Sound Observations

Humor, sports and social satire from an absurd modern world. Comments are encouraged and appreciated. Welcome!

Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sports Karma

NFL Week 7

1.) Oh, the kickers. 62-yard game winner for the Bucs. 53-yard game winner for the Chiefs. A geriatric guy wanders on to the field during the Atlanta/Pittsburgh game and unknowingly kicks the winning field goal for the Falcons. A nursing home official from Shady Groves in Decatur, GA released a statement, saying "We don't know how Mr. Anderson escaped our facility, but we are very pleased with the outcome of the game. We have since located Mr. Anderson, who was found confused and inebriated at a local gentlemen's club, and now he is resting comfortably." Way to go, Mort.

2.) RAIDERS WIN!! RAIDERS WIN!! And people are still questioning Art Shell's ability to coach. Can you believe it? At least Denny Green has taken over the handle of "Worst Coach in the League Who Can't Even Beat the Raiders." Sadly, there was no 3-year-old-style blowup at Green's press conference following the game. There was, however, a loaded gun, a full bottle of antidepressants, and a half-empty bottle of Grey Goose found in Green's SUV upon arrival to the Cardinal's facility. He is now on 24-hour suicide watch.

3.) I see FOX has abandoned their "Let's Copy ESPN's College Gameday Pregame Show Experiment (LCECGPSE)," where they broadcast from the marquee game's parking lot. Meanwhile Joe Buck is temporarily back in the booth where he belongs, doing the World Series broadcasts, and Curt Menefee has taken over until the Series is over.

Can't FOX just admit they made a mistake and bring back James Brown? He looks like he's having so much more fun on the family-friendly CBS pregame show, but I bet he's still got a soft spot for Bradshaw. The only thing worth watching these days on FOX is the brief Frank Caliendo spots, and that's not saying much.

4.) Does anyone really like Michael Irvin, or respect his opinions? Anyone?

5.) The Colts are annoyingly good. Granted, they played a hideous Washington team at home, but they looked just as good as they did at this point last year. They gained almost the same amount of rushing yards as Washington (110-114), and passed for 131 more yards. So, we can look forward to more "undefeated" crap for the next few weeks, followed by the Colts getting beat by a non-playoff team in week 12, pretending that they don't care, then losing in the AFC Championship, with Manning criticizing everyone but himself in post-game comments. Sound familiar?

6.) When did Chris Colinsworth become the undisputed "Best NFL Analyst" these days? I've been reading articles by every major sports columnist saying this. Ok, he does look like he has a pool cue shoved from his ass to the back of his head, but overall I do like the guy's commentary. However, I just don't see him telling the audience anything groundbreaking.

College Football

7.) No major upsets to report this week. It was kind of anticlimactic following the Miami/Florida Atlantic debaucle, Vanderbilt upsetting Georgia, and Indiana knocking Iowa from the polls last week.

8.) It was a little wierd to see that much snow falling in Lincoln, Nebraska at this time of year. You just don't think of Nebraska and snow.

Speaking of that game, I really don't like Brent Musburger's voice. Have you ever noticed that it gets very monotone at exciting plays, and very excited at inappropriate times? For instance:

"touchdown, nebraska, on a 90-yard flea-flicker triple option halfback pass."




9.) If you're like me, and really don't give a crap about the World Series this year, last night was a really bad night for television. Unless you really wanted to watch the Heroes marathon (which I'm sure some of you did), it was uncharted territory for Sunday nights during football season. I found myself staring at a blank TV, looking like a confused Morten Anderson, wondering what to do.

10.) I did end up watching a new VH-1 show later in the evening, which featured "celebrities" exploring some of the most haunted buildings in the United States. Last night they were in South Louisville, at an old sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. The only good thing about this show was that Gary Busey was present, and I'll watch anything with that guy in it. He's the most insane thing to happen to TV since the first season of Fraggle Rock. I can't look away.

11.) I eventually fell asleep to a Garth Brooks documentary, which gave me very real and disturbing dreams. The only thing I'll say is that I didn't sleep well. Other than that, I don't want to talk about it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Golf Is For Pussies

I've been reading a lot of articles lately about Tiger Woods, and how he's the "Greatest Individual Athlete of All Time." It could be an accurate statement. Woods has the build of an NFL cornerback and the concentration of Bobby Fischer in his prime (before he lost his mind and his country by becoming a Jew-hating miscreant). But is Tiger really an athlete if he plays a non-athletic sport? Is Phil Helmuth a great athlete because his poker forum has taken over ESPN?

