The Sorryless 81st Annual Super Bowl Preview!

Vintage Photos of the NFL That Show How Football Has Changed

Apologies to Jim Nantz, but our Super Bowl preview is the tradition unlike any other. And thank God for that.

Before I get to the good stuff, Imma give you a heads up on a HUGE get for my interview collection. Next Sunday I will be sitting down with Tom Brady to talk about life, love, football and his addiction to retirements. And you don’t have to subscribe to another streaming service to get it, so there’s that.

The week leading up to the big game turns into a big, fat news hoagie . . .

Aaron Rodgers announces that he will marry himself. “My soulmate was right here all along,” he says. Podcast pal Pat Macafee will preside over the ceremony, after which the former Packers QB will report to his new club- the New York Jets. Subscriptions to the New York Post soar as their back page headlines welcome him to town with “Hiya, Huasca!”.

The quarterback carousel gets kicking: Carson Wentz joins Grey’s Anatomy, Ryan Tannehill joins a tribute band and Jimmy Garoppolo joins Porn Hub.

In his weekly press conference, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims he’s not impressed with the rival Eagles second trip to the big game in five seasons. “Super Bowls are all well and good, but I get to enjoy the perks of being boss and they’re every bit as satisfying. Like . . when I go to the mall, I can park anywhere, no charge. When I go to the movies they let me pick my seat. And when I go to Cracker Barrel, free refills,”.

The league announces there will be a four team European division beginning in 2025. UK’s team will be the London Fog. Madrid will introduce the Spanish Flies. The Frankfurters will play in Germany and Denmark gets Something Rotten.

Urban Meyer confesses he wants to give the NFL another try, after which all thirty-two teams change their contact information.

Tom Brady’s second retirement is proving to be even better than his first. “I joined a D&D Club, ate a whole mango and learned my kids names.” He also cancels his trip to New England where he was expected to sign a one day contract with the Patriots so he could retire as a member of his original team. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross steps in and signs Brady to a two day contract and pays him $50 million guaranteed if he promises to friend the Dolphins on Facebook.

As for the main event . . .

It’s learned that George Santos had offered to sing the National Anthem. He claims to have graduated from Julliard and says he could have had a successful career in music if he hadn’t decided to become an astronaut. He boasts that he is an EMT in his spare time and could have assisted in the event of a medical emergency. “In high school I gave the star quarterback mouth to mouth. In fact, I gave the whole team mouth to mouth. Under the bleachers, after the game.” The NFL ignores the request.

Play by play announcer Kevin Burkhardt is denied entry into State Farm Stadium despite showing his credentials. No one on the Fox Sports team is able to verify his identity, leaving the network without a lead announcer. Rob Lowe’s hair steps into the role.

The Chiefs win the coin flip, after which Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni throws the challenge flag because the officials used a Missouri quarter. Fox Sports lead analyst Greg Olsen agrees, “The Missouri quarter is notoriously inclined to a north/south verticality so when the ref high pointed the coin its spin was partial, thereby deferring to the Chiefs ever so slightly,”

The Eagles jump out to a 21-0 lead as Mahomes throws two pick-sixes, prompting Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd to proclaim the Chiefs quarterback as “the biggest bust since that Cats movie!”. Kansas City mounts a furious comeback, propelled by four Mahomes touchdown passes to take a 28-24 lead at the half, prompting Cowherd to proclaim that Mahomes is “the most dominant football player since Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson!”.

For the halftime show, Rihanna performs a live concert from the moon. Since time moves more slowly in space, the forty-five minute performance equals one day on earth, so the game picks up on Monday Night. While the music is universally panned, it does produce one highlight as Matt Kowalski, George Clooney’s character in the movie Gravity, is found alive.

In the third quarter, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scores on a 125 yard run before it’s called back on account of the fact the field is only 120 yards long. On the very next play Hurts scores on a ninety-nine and a half yard run, which is also called back on account of a holding penalty. Two plays later, Hurts scores on an eighty-one yard run with no flags on the play. Greg Olsen credits Hurts’ tenacity, “In that situation, you’re looking to gain positive yards in space while genuflecting just enough in order to produce missed tackles and reduce the risk of mid-air collisions and Hurts is a master at it!”. Congress alleges that Olsen is attempting to steal their identity.

To open the fourth quarter, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid calls for a  “Smothered Hash Browns” flea flicker in which Mahomes tosses the ball back to himself, catches it, and then flings it the length of the field to himself for the touchdown. After the play, Mahomes announces he will donate his left ankle to science while coach Reid admits he wasn’t calling a play at all. “I was ordering from the Waffle House menu so it was a win/win!”

