I am a nobody. I’m not being self-deprecating or fishing for compliments with that statement. It just is what it is. I am a nobody, and most likely, you are too. I am average in every possible sense of the word. I work a middle-class job. I live in a middle-class town. I drive a Toyota Camry, for Christ’s sake. Therefore, I tend to not get terribly wrapped up in events that I have no control over, like global terrorism. That doesn’t mean I am not saddened or that I don’t sympathize with those involved. It just means that I try to move on with my life as soon as possible, because living in fear is no fuckin way to live. Also, every minute I spend worrying about things that are out of my control is one less minute I can spend dealing with situations that are.
(Get to the point, stupid.)
Over the last few days, I have been tracking a story out of San Jose, California. It’s the true story of a 15-year-old girl who makes the all too common mistake of drinking too much at a friend’s house. (We’ve all been there.) After passing out on a bed in the crowded house, three teenage boys stripped her down, raped her, then drew all over her unconscious, naked body in marker. Then, as if this wasn’t enough of a display of inhumane monstrosity, they made sure to document the event with their goddamn, fucking cell phone cameras. Two weeks later, after suffering not only the indignity of a sexual assault, but the humiliation caused by the circulation of the pictures of her naked, defiled body, the little girl called her mother and begged her to pick her up from school. Seems the embarrassment was too much to bear. Once home, she hung herself in her room. Yup. Hung herself in her room. Here’s the news report:
This isn’t just a story of three asshole teenagers. This is the story of hundreds, if not thousands, of asshole teenagers. Obviously, the lion’s share of the blame lies with the three rapists. They should not only be charged with sexual assault, but should also be held legally responsible for that girls death. But there are others. How about everyone at that house party that allowed this to go on? Where were her “friends”? How about every student at that school who had no problem sharing those pictures and laughing at them, and her? How about every kid that taunted that girl in the hallway at school or stood by idly while others mocked her? All have some responsibility in this tragic ending. Every single one. This is who we are raising, America.
So while I cannot stop a terrorist, or a group of terrorists, from blowing up a marathon, or a building, or a concert, or a sporting event, I CAN look at my children and spend every moment I can making sure that they are raised with the respect and empathy and morality that so many parents are too busy, or too fucking lazy, to instill in their children. That is something I can control.
So maybe over the coming days, rather than wasting your fucking time sharing worthless pictures of lit candles super-imposed over American flags in tribute to Boston on Facebook, you can take that minute to remind your children, no matter how young, that they have a responsibility to humanity to treat every life with the dignity and respect that they would demand for themselves. While it may never save a marathon runner in Boston, it may just save a 15 year old girl in San Jose…
I have been uncharacteristically quiet for a while now, as there have been some significant changes in my life recently, and I really have had neither the time nor the inclination to interact with any of you. Don’t take it personally. It is what it is. And while I have no intention of going too deeply into my personal life with you (yet), I will say that a big part of this has been a career transition that I am still navigating as we speak, although the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is finally coming into focus. So that aside, let’s get down to the reason I am reviving this site today.
Earlier this week, the attention-whores at ESPN released some video footage they had received from an assistant basketball coach at Rutgers University, right here in Jersey. The tape showed highlights of the head coach, Mike Rice, displaying what some are calling “abusive” behavior towards his players. (We’ll get into the accuracy of the word “abuse” a little later. Settle down.) The tape, which was about four minutes long (Edited down from over 600 hours of footage) showed Rice screaming at his players, physically grabbing and pushing them, and even calling them “faggots” and “fairies”. If you haven’t seen it, come on out from that cave, Geico guy, and take a look here:
OK, before your panties start bunching up, I will say this: The guy probably crosses the line a few times. But let’s put the media frenzy and lynch mob hysteria to the side here and really look at the tape. At no point was anyone hurt, injured, or even endangered. These men were grabbed and pushed, but never injured, and the coach never showed any indication of an intent to injure. It’s his coaching style. And while it may be abrasive and over-bearing to some (most even), it is not “abuse”. In fact, I would say that calling it abuse is offensive to anyone who has ever truly suffered at the hands of an abuser, whether it be a parent, coach, or spouse. Not only did these men not suffer any physical injuries, but they also will not suffer any lingering emotional ones. Worst case scenario they go through the rest of their unaffected lives talking about the asshole basketball coach they had in college. Relatively little harm, and really no foul.
You may have also already noticed that I am not referring to these students as “boys” or “kids”. These are 18-22 year old college students. They are men. And if we are comfortable with sending young men and women of the same age away to the horrors of war (and the indignity of boot camp), then we should be OK with men the same age being hit in the back of the head with a basketball in a gym at their rural New Jersey State University.
