Category: Sports


tom-brady-game-ball

 

A lot of people hate the New England Patriots. Big fucking deal. Every sports team is going to have a grand army of haters. More so when the team’s successful. The Patriots will give haters no shortage of material: Bill Belichick’s philandering, Tom Brady’s Uggs, Brady’s waterslide, Brady being a little bitch on the sidelines, pretty much just everything Tom Brady-related.

Which is what makes this latest hogpile on the Patriots for deflating their footballs in the AFC Championship game such an exercise in complete and utter bullshit.

So apparently, the Patriots deflated their footballs by about 2lbs of air pressure. Deflated balls equal softer balls, which in turn equal grippier balls. Easier to throw, easier to catch. That’s what I read anyway, I have no idea, I’ve never played football at any level.

And of course this is against the rules of the sport.

Cue the angry mouthbreathing public mob decrying the Patriots for CHEATING. “ZOMG, cheating iz soo bad, you guys. So not fair, so cheeky, so awful, such an egregious violation of all that is sacred in football, everything is horrible!!!”

You know what, shut the fuck up.

Because guess what: everybody cheats, stupid. Get the fuck over it.

No sooner did the Patriots get busted for their soft balls, Aaron Rodgers the almighty got called out for having his balls overinflated. (I’ll give you a minute to get over chuckling at that one.) Then Brad Johnson bragged about how he bribed someone to scuff up his footballs in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl!!! That’s bigger than a conference championship game! Where’s the fucking outrage for Brad Johnson? I mean, there was even a fucking bribe involved! Brad fucking doubled down on that one.

Then you get shitbag Matt Leinart coming out and practically carpetbombing the entire quarterback squad in the NFL, claiming all of them – with the exception of holier-than-thou blockhead Kurt Warner, apparently – fucked with their footballs. I’m not sure why I give a shit about anything Matt Leinart has to say about anything because Matt Leinart is useless, but in this case, his assertion supports the point I’m trying to make.

Here’s the thing: if you’re gonna lose your shit about a team or player playing outside the rules, don’t get mad because they’re doing it, wag your finger because they’re stupid enough to get caught doing it. This is professional sports, for fuck’s sake. This is about money. This is about the business of winning by any means possible. Winning = revenue = the whole fucking point, last time I looked.  Goody gum drops if you think you wanna try and win without using any unfair advantage whatsoever.  That’s not how the rest of the world runs, noob.

You check into professional sports and you come looking for some moral high ground? Do you also believe in the tooth fairy and leprechauns?

Michael PinedaThese shitheads got caught, that’s the only thing that’s out of norm here. Just like when Michael Pineda of the Yankees got caught with pine tar on his neck when he was on the mound. Sure, pine tar’s banned and all, but shit, EVERYBODY uses pine tar in Major League Baseball, for fuck’s sake. Bats and helmets are dripping with the stuff. But Pineda was an asshole for being so brazen about his pine tar use, and for that, he deserved to get busted.

Also like when Bill Belichick and the Patriots were busted for secretly filming the Jets (the motherfucking Jets, of all teams!). YOU DON’T NEED TO CHEAT TO BEAT THE JETS!!! They’re the Jets, they’re going to work very, very hard to easily lose to you spectacularly, so what the fuck are you doing trying to film them? All you’re gonna end up with is hours of footage of how NOT to play football. And that’s what the $750,000 combined fine should’ve been for – not for secretly filming your opponent, but for the fact that they did it against the goddamn Jets. A fine for stupidity, not for cheating.

Formula 1 Spain - StartYet, $750,000 is such a paltry amount when you consider the bar set the McLaren team in Formula One. Also, when it comes to cheating scandals, this one took the motherfucking cake. You’re talking about a multi-billion dollar global sport here in which one team – McLaren – were actively stealing engineering secrets from another team, Ferrari. This isn’t like listening in to another team’s radio transmission during a race to predict when their race car was going to pit. And it’s certainly a different caliber to the Patriots filming the Jets. This was proper industrial espionage. Way more impressive than letting the air out of some balls. And the penalty? A $100 million fine and the exclusion from the 2007 world championship, which resulted in further loss many, many millions of dollars in race result revenue. $100 million.  You wanna kick a cheating team in the balls, that’s how you kick a cheating team in the balls.

Which brings us to our current sitch. If you must punish the Patriots for their soft balls – and you probably should, not because they actually deflated the balls, but because they were stupid enough to get caught – what’s the right penalty? A fine? Unless it’s $100 million, who gives a shit. Loss of draft picks? Warmer, but again, who gives a shit because the free agency market can help backfill that. Pull them from the Super Bowl and sub in the Colts? That would be hilarious.

However the NFL act – or don’t act, as is typical with the NFL – on this, it doesn’t matter that the Patriots played AFC championship game, or any other game leading up to that one, with their soft balls. Stop crying about it.

Because you’re missing the whole fucking point.

 

 

The New York Jets: A Love Story

mark-sanchez-butt-fumble-geeksandcleats

The New York Jets are my second favorite football team. That’s the goddamn truth. Right after the Pittsburgh Steelers, I HEART the Jets. I heart them so much.

As I sit here to watch the final game the Jets will play in 2014, I’m experiencing this weird blend of joy and longing.

My love for the Pittsburgh Steelers is quite one-dimensional. The Steelers are the team that I root for, and I bank on them to win. But also, despite my not being from Pittsburgh, long ago I pinned my fandom on the Steelers when I was in college while trying to impress my then-girlfriend-now-wife, who is properly from Pittsburgh.  So there’s that.  (In case you’re wondering, she couldn’t possibly give less of a shit about the Steelers – worst Yinzer ever.)

On the other hand, the joy I get from the New York Jets is so wonderful and complex, I’m frankly I quite astonished that I can process such thought and emotion.

Quite simply, the Jets are by far the absolute most hilarious professional sports team in the world, and I’m a sucker for top-shelf comedy.

In my entire life of watching sports on TV, I have never seen another team more hilariously horrible as the Jets. There are so many persistently awful teams in American sports, but none of them are horrible the way the Jets are. The Chicago Cubs? Frankly, I find them quite lovable in their aww-shucks brand of loserdom. The Cleveland Browns? As much as they lose, as corrupt as their owner might be, they’ll forever get a pass in my book because the Baltimore Ravens are the most despicable relocation team of all time. Of. All. Fucking. Time. (I’d like to take a brief moment here to digress: fuck the Baltimore Ravens forever.)

