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  • 07/03/14--07:07: R.I.P., Louis Zamperini
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    He shook Hitler's hand at the 1936 Olympics, survived a B-24 crash, spent 47 days at sea in an open lifeboat, and made it off Japan's notorious "Execution Island" P.O.W. camp. He nearly starved to death, and took nearly two years worth of beatings from Japanese camp wardens, including many from Mutsuhiro Watanabe, one of Japan's most notorious war criminals. And when he finally stopped drinking after the war, sobered up, and made it back to Japan, he met his captors and hugged each one by one. In 1988 at the age of 81, he ran with the Olympic torch past the camps where he was held as a P.O.W. Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book Unbrokenand one of the most extraordinary Americans around, died today at the age of 97, and it's hard to pick out what may be more remarkable about his life: what he survived, or what he forgave.


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    HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, TEAM PLAYERS

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    King George had a message for his players: it's his way, or the highway. And he didn't care who didn't like it.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    America was looking for the bus to Title Town. But England was too busy trying to throw America beneath it.

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    Nobody's bigger than the game. England forgot that, and America had to step up and do something about it. If we don't have integrity in sports, we won't have it anywhere else.

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    England may have had the crown, but it's America that decided to act like a princess. And just like that old story, when this princess steps out and looks for a new prince? America's gonna see nothing but pumpkins come midnight.

    Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

    Would a leader like Jordan have put up with this for so long? Would Jeter?

    The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

    I know the King. I've met the King. And let me tell you this: the King loves this team. He wants to win more than anyone else. He's a good man who runs a class organization.

    A very long list of the King's crimes follows. We have saved time by only including one.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    Redskins is about heritage, not hate.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

    The NCAA had no comment on when the investigation would be concluded.

    A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Some people don't like Nick Saban's style. But it's hard to argue with the results.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.

    Sorry, I've tried to watch soccer. No scoring? Reminds me too much of high school, pal.

    We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

    Who are these P.C. police that said I can't yell at a player who's performing poorly, or his mother, or his kids? Who elected them? Who sold them my freedom of speech?

    We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.

    King George isn't like the rest of us. He's not a "Pittsburgh Guy." He doesn't get it like we do.

    We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

    Team officials would neither confirm or deny that they were looking at moving the colonies to Los Angeles if a new stadium deal is not reached.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

    I guess you can't spell America without "Me."

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    Joe Flacco is not an elite quarterback. Period.


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    During the breakdown of the play he starts to scramble to the outside and my first thought is "Please God let him throw the ball away". He pump fakes once and my second thought is "PLEASE GOD LET HIM THROW THE BALL AWAY". My prayers were not answered and it was at this moment I had a decision to make.

    DeQwan Young is a DB for the Erie Explosion of the UIFL, but you may know him better as the guy who broke Jared Lorenzen's leg and ended the giant quarterback's football career. According to his guest spot on The Lounge, he really, really wanted Jared Lorenzen to throw the ball away because he had no interest in hitting a man who outweighed him by a hundred pounds or so, but had to because of the game, the situation, and because he had no interest in being embarrassed in front of a large audience. (And no, Jared Lorenzen is not accepting his friend request on Facebook.)


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    FLORIDA NEEDS A FRANCHISE REBOOT. THAT MEANS WE NEED SEQUELS.

    Conceptually, it is very, very hard to want to wake up, see the morning sun splitting your brain open through the blinds, and say without flinching: I am going to watch Florida football this season. There is, sitting somewhere on our eye in a heads up display, a list of the things we dread having to do in life, and somewhere just above "death" and "taking the recycling out" sits "Watching Florida Football." It glows a little, like a bad engine light going off when you're eighty miles away from a gas station with no cell reception.

    We need survival skills, or at least a plan, since no one survives without a good plan. That plan? We need the last hope for bad franchises: a series of quality sequels.

    FLORIDA TWO: WACO NIGHTS

    Baylor. They're now Florida Two for us, the better sequel where Albert evades debtors and a few warrants for check-kiting and goes to a scoundrel's last refuge: the great state of Texas. There he learns to love offense again, makes friends with a Dr. Pepper-chugging bear, and loses to UCF in a bowl game. There's a great story arc here, especially the part where the team makes a bowl game, and yet still loses. (Leaving Albert something to continue striving for in our story, and shut up, beating Ohio State doesn't even count.)

    FLORIDA THREE: CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN MALZAHN

    Auburn. Oh, that hurts, but the complete Malzahnification of the Auburn program makes them an irresistible force because they do everything we wish Florida could do: score, entertain, frustrate opponents, score, score a bit more, win games they shouldn't, beat Alabama, produce games not easily confused for home burial instructional videos, play in front of excited crowds, and score while beating Alabama. The plot is an almost incoherent mess involving a lot of badass fight scenes and improbable moves, and in the end Albert beats everyone up in a bar before jumping off a huge mountain. This being Auburn under Gus Malzahn, Albert will land in the back of a hay truck, live, and probably run over Nick Saban simultaneously.

    FLORIDA FOUR: THE PACIFIC DANGER

    Fleeing the law, a grizzled Jeremy Foley winds up in Washington and learns that, sometimes, you can hire someone who's already been a head coach. It's like marrying a divorcee - sexy, emotional, and far less likely to lead to a screaming match about "what do you mean you've never paid your credit card bill because you just assumed it wasn't a big deal?"

    FLORIDA FIVE: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE

    A trip to East Lansing converts Albert into a huge, anthropomorphic turtle. He is immediately inserted into the Michigan State starting linebacking corps, where he learns the value of properly executed defense-first football and also plays in the bowl game despite five felony counts from a massive bar brawl. Co-stars Michigan State legend Kirk Cousins as "Kirk Cousins, playing a few more seasons under his own name and hoping no one notices or minds."

    FLORIDA SIX: LARS AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA REAL DOLL

    Just give in to your inner traitor and watch South Carolina. When they score, or do something amazing like "beat Georgia," just shake your head and say out loud, "God's really smiling on the Gators today, ain't he?" Then turn to your Steve Spurrier Real Doll, peck it on the cheek, and give it a gentle pat on the thigh. Your family always thought you were odd, but honestly it's the happiest you've been since 2012 and no one's asking too many questions.

    FLORIDA SEVEN: LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROLL OUT

    Tulane. This is mostly compiled from old driver's ed footage and Hardee's commercials, but watch it on salvia with a cop and you will weep. (In the nude, but still.)

    FLORIDA EIGHT: I KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T DO LAST SUMMER

    Four quarterbacks start the film, and fall one by one as they run from the secrets of what they didn't do one fateful summer. (P.S. The secret thing they didn't do is "get wide receivers or other skill players to throw to.")

