Thursday, March 31, 2005 

Rockin' Cali Style

I'm in San Diego this week, speaking at a conference on solid waste and recycling. (Really! It's more interesting than it sounds! For instance, did you know the only two man-made objects visible from space are the Great Wall of China and New York City's landfill? Really! And I've got more...wait! Don't go! Please!) Anyway, it's lovely out here on Coronado Island, even though I nearly got run off the bridge by a Coca-Cola truck this morning and plunged to a horrid death. The wind off the Pacific is cool, the sky is an impossible blue, and everybody's got that SoCal vibe that's, like, multiple time zones away from my take. It doesn't help that out here, my accent makes me sound like I just got done roustin' out some uppity blacks. This weekend, more on the strange granola-eating folks I met this morning and the fish tacos that nearly made me throw up my liver last night. Till then...

Friday, March 25, 2005 

Flickadaweek: Mississippi Burning

Mississippi has a strange and terrible beauty to it. Writers whose stables I'm not fit to muck (Faulkner, Welty, Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown) have spent decades trying to come to terms with a region whose understated, pastoral loveliness adorns a culture that embraced the darkest reaches of the American Dream. In 1988, Hollywood took its shot at comprehending the insane brutality of Civil Rights-era Mississippi; "Mississippi Burning" is a fictionalized retelling of the 1964 murder of three civil rights workers--two white, one black--near Philadelphia, Miss. The workers were ambushed by the local police and killed, their bodies buried in a levee. In the movie, Gene Hackman is a former small-town sheriff turned FBI worker; Willem Dafoe is a Bobby Kennedy disciple intending to bring the full weight of the federal government down on the heads of the peckerwoods who run Mississippi. Their ongoing battle over how best to break the backs of the cracker aristocracy mirrors the struggles that faced the federal government in the Sixties, with Bobby Kennedy--not unlike George W. Bush today--expressing complete disbelief and frustration that people didn't just bow down and accept the mandates of the U.S. government.

The movie does have its problems--as one critic put it, blacks in the film are like teenagers in a horror flick--there to add cheap emotion and cannon fodder while the whites do the work. And by painting the police department and other assorted racists as such absolute villains, the movie misses a significant chance to strike deep at the heart of the audience. These rednecks are so violently racist--there's not a scene in the movie where they're not tossing out epithets--that the viewer immediately dissociates himself from them. But if we'd had a scene showing these men in their day-to-day life--a life not that different from yours and mine--it would be a lot harder to dismiss these men as unrecognizably different from ourselves.

The locations in Mississippi Burning are evocative; the actors uniformly superb. Check it out the next time it comes on's a reminder of a time that shouldn't be forgotten.

Thursday, March 24, 2005 

A Gonzo Mourning

There's a certain progression of thought in the mind of a developing young writer. Briefly sketched: I've yet to meet (or hear of) a good, thoughtful writer that wasn't leaning left as a young'un. That's not to say that there aren't good conservative ADULT writers, just that I don't believe conservatism at a young age leads to the kind of intellectual curiosity that serves as the wellspring for a budding writer. (Hell, the word "conservative" itself tells you all you need to know.) Anyway, most writers start out with a fascination with the Sixties--the music, the counterculturalism, the whole sense of freedom as force-fed us by the Baby Boomers. (A lot of it is utter revisionist bull, but that's another story.) And then, once you get tired of the Summer-of-Love softheadedness, you turn to tougher writers like Hunter Thompson. Thompson became a caricature, but when he was on...damn. This right here, an excerpt from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is still one of the finest passages ever written on the death of an era:

"There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the bay, then up the golden gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. ... You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. ... And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. ... So now, less then five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

But eventually, most writers grow out of take a shot of him every now and then and move on. Most...but not all. Which makes this parody article in The Onion, about the next generation of would-be gonzo journalists, so damn funny. Every alt-weekly paper (those free papers you see all over the bars and bookstores of your town) has one or two young pups desperately trying to plug into that Thompson vibe. So stories here about a writer penning a piece entitled "Fear, Loathing in the Owensboro Parks and Recreation Department" or reporters "covering school-board meetings and slow-pitch softball matches on amyl nitrate" are dead-on funny.
Where am I going with this? Hell, I dunno; just thought the article was a riot. Dig it.