There are so many ways to love the Jets.

Let’s start with the fans. The best thing about actual Jets fans? That insane, delusional hope each year that their team are going to turn things around. That somehow, a new coach or a new draft pick is going to be their ticket to back to a winning season. “This is the year is going to be different.” “This is year is when we turn things around.” It’s like a very real pathological case of mass amnesia through allegiance – somehow Jets fans completely forget that they’re backing the New York fucking Jets, a team created for the sole purpose of masterfully fucking things up 24/7, 365 day a year, every year.

jets+steelers+1That’s why I’m happy for Jets fans when the Jets actually win a game once in a while. This year, when they were working so hard to lose, they beat the Steelers, but even I couldn’t be bummed by that. I hate seeing the Steelers lose, but to see that glimmer of delusional hope in the eyes of Jets fans – “OMG, we beat the Steelers, we’re practically in the Super Bowl now!” – knowing that there’s only crushing defeat and a return to tears and gnashing of teeth for these Jets fans is so, so sweet.  There is no nectar on this earth sweeter than a bowl of Jets fans’ tears.  Try it, it’s delicious.

fireman-ed-anzalone-jets-fan-52893dfacd878d41_largeOn the subject of fans, there’s the Jets’ number-one-cheerleader-best-fan-forever, that Fireman Ed asshole. Look at his stupid face.  Seriously, fuck this guy. This is their number one fan. The embodiment of their fan base in one fat, bald sack of shit. This asshole’s only life accomplishment is that he can scream four letters of the alphabet repeatedly for three hours on a given autumn Sunday in New Jersey. He is supposedly their number one fan, and he fucking gave up on going to their games ever again. He cited that his fellow Jets fans were all assholes (shocker) at the game, so he ditched his season tickets. Waahhhh! So even though he might be the single-most irritating fuckwit in the part of the hemisphere, he might also be the smartest Jets fan in decades. Which, by definition, no longer makes him an actual Jets fan.

Can anyone think of anything the team management have done that ISN’T a complete fuckwit move? That Fireman Ed shithead cried all the way home, and the Jets actually tried to get this guy to come back to the games by taking him out to lunch. They tried to woo a fan, for fuck’s sake. Who does that.

I’ll tell you who – a group of fuckwits led by Woody Johnson, that’s who. Was there a better Woody moment than when he told the press that he didn’t want to sign Tim Tebow, but his team went ahead and fucking did so anyway?   Imagine megalomaniacs like Jerry Jones or Bob Kraft admitting to such a thing, that your team probably thinks that you’re just some senile old man so they ignore the living shit out of you and get up to their own bullshit anyway. You’re the one signing all the checks, yet no one gives a shit what you think. Even the Wilpons weren’t blown off, but instead held a firm hand in driving the New York Mets right into the fucking ground. I’ll bet Woody Johnson still snacks on paint chips he peels off in his office.

EXCLUSIVE: NY Jets coach Rex Ryan and wife Michelle show some PDA whilst enjoying a Bahamas vacationYou know who’s not snacking as much? Dear Rex Ryan. Oh shit, I am going to miss that guy. Seriously, I am. When I think of colossal Jets coaching failures, first my head spins with so many names and faces that I fucking black out, but when I come to, there’s only Rex Ryan’s stupid jowly mug. You think your Jets were scary bad under Bruce Coslet or Rich Kottite? Holy shit, at least those guys had the decency to shut the fuck up while they were shitting the bed. Not so with Rex. In fact, no spawn of Buddy Ryan ever shuts the fuck up about anything (oh hey, Rob, how’s it going!). The hollow promises, the toe-sucking adventures, the Mark Sanchez jersey tattoo… I mean, holy shit, the most coked-up Hollywood writer couldn’t come up with a character this who’s this much of a shitshow. I’m gonna fucking miss Rex Ryan.

Rex Ryan was a big part of what made the Jets of recent years the best Jets ever. With him, the Jets have been in peak Jets form for a while now. Rex Ryan. Sanchize. The Buttfumble. Tim Tebow and the time they had like 10 quarterbacks on the team. Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber (OK, I’m cheating a little on this one, but that shit was awesome). I mean, they’re just Jetsing so fucking hard right now. And I never want it to end.

If it were up to me, Rex Ryan would be head coach for life. Tim Tebow would return as quarterback for life. That fireman dickhead would return to the stadium each home game, scream his balls off, then have to be carried outta there in the crushing shambles of defeat. Each year, they’d single-handedly earn the top draft pick, and they’d blow their first three rounds on shitty quarterbacks.  And each year, my Jets friends will regale me with high hopes and dreams that they’ve “definitely got a chance this year.”

If it were up to me, the New York Jets would never, ever fucking change.

 

 

 

 

It’s a crisis!  I wish everyone I know would just buy a goddamn Porsche and be done with it.  Instead, everyone around me – everyone who is every bit as middle-aged as I am – is not doing that.

Porsche

Midlife crises used to be so easy work through.  So predictable, so easy; practically transactional.  You ran out and bought a Porsche.  Or you got some bouncy new boobs.  Swipe your credit card, you’re done.

Suddenly a 911 and pectoral saline vessels aren’t good enough anymore.   No, now everyone’s got to get fit.  Gotta work out, gotta pump up!  When you realize that you’re closer to death than you are from your birth, no one wants to go out in a blaze of glory anymore.  Instead, everyone wants to amp up the health factor, make up for years of indulgence and intoxication, desperate to try and reverse the aging process.

So yeah, let’s all work out and kick ass.

Remember when everyone on the planet wanted to take up kickboxing?  Ooooh, so tough.  But kickboxing is just so ‘90s, you guys.  Now, if you really want everyone know you’re middle-aged, kicking ass, and taking names, you gotta run a dozen miles, AND go to a spin class, AND take a crossfit session.  All before lunchtime, bitches.

Marathons?  Fuck that shit, you pussy – ULTRAMARATONS FTW, motherfucker!  Wait, scratch that – running’s not enough, I better tack on some swimming and some cycling to it!  Fuck yeah!

“Hey, how’s your marathon training coming along?” “Hey, are you signed up for next month’s tri?”  “We totally need to sign up for that obstacle race where they swing glass-encrusted sledgehammers at you and send 50,000 volts of electricity right to your nipples.”

