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Articles on this Page
- 05/09/13--09:50: _Meet Filomena Tobia...
- 05/09/13--11:12: _REDESIGNING FIELDS:...
- 05/09/13--13:49: _EDSBS CHARITY BOWL ...
- 05/10/13--08:02: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 05/10/13--12:20: _EDSBS CHARITY BOWL ...
- 05/13/13--10:34: _Why does the NFL ma...
- 05/13/13--11:39: _HAIL TO THE VICTORS...
- 05/13/13--14:41: _FULMER CUP: COLORAD...
- 05/14/13--07:56: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 05/14/13--11:15: _OHIO STATE'S 2013 F...
- 05/15/13--08:11: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 05/15/13--09:25: _NO
- 05/16/13--07:52: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 05/16/13--08:59: _HAIRSWAPS: RIVALRY ...
- 05/16/13--13:45: _SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE...
- 05/17/13--07:43: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 05/17/13--09:27: _Stick to sports: Th...
- 05/17/13--11:02: _THE REAL COLLEGE FO...
- 05/20/13--10:29: _The Robert Griffin ...
- 05/20/13--11:38: _JIMBO FISHER'S QUAN...
- 05/09/13--09:50: Meet Filomena Tobias, the Heat fan who gave Joakim Noah the finger
- In just one moment from their rocky marriage, Mrs. Tobias bought a Porsche on a credit card. (And then had to return it at the insistence of her husband.)
- Mrs. Tobias once allegedly tested her husband for cocaine use like this: "Just after sitting down, Phyllis jumped from her seat and placed her lips over Tobias’s nose and began sucking. She was searching for cocaine residue."
- Mrs. Tobias was accused by an internet psychic of killing her husband.
- Was accused by that same internet psychic specifically of doing that by luring him into the pool by promising him "a sexual liaison with a gay porn star–exotic dancer who went by the name Tiger because of the tiger stripes he had tattooed on his body."
- All of this was pursued in court by Tobias' family, who was cut out of his will by Florida law in favor of Mrs. Tobias. (Under Florida law, a murder inconveniently voids certain parts of a will if it can be shown that the chief beneficiary had an active role in becoming that beneficiary sooner than nature intended.) She was cleared by the court, and is now filthy rich enough to have excellent seats for Miami Heat games.
- According to her daughter, upon seeing her mother: "I have to stay she still looks really hot."
- 05/09/13--11:12: REDESIGNING FIELDS: WHY DOES WYOMING GET THE ONLY COOL FIELD?
- 05/09/13--13:49: EDSBS CHARITY BOWL UPDATE: THINGS ARE BIGGER IN TEXAS
- The grand total is now somewhere over $20K, and is probably closer to $22K after today. This is seriously well beyond our goal of $20K, and more than we could have expected, and there are no words for your generosity other than those designed for the purpose: thank you.
- Yesterday a Texas dude dropped a gigantic donation, the largest of the competition so far.
- Michigan is well ahead, but followed in the top five by Texas, the University of Denver (?!?!!!), Notre Dame, and the University of Alabama.
- Make Spencer Eat Cheese University leads all fictional universities with $608.58 in donations.
- 05/10/13--08:02: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 5/10/2013
- 05/10/13--12:20: EDSBS CHARITY BOWL UPDATE: THE FOURTH QUARTER
- 05/13/13--10:34: Why does the NFL make for such bad media?
- 05/13/13--11:39: HAIL TO THE VICTORS (AGAIN)
- You want the cheese eating filmed, yes?
- What Billy Joel songs do you want sung horribly?
- 05/13/13--14:41: FULMER CUP: COLORADO IS KNOWN FOR OTHER INTOXICANTS, SIRS
- 05/14/13--07:56: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 5/14/2013
- 05/14/13--11:15: OHIO STATE'S 2013 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: A SAD SHORT STORY COLLECTION
- 05/15/13--08:11: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 5/15/2013
- 05/15/13--09:25: NO
- 05/16/13--07:52: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 5/16/2013
- 05/16/13--08:59: HAIRSWAPS: RIVALRY EDITION
- 05/16/13--13:45: SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE RON ENGLISH SIXTY GRAND
- 05/17/13--07:43: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 5/17/2013
- 05/17/13--09:27: Stick to sports: The great SB Nation beer roundtable/bloodbath
- 05/17/13--11:02: THE REAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATAN: ODDS
- 05/20/13--10:29: The Robert Griffin III wedding registry: A tale of kitchen greatness
- The Sunbeam Mixmaster
- The Catmaster (just some homeless guy with eighty-five cats who lives under I-24 in Chattanooga)
- 05/20/13--11:38: JIMBO FISHER'S QUANTUM PLAYBOOK
The woman who shot the bird directly in his face following the Bulls' historically lopsided 115-78 loss in Miami has been identified: Filomena Tobias, formerly Phyllis Tobias, neé Filomena Manente, of Jupiter, Florida.
Tobias is the widow of hedge fund manager and CNBC contributor Seth Tobias. Mr. Tobias, her fourth husband, was found dead in the swimming pool of his Jupiter, Florida mansion in 2007. Stop here if you want "mere decadence," and do not want to hit the throttle and soar into "purely Floridian insanity," because that is where it is headed.
This is your Miami Heat fan who shot the bird in Joakim Noah's face, and this is the most Miami story you will ever read until the next thing that happens in Miami.
Wyoming shouldn't be the only ones having fun with field redesign. (All graphics by @LSUFreek)
The Oregon Trail variation of Autzen's turf harkens back to the historical roots of the school itself, and also confirms your suspicions: that by the third quarter, your team will have died of dysentery well before reaching the promised land by the Pacific.
The eyes of Will Muschamp are upon you, and in a stiff breeze flicker like an animated GIF. (You are correct: they are following you wherever you walk in the stadium.)
ALL CHECKERBOARD EVERYTHING. Disorientation may be Tennessee's only hope at this point, really.
4. Texas A&M
The Hate Barn is already bat country, so why not commemorate it by putting them on the field? Not pictured: actual bats encouraged to nest in the endzones and scare opponents into painful, distracting rabies shots.
The foam will be real, and generated by diverting runoff from the stands onto the field.
This is how Illinois football has seen the endzone for years anyway.
7. West Virginia
The secret: this design was just downloaded from the iPhone background Dana Holgorsen uses on his phone.
That's the Friday New York Times crossword, plebe.
Those are empty beer cans, but from a distance look kind of like discarded prescription pills, and yeah that works, too.
You call them dangerous running tractors, and Bo Pelini says they're way safer for players than a single second Ndamukong Suh played on the field for the Cornhuskers.
11. Ole Miss
Beautiful magnolias reference the magic of the Grove, and also serve as a unique feature for gameplay. (Passes stuck in trees are treated touchbacks.) The blue dot is the tent of the McCann family, who have had that spot since 1982 and have no intentions of moving it. Play around them and the literal hundreds of dollars they contribute to Ole Miss a year, sir.
You're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway as long as you're willing to drop huge donations like the one a Longhorn dropped yesterday. That's just one of the few updates we have ready as we near the home stretch in a campaign that has us very close to a.) eating a plate of cheese, b.) redoing the site yet again in Michigan colors, and c.) singing an entire album of Billy Joel covers.