The game is tied at fifty-one with four seconds to play and the Chiefs pinned inside their own two-yard line, prompting Greg Olsen to say “Kansas City has time for at least three plays and another Waffle House order with Mahomes under center,”. Sure enough, Kansas City’s gridiron god uses all of two and a half seconds to get the Chiefs within field goal range at the Philadelphia thirty yard line. There’s only one problem; the team is down a kicker when Harrison Butker gets poked in the eye by a penalty flag. Kansas City signs Rob Gronkowski to attempt a 47 yard field goal, which he nails. The game winning kick is negated by a penalty, backing the Chiefs up five yards after which Gronk hits a 52 yard field goal, which is also negated by a penalty flag. A third field goal attempt is blocked by a Chinese spy balloon after which Andy Reid lets Mahomes throw a Hail Mary. The Chiefs have twelve men on the field- thirteen if you count the Uber Eats guy- but the refs don’t throw a flag since they ran out of them. Mahomes’ sixty yard toss into the end zone bounces off Travis Kelce’s helmet and right into Mahomes’ arms for the game winning score. Mahomes takes home the Super Bowl MVP trophy and becomes a featured item on the Applebee’s menu- The Mahome-burger: An Angus beef patty, hot mustard and GOAT cheese.

The Chiefs disputed win leaves Philadelphia devastated. Long time Eagles fan Will Smith calls the loss “a slap in the face,” while Jalen Hurts requests a trade back to Alabama. As for Kansas City, the Chiefs receive the blessings of former capo Robert Kraft and the team is the overwhelming favorite to win next year’s Super Bowl and sweep the Oscars.

 

It Takes All Of Us

I’m old enough to remember when “Why?” was a talking point.

It was the question that followed some truly horrible shit like a mass shooting or a body cam footage release. A news anchor would begin with that unanswerable question when introducing a guest or as a way to segue to a live remote. A celebrity talking head would use up an hour on the question in the name of ratings. The medium dictated the narrative because it was some dramatic shit to be laying down.

And you know what? We’ve done it all wrong.

We got fed this public service announcement ad infinitum and we ate up the empty calories. It was bupkis on a stick. The broadcasting of all that really bad shit did nothing to stem the tide. All it did was fetch corner offices for the on-air talent.

Let’s go back to 1999 and the Columbine shooting. We got wall to wall coverage on a sum of all fears scenario; disenfranchised kids laying siege on a student body. Kids killing kids. Anchors and talking heads asked Why and journalists wrote about how our culture was in need of change and okay . . . how we doing with that?

A little less than a quarter century later, we still have kids killing kids. Maybe they flunked standardized testing or got dumped right before prom or ditched the meds and failed in that sobriety. Whatever the reason, it’s solved with violence now. That’s because too many kids have come to see themselves as fringe participants in a world gone sideways. And they’re plenty angry about it. Having been raised on TV and its many cousins, they have come to understand that there is no such thing as bad publicity. So then, it’s not a matter of asking why they carry out these horrific acts when we should be looking at what compels them to choose such a thing in the first place.

Us.

Let’s face it, we ain’t the most sterling examples of self-restraint. In fact, us grown ups have made a real mess of things. We drank from the well of the same medium we raised our kids on, ignoring the fact it was getting us nowhere at the speed of light. And no, scapegoating the media ain’t getting us anywhere; they didn’t set the fires, they simply reported on them. But all those horrible days that had us glued to our sets amounted to precious little educational value. Unless anger counts for something, because we have plenty of that and it’s more infectious than whatever the latest virus happens to be.

In the age of safe spaces, we ain’t got one. We live in a world where brawls at little league games and gunfights at kid’s birthday parties don’t even make us flinch. We have become the narrators, acquiescing to the storm that threatens to sweep us under while cashing in on the viral acrimony with our devices and our social media platforms.

And when our cache runs dry, then we’ll blame the media . . we’ll blame the other party . . we’ll blame teachers and bankers and lawyers and Jews and Blacks and Asians and Muslims and anything and anyone else. And the only change that will come of doing so is that bad will get worse.

Last month it was LA and Memphis; but they are just the latest ground zero moments. They sure as hell won’t be the last. Because there is always going to be another routine traffic stop that turns tragic. There is always going to be another kid or grown up looking to settle their differences with a gun. Violence is how we solve our problems; from Memphis to LA to every other place in the world that’s just waiting to get in trouble, somehow and someway and sometime soon. And maybe we’ll get it through our thick heads that the time to ask why is long gone.

We have to start asking what the hell we’re going to do about it.

 

 

 

 

The Vera Farmiga Invitational

Download Vera Farmiga Awards Night Wallpaper | Wallpapers.com

Vera Farmiga called me the other night to let me know she wasn’t pleased with how long it’s been since I put together a Hawt List. I had no idea she still read the lists after I pulled that Sarah Michelle Gellar stunt but she claims that wasn’t no thing. The lists? Those are a thing. I’m thankful for her spankful, and as a result I’ve collected a half dozen dames to help y’all with those outrageous heating bills. So turn down the thermostat and turn up the flavor because we are booking passage for Isle of Hubba.

The heat is free of charge on this trip.

