Keeping Up With New York

According to the New York City Mayor’s Office, Staten Island may soon be the home of the world’s largest ferris wheel. As a resident of the Boston area with an inferiority complex who’s had too much to drink, I’m outraged. We’ve lost the baseball arms race to the hated Yankees. Peyton Manning’s goofy little brother fucked the Patriots over in the Superbowl twice. Boston can’t afford to fall behind in the all-important giant carnival shit market. Failing to keep up could mean an end to our way of life; New York could soon annex all of New England and turn it into an extension of Brooklyn, forcing us all to drink PBR, listen to shitty music, and bow down to Jay-Z.

Fuck that. I look like a total douche in square glasses and a cardigan, and that’s saying something considering how douchy I all ready look. This is a future we must prevent at all costs. Boston needs to install at least one of the following:

  • The world’s largest bumper cars. No, the minivan cabs in Faneuil Hall at 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights don’t count. Neither does the Red Line when its drivers are busy texting. I want bumper cars big enough to hold entire football teams. There’s room in Somerville if they fill in the crater where Good Times used to be–and putting a large fair ride on the former site of the Boston area’s greatest drunken carnival would just be fitting.
  • The world’s largest ring toss. I suppose we can use the tips of the Zakum Bridge as targets. Think of all the jobs the world’s largest wooden ring factory is going to create.
  • The world’s largest hall of mirrors. Just slap that shit on the walls of the Ted Williams tunnel and we’re good to go. I debated suggesting that we convert that section of the Big Dig into the world’s largest tunnel of love, but the mood in that hole just isn’t quite right.
  • The world’s largest frog launch game. You know what would finalize the seaport area’s transformation into the new Innovation District? A catapult that hurls giant rubber frogs at the harbor islands.
  • The world’s largest Matterhorn. This could replace 93 south and offer us all a much easier way to get to Cape Cod Friday after work.

Get on this shit pronto, Mayor Menino. What’s that, Your Honor? Well, mabahabahbaamabagah to you too! Asshole.

Shit I Don’t Understand, September 2012

I don’t understand why bars that print a new receipt after every order do so after the first drink order of a customer reading a dinner menu. If I were a bartender at such a place, having to do that would drive me nuts.

I don’t understand people who say they like Mitt Romney. How do you actually like that dufus? He’s that out-of-touch rich guy people suffer through friendship with just so they can use his pool. He’s the poster boy for how much the two-party system sucks; no way he’d be in the position he’s in with a bigger field. There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re voting for Mitt because you don’t like Obama. Just admit it. Hell, I’ve never actually voted for a politician I actually liked, but Jesse Ventura hasn’t run for president yet.

In related news, I don’t understand why I miss Herman Cain so much. Oh, wait…it must be my love of pizza.

I don’t understand NFL coaches that challenge matters of field position early in a game. Losing such a challenge almost always means not having the challenge necessary to review an important fourth quarter play. I feel the same way about teams that call timeout to avoid delay of game penalties on third and long. What’s five more yards added to a down you’re probably not going to convert? Save the timeout for something important, dumbass!

I don’t understand junkmail. Surely the assholes behind that scourge know that I’ve never responded to a single piece. The amount of car insurance offers I receive is asinine, especially considering that I don’t drive. And that Scott Brown advertisement I got today? I disowned my beloved Doug Flutie because I saw him playing the drums at that twat waffle’s victory celebration. Someone needs to update their demographic information.

A Novel Idea for Sports Ownership

Few things have so thoroughly infected modern American life quite like sports. Sundays between September and February should be considered national holidays. Certain areas of the country consider a clean sweatshirt boldly declaring one’s allegiance to the local squad essential formal wear. Our language is rife with metaphorical sports references. Fans live and die with the fates of their teams. Like it or not, sports is important.

Sports is also a business. Although many fans treat their loyalty to their teams as something akin to religion, the teams themselves are focused on one thing and one thing only: making money. It just so happens that putting together a successful team that wins more often than not is a great way to make money.

A rash of ridiculous labor disputes has brought that focus on business into the limelight. The NBA lost almost 20 games due to a lockout last season. The NFL is using replacement officials of questionable caliber due to issues with their usual referees. And the NHL, a league that just recently pulled itself out of the years self-inflicted hell caused by their previous labor problem, just locked out its players. Watching billionaires clash with millionaires over a few million bucks is, quite frankly, disgusting, and such pettiness makes me wonder why the hell I should give a crap about (or any of my hard-earned cash to) these shitheads.