    FLORIDA NINE: BELLY FOUR

    DMX and Urban Meyer get revenge on Michigan State, the FBI, and Ja Rule. The wins over Michigan State and the FBI are later vacated, and DMX ends up getting the Illinois job. He retires forty years later, a legend and a Tony winner.

    FLORIDA TEN: ECHOES OF GLORY

    Albert meets a friendly old Notre Dame fan at the barber shop, who tells him that concussions are just God's way of saying "good hustle" and presents a disturbingly eugenics-heavy defense of the field goal. In the theatrical release, Albert hangs himself in a barn full of Ron Powlus jerseys. In the darker director's cut, Albert decides to become a baseball fan.

    FLORIDA ELEVEN: BURDEN OF HEAVEN

    "It is the harmony of an overwhelming and collective murder." Just put this on loop over the broadcast. It works. It works because it is all so very true.


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    Short shorts, a spectacular mullet, and Alan Thicke humiliating his children

    You can't embed it, so you will have to watch Alan Thicke wearing the shortest shorts a forty-year-old man has ever worn in a 1992 commercial for youth soccer over on Youtube.

    There you will discover these delights:

    1. Alan Thicke was unafraid of absolutely schooling his children with his devastating ball skills.
    2. Robin Thicke was not always a sad man holding a restraining order and five hundred unsold copies of his album. Once he was just a kid in a commercial getting dominated by his dad, and smiling gamely for the camera unlike his brother, the future marijuana dispensary owner.
    3. San Diego actually had an NASL team called the "San Diego Sockers," one that did quite well despite having a name causing most adults to cringe in shame every time they heard it.
    4. San Diego still has an indoor soccer team called the Sockers, though they are not technically the same franchise and only play under the legendarily corny name.
    5. This is from 1992. Kevin Crow, the featured Socker, still has a mullet, and tv star Alan Thicke appears to be using a Flowbee for his hairstyle needs. 1992 was much closer to 1988 than it was to 2000, the past is horrible, and you should never, ever wish to return there.
    6. The men of the 20th century had a confidence in wearing short shorts a 21st century man has to consider borderline insane.
    7. "Just ask the star of Growing Pains, Alan Thicke." This construction needs to make a comeback, and it needs to be applied to even the lowliest of celebrities in all situations.

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    WE WISH WE HAD HAPPY NEWS FOR YOU, BRAZIL KID. (WE DON'T.)

    Dear kid:

    I have nothing for you. Maybe it's worse when your team is good, and there is the hope of winning. If you'll notice, fans of desolate, perpetually forlorn carrion wagons like Kentucky football or tragedians like Ole Miss fans don't hold up cups to their faces, clutch their eyes, and try to literally vomit their sorrow into a Coke cup after losing by six goals on their home turf.  Brazil fans do, because shame has a prerequisite: the standard, or the notion that you will be somewhere that is not crying so hard you have to compress yourself into some kind of ball to keep from shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

    No, kid, I think something's broken in you. You will never, ever cry like this over a Brazil game, ever, ever again. You might have a dog die, and you'll cry like this over that. You might hear a song that blindsides you emotionally, and have a good long shudder in your car while strangers awkwardly avoid meeting your eyes in traffic.  I cried like this once over a game: In 1985, when I was nine, and went to see Georgia/Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and didn't even really understand the concept of football or how games really worked, and just went along with the fever pitch of the people I was with until I realized that I had made a very, very unfortunate choice. I had gone with Georgia people, who looked up at the end of the game and saw 20-16, Georgia Tech over Georgia.

    And like a baby who looks around the room, sees someone crying, and who then begins to weep sympathetically, I broke down crying to the point where the people I was with stopped crying, and then began to consider leaving my emotionally fractured self on the sidewalk on North Avenue. (My father certainly considered it, at least.) I didn't go to another football game, at least another college football game, for nine years. When Auburn beat us five games later, I was nine years old again, and looking for a cup, and then remembering where I'd felt his horrible before, and how badly I needed something to fix it that wouldn't arrive for at least six days, and still wouldn't totally blot out the nausea and instant vertigo of loss.

    Every time you lose in grandiose fashion, kid, you will feel like a copy of a copy of the previous person, and then replicate the process on down through whatever horrid series of woodsheds life drags your team through on the way. I wish I could say it gets better, and how it'd be nice if a goddamn game couldn't reduce you being a disintegrating ball of nine-year old emotions at any age. The only consolation is that the copies get fainter over time, and get better at hiding in the dark of the page.

    P.S. You're broken now, and the only thing that will fix it is the thing that broke you in the first place.

    P.P.S. Welcome to the club.


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    1. I am Zlatan is brilliant, and you should read it, and not just because the PSG striker inspires Euro-Dancehall tribute anthems.
    2. You should read it because Zlatan is funny, mostly without effort. He describes himself sitting in a track suit with a giant gold watch in his Mercedes trying to hit on his future wife, wondering what she thinks of him, and then announces "Well, I thought I was pretty awesome" even as she's shutting him down. He talks about how bad he is at drinking, how he squanders his fame playing XBox games for 12 hours straight. Late in the book, he taunts the "nice, blonde Swedish boys" of his youth team for never becoming giant international soccer stars like he did, and yells at Pep Guardiola for driving the "Ferrari" of Zlatan like a Fiat. He tells his beloved manager to fuck off no fewer than a thousand times, usually right before he is transferred from one club to another for a record sum. He happily discusses how to lose the cops if you're speeding Sweden, provided you have a Ferrari Enzo. (Which, Zlatan will tell you without an ounce of guilt, is amazing just like Zlatan.)
    3. You should also read it because Zlatan is so brutally honest about everything. His family fights over the dinner table and takes Ikea furniture home on their backs to avoid paying the delivery fees. In a fit of juvenile theft, he accidentally steals a coach's bike. He scarfs whole loaves of bread after practices and sells his dad's beer cans for extra cash. It's stuff you've read before in athlete biographies, but never with this kind of voice.
    4. You should read it because David Lagercrantz is fiendishly good at translating Zlatan's voice from transcription to print. Zlatan's easy to love, but getting it all in a shape you can read in about three hours couldn't have been easy.
    5. I sort of teared up at the end, the last thing I expected from this book. He will make you feel emotions. He is Zlatan.


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    IT'S A BEAUTIFUL MORNING, AND IT'S NOT

    It is a beautiful day. Look at all the things you get to do: wake up in a free country, stretch your legs over the side of your extremely comfortable bed, and probably amble to some high-grade caffeine within a few paces' reach. The programming that streams through your enormous, wafer-thin television is beamed to you from space; your children are protected by strong locks and many, many policeman who, on most days, probably won't shoot you or them for no reason. (Probably; results vary by location.) The sun is shining, and your body screams its desire to move, live, work, love, and----

    "I certainly observed how Will handled a difficult year. I never saw a guy lose control. I never saw a guy that was walking around with a deer-in-the-headlights look. I saw a guy who just kept grinding and was a leader.

