04.06.10 – A Tuesday

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word

sojourn [n. soh-jurn; v. soh-jurn, soh-jurn] n. 1. a temporary stay: during his sojourn in Paris v. 2. to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily: to sojourn on the Riviera for two months

birthday

Raphael (1483), Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Pasquale Paoli (1725), James Mill (1773), Gerry Mulligan (1927), Merle Haggard (1937), Billy Dee Williams (1937), Barry Levinson (1942), John Ratzenberger (1947), Marilu Henner (1952), Michael Rooker (1955), John Pizzarelli (1960), Frank Black (1965), Jonathan Firth (1967), Paul Rudd (1969), Zach Braff (1975), Candace Cameron (1976)

standpoint

Ah, the end of an era. Capitulating to the wishes of the majority of its fans, the Philadelphia Eagles finally traded longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick this year and a conditional one next year.

True to their nature, Philadelphia sports enthusiasts, given exactly what they wanted, began to grumble. Did the Eagles get enough for McNabb? Will Kevin Kolb be the starter some think he can be or will he be the next Bobby Hoying? Why would the two teams make the deal on the eve of MLB’s Opening Day, one when the two cities’ baseball counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, were set to square off?

People, please shut the hell up. From the start, you griped about the poor guy for eleven straight years. When he was chosen ahead of running back Ricky Williams at the draft, Eagles’ “fans” in attendance booed him. And, instead of buckling under the criticism, McNabb simply led the Eagles to five NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance. Just in case you’re slow, I’ll elaborate. That means during roughly half of his tenure in Philadelphia, the Eagles were at least the fourth best team in the NFL. They made the playoffs eight of those eleven years. In total, he’s won 92 games and is third on the list of current quarterbacks with a .651 winning percentage, wedged in between Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. It’s hard to imagine how much more all of you spectacular would’ve hated him if he actually did suck.

And now, Eagles fans, you have Kevin Kolb and you’ve no choice but to be happy with him. But, let’s face it, if Kolb comes out and has a bad start to the season, you’ll all be screaming for Michael Vick to come in and save the day. And if he doesn’t get it done, you’ll be asking for some other poor schmuck to give you the Super Bowl ring you desperately need to validate all those pathetically wasted Sundays, sitting on your couch wearing your “DAWKINS” jersey and begging anyone in earshot to answer the question, “Why doesn’t Reid run the ball more?” I hope Kolb gets it done. He seems like a quality fellow. But his stomach for bullshit is about to get tested. If the guy he’s replacing was only outmatched in terms of wins in the past decade by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and still deemed a shitty quarterback, what chance does Kolb stand? Is he going to be better than Brady or Manning? Not likely.

And, please, let’s not lament the terms of the trade. It’s ironic all you sports gurus claimed McNabb was junk on a daily basis, and now you’re the same nitwits who are bitching the Eagles didn’t get enough for him. It’s one or the other, people. Pick a side and stay on it for once, you wishy-washy nutjobs.

As for the timing of the trade and the fact it coincided with the first day of baseball, please give me a break. I’m not the most business-oriented of minds but even I understand the McNabb trade was a business deal, conducted between two businesses. There was millions of dollars at stake. When would’ve been a suitable time to make the trade? After the baseball season? Ridiculous.

By the tone of this rant, I hope it’s obvious that, while I don’t hate the NFL, I don’t have much respect for a lot of the people who play it and even less who make it their life’s devotion. But I do have respect for Donovan McNabb because he’s always been the underdog, even when he squarely didn’t deserve the role. Next season, I’ll be pulling for him. Even when he plays the Eagles. Because there’s nothing I like better when one guy proves a million idiots wrong.

quotation

It takes a kind of shabby arrogance to survive in our time, and a fairly romantic nature to want to. Edgar Z. Freidenberg

tune

Normally, I’d proffer there’s too many videos on YouTube made by people with nothing better to do. But in this instance, I’ll need to back down from that stance. A montage of The Office set to Ben Folds‘ “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You” is located directly in my wheelhouse. And it should be in yours, too.

gallimaufry

→ I think our country is fantastic. This shitball church changed the wording of their sign when faced with proper political pressure. I’m going to speak more on this tomorrow but, for the time being, I hope everyone reading this understands our nation is in serious trouble.

How funny is this? Does this company have meetings? Wouldn’t it stand to reason at least one person present would say, “Wait, I’m not sure but I think someone told me lead paint is apparently bad for you now.”

→ On Philadelphia’s latest decision to relax about pot, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street.” In an unrelated development, 55th Street property values are skyrocketing.

