ENCROTCHMENT WEEK 7 WITH EDDIE GOBBO

Bonazelli beats Gobbo in NLCS. Allowed to Renounce Italian Heritage.

Lowered Expectations

This past Sunday, I woke up in a cold sweat to a barrage of texts unrelated to football.

“Dude, Larry David was on SNL as Bernie Sanders, and he killed it.”

It was actually just from one drunk dude sending the same text to me seven times. So, I watched the clip. Great work, Larry! But a wave of panic washed over me as soon as the dust settled.

What if Bernie Sanders wins the Presidency? SNL will have to have a Bernie Sanders bit every week during his likely eight-year run. How the fuck is this going to work? We all know that Larry David wont come back to play him every week, let alone come back once to play him again. They’re going to have to rely on guys like Beck Bennett and Kieran Fucking Culkin to play Sanders. Horrible.

SNL really painted themselves in to a corner with this one. It’s almost like they wanted to self-fulfill a prophecy that will keep their fans disappointed at the same shit for years and years to come.

I got the same feeling this Sunday night watching the Patriots/Colts game.

The crowd was filled with a bunch of bitter-ass Colts fan, many of which were donning signs referencing Deflategate, overly booing Tom Brady, and -- my favorite --wearing deflated footballs on their head resembling the dude dressed as a condom in Singles.

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I referenced last week in my column that this was a redemption game for Indianapolis. They could have righted the ship of disappointment that has been their 2015 season thus far with a win. Ironically enough, New England may have been as hell-bent on Indy going into that game. Or at least their dads were.

Take Tom Brady’s dad, Mr. Brady, for example: "I'd like to see them put 60 points on the board, and love to see Tom throw for 500 yards and eight touchdowns."

The actual Tom Brady didn’t seem as ruffled as dad, however: "I'm always pretty motivated. It'll be an exciting game. I know they've got a good team. They've won three straight. It's going to take a great effort to beat them."

The game was unfolding exactly how I thought it would until the end of the third quarter. I envisioned the Colts remaining on the Pats' nuts late in the game, only to take the lead late in the fourth, sealing it with a huge crowd-influenced defensive stand, Adam Vinatieri nailing a long field goal for a three-point win, or Andrew Luck returning to form leading his team on a two-minute drill drive to victory. I’ve watched enough Sunday Night Football in my life to know that drama lives there. And it was drama I ultimately received.

Now, Pete Carroll and staff's final call in the Super Bowl last year was horrible. In and of itself, Indy’s coach Chuck Pagano did the impossible on Sunday Night when he usurped that. It’s hard to describe the madness, so just watch it.

WR Griff Whalen snapped the ball and safety Colt Anderson received the snap, by the way. Why? I have no idea either. 

Have you ever been part of a two-on-eight fight? It’s when you and a friend touch backs and each try to fight off four people at the same time. Depending on who you fight, and who your friend is, these occasionally work out well. However, in this case, the two Colts players didn’t position themselves properly and it didn’t. The game was out of Indy’s reach from there on out.

If Pagano wanted to maintain Indy’s status of being New England’s little brother created by Deflategate, I guess he succeeded. But in the process, he’s put himself on the hot seat.

I will say this: Pagano has to do a HELL of a lot wrong from here on out in order to lose his job mid-season. Through all this, Indy remains the odds-on favorite to take their pathetic division. However, anything less than a Super Bowl run this year and Pagano is gone this offseason.  

Due to the fact that I see the Broncos, Pats and a few other teams better positioned to make said run, I think it’s just a matter of time for Pagano.

A very interesting candidate for a coaching position MAY be freeing up this February. His name is Sean Peyton. I’m certain if he was offered the Indy job, Peyton would jump at it. Having a QB weapon like Luck -- in a dome, no less -- will have him salivate WAY more than going to Miami, Detroit, or any other city with a bunk-ass team in bunk-ass shambles.

Are You There, Eagles and Giants? It’s Me, God.

“It doesn’t matter who won, because you’re both losers."

 Spanking the Monkey

Dez Bryant bought a monkey this past week. He has privately consulted Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman on how to contain it. 

A Man’s Ziel

Noun[edit]

Ziel n ‎(genitive Ziels or Zieles, plural Ziele)

1.      target

2.      goal (not in football, see Tor)

3.      aim

4.      purpose

Yes, I’ll roll with more pop culture references this week, don’t mind if I do.