    --go back to fucking bed, piss the bed, drink Midori straight from the bottle in bed while watching Chopped for the eighth fucking time in a row, piss bed again because life is a sty and only pigs are happy, throw bottle against wall, tell the sun to fuck off because it's just the farts of the universe on fire, and if that's the best trick God's got it ain't shit because you watched a drunk insane lady from Ottawa do it once at a party, and if a Canadian's doing it it can't be that hard. Fuck. FUCK.


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    There were many things to love about this year's World Cup.

    1. Joel Campbell waltzing around pregnant with a ball. Scoring against Uruguay gave Costa Rica's Joel Campbell the opportunity to flaunt biology's rules, and as a man impregnate himself with a soccer baby via scoring. Congratulations, Joel: it was a Brazuca.

    2. LUIS SUAREZ BIT A DUDE. Please understand the joy of watching Luis Suarez comes not just as a football player. Understand him as a force so uncontrolled and raw that he would, in the midst of a grandiosely despicable performance as the grand villain of the game, step up his game by performing the hits and only the hits of his oeuvre. Joss Whedon understood that you don't let the Hulk loose in Act One. No, you wait until he's up against the invaders from Italy. You wait until there's a clear camera angle at a crucial moment, and then you bite another man in front of a gagging and awestruck planet. You wait until Suarez can do what the Hulk is meant to do: destroy Italy, Uruguay, and everything around him with one furious outburst. You don't have to respect what he does, but do respect the completion of the role, and how he was punished by the sport with a ban and a lucrative transfer to a lowly, troubled, and obscure Catalonian soccer team.

    3. Chiellini then re-enacted the bite with a Brazilian hotel worker.

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    They are now happily married, and are expecting their first child. All Luis Suarez does is create new life from the ashes of destruction.

    4. Chile's mad run through group play. Maybe their 1-1 draw with Brazil was an early tremor indicating that something was structurally rotten with Brazil. That would be making the story too much about a disastrous Brazilian team, though, and not as much about how fun Chile was to watch. They were too brave and reckless a thing to survive for long, but consider how much more entertaining the final stage of play could have been if they'd somehow beaten the Netherlands, and ended up on the other side of the bracket. That would have meant way more Chile for us! Next time your tiny shorts will save us all, Alexis Sanchez.

    5. Ohhhhhhwayyyyyyyahhhhhh. Ohhhhh wayyyyy ahhhhhhh. Ohhhhhh wayyyy ahhhhh? Ohhhh wayyy ahhhhh.

    Univision, the network where you don't understand every word with your brain, but feel every syllable with your heart.

    6.  Tim Cahill's goal against the Netherlands. Australia played their role well: they lost and lost valiantly, and allowed Tim Cahill to salvage something by scoring a terrifying strike GIF'd so many times a young copyright attorney could waste their entire lives attempting to serve takedown notices on it. Don't think Sepp Blatter won't hesitate to do this exact thing, and smile about it at night while falling asleep on his pillow stuffed with cash and rare cassowary feathers.

    7. Univision. Siempre Univision, the network where you don't understand every word with your brain, but feel every syllable with your heart.  To praise Univision is not to discredit ESPN. The WWL did an astonishing job, and spent truckloads of cash to make sure they did. They did not and cannot, however, show you a man on a greenscreened beach in sunglasses and call it "Live from Rio" on a cloudy day without flinching. They cannot interview Green Spiderman. Ian Darke cannot hold a goal call so long you can't Vine it without looping back to the beginning, Michael Ballack can't call David Beckham SPICEBOY when he's spied on the sidelines before the final, and no one besides Alexi Lalas is allowed to openly root for their national side, much less roll up a whole hour of coverage that makes no attempt whatsoever to balance out pro-Mexico coverage.

    They cannot put this man on television, and then allow his chicken to pick the winner of a match.

    Watching Univision for the World Cup didn't just make me a better citizen of the world. It made me a better American in the larger sense, since everything I saw from our neighbors to the south was utterly lovable, and insightful as hell when I understood the Spanish. (Which was 40% of the time, but understanding comes in part, and then in whole, and there's no way I'm watching the next World Cup without a prize chicken by my side at all times.)

    8. Miguel Herrera. The best stepdad in the world came in and just told you how much he loved you, and it should have been weird but wasn't. He is crying uncontrollably at this Little League end-of-the-season banquet and will get through this even if he has to use this entire box of tissues, and possibly his dinner napkin, to wipe his tears. Miguel Herrera is so proud of you that it makes him want to eat this entire box of fried chicken. He's gonna eat this box of fried chicken, but he will buy you your own because he is just that proud of you.

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    As an American I am supposed to by creed despise El Tri. Herrera made that an impossibility, resurrecting Mexico after they slid into the World Cup bassackwards and on the United States' tab and then somehow recovering to play some of the more entertaining matches of the tournament. (If there is a best draw of the tourney, they played it in the 0-0 game against Brazil.) In the 87th minute of their knockout match against Holland they were up 1-0, and let's leave them there: dogpiled with Herrera-love and a long song away from advancing.

    P.S. Miguel Herrera has always been a champion and this picture is proof.

    9. Gervinho's goal against Colombia. If Cahill's is divine thunderbolt, then Gervinho's is muscular counterpunch with fuck youuuuur couuuuuuuch stamped all over it.  I love beautiful goals. I also love goals that run on spite, anger, and irrefutable skill. This is one of those, and I will think of it when doing something I hate to make life more bearable.

    10. The 2:53 mark in ESPN's postgame broadcast of the Germany/Brazil slaughter.

    I was on a plane when the game happened. When I got off I saw 7-1 as the score and said "NOOOOOOOO" out loud, and then had to rewatch it twice before I believed it. Werner Herzog, German, listened to the footage of Timothy Treadwell being eaten by grizzly bears and said "You must never listen to this. And you must never look at the photos I have seen at the coroner's office." This is correct, Brazil. No one should ever watch this game again. You should not keep it. You should destroy it. It will be the white elephant in your room all your life.

