Monday, August 31, 2009

The Time of Man

Right now is a wondrous time to be a male, to have a penis, to pee standing up, to look goofy naked, to grunt, to burp, to fart, to scratch your ass and smell your finger.

O me, O life, September is upon us, and the playoff races are heating up in baseball, and in a paltry two weeks, the NFL football season starts (if you're a college football fan, your mirth comes sooner). Ah, my brothers of the Y-chromosome, let us rejoice, celebrate, eat and drink and watch porno. Our time is now, the Time of Man.

Let me put aside the astract jubilation and put this in more concrete terms: It's Sunday morning on Sept. 27, 2009, and you're wondering whether or not to go ahead and make yourself a bacon and sausage omelet for breakfast. While sipping a cup of piping hot coffee and watching a well-endowed young woman jog by your house in a sports bra, you envision the day ahead. The pre-game show starts at noon. It's already 10 a.m., so you say to hell with showering and put on the same pair of smelling jeans you've been wearing for three weeks---the ones where you can faintly smell your crotch when you sit down---and you put on a beat-up sweatshirt with your alma mater's crest, trying to summon some long dormant fratboy inside you. You haven't shaved in a week, and your wife won't go near you, BUT the Pats are playing the Falcons at 1 p.m. You make the omelet.

As the Pats game draws to an end, you prepare to watch the 4 p.m. game, or if you have the NFL Network, your life opens like a pair of legs. You try to stay in the game's moment, try to remain Zen, but you can't quite suppress the restless excitement, a childlike giddiness gathering like a storm in your chest as you anticipate 8 p.m. and Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN where the Sox will play their final regular season game against the Yankees.

Look at your schedules, my friends, this is not a pipe dream...okay, maybe the omelet is over the top, but the rest will soon be our reality. Rejoice, rejoice, fucking rejoice with me!

As we move into September, a lot of questions surround our hometown teams. What will happen with Wakefield? Is Billy Wagner going to be worth a wag of the tail? Is Douche-K coming back, or is he complacent to get lit up by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats? Will Beckett stop tossing batting practice? Is Tom "My Man-crush" Brady's shoulder going to plague him all season, or will the Brady/Moss magic of 2007 propel them back to the Super Bowl? Right now, we can thank Teddy Bruschi (and Kennedy) and trust our genius in the cut-off sleeves has it all under control. Oh, there are so many things to talk about, to see, to anticipate.

All of these things, in their due time, in Man-time, will be answered. For now, September is upon us, and if you stop, scratch and sniff, you'll feel yourself getting lighter. Tis' the season, my friends.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Covers, cock-slaps, and more ephemera

After watching the Sox get cock-slapped by the Yankees last night, I'm having trouble focusing. My thoughts are coming in jabs: a pummeling of caprices. I just used the word caprices. I'm not well, folks. I'm a beaten man.

  • If you still think the Red Sox are going to make the playoffs, you're not a Sox fan.
  • Aside from my diligent work as an imaginary sportswriter, I moonlight as a poet. Here's the cover for my new book, After the Honeymoon, coming out Sept. 17. Be sure to buy a copy when it's made available. Make the Baby Jesus smile.
  • Is it me, or does a sick human being deserve medical treatment? Think back to college and all of the indiscriminate sex you had. Now imagine if you got a case of the nasties and couldn't see a doctor at the campus clinic. It's horrifying, isn't it? Why not take the campus clinic model and offer it to everyone?
  • Junichi Tazawa takes the hill today. Doesn't Fox have anything better to show? How about a Full House marathon instead?
  • Watching the Yankees win makes my soul hurt.
  • Thanks to Erin Ruttan and Dave McNamara for their work on the cover. My original idea of putting a picture of my ass in a pair of tight jeans didn't fly. Maybe next time.
  • iTunes has revived numerous scratched CD's that I wrote off as dead. Right now, I'm listening to Black Sabbath's Paranoid. My wife isn't home.
  • Brad Penny, you stink.
  • Have you noticed that straight men feel unusually comfortable talking about Tom Brady's good looks? The dude is impossibly handsome.
  • I have never tired of "War Pigs" and highly doubt I ever will.
  • Thanks to On-Demand, I've been able to share my love for the ThunderCats with my son. I still think Cheetara is babe. For a cartoon, that is.
  • JD Drew embodies everything that makes me sick about professional athletes.
  • Does anyone own a copy of Dark Side of the Moon that isn't scratched; that hasn't, at some point, seen the floorboards of a shitbox car?
  • Entourage is jumping the shark this season.
  • iTunes and On-Demand and the cover of my book, there's a lot to be thankful for these days. Then there's the fucking Red Sox.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sign Dalton

On Friday night, after the baseball game, my wife and I decided to watch a movie. We've been married seven years, we have two kids together, and for those of you riding this train, you realize, watching a movie is as good as it gets. When we were younger and without children, we went out to restaurants, went on weekend trips, lavished in each other's company. Now we watch movies. That's life.

