Friday, August 31, 2007

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday....

As I’m sure you’re all aware of, the College Football season kicks off (in earnest) tomorrow. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest days of the year along with the first day of March Madness, Christmas and, of course whatever day I manage to make my way up to Gainesville to watch Florida play in the Swamp. I’m actually hoping/planning to see Florida play in person a few times this season so it could end up being a hell of a fall. Not that last Fall was anything to sneeze at. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited about college football. So excited, in fact, that I ended up getting drunk at the house last night while watching the LSU-MSU opener on ESPN. I rationalized sitting through the 4th quarter of that game by saying I was “scouting” LSU and trying to get a look at their new offense, as well as my first real look at Ryan Perrilloux but really, who was I kidding? I was just giddy about the SEC season opening and I chose to express this giddiness through the majesty of Pabst Blue Ribbon (just $6.99 for a 12 pack at Publix. Boo. Yah.) So, I’m a little hungover today and the funny machine seems to be operating at a less than optimal rate. What do you want from me, it’s the beginning of a 3 day weekend?

Anyway, with an eye towards the first college football Saturday of the year tomorrow, I figured I’d center today’s column around my activities tomorrow which will focus most specifically on the home opener for YOUR 2007 National Champion Florida Gators.

10:30 am: Wake up and turn on Gameday. Smile a warm and knowing smile.

10:33 am: Curse Lee Corso.

10:45 am: Get out of bed, get something to eat. Beer’s on the way soon and I need something, anything in my stomach.

10:47 am: Curse the fact that Florida’s opener is at 12:30 pm and not the traditional 6 pm start. Fuck you, Lincoln Financial Sports.

10: 51 am: Receive excited call from my FSU alum sister about the arrival of college football. Talk shop with her while she yells at her kids to “Shutup while Mommy’s talking football.” You have to love the South.

11:00 am: Go outside and hang up my brand new Gator Nation flag. It’s a beautiful sight to behold. By the way, you’ll see a lot of schools with these flags now and that’s all well and good. However, Florida was the first school to produce these flags because, well, we’re better than everybody else. (Have the last 16 months taught you nothing?)

11:05 am: Bond with my new neighbors across the street who are also UF alumni. Right now, I’m just the “sketchy guy across the street”. By this time tomorrow I’ll be the “great young man across the street who went to Florida”.

11:45 am: Call my old roommate Vitas and scream “TEBOW SMASH!!” at him as he laughs and screams something similar to me.

11:46 am: Hang up phone.

11:53 am: Call my Dad and discuss how wonderful a day it is while casually mentioning that FSU has lost 3 of the last 4 to Clemson. He is not amused. Me? I’m enjoying it.

12: 07 pm: Put on my new Florida shirt. You’ve got to have a new shirt for each new season, especially since I retired last year’s shirt. I think it had earned it.

12:10 pm: Pick up aforementioned 12 pack of PBR at Publix. Mmmm, alcoholism.

12:15 pm: Arrive at Vitas’ house.

12:19 pm: Make annual “Player of the Game” predictions with Vitas.

12: 21 pm: Punch Vitas’ friend and co-worker Sink. It’s a tradition at this point.

12:23 pm: Begin to have uncontrollable spasms at the thought of Gator football.

12:29 pm: Talk about how miserable it must be in The Swamp. There’s a reason Florida doesn’t play games this early in early September.

12:32 pm: And Here Come the Gators!!! It gives me goosebumps when I hear that.

12:37 pm: Kickoff. Jesus, I can’t wait to see Florida hit the field.

12:38-3:53 pm: Entranced by the power of Florida Football. (Some activities that may occur during this time include: Wiping my face with my sleeve ala Urban Meyer, Pointing viciously ala Urban Meyer, Screaming “Percy!” as Percy Harvin blows by a helpless Western Kentucky defender, talking about how huge Cornelius Ingram is (ngs) with Vitas and Sink, avoiding my friend Socks’ drunken phone calls from inside the San Francisco Gator Club (x 3), Making up nicknames for UF players who don’t yet have them (last year’s personal fave was “Gunz” for Tony Joiner, kind of an inside joke), yelling at the TV as Nat Moore once again shows the audience he spent another off-season reworking the basics of the English language, and screaming at various levels of excitement for the many young talented players who will be introducing themselves to the Gator Nation throughout tomorrow’s game.)

