A Momentary Lapse Of Season

Miami Dolphins

We learned something about ourselves inside that darkest of nights. We learned that the cause was not lost, and that it hadn’t even been missing. And once seen, it could not be unseen. It possessed us with a most magical ability. We believed in tomorrow . . .

What a difference two months makes.

Exactly two months ago in this very spot, I penned a bad romance of a love letter to my favorite team in the world, the Miami Dolphins. There was no need to read between the lines since I was as brutally honest as a Jim Bob Duggar paternity test. The Dolphins were all set to rewrite history . . in crayon, and the only reason I wasn’t doing somersaults is because I am on a strict somersault diet. But I was all chips in on a losing hand because I was under the impression that less would equal more in the long run.

A funny thing happened on the way to NFL ignominy. The Dolphins stopped sucking.

By winning their third game of the season, the Dolphins would basically have to get Tony Soprano to serve as their draft point man in order to score a top three pick right now. Say adios to quarterback Joe Burrow and defensive end Chase Young- the top studs at their respective positions. A couple more wins and not even Tony Soprano will be able to un-fuck the situation.

And guess what? I’m kinda loving the zeitgeist of these formative moments that are busy trashing the temporal sensibilities- like standings and draft positioning. Because what Brian Flores is coaching up in South Beach is a bulldog mentality that doesn’t give a blessed fuck about gutted rosters and tank jobs.

Because maybe all this worrying I was doing about getting a top name in the NFL draft was for naught. Maybe it doesn’t matter one little bit whether we draft first or fifth . . or wherever. Maybe what matters more than that is what’s going on, right now. What Brian Flores is doing with the skeleton crew of a band that started the season 0-7 but has gone 3-2 since. He isn’t winning coach of the year, but he’s damn worthy of getting someone’s vote, out of principle. It would be a fitting apology, after Flores got trashed for presiding over what many sportswriters were calling the biggest sporting abomination of all time. Which is hyperbole at its most hypocritical when you consider all the real world shit the sports world has thrown at us.

This might sound strange, but this team is the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. Because that country club mentality which had worked its insidious vines into the heart and soul of a franchise for the better part of two decades is withering just a little bit. It’s by no means dead and gone, but it’s no longer being allowed to retrench itself. Because maybe they’re figuring out that most prized possession of all; more vital than a blue ribbon prize in the NFL meat market. Maybe they’re figuring out a culture that transcends big names and splashy acquisitions.

Ask the Steelers what culture means, because they pretty much wrote the book on it. They lost their star quarterback, running back and wide receiver in one calendar year and yet they’re standing at 7-5 after beating the Browns today. The Steelers have had three head coaches in the past fifty years. In that same span of time, there have been five Popes. Enough said.

And look at those Browns, with all their big name talent- including quarterback Baker Mayfield, who oh by the way . . was the first pick in the draft a couple years ago- who are busy making vacation plans for January after falling to 5-7.  If ever there was a cautionary tale when it comes to falling in love with top picks and big names? They are it.

If I had to choose one word for this season, it would be perspective.

Lamar Jackson beat the stuffing out of us in the opener, but he’s done that to a lot of really good teams since. And it’s worth noting that thirty teams overlooked him in the draft. And okay, putting up a thirty seven burger on this Eagles team isn’t nearly as impressive as it might have seemed back when everyone- including yours truly- was penciling them in as a playoff team. But it still counts.

And so what if they’re not the worst team of all time, destined to take home the top prize for their futile efforts? And so what if they’re light years away from having a legitimate shot at knocking off guys like Mahomes and Jackson? All that really matters is their allergy to the canvas, because they refuse to lay down on it. And it’s not much, not really.

Not yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NFL Double Issue Edition!

 

Football Players in Action

The NFL season is more than halfway cooked and the more things change, the more the Patriots still look like the favorites to fuck up a lot of Super Bowl parties come January. I mean, does anybody else see the irony here? A league that prides itself on parity has the most prolonged dynasty in sports history.