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12.14.09 – A Monday

Last Friday night, my Uncle Joe died unexpectedly. He was probably the most affable and good-natured guy you’d have the good fortune to come across. Of my five brothers and sisters, I was probably the least close to Joe, and I’m pretty sure I was the only one who’d never gone to visit him at his home in Maryland. And I’m equally sure I’ll regret that for the rest of my life. Just kind of figured he’d be around to hang out with. Life is ruthlessly unpredictable, folks. Get out there and grab what you can from it. 

This post is dedicated to Uncle Joe. 

WORD

nonpareil [non-puhrel] adj. 1. having no equal; peerless n. 2. a person or thing having no equal 3. a small pellet of colored sugar for decorating candy, cake, and cookies 4. a flat, round, bite-sized piece of chocolate covered with this sugar

BIRTHDAY

Nostradamus (1503), Spike Jones (1911), Lee Remick (1935), Patty Duke (1946), Michael Ovitz (1946), Beth Orton (1970)

STANDPOINT

Last week I commented on Allen Iverson’s return to the Philadelphia 76ers.

For the record, I like Allen Iverson. I always have. Even when, in 2002, he threw his naked wife out of their house in Gladwyne, where I grew up. Lots and lots of things happened as a result of A.I.’s actions, including causing me to be over two hours late for some family function due to the fact every TV news van in the country was trying to get into probably the least traffic-friendly town you can imagine.  

In any case, the return of Allen Iverson has left me with mixed emotions. I’m glad he’s back, but as I stated last week, I’m curious as to why everyone else is.

Philadelphia has a history of taking young, talented athletes and making them regret they ever played their respective sport. The Philadelphia PhilliesMike Schmidt was deemed the best third baseman in history. Eric Lindros had a career for the Philadelphia Flyers that placed him, for much of it, in the same company as Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. On any other team in the NFL, Philadelphia Eagles‘ quarterback Donovan McNabb would be credited for being one of the best at his position in the past decade. Allen Iverson, in his first stint with the 76ers, was a diminutive individual, usually scoring more than double the points of the giants he played against.

And where did it get them? Schmidt retired as a Phillie but left here so damaged it took him almost a decade to return to the fans who booed much harder when he didn’t get the job done as they cheered when he did. Lindros’ story is much more complicated but, even with all the drama and concussions, he’s still a fringe candidate for the debate of who’s the best player in NHL history, even Bobby Clarke thinks so. McNabb still manages to come to work every Sunday and play for a bunch of worthless fans who’ve forgotten the likes of Bobby Hoying, Bubby Brister and Rodney Peete. And Iverson was one of the best in the NBA, while playing for a team that seemed content to let him try to win a championship all by himself.

Which begs the question, why would anyone come play in Philadelphia, a city where even those days when probably capable of better, and those days when you don’t live up to expectations there’s a million people leading the charge for your head? Don’t believe me? This past Phillies-Yankees World Series, I forget which game it was. I was at a bar and Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard was striking out. A lot. And one of the morons sitting around me said, “Man, would you look at this fuckin’ bum on the goddamn television?” Yeah, genius, I was looking at the TV. At Ryan Howard. A guy who’s managed to hit 220 homers and knock in 635 runs in just five seasons. But Howard, and the rest of the Phillies, didn’t win this past World Series like they did the year before. And so, for that, Howard’s a bum. Just like every other professional athlete in Philadelphia sports’ history who didn’t give their fans the misplaced, instant gratification for which they feel erroneously entitled.

QUOTATION

 This and nothing else is the desperately sought and tragically fragile writer’s process: in his imagination, he sees made-up people doing things–sees clearly–and in the act of wondering what they will do next, he sees what they will do next, and all this he writes down in the best, most accurate words he can find, understanding even as he writes that he may have to find better words later, and that a change in the words may mean a sharpening or deepening of the vision, the fictive dream or vision becoming more and more lucid, until reality, by comparison, seems cold, tedious, and dead.John Gardner

TUNE

I normally have something poignant to say about the song I’m sharing with you. But today I don’t. Listen to “HEERS” by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. It’s good. And that’s that.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Listen up, country! The people of Houston get it. So why can’t the rest of you clowns fall in line? Annise Parker will become the city’s first openly gay mayor, making Houston the biggest city ever to do so. Is it safe to say it’s pretty fucked up when Texans are breaking new ground?

Tiger Woods, most likely after reading my post last Friday, has announced, “After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf.” In what many are considering the understatement of a lifetime, Woods furthered with, “I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.” You think?

→ OK. Let me get this straight. Donte Stallworth drunkenly drives over, and kills, a guy a few months back and gets 30 fucking days in jail. Meanwhile, New Jersey resident John Wilson is facing up to 20 years for growing 17 marijuana plants for his own personal use to treat his multiple sclerosis. I don’t drink and drive because I’m hesitant to put my life and the lives of others in jeopardy. I do, however, occassionally smoke pot in the privacy of my own home which, until now, seemed relatively innocuous. I guess I had it all backwards and turned upside-down. How naive of me.