Fried-Ay: Beijing Subway Cars, Miami Miracles, and Florida

Okay, so it’s officially Friday, which means it’s Fried-ay: the greatest running blog series on the Internet unless you’re into structure. Last week, some lovely gentleman on Twitter felt the need to criticize these blogs, claiming they’re too scatterbrained. Uhhh, yeah bro. That’s the fucking point. That’s why I shamelessly offer a disclaimer before each one.

Disclaimer: This blog has no structure. It’s the sausage of the blog industry. Just a bunch of ideas stuffed into WordPress text editor like Chinese commuters in a Beijing subway car. It’s chaos. It’s love. It’s science. It’s Fried-ay…

So yeah, it’s a Friday night but I’m staying in because I have work tomorrow and definitely not because I don’t have friends (friends are overrated anyway). The Celtics are on and, coincidentally, they’re also getting their teeth kicked in Milwaukee. It’s halftime, Giannis has two FGs, and the C’s are getting curb stomped in a game in which they were down 26 at one point. This is not a drill…

In other sporting news, the Miami Dolphins just filed an application seeking trademark protection for the use—as well as any variation—of the phrase “Miami Miracle” because, obviously, when we’re all old and grey, we’ll be sitting on the porch telling our grandchildren about the time when the great Kenyan Drake finished off a ___ fluke in Week 14 against the Patriots to go 7-6 on the season. Furthermore, I guess they’re auctioning off the football as well, with experts predicting the final price tag will eclipse $20,000.

And this is, my friends, is why some teams win while others aimlessly flounder in mediocrity. The Dolphins haven’t won a postseason game since 2000. For those keeping score at home, it’s 2018; and if you do the math, that means Miami hasn’t experienced success in the month of January since an embarrassingly large fragment of our population was huddled in bomb shelters to avoid the chaotic repercussions of Y2k.

Now, I understand the Patriots aren’t looking so hot right now but I’ve been directing my frustration towards them all week and I need to dilute things a tad, and what better way to do that than attack an entity based in Florida.

Florida sucks. You couldn’t pay me enough to live in that place. Outside of Disney World (Epcot’s fucking sick), that place is essentially a vacant wasteland of toothless, meth-ridden blockheads with just enough wifi access to replicate contemporary living standards. That place still uses MySpace for God’s sake.

The Josh Gordon Experiment: A “Flash” In The Pan…

flash Okay, so it’s a relatively quaint Thursday morning in New England. I just grabbed some seasonally appropriate, peppermint-oriented iced coffee of sorts from Dunkin’ in an effort to coordinate the rest of my day. The air is crisp, but comfortable for those who’ve weathered a slew of winters in this region. More importantly though, I finally managed to shake the stench of that inexplicably poor offensive output by the Pats against Pittsburgh last Sunday afternoon. Well, as the old saying goes: When it rains, it pours… And that’s all she wrote for the Josh Gordon experience in New England. Now, obviously I wish the guy the best. From an ostensible standpoint, he failed to provide us any indication he was anything less than a model teammate. Furthermore, I hope he can figure this shit out but I’m not a psychiatrist or a guidance counselor at some blue chip community college; I’m a motherfucking journalist, and as so, I need to supplement the masses with boiling hot takes… For starters, this sucks. We’re less than a month away from the iron and operating at a snail’s pace on both ends of the ball. I’m pretty sure my D2 Coed Intramural flag football squad could hang 30 on the Pats right now and the offense has been puttering to say the least. Outside of Brady bailing out of half his throws (I think he’s injured in some capacity), he’s been serviceable; however, the receiving core has been abysmal this year. Just a collective inability to generate separation, paired with a multitude of key third down drops like you read about. That said, to put it lightly, the loss of Gordon doesn’t help things… For the record, Josh Gordon was one of the weirdest light bulb experiments in Patriots history. We’ve had a lot of big names roll through here—Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, Matrellus Bennett, etc.—and the trend has been burst or bust. Some guys click in New England and some don’t. There’s seemingly no in-between, and with Gordon, I’m not even sure what to think. Given his skill set and track record, he was your prototypical boom or bust guy. All-time talent with at least of season’s worth of evidence to prove it, but also, welll, everything else. Although it may have been a reach at the time, I still feel that Josh Gordon is the second most naturally talented receiver to take reps at Gillette behind Randy. It just didn’t completely manifest that way. For those thinking I’m just trashing Gordon because he’s on his way out, I’m not. Gordon was really good for this team; however, he was confusing as well. When he arrived here, I was unfairly giving this experiment two outcomes: a.) Gordon would roll in here, live in the film room, and assert his athletic superiority all over the yard; or b.) he’d be unemployed by the end of the week. Turns out, neither of that happened. Gordon was just… solid. Nothing he did necessarily blew your dick off but he competed, took on ones, and gave Brady another set of reliable hands on the outside. In fact, nobody really brought it up but—given the offensive struggles this season—it’s tough to imagine where this team would be right now without him… That said, every catch the guy made was tough. He’d produce a decent catch rate, but was draped constantly. Every ball he brought in was either a short post in traffic or an acrobatic jump ball that he managed to corral three or four steps away from the opposing team’s Gaterade jug. Not to mention, most of his touchdowns came off defensive mishaps or zone coverage. In other words, it was just strange to see someone with that athletic prowess fail to create separation on a consistent level. To be honest, I can’t recall a single play where Gordon just flat out “beat” someone. As I said though, best of luck to him in his endeavors, but this one stings…