At the risk of sounding like just another fuck-the-wealthy crackpot, the problem lies solely on the out-of-touch rich douche bags that own our sports franchises. I’m all for paying people their due for services rendered, but what, really, do most franchise owners actually contribute to their products? Competent owners who exert positive influences upon their organizations are a rare breed. For every Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner, there’s an entire league of James Dolans, Jeffrey Lorias, and Mike Browns. Many of these guys either inherited either their teams or the money required to purchase them. What the hell do they do to justify the ridiculous amounts of money they’re making? In a lot of cases, jack fucking shit.

“But Scott Colby!” you say. “These are the guys financing your teams!” To a point, yes. Guess who has to foot the bill for the stadiums and the infrastructure required to get fans to them? Taxpayers. You and me. We don’t like it, but we do it because we can’t imagine life without our favorite teams or because we believe that hosting a team is economically beneficial. They’ve got us bent over the sink with our pants down and we’re just begging for more.

The Green Bay Packers, the only community-owned professional sports franchise in the major American leagues, have it almost right, but they don’t go far enough. Put our sports teams under the umbrella of our local governments. Set a percentage of profit that goes back into improving the teams and their facilities, and set a percentage of profit that goes to useful things like schools, roads, and public transportation. Make sports franchises nonprofit entities that truly exist only to better the communities that host them.

And before all you capitalists jump down my throat and burn me to death atop a pile of Marx’s writings, let me say this: I’m not anti-capitalism, I’m anti-douche-bag. I’m sick of buying into an ideal and seeing it ruined by some twit’s greed.

2012 NFL Preview: NFC

I’m going to just lump the entire NFC together. Got to get this shit done, yo.

East

1. Philadelphia Eagles – Last season’s supposed super team fell flat on its face. Football’s a game where players and coaches need time to get used to each other; that’s one of the reason you see so few player-for-player trades in the NFL. The Eagles have had a year to get to know each other. If Michael Vick manages to stay on the field, look out.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Eve Torres. The WWE Diva didn’t do much for me last year, but now that she’s putting some stank on everything she does because she’s evil…yowza.

2. Dallas Cowboys (wildcard) – Perennial underachievers, the Cowboys probably don’t have much time left to get their shit together before owner Jerry Jones blows things up. Tony Romo catches a lot more flack than he deserves; don’t tell me there aren’t twenty other teams in the league that wouldn’t love to have him. This is the year Big D finally makes a little playoff run.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Chelsea Handler. One of my favorites, and I don’t care what you say about it.

3. New York Giants – I’ve got a lot of respect for the G-Men–except for their goofy-ass quarterback–and they did a hell of a job winning a tough division. It’s tough to catch that kind of lightning in a bottle two years in a row, especially when you’ve got a secondary recruited from the local soup kitchen.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Olivia Munn. Wouldn’t be surprised to find her leading an important show on network TV. Also wouldn’t be surprised to find her on Skinemax next year.

4. Washington Redskins – Poor Robert Griffin III. He’s got no defense and no one to whom to throw the ball. Sounds lonely.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Jenny McCarthy. Wrong about so many things that seem so simple.

North

1. Green Bay Packers – The only thing that could stop the Pack from winning this division is an asteroid strike to Lambeau Field–or maybe BJ Raji accidentally sitting on Aaron Rodgers’s throwing arm.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Kate Beckinsale. There’s nobody better.

2. Chicago Bears (wildcard) – An excellent all-around team with quality skill players, a stout defense, and a quarterback that’s probably good enough if the media leaves him alone. But they’re not the Packers.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Jessica Biel. Great in her own right, but she’s no Kate Beckinsale. Watch the new Total Recall if you don’t believe me. Nine-out-of-ten heterosexual adult males would prefer to receive a Total Recall-style sliding-crotch-to-the-face from Beckinsale.

3. Detroit Lions – I trust this team to stay under control and out of trouble about as much as I trust an American who says he can Gangnam Style. They’re talented, but they need to grow up.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Amanda Bynes. Three traffic accidents this year mean I don’t want to get in the car with her.

4. Minnesota Vikings – Who cares?
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Honey Boo Boo Child.

South

1. Atlanta Falcons – The most boring good team in the league might suddenly become entertaining thanks to receiver Julio Jones and a new no-huddle offense. Matty Ice’s boys are still screwed in the playoffs, though.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Anne Hathaway. Always in the conversation, but not quite elite.

2. Carolina Panthers – Great defense, but I don’t trust Cam and that offense yet. 9-7 isn’t out of the question, but that’s not good enough to make the playoffs in the loaded NFC.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Emma Stone. Ready to take the league by storm…next year.

