chasing cash off a cliff

One of the best metaphors ever created since sliced bread was invented is the idea of dangling a shiny object in front a cat. As in, showing a plate of sliced meat to Ralph the Butcher is like dangling a shiny object in front of cat.

If you’ve ever actually seen this behavior in our feline friends, it’s hilarious. I don’t have cats, but both my brothers do. Some people use laser pointers, but I prefer the shiny object because it doesn’t require a computer chip.

You take said shiny object and journey it around the room and the cat literally becomes unhinged from reality. If I offer a dental chew to my doggies they’ll go insane and depart from reality while they eat it. But if I scream or drop a hand grenade next to them, they’ll put down the chew for a moment if for no other reason than to determine what’s going on and assess potential dangers. The cat isn’t like that, they’ll just uncheck from the universe. My unfamiliar with cats brain attributes this to the singular possessive mindset they must have had when hunting live animals.

Anyways, it would seem lately that NFL owners have had Los Angeles dangled in front of them like a shiny object. Dean Spanos has decided that after fifty years of San Diego football he’s going to chase the cat toy up the road to LA. The NFL is a business first and a sport second. And so it’s of course all about the level of Spanos’ international gold reserves. But you have to get past the initial figures to determine what’s actually going on.

The whole reason San Diego apparently wasn’t in the Chargers’ future was that taxpayers wouldn’t subsidize a man worth north of $2B in building a stadium. But, in order to relocate the Chargers to LA, Spanos has to fork over a relocation fee of $650M to the league. When you combine that with the essentially free $300M that the NFL offered him to stay in San Diego, one comes up just a few bucks short of a pretty sweet billion dollar stadium in San Diego. And yet he moved anyways. Why?

Because he thinks LA is a shiny cat toy.  Spanos, alongside former Mr Universe contestant, breaker of thumbs, and jai-li extraordinaire Stan Kroenke are betting that LA will give them substantially more long term gold than San Diego or Saint Louis ever could. Well, I’m going to speak to the future here and say that both of them have made terrible mistakes. It’s not going to work.

1) This has been tried before

Once upon a time the Rams and the Raiders occupied LA. They both left within a few years of each other. Why? See (2) and (3).

2) These teams suck

If you were to journey into the ancient Chinese wilderness, you’ll eventually encounter (after 13,437 years of mystical travel) the ghosts of Confucius and Sun Tzu who will be getting messed up on baijiu in a tent. Among their many limitless levels of knowledge will be a stone table with the Chinese character for mediocre on it. Beneath this character will be chiseled in stone the team logos for the Rams and Chargers. This is a team that gave Jeff Fisher a contract extension. Fisher is the man who can throw a six sided die and land on the number 8, 50% of the time. Then there’s the Chargers who have wasted one of the more talented quarterbacks in history with Philip Rivers. When they acquired Rivers, Spanos might as well have hired an assassin to break his legs, it’s the same thing.

3) You might care about LA, but LA doesn’t care about you

Do folks care about Jennifer Lawrence or Lord Leo? Good for them, but guess what, they don’t care. Does Spanos care about LA? Good for him, but guess what, LA doesn’t care. LA cares about LA. LA cares about LA things. I don’t know what people in LA do all day? Maybe they shop or get their hair done or go hang out at the beach or whatever. But I’m pretty sure it’s not getting passionate about football. They probably think it’s a game for people less cool than they are. Like folks who would eat McDonalds over In-N-Out. There’s probably a bunch of people in LA who love football. But enough to fulfill the financial obligations of two separate teams? I think not. A delicious stat from this 2016 regular season was that NFL ratings within LA actually went down. Even with the Rams in town, less LA citizens watched football this year.

4) History matters

The Cleveland Browns are less talented than a few college football teams. But their fan base cares and is dedicated to the team in a way that makes it a perpetual ongoing Greek tragedy. It’s not called the Factory of Sadness for nothing. Yeah, there’s less to do in Cleveland, but also the team’s been there forever. It has a history associated with Cleveland. The Chargers have no history in LA. The Rams do, but it’s not that much after all those years in Saint Louis. It’s for this reason that at this very second, there are likely more Raiders fans in LA than Chargers and Rams fans combined. When the Raiders move to Las Vegas, it’s going to stay that way. Football crazy LA citizens will be happy to commute to Vegas to drink, gamble, and actually watch a competent team. They’ll not be interested in an equivalent journey time sitting in traffic to watch a terrible LA team.

