Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

I've had a couple people ask me why I haven't said anything about the Memphis University scandal, being as how I love to hate them so much. The short answer is that it's just too depressing, hearing yet another story about how someone was cheating in sports again. The long answer is that the only reason I hated Memphis was because of John Calipari (and by extension, the type of thugs that he recruited- see Dorsey, Joey and Dozier, Robert.) I think John Calipari might be the slimiest, dirtiest human being in sports today. I rip on Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Williams, and A-Rod all the time, but they are not, in fact, my actual least favorite athletes/coaches. Guys like Calipari, Terrell Owens, Kobe Bryant, those are the guys I hate the most, to the point that I don't even like talking about them because they make me so angry.

So after this latest scandal involving Derrick Rose, Calipari, for the second time (3rd if you count when he went to the NBA and beefed it hard for a couple years) has left a team in total disarray. He went to UMASS, bent the rules until they were broken, got their Final Four appearance stripped, and now has repeated that same little festival in Memphis. And yet he himself doesn't get into any trouble, he just moves on to the next school. He's like the aliens in Independence Day, going around harvesting planets until their resources are used up, then moving on to the next one. Somebody get Bill Pullman, Jeff Glodblum, and Will Smith on the phone. (Side note: how awesome is Bill Pullman's speech just before the final battle with the Mothership? If that speech doesn't get you jacked up, check your pulse. Technically speaking, that video is safe for work, but if you're anything like me, it's not. By the 1:30 mark, I'm stomping around, firing guns into the air and shouting "Fuck yes, Mr. President! Yes sir! Yes fucking sir! We are gonna fuck those aliens UP! Let's do this shit, somebody get me a fucking plane!)

I think I just blacked out. Anyways, enjoy your new coach, Kentucky fans. Say hi to Worldwide Wes for me. How depressing are sports these days?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

High Five Somebody!

Me and the Jumbotron Guy. In the past, I've had some beef with the dude at the Royals games who does the "in-between innings, I'm gonna keep the people who don't care about baseball entertained by being a dick" shenanigans. Last year, he came to our section, encouraged us to all get rowdy when the cameras turned on our section; then when we did, he yelled in front of everyone "Sit down, Manny!" since I was wearing a Manny Being Manny shirt. I'm good at holding grudges (ask Johnny Damon or Roy Williams) and as such, I've never forgiven him. Throwing me right under the bus like that just for a couple laughs. He can kiss my black ass if he thinks I'm gonna play that shit. It's kind of his thing: he drags people out of their seats to do the little promo, then finishes by ripping on them in front of 25,000 people (35,000 if the Twins, Sox, or Yankees are in town.) Invariably, the innocent fan ends up looking at him like "Hey, I'm doing you a favor here. Why am I the butt of your stupid ass jokes now?" while I sit in my seat muttering my displeasure about him in between huge bites of chili cheese fries.**

And now this guy, my new archnemesis (I've taken to calling him Doucheface Doug or Doug E. Douche or Doucheasaurus Rex, etc. etc.) has started trying to bring back the "Wasssssssssup?!?!?!" commercials during his promos. Number One, Bergman and I already have been bringing that back for over a year now (read: trying to bring it back and failing horribly) and Number Two, he totally says it wrong and ruins it, which is indirectly going to keep our movement to bring it back from getting off the ground.

Not really related, but all the Doug names got me thinking about Doug E. Doug. Remember how cool he was back in the day? Remember Cool Runnings? How jacked up did you get when the Jamaican bobsled team hoisted their sled up and carried it across the finish line? Doug E. Doug is probably my favorite Doug of all time. A close second is Doug Funnie, but he's only that high because my boy Brady Morningstar looks like him. I could barely even name five Dougs though....Doug Gilmour? Doug E. Fresh? I don't have any more off the top of my head. Boom. Tangented.

