7 Things You Should Read Before Lunch

name of site - hunter thompson style

courtesy of mmc-news.com

1. Score-onto

The Blue Jays, comfortable and eager to get back to the Homer-Dome, did so in electric fashion.  Tulo and Donaldson both hit bombs in a 6-run 3rd inning to blow the game open, and KC made the final score look closer than it was and actually out-hit Toronto.  Aside from the explosion of runs, someone tell me how a player gets ejected BEFORE the top of an inning as Tulo did in the start of the 8th?  When will MLB crack down on these clowns who think they are just as important as the players – NEWSFLASH, you don’t like it when players argue balls and strikes – then call the damn strikezone correctly and stop having different variations per umpire on what bottom of the letters to knees means.

2. 3-3 #SetYourGoals

At one point the Giants had 8:19 left in the game and that was enough time for them to get 3 more 3-and-outs.  This game was so terrible to watch that I began to count the penalties and turnovers – I stopped at 18 and 6.  If you are a Cowboys fan ,you can not be happy, because your while your team has no running back and is beset with injuries – you feel that until Romo comes back you’ll just keep sliding – meanwhile the Eggles are tied for 1st, and that’s really sad.

3. Invictus

We have 5 undefeated teams and at no time has this many teams been unbeaten, this long into a season.  So it got Rob Maaddi thinking over there at the Associated Press and he came up with the idea that Superbowl 50 could feature two undefeated teams.  We should all “friend” Rob in hopes he shares with us, whatever it is he has, because I’d like to see a sky like that in my world just once.

  • GET READY FOR A PAIR OF 18-0 TEAMS IN THE SUPER BOWL – Five teams are undefeated after six weeks so we just might see a team in each conference go 16-0, win two playoff games and face off for the NFL championship in February with history on the line.  You guessed it, it’s overreaction time.  The Patriots (5-0), Bengals (6-0) and Broncos (6-0) are the AFC’s undefeated teams and the Packers (6-0) and Panthers (5-0) are the NFC’s undefeated clubs.  Can one of them run the table……(continue reading)

ForteDavisSmith

4. Deadline Deals

You forget that the NFL changed the NFL trade deadline so more teams might make mid-season trades to dominate more and more of the news cycle and make it as exciting as it does for baseball.  Not sure if it has caught on, because until Jason Hirschorn brought it up on Sports On Earth, I had forgot all about it being a possibility.

  • NFL PRE-DEADLINE TRADE CANDIDATES – With more time for teams to figure out whether or not they can contend this season, the prospect of significant deadline trading has increased. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, “Several NFL executives believe this could be a more fertile trade deadline than normal, with clubs now adjusted to the later deadline and with there being a growing delineation between the haves and the have nots.”……(continue reading)

5. It’s A Matter Of Anti-Trust

TV programming will change – how it is consumed, how it is watched, and how it is paid for.  The reason?  You should not have to pay for things you do not want or will not watch.  I do not care about the Kardashians, or Honey Boo Boo, or any other nonsense that was being paid for in satellite/cable bill – so I dropped it, and until the day arrives where I can pay for what I want to watch then it will be a good day.  Maybe that’s all these guys are complaining about in their lawsuit against the NFL, DIrecTV, CBS, etc…

  • NFL, Networks Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Over TV Rights – Five plaintiffs who have purchased Sunday Ticket from DirecTV have filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL and its teams, as well as DirecTV, CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, claiming that exclusive distribution agreements have driven up the cost of pro football telecasts in violation of antitrust law.  The lawsuit, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in New York, takes aim at NFL Sunday Ticket, calling the distribution agreement “unique among American sports” and claiming that it has enabled the defendants to charge “exorbitant prices,” as much as $359 per season……(continue reading)

6. Moving Day

An interesting point was brought up by Nick Wagoner at ESPN – What if the Rams were denied Los Angeles, would they still move?  Sounds a lot like if a tree falls in the woods.  For the NFL, the are letting the fans of St.Louis, San Diego and Oakland speak at the end of the month – like the NFL gives a damn, but they’ll placate you anyway.  If a team wants to move let them and make them build whatever diaphragm looking structure they want on their own dime.  watching the NFL on TV is better at home anyway and if you’re a fan you can watch YOUR team from any city, so….


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What do you mean the #NFLPreseason doesn’t matter?