BURN IT DOWN. Now that noted fan of your team Kenny Chesney has played there, we cannot lobby hard enough for the immediate destruction of Williams-Brice Stadium. Garnet and Black Attack cover the innumerable reasons for this, but mostly because Kenny Chesney is the outbreak monkey of bad football fortune, and you're gonna want to burn everything he touched. (Also, South Carolina could get a stadium that's actually sort of close to the university, but to to hell with the practical. Chesney quarantine procedures must begin immediately.)
HIS SHIT, THERE IS NO TIME FOR IT. Niiiiiiiiiiiick Saban! (3:30 mark or so)
Bob's a great coach, and Nick Saban really respects what they do, as well as other teams and what they do in the Big 12, but kiss his ass, Bob Stoops, and say hello while you're doing it.
MOVE YOUR TEE TIMES. If UGA students don't start showing up for games on time and leaving big blank spaces in the upper deck, then they may
see their seats taken away from them and sold at a higher, more profitable price to non-students have the privilege of watching Georgia football at discounted rates taken from them. That's a shame, because they might miss the Bulldogs pulling the Longest Yard offense against Jadeveon Clowney this year.
DAN MULLEN HAS MOTHER'S DAY SAVED. Dear Mom, Don't take anything Gene Chizik sends you in a box, love, Dan Mullen. (P.S. It's probably "cheating," or maybe a terrifying picture of his lipless, toothless visage. Love, Dan.)
IDAHO FOOTBALL? It still exists, though existence is a term covering a lot of things that aren't necessarily what you'd define as "living."
ETC: Sorry, busy, going to France. This is an old interview with DJ Paul, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read about him praying over a beverage with the reporter. Bryan Curtis went to a Marlins game in 2013.
Games are won and lost in the fourth quarter, men. This is typically something said by coaches desperate to steal a win with inferior teams, and not by actual dominant football teams capable of burning down an opponent by halftime and putting in the backups for seasoning in the fourth.
The EDSBS commentariat clearly belongs in the latter group, aka the Art Briles/Steve Spurrier/Chip Kelly school of massive margins and endless scoreboard surplus. Having run up the score early in the EDSBS Charity Bowl, you kept the pedal to the floor and brought the total to $25,768 as of writing.
The key culprit in that is Michigan, the fanbase who treated even a meager challenge to their title like an existential threat. 290 very generous people donated to this year's Charity Bowl so far. ONE HUNDRED AND ONE OF THEM CLAIMED MICHIGAN AS THEIR SCHOOL. Of that $25K plus, almost $7K comes from Michigan.
We love you, and that's why we say thank you in the most painful way possible: highlights from the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
The fundraiser concludes tomorrow on the college football sabbath of Saturday. If you have given, thank you from the bottom of our filthy Floridian greasetrap of a heart. If you have not given, you may do so right here. Final results on Monday, along with the inevitable Michigan reskin of the site.
There is a reason The NBA on TNT is so good, and it started with this:
Mark asked me, "What do you think of our show?" And I said, "You all suck. You don't have any fun. The players make a lot of money and the announcers make a lot of money, so how can you make the fans enjoy the game? That should be your goal. All these announcers take themselves too seriously. We're not curing cancer, we're not po-licemen."
Damn a copy editor there for undoing what was surely Charles Barkley saying "y'all suck." The phrasing matters there. Saying "You all suck" from Charles would have been a break, an exclusion, as in "You all are terrible at your jobs, and I want nothing to do with you." Instead, Charles cozied up with "y'all suck," as in "You are very bad at your jobs, and I would like you to do something about it." Because Charles cared about the NBA, and wanted something better for the sport he loved.
If you are an NFL fan, it is time to have your own moment with the NFL media, because in short: y'all suck, and it would be lovely if you did something about it.
There are islands of competence and even charm out there. And obviously, if you're reading this, you're not included in that criticism. (You are clearly brilliant, beyond reproach, and already reading the right things, you sexy devil, you.) The NFL Network does a decent enough job of sounding human-esque, but even that may be the most damning criticism of all: the NFL's official network, owned and operated by the league, feels greater independence and exhibits greater candor than those covering it.
A quick survey of NFL stories viewed by someone who has never seen a single NFL game, and who might be confused about what the game is, would probably divine that it was a contract-based game of real estate acquisition. Half the news concerns contracts, negotiations thereof, and rumors surrounding various parties' happiness or unhappiness in the situation. It's essentially the real estate section of the New York Times, complete with the story of someone far richer than you insisting how they're more than happy with their fifth-floor walkup Victor Cruz.
After passing through the real estate section of NFL coverage, there is the rumors section. This is usually naked advancement of owners' and management's opinions regarding players, and the strangest part of the NFL media's formula: a bootlicking fealty to the sport's landlords that transcends what could even be considered reasonable. Take out the obviously repellent and unsuccessful Daniel Snyder, the deranged fax machines running the Oakland franchise, and Bud Adams, and every other owner successfully feeds precisely what they want to hear into the local media without question.
*Try to find an NFL columnist who takes a quote from an owner directly who then does not turn around and say "I came away impressed" by said owner. Owners are very rich men, and reporters are evidently really impressed by even moderate amounts of wealth.
It's less "writing about football" than "business reporting that smells like filthy jockstrap," and it carries the same vernacular of confidence games, tautological assumptions of confidence, and backroom rumor leakage. And like business reporting, it rarely sees fit to correct itself even in the face of mounting evidence that someone, despite holding a title and a position of importance, might be utterly and evidentially incompetent. There is not an NFL studio crew commentary that doesn't start a discussion of a coach without mentioning what a good man he is; there is not a GM who doesn't "get it."
What that "it" is is rarely explained, but that is not rare. Little is explained, period. Aside from rare moments of Ron Jaworski sketching out an actual play or the work you see from Football Outsiders and Chris Brown, so much of what the NFL does is reduced to exchanges of bellowing nothing-isms. I don't just mean The NFL Today on CBS, but it is certainly the master class on bellowing nothing-ism.
I'm sorry for exposing you to that, but sometimes to learn you must feel the pain of mistakes like watching The NFL Today or reading Mike Florio on purpose. Why NFL coverage is so bad across the board is something that even baffles the NFL writers I've talked to, who are as a whole at a loss on the issue. There are some theories, though. Like all theories, we present them for testing, because this is science, and science is nothing without hypotheses and trial.
The NFL is an access league with very few points of access. All leagues control access to media, but the NFL has a unique degree of control thanks to its corporate structure and the very design of the league itself. A paltry sixteen games, constant meetings and practice, and a well-oiled PR machine bent on protecting the marketability of its players limit the number of opportunities the media have to talk to players, coaches, and management.
The NFL's labor structure discourages players from saying anything remotely interesting. The league's lack of guaranteed contracts--and the interchangeable parts of its teams--create serious negative incentive to talk, stick out, be interesting in the least, or even cough in an interesting manner around reporters. Players are more easily replaced in a 32-team league with 53-man rosters, and literally less valuable. Contrast this with the NBA, a league that has to deal with mercurial or odd personalities because there aren't many giant men in the world, much less those who can actually move from point A to B while sort of dribbling a basketball. (Hi, Kendrick Perkins!)
Being bland and featureless is very marketable. There is a lot of academic explanation to this, but in short: one of the NFL's biggest sponsors is Bud Light. Bud Light would love to sell you beer, and do so on a featureless surface where they don't have to worry about rough patches messing up the signage in either a literal or a metaphorical sense.