Despite the specter of that long national football nightmare moving into yet another decade, it’s been a fairly entertaining NFL season to this point. The Cleveland Browns are winning . . on TMZ.  The Oakland Raiders are actually winning on the field. The Titans, Seahawks, Steelers, Colts, Panthers and Lions have been plucky. The Packers, Cowboys, Eagles and Bills have been lucky. And the Jets? Still suck.

If sports ain’t your thing, here’s an alphabetized list of teams complete with a cocktail party anecdote or observation for each. You’re uh . . welcome?

Arizona Cardinals- Investing in semiconductors is the same difference.
Atlanta Falcons- There is a Chick-fil-A in Mercedes Benz Stadium. Chicken Jesus doesn’t do business on Sundays, and this year? Neither do the Falcons.
Baltimore Ravens- Lamar Jackson is to quarterbacking what Jimi Hendrix was to acoustic guitars.
Buffalo Bills- The fan base is known as “Bills Mafia”. They guzzle beer, smash tables and have a guy named Pinto Ron who has a condiment fetish.

Because . . sports fans!

Carolina Panthers- The peeps in South Carolina take great pride in the fact that the Panthers play in North Carolina.
Chicago Bears- True story. Bears fans traveled to Nashville once, and drank the town dry.
Cincinnati Bengals- If Kandahar ever gets an NFL team, they’re perfect.
Cleveland Browns- The NFL version of Apple TV’s “Morning Show”- flashy, big name cast with little payoff.
Dallas Cowboys- Sugar Daddy Jerry Jones, built them a $1.2 billion dollar crib (Arlington taxpayers forked over $325 million). The Boys have a grand total of three playoff wins there since 2009. Only Congress offers up a weaker bang for the buck.
Denver Broncos- Unless you live in Colorado, the Denver Broncos will never come up in casual conversation. If you live in Colorado, just use lots of four letter words.
Detroit Lions- Motown legend Marvin Gaye once tried out for the team.
Green Bay Packers- They are the only publicly owned franchise in the league.
Houston Texans- They became only the second expansion team ever to win their first game when they defeated the Cowboys in September of 2002. It remains the high point.
Indianapolis Colts- In 1983, the franchise packed their shit on Mayflower vans and left Baltimore in the middle of the night. It doesn’t get any more Paul Simon than that.

Jacksonville Jaguars- Like the car, they’re expensive and rarely worth it.
Kansas City Chiefs- They have more offensive weapons than the US Army and a weaker defense than the French Army.
Los Angeles Chargers- Most peeps don’t realize they left San Diego. And most of those peeps live in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Rams- Warren Beatty remains the coolest player to ever don a Rams uniform. And I know it was a movie, but it still counts.
Miami Dolphins- They’re not the worst team in football.
Minnesota Vikings- Unless you live in Minnesota, the Vikings will never come up in casual conversation. If you live in Minnesota, just bring the sausages, cheese curds and beer. 
New England Patriots-
 Before the Russians started rigging elections, they re-calibrated a middling football coach named Belichick and created a cyborg named Brady. The idea was to create a hatred of the red, white and blue. Those Russians are crafty.
New Orleans Saints- Charlton Heston starred as an aging Saints player in the film Number One. 
New York Giants- 
Jimmy Hoffa wouldn’t be caught dead in the Giants end zone.
New York Jets- Haven’t appeared in a Super Bowl since Joe Namath was wearing pantyhose on purpose.
Oakland Raiders- Will relocate to Las Vegas next year . .  move back to Oakland in 2030 . . relocate to Germany in 2035 . . . move back to Oakland in 2042 . . . relocate to Mars in 2050!
Philadelphia Eagles- Their former digs- Veterans Stadium- housed jail cells. And if you ever attended a game there, you understand why.
Pittsburgh Steelers- They haven’t returned to the Super Bowl since Bane blew up their fictional stadium in Dark Knight Rises. Not a coincidence.
San Francisco Forty 49ers- Joe Montana was chosen with the 82nd pick of the 1979 NFL draft. It worked out alright.
Seattle Seahawks- They aren’t the first pro football team to go by the name Seahawks. That would have been the Miami Seahawks, who did their business back in the ’40s.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- See my suggestions for Broncos and Vikings. After which, feel free to mix and match.
Tennessee Titans- The designers of their uniforms imagined Masters of the Universe having sex with Ross Department Store.
Washington Redskins- No team matches its locale so perfectly. They’re corrupt, inept and divisive as fuck. 