“But this is 2013, and this behavior is not acceptable anymore.”
I keep hearing that gem. Fine. Then everyone needs to stop complaining about the new generation of “soft” kids. How many times have people (especially me) sat around talking about how we need to stop coddling kids? We talk on and on about the “kick in the ass” the next generation so desperately needs. Yet when we see evidence of such a thing, we allow the media to whip us up into a blood thirsty lynch mob intent on destroying the lives of the perceived aggressor and everyone he has ever worked with or for.
I played hockey throughout my entire childhood, and let me say this: I had a few coaches during that time that would watch that Rutgers tape today and think to themselves “Wow, that guys a real pussy.” I’ve had hockey pucks fired at me. I’ve had coaches push me, pull me, grab me, curse me, and insult me. Ironically, most of those coaches were the best mentors I could have ever hoped for and got the most out of me, as a hockey player, and as a young man.
I get that this was a problem. As I said before, I think Mike Rice crossed the line, and calling the guys “faggots” and “fairies” is certainly a bad idea. However, let me say this: There is probably no man in this country that hasn’t called someone they know a faggot. Especially in a sports setting. Guys, be honest, you’ve done it, probably a thousand times. Ladies, I hate to be the one to break it to you (That’s not true, I actually LOVE breaking shit to you), but your husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers have done it too. It’s a guy thing. We call each other out for being sissies and faggy all the time. It’s ball-breaking, and it’s rampant. It’s also not really intended to be derogatory to gays. Everyone who calls someone a fag is not a homophobe, necessarily. I am as pro-gay as any man can be (while still clinging to my anal virginity), and I have called my friends fags more times than I can count. I’m not saying that as a source of pride, it’s just an honest look at a common situation. So while the coach really should refrain from using it in a professional setting, lets not feign outrage at the sound of the word. It’s hypocrisy at it worst.
Having said all that, I understand that some of you would not want your sons or daughters playing for a coach like this, and that is your right. I have no problem with what you decide is appropriate for your children, but the fact that the media has decided for us that this man (and the athletic director) is not worthy of a job is an outrage to me. And I am tired of watching the PC, blood-thirsty, whore media pass themselves off as my representative. You should be too…
So, where were we?
I am desperately trying to get back into the habit of maintaining this god-awful site. I’ll get there, I promise. With that in mind, I noticed something this morning that I thought was worth mentioning.
The video below was featured on the Yahoo home page this morning:
Now, the commercial is funny enough, but not really note-worthy enough to post about. What got my fat, greasy sausage fingers moving this morning was the comments section that accompanied the video on the bottom of the page. I was shocked to see that a majority of the posters labeled this as “cruel” and threatened that if this happened to them, they would most definitely sue for millions.
If you are ever looking for evidence as to why the rest of the world generally mock and hate us here in the USA, allow me to present “Exhibit A”.
Now, if you don’t happen to find the commercial funny, that is fine. That’s certainly your right. However, to label this as cruel or insensitive is preposterous. And if you are someone who did find this cruel or lawsuit-worthy, I have a very important message for you: The world would be a much better place if you killed yourself. Today. Those around you most likely feel the same way but are too polite to tell you. So allow me to perform this public service on behalf of humanity. You are about as likeable as childhood cancer. There. Now you know.
(I just now remembered how much fun it is to be mean to people.)
Be back in the full swing soon. See you then.
So I just found myself in a particularly nostalgic mood, for reasons that make sense to me but not you, and I came across this review I wrote in the summer of 2011 for the bed and breakfast the wife and I stayed in while out in Napa. I figured it was worth posting here, if for no other reason than this is my site and I can do whatever the hell I want. Who asked you? It’s a quick read but I mean every single word of it. If you ever have the good fortune to be going out to Napa, (and everyone should at least once in their lives. It’s everything the world should be.), I suggest you stay here. Check it out:
(Oh, and if any of you work for, or know someone that works for, any travel publication, you should know I work cheap and can start right away. Cause is there a better job in the world than a travel writer/reviewer?)
The Perfect Getaway
Writing a positive review of this “Inn” would be doing a terrible injustice to Jaime and Jim, the Innkeepers. Instead, I am going to go on and on (to excess) about the “experience” that was the Inn on First in Napa, California. Because thats exactly what Jamie and Jim provided for my wife and I for four days in late July 2011. A perfect “experience”. And to be fair, I would be remiss if I did not start back in February, when I was just beginning to lay out a rough outline of the trip. After reading all of the Tripadvisor love that has been showered upon the Inn, I knew that this was the place to start.
