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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Check out my HEMI Exclusive:
An interview with Donyell Marshall

Check out my HEMI is a serious sports blog, and as such we are able to land exclusive interviews with the biggest names in amateur and professional sports. Today I sat down with the star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Donyell Marshall.

Awful Chief: Donyell, in game one you were only on the floor for ten minutes before taking what would have been the game winning shot. You are known for your three-point shooting prowess, but do you feel like you need more playing time to settle into the game to get into your rhythm before taking a crucial shot like that?

Donyell Marshall: Maannn, these women is awfully nasty.

AC: I hear ya there, old school. But on that shot, did you feel you were as loose as you wanted to be at that point?

DM: And these women keep walking past me.

AC: Oh, I think I get it: 'these women' you speak of, they are a metaphor for your teammates, who are maybe getting more playing time than they should, considering that they will not be called on to take a game-winning shot.

DM: Either way, I'm a pimp for today

AC: Yes, let's talk about how your team has fought back to tie the series. Detroit plays a very physical brand of basketball, with probably the deepest front court in the NBA. Defensively, how have you approached this talented opposition?

DM: Put your booty in the way and shake that...

AC: Donyell, last year it took the Pistons seven games to get past you in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. This year most analysts believe that this series is destined to go seven as well. You have already stated your confidence in your team to defeat the Pistons this season. First, do you feel that this is a better Pistons team without Ben Wallace, and secondly, what makes this a better Cavs team than the one that lost to the Pistons last season?

DM: Move bitch, get out the way!

AC: Well put. Would you say that Larry Hughes not having to deal with the death of his brother has been the biggest improvement over last year?

DM: (silence)

AC: I think many of his critics out there would agree with you. Finally, Donyell, do you think that you'll be ready to drain the shot if you get an open look at the end of game five in Detroit?

DM: You have no idea why they put those great big windows on the sides of buses, do you? To humiliate the people of color who are reduced to riding on them.

AC: I did not know that. Donyell, thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight with us today.

DM: You could fill the Staples Center with what you don't know.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Requiem For a Disease-ridden, Unloved, Unsightly Pussy --
An open letter to the collective pussy of Jon, Joe, Nick, and the unknown man

The main problem with getting back at West Coast friends who leave drunken messages like the second one in the post below is that you really want to handle that business when you too are shithaused and know that when you call there will be no chance that anything but voicemail will come up so that you can leave a long, uninterupted soliloquy of stupidity. Well, with the invention of the personal computer (Thanks, Datapoint!) and the internet (thanks, Uncle Chester!), and smooth bourbon (thanks, Makers!) an EST hombre can get back at his PST amigos without having to actually talk with them.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to remember our least favorite pussy that we somehow still wanted the best for. Over the years we discretely sprayed their joint pussy with 'hope' scented Lysol. We dreamed of the massive cesspool crevice to be sealed with concrete, cement, or at least filled with Gold Bond powder. We had nightmares about conversing with your nightmarish slit on sidewalk subway vents or while laundering your 'whites'. But we're now just thankful that the growling and hissing coming from you has been silenced and replaced by peace. A thatchy, boil-covered, contagious kind of peace, but a peace none the less.

We didn't judge you when we walked in on you masturbating with a garden weasel. We tried to understood how thick it can get in there and how satisfying the angled, staggered, triangular blades could be on the outside of the dense thicket that was your pussy. Overgrown, but perhaps underloved. Or at least underscrubbed.

We tried to stop everyone from mocking you for having to stuff in a sandbag downtown during your menstruation periods. We blamed the bloody discarded sandbags on the Iraqi insurgents when you tried to ditch your bloody bags of disease in downtown Baghdad. Too bad the smell from the bags led to several Iraqi men being hanged for swearing off vagina forever. It was unfortunate, and not all your fault.

We were thankful when you got our buddy off the schnide, even if you let him scratching feverishly. We tried to make sense of the dermatologist saying that poison ivy could, technically, be a sexually transmitted disease. We ignored how you supposedly had no rash, but quite possibly in fact had the plant growing, thriving from your dark, moist, diseased abyss. Wrigley Field has ivy and everyone loves that, right? Just like your labial growth, and we will forever miss you. We will visit your grave on Yucca mountain as often as we can, and always try to remember the good times, like when we simply removed the vacuum seal around you when our Senior prank fell through or when we hid that weed from the drug-sniffing dogs in you that time we went to Canada. That dog died, but fuck it. It was a fuckin' pig dog, right? Ashes to ashes. Bluff to bluff.

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From One Carpenter to Another

One fun thing about having some dickhead friends on the West Coast is knowing that, on a whim, you could fly out to frolic in their dry sunny climate and drink to the point of vomiting on their glass kitchen tables and leave it overnight for the cats to sample and for the smell to seep into the wood cabinetry to long outlast your stay. Also, you get to wake up to listen to incredibly drunken messages left for you. If you have really great friends out in the land of commie pinko, hippy pansy semen-surfing cock forests, you have to leave your phone on the other side of a closed bedroom door.