See the Stunning Designer Suits Blake Lively Wears in 'A Simple Favor' | Entertainment Tonight

That whole girl next door thing went out of style with bubble jackets and legwarmers, but there’s a lively debate going on to bring the term back. As in Blake Lively, the blessed beauty who fought off a hungry shark with a surfboard (fictionally), married Ryan Reynolds (seriously) and wins the room every time she walks through that door . . . truly.

All that, and the hat. It’s just not fair.

Logan Browning - Monarch Magazine

The state of Georgia was winning big long before the Bulldogs started full housing the college football ranks. And that’s because Logan Browning was born and raised in the land of peaches and honey. These days she is taking up residence in the hearts and minds of most anyone with a pulse. Maybe it’s the sultry stare . . . or the sophisticated saunter . . but for my money Imma go with the eyes. Yeah, those eyes have it. All of it.

Narcos México, Mayra Hermosillo: quién es la actriz que hace de Enedina Arellano Félix | Fotos de Instagram | Temporada 3 | Series de Netflix | FAMA | MAG.

Mayra Hermosillo’s got the Mexicana school teacher vibe going strong, and as Enedina Arellano Félix in Narcos Mexico, the gal knows how to cook the books. Hell, she knows how to cook anything she damn well pleases. Her nouns are suave, her verbs possess a cunning appeal and her conjugation is an after hours endeavor you will solemnly swear to. Long live the bad girl.

Kate Siegel - IMDb

Speaking of the bad girl, Kate Siegel teaches a master class whenever she takes a role that leans hard into the dark side. When her eyes go all haughty, get ready for some naughty. This isn’t to give short shrift to her turns as the good girl, because she can find the net just fine no matter. It’s that silky smooth purr coupled with those prying eyes. Good? Bad? How about both?

Doja Cat stuns at Grammys red carpet in dreamy Versace gown - CNN Style

Doja Cat.

Okay, what? You need more than that lovely gaze and that funky alias to make you feel better? N’kay . . . This LA girl lit YouTube on fire with her 2018 smash hit “Mooo”, but really, that was just a result of all her dues getting paid up because she had been on the scene for more than a decade by then. She is the Queen of “Hell Yeah!”, so make sure to bow down fellas.

Jennifer Coffey on Instagram: “Ok y'all this post is sure to get the convo going!! I'll be presenting our @nfl #tsv 6-8… | Jennifer coffey, Jennifer, Gorgeous girls

QVC is quite adept at two things: Talking you out of your hard earned cash by peddling shit you don’t need. And babes. Of course, it’s their impressive ensemble of hostesses that makes the first part so much easier to pull off. And while I don’t know my QVC’s, I know Jennifer Coffey just fine. And so what if she has regrettable taste when it comes to her favorite football team. All that really matters is how she’s making (almost) fifty the new Dayummmmmm!

Welp, it looks like that is going to wrap up our the first Invitational of the new year. And I promise not to wait so long for the next walk down the Sorryless runway. Because I really don’t care that the phone call from Vera happened to be a dream I had the other night.

It still counts.

Joe and Marco At The Movies!

Skinamarink': Shudder Acquires Horror Movie, Will Head to Theaters - Variety

I’d like to welcome you to our first movie review of 2023. I was able to get Joe Pesci to take some time away from his very busy schedule . . which includes tee times in Scottsdale and blowing his denture dough on the ponies . . .

Fuck you very much, Marco. For one thing, I ain’t gambled on the ponies in a month. And when I do, I win! For anotha, I only use golf clubs when negotiations hit a snag . . .

Wow, you’ve upgraded from aluminum bats! That’s some high brow shit you’re dealing up in the ‘boardroom’.

And if you got a problem with it, I can introduce you to my hybrid driver, ya stuttering prick.

No thanks Joe. Golf ain’t my bag, pun intended. But movies are, and we have a rather unusual entry this week. Skinamarink is the directorial debut for Canadian filmmaker Kyle Edward Ball. It was made on a skinny jeans budget of $15,000, most of which was raised through crowdfunding. And while I loved it? Joe . . . not so much.

Don’t forget to mention we got some spoilers Marco. I know how sensitive you get about that shit.

My little guy is growing up!

And what’s this crowdfunding about?

It’s like a grass roots online fundraiser where people donate whatever they feel like.

I know a guy who woulda leant him da money without all that aggravation. 

Yeah I’m pretty sure Ball didn’t want to be taking out a loan in which he was repaying the debt with certain of his body parts.

Whateva . . .

Enough of that, let’s get to what’s cooking. Joe, I cannot say enough good things about this movie, which pits me on the movie geek side of the ledger. It’s a polarizing film that people either loved or loathed. I happened to love it for its bare boned heft. It takes the mainstream paranormal movie and places it in a masterful reduction sauce the likes of which I do not believe I have ever experienced.