OMG, SHUTTHEFUCKUP, SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP, SHUTTHEFUCKUP!!!

A buddy of mine once shared this joke with me, “When you’re at a party, how can you tell which ones are triathletes?  Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”  Except it’s not a fucking joke.  The only thing more irritating than a triathlon are all the assholes running them.

All these fucking guys can’t wait to tell you about all their training, how their last event went, what races they’re signed up for, how many miles they ran this week, what shoes they ended up with after they got sized up by some supercomputer or some fucking shit like that.

Stop being so psyched, for fuck’s sake.  It’s fucking irritating.  Fucking nerd dorks with 2% body fat.  No one’s impressed.  You’re annoying as fuck and you look gross.

The most irritating of all are all these obstacle races that are all the fucking rage.  Crawling through mud, climbing walls, running under barbed wire, and fuck know what.  And these fuckers get so fucking carried away with all of it.

Mud Run

Admittedly, I signed up for one of these fucking things.  A year ago, happened upon one of these races and saw a bunch of people climbing ropes and running through mud, and thought, “Hey, playing in that mud looks fun.”  I have the maturity of a 5 year-old.  So I signed up for this year’s Merrell Down And Dirty Mud RunAs a goof.  Because I hate running with every fiber of my being, and I am the least competitive (in physical activity) person I know.  I chose this particular event because it was the most creampuff event, and it took place 5 miles from my house.  That’s how lazy I am.

No fire pits, no swimming through pools of urine, no electric fences, none of that bullshit.  This was no more treacherous than playing flag football a bunch of pissed-off midgets.  Seriously.

Yet, I showed up the day of the event, and the entire scene instantly laughable.  Girls with team shirts saying “Beast” or “Tough Bitch” or something touting grrrrrl power.  Beefcake dudes with bandanas wearing eye black.  Everyone was constantly growling or grunting and pumping their roided fists in the air.

I had entered the WWE of running.

Are you fucking kidding me.  This was little pussy 3-mile run with a bunch of shitty obstacles thrown in, and you guys are losing your shit over this?  Calm the fuck down, you Adderalled assholes.  Maybe cut your Red Bull intake in half, let’s start there.

MuddyShoes

And for all the posturing and bullshit tough guy theatrics, I ran this race and came in 8th in my class.  8th.  This fat fuck.  All without any growling or making my pecs dance.  Puh-fucking-leeze.

You fuckers need to save all the grunting and shouting and the eye black and the compression sleeves for something that’s worth going ape shit over.  At the rate these types of events are taking off, it won’t take long.  Assholes aren’t going to happy until there’s an event in which race organizers are firing live rounds at the runners, making them run through actual minefields, and playing dodgeball with a balloon filled with the Ebola virus.

This is how “The Running Man” will come about.  And when it does, I hope it comes with all the shiny spandex we can stand.  Until then, would the rest of you please, PLEASE, PLEASE shut the fuck up about your workouts.

 

 

 

Pizza race number

So one week after I partook in a bike race by mistake, I found myself in another race this weekend.  This time, my entry was entirely on purpose.  And completely impulsive.

Because I’m surrounded by avid runners who take their sport very (too?) seriously, I’d been swept up with all sorts of talk about running.  I fucking loathe running.  I find it the dullest, most tedious athletic activity on the planet.  After all, per “the rules,” one should only run if being pursued; and one should only run fast enough to evade capture.  Everything else – fuck that noise.

So what the fuck was I thinking on Thursday when I opened my email and read an article about a foot race around Tompkins Square Park on Saturday?

This race was called the New York Pizza Run.  Apparently, this was the fourth year it’s been run, but this was the first I’d ever heard of it.  But unlike other races, this had a splendid twist to it.

The race comprised 4 laps around the perimeter of Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.  At the completion of each lap, you had to devour one slice of pizza before you could commence to the next lap.  At the end of the fourth lap, you cross the finish line and you’d have 2.25 miles in the books.

Two-and-a-quarter miles, four laps around a small park, three slices of pizza.  That sounded so goddamn ridiculous, there was no way I couldn’t not do it.  And so I signed up.

But I also invited my runner friends.  The ones who run multiple marathons a year.  The ones who are constantly training for some triathlon or other.  The ones whose every conversation at every party is about running.  It was as if to say, “Hey, you guys, I’m doing a foot race, I’m one of you guys now!”

Except, I wasn’t, of course.  This was just running around stuffing our faces with pizza.  TOTALLY NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH.  Not within a million miles of being in the same league.  If they were the NFL, I was tossing around a Nerf ball trying to be cool.  “I’ve got not time for jokes, bro.”

Hardly anyone even acknowledged getting my email asking them to join me in this ludicrous run.  Not that I gave a shit because I was going to do this run with or without them.

So Saturday came, and I took the train down to Astor Place and walked the four blocks to Tompkins Square Park.  I might’ve even sprinted a couple of blocks.  Gotta warm up, get loose.  This is a race, after all.  (barf)

I checked in to the race, and got a race number.  Ooooh, a number, this is serious shit.  Then I looked to my left and saw the professionally-crafted start line on the sidewalk of in the middle of 7th Street.  SO OFFICIAL, you guys.

Pizza Start Line

And of course this was exactly the sort of race that draws participants who dress up, run goofy, and take the piss out of the whole running thing.  There was a girl dressed in a banana suit, another dressed in a pizza costume, another in a Superman outfit.  Shit, even I ran with baggy knickers but that’s because that’s all I had.

Shortly before the start, a friend from work actually took me up on my offer and joined me for this race.  Yay, somebody to run with!  Except he ran a fucking marathon this past spring, so, you know… I figured he was going to just lap me at some point.  He’s fit as a fiddle, I’m fat and slow, it’s inevitable.

Pizza3So we lined up along the chalked line, and without much fanfare, the race was on.  This was not a closed course.  We were simply running on the cobbled sidewalk around Tompkins Square Park.  That meant we had to swerve around the homeless.  We had to take evasive action from oncoming hyperaggressive city moms with their massive strollers that were not.moving.out.of.the.way.because.fuck.you.runners.  We had to run around tourists (those fucking, wandering guys).

