Sunday, September 30, 2007

OMG!!!!! Robosaurus For Sale!!!!!!!

Don't worry about how I came across this link: Let's just say I've been waiting for this to happen for quite some time - ever since I first wondered aloud, "Why can't I buy a giant robot monster who can breathe fire and eat cars?" And if you're not immediately familiar with Robosaurus's massive body of work, please see the photos below.

The driver of this car survived...just barely. Robosaurus is nearly impossible to control, but perfect for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and Sweet Sixteens.

A near-mint 1977 Ford Pinto is rendered even less reliable by Robosaurus.

You may recognize Robosaurus from a recent Toyota commercial in which he breaks his mouth on a pickup truck. Also, if you attend a lot of NASCAR events, airshows, or state fairs, you may have seen him perform live. I envy you if this is the case....but not for long.

That's right, I'm going to buy Robosaurus. Or at least put in a bid. It's difficult to ascertain the value of a giant car-eating robot, that also transforms into a trailer for easy transport from venue to fantastically entertaining venue. In any case, he was built in 1990, weighs 58,000 pounds and has 20,000 pounds of car/animal/man crushing force in his hydraulically-powered metal jaws. So what do you think? $5k? $7k? I bet I could easily get a bank loan for Robosaurus - the resale value should be very high, because 1) basically everyone secretly wants one of these things, and 2) I plan on making a number of upgrades, including GPS navigation, LOJACK, chrome exhaust, and a snowboard rack.

All of this comes at the perfect time. My 10-year college reunion is coming up next summer, and I've been racking my brain for something with which to really wow my former classmates. I'd like to enter the reunion with a bang, literally. Yeah, I could probably bring a really cute dog, or a few adorable babies with me. Or rent a Ferrari for the day. I've even looked into solving the logistical perplexities of parachuting out of a helicopter while riding a giraffe, and landing on a rhinoceros that's patiently waiting on the ground while standing on four skateboards. The real problem is that the skateboards need to be specially reinforced to support the rhino's weight. It's a difficult problem to solve, and I don't have the time or engineering know-how to make sure I get it right the first time.

Alternatively, I could just buy Robosaurus, bring him to the middle of campus, and start chowing down on all the cars in the area. Breathing fire everywhere. People screaming. Children laughing. Police pursuing. National Guard mobilizing. And then I'd step out of the cockpit (I'm not actually sure that there is a cockpit), onto Robosaurus's head. Fist raised triumphantly, holding a megaphone to my mouth, "Hello Class of '98!! It's been 10 years, and the only thing that's changed is I now own this huge car-eating robot!! Let's party!" And my classmates would see me, and congratulate me for my incredible entrance. Then we'd head to the open bar and get smashed. The keys to Robosaurus would get passed around later that night, and I'm assuming the night would end in some sort of tragedy. No matter the casualties, it would be an occasion to remember.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Coffee - The Perfect Cup of Dark Rich Brew - aka Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts

I have several strong beliefs in life. Things that I consider immutable and indisputable. Maybe 4 or 5 of them. Wait, maybe 6. In any case, one of those beliefs is as follows: there are two kinds of people in this world - those who like Dunkin' Donuts, and those who like Starbucks. If I know which one of the two coffee chains you prefer, you're like an open book to me. Once that piece of information has been revealed, I basically know everything else about you. Unfortunately, there are people who don't drink coffee. But let's ignore them for now, because a difficult problem arises when someone is not a coffee drinker. Then I'm at a complete loss. I can't even guess their weight. But if you drink coffee on a regular basis, and you have any sort of opinion regarding the longstanding Starbucks vs. Dunkin debate, then I'm able to gaze within your soul and determine for whom you voted in the last 8 or 9 elections - along with many, many other factoids about your life.

Which coffee is actually better? And subsequently, which group of people is better? I have my own opinion on the matter, but I won't give it away. Good luck figuring it out, because there's no way I'd reveal that kind of valuable data. I will, however, say that my opinion is very,very strong. Strong, dark, rich, and bold. By the way, ever been to Seattle? Fantastic town. I love it. I also feel the peculiar need to mention that my next dog will be named "Frappucino".