The NFL still relies on the same marketing pitch it used in 1982. It is not broke, and it doesn't need fixing: the NFL is the most successful league by the numbers, a business goliath built on a mythos of pain, glory, and swole-shirt masculinity largely unchanged sincea VHS copy of Crunch Course popped into your dad's mailbox 25 years ago free with his SI subscription. It's a man's game in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, at least according to every announcer or pundit whose language seems to spout directly from a random verbiage generator located somewhere in Roger Goodell's office.
That SI reference brings up a relevant point here: that was Sports Illustrated, the home of Paul Zimmerman, maybe the last great mainstream NFL writer who actually wrote about football like it was any kind of full-spectrum fun. Dr. Z wrote about the game on multiple levels: as a former player, as a former reporter, as a fan of George Orwell and overpriced red wines, and most importantly as someone who wanted to be doing nothing but writing about professional football, and not a converted gossip reporter desperate to throw themselves into the sweet noose of the deadline and be done with the whole affair.
He was a proto-blogger, the kind to go to original source material and make his opinions himself. And yet, after a decade of sports on the internet, after every other league has seen someone rise to the occasions offered by the shifting media landscape, the NFL and those covering it seem committed to braindeath unto the horizon in coverage.
Start with the NBA alone, and see just how deep the gulf between the NFL and every other major sport truly is. On one hand: Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe, Adrian Wojnarowski, the entire crew of The NBA on TNT, Henry Abbott, The Basketball Jones, Andrew Sharp, and a crew of competent, engaged, and enthusiastic beat writers. And on the other hand, in the NFL's corner: Bill Barnwell, Chris Brown, Drew Magary, and anything at Kissing Suzy Kolber.*
That's it. There is literally nothing else out there I would care to read or watch about the NFL, a self-contained ecosystem of volume without substance, and a sport masquerading as serious business cloaked in the bloated language of derivatives traders. To quote Sir Charles: it is 2013, and y'all still suck for the most part, seemingly bent on selling a game in the language of Glengarry Glen Ross in pads. You're not the po-lice, or even mall cops on holiday. It is football, and an alleged source of fun, distraction, and yes, some much-needed irreverence.
Dr. Z would tell you this, but he had a stroke in 2008, and hasn't been able to write since. No one will ever replace him. It would be nice, however, if someone would at least make an effort.
*For editorial purposes, I'm leaving out SB Nation people because of obvious bias. Of course I like what the writers here do, but this isn't a sales pitch. It's a cry for help for smart writing about the NFL in general.
Cue the march:
The EDSBS Charity Bowl 2013 is over, and once again Michigan has defended their crown with the ferocity of an enraged Jazz Age gentleman thrashing reprobate malefactors attempting to abscond with their bathtub full of gin.
Michigan led all schools with a total contribution of $9,057.83 from ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY DONORS. That is utter insanity, but if you are going to have utter insanity, let it be for a good cause. We are awed by your generosity, and cannot thank you enough. Special thanks are due to MGoBlog in particular for pushing the fundraiser, and ensuring that the Ann Arbor Money Cannon found its target with a fierceness, destroyed the goal, and then kept bombarding until that goal was a pile of charitable rubble.*
*A pile of charitable rubble = superb name for a failed defense this year. Let's earmark that all together for later use.
The top 5 after the Victors:
2. University of Texas $3,108.08
3. Auburn University $2,156.61
4. Notre Dame $1,750.42
5. University of Denver $1,200
Full standings are here.
The grand total blew away any reasonable expectations we had: $31,432.05, well past our $20K goal and the highest total of any EDSBS Charity Bowl yet. We cannot thank you all enough, though we have two more unreasonable requests for you:
Please answer in comments below, and yet again: Go Blue
Coloradans enjoy a few more rights than the average American. They can smoke marijuana legally, and can keep buffalo in their front yards without the zoning commission getting all up their ass about it. The first is a real legal right; the second is a guy we saw up around Nederland, Colorado, and then sped off without talking to because holy shit, what indomitable terror of a human being that must be.
The point is that Coloradans are free to do things other than drink, and sometimes keep huge animals as pets. What they are not free to do is drink too much and then smash someone's head into a brick wall in an altercation, especially if you are a huge pet called "a former lineman for the Colorado football team named Alexander Lewis, who can drink you under several large tables stacked end to end."
Lewis said he drank six glasses of wine, 10 beers and six shots of various other alcohols that night. He did not know how much Webb had to drink.
We normally wouldn't be concerned with your average former player arrest but for that mention of Jordan Webb, the CU quarterback who picked up a second-degree assault penalty charge and was still in custody as of the Daily Camera's post on it. His degree of involvement was unclear, but for his sake we hope it did not involve having 22 drinks in a night. Even on a young liver that's asking for the Ragnarok of hangovers.
Three points to CU in the Fulmer Cup.
BRADAAAYYYYYYYY HOKE. Manball does not flinch, nor die, nor hesitate from matchups with Papists. Unfortunately, the high standards of a Michigan Man are not universal, nor even carried any further than the noble borders of the Mitten State itself.
Hoke says Notre Dame is "chickening out" of its series with Michigan. Notes ND is still playing Michigan State.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) May 13, 2013
The double flying Notre Dame scissor kick AND dragon's fire nutpunch to Michigan State, executed in two sentences? That's making two pizzas out of one ball of dough. That's economy. That's Pure Michigan, dammit.*
*Pure Michigan may also be abducting Bob Seger for the ransom money one day and realizing it's just some old dude with a beard you pulled out of a laundromat. Definitions vary.
DYING WELL. 2009 Texas really deserves a lot of credit in this group because at quarterback they had "Garrett Gilbert," whom you may remember from the film "What's Eating Garrett Gilbert The Answer is Everything Including Small insects That Normally Don't Eat Things."
WALLS DON'T DESERVE THIS. Via @smartfootball, Jared "The Battleship" Lorenzen running an arena league zone read in 2011.
RIP, poor side barrier who didn't deserve any of the things that just happened to it.
MICHIGAN STATE IS MOVING THE GAS STATION OUT OF THEIR STADIUM. You can laugh at Michigan State having a fuel station in their current stadium, but Mark Dantonio knows that the best way to keep students from burning things is to keep the gas under lock and key. The new stadium will be moving that to another location, and it's been nice knowing you, East Lansing, because you will be on fire shortly.
GOODBYE, STEFON DIGGS. Even though we know it's a parody, the NCAA is probably outside your door pretending to have a warrant. (They don't have one, and never will, but bluffing never hurts per the NCAA's crack compliance division.)
ETC: Oh it would feel so very good to beat Bill Maher's ass. It's really hard to wake up our sleeping child, but we laughed hard enough at this last night to do it. Oh girl, you gone get turnt all the way up at the damn Steeplechase.
This is not your fault, Ohio State. Stop, stop, just stop before you even get started. Whuh uh hey have you seen Alabama's schedule? We're not talking about Alabama today. Bringing up this point is handling your variables like a man who sat on his hands for an hour, and then walked into the OR without even washing their hands and went to work. This is how most people on the internet argue, particularly when discussing what a series of diseased toadstools they have to play because they are in the Big Ten.
Again: the Internet, in one image.
So at the start, obvious things are obvious: it is not Ohio State's fault for playing their conference schedule. It is not their fault Vanderbilt canceled their 2013 opener with the Buckeyes, and did so by mail because aristocrats don't hurry anything, especially last minute cancellations that nuke your already suspect strength of schedule. It's not Ohio State's fault Cal is in year one of the Sonny Dykes Blues Explosion, and will likely be just learning to walk like real boys when the Buckeyes come to Berkeley in the second week of September.