In case you’ve been living under a pretentiousness-shielding rock for the past couple months, you are aware of singer/songwriter Ryan Adams’ (41) insane obsession with pop phenom Taylor Swift (a lot younger than 41). Adams recently released a trainwreck cover record of Swift’s 1989.

That’s Adams in the Emperor shirt and $1,600 pink sunglasses, by the way. Without even me wasting time writing a clever joke, lets just all assume in real life we’d hate this douche.

This week, Adams got the big payoff for his asinine work: GQ put him and Swift in the same room for a three-minute interview. We were the fly on the wall. Adams swapped the Emperor shirt for a Metallica.

Lets not kid ourselves, Adams’ goal in covering an entire Taylor Swift record was to obtain one of the following outcomes after wowing her with such a flattering display.

1) Date Swift

2) Bang Swift

3) Become besties with Swift, go on vacation with her, hang out with her in bathing suits, accidentally walk in to her room while changing, all eventually leading to a relationship in their golden years. (“The love that was right in front of me the whole time.”)

What Adams didn’t consider was the fourth -- and most likely -- of outcomes. NEITHER OF THE THREE HAPPEN AND HE COMES OUT LOOKING LIKE A PATHETIC CREEP WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVES, THROWING ALL ARTISTIC SELF-RESPECT TO THE WIND IN THE PROCESS.

Now, all us normal people who remove their Ray-Bans indoors can see that Adams had NO CHANCE with Swift from a mile away. And frankly, his options are so vast that he shouldn’t have wasted his time. Let me explain how musicians getting women works:

The “UNDERGROUND” SCENE (me)

Fifteen percent of all available women in your city are open to dating you in some shape or form. Every scene has a pecking order. Your success in said scene will dictate your position. For example, I’ve been in various bands of decent success over the years and write for the #1 metal magazine in the world. So, basically I get all the girls that Stavros from the Atlas Moth passes on. I’ll take it.

THE MAINSTREAM scene (Ryan Adams).

The percentage of available women open to dating you rises to about 90 percent.  The 90 percent is also no longer confined to your city. Which means any mainstream rock star in this metaphoric plane can randomly head to a city like Lincoln, Nebraska and have a 90 percent chance of dating the hottest available woman there (who, I assure you, is VERY hot).

The pecking order remains, however. Ryan Adams is not at Adam Levine level. He’s probably about halfway up the totem pole, right ahead of the singer from Kings of Leon. If you’re visualizing mathematical breakdowns in your head, long story short, there’s a lot of women in this world Ryan Adams can date, many of which, based on a law of averages, are probably extremely hot.

But of course, the human condition. Ryan Adams, for whatever reason, needs to date Taylor Swift. I get the desire. Taylor Swift is off-the-charts attractive in most American males' eyes at this point. She has the artistic appeal of an 80’s Madonna, mixed with the sexuality of a 90’s Pam Anderson  if she didn’t Playboy, have fake breasts, or have a sex tape leak. Coincidently, both for whatever reason speak with an English accent now.

Long story short, Swift is a perfect storm and, mainstream rocker or not, Adams had no chance in changing the cosmic zebra stripes of this venture.  

Our end result was an awkward conversation between the two, with Swift painstakingly coming off as fake gracious and Adams coming off like an ass. The two will probably never be in the same room again for the rest of their lives.

I can’t help but parallel this whole dumbass clusterfuck to the Johnny Manziel saga, most notably as it relates to his relation with the Cleveland Browns fans.

The fans wanted NOTHING MORE than to be in bed with Manziel. They overextended in the process (the equivalent to them covering a whole record of his dumbass tendencies), and literally ignored every red flag of it not ending well in the process: his pomposity, lack of production, on-the-field scandals, off-the-field scandals, lack of discipline, and lack of any trustworthiness since joining his team.

For starters, Manziel was a douche in college. I mean, he got busted for having a paid autograph session, resulting in a half-game suspension. I’m convinced it was essentially Manziel’s lack of maturity that led to his draft stock falling in 2014. He was at one point mocked to go #1 overall to the Texans, before free falling like a good girl who’s crazy about Elvis.

