Shit just got real, Putin. This shit just got real.
How do you say “WOLVERRRRRRINESSS!!!!!!” in Ukrainian?
Now that the Winter Olympics have finally come and gone, it’s time to try to look back at the Games that were. Sure there was a lot of ice-dancing pageantry. Sure, Sochi missed out on a golden opportunity by not having their mascot be an inflatable LL Cool J doll so that they could repeatedly have #SochiLL trending worldwide. But the two most riveting parts of the games for me were Bob Costas’ gradual transformation into Cyclops from the X-Men movies and Shaun White’s failure to grab a medal with his THC-stained mittens.
But what if those two seemingly random occurrences weren’t random at all. What if Shaun White and Bob Costas were doing something else during their time in Sochi? Here’s what I think really happened to two of the Olympics’ most important players. Let’s start at the beginning:
INT. MID-MORNING, A PALATIAL CABIN
There are beautiful women strewn about the floor of the cabin, passed out in varying states of nudity, ranging from scantily clad to Miley Cyrus in a music video. There are cans of Red Bull stacked elaborately in a pyramid and a pile of weed on a glass coffee table that reaches towards the heavens like Great Mount Ganja. There are smoldering doobies burning alongside incense and a general haze hangs over the room. SHAUN WHITE (In his late 20s-early 30s, pale skinned, with a stunning amount of red hair volcanically erupting from his head into the gaudy plumage of a hipster peacock) is asleep on a couch, sandwiched between a Czech model and what appears to be the sasquatch from Harry and the Hendersons. He has one arm around a bag of Doritos and the other clenched lovingly around an Olympic Torch shaped bong. He is snoring loudly from beneath a Hemp and Mink checkered quilt.
EXT. SHAUN’S MOUNTAIN CABIN
A black SUV with government plates and darkly tinted windows pulls up. Shiny black shoes step out into the snow.
INT. THE APARTMENT
The back door glides gently open and the same shiny black shoes begin meticulously navigating the frat-party-in-Cancun labyrinth. Leather gloved hands push a shirtless, skinnyjeaned partygoer with the word “PENIS” emblazoned on his forehead from a chair and dust if off. We see perfectly ironed pants bending to sit in the chair.
(Quietly at first)
As White continues snoring loudly. The sasquatch shifts its enormous weight and White fusses a little but remains asleep.
Agent C gets impatient. He reaches over to the table and grabs a handful of the stickiest of the icky and waves it under White’s nose like Coloradan Smelling salts. White sits bolt upright.
Backside 900 Nollie Tailgrab!!
White blinks, he begins to notice that he’s not alone in the room. The Cameras pan back to reveal all of AGENT C and reveal that Agent C is, indeed, Bob Costas. Wearing an eye patch.
(Pausing, looking Agent C up and down)
Did, uh, you have a good time last night, bro?
I didn’t party here last night, Shaun. Although, from the looks of it,
I might be the only one in the whole of Aspen that didn’t.
White yawns, tilts back the bag of Doritos and kills off the crumbs. He reaches down and cracks open a Red Bull. He shoves the model off the bed and she hits the floor in a pile of Swimsuit Calendar limbs, but doesn’t wake up. White sits up loudly, crunching away.
Alright. Well I have, like, 3-5 friends who wear eye patches, max.
And I don’t think you’re a Jack Sparrow impersonator, even thought that would be totally gnar,
so who are you? If you’re a cop or my mother, then the 2 pounds 4 ounces of purple Niagara
Bob Marley wet dream Kush on the table there isn’t mine.
You are correct, Mr. White, in assuming that I am neither a gnarly Disney employee nor the woman
who birthed you.
White sighs in relief. He starts loading the Olympic Torch bong. He gestures with it towards Agent C.
You need to hit this? I need a little magic dragon to calm my nerves after that close call.
(coughing as he takes a massive hit)
Puff, puff, man. You know, “puff the magic Dragon, lived in a. . .tree? Dum-bum-dum-bum
bum-bum. Something something doobey!” Or something like that. You get the point, man.
No thanks. Not on a Monday morning.
(shocked by the day)
Wait. . .what time is it?!?!
(checking his watch)
It’s Monday morning, like I just said, and the time is 11:27 AM. Now, Mr. White –
No. I mean, when are we? Like, what year is it?
Year?!?! It’s 2014 you dumb motherfu–
White lurches to his feet, grabs a hemp beanie from off the table and jams it on his head. He hurriedly slops down some more Red Bull.
2014? I gotta get to Vancouver, man.
(rubbing his temples)
That was literally 4 years ago. What we need — why I am here today — is to get you to Sochi.
Nah, man. I don’t do sushi, man. Fish come from, like rivers and swamps and stuff over in
Chinese countries. You gotta cook those kinds of things before you go all Hulk smash
munchie-crush on those, bro.
No. I said, “Sochi.”
Ohhhhh. . .right, man. Aren’t they having the Olympics there in 2014?
Well, actually, Mr. White: that’s what I’m here to talk with you about today.
White sits back down. He shakes the Sasquatch violently to wake it up.
Yo, Squatchasaurus Rex. Wake up, man. You don’t gotta go home, but you gotta
get the hell up out of here. I have business to attend to with Mr. Cyclops here.
The Sasquatch sits up, making the strange groaning/wailing noise that has held the attention of the un-laid masses for so long. It rubs the back of its neck, stands up, fires into an elaborate bro-shake/fist-bump combo with White and then walks out the door.