Bonus points to you if you get the cheap pun in the title.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 

Jock-Sniffing For A Living

I do a pretty fair amount of sportswriting, probably something on the order of 50 articles a year. All of those are done on what's known as a "stringer" basis, meaning I'm not employed by any one publication, but instead pitch ideas-slash-get assignments from several magazines. While this arrangement makes it tough for me to get sufficient seniority to wangle a press pass to a big-time postseason game, it does mean that with a little planning and the right target publication, I can go to pretty much any regular-season game I want. It's a good gig--I've gotten to stand at the Turner Field batting cage as Mark McGwire launched batting-practice homers that landed somewhere in South Carolina; talk golf for half an hour with Greg Maddux in the Braves' clubhouse; and shoot the bull with Shaq, who is so much larger than you could believe--I'm six-three, and getting my tape recorder near his mouth was like trying to reach up and touch the ceiling.

But those are the cool parts. There's also the drudgery--the endless waits to be "received" by the pros after the game, the teams' obsequious little PR toadies, and of course the athletes who refuse to play ball (ha! get it?) and just half-ass their way through interviews. (Worst interview I've ever had: Dwyane Wade, a budding star for the Miami Heat. I caught him last November, at that exact moment in his career when he was tired of answering media questions but not yet savvy enough to have a couple dozen boilerplate clauses to string together.)

I'm not sure how it's done at most publications, but I know that for me, dealing with athletes was a thrown-in-the-deep-water kind of thing. I was the sports editor of my paper in college, but that didn't require a whole lot of preparation--it wasn't real intimidating to go ask questions of a guy who you'd seen two days ago hanging out at the Caf eating Cap'n Crunch. The first experience I had with pro athletes was at a charity basketball game run by Penny Hardaway in Memphis. I got a press pass from the local alt-weekly, and immediately proceeded to violate every single tenet of journalistic ethics. I found out who would be at the game, and took a whole stack of basketball cards to get signed. Almost all the guys were happy to sign--except for former Michigan Fab Fiver Jimmy King, who wasn't real pleased that I didn't recognize him and handed him a card of the Bucks' Shawn Respert to sign--until I got to Penny himself, who, when I asked, just shook his head and said, "Not for media," and proceeded to sign a ton of stuff for kids. I was pissed at the time; only later did I realize he was completely in the right. There's a code of conduct and behavior that exists between athletes and the media, and all too often both sides forget that. For every despicable whiner like Barry Bonds, who blames the media for problems that are entirely of his own making, there are fifty enablers like Stuart Scott, the ESPN "boo-yah!" guy who's such a suckup that he could sniff LeBron's jock and tell you what team he'd been playing. The media has a hard enough time getting taken seriously as it is without halfwit journalists undercutting the profession. So here--at last--is the point of this posting, a list of recommendations for the sportswriters of tomorrow. Read it...know it.

1. Remember--This Is A Job
Yeah, it's cool walking into a locker room that's more nicely appointed than your apartment and seeing that athlete you've always idolized. Stare for a second, then get over it. There's nothing worse than a sportswriter standing gape-mouthed--and I have seen this many times--as the athletes maneuver around him like he was a piece of the furniture. You've got work to do here.

2. These Guys Are NOT Your Friends
Okay, let's be honest. It would indeed be cool if, while you're interviewing Michael Vick, he says, "Hey, man. I got a Hummerful of bitches waitin' out back. Pack your shit up and join us." But it ain't gonna happen. One of the worst things I've ever seen in a locker room came when Andruw Jones and Eddie Perez of the Braves were trading some pregame tales about some escapades with some ladies. They're hollering across the locker room, and some earnest, chubby journalist--I think he was in radio--chimes in with--I kid you not--"You gotta hate when the shorties do that!" Jones stopped, looked at him, sniffed in disgust, then went on continuing the conversation.

3. They Probably Won't Bite...
In our celebrity-driven culture, there's a natural inclination to sit back and idolize these folks that we've seen all over the tv, throwing them softball questions to keep them happy. The Barry Bonds press conference yesterday was a perfect example of that. He's whining about how he's tired of the media treatment, and nobody thinks to ask him a question like, "Barry, don't you think that there's a tradeoff involved here, that anyone who ascends to the heights of athletic stardom needs to accept that they'll face more media scrutiny?" Force him out of his little whiny blame-everybody-else shell, make him account for his actions. But if you do ask that, you gotta be prepared...