This first one is an example of a playful, fun message probably left in the afternoon (names -'d for non-statistical disclosure limitation):

Jon: "Hey there ----, your buddy Jon here, just calling from the streets here of San Francisco with a gentleman called Joseph -------. we're at Walgreens. He's returning a pack of cigarettes because he found a tobacco store adjacent to this particular tobacco store and, Wow! they've got an Astroglide 2 for 1, 2 in 1 pleasure massage, actually, Jesus, it's $12.99 for only 70 fluid ounces. But uh, just wanted to make sure that you don't have a flaccid Johnson, cause the last I checked it's pretty much not cool to have a limp cock"

And now for last night's gift:

Jon: "Please hold for Joe -------..."
Joe: "Mr -------, I can tell you just unwrapped your pussy because I could just see the glossiness from here. That shit was blinding. Your pussy's so bright I've gotta wear shades. Damn right. Your pussy's sooooo bright. I just put on some 30 UVB fuckin sunscreen. Your pussy's so glossy, shit it's so lubed up and moist. it's blinding. Good thing I got a base tan down at the fucking tanning salon to make way for your pussy rays."
Jon: "Yeah, Joe and I put pussyblock on because we knew that your pussy was going to come shining and we know that the elliptical pussy's going to come soon so we're kind of awaiting the glory. we really appreciate everything that you do, because we know that you recently used Summer's Eve and so that's why we know it's going to be coming bright. We just really appreciate everything that you do. I'm going to pass the horn on. can you something to ---- about his pussy? anything..."
Unknown: "I don't know, your pussy must be shit by now because it was dirty the last time i saw you. I'm not sure when that was, it's gotta be a census at least. i don't know, anyways OK..."
Nick: "pussy in a box. a swong of a loin of choicewise reefus"
Jon: "----, i just wanted to give a big shout-out to your twat. and uh, we know that you got some kinda bluff issues, but if you scrape the scabs off it's going to be fine. in fact, rumor has it that if you put some kinda flame to it you'll get the bugs out and you could just start fresh. from one man to another, i just really appreciate what you're doing. I'm going to pass the phone along now.
Joe: "----, when I've got cobwebs, you know i just dust my pussy off real quick with a swiffer. the swiffer's a beautiful invention because it dusts that pussy off real nice, gets it real glossy. when it's all moist it's ready to just jamb right in, you're all set. it's got no dust mites or nothin'. thanks for the swiffer. i might call it a pusswiffer."
Jon: "now ----, you got a mahogany stained pussy and so, if you've got pledge, and you put ample amount of pledge on a rag, you'll get anything out. i mean, from one carpenter to another, you just apply the pledge, a little summer's eve, a little pledge, and you just wipe out all those webs. i mean we just want to appreciate what you're doing because you're just representing the east coast and 'W' and all those great things that we love as a nation. all of us on the west coast appreciate what you're doing here for the nation there on the east coast. so just wanted to extend our thanks, memorial day, you know, we really appreciate everything you know. a lotta great things: Iraqi children dying, and you basically. kinda hand-in-hand, you know, you and the death of many people, so thank you! have a good one."

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stay Down!

At some point a tired, undersized, overmatched fighter has to stay down. It's just a question of whether it will be voluntary or not. He knows that he's never really going to win, but the pull to the rush of engagement cannot be overcome by reason in some fighters. Sure, pain and injury may keep the fighter down temporarily, for a few seconds, minutes, months, or years, but the sick bastard is going to get up. When he gets up, he will recover. While the bruises heal, the fighter will regain a healthy perspective on life and fighting, yet somehow the healthier he feels and the lesser he needs it, the more he wants to step back into the ring. This, mon frere, is addiction.

Relatively few may become addicted to fighting, but there is a countably infinite set of activities with little or no positive benefit, and sometimes extremely harmful, for which one may fall victim to. It could be as exotic as injecting heroin directly into your bloodstream or mundane as biting your fingernails. It could be as expensive as getting lap dances or as Larry Harrison-ish disturbing as masturbating outside strangers' windows.

However the human brain happened to come to be what it is does not matter, but it ended up with a major defect. If we were a product line manufactured for use by some other being, there should have been a recall. Somehow, certain activities which we willingly engage in send an electrical and/or chemical signal to our brains that, no matter the utility of the activity, our brain files it under the do that again as soon as possible category. Not everyone suffers from every addiction, thank goodness. Like with the common cold, we can reduce our chances of getting it by limiting exposure to known undesirable addictions, such as smoking. Yet just about everyone is addicted to something that they wish they weren't.

I was told by my guidance counselor in high school that I have an 'addictive personality'. Does this mean that my friends are addicted to me? Perhaps, but I think what he mean was that I am especially prone to filing experiences in the do that again as soon as possible category. I have adopted and battled off many activities in this category in my life, most notably cigarettes. Some were replaced with others, like weed for alcohol, while others were eliminated with a reduction in disposable income, like, well...strip clubs. Writing for this blog has its ups--good writing practice for a math major, and its downs--could, you know, perhaps be something I shouldn't be doing at work.

The word 'addict' has a connotation that suggests weakness and an uncontrollable tendency towards an activity outside societal norms. I am, without question, a gambling addict. My family of wagering of choice is sports betting. Through the years I have had my ups and downs, but it is always the big losses that are remembered. Remember that 49'ers/Giants playoff game that ended with the crazy field goal play? The Giants fucked up the snap, then a blatant pass interference was not called and the Giants lost after being up 17 or 24 at halftime. That play represented over a $1k swing (what I would have won vs. what I lost) and I of course remember it because I was on the losing end. That NCAA final game where the Duke player (Duhon, I think) hit a meaningless three-pointer as time expired? Lost $50 on that one. Remember when the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts lost at home to the fucking Houston Texans this past year? or that game in September when the Steelers lost to the lowly worse-than-Lions Oakland Raiders? Lost on both. Didn't give the points either, just needed them to win straight up. A few years ago I threw a Florida State money line bet on top of a four team parlay. They were -1300 and would have added about $3 to the win. It was of course the only one to not come through.

Perhaps what I regret most is all of the bets I have made simply because I knew I was going to be watching the game. What fucking sense does that make? In these games I don't see any particular edge to either side of the line due to some special insight on one of the teams competing in the contest. It's like dipping the end of a joint in cocaine or breaking the guide stick off of a bottle rocket before lighting it--no reason to fuck with a good thing. For fuck sake, just watch the damn game! The most recent examples of this behavior are the Red Wings/Ducks series and the Champions League final yesterday. I lost on both, making big homer bets.