So was that a real –
Sasquatch? Yeah, man. We met doing a shoot for beef jerky a few years back. He
smells a little funky, but he’s pretty chill most of the time. Oh, and he’s got a great
weed guy. An epic weed guy.
Alright. Sorry, we’re getting a little sidetracked, here, Mr. White. I want to ask you
a question. How closely have you been following the Edward Snowden story?
That’s what I thought. Listen, Shaun, I want to be frank with you. Your snowboarding
career isn’t going to last forever. You’re one fakey 1080 whateverthefuck away from
launching tailbone shrapnel all the way from your ass to your brain. Poof! All gone.
White nods his head gravely, as if this insane theory actually holds all the medical gravitas of a professional diagnosis.
What are you going to do once that career is over? You’ve got enough money pouring in
from your WalMart clothing line to live comfortably. You’ve got enough WalMart catalogue
models pouring in to sleep comfortably. But what happens when the thrill is gone? What
will Shaun White do when he can’t win snow board halfpipes anymore?
What will Shaun White do? That guy sounds like he’s screwed.
No, I’m asking you. What will you do?
The same thing most people do when it’s time for them to retire. Probably form a
Monday-Wenesday-Friday drum circle support group that focuses on wearing leather vests
with fringe and smoking some of the stankest sticky that’s ever been clipped off the plant.
Or I might just die, I guess.
Exactly. But what if your last real Olympics meant something more than just a swan song?
What if, when you’re out there stomping tricks, you had a chance to stomp some ass for
the greatest country in the world?
White sits up, intrigued. He shakes the can of Red Bull and, finding it empty, cracks another that he finds on the floor.
What are you saying, man?
The United States government needs you, Shaun. The agency that I represent? We need you.
You have a certain set of skills, a certain name recognition that could help us out immensely.
To put it bluntly–
(White raises his eyebrows in misunderstanding approval of his favorite word)
no, not that kind of blunt — we need your help on a secret mission.
Yes, Mr. White. Now what I’ve been sent here to ask you to do –
(Realization setting in)
Wait, that’s who that Edward Snowden guy you were talking about is. I remember now. Didn’t
he, like, betray us or something. He sold secrets or information or some computer stuff to
people and pushed America under the Communist Manifesto bus, right?
(Blinking his one good eye)
Yeah. . . something like that. Look the point is this, after Snowden fled the States he’s
been holed up over in Russia and they’re not going to extradite him. Putin–
Putin. Hahaha. That’s such a silly name for the king of Russia, isn’t it?
Putin won’t play ball. So they came to me. They came to us, Mr. White, to try to get him
White leans back and puts his moccasined feet up on the table, nonchalantly.
Just like that?
(Taking another bong rip and wipes his Dorito-coated fingers onto his skinny jean pajamas)
Yeah. Look, I’m a world-class athlete, alright? I’m an Olympic gold medalist who stares
death and disrememberment in the face daily. You think this kind of thing worries me?
Plus, I’ve seen that Vin Diesel movie, XXX, like 30 times. After I realized it wasn’t a porn
and got over my fear of Roman Numerals, it wasn’t so bad. So what’s the plan, Stan?
(Shaking his head in awe)
Now, they’ve injected my eyes with a special microbial agent that should give me
temporary x-ray vision. But we won’t have a long window before the Russians get
suspicious. We’re talking maybe a few days max. It hurts like hell and I appear to
have gotten pink eye so bad I look like an X-Men villain transforming into a monster,
but it’s what we’ve got. So I’ll have a few days off from my job and we’ll need you to
do as poorly at the games as you can so we can focus on the task at hand. We’re going
to go get him, Mr. White. We’re going to bring back Snowden.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, man. Are you telling me I should lose on purpose?
No. I’m saying that you should willfully misrepresent your skills so as to increase
your opposition’s chances of success in your events.
Oh, okay. Sounds good.
Grab your board, your passport, and some diuretics. We’re going to Sochi,
Wait, are you Bob Costas?
Last year I opened up the site to any celebs/sports stars that might want to drop off a personalized Valentine’s Day card for anyone who might want to see. Boy was it a hit. So much so, in fact, that I had to reopen the Valentine’s Day Digital Drop Box once again and get in the cards from the stars. Just click play on the videos to take a look.
Bruce Jenner took a few minutes off from getting his Adam’s apple shaved by a plastic surgeon (*Author’s note: yes, that’s apparently a thing) to send some love your way.
Peyton took some time to extend a little Valentine’s Day love in our direction.
Shia Labeouf took a breather from his mid-career, meth-lab-explosion of douchery, to make sure to give us some original content.
Shaun White may have only gotten fourth in Sochi, but he’s still #1 in your heart, right?
Richard Sherman needed a place to express his deepest, most pasionate love for. . .Richard Sherman?
Peyton wasn’t the only Manning to stop by and send a little V-Day love your way, either. His brother Eli sent in a card, too.
We all knew A-Rod had a little extra time on his hands, but I didn’t think he’d take up writing love poems during his one-year ban.
Friend of the blog OJ convinced his parole board to let him send in a Valentine’s day message to all of his fans here.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.
The Super Bowl is almost here. And you know what that means: lots and lots of gripping talk about the legalization and sociopolitical ramifications of Marijuana in Colorado and Washington State. And football, too. So if you’re a Seahawks or a Broncos fan, wipe the Doritos Tacos Locos stains from your fingers, stop Googling “What does XLVIII =?” and get to your printer and crank out the official Super Bowl 47 Drinking Game.
Take One Drink:
- Anytime you hear the word “Omaha.” (*Author’s note: I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.)
