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    1. Phyllis has no idea what just happened, and may have just accidentally been granted entry when lost and holding a Miami Seaquarium Ticket. Did something good just happen? Bad? You can't go wrong with a fear grin, Phyllis. You can never, ever go wrong with fear grinning.

    2. Prince Harry had no idea why everyone was calling him "Tosh Point Oh!" and fist-pounding him, but he went with it.

    3. "THANKS OBAMA. THANKS A LOT FOR THIS DANGED SHITTY ORANGE BOWL."

    4. Steve had once asked Jeff Bowden for his autograph. At night, he still wondered if that was the thing that gave him prostate cancer.

    5. Surely that wasn't Aunt Karen's hand reaching from behind him, caressing his undercarriage with a forcefulness he'd never known. Surely she'd changed seats with some comely coed smitten with his neatly trimmed facial hair.

    6. I'M ONLY YOUR AUNT BY MARRIAGE.

    7. Neck extensions were pricey, and only offered in Belize by one surgeon with a two year waiting list. But you can't put a price on beauty, thought Chad, craning his neck high above the short-necked plebes surrounding him.

    8. "Ricevuto come un cane nella chiesa!" she exclaimed. This was peculiar, as she was neither fluent in Italian nor medically awake.

    9. His fingernails tasted like Golden Corral's honey bourbon chicken. This did not worry him half as much as it should have. He had not eaten at Golden Corral in weeks.

    10. Steve Jobs slunk down. He knew going into public was risky, but when you get a chance to see a MAC team in a BCS bowl game, you have to risk undoing all the hard work of a good death-faking.

    11. One person walked into this scene from a Breughel painting, and it is this man.

    12. "Dad, can I borrow your fitted for our 2000s party?""I never wore a fitted, honey, those were aw--" [awkward pause] [daughter stares] "Sigh. One second, honey."

    13. Slowly it dawned on her. This wasn't a trip to Vienna, and the Wheel of Fortune episode she won it on probably wasn't real. If only she'd followed her gut and doubted Katt Williams when he swore he was "guest hosting."

    14. [just realized this is not the national title game] [and that those tickets he bought for $1500 a piece were not national title game tickets] [sweet fitted, bro]

    15. "I heard those new scanners at the airport inject you with a radioactive dye and then the military can activate the dye and you become an army robot slave. That's why I stole that bus."

    16. wubbbbbb wubb WARRGGHHH gwohhhhh NAR NAR NAR NAR NARNAR WUBBBBBbbbbbbbbbbbbb wub WAAGHHHH AI AI AI AI AI AI ENGH ENGH ENGH ENGH ENGH ENGH oh my god WUBBBBBBBBB----

    17. "It's not just dogs," he said. "Turns out all kinds of animals love the taste of antifreeze. Just go crazy for it."

    18. "No, see, that's the joke. They're turds that are homosexual. Well of course I realize feces don't have sexual organs, much less sexual preferences. You're totally ruining this."

    19. He'd heard the FBI hazed new recruits, but "go undercover as an FSU fan who sings Pretty Ricky songs during timeouts" seemed unnecessarily cruel and dangerous.

    20. Suzanne was displeased. "I bet that first down marker was made in Mexico," she shouted to no one in particular.

    21. This is Frank, and he will be the last thing you see before you die, FSU fans. (Because he is a debt collector, and also Leon County's hardest working serial killer.)

    22. MAGNETS.


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    Dad, I know divorce has to be rough. I know. But if you want to know about things, I mean...I'm younger. I know about the social media game, or at least a little more than you might. So before you tweet, or post, or whatever, I mean, just ask me. Run it by me. Just check, because once something's online, it's there forever, and---

    --never mind, dad. Never mind a single thing I just said.

    P.S. This man owns an NFL franchise. A good one.

    P.P.S. He doesn't know the difference between it's and its.

    P.P.P.S. Naked lady paintings turn every bathroom into your very own Louvre (that you poop in.)


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  • 01/03/13--07:35: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 1/3/2012
  • 158887471

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,

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    The misspelling is appropriate, since it's as coordinated as the Florida offense was last night, and also the Florida defense, and special teams, and pretty much everything else. We'll be venting heavily in Blatant Homerism when we get around to it, but shit, was Teddy Bridgewater incredible last night. Do not lose sight of this: Florida turned in their most epically shitty bowl performance since the 2005 Peach Bowl, but they did it in collusion with the best quarterback they faced all year playing the best game he played all year.

    On the other side, we had a horse trying to ride a balance ball, and the resulting LULZ.

    AT THE NAVEL OF THE UNIVERSE. By that term, we mean the Krystal on Bourbon Street, where things were going as they usually do. (Strangely.)

    GOOD TIMING, TAYLOR. Totally relevant to Louisville last night, though perhaps not so much to you after Nebraska gave up over 500 yards to Georgia, Mr. Martinez.

    "I think the Big Ten, talent-wise, is a lot better, and the defenses in the Big Ten are better than SEC defenses," he said. "This was supposed to be one of the top defenses in the SEC, and we pretty much did anything we wanted against them."

    THEY'LL JUST BE LUCKY TO SCORE A FEW POINTS. Bill Snyder is the master of the poormouth.

    ETC. Big Boi KILLIN' IT ON LETTERMAN. Remind us to pick up a copy of the new NHL game. In defense of the NBC Sports Network. Drew Magary got high with Snoop Dogg, and this really did happen. MYSTIKAL, BITCH.


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    1. THOSE FUCKING ORANGE PANTS. The last time Florida wore blue jerseys and orange pants, the Gators lost 30-23 at home to Florida State. That was 1999, the year when Pets.com had enough money to run Super Bowl commercials and boy bands flooded the airwaves, which used to be a thing when people couldn't listen to the music they wanted to. Someone just put on Tonic, and if the CD player in your car was broken, you just had to sack up and listen to silence or listen to "If You Could Only See" piped into your car for the 1,392nd time. Why anyone would want to wear the Tonic of pants combinations is beyond understanding. Do not ever wear these ever again, because they are cursed with awful late 1990s-ness, and are the equivalent of rolling down your eye-windows and letting someone shovel garbage into them. NEVER AGAIN.