Well, if that means dis Ball guy robbed anyone who wasted their time with dis piece of shit of a movie, then I agree wholeheartedly. If a hundred closeup shots of Legos and an endless reel of cartoons that are older than me is your bag, then you probably don’t need to be sitting in the dark in the first place. You need stronger meds.

God forbid a filmmaker challenges you to put in some work! The nightmare scenario is something Ball honed for years on his YouTube channel, and he marries it to all those many things we still fear . . like the dark and strange noises and being completely helpless. And umm, what part of ‘experimental’ did you not understand?

Excuse me asshole, but I experimented plenty when I was younger. And it was WAY more enjoyable than this vomit on a stick.

That’s the whole enchilada man! Ball turns the paranormal genre on its head, both figuratively and literally. There’s no reliance on CGI or sound effects or big name talent. His story’s complexity is found in the simple things and that’s why it works. You have to be patient with this one, so I can see where the meaning escaped you.

Lemme tell you something pal, I am being plenty patient right now seeing as how your nose is still attached to your face.

May I remind you this humble little venture just surpassed $1 million at the box office, and it drops on the horror channel Shudder in February. That tells me lots of people are seeing it my way.

Oh yeah? Well that tells me there are a lot of mental patients walking around.

I give it four out of five stars with my only critique being the running time. Ball could’ve cut it down some, but really, I’m just nitpicking.

I give it a five . .

Wow Joe, you were pulling one over on me this entire time?!

No. I give it a five, as in you better have five drinks in you before you watch this crap. And you bettah keep right on drinking when it starts because if you’re lucky you’ll pass out and forget it ever happened. 

Well shit, Joe. Okay, next week we’ll review Poison Rose, starring John Travolta and Morgan Freeman. Spoiler alert, it’s simply bad acting. You can handle that, can’t you?

I’ll start drinking now, just in case.

The Rundown

Welcome to the first Rundown of the year, which is made possible by the generous donations on the part of Wolf Blitzer, Jim Belushi and Carrot Top. And while I don’t have a Trump conviction to chew the fat on in this week’s episode, I do supply some thoughts on why we should stop talking about an ending to this farce until we actually have one. Plus! Are classified documents the new Facebook posts? . . . The human brain wins a round against AI . . and Curious George Santos past shows no signs of slowing down.

Let’s hit the ground running . . .

Defending national champion Georgia pounds TCU in college football title game - The San Diego Union-Tribune

We start with the top college football team in the land. The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Kirby Smart became the first team to repeat as champs since the Nick Saban led Alabama Crimson Tide a decade earlier. The Dawgs lost 15 players to the NFL last offseason (which is a dozen more than some actual NFL teams currently possess), and they didn’t miss a beat. They’re my choice to win it all again next season because the idea that a team not named the Tide three-peats is . . . wait for it . . peachy with me.

  • Aaron Rodgers makes an awful lot of noise for a guy who hasn’t played in a Super Bowl since the Obama administration. Hey man, just saying . . .
  • Lebron James is done winning titles. There, I said it.
  • Twenty-five days until pitchers and catchers.

Garage Storage Tips: 10 Things You Shouldn't Keep In Your Garage | The Lakeside Collection

Anything you can do, I can do dumber. Well, in Joe Biden’s case maybe not dumber since that would be damn near impossible. And sorry Gym Jordan, but as the Washington Post correctly pointed out, this isn’t a case of “Whatabout?”. But Joe’s classified docs turning up in his garage ain’t great optics. And it’s even worse news for those of us who wanted to be done with the other guy. Because the MAGA minions are going to use this fuel to fire up their fledgling run.

  • Speaking of the Mar of Lago, can the news outlets chill some with their Cannonball run coverage until the Federalis actually (hopefully) pull that lasso? As he showed us time and again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
  • Now George Santos was a drag queen in Brazil too? Tell you what, if this cat told me I had a day to live, Imma buy me some green bananas. And a puppy.

And now for the We’re All Doomed! Photo of the Week! 

Displaying IMG_1339.jpg

I cut back on my egg intake last fall and really, not a minute too soon.

Exclusive: Who is Edward Tian? He wants to keep his GPTZero app free for users to take on ChatGPT | South China Morning Post

Princeton senior Edward Tion is dishing up the kind of smarts we need to be paying more attention to. He’s majoring in Computer Science with a minor in journalism, but his current passion is all about harnessing the increasingly powerful influence of artificial intelligence.

Like most college kids, Tion has used ChatGPT, which is basically an advanced chat bot that can write up everything from poetry to essays. While the results are still beset with factual inaccuracies and can be formulaic, the fact of the matter is the technology has improved greatly from its predecessors.

Tion got to thinking about the challenges associated with this tool. The online world is already an environment fraught with complications. What might a locked and loaded version of this AI mean to public discourse in the not too distant future? And what of the songs and poems and stories that once were the purview of the human soul? Might they too one day be replaced with an artificially enhanced reproduction?