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You’re in trouble Dean.

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PS, this is the worst sports team logo since the 1337 Manchester Alley Rats, which was nothing more than a charcoal picture of dead plague rat.

do not watch this debate

Ponder if you will this typical suburban scenario.  There’s these two folks who live down the road from you, we’ll coincidentally call them Don and Hil.  They’re both running for president of your development’s homeowner’s association.  You kick yourself every time you remember that you were foolish enough to buy property that had an active association.  You got cited last year for the length of your garden bush’s fronds.  You had to look up the word fronds in your dusty dictionary to determine what you were being sited for, yeah that’s right, the freaking dictionary.

Don is retired and used to run the town’s largest real estate firm.  He made a whole truck of money but his company had a reputation of mixed success with questionable business practices.  He lives at home with his much younger trophy wife and he dotes on his kids and grandkids.  Don’s generally a likeable guy who will chat with you while you walk your dogs.  But he only ever talks about himself and tends to yell a lot.  He also randomly picks pointless fights with others in the neighborhood over shit nobody controls, like where the town holds its 4th of July fireworks display.

Hil is vice president at a local insurance firm.  She’s hardly ever home as she travels a whole bunch, and in any case lives alone as her estranged husband is never around.  The rumors say he lives in Thailand.  Folks who know folks who work at her firm say she’s efficient, works hard, and generally does a decent if mostly average job.  She hardly knows anybody in the neighborhood.  When she talks to people it’s generally very brief and reserved, and she’s then on her way to somewhere else.  She’s filed multiple complaints via the current homeowner’s association leadership about how her neighbors keep their homes.  Nobody really knows why, since she’s never around that much.

The campaign kicks off in earnest.

Don walks about the neighborhood accosting folks even when they don’t want to talk.  He’ll lay his hand on their shoulder and speak to them anyways, about three inches from their faces.  He makes disparaging remarks about Hil, other neighbors, The Zoo, and random cereal brands.  He makes no promises on what he’d specifically do as association president other than that he’d “liquidate” the existing association order.  Folks find this appealing as they’re sick of the association being in their faces about what color their damn shed is.  But Don also talks about how he’s going to “demolish” city hall and “kill all those fuckers”.  Folks don’t really like or understand this as the local mayor, Zelda, is an extremely popular and competent grandmother of five.

Hil covertly compiles the demographic details of every member of the neighborhood and then hires a Pilipino based data analysis firm to produce a multi-hundred paged detailed report on an effective campaign strategy.  When the neighbors discover this, they’re naturally concerned that their lives are being looked at in such a matter.  Hil denies everything, but one of Don’s friends later finds a half-burned copy of the report in the neighborhood park dumpster.  Hil’s plans for the association are fairly sensible, but are presented in an arrogant, aloof, and sterile manner.  Folks who speak with Hil on the street get upset because they think she talks down to them when they say they don’t understand her plans, or want to complain about the way she filed complaints against them last year with the association.

They debate at the association contractor office tonight.

You can’t stand either of them.

So, do you get in your car and drive 15 minutes to watch the debate?  Only if you’re an idiot.  Instead, you sensibly decide to stay home and watch the game surrounded by your family and dogs, and some beer.

Do not watch this debate.  Neither of these people should be president.  In fact, none of the four Democrat losers or 37 Republican morons who competed against them in the primaries should either.  God I hate both these political parties, so very much.  It’s a sad and troubling time for our democracy, folks.

But it seems tonight’s debate is set for record viewing numbers.  I think folks are watching it only to see the horror show on display.  Like how if a blimp blew up over your home, you wouldn’t be able to look away.  Both these idiots have negative approval ratings of like 87%, and presidential debates aren’t about substance.  So it can only be voyeur awfulness that draws people.

Well, I’m not going to take part.  I won’t be voting for either of them.  So who cares.  I’m out.

