Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best World Series Ever.

I hereby declare this the Central Jersey Series.


We win!

The Best Art Show You Never Saw

You missed it.

A few weeks ago, October 11-17 if I'm not mistaken, I had an art show at MCA's No Exit Gallery.

I occupied the space, mentally, with an art show.

I didn't make anything or put anything in it.

Just the mental art show in the space.

I didn't even sign the sheet to reserve the gallery.

I just saw the opening and took it.


Doesn't even matter if there were other objects in the gallery.

Mentally, it was mine.

The only evidence that I have of this art show of mine is a text message sent to me in regards to my inquiring about the availability of the space, and a subsequent telephone conversation with the same person regarding my writing about this show on this blog.

One of its primary themes was fraudulence.

Of the artist, as such discursively and in practice.

Of the critical voice and industry as arbiter of artistic and academic validity, discursively and in regard to taste.

Of the art object itself, discursively and in actuality.

And the process of its creation, both physically and mentally.

It was simultaneously, and continues to be, a referendum of the audience concerning the rate of acceptance of this art show as an art show unto itself.

References available upon request.

Notredamus Predicts

Congrats, Irish, on beating the heretical sect of D1 football. But you need to get a whole lot better at covering those middle routes, and someone needs to give the corners a primer on man coverage. That was not comforting. Thank you Golden Tate, for making up for everyone else's errors.

Anyway, after last week's repeat mediocrity (57.9% rate of prediction) I'm going for something better. I mean, 57.9% isn't even enough to pass one of my tests. After two, I'd advise myself to drop my own class, so now you know how impressed I am with myself. But Jamie Dukes was 8-6 and Mike Mayock was 7-7. And those guys have jobs on NFL Total Access, so I'm at least keeping up with the industry standard.

So, in my quest towards Eisendom, here goes.

Chicago @ Cincy: Chicago just isn't good enough, and even though I mistakenly drank the Cincinnati Kool-Aid last week, I still think that the Bengals are too broadly talented and, more importantly, clicking in a way that the Bears are not. Sorry Jay, but you're still overrated and underwhelming. Cincy, by 7. Notice how conservative my lines have become? That's cause I don't know what I'm doing.

GB @ Cleveland: Zzzzzz. Cleveland has become such a bore, so depressing. I read somewhere that anybody could go out on the field (that's the pitch, for you Euros) and throw the ball directly into the ground and earn a better passer rating than Cleveland's QBs. And Donald Driver wears green. We've lost track of the Pack amidst the Favrexcitement in Hot Dish. Curly's boys by 14.

Minnesota @ Pittsburgh: Ooooh, girl, this is gonna be grrrrr-eat. I'm already on the couch, facing the TV, sort of drooling on myself a bit. This could go either way. Two greats, with great offenses, stellar defenses. Can I just call this Super Bowl XLIII.5? Pittsburgh by 3 for two reasons. They're at home. They're the defending champs. Even if I thought the Vikings could win, which they could, you've got to bet on the Champs, if only for ideological reasons.

SF @ Houston: You know, I want Houston to do well this year. They've been the afterthought of the AFC South for a while, and now that the Titans have been sucking like a vacuum cleaner, I'm all in for the Texans to improve. Whether or not they show up today is the mystery. They're terribly inconsistent, despite their huge lineup of power: Schaub, Johnson, Slaton, Jacoby Jones is a secret weapon, even Owen Daniels is capable of big stuff. And their defense is more than capable. SF has a shot here, especially if Houston blows it, which they've done before. But I'm going with Houston, by 10, at home, which explains why.

SD @ KC: I am so damn sick of San Diego being the team that I have to pay attention to because they have all the weapons. And then they never get anywhere. When was the last time they were in the Super Bowl? When was the last time they even got into the Conference Championship Game? I'm done with them until they do something that actually counts. That being said, the Chiefs stink like stank. Chargers by 14, but the only reason that I care is named Coryell.

Indy @ The Lou: How boring. Peyton Manning is a robot. I've got Donald Brown and their Defense on my fantasy team, which I hope, with Lawrence Maroney, will bring me an upset of our league leader. Let me say this again, Peyton Manning is dull. Dullsville. Dullicity. Dullacious. All he does is post numbers and win games. Many would say that's about all you can ask. Not me. I want drama, history, compelling stressful hair-pulling tension. All this idiot does is pass for 300 yards a game. If I want that, I'll play Tecmo. By the way, St. Louis should give the Rams to LA. They should also ask for a refund. Manning-tron 2009 by 28.

NE @ TB, in UK: Can I say this out loud? Americans, American football media, National Football League...the British don't give a rat's ass about our game. Deal with it. I don't see anyone broadcasting cricket over here, which is a remarkably cool game once you learn the rules, like football, and, like football, looks a lot like a bunch of dudes standing around waiting for the second fractions when important things happen. Interviewing Angles in front of Big Ben so that we can laugh at them when they don't know who Tom Brady is is like going to Nebraska and asking whether Wayne Rooney scores on goals or WAGs. And, after last week, Mr. Bundchen is so high up on my list that I don't even want to talk about him until he can sit around a table with Terry Bradshaw and wear the same number of rings. Nueva Inghilterra by 21. I hope Michael Strahan was sent over with his video camera again.