The kid has developed an app called GPTZero that can distinguish between work done by humans and AI, and he’s getting lots of attention from journalists and educators alike. Tion doesn’t want to ban the software he’s working to identify. “It doesn’t make sense that we go into that future blindly,” he says. “Instead, you need to build the safeguards to enter that future.”

Amen to that.

  • Elon Musk exaggerated Tesla’s self-driving capabilities? I’m shocked I tell you! Shocked!
  • Netflix exceeded Wall Street expectations by adding 7.66 million subscribers during the fourth quarter. And they didn’t even need Tom Brady to do it.

A representation of vulnerability and security': Memorial honoring the Kings opens on Boston Common | WBUR News

Yeah, I have no idea either . . .

Lisa Marie Presley Dies after Possible Cardiac Arrest: What We Know

The untimely death of Lisa Marie Presley is still under investigation more than a week after her passing. Deferring a cause of death is not uncommon if the initial autopsy doesn’t provide an obvious answer. Lisa Marie’s end came much too soon and here’s hoping she finds peace on the other side.

  • The Menu starring Ralph Fiennes and Ana Taylor-Joy is great fun if you’re into cheeseburgers and dark comedy horror flicks. You’ll thank me for the tip.
  • I’m two days into my breakup with Amazon Prime and I feel better than I have in a long time. I’m even seeing a new streaming service- Paramount Plus- already!

Jay Withey: Buffalo hero breaks into school to rescue over 2 dozen people stranded in deadly blizzard | MEAWW

Jay Withey isn’t going to win an MVP. He’s never going to rush for 2,000 yards or throw 50 touchdown passes or lead the league in sacks. But all that stuff pales in comparison to what he did accomplish during the “storm of a generation” that ran roughshod over Buffalo.

On Christmas Eve, the 27 year-old mechanic rescued twenty-four people who were stranded in their cars. After which he led them to the Edge Academy school, breaking in so as to provide shelter for the group. And then he went and gathered up sustenance and blankets while they waited for help. He even wrote an apology letter to the school in which he promised to make things right. But here’s the thing. He had already made things right, twenty-four times over.

The school refused to press charges or take any money for the damages, and Whitley has become a global rock star thanks to his heroics. He’s gotten letters from as far away as Australia and he received a special delivery from former Bills great Thurman Thomas: Tickets to Super Bowl 57 in Glendale, Arizona. He’s hoping to watch his favorite team bring home a title.

If they follow this kid’s game plan, they just might do it.

 

If You Come From The Future, Keep It To Yourself

I dig talking about time travel. Probably because I think the day and age I live inside of doesn’t necessarily fit me. It’s as if I was dropped in the wrong cosmic mailbox and I’m simpling my Simon in a search for answers that are always gonna escape me.

That said, I wouldn’t want to be a time traveler. Sure the change of scenery might do me good, but I’m not loving my chances of convincing the people back there that I come from another time. It works in the movies since the characters only have an hour and a half to work with before the credits roll. But in reality? You best keep your chronological zip code to yourself.

Just imagine you were dropped off on a curb in the year 2000 with nearly a quarter century head start. And all you gotta do is convince those peeps that our gangster’s paradise by the dashboard light is, in fact, some true shit.

Buena suerte trying to get them to believe in all of this . . or even some of this . . or hell, any of this.

  • The World Trade Center is gone
  • Joe Paterno was fired in a child rape scandal involving his assistant
  • A device named the iPhone will run people’s lives
  • And that device? Will have many friends
  • The Boston Red Sox will win the World Series . .  four times
  • The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl . . six times
  • Even crazier than those two? The Cubs win one as well!
  • OJ Simpson is lame sauce in our current news cycle
  • “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby is a convicted rapist
  • Blockbuster is long gone but Netflix is still here
  • Oh yeah, lemme explain streaming services . . .
  • . . . and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok
  • Roe v Wade was overturned. No, I’m totally serious
  • Eminem won an Oscar
  • The Harry Potter craze had legs
  • And don’t even get me started on Star Wars
  • A virus will bring the world to its knees in 2020
  • There are 20 K-Marts still standing in the US
  • But K-Mart playlists are alive and well on YouTube
  • Oh yeah . . about YouTube . . .
  • Music has gone digital, although some diehards still do vinyl
  • Books too, although some diehards still do the real thing
  • Newspapers are still popular, for housebreaking puppies
  • Landlines are still popular, in Pittsburgh
  • Everyone has a laptop
  • It’s easier to win the lottery than it is to find a water fountain . . .
  • . . pay phone, toll booth attendant or newspaper vending machine
  • Tom Cruise. Still an action star
  • Crypto is the new televangelism. So is politics
  • Ozzie Osbourne. Still kicking
  • Zombies are box office
  • Oh yeah, and Donald Trump was President. That too

See what I mean? I gave y’all a small sample size and it doesn’t matter because there is still way too much bite and way too little chew with which to make sense of it all. Because those elusive answers to those pesky questions ain’t looking to be found.

