Friday, November 26, 2010

I promised a Childress write-up, here it is.

So, I've been chewing on this Brad Childress thing for a few days now, trying to come up with an angle, and while I have come to the conclusion that the man looks disturbingly like Gerald McRaney, that's not an opinion--that's just a fact.

I find the disintegration of the Vikings interesting in the same way I find ant farms interesting. I don't mind watching, and when they're on the active side I'm even sort of curious about what's going to happen next, but I don't actually care much about what happens to any of them. But as I've searched the internet in a quest for a stance regarding Brad Childress' new unemployed status, all I've really seen is how big the anthill really is, and by “anthill,” I mean “group of people who go crazy when you poke their colony in the middle.”

There are people who are happy. There are people who are sad. There are people who are blaming Favre, and people who are trying to predict what Leslie Frazier is going to do, and people who are wondering what other coaches might be behind the eight ball. One standout opinion has been offered by Darren “Doogie” Wolfson, who avers that the Vikings should have kept Childress in a master plan to lose for the rest of the season in order to set themselves up for better draft picks next year. This is a fantastic Moebius strip of an idea; I can't tell what's wrong with it but I just know that it's completely retarded somehow.

Since I can't find it in me to care about Childress within the context of the NFL, the only thing left was to look outside of said context. From what I can tell, he seems like a thoroughly unpleasant person and somebody who really deserved a good firing. But no man is an island, so I started wondering about how Childress' getting fired would affect his family. This meant I had to figure out whether he had a family. It occurred to me that he might not; some people don't, after all, and he is a belligerent 54 year old man who up until recently was working an 80-hour a week job and alienating everyone who had the misfortune to work with him. I was more or less expecting to find out that he had two or three successively younger ex-wives, and maybe an estranged kid or two.

So I was mildly surprised to find that Childress has been married to his high school sweetheart for the last thirty years (and still is). Her name is Dru-Ann, but apparently they come from a part of the country where people think that's okay. They have four children, at least one of whom has kids of their own, and according to this “article,” which was written to make Brad Childress seem cuddly and endearing, they all get along just fine. Of course, that “article” was published in July of 2009, at which time Dru-Ann was speaking optimistically about her husband's contract with the Vikings being extended. I guess I could make a joke about that, but it seems like a cheap shot to mock somebody when you're in the future and they're not.

Anyway, I could care less whether Brad Childress ever works again or not, but there are people in the world who have a vested interest, and one of them is named Dru-Ann. I don't know how much money Childress made because I don't care enough to look it up (because I'm sure that information is easily available), but I know that it's enough to pay alimony. So, Dru-Ann, here's my advice to you. Maybe you actually like your husband and maybe you don't but either way, you should leave him. You'll be guaranteed a good living and you'll probably get to stay in your house.

As for Brad, it's all up to him, but you'll be giving him a lot of really great options that won't open up unless you leave him. You guys could get together and have a reality show on Bravo, documenting your divorce proceedings. If he does ever get another coaching job, you'd have to move again, and that's a hassle, so breaking it off now will save you a lot of headaches as far as that's concerned. And if you make him unhappy enough and he doesn't get a new job, I'm sure they'd be happy to include him on Celebrity Rehab in a couple, three years.

As far as the Vikings are concerned, I feel that their best shot at this point would be to get themselves set up for a good position in next year's draft.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back on the...Horse? Field? ....Sports metaphor...?

Despite the fact that one time I posted a new Ok Go video to Facebook before any of my friends did, I would generally describe myself as the opposite of an early adopter. Due mainly to the fact that I have extremely bad credit, I have learned to let other people waste their time and money finding out what things are going to catch on, and then jumping on board once they already have. There are drawbacks to this:

“Holy cow, I just started watching the greatest new show. It's called the Simpsons. Have you heard of this thing? Hilarious!”

And now I'm the dweebiest dweeb. On the other hand, timing is everything:

“Oh my god. Have you seen Golden Girls? No, but like, recently? As an adult? That shit is really funny!” The important thing to remember in this case is to always add, “I mean ironically, of course.”

God gave us irony so that we would never have to reveal what dorks we all truly are.


Anyway, due to my long-standing “late adoption” policy towards trends, I constantly find myself sampling things that other people have been loving their entire lives, which for one reason or another have remained outside my purview. In the last year alone, I have discovered that I like lobster, Nethack, Kurt Vonnegut novels, Jordan Jesse Go, Frontierville*, and iced tea.

You know what isn't on that list? Football. I stopped writing after week three of the season because I just didn't care. Roethlisberger back on the field? Sure. Michael Vick playing well, then suddenly injured? Them's the breaks. My fantasy team keeps losing because I can't remember to bench my players when they're on a bye week? No surprises there.

I had to stop writing because I felt like I was living a lie.