Absolutely not. Golf is a game, but not a sport.

Let me define game first. A game is any competition that one or more people play to determine a clear winner. This includes Super Mario Bros., billiards, Red Rover, etc. The term "game" denotes a wide spectrum of possibilities. The simple fact is, you can play games while smoking and drinking (ping pong, pool, poker, and... golf).

The smoking and drinking rule is what sets apart the game from the sport. You would not be running wind sprints in practice as a professional football player if you had gotten loaded at the bar earlier in the day at lunch with some 57-year-old woman that kept buying you drinks until she looked good enough for you to take her home for some afternoon delight, rubbing her leathery skin against your cheek, only to realize as you laid in bed afterward, smoking a cigarette, that it's your buddy's mom's best friend.

In short, you can't indulge in debauchery while engaged in a sport. Maybe before, maybe after, but not during.

You can do anything during a game however. I know people that can only beat me in Madden when they're stoned out of their minds. I know people (because I am one) that play better pool when they're drunk. They can't really stand without swaying, they're hitting on the Golden Tee machine, they're pissing in the corner wall by the women's bathroom, but they'll hustle the hell out of you on the pool table. It's beautiful.

This can be dangerous, though. Who decided to put dart boards in bars? I mean, who figured, "Hey, what goes better with pints and pints of booze than medium-sized projectiles with pointed ends? We should set up the game right where anyone can walk through during a throw and get thunked in the jugular. It'll be great!"

This may be a good time to mention my idea for the bar games triathlon. I'm thinking about a kind of Olympic style venue for only people who are good at meaningless games. So far, I have Ping Pong, pool, and darts, which should be enough, but I'm thinking about expanding it (air hockey, foosball, arcade basketball, Rochambeau, etc.) to a decathlon. I'm sure there would be interest from ESPN, don't you think? I'd watch it.

Anyway, I'm getting away from my point. Golf is a game, and not a sport, because you can drink and smoke while you play. I love golf for this very reason. I love any game where you can smoke and drink during the course of action.

Sports take physical attributes that very few Americans possess. Swimming, basketball, football, and tennis are very difficult to play when you're either hammered or hacking up some lung butter from those Malboro Reds you smoked this morning because they were 2 for the price of 1. Sports take athletic ability and physical stamina, which means strength and great cardiovascular health.

I will note an exception here for baseball. I suppose it's a sport, because its always been a sport. Although, baseball does fit in more with the definition of a game. Besides running out a ground ball at first or tracking down a flyball in center field, baseball does not take much physical effort. Therefore, you could conceivably drink and/or smoke during the game (see: Babe Ruth, David Wells, etc.).

As for golf, look at some of the winners on tour this year. Phil Mickelson, Tim "Lumpy" Herron, J.B. Holmes. These are guys that couldn't win a race against Gregory House, MD, even with the cane! How about the perennial PGA talents like John Daly, Craig (and son Kevin) Stadler, or Jason Gore? The sheer physics of these guys' girth is amazing. I've played plenty of golf, especially in the last few years. I've played in 104 + degree heat, and have lost 20% of my body weight before the turn. And I was riding in a cart! These guys walk the courses week after week in mid-summer in places like Houston, Phoenix, and Jackson, and they're STILL pushing 300? It's amazing to me. They must eat a block of cheese and a chihuahua every half hour to keep up their stamina.

So Tiger Woods might be a great athlete, but he's not involved in a real sport. If he drives down the lane and dunks on Alonzo Mourning, if he runs back a kickoff from 5 yards deep in the endzone, if he throws his gloves off and goes after Brendan Shanahan, then I'll call him great athlete in a sport. Until then, he'll just be playing a game. He might as well kick back and have a beer.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conference Call

One of the disadvantages to not working at a successful sports periodical is that I don't have access to sports stars on a regular basis. This is troubling to me, since I think I could engage some of these athletes in enjoyable and fruitful conversations. As of now, it is not to be, so I've been imagining a landmark conference call with some of the most interesting sports figures of the modern day: Shaquile O'Neal, Ozzie Guillen, and Ricky Williams. Here's a transcript.

Doc: Thanks for joining me, everyone.

All: Yeah, okay

Ricky Williams: Hey man, can we wrap this up? I've been sitting here for hours.

Doc: Ricky, we just got here.

Williams: Huh?

Ozzie Guillen: I thought 'choo were Jay Mariotti. Faggot.

Shaq: I just ate an entire buffalo. God, that's good.