None of this is their fault. And yet there's that guy on the table, and these hands that think a hammer is for surgeonin'. Here is every week of the Ohio State 2013 football schedule--their terrible, terrible football schedule--as a terrible sad short story.
BUFFALO BULLS. Up 31-14 in the third quarter, Urban Meyer paced the sideline. He was nervous. Tarvaris Jackson dropped back, rolled right, and directly into an oncoming blitzer. The schedule just said Buffalo; it never said which Buffalo, or had anything about what Doug Marrone would look like learning the true meaning of sorrow on the other sideline. Death comes one sack at a time, thought Meyer. And I shall be its mailman.
[team dumps tub of cold chili on him anyway]
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS. The video game exec paused.
"Okay, here's the pitch. A first person shooter about a cabbie named Braxton, an Algerian immigrant with a shady past who must parkour over a gang of tiny cannibals who lost to BYU 23-6 last year. Can you get him to the docks in time to rescue his girlfriend?"
"Is this game challenging?" An engineer scowled.
"Is it multiplayer?" The engineer was skeptical.
"No, it's pretty much just this guy Braxton running around doing whatever he wants without getting hurt. His powers are like, way, way too strong for this game. He can almost fly. Okay, he can fly. This guy can fucking fly, and shoot missiles from his ass, and it's just Adderall Rambo the whole time."
"Is it fun?" The engineer scowled again.
"For thirty minutes, tops."
"How much does it cost?" The engineer scowled with an unreal depth of scowliness.
"This game will cost you something like $1,000,000 minimum."
The engineer smiled. "WE'LL TAKE IT."
CAL GOLDEN BEARS. Sonny Dykes remembered it: the pillaging, the burning, his people running through the village with fear in their eyes. They were stripped of all humanity, mere animals on the hoof in flight. He survived...barely. One day he would get revenge, and let them feel the steely blade he pulled himself from the body of his father. He would burn their village, somewhere over the hills in the land of Ohio. But he'd start small. Probably with that little helpless village called Colorado, first. The hamlet that built its huts out of old christmas trees and full gas cans. Baby steps to barbarianhood, Sonny. Baby steps.
FLORIDA A&M RATTLERS. FLORIDA A&M: Nick Cannon slammed the limo door. "You said this was supposed to be some pregame hype bullshit. You said this team fuckin' loved Drumline." He tore off his Ohio Stadium visitor's ID. "So tell me why I just sat through FIFTEEN DAMN MINUTES of Urban Meyer explaining why I'm not good enough for Mariah?"
WISCONSIN BADGERS. "You see that man? Sometimes all a man wants is a clean, well-lighted place to have a drink."
"That place is not Wisconsin. It will never be Wisconsin."
"I know. That's why Bret Bielema left Madison. Hemingway would have been so much happier if he'd only known about 'sky's out, thighs out.'"
"Who's having this conversation?"
"Literature and a 24-10 Ohio State win you won't remember watching when the season ends, kid. Now forget this game ever happened. After all, you'll say to yourself, it's probably only Big Ten Football. Many must have it."
NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS. The police interviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of ticket holders, but not a single one could recall anything about the game. What they did remember was far more chilling: a three hour Greco-Roman wrestling match between Pat Fitzgerald and Luke Fickell that ended in a tie and both men shouting "BROS FOREVER."
OPEN DATE. [Urban Meyer bonds with captive Pakistani scientists in a cave outside West Liberty, Ohio as they construct a new arc reactor replacement heart for Meyer, and realize the futile but necessary nature of violence]
IOWA HAWKEYES. [BANNED FOR HORROR ELEMENTS]
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS: At some point, the Buckeye defenders just sort of stopped trying. Their presence was unnecessary anyways, because Bill O'Brien was demonstrating a mathematical wonder - if you kept throwing for half as many yards on one attempt as you had on the previous one, you'd finish with an infinite passing game, capable of passing backward and forward in the same reality.
"We just couldn't get them off the field on Quarkth down," Meyer would say later after the game.
PURDUE BOILERMAKERS. He lay bound and gagged in a dark trunk. He could hear cheering--a train whistle, like that of the one in his worst nightmares. He did not remember how he got there, or even who had hogtied him and stuffed him into his silk-lined prison. He knew why he was there, though, and who might have taken him. He'd taught Darrell Hazell well. Do anything to win a football game--- even if it means putting Jim Tressel in the building by any means necessary to enact the Tressel-Purdue Curse Protocol.
Tressel used his metal teeth and began chewing through the wall of the trunk. It was his--and Ohio State's--only hope.
OPEN DATE. [probably bitching to media about other people's schedules sucking, too] [in verse form]
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI. In the second quarter, the side judge paused. Illinois was already down twenty, and after playing the entire game so far with thirteen men on the field, Tim Beckman was sending out a fourteenth. "Let them dream," the side judge whispered, tucking his flag back into his pocket. "Let the little ones dream."
INDIANA HOOSIERS. Kevin Wilson had never faked his death before. He handed the man his driver's license, and the man laughed. "Oh no, sir, there's no need for that. The money is for the secret I'm about to tell you."
Wilson gulped. "Okay."
"You're the football coach at Indiana. You fake your death every day."
Wilson staggered backwards. He suddenly craved mayonnaise--a deep, satisfying drink of Hoosier state mayonnaise.
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES. The wolves circled him. He placed torches in a circle, and strapped the pizzas to his knuckles. They were his last pizzas. He would have to make them count. Brady Hoke then ate the pizzas off his knuckles, which didn't matter because pizzas don't do shit in a fight, anyway, and also because they were delicious.
Then he threw the wolves the carcass of Al Borges as a sacrifice, and ran away to live another day.
NEVER SAY MEMPHIS DOES NOT APPRECIATE ITS SPECIAL TEAMS.
That is the cover of the Memphis media guide for 2013, and that is their punter, Tom Hornsey, who will be a likely Ray Guy Award winner again, and does therefore deserve some attention, and is still a punter on the cover of your damn media guide. He does have two unfair advantages over many other punters: being Australian and therefore naturally gifted at surviving in Memphis and doing punting things, and getting a shitload of opportunities to punt as the punter for the Memphis football team. (via Paul Myerberg)
THE DEVIL HIMSELF. No, that's pretty accurate.
"I've always wanted to work with Will," Davis said. "Will's got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick."
The Florida offensive line coach also implied Nick Saban does not have a personality, and he would know this because this is something every other person who has ever worked with Nick Saban has said. Nick Saban is not a normal or a nice person, and is a driven cyborg capable of rare moments of humanity and constant moments of driven inhuman perfectionism. This is not news to anyone in any universe, and is the reason he is paid a lot of money to coach. (P.S. Also, he's the devil. HAIL SABAN.)
PENN STATE DOCTORS NEGLIGENCE SOMETHING SOMETHING. The latest issue of SI has a gigantic article on Penn State's medical staff and various accusations of malpractice, including but not limited to trainers administering injections without the authority to do so, a nasty-sounding incident with an electrostim machine, and trainers lancing a boil on a player. The first two sound bad, and the third sounds like something that was going to happen anyway in a dorm room with one player holding a camera, and three others standing around going "GAAAWWWW SICK DUDE."
Don't ever, ever search Youtube for "lancing a boil, ever.