As for the NFL season, there’s still time for the resistance to thwart the Evil Empire. And if Sam Rothstein were to ask me for a top ten best bets to take down Darth Vader Inc., Imma go with these . . .

1- Ravens: They kicked the shit out of New England last week so they get the top spot.
2- Chiefs: They’ve got Patrick Mahomes.
3- Packers: They’ve got Aaron Rodgers.
4- Seahawks: They shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, but they’re doing it anyway.
5- Texans: They’ve got Deshawn Watson.
6- Eagles: Because they kicked the shit out of New England in the Super Bowl . . what, five minutes ago? It seems like it. And I still love Carson Wentz, even if I think he’s got to step up big time.
7- Browns: There’s a better chance Drew Carey plays center for the Cavaliers and leads them to the playoffs, but hey . . this is a top ten and I need warm bodies.
8- Cowboys: Yes, I put them below the Browns because they piss me off and I’m not even a fan. All that talent and they can’t beat Kirk Fucking Cousins . . at home?
9- Raiders: Because Jon Gruden deserves some props from those clowns (me) who said he was a mistake. His Raiders play hard, they came together after the Antonio Brown debacle and they’re fun as hell to watch. And while I really don’t think they’ve got a chance to sustain over the rest of the season . . who wouldn’t want to see Gruden and the Raiders back in New England in January? Almost twenty years hence from the “Tuck Rule” game that began the Patriots dynasty.
10- Dolphins- Again, this is a top ten list and since I can only come up with a legitimately serious top fourish, why not Miami to put a cap on it? Because I believe they have as much a chance to win it all as the Vikings and Bills. And that might be none at all, but that just makes it equal. And I cannot and will not include the Saints on any list after how they carried on after the NFC title game last year. The same franchise that brought us Bounty Gate . . . railing on about a bad call? Nope.

Up until a couple weeks ago, Miami was destined to go down as the worst pro football team of all time. I even wrote about it, somewhat excitedly at that. Because I wasn’t so much interested in the ignominy of a possible 0-16 season, as in the idea that my team actually had a brain trust in place that wasn’t an oxymoron.

History is toast now that the Dolphins are on an actual winning streak. And maybe we blew our chance to score Joe Burrow in the draft- a kid who happens to be the latest QB du jour. And I don’t care right now, because all I know is that Brian Flores has a gutted roster playing as if it’s the Super Bowl. So let the Jets and Skins, the Bengals and maybe even the Falcons dog it out for the top spots in the draft. Because maybe my team has something they don’t have.

A plan.

 

 

 

 

 

The Audacity Of Nope

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys

If you haven’t watched the Miami Dolphins play football this season, it’s perfectly understandable because well . . . . nobody has. Four games into the 2019 season, they’ve already been mathematically eliminated from postseason play. Their record stands at 0-4, which is bad. They made the plenty good but certainly not great Baltimore Ravens look like Joe Montana’s ring bearing 49ers teams, which is worse. And in their four losses, they’ve been outscored 163-26. Which is history’s way of saying “Are you fucking kidding me?”.

In case you were wondering, and I’m not sure why you would be wondering, but okay . . . the Dolphins point differential through the first four games of the season is the worst in NFL history. If you’re playing along at home, the league was born during the W administration, as in Woodrow. Wilson. Which means that when teams were playing football with cinder-blocks and no helmet whilst their head coaches pointed a gun at ’em for motivation, the worst team was still coming up bigger than these Fins.

So yeah, my boys are a lost cause on the level of a pair of Isotoners gifted to Johnny Cochrane. And you know what? That is plenty fine with me, because as Jimmy Stewart is my witness, lost causes really are the only ones worth fighting for in this world. And don’t take my word for it, here’s Jimmy to provide . . .