- If Peyton Manning gets hit so hard you think that his medically-MacGyver’d neck might just start spinning on its axis like he’s starring in an off-Broadway production of The Exorcist.
- If you wake up mid-second quarter and realize that you had been rocked to sleep in the sweet, sweet, monotone- python-death-embrace of one Joseph Francis Buck.
- When you find yourself trying to figure out exactly what race Bruno Mars is.
(*Author’s note: BONUS DRINK if you settle on “alien race.”)
- When you and everyone around you smart-phone Googles Who the hell is Renee Fleming? as soon as the PA annoucners says, “And now, with the singing of our national anthem, Renee Fleming!”
- If the lifeless corpse known as Troy Aikman begins to show signs of reanimation and you feel certain that you’re witnessing the start to the zombie apocalypse on live TV.
- Whenever Fox cuts to a fan in the stands that dropped $6 Grand just to get stage 4 advanced frostbite in his testes.
- If you find yourself contemplating cyberbullying Erin Andrews.
- If any Fox sports personality claims that a cold weather Super Bowl was a bad idea.
- If any Fox sports personality claims that “This is the way football was meant to be played.”
- If you watch Michael Strahan’s teeth, engaged in their unending tug-of-war, as they tectonically shift farther and farther apart and you realize that there should definitely be a Nicolas Cage movie where he somehow is involved in stopping the theft of/stealing Strahan’s tusks to be sold as aphrodisiacs on the black market in Hong Kong.
Take Two Drinks:
- **CUTAWAY TO THE INTERIOR OF A NEW YORK PIZZA JOINT/DELI ALERT**
- When the announcers drop a stunning, top-secret, bombshell on the nation: Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round! OMG!?!? He WAS?!?!?!? Better devote some time to it.
(*Author’s note: BONUS DRINK if they show a graphic with all the players taken over him.)
(*Secondary Author’s note: do a shot if Troy Aiman raps the Eminem lyrics, “Russell Wilson, fallin’ way back. . .”)
- Anytime you hear the words “Legacy” when the announcers are talking about Peyton Manning.
- When you realize that Marshawn Lynch looks like the token black swashbuckler from any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
- When they show Wes Welker’s brutally painful drop from the Patriots V.S. Giants Super Bowl.
- When Fox comes back from a billion dollar commercial break to the sounds of Frank Sinatra or Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
(*Author’s note: side drinking game: before the game officially starts, each person declares that they’re either #TeamSinatra or #TeamHova and then whichever song plays first wins and the other group must chug half a beer. Your welcome, America.)
- If Peyton Manning takes off his helmet, and you become concerned that his forehead may have been involved in a pre-game car accident.
- If Peyton Manning removes his helmet and the blotchy crimson square that is located directly in the middle of his fivehead brings new meaning to the term “Red Zone.”
- If You find yourself wondering if Peyton Manning is, in fact, wearing a helmet that he bought for a child from the MetLife Stadium gift shop before the game.
(*Author’s note: seriously. Can he loosen up his helmet a little bit? I’m worried that he’s going to get concussed just putting his helmet on.)
Take Three Drinks
- **UNNECESSARY PIECE DESIGNED TO SHOW US THAT RICHARD SHERMAN ISN’T A “THUG” BUT IS, IN FACT, HIGHLY INTELLIGENT ALERT**
(*Author’s note: BONUS DRINK if you don’t buy that “Hey, he’s smart, so that means that he is utterly incapable of being an arrogant prick” backlash that immediately swept the country like a hyperbole wildfire of counter-opinion.)
(*Secondary Author’s note: As you can tell, I’ll be drinking right along with you.)
- When Fox gives us a shot of the sidelines and we catch a live glimpse at the epic, perfectly unkempt, stubble-off that has been occurring all year between Eric Decker and Wes Welker.
- Each time Bruno Mars airhumps the brisk New Jersey night air so erotically that Prince gets embarrassed.
- **PEYTON MANNING’S LACKLUSTER POST-SEASON W/L RECORD GRAPHIC ALERT**
- If Richard Sherman talks so much that the fog from his hot breath in the cold February air creates its own winter storm front that sweeps across the country. (*Author’s note: Winter Storm Adderall sounds about right for the name.)
- If Anyone around you refers to Joe Buck as “Young Buck.”
(*Author’s note: *BONUS DRINK* if someone fires off any terrible Buck puns that sound like you’re dropping an F-Bomb i.e. “Go Buck yourself, Joe.”)
- If the Seahawks’ secondary puts the PEDal to the metal, making the Broncos look PEDestrian, and the walloPED player finds himself galloPED over like a sick child wishing he was going to visit the PEDiatrician. (*Author’s note: see what I did there? If you do, take another drink.)
Chug it. . .Chug it. . .Chug it. . .
- If “I really only watch for the commercials” guy takes his ironically mustachioed face off his microbrew IPA, takes a puff on his vapor cigarette before sticking it back into his corduroy pants, and then asks you to keep it down so he can watch this Volkswagen commercial.
- If you catch on fire from staring at Joe Buck’s hair for more than 11 consecutive seconds.
- If either a Broncos fan or a Seahawks fan brings brownies to your Super Bowl party and you hesitate before taking a bite.
- If either a Broncos fan or a Seahawks fan brings brownies to your Super Bowl party and you dive right in, hoping they’ll kick in just in time for the third quarter.
- If you realize the irony of Bruno Mars doing a Pepsi sponsored halftime commercial, even though he’s clearly a coke guy.
