The definition of insanity is not knowing why you did what you did

We’ve all been there. You do something entirely rational. Nothing bad happened. There isn’t a problem. You do it, you move on. But then you spend days asking yourself, so, uh, why did you do that?

Everybody’s got a completely pointless story on where they watched America and Germany play last Thursday. As if to say that on any given day, people normally do not watch a competitive sporting event. So it’s special when you do, and you should broadcast to the planet how you did it.

Maybe you watched the game on an illegal feed in your cubicle. Maybe you watched it in a bar with friends. Maybe you were holed up in a creepy basement in the dark in front of a thirteen inch black and white wonder while sharpening knives. But who cares either way?

Well, I guess a lot of people. Because everybody tweeted how they did it, showed pictures, posted to social networks, told their friends, and so on. It’s like the purpose of the game is to tell folks where and how you watched the game. What was the score? Who cares bro, we were at this bar, out of work, and like, we did shots. Oh, uh, …

So now that I’ve addressed that key issue, I’m going to talk about how I personally watched the game. Because if you foolishly read this far, you deserve what you get.

The ability to take off from work to watch the game? Banned. Why? Well, I have no idea. I’ve reached the point where the decisions and actions of my supervisor(s) are more bizarre than doing long division while having your head beat with a plastic bat wielded by a screaming ten year old girl.

Oh, I can’t take off to watch the game with my family, okay boss. Understood. Thanks for hearing me out. Why boss? No, don’t go there. If you ask, you won’t understand the answer. Move along.

So in my cubicle I was. I knew how the game would end. I figured it’d be close and Germany would win. It’s not rocket science. But I wanted to watch the game because it felt important to me. So I journeyed around like a lunatic looking for an option.

Watch the game in the common area? Banned. Watch the game in the break room? Banned. Watch the game on an illegal feed at the desk? Site blocked. Watch the game in the food court? Banned. It’s delightful to discover how much your employer does not value your own country.

So I ended up huddled in front of the abandoned security guard station, watching it on a very small color square, on Univision (ESPN blocked), with about a hundred of my best friends who I’ve never met. As a separate issue, I was probably the youngest person there, which probably says something about me (not sure what, really).

You want to experience something unsettling? Stand for over an hour with a hundred suit and tie wearing old guys you don’t know, who say not one word to each other as they watch a game in Spanish when none of them speak Spanish. But I didn’t leave, I didn’t walk away.

So the question that’s come up later inside my brain was why?

1) It’s America

If the USA cricket team was playing Germany in an important game I’d probably at least care enough to watch. When in doubt, experience the joy of raw primal patriotism. And why not?

In today’s joyful Command & Control world where everything is existential, without happiness, and you must conform to the values of others? Well, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to cheering for our side alongside the rest of the culture like its 1945. By the time this is over in a month we’ll all go back to hating each other again. Trust me.

Even our favorite Kraut (not our favorite) Herr Klinsmann got in on this by ghost writing an absence letter for folks to take off work to watch the game. It was a neat touch. It had style, class, humor, and was fun to read.

Now it might not have come from inside Klinsmann’s brain and instead got generated by some faceless public relations hack at USA Soccer. But we’re going to go ahead and give our Kraut friend the credit because it’s his signature at the bottom.

But this isn’t the true answer for me. Because as much as I love the Colors, I’d never watch the American cricket team on Univision.

2) I do like the game

I do enjoy soccer. So this obviously increases my ability to care. But I don’t snake out of work to watch MLS or EPL. So that’s not it either.

3) I hate my job

Maybe the excuse to depart my cubicle for an hour is enough. Maybe I’ll watch cooking on Univision next week at the same security station. Just to escape. Now don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am. There are people literally breaking rocks for a living. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it when I clearly don’t.

4) It’s the event

The clearest answer I have is one we’ve addressed earlier when discussing this last Super Bowl (not actual Super Bowl due to blowout factor). It’s the event, friends.

Just as 100 million people watch the Super Bowl, when at least 60 million of them don’t follow football, so 60-70% of those who tuned in last Thursday could not care less about soccer. It’s about the event.

You go watch the game in the park with thousands because thousands are there. If you got out of work, even better. It’s cool to have fun when you normally are trapped behind a desk. Go socialize, go live the experience. Go share something with friends and family. The game isn’t the event, the experience is the event.

Why did I feel weird about my situation? Maybe because as much as I actually did care about the game, I was also searching for that experience. I didn’t get it. I got Univision with a bunch of weirdoes like me. So it felt wrong.