Alls I know is, my Dolphins are relevant for the first time since Dick Cheney’s twenty eighth heart attack (That would be 2008). It would be the last time a team from the AFC East not named the New England Patriots won the division. Since then, my team has gone through ten quarterbacks, six head coaches and a handful of uniform changes.

Fast forward to present day and the Dolphins are relevant again. Problem is, it’s in the same way a Trump tweet or Ebola is relevant. Because once the shit gets loosed into our cranium or bloodstream, all manner of zombie apocalypse prevails. And the Dolphins are fifty three dead men walking . . no, marching. Loudly. Right onto the four lane highway those horsemen from the law firm Pestilence, War, Famine and Death are busy crunching their radials on whilst blue-tooth deep in negotiations with God and Lucifer.

Pro football experts are shouting mighty daggers into the Dolphins organization for tanking a season so obviously. Welp, I guess these geniuses didn’t watch the final season of Game of Thrones. Because those fuckers had WAY more talent and money going on than the Dolphins do.

And yes, the results are uglier than Gordon Ramsey in traffic. But it’s not like it ain’t been done before. Once upon a time, teams like the Cubs and Astros gutted their roster and started from the bottom. And it paid off with titles in both instances. In basketball, the 76ers took half a decade off during “The Process” in order to compile high draft picks in the hopes of fielding a winning team and now they’re one of the favorites to win it all. And the Browns transformed losing into the kind of art form that would’ve inspired Andy Warhol to buy them. And while they ain’t won jack yet, their team is interesting as hell with a punchers chance to do some real damage this season.

Optically, the dynamic blows. Because to charge major league money to the fans whilst rolling out a minor league product is certainly not good business practice. Last week’s game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was played to a half empty stadium, which shocked the hell out of me because I was wondering what in the hell was wrong with the half that showed up.

So the Dolphins will take a hit- both in the sports columns and in their bottom line. And it’s the latter that will keep this tanking expedition from going on indefinitely, because billionaires like Stephen Ross ain’t made their money by mistake. I figure a year, maybe two of really putrid football will result in enough draft pick sustenance to build a solid foundation. And yes they have to hit on their picks, as well as be smart with the free agent acquisitions, but to my way of thinking, it’s a chance worth taking.

I’ll take breaking bad over plain old mediocre every day of the week and for sixty minutes every Sunday. Because over the last eight seasons, the Dolphins are 66-66 with exactly nothing to show for it. There is nothing worse than mediocrity, and that includes a possible 0-16 campaign.

I’m done with asshats like Jeff Ireland running things into the ground and then skipping town for greener pastures. I’m sick and tired of clowns like Jay Cutler receiving a ten million dollar retirement package to achieve absolutely nothing. And I absolutely cannot stand the country club atmosphere that has held sway over the organization since Dan Marino stopped throwing footballs in anger.

Several weeks ago, when it became clear that the Dolphins mission was to suck balls, several prominent Dolphins players got on the phone with their agents and told them they wanted out. And that’s when I realized something was very different about the current brain trust. Because instead of sweet talking these guys back with drinks at the Clevelander and a cushy bonus . . they traded them. The message was clear as day.

You’re in or you’re out. No more in the middle.

It’s uncomfortable sure, but that signals growth. Change. Difference. And I could kiss Brian Flores and Chris Grier for having the cojones to undertake a strategy that might end up costing them their jobs. I hope it doesn’t, because they’re good football men who give a damn and I want to see them hoisting some hardware for all the shit they’re gonna be put through.

If things work out, the Dolphins’s fortunes should start looking up right around the time Tom Brady and the Patriots are decommissioned by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. And so I’m rooting for my lost cause of a football team . . to suck mightily. For now. Because I’m done with the middle. In an all or nothing NFL world, I’m willing to take the latter for now. Because it’s a chance, which is something we haven’t had since Bill Clinton was installing a strippers pole in the Oval Office. And if this tanking strategy doesn’t work, the Dolphins can always dial up Pat Riley, who’ll be cooling his heels in retirement down in the Keys by then. And so what if he doesn’t know a lick about football.