    11. How Gilberto de Silva spoke live on television after 7-1 without weeping once.

    12. Tim Howard. Tim, we're not prepared to talk about this yet. It's too close, and you're not into public displays of affection. And no one should buy the idea that you're carrying anything that wasn't there to begin with, i.e. the idea that this country continually needs a face to hang its hopes on, and that soccer doesn't have its own momentum and requires a resuscitation via a month of binge-watching every four years. It doesn't, and that's too much to ask of you, or anyone. You've been asked to do much already, like make fifteen saves in a single match and serve as your own central defender at times, something you did for two World Cups for the United States. You were going to lose. That's the job you volunteered for, and you did it without complaint and with the belief that you might win.  We won't hug you, but you can't stop these tears we are definitely not crying over here in the airport Cinnabon where we will grief eat this whole monstrosity like a true grief-eating American in your honor.

    13. Colombian goal calls. The joy of the best sustained stretch of team play since the buildup to the 1994 World Cup gives them power. The reverb makes them sublime, and the background music cued for the moment elevates them into the stratosphere of joy. James Rodriguez's Golden Boot goal run is best viewed on in-stadium cellphone video, since the best compliment you can give to an unearthly performance is saying how good it looked on the worst possible video standard. Colombia and Chile not getting to play against each other is one of the few complaints you can make about the Cup, both for the on-field play and for the ear-shattering volume generated by Chilean fans and Colombian supporters placed in the same building.

    14. Michael Ballack's accent. Pure Bond villain in the best sense of the phrase, and often more lucid in his second language than Alexi Lalas is in his first. (Shush. Alexi would probably agree.)

    15. Men In Blazers. Balding. British. Broadcasting from what appeared to be a crawlspace in the ESPN studio complex. Suddenly necessary after every match, cheerfully transitioning to the American bandwagon after England bombed out of group stage, and decidedly comfortable with their open crushes on Michael Ballack, Roger and Michael bailed out the entire network when lightning knocked out the lights everywhere but the MIB closet-studio in a hilarious bit of improv television. (They probably had no choice in this, but do not let facts destroy a good story.)

    16. A proper and complete French performance. Outstanding build, gifted play through the group stage, and then a total deflation against the eventual champion and bitter rival. None more frustrating in the end; none more totally French.

    17. The United States beat Ghana. And made it out of the Group of Death that contained the eventual country-destroying champion! Look at that relentless American positivity, pointing out things like past champions Italy and Spain not making it out of easier groups! Someday American fans will be spoiled enough to take these things for granted, and this is not that day. Yay to one more rung up the ladder; yay to our new Tiny Country Foe, Belgium. You're doomed, most likely after you knock us out of the 2018 Cup, too. It's an eventual kind of doom, pending delivery in four to eight years.

    18. Miroslav Klose's leisurely reign of terror comes to an end.All of his record-setting 16 goals came from within eight yards of goal. Miroslav Klose wants you to work smarter, not harder, and that is so very, very efficient and German of him.

    19. Congratulations to Mario Götze. Congratulations, that is, on becoming famous for winning Germany's fourth World Cup title for a goal, thus erasing his previous title as That Dude On A Yacht With A Boner.

    20. That:

    Just that jaw-dropping image, over and over again. This is why FIFA can sucker you into this over and over again, and suck up a month of your life spent leaping off couches and throwing beers into the air at bars. There will be one or two moments that almost blot out the corruption,  and one or two goals that almost obliterate the memory of the Nigeria-Iran match. (Almost.) There is still shit in the water in Rio, and Christ the Redeemer burned into your eyeballs standing above it. The World Cup happens between those two extremes; that you are asked to hold both in your brain at the same time only once every four years seems accurate, and right at the limit of the fragile human conscience.


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    Spencer Hall decided to go to a baseball game in one of two states where marijuana is legal. He used marijuana before and during the game. He took notes, and later tried to remember what they meant.

    Note No. 1


    That's the first note. I'll ascribe the poor typing to fat fingers, though maybe I did care less? I typed it high as fuck in the upper deck of Coors Field, where I watched a baseball game for the first time in about 20 years, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. In the brave new world...

    Continue reading…


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    BRET BIELEMA IS WRONG ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS, BUT BUTTS ARE NOT ONE

    He's got an incredible ass.

    --Bret Bielema on defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson

    It's time we had an honest talk about butts, America. We are not pioneers in this. David Fleming's groundbreaking article on the importance of the ass in sports (and really life in general) did it first, and said what Mike Mayock has been trying to tell you all along: the butt is the engine of the body, and the bigger and more solid an engine block you have, the more likely you are to be able to absolutely knock someone else's sad, inferior, and less majestic ass off the ball.

    Butts are so deeply important, America. Butts made this nation great, and not just on the defensive line, but...but yes, mostly on the defensive line. To be a majestic lineman, you must have a butt and a gut to move business in the ruts, and it's okay to talk about that because no athlete prospers without a mighty foundation. And that mighty foundation, the largest muscle in the body and the great propulsion engine literally behind every athlete, is the ass.

    So make fun of Bret Bielema's remark at SEC Media Days today if you like, but we're long past the time to embrace athletic buttspeak.  Exactly 46% of the average person's day is spent thinking about butts anyway, and for the average football coach that's much, much, much higher, particularly for line coaches. (Like, it's easily 60% of their total thought process, with other portions of the brain reserved for feet, hands, and whatever their next meal.)


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    NICK SABAN WILL BE MAD TODAY ABOUT...SOMETHING

    That thing you're doing with your teeth where your mouth moves and he can see them while you push air over your vocal cords and make noises that make no sense in his direction with a microphone.

    Keeping him from watching film in the dark with no one else around him to bother him with human things.

    Your tie is a nanometer off straight and he can see it.

    You suggest Alabama will be good this year.

    That time that worthless piece of crap Jeff left the gas station door open back in West Virginia and raccoons stole all the honey buns and he had to spend January living penitently in a coal mine and maybe your dad wasn't all that mean, yanno?

    You suggest Alabama will be bad this year.

    Auburn.

    You suggest anything whatsoever.

    Noble gases. Valence electrons shouldn't be the basis of absolute power, and xenon's a drunk. NOT TEAM PLAYERS.

    Still pissed at Warren St. John for implying Mick Jagger was not a great entertainer.

    You ask him about something he can't control. At Alabama we only worry about the things we can control. We're not in the business of worrying about things we can't control. We worry about our team. I can't answer things about other teams. If you wanna know about another team, well, you need to ask them. I can answer questions about Alabama. That's the team I'm paid to coach. That football helmet down there still Alabama? I hope it is. If it ain't, someone let me know so I can call some people, because I'm gonna have to call some people. That doesn't answer your question. I'm sorry, but maybe you need to ask a different question, or ask a different person. I'm not that person. Someone else is that person. Go ask that person. You wanna ask Gus, well hell, go ask Gus. You wanna ask an Alabama question, I'm right here and happy to ask it. Y'all scared of me now? You're probably scared of me now.*

    *Nick Saban will actually say this today, with his voice rising slowly in anger the whole time. (Also don't ask him about Blade II. He haaaates Blade II. Blade or Blade: Trinity are ok, though.)