Well, we’ve corrected that in preparation for tomorrow’s bout. I took leave from work. I’ll depart my sour box shaped cage early. Going to watch it with family. So I’ll have both the game and the experience. Win or lose, it should be fun. But winning would be nice. USA! USA! …

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This California beach crowd was a slightly different soccer viewing demographic than the one I enjoyed

We fire coaches who are self-proclaimed losers

I don’t care that it starts tomorrow.  Fire him now.  When a coach states the team can’t win, he’s admitting he’s a loser.  What kind of coach tells a team they’re going to lose before the first game?  I don’t care how accurate a statement this is or is not.  You play one game at a time, to win.  We’ve previously articulated our thoughts on this man.  Sadly, it seems we’re proven right.  He should never have been hired.

US Men's National Team vs Brazil

The greatest loser of a German leader since Hitler’s torched skull

There are violent exceptions to every rule

Sepp Blatter is worth more to the human race as fuel than as a breathing human being. So we should add him to the feed stock of his local power plant.

Now generally, such a belligerent statement is not productive. Who wants to promote the rapid disintegration of people? Well, my guests I suppose. But this is typically not a good idea. Yet there are exceptions, and in Sepp’s case, I’m willing to break all the rules to remove his form from our lives.

Sepp’s latest drunken boast is that those who oppose the selection of Qatar for 2022 are racist. No, really, this actually happened:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27762435

You have to at least admire how ridiculously carefree Sepp is. The dude’s been on the take for decades. Everybody knows he’s stolen as much cash as the world’s biggest kleptocrats. On his watch, soccer is among the world’s most consistently widespread corrupt sports. Why? Because when the guy in charge is lining his pockets and always getting away with it, well, why not you too?

But no, no, we’re not upset that Qatari cash bought 2022 despite the fact that the country is unfit to host. No, we’re all just racists. Oh, okay Sepp. I’ll be sure to remember that as I think about you sleeping in your palace tonight. Right before my guests rip you from your bed, throw you into the back of their Teledar, and fly you over to your local generating station for the aforementioned end stage of your existence.

But don’t worry, FIFA is personally investigating the claims that FIFA is corrupt. So you know the report is good. We’ll have this cleaned up before 2015. Truly.

I suppose it’s natural that we’d want to discuss what’s going on with 2018 and 2022 just as we’re about to begin 2014, but you have to wonder why Sepp wants to bring this up now? Uncle Vladimir and a bunch of oil barons bought the next two tournaments. But you can reasonably claim that Brazil earned 2014 fair and square. I think?

So my only conclusion is that Sepp is a lunatic. And he just does not care. He’s survived this long. He’ll be around for the next one too. So it’s Russia in 2018, Qatar in 2022, and Sepp Blatter in a gold laced, diamond encrusted casket one day. Either that, or the power plant option. Don’t sleep too deeply, Sepp. You never know.

sepp-blatter

How the fuck do I keep getting away with this shit? [hmm] Eh [shrugs], whatever, fuck it. [lights cigar with cash & orphan’s tears]

Sadly, this is now over before it begins

It’s bad enough that the bribes provided to FIFA weren’t sufficient to secure better group placement. Accordingly, the joy of facing off against two of the top three teams on the planet awaits. And we now add the disturbance of broadcasting to the planet that the team is dysfunctional. They’re not even in Brazil yet and it’s already a mess.

Herr Klinsmann decided to cut a living legend. Now granted, Donovan’s recent play leaves this an understandable move. But given his past performance, his name recognition, and status you’d think he’d be in for sure. Well, I guess never underestimate the probability that a German guy is a dick.

The problem for Klinsmann is that he has personal revenge written all over this. Donovan washed out of Bayern Munich and a few months later Klinsmann was taken to the wood shed by his masters. It’s no secret these guys don’t like each other. Maybe in a vacuum Klinsmann would have arrived at the same decision. But for Klinsmann to actually pull the trigger makes him look petty and dishonorable.

Both of them are playing it professional:

Donovan: “…I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Klinsmann: “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

Slightly? Wow. Slightly is a real good reason to detonate your team. Well, Jurgen, sorry, but what you may not realize is that as far as this tournament was concerned nobody could be that far ahead of him. The only thing folks are going to talk about for the whole first week is that Donovan isn’t there. This is the very definition of a distraction. How does that help the team battle an already impossible situation?

Granted, I’m biased because I never understood the decision to hire Klinsmann to begin with. How to you build a competitive team by hiring a guy from a soccer culture so adverse from the very basis of American values and style?

Oh, the guy’s a FIFA legend? So what? At the hardest sports moments, culture can be everything, more powerful than skill. Every single person on the team is now looking over their shoulder, or maybe looking even more. “Hey man, if that angry kraut can end Landon and get away with it, he can end any one of us.”