He’d be perfect.

It’s Deja Vu, All Over Again

Fucking Patriots.

They make me want to dabble in communism. They make me feel like the Brits were misunderstood. They make me want to subvert the steeple chase of a nut that Thomas Paine broke bread with once upon a time. The one that made babies with capitalism and stirred up tasty drinks in the form of monthly baby daddy payments to Uncle Sam’s house of rocket fuel.

This ain’t bitterness talking. It’s . . . wait for it . . . common sense.

How do we find ourselves here for the third time in five years? Because the Patriots are more buttoned up than Luca Brasi on a Smith and Wesson bender. While rival clubs engage in trade demands, holdouts and the kind of drama that would make Meryl Streep get all hot and bothered, the Patriots simply are. They are not exciting like the Chiefs, they do not possess the soap opera twists and turns of the Steelers and they are nowhere near as pretty as the Rams. All they’re good at is winning the last game of the year. And to that end, they are really, really good.

I’ll take Marco’s loose thoughts for a dollar, Alex . . .

  • Tony Romo is a maestro when it comes to calling a football game. And you know why that is? Because the dude is unpretentious, that’s why. He refuses to chime and dime on the dilly of the current template. Where “running north to south” and “going vertical” are downhill slang terms used by the so called experts who feel the need to justify the Armani. Until they’re cut loose for being nickels on a dollar’s worth of investment. Romo is different. He’s bright, he’s real, he’s effusive and he knows what is going down. On a Buffalo Springfield level of expertise.
  • Sean McVay didn’t lose his smarts overnight. But its funny how a dude twice his age kicked his ass in the biggest game of the year. Convincingly. Will rival executives have an “oh shit!” moment as a result? Because there were a lot of dudes hired because they worked under McVay or they were FB friends with McVay or they rode an elevator with him once. Moral of the story? Winning organizations act. Everyone else reacts.
  • My silver lining in Sunday night’s shit show was Brian Flores, the brand new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. His defense looked like the ’85 Bears. Now, he goes from a team that does its business the right way to the South Beach Social Club. I believe he’s up for the challenge, but time will tell.
  • Someone please tell Adam Levine that showing your nipples ain’t worth the price of admission unless you’re Janet Jackson.
  • Price of admission is Gladys Knight. She is velvet to the senses when her syllables take flight. I remember seeing her in Vegas and marveling at how she turned every single song into Friday night.
  • Remember back when everybody was bemoaning the lack of defense after that 54-51 game the Rams and Chiefs played earlier in the year? Peeps insisted the game had morphed into the NBA. Welp, the Vegas books put the over under for total points scored in the Super Bowl at 56 points . . to which these offensive juggernauts answered with 16 points. I guess defense still matters, after all.
  • Tom Brady looked like Mark Sanchez for most of that game. But for a couple passes in the fourth quarter that were bread basket perfect. Some players, such as Jared Goff, find it damn near impossible to face up to the big moment. Brady lives for it.
  • I dunno if the Saints would have been able to fare any better than the Rams against that suddenly tenacious Patriots defense. But I do know they could have done better than three points. Hell, the Dolphins could have done better than three points.
  • It’s pretty sad when, up until the fourth quarter the highlight of the game was a punt. I believe it was a record setting one, but I forget and you know why? Because it’s a punt . . .
  • It almost looked as if the Patriots D knew what was coming before the Rams snapped the ball. Which, if you’re a follower of the NFL, is always going to make you wonder, given the organization’s rap sheet.
  • Bravo to the Swiss Army Knife known as Julian Edelman for being the MVP not named Brady. Edleman missed the first four games of the season due to a PED suspension. If this were baseball it would have been a major story but in football, it’s an accepted fact.

And my one final thought on the national nightmare that is the New England Patriots.