Given this information, one might be inclined to think that the movie selection, our compromise as man and wife upholding our vows, would be paramount to the entire movie-watching experience. You would be wrong. Basically, we choose from the free movies On-Demand, movies that the programmers at Comcast realize no one, unless they're jacked up on crack, would pay to watch.

Friday's selection: Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze as Dalton, a much-coverted Zen-bouncer who takes on an entire town of rednecks with guns and kicks all their asses, one by one, without ever messing up his mullet. If you've never seen Roadhouse, you're missing one of the most awkwardly written, embarrassingly acted, ridiculously conceived movies ever made. It's brilliant. Every single line in this movie is cliched to the point where I found myself cringing, recoiling in vicarious humiliation for the writers, actors, producers, and anyone who was within 20 miles of the set when this monstrosity was made. I loved it.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Again, I find myself cringing, recoiling, and vicariously humiliated, only this time I was watching the Red Sox play Texas, not Roadhouse. While I took ironic pleasure in Roadhouse's brutal badness juxtaposed with Patrick's ass-kicking mullet, irony eluded me when I was watching the Red Sox get spanked in Arlington. I was plain pissed.

It's fair to ask, What now for The Red Sox? When you take a look at the line-ups the Sox have been putting out the last couple of games---and, in fairness, Youk has been serving his suspension---and you see Varitek, Kotchman and Alex Gonzalez coming to bat in the next inning, there's cause to be concerned. In fact, you have every right to change the channel, watch a movie with your wife, grow a mullet.

To quote Dalton, the bouncer extraordinaire of Roadhouse: "Pain don't hurt." Dalton, you haven't been watching the Red Sox lately.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 4 D's Method of Dealing with Yankee Fans

Listen, this is not the first time the Sox have been bitch-slapped by the Yankees. I hate to be the guy who says I told you this was coming, but it's posted below and you didn't have to be a clairvoyant to figure it out.

So it happened: the worst-case scenario. The Red Sox went into The Bronx and got swept. They've basically lost all hope of winning the AL East and The Wild Card is a big question mark. At least the Yankees gave us some variety in the ways they pummeled the Red Sox; they blew them out in the first game; strung them on for 15 innings before A-Rod ripped out hearts with a walk-off; we had a good 'ole fashion shut-out in Game 3, the Sox bats invisible again; and finally, after 31 innings without a run, The Sox get a lead in 8th inning, only experience the come-from-behind, late-game heroics of the Yankees, and more pie in our faces. If nothing else, the Red Sox have managed to show us how versatile they are at losing. Way to go, Boston.

As I said, however, this is not the first time Sox fans have been humiliated at the hands of The Evil Empire, nor is it the worst. After many years of being accosted by smug Yankee fans ready to gloat, I developed "The 4D's Method of Dealing with Yankee Fans" (admittedly, Sox fans are just as obnoxious, so these may be applicable to Yankee fans, or applied to any fan of a professional sports team dealing with humiliation). Pay attention, kids. You're about to learn the fine art of avoidance.

1. Defensiveness. This is fairly new one, seeing we had no defense until 2004, and it is not always the best approach because if you're careless and don't know your statistics, the defensive method will backfire. In short, you're attempting to lash out from the defensive position and try to get the Yankee fan flustered and off-topic. You're rechanneling the humiliation you're currently feeling into passive-aggression.

Example: A Yankee fan comes up to you at work and says, "That was a great series. The Sox looked good. How many games are they behind now? Is it 6.5?" Your response: That's fine. I remember in 2004, they were behind 3-0 in the ALCS. Who was that they were playing again? You know, the team responsible for the biggest choke in sports history?

2. Denial. There is nothing like denial in dealing with any crisis in your life. Denial is simple, and if practiced correctly---barring an intervention by loved ones---is basically bullet-proof. All you have to do is convince yourself that, despite all the irrefutable evidence to the contrary, the problem in front of you is simply not happening. It does not exist.

Example: A Yankee fan comes up to you at work and says, "That was a great series. The Sox looked good. How many game are they behind now? Is it 6.5?" Your response: It wasn't that big of a series. It's only six games in the loss column. I'm not worried. Everything is fine.

3. Diversion. You can avoid a conversation with Yankee fans by being prepared to launch into another unrelated topic. Topics that play off the human heart-strings are typically the best at deflating the buoyant Yankee fan. Comb the headlines for horrific current events, or you might invent a personal tragedy. Your goal is to divert the focus toward something entirely unrelated to baseball, which will simultaneously make the Yankee fan feel bad about bringing up something as irrelevent, in the grand scheme of things, as baseball.

Example: A Yankee fan comes up to you at work and says, "That was a great series. The Sox looked good. How many games are they behind now? Is it 6.5?" Your response: Did you hear about those typhoons in Asia? They're saying dozens are dead and hundreds of people are reported missing. I'd love to donate some money, but with economy, I can barely afford to feed my kids. Did I tell you my kids' puppy has cancer?