So why am I back? Why am I giving it one last shot? I'll tell you why. Because every week, Facebook sends me an email, and tells me about activity related to Writing the Bench. And for some reason, people keep checking on it to see if I've done anything new. And I remember the time that my sixth grade class flew all the way across the country to Washington DC, and we stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and my principal—the principal of the whole school—chose me to lead a hundred and twenty other sixth graders in reciting the Gettysburg Address, and I had to whisper to him that I hadn't bothered to learn it. And when I looked in his eyes, I saw his disgust. Not only at me for being lazy and not doing my homework, but at himself, for thinking that I was good enough to be the star of his Lincoln Memorial show. He didn't say anything, but he still let me know that I was a failure. That is the shame I feel when I see that someone has actually checked the Writing the Bench Facebook page and I know I haven't written anything for two months.

I may be exaggerating.

What I'm saying is, expect a post about Brad Childress in the next couple of days, but I'm not saying I'm going to like it.

*Seriously, you guys. Be my friend on Frontierville on Facebook. I'm only like, twenty percent joking about this.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Listen, you guys. I have writer's block.

I'm sorry. I wrote nothing after week three and in the last 48 hours I've started like, four different essays that have gone nowhere.

But I feel like it's important to say that Michael Vick's recent injury is strong evidence for the existence of a loving God, because Ben Roethlisberger is going to be playing again next week and if the two of them were both playing it would create an excessive amount of active evil in the state of Pennsylvania.

Friday, September 24, 2010

He's not just the Quarterback...

One of the luxuries we are afforded, living in a first world country in the twenty-oneth century, is the leisure to care way too much about non-issues, and I for one would like to express my gratitude that I live in a nation where we are all free to take time away from making sure that our nation is fed and housed to worry hard about how strangers are dressing, and whether celebrities get rehabbed. It is in that spirit that this past week, our nation has come together to marvel over and pray about Tom Brady's hair.

Tom Brady's hair definitely looks stupid right now, everybody agrees. And searching on the internet you can find lots of pictures, plenty of mockery, and a quote from Brady himself in which he states, “You'll have to ask my wife [about the hairstyle].” But no one seems to be going to the root of the problem—why is Brady sporting the bowl cut? Faced with a dearth of information, I am here to speculate with you. Here are some possible reasons for the hair, that I came up with:

One: Popular wisdom tells us that the simplest answer is the most likely to be true, and there are millions of people who have reached the obvious conclusion that Brady is suffering from Bieber Fever. This would also explain the comment about his wife. Not many people know this, but Giselle Bundchen is a practicing Christian Scientist, and if Brady were to take antibiotics to cure his Bieber Fever, she would divorce him. Some are denouncing her as a hypocrite for this; there are unsubstantiated rumors that she herself used a topical cream two years ago to treat her Timberlake Shingles.

Two: Brady's forward-swept bangs totally conceal his forehead. Could this be because he has something to hide? Possibly. My favorite possibilities so far are the Mark of the Beast, or a lobotomy scar.

Three: This may be just a transition phase. Hair takes a while to grow, you know. Maybe the mop top is just a coincidence, and what Brady is actually trying to do is grow his hair all the way out like Clay Matthews, to see if it will give him the same superhuman strength (for the record, the long hair will give him superhuman strength, but it won't be the same superhuman strength as Clay Matthews).

Four: It's a fake meltdown. You know, like Joaquin Phoenix had to make us all hate him, and then revealed that it was all a put on to make us hate him more. Like that. No big. Let's all laugh about it!

Five: It's a silent protest. Remember in Ender's Game, how he thinks he's playing a video game the whole time but at the very end of the book he finds out that all of the spaceships were (spoiler alert) a real army and he was sending real people out to completely destroy an alien race that hadn't ever shown any signs of aggression? That's how Tom Brady felt when he found out about the illegal taping. So he was like, “All right, Bill. I'll sign this new contract for $48.5 million dollars, but I won't cut my hair until you stop cheating.”

You know, the more I think about it, that's got to be it. I bet Bill Belichick is throwing away all his cameras right now, crushing them with golf clubs so he won't be tempted to use them anymore. So expect Tom Brady to get his hair cut any day. Also, expect the Patriots not to win anything this season.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week Two Status Update

So, Week Two of the season has ended and people are actually asking me for a status report, which is very flattering.

Let me first say that the season began just in time for this blog to survive. I had a very rough summer; if it had been rough and interesting in a way that was funny, I might take up the space to regale you with hilarious tales. As it is, it was rough in a way that my husband has been able to make funny. As for me, have you ever seen a cat that has been systematically tormented by children for so long that it twitches all the time and it starts trying to eat its own tail and all of its fur falls out in strange ways? That's how I feel when I look back on this past July and August, and I've spent the last three weeks just trying to smooth out my metaphorical fur, so I'd rather not write about it. In a year, maybe, I'll tell about the terrible play I was in with an asshole costar, and the sixty-hour work weeks, and it will be delightfully amusing because it won't be actually happening.

So lately thinking about football, which does not come naturally to me, has not been as high on my list of priorities as taking naps and enjoying days when I don't have to go to work (in the month of August I only had two days off, and they were because I was forced to call in sick due to injury). Nobody discovered my brilliantly hilarious early entries and offered me a book deal, so I was ready to just quietly let it go. But football season was just starting, and fortunately I had enough real football fans around me (read: boys) to keep the dream alive, though admittedly anemic and feeble.