I Stuffed The Judicial System In My Back Pocket Today…

So yeah, it’s Wednesday—which should be my day off if I wasn’t an absolute beast—and I’m feeling dangerously close to invincible right now. So much so, that I feel like Bradley Cooper in that movie, Invincible; only instead of glorified Adderall, I’m hopped up on imported Columbian narcotics and Fresca.

Anyway, I had my day in court today. For the record, this particular hearing had nothing to do with the Vietnamese prostitute ring I definitely don’t run, but rather, an incident where I was pulled over without car insurance.

For the record, I did in fact have car insurance; however, I guess GEICO requires you to notify the RMV of an insurance transition on your own time. Long story short, I never did that (my mistake). And as much as I admire GEICO’s marketing department—especially that lawn mowing ad that makes absolutely ZERO sense on any level—it would be great if that little green blockheaded son of a bitch would mention that in a commercial or two.

So yeah, I was in the wrong and I knew it, but if there’s one thing I also know, it’s this: I’m the best. If I learned anything from my past vending machine experiences, I’m not going to let the big guy push me around. Stuff like this is how tyranny manifests and I refuse to capitulate in the face of corruption.

Everyone said the same thing: “Joe, just eat the fine. You were wrong. Take your medicine. You’re one guy. Just give up…”

Well let me ask you a question: Do you think Hitler just gave up when he was rejected from art school? Of course not! He dug his cleats in, navigated his way up a calamitous political structure and became the Chancellor of Germany during one of the worst economic recessions in world history. Did he quit then? No! He pulled up his pants, made a few economic adjustments and brought them out of that shit. Just a true underdog, feel good story…

So yeah, I wasn’t about to just take my ball and go home. I walked into that courthouse smelling like an ATM machine/looking like Al Pacino in Scent of A Woman. Heads were turning…

Side Story: When I arrived, I sat down next to this dude who seemed particularly keen on having an agitated conversation with me. For context, this dude was your routine psycho—ranting loud enough for the entire room to hear, angry at authority, repeatedly bobbing his head as if listening to early 2000s Limp Bizkit. In other words, he was my my kind of people…

Here’s how our conversation went (keep in mind that this guy was talking like he just got rung up on multiple homicide charges):

Normal Guy: “Yo man, you can’t let em’ play you like that, bruh. These fuckas’ll leash you up for some weak shit if you don’t hold your ground.”

Me: “Sure.”

Normal Guy: “Nah, for real man, if you walk in there like a bitch, they’ll lock you up on some bullshit. Real talk…”

Me: “Sure. Just out of curiosity, what’re you here for?”