IT'S A HORRENDOUS SONG SO SURE GO AHEAD. Michigan State went to great lengths to say that they had already pulled Jay Harris' scholarship before he opted to pursue a career in rap, and let it be known that Michigan State was firmly committed to this three-star recruit who had a waning interest in football. Like, REALLY into him, at least until he started smoking weed on camera. The song is horrendous, so he probably will be wildly successful.
MIKE WOULD PROBABLY JUST DESTROY A BIRTHDAY HAT. No, you cannot have your birthday party in the cage with Mike the Tiger. Yes, you may give him a hat, but he'll just destroy it.
ETC: Lo, we have an acting website for Tobias Fünke. On Sandwiches strenuously disagrees with the French and their opinion of Jack in The Box's burger. The Bowling Ball clearly needed to be armed in this situation.
STUMBLING TO LIFE HERE. In case you didn't notice--and if you tried to access the site consistently in the last 24 hours, you did--the site spat up oil, lurched to the side of the road, and caught fire sometime around 9:00 a.m. yesterday. This is because of a hardware failure not just with EDSBS, but with the SB Nation servers, a malfunction that like every other literal mechanical malfunction caused a chain reaction down the line. Chaos ensued, and the engineers and dev team have spent the last day trying to unfuck what was randomly fucked by one server stack going bonkers. Servers: they're like nuclear power in that they're reliable until they ain't, and then you better run for the hills scrubbing yourself to get all that nasty plutonium dust off.
This should all continue to hiccup out over the next few hours or so, so thank you for your patience.
WHOO-HAAAAAHHH. No, we do not make a big enough deal out of Oklahoma once having a wide receiver named "Buster Rhymes," or respect his response to a snowball fight started by Brian Bosworth enough. His response was firing back an Uzi. Put your hands where my eyes can see, indeed, sir.
HEY BUTTHORN WHAT IS THIS OH HIGH SCHOOL YEAH RIGHT-- The idea of Lane Kiffin working with high schoolers is a delight the mind may snack on for three, perhaps four minutes of pure pleasure. "I'LL CUT YOU AND shit yeah just run that again pure eyes full farts can't lose or something mumble mumble--"
AT 22 YOU PROBABLY WERE NOT THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR OF YOUR OWN LIFE. The NCAA's best offense period in 2012 was run by a 22 year old who will be running an FBS team's offense in like, fifteen minutes.
BUT YEAH ABOUT TORADOL. Penn State is defending itself against SI's big piece on its medical staff, but what we'd like to point out is schools still using Toradol as a pregame painkiller without saying, hey, that's nasty-ass Toradol.
Yesterday. 10:00 a.m. or so.
Freek: Mornin boss
EDSBS: Mornin. Site's fucked. Like, maybe forever.
Freek: you gonna kill yourself
EDSBS: maybe. or maybe we can just make some hairswaps because there's nothing else to do
Freek: on it. theme?
EDSBS: rivalries would work.
Freek: gimme a sec
Freek makes all of these in 15 minutes.
Charlie Weis looks like the Skipper from Gilligan's Island. If Butch Jones wants to know what he's going to look like in 30 years, well: you're going to look exactly like Bill Snyder with Charlie Weis' haircut, that's what.
Whittingham with blonde hair becomes Ron Gruden, Jon's sketchy younger brother who runs a payday loans business and has a boat he can't afford.
This really doesn't change much, though the upgrade in Rich Rod's used car dealer rating is proof that putting a little bit of Todd Graham on anything makes said thing instantly 100% more hucksterish-looking.
There is no describing what happens to Bob Stoops here outside of saying that he looks like a Central Asian televangelist. We don't even know what that means, but it's as close as we could get without invoking the terrible words "Tom Hammond."
Paul Chryst has utterly lost his shit here.
Lane Kiffin: the surliest Mr. Potato Head ever. Shaw, meanwhile, is raving about how his hair looks so realistic he can dive into a pool without anyone suspecting the truth about his new coiffure.
SENATOR HOKE (ca. somewhere in 1938 America.) Antibiotics haven't been able to kill whatever is growing on the Ohio State coach's head yet, but debridement and skin grafts have managed to keep it at bay.
Never really noticed how Mark Richt has a Giant Atlas Moth on the crown of his head, but now that we have we will never unsee it.
Not that Gus Malzahn doesn't already look enough like an amnestied, brilliant, and slightly terrifying Nazi rocket scientist quietly working in the hills surrounding Huntsville, but yes: give him Nick Saban's hair, and he now has a fully functional V-2 just sitting in his garage. Nick Saban is so much a part of his own system that even switched hairstyles begin to look like he had them all along.
Mark May: surly lunchlady. He worked hard on that Turkey Tetrazzini. YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE BASTARDS DON'T KNOW HOW HARD MARK MAY WORKS TO FEED YOU EVERY DAY.
Eastern Michigan needs money, and self-described "rapacious bird" and EMU head coachRon English is going to make this happen even if he has to throw himself out of a plane and take him with you to make it happen.
We have questions and thoughts:
1. Ron English needs sixty grand for facilities. This is something most college fans understand, but the first thing he mentions is re-tiling the bathroom. Never mention something involving large sums of money, and then mention a task capable of being performed in cooperation with your local Lowe's home care expert. "I need a large sum of money for, um...groceries. Yeah. Like eggs and shit."
2. Ron English says the words "sixty thousand dollars" like he's saying "ONE GORILLION DOLLARS." And for a MAC team, this really is well over one gorillion dollars. We're also a little anxious over the hard sell of going to dinner, Ron. We're fine with friendly dinner, but this belle in a hoopskirt ain't turning into a tulip in bloom for anyone on the first date.
3. Alternative theory: Ron English is building the world's first bathroom that is also a weight room. SQUAT WHILE YOU SQUAT, MACsters.
4. English, like David Letterman and Michael Strahan, embraces his tooth-gap. Respect. It's a brand, and it's one you have to work, dammit.
5. Their fundraising page announces EMU as "the Michigan MAC Champions." Every MAC team in Michigan finished at 1-1 in 2012. Central beat Eastern and lost to Western: Western beat Central and lost to Eastern; and finally, Eastern beat Western, but lost to Central. In the "Michigan MAC," it is middle school field day forever. You truly are all champions. The math says so right here.
6. Someone please steal one of those bags filled with $60,000 just laying around a Big Ten administrator or SEC recruiter's office, and give it to Ron English before he kills himself wingsuiting to get Eastern Michigan a new pair of goalposts.
DECENT PLAY-FAKE. Terrible, risky throw, though, but that's what you get when you have a gunslinger doing gunslingery things.
Roll jugglin' a TD troll job Tide.
THE MIGRATION IS HERE AND NOW PAUL JOHNSON IS COVERED IN ANGRY GEESE. Georgia Tech's recruiting photoshops are pure madness, but they did lead to this, so it's not all the lowest and most random application of meme'in let loose on the internet:
#TheMigration is using the weather as a selling point for Georgia Tech, which is something Georgia totally can't do because Athens is constantly under a cloud layer raining blood hail on the campus at all times. That's science because Georgia Tech does science, and don't argue with it, recruit.
KIRK HILL AND JERRY FERENTZ. Both equally disturbing, though Jerry Ferentz is way, way more pedostache-y.
IT WILL DRIVE YOU TO INSANITY. When you're one of the 58 people who really, really care about Boston College football, and have been through the recent history of Boston College football, you will start to see things in everyday objects that might not exist at all.