It’s never smart to bet money on “preseason” NFL football games, because they are utterly meaningless to anybody except the hundreds of players who may or may not be cut after each one – something I have to remind my attorney constantly. There are roughly 100 players out there for each team, competing desperately with each other for 53 roster spots for each team. Few of them even know each other’s names – crazy.

Pre-season games are like a dance with Death, for most of them. They will never be a starting player on any NFL team; they will never even get to wear a legitimate team jersey or see themselves on TV, like they always dreamed of.

Trying out is like a huge casting call for the next Star Wars movie, something in the Marvel Universe, or a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, about sex, death and violence in a typical all-American family that gets caught up in a kidnapping plot to cropped-cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e1418093475393.pngmove terrorists from Korea to New Orleans during the hurricane season. The movie will be a hot one, requiring thousands of mob-scene extras.

There will inevitably be many socio-paths among the teams, many unregistered perverts and super-groupies depending entirely on Steroids and Downers to make it through the first few dozen practices. Most of them are habitually unemployed anyway, and trying out as an inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers might look like an good idea, to some people.

And besides, there is always that one in a million chance that you might be suddenly discovered, like Marlon Brando.

Most of these stories have horrible endings, but there are, of course, exceptions to that rule, and we saw one of the best of them in real life over a decade ago. Michael Lewis, known as “Beer Man” to his teammates, was a 29 year-old one-time beer-truck driver when he got his final tryout for the New Orleans Saints.

The Beer Man averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return in 2002 and 14.2 on punts, second in the NFL. He also ran the 40 in 4.2, which means certain death for any defender who suddenly gets assigned to cover him. Many failed, and many were instantly cut and sent back to the Arena League, NFL Europe, or the local grocery market.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis didn’t have to stray far from home to find his dream. That is the way it goes in the NFL, no mercy and no second chances. Speed kills, in the famous words of the ultimate Raider, Al Davis. You can’t teach speed, he said. Everything else in the game can be taught, but speed is a gift from God.

The NFL preseason fully opens for Week 1 tonight and the schedule has all 32 teams in action with TV and live streaming coverage from the NFL Network for some games, with teams like the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, NY Jets, Detroit Lions, Bears, Dolphins, Cowboys and San Diego Chargers in action.

The schedule for Thursday starts with games at 7:30 pm ET starting with the Green Bay Packers visiting the New England Patriots on the NFL Network. The game should have some intrigue with Jimmy Garoppolo getting time with Tom Brady, maybe facing suspension and it will be the first game since the recent hearing between Tom Brady and Hizzoner about the QB’s ban.

The New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens are also playing at 7:30 pm ET in Maryland, with the NY Jets and the Detroit Lions playing at Ford Field. The Miami Dolphins are at the Chicago Bears, and the Washington Americans are at Cleveland, 8 pm ET. The Dallas Cowboys play the San Diego Chargers in California, and that game will be on the NFL Network starting at 10 pm ET.

The Friday schedule is a full slate as well with the Atlanta Falcons playing the Tennessee Titans on the NFL Network at 7 pm ET. The Panthers and Bills will play in Buffalo at the same time. Pittsburgh and the Jacksonville Jaguars play at 7:30 pm ET in Florida, and the New York Giants play Cincinnati in Paul Brown Stadium.

The late games for Friday include the St. Louis Rams at Oakland, 10 pm ET, and the Denver Broncos play at Seattle, for another Super Bowl rematch on the NFL Network Peyton Manning will be wearing a ballcap instead of a helmet. The Saturday NFL schedule has prime-time games with the Niners taking on Houston in NRG Stadium at 8 pm ET, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings are also playing at 8 pm ET, on the NFL Network. The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are playing at 9 pm ET.

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles are playing Sunday at 1 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field.

Check here for the entire NFL preseason schedule.

3rd Stone from the Sun

There are many hard lessons to be learned from the “degenerate” experience, but the harshest one of them all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart.  It is the difference between Winning and Losing, on most days, and on Saturday the Final Four will be a lesson for fun-loving Losers.  It does not matter if you have Wisconsin or Michigan St winning it all.  Nor does it matter if you have Duke or Kentucky – the line for both games is 5 and if anyone tells you they know how it all plays out with certainty, well…you’ve been warned.

