Smell ya later, Boston Olympics

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Boston’s long local nightmare is finally over. Faced with signing a guarantee to back the 2024 Olympic bid with public funds amid a rising tide of opposition (10 whole people on Twitter!), Mayor Marty Walsh finally put an end to this ill-conceived charade after months of buffoonish skullduggery. Thanks for finally doing the obvious, logical thing in an effort to save face, Yer Honor. Now cut the crap and get to work fixing our transportation infrastructure. Believe it or not, you can probably do that without selling the city out to a bunch of corrupt twat waffles for a few weeks. You can do it. I believe in you. Well, not you necessarily, but the power of your office. Sure, you’ll need a lot of help from the state, but that’s no excuse. Get cracking. Lead the charge.

As for the Olympics themselves, they are also in possession of crap in need of a solid cutting. Expecting a different city to invest billions of dollars in hosting this thing every four years is asinine. Pick one place for the summer games and another for the winter session and make those locations the best damn Olympic hosts they can be. What’s that? It’ll never happen because the International Olympics Committee exists solely as a front for a series of shady grafts and kickbacks to its members and their pals? Oh. Maybe that should stop, and maybe we should all stop supporting the games until it does. I’m pretty sure you’ll be ok if you don’t get to watch archery once every four years.

Of course, there is one thing about the bid’s failure we should all be very disappointed about: we’ll never get to see what sort of crazy ass mascot a Boston Olympics would have generated, and that’s a damn shame. Maybe they would’ve kept it simple and just thrown some rings and a swimsuit on Wally. Perhaps the designer would’ve attempted to embrace Boston’s heritage by tossing a tricorner hat on an anthropomorphic pile of baked beans and naming it Sully. Personally, I would’ve given the job to Spare Change Guy. The USOC’s insistence that the bid be backed by public money was basically “GOT ANY CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE?” Jesus Guy would’ve been my second choice, because nothing says “Welcome to Boston, tourists!” quite like a dude with a sandwich board handing out soul-saving literature to hordes of sinners.

Lastly, mad props to No Boston Olympics, No Boston 2024, and any other grass roots groups out there I’m forgetting that led the charge against this chicanery. Good work, sirs and madams, and I hope you don’t let the momentum of your quality activism die with the bid. Boston’s got a lot of other problems such community-led initiatives could help solve. In fact, there’s a particular scourge I think you guys should take aim at next: Wally. Get that guy all the way outta here.

The six most annoying people you meet on the MBTA

This one needs no preamble, but I’m going to waste your time with one anyway. See, I’m a veteran of the MBTA. I’ve seen some things. Things that’ve made my blood boil. Things that’ve made my stomach churn. Things that have made my head ache, my eyes roll, and my jaw drop. Things I’ll never be able to unsee. But I’ve survived. I’m better for it, despite all the alcoholism and sleepless nights it’s caused. And so I’m revisiting a few of those moments to assist you, dear reader. Perhaps my words will give you an invisible shoulder on which to cry and an imaginary internet pal with whom to commiserate. Perhaps they’ll encourage you to walk or catch a cab. Perhaps you’ll simply feel better about yourself because at least you’re not a shitty blogger who thinks writing about crap like this is a good idea. Regardless, dear reader, this half-assed list of terrible archetypes is for you. Hey, at least it’s not a slideshow!

6. Early Stand Up Douche – Got ants in the pants. Refuses to stay seated until train stops. Must stand up and push eighteen people out of the way three minutes before next station while train is at maximum acceleration. Probably does not last long in the sack if you know what I mean.

5. Giant Backpack Bro – Basically carrying a refrigerator on his back. Failed geometry three times and thus has no concept of spacial relations. Won’t put his god damn pack on the god damn floor regardless of how many people walk right into it. Backpack might contain smaller bro with smaller backpack.

4. New Colonel Sanders – Purely hypothetical. Nothing would make me get off a train or a bus quicker than Darrell Hammond in that creepy get up. It’s finger. Lickin’. Wrong.

3. Drunk BU Kid – Saturday night special. Northface 4 Lyfe. Long nights of practice have blessed this individual with the skill required to run off the train, vomit in a trash can, and get back on before the doors close. Has more sex and a brighter future than you do. Got drunk at a shitty bar downtown after a beer and a half.