Buffalo @ Carolina: God, talk about boring. One team can't get their act together. The other one is playing them in this battle of the teams that won't make the playoffs. I still think Carolina's experience is the key here, as is Buffalo's lack of damn near everything, to say nothing of an injured QB. That Jets game was Sanchez getting himself beat, not Buffalo beating them. Panthers by 7.

Jets @ Oakland: Ok, everyone. Don't watch the game. Watch the headlines in the Daily News and the Post tomorrow. If the Jets win, it'll be all sorts of We Love You Mark Sanchez, We Love Rex Ryan's Defense, We Love the Jets. If not, it'll be like Torquemada's back in town. But, after last week's debacle, I think that the Raiders are too one-dimensional (throw to the Tight End) and really didn't do as much good as the Eagles O-line did bad. Jets by 10, though Marky Mark might end up riding the pine if he keeps throwing the ball away.

New Orleans @ Miami: Forget it. Nobody can keep up with Drew Brees. He's been scary since college, Reggie's actually scoring now, and the defense is being consistent. The Wildcat is going to look like a gimmick more than ever this week. It'll be cute for a few yards, but ugly when the Saints are up by 24 or so. New Orleans by 24 or so.

ATL @ Dallas: This is what I have to watch this weekend, because Fox stinks and apparently Western Tennessee and Dallas are related. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll play the New Orleans game. Maybe I'll just run a wire from my neighbor's DirecTV dish. Good thing for Matt Ryan and that ATL offense. At least I'll have something fun to watch. ATL by 14.

Arizona @ NY Giants: Somebody, during yesterday's Notre Dame game, called the Cardinals offense high-powered. They have 112 points for vs. the Giants 178. They do, however, have fewer points against. I don't care. Larry Fitzgerald's on my fantasy team, and he's not been doing biblity-squat all year. The Giants are at home, the winds are swirling, the weather is filthy. I hope Larry's got a big game in him, but I just don't see the Giants losing under these circumstances. Let's not forget that they were undefeated until Mr. Brees invited them over, which means that they're still undefeated by normal NFL teams. Football Giants by 17.

Philly @ Redskins: If the Eagles can't win this, I'm going to die. I do, however, recognize that this game is like a mimeographed version of last week's. Hey, kids, remember mimeographs? Mmm, analog copy technology. 90 minute Maxell tapes, anyone? Anyway, the Redskins have QB concerns, front office woes, an underperforming set of offensive weapons. Oh, no. Someone tell the O-line that this is on them. Don't ruin my Monday night gentlemen. Eagles by 7.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meda and Veda Rives at Memphis College of Art On the Street Gallery

Michelle Obama: Awesomest First Lady Ever

You know what she's thinking?

She's thinking "I'm Michelle Obama and I hula hoop and I double dutch and I rule."

No, wait. That's what I'm thinking. Except I'm not Michelle Obama.

Just say yes, kids, just say yes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Since I don't have corporate sponsorship, and thus can't be accused of selling this blog to the corporate oligarchs, I feel free to unvertise certain things I think are worth hearing about.

SkateLife Memphis seeks to promote Memphis and the health of Memphians by serving as an advocate for public skate parks. We are passionate about skateboarding because it is a positive physical outlet needed for our youth and it's an activity that naturally forms friendships among participants coming from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


UFL Update

So, the UFL is in its third week.

The Florida Tuskers are 2-0.

The California Redwoods and Las Vegas Locomotives are both 1-1.

And the New York Sentinels are 0-2.

So the Giants secondary and Mark Sanchez aren't the only ones besmirching the name of New York football this week.

But it's good that the Tuskers are 2-0, because the brother-in-law of the husband of someone I work with plays for them. And if they're good, I'm figuring that it's a better chance that he'll keep his career going. And I'm into people having careers. That's one of the many ways that I'm just like Barack Obama.

On another note, Maurice Crum, California Redwoods, 55, LB, is the sole Notre Dame representative in the league. We can be proud of that. He had a good career as a Domer. One that should have gotten him into the NFL, to be honest, and not at all biased.

Game's on tomorrow, 7:00 PM EST on Versus.

I Think There's Something Wrong With Me

So I watched that show Glee tonight between the Phillies game, and I actually wasn't repulsed.

I actually thought it was pretty funny.

The song choices were great. Bust a Move? That one from My Fair Lady is good, and they staged it well. But, I mean, The Thong Song? That's Genius.

Even the way they redid them wasn't offensive. By which I mean, in a manner blasphemous, but not odious like something fetid or festering.

And it's got football in it.

Which brings me to my main point.

My award for best use of football in a high school feature goes to The New Guy, to which I was hipped by my friend Mishael. The scoring to JT Money is brilliant. And the DJ Qualls as George C. Scott as General George S. Patton is absolute perfection, improved upon only were this un film di Mel Brooks. It's the best.

And, speaking of football in high school. Guy in Glee who's in charge of the Nike product placement. Get your friend who is in charge of the 7-11 product placement. Consider subtlety.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Civilization 2.0

Excuse me, passenger next to me in 17E on the 4:20 flight from LaGuardia to Memphis.

When we're all getting off of the plane, and everyone gets to turn their cell phones back on and send text messages or have conversations or whatever other telephone-based mania they have? Remember that?