    2. THAT FUCKING FIRST PLAY. If you weren't convinced things were going totally sideways from the start, then Florida getting the ball first should have crashed every tripwire in your panic centers. All year long the pattern has been the same: that Florida wants nothing to do with the ball in the first half, and should just punt on first down and let its defense do its half of the game plan--namely, assaulting the other team until they would prefer to be doing something else. Then, in the second half, shock the opponent by "attempting things," and then "Falling on the opponent until fractures result." I

    3. THAT FUCKING FIRST PLAY SERIOUSLY. A pass to Andre Debose, the most talented piece of unfulfilled hope, a pass way wide of its target, is clearly just Brent Pease desperately doing theatrical laps on the dusty, untouched $1,000 treadmill in front of company because look look look we totally got our money out of this! And predictably, the innocent and good-hearted attempt to involve Debose in the game plan resulted in disaster, because Andre Debose things just happen around Andre Debose like that. Him scoring a late kickoff return is still the most Andre Debose thing ever: spectacular, eye-popping, and too late to be of any use.

    4. THE FUCKING TEDDY BRIDGEWATER. There's no one close in terms of him in quality on the schedule, and maybe not in the country. He throws a chest-fluttering ball of transcendent beauty. He is accurate, and panic-free. You can hit him with things as large as Smart Cars and he disregards all signals of pain.

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    That's on the first series, the first of many series where Bridgewater just calmly accepted the completions he was given, and ignored the repeated applications of blunt force to his body. It should be noted he could do this since, for the first time all year, a quarterback had inexplicable amounts of time in the pocket to work, and work brilliantly against the Florida secondary. Louisville's offensive line stonewalled the Florida pass rush much of the night, so much so that the run game became a formality used to burn clock. Which they could do. Because they had a massive lead. Louisville. The Louisville Cardinals.

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

    5. THE FUCKING ONSIDE KICK. There is no way to pack more incompetence into a single play than what Florida did to open the second half. There isn't; even allowing a TD return off an onside is simply losing a bet, and not losing the onside attempt and then accentuating the failure with TWO personal fouls. This then allowed Teddy Bridgewater to float one of his golden snitch god balls right over the top of Florida's coverage, and thus a humiliating TD, and thus a series we'd really like to delete from the archives forever.

    6. THE FUCKING PENALTIES. This is still the dumbest Florida team we've ever seen. Talented as hell, and at root still the teen driver who hits the gas when reaching for the brake. Getting two personal fouls on the same play is a rare accomplishment, but here are, among achievers.

    7. THE FUCKING HURRY-UP. A fat man sprinting, and Andy Reid-esque in execution. More of an Oregon Trail game than a hurry-up offense, and with a really high chance of dying of dysentery on the way.

    8. THE FUCKING HORRIBLE AFTERTASTE. We don't even know. There's something to be written about where this team sits in terms of the whole year. That thing probably has optimism, and the admission that this team overachieved immensely, and that 11-2 from the perspective of August 2012 would have seemed insane. That would be the rational thing, but all we can see right now is confetti stuck to Charlie Strong's head and Florida getting a 15 yard penalty for standing in the white of the sideline. That's a procedural error, much like this whole game.

    9. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. There's nothing else to be said that doesn't involve exotic Spanish oaths about the thousand whores who bore the thousand whores who bore your mother. Deeply NSFW:

    A THOUSAND WHORES


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    TEMPE, AZ (AP)--Oregon coach Chip Kelly dismissed those who were skeptical of his lastest purchase, a 17 foot long Ford E-350 moving van.

    "A man without friends is not a man. A friend without a truck is not a friend. A man without a friend without a truck needs a truck so he can have friends. And be a man. Because of the truck."

    Speaking quickly on his way into the Ducks' final pregame meetings, Kelly praised the E-350's economy, performance, and styling.

    "The truck's got some things. It's not just for moving. Certainly not just for moving across the country. For a new job. That kind of thing. Nope. Factory standard radio. Heckuva heater. Air conditioning. More giddyup than you think. Handling. It's surprising. The handling."

    "It's the Colt Lyerla of vehicles," Kelly said laughing. "But Colt probably gets more than ten miles a gallon. This puppy. Gets thirsty."

    Kelly has been linked to several NFL head coaching jobs of note, including the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, and Carolina Panthers. Kelly has refused to answer questions about leaving to pursue opportunities in the NFL, but many in the Oregon community believe he will leave after the team's appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

    Kelly gave no comment, but did praise the E-350's safety features as he entered the locker rooms in Tempe.

    "Air bags. Three of 'em, boys! Three!"


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  • 01/04/13--07:55: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 1/4/2013
  • A_vmil5cyaeqeco

    OH MY GOD THERE IT IS. The moment we've hunted for years. The call Ron Cherry was born to make. The confluence of the two. The resulting joy. The motherfuckin' one-point safety.

    The elusive one-point safety happened last night, meaning that Oregon had to go 8-7-7-3-6-1-3 to get to their final total of 35, which is why you should never play Chip Kelly in any kind of combinatorial game. It sucks to lose like that at the end, K-State, but a.) you played a third quarter against Oregon, and that was your final mistake, and b.) you got to play a major role in Ron Cherry's greatest performance. WE HAVE AN UNUSUAL RULING. (In our pants.)

    CHIP KELLY FOOTBALL IS OUR MONARCH BUTTERFLY. Just breezing through, likely gone, and like most of the beautiful things in life, fleeting.

    TOM CORBETT'S LAWSUIT IS BULLSHIT. That's a legal term, we had Bobby Big Wheel look it up and everything.

    GET DOWN YOU BEAUTIFUL ORCA. While Gangnam Style may still be hitting the isolated halls of Notre Dame, do understand that it cannot get old if the person doing the dance is Louis Nix.

    STAY HARD WRONG, GARY. You have to admire Gary Danielson's commitment to being wrong, and then firmly camping out in wrong for years at a stretch.

    You can depend on these plays that they’re running over and over again. When you’re a Georgia player and you get to the sideline and you look at a coach, the coach looks back and says, ‘I got nothing for you. They’re knocking your ass off the ball.’ There is no tweak to stop that. You might have a tweak to stop the spread, but there is no tweak for the inside zone."