4. Diplomacy. For anyone who still believes in the Bush-Cheney approach to dealing with problems, i.e. bomb the shit out of people, this option is off the table. In fact, this is the most uncomfortable method because it involves exhibiting kindness, humility, and reason: all things that Red Sox fans struggle to practice in their own lives. Your goal, in a nutshell, is to kill the Yankee fan with kindness. It doesn't have to be genuine; in fact, you'll probably find yourself seething behind your smile, but it will immediately frustrate the Yankee fan looking to bust your balls and promptly diffuse the situation.

Example: A Yankee fan comes up to you at work and says, "That was a great series. The Sox looked good. How many games are they behind now? Is it 6.5?" Your response: You know, I did watch the series, and I think the Yankees have the better team this year. They're pitching was nearly flawless, and what a line-up. You must be really happy The Yankees got Texeira. It's looking like he's really worth the money the Yankees paid for him. Ditto Sabathia and Burnett. They're going to be a tough team to beat this year. Maybe I can take you out for a beer during the play-offs, and we can watch a game together?

Friday, August 7, 2009


All right, the Game 2 of 2006 redux starts in ten minutes, so this will have to be short. I didn't, however, want people (mainly my 16 closest friends) to think that I was ducking the Yankee fans.

Now, is it me, or was watching former-Red Sox pitcher and future Hall of Famer John Smoltz last night incredibly depressing? At the risk of making an analogy that flirts with profane, given Smoltz's impressive resume, last night's game was akin to watching Rocky IV where an aging and washed-up Apollo Creed gets, literally, killed by the Soviet roid-robot, Ivan Drago. Somewhere around the fourth inning, I found myself yelling at the television, "Throw the towel. Throw the damn towel!" Now, as I mentioned, comparing a 90-minute Cold War propaganda music video with John Smoltz's illustrious career may come across as crass, but hell, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, nor the most sensitive guy on the block; my stable of cultural references begin and end with the Rocky movies.

On that note, right now, the Red Sox are getting smacked around by Clubber, Micky's in the locker room dying, and it looks like one of those vicious slow-motion flurry of punch scenes is starting. Their chins are about to hit the canvas. Thud.

It's getting ugly, folks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Unbelievable. I can't sleep. I'm so pissed, I can't sleep. The Sox just dropped two games at Tropicana Field to the Rays---weren't they the fucking Devil Rays; is Tampa such a pussy city that they won't stand up to the Christian Right bible-thumping maniacs in the Deep South?---and the season is OVER! Please excuse the dialect, but, growing up in Rhode Island, this is how I just screamed it at my wife: It's fuckin' oh-vah!

And here's the other thing: These fucking guys playing for the Red Sox are hopping a plane right now, texting their New York City girlfriends, saying. We land at 3 a.m.; here's my hotel room number; don't wear clothes.

What I am doing? I'm writing this, watching footage of Johnny Damon---who intellectually has as much to contribute to the ongoing human dialogue as a pubic hair in a drain---talk about the upcoming series with the Sox. Let me package your verbal diarrhea for you, Johnny: It's oh-vah!

The Big Phony is a bigger and bigger ass-clown each day he waits to explain. Do you really think, Big Phony, that every baseball fan is as obsequious as the Pink Hat frauds who blow you for hitting your first home run in May? Wait until you're announced in New York.

It's oh-vah, my friends. Unbelievable. It's unbelievable that I care.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Big Phony

It looks like I'm going to take a big bite out of Humble Pie. Was I elated, zealous to rip A-Rod a new ass when the news broke this spring that he tested positive for steroids?


It's on this blog. I wrote it. I called him a cheater. Andy Pettite and Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi. Cheaters. And let's not forget Roger "throw my wife under the bus" Clemens. Big cheater. Manny Ramirez. Cheater. And now David Ortiz. Cheater. Does this news forever change my opinion of the man who has become a folk legend in New England, our beloved Big Papi?


Listen, I'm not saying anything that Dan Shaughnessy didn't say better in his column yesterday. Let's face it, that magical 2004 season, breaking the Curse, and the lovable Idiots are forever sullied. They now wear asterisks on their chests. Cheaters. Does this make the bloody sock any less bloody?


Yankee fans must be licking their chops right now. Not only are they on the top of the AL East, but after five years of listening to Red Sox babble and bluster, riding around on our high horses and spewing verbal diarrhea about "the greatest comeback of all time," "the biggest choke in sports history," they can finally look back at us and say, with complete legitimacy: But The Red Sox cheated. Does this justify breaking out those old "1918" signs stowed away somewhere in their cellars?


The Red Sox just acquired Victor Martinez. Does this even seem to matter now? Do Big Phony's two home runs the past two nights have me scratching my head, thinking, Here's a slightly below average hitter in 2002, again a below-average hitter 2009, taking a couple of lucky pokes? Does this taint the entire season, perhaps an entire era of Red Sox baseball, the ridiculous Red Sox Nation, and the even more obnoxious amount of money this organization cashes each year pandering to assholes like me, who more than anything, just wanted to see The Sox win a World Series in my lifetime?

No. Yes. Yes.

You really stuck it to us, Big Phony. I hope your share of Humble Pie tastes as bad as mine, but I tend to doubt you even care. After all, you're a cheater.