They’re gonna have to be taken out the way Luca Brasi was taken out. By a band of young turks that wield knives on a doctorate level of Dante. The end of this reign must be certain, swift and surgical. And make no mistake, they will not surrender until the throne is taken from their cold dead hands. The team that slays this dragon is gonna have to do what the Patriots coaches are doing right now, as we speak.

Start planning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roman Numerals Gone Wild!

Super Bowl

The Chicago Bears will take on the New England Patriots in Atlanta tonight in the . . . oh shit, I’m sorry. I was thinking ahead to next year’s Super Bowl, my bad! This year it’s the Rams, next year the Bears and after that the Federal Regulatory Commission will force Bob Kraft to sell Tom Brady to science, with the rest of the team being sold for parts. Bill Belichick will be extradited to Gondor.

Lots has changed since the last time the Rams and Patriots met in the Super Bowl seventeen years ago. In Super Bowl 36, the St Louis Rams were heavy favorites, had the MVP quarterback and were going for their second title in three seasons. The Patriots had gotten to the big game on a fluke play, their head coach’s job security had been called into question a year prior, and their quarterback was a skinny backup named Brady who scored the starting job after starter Drew (Wally Pipp) Bledsoe went down with an injury.

Fast forward to now, and the Patriots are Team Google while the Rams are back in Los Angeles, even if most Angelenos are probably unaware of this fact. New England is the Vegas pick while the Rams are the new darlings of the dance. And the only reason I’m excited is because we’re gonna be chowing down on Jimmie John’s.

We’ll have a few things to say about those chowdah head fans who ain’t coming to Atlanta, seeing as how they’ve done it every other year for two and a half decades. And we’ll have a few more things to say about the Los Angeles Rams being a misnomer for displaced Lakers fans who got priced out of the Staples Center when LeBron hit town.

Some relatively true facts about the big game ? Why the hell not . . .

1- The Super Bowl was named after a bouncy ball.
2- The Detroit Lions are banned from Super Bowl competition as a result of their proximity to Canada.
3- Tickets to the first Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders went for $12. The price of a Super Bowl LIII game program goes for $18.
4- The Patriots pushed to seal records proving Tom Brady was a stonemason in medieval times, which would make him 1,543 years old. If the documents were to be released, New England’s titles would be vacated since vampires are only permitted to work for the league office.
5- After Miami won Super Bowl VII, Coach Don Shula’s watch was stolen by a fan who shook his hand on the field.
6- Even though Chik-fil-A has a restaurant inside Mercedes Benz Stadium, they won’t be open today on account of that other holy day.
7- Seventeen million people will call in sick tomorrow. No word yet as to whether the Trump administration will declare a national emergency.
8- Janet Jackson contemplated putting her famous Super Bowl halftime nipple up for auction at Sotheby’s before deciding against it. Her business manager explained that Jackson wished to hold onto her titular rights.
9- It is estimated that more than thirty percent of the ‘fans’ in attendance at this year’s game will write it off as a corporate expense.
10- More than two billion wings will be consumed during the Super Bowl. And this ain’t even mentioning the fact that the game essentially serves as Black Friday for pizzerias.

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day of the year when Americans can eat whatever the fuck they want, drink copious amounts of alcohol and behave like children. Check that, it’s the one day of the year when all that shit is celebrated. Some peeps even want to petition to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. The petition drive never gets very far on account of the fact most of these peeps are alcoholics or degenerate gamblers. In most instances, both.

I don’t have a legit rooting interest seeing as how my Dolphins are conscientious objectors when it comes to the last game of the year. The last time I had a legit rooting interest in the Super Bowl, Budweiser was my beer of choice and I was going to marry my high school sweetheart(s).

Even my cat, Mr Speaker, is at a loss when it comes to the outcome of this year’s game. After correctly predicting the last two champions, we couldn’t get him to pick a winner this time around. Our voting system consists of post it notes and treats, but this year, he wasn’t having it. My daughter says it’s because he thought the system was rigged.

And he’s not even from New Orleans.

BREAKING NEWS . . . . After an impasse last night in which Mr Speaker refused to cast his vote, a special session was convened early this morning. The results of this ‘runoff’ have the Rams defeating the Patriots. 