    Chip Kelly runs inside zone out of a spread formation, but whatever, Gary Danielson. Have fun watching the stoppable, totally gimmicky offense that beat Alabama blaze against Oklahoma tonight.

    TENUTA AND TOM O'BRIEN? If you have a pet you cannot take care of and wish to surrender it to a quality home, the adoption services offered by Mike London are ready when you are.

    ETC: The sexiest lockup in America. If he was watching the Super Bowl, then this really was super-insane. Why yes, the production of The Blues Brothers did include a cocaine budget. "Oh damn, must've left those babies at Delta Burke's house."


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    It's a clear day, spotless skies, and then OUT OF NOWHERE A ROGUE SPURRIER APPEARS:

    Steve Spurrier gets bored faster than the rest of us. That fast boredom reflex is his greatest gift to humanity, since it results in him randomly setting something on fire in a press conference or interview every few months or so. (His other gift: liberating the aged male form, one shirtless public appearance at a time.)


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    Bamathrow

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    ROLL. MOTHERFUCKIN'. TIDE.


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    There is this magnificent moment at the end of the SEC title game when Alabama, odds and strategy and balance be damned, just said fuck this shit and started running the ball every down. Mind you, this is what they are good at, and this makes a fair amount of football sense. Steve Spurrier runs the same play over and over again because if it works, well, when planting time comes it doesn't make much sense to put something other than the money tree in your backyard.

    I also know this is why Alabama did it, but I'd like to think it had something more to do with identity. It's more emotionally satisfying to me to imagine Alabama--clinical, counterpunching, robotic Alabama--doing it because when you strip them down to their skeleton, place them under the highest stresses imaginable, and dare them to feel one ounce of emotion more than yours--that they found the one thing left in their heart.

    That thing was rage, pure, dark hatred, an anger borne from a thousand displaced and redirected miseries brought onto the football field. I like to think they were angry because they were from Alabama, angry like every Alabama team playing with boulder-sized chips on their shoulders. Those teams carried the transmogrified fury of every Yellowhammer Stater bleeding rage about how you don't get the state, or how other Alabamians were to blame for the state's failures, or how everything and anything will make you want to kill when it's 95 degrees, humid as a Bolivian jungle, and the wind won't move a hair on your head and football season is four stinking, worthless months away.

    *The best part is that the ringleader for this is Barrett Jones, a violin-playing accounting major whose upbringing, demeanor, and quiet, business-like interviews could not contrast more with his blocking against Georgia. Barrett Jones was singlehandedly clearing the way through a stampeding Chinese air raid drill.

    They played mean, passionate football, mostly because yes, they had to. It is so very hard to tell if the rest of the SEC has narrowed the gap with Alabama, or if this is simply just a different Alabama team than the antiseptic semi-pro teams of 2009 and 2011, a more flawed team that has on two occasions this year had to counterpunch and fight late in games. It is an indicator, by the way, of an insanely high degree of program continuity that you can say this about a program. They had to fight in like, three games! And even lost one!

    That question of relative value--college football's great slippery metric--is still, here at the final game of the season very much up for debate. This may be Mark Richt's best team of his tenure in Athens. That team died against South Carolina, and yet somehow beat Florida in one of the most grotesque games not played with the Big Ten logos painted on the thirty yard lines. Florida beat the hide off that Gamecock team 44-11, grappled to a judge's decision against LSU, and beat Texas A&M on the road. They also lost to Louisville in the biggest upset in BCS history because, well, because to hell with easy answers, that's why. That Texas A&M team that Florida beat lost to LSU, but beat Alabama at home. The pattern for the past four years in the conference has morphed into something new; instead of one dominant team in each division, there are now two divisions with at least three very good teams, and then the hammered peasantry of the conference falling a full standard deviation below the upper classes.

    That said: this is not a Courtney Upshaw team. This team gives up yardage--over 400 yards of it in three games, including the loss at home to Texas A&M and the narrow win in the SEC title game. There is a reason T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy both had over one hundred yards rushing against Georgia--they needed it, and couldn't execute the usual Saban M.O. of piling up a four TD lead, sitting back on the defense, and watching the clock run as the opponent turned blue and succumbed to the inevitable.

    It is not one of those orderly Nick Saban teams, and good for that. This team is far more enjoyable to watch. No one watches college athletics because people are efficient, or because someone's an effective tackler. Nick Saban got emotional talking about his father at a press conference. No really, he did, look, there's photos and stuff.

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    I'd like to think that even at his usual high cruising levels of self-applied pressure, this year's been worse than usual Nick Saban levels of misery for Nick Saban because of that--the youth on the roster, the close calls, the outright defeat to a team antithetical to everything Saban believes should be football, and the crushing power of expectation heaped on expectation on expectation.

    That would be a misread. To assume a freak like Nick Saban reacts with tears to the same things you and I do would be a misread of the nearly unreadable person who by choice writes down "team dinner" in the midst of the SEC Championship Celebration. Saban remains the closest thing college football has had to Ahab, a mercurial obsessive bent and driven by a self-perpetuating rage for order, someone who unlike Ahab does not get the white whale and the resolution of a finale.

    His least perfect championship game team does stand on the brink of solidifying a real live dynasty, a trend of three championships in four years obvious enough to convince the dullest skeptic. It is also his rawest team, the one he has the least control of in the moment, the one that when down has had to resort to its cudgel of an offensive line and satanic pairing of backs to save its hide. Worse still, the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide had to rely on the least reliable thing of all in the clutch--a quarterback, the one thing a Nick Saban team could easily do without when the Controller has the dials on the knobs attuned just so.

    It's a team that sits so close to the edge of chaos it has to kill Saban to coach them. That is, of course, why you should like them. When threatened with extinction, the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide go from George St. Pierre to Roy Nelson, ditching the calm submission fighter's boring endgames for roundhouse punches and a raw frenzy capable of pushing their persnickety coach to the brink before victory, confetti, and the usual festivities erasing the late-game panic of a team that yes, can be beaten.

    This is his least perfect of near-perfect teams, and that slightly less secure grip on the reins has to have one of god's own mutants as close to emotional haywire as he's capable of being.