So as a relatively impartial observer, and scientist by training, let me evaluate our two choices. First we have Dunkin Donuts. They make donuts, muffins, cookies. They make crullers. They make smoothies and Coolattas. They also make breakfast sandwiches layered with cheese, meat and some sort of egg-inpired product. Oh, and they have coffee. Or "coffee", as I prefer to type it. I'd also do the air-quotes if I were speaking to you right now. It's pretty weak stuff. Thin and light brown. A teaspoon of cream will lighten it, and without 10 or 15 sugars, it's as tasteless as making out with the widow at her husband's funeral. Seems to me people must go to Dunkin for the donuts, or maybe the Munchkins (admittedly, Munchkins are pretty fun to eat). But it sure as hell can't be the coffee.

Here are some other disturbing things about Dunkin Donuts. In most locations, there's a sign on the bathroom door that reads, "EMPLOYEES NEED NOT WASH HANDS BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK." I also swear that on several occasions, the cashier has mouthed the words "Please help. I am nothing more than a slave, working only for the contents of the plastic tip jar in front of you. Also, they whip me and make me drink the coffee here. I've thought about escaping, but have been warned that this visor I'm wearing will explode if I run out the door. I sleep under a pile of coffee filters." These are not good signs.

How may I help you? Our coffee sucks and I'm treated like chattel.

Starbucks, for comparison's sake, focuses mainly on the coffee. Sure, they have all the ancillary pastries and snacks. But the focus is on coffee, and the mouth-watering aroma of freshly brewed coffee practically knocks you on your ass when you walk in the store. Dunkin Donuts smells like Windex.

Once you're in the Starbucks, order yourself a nice fresh cup of dark, rich, robust, soothing, delicious coffee. Don't worry about the funny naming convention they use. Tall, Grande, Venti? That's bullshit. Ask for a medium. They'll understand. Keep in mind that they have a monopoly on pretty much all of the decent coffee grown worldwide. And if I'm not mistaken, Starbucks serves up over 250 billion cups of piping hot delicious coffee each year. Now that's a lot of coffee! They must really know what they're doing. Additionally, the employees always seem friendly, happy, and well-fed.

So make up your own mind. Take this post for what it is - an unbiased, scientific comparison of two large, commercial coffee providers. If you like crappy-watery-dirt-flavored coffee, slavery, and the opposite of hygiene, then choose one. If you like delicious, flavorful, fresh, clean-tasting coffee, served up on a gleamingly sterile counter by a healthy-looking employee, then choose another. The choice is yours. You have the power. Just remember that this choice says everything about who you are. So choose wisely......


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Letter to My Fantasy Football Quarterback #3

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints had another subpar game this past week. Actually, it was far worse than subpar. I'd call it unholy and atrocious. He actually netted me negative points in my fantasy football league. That's not an easy thing to do. Here's my response to his wicked awful performance:


Listen to me. I'm tired. You're tired. We're all tired. Too tired to be furious with your woeful performance this past Monday night. Zero touchdowns and FOUR interceptions?!?!? The season is still so young, but I already feel so very broken-down. And your wretched routine of throwing interception after careless interception is also getting a bit old. Drew, go figure something out. Maybe your mechanics are off. Maybe it's the timing with your receivers. Blame them if you must. Is it bad play calling? Is your surgically repaired shoulder bothering you? Be honest with me. If it's something serious, and you don't think you can fix it by, say, Week 6, then I can dump you and free up a roster spot. Just be straight with me. I'm your fantasy football manager, after all. You can trust me.

All I can say right now is, thank god your bye week is upon us. This weekend I can relax, and enjoy the solid, if unspectacular performance of my backup fantasy quarterback - Tampa Bay's Jeff Garcia. I've copied him on this letter, in case you hadn't noticed. (Hey Jeff! What's up?)

But I'm not really addressing Jeff. I'm addressing you, Drew. I need to see something from you in the weeks ahead. And that something is touchdowns. Many, many touchdowns. And that something is also touchdown passes to yourself, as I've mentioned before. But maybe we should take baby steps here. Let's start with completed passes to your teammates, instead of wobbly throws to the guys who are wearing jerseys different from your own.