I am with you on this part. I like to check in with people to tell them the plane's landed and to see what's going on.

But, if you and your husband are going to have some kind of spat about whether or not you're too worn out to go eat dinner with some of his family, would you mind terribly keeping it to yourself?

I'm tired, too. I feel you on that. We're all tired. We've been in a big metal tube for two hours being thrown through the sky at ludicrous speed breathing some kind of oxygenated atmosphere devoid of natural moisture drinking canned sugar fizz without the free movement of our elbows or knees after eating that sluice that passes for food at the airport.

The thing is, though.

None of us want to hear it.

At all.

Ever again.

Not only is it a drag to have to listen to, but it's uncivilized to exhibit your marital hiccups in public.

That's why they're called domestic disputes.

Because you dispute them in the domicile.

That's at home.

It ain't for the rest of us to hear.

I'm sorry you had to fight about it, though. Fighting is for the birds.

But please keep it to yourself next time.

Gorky at the PMA: A Question?

Full disclosure: I know the Curator of this show.

Not only is Gorky an exceptional painter, who has all kinds of massively confounding combinations of ideas and manners (Cezanne, landscape, Cubism, Surrealism, and all sorts of other things which are constantly in resynthesis), but the paintings are super mega fun to look at. Even the late ones, which really give me the creeps. It's a great show. And another one of these shows that the PMA has been doing that really really make you see things differently.

But here's my question.

How do I square this guy with Yves Tanguy? Is there a link, or am I just seeing things?

Personal Foul. On the Guggenheim. Lacuna. 15 Yards.

When I was at the Kandinsky retrospective at the Guggenheim, the art within which I have already discussed, there was mention, on some of the wall text of the Gesamtkunstwerk.

If you're going to bring up the Gesamtkunstwerk in relation to Kandinsky, there's got to be more of everything. I appreciate the magnificence of the paintings and do not dispute their ability to carry an exhibition unto themselves, but, if you bring that up, you can't not have more of everything.

On On

Yesterday night I was trying to think about how post-language writing might manifest.

Don't ask me how or why. It just sort of happened. Dumb luck.

But, I think On Kawara's already figured it out.

Drawing a Line.

I refuse to care about the NHL until the Quebec Nordiques are reestablished.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Going to Go Play in Traffic

Notre Dame 27
USC 34

Eagles 9
Raiders 13

Titans 0
Patriots 59, at the two minute warning

At least I got to see my wife this weekend.

By which I mean, I love you.

Way more than football.

Because you make me happy.

I'm even losing my fantasy game.

By exactly my age.

I need a hug.

I mean, c'mon, seriously, like, f'real?

Dear Mr. President,

Don't you have something else to do?

Aren't there better asses to kick?

Aren't people still homeless?

And without insurance?

And uneducated?

And getting killed all over the place?

You have better things to do.

You're better than this.

Let those idiots say what they want.

You're rubber, they're glue.

Get back to the business at hand.

By which I mean earning that Nobel Peace Prize.

Let me handle Fox News.

With hope and respect,


The First Coming

I don't mean to judge, but anyone who does not go to the Guggenheim's Kandinsky retrospective is an idiot.

I'm going to make this really simple.

I am a professional Art Historian.

Kandinsky is the primary reason why.

The other is Leonardo da Vinci's Adoration of the Magi, so now you know what kind of standards I hold.

The Kandinsky show at the Guggenheim is so good that I not only talked to a total stranger halfway through the show, but one of the paintings actually made me fall over, and I felt my rear end tingle at one point.

I have no shame about this. If you don't have a similar reaction, you're not looking hard enough.

Here's the deal, for those of you that don't know much about Modern Art or Kandinsky. A lot of people would argue that the history of 20th century art revolves around the development of abstract painting. Even if you don't like abstract painting, hang with me.

There are a few people who bear some profound responsibility for this. Turner, Cezanne, Picasso, Mondrian. Kandinsky is right there with them. If not ahead of them all.

If you don't understand abstract painting, or think you don't understand abstract painting, this show will part the clouds for you.

See, Kandinsky is evidence of a few pretty exciting things.

Number one: Abstract art can be, should be, must be understood as a natural outgrowth of representational painting. Somewhere in the early years of the 1910s, Kandinsky manifests this development. You can see it happen. The pivot is clear and obvious. And perhaps the most exciting moment in the history of art that I have ever witnessed.

Number two: Artists are not born geniuses, they learn to be geniuses. Kandinsky didn't start painting until his 30s. He got sick of his day job and decided to be a painter. He had history-changing success. Maybe it was innate, maybe it was dumb luck, maybe he was in the right place at the right time. His right place, right time is a where's where of Modern Art--Moscow, Munich, Berlin, Paris. If it happened somewhere, he was there. Probably before anyone else understood what the hell was going on.

Number three: Painting is about visual and spiritual revelation. Kandinsky's two books Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane are the two best books I have ever read about painting, with the exception of Leon Battista Alberti's Della Pittura. I mean this quite seriously. Looking at a good Kandinsky is like looking into the face of God. It is an experience that lays bare the structure of the universe and leaves one with the impression that all is planned, all is logic, and all is resonant with all else.

Go now. Give up an afternoon of football. If I'm saying that, you know this is the real thing.