The cosmos uses invisible ink.

Ill Machina

I’ve been using the turnpike almost daily for the past week and a half and it has provided me the gateway through which I can bitch and moan on our societal trajectory; the coordinates of which are currently revving it up at the intersection of Holy! and Moses!

We are a science-fiction ending waiting to happen, even if we don’t pay it our daily mind. We’re too caught up in the myriad of lusty trysts involving push button conveniences that play to our nubile sensibilities, sexing up our solitary . . . guilt free! We feed at the technological trough that all too often preaches single over mingle. We get to be Howard Hughes on a budget when we’re sufficiently peopled out, tucked safely away inside our individual panic rooms. And while I can relate to the idea of not wanting to consort with all the mouth breathers that try and steal my airspace, the truth of the matter is that a bill is gonna come due. Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that scot still ain’t free.

There’s always a bill.

Speeding through the toll booth that used to house a name who toted a shopping list of cosmic aches and dreams, now you get Peek a Boo sensors with 20/15 vision who do not give a fig about small talk. A sign advises you to keep it moving while those prying eyes check out the junk in your trunk.

We’re losing our souls by piecemeal with all these bloodless transactions and it’s happening with our eyes wide shut. Because that tattle tale of a toll booth has got plenty of company.

A shopping run where you self-checkout your shit seems peach, but it’s a hassle when you think about it. You still wait in line (sometimes longer). And now you have to scan your shit and hope there are no problems and then you have to call someone over when there invariably is. You’re really not saving any time and your ‘bond’ with a mercantile machine is all about bar codes.

If that’s cool with you, then you can always take an e-commerce look away pass with your purchase, and you’ll probably get it in no time flat. And you’ll probably get exactly what you asked for. And you’ll probably never have to worry about an email informing you that your order couldn’t be filled at this time. You best hope that probably comes through, because if you had to speak with a live person? Probably not.

Grabbing a cup of Joe and a bagel at most local beaneries is a hands on endeavor. The same can’t be said of the fast casuals that dominate the landscape; where you’re handed an empty cup and pointed to a toaster whilst getting overcharged for the privilege.

The spread has bled to the point where we don’t even flinch at how much technology has changed us. Our cars can drive us, our apps can turn the lights on, a fat frisbee cleans our floors, a disembodied voice answers all of our questions. And that’s not even to mention how we tote our phones around the way a COPD patient clutches to an oxygen tank. And all that change has taken place in the time it takes to pay off a mortgage.

We’re spurious worshippers of this fountain of progress; our collective toes dipping just below the surface so’s we can ignore the deep, blue mystery of our future selves. Will we keep swimming until we reach that point of no return? Or will we stick close enough to the shoreline so as to avoid drowning?

Who knows?

Maybe we end up merging with the ghosts in the machine, the way humanity did in Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question. In the story, humans team up with technology to reach the stars and beyond, planting flags in every corner of the universe. There’s a hopeful ending for humankind as we find our divinity through this furious expansion, even if we’re not around to hear the answer.

I hope we’re that fortunate.

The 75th Annual Sorryless NFL Awards Show!

Anybody can dole out an award for the best players and units and teams but it takes a truly demented individual with far too much time on his hands to come up with an awards show that is based entirely on the Seinfeldian Principle: Make something out of absolutely nothing.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .

I Confused Aaron Rodgers Beating The Bears With Michael Myers From Halloween - YouTube

Michael Myers Smooth Stalker Award: This goes to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, whose shadowy presence threatens the peace of mind of a small mid-western town every fall. Will he return? I kinda hope not, but that’s only because I would love to see him land in Vegas or Nashville. As creepy as this dude can be, he does provide great content and I would be fascinated to see if a change of scenery gets his skillset sizzling again.

Michael Jordan's legendary NBA Finals performances with the Bulls | NBA Highlights on ESPN - YouTube

The MJ Effect Award: After Tom Brady left New England following the 2019 season, I predicted the Patriots would become the football equivalent of the Chicago Bulls. With Jordan in the fold, the previously title-less Bulls fielded some of the greatest teams of all time and won all six of their championships, after which they reverted to their pre-Jordan sad sack ways. Once Tom Brady became the starter in 2001, the Patriots fielded some of the greatest teams of all time and won all six of their championships. In three post Brady seasons, New England has missed the playoffs twice and is no closer to Super Bowl contention than the Detroit Lions. I take that back . . the Lions are way closer.

Nicky Santoro by LJAstudios on DeviantArt

The Nicky Santoro Award: I know what you’re thinking. What in the hell does a vicious gangster whose reign was so messy that he was buried alive in a cornfield have to do with the NFL? Lemme ‘splain. Nathaniel Hackett was the bust of all bosses. He was handed a peach job out west with a club many considered Super Bowl contenders in the Denver Broncos . . . and he went 4-11. Hackett was such a disaster that Denver didn’t wait for the season to end before giving him a pink slip. If I were to offer up any advice to Aaron Rodgers’ former beer buddy, it would be this: Don’t try that again, and stay away from cornfields.