    Nick Saban would rather not involve any of those uncontrollable variables, and instead go seamlessly from the tunnel to the locker room to the limo and then back to the hotel, where film, recruiting calls, and maybe a few hours sleep await. Those can be measured, decided, and dictated. He would rather wear his hats to stay out of the South Florida sun, and proceed to the next whale, the next recruit, the next team, detail, or suspicious dot on the horizon. A normal person would soak it up, and take a second to sit on South Beach with their feet in the water looking out at the reddening dawn, and the fireball rising from its margins into the sky.

    The sun will have to wait for another day of appreciation. It, too, has to wait its turn to revolve around the strange planet of Nick Saban.


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    Stifflacy

    Notre Dame will be the best defensive front Alabama will face all year. The heart of Manti Te'o will overcome the cold professionalism of the Alabama Crimson Tide. There's no underestimating class and belief in your teammates. Alabama may have size and speed but there's no underestimating the Fighting Irish. You may have BCS titles but we have Knute Rockne but oh dear that man just elbowed a grown man to the ground with a gesture one might confuse for a cough or just swatting at a fly, and yes we'd rather be somewhere else. We are Notre Dame, and we would rather be somewhere else.


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  • 01/08/13--06:10: NO, RUDY
  • Crystaldenied

    Hoover Tactical Firearms was right Notre Dame: your best defense can't be that you're scared.


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    1. Ditch the pleasantries. I don't like you, you don't like me, and we don't like each other, Notre Dame. I really don't like you for a number of reasons, most of them petty, and some of them not as much. Mostly I don't like you because of this hangover I got celebrating your public demolition last night. But there's other reasons, and not all of them involve this bourbon barbed wire halo I'm wearing today.

    2. The first reason I don't like you is that you did something right. You took the bid to the national title game because you had no choice in the matter, because hell, you have to take a national title shot if you can get it, and you have to think that yes, you can come out and compete, fight, and even win against the greatest dynasty in modern college football history. You have to think those things because you are a football team made up of football players, competitive people who embrace the possible no matter the situation. You did the right thing, and it led to reason No. 2 and the resulting hair-ache this morning.

    3. The second reason I don't like you is that right situation led to this splitting bourbon headache, because oh my god was it fun watching you embrace the only possibility Alabama allowed you: getting thrown into an ice chipper for three hours. Louis Nix said that Notre Dame was not dominated by Alabama. Notre Dame was losing by four touchdowns at the half. The English language is a marvelous thing, that we can have the same word, and yet have it mean two entirely different things, Louis. I've seen Alabama do the same thing to my team on multiple occasions. Dominate is the most polite word for what that looked like, with other options being unprintable or banned by the Geneva Conventions.*

    *You should have known you were dead when Nick Saban took the team to see Zero Dark Thirty the night before. Nick Saban is a fan of torture scenes.

    Alabama reaction: "Dynasty" || Notre Dame reaction: "Now what?"

    4. So the grudge I'm holding against you at this point is between my ears, and likely won't get evicted until sometime after lunchtime. The hangover for you will be longer, but really shouldn't take too much longer if you're rational about it. (Not that you have to be, because SPORTS, but it might help to try it just for the hell of it.)

    5. You lost one game this season, to our Mongol overlords from the Yellowhammer State, Alabama, the best college football dynasty since at least Nebraska. You lost not at one position, but at every single position on the field, and in lopsided fashion. Even the misses were evidence of Alabama's superiority, like the overthrown ball to a wide open Amari Cooper splitting Notre Dame's safeties like so many waddling penguins struggling to keep up with a loping retriever. There's a brutal comfort in knowing that the chances of survival were so small that hope, painful as it may have been, was also total folly.

    6. You also had what is otherwise a great season, and took this machine to the very limits of its capabilities. An unranked team with a redshirt freshman quarterback and a difficult schedule went undefeated, beat all of its historical rivals, and made the national title game. On an individual level, Notre Dame also accomplished something equally astonishing: injecting a linebacker's name into the Heisman race, and paving the way for a defender to win the trophy sometime sooner than we all believed possible. Manti Te'o is a pioneer in that sense, albeit one that didn't make it all the way down the proverbial Oregon Trail.

    7. Please rewind to the part about doing this with a redshirt freshman at quarterback. Everett Golson still has no idea what he's doing relative to his peers who have years of starting experience, and there he stood on the extremely green grass of SunLife Stadium with a chance (a chance!) to win the national title. There is only one redshirt freshman who did better this year, and he finished the season spinning donuts around the Oklahoma Sooners. Golson is not a Manziel, but they only make one of those every 10 years, and most of them are seized by the government and used as assassins. TAMU got theirs as a favor from former Secretary of Defense and lifelong Aggie fan Robert Gates. I may or may not be making this up, but the part about Golson only growing as a player is real and verifiable.

    8. Finally, there are the very sound bones of this program, which in the local sense has nothing to be pessimistic about whatsoever. Brian Kelly has the consensus No. 1 Rivals class inbound to South Bend. The program will likely hold on to its superb staff, and carry the significant momentum of 2012 into the new year. These aren't comforting message board bromides: they're facts, and the Irish have an even better chance to go undefeated next year with Oklahoma and USC coming to South Bend. Oh, and NBC is still writing checks. That's nice, particularly when you stand to get paid twice with a new ACC membership on the horizon.

    9. In terms of stability, talent, and potential, there is only one ceiling for Notre Dame, the same one every other team in college football has: beating Alabama. The impending playoff might help with this, but beating Alabama is going to be a pretty rare thing for a while, and in a one game scenario like the BCS, rarer still. This is not a Notre Dame problem. This is a 2013 problem whose only solution will be the passing of time, the winnowing away of Nick Saban's staff, and everyone else catching up to whatever Alabama is doing and turning a present tyrant into a fearsome memory.

    10. That won't happen anytime soon, and that is the bad news for you and anyone not prone to using, "Roll Tide," as a greeting, adjective, interjection, or legal term. The good news is that the same program that lost to Syracuse at home under Charlie Weis now has the best college football first-world problem of all: a loss in the final game of the season to the best team college football has produced since the Tom Osborne's Agricultural Death Machine of the 1990s.

    11. Meanwhile, USC lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. If I say shut your spoiled mouth and pass the aspirin, well, it's because you only get hangovers from parties, and you've had a pretty nice one this year, Notre Dame, painful mornings after and all. There's no pity here for you, and only the cold but invigorating optimism you can only have after the first cup of post-binge black coffee in the morning.