So here's how we're doing: I love my fantasy football team. I love it. I am proving to my husband's friends week by week that you can put together a team of guys with silly names, and refuse to draft any player with a girlfriend you don't like, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a complete embarrassment when it comes to the scores. You will almost certainly not win, I certainly haven't, but Chad Ochocinco and Knowshon Moreno are doing very well so far, and Golden Tate is making a nice showing as well, whereas Reggie Bush (who used to date Kim Kardashian), was not only shamed into returning his Heisman Trophy this past week, but was also injured in the Monday Night Game and will be out for at least six weeks, so maybe Lousaka Polite wasn't such a bad pick after all. Manners are never overrated. I will have to drop Chris Cooper, though. He's been so busy giving a powerhouse performance in The Town that he hasn't even been playing. I should have learned by now that people named Cooper don't ever really play.

I like watching football more than I used to, but I like it more with other people. I think this might prove that I'm not a real fan yet—I know more than one guy who has to watch his team play without anyone else around, so that he won't be distracted from thinking as hard as he can at the television to help his team win. I still watch the game like I'm at a baby race—I don't care about the score so much, I just get really happy whenever I see someone running the direction they're supposed to go.

I didn't get to watch a lot of football this weekend, but here are some things that I learned just from Week Two: Peyton Manning can beat Eli Manning, even though Eli is the one with the most recent Super Bowl ring. In the fight of brother against brother, the South has triumphed against the North. Randy Moss can catch a football with one hand. And the Denver Broncos have an attractive retro argyle pattern in their end zone, so if they ever make an episode of Mad Men where somebody needs to go to a football game, they could totally do it in Denver.

Monday, September 13, 2010

After Week One, a Domestic Interlude

Now that football season has officially started, my husband is thrilled to have somebody in the house to talk about the game with. I was having trouble thinking about how to write about this first weekend of the season, and he was trying to help me out. Here's how it went:

Husband: Well, what do you think you learned this weekend, from watching?

Me: Um, I learned that football is much more interesting to watch if you either care which team wins, or if you're watching Red Zone.

(I usually do not care which team wins, having no home team loyalties. Red Zone, for those of you who may know, is a channel which shows nothing but football all day Sunday with no commercials, and switches between all games that are playing at once. Whenever a team gets close to scoring they switch to that game to see what will happen, and whenever a particularly exciting play happens anywhere, they switch to that game to replay the moment and cover the aftermath. If you have no vested interest in any particular game, it's the perfect way to watch football, because it's never not interesting and the football never goes away. I have been trying hard to watch the evening games so far, but if anything else grabs my attention, I'm gone. It's an uphill battle. I'm not saying that Frontierville on Facebook is fun, exactly, I'm just saying that when I play it I forget that I'm supposed to be paying attention to the Chiefs kicking the Chargers' ass.)

Husband: What else?

Me: Um....I think that's it, actually.

Husband: How about that Michael Vick is still one of the best players in the league, despite having spent all that time in jail?

Me: Well, Vick was good yesterday, but I didn't really know how good he was before.

Okay, that's fair. What about this—you learned Drew Brees is dreamy.

Me: Oh, I've known that since he won the Super Bowl in February. He's super dreamy.

Fine then. How did your fantasy team do?

Me: Okay, not great. The Ravens defense did a good job. How about you?

Husband: I'm worst place in the league. The Chargers are still playing, you know. You should pay attention.

Me: Hang on, I have to chop down this tree.

Husband: You know those games are stupid.

Me: I know, but if I get one more neighbor I can build a barn! Please be my Frontier Neighbor!


Me: I hate you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Game One Report, a Little Late

There is a sequence in To Kill A Mockingbird in which Atticus tells Jem and Scout they have to go over to some old lady's house and read to her every day, which they do. However, after Jem has been reading for only a short time, the lady is no longer able to pay attention to him, and then she goes into convulsions for no reason that the children are able to see.

While watching the Saints/Vikings game on Thursday night, I felt a lot like that old woman. The first quarter was interesting, I could actually follow what was going on, Drew Brees was playing well and it was easy for me to watch. I felt like a really good student, and as I saw what Brees was doing, it made me want to see Favre get the ball to see what he would do with it, to compare and contrast. Would their styles be noticeably different? Would I be able to tell whether Brees was doing well on his own or depending on his offensive line, by watching how the Vikings offense compared?

As it turns out, I ended up with no idea. I don't know if my attention span needs to be built up, or if the commercials took me too for out of the game, or if Brett Favre has just aged into the least compelling quarterback alive, but I couldn't keep my eyes on the screen after the first quarter. I take heart from the fact that most actual fans only keep one eye on a game while they're doing something else, but still, I'm a little disappointed in myself.

I work on Sunday but I plan to watch the night game, and some of the guys who are on my fantasy team will be playing, so maybe I'll feel more of a personal stake in what's going on. And maybe it won't be boring. That would be nice, I think.