One Man Run Haunted House
This weekend, between the the end of the afternoon games and the start of the Sunday night game, I snuck out to Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Haunted House in Villa Park, IL.
Now, we all know the requirements for erecting an elaborate pop-up haunted house during the Halloween season.
1) Find a remote spot in a white trash suburb.
2) Place countless billboards along the white trash suburb highway with a demented clown on them.
3) And that’s it.
But THIS ONE went the extra mile. They had a ROCK STAR attached to it.
Do I like Rob Zombie? I think that question can be best answered by Rob Zombie himself.
Do I like haunted houses? I think that question can be best answered by Mike Ness.
There was the time took me to one when I was five years old that would have scared Anton LaVey. I was damn near pulled out on a stretcher in the middle of it. Seriously, an employee had to demask mid-haunt and drag me out of the maze with ghouls scaring me the whole way out.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the worst experience at a haunted house that I've had. When I was in my early 20s, me and my then-girlfriend took our first adult vacation together to Ohio . Obviously, we went to the cool spot all adults on vacation go to: The Local Roller Rink.
In the deepest, darkest corner of the rink, there was a sign that said "Haunted House." Obviously, the sign was crooked, for dramatic effect. The fact that it was a Tuesday night in the middle of the summer intrigued me. Could this place actually run a haunted house year-round? We went up to the leader of the establishment, a man with smudged glasses, a chipped tooth, and behind on his mortgage, and asked if the haunted housewas running.
He hesitated and then matter-of-factly responded, “Yeah, he’s in there.”
I damn near crapped my pants.
HE's in there?
One man was running this haunted house all by himself?
I freaked the fuck out at this.
We didn’t go in to the haunted house that evening. However, we did stick around long enough to see the guy come out of the HH at closing time, when his wife and two kids came to pick him up: Shaved Head, Spider Neck Tattoo, Eyelid Piercing, Leaf Camo Pants. He pick up his daughter and kissed her. He tousled his son’s hair, and held his wife's hand as they walked out together to get into the family sedan. Of course, we followed him home and slashed his tires when they went inside. My ex-girlfriend was really fun.
Anyway, other than me falling down in the haunted house this past weekend a few times and hurting myself, my experience was decent.
My reward came at the end of it, when we went to a local bar and I got to experience a REAL one-man-run haunted house: the Philadelphia Eagles, while watching Sunday Night Football. That man I'm speaking of is obviously Chip Kelly, who I’ll get to in a second.
I loved the Eagles this past Sunday. They looked like they had finally turned a corner the week before when they slaughtered the Giants. But now they went on the road to play an undefeated Panthers team with a lot of confidence. I’ve found over the years that Cam Newton plays outstandingly when he can trust his defense and essentially play the game with house money. With an undefeated start, Newton is playing as loose as he can right now.
Sadly for Sam Bradford, he hasn’t filled Nick Foles' shoes well since coming to Philly, which weren’t hard shoes to fill to begin with. Bradford has thrown only nine touchdowns thus far. He’s thrown 10 interceptions. It doesn’t help Bradford’s case that his receivers rarely seem to bail him out with, you know, a catch. Take WR Jordan Matthews, for example, who by all accounts is the undisputed number-one receiver in Philly. Here’s him completely miffing a catch, that -- granted -- was thrown a smidge behind him. The tackle from Colin Jones comes in and Jones comes up with a the ball after it bounces off of Matthews' ass. Well done.
My award for most consistent worst player on Philly goes to Jordan Matthews. Coincidentally, my award for most consistent good play also goes to Matthews. With one less "t." Ryan Mathews, that is.
Mathews has been the closest thing Philly has to a consistent game-breaker this year. Philly’s offense was orchestrated this offseason to embrace quick play-calling and fast striking. This is why Mathews, as well as guys like Darren Sproles, have produced well, and RB DeMarco Murray, arguably their most talented player, hasn't.
The production struggles of Murray and Bradford will ultimately lead to haunted house leader Chip Kelly to make scary decisions, ironically enough, when Halloween season ends. Does he begin starting Mathews at RB consistently over the uber-talented Murrary, who the team paid dearly for this offseason? Or, even scarier, how many more interceptions and spotty games does Bradford need to tally before Kelly goes to second-string QB Mark Sanchez, who flourished under Kelly’s system last year? Both would be horrible changes for Kelly to make, especially in the case of a benching of Bradford. SB was Kelly’s guy, and the team went all-in with Kelly’s glowing recommendation of him. Kelly making a healthy midseason change will wash away some of the confidence that he has walked around with since day one in Philly. Plus, it’s a one-time change decision. Philly can not go back to Bradford if they were to healthy-scratch him and expect him to be productive.
One thing's for damn sure: In the depleted and inept NFC East, the city would crucify Kelly if they don’t win the division this year and give it away to the Giants (most likely), much less, god forbid, the Skins or the Cowboys.
Speaking of guys out riding fences, troubled DE Greg Hardy went apeshit on the sidelines this week in the 11th hour of what turned out to be a loss at MetLife Stadium to the Giants this week. The Cowboys have not won a game since Tony Romo was injured almost six weeks ago. Hardy snapped on the special teams coach, several of his defensive teammates, and even Dez Bryant, who was in street clothes.
We've seen Hardy's confrontation ad nauseum this week. However, we might need to take the severity of said confrontation with a grain of salt. The world of sports media is literally following Hardy around looking for him to slip up in any way. If he returns a video tape late, we will hear about it. But we all know all psychos in America are VERY good about returning video tapes.