Uh, at least it’ll end quickly. It won’t take long for the echo of embarrassment to fade, again. Maybe we should have just hired some dude from Milwaukee.

KlinsmannDonovan-ISIPhotos_com_

They’ll show this photo in psychology classes to depict two men who despise one another

Without local news, Weather would abduct your kids & burn your home

Every once and a while the media shows their true arrogance and the general contempt they hold for you. It doesn’t often occur, but when it does, you really get a clear view of their intent and attitude toward the rest of the human race.

The News Stormtrooper of the Week Award goes to Nancy Naeve of South Dakota in her belligerent rant against the common viewer for getting upset that tornado storm coverage displaced their favorite shows:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/13/nancy-naeve-tornado_n_5318675.html

Now I’m all about the typical belligerent rant. I cleanse my soul with it. But this is beyond wrong.

Nancy’s taken it upon herself to tell the audience what’s best for them. I guess because she thinks her viewers are too irresponsible to protect themselves. She says she’s on the air to “save people’s lives”. This is to imply that if her network didn’t conduct a special weather broadcast, that she believes people would actually die.

I would think that generally folks like firefighters and rescue workers save lives. Not some news anchor sitting behind a desk. I guess I’m just confused. I wonder if she realizes tornados have existed since the dawn of man? Or that there are dozens of other means by which an individual can receive information about severe weather? How stupid does she think the average viewer is that if her precious news show did not occur, somebody would actually get themselves killed?

So at the core of her argument is this “gets me mad” because the public backlash is interrupting her ability to “saving lives, literally”. But in order to accept her line of thinking, we’d have to assume that her network conducts this coverage in order to save lives. Well, unfortunately for Nancy, this isn’t why her station does this.

The networks do storms to get your cash via an increase in overall watchers. They’re not necessarily in it for your protection, that’s just a symptom of the larger goal. The primary objective is profit. Nancy is in the television industry, she has to know this is the reason for special weather programs. So she’s either a conceited liar (very possible) or just a naïve reporter (probably the real reason).

I’m going to give Nancy the benefit of the doubt and say she’s just foolish. She was brought up in this system. They taught her what she needed to believe to succeed in the news business. Her paycheck is stamped by the executive who generated this bright idea to increase viewers and advertising revenue. So don’t be too hard on her that she thinks she’s just as important as a firefighter who genuinely risks their life and future every single day.

Now you’ll usually notice they don’t air commercials during these special storm events. So you’ll claim the absence of ads during heavy weather indicates it’s not about the money. Wrong. The reason they don’t typically show commercials is so you are tricked into believing it’s about your safety first. When it isn’t.

What they’re after in these unique situations is not your cash, not yet, but your trust. They are trying to conn you into believing that they have your health at heart in the most extreme of circumstances. That you can rely upon them. Once they have your trust, the assumption is they’ll forever have your eyes for standard daily news. Then they can take your cash.

But wait, there’s more. If it was truly just about your welfare, all they would do is put a little warning banner on the bottom of the screen that flashed active tornado danger areas. When do they normally do this? During football games. They’ll kick Once Upon a Time off the air any day, but never the Vikings in South Dakota. Why?

Because the business model has determined that their profit tradeoff is not favorable if they kick off an NFL game, thus the small warning banner. But they’ll remove an average rated show because their metrics stipulate this is worth the increase in viewers against those who get pissed off their favorite drama just got bumped. But if it was really just about ensuring you’re safe? Then they’d boot even the NFL game off the air wouldn’t they? But they won’t.

Now friends, you might think I’m being too extreme, again? Well, I invite you to search online and view multiple news stories about what Nancy said. Look across several media publications. They’re all giving her a round of applause like she’s just resurrected Jesus’ ghost.

Why do they love her so much? It’s not because she’s “saving lives, literally”. It’s because all the folks reporting on her have brains just like her. What she thinks about you is what they think about you. Please remember this the next time one of them tells you with their deity-like guidance that they know what’s best for you, your family, or your country.

Next time they boot your favorite show off the air, don’t e-mail the network profanity or death threats, send them this:

Thank you for your attention, but I have checked my weather smartphone app and have all the information I require. Please turn my favorite show back on.

or

We appreciate your efforts to think for us, but my town has a siren that will produce any weather warnings I require while I watch my favorite shows. Speaking of which, could you please put my favorite show back on.

or

I have walked onto my porch and determined via my own eyes the current status of the weather. Your concern is not required or desired. Please put my favorite show back on or I’ll watch another network that does not treat me like I’m five.

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More disrespectful to your overall wellbeing than a Class V twister