I Swear I’m Not Worried About Brady…

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots

This is sort of a tough question. The other day I was talking with a few friends about the whole Brady/Patriots saga that has reared its head since the end of last years’ Super Bowl. I don’t like to talk about that Super Bowl but it is what it is. More painful than the game, however, has been listening to every talking head or radio host skewer and shit pump every morsel of news coming out of Gillette and turn it into a “story.”

That’s just the media though. I’ve lived in New England my entire life so I should be used to this sort of behavior by now but every now and then you fall victim to it. This is currently verging on one of those times.

During the off-season, I’ve found myself hating the Patriots and/or Brady at points. Belichick’s Malcolm Butler call is unforgivable in my opinion and I actually committed a  pretty good blog to it. Furthermore, Belichick is unlikable. If the guy wasn’t so God damn successful, people around here wouldn’t put up with him. That’s why when he royally screws something up on the biggest stage in American sports like this, I feel it’s completely warranted to overreact.

On the other hand, I’ve never really questioned Brady. He’s always been a “good dog.” He went through that whole phase from 2006-around 2011 where I understood why people outside New England hated him. The hair, the clothes, the bitchy attitude, the screaming at refs whenever a D-lineman sneezed in his area code. I got that.

Outside of that span, however, I can’t honor that train of thought. The whole “cheating” narrative is such a fucking cop out. Everyone fucking cheats. The only difference is he never technically got caught. He wasn’t juicing like the rest of the league. He may have deflated footballs. Shove it up your ass…

That said, I’m in a weird spot with Brady right now and I shouldn’t be. The guy did everything he could’ve and more in that last Super Bowl. That offense was burning oil that game. Brady was intoxicating and you literally CANNOT expect more from a 40-year-old athlete.

Still, something’s just weird. I’ve always knew Brady was a weirdo, but he’s our weirdo. That kiss from the Tom Vs. Time documentary was just something I had to eat. There’s absolutely no reasonably justification for the length of that kiss with his son. Cringe-worthy stuff, but not necessarily why I’m worried.

The reason I’m worried is the fact he still hasn’t attended OTA’s and he’s currently throwing footballs off yachts in Monaco. If any other athlete—especially one that’s pushing 41 years of age—did this, I’d be fine. But not Brady.

Say what you want but that IS Brady’s brand. His whole narrative has revolved around that first one in/last one out mantra. He’s glided on that for the last two decades. It’s what sets him apart from other guys, both from a character, as well as a production standpoint. It’s why I think he’s so God damn valuable. Having a guy with that attitude as the face of your roster diminishes a coach’s responsibilities significantly.

Between taking pay cuts and busting ass in September, there’s just too much for a coach to love there. Normally, a coach has to set that precedent. They need to reinforce effort, commitment, and obedience on the rookies. When you first show up to practice at Gillette, that precedent is already set. And it just so happens to be set by the guy who pulls the strings under center on Sunday.

So yeah, I’m worried. That said, I’m worried every year. This is different, but while things constantly shift in New England, a divisional title and trip to the Super Bowl remains the expectation. Expectations have a lot of pull around here and I’d be foolish to assume otherwise. My trust’s with 12…

What Do I Do Now?

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So the Celtics lost on Sunday night and this whole week I’ve been in a funk. For the last 2 months, I’ve had meaningful sporting events to watch virtually every other night. It’s one of the few things that keeps me going in life. It’s incredibly sad but I’ll wake up in the morning, look at my phone, see and update about the Celtics/Bruins and think to myself, “okay, I can do this.”

Now, I have nothing. I’m a huge baseball guy but I’m also a piece of shit millennial. The regular season is too long and my attention span is a joke. Whenever I start writing one of these blogs, I always have to remember to bring myself back on track because I lose focus all the time.

I’m like a fish in that way. I was watching Planet Earth II last night and there was this dope segment on Draco lizards. They’re these reptiles from the jungles of Southeast Asia that, when they spread their ribs and connecting membrane, can generate a wingspan, giving them the ability to fly from tree to tree is search of food or in avoidance of predators. I can actually do a bangin’ David Attenborough impersonation. I used to follow my ex-girlfriend around Whole Foods and narrate her shopping trips as him and… Fuck I’m doing it again.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to fill the hours of the day with different things. I’ve flirted with various ideas. I could join a rec league of sorts like every other washed up 20-something with an axe to grind or I could embrace my inner douche and join Crossfit. One of my buddies started doing it and he made his first social media upload about it the other day. When I shit on him for it, he responded “It gets me extra credit.” Like, what dude? Fucking loser. Crossfit is like scientology or every fraternity on the planet. It’s the easiest way to lose friends. The more they defend it, the more I want to see them get hit by a subway train.