Of course, when he was finally drafted, Manziel walked on stage rubbing his hands together with his textbook “Money” gesture. A month later, I remember walking around Memphis, TN seeing a Browns fan wearing a Nike shirt that said “Johnny Football” before he played one NFL snap. I thought, “Something’s wrong here.”

Manziel barely made a mark in his first season other than in a negative way. He befriended and eventually became an enabler for the Browns’ best player, WR Josh Gordon, who is currently serving a on- year suspension for alcohol consumption during a rehab stint. Yet all these red flags didn’t prevent Browns fans from overextending themselves to Manziel once again at the start of this season. A lot I’m assuming had to do with the Browns signing vanilla veteran QB Josh McCown this offseason. McCown had just come off getting ousted from Tampa’s roster. He was 36 years old, had no fandom steam behind him, and not one shred of faith from anyone backing the Browns. Early on in the season, he was damn near booed off the field by Manziel fans. Despite decent yet spotty play from McCown, he remains the undisputed starter going in to Week 7. I think everyone is up to speed now on Manziel. Frankly, if he showed ANY type of leadership skills and maturity around the Browns' coaching staff, he’d be in there playing over McCown, all thing considered.

Now this week we have received what most likely could be the final blow in the Manziel saga: Manziel and his girlfriend were driving around this week and were involved in what we only know at this point as a verbal altercation, which escalated to the point of physical contact. Manziel’s girlfriend was quoted as saying, “He hit me a couple times,” to police officers. Manziel’s side of the story was that he grabbed her arm hard when she attempted to jump out of the car, or something to that affect, and physical contact on his part was a necessity.

There was no video of the incident, so this ultimately will be a he-said-she-said ruling by the NFL (which they are currently balls-deep investigating). They will more than likely interview both Manziel and his girlfriend at separate times and gauge the simmulatirites of the two stories against their original police statements. More than likely, since there’s a brutal mark on Manziel’s GF’s arm, said mark will be more than enough to suspend him for a few games, if not the rest of the season. The NFL is beyond paranoid of letting any form of domestic -- or in this case mobile -- violence slip without proper punishment.

I’m a firm believer of where there's smoke there's fire. I’m not certain it was a full-fledged physical violence overstep by Manziel, but am pretty certain he did overstep bounds.

Once again, this is just a case of Manziel living up to what he has been billed as, and what Browns fans have inadvertently coddled him in to becoming: a writhing ass who has earned zero respect from the franchise he was drafted by, yet has been supported the whole way by its fans.

The foreshadowing that came with how this saga would ultimately end was simply ignored since the beginning. This is the halfway mark of a Manziel 30 for 30 likely to come out three years from now. What will compile the other 45 minutes is yet to be seen, but I’m fucking frightened.

Back to the Swift/Adams video

Couple last things I need to note.

1)  Adams made the most mind-numbingly douchey comment I’ve heard over the last decade about midway through the interview: “If I'm ever stuck when I'm writing, I can just put a Smiths record on, and it's like if my songwriting were an IPhone, it recharges it in five minutes.”

God, that comment was painful. Ironically enough, the prior most mind-numbingly douchey comment I’ve heard ALSO involved the Smiths. A decade ago, while attending DePaul University, a school chock full of mind-numbing douchiness, I over heard two Dark Wave kids having a conversation.

Dark Wave Kid 1: “Do you like the Smiths?”

Dark Wave Kid 2: “Yeah, I love Morrison.”

2)    Society needs to recalibrate their definition of “single.” Swift references her “exes” numerous times and also says numerous times in this interview that she wrote this record when she was “single.”

I tired of people overexaggerating relationships in society. I only consider someone not single if any of the following apply:

-       They are married.

-       They live with a significant other (even if they have split with them. As long as they still live under the same roof, they’re still dating, in my opinion).

-       They are dating someone for a SIGNIFICANT amount of time (six months at least) AND have had a distinct conversation at one point about attempting to build to something significant with that person.

By this definition, Taylor Swift has been SINGLE her whole life.

By this definition, I TOO have been SINGLE my whole life, except for that one time my parents evicted me from their house, and I moved in with my girlfriend for four months, before she dumped me.

Fuck all three of them.

Fart, Marry, Kill.

And finally this week:

Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Chris Berman

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