2. Stinky Homeless Guy – Walking, talking manifestation of cat piss. Likely sprawled out across four seats with a bag of empties taking up a fifth. Beard contains eighteen species never before catalogued by science. Will talk to you; you won’t enjoy it unless you’re weird. Got drunk at a shitty bar downtown after a beer and a half fifteen years ago and hasn’t been sober since.

1. Middle-Aged Tourist – Fanny pack central. Thinks he can disembark at Harvard Station and follow the Freedom Trail to Fenway Park. Pairs a ghastly pastel polo with inappropriately short shorts because “Larry Bird lol.” Stands up at every stop and glances around as if searching for the black helicopters he knows have been stalking him. Does not understand that inbound is always towards Park Street no matter how many people he asks. Will be drunk at a shitty bar downtown after a beer and a half.

Fast food frenzy!

America’s fast food companies are losing their God damn minds lately. McDonald’s brought back the Hamburglar. The Burger King is showing up at boxing matches and horse races and is probably peering in your window right now. KFC’s brain trust deployed a combination of black magic and eleven herbs and spices to help the spirit of Colonel Sanders take possession of Darrel Hammond’s body in a fashion that is absolutely not extra tasty crispy. And Pizza Hut just put the shit cherry on top of the shit sundae by announcing a new crust stuffed with mini hot dogs.

So what’s next for the world of disgusting dining? These slop shops have to keep pushing the envelope to outdo themselves and their competitors, right? Luckily for you, my extensive network of underworld contacts got me the scoop. Some of these guys are more reliable than others, so make sure to take all of this with a grain of salt.

  • Domino’s is terrified of Pizza Hut’s tiny weiner extravaganza. They’re planning a counter-attack with a revolutionary new concoction: a pizza with an Italian sub in the crust.
  • Little Caesar’s, meanwhile, wants to get in on the reincarnated mascot game. Danny DeVito’s being fitted for a toga as we speak. Word is he’s having difficulty getting the whole pizza-on-a-spear-flip down pat so they’ve flown in an expert from Rome to assist in training.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts has fired back by bringing on Keanu Reeves as its new incarnation of Fred the Baker. Keanu’s reportedly researching the role by sleeping in a pile of sprinkles and cooking all of his food in giant greasy toaster ovens.
  • Sit down chains are also taking notice. Friendly’s is attempting to cling to relevance by injecting chocolate Fribble into its french fries. An earlier plan to offer free massages with their Happy Ending sundaes “attracted the wrong crowd” during a pilot program in Rhode Island.
  • TGI Friday’s is returning to its roots as the nation’s first singles bar. Tinder Tuesday means half-price wings for couples meeting through the infamous app. Craig’s List Wednesday offers $1 beers to hookers, robots, spammers, and desperate old men.
  • Sonic plans to make the two guys in their commercials even stupider and more annoying.
  • Chipotle will begin to bill its food as a cure for constipation. Feeling a little clogged up? Ask your doctor about Chipotle.

To the lady who broke the line in Dunkin Donuts the other day

If you go to Dunkin’ Donuts during the morning rush, confuse the hell out of the woman behind the register, and hold up the line because “Oh, I call the ones with chocolate on top chocolate glazed and you should too!”…

  1. You need to get your ass to Starbucks and never return.
  2. I hope the ghost of Fred the Baker appears in your house at midnight and slaps you with a kruller. That guy doesn’t mess around.
  3. Don’t you dare look back at the rest of us and smile. Just don’t. This isn’t a smily situation. This a cut-the-shit-and-move-along-so-the-rest-of-us-can-get-our-watery-coffee-and-gross-food-fix situation. Move it.
  4. I hope the tiny guys from the Munchkins box sneak into your house to tangle the cord on your phone charger, switch your television inputs, flip around the AA batteries in your remote control, steal the toothy edge from your roll of aluminum foil, and pour half your liquor down the sink.
  5. You have completely defeated the purpose of language. See, this communication thing only works because we all agree on what certain words mean. Frosting is the thick, colorful stuff. Glaze is the runny white crap. I know we all mix up words sometimes, but when you do it on purpose, well…this is why Merriam & Webster have established a secret rehabilitation gulag in the badlands of South Dakota. See you in six to eight weeks.
  6. You know what? To hell with the above. For us New Englanders, getting our morning Dunkin is a downright sacred experience. It’s like we’re walking up to a holy man in a visor and apron to receive the blood and body of Fred the Baker himself. Anyone who messes with that needs to get the hell out. Move to Maryland or something. Fuck.