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    A list of things written down strictly for our benefit.

    1. Digging out. We looked under the table the other day and found a pair of shoes we'd been missing for months--literally, like, two months, aka sixty days. This is a big table a toddler can walk under with ease, and the shoes are in plain sight. Football season can reduce you to being a T-Rex: if it doesn't move, you don't see it, and nothing in arm's reach exists. (And your reach is very, very small.)

    2. Read a book. Like, not a football book. We have Barry Hannah's Airships sitting half-read by the bed. To give you an idea of how sad this is, Barry Hannah short stories rarely exceed twenty pages, and are full of violent sex, unrealistically eloquent characters with substance abuse problems, and sexy violence, and we still couldn't get through it without swatting at a GIF and then getting lost in a Pac-12 Rewind fest for an hour.

    3. Reduce swelling. Not the usual disaster at the end of the season, but like Mark Richt during recruiting season, swelling resulting from alternating sitting on your ass with aggressive travel will turn you into a bloated wreck at the end of the season. Becoming a slightly less bloated wreck by July is usually the M.O., since "bloated wreck" is the signature hot blogger look of every season.

    4. Carry a new child around. New baby drops any minute. You say, oh, this might be at odds with points 1, 2, and 3. Yes. Yes it might very well be, but [adorable narcoleptic vomiting baby monkey things].

    5. Attend more spring practices. If they're open, it's one of the quietest and best ways to a.) get a football fix, and b.) enjoy spring weather in the South. We're not going to that bullshit "snowing in late March" shit, nor are we going to Auburn's traditional spring practices that started five minutes ago, because that too is just silliness, Auburn.

    6. Figure out a way someone other than Alabama can win something. It's got to be theoretically possible outside of "just waiting for Nick Saban to retire/shrivel/angrily assume power of the state of Alabama and turn it into America's most aggressively excellent state.

    7. Drop a red-hot ball of nickel into water. WHOOSH PING ZING noises and angry bubbling is always good, cheap entertainment for the entire family.

    8. Go bowhunting. Preferably with Bo Jackson, so that the resulting testosterone intoxication from merely coming into contact with him can add a year to our life and 50 pounds to our deadlift.

    9. FOR REAL STOP EATING LIKE AN IDIOT. There will be a confessional thread about the dumbest thing you ate while a-footballing, and we will win. OH BUT ORSON I ATE A WHOLE BAG OF CHIPS OMG!!!! No, oh no, it gets so much worse than that, amateur. Hint: ours left behind a carcass.

    10. Learn blocking schemes. If we have to enroll the help of a real life offensive lineman we will, but it's a lacuna for us in the football knowledge department, and for almost everyone else, too.

    11. Watch, like, at least five movies. The whole thing, even, while sitting down for two hours. By rule, one of these will be the most uplifting movie ever made, the sidesplitting Children of Men.

    12. Go out West somewhere and ride a horse. That's totally serious, since anyone who has lived in the South for most of their life really enjoys the novelty of "air you don't swim through," but dislikes the preponderance of mankilling bears and mountain lions out west. Easy solution: take horse, abandon to large predator in exchange for life. (Sorry, horse.)

    13. Deadlift double bodyweight. That's a respectable, modest goal one can certainly live with!

    14. Dare botulism. Holly got us this fantastic book on meat-curing, and guess who's making mortadella flavored with near-fatal amounts of bacteria? (P.S. Holly is trying to kill us.)

    15. Answer emails. See deadlift for actual probability of this happening, but you have to try. Yes, even yours, three dudes who sent us 1,000 word emails about oversigning back in October. On a side note, email is horrible, and gives you cancer of the face if you send too many of them. Because science is pretty sure that number is, like, five more than your current total, you should never use email.

    16. Go see how the yard's doing.

    Xlarge_medium

    Well, that's...that's going well.

    17. Re-watch Quantum Leap. Any show that ends with God basically telling Sam to buck the fuck up and deal with it is probably worth a full adult series viewing. It's will likely be both better and worse in parts than we remembered.

    18. Husband. That's a verb, and in this case it means apologizing for having a screen glued to one part of our face for the past five months.

    19. Don't do a single goddamn poll in any serious fashion. Goals you can achieve by neglect are the best and most attainable, and we're well on the way with this one because after the seven or eight spot you're just Baylessing around, and Baylessing around is a bad thing in any sense but the culinary one.

    20. Go to Austin once. It's just good for you.

    21. DO NOT WASTE TIME YELLING AT OTHER BLOGGERS/WRITERS

    22. DO NOT WASTE TIME ON FUCKING MORONS BECAUSE SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WRONG ON THE INTERNET

    23. Wear shoes as little as possible. Kenny Chesney's not wrong about everything.

    24. Take Magnus to an air show. (And bring earplugs, because fathers never remember things like earplugs.)

    25. Hang out with Ron Zook.


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  • 01/09/13--06:35: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 1/9/2013
  • 20120904_mje_se2_476

    HI THERE.

    The Great Brent Musburger Horndoggin' Incident has passed, and resulted in a formal apology from ESPN and (allegedly) some kind of HR rebuke for Mr. Looking Live himself. There's the entirely just noting of creepiness, yes, but remember a few complicating factors here. ESPN, an organization with a dismal track record as a female-friendly workplace, had to apologize just to keep its head above the rising tides of "hostile workplace" status. They had no choice in the matter from a boring legal standpoint.

    There's also the complicated figure of Musburger, who really is about five times more interesting than you might know. He is the same guy who used the phrase "black-skinned stormtroopers" to describe the protests of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, and once got into a fistfight with Jimmie The Greek in public. He is also the same man who shared the desk with Phyllis George and Irv Cross on The NFL Today for years, and was at the very least an accomplice in getting talented ladies and black men into your living room as media figures. On an unrelated note, he also ran tollbooths frequently for fun in the 1970s and '80s, sees nothing wrong with a drink or three, and makes open references to that and gambling on air, and always will. He gives no fucks, and with another nine years of average American lifespan left likely will not give any in the future.