Saturday has never been kind or forgiving to these people.  They are taught all their lives that Saturday Night is when even idiots can cut loose and take risks that would be out of the question on any other night.  Get drunk, shoot guns, dance naked in public, or even crouch in your basement and hack into the NSA database…

If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then Saturday belongs to the devil.  It is the only night of the week when he gives out Free-passes to the Freak Show at the Too Much Fun Club.  Not everyone believes this, of course, and the doubters are not without wisdom.  However, it is no accident that Dog-Racing Tracks do phenomenal business on Saturday, or that people swarm into nightclubs and dance to a fevered beat.  Why not? At least they all have plenty of company…

Even the Jails become more crowded, and the lines are long at the neighborhood ATM.  Nobody feels guilty for things that happen on Saturday – not even the ones who fly off to Las Vegas and get married at Midnight by a Preacher who claims to be Elvis and fondles the bride while he talks.  What the hell, right?  It goes with the territory these days.  We are Modern People and we like to do Modern Things.  That is dangerous gibberish in some circles, and the “Degenerate Fraternity” is one of them.  There is nothing modern about doing dumb things for dumb reasons, and nothing new about the feelings of shame and disgrace that come down on people who think it is “Fun” to bet the outcome of Wrestlemania.

Or how much “Fun” it is to bet the Opening Day of baseball – who has the time or energy to breakdown spring-training games to evaluate whether or not the Rockies will avoid losing by more than 1.5 runs to the Brewers on Monday.  But, all that matters in the sports-gaming business is the score at the end of the day and winning at least 2 out of 3 – lest your wife files for divorce and strange men in black suits show up and kick down your door at night.

Take last night’s Suns v Warriors game as an example.  The first 47 minutes was not much to look at.  Kind of like that girl who doesn’t wear makeup and then suddenly decides to dress up and you can’t take your eyes off her in the last minute.  The Suns and Warriors traded leads in the last 26 seconds, 4 times.  Only to see Chef Curry bust a 3 – free salsa for everyone!  It’s a game like that, that is Fun to watch, a hospital stay to bet.


The Smart play, however, is that Steph Curry will be the MVP.  He’s the best player, on the best team, that could finish one loss shy of equaling the 95-96 Bulls and their 70-12 record.  The other guys? NO shot.  Except James Harden, he does deserve it.  The way he has scored 30+ points in a game 33 times.  The way he has had to lift his entire team, alone.  It’s impressive and it seems on a night-by-night basis both Harden and Curry trade metaphorical blows trying to knock the other guy out from the race.  It says something about the Warriors championship aspirations by continuing to grind out W’s when they don’t need them – their position is secured.  Jason Whitlock said on PTI yesterday, that watching the ballet between Curry and Harden was reminiscent of Ali/Frazier.  Harden being relentless, the power player that wants to punish you with drives to the basket.   While Curry is the Wizard that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.  The parallels are spooky, and the Smart thing would be to see them matched up in the playoffs.

Let’s all have more Fun, and have faith in a government that reaches a nuclear framework with Iran as John Boehner sips Netanyahu-Jockstrap-Tea in Israel; accept that on the same day we remember the first Zombie, it will also be the death-a-versary of Kurt Cobain‘s murder-suicide 21 years ago; trust that Ken Griffey Jr doubled in his first at-bat against Dave Stewart today in 1989; regard the Pony Express debuted today in 1860; admit Jesse James was shot by that coward Robert Ford today in 1882; swallow that Annie Hall beat Star Wars for best picture today in 1978, and affirm the Unabomber was arrested today in 1996.  Sunday is the Lord’s day and we shall use it to reflect upon the final Saturday of college basketball, feast on Easter ham, and welcome the start of baseball – Amen, Hallelujah – where’s the aspirin?

DiRTy Gras

Fear and Loathing at Carnival…

When the going get weird the weird turn pro, as Raoul Duke famously said, and I am a 7-time gold medalist on this caravan.  Still awake and doing my damndest to earn another shot at the medal-stand; I have yet to sleep from properly marking Lundi Gras with a Red Letter and have no plans stopping this party-train until the final whistle of Mardi Gras blows.  But, I do find myself in reflective thought…

Thoughts like did I miss anything on Sunday? Was the ‘over’ in the NBA All-Star Game good? Who invented liquid soap and why?  Where’s my attorney and at what time does this stop being legal?

