December 2010

The Half-life of Beards

Where do beards go when they die?  Like all those playoff beards that baseball players grow.  Or the hairiness sprouting on many male (and some female) American chins as winter bears down.  But eventually they have to go away and the question remains, where do they go?

My hunch is that many of them go down the drain, shaved off and then rinsed away.  But this is not true of all beards.  No, some beards take a more circuitous route:

http://www.lex18.com/player/VideoPlayer.swf

So there you go, proof that there is a beard hell and a beard heaven.  I’ll let you decide for yourself which one this particular beard went to but I think you can guess where my vote ends up.

Happy Saturday!  Only 6 more shopping days ’til Christmas.

-A

Merry Mindmuck & Happy Paradigm Shift!

Brian Cashman.JPGYeah.  You know what I’m talkin’ about.  What you thought you knew is rendered totally false; and none of us quite know how to deal with it. 

Let’s see… in recent days we have learned the following:

The Yankees DON’T always get what they want.

The Red Sox have TWO closers, neither of which commands any fear.

And Al Qaeda is going ALL OUT to make this Christmas a very special one to remember.

Er… wait… that was…

Nevermind.

I’m just glad that children’s choir Christmas concerts in Racine, WI will always maintain the traditional standards of the holiday season:

Oh well.

Like they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Hate me ‘cuz I be trolololololol’n, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Key’s Revenge

francis_scott_key.jpgSinging The Star Spangled Banner at a sporting event is a time-honored tradition.  It’s also potentially paralyzing.  This is true in a figurative sense since the notes reach a really high register and sometimes people freeze up and just can’t get there.  It’s also true in a literal sense like when Sacha Baron Cohen sang the national anthem at a rodeo as his Borat character and almost got himself lynched.  Southerners don’t like it when you mess with their anthems and that includes Dixie and Sweet Home Alabama as well.

The anthem itself has a storied tradition and every schoolchild knows of Francis Scott Key and the poem he wrote based on an unwelcome stay aboard a British boat in Baltimore harbor.  However, the decision to set it to a tune that is practically impossible for a majority of the population to sing may not have been the best idea.

As it stands, the Star Spangled Banner has played a starring role in several unfortunate incidents, the most famous of which has to be Roseanne Barr’s infamous rendition.  But the song usually finds at least one new victim every year.  This year’s list of nominees would probably include the singer at a recent Chiefs’ game.  There’s nothing wrong with the voice.  And he gets most of the words.  It’s just….well, take a look for yourself:

Joe Blanton: Your Soon-to-Be Pub Trivia Quiz Answer

joe blanton.jpgQuick! Name the 1993 Atlanta Braves fifth starter!

*tick tock tick tock tick tock*

Give up yet?

Let’s see, there’s Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Avery and…

Pete Smith?

You betchya!  Move over, Petey, ‘cuz Joe Blanton is about to take his seat on the ultimate bench of irrelevancy!!!

Indeed, as the shock from Ruben Amaro’s impressively aggressive move to recapture the services of Cliff Lee finally wears off, we are all bound to feel the wrath of that stellar Phillies rotation — a rotation that will make National League stomachs churn as violently as a half digested Taco Bell 7-layer burrito after an all-night college kegger where you went home with a chick named Mo.

And then there’s Joe Blanton.

Meh.

After getting a solid dose of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels… facing Joe Blanton is sorta like having to make out with Khloe Kardashian, just ‘cuz all the hot ones are already taken.

Of course, this is assuming Blanton will even be a Philly once the 2011 season starts.  If I were Ruben, I would do everything in my power to unload that salary, then it’d just be a matter of putting a body out on the mound every five days.  If said body is able to pitch, that’s a plus.  But really, four days out of five, the Phils are gonna be the hardest friggin’ team ON THE PLANET to beat.

Are you paying attention to all this Mr. Mozeliak? 

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

How to Use Your Downtime

roseslide.jpgThe good thing about the offseason is that baseball players have nothing to do but work out and prepare themselves for the next 162-game slog to the playoffs that we call the regular season.  Unfortunately, this also means they have plenty of time to call attention to all the reasons why they are baseball players and not university professors.

A prime example of this tomfoolery is Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott.  In a recent interview Scott talked about his valid belief in a limited government before going all Glenn Beck while explaining his very invalid belief that our President is not American.  It’s like Lenny Dykstra dispensing financial advice or Jim Bunning attaining a seat in the US Senate.  Baseball prepares you for lots of things but this doesn’t include politics or finance.

Luckily there are other baseball players who tell us what we really want to know.  Like Pete Rose who a few days ago shared with Philly radio listeners all they could ever hope to know about Joe DiMaggio.  It’s worth listening to the entire story if for no other reason than to hear Pete Rose say “…the best way to describe Joe DiMaggio, he was a peni$ with a man hanging from it.”

