The Grinches That Stole Football

 

 

Because Ike Taylor's Day needs a Signature Photograph

In Eleven Seconds…It all fell apart.

I have been watching the Steelers since they had ZERO Rings. That is the single most Frustrating Loss I have ever witnessed.

EVER.

After I sat in Stunned silence and watched Demaryius Run down the I will forever call it Mile High Stadium (Used to be Invesco until the financial markets crumbled and Sports Authority swooped in and Tagged their name all over the place) stadium I felt the desire to watch another NFL game Fleeing right along with him.

Eleven Seconds. And no more Super Bowl…Didn’t even want to watch.

It wasn’t just because it was Tim Tebow. It was because…the whole thing seemed so avoidable.

With all the injuries…and there Were.a.Bunch. The game was right there. Ben Did what Ben does.

  • Dramatize every Bump and Bruise
  • play his heart out
  • Make the obligatory WTF mistake
  • Find a Way

Even at 20-6 and 23-13…I knew They had it in them.

The defense…What do I say about the defense?

Dick LeBeau showed Exactly what he thought of all the Tebow Mania. Not very much. He rolled the safeties up and played press Coverage on the outside. When it worked…it was text book. But when it DIDN’T? It was worse than anything I have ever seen watching a Steelers Football game.

If the Steelers had any respect for Tebow’s Passing ability, Four to Five of the Seven significant passes he made Would never have happened. Every time he flinched in the pocket, Coverage Broke Down.

Ike Taylor, bless his heart…his game film will be worse than 2 Girls 1 Cup. (No, I’m not linking that)

Which leads me to my final and most Critical point.

When Troy Polamalu gets his Bust in Canton…it Should have Ryan Clark’s head on it also.

Either Troy Polamalu has never guessed so wrong so often in his entire career, or Ryan Clark has spent his career Covering Troy’s ass.

Ryan Mundy played admirably in Clark’s place…but he is not schooled in Covering up for Troy’s freelancing.

If we have learned nothing else as Steelers Fans…it is this. 43 is only 43 when 25 is next to him.

Which Brings me to Mr. Tebow.

I have already reached my quota on Emo Football analysis, so I will spare you the gory details.

But I didn’t see a prodigious Passing performance…I saw a man who capitalized when mistakes were made.

And BOY, were mistakes made.

Ike Taylor, Saggin’.

Beginning at the Beginning… (Or the beginning of the End, to hear the Mayans tell it)

So, you’re a philosopher?

Actually, no. I am an intermittent blogger and non-custodial father…BUT…

Yes. I think very deeply. (Paraphrased from the opening to My Philosophy, 1988)

Now that we have puttered around and disposed of the 2011 holiday season, it is Tuesday January 3, 2012. Today is the first functional day of the new year. Today is the day that you are supposed to get down to whatever the hell it is you said you were going to do differently from last year.

If you are like me (and despite my incessant desire to proclaim some kind of Singular mode of humanity…you are more like me than either of us care to admit), You made a conscious or not so conscious effort to put off whatever sea change you sought to make in your life until the day when society deemed that life return to normal.

And At the dawn…Here we are. So…what did I decide?

  1. Writers write.

    Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there. – Thomas Berger

    I realized that I spend far more time in 2011 telling people I was a writer and explaining why it was I wasn’t writing than I spent actually writing. After Last year’s pitiful performance…I don’t really deserve the title. I am officially on the writer’s hot seat. When Ed Werder is done chronicling the annual underachievement of the Dallas Cowboys he will stand next to the Wendy’s in front of my Building and discuss the tenuous status of my “writer” title.

    I say all that to say the following:

    If I cannot accomplish significant improvement in my productivity within the next week, I will stop calling myself a writer. If you know me well…I expect you to hold me to that.

  2. Writers read.

    If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. -Stephen King

    I spend the preponderance of my time Reading. As someone who has left the driving to someone else, I spend most of my commutes and my non working time reading the thoughts, facts, and opinions of others, typically in the form of short bursts of text. The reality is, no matter how many of those short bursts of text a single person or a group of people string together, the ability to focus and follow an extended narrative suffers.

    Your experience may differ…but I can say with certainty that my ability to read is suffering.

    This is not to say your ability to read long form communication must be negatively affected by this change in societal communication, this is to say that my reading, and by extension of my writing. This too, must change.

And so…with that…I give you nominal, yet substantive change. It’s what is hot in the streets in 2012.

Mail Bonding

I wrote my 3.0 a letter last week.  It was for his 13th birthday.  Which would be cool if his birthday was in December.

His Birthday is October 14.

I was homeless on October 14, and writing a letter to my son was the exact last thing  I could do at the time. I called and we had the usual conversation on his mother’s cell phone.

“How are you How is school having fun playing football I am proud of you youre getting so big I am sorry I couldn’t make it to visit like I said I would  I am making changes to my life to be in a better place to be closer to you guys please take care of each other and look out for your cousin and your mother I love you so much. “

Regardless of how up or down my life has been, the conversations with my sons have always been the same.

For my son’s 13th Birthday, I wrote a lot closer to what I felt.

