Random Thoughts

No story this time, just some random thoughts that have been buzzing around in my head.

The Godfather is the greatest movie ever made.  It’s not even close, nothing else is even in the same league.  They should make a new name for what kind of art The Godfather is, because trying to compare it to other movies is like comparing Michael Jordan’s basketball skills to my rec league’s talent pool.  Part II is also in the top 5, and Part III, for all the criticism it receives, is still top 10.  Too bad Mario Puzo died before they could complete the story for Part IV.  Puzo said in an interview that it would have been similar to Part II, with two storylines, one a continuation of Vincent’s story and the other a flashback to Don Vito’s ascension to power during Prohibition.  Who wouldn’t watch that?

–Why are Indian mascots the only ones that are considered offensive?  What about Vikings, Spartans and Trojans?

–Ray Lewis killed a man and still gets TV endorsements.  Maybe Old Spice should change their marketing slogan to, “We can even get the smell of blood off you.”

–No woman has ever been able to make me climax from just a blow job.  And yet, I consider the BJ to be the most important skill a woman can possess in the bedroom.

–I am the Cleveland Browns of fantasy football.  I’ve won a championship but it was so long ago no one remembers it.

Yeah it looks like a shithole, but it's a great place to drink at 3am.

–It’s an insult to call Reno a poor man’s Las Vegas.  An insult to Vegas, that is.  Las Vegas is paradise on earth, a bastion of sin and depravity and debauchery.  Reno is a mid-sized city with a couple casinos.  But if you ever find yourself in Reno, I suggest a bar called Tonic.  It’s an easy cab ride from the casinos and it’s open long past when the casino bars shut down.  One night in Tonic I was witness to an amazing trifecta.  My boss was making out with a guy who wasn’t her boyfriend.  Another co-worker was making out with a guy who wasn’t her fiancee.  And my lesbian friend Shane was making out with a guy who wasn’t a girl.  I’ll let you figure out which of those three lucky guys I was…

–Why are Indian mascots the only ones that are considered offensive?  What about Cowboys, Miners and Lumberjacks?

–How did we survive before cell phones?  I’m not even talking about the convenience of having a phone on you at all times, for emergenices or being able to make changes to your plans on the fly, yada yada yada.  Forget all that crap.  I mean how did we survive before drunk texting?  And before I call send pictures of my penis to girls?  Not to mention being able to avoid assholes at work by simply whipping out your cell phone and pretending to talk to someone?

–I love freckles but moles feak me out.  I know, it’s a fine line, and I couldn’t explain it to you if I had to.  But freckles on a girl are hot, especially on the cleavage.  Moles on the other hand… well, I swear they start talking to me when I’m drunk.

–I was a Jenn Sterger fan long before that douchebag Brett Favre made her famous.

Jenn Sterger

–The first four girls I slept with all had names that started with the letter S.  For a long time I thought I was cursed.  My game is bad enough as it is, if you cut my odds to 1/26th I might as well just give up.

–I’m not afraid of dying alone.  But drinking alone depresses me.

–The only movie I’ve ever cried at is Rocky III.  How could it not break your heart when Mick is dying in the locker room while Rocky is getting bludgeoned by Clubber Lang?  And then after the fight when Balboa, bloodied and beaten, lies to Mick in his last moments, telling him he won?  If that doesn’t get to you then you’re some kind of robot.

–Why are Indian mascots the only ones that are considered offensive?  What about Canucks, Ragin’ Cajuns and Fightin’ Irish?

–I might just be the world’s biggest Jewel fan.  Go ahead, laugh all you want. I’ve heard it all before and I don’t care.  Jewel’s music is magical.  I’ve seen her in concert seven times (and it’d be more if I hadn’t moved to End Of The World, UT), and I have approximately 250 Jewel songs on my iPod.  I know, it doesn’t exactly fit with all my stories of drinking, swearing and attempted fornicating.  What can I say, I’m a complicated man.