Earlier this year, on July 1st, I posted a halfway review of the sports year in which I claimed that we were, perhaps, in the midst of the weirdest sports year ever. It’s been sixth months and things haven’t gotten any less weird. In fact, they’ve probably ramped up.
I know, I know. How stereotypically 2013 to declare 2013 the weirdest year ever. I get it. We’ve seen so many “epic” hashtags and “best thing ever” Buzzfeed articles that we’re desensitized. The internet has anesthetized us to weirdness, 140 characters at a time. But, the facts are the facts.
And those facts state that this year was bizarre. It was kooky. It was bath-salt-hallucinations weird.
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, let me present to you an exhaustive case proving that 2013 was the weirdest sports year in history. (*Author’s note: the events are not chronologically organized within their months. That would take work and dedication and I’m strenuously opposed to both.)
Let’s start off with a couple of key events that I somehow forgot to include on the list from the halfway mark of 2013:
- Dennis Rodman, international peacekeeper.
Which I covered extensively in a blog post earlier this year. This utterly-batshit-insane story might honestly be the weirdest confluence of circumstances in sports history. I’ll cover more of this a little later.
- Oscar Pistorius’ story stops being heart-warming.
And starts involving the word “homicide.” Looks like you better cancel the Disney biopic, you guys.
- Matt Damon’s nephew walks on at the University of Nebraska.
And the celebrity starved masses (*Author’s note: I’m including myself in this group) — in a state where one of our biggest celebrities is Larry the Cable Guy — nearly lost their collective mind in early July. Ishmail Jackson, Damon’s nephew wanted to walk on for the Huskers and the only one who could bring him in for that visit was none other than Mr. Oscar-winner himself. While on campus he threw the bones, bought some gear and posed for some pictures. It didn’t at all seem like he was actually here on a covert assassination mission run by a shadow agency involving brainwashed super-killers. But it did lead me to write this short film.
- Jay-Z and Scott Boras have beef. No. Seriously.
This is the world we live in. This is 2013. A year when those two guys are sharing headlines. Hov doesn’t have beef with Nas. He’s not worried about Diddy or 50. Nope. He’s firing lyrical shots at an old white dude who lives in Newport Beach. As if that’s not weird enough? It worked. He’s signed Robinson Cano and even Kevin Durant. However, not all rappers-mixed-with-sports weirdness is confined to 2013. Check out the one man smart enough to beat Jay-Z to the punch: that’s right. Master P.
- Florida linebacker, Antonio Morrison, is Arrested for Barking at a Police Dog.
That’s right. Suck on that, every other weird sports year. And we’re still in July. Antonio Morrison got so drunk that he decided to star in an impromptu reading of his newest script: Dr. Doolittle 3: Doolittle Harder. After the incident, I was able to secure interview rights with the police dog, Bear, and it was a hard-hitting, revelatory piece of journalism.
- Riley Cooper, Raging Racist.
I know what you’re saying. “Oh, yeah. It’s super weird that a guy who grew up in Florida ended up saying some racist stuff at a Kenny Chesney concert. What next? A fat nerd with a seldom-trafficked blog being sarcastic?” And you’d have a fair point. But it’s still pretty weird. Weirder still? The fact that the league with a franchise called the REDSKINS wasted zero time in getting sanctimoniously huffy about Cooper. The NFL: where hypocrisy happens.
- Jack Hoffman wins an ESPY.
By now, if you don’t know who Jack Hoffman is, then you’ve probably been in a sensory deprivation chamber for the last nine months, living in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in a camouflaged lean-to or you haven’t visited YouTube since. . .ever. This isn’t snarky weird. Or a stupid weird. It’s not an ironic or moronic weird.
It’s the kind of weird that sports can deliver to us that hit us right in the stomach; pull our cynical eyes up from our sarcastic keyboard sonatas that make the internet simultaneously the most fun and most dangerous place your digital self can reside. This is weird because it was a boy touching the lives of college football boys-turning-to-men; weird in that it grabbed all of our hearts and rang them out, like a sopping wet towel, and poured all the heartache and uncertainty and beauty and breathless courage that being alive can hold right out before us. Weird in that it took that liquid emotion, that heart-drumming, lip-trembling passion and joy, and painted us a picture about who we are and who we can be. And it was painted on a canvas of sports.
- Alex Rodriguez, tattle-tale.
That practically all of Major League baseball has been cheating as hard as they possibly could is not a secret. That they continue to attempt to circumvent the rules by using female fertility drugs, erectile dysfunction tablets bought from late night informercials, voodoo priestess’ incantations, and enough human growth hormone to, well, grow an entire human is also no secret. But what happened this August, when word that A-Roid himself had been leaking the names of other PED users to the press to try to throw them off his spray-tanned scent, is still the definition of weird.
- JR Smith takes the term “Under Armour” literally.
JR Smith is weird. He might even be legally insane. And when you give an insane dude a $24 Million contract to play basketball in New York, he’s probably going to do some dumb stuff with his money. But, when Smith was spotted tooling around town in his latest luxury armored vehicle you’ve officially advanced to 2013 weird. Too bad all that protection can’t armor him from his hot 34% field goal percentage this year. Also, has anyone in the Knicks organization considered getting this car for Jim Dolan? You know, for his own safety and stuff?
- LeBron James gets jury duty.
And naturally he did the most 2013 thing you could possibly do when you get jury duty. Take a selfie of yourself reporting for duty and post it to Instagram. After he posted, though, there were some really interesting comments that followed. (*Author’s note: I feel like I don’t need to say this, but I made the comments up.)
- Johnny Football goes Johnny Hancock.