So yeah, I’m thinking reading in the morning and perhaps I may go out and buy a video game system. I seemingly haven’t had one since the Clinton administration. Literally, the last system I bought was a Nintendo Wii because I’m a fucking child. I don’t like shooters. Fortnight’s for virgins. Why would I want to pretend to be a well oiled killing machine when I could masquerade as a five foot Italian jumping through plumbing fixtures and stuffing blondes? That’s an easy call for me.

Either that or I plan to diversify my cultural palette. My cousin took me mountain biking once and it was an absolute blast. When I initially accepted the invite, I was under the assumption that mountain biking was just riding a bike in the woods. I didn’t know how intense it was. Within the first five minutes of being out there, I managed to dig my front tire into a rock and flip over the handle bars. It was legit. I ate it like a savage though. Got right back up and immediately ventured to the early beginner’s course. Started motoring past 5-year-old cucks like it was nothing.

Can’t go with mountain biking though. I realized it was the exact same thing as Crossfit. Just a bunch of fucking losers in spandex who meet there every Sunday morning, discuss whatever stupid patio they’re installing in their backyard, and meet for Mich Ultra’s after at some self-absorbed hipster bar down the road.

I remember one guy I met was potentially the biggest douchebag of all time. The minute this guy found out it was my first time mountain biking, it was over. He was one of those hardos that tries to bring you “under his wing.” Like fuck off, dude. I’m here to sweat out cheap vodka. I don’t want to be your friend. No one else does either. That’s why you’re here alone riding your bike in the woods at 8am on a Sunday morning.

So yeah, those people sucked. I remember at one point one of the people said that there’s no “greater high” then getting out and hitting the course early on a summer morning. Clearly none of those people have ever tried coke before in their life.

However, there was one outlier. Right when we pulled in, there was this smoking hot Swedish chick. Barely spoke English. I asked her if she comes here a lot. She said something in what I presume was Swedish and walked away with her boyfriend. Totally planted the seed though. Par for the course, indeed,

That Celtics Loss Was A Tough One…

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As with any loss, last night was a tough one to swallow. It shouldn’t have been, but this team gave me no reason to react otherwise.

To suggest this season was a ride just doesn’t do it justice. From unknown expectations, to incredibly high expectations, to moderate expectations, to high expectations, to no expectations, to moderate expectations, to championship expectations.

The best way I can describe it was if you were given a $100 voucher heading into a casino. You blow half of it on your first bet, then slowly go on a quick bender at the slots and blackjack to bring you up to $150, and then blow the fifty on roulette. As you’re walking out, you’re still up with house money and walking even but in the back of your mind, you “knew” you should’ve thrown the house on red.

It defied logic and more improbably, it defied the odds. For instance, the Celtics broke Vegas this postseason and that doesn’t happen often. Vegas doesn’t bend the knee much. They don’t because they can’t. I always say that sports writers/talking heads get paid to be entertaining; oddsmakers get paid to be right. Their analysis is what pays the electric bill on the strip and Brad Stevens put the sharks on his lap and spanked them back to the outskirts of Nevada.

All of that said, the Celtics had a legitimate shot at a finals birth last night at the Garden, but they shouldn’t have. Everyone wants to talk about what Lebron carried to the finals but this Celtics roster has been depleted for months and Brad Stevens turns dudes on the chopping block into tantalizing off season pieces like no one else in basketball. Guys like Terry Rozier could simply be an exaggerated product of the system like Jae Crowder or IT but you just don’t know until they’re shipped out.

I’m not a big in-game analysis guy. If people want the X’s and O’s, there are millions of places on the Internet you can find it. That said, it doesn’t take a sabermetrics spreadsheet to see Jayson Tatum can ball. Tough shots left and right. A few excellent defensive reads that led to turnovers. Not to mention, I could hear the Garden from my house when he threw it down on Lebron. I mean, that doesn’t happen. Lebron got cooked and if the Celtics moved on, we’re selling posters today.

However, we’re not because of, well, Lebron. I couldn’t hate an athlete more than Lebron. He’s just the absolute worst. There isn’t a single good thing about his character I could even manufacture right now. Just no self awareness whatsoever. His post game speech was something out of satirical skit and the media just rides that dick like a cheap hooker. If Lebron made that dunk on Tatum instead of the other way around, ESPN would’ve dedicated a 30 for 30 and a couple Sports Science segments to it by now.