Doc: Let's stay on task here, guys. Ricky, we'll start with you. How has being out of football affected your life recently?

Williams: Man, I've been hurting, both physically and emotionally these days. Why can't people realize that football is just a game? I mean, if I want to go out and travel around India or Egypt or China to find myself, why should people care?

Guillen: 'Choo sound like a pussy, man.

Shaq: It's cool, Ricky. Keep up your quest to find yourself. Man is not meant to pigeonhole himself into one occupation for the entirety of his life. It's much like Carl Jung wrote about the collective unconscious...

Guillen: Man, who the fuck is this, man? I thought we were going to talk about chicks.

Shaq: (mumbles unintelligibly)

Doc: What was that, Shaq?

Shaq: I'm big as fuck.

Doc: Good for you. Now Ricky, you were saying something about finding yourself...

Terrell Owens: Nah man, Ricky ain't here no more. He wandered off into the woods behind his house or some shit.

Doc: T.O.? Where'd you come from?

Owens: Baby, I'm everywhere!

Guillen: Is this that conceited fuck that poisoned his locker room in San Fransisco? Nice job, man. Bunch of faggots.

Owens: I know, Ozzie. You should have met my old quarterback. You'd've run him over with a truck.

Guillen: Damn right, baby.

Doc: Ok guys. Ozzie, you sound a little irate today. Are things not going well since the White Sox missed the playoffs?

Guillen: We got fucking sandbagged by some beauracratic bullshit! Bud Selig hates me, just because I tell it like it fucking is.

Doc: Well Ozzie, cursing out the media after games and calling a journalist a fag may not be "telling like it is". It's a bit abrasive.

Guillen: If you can't handle it, then you're a pussy faggot.

Doc: Ok. So Shaq, are you guys poised to make a run at a repeat this year?

Shaq: Yeah man, but I'm gonna take a year off to get my PhD.

Doc: Really? Where at?

Shaq: At Fuck U.

Guillen: (laughing) I love this guy! 'Choo want to play baseball, baby? 'Choo tell it like it is!

Owens: I thought we were talking about me! Any time I tell it like it is, I get in trouble. I'm going home to take my supplements. (click)

Doc: Well alright. Thanks for talking to me for a few minutes, guys.

Guillen: 'Choo might be a better interviewer than fuckin' Dan Patrick, man. His hair smells funny.

Shaq: Yeah. So does your mom.

Guillen: (laughing) I love this guy, man! 'Choo got to play baseball, baby!


That went well.


Breaking Ground

Welcome to the brand-spanking-new Sound Observations site. The content is comprised of social musings regarding sports, media, popular culture, sex, relationships, and everything in between. Some of my opinions are a wee bit controversial, but at least fairly well-founded. Feel free to post any comments you have.

Until I get to my next column, here are some samples from previous posts, that I wrote on Check those guys out as well, right after reading my posts.

Anyways, enjoy! Offer insight. Tell me I'm retarded for writing such filth. I welcome any and all feedback.


Why Will Destroy the World

This column originally appeared at February 9th, 2006.

At last count, has roughly 12 trillion users with their own personal niche carved into the world-wide web. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

For those of you who don't know, is a self-described "Place for friends" to connect, re-connect, and disconnect in a safe, user-friendly environment that promotes benefiscence and global communication. Sounds innocent, right? I mean, who wouldn't want to find their high school sweetheart, teenage pen pal, summer camp counselor, and favorite R & B singer's personal site in under 5 minutes? It must be a modern-day phenomenon!

Maybe not. Since the increasing everday worldwide absorption of the internet, global communication has become as easy as clicking the mouse a couple of times and letting the good times roll, whether it be email, job searches, finding movie times, locating that Pabst Blue Ribbon beer sign on Ebay, or discovering the inherent joy of Lithuanian Acid-Induced Gymnasium Pornography. Good times indeed. MySpace, however, takes it to a whole new level. It's gotten personal.

I don't write this as an outside observer. Sure, I've received many an invite from people that I know well, and I've listened to rave reviews about how a buddy reconciled with a former girlfriend, only to have the current girlfriend become dangerously irate and threaten to perform a "butterfly cut" on the buddy testicles, but I still had my doubts. I signed up for the damn thing about a month ago.

Instantly my world was rocked. The planet was at my fingertips. I could find people that were really into table tennis, loved to read John Milton, or appreciated the subtle artistry of Beavis and Butthead. Not only that, they could immediately become my "friends," promoting a sense of community of which I had only dreamed.