Go now.

Or you're an idiot.

Non comprende.

I'm clearly not a pantaloon engineer, but can someone help me out with this?

What the hell is the purpose of the button fly?

Un autre blogger named Matt Kirsch has also puzzled over this, but I'm utterly lost.

I've been roaming around all weekend wearing a pair of button fly pants that I love, except when I need to use it, as they say. I can't be alone in this.

Can someone fill me in? I'm absolutely at a loss as to why the button fly is the superiour option. Note that I presume the English like it betteur.

Maybe they didn't have zippers back in Levi Strauss's day?

Things that still make me go hmm.

One other thing that doesn't make me go hmm is this...I read Dan Savage fairly religiously. He's informative, educational, and hi-larious. He also recommends blogging at a bar, drink in hand. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm sitting here with a pint of Guiness while the Titans are on the way to being beat by 90 and the Iggles let the Raiders look like a real team. Actually, blogging at your local watering hole is really productive.

Students, if you make art with beer in hand, I will find out and it will not be pretty.

Consider yourselves warned.

Just because I believe in the weekend does not mean that I do not have standards.

Especially about art, which is infinitely more important than blogging about button fly pants.

I Do Requests

This one is for a certain loudmouthed librarian I know, who hasn't supplied me with any new yoga weirdness to talk about.

Well, we're T-minus 10 days until the kickoff of the only basketball season I really care about. Next Wednesday the Memphis Grizzlies begin their campaign towards mature mediocrity.

I'm beginning to think that I'm some kind of sports masochist. Eagles, Titans, Notre Dame, Grizzlies. Jesus, I just need to become a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

Good trivia fact. Pittsburgh is the only city where all three teams have the same colors. Steelers, Pirates, Penguins. That's one of the reasons I'm ready to go to Pittsburgh whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Anyway, with the basketball season approaching, it is now time to focus on Memphis's fourth most important team. I'm putting Tiger b-ball first, Redbirds second, and third is a tie between Ole Miss and Vols football. Which is pathetic, cause the Griz are a local pro team and we don't have enough of those. Ahem, didn't build the Titans a stadium.

So, here's my thoughts about the Grizzlies, if only because they have a way better chance of being consequential than the Titans do these days.

Patience, grasshopper. That's my mantra.

See, the Grizzlies have a nice core going: OJ, Rudy, Conley, Marc Gasol (who I'd rather have than Pau anyway). And all sorts of promise elsewhere. Darrell Arthur, DeMarre Carroll, Sam Young, and that unbelievably tall future of the future named Hasheem Thabeet, who is gonna Thabeet every ball out of the sky this season. Plus, we just got Zach Randolph and the Answer, whose health is the biggest question right now. And, you know, I'm down with Lionel. I think he's on to something.

And we've got Hamed Haddadi, who is the only Iranian player in the league, which means that the Grizzlies are the future of world peace. If only he would've given me an autograph last season when I tried to get one after they beat the Suns. Hamed, buddy, I'm a fan. You gots to pay attention to the fans.

The core four looked very promising last year. OJ got tired down the stretch, which is a rookie syndrome, but Gasol and Conley both got much better and much more comfortable. If Gasol can get his average up to about 15 a game and Conley can start dishing with more success, we're on the way forward. And now that Zach Randolph's here, we can let Rudy shoot more and drive less. That'll help.

So, I'm not going to act like I can tell the future. I mean, I thought the Bengals were going to win today, which they didn't. But I think we might break even this season, which would be a 17 win improvement. But I think it's actually possible. They looked well improved down the stretch, and a lot of those games were actually sort of closeish.

I'm going with 41-41, if only cause it's a nice even number.

And, by the way, this post was by request.

I take requests.

Just not Dave Matthews Band or Celine Dion or the Cha-Cha Slide.

Cause they all suck. Worse than the Titans' secondary.

Allez les Griz!

I'm Not a Defensive Coordinator, But...

So, I'm at the Village Pour House on the Upper West Side, watching three games simultaneously, which is sort of like patting your head, rubbing your belly, and chewing gum at the same time. It's far more complicated than it looks. This is why John Madden is way smarter than I am.

Anyway, I'm not a defensive coordinator, but I do know a few things about defensive scheming.

The first thing I know about defense is that it wins championships. Op. cit. Baltimore Ravens January 28, 2001. Op. cit. Roethlisberger's first Super Bowl. Op. Cit. The first four Steelers Super Bowl victories.

And what I'm currently witnessing is that fat, lazy, inaccurate JaMarcus Russell dismantling the Eagles. While Tom Brady, stupid UM graduate, is simultaneously doing the same to the Titans.

I've never claimed to be His Majesty Buddy Ryan. Or the venerable Dick LeBeau. Or the Blessed Jim Johnson, but I know this.

If your secondary just stands around while anyone with an 80something on their jersey is holding onto a football, you're going to get beat. And if your linebackers are looking around for what to do, the play is already broke. And you will be too, once you get released from your team for letting the other team win.

Ever heard of closing on the ball?

Ever hear of tackling, Titans secondary?

Chuck Cecil, I'm talking to you. Sean McDermott, I'm talking to you too.

Here's what you do, in four down format:

1st. Put on the first DMX album.

