Football season is upon us. I can hear the 8 millimeter projectors clacking away now in the backs of all our middle-aged potato-couched minds as John Facenda, the “Voice of God,” thunders his praise of “Lombardi … a certain magic still lingers in the very name … it speaks of duels in the snow and cold November mud . . .” Descriptions of Dick Butkiss (perfect Gay porn name, eh?) decapitating offensive linemen with a single steely-eyed glance, or Gayle Sayers breaking ankles of would-be tacklers with a simple hip replacement fake. Our excited dreams feature Joe Namath’s model looks peering from a 60’s caddy as he sports plush fur coats between adoring Playboy blondes. Such furs today would require a Kobe-like sad-looks apology, Oprah housewife interview tour stops, and at least two weeks of camp-mink sensitivity training. No, they were not sissies, they did not apologize, they were our gladiators willing to die for glory. And now they are back, oh yeah baby, and wow is it sweeter than ever. Gone are the lawyers and the contract negotiations. All summer long we get to hear the smash of pads, the yelling of coaches, the smell of snow and the brats with mustard and kraut or chili, and the calls on Friday night to plan a Sunday beer and football bash at the man cave. Gentlemen, start your beer-gut engines – we’re definitely going to need some padding of our own!! Hey, ladies, back off. Don’t you know this is a vital part of our millions of years of evolutionary conditioning – we’re getting ready for hibernation. Or some kind of nation.
Now by this time, you may be asking yourself: what in the world does football have to do with cigars, since (if the three of you who actually read this blog hadn’t noticed) this is a cigar blog? Well, my technically minded lawyer-wannabe Jeopardy-addicted readers, I would answer in this way: Football has about as much to do with cigars as it has to do with feet. Right? They call it football, but they might as well call it tee-ball. The ball touches a tee slightly less often than it does a foot – and for far longer. Sometimes the Tee even gets in the act and has a fumble (they must be made in Dallas). The actual use of the foot in football is becoming archaic – like the sculpted hood ornament or the round knob radio-tuning dial. Years ago, maybe in the days of the “Gipper” (yes, even before Ronald Reagan was President) they had a regular play where the quarterback would “quick kick” the ball, dropping it with the point on the ground just before “footing” it down the field, and take the other team completely by surprise and pinning them deep in their own territory. Can you imagine the surprise now if Tom Brady or Eli Manning suddenly pulled the quick kick? Do they even know how to use their feet? I think Gisele Bundchen Brady (or is it “Tom Brady Bundchen”?) would be more equipped to kick that awkward damn parabola-shaped leather thing. I mean, it’s not like you’re sneakily (yes, it’s a word) substituting Landon Donovan into the game in a crucial third and twenty-seven to quick-kick hoping the other team doesn’t notice he’s wearing goofy shorts, long socks and a headband. Yes, feet have almost nothing to do with football. Sort of like politics have almost nothing to do with politic behavior (No, I’m not going to define “politic” for you NFL muscle monkeys who shave your palms, that’s why they invented Google – oh, sorry, you lost now? Look up to the top right of the screen, you Bedouin Bozo).
I mean, consider my friend Ian McCarther, who was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, and who visited me a few years ago for his first foray to the “Colonies.” I took him to an Arizona Cardinals game (back when the Cardinals played in the furnaces of August HELL at outdoor Sun Devil Stadium). Of course, being the good friend I am, we sat on the East side of the stadium for the late afternoon game to make sure we didn’t get cold in the shade. Yeah, we sat there, along with two pythons and a couple dozen California Condors (No I’m not referring to Governor Arnold Schwartennenisgeriosriue (I’m too lazy today to spell check – but then he apparently was to lazy to condom check, so we’re even)) waiting for our imminent 140-degree sunstroke death. Well, Ian was impressed. I remember him saying how he didn’t realize humans could survive that close to the sun. But I digress. Ian, being a novice to this football thing, was very excited, and was hoping to get a few strategic pointers from me as we watched. He was certainly impressed with the opening kickoff, and was surprised how far the kicker could kick something shaped more like a Cantelope quarter than a ball. Of course, then it all fell apart. About the time the kickoff return man hit the five yard line, with a full head of steam aiming for the wall of opponents hurling down on him from the other direction, Ian stood up like a Liverpool House of Commons politician and started shouting “hand ball, hand ball, hand ball.” Then he looked at me and yelled “stupid f’ing ref, can’t he see it’s a hand ball?” (see my note from last week about use of the “F” word, for those of you who think I’m just being nice to the Mormon readers. Wait, do we have any Mormon cigar blog readers? I must do some research). So after I gagged Ian with some handy duct tape I had in my back pocket (yeah, I keep it with me at all times in case I see a hot chick alone in the park – oh and be sure and use the black kind, it doesn’t reflect police high beams as much as the silver stuff when you’re hiding in the bushes), we watched the game for the first half. I decided to be nice and un-gag Ian during halftime, mainly because I figured, being Scottish, he’d probably spring for the beer. Anyway, Ian, in a very calm voice, seemingly now quite deathly scared of duct tape, asked me “so why exactly do they call this football, and why do you lads call football ‘soccer.’” So I had to re-gag him. I mean, really? Did he expect me to have an answer to such a stupid question? Didn’t he get the point of football at all? I let him watch for an hour, you’d think he’d be just as football crazy as me. But no, no craziness, just … confusion. And some yelling. And head butting. I’m sitting there thinking: sheesh, for all these dumb questions I could have just brought a freakin’ girl. I mean, at least girls understand the importance of performance enhancements, even if they don’t know anything about steroids, right? No sports reporter would ever consider leaving Pamela Andersen out of the Hall of Boob Fame for drug-related cheating? Can I get an Amen? Can I get a “whoop whoop” preferably with coordination? After all, she has more Google hits than Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe put together. Sammy “the Needle” Sosa never would have had to cork his wood with her.