635 Reasons to Love Cleveland

GTY 1036977084 S FBN SPO USA OH

Remember that girlfriend you had in high school who was constantly pulling you around by the leash? She’d break your heart one week only to pick up all the pieces inside the next? And every time you thought you’d finally learned your lesson, every time you’d talked yourself into never going back to her, she would make the scene, flip your script and play you for the fool again?

The Miami Dolphins are that high school girlfriend.

They are my harmful chemical of a romance gone full metal jacket. They are my cholera on cleats, my seasick Orion . . . my Orwellian O’Brien. When I ask for ‘mo they give me Poe. They promise me the world, and they give me Hoboken.

I’m not being a dick about this. I realize there are other fan bases that have it much worse than me. Like Beliebers, and QVC speed dialers . . . and oh yes, those peeps who insist on seeing Kelly Ripa live even though it’s a known fact she is the Goddess of the undead.

As far as sports goes? There ain’t no team in any professional sport that has done less with more than my Dolphins. They have money, J. Lo and an area code that can sell mango flavored snow cones in the middle of winter. Imagine the Dolphins were Vera Farmiga with the mind of Stephen Hawking and the bank account of Bill Gates. And then imagine, if you will, that this perfect specimen plays the cymbals in a Winger cover band.

Since the aughts of this millennium, Miami has proven less potent than an octogenarian who’s all outta penis pills. And never mind they’re 2-0 to start this season, and never mind I picked ’em to make the postseason, and never mind they play the Raiders. At home. My Dolphins are still going to find a way to fuck up this football equivalent of a glass of water.

So what?

The Cleveland Browns won a football game Thursday night! For the first time since Christmas Eve . . . of 2016. Basically, almost two calendar years have passed since Cleveland had something to boast about that didn’t rhyme with LeBron James.

Cleveland’s Browns are bringing the fun; something my Dolphins have been lacking ever since Dan Marino stopped pitching masterpieces. In a league where men behave like crybabies, dynasties become TMZ curiosities and marginal talents like Isaiah Crowell of the Jets choreograph embarrassing touchdown celebrations in losses, and then are not man enough to own up to their stupidity, the Browns are content with just playing football.

They’ve got a young brash quarterback with balls of steel, who seems to really dig the big moment. And in spite of his bad boy past, Baker Mayfield has thus far handled the dupes in the media with more aplomb than veterans such as Antonio Brown could dream of. In a post game interview on ESPN, Baker laughed off Scott Van Pelt’s suggestion that the quarterback get himself some free beer and party hardy.

It didn’t occur to the interviewer to pump his frat boy brakes, in spite of the fact the Browns have been Team Rehab (See Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon) over the last few years. And that’s because Van Pelt is a tone deaf goof, as are too many of his peers at the four letter. It was obvious that the kid out of Oklahoma was the adult in the room inside that moment.

So this Baker Mayfield kid’s got poise, and his team has ups. And in a best case scenario, the Browns use this year to get somewhere much better than middle of the road. That’s where the Dolphins have resided for the last couple decades, and it’s no fun. At all.

Maybe there will come a day when the Browns will behave like most of the other teams out there; comprised of divas and crybabies whose intrigue has nothing to do with football. But for right now, the Browns are more satisfying than free beer.

Drink up, Cleveland.

 

 

 

Mostly Fearless NFL Predictions!

Ref Punch

I decided not to play fantasy football this season, because I don’t feel like cursing players I don’t even know. Besides, I finished first in my league last year and I’m fucking tired, yanno? You might wonder why I wouldn’t want to defend my title, and to that I answer with this. By not playing, I am defending my title.

Anyways, I have my annual NFL predictions at the ready. I’m not sure if I even do this annually, but it sounds more official that way. As a public service, I must add that I’m not a professional and as such, you shouldn’t wager based on my predictions. Cut out the middleman and send the money right to me, because you obviously have no clue how to manage shit.

Enjoy!