Having never been to Napa, I was a blank slate with regards to where to go and what to do. I called and got Jaime on the phone, who spent no less than an hour sharing information on the area. This was long before I had made any reservations with them, so the fact that he was generous with his time was just that, generousity. Over the ensuing months, I contacted Jamie numerous times with clumsy questions, and varying requests. He always found time to chat about the Inn, the area, or anything else I could possibly have needed to know to plan the trip my wife and I had been dreaming about.
Ultimately, I left the winery and activity itinerary solely in Jamies hands, comfortable that he had taken the time to get to know enough about us to plan a perfect getaway.
Fast forward to our trip last week, and as high as my expectations were for the Inn, they were far exceeded. The Inn itself is beautifully decorated and maintained, from the sitting room complete with fireplace, complimentary Port and full chess set, to the lovely outdoor garden where daily breakfast is served. Our room (Meritage) was every bit as comfortable and inspiring as it appears on the website. The cloud-like bed was so comfortable that if not for Jim’s gourmet breakfasts, I’m not sure we would have ever come out from under the covers. And it’s not just the spacious, well-appointed room and jacuzzi tub (For two…oh yeah) that makes the room so memorable. It’s the little touches like the gourmet picnic basket in the room, ready for your use. Or the homemade truffles and and complimentary Sparkling wine that are waiting in your room upon check-in.
Jim’s breakfasts were unlike anything I have ever experienced for a morning meal. The creativity and pleasing aesthetics were rivaled only by the sheer brilliance of flavor, The coffee is as good as anywhere in the world (Major, major importance to us) and the quality of the fresh fruit and baked goods acted only as a precursor of the entree that was to follow. I am certain to never be satisfied with two eggs over easy at the corner diner again.
Finally, the itinerary Jamie had planned for us was nothing short of perfect. Each winery was its own unique experience, scheduled and laid out exactly to our liking by our host. I could have spent 40 hours a week for a year researching and planning this trip, and it could never of been planned half as well as the days Jamie carefully laid out for us.
And finally, how could you possibly go wrong with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies waiting for you in the dining room when you return each evening. Yeah, you can’t.
In summation (sarcastic applause), The Inn on First was not an Inn at all. By the time we left, it was home.
For more information, they have a great user friendly website: www.theinnonfirst.com
So as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been pretty quiet lately. I’d love to justify my absence with tales of adventure, espionage and international intrigue, but that would all be bullshit. Truth is I just haven’t been all that inspired to post anything. Until today…
So what did it take to arouse me from the general blogging malaise that has overtaken me recently? Is it the presidential election? The never-fucking-ending medieval-era barbarianism that is the entire middle east? Maybe some thoughts on the economy?
Ummm. No. It’s none of those. Turns out all it takes to get my antenna up is one thing: A mouthy black bitch taking a haymaker from a city bus driver. Oh, and a good Samaritan who was good enough to capture it on video so we all can partake in the debauchery. Enjoy this video (I certainly did). The payoff is at the :23 second mark.”
OK. Let’s Tosh this shit up: (As always, feel free to post your own Tosh-esque reply in the comments section.)
1. OK. Cedric the Entertainer has taken this “Black Ralph Kramden” thing WAY too far. ”To da Moon, Alice!”
2. Apparently, “You goin to jail nah!” is new ebonic slang for “You are about to be flat on your fucking back, bitch!”
3. Maybe now she’ll think twice before crossing the white line while the bus is in motion…
4. This is what happens in Cleveland, Ohio when you don’t have exact change for public transportation…
5. If there was a white guy anywhere on that bus, he watched that punch and thought “Shit, you just KNOW this isn’t gonna end well for me.” Although this was in Cleveland, so the odds of that white man existing are slim…
6. That is the exact reenactment of the scene that plays out in the imagination of every guy with a nagging wife…
7. Chris Brown is driving a city bus now?
8. Somebody buy Nicki Minaj a Cleveland Ohio bus pass. Pretty please?
9. You see the wind up on that punch? Who taught this guy how to throw a punch? Popeye?
10. I was horrified at the laughter that broke out on the bus when he laid her out. Then I realized that I have not watched this video once without nearly wetting myself, so who am I to talk?