I welcomed him to his first steps of manhood and proceeded to start apologizing for my failures.

That wasn’t smart.  Upon reading the letter, 3.0 was very distraught, feeling as though the pain I was feeling was at his hand, even as I took pains to exonerate them both  (him and his brother) from blame.

Ex#1 was very evenhanded in encouraging me to continue to write to him, but not to go so hard on myself, as it was obvious that any pain I felt hurts 3.0 just as much.

The darndest thing happened Come Monday when I called them for Christmas.

I didn’t talk to him about the letter..i just talked to him

We just talked…about whatever. Music, Gifts, Family, His favorite Basketball player (Derrick Rose) the way his Mother and Stepfather ridicule 3.1 for Picking up and putting down Football teams to support. (He is a Saints fan, largely because no one will allow him to change teams for the 4th time in 7 years)

From a painful letter…a new path was forged.  My birthday isn’t until June, But this is the best present I have gotten in years.

On: The Public Spinning of Ones Wheels

Yesterday was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a day where I accomplished everything I set out to do, it was a day of utter and complete failure. It was a day of innocent two year old black children with Cars Shaped pretzels and Apple Juice Boxes and 74 year old white women drunk from a five course wine dinner.

Just another day in my life.

 

And yet another day spent staying afloat rather than moving forward.

 

I have had moments that I believed were progress that have revealed themselves to be moments of Deja-vu; The new job that ended up being somewhat like the old job; Shuffling the cards in life’s deck vigorously only to cut the cards and deal out the same hand you had an hour ago; Staring at your mental to-do list only to realize that the same things were on that list 6 months ago….12 months ago.

 

Anyone who finds themselves surprised that I actually wrote something for a change reads this blog knows my propensity to stop and start and flounder about when it comes to this writing thing. Part of it is that while it is easy to formulate thoughts on the fly or in the course of the day, the second you sit down to focus…the demons gather as though Ma Walton Rang the Supper bell.

  • Behemothballs – The Demon who inhabits inconsistently updated blogs.
  • AntoomuchDromalius – the Demon who constantly creates turmoil in your life to disrupt the creative process
  • NoOneCaresBeelzebub – the Demon who constantly tells you that no one cares what you have to say but you.
  • obscuredbystuffofmoreIMPort – the Demon who prevents you from writing about random fun stuff by clouding your mind with trivialities like…a paying job, parenthood, and food and water necessities.

     

     

As I have suggested before, these kinds of boilerplate writer’s block are typically staved off by writing ABOUT being blocked. This brings up a Hobson’s choice where one has to choose between Unlocking the Pandora’s Box of Putting your business in the street in the name of Discussing your writer’s block in detail and leaving the blog post in Draft purgatory (with all the other aborted blog posts) and going off to play Farmcitymafiarailroadcastlezooville.

 

So. Here is the deal.

 

I wake up every morning making the choice between Throwing myself on the metaphorical pile of rocks because I feel like I am fighting the same battles I was 365 days ago and high fiving myself for still being in the fight.

 

Part of me says to shuck off the pride and just go balls out and put all my dysfunction and life chaos on Front Street. Because it’s 2011 and dysfunction is what’s hot in the streets.

 

But the reality is that there is a certain shame in having your car repossessed before it can finish breaking down on your first day of work at your new job that you had to make your only job because you can’t afford to pay for, insure, fix or replace your car that is your only way to get to your fulltime job which is basically a job you were holding while you were going to college, which you haven’t been in for three semesters so you have to couch surf on your ex’s nephews couch in South Dallas while your stuff is Way out in Keller 7 miles away from the nearest quasi regular bus at your boy’s apartment where you crash on your days off until you get out of training and make enough money to get a temporary apartment to stay on the bus/train line until you can get ANOTHER job to transition to a regular apartment which is all being retarded by the fact that it appears that the Texas Rangers’ desire to win a championship was so inspiring that people totally altered everything they did ordinarily until the Rangers were finished breaking the collective hearts of about 7 million people, 90 % of whom don’t even like baseball all like that but are so caught up in the bandwagon climbing that they get totally out of their usual routine hence sending a mini recession through the entire non sports bar food service industry which isn’t typically a problem if I hadn’t just spent two weeks making minimum wage while trying to get your life back on track for the fourth time in a year for various pending divorce related reasons and find yourself currently fighting depression because now you are forty-one dealing with the same shit you were dealing with when you were thirty-three but now your children are older and openly discussing how they wish their stepfather could adopt them and you have to actually hear this from the mother of your second ex-wife while she urges you to reconnect with your two year old toddler that you can’t bear to be away from even as you don’t see him nearly as much as you should but you don’t always go even when you COULD go because he, being a two year old boy is far more interested in the women of his life even though he misses you desperately he doesn’t need your close and personal presence, he just wants you around which is obviously not enough when you want nothing more than to have him sit in your lap for hours and hours to make up for the days that go by without you seeing him but what kind of asshole would you be if you insisted he handlethis YOUR way and not his and this says NOTHING of his long-term chronic illness he suffers from that I think about every day even as I do everything I can to not actually have to do anything about it even as I wish there was more room for me to operate as somewhat of an Equal partner but cognizant of the fact that it is my own tenuous living situation that has me in a state where I am focused more on daytoday survival than anything else.