    The state of Maryland. Pick a reasonable shape and stick with it like those sensible Western states.

    Remembers he missed a beat on his lines in "The Blind Side" and that amateur Sandra Bullock didn't say shit about it come on be a competitor Sandy.

    There isn't one of you in this room that could have made the scout team at linebacker and OH GOD THIS INFURIATES HIM ESPECIALLY NOT YOU, GODFREY. I KNOW YOU'RE JUST LOOKING UP UNCLE TUPELO TABS RIGHT NOW.

    Klimt. Don't slap some gold leaf on a titty and tell me it's art. I go to church. I know what's up.


    0 0

    NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.

    "Coach, thank for joining us today."

    "My pleasure, Blam."

    "It's been a real long road back to Louisville. What have you learned on the way?"

    There's a lot of things in life that can get you beat, kid. Two aces in the hole. Standing between a mama grizzly and her cubs in the woods. Lightning.  Alabama. A moment's loss of concentration with a volleyball player on the back of your Harley.  It's a gauntlet of nutseeking missiles and weasels trained to go for the eyes, life. You don't always have the protection you want.

    You don't always see the blitz coming, kid. That's what I should start off saying, if I were being real here. I should tell you to just keep going and doing the one thing you've got in life, and to lie about the rest. Just lie, son. Keep lying and putting the meat on that table even if you had to buy it from a man who sells it from an unrefrigerated van loaded with flatscreens. His name is Snake, and he's got ribeyes you'd swear were beef. What are they, if they're not beef? You won't ever know, but it kept you and your family fed for years. I'd tell you that's a pretty good rule for life, too: put enough ketchup on anything, and you'll swear it was filet mignon.

    I'd tell you to never give up. That's not some hokey shit, kid. That's you with a knife half in my chest finding the strength to pull that bastard out and stab the man who thought you were easy meat. That's me telling you that when the repo man shows up you offer him your family's china and your wife's car to go away and tell them you died, and all your stuff got stolen by young punks in the neighborhood. That's me saying that the sweetest sound in the world is the werewolf catching your date instead of you: the sound of survival.

    You can buy new things. You can get new jobs. Oh, that's the easiest part, kid: if you're a killer, a remorseless, sharklike killer with coal for eyes and an old Texas Instruments graphing calculator programmed by Satan for a heart, if you never sleep and live only for the kill, oh, you can always get another job. You can get new friends, a new family, a new life. You can't ever get another you, buddy, so that's the one you don't give up on, you hear? You never give up on your number one player. You never give up on you.

    Life is shit, so be the fly, not the turd, kid.

    [Petrino exhales]

    Petrino: "I've learned to value people, Blam. People are what matter the most."


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    HE'S SUFFERED ENOUGH

    "It is what it is and it's over. No one is pressing charges," Ford said. "It shouldn't have happened to begin with. The guy said 'Roll Tide.' He tried to provoke him. But Zach did not throw one punch, period. I was standing right next to him.

    HEY ROLL TIDE, BUDDY. To get suckerpunched in the face at Loser's in Nashville is its own sad Barry Hannah story, but to have the indignity of "Roll Tide" thrown onto it is the sad poison cherry dotting the toxic sundae of a horrendous night out. And yes, in the most obvious line ever, it is double cruel to have further punishment delivered to Mettenberger in the name of Alabama football, since this was the last thing we remember seeing of "Zach Mettenberger, college football player."

    Remember the time the Alabama defense turned Zach Mettenberger into a Skate 3 glitch? Remember that? Let's all agree never to remember that, and to remember something else less horrifying, like the time he was punched in the face by yet another unfairly maligned, rudely stereotyped, and not-at-all-typical Alabama fan in an incident only pushed as fact by the cruel media envious of Alabama's endless list of successes not just as a school, but also as a state.


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    MARS IS JUST EARTH WITH AN EXTRA MOON

    We're actually sort of on Dabo's side. First of all, he's a football coach, and we're impressed he knows what Pluto is, because Pluto ain't never made a tackle. Pluto ain't on the depth chart. Pluto ain't on this game film, and Pluto ain't being recruited by a rival, and if Pluto ain't having trouble with his grades, well, Pluto ain't a concern to most football coaches. Way to be astronomically aware, Dabo.

    Oh, but Spurrier's right. Is he? There's plenty of people out there who think Pluto's a planet, and if Dabo's about anything, it's about believing in things. He believes that Pluto is a planet. He believes the ACC isn't a collection of planetoids, buddy. If it is, then one won the national title last year, and that's more than an SEC team can say, isn't it? He might want you to forget what happened when that particular planetoid did to his in a 51-14 collision between the two systems last October

    Let's focus on the important things here, like Pluto, and the way the solar system really works.

    Solarsyaccstem_medium

    See, the Earth is Clemson because it's the prettiest, the nicest, and the one that sustains all known life in the universe. It's also where Dabo parked his car, and that's real important because walking's slow, and life moves fast. Always remember where you parked your car, buddy! It's on Earth, which is the big blue one with air and Shoney's on it.

    Working from the inside out, you find Mercury, the Georgia Tech of the universe because it's lifeless and clinging to existence just to spite the sun. Paul Johnson thinks it's a little chilly, of course, but that's why he's wearing a cardigan and drinking hot black coffee from the Publix at Atlantic Station. You know that's free? Don't even make you buy a dang carton of milk to get as many cups as you like.

    Next is Venus, a hot, overcast sauna of a planet filled with corrosive sulfuric acid. That sounds like a meal at Cook-Out, so we'll just call them NC State.

    Mars is Virginia Tech, because dammit how is there not life here it's got all the components but all we find is patches of ice and Frank Beamer's nail clippings and an antifreeze jug stuffed with crushed beer cans and ones. Bud Foster, you left your wallet on Mars. Come get it in your truck when you got a minute or two.

    That big mess of unattended rubble between Mars and Jupiter is Pitt. Somewhere drifting in that mess is also Syracuse, the secret Sputnik 2B, floating through space with the corpse of Greg Robinson inside it. We didn't even learn anything from your journey, Greg. Russia was just bored.

    That big gassy indecisive one is UNC. Could be a star, could be a planet, and isn't exactly either. Saturn's FSU because they've got lots of rings, and also because of this:

    The outer atmosphere is generally bland and lacking in contrast, although long-lived features can appear.

    I'm seeing that as stripmalls and Bobby Bowden and the dick-capital, so yep. Saturn's FSU.

    Virginia's Uranus because the less you talk about it, the better.  Also named after a dead god, which works.