Normal Guy: “Parking violation…”

Me: “Damn fam lmao I’m rollin”

Side Story (X2): After I escaped the clutches of that conversation, I proceeded to speak with one of the state policeman in the waiting room. He was a very nice guy and seemed open to conversation so I did what any functioning component of society would do in that situation: I offered him advice on how to improve law enforcement…

As most of you know, I’m a genius. I’m constantly thinking of how to improve the world and I created a way to eliminate highway speeding forever; therefore, I extended my idea.

Whenever I’m cruising down the highway, there are always these periodic lapses in traffic speed, and every time, it’s due to a state police car being parked on the side of the road. If the state police department really want to prevent speeding, why not just post empty police cars every 5-10 miles on the road? You don’t even need to stick an engine in them. Just throw a frame with fake tires behind some brush. Every 5th or 6th car can be occupied to heat check the assholes who want to spin the chamber. Problem solved…

Back to my shitty story: I dominated my hearing on both ends of the court (pun intended). Along with being incredibly smart, funny, attractive, generous, empathetic, altruistic, and attractive, one of my best characteristics is that I can turn on the charm at any moment—people say the same thing about geniuses, sociopaths, and serial killers by the way—and did I ever. Absolutely smoked out the room with charisma, which goes to show that the little guy still has a voice. Make sure to thank me for my service…

P.S. For what it’s worth, Marissa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny is probably my all-time movie crush…

BJ’s Wholesale Club Always Delivers…

So as I type this, it’s Monday night and the New Orleans Saints are well on their way to losing to Scam Newton and that pack of underachieving frauds in Carolina. Say what you want, but has any team sunk into obscurity for less of a reason than New Orleans? Three weeks ago, the Saints were America’s demo crew. They had back to back games of 48+ points, got popped by the Cowboys, and handled Tampa Bay but seemingly everyone’s forgot about them and I have no idea why. 

Side Note: I know the cliché thing on Twitter nowadays is to rip on Jason Witten and the MNF broadcast (and rightfully so) but I refuse to give in to societal pressure. To be honest, if you’re someone who rips their hair out over on-air slip-ups or weird statistical graphics then you’re most likely a virgin. That said, I need to address the crane…

Why the fuck is Booger in the crane? How is that enhancing, or for that matter, manipulating the viewer experience at all? Am I supposed to trust Booger’s analysis more because he’s seated in elevated machinery? I just keep picturing him waltzing up to upper management and suggesting “Why not just allow me to sit in the booth?” as some sinister broadcast executive deviously turns around and threatens, “What part of get in the fucking crane do you not understand…Booger?” as he holds up a picture of Booger’s wife and kids.

Anyway, I made my routine trip down to the BJ’s Wholesale Club on my commute home tonight and, as always, it was a shit show. Basically everywhere the week leading up to Christmas is a shit show but BJ’s always seems to hit that “second gear” sportscasters like to reference during player highlights.

For those of you unfamiliar, BJ’s is awesome, and in a much different way than the gay strip club in western MA I frequent on occasion (for the wings) that shares the same name. It’s essentially this chain of giant warehouses that sell all of your favorite products, but in bulk. In other words, if you’re looking for a 12-pack of refrigerators, BJ’s got you covered.

So yeah, one of the perks of heading to BJ’s is the surplus of elderly people handing out free samples. Unlike most supermarkets, BJ’s routinely has about 4-5 staff members stationed around the frozen food section, shelling out mozzarella sticks or multigrain crackers or exotic smoothie shots. For most people, this would be awesome; for a neurotic sociopath like myself, it’s troublesome.

I talk about social etiquette in my blogs a lot and, for some reason or another, I can’t bring myself to simply grab a free sample and go. I feel like I owe the free sample person something back in return. Perhaps a comment or, at the very least, an excuse as to why I won’t be buying that product today. Normally, I’ll grab the free sample—let’s say it’s a slice of pizza—and express some reprehensibly stupid sentiment like “Wow, is that multigrain dough? You can barely taste it” as I lean in/gaze into the display box like I’m some criminal investigator scanning the Zapruder Film for leads.

Today, I just grabbed, completely ignored the woman behind the stand. Felt good…

Before I left, I ran into something that I feel warrants a shoutout. Check out this fucking family below:

First of all, each of this woman’s kids were decked out in matching karate suits or something; more importantly though, is this the most low-key preposterous shopping cart of all time?