Anyway, I eventually untied Ian, and since none of the pythons were willing to rat on a fellow snake, I beat the rap. And I hear that restraining orders eventually expire anyway – so I let Ian live.
Now I’m not saying “Americun” football has a monopoly on moronic word choices. Baseball is equally guilty. I’m not sure it’s completely accurate to call the championship series between the Americans and the Nationals the “World Series,” when you only include one tag along team from Cannuck-land as your only foreign interloper. I think the millions of baseball players in Cameroon and Greenland might not like being excluded from consideration in a world-wide championship before the season even starts. The Boise State football team has a better chance of being in the BCS Championship than these foreigners do in the fall classic . At least the World Series of Poker had a Ruskie champion wedged in between a Knoxville accountant named Moneymaker and a former Laotian escape-raft stowaway (not that I’m saying Poker is a sport (well, unless she’s not willing to go “all in” on the “strip” rules – then it’s time for a take-down (yes I like imbedded parentheticals (deal with it)))). In Ian’s opinion, if you want to call it the “World Series,” then 9th inning ties should be decided by penalty kicks. I don’t think Youklis could possibly get any kick past Sabathia, since the Yank is larger than the entire soccer goal.
So here are my suggestions to clean up some of the American sports word-fumbles (not that, being a Raiders fan, I have anything against fumbles – it’s our number one offensive option of the past 20 years). What if we adopted an ultra “truth in advertising” rule for sports? And when I say ultra truth, I don’t mean Tiger Woods truth, or Rafael Palmero Congressional truth. I’m not even alluding to Bill Clinton re-definitional “what IS is” truth. I mean the absolute, unadulterated, non “puffed up” 100% accurate Wilford Brimley-like truth. Under that legal standard – wait, that’s pretty much as much a “legal standard” as football has to do with feet – but we’ll go with it. So under that anything-but-legal standard, here are my ideas:
1. Let’s call football what it really is: “Budweiser Billions Brain Damage Crash-Test Dummy Smear.” They should just play on asphalt like I did when I was 14. Budweiser would own the world. Bud Lite would be Bud “Billy” Gates.
2. Let’s call baseball what it really is: “Owner’s Want a Home Run Every Other At Bat Ball.” I mean, do we really believe the players voluntarily took the steroids? Did you read Orwell’s 1984?? I’m pretty sure the Owners put it in the water by the bucket-load. How else do you explain A-Rod’s behavior? He’s not smart enough to think of this on his own. I’m pretty sure the syringe had a “Steinbrenner” label down the side. Griffey didn’t take the stuff cause his owner was cheap. I think the shoe spikes were spiked with muscle juice. Can you say “public opinion poison tipped”?
3. Let’s call basketball what it really is: “Crybaby Dunk Derby.” When was the last time you watched an NBA game and kept mental track of Steve Nash’s assists? The prosecution rests.
4. Let’s call golf what it really is: “Tiger-gate Nightly News.” Does anyone care what some dude named Charles Howell the Third shot? Maybe Gilligan? Not me.
5. Let’s call hockey: “Fights on Ice are Better than Fights in a Cage.” I would pay huge bucks to see Mayweather fight Pacquiao on skates with sticks. So would HBO. So would Don King! Wooooo Hooooo. Bring the vultures, there’s going to be blood!
6. Nascar?: “We get laid more than Wilt.”
7. Tennis: “Huh?”
8. Hot Dog Eating Competitions: “Thanks for keeping Cardiologists Employed …”
9. Bull Riding: “It’s not a Sport, It’s Death in a Wrist Wrap.” If I were a Bull Riding rodeo clown, I’d wear a black hood and hold a scythe.
10. And, in the final number 10 position: Curling: “If we’re just cleaning the ice, why not French maid outfits?” Right, huh!
That’s all for now, tee-ball fans. Enjoy your foot-tobacco-rolls. More soon.
Editor’s Note: Once again for the sake of our readership’s peace of mind we have reported Dave’s alleged nighttime activities to the appropriate authorities!