That same guidance counselor also told me that I was so set on what was causing me to be seeing him that he didn't think there was anything that could be done to stop me doing that particular activity until some terrible event would occur in my life because of it that would snap me out of it. He was right. While I am certainly a heavy drinker, I mostly drink to great excess only in social situations where it is acceptable, even encouraged. There is no such social aspect to my gambling addiction. I'll bet on pretty much anything (very rarely baseball, however) and will drop a c-note on something I don't really feel strongly about happening.

What I would like to do is to limit both the amount wagered and make every bet the kind that I'd look back and say that I'd happily make again (they do actually exist). With the football season months away and just the NBA playoffs and perhaps the Stanley Cup finals to bet on now, it's time for me to draft a Bill Simmons-esque set of rules that sound good but in practice will not be followed. Starting next week I will begin this living breathing document, which in the spirit of the Almighty Bill Simmons, will undoubtedly contain shitloads of contradictions. I hope to get help from the rest of the staff chained up in the cellar on this. Oh, that reminds me: remember to stop by CVS and pick up some gauze. And some lube.

Have a happy, drunken, meat-gobblin', gamblin' good time this weekend!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

What Had Happened
5/19 - 5/20

Once in a while I notice something that reminds me how great it is to be a single, adequately compensated, thirsty young man in my twenties. I honestly cannot remember the last uneventful weekend I've had. This past Saturday and Sunday was particularly grand, with the following highlights:
- 225 minutes of soccer played at various locations around the DC metro area
- Saturday afternoon/evening power drinking and eating on roof of building on U St with Dolores & others (see below)
- Sunday afternoon/evening power drinking and eating at a home in Silver Spring, MD

Between the two cookouts I took down the following meat products:
- 5 sausages
- 1 hot dog
- 1 veggie burger
- 2 hamburgers
- 1 piece of chicken

There is no telling how many cups of beer I had, but it was enough on Saturday for me to pass out by 10PM with no recollection of anything that had transpired past sundown. On Sunday, it was enough for me to ignore the ankle and Achilles injuries sustained throughout the weekend, as well as my extreme intoxication, and play an indoor soccer match at 10PM.

While this past weekend was certainly fantastic, I can't say that months from now it will stand out among other recent weekends which have included the races in Richmond, part 1 of the Dolores birthday party, and the NFL draft. Yet for one area man who attended the party on Sunday afternoon, this past weekend will stick out like a stiff johnson through a glory hole.

The man appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties. I do not recall his name. He arrived at the cookout about thirty minutes after we did, and was flanked by a wife and a child, no more than eighteen months old. While most of the party was sitting around close to the keg or checking out the motorcycles owned by the hosts and guests, this fella was primarily fifteen or so yards away sitting with his family and another friend or two on the grass, with the focus on the little boy. At this stage, there was no reason to suspect that the young father was not enjoying himself. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon in greater Washington. Large quantities of different varieties of delicious meat were on the grill. He had a plastic cup of beer to sip on when he got a chance. Friends were close by.

After a couple of hours, the man's baby was ready for the scheduled nap, and orders were out to move cars in the driveway so that the little guy could be transported home. The late model Jetta wagon pulled away, but someone was missing from it. That someone was the dad, now hoisting a full beer, standing tall, and sporting an ear-to-ear grin. There is no mistaking a father of a young child who has been given permission to let loose. Absolutely nothing had a fucking prayer of breaking up this guy's bliss. It was a sight to behold. It didn't matter whether he was in a conversation with someone at the party or just standing there alone for a second--nothing could wipe away the joy. As great as the beer and grilled foods tasted to me, there is no way that taste approached what the freed father was experienced. I would imagine that the difference would be on the order of an after-work beer at home versus the beers that the prisoners drank on the roof of the prison in Shawshank Redemption. At one point, I walked up to him and told him that I had witnessed all of the key events of his afternoon and just wanted to congratulate him on everything.

While things like credit card payments and mortgages weigh on the people in my demographic stratum, it is important that we cherish these weekends before the next phases in life phase these out to the point where each one seems as rare as a Michigan basketball victory over a ranked opponent.

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It's Kicked!

When you are done toking and hand the smoking apparatus back to it's rightful owner, do you say "it's cashed" or "it's kicked"? Actually, you probably say "pack it again mother-fucker!" if you're me. This question would always surface at different intervals during my college years when one of my friends thought they were being "deep" while smoking the ganj. It would then digress into the age-old war between the East-coast cats and the Mid-western dawgs on the merits of pop v. soda.

But when it comes to polishing off a keg full of beer, the only lingo is "the keg is kicked!" and that's exactly what 12 of us did this past Saturday afternoon. I want to send a big shot-out to the gang who rallied to finish the keg despite having to put up with a windy day, an ass-hole caterer, and the lack of ketchup and mustard (as per one crazy bitch). One keg is no match for 12 thirsty drunks on a mission!!

See you in hell!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Let's All Share...

Reading Awful Chief's previous condom post brought back some memories of my awkward teenage years so I thought I'd share some of them -- especially since the Chief has been riding my ass to post something.

I distinctly remember my first time buying condoms. I was with my really good friend Nate - a buddy of mine since forever. We were both were into a lot of the same stuff: we
loved classic rock music, we both smoked tons of cigarettes, and we both played flute in the marching band (see how cool I was in high school?). Plus, Nate was in a rock band and I was a "groupie" per se - except without all the sex-stuff. Actually, Nate was more experienced at the sex-stuff than anyone I knew. He had lost his virginity like when he was 13 to some chick who was way older than us, who would always pick on me, and who was really fat. I'm only putting that in here because she was a super bitch and made me cry on more than 1 occassion. Seriously.