4:05 pm: Head home to take advantage of my couch, three TVs and the ESPN Gameplan package. It’s looking like GT-ND on the big TV early with some combo of Wazzu-Wisconsin, Nevada-Nebraska, Wake-BC and Mizzou-Illinois on TVs 2 & 3.

5:15 pm: Possibly sneak in a game of NCAA ’08 (Tennessee is up next on the schedule), or not. It really depends on whether (a) I get too drunk (a nap could result) or (b) the late afternoon games are in any way competitive.

7:15 pm: Food. I must have food. Wings just seem appropriate on a day like tomorrow.

7:45 pm: Plant myself on my couch for the rest of the evening in hopes a too highly competitive games featuring SEC East rivals Tennessee (@ Cal) and Georgia (at home against Oklahoma St.)

11: 30 pm: Cap the night off with a shot of Jagermeister (or two) and an extended viewing of highlights of games I’ve already watched.

11: 45 pm: Make sure I’ve remembered to TIVO the Urban Meyer show on Sunday morning.

1:30 am: Go to sleep happy. Very happy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Everywhere, like, such as...

I was out of town most of last week at a Conference in Orlando but I did manage to get back home in time to catch my favorite event of the year, Miss Teen USA. Okay, that's a lie. It's my second favorite event of the year after the annual wife carrying championships. Sadly, the same people who fought Title IX all those years are continuing to exert enough pressure on advertisers to keep the WCC's off the air at the Worldwide Leader. (Don't think they'd show the WCC up in Bristol? Well, they recently televised cup stacking.) As a result, I was left to ponder the possibilities of a televised WCC whilst watching the intellectual giants participating in this year's Miss Teen USA Contest. Miss Teen South Carolina seemed to me like she was at the head of this year's class, particularly when it came time for the question and answer portion of the pageant.

I don't see why everybody is making such a big deal out of her answer. I mean, like, it totally, such as...Like made...sense, such as everywhere...South Africa, to me. Seriously, have you ever been to South Carolina? This girl is probably taking AP classes and helping her high school teachers grade papers in between those classes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

To The Face...

This is a weekly column (if it can even be called that) today that I'll be running every Thursday or Friday until further notice. It's a really lame personal take-off on the Cheers & Jeers type columns which hand out praise and disdain to many of the items currently residing in our collective pop culture conscious. I'm not promising that this will be anything groundbreaking, or even really worth the effort it will take to read, but it should allow me to get some posts up that cover some of the random items floating through my head without making my consistently hung over brain work too hard at the end of a typically grueling (bullshit) work week. People, Events, etc. will receive one of two items directly to the face: A nice strong punch or a cool refreshing shot of liquor. I'm a total badass so I enjoy both of these in equal measure but since most of you jerks are total pussies we're going to classify the punch as a negative and the liquor as a positive. Because, honestly, is there any situation where a shot (or shots) of liquor could be construed as anything other than an overwhelmingly positive experience?

Today's edition of To The Face is going to be somewhat truncated due to the combined effects of it being late Friday afternoon and the broken index finger I received while playing basketball earlier this week. Without further ado...

Punch: Mohawks.
Listen, nobody likes a good mohawk as much as me. True, glue stiffened mohawks are a
beauty to behold. Hell, I've even considered going halves on a bastard with my girl just so we could shave a mohawk into our sons hair for the first five years of his life. Sadly, there's no giving kids back when they're five, nor is there any guarantee that we'd even have a boy so we've decided against the bastard, for now. It's just as well because, mohawks aren't cool anymore. I'm not talking about the fauxhawks that frat boys and accountants are wont to rock. Those were never, ever cool. I'm talking about actual honest to goodness, fully shaved on the sides mohawks. You see, when Amare Stoudemire, Dmitri Young's kid and everyone in between is sporting a mohawk it instantly ceases to be cool or noncomformist or anything else that these people think they're doing by hopelessly following a trend that's long since outlived its usefulness.

Shot: Goodfoulers. It took me a day or two to get around to watching this. After I finished viewing it for the first time I felt like a bigger asshole than Nick Saban. Okay, not that big of an asshole. Not even Phil Fulmer's actual asshole is that big.

