Alternating Between Anger and Laughter
This labor mess the NFLPA and NFL have gotten themselves into can really make a sane person run through the gamut of emotions. Every day I find something new at which to be angry and at which to laugh. I think I am able to do this, as opposed to only feeling the righteous indignation of anger, because I blame both sides for their stubborn buffoonery and utter lack of acknowledgment of the real-world situations their fans must face every day that surrounds the shared supreme selfishness of the NFL and NFLPA.
When I feel anger, it’s generally towards the hardline owners that helped push both sides to this standoff; unlikable men like Jerry Richardson and Mike Brown, who seem to be running point for the owners right now. They are intractable men who do not want to negotiate; they want to dominate. These are the guys who led the league to basically blackmail their television partners to provide them with the “lockout insurance,” that Judge Doty recently declared illegal and contrary to the CBA.
I also feel anger towards NFLPA Chief DeMaurice Smith, who, through his prior words and actions in the last two years, has convinced me he spent the last two months negotiating in bad faith; always preferring the route of litigation. And of course, there are the players themselves, some of whom I now look upon as unfavorably as I did Tom Glavine from 1994 until, well, forever. Players such as Drew Brees, who in the middle of tweeting about the disaster in Japan had the cajones to interject more of his pro-union propaganda. Talk about your complete lack of priorities and situational awareness of the world around you. Shame on you, Drew Brees.
And of course, there are the guys, mostly players, who are so far up their own rear ends, who have been surrounded by yes-men and friends and family hanging on their financial teat, that they have no awareness of the world around them, regardless of the situation. These guys fill me with a burning anger that sometimes, I have to throw my hands up and laugh for their stupidity and ignorance. The latest example of this is Adrian Peterson having the gall to compare making ten million dollars a year to SLAVERY. Yep, Adrian Peterson, who makes more in two games than most people will make in a lifetime, is a slave. See, you read that, and you get so angry that you have to laugh. Otherwise, you would be tempted to hurt someone.
But folks, it is not all fire and brimstone, thanks to Twitter. Twitter has given many national, and even local, columnists an outlet for their own thoughts, frustrations, and outright comedic gold regarding the ridiculousness of this labor strife, which can help diffuse a lot of the anger football fans might be feeling right now. Guys like Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports (@MikeSilver), Bill Simmons of ESPN (@sportsguy33), or a local columnist for my hometown newspaper, Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzAJC), are passionate sports writers, yes, but they’re also wiseass extraordinaires, and if I find myself reading something idiotic or enraging that Jerry Richardson, De Smith, or Adrian Peterson has said, these guys will usually have something to say that’ll have me laughing instead of punching walls.
So please, if this NFLPA-NFL stupidity fills your body with anger to the point where you want to kick the dog, or punch your stupid neighbor at the thought of missing football games this fall, get on Twitter and find your favorite wiseass sports writers. They will help you find the funny.
Or, if you get angry enough, just do as I will: cancel your Sunday Ticket and buy ESPN’s College Football Gameplan instead, because especially in the South and on the West Coast, the NFLPA-NFL War benefits College Football the most, but we will get to that later.
College Football (College Basketball Bracket Edition)
There is no point to talk about College Football today. Spring Practices do not begin in earnest until next week, and today is all about finally filling out your brackets for the NCAA Tournament, the axiom that proves the stupidity and exclusivity of the BCS, but again, we will get to that at a later date.
As for any bracket advice I may have, look for upsets in the 7-10 games (Go Dawgs!) and the 5-12 games in the Round of 64. Most brackets this year may be top heavy, because so many sports writers are telling us this year’s tournament is going to be boring, but all it takes is one or two hot teams at the right moment to make a good run into the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight to make it seem that once again, anything is possible. Look for Clemson and Georgia both to win their opening games (well, for Clemson, after winning last night’s play-in game). Look for one (or more) top-4 seed to lose in the second round; perhaps Texas, Florida, Syracuse, or UConn, who all look susceptible to a round of 32 upset.
After that advice, y’all are on your own. Have fun.
Today in History
On 16 March 1935, Adolph Hitler, Chancellor of Germany, orders the rearmament of his country in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
And much like the UN and Hans Blix with Saddam Hussein in the early part of the 20th Century, the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations formally protested this development, but did absolutely nothing to stop it.
Of course, the world had nothing to worry about the rearming of Germany under Hitler, right?
There is a television show on FOX that everyone needs to be watching, and no, it isn’t the horrible, grating mess that one-year-wonder Glee has become.
The show is called The Chicago Code, and along with Justified on FX, this show has become my go-to-show to get my cops & robbers fix on television.
Created by Shawn Ryan (@ShawnRyanTV), the brilliant creator of The Shield, The Chicago Code crackles with great action and even better dialogue, all shot on location in Chicago, not in L.A. pretending to be Chicago.
The show stars Jason Clarke from the gone-too-soon Brotherhood on Showtime, as hardened CPD Detective Jarek Wysocki, a devoted public servant and South Sider (which means he’s a true-blue White Sox fan for those not in the know) who has trouble trusting his partners since Theresa Colvin, played by the still smokin’ Jennifer Beals, who is tough as nails and was made the first woman Chicago Police Superintendent (analogous to Tom Selleck’s Police Commissioner on the good, but not great Blue Bloods).
Fans of Friday Night Lights will recognize Matt Lauria (the former Luke Caffrey) as Wysocki’s latest partner, Caleb Evers, but it is character actor Delroy Lindo who is this show’s break-out star as Ronin Gibbons. Gibbons is a menacing, corrupt Alderman unafraid to dirty his hands when wheels need greasing, or when people step out of line to his thinking.
From the locations, to the accents, to the wardrobe (all of the street cops and detectives wear their bulletproof vests on the outside of their clothes, adding a tenseness to the proceedings not seen in most police procedurals), The Chicago Code feels just as real to me as does Justified, and I’ve never spent a large amount of time in rural Kentucky or in Chicago, but these shows feel real to me, and that makes them all the better, particularly in The Chicago Code, which bring that city to life in a way I haven’t seen since the last time I watched The Blues Brothers. In this show, Chicago itself is an important character, and I love that Ryan and his writers understand that.
As most midseason shows are, it is looking like The Chicago Code is on that all-important renewal bubble for the Fall 2011 season and needs all the support it can get. I urge everyone to watch this show, to catch up with it on www.fox.com or at www.hulu.com, and make it a regular part of your weekly viewing habits. The Chicago Code is worthy of your time and attention, I promise you. Mondays at 9:00 pm. Be there.
Plus, Shawn Ryan got Billy Corgan to sing the theme song, which sounds so awesome I am praying for a full version to be released on iTunes as a single. How is that for awesome?
Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
The last two blogs I wrote, I urged and pleaded with people to donate to help the disaster relief efforts underway in Japan, and I will continue to do so in this space, because there are so many people who still need help, need charity, that I cannot imagine not helping in some way.
In charity there is no excess.
Sir Francis Bacon, Essays, 13, “Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature.”
The quickest, easiest way to donate is still to text REDCROSS to 90999 for an instant $10 donation.
If you have not done so, please do donate. It is the right thing to do. It is the human thing to do.
Hey, Check This Out!
Here is the aforementioned awesome, original Billy Corgan-sung theme song for The Chicago Code.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @UGABugKiller. Thanks!