January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
Never change, Atlanta.
Whistles and beards forever.
January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
The AD has a cleaned up and fully propagandized version up of Hoke’s first day. They want us to think this is Roy’s actual reaction to the new coach (around 1:10).
But we all know differently. Here’s a transcript of some security footage of the locker room.
INT. MICHIGAN LOCKER ROOM – DAY
A near abandoned room with strewn PRACTICE SHORTS and FOOTBALLS, as most the team is walking over to the stadium for the first official meeting with new Michigan coach BRADY HOKE. Near abandoned, as ROY ROUNDTREE is standing in front of TAYLOR LEWAN’s locker, wearing BEATS HEADPHONES and bobbing his head as he stuffs Lewan’s shoes full of silly-string. He is humming and murmuring.
Black n yellow black n yellow…
BRADY HOKE walks past the doorway into the locker room in an obvious rush. A dogeared copy of Bo’s Lasting Lessons sticks out of his back pocket. He is sweaty. He stops abruptly upon hearing Roy’s humming. He backs up and walks in the room. Upon crossing the threshold he spontaneously begins shouting.
TEAM! HUSTLE! MIDWEST! TEAM! BO! MICHIGAN MEN! CHARACTER! TEAM!
Roy doesn’t notice. He moves to Denard’s locker and begins to carve “I LUV ROBERT PATTINSON” into the wood. Hoke goes on babbling for 3 minutes, manages to wrestle his compulsions under control. He walks over to Roy and taps him on the shoulder. Roy turns around, pulling his headphones off [cue Whiz Khalifa music on 100% blast].
Heeey, what it do, man?
Roy points at the carving he’s doing, raises his eyebrows and beams with pride. Hoke doesn’t know what the hell Twilight is, but he know that Bo once made a kid run to Toledo and back just for putting a merit sticker on a bus window. This vandalism will not stand.
Young man, this is unacceptable TEAMEXECUTIONBOTEAM.
What do you think you’re doing?
Roy is confused by the question, mainly because he himself had never asked “what am I doing?” He shrugs.
I dunno, brah. I was telling Doobie that it would be mad
funny to prank on Denard, and Doobie told me that Denard
had to go on a date to see one of the Twilight movies. Shit’s funny, man.
GRIT MICHIGAN MEN EFFORT B1G TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
THE TEAM TEAM THE TORM. Where are your teammates?
Oh, they out at the stadium to meet the new coach. That’s why I
knew Taylor wouldn’t be around. I be along in a minute.
Who you? (suddenly Roy looks suspiciously) You a reporter?
WORK DEDICATION BO EFFORT MIDWEST TEAM BO
Roy shrugs and goes back to carving.
Hoke is about to defeat his verbal tic and launch into a tirade for the ages when DAVE BRANDON shouts from the hallway.
DAVE BRANDON (O.S.)
Dammit, Brady, I told you you could get into the locker room
AFTER the press conference! Remember? This whole thing
is all about the press! I need my weekly newspaper fellatio! Hustle up!
Hoke turns toward the camera, looks directly at the audience mournfully.
Brady only pawn in game of TEAM FIGHT HISTORY THAT
SCHOOL DOWN SOUTH LLOYD TEAM BO TEAM.
Brady slowly walks out of the locker room. Roy finishes his wooden masterpiece. Startled by his BlackBerry vibrating, he pauses his music and answers.
Heyo, Koger! What it do? What up? Yeah, we just gotta
change Molk’s XBox Live account name to Chubbs50!
FADE TO BLACK.
ON SCREEN, the words “Roy Roundtree later found out who that stranger was in the locker room when he logged on to Facebook and saw all his teammates’ updates.” appear.
NEXT SCREEN, “Coach Hoke never discussed this event with anyone, mainly because he was convinced that the whole thing was a stress-induced dream, since no Michigan Man would act so egregiously. Little did he know.”
Oh, lest anyone misconstrue it, this guy (points at himself) is decidedly on #TeamTreezy and this is an act of love and admiration for #12, not mocking. He’s probably one of my favorite players ever.
January 11, 2011 § 3 Comments
“If you live the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.”