Punch: Lincoln Financial Sports. The kind folks who bring you the SEC Football Game of the Week (Translation: The SEC Football game that neither CBS or ESPN wanted to broadcast) have decided, in their infinite southern wisdom, to broadcast the University of Florida season opener this year. At 12:30 pm. In Gainesville. On September Fucking 1st. Read that again for me.

This has got to be some sick joke right ? Have any of these people ever attended an afternoon game in The Swamp in September? Well, I have and it's not pleasant. In fact, I'd say it's torturous. This is...madness. Beyond the chance that at least 10 people will probably end up in the hospital from attending this game, this decision also puts a major kink in my normal opening day plans. Florida's opener has started at 6 pm for about 20 years now and it works out perfect. I sit around and watch football all day long while simultaneously getting more and more pumped to catch the first glimpse of that year's Gator fo otball team that evening as me and my buddies toss back booze and work ourselves into a lather over all the possibilities of a new season. Now, I'll barely be out of bed before kickoff and probably won't have any food in me until halftime. What am I supposed to do once the game ends at 3:00 and I'm already half-cocked? Keep drinking? Well, if you say so.

Shot: Tomorrow. They'll only be two weeks until the official start of the college football season when you and I wake up tomorrow morning. That alone is cause for celebration, or shots. I've got an idea. How about a celebration of shots? The best of both worlds my friend, the best of both worlds.

Punch: The Makers of
Superbad. I guess my anger is somewhat misplaced here. I think this movie looks hilarious. Funnier than Knocked Up if you ask me. In fact, my girlfriend and I made plans to go see it last Friday night. Until, that is, we figured out that it didn't come out until tonight. Of course, we have plans all weekend and I've already begun to lose motivation to drag my ass out to the theater to see it. See what you assholes did? I was going to be responsible and now I'm just gonna end up getting drunk and puking in the neighbors planter. I hope you're happy, rich hollywood types.

Shot: Curtis Mayfield.
Since he's dead I'll take this one on his behalf. How can anybody not love this guy's music? I've been a fan of Superfly for a long time but have more recently started to explore more of his catalougue. I don't think its fair to even call him a genius as it seems genius doesn't adequately capture the immense talent that this man possessed. If you find yourself in a bad mood this weekend, listen to Move On Up and try not end up with a smile on your face within about 30 seconds. You could have a drink too, that always helps.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Five Things I Learned on Hard Knocks

As I’m sure most of you know, HBO has brought back the mini-series Hard Knocks, which follows a select NFL team through the always exciting (read: horribly mundane) weeks of training camp. This year’s version follows the Kansas City Chiefs who, if you ask me, are destined for a record somewhere near 5-11 due to the fact that they have no QB, a traditionally awful defense, a holdout star running back and a completely overrated coach. So why should NFL fans bother watching you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. Hard Knocks isn’t just about football, its about learning. Here are five things I learned by watching last weeks premier episode of Hard Knocks.

Women are needy: Brodie Croyle’s wife is hot, which is good since she has a predictably thick and unbelievably annoying southern accent. She’s also extremely needy. When asked how marriage was, she replied (I’m paraphrasing), “Its wonderful. Its just really nice to have somebody to hang out with 24/7.” Really? Having to hang out with somebody (anybody) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week sounds like my own little version of hell, even if that person came equipped with a bottomless keg full of cold Sierra Nevada growing out of their back. Alright, I guess that would be pretty cool. I guess my point in mentioning this is that I doubt Brodie feels this way. In fact, I’d venture to guess that the only 24-7 Brodie would prefer to hang out with his wife for is the 24 minutes and 7 seconds per day they are in coitus. He’d probably be okay with her mouth being duct taped shut for the remainder of the day too. Honestly, I don’t think Mrs. Croyle is that different from most women. Think about it, women can’t go five minutes alone in the car without calling a friend of theirs. That’s really what marriage is all about for women (I mean besides gifts, diamonds and everybody telling them how beautiful they are), a playmate. Mrs. Croyle unwittingly let me in on the secret of women’s obsession with marriage. They just want somebody who HAS to hang out with them.

Its cool to dance like a gay in Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Don’t believe me? Take a gander at one Bernard Pollard showing us all, “how they do it in Ft. Wayne.” I think we should all thank the NBA for moving the Pistons to Detroit. Seriously.

