team isn’t even in it.
‘Cuz if my team is in it, you can fuhgettabout me paying attention to anything else but the game, series, trophy, until it’s over.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Follow us at @RSBS !!!
Jeff & Al
My morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain.
Indeed, running begets pain. But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship. This I know.
Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy. Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.
But I digress.
Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0! No, seriously, I really am happy for you. I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all. Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle. Um… okay. The bad news is: you got screwed. The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years. By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal. Maybe you’ll even smile. Maybe.
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general. The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again. We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare. We’ve no jobs. Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die. Yeah. That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion. Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?
The Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz. Wow. Just… wow. Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble. In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
My advice? Go Steelers!
Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Jason Giambi and Babe Ruth wore the same uniform. Babe probably weighed a little more but they both played relatively the same role. Their job was to smack the hell out of a baseball. There’s no denying that Babe was much better at this job but you also wonder if Giambi were magically transported back in time, would he have had the same type of career.
The point here is that evolution makes comparison difficult. Jim Thorpe was a great running back. But would he even be competitive in today’s game? Technology, nutrition, education. All of these aspects contribute to the evolution of the game and I believe it’s safe to say that they contribute to our own personal evolution as well.
Sometimes evolution takes a scary turn, though. For instance, in football the evolution of the game has led to increased speed and power but our skulls haven’t gotten any thicker and our brains haven’t developed any more cushioning. Sure, helmet technology has mitigated some of the risk but the increased incidence of concussions and the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head shows that sometimes evolution has downsides.
It’s also a little scary when evolution decides to use the fundamental building blocks at hand and go in a totally different direction. There are more benign instances like the devolving paths taken by baseball and cricket. But there are also truly frightening paths like when organisms decide to incorporate previously deadly substances into a new recipe for survival.
I’m not saying that this is the end of life as we know it any more than a pitcher throwing the ball 105 MPH is the end of baseball as we know it. Evolution and adaptation require a long-term view, not some sort of immediate, knee-jerk reaction. But I sure hope the arsenic monsters don’t come after me.