–Muhammed Ali is the most overrated fighter in boxing history, and possibly the most overrated athlete ever.  (And no, I’m not just saying that because I hate draft dodgers and Muslim terrorists.)  Everyone talks about how Ali beat Joe Frazier two out of three times, but they never mention that both boxers were pretty much washed up and at the end of their careers for the last two fights.  In the only fight that truly matters, the first one, when both fighters were undefeated, Frazier beat Ali soundly, nearly knocking him out in the 15th round and winning on all three scorecards.  Smokin’ Joe is the greatest fighter of that era, it’s not even up for debate.

–In the first 30 years of my life the extent of my criminal record consisted of one speeding ticket.  That’s it.  But then I moved to Utah.  Within 3 months I had been arrested for DUI (later plead down to reckless driving, thank you very much.)  Then I got a public urination.  Oh yeah, and I’ve gotten another speeding ticket.  If I stay here in Mormonland much longer I’ll have to stop making jokes about Ray Lewis.

–I’m not really into lesbian porn.  I like to see hot girls getting fucked by guys.  Some people might think that’s gay.  But my fantasy is to fuck a busty blonde pornstar, not watch her fuck another girl (not that that would be all that bad either).

–The greatest line in movie history comes from V for Vendetta: “People should not be afraid of their governments.  Governments should be afraid of their people.”

–Why are Indian mascots the only ones that are considered offensive?  What about Friars, Demon Deacons and Crusaders?

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Rest In Peace, Chief

4 years ago today my alma mater caved to the political pressure of the NCAA and radical students and killed the greatest symbol in all of sports, Chief Illiniwek.

I grew up on Illinois sports.  Some of my earliest memories are of going to Illini football games at Memorial Stadium and basketball games at the Assembly Hall with my family.  I’ve been to bowl games and Final Fours.  I’ve roadtripped damn near all over the country.  I bled orange and blue.

Then in the blink of an eye He was gone.  An 80-year tradition wiped out just like that.  I cried like a baby at His last performance.  And then I walked out of the Assembly Hall and never looked back.

Rest in Peace, Chief.

 

Devastating Losses

Going into yesterday’s game, I thought the prospect of my beloved Bears losing to the dreaded Packers in the NFC Championship game would be the most demoralizing of all possible scenarios in my entire life.  I mean, the evil Packers, hoisting Papa Bear Halas’ own trophy in our own stadium?  Unthinkable.  Suicide-inducing.

And I’m not gonna lie, the loss hit me like a heavyweight’s body blows.  Every big 3rd down conversion by Aaron Rodgers; every blown opportunity by not one, not two, but three different Bears quarterbacks, they were all like daggers.  Every shitty, second-rate high school play call by the so-called genius Mike Martz; every punt by the Pack downed inside the 10 yard line. (Who the hell is that punter anyway?  I’ve never seen a punter dominate a game so thoroughly.)

But after sitting in my darkened apartment for a couple hours, iPod blaring the angriest music I could find, I realized that this loss really wasn’t as bad as some I’ve experienced in my life.  Not nearly as gut wrenching as some, not by a long shot.

So now, for your reading pleasure, I present the five most devastating losses in my life:

#5- February 14, 1998.  West Lafayette, IN.  College Basketball.  #8 Purdue 75, Illinois 72

 Although the Illini would later back their way into a share of the Big Ten title, at the time this loss seemingly cost them their first conference crown in 14 years.  Worst of all, the loss was caused almost entirely by bad officiating.  Purdue outshot the Illini 37-7 at the foul line (37-9 actually, but I’m not counting the two foul shots on Gene Keady’s technical foul, which he intentionally drew to fire up the home crowd).  And yet the gritty Illini still clawed back from a double digit deficit to tie the game at 70 before finally falling.

And I have a more personal reason for the game causing me such pain.  This was back before I was the veteran alcoholic you see before you.  At that point in my life I might have been drunk twice.  Ever.  And a friend of mine took advantage of my moment of weakness and got me the drunkest I have ever been in my life.  In all honesty, I’m pretty sure I had alcohol poisoning.  Threw up for an entire day and I think I was still drunk 16 hours later.  I had a hangover for about two and half days.  I probably should have died.