For starters, the woman bought enough mayonnaise to flood an aquarium. To put this in perspective, a single wholesale box of mayonnaise consists of three, 3-gallon jugs—that’s 384 fluid ounces of mayonnaise—and this monster bought TWO of them. In total, that’s 768 fluid ounces of mayonnaise.

The only justification for such a move is that this family must absolutely POUND mayonnaise on the reg—I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and probably dessert. When this woman returns home from work, she must just heave a gallon on the table while her three kids toss individual straws into the bucket and suck it down.

On top of that, this woman bought roughly 200 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels (she added a second bundle of each after I snapped the picture), which means these animals must be drilling the bathroom every 20 minutes on the dot—presumably due to excessive mayonnaise consumption.

Finally, this woman bought six individual boxes of Q-Tips consisting of approximately 1,900 cotton swabs each—a grand total of 11,400 individual cotton swabs. According to everything I’ve learned through twelve years of math, each member of that family could clean both ears three times a day for an entire year—and stillhave more than enough cotton swabs left over to ensure a few of their pets’ hygienic well-being as well. Wild stuff…

Tweets I Didn’t Tweet: Patriots/Steelers (Week 15)

Okay, so I’d like to welcome everyone to second NFL-edition of Tweets I Didn’t Tweet. If you want some more insight into what this blog series entails, simply reference the title. In other words, these are blogs where I post all my thoughts in real time since I harbor a feverish hatred for Twitter. Anyway, let’s get into it…

1st Quarter

  • I’m not sure if I heard this correctly but the broadcast just mentioned that the Patriots haven’t loss two straight games in the month of December since 2000. For those keeping score at home, that’s a LONG time. In other words, the Pats haven’t dug themselves a pre-Christmas hole since the Backstreet Boys dawned matching First Communion digs for their Millennium album cover.
  • It looks like future HOF’er JC Jackson will have the responsibility of shadowing Juju Smith-Schuster. Let’s hope he can prevent Juju from one of his routine stat lines of 2/3 catches for 120+ yards.
  • Gilmore’s been targeted 4 times so far in Pittsburgh’s first drive. The good news: one of those targets resulted in an incompletion; the bad news: Big Ben completely overshot the 45+ yard end zone bid that would’ve made him 4/4. This could be a long day…
  • Pats force a 3rd and goal—showing signs of the old “bend don’t break” assemblages of garbage this team used to roll out in the past—before Ben connects with Vance McDonald on a short post to cap off a drive that chewed up half the quarter. Chung was on the coverage and I can’t really fault him. Those bigger tight ends give him fits.
  • Following a too many men on the field penalty on Pittsburgh, Brady hits Hogan for a 63-yarder!!! WIDE OPEN! I mean, WIDEEE open. Sadly, it’s also the longest play of the year from scrimmage for the Pats but better late than never. For some reason, Hogan owns Mike Tomlin and co. It’s often overshadowed by the comeback in the Super Bowl against Atlanta (and rightly so) but Hogan probably had the best postseason run of anyone on the offense that year. People forget he TORCHED Pittsburgh for 9 receptions/180 yards in the AFC Championship. Side note: I was at that game, no big deal…
  • Two straight sacks for the Patriots. One on a blitz from Van Noy with the second coming from Jones as our secondary gave Ben absolutely nothing to work with. As is tradition, the offense dictates the momentum of this team. Following the Hogan touchdown, you can just see the tide turn. Defense looks faster, Ben looks tentative, things look up…
  • Edelman with yet another big drop that would’ve moved the chains, followed by Brady over-anticipating pressure, rolling out and missing James White for what would’ve likely extended the drive. The O-line’s been admirable this season; however, Brady just doesn’t look comfortable throwing downfield. Maybe it’s the mental loss of Solder, perhaps it’s the Max Kellerman “cliff.” I don’t know, but he needs to shake this come February.