NOTRE DAME WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY FOOTBALL. And they should be pretty good at it in 2013, too.
ETC: Tommy Tomlinson on Dick Trickle, who shot himself yesterday at the age of 71. Boomer just makes you feel so relaxed like you're talking to a buddy at the sports bar. Hey, the NFL still employs someone who doesn't consider concussions to be a serious injury.
Stick to Sports is our category for topics we at SB Nation feel very strongly about, but that do not exactly fall under the category of sports. Beer is not a sport, but it is certainly a neighbor to sports, or at least a close relative visited by sports enthusiasts frequently. As a group, we don't like beer. We love beer, for better or worse, and consume a lot of it, often during--and because of--the sports we watch.*
*Especially those of us who are Redskins fans with reasons to drink.
So when a Slate.com writer, doing what Slate.com writers do, writes a contrarian article about how craft beer enthusiasts and their obsession with hops are ruining craft beer, there were opinions, and some discussion, to be sure. But smart people with things to do wouldn't let this go too far. They wouldn't go on and on about how dumb this was, or how beer crammed with hops is little more than a bizarre status symbol, and tastes like licking a car hood coated with pollen. Smart people would not waste their time on that.
Note: we are not smart, and did a whole round table about it.
Martin Rickman, CFB writer (Twitter: @martinrickman): " I spend most of my time listening to 90s music and eating Nutri-Grain bars."
I didn't always love beer the way I do now. I would drink it, sure, but it was whatever was around, so I had a lot of PBR and Beast and Natty up until I was about halfway through college. I was more inclined to drink Everclear because I was typically trying to black out as much as possible and just hopefully wake up in my own bed although there were some nights where I didn't care about that either, but that's for my therapist to know not you jerks. Beer didn't really do that quickly enough for me.
Now, I'm a big fan of just about anything. I'll drink Blatz at an Indians game or I'll drink a Dogfish that supposedly has chai tea in it just because I like trying stuff. I'm obviously not going to drink craft beer every day, but I just want it to taste okay and it to be made with some semblance of care. I used to not like IPAs and now I like IPAS. I used to drink a ton of stouts, and now I'll drink some pilsners even though those still aren't my favorite.
My hot take on beer is that you should just give stuff a chance and if you don't like something that is okay because you will like something else. People are different and people are allowed to be different and I am not a person in a position to judge anyone else considering I spend most of my time listening to 90s music and eating Nutri-Grain bars.
Alfie Crow, NFL writer, Jags fan (Twitter: @AlfieBCC): "If you don't like hops we can't be friends."
I think this article has really opened my eyes and made me realize that I, in fact, do have an addiction to hops that is blinding me. When I go to the bar I immediately look at what the ABV and IBU of a beer is before I order them, just make sure they have enough hops and bitterness for my addiction. From Bell's Two Hearted, to Terrapin Hop Karma and Hopsecutioner, all the way to Great Divide's Hercules double IPA I just can't get enough hops.
It's unfortunate that I no longer have the power to choose to drink hops anymore, but rather they are forced upon me and just feeding my addiction.
By the way, if you don't like hops we can't be friends.
Jason Kirk, college football editor (Twitter: @JasonKirkSBN): "...like licking a car hood in April."
You are not smart enough to understand what's so great about hops. You should read a book about them. You should attend a seminar about them. You should make new friends who know things about hops. You should take a hops tour. You should take a hops class. You should get a hops tattoo. You should plant a hops garden. No amount of hops-maximization will ever be enough. Shut the fuck up. More hops. You're having a great time.
IPAs taste like dandelions, and I don't really like them. I like almost anything else, but will also drink most IPAs, provided nothing else is available or I'm (happily!) splitting a sixer with a noted IPA fan.
Hops are important. They're part of beer. So is water, and the only company advancing the water arms race with the same fervor as that which the craft beer industry devotes to onehopsmanship is Coors. Any interest I've ever had in developing my taste for hops has been more than squashed by the hops-industrial complex's damn-near bourbon-cult evangelism.
I don't care. Beer is beer, and beer is good. If sort of tasting like a car hood in April is important, then okay. I'd rather avoid that, but we can drink whatever you think is best.
Cheers to the craft beer industry's greatest innovation: coming up with a way to allow people to both get drunk and feel smarter at the same time.
Jon Bois, SB Nation contributor and beer pantheist (Twitter: @jon_bois): "They're collectable and social."
Pretty much every beer you've ever had was pretty good for what it was supposed to be. Expressing your distaste for Bud Light is like reiterating that you'd never try to paddle a canoe with a pair of pencils, ever, EVER, GROSS.
Craft beers are baseball cards you can drink. They're collectible and social. Sometimes you want to drink a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr., and other times you want to drink Tim Flannery holding a surfboard. Unfortunately, a bunch of jerks have gone and turned "beer snob" into a euphemism. People out there acting like every opinion you prop up has to cast a shadow.
Whenever people ask me which beer-church I belong to, I think on Daniel Plainview's mad pursuit of complete ambivalence: "I enjoy all faiths, I don't belong to one church in particular. I like them all. I like everything."
Ryan Hudson, SB Nation social media soldier and craft beer triathlete (Twitter: @ry_hudson): "No one ever said craft beer is always bitter."
The tl;dr version of the Slate article: "My buddy from Tennessee doesn't like IPAs, which means all of craft brewing has a big problem: Us beer snobs are talking about hops too much!" It ends with a proposed "new word": "Craft beer isn’t always bitter."
The problem is, no one ever said craft beer is always bitter. It's not. That's one of the best things about craft beer -- the variety. There's even variety within the so-called bitter beers: IPAs and black IPAs and English IPAs and Double IPAs (which may be enjoyed by those who don't like regular IPAs, ironically enough -- the added malts help to balance the bitterness; what a world!).
Don't like the bitterness of some hoppy beers? That's okay! I love IPAs -- it's probably my favorite style -- but even I can only handle a few before they wreck my palate (Green Flash's Palate Wrecker was not named by accident). Fortunately, the world of beer is vast, and welcoming to all. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale's is perfect on a crisp fall night; the complexity and spiciness of a Saison can be the perfect accompaniment to a pizza; Stone's Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean remains one of the best beers I've ever had; heck, even Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat Beer is a welcomed refreshment on a hot summer day.
There aren't too many IPAs, or too many hops, or too much bitterness. There are too few craft beer enthusiasts who simply just love beer.
Chris Mottram, SB Nation longform editor and actual amateur brewmaster (Twitter: @ChrisMottram): "The blame for more people not being into craft beer shouldn't be directed at hops, it should be directed at you."
I'm still searching for the point of the article, but I think it was that the author's perceived overuse of hops in craft beer is serving as a barrier to keep would-be craft beer fans drinking Bud Light. And there is actually an accurate point in there somewhere -- giving someone who drinks nothing but Bud Light an IPA is not the way to introduce them to craft beer. That's what witbier and hefeweizens are for (which is not meant as an insult to those styles). The problem with the point that I think the author was trying to make is that there are still TONS of non-hoppy beers with which we ease people into craft beer. Every single brewery makes at least one, and usually multiple, beers in the 25 IBU or less range.