Oh yeah, and at the end of each lap, we had to wolf down some pizza.  And it seemed a real goddamn shame to have to go all Joey Chestnut on these incredible slices.  Sure, by the time we got to them, they weren’t warm any longer, but holy shit, they were delicious.  They were supplied by Cer Te, and they were quintessential New York margherita pizzas.  Ultra thin crust, sweet fragrant tomato sauce, large discs of melted mozzarella, and slivers of basil on top.

Mmmm pizzaThe rule was that you couldn’t run with the slice of pizza.  Before you were allowed to start your next lap, you had to eat the whole slice.  You were permitted to run-and-chew, which is what I tried on lap 2, and that turned out to be another in a string of poor decisions.  Trying to run with a bolus of half-chewed pizza in my fat gob meant that I choking on bits of pizza that would go down the wrong tube.  When your mother taught you to not run around with a mouthful of food, she was right.

When I got to the end of the third lap, I paused before I took that slice of pizza.  Three slices of pizza on any day would be more than I would typically eat.  Three slices while trying to run – that was bullshit.  But I had one lap to go and my friend had started to take off for his final lap.  I grabbed the final slice, stuffed it in my mouth, slugged some water, and staggered on to the final lap.

When I reached the finish line – yes, it was also drawn out in chalk – there wasn’t any over-the-top fanfare.  There wasn’t any big noise or confetti or anything grandiose.  (It’s a fucking pizza run, what do you want, jeez)  Just a lot of laughter, a lot of high fives, a lot of beaming smiles.  And for me, a slight sense of “huh.”  Somewhere between “well, that didn’t suck” and “that was pretty awesome.”

And that was it.  Four laps and three slices later, we were done.  It was hilarious, it was ridiculous, it was oddly satisfying, it was brief, and no one threw up.  We got a bit of a workout, and we were well fed.

My first ever foot race, only my second time ever running outdoors.  I was never going to come in first, but if I didn’t come in last, that was my greatest achievement of the day.  You know what, scratch that – the fact that I even ran this thing was my greatest achievement of the day.  And if it wasn’t so ridiculous, there’s no way I’d have done it.

Count me in next year.  Because when there needs to be a futile and stupid gesture done on somebody’s part, I’m just the guy to do it.

 

 

I accidentally entered a bike race

“Withnail & I.”  Classic film by any measure.  Yet almost entirely ignored Stateside.  Everybody’s loss, I suppose.  Because the “we’ve gone on holiday by mistake” line is only one of what seems like a billion killer lines from the movie.  Quotable films extend beyond Will Ferrell’s fare, you guys.

And that’s the scene that conjured up in my head this morning.  This morning that came far too quickly after a night celebrating a friend’s birthday the night before.  The night before wasn’t conducted with a great deal of consideration of what this Sunday morning was going to bring.  It was, after all, a friend’s milestone birthday and we were going to celebrate it properly.  A catered dinner, wine that gushed from many bottles, coolers filled to brim with PBR, and a firepit out back that welcomed everyone outside on a frosty late-summer night.  And of course, there were cigars.  Of course.

So I got to bed at around 1am only to have to wake up around 5:30am.  Why?  Because weeks earlier, I had signed up for the Tour de Greenwich 20-mile ride.  What the fuck.

So, groggy, tired, and carrying a mild hangover, I hitched a ride with some friends up to Greenwich for this ride.  I didn’t mind too much because it’s only a 20-mile ride, and it’ll be a casual morning ride.  I was forewarned of a “nasty climb” at one point of the ride, but I shrugged it off as no big deal.  I mean, it’s not Alpe d’Huez, it’s fucking Greenwich – what’s the big deal.

When we got to the event, I looked around and saw the obligatory collection of rabid cyclists.  You know the sort.  The sort who shave their legs, who wear fully synchronized bologna suits; they ride carbon bikes that cost more than my car, and they nerd over their wattage, VO2 max, and electrolyte intake.

If somebody needs to nerd over shit that like, better them than me.  ‘Cause I fail to follow any of those cycling rules that govern such discipline in the sport.  I ride on the road with baggy shorts, I use mountain bike shoes and pedals, I rarely shift gears, and my bike has a flask holder.

Ti gearie

So, when I rolled up to the registration table, I was given a number to pin on with the instruction, “You’re in the second heat.”

Wait, what?  What second heat?  What “heat”?!  Turns out, the Tour de Greenwich wasn’t a casual ride through Greenwich at all.  Not at all like the NYC 5 Boro ride, or any of the other individual borough tours.  This was a fucking race!

I had accidentally entered a bike race.

RollersI looked around and started to take stock of all the people around me.  Guys were on their bikes doing short sprints in the parking lot.  Other guys had shot off to do a recce of the start of the course.  Some guys had hauled out their rollers and trainers and were spinning in place next to their cars.  I was in a sea of spandex.

Holy shit.

Realizing there was little I could do about this, I decided to that I was going to ride this the way I had planned to ride it all along – cruising around the 20 miles or so around Greenwich to admire the mansions, the huge tracts of land, and take in the morning scenery.  Fuck the race, I wasn’t prepared for a race, I wasn’t going to even try to “race” this thing.  The last bike race I did, it was a mountain bike race, and I came in about 20 minutes after everyone else.  I’m not cut out for this racing bollocks.

Tour de Greenwich start

Around 7:45am, the second heat were called up to the start line. Thick silence all around me.  Everyone was taking this serious as shit.  I started to giggle at how out of place I was.  I took a swig of scotch from the flask on my bike.  After about 3 minutes, they sounded the start, and the rapid clack-clack-clack of everyone’s clipless pedals accompanied the forward motion.  The road went straight, then a 90-degree turn to the left, and it immediately started to climb uphill.  Oh, for fuck’s sake.

I would later learn that the entire course was effectively 10 miles uphill, then 10 miles downhill to the finish.  Since I wasn’t going to race, I slinked to the right and let everyone fly past me.  Then I cruised along the course around lovely Greenwich and took in the sights.  And worked off the hangover.  And it was magnificent.  These enormous mansions all around me.  Some mansions had adjacent cottages.  Some of those cottages had their own cottages.  There were horses, there were farms, there were houses that looked like Hogwarts.

And the whole time, I kept thinking, what’s the fucking rush, you guys?  If I had ridden faster (I couldn’t ‘cause I’m fat and slow, and was still coughing up my cigar from the night before), I’d have missed all these sights.