 

 

*Stops…takes a deep breath. *

 

Now see, who can write about anything else with all that angst and frustration roiling around. There..it is out there now. I shall not discuss any of it any specifically, although I may make reference to it now and then.

 

At Least it is off my back. Now…onward…and maybe even forward.

 

 

 

 

21 Day JFC: Day One Recap

The hardest part of disciplining yourself food wise is to resist your instincts.  As a creature of habit who consumes mass amounts of Carbs and grains I had to go out and buy all new stuff. I had to throw away stuff I hadn’t planned to not consume for 3 weeks, because I KNEW that I would rationalize it into my belly on some “don’t waste it” steez.

Due to cash flow concerns I am literally buying food day by day, which means I am in the grocery store daily.

Not a good look.

 

But yesterday went well.  I am already hungry and my body is Hunting for PastryMuffinDonutish goodness. *grabs water*

Day One, Meal One

Turkey on Whole Wheat Bread with Honey Dijon Mustard ( It cannot be a naughty spread with 10 Calories, can it?)

Oikos Black Cherry Greek Yogurt

20 oz Water.

Day One Meal Two

Meatball Hoagie on Marinara (Foot Long)

8 oz Juice

20 Oz  Water

Dinner

18 oz Fruit Salad

32 Oz Water

The 21 Day Junk Food Challenge: Prelude

At This very moment I am Simply Obliterating This #4 Single Baconator Medium combo with Natural Lemonade and a Big Al’s Fudge Cake White Chocolate Sauce.

Tomorrow?

I begin the 21 Day Junk Food Challenge. Not so much because Junk Food is Bad, but because I need change in my life. I need to be the change I want to see.

I am working harder, and longer and I am less and less able to stay on task with my other activities.  Unless it is my job, staying on task has never been more difficult for me than it is right now.

After initially Swearing off the 21 Day Junk food Challenge I have decided to Throw my hat in the ring and get with the program .

Additionally I shall be Blogging EVERYTHING I eat throughout the 21 days of No Junk food.

No Junk Food:

No Chocolate

No Candy

No Biscuits or Cookies

No Cakes Donuts or Muffins

No Pastries

No White Bread

No Chips

No Fast Food

No Nutella, Peanut Butter or other naughty spread

No Ice Cream

But first: *Clicks Publish and returns to his culinary debauchery*

Flowers for the Living

 

 

As Monday’s passing of Nick Ashford gave way to today’s tenth anniversary of the tragic death of Aaliyah I find it instructive to do what my father always taught me

 

“Make sure you remember to connect the dots so you don’t just end up with freckles” – Inkognegro  Beta (my father)

One of the most maddening things I experience in life is the lip-service paid to history.  Our memories are as narrow as they are long.  We can recite chapter and verse of what matters to us as though it is holy canon, yet scoff whenever someone dares suggest a little context, which invariably diminishes the moutain in our eyes to the molehill it probably deserves to be.

The very nature of  Social Media in general, and Twitter in particular is that it is a massive but diverse organism in search of common themes to fuel it.  Some folks seek to drive a narrative for one purpose or another, but most just float along and ride whatever wave comes along to pull them.  As much as we would rather it not, those of us who indulge in social media to any appreciable degree are forced to ride the waves we catch, like it or not.

 

The difference between nostalgia of Monday’s Lament over the death of Nick Ashford differed from Thursdays acknowledgement of the death of Aaliyah in degree, tone…and intensity.

 

I have always been fascinated with the impact Aaliyah’s death had on her career.  As someone who was a fan…but hardly a devotee of her, It was intriguing to watch the nostalgia build from one year to the next.  Of course…the fact that her death came during the earliest stages of the broadband era, has only served to enhance her legacy.  and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that.  I do wish that she was as beloved in life, though.  But that is how life is…It never occurs to us how fleeting it is…until it flees from us.

Which harkens me back to Mr. Ashford (to say nothing of the work his surviving wife of 37 years, Valerie Simpson).  I would be lying if I said I was a huge fan or afficionado of his bonafides.  I knew, intellectually, that he was a titan in the industry whose reach exceeded far beyond Solid as a rock and a cameo in New Jack City.  Even if you delve into the Motown accomplishments or even lean into the work he (and Valerie) did for Ray Charles…rattling off a selection of hits in no way captures the cultural impact of Nick Ashford on the American Landscape.  And no one thinks to do so until it is too late.

 

As we mourn the losses of Mr. Ashford and Ms. Haughton, let us Start to Pick metaphorical flowers for those legends amongst us who are still living. who still have lessons to teach us.  So much is said about the paucity of genuine musical stars…I submit that if we spent more time lauding the stars amongst us rather than shepherding them into history, maybe there would be time for the stars of tomorrow to incubate and learn the craft.  In our rush to crown new stars we may be leaving out the most obvious candidates.