Here's a bit of advice. Don't worry, it's easy to remember. When you get the ball, take a quick look down at your jersey. It should be either black with gold lettering, or white with black lettering. The style of the jersey will change depending upon whether you're playing at home or on the road, and also, to some degree upon the jerseys of the opposing team. In any case, you should be able to easily identify which jersey corresponds to your'll be wearing it. It really is that simple. Now, look up, scan the field, and THROW THE BALL TO A GUY WHO IS WEARING THE SAME KIND OF JERSEY AS YOU. If you're near the end zone, there could be a little confusion, because some of the fans in the stands may be wearing your team's jersey as well. It's just a replica. They're not on your team, so don't throw to them. They'll just keep the ball as a souvenir. It's also possible that the cheerleaders could be wearing some kind of sexy version of your team's jersey. Maybe a halter top, or just some sort of sleeveless half-shirt. In any case, and whatever you do, DO NOT THROW THE BALL TO A CHEERLEADER. They cannot catch very well. This is why they are cheerleaders. Might just be easier to focus on any man who is wearing your team's jersey, who is also wearing a helmet, and who is running around on the field. If you can remember that, then you've already won half the battle - the battle against yourself, that is.

Drew, I'm not giving up on you yet, although these are dire days indeed. Your performance has been unacceptable, and thoroughly depressing so far this season. That being said, I truly hope you can bounce back, and I believe there's no reason you won't be able to return to your Pro-Bowl form of last year (fingers crossed). You've got a week and a half to figure it out. Until then, my backup QB will be holding your starting spot for you. (Bye Jeff! Good luck this weekend!)

Depressingly disillusioned,

Awfully disappointed,

Downtrodden and dismayed,

But respectfully,

And as always,

Your faithful servant,

Happy fan,

And fantasy football manager,

Hugs and kisses,

- The Mill


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Views From Kauai - The Garden Island

Here are some pictures from my recent trip to Kauai. My observational humor has been added in the form of captions. You may or may not find it humorous. And some of you may find it offensive.

But first, a few observations from the trip:

1) Excellent Roads - I didn't really expect the roads to be shitty. Hawaii is, after all, part of the United States. And we're well known for our love of driving on well-paved roads. But I saw nary a pothole. I just couldn't stop marveling at the deep blackness of the ashalt. The perfectly painted solid yellow lines. The well defined shoulder. The gentle sloping grade, and the delicate s-curves. They say there is much beauty on this island. I only noticed the roads.

2) Chickens Everywhere - I really do mean everywhere. Apparently, back in 1992, a hurricane hammered the island, and a bunch of chickens escaped captivity. They didn't bother to hunt them down, and the birds have since multiplied many times over. The funniest thing is that the roosters crow at all times of day. They are so stupid. It's as if they couldn't even read a digital watch.

3) Hawaiian Shave Ice is AWESOME - It's a simple idea. You take a block of ice. You take a razor sharp blade. You press the ice against the blade, and spin. Well, you don't spin. I think the blade actually does the spinning. In any case, the result is a mound of what is essentially snow. Then you douse it with various fruity syrups and put a drizzle of cream on top (this is a called a snow cap, and may cost you 50 cents extra). It's the most refreshing thing one can imagine. And we ate it almost every day. I haven't seen it on the mainland. Let me know if you have any leads.

Not sure why I look confused and angry. It's almost like I'm preparing to tear the camera from the papparazzi's hand. This was taken at the wedding, and I was having a great time. Also, if you look closely, you can just about make out half of Jaimi's eye next to me.

You'd think that this was the last car they had left, judging from the color. Nope. I actually returned another one in order to get this. I was screaming for attention the entire trip.

Eating Hawaiian shave ice in the totally-sweet inferno-orange Mustang. I only look upset because this delectable frozen treat is almost gone.

One of the famous Kauai roosters. This little asshole kept cockle-a-doodle-dooing at all hours of the day and night.

Weeeee!!! I sure hope this water is more than 2 feet deep!!

This is not a stock photo taken from the tourism board's website. We actually witnessed this sunset. I'm happy to say I was not drunk for it.

A view from the helicopter ride. These are the jagged cliffs of the Na'Pali coast. Just kidding. This is New Jersey.

Another view from the helicopter. A completely isolated beach, almost impossible to reach by land or sea. This would have been the perfect place for Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin to sunbathe in the nude.

Dude, those car keys are long gone. Let 'em go. Just let 'em go.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Instant Best Man Speech

I was in Hawaii last week for a little vacation. But mixed in with the vacation was my friend's wedding - the one who owns the bra business. So you know there were free bras for everyone in the goodie bags. The celebration was a great excuse to get away from the many afflictions of life in the big city. So, if only for a week, I got to max, relax, and drink virgin daiquiris on the beaches of Kauai.