Sigh, why can’t Monday Night Football have a decent game on tonight?  We get the Falcons, a former Super Bowl contender who have apparently faded into irrelevance faster than their host city.  And we’ve got the Saints who are a team on hospice care until Drew Brees’ career dies and Sean Payton has his contract terminated.  And you know what, I’ll still take it.  I’ll watch this garbage game, and not flip the remote.  You bet.

You should too.  Please.

schizophrenic behavior is never okay

I don’t care what anybody says, both those women were concussed. Alexandra Popp had her skull split wide open. Morgan Brian’s eyes looked like she was strolling through the Land of Chocolate with Homer Simpson. Neither of these players should have gone back into the game.

If this was the NFL, it’d be front page news today. The outrage. The mass hysteria. But because it’s women’s soccer, it’s somehow okay.

To their credit, many media outlets (SI, NY Times, Post) who hammer the NFL with glee do have articles this morning questioning the wisdom of allowing two very clearly injured players back onto the field. But other imperial bomb throwers (ESPN) don’t have a word about it at least a dozen articles deep.

You’ll see this line on this shitty blog again and again, I originally stole it from South Park:

“Either it’s all okay, or none of it is.”

If the sports media is going to demolish the NFL over concussions they need to demolish women’s soccer over concussions. Anything less is schizophrenic behavior from a media that chases an issue based on click value, not actual value.

And thus: NFL is popular = concussions issue sells, but women’s soccer is not popular = concussions issue does not sell.

I’m of the mind that everything in life has risks, even driving yourself to work. Sports have risks that need to be managed. Concussions happen. Life happens. And the sports leagues, NFL, FIFA, etc, can work the issue to make it better.  Without sacrificing the core of the games.

Clearly last night needs to get handled better by FIFA. It was not okay. I guess the point of this post is there’s progress to be made to lessen the risks, but the media treats the issue differently depending on what sport’s being played. This schizophrenic behavior serves nobody, nor the issue at hand.

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I kept waiting for the ambulance to come out; and ten minutes later they’re back on the field; these two players are real warriors, admirable; but they should have been made to sit down

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

You may go now

So how’s it going to end for Johnny Football? Super Bowl? Horrific injury? Decent career? Blazing failure? Blimp attack? No, not really. It’s going to go a lot quieter than that.

Everybody remember Tim Tebow? I’m sure you don’t know who he is. He was a rather obscure, unknown athlete. This guy exited the stage with a whimper. I don’t even know where he is right now. Maybe he works as a sports guy somewhere, but he could also be collecting recycling for a living in Gary, Indiana for all anybody knows. It’ll go the same for Johnny.

In the calm, measured, silent-movie comedy Tombstone, there’s a delightful scene up-front where Val Kilmer releases Johnny Tyler (who is bizarrely played by Billy Bob Thornton) whose presence is no longer relevant to the conversation with:

“Oh. Johnny I apologize I forgot you were there. [wave of hand] You may go now.”

It’s the most deliciously condescending, dismissive line in film history. It is impossible to watch that scene too many times.

You can’t argue that Manziel has talent. Unfortunately the powers of his brain just don’t match the freak awesome physical nature. A bunch of you are willing to overlook his immaturity and somewhat criminal behavior and disregard it as a young guy doing what they do.

Unfortunately, the rules of a traditional college dude don’t apply for Manziel. And neither do they apply to the Browns. He isn’t going to play wide receiver. He’s the starting quarterback. He requires the greatest maturity, leadership, and work ethic on the team. Manziel just doesn’t have that. Not now, not ten years from now. Particularly when our blessed media friends aren’t going to let him get his mail without shoving ten cameras in his face.

But because Manziel is such a physical masterpiece, teams are going to be inclined to give him a shot. This is a league where true starting quarterbacks exist on only half the teams. And so let the musical roundup begin. When the Browns have woken up to their blinding failure, he’ll get a shot with someone else. And then another team will give it a go, and so on. All up until the last moment, with the last team, where the assistant-deputy-offensive-line-coach will look over, realize Johnny’s apparently still there, and discharge him from the NFL with:

“Oh. Johnny I apologize I forgot you were there. [wave of hand] You may go now.”

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He has about two years to grow up, or grow old