Split (2016) — The Movie Database (TMDB)

Split Personalities Are Exhausting AND Fun Award: The Miami Dolphins stormed out of the gates at 3-0, quickly becoming a chic Super Bowl sleeper. They proceeded to lose their next three games as Tua dealt with injuries and his first concussion. Upon his return, Miami reeled off five straight wins to move to 8-3 and steal first place from the Bills. More injuries and another Tua concussion resulted in five straight losses before they won their regular season finale to finish 9-8 and make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. So if the pattern continues, Miami will streak to a Super Bowl victory. Which of course, ain’t happening unless M. Night is writing it.

Trevor Lawrence injury update: Jaguars QB listed as questionable in Week 14 - DraftKings Nation

House Lannister Head of Hair Award:  Honorable mentions go out to Alex Anzalone, Andreas Knappe and George Kittle for supplying medieval locks that would likely fetch them roles in Game of Thrones. But there was really only one choice to be had when it came to House Lannister and it’s the dude who successfully guided Jacksonville to the playoffs in his second season. Trevor Lawrence looks like a Lannister, and if he keeps balling the way he did in the second half of the year? He’s gonna be NFL royalty before too long.

Urban Meyer bar video: Keeps getting worse for Jaguars coach

Urban Meyer Was Even Worse Than We Thought Award: The Jacksonville Jaguars were a league worst 3-14 last year and to say they were a tire fire would be insulting to tire fires. Meyer went 2-11 before the team cut bait with him after he played a game of “Santa’s Magic Lap” with a woman at a bar who was not his wife. Enter former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and Voila! . . . the Jaguars tripled their win total AND won the division. When reached for comment on his former team’s resurgance, Meyer said “I feel like an ass . .

Bills safety Damar Hamlin released from Cincinnati hospital, returns to Buffalo for further treatment - ABC News

Homecoming Of The Year Award: Yeah, we’re only ten days into 2023 but I gotta believe there isn’t going to be a better homecoming than the one Damar Hamlin made yesterday when he returned to Buffalo. One week after going into cardiac arrest in the first quarter of the Bills game against the Bengals, Hamlin bid adieu to his adopted city of Cincinnati and returned home. Ironically, both towns share the nickname “The Queen City”. And now they’ll have joint custody of a young man whose fight rallied a country with three simple words.

Love For Damar

At The End Of The Day, It’s Tomorrow

No Rundown? No problemo!

I begin this trip by saying thank you to everyone who gave me love for my Friday morning fixture which recapped all the news that was print in fits. I’ve said it more than once, but the only reason it worked was because of you. And hey, it’ll be around from time to time . . . same as Taylor Swift revenge songs. Only smarter?

In the meantime, I got some iffing and riffing to get to . . .

Bills' Damar Hamlin in critical condition after cardiac arrest on field; game postponed | CBC Sports

It’s so easy to criticize everything and everyone from the wheelhouse of your S.S. Twitter page. Which is what happened this week when a bunch of twits (the official-ish term for twitter trolls) railed on about how the league should have called Monday night’s game between the Bills and Bengals sooner. Methinks these fools are barking up the wrong tree. NFL executive Troy Vincent refuted the claims that the league had ordered the players to start warming up after Damar Hamlin was carted off and I believe him. The league is many things, but impetuous ain’t one of them. They dealt with an incredibly difficult situation best they could and in the end, they left the decision as to whether to continue the game in the hands of the coaches and players. As it should be.

Kevin McCarthy elected House speaker, but at a cost | Reuters

Kevin McCarthy scored the Speaker’s gavel on his 15th try, which is more strikeouts than you’d get from the Yankees lineup in a typical nine inning game. And the only reason KMC clinched it before Memorial Day is because he made more concessions to his junior partners than a Los Angeles Dodgers hot dog vendor. Watching this guy win his loss was akin to playing the movie Fargo backwards, and it’s a better than butter bet that his rule is going to require a hostage negotiator before too long. Somewhere, Kari Lake is getting drunk on Jack and Charlie Daniels whilst crying “How come I couldn’t do that?!”. And while I am certain Trump is taking credit for this extra-innings escapade, nah. Anyone who wants to stay the course with Florida Man, be advised . . .

Is 'killer robot' warfare closer than we think? - BBC News

When really smart guys in the know like former Google capo Eric Schmidt warn us not to get too drunk on the idea of artificial intelligence, we really should be taking notes. It’s one thing to ching your way through the Target checkout line with a robotic merch machine and quite another to trust AI when it comes to policing and warfare. Limiting the loss of life is always the goal but when you start bringing robots in to take care of the dirty work, guess what happens? Yeah, more dirty work. Because when you give the bosses a reason, they’ll take nine more. Killer machines will provide them an EZ-pass with which to justify deadly force and problematic invasions in faraway places. And you best believe they will make moonshine out of the setting sun until the day comes when we can’t get back to even.