All of this traveling to weddings, and what not, reminded me of how hard it can be to conceive a high-quality Best Man speech. Top-notch material is not easy to come by. It's simple enough to find the standard lines, the icebreakers, the trite toasts, and cobble together a passable excuse for a speech. But it still has to be personalized for the happy couple. Otherwise, the audience will suspect you ripped it off of the internet.

I was not the Best Man at this wedding, so I didn't really have to worry about coming up with a classy, yet delicately vulgar speech. I don't need to remind you that there's an incredibly fine line between crass and class. And let me tell you.....I'm here to help you erase that line. Below, you'll find a template for the perfect Best Man speech. All you need to do is fill in the relevant names, and choose the correct choices for time of day, etc. It's almost too easy. Note: Please use with caution. After you deliver this speech, you will likely be asked to help others with their speeches at future events. Kindly decline. And run away.

"Today, ______, is a day that will live in infamy. Oops. Wrong speech. Or is it?

But seriously, hello everbody. Good evening/morning/afternoon/kwanzaa. My name is _______, and I'm the Best Man for this glorious occasion. I'd like to start off by saying how honored I am to be here, along with the rest of you, to celebrate this holy union between two beautiful human beings. I use the word "beautiful" only because I've always been very, very attracted to the bride (wink at bride). And I can't for the life of me figure out how my dear friend,"Groom" scored a chick quite so hot. It's unfair, quite frankly. But so is life.

All kidding aside, I've known "Groom" for years, and I can honestly say it's been quite a wild ride. I think it's fantastic to see someone like "Bride" be able to tame the wild stallion that is my friend, "Groom". Of course, a small part of that bucking bronco is still alive and kicking, so to speak. But "Bride" has somehow managed to dig her proverbial spurs deep into "Groom's" proverbial flanks, and keep the wild beast in check....for now at least (long, uncomfortable pause).

As a matter of decorum, I need to thank Mr. and Mrs. ______ for bringing us together, and paying for this beautiful venue. The wonderful band. The beautiful flowers. The plentiful hot food. And of course, the open bar. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. ______. And especially for the open bar!! (wait for laughter to subside)

The free-flowing booze reminds me of a time when "Groom", myself, and a few other friends went to Vegas/Cancun/Mykonos/Fire Island/Rio for the weekend. It was not so long ago, and the brilliant memories are still blazingly seared into my mind, even through the thick haze of alcohol and drugs that we all consumed with great verve. I won't give too much away. We had a blast. And the beautiful bride should know that her new husband behaved himself, for the most part. Let's just say that the stripper wasn't dead when I last saw her/him, and I'm fairly certain the groom had nothing to do with her/his actual death, technically speaking. It appeared to be an accident - especially with the Shetland pony, the transvestite midget, and the hot tub filled with jello right there on the scene. Don't worry, the pony didn't remember a thing when questioned by the police (again, wait for laughter to subside). No charges were filed. And so here we are celebrating this magnificent event. I should also acknowledge that the aforementioned weekend romp wasn't even the bachelor party. Boy, would "Groom" KILL me if I gave away any of those details!! Talk about wild. I had to literally wash my eyes out with soap after seeing some of the things "Groom" did that night.

But enough about old memories and tales of yore. This day is about cherishing the present, and looking forward to a future filled with the love created by these two wonderful human beings. The world's a better place for it. And I consider myself the luckiest Best Man on the face of the earth. "Groom", you are a total badass for procuring such a sexy young bride, especially considering some of the garbage you've settled for in the past, both male and female. And "Bride", you are the sweetest, nicest, hottest little thing any of us have ever scored. So I'm still not sure what you're doing here.

And with that, let us raise our glasses. A toast to the groom's good luck, and the bride's hotness. To their love for each other, and our love for them. May they be together for eternity, blessed by Jesus/Allah/Buddha/Vishnu/Hashem/Zeus. And may their offspring look like their mother and be able to drink like their father. Cheers."