4. ...But If They Do, Man The Hell Up
Here's the thing with athletes--they get paid a lot of money to be physically intimidating. And they know it, and they use it. As a writer, you've gotta know that every now and then, you're going to write something that's gonna piss somebody off. And if you do, STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU WRITE. This is the core of sportswriting; this is the essential maxim that preserves the integrity of the profession. Example: I was covering a Hawks game a couple months ago when Jon Barry, a journeyman guard who's not a whole lot more intimidating than I am, started going off on some writer for writing that Barry had been staring around the stands during a huddle. Barry snarled to the writer that if he wasn't in the game, he didn't want to see his name in the paper. (By that standard, you'd go months between seeing his name.) And the writer first denied that he'd written that, and then--amid the hoots of other Hawks, who were giggling "uh...uh...uh..." in imitation as the writer stumbled for an answer--completely knuckled under, apologized, and slunk out of the locker room. The rest of us shook our heads and rolled our eyes. His wussiness made our jobs that much harder, since the Hawks--who, as a team, are about as tough as wet Charmin--now saw that they could push around the media without reprisal. Don't be like that guy--if you're afraid of what your subject is going to say to you, stick to writing press releases or ad copy.

Writing in general is one of the coolest jobs on earth, and sportswriters are among the most fortunate of writers. (Which is why I get pissed when they whine about, say, the Super Bowl host city...but that's another story.) But like the rest of the media, they're taking more and more hits to their rep these days. There's more to journalism than the suckup coverage of ESPN, Fox Sports, and more than a few magazines out there. Check out any issue of The Best American Sports Writing, an annual anthology, for sportswriting that can stand toe-to-toe with any journalism in any field. (I was nominated for inclusion in this year's edition for this profile of Penny Hardaway--ain't no way in hell I'll make it in, though. These cats are good.) My next sports assignment is an April profile of the Bulls' Luol Deng. It'll be linked here as soon as it's up. Till then--as Hunter Thompson used to say--mahalo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005 

Comics That Just Ain't Right IV: Special "Bad Touch" edition

...words fail me.

Monday, March 14, 2005 

On the Atlanta courthouse shootings

Sometime back in the '80s, PJ O'Rourke wrote a little Q&A trying to explain the savings & loan crisis, and began with the greatest opening interview question in history:

"What the fuck? I mean, what the fucking fuck?"

Apologies to those of you whose sensibilities may be offended by that, but that was exactly my reaction when I heard about last Friday's shootings at the Fulton County courthouse. As you no doubt know, an accused rapist went berzerk, grabbed a deputy's gun, killed a judge and a court reporter, ran down EIGHT FLIGHTS of stairs, killed a deputy on the street, then carjacked apparently half a dozen cars, killed a U.S. customs agent, and finally surrendered Saturday morning after taking a young woman hostage and, apparently, talking religion with her for ten hours.

So here's the thing. Annarita is often down at the courthouse (she's an attorney, for those of you not yet on the Christmas card list). She had a motion pending before the very judge who was killed. So as you might gather, the thought that my wife could have been in the midst of this horror is a sobering thought indeed.

But beyond the effect on my family personally, here's the thing that galls me--and much of the city of Atlanta: this whole goddamn massacre was preventable. Certainly, this was a once-in-a-decade event, but the culture of cronyism, incompetence, greed, and shortsightedness that permitted it runs deeper than the clay here in Atlanta.

Look at the facts. You had a five-foot-tall, 51-year-old grandmother--the deputy--escorting a 6-2, 220-pound former linebacker who, just last week, had been caught with a couple homemade shanks (made from sharpened door hinges) on him. And it was just revealed today that this entire fight--ambush, really--was caught on a security camera that was supposed to be watched by two security guards, who--if they'd been paying attention--could have alerted cops. And somehow, even after killing two people, this lunatic managed to make it down eight flights of stairs and out a door with only token resistance. At long last, the system of cronyism that put unqualified people in positions of considerable responsibility had been exposed. And while the bastard that pulled the trigger bears first, last, and ultimate responsibility, there were plenty of people whose bad decisions and laziness certainly left doors unlocked, metaphorically speaking.