    Neptune's Duke because Neptune's the king of a place no one cares about, and is the Aquaman of the Greek gods. That's a basketball school in a nutshell if we've ever seen it. Enjoy making Dickie V carry that trident, Coach K. You're the king of the neighborhood pool! Have fun watching the Mason Plumlees of the universe dunk on middle schoolers, buddy.

    [Dickie V, in background: "THAT IS ONE IMPRESSIVE AND GRITTY BALL OF AMMONIA, BABY!!!"]

    Wake Forest is ambient radiation and a distant echo of the time Jim Grobe started the universe by running his truck into a tree one morning. Does this mean Jim Grobe is God? Yes, in the sense that he is not keen on you eating shellfish and loves frog plagues.

    Miami is Planet X, because everyone who defends its existence has tried to detonate a smoke bomb during a session of the House of Representatives.

    Notre Dame is the real Pluto. Not sure whether it's in or out. Just kind of sits there. Kings of the underworld/South Bend/same thing. Peaked in 1930.

    Boston College is another galaxy. Mysterious, otherworldly, and distant, it emits strange radio signals like "what the Sawx need is another man like Pedrioaaahhhhhh." Science has never cracked the code behind these signals. They likely never will.

    Louisville? They're that comet. Not sure who they're gonna hit, but when they do someone's gonna end up in a neck brace.

    The moon's Danny Ford, I guess. He only comes out at night, orbits Clemson, and controls the tides.


    0 0

    YOU EAT WHAT YOU WANT. IOWA'S READY TO HELP WHEN YOU ARE.

    This post is sponsored content announcement from the Iowa Farmers' Association.

    There's been a lot of talk about carbohydrates. Negative talk, particularly about corn. Well, we here in Iowa happen to disagree with a lot of that. Corn and wheat have been grown by family farmers here for decades. Eaten as part of a balanced diet, they provide crucial minerals and nutrients to the body. They're part of a balanced diet here.

    We can't tell you how to eat. That's wouldn't be what an Iowan would do. Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, born and raised in Denison, Iowa, wouldn't tell you what to do at the dinner table, either. That's because he's Iowan, and also because he's a little busy right now.

    But if he weren't busy, he'd just tell you to make up your own mind about what'll help your body grow. That's what we do here in Iowa. You know. When we're not busy throwing around the bodyweight of large seals around in the weight room after our hearty, carbohydrate-rich breakfasts.*

    *or sometimes getting rhabdo, because that happened once and we're legally obligated to mention it


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    ALL OF YOU ARE FIRED

    Charlie's not seeing the effort. You're off the team. You say you can't hold a bar. Charlie says all he can hear are excuses. An animal with four stomachs and yet Charlie doesn't see any hunger. Plenty of beef walking the streets in this state, kid.

    20140329_jla_al2_222_medium

    You're kicked off the team. So are you, you, and you. Rick Perry, those glasses look stupid. Get out of this state and come back when you've shot more than one dog and called it a coyote. Willie Nelson, walk it like you talk it and make another record with Julio Iglesias. It's been thirty years. You're off the team until I get my tender ballads. It's called production, and I don't care if you're ninety-eight and high. Starting lineup in Texas is the starting lineup.

    Houston, take a lap and get rid of one of those spare tire ring roads. I'll give you to Louisiana. Don't think I won't. You wanna learn to adjudicate traffic tickets in barfloor French to a corrupt pelican in a robe? Didn't think so. Shape up or the Sportsman's Paradise becomes you and then David Simon's making a boring show about how different you are.

    You wrote the anthem on being an international team player, Bun B. You are allowed to stay.

    I-35, I didn't see a single random car on fire this morning. Where's the intensity? You're off the team until I see something from you. Linklater! Making me cry WHICH I DEFINITELY DID NOT DO FOR NINETY MINUTES isn't filmmaking. I should kick you off the team just for giving weaselface Ethan Hawke money. You're off the team until you make another School of Rock.

    Marfa, quit acting like suckering New Yorkers into buying high desert real estate isn't just outlandish fraud. You're flat and empty, wow. Kansas must be the new Guggenheim. You're out, go be New Mexico for a while until you show me something. Lubbock, you...you don't even know where you are, do you? I'd kick you off for violating our substance abuse policy but you can't be guilty if you're your own abusive substance. You can stay, but take a lap.

    Denton, stop acting like you're not Oklahoma. El Paso: you're adopted, and not even legally. Corpus Christi, you can go try that islands crap at the University of Hawaii or TCU.  Galveston, your effort stinks as badly as your air quality does. You're off the team and now are a pocket territory of Mississippi.

    Nacogdoches, the next time you get a Clint Dempsey, you'd better make a free safety out of him.

    McConaughey, off the sidelines until I see some good weight on you. Rust Cohle can't deadlift a paper clip and that makes him a true defective on our football team. Ann Richards, stop being dead, that's no way to help the team. Whataburger, you're letting In-N-Out get press coverage on you in state. THAT'S A PAC-12 TEAM, DAMMIT. 5 a.m. stairs for all of you.

    Hey, bees? You know what I call 1,000 teammates flying around who can't finish a tackle? The Texas A&M defense, that's what I call them. You're off the team until I see some finish in you.

    Big Tex?

    Big_tex_fire.2_retouched_medium

    Dammit, Big Tex. I hate the technique, but like the intensity. You can stay, but take a lap.


    0 0

    Preseason college football rankings are very important. Did you know you can make your own? Just follow this guide.

    Since July won't die, and it's been eight years since we've tried to explain how everyone makes their preseason top 25, it's time to revise the rules and explain just how one makes a proper preseason list.

    As always: if you do not see your team here, it is because your team is really gonna surprise some people this season and prove the doubters wrong.

    1. Oklahoma.

    To get your preseason top 25 read as widely as possible, it is very important to make a contrarian pick at No. 1.

    You don't want it to be totally reckless. Oklahoma is a very, very good football team, and recently beat another team many may put in their top fives. Choosing the Sooners here means you display a note of bravery, but are not insane enough to take the real maverick's choice, i.e., picking a major team that won eight games last year. Oklahoma it is.

    2. Florida State.

    There is no justification for placing a team with that much talent and the reigning Heisman winner at No. 2. This is exactly why you should place them at No. 2, because #FSUTwitter will rage, suggest you are a covert agent for The Haters, and begin copying and pasting many, many numbers into your comment section.

    Most importantly, they will link to your top 25. Is traffic worth the death threats? We will continue this discussion in the three spot for obvious reasons.

    3. Alabama.

    Absolutely, a few death threats are worth the traffic.