There is a dark secret to all the glory, revelry, debauchery and extolling feasts of virginal virtues.  A secret, knowing that for the entire Carnival season it is impossible to clean Bourbon Street – it is like the trash compactor scene from Star Wars – you step on things that crunch, squish, make little noises – you throw away your shoes afterward and you never, ever look down.

Furthermore, secrets of ending up on the wrong side of the Constable – If you’re one of the un-lucky ones who get arrested, AND are lucky enough to be seen again by the people that know you; then your punishment might be to clean the wretched waste of the land of misfit toys and bodily fluids.  If arrested and unlucky, you are likely dumped in a swamp covered in pigs blood, never to be seen again – – There was once a truculent Fraternity-boy who talked back to a police officer on horseback, while urinating, he was escorted somewhere and when I asked the cop later, if the urinator went to jail – he said no – at home, a week later I heard of a missing fraternity-member on the Today show, who was in New Orleans at that time, and that guy looked an awful lot like the guy being dragged off on horseback in one of my pictures.

So like Cinderella, when the clock strikes midnight, get your ass off the street because it’s a damn military parade in North korea, and the jack-boots are arresting any dissenters caught messing around Ash Wednesday.

If Vegas is getting your Bachelor’s Degree in the weird and depraved, then New Orleans is your Doctorate…So, being eager to display my Doctorate of Degeneracy, I drove down to the Big Easy Sunday night and when I got to the Hotel around 9pm, the place was already like wandering into ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ – people hugging, shaking hands, big grins, a whoop-whoop here, a holla there and hues all around like a Technicolor flashback – Just as I sat down some big guy from Ala’tucky sat next to me, he was named ehhh, lets call him Bob and let’s say Bob was here to Get. It. On.

“I’m fuQn ready for anything man, you know? Anything?! Whatchoo drinkin?” I ordered a pina colada, extra ice – but he declined and said, “no-no-no son, what the hell kinda drink is that for Mardi Gras time? What’s wrong you with you?” He looked around and said “Dammit we gotsta educate you on the fina-things – gittem sum gud whiskey…”  I shrugged and said “Jameson, 2-fingers neat”…Bob smiled his approval.

He leaned in and tapped me on the shoulder to make sure I was listening: “I know this Mardi Gras crowd, I come here ever’year an let me tell you sunthin I learned—this here town is no place to be given people the idea you’re some kinda backdoor deviant, if you get my meaning – not in public anyways. Shit, they’ll roll you in a minute and take every cent you have.”  I thanked him for the advice and he asked if I was Krewe-affiliated – I said “no, I’m a photographer and a writer.”  He eyed my leather bag with renewed interest and asked who I worked for – so I told him, Playboy.

He laughed and wondered why I would take pictures of stuff everyone has already seen a hunnered times online – I shook my head and said nothing; then just stared at him for a moment, doing my best to look grim.  “there’s going to be trouble, I’m here to document the terror”

Actual art hanging in DIA

 

“what terror?”

I hesitated, looked at my drink – “On bourbon street, during Mardi Gras. Jihad.” I stared at him again, “don’t you read newsweek?”

His smile disappeared and collapsed on itself, “What the hell’re you talkin about?”

“ahhh…maybe I shouldn’t be telling you….” I shrugged. “Hell, everyone else seems to know.  The cops, the national guard have all been getting ready for 4 months.  They have 50,000 troops on alert.  They’ve warned us—all the press and photographers—to stick to the corners, wear helmets and special flak jackets – we’re told to expect shrapnel.”

“NO!” he shouted as he slammed his first on the bar, then waving off the words like they were never said.  “Those sunsabitches! Lord Almighty! Mardi Gras!”  he kept shaking his head and mumbling under his breath as he sunk lower into his chair – his eyes went misty as he continued, “Why? Why here? Don’t they respect anything?”

Non-chalantly I shrugged – “it’s not just the jihadists, the FBI says it’s a bunch of supremacists coming down from all over to mix with the crowd and attack all at once – all of them dressed like everyone else – so when the trouble starts….thats why the cops are freaked out”

He sat there for a moment, looking hurt and confused and not quite able to digest it all – then he cried out, “What in the name of Obama is happening to this country? Where can you get away from it?”

“not here” I said, as I grabbed my bag and thanked him for the drink, I turned and wished him good luck – the poor bastard.