That said, he’s good. Like really good. Like really really good. And to double down on that assessment, I would actually go as far to say he’s the GOAT over Jordan. You can argue amongst yourselves on that one but I remember watching the game last night and during the third quarter, I just kept thinking about how the Celtics need to take advantage of Lebron not having an incredible game. He finished with 35/15/9…

And you can see it on both sides of the court. Guys just act differently when he’s across from them. The Celtics played scared when he was around. Literally every shot committed around the rim looked it was just trying to connect with iron. Rather than driving to score, guys were just trying to avoid getting blocked. Or even worse, they were paying rent outside the perimeter.

So yeah, things went according to plan for once this season and I think that’s part of the reason it was so tough to swallow. Expecting the Celtics to pull this series off was unreasonable, but looking back, everything this team did this year was unreasonable. I failed to expect the expected in a season where the unexpected was to be expected. That said, the Celts gave the city a reason to drink on a few Wednesday nights in May so it wasn’t a wash.

The off-season is going to be tough. Danny Ainge recently expressed he fully intends to keep this core together heading into next year but what he defines as “the core” becomes the issue.

The big question revolves around Marcus Smart, who may be the most polarizing player on this team. One minute you’re leaping off your couch in excitement and the next minute you want to drown him in the Charles. He’s the type of guy that looks at a bucket of water and sees an ocean. That’s in his DNA. You can’t necessarily coach that out of him, but I truly believe the presence of Hayward and Kyrie next year will dilute his touches and diminish his flaws. Also, I think he’s one of those crucial type of players you need in order to win a championship. That blue collar, physical, competitive nature is contagious and something that’s difficult to put a price tag on. We’ll see…

And Here We Go With Anthem Protests, Again…

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Okay, so the controversy around this anthem protest shit has been going on too long and I haven’t really spoken up about it because the Internet is a glorified daycare. Anytime you comment on anything with sociopolitical implications, you’re susceptible to people losing their minds and trying to get you fired from your job with the intensity of a ravenous cobra.

For the record, I couldn’t care less about the kneeling. I really couldn’t. Nowadays, whenever I see something like this that has “legs,” I can forecast whether or not the media will run with it. IMMEDIATELY when I first heard of Kap doing this, I knew a storm was coming. I’ve been around the Internet long enough to know stuff likes this blows up like a pipe bomb.

The minute I saw it, I immediately took a cold shower. From there, I got out, looked directly into my mirror and asked myself a very critical question: “Do I genuinely give a shit?” And the long and short of it is, “No, I don’t.” To be perfectly honest, you could be covered in Swastika tatoos, skullfucking a bald eagle during the national anthem and I wouldn’t blink.

In an effort to organize my thoughts on this, I’ll post my thoughts on each sides’ concerns…

For the Protest:

Now, I know what a lot of people will say: “But Joe, what about the military? It’s disrespectful to the military.” Well maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

I’m not in a position to make that call because I’m a pussy and I’m not in the military. If someone who has served is offended, then they’re offended. I don’t speak on behalf of others, I just tell you what I’m thinking at the time. Speaking on behalf of others or particular demographics/movements is what gets you into trouble these days. It’s what leads to these type of controversies. It’s the same reason why feminists are always cannibalizing themselves. Some feminists feel that posing nude is empowering and some feel like it’s a bad look. The only common denominator there is that they’re both speaking on behalf of feminism so infighting ensues.

In a nutshell, the same people who are always complaining how triggered the left is gets just as triggered. Go shove the second amendment up your ass for five fucking seconds and chill out. The fact that players are kneeling shouldn’t disrupt your day as much as it has. The only agenda the media has is money. You can say they lean left (which is a fact) but they wouldn’t if they weren’t making money that way. Liberal propaganda sells, whether people agree with the narrative or not…

Against the Protest:

Listen, I get it. Like I said before, I’m not a military member, nor have I ever been one, so I can’t speak on that but I do find it funny how the radical left feels like they can dictate what others should be offended about. When they’re offended, it’s morally correct; when others are offended, they’re racist/sexist/xenophobic/blah blah blah. Liberals are so tolerant until you disagree with them.

So yeah, I won’t comment from a military perspective but I will say that the National Anthem is fucking awesome. I can’t explain it, but there’s just something about the pageantry of it that moves the needle for me. It’s truly one of the few times in life where I can look around and everyone’s seemingly on the same page. I just find it ironic at how these protests are conducted in the name of “unity.” Like, you took the most unified experience in pro sports and weaponized it for sociopolitical leverage…

Whitney Houston’s rendition before Superbowl XXV was the GOAT; and by the way, for the record, Whitney re-released her rendition as a single, with the proceeds going to military families affected by the Persian Gulf War. So yeah, saying the National Anthem has nothing to do with the military is false by the way. That’s what a large majority of people choose to associate it with, whether it benefits your agenda or not.