    But we don't get any real joy from policing him, either, since to be honest we're totally comfortable with a degree of sexism from a 73 year old man. It doesn't feel like victory to pillory him for it, nor to point out that the lady in question got her title in a beauty pageant, a spectacle fifty times more fucked up than anything in the admittedly creepy head of Brent Musburger. (We hope that's true, and if it's not don't tell us, Brent.) Musburger deserved a measured amount of carefully calibrated outrage, and got it from the principals involved.

    You hit him with the howitzer if you like, but that's a waste of munitions when a hit of pepper spray to Musburger's nostrils will do. (Or rephrased: cut him a break, which is the very thing Webb's father has suggested.) The rest is hectoring bullshit, and believe us, we know hectoring bullshit, especially when we write it. You know, like the sort an unfrozen 1960s sexist announcer would write, perhaps about a Black Power salute at the Olympics, for instance.

    P.S. For future reference, Brent should just do what Matt Millen did: leer in an age-appropriate fashion, as Millen did when the shot of a player's grandmother came up on the screen this season and Millen said "HEY, THAT'S A GOOD-LOOKIN' GRANDMOTHER." Hate Matt Millen for a lot of reasons, but not for his ability to follow the generally accepted rules of senior lechery.

    "YES, SIR."Michael Weinreb's piece on Saban's perfectionism without end includes a moment where Nick Saban answers a reporter's question with such intensity that it terrifies the reporter into submission. In other words, it features "Nick Saban talking to a reporter anytime."

    EVERYTHING HERE IS GREAT. Summary pieces abound, including Martin Rickman's 2012 bowl rankings by watchability and Kirk's 124 team one sentence summary for each team. (Man, that one for Florida NAILS IT.)

    EVERYTHING HAPPENING HERE IS GREAT. Not legal or necessarily condoned by common sense, but definitely great in every sense of the word.

    THAT IS HOW YOU SAY GOODBYE. Luke Joeckel demonstrates the proper way to say farewell to your unique university community.

    ETC. Zorbing into a ravine is probably not the thing you want to do when you die. Mike Francesa gets the longform, and he still ain't got shit on Paul Finebaum. GAINESVILLE CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Losing 30 pounds sounds awful, Clay Guida. Never, ever forget.


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    Fulmercup-010913

    The Fulmer Cup technically started the minute the BCS game mercifully ended, and will for the EIGHTH YEAR OH MY GOD tally up the crimes and misdemeanors of college football's finest.

    Fulmercup-010913_medium

    WHAT IS THE POINT?

    The object, as always, will be to end the message board argument over what team is indeed the most unruly and disrespectful of the law, and use a flexible scale of points to determine this question. Points are awarded for misdemeanors, felonies, and in some instances certain traffic citations. The points are tallied up throughout the offseason, and then a leader is named just before the start of the season.

    WHEN?

    Starting on January 7th the second the game ended, and extending throughout the year until the day before the start of the season.

    WHAT ARE THE RULES?

    Eligible teams are FBS college football teams. Player must be enrolled at the time of the incident, and there must be some documentation of the arrest via news article or arrest record. Charges unless totally dismissed are left as they are initially charged in the first court appearance because the Fulmer Cup evaluates how often you show up in the news for living life without consulting the rule book, not about how talented your attorney may be. If you have a good attorney, that's great! Their odds of being an EDSBS reader are shockingly good, something that should just scare you about attorneys in general.

    AND POINTS ARE AWARDED HOW?

    • Murder: 10 points. The big one, and never used in the history of the Cup. Let's keep it that way, because unless it involves throwing a clown into a ravine in a Zorb, there is no possible way to write a funny or entertaining murder post.
    • Cannibalism: Also 10 points.
    • Masterminding a Criminal Empire: A 10 point bonus to whatever litany of charges the case may involve. This is subjective, but no: running a weed ring out of your dorm room does not count unless your dorm room is a mansion, and "Weed ring" means "low-key cartel operation responsible for destabilizing a nation."
    • Sex Crimes: Five points for all sex crime felonies.
    • Bestiality: If we ever have to use this, we'll end the competition. Four points.
    • Grand Larceny: Four points, and includes theft charges of a large magnitude.
    • Arson: Four points.
    • Breaking A Promise To Marry: Three points. No longer a crime in the United States, but we are people of honor, sir. You will keep your word and wed, because otherwise we practiced our Cupid Shuffle for nothing.
    • Assault (felony): three points with a point bonus for involving ladies.
    • Generic felony theft and felony DUI: Three points.
    • Misdemeanor DUI: Two points.
    • Bear-baiting: Two points. Unless it's Mark Mangino wearing a mink coat. Then it's cool.
    • Weed possession: Simplified to one point for misdemeanor possession, and three points for felony like everything else.
    • Drankin'/Suspended License/Assorted petty misdemeanors: One point a piece.
    • Making people try your signature cocktail: One point. Stop doing that, it's annoying as hell.

    BONUS POINTS? Awarded as needed, usually for style, and almost always only one at a time.

    CRIMES NOT INCLUDED? Usually broken down by felony (three points) and misdemeanors (one point.) If something that doesn't quite fit there comes up, we'll do what we usually do: make it up as we go along.

    HEY WHO DECIDES THIS, PAL?

    We do. The Queen of Hearts does as she likes, and awards the points as she sees fit.

    WHAT IF SOMEONE DID SOMETHING AND WASN'T CHARGED?

    Then you have nothing, and we cannot award points.

    ARE PLAYERS THE ONLY ONES ELIGIBLE?

    Not necessarily, but it has to be close. Coaches with DUIs have been given points before, and in one outstanding case an athletic director received points for a spectacularly scandalous DUI. You might remember that, and GO DAWGS.

    I HAVE SOMETHING TO REPORT!

    Excellent. Spencer addressed at the sbnation dot com protocol will get this report to our processing center.

    HURRR HOW BOUT YOU CALL IT THE [BLANK CUP]

    FUCK OFF.

    ANYTHING ELSE?

    Thank Boardmaster Brian in advance, since he's been doing this for years, and also follow along with the handy reference at SAS Wiki.

    MAY THE SQUADS (POLICE) BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.


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  • 01/10/13--07:09: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 1/10/2013
  • 159086535

    BECAUSE BIG WROTE THIS SONG ABOUT DEALING WITH ATHLETIC DIRECTORS.