New England Patriots Super Bowl appearance is akin to a Spider-Man reboot. They show up just about every year. Tom Brady didn’t lose the Super Bowl last year, his coach did. The Man Named 12 did everything he could, scorching the Eagles D for half a thousand yards after which he had consolation sex with Giselle. He should definitely consider a Presidential run, seeing as how even when he loses . . he wins. Rumor has it that one day Tom Brady will lose his superpowers and return to his Fortress of Solitude. Until such time, Team Apple Stock is an odds on favorite to get back to the big game. I ain’t buying it . . not this year. Because this year, it’s gonna be . . .

The San Diego Los Angeles Chargers. Unlike the Patriots, the Chargers always find new and exciting ways to fuck things up. They are the Hilary Clinton of the NFL playoffs. Too soon? Anyways, this is the year they break through and make it to the big game. Which doesn’t make up for the fact they switched out their sweet crib in San Diego so they could be just another team in LA . . . but hey, making it to the Super Bowl is good too. And the crown they’re looking to grab belongs to . . .

Browns Meme

The Philadelphia Eagles. Who used to find new and exciting ways to fuck things up, until last year when they actually won it . . with zero help from the Russians at that. After which the Eagles took to chirping about how they were a fun bunch compared to Tom Brady and the Matrix. Which conveniently ignored the fact that the Patriots have booked passage with the last week of the season eight times in the last seventeen years. The Eagles should be mindful of the fact that uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. They’re still gonna be plenty good, and they’re still gonna come close, but in the end, they’re gonna lose in the NFC title game to the . . .

Dallas Cowboys. Back in the day, the ‘Boys used to be hated the same way the Patriots are hated now. This was during a simpler time known as the Clintonian Era. Things just ain’t the same any longer. Soul has been replaced with algorithm and the whole world is ordering out. Well, the Cowboys are gonna steal all that gritty, seething fan hatred back from the Patriots this year and make it all the way to the big game.

Cowboys Cheerleaders

As for my predicted score in Super Bowl LIII, Imma have to come back to that after my predictions blow up and the actual participants make themselves known next January.

As for the rest of my NFL predictions . . .

  • The Browns will win more games than they did last year.
  • Jacksonville will not make the playoffs. My accountant can throw better than their quarterback, and that ‘vaunted’ defense? It gave up more points last postseason than a tricked out pinball machine. And ESPN loves them, which means this is more about style than substance.
  • The NFL will continue to fuck up the meaning of a catch, a peaceful protest and a legal hit.
  • Baker Mayfield will be entertaining, Josh Allen will be mostly awful and Josh Rosen will have the best season of all the rookie QB’s.
  • Deshaun Watson will finish behind Aaron Rodgers and Ezekiel Elliott for MVP honors. Watson is style and substance, and he’s coming fast.
  • The Miami Dolphins will exceed expectations. Kenny Stills (receiving) and Kenyan Drake (rushing) will surpass 1,000 yards. Ryan Tannehill will have a breakout season and Minkah Fitzpatrick will shine. And . . . there’s no punchline. Yet.
  • The Bucs and Bills will vie for the number one pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • The Vikings, Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Steelers, Chiefs and Rams will join forces in the NFL’s version of Infinity War. Didn’t they learn anything from the movie?
  • To the peeps who say the NFL’s bottom line was hurt by the anthem protests, I give you Jon Gruden. He hasn’t coached in ten years . . his lone Super Bowl win was with another coach’s players . . sixteen years ago . . which happened to be his last playoff win as well. That dude scored a 100 million dollar contract with the Raiders.
  • And oh yeah . . Gruden will be a disaster in his coaching comeback. I predict he’ll be off the sidelines within three years, after which he’ll move upstairs. He’ll become the NFL version of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, with revolving titles as Vegas boss.

On a completely related note, I wasn’t aware last night was the season opener until I received a text from a friend informing me the Falcons were beating the Eagles early on. Thursday night football is the worst idea since the Captain of the Titanic tried making a hairpin turn around an iceberg. NFL players should take a knee in protest to these midweek debacles.

This shit never would’ve happened if Burt Reynolds had been commissioner. Rest in peace, Bandit.