For the NFL:

Say what you want, but the NFL is a private entity, and even though they often project themselves as the breathing embodiment of disciplinary incompetence, they have the right to do this.

People say that the players make money for the NFL but guess what? Fans make money for the NFL too and the difference is that they don’t get paid to. So whether you agree with the NFL’s decision or not, they feel that the kneeling has negatively impacted their bottom line (this is bullshit by the way) so they put a stop to it because it’s their league.

Furthermore, these players always talk about their “platform.” Well guess what, your “platform” extends past the NFL’s shield. If you want to protest, then protest. It’s a noble cause and you absolutely deserve the right to do it but that doesn’t give you the right to exercise your protest however you want. I could start campaigning for stronger cancer research but if I conduct it during a soldier’s funeral, it doesn’t make me right.

Conclusion:

Like I’ve said a million times, I don’t give a shit. And not because I’m afraid of social media backlash. I play in the mud. I live for that type of shit. I just don’t care because I don’t care. It doesn’t affect my viewing experience and, for the record, the more attention you give it, the more people are going to do it. That’s sort of the point of a protest…

All in all, players should protest. They’ve earned their platform so they can do with it as they please, but I just don’t think doing it during the national anthem is best for the cause’s brand. There’s a fine line between generating a dialogue and inciting controversy and no one’s engaging in insightful conversations regarding racial inequality, we’re arguing like dogs over anthem protests…

That Time I Worked in Porn…

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First things first: This is why I’m so good. As I explained yesterday, my vehicular experience last week was something out of Meet the Parents. Literally, anything that could’ve went wrong, went wrong. I felt like I was cursed. I felt like I had a fork driven through me. I thought it was over. Alas, I woke up today with new life. I donated two cars to the scrap metal industry and I feel like a new man. The Saab is officially dead. The weight of faulty Swedish engineering has been lifted to the tune of a clean $250.

That said, I’d like to enlighten you guys on a time that wasn’t so grand. This is one of those stories I haven’t really told to a lot of people before for fear of people thinking I’m a complete and utter sociopath. For the record, I absolutely am, but if people knew that, it would compromise me getting laid, which happens often. I’m talking like more than twice every couple of years, give or take. I’m a swordsman, what can I say?

So yeah, I used to work for a telecommunications company. I forget my job title because I was only there for a month and if I went into any more detail, you’d probably fall asleep in front of your computer screen as your head careened against your keyboard; therefore, I’ll just say it was a cube job. Long story short, I got fired and needed work.

As I normally do when I’m looking for a job, I proceeded to go on various job sites and spray my underwhelming resume out like a firehouse. I must’ve applied to 70 jobs the day after I got inexplicably canned. A couple days go by and I received a call out of the blue.

I answered tentatively because I didn’t recognize the number and the guy explained to me that he received my application and would like me to come in for interview. Sure, I said. He then proceeded to ask me my favorite porn website. “PornHub”, I instinctively responded before briefly pausing and asking for further clarification. It was a bombshell of an opening question so, as you could imagine, I was little thrown off but I’m an agent of curiosity. Stuff like this perks my ears up a bit.

He continued on to inform me that the position I applied for was at an audiovisual production house that specializes in pornographic entertainment. Cool. He invited me for an interview and, well, I didn’t have much of a schedule at the time so I basically just said “fuck it” and agreed to the interview.

The day of the interview, I dawned my best shirt an tie and rolled down to the area to meet my maker. The studio was located adjacent to a couple law firms in this gigantic building. I just remember walking in with my resume and aimlessly meandering around the building like an asshole until some affluently dressed gentleman approached me and asked if I was here for an interview. I said yes and was escorted into a room to one of the law firms. I was too far down the rabbit hole at this point. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I wasn’t interviewing to scan/organize legal documents; rather, to transcribe and archive anal videos in a dimly lit room for future, public consumption.

He finally informs me that there was no interview scheduled for anyone with my name, to which I replied that I was here for [insert actual company I was there to interview for]. He goes “Oh, the porn place?” as the entire room directs their attention to me. I swear I heard a record screech in that moment. I walked out with my tail between my legs and eventually found the right door.

I hit the buzzer to be let in, only to realize I was late. Yeah, I was late to the porn interview. Anyway, the guy interviews me and then directs me to the production room, where he set me up with the editing software and a set of studio headphones that I lathered up with an aggressive amount of Purell.

I sat down and quickly realized that every stock video in the entire archive exclusively featured black-on-black porn. This was great news for my self esteem. I sat down and started cutting up clips of some guy going Yahtzee on some chick who looked like she just walked out of cursive class.