3. New Orleans Saints – Too much drama. Too many missing coaches and players. Sad.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Mrs. Dog the Bounty Hunter.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – All they’re missing from their good old days of constant suck are orange pants and Bucco Bruce. They spent some money this offseason–but they spent it on the likes of Vincent Jackson. You can get a slightly above average receiver for a lot cheaper in the third round of the draft.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Keira Knightley’s Pirates of the Caribbean stunt-double. They dress like a good Bucs team, but they are not a good Bucs team.

West

1. San Francisco 49ers – Not the 13-3 juggernaut they were last year thanks to a tougher schedule and the proclivity of vastly improved teams to come back down to earth. In the NFC West, 9-7’s all it takes.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Megan Fox. Overrated, but a big run isn’t out of the question.

2. Seattle Seahawks – I hate Pete Carroll. I kind of like both Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn. I’m conflicted. Smells like 8-8.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Laura Prepon. Just kind of there.

3. St. Louis Rams – Over/under on the first story questioning the Rams’ decision to trade the second pick that became RG3: 4 weeks. I’ll take the under.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Lindsay Lohan. Kind of interesting from a distance until you realize she’s going to steal everything in your house.

4. Arizona Cardinals – Choosing between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb is like picking which one of your nuts you’d like to put in a vise. Ken Whisenhunt’s the first coaching casualty, sometime around week 7.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Your choice of Bayou Billionaire.

Superbowl: Green Bay over Houston.

Fire Bobby V

If you had told me a month ago that Bobby Valentine would still be the manager of the Boston Red Sox on Labor Day, I would’ve punched you in the face. Your knuckle sandwich would’ve been delivered courtesy of two reasons: number one, in the hopes that a few rearranged bicuspids would help you see the error of your thinking, and number two, because I feel the overwhelming desire to hit something whenever someone brings up the local nine’s muppet-faced manager.

There is no way to justify keeping this loser around. None. Unfortunately, the Red Sox are run by a bunch of rich white guys, and rich white guys think rich white guys never make mistakes. Fire the manager? But that would imply we hired the wrong dude, and that’s just not possible! Look at all our money! That proves we’re smart! Mr. Washington, Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Franklin all agree!

Rich white guys don’t admit to being wrong, they simply buy evidence that they were right and whatever piss-poor decision lead to the downfall of one of their pet projects was, in fact, someone else’s fault. In the event Bobby V is dismissed, keep your eyes open for a Forbes article revealing Theo Epstein’s “secret files” that list Valentine as some sort of Tommy Lasorda/Joe Torre hybrid whose mere presence would turn Dice-K into the second coming of Cy Young and would help John Lackey adopt a Vegan, straight-edge lifestyle.

I don’t know what pisses me off worse: watching Bobby V in the dugout, or knowing that ESPN will pay him millions to come back to commentary after he gets shit canned. It’s like how I cuss out Fox’s football coverage every time Matt Millen, the guy who built that 0-16 Lions team, pops up on the screen to teach me about the NFL. And now, to explain the Baltimore Orioles’ recent surge, is a guy that wrecked a much more talented team in just five months! Maybe the key is to listen to what he says and realize that the opposite of his analysis is probably correct. I just hope they put him on the same show as Francona so Tito can smack his shit right down the way Orel Hershiser used to with Joe Morgan. Nomar needs to get in on the act, too, just to make me smile.

Granted, the Sox suffered a ton of injuries this year, but injuries don’t wreck your clubhouse’s culture and make people not want to come to work. Kelly Shoppach and Adrian Gonzalez didn’t text ownership because they were angry about Cody Ross’s bunions. It’s not like Kaz Matsui was anally bleeding in the whirlpool.

The Sox need to just end it with Bobby V. Doing so would prove to the players that are going to be here next year that ownership gives a shit about them. Ok, maybe it wouldn’t prove it, but it might trick a few of them into kind of believing it. Maybe.

Oh, and Cody Ross probably doesn’t have bunions. That was just a joke. I’m sure his feet are pristine, like little Elysian Fields with toes.

Shit I Don’t Understand, August 2012

I encounter a lot of things in my daily business that leave me scratching my head or wondering if we’d all be better off if we’d never evolved our so-called “advanced” intelligence. The following are some of those things.

I don’t understand why this bartender is so intent on having a jellyfish as a pet. Seems like about as much fun as having a pet rock–except you never have to worry about asking a friend to pee on a sting you received from your pet rock to neutralize the venom.