Late in the summer word broke that Johnny F. Heisman Football had done something extremely Johnny Football. We all know Mr. Football was teetering on the brink of complete douchedom, flouting conventions and flaunting his Daddy’s trust fund, and so when word broke that he’d allegedly signed thousands of autographs for thousands of dollars it wasn’t extremely weird. What ended up being the weirdest part of this story wasn’t the fact that an already-rich dude like Manziel decided to risk his NCAA eligibility for some extra cash or even that Manziel had a bromager (*Author’s note: bro manager) who had dropped out of school to be his “personal assistant” and went by the pseudonym “Uncle Nate”, it was the fact that Uncle Nate and Manziel ended up actually doing us all a great service by once again depantsing the utter hypocrisy of the NCAA.
Naturally, the NCAA botched the investigation, couldn’t pin anything on anyone, stumble-F-ed their way around the media and ended up suspending Manziel for a half of a game. A half? After all the lunacy and over-coverage of the story, after all the in-depth pieces on Uncle Nate’s role in the framework of modern youth culture and the racial and societal implications that are now commonplace when the NCAA gets their cash-stained hands unsteadily involved, Manziel sat for two quarters then went out and did what Johnny F. Heisman Football does: dominated opponents and acted kind of like an a-hole.
- Cornhusker Deep Throat Strikes
Nebraska fans are nothing if not a sentimental bunch. We trumpet our politeness from atop our ivory tower at One Memorial Stadium. We march through gates proclaiming us to be the “Best Fans in College Football” and we generally pride ourselves on being great fans and supporting our program like no other fan base in the country. And though some of that probably gets overblown in a locale where the Huskers rule the headlines with an almost insane amount of fervor, there’s 333 consecutive sellouts to back that belief up should one choose to worry about those types of things.
So, when audio was leaked to Deadspin in September of an incensed Bo Pelini going on an F-Bomb laced tirade about the fanbase and the local media it naturally exploded into a napalm shitstorm. It prompted many fans to draw battle lines and either support the cuss-loving-coach or decry his behavior as completely out of line. The audio of Bo, which I listened to and heard played ad nauseum here in Nebraska, reminded me of something. Some other tremendous, fascinating F-bomb opera of rage. Then I had it! So I put the two Mount Rushmore f-word serenades together.
- Eminem and Brent Musburger: Down 4 Lyfe.
Eminem gave us what may have been the weirdest sports-related interview of 2013, when he was called up to the press box at the Notre Dame V.S. Michigan game to promote his latest album. Was he high? Was he just being the complete weirdo that he seems to genuinely be? Or was he doing his Brent-Musburger-seeing-Katherine-Webb impression? We may never know. But it sure was weird.
- Kiffin gets canned.
The weirdest part of this story is that Kiffin ever got a job at USC in the first place. Somehow, this story has gotten even weirder. (*Author’s note: See: December)
- The Chiefs finished winning their 9th straight game after going 2-14 previous year, even though their head coach is very clearly Zombie-Teddy-Roosevelt.
- 37-year-old David Ortiz wins World Series MVP.
And if history has taught us anything it’s that it’s totally normal for an over-the-hill slugger to suddenly and inexplicably bat nearly .700 in a series after he becomes shockingly rejuvenated at the plate during his 15th year in the league. Yeah, no red flags there. At all. Weird. Oh, and if you mention steroids? It’s probably just because you’re racist.
- The ‘Ole Gunslinger gets a call to saddle up and ride. . .and would rather just keep playing ball with his BFFs in their wranglers.
And the weirdest part about this story? He actually said no. RIP, Tim Tebow’s last shot at the big leagues. If they’re calling Brett Favre and not you? You might just want to pack it in and play in Canada. (*Author’s note: also discovered while Googling Brett Favre? This.)
- Dolphins beat Bengals on game-ending safety in OT.
We’ve seen some strange endings in overtime games, but this was the first walk0ff safety many fans had ever seen. It was, as it was later revealed, the third OT safety in league history. It was the first time, however, that we all got to watch Andy Dalton get drilled so hard it almost put out that forest fire he has raging on his head in GIF loopmode. You’re the best, 2013.
- Jason Kidd “spills” drink onto the court, inadvertently gives Steelers’ Coach Mike Tomlin an evil-genius idea.
With the Nets’ season already being deemed a colossal disappointment, with Russian bajillionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov likely getting ready to fire him so hard he ends up reffing YMCA games in a Siberian 9-and-under girls league, and with no timeouts in a close November contest against the Lakers, Nets coach Jason Kidd committed a flagrant foul. A flagrant party foul, that is.
Let me give you all a few quick pointers from the Jason Kidd School of Diversionary Tactics:
1) ALLPB: Always Look Like Pitbull. This, in and of itself, is distracting. The refs aren’t sure whether you’re going to argue a Kevin Garnett travel call or repeatedly shout “Dale!” and try to sell them Bud Light.
2) Make sure you have a cup of some dark liquid lying around to hurl onto the court. The Hennessy and coke that Kidd was sipping on works perfectly in this regard as it has maximum stickiness and a distractibility value of 7.5.
3) Make sure you have a ready and willing accomplice. Tyshawn Taylor doesn’t miss a beat. When his head coach says “hit me” to him, he doesn’t say “But, coach. . .” or even, “wha?!?” he just immediately drops his shoulder and bumps right into him like he’s trying to draw contact in the lane.
4) Don’t spill on your suit. Getting the court dirty is one thing, but that suit is Italian silk, son, and J-Kidd knows all too well how hard dark liquor stains are to dry clean out.