At times, it seems the city of Atlanta has only two kinds of politicians--indicted and soon-to-be indicted. The corruption extends back generations here. The legacy of the civil rights pioneers who risked their lives to kick out the entrenched cracker aristocracy has been inherited by a horde of self-righteous opportunists who have become what they beheld, misusing city funds, installing morons in positions of power, and crying racism whenever any of their numerous misdeeds are questioned.

If there's any good that could come of this tragedy, it'd be that the idiots who allowed this to happen, all the way up the line, would feel the sting. More likely, there'll be a lot of handwringing, a couple low-level flunkies will get canned, and the firewall that protects the bastards from the blowback of their incompetence will remain standing.

So spare a thought for those who lost their lives this weekend--and join me in hoping that everyone who's guilty here gets exactly what they deserve.


What to read when you're not reading me

You know when you're out drinking with your buddies, and there's always one guy who can spin stories about his life and times that are so f'ed up and bizarre that you wonder how the guy even survived to be here sharing a pitcher with you...and yet so funny that you're spitting beer through your nostrils? Well, whoever that guy is for you, my man Jason Rodriguez will cap his punk ass. Check out Jason's blog "The Moose in the Closet" (updated five days a week!) for your daily dose of straight-outta-Brooklyn recollections and reflections. Jason's one of the best young writers and editors in the comics biz--plus, he's good to his friends, as you can see by checking out his March 11 entry. This guy's gonna be huge, so I'm clutching onto him with both hands. In a non-gay way, of course.


Next on Sportscenter...

Above: Riley Busbee (center) strides into action. Not pictured: ball.

Busbee Upbeat In Defeat: "Can we go get ice cream now?"

ALPHARETTA, MAR. 12--Ali-Frazier. Yankees-Red Sox. Celtics-Lakers. To these storied rivalries, we can now add a new chapter:

Shooters-Purple Team.

Under the timeless blue of a suburban Atlanta sky, the Alpharetta Shooters and the Alpharetta purple team (variously referred to by Shooters fans as "the Strikers," "the Kicks," "the purple team," the "who are we playing again?" and the "oh my God, those girls look old enough to drive" squad) met on the field of battle to determine who would walk away victorious in this, the first match of 2005 Newtown Park spring soccer.

The Shooters finished a close second, scoring one goal to the Purple Team's two. Both teams espoused the "three feet and a cloud of dust" style of defense, with shots on goal few and far between. Shooter front liner/midliner/defensewoman Riley Busbee was a constant presence around the ball, several times dribbling it away from larger Purple Team brutes as an unnamed female fan on the sidelines shrieked "ohmanRileygogogogoGOKICKITKICKIT!!!!"

Busbee headed one ball, put up a smothering defense in which she ran a Purple Teamer out of bounds near her goal, delivered a Daddy-pleasing forearm shiver to the back of a Purple Teamer--smoothly done outside of the referee's eyeshot, of course--and was "kind of close" to the goal when her teammate scored the Shooters' lone point. And although she stomped her feet and swung her fist when the second, decisive goal went past the Shooters' goalie--who apparently forgot that it's okay for the goalie to use her hands--Busbee recovered nicely, saying, "That was fun but I am SOOOOOOOO tired. Did you see my loose tooth?" In a move that immensely pleased her mother, Busbee also finally stopped referring to her team as the "Hooters."

In a separate incident, security forces at Newtown Park had to restrain an overzealous fan wearing a "chick magnet" t-shirt, who repeatedly ran onto the field shouting "RI-EEE! RI-EEE!" The fan, placated with graham crackers, then settled for hitting on a younger lady later identified as Miss MacKenzie Madison, 1, of Alpharetta.

Thursday, March 10, 2005 


So the biggest story coming out of the journalism arena the last couple weeks is the recent publication of "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of the Pope" (click for article), written by Matt Taibbi for the New York Press. Predictably, there's been much handwringing about the irreverence of the Damned Liberal Media, about how there's NOTHING funny about anybody about to die, about how the Pope is a holy and revered figure and blah blah blah...

Here's the problem with the article. It's not a bad piece because it's blasphemous. It's a bad piece because it's just not funny.

