Quick Thoughts From Post Gras
Of course, the highlight of the night was watching my former roommate (and pseudo-super responsible grown man) Injury McProne be blackout drunk and fall over (as if he was a tree which had been chopped down) at 11:30 in the morning.
His fall was followed up by me yelling at my buddy Damon (who was dressed as some sort gay newspaper writer from the 1950's) "Hey Damon! Get a quote!"
Damon proceeded to get an exclusive scoop with the creepy-morning drunk, "Hi, Damon R., Newsly Times...can I get a quote?"
To which Injury McProne responded, with his eyes closed, in-and-out of consciousness, "No reporters!" And threw a punch at Damon. Luckily, the punch took about five seconds to move from McProne's side to where Damon's head had previously been, and he was not injured (I'm pretty sure Damon actually finished about three beers by the time McProne's punch would have landed.)
The day was pretty much downhill from there. We walked down to party central around noon and by two I was seriously sick of the crowds. If you want to get a feeling for what it's like in the middle of everything, get 20,000 of your closest friends together and have them all bump into you, continuously, for an hour. And try to drink a beer while doing it. It kind of sucks.
The crowd this year was reportedly a little larger than last years, but it certainly did not seem that way. Most people down there thought it was near the same, if not less, amount of people as last year. This year's crowd, however, did not seem to be as much of a "fun" crowd.
By 3 o'clock, I had had my fill of drunken rednecks and made my way back to Dennis Quaid's apartment, the crowd seemed to be in an aggressive, "angry drunk" stage. Not fun.
So, I think Gras 2K6 may have been it for me. I am not opposed to doing a pre-gras party in the years to come, but I've had it with the main Russell Street scene.
Drunken rednecks, guys so incredibly lame that they need to push people in order to take cell-phone pics of boobies (if you're a guy and you don't already see boobs on a regular basis, being the type of guy who takes pictures of flashers with your cell phone camera may very well be part of the problem), and just too many effing people...I've had enough.
Four new Cardinal blogs out there to make a note of:
1) The Cardinal Rule
2) Redbird Ramblings
3) Cards Fan Chicago
4) Redbirds Fun
Let's hope all you guys can live up to the high marks that the old Redbird Nation, Viva El Birdos, Cardnilly, Get Up Baby, The Birdwatch, and so many others have done in the past and to this day continue to deliver.
Seriously, Cardinal Nation has some tremendous bloggers out there.
I'm proud of you guys.
To all you Cathoholics out there, remember we're entering one of the best seasons of the year...Fish Fry Season (also known as Lent by the clergy)!
Don't eat meat on tomorrow (Ash Wed) or on Fridays for the next two months and avoid burning in hell.
Quick math equation: (fried fish + canned beer) x heaven = Can't lose situation!
Lent...It's what's for dinner!
I was having a pleasant little journey. The sweet smell of Avanti's Gondolas were wafting through the cab of the Dakota and Phish's Rift was making me long for more simpler times. Times when all I did was drive around the Midwest, get drunk, and watch baseball. Wait...that's kind of...um...exactly...um...what I still do. Whatever.
About twenty miles south of Springfield, somewhere around mile marker 70, I came upon a rest stop. Now, for years I had heard the old saying that today's rest stops are nothing but modern day homosexual brothels. Balderdash, I say.
In my early 20's it was not uncommon for me to put upwards of 2,500 miles on the odometer of my '93 LeBaron over a 96 hour span. And quite often, I would do the 1,100 mile drive from Jacksonville, NC to Peoria, IL only stopping for gas, yellowjackets, and fritos chili-cheese chips. I've learned this great nation of our's interstate system. I know that if you're traveling on I-95, you need to do yourself a favor and stop at the Wawa in Fredericksburg, VA (just trust me on this.) And I have learned that rest stops are highly underrated.
Crap. I'm off-track. Back to the story: I pulled into the rest stop in Coalfield, IL and made a leisurely stroll into the bathroom to deposit a monster poo into the state's septic tank. Mission accomplished.
I exited the rest stop through the back, and walked around for a minute, admiring a pretty little winter sunset over some barren corn fields. "Where else can you play with your dog, swing on some monkey bars, and, if you play your cards right, get a handi from a trucker for $20?" I wondered to myself. "Only at a rest stop!"