2013 is just really, really, f-ing weird. Jason Kidd. Coaches the Nets. In Brooklyn. And they have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the corpse of Joe Johnson on their roster. Huh?
- Mike Tomlin does the trying-to-cheat twostep.
Tomlin wanted us to believe he’d “accidentally” Mr. Magoo’d his way onto the very edge of the field. He hoped we’d think that he just got so wrapped up in having his back to a crucial play in the game that he kind of drifted his way out to turf. I’m not sure whether or not it changed the trajectory that Jacoby Jones was running that day, but it did cost Tomlin a cool $100k (*Author’s note: you know what they say, right? A coach on the field is worth two cups on the court. Or something.) and his dignity as all the amazingly weird, bad photoshops came rolling in. He should’ve attended Kidd’s distraction seminars and he might’ve gotten the job fully done. Here’s my favorite:
- A Kentucky high school runner withdraws from a state-qualifying race because her bib number is “666″
“And I refuse to wear the bib number 69.” Said no high school boys ever, while high-fiving their buddies and laughing a little too hard.
- Carl Pelini gets axed (and I’m not talking about his favorite type of body spray).
(*Author’s note: I understand that the actual firing/resignation/peacing out took place on October 30th, but the fallout and all the strange twists this took occurred throughout the month of November)
At the very end of October, Bo’s older brother Carl got fired from his head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. While the reasons were somewhat unclear and the narrative has been consistently changing from both sides, two things were clear about Carl’s firing: 1) It was very Florida. 2) It was very weird. As rumors swirled throughout the month of November that Carl had gotten the boot over illegal drug use, Florida Atlantic decided to handle the public inquiries with all the aplomb and honesty of a drunken teenager who just got caught sneaking back into his parents’ house after his first keggar.
While Husker fans who knew of some of Carl’s, *cough* *cough*, indiscretions while on staff here in Lincoln weren’t that shocked by the news, it was still weird to see Florida Atlantic botch and bungle their way through the whole process. Giving Carl Pelini some Florida is like giving a chimp a loaded handgun and then driving him around town in a Ferrari convertible: you’d better be ready to deal with some weird consequences. Here’s what I imagine things looked like in Carl’s office at FAU:
- Richie Incognito continues to prove that you can judge a book by its cover.
When word broke that Miami Dolphins rookie Johnathan Martin had left the Miami Dolphins for personal reasons, sports fans weren’t sure what to think. But when word broke that Richie Incognito, the oft-tattooed and oft-er in trouble, offensive lineman had been ferociously bullying his teammate, something weird happened. People hurried to attack Incognito for his brtual tactics and the fact that some reports cited Joe Philbin as having told Incognito to “toughen Martin up.” I think this was good-weird.
Weirder still? Bad-weird? Some people leapt to Icognito’s defense. They cited “locker room codes” and outdated theories on masculinity that need to die harder than a Bruce Willis Blu-Ray box set. Many players said they would have “handled it like a man” and “given it right back to him” or any other nonsensical Dr. Pepper 10 ad drivel that left me hoping against hope that there weren’t any bullied kids listening to any of these sometimes-idolized players. I thought the best quote from a player regarding the “locker room culture” that is so often cited as somehow validating this kind of insane machismo-fueled idiocy was from Brandon Marshall (*Author’s note: yes, that Brandon Marshall. See how weird this year was?).
- Auburn V.S. Alabama not only lives up to the hype, but implodes the hype like an old mine shaft during a cold war nuclear explosion test.
You know it’s a weird year when the Iron Bowl between the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the #4 Auburn Tigers can somehow manage to rise above all the insane SEC-fueled hype and all the gleeful dollar counting of CBS executives and somehow outperform the cacophony of hyperbole. Try a walkoff shot for the ages. Try Auburn’s miracle season somehow staying miraculous. Try a kick-six. Try a play so completely, weirdly, wild that it led to this reaction:
and this headline:
Try the biggest play on the biggest stage with the most at stake. Try a little 2013-is-the-weirdest-year-in-sports on.
- Rodman returns to North Korea.
One trip to North Korea by Dennis Rodman would have been enough to seal the fate of 2013 as the most insane year in sports history. But he’s gone there three times, now, and his latest visit was only a few days after Kim Jong-Un executed his own uncle. There’s no way to put into print how ridiculous this story is. It’s a script from a studio-rejected Dennis Rodman action movie from 1999, not real life. It’s a weird skit on Saturday Night Live that has somehow morphed into just another day in sports in 2013. Look at that picture. LOOK AT IT!
- Lions sign a rugby player who’s allegedly run a 4.22 40-yard-dash.
Carlin Isles is fast. If you watch his Rugby highlights on YouTube, that much becomes clear in a very short amount of time. If you TouTube his name you can see him jumping over cars, rocket-boosting past defenders, and performing any number of superhuman feats of athleticism.
He’s only the second YouTube sensation that the Lions have signed this year. Now, that is freaking weird.
- Gigi Datome’s been getting some run with the Detroit Pistons.
This is not a drill, people. There is a guy who looks like Jesus and has the name of a pornstar that is playing for the Detroit Pistons right now. He looks like he should only ever be seen wearing sandals. He looks like Khal Drogo with a baby hook. He has the forearm hair of every 45-year-old uncle anyone has ever had. He looks like Kelly Olynyk + puberty. And he’s all ours, NBA fans. Thank you, 2013.