You know it‘s a bad decision when one’s first reaction to the news is to draw easy comparisons between Michigan football and the Big 3 Automakers decline and to scramble to the Wikipedia page for the Romanovs to confirm that yes, this moment fits perfectly within the arc of a decaying empire. The emptiness that follows, however, is a bitch. Rage or sorrow are vastly preferred, but there are no reservoirs to tap. Brady fucking Hoke man. Cataloging the emotions Michigan fans are feeling right now is for another day, so instead allow me to lay out a series of claims and accusations, a few mouthfuls of blood spat from my mutilated fan-corpse.
– This was a decision made out of fear. Fear that the thing you love is dying. Bo left a legacy that defined the second half of the 20th century for the Michigan program. It no longer exists, of course, but it was a damn beautiful thing. Rather than accepting its passage or sending it off with a grand farewell a la HST, the men and women of Schembechler Hall are puttering around an empty house making sure that the coasters are on the coffee table just how Bo liked it and that every Thursday pot roast is served just how Bo wanted it. When there are dozens of coordinators and assistants available that are of vastly greater quality (I mean, I just randomly thought of Clemson’s D-Coord Kevin Steele and checked, and yup, he’s loads better than Hoke) and you choose to go with the distant relative, you are a craven organization.
– I doubt that there is any program so enslaved to its former players. Amongst the scores of reasons why Rich Rodriguez didn’t work out was the perpetual interference with the program from men who used to run out through the tunnel. That I even have to explain what a crock of shit it is that a player who ran the Wishbone in the 1970s has any say in a program in 2011 goes to show how pervasive the idea of Former Warriors runs at Michigan. I love Anthony Carter. I love Tyrone Wheatley. I love Jim Brandstatter. I have yet to hear any convincing reason why in the hell any of them should have any influence once they are done playing. Not that there is The Michigan Brand to defend, but even if it did exist, I hardly think the players are the best to defend it. Does any other program have so many wizened old fingers meddling in one department? Does the range of ages of the players who meddle stretch as long at any school as it does in Ann Arbor (from pre-Bo to Braylon)?
– See opening quote. Oregon’s uniforms are atrocious, Southerners are intellectually inferior, Real Men take the ball under center, The Winningest Program Of All Time. Only when you finally do away with all that I just mentioned (and none of these 3 year dalliances like with Rodriguez, please) will this program succeed (and maybe even grow up?). College football is no longer the realm of Bronc Burnett (if it ever was). Stop acting as if it is.
– I really really hate it when the things I love play to stereotype. Michigan is an amazing school and an amazing state that’s reputation is one of decline and a stubborn refusal to modernize and instead smugly rest upon the laurels it acquired from the 40s to the 80s (I told you there were parallels). Whenever I explain to someone here out west that Michiganders are very proud of their heritage, the primary response is always “Proud about what?” I don’t think anyone outside the state of Michigan remembers The Arsenal of Democracy or muscle cars or Rick Leach but your damn right everyone inside the state does. And that reluctance to let go of the glorious past was, in my mind, more a stereotype than a truth. That while there might be some people who are still hooked on nostalgia, the People in Power were smart enough to avoid that obvious mistake. And now I have Brady Hoke standing in front of me telling me “no, they aren’t.”
December 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’m back (been working on a few other things, like finding a decent job and hopefully a few other things I can share here), but here’s some stuff for December 6th:
– Everyone shocked at Hughton’s firing at Newcastle clearly has forgotten the rest of Mike Ashley’s time as owner. Hubris defines the man, and I’m sure that he thinks that now that the team’s in 11th place (never mind just 4 points above relegation at the moment) that they’re juuust outside the range of Europa or even Champions League contention. What, you say? They only have 2-3 players who could make a Top 4 starting squad? Your common sense isn’t welcome here at St. James! God, I’m glad I’m a Magpie supporter. /midafternoonshotofwhiskey
– For the first time in a while I’m actually more optimistic for the USMNT’s midfielders and attackers at a camp than for the backs and keepers. Not sure if this is on the whole a good or bad thing, though.