After taking in all the beauty one can at a rest stop (in Coalfield at that!) I began making my way back to the truck, when I felt a burp coming on. "No problem with that, " I thought. "What's more American than having a burp before getting in your truck at the ol' rest stop! USA! USA!"
So, I let 'er rip.
Bad idea. Out of nowhere, the burp turned into vomit. And I began puking all over the side of the rest stop. And I did not see that coming.
In the five minutes I was throwing up against the building, I made two hipsters laugh, one child cry, and countless old people pretend that there wasn't a 25 year old puking ten feet away from them.
Ten minutes after the barf-o-rama, Puke-o-honos (me) was driving back down I-55, jamming out to some Ryan Adams, and I had never felt better. I honestly do not know what happened back at that rest stop. I was not hungover, and I didn't eat anything other than a big salad earlier in the day. I really have no idea where that pukey came from.
But, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, Coalfield, IL. I'm sorry for puking all over your rest stop, and I hope you can forgive me.
[PS. Happy Gras Weekend, everyone.]
Things have been slow around here at The FYC this week, as most of my thoughts have been leaning towards the upcoming festivities down in St. Lou. It's that time of year, again...Mardi Gras time!
One of the lesser known fact about St Louis is that it is home to the second bigest Mardi Gras celebration in America. That's right, second. Behind only New Orleans in number of revilers, and post-Katrina, many think the Lou may just take home the prize of the biggest gras in the US (is there a prize for that? No? Well, fuck me.)
The Katrina effects should be interesting to observe (at least from a distance and stats-wise) however, as always, the weather will have more of an effect on turn-out than anything else. The forcast? 55 and sunny. Nice.
Saturday is the big party in my old stomping grounds, Soulard. The Lou Gras (inexplicably pronounced "graw-s" by people from Illinois. It's as if we can only use silent "s's" in pronouncing Illinois) is a special experience. There's the obligatory stupid parade (never seen it. I don't care for parades.) and the occasional flashers ("WOOOO! BEEEEEEEEEADS!") but for the most part it's simply 500,000 people wandering around drunk and aimlessly through a neighborhood.
We should be setting up shop early at Dennis Quaid's pad, having a nice little breakfast casserole/keg/gumbolaya/bloody mary bar morning to get things started. And, as for any special occasion, the party can never really start without first hearing Marvin Gaye's rendetion of the National Anthem from the 1983 NBA All-Star game. Goosebump making, it is.
As for myself, I'll probably end up standing in front of The Great Grizzly Bear (a tremendous bar) drinking my face off and listening to St Louis' finest Grateful Dead tribute band, "Jake's Leg" in my drinking suit (drinking suit? Drinking suit.) drunk as a mother-effing skunk.
At least that's what happens every year.
Here's hoping for a full Gras report on Tuesday.
Just A Reminder
Here's hoping everyone had a happy, healthy, and productive President's day weekend.
Peoria, IL...Kind of Dangerous, Actually
Driver injured in spat over parking space
PEORIA - A Chillicothe man reported being punched and head-butted Monday afternoon during a tussle over a parking spot at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Allen Road.
The victim, Paul E. Kelley, told police he had his turn signal on to turn into a parking space on the south side of the store when a green vehicle pulled in instead.
As the other driver got out of his car, Kelley said he approached him to ask why he took his spot. The other driver hit him in the face and then head-butted him in the head, causing Kelley to bleed, police reports said. The suspect then drove off.
No arrests had been made in the case Tuesday night.
I mainly like the line "causing Kelley to bleed," but the incident as a whole sounds hilarious and it's something I definitely wish I could have seen from a distance.
Punching and head-butting? Over a parking space? Really? Is that necessary?
Police: Peorian struck friend with baseball bat
PEORIA - After keeping his anger in check since December, a man finally lost it Monday night over the fact that a friend had sex with his girlfriend and hit the friend with a baseball bat, police said.
Melvin E. Jenkins, 25, of 2028 W. Forrest Hill Ave. was arrested about 8:40 p.m. Monday at his residence and booked on a charge of aggravated battery with a baseball bat.