Conan O'Brien once said that there's nothing funnier than someone hurting themselves trying to be funny. And that's exactly what Taibbi and the Press have done here. They published an article they KNEW would inflame people just by its title alone, and it cost the paper's editor his job. (I couldn't even read the piece for a week because interest in it crashed the New York Press's website.) But like a bad porn movie, they came up with a great title and then didn't deliver the goods. There's no hint of decent satire here, just smug and blatant attempts to tweak red-state morality. Some samples:

50.Pope survives just long enough to be acquired by Isiah Thomas for Stephon Marbury, 2005 #1 pick and cash considerations. "We feel like we've made ourselves younger and more competitive," Thomas says. (Funny, but at the Knicks' expense. Could've substituted Reagan, Johnny Carson, or the pizza I ate last night and it'd be the same joke.)

46.Beetles eating Pope's dead brains. (Not so much disrespectful as just second-grade-level stupid.)

32.Priest who administers last rites to Pope excitedly calls mother afterward to tell her how well it went. (Okay, that's pretty funny. Point, Taibbi.)

27.We'll never get to hear his hilarious post-tracheotomy rendition of "Come on Eileen." (What the hell...? Nonsense for the sake of nonsense ain't funny, not for Andy Kaufman and not here.)

23.Doctors examining the body discover that the Pope was not only a woman, but also Hitler. (...okay. And somebody wrote a check for this?)

I generally like Taibbi's writing for Rolling Stone and other outlets (he's got a great piece in this week's issue about the pharmacy black market in Nogales, Mexico), though I do think he tries way too hard to be outrageous. Self-aware rebellion is really pretty pathetic, when you get down to it. However, as crappy as the Pope article was, I have to give the guy a ton of credit for the way he responded to it this week--he didn't back down one goddamn inch. He offered a rationale behind the piece--that it was a response to the forthcoming marathon of media pablum that will surely accompany the Pope's death--that was far more interesting than the article itself. And he offers this final shot: "In situations like this, when someone says or does something that outrages not just the left or the right but everyone, we have this habit of jumping on the offender with both feet and demanding an apology. Whether it's Ward Churchill with his "little Eichmanns," or that kid at UMass who called Pat Tillman a "pendejo," or Trent Lott, or Shaq squinting and talking about Yao in gibberish Chinese, we pile on until the guy squeaks. Apparently we respect a person more if he wilts under pressure and changes his opinions for the sake of convenience."

Way to stand behind what you wrote, Taibbi. I admire that. Next time, just be more funny, huh?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 

More Hype: OT Magazine; Drinking the Kool-Aid

Mini-hype here--a profile of former NFL All-Pro Chris Hinton, who's gone into the wine business and now runs a damn fine wine store right down the road from me. This was done for OverTime magazine, which focuses on retired pro athletes trying to make the transition from playing field to real world. (Hint to athletes: the bling and shorties ain't nearly as sweet on this side.) Check it out by makin' with the clicky here. Not interested? How's this--it's got the worst pun ever put on an article of mine--without my knowledge, I assure you.

Say, the whole retired-athlete thing reminds me of one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen in business life. A few years back, I was asked to come write a book-length bio of a certain mortgage company here in Atlanta. Now, how one could fill a book with stories about a freakin' mortgage company is beyond me; as it turned out, the project rightfully went nowhere. But I attended a Monday-morning staff pep rally/revival/indoctrination session, where the entire company--probably 300 people--all gathered in a boardroom to hear the company's CEO evangelize on how offering your customers a 4/1 adjustable-rate mortgage is not just a duty, it's a moral calling. (When he entered, he shouted, "Hello, everybody!" When everybody replied in kind, he actually shouted back, "Is anybody awake in here? I'll say it again--HELLO, EVERYBODY!" And boy, all those well-scrubbed and chipper lil' brokers just about lifted the roof off the place greeting this cheery egomaniac.)

But that's nothing special--that kind of corporate indoctrination goes on everywhere, and if you don't "play ball" you're not a "team player" and you're not "down in the trenches" and all those other pathetic sports and war metaphors that lace corporatespeak. (That's a whole topic for another day.) But--speaking of sports--here's the point of this long tale. It seems one of the purposes of this meeting was to introduce the latest crop of bright-faced young brokers, and when they posted the names on a PowerPoint slide, one of them seemed vaguely familiar. And when they got around to him, I realized why--this guy had been a kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, and a couple times had gone deep into the playoffs. Can't remember his name or how far his teams went, and I don't really feel like looking it up, but the point is this--the guy actually had to stand up and say, "I was excited to play in the NFL, but I'm even more thrilled to have the opportunity to be here working for [the mortgage company]." Everyone applauded like seals, even though this guy had a look in his eyes like he would have thrown himself right out the window and onto the highway outside if he could've jimmied the glass open.