With slight amusement, I watched as high school classmates and other previously known aquaintances sent welcome messages to my "website." "Wow," I thought. "I haven't heard from that guy in ten years!" I then realized that I had been registered on the site for only about an hour. The walls were already caving in. This was getting a little disturbing.

I had to cancel my account within two hours of creating it. I have friends, but I'm not that popular. It was like I was a moose in central Canada, and people couldn't wait to bag me as their MySpace pal. "They're everwhere! Retreat!" My email was blowing up like never before. It's chilling to know that many people know where you are and what you're doing. It led me to think...

Globalization of information has assisted in building international businesses from scratch, but it changes people on a personal level. Some of you might be a proponent of the dating services available online. Others may see the intrinsic danger of anonymous chat, leading to predatory encounters.

Now, don't label me as a moralist. Those of you who know me know that I'm maybe the last person to go to for personal ethical advising. However, I'm concerned that as globalization increases, cultural differences wane, and individualization disseminates into cyberspace. It's not a popular opinion, but one worth considering.

Old-fashioned? Maybe. The way I see it, if you really had wanted to get in touch with your little league baseball team before MySpace, it would have taken an effort that said team would certainly appreciate. The ease of communication in the modern day could be cause for alarm. Is it hypocritical that I'm posting this on an internet weblog? Perhaps, but I see it as hitting 'em where they congregate.


Sex or Sports?

This column originally appeared at on October 11th, 2006

Recently, there was an article about the race for the secretary of state in Wisconsin. Not that interesting, except one candidate is a woman who has been touting her sexual expoits with the Lombardi-era Packers, conceivably to generate press for the campaign. It's not a great story, first considering that this is an old woman talking about sexual matters, which is kind of gross, and second because it really doesn't matter in the world of sports. It did set up a quandary though.

I've been thinking about how the brain works lately. Specifically, the guy brain. It's come to my attention that many men are in relationships that aren't conducive to the typical male lifestyle. A good friend of mine recently admitted that his girlfriend did not approve of him watching football on Sundays, playing video games ("It's a waste of time,") or going out to bars with friends to watch a game. This is madness, but it brings up a central theme: What's more important to guys; sports or sex?

The easy answer has to be sex. It has to be. Sex consumes the male mind 23.5 hours a day. (The other .5 hour I'm counting as Delta sleep, when you're pretty much unconcsious, but even then, you never know). We want it, and when we get it we want it some more. How could you even compare the two? Well, the problem is, there are certain situations in which a man must make a choice, and that choice is not always sex.

For some guys this is a non-issue. So for all artists, computer programmers, and the French, you can stop reading now. Je ne parle pas francais beaucoup, anyway. Alors.

Consider this. Say your team is playing in one of those "Most Important Game in Franchise/Team History." You've been waiting for this your entire life. Then, your girlfriend calls you and asks you to come over for a romantic evening. What happens?

Option A.) TiVo, DVR, VCR, whatever it takes to record the game, go over to the girlfriend/booty call's house and take care of business. Avoid all television and radio, do not answer the cell phone, and try to get out of the cuddling part as fast as possible. You don't get to see the game live, or with friends that could high-five you at any moment.

Option B.) Don't answer the girl's phone call in the first place, pretend that you were in the shower when she called, and call back after the game. The only problem is, you invited the guys over and you've had a few too many beers to go driving over to her house. You could invite her to yours, but Johnny's passed out on your bed and Jim is puking in the toilet.

Option C.) Answer the phone, tell her that the game of a lifetime is on, and she'll have to wait until tomorrow night. This leads to the "Are you choosing sports over me?" conversation, and can only end in breakup or caving. Neither is particularly inviting.

Which would a guy normally choose? Each has a specific set of consequences, which lead to either demasculinization or relationship torture akin to sodomy (not the good kind). But what's more important?

Sports has done its damndest to intertwine itself with sex. From professional cheerleaders to beer sponsor commercials, its done a bang-up job. There must be a balance struck between the two, however. If you meet a girl, decide she's the right one, and take the plunge and marry her, make sure you discuss this issue beforehand. It could save your relationship in the long run. Make sure she knows that there are certain situations where sporting events will come first. For instance, if you've planned a golf weekend with the boys on the same weekend that she booked a chalet in the mountains for some good lovin', she should be aware that the mountains can wait.

And women, please try to be understanding. The male brain doesn't and will never work the same as yours. Address them the same way you would address a retarded kid. They can't help it, and it's better to just let them do what they want most of the time.