Let’s talk about the point after

The NFL has announced that extra points will henceforth be kicked from the fifteen yard line. The ball will also be considered live on a failed try, giving the defense the opportunity to return it for two points. It’s an attempt to take one of the most boring plays in the game and transform it into something a little more interesting.

It doesn’t go nearly far enough. According to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s chief of officiating, teams make field goals from that distance at about a 93% rate. That means the extra point is still basically automatic and I’ll still be using it as the start of my bathroom break.

So how do we make the extra point better? Well…

  • Get rid of it completely and make all teams go for two. Kickers are stupid and nobody likes them, so let’s take them out of the equation completely. Earning points by kicking when the point of the game is to physically advance the ball across the field is weird. Less of that is better.
  • Offer additional points based on celebration quality. Zero for a simple spike. One for something decent, like a fun shuffle or a WWE pose. Two points for dancing fat guys, cell phones pulled from under the goal post cushion, and pretend moonings. Oh, and no points at all for a repeat. Keep it fresh and funky, yo.
  • Use it as a means of reducing PEDs. This one’s revolutionary. All players must be tested for banned substances prior to game time, but suspensions for roiding up are abolished. Upon scoring a touchdown, you’re automatically awarded an extra point if and only if you had fewer positive tests on the field than your opponent during the scoring play. Want to field a defense loaded with hulked up chemistry experiments? Fine, but it’s going to cost you some points.
  • Require the scoring player to dunk the ball over the goal post before getting tackled or stepping out of bounds. That unstoppable fade route to the corner doesn’t look so good now, does it? A touchdown scored while under control and in a way that smokes the defense should be worth more. Plus, how funny will it be when someone inevitably fucks this up? Watching a short running back bounce one off the front of the cross bar and get booed out of the building would make my Sunday.

2015 Quarterback Rankings

When major media outlets decided last year that Tom Brady was no longer an elite quarterback, yours truly got pissy about it. I took them to task with a list ranking the starters at the position that thoroughly debunked the notion and earned me my first Pultizer nomination. The joke of a contract Ryan Tannehill signed with the Miami Dolphins today (reportedly $96 million over six years) inspired me to do it all again. Last year’s ranking is in parentheses for shits and giggles.

Tier 8 – The Next JaMarcus Russell

32. Jameis Winston (NR)

That’s right. I said it. And now it’s on the record so you can make fun of me for it after he throws for 5,000 yards and wins Rookie of the Year.

Tier 7 – Hope You Didn’t Pay Much for Those Season Tickets

31. Geno Smith (29)
30. Josh McCown (22)
29. Matt Cassell (NR)
28. Sam Bradford (25)
27. Bryan Hoyer (31)
26. Robert Griffin III (18)
25. Nick Foles  (13)

Woof. I whiffed on Foles a bit, huh? Chances are good none of these guys will have starting jobs next year.  Of course, that’s what I thought about most of them last year, and look where they’re at now!

Tier 6 – Bums

24. Jay Cutler (20)
23. Andy Dalton (21)
22. Colin Kaepernick (17)
21. Cam Newton (12)
20. Ryan Tannehill (23)

Some of these guys have won playoff games, but you can’t feel good about any of them doing it ever again. Tannehill threw for more than 4,000 yards last year, but in today’s NFL that’s like hitting 50 home runs in the mid-90s. It’s meaningless. Cutler and Dalton are head cases, Kaepernick’s in trouble without Harbaugh, and Newton just isn’t accurate enough.

I don’t have the exact number for Tannehill’s new contract, but the other four guys in this tier will combine to cost their teams over $56 million against the cap in 2015. Gee, I wonder why the Bears, Bengals, 49ers, and Panthers are so irrelevant. Hmm. What a head scratcher.