2nd Quarter (NE: 7  PIT: 7)

  • Jonathon Jones gets called for “Breathing” on Eli Rodgers down the right sideline, resulting in a 50+ yard gain for Pittsburgh. Next play, Ben throws Antonio Brown in motion and finds him on a seam route that puts six on the board. I guess the Pats haven’t given up a touchdown on any drive over 80 yards this season. That one went for 92. As I said before, better late than never…
  • Jonathon Jones redeems himself for his ruthless pass interference on a Ryan Allen punt by gracefully dive-bombing into the end zone and lateraling a ball into the air for Rex Burkhead to lateral once again to the one yard line. I don’t normally throw highlights in my blogs (you can find them anywhere on Twitter) but this is deserving. That’s some major league, Cirque Du Soleil shit.
  • Duron Harmon picks off Ben and THANK GOD! That’s a game-saving play from a guy who seemingly only has a nose for the ball whenever the Pats need a nail in the coffin. That play, fortunately, showed up in time to stop the bleeding. It also happens to be Duron Harmon’s fourth interception in five regular season games against Pittsburgh. You can call that the Hogan-effect.
  • Roethlisberger’s hilarious. Dude’s CONSTANTLY injured. I guess he has some rib injury, as well as some other “muscle segment” soreness or something. Guy just defies contemporary medical theory. Almost makes you think he may just be embellishing it… *sips tea*
  • Cordarrelle Patterson catches one and fights like a pitbull through two defenders to get dangerously close to a huge 3rd down conversion. Upon further review, his shin was down but I’m starting to love Patterson. I get he’s more or less just a sloppy vertical guy with some special teams pop but he’s been willing to do everything for this team—receiever, runningback, gunner, return man, ect.—and he runs heavy. Big time ego as well but those guys are the ones who turn up significantly in the postseason.

3rd Quarter (NE: 7  PIT: 14)

  • Gordon with a drop to to halt the Pats first drive of the second half. For those keeping score at home, that’s the third outright 3rd-down drop on behalf of the Pats receiving core. For what it’s worth, Brady’s played above his stat line today. He hasn’t been electric, but continuous backbreaking drops like that are the reason why the Pats are getting smoked in the time of possession battle today. Can’t wear down a defense if you can’t wear down a defense…
  • McCourty loses a 50/50 battle with James Washington for a 30-yard gain. He follows that up by getting stiff armed into Narnia on the next play and blowing an open field tackle on the third of the series. Not a great look. Steelers look cocky. This could get ugly…
  • Ben gets called for a much needed intentional grounding call, which brings in Chris Boswell for a 32-yarder. Spoiler alert: GAGGED. For the record, I called that missed kick in my group chat. I’d post the evidence here but I’m slowly realizing it doesn’t matter. Just wanted everyone to know I called it. Joestradamus always gets his man…
  • Back to back flags on Edelman to push the tribe back. I hope Bill lines up this receiving core on the goal line at the end of the game and runs them Herb Brooks style.
  • Gut-wrenching pass interference call on Joe Haden gives Brady and co. a first down on what was a 3rd and 16. If the Patriots can’t capitalize on this, they don’t deserve to even make the playoffs. Pittsburgh has seemingly done EVERYTHING to hand New England a win today and the Pats offense is just refusing to take the bait.
  • Gostkowski sails one through the uprights for his 50th straight field goal under 40 yards. I know Gostco’s received a lot of flack this season (some of it’s justified) but after years of watching the NFL, people underestimate how reliable this guy is relative to others at his position. Sure, he’ll miss one or two significant ones a year but in terms of keeping you in a game, there’s very few (if any) better.

4th Quarter (NE: 10  PIT: 14)