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tough Baby Names

This is in contrast to my previous post re: Cool Baby Names. The following names were conceived with the explicit intent to dissuade any would-be thugs or bullies from messing with my namesake. I want my kids to be safe all the time, whether on the playground, right after violin lessons, or on their way to the bodega to pick up a six-pack for their old man. And since I likely won't be with them at all times, I'll let their names do the protecting. Here are a few:

  • Atlas Hemi Rathmill
  • Lance Piston Rathmill
  • Broadside Wheelhouse Rathmill
  • Thor Ammo Rathmill
  • Gunnar Carcrash Rathmill
  • Optimus Overthrow Rathmill
  • Destructo (one-word name, like Cher)


Monday, September 10, 2007

The Cleaning Lady

Ahh, cleaning ladies. Those wonderful scrubbing nymphs. They are perhaps the greatest invention of all time. Cheaper than the automobile. Less dangerous than nuclear weapons. More rugged than the cell phone. And they clean up your home to boot. I had forgotten what it's like to live in a clean apartment until this past weekend when.....You guessed it. I had the cleaning lady come over to work her magic.

Armed with nothing more than a pair of yellow rubber gloves, Windex, Soft Scrub, Fantastick (Lemon Power), Clorox Clean-up spray, Scotch-Brite, 4 rolls of paper towels, 2 trash bags, a vacuum cleaner, a mop, and a strong will to succeed, the cleaning lady was able to turn my drab and dreary apartment into a fresh, lemony, squeaky, shiny, disinfected, drab place to live. There was nothing she could do about the "drab" thing. She's most definitely not an interior decorator.

Notice the advanced technique of this expert cleaning lady. Do not try this pro maneuver at home.

But she IS most definitely a sorceress of sparkle, and a wizard-ress of washing. She slew dust bunnies the size of poodles. She annihilated 2 years' worth of bathroom mildew, with nothing but a wave of her wand and 2 hours of vigorous scrubbing with steel wool. She vacuumed the living hell out of our area rugs, and exorcised the strange bioluminescent ring from inside the toilet bowl. Is there anything she can't clean?

Well, actually yes. She didn't clean the inside of the medicine cabinet. Or the space behind my reclining lounge chair. Or the inside of the oven. Or the top of my desk lamp (it's coated with dust even as I write this). What is it about these particular places that elude the cleaning lady's dirt-seeking eyes? Maybe nothing. Give her a break, she just missed a few spots. And come to think of it, she was probably just frightened by the medicine cabinet. Decrepit, frayed toothbrushes strewn about. Decayed shaving cream cans. Age-old shampoo samples slowly leaking their decomposed contents. Oil-soaked rags. Rusty switchblades. A mummified squirrel. And so on and so forth. I don't blame her for steering clear of that mess. I'm afraid to open the medicine cabinet myself. Hold on. Let me check it out. I'll be right back...........

Heavenly father up above!! It's even worse than I thought possible. Like the pain of passing a kidney stone. I only opened it for a split second, and then slammed the cabinet door shut with great force, so as to contain most of the fruit flies and locusts swarming within. The only thing that would do an adequate job of cleaning that medicine cabinet would be fire. Hot, hot fire. Not a match, or a lighter. I'm talking about an acetylene torch. I'll just ask the cleaning lady to bring hers for next time. Guaranteed to work every time, as long as the bathroom doesn't catch fire.

Dear, dear cleaning lady. You cleaned most of the things that I didn't want to clean, or was too lazy to clean. And you did it with a smile. Or at least without shedding any tears. Except for the tears caused by the fumes from all the various cleaning solutions you used. I said you could crack a window if the vapors were too strong. But you didn't listen. You didn't want me to interrupt, so I left you alone. You were totally in that cleaning lady groove. And when you were finished, 10 or 11 hours later (working for a flat fee, of course), almost everything in my apartment was clean. And you were gone. And so was my humiliation in having the dirtiest apartment in the building. You took my humiliation and threw it out with the rest of the garbage, to be consumed by the cleansing flames of the incinerator. Or whatever. More importantly, my apartment's clean, and now my girlfriend has no excuse not to hang out here.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Another Letter To My Fantasy Football Quarterback

I sent a letter to my fantasy football QB (Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints) last week, in hopes of psyching him up for the season opener on Thursday night. Well guess what? He had a lousy game. Hopefully the worst is over. But I still feel the need to voice my disappointment:


What the hell happened? You threw for less than 200 yards, with zero touchdowns and 2 interceptions! Was this some kind of cruel and unusual joke? Not a good start to the season. Not good at all. Some might call that performance "bad". But in fantasy football terms, it's more of a "stinking-atrocious-bloody-mess." Perhaps you were just shaking off the rust. A result of endless offseason summer nights in Tahiti, topless beaches, and bottomless margaritas. I guess I understand. And I do appreciate your throwing one pass to yourself during the first half. You only gained 1 or 2 yards on the play, but at least you took a small portion of my last message to heart. Unfortunately, the whole point didn't seem to come across. I said, "throw more touchdown passes to yourself." That would necessitate your being somewhere near the end zone when said pass was thrown to you, by you. Not on your own 20 yard line! What do you think's going to happen? You throw the ball with the aim to get it batted back into your face. Good job. But now what? At this point, you catch it, make a few jukes. Left. Right. Spin move. Double axle. Whatever. And then streak down the sideline for an 80 yard touchdown? Drew, you're not that fast. By the looks of it, you're not much faster than I am. And I'm not very fast at all. It's true that I'm a very fast eater, a quick learner, and an above average typist, but I'm not a fast runner. I'll outrun small children and people on crutches, under most track conditions. But that's about it.

So yes, I'm disappointed. I can now only pray that my fantasy opponent's quarterback also has a terrible outing this week. Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans, I hereby curse you!!

I'm not going to ask "What the hell happened?" again, because the real reasons behind your poor performance probably have a lot to do with some inscrutable defensive schemes, of which I couldn't really comprehend. And then there was that one defensive back on the Colts who has some kind of supernatural cloaking ability. So you threw the ball right to him. Twice. Because you didn't even know he was there. But still, what were all those dinky chicken-shit passes for 4 or 5 yards each, during the rest of the game? We need to see you air it out, throw it deep. To your teammates.

Next week you play Tampa Bay. I fully expect you to rebound. If you don't, you can anticipate another letter. A real harangue this time. I don't want to make you cry, Drew. But if it's for the good of the fantasy team, I will not hold back. You will feel the force and fury of my words. And I may, in fact, hurt you with those words. So, for your own sake, have a better game next week.

Warmest Regards,

During these troubling times,

To you and yours,

With best wishes for a brighter tomorrow,

And please throw 4 touchdowns next week,

I'm not joking this time,

I want the old Drew back,

Your fantasy manager,

- The Mill


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cool Baby Names

I'm an individual. I like to do my own thing. Stand out from the crowd. Put ketchup on my waffles, and blueberries on my eggs, just because I can. And cain't nobody tell me otherwise. So when it comes to naming my firstborn, you bet I'll be taking a different tack than most.

Standard, run-of-the-mill names are fine. I have nothing against Samuels, Davids, Lisas, or Gertrudes. But it gets confusing having all these kids running around with the same names. Taylor, Cody, Skye, and George. They're everywhere. Don't you want your child to be a stand-out in life from the beginning? I sure do. So how do you choose an appropriate, yet cool, yet also unique, yet easy to remember name for your child? It's simple. Name the kid after your favorite stuff. And how do you minimize the mental trauma and emotional anguish to be suffered by your child as he or she grows up with such a crazy name? For that, I have no answer. Just cross your fingers I guess. But rest assured that by naming your child after things you really, really like, you'll be certain to love that child more than any of your subsequent commonly-named children.

Here are a few representative examples of my potential baby names, for additional clarity:

  • Starbuck Iphone Rathmill
  • Flatscreen Baseball Rathmill
  • Puppy Bacon Rathmill
  • Guinness Beefpie Rathmill
  • Cheezwhiz Waterslide Rathmill
  • Laser Mojito Rathmill

And so on, and so forth. Ad infinitum, really. It's diffcult to choose the perfect name with this method. They're all great choices. Many of them make my mouth water, whereas others just sound totally cool and kickass. Check out this week's poll, and help me decide.



Monday, September 03, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football?

You're goddamn right I am. Thanks for asking.

Finally, the 2007 NFL season is about to begin. It's been a difficult, lonely, and confusing 7 months since the Super Bowl. And as I gear up for another edition of my favorite sports season, everything is beginning to make sense again. The beauty. The brutality. The strategy. The highlight reels. The tight pants. This is what it's all about.