    Brian Kelly can ask for whatever he wants, since he really won't have exacted the proper amount of gratitude from Notre Dame until they give him an even more cumbersome contract than the 500 year agreement they bestowed on Charlie Weis. And he's not going to the Eagles, and just wants a giant raise, and please remind us how we wrote this when Brian Kelly is introduced next week as the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

    A MOMENT WITH THE SAD NOTRE DAME FAN. The man behind the GIF that defined the Irish experience on Saturday night speaks.

    LUMBER ON, CLINT MOSELEY. They can change to a style of offense you can't play in, Clint Moseley, but know this: they can never take a victory over Florida away from you as a starter, nor the time you beat something called "Barrett Trotter" out for the job. You were a part of the lumbery, immobile white guy tradition at Auburn, and are thus immortal in the way that the Ben Leards and Brandon Coxes of the world are.*

    *In the sense that they will occupy a single data slot in our head, and also beat Florida in infuriating ways.

    YOU'RE GONNA GET SOME HOP-OFFS. The Butch Jones Staircar loses a few hop-ons in the transition.

    MY DIET IS SLEEP. Justin Shanks of FSU lost 45 pounds plus after finding out that, among other dietary deficiencies, he wasn't really sleeping due to sleep apnea. He now sleeps with a CPAP, but doesn't wear it around all day like Bane does.

    ETC: That is an innovative idea for cheap seating, Qantas. A day with the good Doctor Thompson ends with Fettucine Alfredo in the hot tub at 6 a.m.


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    411375747182399424_qcn9saza_c

    Since Sammy Sosa's Pinterest profile has taken the internet by storm and singlehandedly rescued the yellow sweater from the dustbin of men's fashion history, SBNation has created a new image for you to use as your desktop or mobile device background.

    Please use accordingly, sports fans.


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  • 01/10/13--09:54: MEMO: THIS WORD IS DEAD NOW
  • Butt-meat

    MEMO: Please stop using the goddamn word "butthurt."

    The reasons for this follow.

    ONE: You are allowed to experience emotions as a sports fan. In fact, you are encouraged to, particularly if you are a man and subscribe to the glorious male tradition of subverting emotion, burying it beneath the earth, and then watching it explode from weak spots in the psychological crust. Your team is a volcano, and occasionally it explodes and takes out an entire city or two, ruining emotional weather patterns for months afterward.

    TWO: "Butthurt" implies some unreasonable degree of personal pain or anguish. This always seemed inaccurate from the start, since it's medical fact your ass can hurt for no reason whatsoever. Even those cursed/stupid/stubborn enough to root for the Jacksonville Jaguars have an explanation for their pain, unlike sufferers of Proctalgia Fugax, the proper term for "your ass literally just cramping up and causing you pain for like, no reason whatsoever."

    THREE: If you would like to, please use this as the basis of a team's personally inflicted pain over the next year. We would suggest "Proctalgia HOOax" for the anguished UVA fan, but that would require finding personally anguished UVA fans. When you find one, please pass this information on to them immediately.

    FOUR: Telling someone they're irrationally anguished over a sporting event happens one of two ways. One, this person is RIVALS.COM, and wants to RIVALS.COM you. Fuck them, and RIVALS.COM, because you're better than that. You demand saucier, fresher repartee, and will tolerate nothing less than the finest in convivial taunting. What this commenter wants to do is trade accusations of homosexuality and inferior social status, and if you like doing that then RIVALS.COM for you.

    FIVE: They may be implying that you are irrationally bent over the outcome of a sporting event. THAT'S THE POINT YOU FUCKING SHITWALLABY. SPORTS IS WHERE YOU GO TO GET IRRATIONALLY BENT WITHOUT COST BECAUSE ANYWHERE ELSE YOU GET INSANE IS A PLACE WHERE THEY CALL THE POLICE SAY YOU'RE BEING INSANE OR FIRE YOU. IT'S THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GO ALL-CAPS IN REAL LIFE IN VERY SHORT DOSES WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT GETTING TASED. IT IS ONE OF THE DESIGNATED AREAS FOR THIS.

    YOU KNOW WHO ELSE GOT BUTTHURT, BRO?

    Ed Reed then went out and destroyed eleven lives singlehandedly, because sometimes caring means putting your helmet between a man's shoulder blades at high speed.

    SIX. The first comment on this will be "sounds pretty butthurt, bro."

    SEVEN. THIS VERY DATE AND INCIDENT WAS LITERALLY THE LAST TIME THIS WORD WAS CLEVER OR REMOTELY APPROPRIATE:

    Appomattox-1_medium

    IF YOU ARE NOT EITHER OF THESE MEN cease using this word immediately.If you are, then please bring us your time machine, especially you, Grant. You're too drunk to drive, much less time travel.

    P.S. First draft neglected the important butt-related research of Rear Admiral Mobute, who proposed this in a piece here. Read it. Advance the field of anti-butthurt studies yourself.


    0 0
  • 01/11/13--06:37: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 1/11/2013
  • Rfvwo

    YOU NEED A BEARD, DAN RUBENSTEIN. Forty-eight minutes would seem excessive for a year-end recap to anyone who didn't just spend the last six months talking college football, but since we just did that then it's practically a micropodcast, yes?

    The birthin' beard is getting out of hand.

    TOMMY TUBERVILLE IS OUR NEW AMBASSADOR TO A COUNTRY WE DO NOT WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH. Three recruits told to look elsewhere, and somewhere in 2007 Tommy Tuberville fell, hit his head, and did not notice when his diplomacy chip fell out of his ear. Tony Franklin then found it and ate it, because he was hungry.

    JAKE SPAVITAL IS YOUR NEW KLIFF. He's 27 years old, and he's already better at his job than you are and that's really, really depressing until you remember he's now in charge of keeping Johnny Manziel thriving. Then you smile, and perhaps put a sparkler in your mouth in celebration.

    KENTUCKY FOOTBALL, A JOB CREATOR. And not just every five years when they create a job by firing their coaching staff, either, since the Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium expansion project will allegedly create 120 construction jobs. They puttin' in a kitchen, y'all! JESSE. WE'LL COOK IN COMMONWEALTH STADIUM.