Tier 5 – Promising

19. Marcus Mariota (NR)
18. Blake Bortles (32)
17. Derek Carr (NR)
16. Teddy Bridgewater (30)

I like Mariota and Bridgewater a lot. Bortles and Carr played well without much around them. I’d rather roll the dice with these four than accept any of the bullshit behind them.

Meanwhile, Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been bitching about playing time since his team drafted Mariota second overall. Any conversation between the team and Mettenberger should start and end with “YOU PLAYED QUARTERBACK AT LSU DON’T FUCKING EVEN!!!”

Tier 4 – Meh

15. Carson Palmer (16)
14. Alex Smith (14)
13. Eli Manning (6)
12. Joe Flacco (19)

Fine. Whatever. You can win with these guys if everything goes right…but everything isn’t going to go right.

By the way, Flacco didn’t get better. Everybody he jumped ahead of got worse.

Tier 3 – Call Me When You’ve Got a Real Team

11. Matt Stafford (15)
10. Matt Ryan (8)
9. Philip Rivers (10)
8. Drew Brees (3)

Here’s the dirty secret the NFL doesn’t want you to know: it takes more than a quarterback to win a Super Bowl. I know! Weird that you need a whole team to win a team game unless you’re a truly transcendent talent, right? This quartet doesn’t have that, but they could absolutely get you a trophy if you give any of them a running game and a defense.

Tier 2 – In the Conversation

7. Ben Rothlisberger (9)
6. Tony Romo (11)
5. Peyton Manning (2)
4. Russell Wilson (7)

I throw a harder ball than Peyton at this point. Wilson’s good, but I’m not sure just how good. I can’t put him in the top tier simply because he’s had too many excellent teammates. He’s tough to judge accurately.

Tier 1 – The Elite

3. Andrew Luck (5)
2. Tom Brady (4)
1. Aaron Rodgers (1)

These are the only three quarterbacks in the league that can take a game over and win it themselves. That Colts team would’ve won a total of seven games the past three years without Luck. I’ll be the first to admit that Brady’s lost a few ticks on his fastball, likes to throw at his receivers’ ankles, and gets more nervous than a teenager at his first dance while under pressure…but who’s actually better? Rodgers, that’s who, but that dude’s game is perfect.

Dumb bonus analysis only I’m interested in

So which division is best off under center? Let’s add the rankings up like a golf score. Lower’s better.

AFC West – 45
NFC North – 52
NFC East – 63
NFC West – 66
AFC South – 67
NFC South – 71
AFC North – 72
AFC East – 82 (This is really funny when you remember Tom Brady is 2)

I know why the Red Sox didn’t bother acquiring any good starting pitchers this offseason

Because they were too busy making Fenway attractive to the average five-year-old.

For real. We’ve got the new kids’ gate, Gate K, which leads to the new kids’ concourse and the new kids’ clubhouse. Who needs an ace when you’ve got eighteen fucking Wally statues? Sox fans don’t want to see Cole Hamels striking out fools; they want tiny slides for their fucking babies. And for sure no one will notice Wade Miley’s 108.56 ERA if their hearts have been warmed by Gary Striewski’s movie star smile and a whole hoard of adorable ragamuffins on NESN’s Sunday kids show.

I guarantee you this was ownership’s master money-making plan for this season. There is no other logical way to reconcile the crappy pitching with the renewed push to bring in a younger audience. Why spend money on Jeff Samardzija when you can get Wally on a bench, Wally on a bike, and Wally taking a giant dump all over the team for the same price? What about Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, or James Shields? Nah, son, we got a room with blocks and a playground.

And here’s the thing: I don’t begrudge ownership for making the park more family friendly or doing everything they can to bring people into the game and the sport, but man, their priorities just seem fucked. Every time I watch one of their supposed starters give up five runs in an inning that ends with the game’s umpteenth advertisement for the kids’ concourse I get that much closer to full-time Nationals fandom. All this crap just comes off as disingenuous, pandering, and desperate. It ain’t like good teams have historically packed their stadiums or sold buttloads of merch, right?