Earlier that evening, during a dice game at an apartment at Villa Bordeaux, 5250 N. Knoxville Ave., Jenkins attacked Carlos F. Beck, 32, of 1908 N. North St., reports said.
Jenkins allegedly struck Beck in the head with an aluminum bat because of his past relationship with his girlfriend. Beck suffered a cut to his head.
"He shouldn't have disrespected me like that," Jenkins told police.
"He shouldn't have disrespected me like that." Yeah, that should hold up in court.
Peoria, IL: Whole lot of head wounds.
[Update - Quote from Johnny Dangerously: "I've been in that dice game before and let me tell you it gets rough. You also don't want to bone Melv-Dog's bitch. He gets pissed."]
The Big Trivoli Fire of '06
[Prelude: I now live in the country, about fifteen miles outside of Peoria, IL. I live on a small lake and I live in an area where a lot of people live on small lakes. And a lot of people have 50-100 acres worth of land. On that land, most people do what are referred to as "controlled burns." lighting anywhere from 100 feet worth of lands to 10 or so acres on fire, in order to not only burn down vegetation, but to encourage growths on certain areas. It's something that I have helped my old man do countless times in the past and something which is all too common around here.]
Monday afternoon. I'm doing laundry. I walk out onto the porch to let a wet sweater air dry. As I opened the porch door, I noticed the pleasant smell of a bonfire. "Huh, " I thought to myself, "I hope my sweater doesn't end up smelling like smoke." I hung it up and went back inside, not really thinking much of the matter, and headed down to the basement to play The Lady Friend in a game of Wimbledon Championship Tennis on Sega Genesis.
About ten minutes later, I walked back upstairs, basking in the glory that is winning Wimbledon, and noticed that the "faint but lovely scent of bonfire" which I had earlier noticed had developed into "there's so much smoke that I can no longer see the lake which is 50 feet away from the house." Not good.
I walked around our land (we have a little over 60 acres) and made sure nothing there was on fire. However, as I glanced up to the road, it became clear that a valley across the road and about 1/4 mile down from our place was on fire. And there were 35 mph winds roaring. Not good at all.
I jumped in the Honda and drove down to the house in front of the smoldering valley and rang the doorbell. An apparently drunk 50-year-old opened the door, a tad sleepy.
The following conversation occurred:
Me: "Are you doing a controlled burn back there?"
Neighbor: (Wiping sleep from his eyes, obviously groggy) "Nah, man."
Me: "Well, you're doing something back there."
Neighbor: (Finally noticing the cloud of smoke which has engulfed his house) "OH SHIT!"
Immediately, he ran out behind his house to attempt to stomp out a fire which had already consumed about 20 acres with his boots. Oh shit, indeed.
While he was busy dirtying up his Timberlands, I hopped on my handy-dandy cellular telephone ("fight smarter, not harder") and dialed up 911. I had a horrible connection, so I drove back to my house and called 911 from our home phone again, just to make sure.
By the time I walked back to the fire, this time with The Lady Friend ("You want to see a big fire?" I asked her. "Sure!" she responded) it had nearly tripled in size. And it was coming up on an elderly couple's home, a large storage shed, and two different propane tanks. "Oh shit," I thought to myself, "this fire is worse than Jodie Sweetin's meth habit! (zing?)" Crap, crap, crap.
Soon after my calls to 911 went in, "The Siren" (as it's known around the area here) began blaring and within twenty minutes, ten different fire trucks from three different rural fire departments had shown up and the fire quickly was under control.
But not after singeing the ends of two propane tanks, one shed, one home, and torching about 50 acres of land.
If this kind of stuff is going to happen every day, I have apparently stumbled across one hell of an exciting life.
[note- that picture was not from the above mentioned fire. not only did we save no horses, there we no horses (or even donkeys) to be saved. but, if they were, i would haved saved them. for, if there are no donkeys, there can be no donkey shows.]
The Big Move (?)
Now from Al's Parents house!
And, just FYI, Trivoli is about fifteen minutes from Peoria, and for all intents and purposes I will refer to where I am as Peoria henceforth. Thank you.
Not that anyone cares, but the move went...eh...okay.