And guys, after the "Game of a Lifetime" that interfered with sex, if you're still in the relationship, be prepared to attend a craft fair. It's inevitable.


Sports Karma

This column originally appeared at on October 17th, 2006

NFL Week 6

1.) I've been feeling very prophetic recently. Of course all of this is after the fact, but I can honestly tell you that I picked most of the crazy shit that went down this weekend. Last night before I turned the TV off and went to bed it was 23-3 in the Arizona/Chicago game, late in the 3rd quarter. I told my wife that it wouldn't surprise me if the Bears pulled this one out of their asses. I said "It'll probably end up being 24-23 Bears." Lo and behold.

I also predicted the Titans beating the Redskins. One truth in making NFL picks is the old "Never bet on a washed-up quarterback that doesn't know he's washed up" rule. Mark Brunell fits firmly in this profile. He kind of had the look of the Brett-Favre pain-killer-addiction years, but with Heath Shuler's talent.

2.) Speaking of washed-up quarterbacks, the official When Will Steve McNair Go Down watch is over. It was getting dangerously close to my Game 7 over/under (of which I obviously took the under), so thanks Stevie. Now he'll come back to play in the next game, get hurt again, not practice all week, and look like a hero the next Sunday until he gets hurt yet again. God I miss him.

I also saw the Ravens have fired Jim Fassel as the offensive coordinator. Good for them. Brian Billick has done a bang-up job when he calls plays. Can't wait for the next NFL on ESPN pregame broadcast where Mike Ditka looks like he'll have a seizure when talking about the Baltimore offense.

Speaking of which, I'd like to see Ditka and Shannon Sharpe go at it once, with Ditka talking so fast it sounds like Cantonese, and Sharpe sounding like his tongue is waaaaaay too big for his mouth.

3.) Why is Mike Holmgren still so tan, even though he lives in Seattle? I mean the guy looks like he just got off a Carribean cruise, where he sat by the pool for a solid week, shaded only by his massive gut. This disturbs me, but it's even worse when he gets excited. Holmgren genuinely looked like he was going to barf on the field after the Seahawks' winning field goal.

4.) I think Rachel Nichols could be a slut. I've thought this for years, but seeing her in the Monday Night Football pregame broadcast, bowling and throwing back a few beers with the entire Chicago Bears defense confirmed it. It made me think of one of the opening scenes to Rules of Attraction, where a beautiful rich girl prances through the halls in her underwear with a fifth of tequila. "Come and get it, boys!"

5.) Did you see how relieved Ben Roethlisberger looked on Sunday during the pounding of the Chiefs? It looked like he had just gotten laid by each of the Kansas City cheerleaders after a 6-year dry spell.

Good for him, but he's still not a good quarterback. He never was. He was in the perfect situation as a rookie and he didn't fuck up much. Anyone think Kyle Orton's an elite NFL quarterback? Didn't think so.

College Football

6.) Yes, Vanderbilt did beat Georgia, and it's because Vandy's better than everybody thinks they are. They lost to Arkansas by 2, Alabama by 3, and played Michigan closer than anyone this year, including Notre Dame. It makes me think that Jay Cutler's success influenced recruitment dramatically. About time.

7.) Jesus, calm the hell down about the Miami/Florida Atlantic brawl. It was a fight, and not much more brutal than a baseball or hockey bench-clearing fracas. Nobady says at a hockey game, "That's just disgusting, terrible behavior. They're neanderthals. How could they reduce the sport to this?"

Take other sports for example. What initially led seemingly intelligent people to watch NASCAR? The crashes. What if the announcers said after a crash, "He's really bringing shame to this sport. Look at him, all covered in flames. That's really a barbaric, disgusting act right there."

The point is, fights/violent behaviors are a part of sports. As long as no one gets seriously hurt (which no one did in this instance), enjoy it. Only the stupid players take their helmets off before joining the melee anyway.


8.) Ok, I thought I was impervious to advertising, but I watched about 60 Jon Lovitz Subway commercials on Sunday, and I ended up eating lunch there on Monday. Coincidence? I think not, but those commercials really crack me up for some reason.

9.) I think the marketing gurus finally caught on that the American public doesn't want to see Peyton Manning in every commercial. I think we're down to about 12 Peyton ads an hour during football broadcasts, which is an improvement.

10.) Since we're bringing back C-list actors to star in commercials, why not bring Dolph Lundgren back, just sit there and be a scary-looking Russian dude? I'm sure it could sell cars or shavers with 900 blades on them. Come on, Dolph can't be working on anything, could he? Masters of the Universe II? Really?