Anyway, I'm at this age, around 16, where I'm just dying to get rid of my v-card. One night after a football game (and remember, we were in band so we were at EVERY football game), Nate and I were hanging out and chatting about this and that. He was in-between special lady friends and so we started asking ourselves why the two of us never gave it a shot. I complained that I still was a virgin and we decided, on the spot, to remedy this affliction. We drove to the nearby 7-11, which was a local hangout spot (because teenagers are so imaginative), and walked in to buy some condoms. I remember I was shaking - I was more scared of buying these damn rubbers in front of everyone, than of doing the deed itself. I also thought the guy behind the counter wouldn't sell them to us because we were too young or would start yelling at us or something - but it went ok. After the transaction, we hopped back into Nate's giant Chevy Suburban and drove to this cemetary in the pitch-black. Really romantic, right? We climbed in the back of the 'burban and then kind of just looked at each other. We tried kissing - but it was too weird. Finally after some awkward fumbling, we gave up and I told him to take me home. I guess I realized that as much as I wanted to get rid of my "special flower" (puke - hate that term!), I didn't want to do it in the back of a Suburban, in a graveyard, with a guy who was more like my brother than anything else.

Afterwards, we went back to being friends and never really thought about doing that again. I'm actually really happy to report that Nate married a lovely girl last summer and me and my BF were at their wedding. The reception was in the back of a bar -- Nate and his band played for the guests so we all got to rock out like we used to.

As for myself, I ended up eventually losing "it" a few months later in a room with grafiti-covered walls to a guy named Chuck. Chuck was a white guy who liked to think of himself as a "gangster", who lived in
Quakertown, and had the smallest dick I've ever encountered in my life. EVER.


Fixed Again

Steve Mariucci, more than any other Lions coach in history, represents the false hope in the air this time of year.

With every Spring and Summer comes promise from the Lions that the days of sucking are over. This year is no exception. Today I offer you some of the Honolulu Blue kool-aid fresh out of Allen Park, MI as well as a sample of some vintage blends from the Ford country kool-aid cellar.

"All year last year, going through some of the struggles we went through, guys going down with injuries, guys having to play maybe when they weren't ready to play ... (offensive coordinator Mike Martz) kept assuring me that he was going to fix it," Kitna said. "And they fixed it."

"Jon looks more comfortable now just from coming back and playing a whole year in this offense and seeing every possible thing that could happen," Furrey said. "He's been through it all now. We go out and throw right now, and it's just like we've been doing it for 10 years."

"I think we're going to be a whole lot quicker and faster," Sims said. "I think there are going to be a whole lot more bigger plays made -- interceptions, turnovers -- because we've got a better understanding. We're going to be pretty good."

"Their confidence was as high as I'd seen it," Kitna said. "You could tell that by just looking at guys' eyes. They knew where they were going. They understood the checks that they had to make. Their confidence was sky-high. There was never any guesswork out there."

"I just feel high expectations will bring about more prosperous things," Rogers said. "The higher you set the bar and the closer you can get to it, the higher you achieve. I'm happy that he has so many expectations for me. I'm not going to do anything but try to live up to them."

"I don't have no predictions," Rogers said. "We just have to play ball. We'll see that come January. If we're on the postseason, we'll know if we've done our job. ... I don't have anything but hope and high expectations for us as a duo."

“I just believe in this team — a lot. I’m going to feel better and better every day we’re here. There are going to be bumps in the road. So be it. Nothing changes. This is going to be a very good team.”

“That’s OK,” Marinelli said. “It’s just me. It’s what I see. I’m out here, I look, I see it, and I believe it. I’m not going to undersell it. I’m going to overrate those men, because that’s expectations. I’ve got great expectations for this team. I like the way they’re working. You’re seeing what I’m seeing. It’s fast and explosive.”

2006 (3-13)*
"He's very detailed. There's nothing that goes by the wayside. He sees everything," quarterback Jon Kitna said of the former St. Louis head coach. "But the great thing about it is he's going to give us every opportunity to be successful."

"I know people in Detroit hear that with a skeptic ear, but look at his track record," he said. "The Rams were 3-13 before he got there. We have to take what we've learned now and go out and do it."

*NOTE: To be fair, neither of these quotes is all that optimistic and they were the most optimistic I could find for the year. We were prepared for the 2006 shit fest.

2005 (5-11)
After some light running and stretching, Williams stood and watched the first 10 plays during a drill before getting a chance to run a route. Later, he lined up as a slot receiver in a four-wide set alongside Roy Williams, Charles Rogers — first-round picks the two previous years — and Kevin Johnson with Joey Harrington at quarterback. Detroit cornerback Dre Bly said it reminded him of practicing against the St. Louis Rams. “For opposing defenses, it can get ugly,” Bly said.

“It’s a special chance for us to showcase what we can do,” Detroit’s Terrence Holt said. “We can show everybody that this is a new team, not the same old Lions.” (Lions lost 37-13 to the Rams)

“Well, it was kind of an interesting weekend in the meetings and in the lunch room. There’s a certain hunger, or eagerness, with this bunch that, not only do they want to be good, because that is always the case, but I think they think they really can be good. And we’ve got some play makers, we’re growing up in certain spots, and everybody is playing and the camaraderie is good. I don’t see any selfish guys out there at all; I think everybody is keeping the team in mind. So I think there is certain optimism in the hallway right now.”

2004 (6-10)
"I see it like a volatile stock," coach Steve Mariucci says. "We'll have ups and downs, but overall it will be a rise. We'll be better in time. But we've got to get there fast."

Says Millen, "Joey likes being the guy you have to go to in order to get the answer."

On how the minicamp went: “Good, as a whole. (There was) a lot of energy. The tempo was excellent and the attention to detail was very good. We had better participation than a year ago at this time when we had 12 guys standing around watching."