Moral of the story? Either enjoy the good times while they last...or just drink the damn Kool-Aid, stop questioning so much, and be a good right-thinking American. We'll all be happier if we just go along to get along, won't we?

(Holy crap, did that wander from the original subject. God bless these blogs, baby.)


Hype: Ryne Sandberg profile in the Chicago Sports Review

When I was a kid, I had a deck of baseball cards that I'd shuffle and lay out in endless permutations of All-Star lineups. (Yes, those cards would be worth a Japanese import car now if I hadn't dog-eared every one of 'em.) Each time it came to second base, one guy was always at the top of the deck--Ryne Sandberg. Long before Sammy Sosa did his smack-hop-smooch home run routine, Sandberg was the face of the Chicago Cubs. So when I got to interview Ryno a few weeks back, it was quite a kick--and another notch off the "heroes of my youth I will stalk as an adult" list. (Watch your back, Eddie Van Halen.) Anyway, the article--in which Sandberg holds forth on how much it sucks that the '80s baseball heroes are getting screwed over--can be found by clickity-clicking right'ere.

Sunday, March 06, 2005 

Flickadaweek: The Fog Of War

The Fog of War is an exceptional documentary focusing on former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the man largely responsible for the escalation of the Vietnam War from conflict to quagmire. McNamara is now 86 years old, and remarkably bright, witty, and sharp--not just for an old dude, but for anybody. Much of the piece involves McNamara looking straight at the camera--and, of course, the viewer--and giving his perspectives and justifications for the way that Vietnam--and before it, the firebombing of Tokyo in WWII, which he engineered--worked out the way they did. He stops just short of apologizing for the tremendous loss of life and national prestige--"That's a case where I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. I'd rather be damned if I don't."

This is powerful stuff, and it's easy to equate McNamara's Vietnam with Bush et al's Iraq--easy, and absolutely dead-on correct. In both cases, you have brilliant men so warped by ideology and faith in their cause that they cannot possibly conceive of failure--and yet, failure is ever-present, victory never guaranteed. I don't want to go down the predictable Iraq-as-Vietnam path; we've got something like thirteen more years to go before we get to a comparable level of commitment. But I will say that, assuming Iraq doesn't end in complete, dancing-on-rose-petals victory, I'd be interested to see if, in 2030 or so, Bush or Rice or one of the other button-down neocons publicly acknowledges the misstatements, misinterpretations, and willful distortions that led to this war. (I can't imagine Cheney or Rumsfeld ever coming clean; if one of those two backed over the family dog, they'd blame its death on Saddam.)

So, back to McNamara. He's a compelling figure--according to his account, he's the one who first got seatbelts put into cars while at Ford--and his perspective on how blind luck and human frailty shaped the major events of the last five decades is sobering indeed. Even the Best and the Brightest can get lost in the fog--and this documentary should give pause to anyone, red- or blue-state, who places absolute faith in their leaders.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 

Comics That Just Ain't Right III: That Wacky Hitler

That Jake bit yesterday came across a bit more maudlin than I'd meant, so to lighten the mood around here...happy Nazis!

(Who the hell comes up with these things?)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005 

Jake Rules

That there's my dog Jake. (The one on the left.) A year ago today, I had to put him to sleep. Holding his head and looking into his eyes as he died was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. I miss him, but man, I hope God doesn't hold it against me that Jake's up there staining His heavenly carpets.


Poker = Evil Bitch Goddess

Damn you, ESPN, and damn you, Degree antiperspirant, for your latest promotion: Free Poker. Go right here and dive in. I am hopelessly addicted to this fucking game for two reasons: 1. it's free, meaning I don't have to use the ol' "porn credit card" (which I don't really have, honey, s'a joke) or look at my children's pleading faces as I gamble away their college funds online. 2. there's a huge ratio of chumps there. I've already won two tournaments in the past two days, and in the "Daily Big Play" this evening I placed 49th out of 510 fellow online losers.

So--screw you, ESPN and Degree. As soon as I win my way into the Sunday qualifier--either this week or one of the next 10--I'm gone, I swear.


Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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