– CagePotato brings the science on knockouts. A must read/watch for combat sports fans and a sober reminder of just how many nasty aspects of athletics we (choose to?) ignore in a telecast.
– Watched the Broncos-Chief crapfest yesterday, and you knew it was gonna be a rough one from the very beginning.
– As a dedicated self high-fiver, every player in the NBA needs to air-fives every game.
– Co-sign to this article, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen. As we know from Magary, all Bostonians are crypto-racists and would never approve of a dahhkie Celtic getting a memorial before Larry Bird.*
Also, from a SLAM interview, I think Russell might be one of the few athletes from any time to be able to say this:
SLAM: As much as your style of play changed the center position, was there anyone who came after you who captured your style?
RUSSELL: Maybe it’s egotism, but I have never seen another player who even approached the way I played the game in terms of depth. I’ve never seen anyone do the number of things I do well.
And still be impossibly modest and truthful.
*Totally unfair but still really really funny stereotype.**
**One that in my experience has a sad amount of truth to it.
November 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
I haven’t talked about it much with the Internet because it’s pretty cool with the Internet to rag on the MLS as the Land of Misfitted Retard0-LOLz, but I decided this year to take the plunge and apply my love for international soccer to the local product, and I attended a bunch of Colorado Rapids games. Yes, the name for the supporters group (Pid Army, “Pid” like the second syllable of “rapid.” Yeah, I know.) is really dumb, and yes, the stadium’s not really full most of the time, and even yes, I know that the MLS doesn’t have Drogba or Messi and I know that any of the best teams probably couldn’t hang with even Shakhtar Donetsk. But it’s a fun time, it’s pretty cheap, and it’s increasingly improving soccer happening in a place not 3,000 miles away from me, so I’m game.
And the Rapids just won it all. This of course means that I’ve joined the team at absolutely the wrong time because it’s all down from here.
Anyway, as my mini form of celebrating back here in Denver, allow me to share one of the stupid/best parts of my MLS team: the strangest coterie of mascots I’ve ever run across. First we have Jorge El Mapache:
I’ll save you the GoogleTime and tell you that sadly “el mapache” isn’t Spanish for anything cool like “Knife-Axe” or “Pizza Taco”, it just means “raccoon” which is obvious from the costume.
Next up is Marco Van Bison.
I think he’s creepy and has the name of a old German war profiteer/amateur sex criminal but I’m a known anti-bisonist.
Thirdly we have Edson the Eagle. I think the Rapids were short on cash when they created Edson because they skimped on design and just gave him a giant Incan Death Mask for a head.
Lastly, Franz the Fox.
Franz lost a lot of money shorting trades on the Chicago Merc back in the 80s but moved out to Colorado and has found a new life out here working with the team. He’s also found Jesus and mountain biking and will insufferably prattle on about either to you at any get together you accidentally meet him at. So in other words he perfectly represents Colorado.
So for those who weren’t keeping score, Colorado has 4 mascots named Jorge, Marco, Edson, and Franz. Kudos to the team for going for something different, but they probably shouldn’t have allowed the teenaged son of the PR head who likes to call himself “the next Carles” on his “Fuck Yeah! Fixies” Tumblr name the characters.
I’m still giddy from the win, so I’ll leave you with this important anti-concussion ad from Marco and Franz. So up on the issues, these guys.
November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
Via Bob McKenzie, we now know Pat Burns is dead.
Pat Burns was a great coach, someone who up-to-now has been criminally ignored for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hopefully the NHL will fix this and do it quickly. Besides coaching my Canadiens back in the day, Burns also represented to me the epitome of a Canadian and a hockey coach: besides looking like a real life Ray Zalinsky, Burns had a fire and passion for hockey that was sui generis. If you were to cut that man open he’d bleed vulcanized rubber and ice. He was so tough that it took cancer 3 cracks to bring him down. Here he is back in the day:
You don’t love that, I don’t want to know ya.
And a far more trivial note but one that I think still does the man justice: Burns had sported some of the premium mustaches and hair cuts in all of sports.
What a great man. This news blows. RIP Pat Burns.