Saturday night, the StLer's all met up at Trueman's place for one last night of celebrating the debauchery that was our early-to-mid-20's (not only was I leaving the StL, but Roommate Matt is moving in with his girlfriend and Dennis Quaid is getting his own place, too. Truly the end of an era.)
As we sat around downing cheap pitchers of Bud, watching the whitest college basketball game anyone had seen in a fortnight (Gonzaga v. Stanford), and wondering why none of us had Mike Shannon's phone number, we also dominated the Jukebox with an enthralling final playlist of Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)>The Weight>Real Mutherfuckin' G's>The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down .
Those four songs, for those of you who don't know, = awesome.
As for the move itself, in case anyone was wondering, drinking at a bar until 2 in the morning and then waking up at 8 in the very same morning to load two trucks full of one's possessions is, indeed, not fun. Not at all.
Luckily, during the night the power had gone out at my sister's home where my parents had been spending the weekend, so my old man and my brother in law got a late start that morning, enabling myself to get a precious extra thirty minutes of sleep and, more importantly, The Lady Friend to go on a much needed coffee run.
The two trucks were loaded up and The Lady Friend and I were on the road by eleven, where we crossed the bridge to the following blasting from the speakers: Soul To Squeeze>Yellow Ledbetter>In The Meantime.
So, within twelve hours, I listened to the following lists of songs: Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)>The Weight>Real Mutherfuckin' G's>The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down, followed up by Soul To Squeeze>Yellow Ledbetter>In The Meantime.
If you could possibly think of a better seven songs to listen to before moving to a different city, I'd like to see you try.
'Cause I'd really like to hear that list.
So, by all means, try.
Quin Snyder Fired
So long old buddy. You were a horrible coach over these last few years, but man, you were fun to have around.
Here's hoping your replacement is as much fun as you were
(read: also loves toot and cheerleaders.)
Columbia and Mizzou will not be the same without you.
You shall be missed, Quin Snyder. You shall be missed.
- The finale is tonight. Watch it, TiVo it, tape it, read the braille transcripts, whatever you gotta do...don't miss it. Stupid FOX.
- Saturday night = Trueman's Place. Be there and celebrate my last night in the StL. I'll drink a lot of whiskey and yell like Ric Flair. Why would you want to miss that?
[happy fucking weekend]
Breaking Up The Band
I have lived in the Soulard neighborhood of St Louis, Mo for approximately one year, six months, one week, and four days.
I have survived one Mardi Gras, two NLCS's, one Praxair fire, and hundreds of drunken evenings; and I have made it out alive.
While I have memories of many a good times to fall back upon, I only have three semesters at SIUE finished, and, consequently, I do not have a job to fall back upon.
Last August, during an Econ class, I weighed, to myself, the pros and cons of me leaving college:
Pros: I have the training and experience to make about $50,000 a year in network/system administration.
Cons: I could keep studying toward my major and get a job starting out at $21k/yr in about two years.
At the time, I thought, "Clearly, I should start, at the very least, looking for a job."
I threw my resume online and within a few weeks heard back from a large defense contractor, who offered me a position in Tampa, FL, starting out at $53k/yr.
I went through negotiations and interviews with the company over the next few weeks and ended up leaving my classes during the fall semester, as I was expecting to be moving to Florida within the next few weeks.
About one week after dropping me classes, I had heard from that company for the very last time.
Apparently, they had filled that position. And not by me.
No me gusta.
By that time, it was too late for me to register for Spring-06 semester classes.
So as of November '05, I was stuck.
Can't go to class. Nigga' needs a job.
So I did what most of helpless Americans do. I got on Monster.com.
Thanks for sending me those open fillings, Internets. It's glad to know that millions of others of resumes also flooded the desk of the hiring manager as soon as their need went online. You did me one hell of a service...
It's now February 10th. On this coming Sunday, The Lady Friend and myself will be packing up our vehicles and heading north up I-55.
Destination: Peoria. My parent's house, to be exact.
That's right. I am slowly morphing into George Costanza.
I have no problems with going back to Peoria. It's where I, and also TLF, (eventually) want to live (and by eventually, I mean "We want to move there when we're 32 and raise 2.3 kids, a dog, and a vegetable garden.") And even if I didn't want to be there right now, it's still a great situation. I get to live, rent free, in my parents big house on the lake, and try to find a job.