- Timberwolves and Spurs game gets smoked out in Mexico City.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs were supposed to play an early December matchup in Mexico City but the game ended up getting smoked out. The official statement blamed an electrical fire caused by a short-circuit in a room full of generators. I had some other theories as to what really happened (*Author’s note: one pictured above.) But you could just chalk up a bunch of “DNP – Fire”s to another case of the 2013′s.
- Anthony Bennett continues his run as the NBA’s worst #1 overall draft pick of all time. Sorry, Kwame Brown, you had your moment.
Read that blurb. Now read it again. He sounds like the kid who would get picked last in gym class, not first overall in a professional sports league. Asthma and obesity? What, is he just trying to prove the entire world’s point about Americans? Holy hell! If I was Cleveland’s head coach I’d rather start Tony Bennett in my lineup than Anthony Bennett. At least then we would get a little pre-game crooning instead of the wheezing of an obese asthmatic. You know you’re out of shape when the best thing that could happen to your fitness is to get so sick you lose five pounds.
- Canadians invented a new sport that will soon be sweeping the world!
- Boise State QB, Joe Southwick takes polygraph test to prove he didn’t pee off a balcony during his team’s bowl trip to Hawaii.
So many things about that post from ESPN are so weirdly, awesomely, great. In order from least to best, here are the things are amazing about this story.
1) Here’s Joe Southwick’s face:
That mustache is a first-team All-American or at the very least all-conference first team selection.
2) Getting sent home from Hawaii to Boise is like someone pulling a trap door under your feet when you’re on the front steps of the Playboy Mansion and you end up falling directly into a Jabba the Hut style monster pit.
3) How did he get caught peeing off the balcony? Was it some kind of performance art designed to promote the release of R. Kelly’s new album, Black Panties? There are so many good, unanswered questions.
4) He took a polygraph test to try to prove his innocence. He took a polygraph test and he wasn’t on the set of Maury: We Had a Sacrificial Samhain Orgy and You Might Be the Father. I don’t want 2013 to end. I really don’t.
- Nick Saban hosted Lane Kiffin to “share ideas” on college football coaching.
Which is a little bit like Banksy asking the dude at Gateway mall that draws Sharpie-dongs all over the stalls in the Men’s room for advice on how to make graffiti art. It’s completely insane. I’m really, really, really hoping that somehow this is the start of some epic Nick Saban subterfuge in which he’s actually still leaving for Texas and he somehow had it written into his latest contract extension that Lane Kiffin would be contractually obligated to be the next head coach at Alabama for the next 4 years.
And there’s still a few days left in 2013. So this could legitimately happen. Because in this weird, gonzo-style year? Anything did and can happen.
Ladies and gentleman of the jury: I rest my case.
Your move, 2014. Let’s see what you’ve got for us.
(*Author’s note: That’s all I was able to come up with but what do you guys have? Help me out. I’m sure I skipped over so much weirdness and strange-itude that I need your input. What you got, readers?)
Let me start off by saying that I firmly believe that title to be correct. I understand that there will be naysayers. There will be traditionalists who believe in White Christmas or internet multitudes who will state their carefully constructed cases for All I Want For Christmas is to Get it Crunk, or even some Bublé enthusiasts who will consider this blasphemy. The more traditional set are probably asking their kids to explain to them who these guys are and why the 20-something-year-old heads of their kids or grandkids are nodding fiercely in agreement with me on this one. Trust me, they are.
I also understand the craterous hit that my masculinity will take from posting an emphatically pro-’N Sync blog post when I’m almost 27 years old. Doesn’t matter. Bring on the criticism. I can take it.
In the movie Braveheart, when William Wallace is about to join forces with the nobles at a battle they tell him he must pay homage to them for fighting alongside them. He defiantly shouts out, “I give homage to Scotland!” So if you disagree with this take on Christmas music there are 2 things you need to remember: 1) You’re a grinch and you need to stop trying to steal other peoples’ Christmas. And 2) I’m not merely paying homage to the boys of ‘N Sync on this one. I’m paying homage to something bigger. Something grander. I give homage to Christmas.
0:00 - I realize that attempting to repeatedly watch an ‘N Sync video while also working may be more difficult than I expect. Not because my job is particularly challenging, but because I don’t want anyone to witness me repeatedly watching Joey Fatone dancing in a Christmas sweater when I’m supposed to be updating spreadsheets. Fortunately, my cubicle — and the secret way to access YouTube while at work — come through in the clutch on this one.
0:02 - Uh-oh. Santa’s not feeling so hot. He has an empty hot water bottle on his head and something in his mouth that I assume is supposed to be a thermometer (*Author’s note: it looks more like an old school pixie stick to me)
0:04 – BOOM! Gary Coleman in the house. Dressed in a green pleather suit he looks like he just got done collecting money from a bunch of his elves. Santa isn’t the only one with Ho, Ho, Hos, if you know what I mean! (*Author’s note: Hiiiiii-ooooh!)
Look at that background. ’N Sync was worth, what, about a trillion dollars at this point in their careers and they opted for an empty studio with a bed, a rotary phone, and a bag of presents.
0:11 - Gary is concerned about Santa’s health. So much so that he throws the pixie stick thermometer into the air and the camera gives us an excruciatingly close up look at Santa’s crotch-that-was-probably-supposed-to-be-his-stomach.
0:19 – Right when it appears that Christmas is going to get canceled and we’re all going to end up being forced to celebrate Hanukkah at gunpoint just like Mel Gibson predicted this happens:
0:21 - Gary Coleman, American hero.