    Unlike FSU, Alabama's situation is one of real concern this year, at least on offense. But the Tide don't rebuild, they reload, often right into your inbox with astonishing speed. The email headers will be in ALL CAPS; the verdict will be that YOU ARE A CLASSLESS PERSON. Remember, this will happen in a year when they hired Lane Kiffin with a straight face.

    4. Ohio State.

    One of college football's grandest traditions: selecting Ohio State or Michigan and throwing them at random into the top six. For maximum pseudo-credibility, do not place them in the top three ... and certainly not in the top slot, unless you want the undivided support of Ohio State's online fanbase. (You don't. Some loves aren't worth the trouble.)

    5. UCLA.

    Never hurts to put a Pac-12 team way up there, too. It helps to have some novelty here, since just three short years ago this team was losing 50-0 to USC. And you have them ranked above the perennial Pac-12 plug-ins Oregon and Stanford! You're practically skydiving naked into this top 25, you madcap fire-eating daredevil, you.

    6. Notre Dame.

    You can't really touch the topic of Notre Dame without it going sideways immediately, since Notre Dame in any poll starts instantly overrated. Oh, but maybe they're underrated, and you're simply allowing your fear of them disappointing you to overwhelm your critical instincts? They get Everett Golson back at QB, have a good back in Cam McDaniel, and once you take out an October trip to Tallahassee, have a pretty nice schedule and-- and here you are, overthinking and forgetting the number one rule of all: overrated or not, people will click on anything with Notre Dame in it.

    Notre Dame is clearly the imaginary sixth best team in the nation.

    7. Auburn.

    See everything under the "Alabama" entry, but change the method of delivery. Auburn fans opt for handwritten notes to your mailbox. No, you don't have your address posted on the Internet, but Auburn fans will find it. Every letter with "blessed, and War Eagle," even the ones with scary pictures of you in your gym shorts taking out the garbage at night included.

    8. Oregon.

    Sounds decent enough, especially when you reply to any concerns about a decline under the Mark Helfrich administration with the words "Marcus Mariota."

    Also, most people have stopped reading the whole thing and are now scanning just to find their teams. Confess light felonies and misdemeanors here. I once peed in a car wash in Charlotte when I couldn't find a bathroom! I feel so much better about things having gotten that off my chest.

    9. South Carolina.

    Little known fact about the nine spot: it is the spot reserved for the conference the pollster has a painful and obvious bias towards. Sandwich a team with obvious flaws into the top ten. Apply your own biases accordingly, and Go Cocks.

    10. Michigan State.

    Without even looking, you just plug the other team in the Big Ten Championship Game here. Hey, Michigan State!

    Connor Cook provides decent enough cover to obliterate pesky and reality-based questions like "how about replacing some of that NFL-bound defensive talent before you hope too much?"  If pressed further, simply say "I believe Pat Narduzzi will have 'em ready to play." If it works for TV chatter, it'll work for your totally fabricated top 25.

    11. Baylor.

    The 11 spot is reserved for the Team You Wish Could Win Everything But Cannot For Many Cosmological Reasons. That would be, for us, the fearless, points-binging Baylor Bears, who do actually return a good bit of talent and will undoubtedly score a zillion points this year and play without an ounce of caution and yet not make the impending College Football Playoff.

    12.  Texas.

    Have you mentioned a healing, down-on-its-luck giant of the industry yet? No, no you haven't.

    So put Texas here, since Florida's rehabilitation seems even less probable than the Longhorns'. Your easy line of defense: "It won't show early, but look for a change of culture in Austin to yield benefits down the road and later in the season."

    Man, look how tough Charlie Strong looks. Texas is going places. Kevin Jairaj, USA Today

    13. Stanford.

    Another arbitrary but effective rule: if you list two Big 12 teams in a row, combo break for maximum effect with a Pac-12 team. Stanford's ridiculously consistent, but not quite explosive enough to include in the top 10, so invest wisely by placing them here.

    Bonus: no one on the East Coast will be able to make an effective counterargument, since many have never watched Stanford outside of bowl season.

    14. LSU.

    The mid-teens are all about safe, non-embarrassing choices for predicted success, and despite the Mad Hatter cult and total indifference to modern offense, Les Miles has averaged 10 wins a year going into this 10th season as LSU head coach. More remarkably, he's done that playing personnel like Jordan Jefferson at quarterback.

    You can really put LSU anywhere in the top 15 and simply cite the difficulty of schedule when pressed as to why you don't have them higher.

    15. USC.

    Just another reflex you need to develop: if you have not mentioned USC by the time you hit No. 15, insert them immediately. Cite perennial bushels of talent and need to fulfill potential.

    Remember to mention that Steve Sarkisian is coaching there now, something most people seriously won't recall until they see him on the sidelines and act too embarrassed to ask anyone how or when that happened. If that person asks about where Lane Kiffin went, break the Alabama news gently, or not at all. ("Lane's resting on the farm right now.")

    16. Wisconsin.

    Now you can begin to really have fun in earnest, because no one -- literally no one on the planet -- can argue the qualitative preseason differences between teams in this range.

    So put in Wisconsin, an amiable team capable of stealing a Week 1 game from LSU before moving on to their usual 10-2ish campaign through the Big Ten. Um, big grr heavypants man running games.

    17. Georgia.

    Crap, you've forgotten Georgia. That's okay, they're replacing a starting QB and switching defensive coordinators, but still get to play Florida as coached under Will Muschamp. So temper any criticisms of their low ranking with "at least they'll win the Cocktail Party," and watch concerned Georgia fans nod along with you before silently mouthing "Fire Bobo" out of habit.

    Look, Georgia fans! Herschel Walker and Evander Holyfield! Please share this story on Twitter. Scott Cunningham, Getty

    18. Arizona State.

    The rare instance where being totally random winds up being pretty accurate. ASU will be talented on offense, but likely replacing too much on defense (miss u, bloodthirsty Will Sutton) to be anywhere higher than this.

    And yes: in a pinch, just pick the previous Pac-12 Championship Game loser at this spot. It never looks too wrong.

    19. Nebraska.

    Another preseason polling rule: Nebraska never looks wrong being ranked 19th. Look at it and you'll see how right we are. It's also as low as you can rank a team without spotting them in the Boise State Tier of Teams What Try Hard In The Football Boondocks.

    20. Kansas State.

    Another surefire, can't-miss ranking thanks to Bill Snyder either a.) winning eight games with a converted defensive end running the single-wing, or b.) doing far better and making a major bowl with a roster full of JUCO transfers and random young men he pulled off a CFL development squad.

    Bill Snyder is a pollster's best friend, somehow entering every year with low but manageable expectations thanks to coaching in Manhattan, Kansas.