Back to the lecture at hand. My dislike for Douchebox Douglas. This past weekend we went to a Royals/Twins game (b.t. dubs, the Royals lost it and they're now 0-14 when I'm attendance) and after the top of the 5th, Douchappottomas dropped the other shoe on me. They played a pre-recorded sketch where he would walk up to different Royals players, give them a high-five, and both would slowly turn and face the camera with a serious face. And I couldn't get enough of it. I was giggling more and more with each new high five, and by the end of the promo, entitled "High Five Somebody!" I already knew this was getting incorporated into my everyday life. Shaun and I already started doing it at softball the other night, executing it perfectly in the on-deck circle after he rounded the bases on an inside-the-park home run. Just fantastic. So as a result, I'm willing to call a temporary truce on my war with JumboDouche Doug.

One other note about the Royals that I noticed last weekend: Miguel Olivo, Alberto Callaspo, and Yuniesky Betancourt all have the exact same clip of the exact same song for their walk-up music. I don't recognize the song; it's just some little salsa ditty with no discernable words. I think the Royals just got lazy and assigned them all the same random Dominican song. Like when you're creating a player in a video game, and for his walk-up music you just click on Generic_Latin_Beat_1 or something. Considering that none of the aforementioned players are white, the whole thing just feels racist to me. Real talk.

**Anyone who has gone to a Royals game with me (or let's be honest, has spent more than 3 minutes in a room with me) knows how much I love the chili cheese fries at Kaufmann Stadium. $6.50 for a giant tray of them, and in baseball stadium prices, that's stupid cheap. Like blowjob from a homeless crackhead cheap. Prior to a couple of days ago, I was pretty sure that nobody loved those chili cheese fries more than me. Then I was bullshitting with some guy at the golf course, and somehow the conversation turned to Kaufmann and the chili cheese fries, and this guy (easily 40 years old, wearing a suit, and otherwise functioning normally) produced a picture of the fries as his backdrop on his cell phone. Every once in a while, as I get older and continue to not grow up, I wonder if I'm gonna be one of the weirdest middle-aged men on the planet (non-sex offender division) and then something like this happens and I'm reassured. I'll be aight.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You Win This Round, iTunes

The internet and I have a love/hate relationship. I can't discount all the hilarious videos, websites, and completely random stuff it's given me (the latest awesome thing I stumbled into: a site where they sell t-shirt jerseys of movie characters. Hello, #99 Adam Banks j-shirt!) But it seems like every time I need it most, it lets me down. Immediately after I requested song recommendations from all of you, and received dozens of songs to Limewire stopped working. Unbelievable. Why don't you just kick my dog while you're here. As a result, I haven't downloaded a new song since like February. I've heard some good songs since then, but none that have made want to shell out the 99 cents (almost a whole dollar! that's crack prices, yo!) to buy it on iTunes.

Until now.

I heard this song on some random blog a couple days ago, and immediately googled it. When I first watched the Youtube link, there were about 2,500 views, and I quickly added about 20 on to that number.

It's not really my typical kind of song (read: it's not 6 minutes long with an extended jam session in the middle; nobody's yelling anything funny in the background; and there aren't any lyrics bragging about surviving 9 gunshot wounds) but hey, I'm nothing if not flexible with my taste in music. It's just one of those instances where a certain song catches you at a certain time, annnnnnd boom goes the dynamite.

So after 4 years of owning an iPod, I finally bought a song on iTunes. Move down the bench, single episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS, and 1987-2007 editions of One Shining Moment videos.....I've got some actual music in my purchased items.

Hey, Soul Sister as performed by Train

Happy Friday. Get out there, get sauced, and get some nice-nice tonight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ames & Sutherland? Think We Wouldn't?

My apologies for not updating sooner; I've been suffering from my typical case of P.V.D.S. (Post Vacation Depression Syndrome.) Also, I'm not really sure how to spin the tales from the weekend, it was kind of full of "You had to be there" jokes.

Por ejemplo, it was pretty awesome that we got quite a bit of face time on TV when Tiger and Vijay were on the 4th hole. We watched the DVR later, and could clearly see Bergman, Chuck, Endo and I in the front row for quite a while. I made my debut on CBS by clapping like an idiot** after Tiger three-putted, looking like I'm doing the Florida Gator Chomp....but you kinda had to be there.