Jared Allen loves to get drunk and play Guitar Hero: I didn’t actually see him drinking while playing Guitar Hero but I did see him drinking O’Douls at dinner (Dude, try some prescription painkillers or something if you’re that desperate) and rocking out on Guitar Hero so hard that he was playing behind his head (Note: You do NOT get extra points for this). It’s my guess that at least one of Allen’s DUI’s was a result of him playing Guitar Hero whilst driving drunk. I can’t blame him really. If I had a Wii in my car I’d play that when I drove drunk.

The Chiefs drafted defensive players named Turk and Tank: I like the theory at play here. Turk and Tank just sound like football players don’t they? Beyond that, I’m fairly familiar with the exploits of these two from their collegiate days and both were capable and athletic defenders who should become productive NFL players. Sadly, I don’t think I can say the same for Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cuningham. After listening to Cunningham throughout the first episode I get the distinct impression that he drafted both of these guys simply because, “Their names just sound like a guy who’ll kick somebody’s ass.” Hey, you don’t get a defense like KC’s just by scouting alone.

Herman Edwards has the art skills of my girlfriend’s 5 year old daughter:Good god, did you see the “Welcome to Training Camp” sign Herm designed for his team’s arrival at Camp? I’ve seen better art at the Special Ed classes I used to tutor. Okay, that’s a lie. I never actually tutored a Special Ed class. I was supposed to, but the school was right next to a bar that had a happy hour that started at 2. What am I, made of stone? You know what I think happened to that sign? I think Edwards started off the sign and then realized his markers were scented. Next thing you know Herm was high on markers, glue and white out and prank calling Tony Dungy pretending to be Ken Cuniff from Connecticut. Eventually, he just got one of the janitors at UW-River Falls to finish the sign for him.

Make sure you tune in to this week’s episode where Carl Peterson explains how, after a three day meth binge, he and Pete Stoyanovich came up with idea for the Chiefs mascot. I mean, there has to be some explanation, right?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Not Today.

In light of some rather tragic events that transpired around here last night, I'll be taking the day off and not posting the regular Friday column. I'll be back later on this weekend but making jokes about punches and shots doesn't quite seem appropriate right now. Everybody be safe out there.

Friday, August 03, 2007

To The Face...

This is a weekly column (if it can even be called that) today that I'll be running every Thursday or Friday until further notice. It's a really lame personal take-off on the Cheers & Jeers type columns which hand out praise and disdain to many of the items currently residing in our collective pop culture conscious. I'm not promising that this will be anything groundbreaking, or even really worth the effort it will take to read, but it should allow me to get some posts up that cover some of the random items floating through my head without making my consistently hung over brain work too hard at the end of a typically grueling (bullshit) work week. People, Events, etc. will receive one of two items directly to the face: A nice strong punch or a cool refreshing shot of liquor. I'm a total badass so I enjoy both of these in equal measure but since most of you jerks are total pussies we're going to classify the punch as a negative and the liquor as a positive. Because, honestly, is there any situation where a shot (or shots) of liquor could be construed as anything other than an overwhelmingly positive experience?

I swear that I planned to write a little something else this week, but well, you know that usual batch of excuses. Busy, drunk, lazy. Anyway, here we go:

Punch: My TIVO. Somehow it screwed up and neglected to tape the first 50 or so minutes of last week's episode of Big Love. When my girlfriend and I fired up the episode two nights ago the TIVO immediately took us to the murder of Roman Grant. Before we even knew what was happening, Roman was being shot by associates of the Greens. We still watched the episode via OnDemand but it kind of takes drama out of such a climactic scene wh
en you know exactly what's going to happen.

Shot: Margene from Big Love. She didn't do it for me at all last season. Now, I find myself strangely attracted to her chipper disposition and sexual depravity. I understand the attraction to sexual depravity but I'm pretty well stumped on the attitude being a turn-on. I like 'em bitchy, you see.

Punch: Paperwork. I'm not exactly filling out TPS reports all day long but I'm not quite writing out dirty limericks either.

Shot: CNNSI's photo profile of the Top 10 Gator athletes of all time. No real explanation needed here but there are some bonus points to be had for the classic pic of Andy North.