2003 (5-11)
"It was kind of a mixed reaction because I loved Coach Mornhinweg, he was a terrific coach for me personally," Harrington said. "But on the same note, we've got Coach Mariucci, who is a proven winner. He brings a vision, excitement and a passion to this organization, which I think has been missing."

"There's a time to push and there's a time to pull back," Mariucci said. "I think throwing them a crumb once in a while is a good thing because they've been working for so long. We've been doing this longer than anybody in the league. I like where we are right now. It was a good time to finish some important things up and let them out."

"If anybody wants to win the Super Bowl, follow me," Mariucci told the collection of strangers who mostly combined to win just five games the previous two seasons. He brought them out to a trophy case. It was empty. "I'm here to fill this," Mariucci said

"I love his approach to the game," Mariucci says of Harrington. "I've been very impressed with Joey as a human being. He's top-shelf. He seems to have the respect of his teammates, from what I can gather. I think he's got quite an upside. I think he's got a bright future.

2002 (3-13)
From Ten things we love about Joey:
At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Joey isn't somebody you want mad at you. At least he can take some good-natured ribbing ... we think. Otherwise, he wouldn't have allowed his college teammates to give him this nickname: Princess.

"You're way ahead of where you were a year ago because you know exactly what you have," Millen told "Last year going into it, we were putting a new system in and you wanted to see how guys fit and how they reacted; who you can count on, who you can't count on and all that kind of stuff. We have a better assessment of our talent level now and where we're at and what can fit."

"He's a sharp young man," Mornhinweg said of Harrington. "He throws the ball extremely accurate. I think he progressed very well and I would expect him to progress at a high pace because he is easily coachable.

2001 (2-14)
"The bar is high," he (Mornhinweg) said. "The goal for this organization is to win Super Bowls.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Bar Is Too High

As a former pharmacy cashier, I have rung up my fair share of personal items. I lived for the sales of family planning products to hot girls. "Condoms......NICE", I would think. "I'll bet she thinks of me smoothly putting the box in the small paper bag and folding over the top during intercourse." Another fun device to sell was the E.P.T. pregnancy test kit. "Oooh, I guess we got a little too caught up in the moment last weekend, didn't we? Well, good luck to you! Bring your receipt back for 15% off the morning after pill if it turns out that you've got a 'little Henry' to take care of!" Feminine hygiene products didn't really do anything for me. I'm not sure why. I guess I'm just not normal. Ipecac syrup? I just wanted to give those girls a hug and whisper "You don't look too fat for me, baby" into their ears.

Since leaving the pharmacy clerk life behind, I loathed the experience of purchasing of condoms and other embarrassing personal items until recently. "Oh shit, no. NO! Look at this fool! What the fuck do you think you're going to do with those, motherfucker? I KNOW they're not for your sorry ass. Why are you wasting $10 on something that is going to just sit in your sock drawer collecting dust until the expiration date has long passed?", or "What's the matter, dude? You afraid of getting your blow-up doll pregnant?", the cashier must be thinking. I first experienced the greatness of purchasing condoms through a U-Scan at a Kroger on the West Side of Ann Arbor, MI. This, unfortunately, was also the last time I purchased condoms through a U-Scan. In Washington, DC, unlike Michigan, U-Scans are scarce if they exist at all.

One type of business that needs U-Scan technology way more than grocery stores is the 'adult bookstore'. If the average customer didn't have to face the creepy guy with the ponytail and goatee at the check-out counter, he or she would certainly have less reservation about making that experimental purchase that was always thought about but never executed. A couple of years ago I made my last pornography purchase. It took place in a little store about fifteen miles east of Winchester, VA. I felt so uneasy in there that I just grabbed a dvd with attractive girls on the cover and brought it to the front without paying attention to the title or reading the synopsis. I was a bit weirded out to discover that I had purchased a dvd intended for men with a foot fetish. It features extended shots of feet, toe sucking incorporated into the other action, and other strange scenes that don't do anything for me like drawn out sock removals.
[start digression] What the hell purpose do toenails serve? I understand why we have fingernails. They are useful for getting our hands into crevices for dislodging one thing from another, scratch-off lottery tickets, and scratching genitalia. If you know of one reason why we have toenails, please let me know. Maybe Dr. Blackstone knows. I believe that toenails on humans are nothing more than support for the theory that we evolved from monkeys. [end digression]
Maybe they have a U-Scan at the Adult Superstore on I-75.

Lately though, I stopped caring at all about the purchase of these products. What is more concerning is their cost. Yesterday I was at a CVS close to work and decided to buy some condoms. I went with the 'economy size' 36 pack. As much as I like to take it 'one game at a time' and just focus on making plays, i couldn't pass up this economy size box. I wonder if Sam's Club or Costco sells an even larger box, intended for large fraternities, massage parlors, or the Caligula Club...

Speaking of high expectations, the Detroit Lions are at it again this Summer with the big talk about how there's a new attitude and an elevated bar. Tomorrow we will highlight some of this bullshit that, if believed, can lead a Lions fan to doing something as foolhardy as betting someone that they will have a winning record in the upcoming season.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

You don't evolve into a fan of NASCAR. You're created a fan of NASCAR!

Perhaps the biggest reason for the growth in popularity of NASCAR is the laissez-faire attitude by the track management on the fan experience, particularly inside the spectator area.

From the Richmond track site on

What to bring

Each ticketholder may bring into the grandstands at Richmond:

• A 6x6x12 soft-sided cooler or a similar item, such as a scanner bag, a fanny pack or a purse

• One clear plastic bag, no larger than 18x18x4

• A seat cushion -- All seating in the grandstands are aluminum bench seating. The seat cushion is for comfort and for keeping your place on the bench.

• Chairs, a grill, food and games. These items are a must for those who plan to get there early.