The blame for more people not being into craft beer shouldn't be directed at hops, it should be directed at you, Craft Beer Nerd, for not properly introducing your friends and loved ones to the beauty of real brewing. Instead of just saying "ah dern, beers are too hoppy for you, here's a Bud Light," try taking them to a brewery. Sample the red or the wheat or the saison or, shit, even the stout (I've found that a surprising amount of non-craft people love stouts once they realize the color doesn't mean it's "stronger"). Find what tastes they like and go from there. This is how I introduced my wife the craft beer. She still doesn't care for most IPAs, but luckily there's plenty of other styles still being produced for her to enjoy.
Steven Godfrey, IPA-hater (Twitter: @38Godfrey): "...a race to boast knowledge and ownership of the rarest possible hooch in the most pretentious manner possible."
I enjoy many different kinds of beers but I will never talk about them again in a public forum ever. Nor should you. I propose that alcohol, as a conversation topic, be assigned to the cautionary threat level ascribed to religion or politics: I probably hate yours and am at odds with mine, so let's talk about sports because that's why we're here.
On Thursday I inadvertently birthed the initial SB Nation IPA debate because I honestly dislike the flavor of IPA and super-IPA beers. It's a bizarre but unarguably popular trend - breweries engaged in an arms race of hops to create beverages that finish with a Saharan-dry bouquet of copier paper and concrete mix. They're gross, and I'm quietly judging you for drinking them because I'm petty.
I've learned that any indictment against a particular subset of alcohol is an assault on individuality, something I don't disagree with in principle, but do chuckle at. People are passionate about booze. Really, stupidly passionate. People self-identify with their alcohol. It defines them. Along with whiskey, I've watch microbrewing become less about a Renaissance of the drinker's palate and more about a race to boast knowledge and ownership of the rarest possible hooch in the most pretentious manner possible.
But it's also pretty gauche to be that guy who discredits any and all beers outside of [insert mass-produced domestic light pilsner]. He's usually the type who discredits your affinity for IPAs or porters or stouts with a homophobic slur and makes you wonder why you even showed up for your high school reunion. There's inherent patriotic glory in canned Budweiser on warm days, but the concept of a 1970s beer store with only four similarly flavored choices seems distinctly un-American.
Enjoy your beer preferences and respect others', or just choose to make disparaging comments in small circles of like-minded people like any self-respecting, mannered bigot. Don't do it on Twitter.
Spencer Hall, editorial director (Twitter: @edsbs): "One should not talk about anything on the internet, ever."
One should not ever talk about anything on the internet, ever. No, really. You're horrible, and so is beer.
Napa Know How Guy: 2/1
Bill the Goat: 3/1 Already has horns and rectangular pupils.
Johnny Manziel: 4/1 This is actually more reason why you should respect his Heisman season, because it's a lot of work to be a first string quarterback AND stay eligible academically AND give Clay Travis writing prompts.
Bill Hancock: 5/1 Despite previous rejections of Satan/his works/his empty promises, Hancock would consider taking the position if the money's right.
Bret Bielema: 8/1 He's big and red. Sort of a South Park Satan in appearance and demeanor. Example: if you don't think Bielema's used a dangly rubber dildo as a pointer in meetings, then you clearly don't understand Bret Bielema.
Nick Saban: 9/1 Formerly "the most beautiful of all angels in heaven" per Milton?
Perhaps Saban only shows He's a strong candidate, however, for this reason: only Satan would consider hanging around Alabama that long to be a comfortable or advisable thing.
3rd and five: 11/1 Nobody converted on this down and distance last year. Run and you came up short. Pass and you didn't complete the throw. (This isn't true, or is it? Such are the obfuscations of Satan.)
Jon Gruden: 13/1 Before God cast him out, he thought him beautiful. Then, he made him live in a dark room in Tampa, and forbade him sleep. (And made him watch the NFL for a living.)
Brent Musburger: 18/1 Survived years with Jimmy the Greek, and made a substantial contribution to Cars 2.
The Sun Bowl: 20/1 If God's the oldest thing in the world, and the Rose Bowl is the God of Bowls, then what is the second oldest, aka Satan himself? THE SUN BOWL, the Grand-uncle of them all, nestled right there amidst the waterless rocks and devilish heat of the flatpan torturescape of near-Juarez. Also: sponsored by Brut for a while there, which is sort of evil (though not necessarily Satanic.) Argument contra: Lane Kiffin lost in this game to Georgia Tech last season, which is at least a suburn of some kind of heaven.
Hugh Freeze: 24/1 Satan is described as being the coldest of all in The Inferno. Additional evidence: had something to do with Sandra Bullock winning an Oscar.
Bill Snyder: 30/1 More likely to be a golfing buddy of Satan, or maybe Satan's dad, but still in the running. Likes Pinocchio to an unnatural degree, and that's more than enough to put you under some suspicion. Have you ever seen what he'll do to an FCS team when no one's looking? Or to Kansas, when only Kansas State fans are looking? COMPLETELY SATANIC.
Lane Kiffin: 30/1 The 70s were a different time. People had some weird ideas about birth control, like "she can't get pregnant if a Selmon brother's in the room." The Devil regrets not being better informed at the time.
Steve Spurrier: 75/1 Being Satan's cousin means there's almost no chance he's also Satan himself.
Mark May: 80/1. Already kicked out of Hell for his "shitty attitude" according to the e-mail we received.
Charlie Weis: 200/1 Yes, Satan and Charlie Weis are both self-important. But Satan has powers, and Charlie Weis only thinks he does. (Also Satan could have scored more than 6 points on Gene Chizik.)
Robert Griffin III is a quarterback for the Washington Redskins. He is very famous, and is also getting married, and like most couples, he has a registry. We have no opinions on towels or housewares other than to say that if you ask for a paraffin bath, you have officially run out of things to ask for on a registry.
Kitchen gear, on the other hand, is passion, and a window into the soul of the buyer. The following items are all from Robert Griffin III's wedding registry. All tell a story: a parable of love, of youth embarking on the hard work of adulthood, and of a young professional football player so bent on greatness he even desires to be master of things like snacks, cookies, and flan.
Few things are more useless than champagne flutes. They're basically designed to explode when the glass in them rises to the temperature of the human hand, and tip over in the stiff breeze of a home HVAC system.
Why, I've had a pair of champagne flutes we got for our wedding for over a decade! That's great, Banal Overachiever of the Internet. Please brag about paying bills on time and never getting ingrown nails somewhere else. The rest of us get drunk around glassware, and that's how glassware ends up shattered and champagne ends up in a coffee cup when the guests come over. Stemmed glassware is insanity for imaginary people who never break things, floss daily, and can wear white pants without staining the living hell out of them. Ask your offensive linemen for better options. They know what's durable, and what gets destroyed by the faintest flick of the wrist or a large dog's tail.
FLATWARE IS AN INVESTMENT, ROBERT. If a Baylor education doesn't teach you this, then Baptists are truly worse at home economics than even their criminal church picnic casseroles would suggest. The tiny spoon in the middle is for stretching out a carton of Ben and Jerry's over three nights instead of two, and not for tea or some other crap. You'll never have tea, because you live in America and drink coffee.
This probably isn't a subtle "kiss my ass" to Rob Parker and his comments about RG3 entering into an interracial marriage. I'll assume it is anyway, because I've always wanted to own the serving bowl that is both functional and a biting protest of racial intolerance.
It is at this point that I get concerned for you, RG3. You did not make this choice. Your wife made this choice, and it's clear at this point that she has plans. She is dreaming of a night when you will stay in on Friday night and make Paninis, and watch House Hunters International! Won't that be fun? No?
