February 4th, 2008


The Perfect Portland Weekend

My sincerest and most humble thanks to Juli and Colin for hosting what's going down as one of the greatest group gatherings in history (as well as for putting up with my constant jackass loudness; my apologies for any and all headaches/minutes of sleep lost/general feelings of annoyance, I get excited ...)

It started with a car ride. Mario driving, Devin up front, Mark, Matt, and Myself in back. We switched car's with Mario's mom and then made the rest of the trip down to Portland, stopping at Taco Bell, and getting there around midnight.

From there it was Jack Daniels and Diet Root Beer until five or six in the morning. Eric arrived earlier that day and they'd all been drinking some beforehand. The Guitar Hero spinoff Rock Band was played by all, and at the end of the night, on the floor next to Devin in his sleeping bag, he regaled us all with an oral play-by-play recount of the first hour of Rambo as a bedtime story. Unfortunately, the jerk gave me the abridged one-sentence version of the second hour on Sunday morning.

Saturday arrived with a blanket of snow on the ground. You know what that means: snow football. Surprisingly, I played a competent quarterback, guiding our team down the field for three scores, but I had to cut things short because icy water flooded my shoes and I could no longer feel my feet. I hobbled back to the apartment and greeted Julie Lund who flew up just for the occasion.

James and Pete showed up later on, and at full strength we loaded up on alcohol and headed over to the hockey arena. It was Throw-back Jersey night, so it was the Portland Buckaroos vs. the Seattle Totems. For two periods, I nursed my Jack Daniels and Pepsi as both teams went scoreless and fightless (even though the Totems out-shot them 50-10). The final period, however, saw Seattle score 4 goals (including one empty-netter and another meaningless one in the closing seconds), me drinking a large Bud Light for $6.50, and me being a huge obnoxious loud asshole to the Portland fans as I cheered and rubbed it in their faces with every meaningless goal.

This was followed by chocolate cake, more Rock Band (where I dominated the vocals, again, loudly), a full gamut of Bloody Tampons, and some black jack for drinks. Scattergories was also played (me and Mark and Devin on a team) as well as a few rounds of Boggle where I managed to score 17 points in one round. Add that to the 100% Superstar accuracy singing on "Cherub Rock" by Smashing Pumpkins and the utter domination of Apples To Apples on Sunday night and you could say I had a very successful trip.

My camera was a rousing success as well, though I need to watch out for the blurry shots. I also need to figure out why some of these are ending up with giant shadows over half the picture.

Sunday I woke up hungover and Eric suggested ordering pizza. When you order at 10:30am, there's generally no wait, which is nice. AND, Portland has a motherfucking Godfathers pizza; I haven't had that golden deliciousness in YEARS. The pepperoni and black olives were just as good as I remembered. We all sat around watching the first TWO Robocop movies on HD On-Demand, then hit the Super Bowl just as it started.

I'm kinda upset that I ruined my Super Bowl experience by putting all my faith (and money) on New England not only winning, but covering the spread. As I lost one-dollar bet after one-dollar bet ...

NY Giants Coin Toss = win over Colin
Eli INT before TD Pass = win over Colin
New England + 13.5 = lose $5 to Eric
New England + 12.5 = lose $1 to Matt
Michael Strahan less than 1 sack = lose to Eric
Umenyora less than 1.5 sacks = win over eric
New England score TD on random drive = lose to Colin
Ditto = lose to Colin
Over 20.5 total points scored in 1st quarter = lose to Eric
Over 20.5 total points scored in 1st half = lose to Eric
Ben Watson scores first TD in game = lose to Mark
No special guest with Tom Petty at halftime = win over Mark
Brady no INT on final drive = win over Colin

All told, I lost $7 (I think) and I couldn't really find myself cheering for the Giants because I'd already spent the entire game rooting for the fuck-me-in-the-ass Patriots. As it stands, I'm kinda glad they're now taking all the spotlight off of the 2001 Mariners for regular season dominance followed by post season futility. Nevertheless, that means that Eli is now a Super Bowl Winning MVP Quarterback. I don't know how I feel about that, seems like he's the worst quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Trent Dilfer; that leaves a bad taste in your mouth no matter who you root for.

Matt got a ride back up with Pete and the rest of us hung around playing Apples to Apples. Got home around 11pm tonight and here I am. Just an awesome fucking weekend. Thanks again to Juli and Colin and now I shall sleep it off.

Super Thoughts On The Game That Wasn't


When you're dealing with competitive sports and a corresponding playoff system leading to the pinnacle game that decides without a scrap of doubt which one team is the best for that particular season, there are assumptions about this final game and the teams involved.

You ASSUME that you're getting the two best teams in the league. Of course, that's nowhere near the case because the playoff system doesn't seed according to overall record, they seed by conference and go from there. This is more like the electoral process; there are two parties and while one party may have three or four overqualified candidates for President, they can only elect one as the party's nominee and regardless of how underqualified, you HAVE to have a candidate from the other party.

However, regardless of conference domination, you have to assume at the very least that both teams will be good and tested and that they'll at least be able to make a game of it, because we all know the old adage of On Any Given Sunday.

Ergo, you have to expect a certain level of skill and ability out of your Super Bowl contestants, and on Sunday we certainly did NOT see an elite level of skill OR ability.

We saw sloppy line play, poor tackling, errant throws, lack of awareness in the pocket, turnovers, lackluster running, and the game's best player - Randy Moss - completely shut down by a secondary not worthy to carry his jock. What's more, we saw Eli Manning win an MVP award over anyone on his defense who would've been far more worthy.

No one can argue against the Giants getting to this point because of their stout D. Super Bowl champions in years past who've relied on their stout D's got rewarded by having one member of that stout D winning the MVP. Ray Lewis, Dexter Jackson of Tampa Bay two years later, Larry Brown in the Neil O'Donnell Bowl, Richard Dent of the '85 Bears proved that even a lineman can win! Why wasn't it Tuck? Did he need to make ONE more play to seal the deal? Is three really and truly the magic number like Schoolhouse Rock says? As far as I can tell, Eli Manning made ONE play by avoiding a sack before hurling up an ill-advised long ball down the middle of the field in traffic and his receiver bailed him out by catching it on his helmet thanks to his 30+ inch vertical. Other than that, he blew the first drive where they settled for a field goal and was mostly ineffecutal until the fourth quarter. Conversely, the defensive line kept the Giants IN the fucking game for four fucking quarters. But they gave the award to the white boy with the "Manning" on his jersey.