2nd. Mix a little gunpowder, cayenne pepper, and paint thinner in a bottle. Shake it up. Give it to your players to drink. It'll make them mean, which is what you want.

3rd. Use verbs like destroy, emasculate, disembowel, demoralize, and finish with great frequency. At high volumes. You don't have to yell, but you have to get your players hungry. Remember what Lawrence Taylor said about playing like a bunch of mad dogs. If you're not in that zone of desire, you're wasting your time.

4th. Emphasize instinctive response. If you're looking around, it's too late. That's what film study is for. Am I the only one who saw Ray Lewis look Adrian Peterson in the eye, say "coming this way," and then stop him for a miniscule gain? That's what film study is for. You learn during the week. You execute during the game. Didn't Yoda say it best: "Do or do not. There is no try." Isn't it a title of a Roots tune: Respond/React? Don't make me say it a third time.

Jeff, Andy, I'm open to job offers. I'll work Special Teams, too, because they sure aren't pulling their weight today either.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Well, after last week's demonstration of ineptitude, I'm going for broke. This week's a lot easier looking. Actually, I don't feel so bad about being so wrong last week anymore. Cincy-Baltimore was a surprise. Hey Ray, be careful when you decide to clean somebody's clock. Those were important yards. Cleveland-Buffalo was anybody's game. Somebody had to suck worse. Houston-Arizona was weirdly close and the New England-Denver went into overtime and the Jets-Fins games was a last second affair. I mean, I was totally wrong about Atlanta's dismantling of the 49ers, so I'll own that one. But we all know that predicting sports is a deal with the devil. Nobody knows what's going to happen.

Oh, and I miscounted. I wasn't 7-7. I was 8-6. I mismarked the Indy-Tennessee game. I marked it wrong because the Titans got handled, which was a loss for me, just not for my prediction. Trust me, students, I do not do the same on your exams.

So, I suck a little less than we all thought. I still have a winning record, which is not what I can say for the Titans.

Anyway, if only for consistency's sake, and because I'm on a bus with no desire to do anything professionally productive, away we go. Bear in mind that it's been midterm week at work, so my standard football info intake has been cut by about 12 hours.

Texans @ Cincy: I've drink/drank/drunk the Kool-Aid. I don't know how they do it, but these Cardiac Cats actually win. Everyone's healthy, they're at home and on a roll. And Houston is still inconsistent, despite the strides they're making. Cincy by 10, and not a last minute win.

Detroit @ Green Bay: I love the NFC North this year. But this one ought to be well in hand for the Packers. Detroit just isn't that good and, without Calvin Johnson, they're really in trouble. I'm not so concerned with the absence of Stafford, but Calvin Johnson's at least half of their offensive firepower. No dice. Cheeseheads by a dozen, if not more.

St. Louis @ Jacksonville: Well, now that that fat, loudmouth idiot is out of the picture, we can remove St. Louis from the list of cities I do not care to affiliate with. But, their football team still stinks like my cat's breath. And that wee running back from Jacksonville's been talking a whole lot of frustrated with his job, so he's going to have to put up or shut up. Look for a big day from the little man. Jag-u-ars by 14.

Ravens @ Vikings: Look, I love the Ravens. I think they're good enough to beat the Vikings. I just don't see it happening in Minneapolis. The Vikings are looking frightening, so this is going to be an uphill battle for the boys from B-more. But not since Jesse Ventura have I been so concerned with Minnesota's ability to fend for itself, so I'm going with the Favrings by 3. Look for an epic defensive battle here. One for the ages maybe.

Giants @ Saints: Ok, I know that the Giants are arguably the best team in football right now. But the Saints are at home, on that horrific carpeting, and hot as the day is long. Plus, they're rested. I just can't imagine that the Giants are going to be able to keep up. I still think they're the better team, but this'll be a scoring contest, not a question of overall superiority. Of course, if the Giants defense gets properly going, Mr. Brees could be in for a lesson in frustration. But I'm going Saints by 7.

Browns @ Steelers: I just don't think he's that much of a Mangenius. Maybe a Mansmartguy, but Mike Tomlin's a freaking prodigy. And his team's way more talented. And, if Palumalu's back in form, fuggedaboutit. He's gonna freelance all over Derek Anderson's pride all day long. And then he'll do the same to the most depressing Domer since Rick Mirer. Towel Terribility by about 14.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay: Christ, can anyone out there imagine something less interesting? I'd actually rather watch hockey. Panthers by 7, if only because of their running game.

KC @ Washington: I spoke too soon. At least Tampa Bay has cool uniforms. This game is going to be dullsville-o-rama-lama-ding-dong all the live long day. Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Skins by 7 in the most unanticipated game since the Bob Davie era.

Iggles @ Jawbreakers: If the Eagles don't beat the living bejesus out of the Raiders, I'm going to cry. Everyone's on the field, the Raiders just plain stink, and November is around the corner, which means that December is too. C'mon gentlemen, let's start ensuring ourselves a spot in the playoffs. These victories will be important if the Giants don't self-destruct. Birds by 21.

Cardinals @ Seahawks: I think the Cardinals are going to win this one. Beanie's gonna get hot, Larry's gonna get hot, and I'm going to watch another game. Isn't it odd how the most electrifying team from last year's postseason has been so underwhelming this year? Cards by 10.