Recently DFA'ed Trevor Bauer says Dodgers 'wanted' him to return and 'pitch for the team this year' | Fox News

The Dodgers did the right thing in cutting bait with former Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. The dude has a live arm but it happens to be attached to a genuine creep. And seeing as how this loser doesn’t play football, there’s no chance the Cleveland Browns will sign him!

Wait, what?' tops the list of Banished Words from Lake Superior State University | WPBN

A hat tip to the lovely Dale for filling me in on the kitschy little tradition they’ve got going at Lake Superior State University. They rolled out their forty-sixth annual list of words they believe must be banished from the Kingdom of Common Sense. I’ve attached my thoughts to each of them.

  1. GOAT- Anything that rids us of more Tom Brady is okay by me.
  2. Inflection point- It sounds like a movie you’d see on Amazon Prime, and as luck would have it, I banished the streaming service and picked up Paramount Plus!
  3. Quiet quitting- Miami Dolphins fans understand.
  4. Gaslighting- Johnny Depp could not be reached for comment.
  5. Moving forward- Wolf Blitzer got rich on that shit.
  6. Amazing- This word was ruined by Zoloft popping HR directors.
  7. Does that make sense?- See #6
  8. Irregardless- Stop it before you hurt someone, please.
  9. Absolutely- Not.
  10. It is what it is- Fuck. You.

Full disclosure; I’ve used both #5 and #6 while under the influence of a highly proofed medicinal. I’ve also dabbled in “no worries” and “wait, what” because I’m both understanding and not so understanding. Alls I know is I plan on submitting a name I feel should be banished in 2024.

He lives in Mar-a-Lago.

 

 

The Vault In Our Stars

Look: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati Skyline Lit Up Blue In Support of Damar Hamlin | Yardbarker

It’s impossible to know what happens from here, but that’s because life doesn’t let us cheat. We don’t get to read the last chapter in order to make sure the story goes to our liking. It doesn’t work that way.

I woke up to the sobering news that the Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was clinging to life after collapsing on the field during a Monday Night football game. I was expecting to dig into the deep of a dish that had been billed as the latest “Game of the Year” in a league that sells hype the way Waffle House sells bad decisions. The league was spot on about this one though, because Bills vs Bengals was coming in hot: From a conference champion looking to win one more game than last season to the team many consider the favorites this time around. Add in two of the best young quarterbacks in Joe Burrow and Josh Allen and the game really didn’t need much selling.

Bengals: Cincinnati dons Bills red and blue to support Damar Hamlin

And then Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins caught a pass over the middle and then Damar Hamlin applied the hit to take him down and then he rose to his feet momentarily before collapsing in a frightening heap. We would come to learn that Hamlin died on that field before emergency personnel brought him back. After which the last six minutes of the first quarter and a 7-3 Bengals lead and a matchup of two conference heavyweights stopped mattering. Because that’s when the sixty-five thousand fans in attendance and the millions watching at home had to give life and death their undivided attention.

Blaze of blue lights in Downtown Cincinnati for Damar Hamlin

For the better part of an hour, those sixty-five thousand souls at Paycor Stadium behaved as one. Their rooting interest was no longer attached to a scoreboard or the standings or a social media page. Their cheers stunted by the tragedy that was playing out on the field below, they focused all of their energies into a collective embrace of Damar Hamlin; a young man fighting for the rest of his life right in front of them.

As a country, we are one hot mess. We are petty and political and wholly improper when it comes to compassion. It’s gotten to the point where Saturday Night Live is going away because it cannot deliver the same level of satire as our cable news channels.

But there are times when all the differences in the world cannot overshadow the ties that somehow still hold our tattered flag together. It happened on Monday night when every single fan in that stadium came together not for a game, but for Damar Hamlin. The previously raucous crowd more closely resembled church as they stood together in silence and just waited, together. And after the game was called, they filed out into the streets and joined together again in hushed conversations and candlelight vigils. And this brush fire of a newly found spirit, it grew.

Football stadiums across the country lit up their digs in the colors of the Bills, the new America’s Team. Cincinnati’s skyline went blue as well, as did the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hockey players wore shirts in his honor. Social media sites were overrun with best wishes and prayers for Hamlin. Less than a day after Hamlin’s collapse, his toy drive for needy kids saw a five million dollar spike in donations.

Yesterday, Damar Hamlin woke up. His family members were right there waiting, just as they have been since that fateful Monday night when they thought they might lose him for good. And the humble kid from McKees Rock, Pennsylvania who has given so much of himself, learned how much he has come to mean to all of us.

“Did we win?” He asked. The question provides us all with a much needed sense of normalcy. And if we could answer him collectively, I think it’s easy to guess our response.

Yes we did.