I took the time to slow down, wave, and say hi to all the course marshalls and cops.  No one appreciates the thankless job they do.  Instead of tucking in, I would use my brakes on the downhills because I wanted to check out the ‘hood.  The only time I put the hammer down was when I got to this so-called “nasty hill”.  And holy shit was it completely ridiculous.  I checked the map and it says that it’s a 10.6% gradient.  I don’t know what the fuck that means, but it was every bit like climbing a wall on your bike.  Straight up.  Thankfully it wasn’t a long climb, and I just pounded my legs to crank up that sumbitch.  When I got to the top, I felt like my heart and lungs were going to explode out of my chest while I simultaneously shit my pants (I didn’t).

After about an hour and quarter, I reached the finish line.  Naturally, my other friends had all finished much earlier and had posted massively respectable times.  They’d docked their bikes on top of the cars, and they were already breaking out the coffee, the donuts, and they had the music was cranking from their cars.  A genius amongst us had the foresight to bring beer.  Now, since this was 9am, the beer was flavored with maple bacon.  Breakfast beer, perfect!

Coffee, donuts, and beer

So, in the end, the ride finished exactly how I had treated the whole thing.  To earn an excuse to stuff my face with donuts, drink beer at sun-up, and treat the whole thing as a goof.  Because I fucking goofed up by not realizing that I’d signed up for a goddamn race.

The next time, I ought to do a better job reading the descriptions to these things.

 

 

Road Noob: Part 2

 

CONTINUED FROM Road Noob: Part 1

 

When I resolved to buy a road bike, you wanna talk about a smorgasbord of simultaneous emotions.  I was fucking bummed because I thought I was “resigning” or “downgrading” to a road bike (because, you know, mountain bikes are fuckin’ ‘ard).  I was thrilled because, holy shit, a shiny new bike!!  And I was dreading the inevitable “WTF, another bike?!” from the missus.  Ugh.

In the end, I bit the bullet and nailed a titanium road bike.  Oooh, titanium… so ‘90s.  Every fucker out there’s on a carbon fiber bike these days.  Titanium is so, so passé.  They’re the harem pants of road bikes.  But because I’d come from a mountain biking background, where everything is about durability – because let’s face it, you’re gonna fuck shit up when you’re trying to ride a bike across rocks and streams and logs and badgers – the idea that my fat and clumsy ass might inevitably shatter a carbon fiber frame scared the living shit out of me (reality check: carbon’ll hold up just fine).  Theory being that I can get titanium re-welded if I fuck it up.  If I fuck up a carbon fiber frame, all I’m getting an ass full of carbon fiber shrapnel.  Fuck that.

Nevermind that it’s impossible to choose from all the carbon fiber bikes out there.  There are thirty gajillion models to choose from, how the fuck do you make sense of it all.  Narrowing it down from only a handful of titanium options made the whole process more manageable.  [Let’s, for the time being, ignore the fact that there’s really nothing wrong with a carbon bike, I just wanted a titanium frame to be different.  OK?  OK.]

So I got the bike.  Off I go, right?  Fuck no.

There’s a lot of shit to work out when you make a wholesale change to what bike you’re riding.  Going from mountain bikes to road bikes is not like going from white toast to whole wheat.  It’s more like going from a rack of ribs to a salad.

As a result, I’ve had to relearn a shit ton of new things about cycling.  Things like:

HelmetHelmets.  Mountain bike helmets typically have a bill (visor).  I have no idea why but they do.  All the riding I’ve ever done has been under a canopy of woods, so I have no idea what that bill’s shielding me from.  And I’ve been using the same mountain bike helmet model for over a half-dozen years.  It’s the only helmet I use when riding my Frankenstein bike on the road.  Mainly because I’m already riding a completely unconventional fucked up monstrosity.  A mismatched mountain bike helmet? Perfect!  But roadies don’t wear billed helmets.  Oh no.  Roadie helmets have a billon vents and are made of carbon fiber (again!) and cost a trillion dollars.  Oh no, what to do!  Fuck it, I bought a road helmet.  I’m such a goddamn sucker.

On One MidgeHandlebars.  My Frankenstein bike has these cool flared dropbars (above).  They look a bit weird, but they’re massively comfortable.  This new road bike has conventional dropbars.  Ugh, another goddamn thing I’ve gotta (re)learn.

Saddle.  All my mountain bikes have exactly the same saddle.  That’s what my ass likes, so that’s what my ass gets.  All these road bikes seem to come with these thin wafer saddles.  Different saddles for different rides, I get it.  I guess they have little need for all that taint-saving structure on mountain bike saddles.  But which one to use?  This one’s thin, but is it thin enough?  That one’s narrow, but is it narrow enough?  WTF.

Road bike tiresTires.  So, so many tire choices.  With mountain bikes, I got quite good at understanding the tires.  There’s visual common sense that plays a big part.  Different tires have different tread patterns.  You can make a pretty well educated guess on how different tires will work on different terrains.  Makes tire selection not an entirely complicated affair.  Road bike tires?  There are four trillion models out there and they’re all slick.  How the fuck do you tell what’s a good tire and what’s a shit tire?  Getting up to speed on road tires has been a fucking tedious affair.  Also, I used to be able to score brilliant mountain bike tires for about $30 pop.  Why the fuck do road tires cost $80 a pop?  I blame the overall roadie populace for willingly overpaying for all sorts of shit.

Pedals.  Fuck road pedals.  Road pedals are big and clunky and they all use these massive cleats bolted to the sole of your cycling shoes.  And of course, these cleats aren’t compatible with mountain bike shoes.  Of course.

Shoes.  Fuck road shoes.  These things look like ass, with all the ratchets and straps.  And they all have these slick soles that’ll guarantee you’ll slip and bust your ass when you’re off the bike.  Speaking of off  the bike, those massive cleats on slick road shoes make you walk like a duck that’s just shit his pants.  I’m sticking with my mountain shoes and mountain pedals.

Shorts.  Roadies and their fucking bologna-skin outfits.  Mountain riders wear baggy shorts.  I’ve never worn anything but baggy shorts when I ride.  My ass is too fat to wear skintight lycra shorts without some modesty shorts to hide behind.  Fuck you, I’m riding with baggy shorts.

So much shit to think about.  So many rules…  Ahhh yes, “The Rules”

Velominati“The Rules” are a crowdsourced “sacred doctrine” devised by the brilliant cycling iconoclastic site, Velominati.  Velominati’s “The Rules” are fucking ace.  They’re hilarious.  But they’re also the quintessential road cycling commandments.  I love rules for things.  But while I love how fucking hardcore some of the rules are, there’s just no fucking way I’m adhering to all of them.