**Full disclosure on the clapping: last week at softball, playing first base, I took a particularly hard throw in the palm of my glove rather than the webbing, and my palm bruised all the way through to the back of my hand. Ipso facto, I haven't been able to clap normally since (not to mention swing a golf club, hold a Playstation controller, or smack Alex around for burning the lasagna.) This could all be avoided if I would just buy a new glove, maybe one that was NOT purchased in 1987, and is NOT the only baseball glove I've ever owned in my entire life, and is NOT much too small to be catching softballs with at first base, but well....that would result in me having to get a new glove. I stand by my decision.

It was hilarious making jokes about Anthony Kim's "hot from a long distance, but kinda banged up-looking once you saw her up close, and if someone told me she was a tranny I'd be forced to admit the possibility- but if she is a dude, she still has one rockin' body, but in a dirty way like a stripper, or maybe someone who has at least dabbled in a blowjobs-for-cash scenario" girlfriend.....but you kinda had to be there.

There's a good story about the events leading up to me blowing up at the blackjack table later that night at Canterbury (only the second time I've caused a scene on the tables, this is the first time) but all you really need to know is the end of the story- some guy hit on an 18 when the dealer was showing 7, was 'rewarded' with a 3, and as a result I busted a $50 hand in the anchor spot. So naturally, I immediately grabbed my chips, yelled out "What is this, fucking amateur hour?!?!" and stomped off to the cashier.....for the rest of it, you kinda had to be there. But seriously, hitting an 18!!!!! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

It was pretty ridiculous when the four of us pooled together the money we had left in the pot from the day's worth of gambling from golf, and put it all on one horse to win, and then that horse took last place by about 50 lengths....but you kinda had to be there.

There were about a million jokes about SmashBurger and Twitter, often times combining the two during the same joke....but you DEFINITELY had to be there for those, and if you happened to be double digit beers deep when you were there, they became uncontrollably funny.

There was a great scene in the casino at the end of Saturday night, after all of us had lost all our money, and some of us had made multiple ATM trips. Endo was scratching off a billion dollars worth of (mostly losing) Slingo cards, while the accounting team of Bergman, Chuck, and I audited them for accuracy.....but you kinda had to be there.

So all in all, it was a great weekend full of golf, gambling, booze and laughter....but all in all, you kinda had to be there.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Glory's Last Shot

Heading to Minneapolis tomorrow for the 3rd round of the PGA Championship at Hazeltine with Bergman, Jacobi, and Endo. I've been to the '02 PGA, a practice round at the '05 Masters (maybe the greatest day of my life, definitely the most surreal) and the '06 PGA, so I'm officially a seasoned vet at the majors now. In my opinion, golf tournaments are the greatest sporting events to go to- as long as you are willing to hustle, and don't have any problems being on your feet for 10 straight hours, give or take. If you know the course a little bit, use golfing common sense, and keep your head on a swivel (cause that's what you've gotta do when you find yourself in the middle of a vicious cockfight) you can find yourself ridiculously close to the action- unlike other sports, where for the most part, your ticket price determines how close you are.

Mini-story from my first experience at the '02 PGA, which was also at Hazeltine: It was Russell and I, during that magical first summer at Culligan Manor, embarking on a poorly-planned and poorly-executed road trip as only a couple of 19-year-olds can. We stumbled into some Saturday tickets at around 10 pm the night before, threw some clothes and deodorant in a bag and left town at midnight, stopped in Fargo to grab the tickets out of the guy's mailbox (a friend's dad, whom I had never met before) drove to my aunt & uncle's lake cabin around Alexandria, MN to sleep for an hour or two, then woke up and drove the rest the way into Minneapolis, arriving at 6 a.m.