OK. Your turn. It’s good to be back…
And so it begins. The dawning of a new NFL season. (Or is “damning” more appropriate?) The time of year where we dream of fast September starts, clutch December wins, and early February parade routes. A time of year when we, as Dolphin fans, sit in eager anticipation of a season that is sure to be filled with moments of overwhelming joy and….(Tires screeching)
Ahhh fuck it. You weren’t really buying all that. Were you?
For the last few seasons, I have put together a post a day or two before opening day that would highlight the reasons that THIS would be the year that we (Yeah, “we”. Deal with it.) shocked the world. I would lambaste the media for being unfairly critical and proclaim this the “year of the Dolphin.” And each time I have done that, the team has pretty much shit the bed, then rolled over in it and went back to sleep, blissfully unaware of the mess that was made, or the far-reaching stink that accompanied it.
This year, I am trying something different. Instead of a rah-rah, go-get-em, Herb Brooks kinda locker room speech, I am going to focus on one word: Compete.
This year, the wins and loss record is meaningless, just compete. Show us that the future is not going to be laden with further disappointment and heartbreak. Show us that despite what looks to be a low-point, the losing will not be in vain. I wanna see growing pains, because that at least indicates growth, rather than the perpetual tire-spinning wave of mediocrity we have all had to live trough for a decade and a half. Play with fire, play with heart. Just compete.
Compete, Ryan Tannehill. Play with aggression. Play with the biggest set of Texas super sized balls the game has ever seen. Getting your ass kicked on Sunday? Pick yourself up off the turf, refuse to dust yourself off, and wink at the guy who just buried you. Have swagger, even if it is not yet earned. Act like you’ve won multiple Super Bowls and that you belong in this league. Be an Arrogant SOB. You are gonna get hit, and intercepted, and maybe even booed. Laugh it off, and come back to the huddle with more confidence than ever before. Just learn from those moments, and progress. Just compete.
Compete Joe Philbin. Over the past few years, we have bared witness to a coach who seemed content with settling. A coach who celebrated field goals. A coach who played (sorry for the cliche) not to lose, rather than to win. So revive us, coach. Show us a team that would rather lose huge playing aggressively, rather than lose small playing scared. Fuck moral victories. If we are to go down, repeatedly, let’s do it throwing haymakers, rather than crouching in a corner sucking our thumbs. Let’s go all-in every week, coach. Compete.
Compete, Dolphins. I don’t care if we go 1-15 again. Just let us enter the off-season with a strong sense that there is a core of players on this team that are ready to progress. Ready to control. Ready to explode. Ready to compete…
OK, on to some other random nonsense:
- There is a comparison to be made to the current political climate in this country, and the fan bases views on Jeff Ireland. Is seems as though there are only two camps. One that despised him and blames all the worlds problems on him, and another that acts as Ireland apologists, seemingly unwilling to place any accountability for this teams woes at this door. Like right and left wingers. I’m in the middle. I think much of the criticism is fair, yet some of it is equally unfair. However, to me, the biggest indictment of the embattled GM is the stunning lack of depth across the board on this team. WIth the exception of RB, we are glaringly thin at every other position on the field. Someone pointed out on Twitter that this roster would not be accepted on Madden 13 because it is incomplete, specifically at CB. How is this OK?
I had no problem with the trades involving Marshall and Davis, mainly because I assumed that we had a plan for their replacements, either through the FA, a trade, or the draft (In the case of a WR.). Yet here we are, 36 hours before the first game of the season and both voids are still ominously sitting there, like a giant terd in the corner. What was the plan? GM’s should be like chess players, always thinking ten moves ahead. These moves felt more like reflex decisions, utterly lacking in any long-term focus. I understand that draft picks are long-term plans in themselves, but the Marshall trade happened six months ago, before the draft, yet the position was generally ignored until late on day three on draft weekend. Whats the plan, Jeff?
- I think it’s important to remind everyone that throughout this off-season, many of us claimed to be looking for nothing more this season than some indication that Philbin and Tannehill were worth building around. None of us expected big things this year, as far as the teams record goes. So as the season drudges on, if the losses are piling up, keep in mind what we said months ago. So let’s not jump off the Philbin or Tannehill ship if we open the season 0-2. Let’s let the year play out before we start calling for peoples jobs. These guys are rookies. Mistakes will be made. Problems will arise. It’s how they react that will tell us about them. I’m talking to myself, mind you, because I will be the first to throw a temper tantrum every Sunday. I’m the guy that needs the reminding that this season is about growth and progress, and not really wins.
Having said that, negativity and all, let me end with this: Hell with it, let’s beat the goddamn Texans on Sunday and send a giant fuck you to the national sports media.