Question: What are soft-sided coolers or similar items and clear plastic bags well-suited for?
Answer: transporting canned beer, Aquafina bottles filled with whiskey, and food

Whether or not you know the sponsor, car number, and racing team for each driver, are familiar with pit strategies, or even have a rooting interest in the race, you still have the case of beer and assorted foods to consume throughout. There is something extremely satisfying about drinking beer that was purchased at supermarket prices at a live event like a race where vendors sell it for six times what you purchased it for.

In long stretches under green, the gap between the leading and the last place car diminishes in a short track race like Richmond, until the lead cars lap the last place cars and they end up fairly evenly distributed around the track. I was concerned going in that this would make it too difficult to follow what is going on in the race, but leader board made it easy to identify which cars were near the top of the field. While cars were all over the track, I was able to focus on groups of cars running close together.

While some fans watch the race with headsets listening to the the frequency for a particular driver and crew chief of their choosing or the race coverage through a race scanner, it is not a requirement to have a good time at a race. And you don't have to be a total redneck either, although there are lots and lots of them in attendance and a large percentage of them are fun to observe.

Now, enjoy some of the Richmond memories captured on Arnie's new camera!

"Sushi at a race? Now that's a first!"
- cooler contents inspector, upon seeing the container of sushi that my pal Matt brought. Incidentally, another fan in the row below also had sushi.

"Well, that was the best $10 I've ever spent. It's irregular, yes, and they said that they couldn't sell it to me, but I told them 'Oh, yes you can!'." - Arnie, now rollin' on 24's

Most NASCAR fans like them some baby Jesus. Before each race is a prayer, which we found amusing. Sometimes sponsors are mentioned by name in this pre-race prayer.

Many individuals proudly display which side they favored in the War of Northern Aggression. Note the West Virgina University stickers and the faux testicles hanging from the trailer hitch. We found those to be highly amusing, so much so that you almost wanted to ignore the racist 'stars & bars' decal.

We arrived at the race in a fuel efficient Honda Civic. Other fans chose to drive vehicles that were more efficient at moistening the panties of female passengers.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Do you love beer?

The year was 1994. I was a sophomore in High School. I led my hockey team in goals. My hair? long. Cigarettes? Addicted to them. I drove a midnight blue Ford Ranger with a cap on the back. This cap gave me a place to 'hang out', smoking pot with friends or making out with girls. Ladies, you can just smell the romance can't you? Who wouldn't want to get felt up in the back of a pickup truck parked on a random side street or parking lot by this young man?

I was one of the last of my friends to start drinking, starting out as more of a pot smoker. This is how I started smoking pot, as best as I can remember:
"Hey man, do you want to hit this?"
"Uh, what's that?"
"It's a joint, man."
"Um, no thanks. I don't smoke marijuana."
"Dude, it's only weed."
"It's only weed?"
"Yeah, man, do you want to try it?"
"Sure, I mean, if it's only weed."
I'm pretty sure I got an A in health class.
I tried alcohol for the first time that year after I found my girlfriend making out with my best friend at her house. I stormed out, drove home, opened up the liquor cabinet, poured myself a shot of Jack Daniels and took it down. Being from Michigan, of course my next move was to grab my pellet gun and fire off some rounds at an empty birdhouse. Hitting a small target from distance with a pellet gun is no small feat, and I remember being amazed that I hit it from fifty yards or so.

In the weeks and months following that cathartic moment in my back yard I began trying other forms of alcohol. By the time the Ken Burns documentary Baseball first aired on PBS, I had a new favorite beverage.

Do you love beer?

While normal commercials are not shown on PBS, they do acknowledge the major program sponsors. Samuel Adams was one such sponsor for Baseball. Somehow they were allowed to be acknowledged with a non-invasive commercial consisting of the following:
- light acoustic guitar for the duration of the ten second commercial
- five seconds into the soft music, a voice posed the above question
- 'Samuel Adams' appeared on the screen

I have not seen a more affective advertisement since. Each time it came on, I wanted to jump out of my chair and shout 'YES! Yes, I do!' If only more ads like this could reemerge...

Do you love anal intercourse?

Do you love football?

Do you love New York Pizza?

Do you love pregnant teenagers?

While google image searching "detroit lions" I came across the photo below. I was pretty blown away. I'm not sure what best fits this one.
1. Do you love sleeping alone?
2. Do you love starting and ending every day with a sense of loss?
3. That bed's not king size. It's Lion king size!
4. With this twin size comforter, you'll be a master of the cover two!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dude, tomorrow's already the tenth!

Far out. We are about a third away through May and it's time to reflect on our successes and failures. Did you fail to smoke as many cigarettes as you were hoping to on Friday, May 4th? Maybe you look back at Monday, May 7th with disappointment as you managed to make it out of bed to get ready for work instead of staying home and eating bowl-after-bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and standing in front of your living room window wearing only makeshift underwear constructed from a grocery bag, as you had been considering in the time between when your alarm first went off and the snooze alarm sounded. Perhaps you made your 1st move on the girl you met at the bar Saturday, May 5th before the roofies kicked in and ended up getting slapped or maced.

Sports fans are accustomed to emotional ups and downs lagging the outcomes of games played by the teams they follow. Usually the more teams you follow, the more diversified your fan holdings are. This is why no matter how much you love the Detroit Lions, you have to root for other teams as well for your emotional safety. After the Lions lose to Green Bay for the umpteenth time, you need to be able to say "well, at least Michigan won" or "thank goodness the Wings are looking good this year". When the Lions go out and get that improbable win, like last year against Dallas, the shittiness of Michigan basketball keeps you from getting too ecstatic.

Once in a while, no matter how diversified your sports fan portfolio is, you'll go on a nice long run of ups or a painful streak of downs. Detroit sports are in one of of those precious runs of wins at the moment. The combined record of the Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers so far in May is 11-0.