So of course we have no directions; I was in my "I've been to Minneapolis by myself a few times now dude, I totally know where I'm going" phase. Our plan is to drive into Chaska and then wing it from there, figuring there will be a million cars going to the same spot. Sure enough, a steady stream of traffic is going one way, and soon we see signs directing us to a huge field with $10 parking. Russell and I congratulate ourselves on a job well done, get out of the car, walk a couple hundred yards....and find ourselves in the middle of a scene straight out of Role Models. Dudes wearing robes and crowns, brandishing swords and shields; women in boustiers playing instruments; tents and roasting pigs and the whole shebangabang. Unbelievable.

My rants are well documented on how Role Models is the funniest movie of the last couple years, maybe even since Wedding Crashers. It doesn't get enough love, mostly because it got sandwiched between Stepbrothers and The Hangover. But reason #72 why I love it more than most people: I think everything Joe Lo Truglio (pictured above with the beard) says in this movie is hilarious. When they all put their swords in the middle, he drops the "Now let us gingerly touch our tips" line, and Paul Rudd makes his facial expression...our theater was mostly quiet and I was nearly falling out of my chair laughing.

Apparently there was some giant Renaissance festival going on in town that weekend as well. The anticlimactic end to the story is we went to a gas station, got directions, made it to the course in time to get a great spot on the 1st tee, and had a super-fun day watching the PGA Championship. One time I got so close that I could've reached out and punched Tiger's club during his backswing, if I were so inclined. Which I wasn't. Also, we both fell asleep at the wheel multiple times on the drive home that night and somehow managed to not die. The End.

Monday, August 10, 2009

There's No Crying In Baseball

Times I wanted to cry this weekend:

- When I met my boy and Wall of Fame Member Darnell Jackson, and he autographed my piece of the court from the 2008 Final Four.

- When I was crossing the street and looked behind me to see how close an oncoming car was, then turned back around and stepped on a fresh piece of roadkill. It was a really big possum or something and its tongue was sticking out and it looked like it was looking at me and ewwwww get it off get it off get it off!

- When I threw a 2-hit, complete game shutout with Josh Beckett on Playstation, all but assuring him the Cy Young Award in his last start of the year, and somehow the game didn't save. (Twins fans, you'll be happy to know that Scott Baker ended up winning the Cy.)

- About 14 different times during the Red Sox/Yankees series (in real life, not Playstation) narrow it down, I'll go with when A-Rod hit a walk-off in the 15th inning to break a scoreless tie. It's the double-edged sword of the Doucheberry: a nice enough phone to have the internet to bring me this information at 1 in the morning, but too nice of a phone to whip against the wall when said information is an A-Rod walkoff.

Times Alex actually did cry this weekend:

- While watching one of those little ESPN puff pieces about the high school wrestler with no legs.

- When Dumbledore died in the latest Harry Potter movie. Spoiler alert!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

That's Two Thus Far, Shooter

A couple of days ago, Paul had a chance meeting (that's an official Senior Lit term right there, ol' Mrs. Stenseth would be proud) with Richard Kiel, the guy who played the bad guy Jaws in a couple of the old 007 movies, but is probably better known in our generation for playing the guy that Happy Gilmore accidentally shot in the head with a nail gun.

The best part of meeting someone like this would be the endless possibilities of one-liners to yell at him when you saw him. There's the aforementioned "That's two thus far" or "I beg to differ. My good friend Happy Gilmore accomplished that feat no more than an hour ago" or "And you can count...on ME waiting for YOU in the parking lot!" or my favorite- IF you see him coming and have the wherewithal to pull it off- would be to go running after someone, wildly pumping your arms above your head and yelling "I believe that's Mr. Gilmore's!!!"......but I digress.

Paul went with "Your ball struck my foot" along with a nice compliment about his work in James Bond movies, which was a solid choice. You'd have to think he gets a little pissed that nobody under 25 recognizes him without a nail sticking out of his dome, and he probably fondly remembers the glory days....when nobody could recognize him without suspenders and a mouth full of metal teeth.

So since Paul told me the story on Tuesday morning, I've spent roughly 70% of my waking hours trying to think of another random movie character I'd rather take a picture with, and I haven't been able to think of one that has the same level of hilarity, randomness, and universal recognition as Richard Kiel.