A couple hours go by and I’ll be honest with you: Once you got past the fact that you were literally two inches away from a gigantic screen where some girl was dismantling her father’s faith in the world, it wasn’t that weird. Video editing is a weird thing. You just sort of zone out after a certain amount of time regardless of the content.

Suddenly, the two people next to me begin to strike up what I can only assume was an engaging dialogue concerning the contemporary sociopolitical landscape. I took off my headphones to engage with my potential coworkers for the first time since I came in late a few hours earlier. This was a mistake.

Here’s how the following conversation went down…

Normal Girl: “Joe, did you vote for Trump?”

Me: “I don’t really discuss politics in the workplace.”

Normal Girl: “Me neither. I mean, it’s not like any of it’s real anyway, you know?”

Me: “…what?”

Normal Girl: “Well, I mean, we’re living in a parallel universe…”

Me: “…what?”

Normal Girl: “You know, like dark timelines and stuff…”

I nodded and immediately put my headphones back on. My boss walks over to provide some insight into the promo I just cut. He gets down on one knee next to me like he was a little league coach about to throw soft toss to the worst kid on the team and starts talking.

I don’t remember how the conversation started, but I do remember how it ended. After 3 minutes of constructive criticism, he leans in dangerously close to me and goes, “Your goal as an editor is to make the user feel involved. Like, at the very end where he flips her over and jacks off in her face… you want to feel it.”

And that was it. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I left shortly after with the scraps of dignity I managed to preserve throughout the whole ordeal. Call me old fashioned, but you haven’t felt vulnerable in life until you hear someone you met 30 minutes ago casually use the term “backdoor cum shot” 3+ times in a single sentence without skipping a beat. I do marketing now…

The Week From Hell: An Experiment in Venting

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Here’s the deal: I don’t like to complain. I’m not someone who enjoys rolling out of bed with an axe to grind. It’s not something I like to do, but I’m also a man of integrity. I’m also a man who isn’t afraid to play in the mud. I’ll sling dirt and feces if I need to in order to justify my existence on this planet.

This past week was one of those “scratch and claw” weeks. I woke up on Monday with my allergies attacking my immune system like an unstoppable rebel force. On Tuesday I dropped $500 to put a new starter in my Saab with the hopes to sell. On Wednesday I got sideswiped at lunch in my other car. On Friday, I hit a deer on the highway. On Saturday I took my newly fixed Saab to work, only for the car not to start when I attempted to grab food on break. I then called for a tow and was informed he could tow the car to my work in roughly 15 minutes.

An hour goes by and still no tow. I call back the tow number and a different guy answers. He seemingly has no information regarding my car. He resolves to hang up on me until he can ascertain more information on the situation. He calls back. In a shocking turn of events, it turns out that he towed the car to the wrong lot. Whoops!

An hour later, I finally see my Saab again. I call an Uber and proceed to wait 45 minutes in traffic for a buddy to drive me home. I call up the guy who originally was supposed to put a new starter into the Saab so it would, you know, start. The guy tells me that he didn’t think I wanted to resell the car, he just thought I “wanted to be able to hear the engine turn on.”

What dude? Yeah, I just paid you $500 so i could hear the engine again. What the fuck are you talking about? You mean you actually fixed the car with the knowledge that I just wanted to hear the engine turn on one more time? Buy me dinner first you fucking hack…

So yeah, Mother’s Day comes around and I spend the day smashing processed cheese and watching the Celtics shit pump Lebron. Tuesday rolls around and I leave work early to address the Saab situation. A flash flood hits, water gets sprayed onto my windshield and I end up smashing into a Jeep into front of me. The airbag drills me in the face and I get out to see that the front of my car literally looks like Vietnam.  I exchange information and drive back to my work with the airbag deployed and my engine sounding like a wounded rhinoceros.

Given the situation, I needed a ride home and didn’t want to chill at my office so I walked a mile and a half in the pouring rain to grab a beer a the nearest bar. Turns out, the closest place was Jack Abby’s Craft Lager. Fucking great. Just a bunch of jobless hipsters crushing hummus discussing The Lumineers touring schedule while I sit at the bar drenched in rain water drinking a $9 IPA.

As if things couldn’t get worse, I see this on the news the other day. You guys remember that blog I wrote about the deer I hit? Remember the insurance agency said they needed “proof” it happened? Remember I said I would find that cocksucker? Well guess what, some guy beat me to it, threw him in his Subaru and drove him to the deer hospital and the hospital “fixed” him and sent him back into the woods. Great. The deer who I crushed with my car at 40 mph is having a better week than me. Fuck…