    AU REVOIR, TODD. One of the bearded legends of SEC bloggin' is retiring, and deservedly so.

    ETC: No matter the situation, keep your mind on what matters: the pizza. The Lindsay Lohan film experience story circulating yesterday is just as spectacular as billed. GAYGAY, you are truly the bravest Georgian. NOT EVEN IF HE'S RELEASED [REGGAETON HORN]


    0 0

    Image

    1. I went to the 2008 NHL All-Star game in Atlanta. This is pretty funny because Atlanta no longer has a hockey team, and in fact has the distinction of being the only city to lose two NHL teams to other, colder environs. In the future, the NHL is giving us a third just for the hell of it, and we will lackadaisically giggle as we lose that one, too.

    I remember a lot of things. The Hives opened the ceremonies, and then fell into a crack in the Atlanta sewage system, never to be heard from again. Ne-Yo played the afterparty, and earned respect points for attacking it like it was literally the last job he would ever have. I learned that you should never, ever try to drink with hockey players or retired hockey players, because people who try this will die.

    One of those retired hockey players--an NHL guy who in 2008 still had a mullet and whose only nod to the past two decades was a fresh goatee--was talking about fighting.

    "Oh, well, I'm not supposed to say this, but I fuckin' love it. One time in the minors I was going up against Tie Domi. He wanted to fight me for years. 'Go me, come on, go me let's go.'"

    I nodded. "And?"

    "We got into some kind of tussle. Tie's helmet is sideways. All across his face. He's blind, but he's asking through the earhole 'Aw, come on, the game's almost over, let's go. Please, come on, let's go. So we fought."

    "How'd that go?"

    "Oh, he's great. Really, really loves a good fight. He's a good dude."

    2. That jarring "good dude" and "was begging to hit my skull with his fists" is the heart of 2012's Goon, which is undoubtedly the second greatest hockey film ever made, and one of the best films ever made about the real thrill of channeled violence in sport. Seann William Scott is the goon in question, a massive lug of a black sheep whose parents disapprove gently of his career in bouncing until he gets a minor league hockey contract based solely off his ability to beat the fucking hell out of hockey players who dare to rumble into the stands.

    3. That beating starts with a fist to the skull--a crunching, clumsy, punch not unlike a football player's punch to the facemask--and finishes the way fights actually do, which is badly, and in lopsided, bloody fashion. A film that starts with blood splashing onto the ice as opera plays is just signalling from the start that this will be a film for those whose neurons start firing at double-time at the sight of a fight, but this isn't even stunt-coordinator violence: the fighting is brutal, erratic, loaded with gloriously cheap blood effects, and humming with the mayhem of actual hockey violence.

    4. For the ADD-stricken: the first fight starts in the first minute of the film. A tooth hits the ice in the title sequence. The first "fuck" happens in the first five lines of the movie. Doug Glatt knocks out eight men in the first ten minutes of the film. By the five minute mark the film earns an R rating on profanity alone; by the ten minute mark, on violence; by the fifteen minute mark, a character is having sex on a pool table with a stripper and snorting coke off her back as a crew of bikers films the whole thing. It is not a filthy movie, because filthy movies acknowledge the existence of an opposed cleanliness. Goon is about people who could be no other way, and use no other term than "Greek fucking underground gay porn hard" in an inspirational speech.

    5. It would all be jarring if it weren't so gleeful, and if it weren't anchored by Seann William Scott's turn as Glatt, a saintly moron archetype turned into something better than it should be by Scott's blind ferocity and, well, looking the part. Sean William Scott has always looked like a lobotomized, hyperactive lax bro, but with ten pounds of extra muscle, a perpetual half-beard/shaved head, he's softened and hardened all at once. When he flexes up off the bench to wait outside the penalty box for a fight, he is a pit bull waiting at the door for a burglar. The rest of the time he's a dog lounging on the sofa.

    6. The other bit of casting genius--and every bit of the cast is fucking perfect, right down to a cameo from real life nice guy enforcer Georges Laraque--is Liev Schreiber as Ross Rhea, a handlebar-mustachioed veteran goon on his way out of the game set squarely in the path of Glatt. Rhea sits in cold, dark diners at three in the morning drinking black coffee and smoking, brooding as the film plays horrendous highlights of his cheap shot career. He's Bob Probert channeled through Sabretooth. That's not a bad thing in the least, particularly with the well-manicured mullet and shitkicking Canadian tuxedo he wears throughout the film.

    7. Also delightful: Eugene Levy plays an asshole, which is refreshing.

    8. It does all work in the shadow of Slap Shot, and acknowledges as much with thick fog of profanity, bus scenes, and locker room chaos. (For lack of Hanson brothers, Goon substitutes a pill-poppin' goalie and a pair of Ukrainian pervert brothers, among others.) Goon may be better than Slap Shot--gaaaaaaaaasp--in one respect, though. Slap Shot is about playing the game despite the idea that he game might turn on you at any point and leave you abandoned, sold short, or outright marooned. It is honest, but at its center it is a bleak film about a bleak, bleak environment.

    9. Goon is even bloodier than its cinematic forefather, and yet somehow sunnier. Glatt, like all enforcers, is there to bleed first, but it doesn't denigrate the sense of duty and fulfillment he gets out of his moment of violent glory. It's partly accurate to call it the bloodiest, most profane version of Forrest Gump-On-Ice imaginable. It would also be only partly accurate. The other half of the movie lives in that moment when the gloves come off and does something no other movie has really done: reveled in hockey's weirdly principled violence with humor, love, and affection.

    10. It also pays homage to the rough men of the night like no other sports movie ever. If you ever loved an offensive lineman, or worshipped Charles Oakley or any of the other lumbering, silent bastards looming in the arena living between the lines of the rulebook, then watching Goon is the tribute you must pay, particularly because it gets close to them, wallows in their blood, and finds them not only human, but tender, fallible, and in the end loyal well past the limits of reason, or even self-interest.

    11. In summary and borrowing a line from the film: I would sign this movie's dick, and do so twice, once for each love story in the film: once for the woman Glatt doggedly pursues through the movie in a pleasant surprise of a plot line, and the other with hockey itself, right down to the tooth bouncing off the ice in the final shot.


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