Ho-Ho-HOLY SHIT WHAT A TREAT MONDAY NIGHT WAS.
Cosmic forces decidedly did not ruin my bonfire/projector screen socially-distanced-outdoor-gathering-of-five-people-and-two-dogs, though my dog running about a quarter mile away into the snowy night certainly tested that theory. Pro tip for all the homies: when calling your wife to express with terror that you just fucked up and your new dog ran away, confirm that your eight year old son who wanted a dog for years is not sitting right there listening in on speakerphone. Nothing like a screaming child to add to the mix of quality dad fuckups. (The dog is fine, by the way, and bonus points to me for being able to experience the joy of seeing Oscar run towards me at the sound of my voice from about a block away ... real joyous reunion, folks).
Canine fuckery aside, the game was just about as fun an evening as I could have hoped, and was another rung up the ladder for this Bills team as it continues its ascent into the top tier of football teams in the league this year. San Francisco is a good team. Buffalo made them look like a week-old bowl of goulash that someone let spoil in the desert sun. That defense I worried about in last week's preview? Our large adult son Joshua did exactly what he wanted every time the offense took the field, making those pre-game concerns look almost trite in hindsight. After the Bills tied it at 7-7, there wasn't a moment when I truly thought they could lose, which is a remarkable thing to say given the decades of rampant conditioning the team has put us through in order to make losses seem SOP every week, year after year. Put another way ...
I mean, fuck, Liverpool won its first English Championship in 30 years in front of an empty Anfield. This is just the way it was always going to be. Hashtag becauseitsbuffalo.
Next up is Pittsburgh, fresh off their first loss of the season. Depending on which narrative you prefer, the Steelers are either raring to rebound with a big conference win against a too-big-for-their-britches Bills team, or are ripe for exposure by a Bills team that continues to baffle opponents. Who knows which one will happen? Let's find out! Sports!
THREE REASONS WHY THE BILLS WILL SMASH SUNDAY NIGHT
1. Josh Allen.
The kid is a gamer and Monday night further proved it. As improved he is in terms of his decision-making this season - limiting interceptions and fumbles and focusing his accuracy to absurd completion percentages - he's blessedly been able to make that transition without losing the intangible qualities Bills fans fell in love with even while he floundered over his first two seasons. Monday night's game would have been a coming out party for Allen if he hadn't already had a few along the journey thus far, and the response from the national media confirms that #17 is one of the hottest performers in the league right now. The only reason we're not talking about him as MVP is because we just haven't started yet. We probably should. A win Sunday and we definitely will.
It's not hyperbole to say that we're watching something remarkable and borderline unprecedented from Allen this season, and with every week that he puts in another great performance, we're closer to looking back on this season as one of the best in franchise history.
2. Ben Roethlisberger's Ludo-Looking Ass
Ben is having a great year, of course, but it's a December night game in Orchard Park and the Steelers have been relying on their 38 year old quarterback to throw over 40 times a game on average this year (over 50 in each of the past 2 games). This seems ill-advised. I just don't see a primetime win against a very in-form, high-scoring Bills team with something in the vicinity of 15 (or more!) wasted plays on offense due to incompletions.
Then again, I'm an idiot.
3. It's the funniest outcome.
As hinted at above, my prevailing theory about most things in 2020 is that the funniest outcome is the likeliest. The Bills becoming a presumptive challenger to KC as the AFC's best with no fans allowed in Orchard Park is deeply funny. Not in a ha ha sort of way so much as a "this is the kind of wretched bullshit that makes a blog like ours possible" kind of way.
For what it's worth, this theory why I am seriously disturbed and frightened by the slow burn coup being attempted by Trump and his band of jackboot fascists. Not because I worry that their arguments may be successful in Court or whatever, but because their succeeding in retaining some modicum of power despite being waxed at the polls and igniting some gross combination of constitutional crisis and civil war is absolutely the funniest possible outcome for America. Nihilism tastes great with my morning coffee, thanks for asking.