Punch: Whoever murdered Michael Clayton. Somebody's got to track this cold blooded killer down because murder is the only logical explanation for the disappearance of Clayton. This guy was a monster who caught everything thrown his way as a rookie and even enjoyed pummeling DBs whilst run blocking. Now, he's losing playing time in training camp to Maurice Stovall and (punching self) David Boston. It breaks my heart, or hurts my balls. It's tough to tell which at this point. When Chris Simms was getting ready to make his first ever start (during Clayton's rookie year) against New Orleans, FOX ran a great "sounds of the game" clip of Clayton getting Simms pumped up (or at least attempting to) by imploring him to, "Get yo shine on! Get yo shine on!." It was a hilarious while and educational look into Clayton's confidence and swagger. Two years later, I have to wonder if that version of Clayton is laying in the bottom of a Louisiana swamp somewhere.

Shot: Jeff Garcia. I'm probably putting waaaay too much faith in a frail, 37 year old QB but when you consider the guys Tampa has put under c
enter in recent years (Gradkowski, Simms, Rattay), can you really blame me? As I see it, he's the most natural fit at QB that Gruden's had for his offense since he arrived in Tampa and that alone has to inspire some confidence, alright, hope that the Bucs offense can carry its own weight this year.

Punch: The Bucs selection of Michael Clayton over Steven Jackson. Bitter much? Umm, yes actually. I've gone back and forth on this numerous times over the past few years. Actually, that's not entirely true. Clayton's rookie year production pacified my dissatisfaction, as did the numbers posted by Cadillac Williams as rookie in 2005. However, with Clayton now presumed dead and Cadillac reportedly suffering 3 (count 'em 3) bulging disks in his back I'm cashing in my "I told you so" tickets. Cadillac's a good player for sure. Is he anywhere as durable or versatile as Jackson? Not by a long shot.

Philip Buchanon.
The early returns from Bucs camp are that he's already locked down one of the starting corner spots on Tampa's defense. Buchanon was always my favorite player from those late 90's Miami teams and I could never quite understand why he hadn't been successful in the NFL. He's got everything you'd want from a premier corner (save for an inch or two) and was no stranger to covering elite receivers during his days at Miami, as he matched up against the likes of Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Andre Johnson in practice alone. However, something never clicked for Buchanon during his time in Oakland. Now, after a few months learning the Bucs' defense it appears as if he may have resurrected his career under Monte Kiffin. If it's true, the Tampa defense has a chance to surprise some of the people predicting its imminent demise.

Punch: Bud Selig. I've never been a
big fan of his but this Bonds chase has further proved him to be the whining, self-serving liar that I've always suspected him to be. You're the commissioner pal, and that means you will follow Barry around the country like a lost puppy dog until he breaks Hank Aaron's record. After that, you get to follow him into infamy for turning a blind eye to the explosion of steroids in baseball earlier in your term as Commissioner. Check your job description, it's all in there.

Shot: Big Ten Coaches. Actually, that's the nicknames that I've heard for Big Ten coaches. My two personal favorites? Cheaty McSweatervest (Tressel) and Grumbles the Sea Captain (Carr). While I'm talking about Big Ten coaches, or former Big Ten coaches. Am I the only person who finds it positively mind blowing that Randy Walker and Terry Hoeppner are dead while the adolescent sized hippo that is Barry Alvarez is still hanging out in Madison eating Polish Sausages three at a time for breakfast?

Punch: The NCAA. I honestly don't care if NCAA athletes are compensated in ways beyond their scholarships. I mean, I think high profile sports like football and basketball deserve it but I'm not about to egg Myles Brand's house over it. Now, having to pay $25 so that I can hear Brad Nessler say "Tebow throws for a TD!" instead of "QB #15 throws for a TD!" on NCAA '08. Yeah, that's gonna get you punched Myles, maybe even a nice kick to the shin to go with it.

Shot: Football Practice.
The Gators kick off Fall practice on Sunday and it can't come any sooner. For me at least. The lack of work achieved by me while I scour Gatorcountry for in-depth practice reports over the next 28 days is probably gonna be a problem for my boss.

Shot: Half-days.
They're perfect for a Friday really. You come into work, sit on your ass for 4-5 hours and then go home and sleep off the remainder of your hangover. Speaking of...have a great weekend.

Update: Numerous Shots for Jake Brown. He took one of the nastiest falls you'll ever see last night during the Skateboarding: Big Air competition (Which is, sure to end up killing a competitor one of these days). Check out the clip below and tell me you didn't cringe (or worse). I still can't get over what happened to his shoes.