0:22 - Gary snaps his fingers and is magically transported into a room where all of ‘N Sync is just kind of hanging around dressed like they’re ready to go skiing. We know this because, even though they appear to be inside, they all have on hats and gloves and ski goggles. Timberlake is even holding skis, just to make sure we understand why they’re all dressed like extras from a scene in Out Cold when they’re sitting in the middle of their living room.
0:28 - With a snap of his fingers Gary sends the boys to the North Pole. We know where they are because there’s a sign that says so. And they keep whipping their heads back and forth like Willow Smith back up dancers trying to figure out where they are. At one point, all hell completely breaks loose:
Let’s break down the moment these guys realize that Gary Coleman is actually 1) an elf and 2) the first human being to ever discover how to harness inter-dimensional teleportation.
J.C. Chasez examines his hands, questioning everything he’s believed to be true about his previously held beliefs on alternate realities and the string theory. Chris Kirkpatrick freezes, terror fusing his spinal column into place and appears genuinely horrified. We can only assume he’s seen a mirror off camera for the first time since going to his hairstylist last week. Joey Fatone appears to have momentarily passed out (*Author’s note: he had a big plate of ribs for lunch and was feeling drowsy during their teleportation). Lance flies into a rage when he has a momentary vision of the future and sees that the same vest he’s currently rocking will be on sale at every Old Navy in the country in the year 2013. Justin merely wants to point out to anyone who might be out there that he does, indeed, have a man-perm.
0:33 - The beat drops and suddenly they’re off to save Christmas for the entire world! Hooray! Somehow Joey Fatone is driving. Even Fatone himself seems shocked by this.
0:41 - My screen freezes. I hear the footsteps of a coworker rounding the cubicle-bend. The frosted-perm of Justin Timberlake is frozen on my screen in mid “Ohhh-ooooo-yahyahyah”. In a blind panic I do something I told myself I would absolutely avoid doing today at all costs: I open a company email. Heart hammering in my chest like a wild, hippy drum circle of concussive beats. I catch my breath. That was close. I click play once again.
0:44 - We green screen our way across a few nondescript city backgrounds and suddenly the ‘N Sync dudes are dropping off gifts for homeless dudes. We know they’re homeless because they’re dirty. Oh, and also there’s a sign.
0:58 – Shoutout to all the Spanish-speaking N Sync fans! Feliz Navidad, Ya’ll!
1:14 - Hey! They’re in front of a tree now. Cool. Wait, who are all these kids?
1:15 - Why would you let Joey Fatone hold your child? Is that Fatone’s kid? I’m confused. They didn’t put a handwritten sign in the background telling me where they are. What’s happening?
1:20 - J.C. Chasez awkwardly bumps and grinds with a girl that looks a lot like Brandy while wearing a gigantic burnt orange crewneck. I can’t see for sure, but I’m guessing it’s a Tommy Hilfiger. If I find out that this music video wasn’t directed by Martin Scorsese, I’m going to be totally shocked.
1:26 - Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more 1998, here’s the most 1998 thing of this entire video:
1:35 – **FATONE AND GARY COLEMAN SOUL-SHAKE ALERT**
1:44 - Big ups to this video shoot extra, getting his perv-game right in the group conga line. Also, did no one tell that video vixen that everyone’s supposed to be wearing ski gear?
I imagine their conversation went like this:
Girl that’s mysteriously wearing shorts at Christmas: ”So, you’re in N Sync, right?”
Dude that’s definitely not in N Sync: ”Uh, yeah. Totally. Hey, here goes the conga line. I’ll get the caboose. Huh-huh-huh.”
Girl that’s mysteriously wearing shorts at Christmas: (internal monologue) Well, I know I’m not getting with Lance Bass. Why not. . .
1:55 - Who would’ve thought that Timberlake’s most enduring song about giving gifts in boxes would actually be sung with Andy Samberg?
2:11 – The green screening? The traveling across the country? The loving embraces? The senseless background changing that looks like it was created by a coked up Spike Jonze? I just realized that this is the Bound 2 of Christmas music videos.
2:20 - Well, well, well. Look who’s back. Who the hell is this guy? Even Lance Bass is wondering how the hell they’re getting upstaged on their own video shoot. Whoever he is, he’s having the best time of his life.
2:39 - I just realized that some of the kids that were in this video are actually probably old enough to drink, now. Speaking of drinking. . .I need one.
2:46 - They greenscreen in a random guy ski-jumping over the sleigh, which I become firmly convinced should be the new logo of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Fatone appears to cop a digital ass-grab on the skier as he flies past. Just Joey being Joey.
2:57 – “Listen, Joey, we sort of ran out of room on your necklace for the bottom half of the ‘Superman S’. You still want it?”
3:08 - If this isn’t already your Christmas card template, you’re welcome.
3:54 - The group nearly crashes into a greenscreened building. This would’ve been the second biggest disaster to befall ‘N Sync. The first? That this movie ever got made:
(*Author’s note: and, yes, that is E’s girlfriend from Entourage.)
4:32 - Gary snaps his fingers and the crew disappears from the North Pole. Which is good, because it looks like consummate actor, Chris Kirkpatrick, was getting cold.
So what did we learn from all this? ’N Sync is still the bomb. Christmas is the best. RIP Gary Coleman. Joey Fatone will always be funny, but only when he’s trying not to be. Timberlake made the right career move. And grown men should never, ever right 1530 words about a boy band music video from 1998.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
(*Author’s note: oh, and if you’re wondering what Chris Kirkpatrick looks like breaching into frame like a glorious humpback whale in the waters of the Pacific Northwest, here you go.)