But what it's really all about for millions of fans, is the coinciding kickoff of the fantasy football season. If you haven't played, you should. It's awesome. You get to pick your players from the actual rosters of every NFL team. And when the players on your fantasy team do well, you get to feel smart for picking them. I've always suspected that I have some sort of magical effect on the outcome of every game I watch (see my post from 9/17/06 for more on my otherworldly powers of influence). But with fantasy football, you also enjoy the feeling of having an effect on your individual fantasy players' lives. Both on and off the field. Maybe if I had drafted Chris Henry one round earlier, he wouldn't have received his 3rd DUI in a year. Or at least he wouldn't have gotten caught. I also suspect that the guy who had Michael Vick on his team last year must have done something fiendish in a former life. After all, this is a keeper league, and now he's without a quarterback. That's some serious retribution for both him and Vick.

In the end, nothing I do or say can guarantee a fantasy football championship. But I like to stack the deck in my favor, as much as possible. To that end, I've decided to send an email to my starting fantasy quarterback, Mr. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Cool Brees was a godsend last season, throwing for like 500,000 yards, and maybe about 25,000 touchdowns. Or so it seemed at times. He was totally magnificent. I'd like him to know that I'm a big fan. Also, I want to make certain he understands the importance of consistently scoring a whole lot of points, both from season to season and game to game. This is especially important in the fantasy football world. If I can't count on him, he's worthless to me. And I'll dump him as fast as he can snap an ACL.

Dear Drew,

As opening day relentlessly rushes towards us, I thought I'd take the time to send you a quick note, full of well wishes, and a bit of advice. But before I go any further, you should know that I'm not some sort of Monday morning quarterback, and have never doubted your ability to read a defense. I don't second guess you, Drew. And all I ask is that you read my entire message, and at the end, reflect for but a minute on what I have to say. My advice is not the result of you having disappointed me in the past (except for Week 15 vs. the Redskins and Week 13 vs. San Fran last year) but rather, some well-intended kind counsel for a fellow human being.

(This is neither here nor there, but I should also note that you're my starting fantasy quarterback this season.)

Drew, everyone says that football is a team sport, much like soccer. Which is what the rest of the world calls football. And that simply causes confusion for everyone. So, why not make our American football a bit more of an individual endeavor? The other sport called "football", the one that people get murdered over in Colombia, can be a team sport. Thus, we have relieved much of the confusion, as one will be called Individual Football, and the other Team Football. Our Football should be full of individual accolades, personal record-setting, one-man touchdown celebrations, etc. By striving to achieve more individual goals, you'll be helping to make the world a better place for every sports fan.

You should also strive to carry the "team" on your shoulders. After all, the "team" is nothing more than a sweaty locker room full of enormous athletes with even larger egos. Drew, you need to rise above all of that. You need your ego to carry you to the next level. I believe that level to be 5,000 passing yards, and 45 touchdown throws. Do you have any idea what that type of production would do for you? And for my fantasy team? But mostly for you? You'd be a superstar. You'de be able to renegotiate your contract. Wheaties boxes, cover of GQ, you name it.

An exercise to help you focus on individual performance - consider this scenario: 3rd down and goal from the 4 yard line. The coach calls for a quick screen pass to the tailback. But you know that the last thing the defense would expect is for you to fake the throw and run it in yourself. Also, you might happen to know that a passing touchdown is only worth 4 points to my fantasy team. Whereas a rushing touchdown is worth 6 points. So why not keep the ball and run it across the goal line? Everybody wins. Especially you. Unless you get tackled and seriously reinjure your surgically-repaired shoulder. Then we'd both feel like assholes.

It would also be great if you could return kickoffs, and throw a touchdown pass to yourself.
Quarterbacks don't typically do those things. Can you imagine how cool that would be? And how those fantasy points would rack up? Don't you want to be unique? All I ask, again, is that you briefly contemplate my friendly words. For your own sake.

Nice touchdown pass to yourself Drew! Wow! Look how happy you are!

Good luck to you, dear Drew. May you remain healthy and wealthy, of both body and soul. And Drew, maybe just a couple touchdown passes to yourself now and again? For the children. They'll be watching. As will I. Except during your bye week. Or if you happen to get injured.

As always,

And forever,

Your faithful servant,

And simultaneously your fantasy manager,

- The Mill