I don’t understand why no one has invented a specially angled mirror to assist people with muffin tops with ensuring they don’t spill out under their untucked shirts. Such a device would make the view from a subway seat a lot less offensive.

I don’t understand why Boston thinks it needs an Innovation Center, nor do I understand what the hell people would even do at such a place. Are we no longer allowed to have ideas in the North End or the Back Bay? And why am I picturing the Innovation Center as a big, bare room populated by a few dirty hipsters holding cardboard signs begging me to donate to their Kickstarter projects?

I don’t understand why the MBTA thinks it needs a mascot. Did fares go up to pay for this? Is it a plan to reduce customer service calls by giving us a walking avatar of the MBTA on which we can take out our frustrations? Are we all supposed to punch Charlie in the face when we get mad at the T’s shitty service? Is there any way we can get Charlie into a cage match with the Sebastian’s walking salad mascot?

I don’t understand why Snooki gave her son a relatively normal name. I was hoping for Smush-smush Martini or something equally as fun, and all I got was Lorenzo. If she’s going to pretend to be a real celebrity, damn it, she needs to name her children like she’s a real celebrity. The Jersey Shore producers must not have been allowed into the maternity ward.

I don’t understand why a lot of the politicians commenting on Senator Akin’s stupid remarks about rape felt the need to preface their comments with “As the father of two daughters…” To me, this construct implies that they wouldn’t give a crap if they didn’t have daughters, which makes them natural scumbags who wouldn’t have known better without female offspring. If that’s not the case, then that clause is unnecessary and their speech writers need to go back to fifth grade English. But they’re still all scumbags. Unless one of them wants to hire me to write speeches, because that guy would be awesome.

 

2012 NFL Preview: AFC West

The biggest collection of shitshows, underachievers, and also-rans in the NFL, the AFC West promises to be wide open yet again. Every one of these four teams is loaded up for a 9-7 season capped by an embarrassing first round exit and a tumultuous offseason of finger-pointing. It’s the Bachelor Pad of the NFL. Hooray!

1. Kansas City Chiefs – I firmly believe that Romeo’s crew was better than last year’s 7-9. Add Peyton Hillis to complement Jamaal Charles and remove any chance of Tyler Thigpen playing by letting him go to Buffalo and suddenly you’ve got a competent offense to go with a decent defense.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Anna Paquin. Nothing special, but she takes all of her clothes off three or four times a year.

2. Denver Broncos – The second most important Peyton in this division will give the Broncos a definite jolt if he’s anywhere close to the player he used to be in Indianapolis. Problem is, I think it’ll take him a little while to get going, and he doesn’t have much talent around him. Despite how great Manning could be, I can’t help feeling that Tim Tebow’s smash mouth style was a better fit for this team and this coach.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Olivia Munn. Should’ve just stayed on G4.

3. San Diego Chargers – Another team with a good quarterback and not much else. Given the haul the Bolts could get for Rivers and his fantastic angry faces, maybe it’s time to trade him and blow this crew of underachievers up.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent:  Kirsten Dunst. Not what she used to be and not showing any signs of turning it around.

4. Oakland Raiders – You know what’s not good for a football team? Constant coaching and management changes. I firmly believe that any coach in the NFL should be given a minimum of three years to show what he can do: one year to examine the existing talent and cull the herd, one year to bring in new players and teach them the system, and a final year to see how it all goes when it’s in place. Oakland hasn’t done that. You know what else is bad for a football team? Carson Palmer.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: J-Woww. Just a mess.

2012 NFL Preview: AFC South

This one’s easy, right? The South consists of one great team, one team that could be decent, and two giant terds. Should just be a replay of last year, right?

Mostly.

1. Houston Texans – 10-6 and a win in the playoffs with a JV quarterback leading the way at the end of the year? I smell a repeat and a first round bye, even with Mario Williams off to Buffalo.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Keira Knightley. Kind of an acquired taste, but you can’t deny the talent.

2. Tennessee Titans – 9-7 and a playoff spot certainly isn’t out of the question for this talented young squad, but I can’t see them leap-frogging Baltimore and I’m sticking by my choice of Miami as the other wildcard.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Marion Cotillard. Current muse of important industry players and likely the next big thing.

3. Indianapolis Colts – Having successfully sucked for Luck, the Colts now get to wait a season or two for their new QB to hit his stride while finding players who can actually play defense and don’t just look good in the uniforms. They can’t possibly be as terrible as they were last year, so that’s something.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Lindsay Lohan. Former trainwreck trying hard to put it back together.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Just move to LA all ready.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Snooki. Nobody wants to smush with the Jaguars.