But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The team’s presentation has been spiraling in this shitty direction for a while now. We’re talking about a team who’s primary broadcast duo is a pair of chuckleheads more concerned with Joseph Abboud than what’s happening on the field. Walking around and into Fenway, you’re bombarded by imagery and language reminding you that you’re not just going to a baseball game–you’re making memories! You know what I’m going to remember about this season? Clay Suckholz making “WHY WON’T SHE GO OUT WITH ME?!?!?!” face while he walks the bases loaded for the third time in a week.

Gyah. As always, kids, the moral of the story is: cut the shit and focus on the baseball and everything will be ok.

Scott Colby’s Guide to Online Dating, Part Two: Build that Profile

In part one of this however-many-parts-I-feel-like-series, I helped you single losers pick the appropriate online dating service. Once you’ve signed up and hopefully not paid any money, shit gets real: it’s time to build a profile that properly sells your positive attributes to the opposite sex. For most people reading this post, that’s probably a big problem because you have few, if any, redeemable qualities. But don’t worry! If a scumbag loser like yours truly can use these things to get dates, so can you!

There are two major parts to your profile. Let’s break ’em down.

1. The Personal Summary. Sometimes this is a series of simple questions or short essays. Sometimes it’s just a blank slate. Regardless…oh no, you have to prove you can write like a reasonably well educated human being! You’re cranking out marketing copy and you, sir or madam, are the product in the spotlight. You’re the can of frosty beer at the beach party, the deodorant making men of our sons, the Dunkin on which America runs. You don’t actually have to be that creative, but you do have to remember two very important tenets of advertising:

  1. Stay positive.
  2. Keep it simple.

Write in succinct, easy-to-digest sentences organized in normal paragraphs. Use lists when it’s helpful. Try to be funny and self-effacing if you can pull either off. Provide enough information to paint a picture of who you are without going into tedious detail. For instance, where you would write the following:

“I pay strippers for their hair, which I then use to cross-stitch my favorite maritime battles from the Spanish-American War. I sell them at flea markets from the back of my panel van.”

I’d write:

“I really enjoy meeting new people, but I’ve also got a diverse array of interesting hobbies to keep me busy during my down time. I’m a big history buff and I love arts and crafts. Selling my work at local fairs and festivals is a great source of additional income – and a ton of fun!”

See how easy that is? Even a weird, gross human being like you can sound like a swell individual. Onward to the second major part of your profile.

2. Your pictures. Potential dates are going to want to know what you look like. Hopefully a few of them won’t vomit when they see you. I kid, I kid! You’re just unconventionally attractive. Don’t worry about it.

Speaking of, one of the most important things to remember when posting pictures is that potential matches want to see all of you. If all you’ve got are close ups of your face, people are going to assume you’ve got a hook hand or a giant hunchback or some sort of unfortunate chest tattoo.  Put yourself out there. Physical attraction is part of dating whether we like it or not. Prove you don’t have a hook hand. And if you do have a hook hand…I don’t know, post a picture of you doing something funny with it. Maybe take a selfie while using your hook to hold up a piece of toilet paper while you make a frightened face. Maybe pretend like you’re running from a crocodile. I don’t know. Bottom line: there’s zero point in presenting yourself as someone you’re not when the illusion will be busted immediately on the first date. Using fake pictures, old pictures, or strategically angled pictures is roughly equivalent to stocking your rotation with Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley, and Rick Porcello and declaring “we’ve got five number twos!” At some point, you’re gonna play some games and you’re gonna get shellacked and everybody will know you’re full of shit.

Also, keep your clothes on. Nobody wants to see that. Ok, yeah, hopefully your dates will want to see that at some point, but you’ve got to build up to that, you know?

Last tip: avoid the stereotypes. Certain pictures used regularly for online dating profiles have become running jokes. Do you want to be a joke? Too bad, you already are a joke. But there’s no need for you to be an even bigger joke. This paragraph sucks, but not as much as your profile will if you fill it with…

  • gym selfies
  • pictures of you with giant fish you just caught or tigers you paid to meet
  • photos of you sitting in the corner of that glass building in Chicago that make you look like you’re floating
  • anything involving ironic fake mustaches
  • pictures of your children because seriously, what the hell?
  • crappy memes you think are funny

There. That’s all it takes. Get to it.