#4- June 19, 1999.  NHL Hockey.  Buffalo, NY.  Dallas Stars 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (3OT)

Yes, I’m a hockey fan.  I won’t apologize.  And a Buffalo Sabres fan.  I know most of you don’t care, but this was one of the greatest robberies in sports history.  With the Stanley Cup on the line, Dallas leading the series 3-2, game 6 was an absolute classic.  It was well into the 3rd overtime, almost six hours of edge-of-your-seat drama, when Brett Hull finally put the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in the back of the net.

But here’s the problem: the goal shouldn’t have counted.  I’ll try to keep this simple for you non-hockey fans, but basically in 1999 it was ILLEGAL for a player to be in the crease (that’s the blue ice around the goal) unless the puck was also already in the blue paint.   As you can see in the picture above, the puck was clearly not in the blue paint.  And Hull’s skate clearly was in the crease.

The NHL reviewed literally every single goal in the 1999 season.  Roughly 1300 games throughout the entire regular season and playoffs.  And yet, with the Stanley Cup on the line, the most important goal of the season was not reviewed and the Dallas Stars were awarded a Stanley Cup they didn’t earn.

#3- September 23, 2000.  Champaign, IL. #10 Michigan 35, #19 Illinois 31

Another game stolen by the officials.  (I think that’s a trend.  Losing fair and square hurts, but you can live with it.  Getting screwed just leaves a sickening feeling inside you that never goes away.)  This was the game that brought instant replay to college football.  The officials blew three fumble calls (all in Michigan’s favor) in the final 6 minutes to hand the game to the Wolverines.  The next year the Big Ten instituted the first instant replay.  Within another year or two it had become the rule all across Division I-A.  Too bad it took the Big Ten blatantly stealing a game from Illinois for it to come to fruition.

#2- April 4, 2005.  St. Louis, MO.  College Basketball.  #2 North Carolina 75, #1 Illinois 70

The National Championship.  The culmination of the greatest season in Illinois sports history.  A team of unbelievable will and character.  Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Luther Head, James Augustine, Roger Powell, Jack Ingram.  Even today just their names make me smile.

I could blame this one on the refs too.  James Augustine, who didn’t foul out of a game all year, played just 9 minutes and drew 5 fouls.  But although the officiating was pretty shitty, the reality is the Illini played probably their worst game of the year at the wrong time.  Just 12 of 40 from the 3-point line (and it was a lot worse than that before they made a furious run in the last couple minutes).

I’ll go to my grave believing that if this had been a best-of-7 series like the NBA, Carolina would have been lucky to get to game 6.  The Illini would have run them out of the building on almost any other night.  But unfortunately all that matters is that one night in April.

The worst moment of all came right after the game.  Walking out of the dome in St. Louis, I walked by a warehouse that had, no shit, at least 30,000 “Illinois National Champs” T-shirts ready to sell.  I almost started crying right there.

#1- February 21, 2007.  Champaign, IL.  College Basketball.  Illinois 54, Michigan 42

What, an Illinois victory is the most devastating loss ever?  Well, yes.  Because 2/21/07 will always go down as the last time Chief Illiniwek ever represented the University of Illinois as its honored symbol.

It would take me days to finish my rant on the political correct bullshit that led to the death of the most honored and revered mascot in all of sports.  So I’ll just say this: I cried like a baby during that last dance.  And after the game, I walked out of the Assembly Hall and haven’t been to a university event since.  I didn’t lose a ballgame that day, I lost my alma mater, the school I had cheered for since before I could walk.

I’m fairly fortunate in that I haven’t had a great deal of tragedy in my life, I haven’t had any truly close family or friends die yet.  But I can still say without a doubt that Feb 21st, 2007 was the worst day of my life.

RIP, Chief.