A couple of names popped into my head, like Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid) or T1000 from T2, but they weren't random enough. Guys like Charlie Murphy, or Michael Bolton from Office Space, aren't quite funny enough.

My personal favorites would be either Adam Banks from the Mighty Ducks*** because he provided the inspiration for my favorite fake name EVER; or Jim Walsh, the dad from Beverly Hills 90210, because of how much that would make Brother laugh if I were to text him a pic of Papa Walsh and I. (Side note: one of the greatest running jokes between Brother and I is the guy at our old church who we thought looked like what Steve Sanders would look like as a middle-aged man. Every time we'd see him on the opposite side of the congregation, one of us would nudge the other and ask "Hey, wonder how bombed Steve-O got last night?" and every time we'd walk by him we'd give him the wink and the gun and yell "Steve-O!!! What's goin on? Say hi to Brand-O for me!" and keep on walking, quite pleased with ourselves. Now that I don't live there anymore, every once in a while Brother will send me texts like "just saw Steve-O buyin' a bunch of Morgan at Happy Harry's...hope he doesn't plan on taking the 'vette out for a cruise tonight." I'm sure to this day, that poor guy is just baffled that a couple of shitty desrespectful kids continually ran up to him yelling about 'Steve-O'...and I'm also sure that the only person that probably enjoyed this last paragraph is Brother, who doesn't even read this because he thinks blogs are gay. Moving on.)

The problem with those two choices is that they're not quite universal enough. I suppose quite a few friends would laugh at me meeting Adam Banks, but only because of the fake name thing- most probably wouldn't recognize him from the photo. Outside of Brother, very few people would even care that I met Jim Walsh. On the flip side, everyone knows, and loves, the big dude from Happy Gilmore.

So I am officially stumped. I can't think of any random movie character I would want to meet more than Richard Kiel. Paul stole my lifelong dream that I didn't even know I had. Question of the day: what random movie "star" would you like to meet the most?

This picture is so awesome. I want to get it airbrushed, framed, and hang it in my apartment. The look on Paul's face is perfect: absolute giddiness, with juuust a slight touch of fear.

*** When that movie first came out, a rumor went around our area of the country that the kid who played Adam Banks was actually a really good hockey player from Roseau or somewhere like that, and one time the 'Supras' played against him in a tournament. Can anyone confirm or deny that rumor?***

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Broken Glass Everywhere...If It Ain't About The Money, Puff, I Just Don't Care

>> Historic milestone yesterday at Cici's Pizza, as Lane and I have now officially eaten more pizza buffets as a duo than anyone else in history. We are the John Stockton and Karl Malone of pizza buffets. It's been a hell of a run, going back to our days at Happy Joe's when Lane had the hook-up, and we would routinely get our names on the billboard and go there after class every day all week (for those who are unaware, getting your name on the Happy Joe's billboard meant free buffets all week long. Lane knew someone who worked there, and during one memorable stretch, convinced her to put his name, then my name, then his middle name, then my middle name up there in consecutive weeks, and we ate free pizza for a month.) I celebrated the honor today by eating 19 pieces of cheesy bread. Here's to many more years of 6,000 calorie lunches with you, Lane.

>> The highlight of my Saturday night last weekend took place in the bathroom at the bar (no homo.) All the urinals were in use, so I was peeing in the stall, and I was balancing my pint of beer on the flusher of the toilet- a little move I've pulled off dozens of times with no incident. Well, on this night fate was not smiling on me. After a few seconds of standing upright, the glass started wobbling, then slowly sliding (while I watched it slide, I was doing my best Cleveland from Family Guy impression) and finally WHAMMO! Glass flying everywhere, and everyone else in the bathroom was yelling "Ohhhhhhh" in that voice you use when anyone breaks anything in a public place. Personally, I would've started an "It's all your fault!" chant, but it was all MY fault, so I couldn't do anything but laugh. As the largest piece of glass rolls into the stall next to me, I hear a surprised voice yell "What the hell?!?" And after I finish up and exit the stall, laughing and high-fiving the dudes in line (don't worry, I washed my hands, bro) who do you think comes out of the stall next to me? The starting point guard for your 2008 National Champion Kansas Jayhawks, at 6'3" 195 lbs., from New York, NEWWWW YOOOOORRRRK, Russell Robinson!!! He gave me a dirty look and I shrugged sheepishly. In case I haven't mentioned this lately, I love living here.