    21. Ole Miss.

    You know Bo Wallace's name, and that's enough for the meaningless No. 21 spot. If pressed, just repeat these words: "No one sees them coming, and that's their best advantage!"

    This could also possibly be Mississippi State in this spot, but do not ever, ever admit that to fans of either school on pain of lengthy diatribe.

    22. Texas Tech.

    Here is a GIF of Kliff Kingsbury.

    Congratulations, now your top 25 is going to do well on Facebook, and no one remembers who you put at No. 22 anyway.

    23. Boise State.

    Contractually obligated to appear somewhere between No. 20 and No. 25 per the Boise State Tier of Teams What Try Hard In The Football Boondocks category definitions.

    24. Oklahoma State.

    They have a nasty schedule -- FSU in Week 1! -- but as we said, no one's reading, and Oklahoma State fans will probably be pretty happy if you say something like "Gundy's teams produce no matter what the schedule says."

    See, you're giving hope, even way down here at the warm, undrinkable last sips of a meaningless preseason top 25. Where's my damn Nobel, Obama?

    [/sips Monster Energy Drink smugly]

    Hey, we finally joined Facebook!

    25. East Carolina.

    The final spot in any poll is reserved for a team you just like, regardless of whether they stand a chance to make so much as one meaningful national appearance this season.

    East Carolina's ours, both because they have a really devoted fanbase and because they play wide-open air raid nonsense in the hinterlands of the American Athletic Conference on a field with a pirate's logo on it. They will steal a bowl slot from the big boys, and possibly get a slot in the four-team Playoff!

    You won't quote me on that, because no one reads this far down, and because no small team will ever, ever get a slot as long as there's a three-loss Notre Dame team waiting at the end of the season. BUT QUOTE US ON IT: ECU TO THE PLAYOFF.

    Teams also receiving votes: your team, which is almost right there, and could make some unexpected noise!


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    PLEASE BE SILENT AND IN RESPECT TO YOUR FELLOW POETS KEEP YOUR READING TO UNDER FOUR MINUTES

    o larry fedora

    unveil to me your fitness secrets

    are you on a five by three

    or do you do the stronglifts

    do you front squat or back squat

    or do you leg press like a boss

    have you smolov cycled

    do u just do glamour muscles

    and build your body for show

    tell me larry fedora

    let me know to help me grow

    do you bicep curl

    or worship the pullup god

    do you kip or strict pull

    like reg park

    do you barbell row

    and dream of swoleness

    do you incline bench

    or do your pectorals rise like bread

    baking from the simple yeast

    of the flat standard bench

    or do you just do dips?

    do you olympic lift

    larry fedora

    can you clean as well as jerk

    is your snatch a thing of power

    as well as beauty

    do you burgener warmup

    or just get to it

    do you deadlift for sets

    do you mix grip it

    do you just straight palm rip it

    do you RDL as well

    these are things I need you to tell

    do you backload carbs or cycle

    describe to me your power macros

    detail your cheat day choices

    enlighten us on your supplement regimen

    Your gnc bill

    show it to me

    allow me to plumb its mysteries

    o larry fedora

    so ripped at fifty-one

    so tan from the sun

    your body is the holy grail

    show us the map

    help us download the app

    to become rippedasjesus.tumblr.com

    and get inappropriate looks

    from your mom

    in the name of the father

    the pump

    and the holy deadlift

    amen


    0 0

    OH BOY A QUESTION FROM A READER WE CAN'T REALLY ANSWER WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT BAD FOOTBALL

    Oh, look, an email.

    Screen_shot_2014-07-29_at_10.15.32_am_medium

    1. We don't know if this is Hobson's Choice. Hobson's choice is named after Thomas Hobson, a dick of a stable owner who would offer customers only one horse in one particular stall, or none at all. The choice is between something or nothing, not a something or a something. As bad as Will Muschamp has been, he is decidedly a something, and so is Brady Hoke. We are wearing a huge red Kool-Aid Man suit and #wellactuallying the hell out of this, but you have to have some definitions straight here.

    2. This suit is very hot. We have no idea how half the internet wears it all the time.

    3. So maybe this is just ShittyTradesman's Choice. Muschamp is 22-16 and falling with terminal velocity towards a dismal final season at Florida, provided his saving throw of hiring a new offensive coordinator does not generate the modest amount of offense he needs to win. Name the last heroic offensive coordinator hire that saved someone's job for longer than a year or two. Gene Chizik is having mid-morning coffee right now, and not in a football office. Worse still for his prospects are offensive recruits refusing Florida despite playing at positions the Gator offense, even in its weakened offensive state, would happily use. You can't blame them: offensive talent now enters Florida with stars and leaves as UFAs or worse, with the last offensive player selected in the first round coming with the selection of Mike Pouncey in the 2011 draft. The defense is still very good. Florida can fairly and honestly advertise itself as Virginia Tech with mosquitoes.

    4. Hoke stands at 26-13, but that number's fluffy thanks to the Big Ten's recent mediocrity, and is also heavily backloaded. Part of the real angst around Hoke is that slide down the win ladder from 11 to 8 to 7 last year. The recruiting, for what it's worth, hasn't been bad. Okay: it has not been Rich Rodriguez-recruiting-defensive-players bad, at least. He does share a few things in common with Muschamp. One is a dismal record against ranked opponents. Hoke is 3-7 against ranked opponents at Michigan, while Muschamp is 4-11 at Florida. Another is losing to rivals consistently, with Hoke going 2-4 against Michigan State and Ohio State, and Muschamp besting him with a 1-5 record against UGA and FSU. Will Muschamp hasn't beaten Georgia once. You can't really type that enough. Will Muschamp hasn't beaten Georgia once. There's also this common bond: the more you see of either coach, well, the more you like them as people, and less as coaches of your football team.

    5. So: if you're asking us if we would trade the two, well...sure. They're basically different variations on the same coach, and the numbers probably wouldn't be too much different if you reverse the situations. Losing under Brady Hoke seems like a noble burial at sea, with saluting and gentlemanly clapping. You get subs, and it's amazing. Losing under Will Muschamp is like huffing oven cleaner (the 2011 season), robbing a convenience store successfully (2012) and then realizing oven cleaner will suck up all the oxygen from your lungs and kill you and that there is nothing you can do about it (the 2013 season).  Brady Hoke doesn't put on a headset, and that worries you. Well, just wait for the sheer panic spreading like wildfire when you see Will Muschamp putting one on during an offensive series.

    6. Resolved: sure, we'd trade them, if only to alleviate the boredom, and for the same reasons that kids happily switch and share toys in October.  It doesn't matter. We all get new toys in December anyway unless Santa doesn't come to Michigan.


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