Whether that job happens to be long term (as in IT work in the StL) or short term (ie, driving a truck in Peoria) has yet to be seen.
What I do want to say is an official goodbye to my home of the last 18 months: 2215 Sidney.
Roommates Andy, Matt, and myself have spent the last year and one half living under the same roof, and although I can't say I'll miss them (I hate having roommates...always have, always will), I will miss them.
I'll miss the way Andy walks through the front door while coming home from work every evening and gives me the "one finger over his curled lips" shooosh while I'm watching "The Simpsons" and he's on his bluetooth headset. And I'll miss the way he walks directly upstairs into his bedroom every night, never to be seen again.
I'll miss the way I could look down on others from St Louis, when I said I lived in Soulard, and they said they lived elsewhere; as if "Yeah, I live and love in Gras central...you don't. Have fun walking by my house next year. Bitch."
I'll miss the way Roomate Matt would poop on the kitchen rug when he was super wasted and try to blame it on our neighbors "evil dog" (true story.)
I'll miss the times when myself and Dennis Quaid would get high on our back porch during a warm summer evening, letting the venerable Mike Shannon take us away to gigglesville, population: us.
I'll miss the way we could get in our cars and be down at Busch within five minutes.
And I'll really miss the way we could get back into our cars after Busch and be home within three hours (five minutes at a gas station, five minutes at Taco Bell, two hours at McGurks, fifty minutes at Truman's Place)[albeit be home drunk (and I mean DRUNK!)]
I'm not saying goodbye to the city of Saint Louis.
I am, however, saying goodbye to 2215.
I'm saying goodbye to the boys.
And I'm saying goodbye to Soulard.
It's goodbye to Al's Saint Louis Living, version 1.0.
Al, V2.0 will be back, soon enough.
In fact, I'll go out on a limb and call my own shot:
I'll be back in the Lou by first pitch of opening day, and you can fucking count on that.
But the old days of Matt, Andy, and I eating Hodak's chicken after a ballgame at Busch during a random thursday night in August...
I'll miss what I had, but I'm looking forward to the future...What troubles, myself, TLF, and the rest of this crazy cast of characters will run ourselves into.
That's the one thing I love about moving. I've moved about eight times in the last seven years; and as much as I've missed where I've been, I've loved where I'm going.
But, man...We had some times here, brah.
From Buid-a-bars to Christmas trees, man, we had some times.
"Well folks, we just couldn't pull it together for one last win brought to you by the Wheezy Company tonight.
The final out was recorded at 10:22 and 15 seconds...and with that, we say goodbye, for the last time, from the lovely, the beautiful 2215 Sidney.
Good night." - Mike Shannon (paraphrased, of course)
Redick Shocks Us All
But all the while, I was keeping one eye --my good one-- on the UNC v. Duke game, and some time late in the second half, I thought I saw obvious Dave Matthews Band fan JJ Redick do something. Something which made me happy. "Nah," I thought. "No way did that just happen. These Bud Selects must have roofies in them. I'm seeing things."
Two seconds later, I got a text message from my friend Erin: "Redick just gave a double shocker after his 3."
Yep. It happened.
And for the first time in years, I don't dislike Redick a lot. Only a little bit today.
Also, here is where I would normally make fun of Mizzou for their 26-point loss to 2 and 7 Baylor last night in Waco... But man, I just don't have it in me right now. That was just sad (Although, it is always hard to win on the road in the Big 12... Psyche.)
[sorry for the infrequent postings as of late. i'm currently more than a little preoccupied with other matters, but i'll go ahead and promise you something friday. and lord knows i'm great at keeping promises... double psyche.]
Happy Weekend (Question?)
The FYC would like to congratulate you loyal readers on making through the Super Bowl bye-weeks successfully. Two of the more boring and repetitive weeks of the year...and you made it out alive. Perhaps even as a stronger man and/or woman.
Hopefully the rabble rousing and muck-raking on this little ol' site here made it a little easier for you to pass the time, lo these past fourteen days. Whether I was lifting the curtain on Cardinals players who use the same slice of the Internets loved by 15-year-olds, or calling out ESPNABCDISNEY for, well, just for plain old sucking, it's obvious that some of you loved it, some of you hated it, and some of you just can't take a fucking joke.