Because whether roadies want to admit or not, there’s a roadie mold, and it chaps my taint and I’m not doing it.  I’m not riding with a fucking heart rate monitor.  I’m not measuring my cadence.  I never want to know what a VO2 max reading means.  I sure as fuck am not shaving my legs.  I’m never wearing a bib.  I’m riding with sleeveless jerseys when it’s 100-degrees out.  I’m gonna keep wearing baggy shorts.  And I’ll keep riding with booze onboard.

I’m just gonna go out there and ride this stupid bike.

 

 

 

 

Bespoke cocktail

The word “bespoke.”  I was in a bar last week that boasted “custom bespoke cocktails.”  First of all, way to be redundant.  Second, what the fuck is a bespoke cocktail?  By definition, that a poncy way of saying “we’ll mix whatever the hell you want.”  In which case, that’s like, you know, EVERY BAR.  Fuuuuuck yooooouuuuu.

“Curate” is another word.  Holy fuck is this word thoroughly misappropriated.  Almost as bad as “diva” was.  Museums and art galleries only, if that.  You don’t get to fucking curate anything else.  A butcher is not a meat curator, a DJ is not a music curator, you don’t curate Twitter feeds, none of you assholes are curators in any capacity.  Please fuck off with the curating.

Occupy Sandy“Occupy” anything.  Here’s a bonus fuck you to the assholes who wasted their meaningless lives about a year ago trying to picket Wall Street.  A lot of good that did, you fuckwads.  No one gave a shit then, and fewer than no one give a shit today.  But what’s worse is somehow this “occupy” term taking on a whole new meaning for which it was never intended.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this shit on the left.

Lena Dunham.  Holy shit, you are SUCH a bore.  If Lena Dunham is to be cultural milestone, then 2012 is the year of celebrating mediocrity.  You’re not funny, you’re not interesting, how the fuck you finagled million dollar deals out of tepid, borings ideas that no one gives a shit about is beyond me.  And frankly, I’m jealous as fuck.  Because no one’s giving me million dollar deals for any my stupid ideas.  Oh, that’s right, I don’t have hyperartistic celebrity parents like you, you charlatan.  Ugh, enough with this dummy.

Instagram is all its faux filtered tilt-shift bullshit glory.  If someone took away Instagram tomorrow, would you miss it?  Would you?  I know if someone took away my Facebook or Twitter, I’d be fucking pissed.  But Instagram?  Who gives a shit.  Instagram did one thing only – they ability to share filtered, tilt-shifted photos.  Sharing?  Any number of other platforms can do that.  Shitty filters and fake tild-shift effects?  Every other camera app can do that now.  So what’s the value of keeping Instagram around?  And they’ve now got some new policy where they can sell my photos?  Fuck that.  I just deleted my account.

Vinyl SkateboardPlastic mini skateboards.  I got my elder kid a skateboard last year.  It was brilliant – a proper skateboard with a maple deck, trucks, big bearing wheels, the lot.  Then these stupid vinyl mini-skateboards show up all over the city. All commandeered by some hipster douchebag with a gnarly beard.  It takes every fiber of my being not to throw an empty Starbucks cup in front of one of these douchebags just so see him fly and eat some curb.  Fuck off with these little skateboards, you look ridiculous.

Homeland.  If there’s one thing I can reliably count on each Monday, it’s that my Twitter feed and my Facebook page will be completely inundated with comments about fucking Homeland.  “ZOMG!!  Homeland is the greeaaatest!!!!”  “WTF!  Homeland jumped the shark!!”  I have never seen the show and at this point, I never want to.  It may be a good show, but I’ll never know for real because you fuckers have ruined it by being completely incapable of not yammering about it all day and night.

Dubstep.  Thank you all for already killing this off.  Skrillex can now go back to pumping gas in the Valley.

That Gangnam guy.  Please, PLEASE, PLEASE go away.  I hope someone takes him across the border and straps him to one of Kim Jong Un’s “weather rockets.”

YOLO.  A few years ago, when I was in the market for my first paddleboard, I nearly bought one that was Yolo brand.  Thank fuck I didn’t or I’d have to set on fire, gather up the ashes, then set it on fire again just to be sure.  If anyone ever uses the phrase YOLO to you, verbally or in writing, no judge would ever convict if you decided to stab ‘em with a rusty spoon.

Camera phone self-portraits in the mirror.  It’s the holding of the phone that’s so, so stupid.  If you must use your camera phone to take pictures of yourself, make sure it’s dick shots only (Brett Favre can help if you’re not sure).  No more self-portraits.  And I’m not even going to get into doing with iPads.

Moustache FingerMoustaches.  I don’t just mean in November (although that can fuck off, too, because all that Movember bullshit is prejudiced against those of us who can refrain from shaving for two months and still look like cantaloupes).  I mean year-round.  Hipster moustaches, moustache ink on index fingers, glue-on stashes, all of it.  A follicle tuft positioned between your upper lip and your nostrils is hardly a thing that needs to be celebrated, so please fuck off.  Moustaches on Instagram are the fucking worst.

 

Dear Jets fans

Why do you do it?

I’m writing this to you on Black Friday. Or as it should now forever be known within your circle, “The Day After The Hilarious Thanksgiving Day Massacre.” Part of me does feel bad that your beloved Jets had to play a game on Thanksgiving Day when they didn’t really need to – Thanksgiving is traditionally reserved for annual losses for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Detroit and Dallas Ls are as American as a turducken. Thanksgiving is THEIR time.

But the greedy fucks at the NFL just HAD to squeeze in one more game. Probably based on enough market research that show that by the late afternoon/early evening, the American public are so fat and bloated from gorging on Thanksgiving dinner (America, fuck yeah!), closely resembling the humans in Wall-E, that they’d be too ossified to do anything other than dissolve into the couch with football on TV. Can’t even be arsed to tap the remote to change the channel.

By know, you already know that you support the single-most comical team in the history of time. A team whose entire heritage, relevance, and foreseeable future can be summed up in one play.

Why do you continue to be a Jets fan?