  • Duron Harmen with his SECOND pick of the game!!! Steeler kryptonite like you read about! Capitalize, capitalize, capitalize!!!
  • Brady finds some guy over the middle named Gronkowski for about 15 yards. Not sure who this guy is but it’s a good sign moving forward.
  • Another false start on Trent Brown forces a 3rd and long. Brady finds that Gronk guy to move the chains but the Pats follow it up with what seems like their 2,000th penalty of the day. The holding call sends them back and we’re operating with less than house money yet again.
  • Joe Haden picks off a ball Brady looked like he was trying to throw away down the right sideline. Piss poor mistake by Tom. Just one of those mental mistakes I’d claim he NEVER makes if it wasn’t for that debacle heading into the half against Miami last week.
  • Chung has looked hurt all game. Guy just can’t cover Vance McDonald. Need to make adjustments. That’s all…
  • This defense makes me want to beerfunnel laundry detergent. The offense has been just as bad (if not worse) but watching this team get gashed like a jack o’ lantern week in and week out is taking years off my life. This Pittsburgh drive has looked like a hot knife through butter thus far.
  • Future HOF’er JC Jackson breaks up yet another HUGE end zone bid. When they’re creating the bust in Canton, just remember who said it first. Joestradamus always gets his man.
  • Brady gets the ball with 2 minutes and change left, brings the offense with 10 yards of the goal line in quick fashion, and—like clockwork—the Pats get flagged for ANOTHER red zone holding penalty. What a joke…
  • For some reason, the Patriots make absolutely no attempt at cutting down the yardage to the goal line with a screen or a dump near the sidelines; instead, they elect to sail two balls 20-yards into quadruple coverage. Listen, I’m no football genius, but this team doesn’t have a country shot downfield. They pay their bills in the short game. Easier said than done, but if you can bring that ball within 15 yards of the goal line, you open up your options exponentially.

Post Game (NE: 10  PIT: 17)

  • Not much to say. I knew this game would be tough. I knew Pittsburgh had a chip. I knew they had an axe to grind. I knew they were due for one. And most importantly, I knew those are the times where the Pats fail to show up. If Pittsburgh rolls into this game with 11 wins, the Pats run them out of the building. I have no analysis as to why but it just seems to be how it works in New England. We’re on to Buffalo…

Fried-Ay: Saturday Football, Jiffy Lube/Seafood Places, Getting Audited…

Okay, so to illuminate the elephant in the room: it’s Saturday. Nevertheless, Fried-ay lives on. For those who’ve been following my writing, you understand that timing isn’t necessarily everything. Fried-ay can land on a Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, or even Friday, depending on my schedule. That said, let’s get into it…

Okay, so as I’m writing this, it’s around 2:00 PM (I’m working a double so this most likely won’t be finished before my second shift starts) and my buddy just informed our group chat there’s an NFL double-header on today—Texans/Jets at 4:30 and Browns/Broncos in primetime. For the record, I’ve always felt the NFL should adopt this slate on a full-season schedule. Understandably, it would dilute the 1 o’clock injection of euphoria the good folks at Red Zone deliver; however, why not?

I hate the people who complain about football on Thursday nights. It’s become one of those “Internet things” people shit on like Nickelback, candy corn, etc. What the fuck is the problem with having an extra game outside of Sunday? I realize it may suck for the players due to the quick turnaround but guess what? That’s why they get paid enough money to manipulate weather patterns. 

Realistically, I understand this will never happen because it would directly conflict with college football but I don’t care. I live in the Northeast where college athletics take a backseat, not to mention my opinions are more important than your opinions because I narcissistically express them through the vehicle of WordPress whereas you most likely keep them to yourself like some well-mannered, unobtrusive cuck.

Earlier today, I drove by a Jiffy Lube that shares a building with a restaurant called “Lobster Pot.” In other words, if you’re looking for a one stop shop specializing in oil changes/raw scallops, fret no more…

So I just got the mail and found a letter from the good people at the MA Department of Revenue. According to their friendly letter, I evidently failed to report the correct personal income tax… in 2015. For those keeping score at home, I’ve yet to file taxes by myself in my lifetime. Although most people always relentlessly suggest getting TurboTax every year, I refuse to do so because of things like this… which brings me to H&R Block.

Whoever owns H&R Block has to be swimming in a vat of gold like Scrooge McDuck or something by this point. There’s no way what that place does is legal by contemporary judicial standards. I go in there every year, hand over three sheets of paper, twiddle my fingers for 15 minutes, and leave with $350 less dollars than I should be expecting from Uncle Sam a couple weeks later.

Then, THREE years later, I receive letters saying I owe even more money for mistakes that I could’ve made on my own, without the help of Wendy and her lime green nail polish. I understand the government needs to make a buck but dear God, make a buck off the bigger guy. Withdraw this money from the crooks at H&R block, not the guy who routinely wears sweatpants and eats bologna.