Now with all of that behind us, we move on to what is next. That, of course, being the Super Bowl. If you must know, with all apologies to Jesse Lamovsky, I'm rooting for the Steelers, if for no other reason than they have much crisper uniforms than Seattle (plus it seems as if Pittsburgh fans root a little bit harder than Seattle fans do, as evidenced by this man, who had a heart attack because another grown man dropped a football.)
Sunday afternoon, I will be finding myself at my buddy Dave's house for the typical Super Bowl party set-up. The host provides the keg, the guests provide the food, and good times are had by all. We all end up as winners (well, unless Quaid pisses himself again.)
So, that's my plans for a hearty day of eating and football watching. Now my question for you this weekend: What's yours?
How do you and yours plan on celebrating this bastion of Americana known as the Super Bowl?
Let us know... The answers may surprise you! Or not. In fact, probably not.
[Happy Super Bowl]
ESPN Sucks (Reason #135,972)
There is something odd going on during this Super Bowl week. Generally, every year that the Super Bowl is not in Miami, Tampa, or Phoenix, professional sportswriters have made it their business to make fun of the host cities. This is generally looked upon by the public as "lazy, gluttonous sports writers who want to type their columns out while sitting poolside and hate being cold."
As such, after reading colums from writers who were at the scene of the game for the last two years; as the Super Bowl has been hosted in Houston, TX and Jacksonville, FL, respectively; I was waiting for the onslaught of "this town sucks" columns from the legions of sportswriters covering Super Bowl XL in Detroit, MI.
And so far, it's been all quiet on the Michigan front. I thought, for a moment, that maybe the sports world was throwing Detroit a bone after Ford had laid off 30,000 workers and they were trying to paint the city under a decent light.
But, maybe, just maybe, something else is going on.
"That's right, you're not gonna believe this ... it's another crappy day in Houston... You get the nagging feeling Houston wasn't quite ready to host the Super Bowl, like they needed six more weeks to get everything together. The light rail has been the running joke of the trip -- people are telling apocryphal stories about these accidents....When I write my book about Super Bowl XXXVIII, it's going to be called "Just Another Crappy Day in Houston!" ....Now we're back in the car ... and sitting in another hour of traffic. Because that's what you do in Houston. You sit in traffic." - Bill Simmons, ESPN Page 2 covering Super Bowl 38 (go to hell, you Roman Numerals. I saw "Gladiator!" You Romans are not cool, man! Not cool!)
Then I noticed that not only were sports writers not attacking the city of Detroit for sucking, they were actually defending it. The same group of writers who had viciously assaulted the last two hosts of the NFL's championship game, all of a sudden not going for blood?!? Excuse me, sir...but I smell a rat.
All of a sudden, it's become cliche for sports writers to not only stand up for the city of Detroit, but to also mock their fellow writers who were trying to bring the cities glaring flaws into public light. "Huh?" I thought to myself when I suddenly realized what was going on while eating fried chicken and masturbating to Summer Sanders on FSN. "Something is obviously amiss," I concluded as I pulled my pants back up and got to work.
"Not to say that Jacksonville was an ideal choice. Supposedly, the city only has 15,000 available hotel rooms, plus another 5,000 available on various luxury cruise ships, although there's no truth to the rumor that the gay cruise ship from "Boat Trip" will be there. Considering that Alltel Stadium holds nearly 77,000 fans ... well, do the math. There aren't enough rooms." - Bill Simmons, ESPN Page 2 covering Super Bowl 39.
"Oh, crap," I said to myself after a quick google search. "This case is easier to break than a bad Miami Vice episode (As my buddy Nate pointed out, for some reason 90% of the people living in Miami in 1985 were drug dealers, 8% were evil villians, and 2% were cops. Just who in the hell were running the grocery stores and flower shops in that town?)