In my 20 years or so of following the NFL, I can think of no other team that has had more seasons of pure hilarity and humiliation as the Jets. Of course there are other awful teams in the NFL, but none of them are so completely devoid of saving graces as the Jets. You can try and call out the Cleveland Browns, but you’d be wrong. You see, the Browns are lovable losers. And you can thank dead asshole Art Modell for that. Art Modell martyred the team, and committed the Browns to football sainthood when he packed up and moved his business to Baltimore. You don’t fuck with NFL legacy like that. So as horrible as the hapless Browns will be in the foreseeable future, it’ll always be OK to root for the Browns because they got fucked by an owner.

No such compassion for the Jets, I’m afraid. Your Jets haven’t had anything catastrophic happen to them. Everything the Jets have fucked up, they’ve done to themselves. No mercy, no sympathy. And they’ve not earned anything in their past to be able to lean your adoration on. Please do fuck off with Super Bowl 3 – you look up “fluke” in the dictionary, and Joe Namath’s whisky-marinated douche face is what you’ll find. Is that the crock of shit what you fuckers are pinning our fandom on? That’s fucking pathetic.

Face it, there hasn’t been a single memorable thing – I’m talking about a good memorable thing here, not your unintentional hilarious performance on the field each week – the Jets can boast of in the past 20 years. Shit, even the pathetic Browns managed to get Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden one year. (By the way, that Madden curse? TOTALLY REAL.) The Jets? Anything memorable? Some distinct event that rises above the rest? NOTHING.

And don’t give me your Bill Parcells years. The only thing Bill Parcells did right with your team was redesign your uniforms from looking like ‘80s mall chic to something barely resembling a highs school football team. And even so, your uniform blows. I mean, it seriously fucking blows chunks. I see that shitty emerald green and I wanna puke my eyes out. I stand by my argument that teams in the shitty uniforms don’t win shit. The Jets have massively shitty uniforms.

Which I suppose is befitting the caliber of players the team will rush out to sign each year. It’s like some otherworldly system designed to help the rest of us easily pick out which are worst players in the NFL – no need to look to hard, they all wear Jets green. At some point, I think the entire Kansas City Chiefs team will be absorbed into the Jets.

Who else but the Jets would do the Jetsiest thing ever and sign a quarterback who isn’t allowed to throw a football? What other team would you expect to have a player declare a jihad on the press after a win? What other team has its own meme – LOLJETS – on Deadspin? Any other team got a loudmouth coach (well-publicized foot fetish aside) that tries to pull a Namath guarantee each week only to have to eat shit the Monday after?

Why do you continue to be a Jets fan, after all this? I just don’t get it.

Yes, part of me is trolling here, because let’s face it, this is easier to do than betting if Lindsay Lohan gets arrested again before the year is out. The other part of me is genuinely fascinated by this willingness to put a stranglehold on hopelessness and humiliation? Seriously, why the fuck do you put up with it?

I pose that question with some ethical dilemma because I think switching teams is bullshit (I have first-hand experience with this, but more on that at another time, I promise). That said, if there is one market in which you’re allowed to switch teams with little recourse, it’s New York. No one would blame you for burning your green paraphernalia and treating yourself to some fresh gear in blue. (At this point, I need to clarify that I hate the Giants as well; these fucking guys and their herpy-derpy-derp-derp-doo Eli – fuck the Giants). My point is, you fucking guys have a legitimate out and you won’t take it.

What the fuck?

 

[EDIT – November 26, 2012]: It appears that your annoying-as-fuck human bullhorn, Fireman Ed (what a wanky nickname), has decided to call it quits. This fucker, arguably the most delusional human being associated with the Jets who is not on the Jets’ payroll, has decided to come to his senses. If even this douchetard can see the futility of it all, what the hell is wrong with you? More importantly, when a bonehead fan can make the news off the field, doesn’t it speak volumes for the ineptitude of the team on the field? For fuck’s sake, you people.

 

 

When shit happens, run like hell

 

 

So, a supermegafreakohurricane swept into the New York area and soundly kicked everyone’s ass.  Some asses got kicked much harder than others.  Almost in biblical terms, the hurricane smote the Jersey Shore, possibly for its past transgressions but I don’t wanna appear insensitive.  The financial district in downtown New York also bore a major brunt of the storm.  Farther north and inland, it seemed a bit different.  It appeared that if you got away without much harm, you were inconvenienced at best.  But if you got any damage, you got royally fucked.  No middle ground, it seems.

My family and I got incredibly fortunate.  After several harrowing hours of pounding winds on Monday night, we came through the next day with only a loss of electrical power to the house.  Everything else remained as it was.  The cars were covered in leaves, and the yard just littered with small branches, but that was about it.  Holy shit, did we dodge a big one.

Without power, we were fortunate to have friends around the corner who’d offered us refuge in their homes with some essentials – warmth, good food, and PAH-WOAHHRRRR!!!  And gobs of wi-fi.  ZOMG, wi-fi-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom!!!

Even as I write this, I’m shamelessly leeching my friend’s wi-fi to post it on the blog.  Clearly, I’ve got my priorities in order.

The first day or two was spent being resigned to trying to learn just how fucked the New York area got after the storm.  When I got tired of watching the dreariness of TV news, I turned my attention to seeking out storm porn online.  I did nothing but stare at a screen and stuff my fat fucking face.  By the end of the second day, I could feel the physical and emotional atrophy starting to take hold.

So I resolved do something I’d never done before in my entire life – go for a run.

Now, the idea of going on a run for exercise or for fun is something that is as alien to me as a W is to Jets fans.  I mean, what the fuck is that all about?  According to Velominati rules – of which I am admittedly in constant violation more often than not, but remain in reverence – one “should only run if being chased…  [and] one should only run fast enough to prevent capture.”  Makes perfect sense to me.

I decided to go on a run because I had no other choice.  I couldn’t go another day without actually getting off my fat ass to do something.  My gym had been submerged under the deluge from the Long Island Sound.  Like the idiot shithead that I am, I left every single one of my perfectly functioning bicycles (yes, I have 8 bikes; they all do different things, don’t judge) in my garage that became entirely inaccessible when the loss of power knocked out the electric garage door opener.  Real first world problem, you know.

What was left for me, but to strap on a pair and give this running thing a try.

On the morning of the third no-power day, I laced up my sneakers, plugged my ears up with old school metal (you sure as fuck can’t go running to something like The Cave Singers, can you?), ran out the door.