October 26, 2010 § 3 Comments
I have never been as excited for an NBA season as I am for the one that’s about to begin in an hour. This is strange considering that the team I care most about, the Nuggets, is going to be pretty bad. I think this means that I have fully transitioned into the liberated fan, but I prefer to think it means I’ve finally managed to taste the entire NBA universe and have now reached nirvana. I’m unconditioned and extinguished, I say yes to all that happens and celebrate it.
Although, to be fair, basketball nirvana doesn’t quite translate to the religious sense. I still feel sadness and joy. For example, I’m still recovering from the bummerage I felt at hearing of Jeff Pendergraph’s injury and subsequent waiving. I’m giddy about the possibility of all things happening with the Wizards. So the emotions and pains that true nirvana erases are still here, but the questioning about said emotions and pains is gone. No longer do I ask “why the hell am I so wrapped up in this?” or “how is this so important to me?”. Now it is more a proclamation of “Yes! I freak out at Serge Ibaka!” “Yes! the soon-upon-us awful trade for Melo causes me to dwell upon acts of depraved violence!” And let me tell you, kids, this feeling is the best.
And the only thing that can harsh this high I’m on? As with most things: idiots. As an act of exorcism and purification of my soul, I will name the evils of idiocy, and in so naming them steal their power to affect me. If you commit the following acts, know that I have for you a hate of the purest rage, and I am so comfortable in that hate that I will proudly proclaim it to your digital face:
1. If you hate Lebron James, I hate you. This is not because I am pro-Lebron. I am just anti-anti-Lebron. He is a supreme talent and we are lucky to be alive during his career. Have a little dignity for yourself and develop a more nuanced stance than “OMG The Decision was the dick-est thing ever and now he’s the biggest dick ever!” He made a decision some of us don’t really like, and if you are so petty as to let a 26 year old’s choice to move to Florida color your opinion of him, I hate you.
2. If you say “I can’t stand the NBA style, college basketball is much more watchable” when we know that means “I’m not comfortable with an African-American dominant sports”, I hate you. In the new book from FreeDarko (which I think I’ve annoyed 100% of my Twitter followers today with my rapturous talk about it) there is a deeply saddening sidebar graphic of two charts. One is of the percentage of the NBA that is black. It starts to rise meteorically in the mid to late 70’s. The other chart shows the national popularity of the NBA over the years. There is a plunge in interest in The Association in, you guessed it, the mid to late 70’s. The FD gang just suggest that there might be a causal relationship between the two. I’m not ensnared by the same boundaries of good taste and propriety as they are (or at least are when required to publish an actual book), so I’ll say it more directly: a bunch of the NBA’s support evaporated when a bunch of white people felt uncomfortable seeing a predominantly-black league taking shape. Y’all are asses, if you say this you clearly haven’t watched more than 30 minutes of the NBA in at least a decade, and I hate you.
3. If you are a Utah Jazz fan, I hate you. I like the Utah Jazz team, but their fanbase is without a doubt the most annoying and petty and shallow group in ever. I’m pretty sure every Utah Jazz fan hates Lebron, so this also fits under number 1.
4. If you wax rhapsodic about the mythical qualities of Madison Square Garden, I hate you. That place hasn’t had true relevance in close to 2 decades, and the Knicks have been peddling on the 60’s and 70’s since the 60’s and 70’s. The Knicks have inherent intrigue, but it’s not because they’re a sleeping giant. They are the 76ers-on-the-Hudson, and I don’t here anyone braying about the Wells Fargo Center.
5. If you engage in the Kobe-vs.-Lebron-vs.-MJ debate, I hate you. This is probably the dumbest and most pedantic bullshit happening in all of sports and I’m including anything Favre or steroids-y or BCS related. It’s an incoherent, unwinnable, juvenile, geographically xenophobic, and wasteful discussion and it deliberately eschews the wonder and beauty of the game in order to pursue a hurr-durr discussion so base that even the pissy bitches over on Fox News would find it stupid and embarrassing. I hate you if you even try to treat this faux-debate seriously.
Okay: with that bit of bile-letting done and over, I’m ready for the season. This is going to be awesome. Allons-y.