Titans @ New England: This is the sound of me dry heaving. I hate the Patriots. The Titans will lose by a lot, which will include their season, their dignity, and my emotional well-being.

Bills @ Jets: This one's for my friend Andre, who owns more Jets jerseys than the team does. The Sanchize gets back in form. I love "The Sanchize." Why can't my teams have such a cool phrase? Would you want Rex Ryan to yell at you two weeks in a row? I wouldn't. He might call his brother, and they might eat you. And that billboard about firing Dick Jauron is just plain hi-larious. Jets by 14. Minimum.

Broncos at Chargers: I'm going to be wrong about this, I'm sure, but I think the Chargers are going to pull it out. They're at home and their back is against the wall in that super weird AFC West. Chargers by 7.

I'm out. Getting close to the end of the bus ride. Happy football everyone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Maintaining Civilization

Ok, point of order.

You there, Mr. Seat 16B on NW flight 504 from Memphis on Thursday, let me tell you a little story.

That arm rest is collective property. By which I mean, get your elbow the hell out of my personal space.

Now, I'm too polite to have made a big deal about it, but believe you me, I resented every second of your stupid elbow up in my business.

Here's the deal, there's this thing in the U S and A that we respect.

It's called personal space.

I paid a lot of money for the privilege of having my flight delayed by an hour and a half, of riding in a huge metal cigar with 300 people I don't care to socialize with.

Part of the social pact that we have here in my country tis of thee is that you don't get up in my space and I don't get up in yours.

This includes the arm rest.

Since there's only one, and there's two of us, we have to compromise. Where I'm from, this means that we both share it.

By not touching it at all.

See, if you use it, your elbow gets up in my ribs. If I use it, my elbow gets up in yours.

Notice that my elbow wasn't anywhere near your ribs? I did.

From here on out, let's you and me pretend that that elbow rest is sort of like the DMZ.

Next time you violate its sanctity, I'm going to go all sorts of Kim Jong-Il on that ass.

I come from a family of hard-headed Irish and impatient Hispanics.

You don't want any of this.

So, everyone out there in airplane land, let's make a deal like Monty Hall.

If you're on a crowded plane, do the person next to you the courtesy of leaving the elbow rest unoccupied. That'll assure everyone of their own personal space.

Think of the germophobes, agoraphobes, claustrophobes, and misanthropes.

By which I mean me.

So there it is. Agreed.

Happy flying.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm a Specialist in Mediocrity.

I believe I owe you all an apology.

My predictions for this week were of utter mediocrity.

I was 7-7.

This is pathetic.

Let it be said that I do not in any way endorse this act of repugnant underachievement. The authorial staff of this periodical believe to the utmost in performance at a higher level.

It is to be expected.

Allow me to apologize.

I am sorry.

What makes it worse is that I even tied my Fantasy Football game. And, if that weren't bad enough, I sat Donovan McNabb for fear of his fragility and he went out and put an old style 157.2 Passer Rating beat down on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If I'd have played him, I'd have won.


Sorry Donovan. I'll never complain about you being injury-prone again.

A Standard of Preparation for Public Speaking.

You have to be done before you start.

Kids. Don't Do This At Home.

My family is New Mexican.

Look it up.

If I ever get to start a street gang, I'm going to call it Gringos Peligrosos.

Cause that's sort of what I am.

A Dangerous Honkey.

Sort of.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In It To Win It

27 minutes till kickoff. I'm ahead of schedule this week.

Last week I was 10-4. I clearly can't predict a spread to save my life, but I'm practicing.

Because so many of you asked, here goes...

Week 5 NFL Predictions

Cincy @ Baltimore: It's spelled F-L-A-C-C-O. You can also spell it L-E-W-I-S. Just because Esteban Ochocinco's a hero of mine doesn't mean I'm stupid. Ravens by 14.

Cleveland @ Buffalo: I just can't believe in the Browns yet. Granted, I can't believe in the Bills yet, but Home Team advantage trumps incompetence, and I think T.O.'s fed up enough to have a big game. Bills by 7.

Washington @ Carolina: The Redskins are a mystery to me. They seem talented, but nothing ever works as planned. Carolina's just as big a mess. Here's my prediction. If Jake DelHomme hands the ball off, DeAngelo'll do the rest. Otherwise, it's anybody's guess. I want the Skins to win, just to get Campbells cajones off the charcoal. But you know, a Pick-6 is always a possibility, so who knows, but I'm saying Carolina by 3.

Pittsburgh @ Detroit: Steelers haven't won 2 in a row in a while. I don't care. Culpepper's a back-up and even though I'd like to see the vet get some of his 'spect back, it ain't gonna happen today. Black and Gold by a dozen.

Dallas @ Kansas City: Attention Comcast. Quit it with the Cowboys games. There's an Eagles game on at the same time. McNabb's back. Vick's still on the team. The Cowboys are a bunch of underachieving idiots, owned by a loudmouth, playing a bunch of underachieving midwesterners. I hope Dwayne Bowe has a huge game, so I can win my fantasy game. Saying this out loud is going to make me queasy, but Cowjerks by 10.

Oakland @ Giants: This is gonna be ugly. Even if Carr plays for Eli, it's probably not going to be worth watching. Giants by double digits. This could be the massacre of the week.

Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia: McNabb's back, the Philly phaithphull are going to want a new reason to toss him out of town, Kolb's been playing like a champ, Vick keeps talking about being a starter. McNabb's pride wins it by 10.

Minnesota at St. Louis: Rush Limbaugh is an ass. Any team that affiliates with him deserves to be skewered on a helmet horn. After last week, Favre's looking spooky good. And Peterson wasn't even on full tilt. This might be uglier than the Giants game. Vikings by 21, if not 35.

ATL @ San Francisco: I have no idea on this one. I haven't seen the injury report recently, either. But my gut tells me that it's going to be close, if not totally unpredictable. Don't believe me on this one, but I'm saying 9ers by 7, though it'll be the defense that wins it for them.

Houston @ Arizona: The Cards are in a funk, Warner's sort of injured, Schaub is still vertical and that damn Andre Johnson is looking like Larry Fitzgerald used to. Texans by 10. This might actually be their year for the playoffs, thought they'll have to send the Titans a card.

New England @ Denver: I'm totally bewildered by the Broncos. Good rookie, amazingly improved defense, and that coach actually seems to know what he's doing. But, Brady's Brady and I just don't see Denver's recent success trumping New England's sustained goodness. Here's that queasiness again. Patriots by 14.

Jacksonville @ Seattle: I don't even care about this game. I care so little about either of these teams, I'm not even sure who Jacksonville's QB is. I think it's Garrard, because I remember him lighting up the Titans, but he might be on the bench by now. And, I remember Seattle being sort of banged up. I vote Seattle by 7.

Indy @ Tennessee: I don't want to talk about this. Colts by at least 14.

J-E-T-S @ Miami: OK, I've taken the green pill. I'm a believer in the Jets, and this Braylon Edwards move will confuse people enough that it'll free up the Sanchise to do some interesting things with the rest of his weapons. And the Ryan defensive pedigree is enough. I'm calling it J-E-T-S by t-e-n.

Congrats to Dario Franchitti for winning the IRL Points Championship in an amazing season ending. And condolences to Scott Dixon, who I was hoping might make an argument for greatest ever. I'm really looking forward to the battle royale next year'll be.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Shabbat. Let's talk football.

Shalom, friends. I have a few things to say before I forget, so here goes.

I was 10-4 with my predictions last week. I don't know how good Vegas did with their predictions, but I think 10-4 is pretty good for a first try. That's a much better percentage than James Caan had last week on NFL Total Access, and I'm not even an actor. Tune in for this week's predictions.

Last week's predictions started a little back-and-forth with someone I will keep anonymous. He's a NY Giants fan, and I'd hate for that information to sully his otherwise solid reputation. And I don't want him to think that I don't enjoy every second of those exchanges.

This past week, he reminded me, without remorse, of the utter grotesquery of my beloved Titans, with a side dish of how good the Giants are. He's right. We really stink, and they're really good, but I still hope Eli gets some mental fasciitis somewhere in November and the Eagles can score some touchdowns 1, 2, 3.

But, in good faith, I believe that I should honor his team's excellence by, as he asked, saying something nice about the Giants. I'm going all in and saying three nice things about the Giants.

Take a photo, send a memo, call your parents, because I'm not doing this again.

Three Nice Things About the Giants

1. Bill Parcells is my all-time favorite coach. Mainly because he's called The Big Tuna, but also because his football genius is limitless. That's why you lift all them weights.

2. Lawrence Taylor is the first person I'd take to a brawl. If it weren't for Richard Marvin Butkus and John Harold Lambert, I'd call him the greatest linebacker ever. I still might.

3. Eli actually looks like he belongs in his big brother's league.

My Marriage Depends on Danica Patrick

Dear Danica,

I know that you don't know me and that you're probably not really interested in taking on another obligation. Those NASCAR truck races are probably weighing heavily on you these days.

But, listen, I need a favor. Please stick with IndyCar. Please.

My wife's exact words were "I will divorce you if you get into NASCAR."

You're married, right? You know the stakes. Help me out. Stick with IndyCar.

See, here's the deal. I don't give a damn about NASCAR, but I am a big fan of Andretti Green Racing and that's your team. I mean, damn, who wouldn't like a team with you, TK, Hideki, and Marco. Christ, that's like John, Paul, George, and Ringo. You'll have to sort out who's who.

If you bolt to NASCAR, as a fan of AGR and you as a driver, I'm going to have a hard time not paying attention to your career, even though you're signed on with Tony Stewart. That won't matter. I'm a loyal fan and too dumb to not pay attention to something I'm already sort of interested in.

See, I like car racing. The sound, the repetitive rhythms of a race, the infinite minutia that goes into fielding a team, and the amazingly complex strategery that goes into winning a race.

And, besides, I've been down with Girl Power since Sporty, Scary, Posh and them, so I support your career for the same reason I read Betty Friedan or listen to Queen Latifah. I'm into paradigm-challenging women. And, you not only qualify, but you kick ass at it.

And God knows NASCAR could use the revolution that you'd bring.

So I'm caught.

Do I support the rights of women to drive fast as lightning in supercharged cars or do I maintain domestic tranquility?

I'm stuck.