2012 NFL Preview: AFC Central

Ah, the AFC Central. So top heavy and boring. So predictable. That said, I totally just jinxed myself and Cleveland’s taking this division.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Yes, they’re old. Yes, they’re always banged up. No, they’re not done. That playoff loss to Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos has got to sting, and it’ll motivate Pittsburgh to one more year atop the division they’ve mostly owned for the last decade.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Jennifer Aniston. It seems like she’s been around forever, but she just keeps on keepin’ on.

2. Baltimore Ravens (wildcard) – Ray Rice is a certified beast behind one of the game’s better offensive lines. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed can still bring it. That said, I don’t trust Joe Flacco. If something happens to Rice, the Ravens are screwed.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Ke$ha. I wouldn’t want to meet either her or that shifty-eyed Joe Flacco in a dark alley. Luckily, I suspect you can smell both of them from five hundred feet away.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Certainly a young team on its way up, but that’ll only get you so far when you share a division with a pair of juggernauts. BenJarvus Green-Ellis may not outperform the departed Cedric Benson’s production, but at the very least he’s a lot less likely to end up in jail.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Deborah Ann Woll. True Blood’s Jessica is hot stuff, but she hasn’t appeared in anything important outside of HBO’s crown jewel. Give her a few years. Yes, I put her in this spot partly because she has the same color hair as Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton. I am not above using a cheap trick or two.

4. Cleveland Browns – The Browns were recently sold for $1 billion. $1 billion seems like way too much for something that spends half of its time in Cleveland. In more relevant news, it doesn’t matter how old quarterback Brandon Weeden is because he’s got no one to throw to and a line that’s going to get him killed.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Kathy Griffin. Good for an occasional laugh, but not a team you want to watch very often.

2012 NFL Preview: AFC East

The one thing that riles me up more than public transportation is professional football. From September to February, I spend every Sunday afternoon glued to whatever television set I can find, watching whatever game happens to be on (unless my only choice is the Jets against the Dolphins, because I’m a New Englander so fuck that). I yell, I scream, I cuss, and I don’t hesitate to tell the commentators, referees, coaches, and coordinators all about how I could their jobs better than they can.

To get myself good and warmed up for the upcoming months of arrogant I-know-better-than-you’ing, I’m going to foist my preseason picks (which are better than yours, by the way) upon the unsuspecting Internet. But these aren’t just any picks; these are picks made using the award-winning Hollywood Starlet Equivalency Index, a public service I developed to help those who don’t know anything about football better understand the teams involved. It’s my little gift to the sports prognostication world; if you fuckers return it for store credit, I will find out, and I will not come to your birthday party ever again.

With no further ado, here’s the American Football Conference’s East division.

1. New England Patriots – I’d pick the Pats to take this division even if I weren’t such a ridiculous homer. This team is too talented, too stable, and too well-managed to fall apart without the help of several dozen ridiculous injuries. Brandon Lloyd should give Tom Brady the legitimate deep threat he’s lacked since Randy Moss, beastly tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should keep getting better, and the defense will be significantly better with a healthy year from safety Patrick Chung. The secondary continues to be a concern, but Bill Belichick obviously doesn’t give a fuck.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Scarlett Johansson. The best of the best, even if you shave her head, put her in a fat suit, and make her talk with an annoying lisp.

2. Miami Dolphins (wildcard) – Better than most people think, Miami actually allowed the fewest points scored in the division last season. Their 2-5 record in games decided by 7 points or less reveals a team with terrible luck and terrible quarterback play. David Garrard’s no Dan Marino, but he’s reasonably competent as long as he’s got a quality running back to rely on.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Anna Paquin. Kind of funny looking from certain angles, but still attractive.

3. New York Jets – I can’t wait for the inevitable Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow quarterback controversy. I’m pretty sure Head Coach Rex Ryan would be completely content to run the ball on every offensive play, so Tebow seems like a good fit. Even though devoutly religious people give me the willies and I’m required by Massachusetts law to absolutely loathe the fucking Jets, I can’t help pulling for Timmy to steal the Sanchize’s gig. The rest of the team is just too much of a mess.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Kristen Stewart. Good looking on paper, but can’t keep her shit together long enough to be a threat.

4. Buffalo Bills – The league’s most loveable losers are an average team trapped in an above average division. They’d have a shot in either of the West divisions, but not in the loaded East. Awesome quarterback beards, sadly, are not worth any points in the game of professional football.
Hollywood Starlet Equivalent: Lisa Kudrow. Always overshadowed by Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston.