I feel like writing, so will invent topics by musing on this hilarious world of ours and making jokes to keep me sane. And since I'm on a work/pleasure trip to Buffalo tomorrow and intend to have too much fun with the pleasure portion of my visit - i.e. anime porn, if you're interested - I won't be available much, and today it must be.
Bills training camp started, so a huzzah and merry almost football to you and yours. Professional catch and run ball is pretty great, except when it actually starts and we find ourselves enveloped again in an existential crisis of suck.
BUT THIS COULD BE THE YEAR. So they tell me; "they" being pretty much anyone willing to forget the past and start fresh, though for them it happens every year and EJ Manuel, by implication, sits in the same storied and shit-upon position as Trent and Fitz and JP and Robbie J and Bledsoe and even Levi Brown for a quick minute which tells you all you need to know about what it takes to be a Buffalo quarterback and ride the wave of foolish optimism that is being a fan of a Bills team with the shittiest wagons making the shittiest circle.
Related: when the Bills circle their wagons, rumor has it, a parallel dimension of this world is invaded by Cybermen and it's all really terrible until Rose Tyler appears and remains smoking hot as she saves the motherfucking day.
Whatever, have at the hope if you want to. It's sports. Have fun. EJ, jokes aside, is certainly less saddled with the cursed history of Buffalo football than the rest of us, so maybe he'll be fine. He's looked seriously good in these first few days of camp, if Buffalo sports writers are to be believed (they're not), but the stark contrast of his game when set against Kevin Kolb may be distorting everyone's perspective.
Calm down, and as mentioned, supra, Go Bills.
Less than a week into his first training camp, I gotta say I like what I see with Doug Marrone. This gut feeling of mine, of course, motivated in no small measure by the fact that he seems to have a disdain for the media not unlike my own.
I talked about this on the podcast I did with Jeremy White the other night, but it bears repeating: on a team that hasn't won ANYTHING ever, and hasn't even had the opportunity to win anything for too many years to count, Coach has absolutely zero responsibility to get information to the media; to control stories for PR purposes; to make sure the guys on the beat like him. On a team with a string of coaches that probably handled media better than Doug Marrone ever will, but who were basically terrible at creating and molding a decent football team, I couldn't care less about whether he gets testy with the media, even if the questions they're asking are totally legit.
Sal Maiorana, Mike Harrington, others ... DOUG MARRONE OWES YOU NOTHING. You are a sports reporter. Sure, we like sports reporters for the service they do in getting good information for the fans, but if you do it terribly - if you do with such an obnoxious chip on your shoulder, spewing on about how much of a crucial part of society you are, missing the point that it's entirely possible that a head coach is being reasonably tight-lipped about a player's injury because, well, he can fucking do what he wants - if you do it terribly, we will tell you that you are terrible. We aren't saying that sports journalism as a niche industry is terrible... just you.
Moving the fuck on....
Someone should start being better at left guard on the Bills offensive line. Seriously. Be. Better. Be the best around.
This was great, everyone. Dude wants to fight all the black guys at this Kenny Chesney concert, which is funny for a number of reasons:
- All white supremacists and hillbilly bigots and probably half of Eagle fans were seriously impressed with Riley Cooper suggesting he could fight a ton of dudes. However, since there was likely only one black person at the Kenny Chesney concert, his statement doesn't ring as big & strong, though still just as racist.
- Country music needed this kind of statement about the at-least-somewhat-common bigotry of country music fans (kidding! Country music is the best! I love Sugarland!) after Brad Paisley made that song "Accidental Racist" and appeared to country music fans to be betraying white folks who would never admit to being racist, even accidentally, and appeared to me to be singing about a pretty raw deal for ending racial tension when LL Cool J agrees to ignore a confederate flag so long as Brad Paisley ignores those chains LL is wearing. I think the line was... "You ignore my thinly veiled symbol of slavery and racism, and I'll ignore that jewelry which only has a negative connotation because I was racist in the first place and think chains are indicative of thugs and scary black guys and generally don't make a point of giving a black person the chance to prove me wrong."
- In the event you were offended by my broad strokes about racism within the world of country music fan, I apologize for generalizing but did so basically because it was funny and OH GOD THIS HAPPENS AT KENNY CHESNEY CONCERTS ALL THE TIME. I revoke my apology.
- Riley Cooper got in a fight before even entering the concert. Beer and PCP, kids. Just say no.
Sure, none of it is good. All of it is hyperbolic and stupid and asinine. But it's not the same.
American soccer is, um, impressive.....
I enjoyed this Gold Cup. A lot. It's the B team that beat a bunch of B teams, so it is no rock solid indicator of success next year in Brazil, but I'm done qualifying wins and apologizing for the expression of American soccer prowess and, sometimes, dominance. We won. Every game. Our lads were amazing. End of story.
And it you were wondering, this was the best game of the tournament. Welcome back, Lando.
Major League Baseball is about to drop down some serious suspensions on the players involved in the Biogenesis scandal. Recovered from the fun years where PED-driven athletes were slamming home runs left and right and ALL of baseball - fans, writers, owners, Bud Seligs - was overjoyed that a league with labor issues and poor attendance and long, boring games, was reborn, MLB is now set to punish - harshly - anyone who violates the sacred code of baseball.
Baseball, if you care to notice, the sport that has in its storied history alcoholics, drug addicts, acclaimed steroid users, wife beaters, gamblers, cheaters, spitballs, corked bats, thrown games, drunk drivers and corrupt Midwestern owners.
Don't sully the game, yo. It's too pure for your personal enhancement.
Listen, the line between fair play and cheating with respect to PEDs and hormones and supplements is incredibly thin. It is ever-shifting. It is vague. What's enhancement and what's maintenance? What's safe and what's dangerous?
After MLB got dragged in front of Congress and got a massive legislative finger waved at it by old white guys who love to speak sanctimony but would rather you fix the problem because they're busy, owners got the message and started outlawing everything they could. Not because the game required it, or because actual laws always required it, but because MLB requires Congress. MLB requires untouched Supreme Court case law that hold baseball immune from anti-trust laws. MLB requires happy local governments and happy constituents who don't want to explain that adult athletes can make choices about what to put in their body but kids have to fucking do what their parents tell them.
And now MLB is threatening sanctions on players and causally ignoring the portions of the CBA that structure the length of bans based on the number of prior official offenses, instead going after a Yankee I happen to hate and threatening him with a lifetime ban "for the sake of the game." They're dragging out announcements until after a trade deadline, leaving teams and players in the lurch, and they're seeking to embarrass guys doing the same thing that was REVERED when Sosa and McGuire and Bonds and Clements were doing it.
They have their reasons, but it all stinks. The MLB stinks for being hypocrites, the player's association stinks for letting them, and the PED using players stink because they've gamed the system but don't have the courage to just explain why. We still haven't had an honest conversation about PEDs and steroids and where we should appropriately draw a line in the sand without relying on decisions of league owners and commissioners, all of who act simply and surely to cover asses rather than necessarily make the game better. So we're left wanting the most from our players but leave them unable to be their best. We rage on with sanctimony about purity and "doing it the right way," and then express shock and appall when a guy uses something to get him over the hump with a multi-million dollar deal in his back pocket.
None of this is working. It could be better.