Thank you Pete.  This is how baseball players should be spending their downtime.

-A

The Road to Despair Goes from El DeBarge to Youppi

eldebarge jet.JPGStanding in the check-out line at my local grocer, I scanned the magazine rack hoping to find out if Khloe Kardashian had eaten herself to death or how drunk Jennifer Aniston got in Cabo while still thinking about Brad.  Instead, I was subjected to an image I thought I’d blocked out 25 years ago:

Eldra “El” DeBarge.

On the cover of Jet.

Who’s Johnny… she said…

*cue the daydream montage*

I see Bert Blyleven record his 3,000th strikeout…

I see Bob Horner hit four homeruns in one game…

I see Mike Scott no-hit the Giants… the Red Sox come back to win the ALCS after being down 3 games to 1… Ray Knight skip like a schoolgirl on Mookie Wilson’s Bill Buckner nutmeggin’ dribbler…

…and… and, I… I see…

YOUPPI.

*snaps out of it*

(wailing)
youppi_i.jpgOh, Youppi… oh, dear, dear Youppi… no!!!  It’s not FAIR!  It’s not fair that El DeBarge gets a comeback and you don’t… not fair that in 2010 you’re relegated to Montreal hockey duty while El DeBarge gets nominated for a Grammy.

A GRAMMY FOR JEEBUS’ SAKE!!!

And you wonder. 

You wonder why I don’t believe in god.

No loving god would subject the altruistic baseball fan to such chronic despair!!!

So hate me ‘cuz I I think El DeBarge topped out in ’86, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Gary Sheffield of Politics

elizabeth_edwards.jpgDeath is the great moderator.  There’s almost no sin so heinous that it can’t be re-contextualized by death.  When the death is tragic in some way, the new context is even more positive.

For instance, take Elizabeth Edwards.  There’s no denying that her battle against breast cancer was an inspiration.  That it finally took her life after seemingly being fought into remission made the story tragic.  Add in the way she was treated by her husband and the tragedy takes on entirely new proportions.

In contrast, if you read the stories associated with John Edwards’ two presidential campaigns, Mrs. Edwards doesn’t come out looking so nice.  By all accounts she was a fire-breathing bag of hate and pity the fool who looked at her the wrong way or decided to disagree with her.  Although this wasn’t the public face she chose to show, it became the new paradigm following the publication of these stories.

I guess that in my analysis, I’d call Mrs. Edwards the Gary Sheffield of politics.  There’s no denying that she added something special to the team.  She was pitch perfect under the lights and seemed to be nothing but an asset.  But off the field, when no one was around except for the team, the issues came out and affected those around her.  Yeah, sounds a lot like Sheff to me.

Like Sheff, she wound up facing a fair amount of controversy and having her tactics and decisions called into question.  The difference is that Sheffield still has a chance to redefine his paradigm.  Hopefully for him, he won’t have to wait for a tragic death to re-contextualize his life. 

-A

She Shouldn’t Have Assumed

You-must-be-a-Cubs-fan.jpg
Yep.  I’m making my own memes now.  So look out, internet.

No.

Limit.

Haters gonna hate!

But don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Taking it on the Chin

Jim_Joyce_and_Armando_Galarraga.JPGAs a Detroit sports fan, I have a better than average reason to detest the people who officiate our matches.  The Lions, woebegone team that they may be, have lost to the Chicago Bears twice this season, both times due in part to questionable calls.  Tigers’ fans will never forget the perfect game that should have been nor the umpire, Jim Joyce, who made the fateful call.

For other teams, the solution is to strike back and do something.  White Sox fans like to charge the field and pummel the ump.  Phillies fans….ok, well, Phillies fans don’t really count since they like to beat up little girls.  Or at least vomit on them.

Detroit fans, though?  We just continue to take it on the chin from the refs.  How about we go to the video for a graphical representation:

You stay classy, Detroit.

-A

RSBS Presents: Pain

jeff running houston half.jpgMy morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain. 

Indeed, running begets pain.  But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship.  This I know.

Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy.  Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.

But I digress. 

Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:

Jayson Werth cigar.jpgJayson Werth
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0!  No, seriously, I really am happy for you.  I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all.  Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle.  Um… okay.  The bad news is: you got screwed.  The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years.  By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal.  Maybe you’ll even smile.  Maybe.

usa-flag-inside-map.jpg‘Merican Politics
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya.  A war in Afghanistan.  A war in Iraq.  The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general.  The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again.  We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare.  We’ve no jobs.  Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die.  Yeah.  That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion.  Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?

pirates fan.jpgThe Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz.  Wow.  Just… wow.  Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble.  In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh. 

Just remember:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

My advice?  Go Steelers! 

Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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