No. You may be a Heisman Trophy winner and budding NFL star, but you are still a 23-year-old man. You'd rather order in Chinese, eat too much of it, and watch pornography. A panini pan as a relevant lifestyle piece shouldn't even appear on your radar until the age of 30, much less at your age. Also, your housekeeper is going to scrub the nonstick coating right off it no matter how many times you warn them. Either they're going to do it, or you will. Choose one, young millionaire.
Skimping on knives is the culinary equivalent of getting a left tackle off the practice squad: it will cut you, and cut you badly one day. I'm not saying you splash out for some occult German superblades hewn from a reconstituted katana, but for pete's sake at least get up to a Williams-Sonoma level of Wüsthof competence here.
NOW WE'RE TALKING FLAVOR. A toaster oven is firmly within the range of a 23-year-old's kitchen competence, and is a loyal friend held over from college. It even has convection! Whatever that is, it's probably something that will make your bagel bites taste even better than you possibly imagined they could be. I'm feeling better about your marriage already, because no woman has ever put a toaster oven on a wedding registry ever. You're clearly involved and interested here, and that's what matters.
P.S. There is a half-inch of crumbs at the bottom of this oven already. There will ALWAYS be a half-inch of crumbs at the bottom of this oven.
Quoth Jon Bois: "It's a sewing machine for cake!" Someone's thinking about baking, and that someone is not concerned about the practicalities in the least. A KitchenAid takes up exactly 392 square feet of counter-space. You will use it three, perhaps four times a year, and then realize you have not purchased any of the thirty-five different and expensive attachments necessary to perform your desired task. ("Please attach Turkey Demolisher.") It is the Albert Haynesworth of your kitchen roster, in other words. It makes sense if this is a tender homage to RG3's boss, which we will assume it is.
Breadmakers are in the Skymall class of consumer goods of expensive and convoluted widgetry designed to take something simple and pleasant that normally costs less than two dollars of labor and capital and turn it into an expensive, soulless, and terrible exercise performed by robots. So yes, an NFL player should by all means use one of these without irony or thinking twice. Hell, buy ten of them while you're at it.
I don't know if he got past the word "Snackmaster." I almost didn't. By purchasing this you become the Snackmaster yourself, a titled noble in the family of various -masters of inestimable repute in Americana:
Please note the "...and Jerky Maker." If a 23-year-old man was not already on board with the Snackmaster, he was thrown bodily into the boat by the addition of the words "and Jerky Maker." Anything is made more palatable to a young man from Texas with the addition of the words "and Jerky Maker." This appliance is secretly the air filter from a 1998 Saab 900 SL.
Just official confirmation that Robert Griffin III will buy anything described as a master or tyrant of its culinary art: The Snackmaster, the Cookie Master, the Curdmaster, the Sardinemaster, the Cupcake Duchess, the Steakführer, or the Genghis Flan. RG3 will buy ANYTHING implying a feudal overlord's power over food. In comparison, does Geno Smith have this desire to dominate every angle of his life? Probably not, and I'm relying on anonymous sources who tell me that the former West Virginia QB once tried to cook a whole turkey one patch at a time with a George Foreman Grill.
E.J. Manuel claims Buffalo's NFL playbook is simpler than the one he worked with at Florida State. It should be, according to guest commenter Jamarcus Russell, who in one reality explains how Jimbo Fisher tutelage turned him into the most successful and least successful player in an infinite number of varied universes of possibility.
I am Jamarcus Russell. I am 27 years old. I am also 17, and 38.
In your world I am a laughing stock. In another I have won three Super Bowls already. In still another I left football to become a fisherman. I am quite happy in that reality, I'm told by that other me, who is me, 42, and trim with a flowing neckbeard and a Vietnamese wife I love very much. We fish on the coast of Alabama. The sun sets behind the oil rigs; each ray splinters through the metal frames of the platforms. Each ray chooses its own path. Their energies live forever, and are never destroyed, but instead transformed.
You are talking to that man, and all of them, at once.
There was at one point one Jamarcus Russell. He entered the Jimbo Fisher offense on this play.
"You made a nice throw on this play, Jamarcus," he said, writing on the whiteboard.
"Sir, I've...I've never seen that play before." That Jamarcus had just reported to camp and settled into the dorms at LSU. He had, to his knowledge, never seen the play before, or even been coached for a single down by Jimbo Fisher.
"You have, Jamarcus. You've both thrown this play and already not thrown it. This play is every play. This play is no play at all. Our offense is multiple, Jamarcus. Are you aware of what that means, Jamarcus? Truly aware?"
I was not.
"Jamarcus, every single action creates reality. Every last single one of them. With each single twitch of the finger, you redefine reality. What'd you have for lunch, son?"
"I had a ham sandwich, sir. Some chips, too."
"Somewhere, there was another Jamarcus Russell who had a salad. And then another the next day, and the other, and somewhere yet another Jamarcus who continued doing this until he was a lean, mean killing machine of a football player. He's already out there somewhere, Jamarcus. You see what I'm saying?"
"Well...lemme just say this. What's the best thing an offense can be? Multiple, that's what. And what's the most multiple thing in the world? Everything, that's what. And what's the most inclusive view of everything?
"Simple: the quantum playbook. Every play is your base play. Every pass route ends with every outcome. Every audible is on; every protection has been made, countered, and made again. Take the Z receiver here. He's running a post route, right?"
"Sure he is. But what if the middle of the field ain't open? Well, here's what could happen. He can turn that route upfield."
"And then turn into this."
"That'll freak 'em out, right?"
"Sure would, coach."
"Then he's running full speed towards the wall, right?"
"What's he gonna do, Jamarcus? Is he just gonna keep going and hit that durned ol' wall at 20 miles per hour? No sir, he's gonna duck through a wormhole just at the last second."
"He'll find hisself on a mysterious train in a mythical island filled with riddles."
"Is that a touchdown, coach?"
"No, but it's fuckin' fascinating, that's what it is. You know what ain't on that mystic island of riddles?"
"A physical defensive back stiffing him at the line of scrimmage, that's what. Wide open all day and behind the defense to an extent they can't possibly comprehend. Who else runs THAT route, huh? That's the point, son: we're every offense at once, except in one place."
"That sounds confusing, coach."
"In certain realities it is, sure. But you'll get it, or you won't. It'll work out either way."
He was right. I went on that season to win ten games, and five, and also go undefeated. I was drafted by the Colts, the Chargers, and the Raiders. (The Raiders one was funny, and also not.) I left football, and stayed in, and did both, and also became a noted reality show star in Venezuela after three seasons in the league. JImbo was right: I was all things at once in the Jimbo Fisher offense: failure, success, mystery, plain fact, given, enigma, bot, human, ignominy, heroism, shame, and triumph.
The only defense for it, ultimately, was itself. On any night, it was all things, but ultimately had to walk the path between one choice and another. Those sunbeams had to split. E.J. Manuel never understood that on the night they lost to NC State, somewhere, just through the 3.4 centimeters of quantum matter separating us from the next plane of existence, he was in fact winning that same game, yet differently. His choice would be his, and would always be his unless he went to a black hole where time, space, light, and energy converge at an infinitely dense point from which there is no exit, no other side.
He went to Buffalo. That is the same thing, I'm told, at least according to those who know the universe's playbook better than we do.
P.S. There's a timeline where Jeff Bowden took over after Bobby retired. Florida State has two championships there. In basketball. Also that Earth is ruled by OwlLords.