>> Speaking of living here, tonight I will be attending my 13th Royals game since I moved down. KC's record in the previous twelve: 0-12. I don't even know how that's possible. I'm no mathmetician, but the odds of this statistical anamoly are not good. It's to the point now where I'm cheering for the Royals on the outside- because I'm not gonna be a douche and openly cheer against them, unless the Sox are in town- but on the inside, I want them to lose, only because I want to see this absurd streak continue.

Monday, August 3, 2009

FAQ's Regarding David Ortiz & Steroids

How shocked were you when you heard the news?

About a 2 on a scale of 1-10. Basically, since about July of 2008, when it was apparent that since the Mitchell Report was released, Ortiz had lost a dramatic amount of power, I began bracing myself mentally. Granted he was coming off an injury, so it was unclear how much of his struggles were attributible to that, but still...the seeds of doubt had been planted. Then when some of his buddies started getting busted (Manny, Tejada, multiple other Dominicans who shared elaborate handshakes with Ortiz around the batting cage during BP) and he started off this season looking like an overmatched little leaguer at the plate, it was pretty apparent what was going on. For a couple years now, I've been saying that he makes a textbook case for a steroid user (and I'm not trying to make it sound like that was a grand prediction. Let's see, he sucks for the most part in Minnesota, comes to Boston at the height of the steroid era and becomes awesome almost overnight, then the Mitchell Report is released, steroid punishments get strict, and his career goes into a tailspin. In Chris Farley voice when he busts David Spade jerking off in the hotel room during Tommy Boy: Hmmm....that's a mystery.) I guess the only reason it's surprising is because of how vehemently Ortiz attacked the issue during interviews, calling for a mandatory one-year suspensions for violators. Guess that was all bullshit, though.

Is the 2004 World Championship tainted for you now?

Yes and no. No because at least 104 players in the sport were cheating as well, so the sanctity of competition was fucked anyway. Yes because it's impossible to be as proud of that team as I once was, especially because my asshole friends will remind me every chance they get that Manny and Ortiz cheated. I even got an email from my friend's MOM asking me if the Red Sox have to give back their championship rings since they got busted....I mean, holy shit. This is the same mom who was genuinely devastated for me when Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees, and now she's calling for the Sox to give back their rings. Keep twisting the knife, it feels good.

Will you still watch your DVDs from the 2004 playoffs when you're pregaming before a night on the town?

Let me answer that question with a question: Does a bear shit in the woods?

But will you enjoy it as much though?

Objection! Prosecution is badgering the witness!

How proud are you to cheer for a team of cheaters? They should just call them the Boston Roid Sox now, right?

You also forgot Roid Sox Nation, Cheattown, the City of Asteriks, Dustin PEDroia, and many, many other shitty nicknames that message board idiots came up with. I'm convinced that you could do nothing but shotgun beers and smoke pot, day and night, for like three weeks straight, and you still wouldn't kill as many brain cells as you would by spending 3 minutes reading the ESPN message boards. Just stupidity in its purest form.

Do you still have the same love of the sport of baseball?

*Deep breath....wistful look into the distance....long drag off my imaginary cigarette......*

No. No I do not. This one put me over the edge. It was one thing when questionable character guys like Canseco, A-Rod, Manny, etc. were getting busted, but a "good guy" like Big Papi? There's no going back now.

It's like that quote from Shawshank, narrated by Morgan Freeman:

"I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that - but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile - prison life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Andy would show up with fresh bruises. The Sisters kept at him - sometimes he was able to fight 'em off, sometimes not. And that's how it went for Andy - that was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him."

In this analogy, we as baseball fans are Andy, and every so often we're gonna show up with fresh bruises from The Sisters, in the form of more players' names being released. I do believe these next few years are gonna be the worst for us.