After 100 yards, I had to walk back 10 feet to pick my spleen up off the road.  I thought I was going to DIE.  My lungs were on fire and every joint in my legs throbbed.  After a mere 100 or so yards.  I am such a fucking fat ass, I was thoroughly disgusted with myself.

I took to walking.  After a few minutes, and having some of the sheer embarrassment drain away, I tried running again.  I lasted one block.  Fuck, now I’m really gonna die, I thought.  I got lightheaded.  I might’ve puked if I didn’t have an empty stomach at the time.

Fuck it, I walked a bit more, then ran a bit more.  Then walked a bit more, then ran a bit more.  And because I’m not only a fat piece of shit, I’m also a horribly shallow piece of shit.  When I saw someone approaching, or when there was someone passing in a car, I’d stop walking and start running.  As such as they were out of sight, I’d have to clutch my chest, and wheeze down to a walk again.  Walk, run, walk, run, fight with the earphones falling out of my head, walk, run, walk, run, fumble with earphones some more, walk, run, goddamn these fucking earphones, run some more.

Not quite the excursion I’d imagined.  After 45 minutes of this bullshit, I ended back home.  If I die now, at least I die at home, not along some suburban road like some sad fuck.

The Velominati were right.  Fuck this.

Which is why I found it comical when the big debate came up about whether or not the New York City Marathon should be run at all, coming less than a week after Hurricane Sandy dropped a huge steaming dump all over the city.

Holy shit, how dare they even think of running this thing!  This is such a crass event to hold so soon after such a devastating event!  So horrible, think of the humanity!

Mind you, these are all from people who have lights on in their houses and don’t have roofs torn off their homes.

I say, shut the fuck up and let them run this marathon.

Listen, if 35,000 assholes want to run all over New York City in the state that it’s in, fuck ‘em, let them do it.  Don’t alter any of the routes: if part of the marathon route is underwater or if there’s a power line in their way, let them run go right through it.  You want some excitement to break the dreariness of waiting for repairs to your house?  Go watch 35,000 dickheads run through raw sewage and live wires in Brooklyn.

Not good enough?  Fine, we can easily turn the whole thing into a humanitarian effort.  You wanna run this stupid race?  Fine, you have to carry 20 lbs of relief supplies and distribute them as you ferret your way through the city.  Stop being a selfish dickhead and make yourself useful, for fuck’s sake.

Thing is, cancelling the marathon or moving it to another date or place isn’t at all feasible on short notice.  Millions had already been spent – by sponsors and participants – on this event.  You don’t just toss all that out because it makes some self-righteous schmucks feel better about themselves.  The 35,000 runners have probably been training hard as hell for this – a once-in-a-lifetime event for some.  Who the fuck are you to tell them that they’ve been training for nothing because you wanna feel better about yourself.

It also doesn’t mean that just because the marathon’s in gear, absolutely no one is getting any help or disaster relief.  Trust me, people are going to continue getting help, you whiny bitches.

So, fuck it, let’s all go running after a storm.  Because really, is there really a better time to go do something remarkably stupid?

 

 

Every time “Rudy” is on TV, I drop everything and I have to watch it.  Even though I’ve watched it about a hundred times by now.  And every fucking time, it makes me cry, right at the end.  I’m an enormous pussy like that.  But then again, I understand that this movie has the same effect on a lot of dudes.  Even some die-hard life-long Notre Dame haters.

“Rudy” is one of the greatest films ever made.  Shut up, ‘cause I’m not taking any argument about this.

So Game 1 of the 2012 World Series rolls around, we cut to a commercial break and I hear the “Rudy” theme.  It’s quick cut footage of kids and grown-ups, all doing every manner of sport.  90-seconds later, the end frame reveals that it’s a spot for Dick’s Sporting Goods.  90-seconds of growing aural exhilaration and it’s a giant cock tease for a shitty sporting goods chain store.

Fuck. That.

You can’t fucking do that.  The “Rudy” theme carries meaning.  It has a certain quality to it.  In fact, it’s got lots of qualities to it because of the film: tenacity, redemption, grit, glory.  NONE of which apply to a sporting goods chain store.  So, fuck Dick’s (that sounds weird).

There are very limited occasions in which you’re allowed to use the “Rudy” theme.  Here are the very few occasions the “Rudy” theme is be allowed.

  • Football games.  Of course, part of it is the theme’s pedigree – it’s football music for a football film.  But it can only be used with football.  Not hockey, not basketball, not baseball, not any other sporting event – despite what Dick’s wants to sell you.  A lot of that has to do with the late, great Steve Sabol, who with his dad, perfected the art of overdramatic football film.  The Sabols had this remarkable talent to slow down film and make even the derpiest football action look like a Wachowski action sequence.  And not to get all band geek here, but mostly because the “Rudy” theme is a bit of a march.  No other sport has in-game action that mimics a march like football does.  No other sport has such military-esque assembly in which such attention is paid to orchestration and timing.  No football, no “Rudy”.
  • Weddings.  Specifically as the bride walks down the aisle.  Shut up and stop being so selfish, girls, let the groom have this one.  The whole fucking day’s already all about you chicks.  For some reason, dudes always are nervous as shit on their wedding day (I have no idea why – I got married in my mid-20s and it was a fucking breeze).  So the least the guy can have is a cool-ass theme song as his bride walks down the aisle.  It’s a fucking kick ass piece of music, it’ll pump up the dude and get rid of his nerves, and it’ll be the one thing – the one fucking thing – that’s about him on that day.
  • Pre-school graduations.  This is mostly for the dads who have to go to these stupid things.  As a rule, kids get too many graduation ceremonies growing up.  Pre-school graduations, kindergarten graduations, first grade ceremonies, the list goes on.  Stop making a big deal out of something the kids are SUPPOSED to do – finish the grade and move the hell on.  So for something as goddamn gratuitous as a pre-school graduation, you might as well make it kick ass for the attendees.  No “Pomp and Circumstance” – that’s college material, and you 5 years-old ingrates haven’t earned it.  No, put on the “Rudy” theme, the kids won’t know any better and every fucking dad is going to be high-fiving each other.  Everybody wins.
  • After an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-style French fries, and a milkshake.  Because you know that meal is fucking epic.  Which means it needs to be celebrated.

So, just for good measure, here’s the ending of “Rudy”.  The bit that always makes me cry.  That’s what the “Rudy” theme means.

Goddamnit, I just cried again.