5/1: Tigers W 5-4
5/2: Tigers W 3-2, Red Wings W 3-2
5/4: Tigers W 6-3
5/5: Tigers W 7-5, Pistons W 95-69, Red Wings W 4-1
5/6: Tigers W 13-4
5/7: Pistons W 108-87, Red Wings W 2-0
5/8: Tigers W 9-7

Detroit should break into an ad hoc pride fest this afternoon. Things may never be as good as they are for us right now. The Pistons look destined for a return to the finals, the Red Wings just completed their toughest series win since scoring seven goals against the Avalanche in game seven of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, and the Tigers have won eight straight. How often does a sports city have trifecta like Detroit on cinqo de Mayo, with two of the wins coming in the playoffs?

Who do we have to thank for this great success? The Big Johnson, that's who. Since the Lions drafted Calvin Johnson, the other three Detroit teams are 15-2. All hail, King Johnson! If the Johnson factor can somehow help put some wins on the board for his own team as well, the city or state could be in for a renaming. I can't decide what sounds better between Johnson, Michigan or Detroit, Johnson. Maybe they should just go with Johnson, Johnson or the Detroit Johnson instead of the Lions.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

You can take my dignity, but I'm keeping my red 747 Swingline.

In supposedly fifteen minutes the most miserable office arrangement of my pro career will be over. At the end of March, I was forced out of my one hundred square foot solo office into a temporary space down the hall with two other coworkers during phase one of the gentrification renovation to our floor. The problem was not with the two coworkers, but the de facto common area resulting from the printers, fridge, coffee maker, and microwave all being located right next to my desk. Why this sucked:


If I was a stand up comedy guy comedian, I think I could connect with all of the office workers in the audience by talking for a while about printers.
"...and so that was another close call in pull-out history, and the closer the call with the pull-out, the better the pull-out, isn't that right fellas? All right guys, give me a 'whoop-whoop!' if you like some premarital sex from time to time...yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Man, I almost seriously fucked myself there. But hey, you know what's seriously fucked? Printers. Office printers. Be. Fuckin' up!"
This past weekend I was talking to Arnie about this and found out that he has the same problem. He suggested that I, like he has, move on to a state of acceptance of my job description including "printer therapist" for all of the people who turn to the nearest human to the cause of their problems ranging from annoyance to office crisis. I never quite got to this state of inner peace that A.'t.b.'S. has achieved.

"Man, is this thing running a little slow today? I can't believe it still hasn't printed. Something must be wrong with the connection. Has anyone contacted User Services about this?"
"I don't know."

"What's wrong with it? There must be some kind of paper jam. There's a little light flashing."
"Did you read the error message?"
"Um, it says that tray two is empty. "
"Well, there you go."
"I don't know what that means."
"It means that there is no paper in tray two."
"Where's tray two? What paper do I use?"

"So hey, you getting tired of everyone talking to you while they're waiting for the printer?"
"Sometimes it makes it difficult to concentrate."
"I hear that, man. Let me put it to you like this: There was this one place I used to work, and this guy just kept coming over and talk to me, like, all day and it just drove me nuts. And the thing was, is that it's not like I was always really busy, I just didn't feel like talking to the guy, you know?"
"Uh huh."
"I mean, it was like, just give me some peace and quiet so I don't lose my friggin' mind here, man, you know?"

Coffee Maker
Everything, like everyone, has its +'s and its -'s.
+: Being able to see the coffee maker was nice for me, as I was able to fill up as soon as the percolation stopped.
-: In the peak coffee hours of the day, 8-10 AM, everyone would file into my office area for their cups. On the way to the Mr. Coffee machine, many people would vocalize their state of being. If they were tired and dragging, the last steps before alertness were accompanied with grunts of fatigue.
"Hmmnngh, hmngh-ngh-ghhhm! I'll tell you what: I am TIRED today. I need me some coffee. HMMNGH! Grunnnngggh!"
The tired bastard would proceed to take the last cup, not make the next pot, and leave Mr. Coffee on.

Starting at around 11AM every day, dickheads would begin heating their retched frozen entrees or leftovers in the microwave located at my 3 O'clock about 8 feet away from my nose which unfortunately took it all in. Some had the nerve to heat frozen sea creatures, ignoring the fact that we would have to smell the residuals of it all afternoon. And did the hungry bastards go back to their offices to wait for the cooking or go take a crap or something? Hell no. Why do that when you can stand there and shoot the breeze with me? It got to the point where I would just leave for 1.5 hours and go work out at the gym to escape it. I guess I have that little microwave to thank for my powerful physique. Thank you General Electric and Michelina's!


This wasn't as bad as the other appliances mentioned above, but it still meant more times that I had to minimize the window on whatever time wasting internet based document I was viewing when fools would put in or take out foodstuffs from the mini-fridge.

OK, so the move is complete. I have been relocated to my second temporary office down in the basement of this massive building. Hopefully my boss won't come down with a big can of roach repellent spray and mouse traps.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Let's Go, Girls!

Arnie, the Battleship, another pal of ours, and I are about to drive south, in a car, to our weekend getaway location of Richmond, Virginia. Fast facts about Richmond:
- capitol of the commonwealth of Virginia
- hometown of Arthur Ashe
- visited by Queen Elizabeth II this week
- very friendly to smokers. The Battleship will be pleased.
- the river (the James i think) sometimes swells to flood an entire section of the city. they expect it and it doesn't fuck much shit up. shit fuck cock piss. dick.
- home of Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Neither Arnie nor I understand what is at all international about it.