"CBS had the Super Bowl two years ago. FOX had it last year. Well, who the hell is showing it this year? ABC? Wait...they only show one football game a week...They get a Super Bowl? Somethings not right here. OH!!! Who owns ABC?!? Disney! Why...They...They own ESPN, too! And ESPN controls what every sports fan in America thinks! No wonder no one knows that Detroit is a horrible sight for the Super Bowl! Most people seem to think that Steve Phillips is actually the GM for the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers based solely on his appearances as a fake GM on Sportscenter!"
"Memo to the press box: The public has no sympathy for those of us given a free pass, with all expenses paid, to cover the Super Bowl. Oh, it's going to be chilly? Well, I see no reason to call Amnesty International." Bernie Miklasz, ESPN 1380 AM, covering Super Bowl 40.
In fact it seems as if this year's press corps is actually taking a storyline from the fact that they usually make a storyline about how much the host city sucks. Aside from the "In case you had yet to notice, Jerome Bettis is from Detroit" storyline, this is the lamest storyline coming out of Detroit that everyone has already latched on to.
And if you think that ESPN isn't behind all of this, well...you're obviously not paying attention. I would imagine that the Worldwide Leader are on orders from up high to make sure that this Super Bowl looks as attractive as possible for the betterment of all of the Disney network.
Yes, the Super Bowl could have been in a more "fun" location. And, yes, Detroit has seen better days. But it really makes me wonder: How much does the lack of venom by the national press this year have to do with a respect for the city of Detroit; and how much does it have to do with the fact that ESPN essentially rules over every single sports writer in America (even if they're not getting checks from the Worldwide Leader, if they ever want to make great money doing what they do, they won't burn any bridges)?
ESPN (and, in essence, Disney's) control over sports media is one of the most obvious (but least serious) monopolies in all of America.
If Super Bowl XL was on NBC (or any other non-Disney owned network, for that matter) would ESPN be loosening the collar a little bit on their dogs? Would Chuck "I hate Coldplay Because They're Popular" Klosterman be writing a scathing expose on how Madonna's acting in "A League of Their Own" relates to the loss of jobs at GM? Or would Scoop Jackson be wondering about why the racist mainstream media made Eminem the main attraction out of D12 when Bizarre was obviously the media darling?
I'm obviously not bringing up any new ideas here (LOOK KIDS! ESPN LOVES SELF PROMOTION AND SYNERGY AND HAS COMPLETE AND TOTAL CONTROL OVER THE SPORTS MEDIA! HUZZZAH!) but my hope is that someone, somewhere will read this and see through the bullshit that is ESPN. And then that person will bomb Bristol, CT.
And then I hope they buy me a hot, hot Columbian bride and a gold plated Porsche.
Man, that would be sweet.
Making Me Feel Old
If you remember the 1986 Super Bowl as well as I do, this might just make you feel old, too:
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu's father, Mosi Tatupu, was a fullback on the 1985-86 New England Patriots.
I was beyond being just an avid Bears fan in January of 1986. In Christmas of '85, instead of getting presents from "Santa" I got them from "Sweetness" (yes, my parents led me to believe that Walter Payton drove down over the night and left presents for me. And I believed them until I was at least 12.) I knew every single word to the "Super Bowl Shuffle." In fact, there is a stuffed bear in my living room right now named Mike Singletary.
Let's just say that I vividly remember Super Bowl XX. I loved that Super Bowl. I sat around with my sisters and the kids from the neighborhood, ate Pringles and drank New York Seltzer, and watched the Bears dismantle the Patriots. It's one of my earliest (and favorite) childhood memories. Heck, I still rock a Super Bowl XX tee from time to time.
And now I find out one of the players from XX has a kid playing in the Super Bowl.
I've thrown my back out before. I know what my credit score is. I drive a fucking Honda. I know I'm getting old. I just don't like being reminded of it.
Crap, it's bad enough that the best player in baseball is my age (Albert Pujols) and the best player in basketball is four freaking years younger than me (Lebron James)... Now this?
Nothing really drives home how bad I have been at life like finding out stuff like this.
This is the oldest I've felt since I realized that I'm older than Tupac was when he was killed.
[At least I'll always have that Super Bowl Shuffle video to make me feel young and happy. That will never get old. "Well they call me sweetness and I like to dance...running the ball is like making romance." What lines! I don't think Bob Dylan could have written a better song.]