I wasn’t surprised, though, that the Cowboys came to the defense of Hardy immediately after the game. Surprisingly, I actually side with them. I’ve been very outspoken in this column staying that Greg Hardy is a total asshole, and I still feel that way. However, I’m okay with accepting the fact that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. He will play in the NFL for a long LONG time to come. The Cowboys probably have a similar mentality, and thus would love to attach themselves to Hardy and make him the face of their defense for years to come. He’s far and away the best defensive player they have. Frankly, he may be neck-and-neck with Bryant for the most talented player on the team. It’s okay to be fiery on the sidelines. It shows that you care. Ironically, pending team seniority and leadership role, it's often encouraged. In Hardy's case, the Cowboys see him as a future leader of their team, as long as they don’t see brewing problems in the locker room, or Hardy’s nightly bloodlust spilling over in to his days again. They'll sign Hardy to a long-term deal this offseason and roll with his consistent cranberry juice spills on hotel sheets on road trips.
Are You There, Peyton and Aaron? It’s Me, God.
“This Sunday Night, we find out which one of you is Captain Spaulding and which one of you is Captain Howdy.”
9 and 1/2 Weeks and 9 Months
I’ve talked a lot about scary Halloween things in this week’s column this far, but it’s time to talk about something FAR more scary: The '90s film Nine Months.
My close friends Mike and Jessica Buha (Rams fans) gave birth to a little Rams fan this week (congrats, guys), and I rewatched this '90s cult classic this past weekend. For the record, I don’t like using the term “cult” when it pertains to the '90s, because of its connection to Heaven’s Gate.
Now, for all extents and purposes, this movie is fucking terrible. However, I believe it has aged fondly over the years because of its great cast. We have a coke-fueled Robin Williams, a coke-fueled Tom Arnold, and prostitute-fueled Hugh Grant playing off of each other for 90 minutes. You add in one of my favorite actresses, Julianne Moore, doing her best work since the bedroom conversation scene in Short Cuts (you’ll have to look that one up on your own time), and an epic shot-out-of-a-cannon performance by Joan Cusack, and you’ve got a winner. Here’s the scene that won Cusack the Best Supporting Actress Award at my rouge Academy Awards, The Grouches, back in 1995.
If we must learn anything from Nine Months, it’s that a good ensemble cast can lead you to the promised land. Enter the 2015 Arizona Cardinals, who I feel are without a doubt the sleeper NFC Championship team this year.
First off, and nothing new here, their coach fucking rules. Two-time coach of the year Bruce Arians has done wonders with this team. Carson Palmer, a QB damn near run out of the league a couple years ago, is flourishing. Believe it or not, he is statistically the BEST-rated QB in the NFL this year. Yes, this includes Rodgers, Brady and all those dudes.
I can’t express in words the amazing season Larry Fitzgerald is having. He is a legit veteran presence that is PRODUCING. He reminds me of Hines Ward’s presence on the XLIII Super Bowl Stillers, who took down Fitz’s Cards in the big game that year. You add in burnster John Brown and TE Jermaine Gresham, who is producing like a top-tier TE, and you have a legit receiving core that can move the ball downfield. How about the tandem of RBs Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson? These guys aren’t the most explosive RBs in the game, but they’re consistent. I was stoked with Ellington’s game this past Monday against the Ravens. Most notiably his play out of the flat (3/4 targets for 29 yards). If the Cards are able to blast Johsnon up the middle, and have Ellington work the sidelines like a Matt Forte back, if you will, their run game will be continue to be consistently productive.
The least mentioned part of the Cards game is their underrated defense, filled with a nice mixture of young bucks and, again, proven vets. When healthy, the Cards secondary is the best in football. Patrick Peterson is one of the best defensive players in the game, but how about up-and-coming superstars like Tyrann Mathieu? What a value draft pick he’s turned out to be. Also, a man named Dwight Freeney was on the field this week wearing red for the first time. Watch out for Freeney to be VERY productive in his victory lap this year. He’s currently backing up another ageless pass rusher, LaMarr Woodley. Great mid-ish season pickup for the Cards. Stoked for him.
I’m talking like this team is undefeated, when in fact they have two losses. The Cardinals will NOT get a bye week in the playoffs, but I’m certain they will be in this year’s postseason, barring injury. Playing the wild card round at home isn’t the worst thing in the world for a team like the Cards. This is looking very far ahead, but positioning in the playoffs will ultimately determine the Cardinals' fate. They can handle anyone at home. They can go to places like Atlanta and Carolina and grind out a win easily. They CANNOT go to Green Bay and win. I’m not just saying this because the Packers are arguably the best team in football. I think there are several teams that can blindside GB in GB, most notably the Eagles and Giants, believe it or not. We’ll see 'Zona and Green Bay Week 16 this year, by the way, in 'Zona.
Blowjob the Outside World
And finally this week, the award for sexiest NFL stadium goes to… FedEx Field! Apparently, a woman was caught giving oral sex to some douche wearing a Sean Taylor jersey at FedEx this past weekend. Here’s a picture.
Now, here’s the weird part.
After this picture surfaced, ANOTHER picture surfaced of another kid getting a blowjob at FedEx Field at a DIFFERENT game earlier this season.
Look at the background of this photo. The seats look surprisingly similar, don’t they?
Now prepare to get your mind blown.
Let’s widen the picture, shall we?
Oh my God, another guy in a Sean Taylor jersey! The color is different, and the number is different, but the haircut and seat is the same.
It’s the same guy!
He’s obviously the head of a rogue group of Redskins sex addicts that have invented the stadium sports equivalent of the Mile High Club.
I don’t know what to say about this other than this is a horribly embarrassing living tribute to the legacy of the late, great Sean Taylor.
Lawrence Taylor, I can see. But not Sean Taylor, you assholes.
Pick of the Week
Denver +3 over Green Bay