Perhaps we will by the end of the weekend, as we will be attending the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series races on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively. Why? Because we are awesome, that's why. I heard that the Battleship, just for fun, takes wheels off of cars in his neighborhood and switches them all around just to keep his pit crew skills sharp. You know, just in case. I think Arnie's Oldsmobile has 750,000 miles on it, and it's a 2002. That's how much Arnie fucking rolls. And me, I wasn't conceived, I was engineered. When I was born I had that new car smell. Instead of pubic hair I have interior carpet. My fucking cock is a stick shift. My asshole is chrome. I don't use Jergans, I use Turtle Wax. That's the way shit is, people. We piss 93 octane gasoline.

Now it's time for some Q&A between Arnie and I.

Awful Chief: Do you think it would be illegal for Kingsford to put nicotine in their charcoal brickets?

Arnie: Thats a silly question, everybody knows that all smoke has nicotine. (FYI, its a '98)

Arnie: A.C., Do you think that the former Laker who bears your namesake, A.C. Green, remains a virgin to this day?

AC: Yes. A. C. Green is really into toast fucking (you know, that new thing where you fuck or get fucked with toast), which keeps him satisfied.

AC: Arnie, if you discovered that fucking the shit out of a loaf of Wonderbread was highly pleasing and worth the cost of the loaf, and you were going to work on a loaf in your parents house, would you rather get busted by your mom or dad, and why?

A"B"S: Chief, Id much rather get busted by my dad. That way we'd be able to discuss technique.

A"B"S: Chief, who'd you rather get wierd with, Michael Irvin or Mark Gastineau?

AC: I'd rather find myself at a pool or pond with Mark Gastineau so I could at least play with his 'stache and think about his daughters.

Bon Weekend!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Zoned Out

Note to Joe in San Francisco and others who dislike me writing about sports: I really do like sports. Sorry. I'll get back to writing about more important subjects like pooping and peeing soon.

Last night I went to bed feeling the sting of defeat and the humiliation of having to stay up till 12:40AM for the pleasure. For the first time since the height of the rivalry with the Colorado Avalanche, the Red Wings are facing a team in the playoffs that is at least evenly matched with them.

Johnathan Cheechoo scored a power play goal for the Sharks late in the third period to put them up two to one. It was an extremely tight game and after this go-ahead goal, the game was all but over. The Wings came close in the final minutes but could not put anything by Nabokov who again was extremely sharp when Detroit was able to get the puck through the stout San Jose defense.

Detroit played hard and generated thirty shots on goal, about half of which were legitimate chances. For the first period and most of the first half of the second, the Red Wings were the team skating harder, making crisper passes, and playing with more discipline. At some point in the second period the Sharks found whatever intensity they were missing and matched the Red Wings in every aspect they were bested for most of the first half, which made for some of the most exciting hockey I have seen in years. All but a few players were playing out of their minds. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, two of their players showed the weakness in their games that everyone knew they had.

Dominick Hasek has never played with a style that a goaltending instructor would suggest mimicking, but his superhuman instinct is normally enough to make up for him being badly out of position. His two biggest problem areas are handling the puck and getting caught on his back, flopping around in front of the net like a beached sea mammal during flurries of shots by the opposition. Thankfully someone seems to have gotten it into his forty-two year old head to not mess around trying to stick handle, at least for most of the playoffs. His other problem is not as easily corrected, unfortunately. The winning Sharks goal was scored when Hasek was on his back in the crease and appeared to be trying to defend the net by doing snow angels. Granted, Cheechoo put a sweet move on him and there was not much he could do, but he still over-committed to his left on the play and was forced to scramble. It was a position that Hasek found himself at other times earlier in the game and finally he lost his luck.

While Hasek may just be too old to recover from his wild moves with quickness, age has nothing to do with Todd Bertuzzi's main flaw, his brain. Late in the second period when the game was as tight as it was all night, Bertuzzi committed an elbowing penalty out of frustration. The Wings killed the penalty, but it was ridiculous that they had to do it at all. Hey Todd, everybody out there is frustrated. Deal with it, you moron. Every penalty in the game other than Bertuzzi's resulted from preventing a dangerous shot or scoring chance. Bertuzzi is an immensely talented player with unbelievable size, but is obviously not tough enough between the ears to keep focused on what is best for the team. I played with a few guys like this back in my high school days, and no matter how talented they are, their mental breakdowns always seemed to cost us in close games. So what do you do with him? If you bench him, you miss his size and threat to score. What is really needed here is a strong team captain to get him to understand that that kind of play isn't going to fly on the Detroit Red Wings. Lidstrom may be the best player in Red Wings history, but in this situation it's tough to not miss the leadership of Steve Yzerman.

In reality, the Sharks probably are a better team than these Red Wings. If the Red Wings are to end up winning this series, they are going to have to do everything that all of the underdogs have done in beating them over the past fifteen or so years. It will be fun to watch this series play out.

It's just too bad all of the road games these playoffs during the work portion of the weeks have been 9:30 PM or later starts. The map above shows why this seems to happen so often for the Wings. The Red Wings are in the same time zone as every team in the Eastern Conference, but are grouped with teams that are mostly fifteen hundred or more miles and two or more time zones away. With ratings in the toilet anyway and seats going unsold in 'Hockeytown', it is unfortunate that the geographic imbalance 'zones' fans out of watching unless they are complete idiots like myself. This is a problem that Gary Bettman has not been able to solve. Why does the NHL want a team in Phoenix so much? If they leave, the line shifts further east, pushing Toronto or Atlanta, you read that right, into the Western Conference. It really hurts when the Blackhawks and Blues suck as hard as they do, making it a lock that the Red Wings or their opponent near the Pacific get zoned out with the games starting outside of the "I'm home from work and able to sit around watching sports before going to bed" window for one of the sides. It's no wonder why this league is struggling. It's the greatness of the game Versus apathy and natural disadvantages at this point. Maybe Erin Esurance is the only one who can save the NHL.

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