THREE REASONS THE BILLS WILL LOSE
1. They won't.
2. Fuck you.
3. idk the defense I guess?
#4: Texas AG Ken Paxton
YOU WOULD THINK, WOULDN'T YOU
As American democracy continues to devolve into a puddle of petulant powergr- psyche American democracy has always been exactly that- American institutions are revealing themselves, at best, to be pathetically incapable of holding accountable the unconscionable conduct of our President and, at worst, to be incredibly susceptible to misuse by Trump and his supporters for personal and political gain. This has been the theme of the Trump administration from start to finish. We the people have allowed this to happen and Ken Paxton, initiating a lawsuit as devious as it is meritless, is counting on our continued indifference.
Incidentally, Ken Paxton's foray into this post-election fuckery and attempted coup is not the kind of run-of-the-mill bootlicking that we've come to expect from all levels of government these days. Homeboy has a STAKE in the game, even if it's just about flattering the Big Boy President in the hopes of an eleventh hour preemptive pardon. As reported today by The Hill:
The shit isn't surprising anymore, but as a lawyer it really gets my blood boiling to see a public servant so transparently abuse the power of his office, abuse process by the filing of a legal challenge to support Trump's failed reelection bid, and abuse all sense of fairness by asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the votes of citizens from Democratic-leaning states. These pieces of shit not only think that Democrats shouldn't get to vote and that their votes shouldn't count, but they also have the fucking gall to think that our nation should adopt such an insidiously baseless position as a matter of law.
Not for nothing, but Conservatives are the same folks who argued that the Voting Rights Act trampled on states' rights (to deny the franchise to people of color) in administering elections according to their own laws when SCOTUS struck down Section 4(b) of the VRA in Shelby County v. Holder. Having won that argument due to a stacked Court of bumbling white supremacists, much to the horror of anyone with a shred of decency and belief in racial equality, the present arguments that COVID-prompted changes to state election rules violated the U.S. constitution are totally without merit. A 154-page complaint from the Texas AG, now joined by Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah, doesn't change that fact. All it does is reveal Ken Paxton as a villainous shitmonger.
tl;dr: Find a safe space and go fuck yourselves, you goddamned fucking babies.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce the high hat.
With more states legalizing the good shit lollipop, our matron saint Mary Jane, and with my current residence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about three years into its post-prohibition journey to the land of milk and honey, let's talk buds. I'm not sure what this space is going to be used for beyond just telling funny stories or dropping recs for strains or delivery mechanisms, but I guess that's enough?
One of the absolute best things about living in a state with legal cannabis is seeing the industry absolutely explode with fun and creating new products. As most of these new treats were devised under the influence, they're all of course delightful and often over the top. One such treat that I have discovered in the last year is the terp stick.
The terp stick should probably not exist. It's basically the FourLoko of weed (or would be if Moon Rocks didn't also exist) and, just like FourLoko, it was love at first taste for me, Clive. For the uninitiated, the terp stick is basically a pre-rolled joint infused in some way with concentrated THC extract. In other words, it's the cannabis version of a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream. The definition of overkill, which means it's right up my alley.
When the pandemic is done and dusted, terp sticks are going to be the thing I enjoy with friends at my first opportunity, because honestly it's too much to handle solo, a lesson I learned while trying to hike a trail at Mount Wachusett after puffing half a terp stick some months back. That I made it a half mile up the reasonably steep ascent was a feat in itself; that I bailed in favor of bodily safety after a half mile - despite not being able to feel any of my appendages - was a blessing.
Next time you're driving through MA and want to stop by a dispensary for a treat, snag one of these and enjoy safely. It's worth the $20-ish pricetag and then some.
Bills 38, Steelers 27
I was remarkably close with last week's guess so fuck it. I don't see the Bills' offense slowing down much at all, and I think the Steelers will have a hard time putting enough points up to keep pace. The Bills will, of course, let Pittsburgh stick around and make a late run, but it won't be enough and we'll get another Victory Monday with a side of rust belt schadenfreude.
Enjoy your weekend, Bills fans. It's going to be one to remember.