Let’s do away with extra innings

Following a 19-inning, six hour nightmare of a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, sports talk radio and the general vicinities of office water coolers in those two great cities were both filled with discussion about Major League Baseball’s method for breaking tie games. Some people think extra innings should stick around because baseball is baseball and you don’t change it without sacrificing eight virgins to Cy Young and praying to Abner Doubleday until he responds via message scrawled in the infield dirt. Others think there’s no fucking reason for a game to go that fucking long in fucking April because they’ve actually got lives.

After a couple weeks of deep introspection, I find myself in the anti-extras camp, but for a different reason: pitcher health. Those extra innings put a ton of strain not just on the back end of the bullpen that immediately absorbs them but also on the other starters and relievers expected to make up for their overworked teammates in future games. We’re at the point where Tommy John surgery isn’t an emergency procedure so much as it’s a rite of passage for young hurlers. Why not try to protect them a little bit better? Forget oil, trees, or sprightly young pop stars: quality arms are our nation’s most important natural resource and should be treated as such.

I’m fine with extra innings in the playoffs. Hell, I’d even be ok with settling important games that way in September. But early in the season? Nah, bro. Let’s get these games over with. I’ve got a few ideas as to how, listed in descending order of reality and ascending order of HOLY SHIT LET’S FUCKING DO THAT.

1. Remove a player from each lineup in the tenth. The NHL opens up room on the ice to encourage scoring by removing a player from the ice in overtime. MLB should borrow that idea and require each team to drop a fielder. Just think of the tactical decisions and the hilarity sure to ensue when some of the league’s…ah…slower managers are thrust into situations where they have to choose between having three outfielders and four infielders. Think of the exotic shifts, the wild plays, and the thoroughly confused color commentators. Sign me up.

2. Home run derby. Let’s borrow another idea from the NHL: the shootout. Each team picks one slugger. Each slugger gets ten pitches from a coach or teammate. Most dingers wins. A tie goes to the team with the most fans in attendance. Sorry, Tampa.

3. Mound sumo. Each team sends its tubbiest bastard out to the center of the diamond for a winner-take-all rumble. If the thought of a titanic clash between the Panda and Bartolo Colon doesn’t get you super excited for what would otherwise be a kind of dull mid-August series then you, sir, have no business reading this blog and should probably have a doctor make sure you still know how to have fun. Can anyone out-sumo CC Sabathia or will he just swallow his opponents whole? If your designated fat guy is out due to injury, do you dial up the next biggest dude or do you get creative and send a scrappy utility infielder like Brock Holt and hope he can win with grit and moxie? Will Dmitri Young will come out of retirement to serve as the Astros’ enforcer? Let’s make this one happen!

The worst thing I’ve EVER seen in the gym

I’ve seen a lot of absurd crap in the gym over the last month or so. The post New Year’s rush combined with a new low price to open the gates of hell and unleash an unholy army of weirdos, dopes, and rubes inside my local BSC. I’ve seen tooth brushing at the bicep curl machine, backpack sniffing, locker room acrobatics, nudists who sing while they shave, awkward dates, weight racks where not a single dumbbell was put back in the right spot, and enough shitty squat form to send my quads to psychotherapy. It’s ugly in there, people.

But today I saw something that trumps it all. Something so unbelievably stupid it defies all explanation. Something so rude and ill-mannered that anyone who saw it couldn’t possibly not be offended. Something so out of touch with reality it should have its own show on Fox News every Wednesday at 11 am.

What did I see in the gym that perturbed me so? A dude in a Boston 2024 t-shirt.

I KNOW! I can’t believe someone would wear that in public either. It defies all logic.

Listen up, Boston 2024 t-shirt bro. That sort of shit might be A-OK in the Planet Fitness in the strip mall by your house, but in BSC that crap just doesn’t fly. In a real gym, backing Boston’s craptastic Olympic bid is a worse offense than dropping a spot, cutting the bubbler line, or even putting your stuff in a locker and not locking it. That sort of behavior is completely uncalled for. Does your mother know you’re wearing that? And I’m sure you weren’t trying to be ironic; you’re obviously a crotchety old Republican, and science has proven irony isn’t in the genes of such people.

I’m writing a letter to BSC. This douche rocket went waaaay too far. How are we supposed to work out with this sort of chicanery walking around? It’s impossible. It’s un-American. And it’s got to go.