So, here's my solution. Stick with IndyCar. You and I both know it's cooler. The cars go faster, look more like spaceships, and you might be the one to dethrone Dixon or Dario.

Speaking of, ask Dario why he went back to IndyCar. I bet he'll tell you because it's cooler. And because Ashley didn't want her husband messing around with NASCAR no more.

So help me out. Or, alternatively, call my wife and tell her that it's not worth divorcing me over.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Like Books

Editor's Note: Don't blog before you've had coffee. I had a whole thing going and then, because I wasn't really awake, pressed the wrong button. Whole thing deleted. D'oh.

Anyway, my point is this. The week begins in 32 minutes, so I'm getting this one in at the wire.

Here are my predictions for NFL Week Four. I'm tired of Peter King and all the stat freaks having all the fun. Now, don't get me wrong. I love Peter King and the stat freaks, but I want in.

Federales: I am not encouraging gambling. I am encouraging clairvoyance. In fact, I don't gamble. I'm too cheap. And I'm just trying to democratize the process.

Football + Me = American democracy.

Oh, and by the way, the managment assumes no responsibility for blown predictions, untoward logic, misapprehension of the statistics, financial loss, family strife, personal shame, or other acts of God, natural disasters, or unforseen idiocy. Readers are obliged to consider all known knowns, unknown knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. You're all adults. It's your money. I'm not responsible.

So, here goes.

Detroit @ Chicago: Chicago by at least 14. I'm tired of Jay Cutler, but he can be on when he's on. And Chicago has too many potential weapons for this to not be their day. I'd love to see an upset, though, because Jay Cutler's a baby and Stafford and the Lions are so in need.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland: Cincy by a touchdown. This could be the fiasco of the day, but the Bengals seem able to cobble it together at a better rate of success than the Browns. Again, it's a question of potential weapons.

Oakland @ Houston: Texans by a dozen. Two words. JaMarcus Russell. Two more. Jeff Garcia. The Raiders are in a deep, deep QB hole. Even their backup doesn't want to have anything to do with them. And can someone remind me about Week 2 against the Titans? Damn Andre Johnson.

Seattle @ Indy: Peyton Manning by 10. No Hasselbeck? Seattle's cooked. At Indy? Overcooked. Pierre Garcon + Reggie Wayne + Donald Brown? Burnt to a crisp. This might be the embarrassment of the week. Can I get an amen that Peyton may be the most beautiful QB to watch, but also the most boring? He's like the Nicolas Poussin of QBs: graceful, balanced, cerebral, but almost totally devoid of a pulse.

Tennessee @ Jacksonville: Titans by 3. 0-4? I'll have to sit shiva if they don't win this one. I just don't see Jacksonville beating the Titans. MJD be damned, he's not the whole team. Titans, you're on notice. Keep this up and I'm gonna start looking for a new set of receivers to care about. And a new secondary. And new special teams. And, LenDale, you may not be fat anymore, but you're not good either. Get it together, guys, my Fall Semester's riding on you.

Giants @ KC: I hate to say it, but Giants by 17. They're arguably the best team in the league right now (arguably), and Eli actually looks like a guy who has won a Super Bowl. Ron Jaworski forgive me, but I think the Giants are the team to back this week.

Baltimore @ New England: Spoiler alert! Flacco by 7. I just think that the Ravens are going to win this one. NE's been too inconsistent, and I just don't think this defense is going to be ready enough. I might be wrong as striped pants and a plaid shirt, but I think the Ravens are good enough, if not the best team in the league right now. Yo Joe!

Tampa Bay @ Washington: Bucs by 7. I know they stink, but I just have a feeling that the Skins are in downward spiral mode. They're a half-decent team, but they're hiking uphill in hard bottoms on mossy stones. How's that for a belabored image?

Buffalo @ Miami: Bills by 5. Can't figure out why. I think TO's gonna be on a mission, those backs will be competing against each other towards a beautiful pas-de-deux, even the defense seems like they might be a help. Somehow I think the Fins are on borrowed time this week.

Jets @ Saints: Saints by 10. I want to bet on the Sanchize, I really do. And I love that defense, even after what they did to the Titans. But Drew Brees has been impressing me since he came to South Bend as a Boilermaker. And did you all see that video where he's throwing at a target? He's freakish. And they're at home. J-E-T-S? N-O-P-E. Sorry guys, I want you to win, but the Saints are rolling downhill on a snot-greased track.

Dallas @ Denver: Did I mention that I hate the Cowboys? Broncos by 3. This'll be decided by unforced errors. But I think that the Broncos can make this happen, especially if Moreno and Marshall get hot.

Rams @ 49ers: Niners by 14. The Rams suck. I'm sorry Missouri people, but they do. And the Niners are looking good. And I'm not stupid enough to argue with Singletary. He might take his pants off.

Chargers @ Steelers: Steelers by 2, maybe. The Chargers are dangerous as a mother. But the Steelers are underperforming. Home field advantage? Weather will be a factor. Dick LeBeau wins it for the Steelers.

Packers @ Vikings: Best game ever? Doubtful. But the Favre-a-thon rolls onward to victory. It's a home game, Peterson's frightening, Harvin's frightening, that D's frightening. The Packers are frightening, though, too, so I'm saying Brett Favre's ego and pride connect on a late touchdown. Vikings by 7.