ENCROTCHMENT WEEK 16, FESTIVUS EDITION, WITH EDDIE GOBBO

Satan's Secret Santa (Venom Welcome to Hell Tapestry) 

Santa Cums Early

Remember the metal band Lazy American Workers?

Don't worry. Neither do they. 

Anyway, it was a Philly band that featured everyone on the Decibel staff who likes to take off work for “Holidays” like "Christmas Eve," making me write my column a day early.

I was gonna go see Sisters tonight, you assholes!

Also, does anyone remember the early '90s NBA show Sisters? It was LITERALLY Sex and the City if it wasn't hot at all and took place in the suburbs. Flew under the radar and lasted for just under seven years. 


Man on Fire

This week was an Alex Jones kind of week for me. I’ve been utterly paranoid about everything, thinking everyone is against me, all while listening to a lot of Korn. So, basically the holiday season as usual.

By the way, I’ve concluded that this is my favorite Korn song of all time.

On Monday morning, I heard something about Steve Harvey announcing the wrong winner of a Miss Universe pageant. I got sick to my stomach about the idea of watching it, so I decided not to. An ignorance-is-bliss sort of thing. I still haven’t watched it. You can, if you want.

Side note: Harvey has since been offered a multi-year deal to host Miss Universe, and the runner-up, Miss Colombia, has been offered $1 million from Vivid Pictures (who apparently still exists) to shoot a porn (dead serious on both). Isn't it amazing how success in life can come out of failure? 

Ignorance is bliss is an underrated concept when it pertains to little things. Like when I see those certain relatives this weekend that are always in danger of losing their jobs and/or always on the rocks with their significant others. I’m afraid to ask and open up a can of worms, ultimately to see them whimpering in the corner over a mimosa.

I took the ignorance route once again when I heard that Odell Beckham, Jr. went totally apeshit in the Panthers game this weekend. I didn't remember it being that out of control when I watched live on Sunday, and I kind of wanted to keep it that way. I love Odell, and the last thing I wanted was for him to lose any further stock with me, like that time when I saw that pic of him giving head to a random chick online.

Girls: Would you like to see a pic of a man you had a crush on giving another girl head? It’s a turn-off.

It was after the Carolina/Giants game this past Sunday that various reports about Odell started swirling about his insanity during the game, which put himself and other players at risk.

Now, if you remember, last week I said that Josh Morgan (Batman) and Odell (the Joker) would have a superhero-like battle this week. And that’s exactly what happened. Morgan and Beckham were chippy from the beginning. It started out with pushing and pulling, and their plays taking an extra three seconds to end. From there, it evolved to body slams, punches and most notably a brutal blindside head shot on Morgan by Beckham. Morgan was no saint. He received a hefty fine by the NFL for two particular squabbles. But Beckham’s physicality reached another level, with the blindside helmet-to-helmet being the cornerstone.

Helmet-to-helmet headshots lead to concussions. But a premeditated headshot can have a more extreme effect. There secondary risk of a headshot lies in potential neck damage, which could easily end in paralysis.

After finally sacking up and watching the isolated video of the Morgan/Beckham squabbles, I agreed that the NFL had to take some type of action in this case.

I mean, even Giants Nation agreed he went too far. Take Giants legend and local color commentator Carl Banks, for example. During the actual broadcast of the game, which he was doing commentary for, he said OBJ “needed to be taken off the field.” You must be doing something funky if the local broadcaster wants the best player of the team off the field in a pivotal game.

What’s really weird is where head coach Tom Coughlin fits in all of this. Coughlin is arguably the #1 disciplinarian coach in the NFL. He will bench players like it’s a bodily function if they don’t comply with team ethics on and off the field. Frankly, in a league where taking a blind eye is almost encouraged among head coaches, Coughlin is a dying breed.

What’s odd was Coughlin’s comments about his decision to keep OBJ in the game despite his antics on the field. Coughlin considered taking him out, but ultimately “wanted him out there to win.”

It was probably the right move considering that Beckham, despite having a horrible first half, had a monster fourth quarter, taking over the game like only a premier wide receiver could, and scored the game-tying touchdown.

I don’t blame Coughlin in this instance. Can you imagine the scrutiny if Beckham was benched and they lost the game straight up? Coughlin would get blamed. He had to roll the dice. A coach like Coughlin can throw his rep to the wind at this point in his career. Frankly, he’s claimed his place as a great leader and respected coach over the years, and this allows a free pass or two when he needs it.

And, at the end of the day, Beckham ultimately will be punished with a one-game suspension.

I find that oftentimes there’s a “he’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole” mentality in the NFL. Basically, as long as he’s on our team and he’s helping us win, who gives a fuck what he’s doing on the field to the other team.

Four-time Super Bowl champion linebacker Bill Romanowski, or, as I like to refer to him, "The ORIGINAL Romo,"  is a great example of this.

Everyone affiliated with the Oakland Raiders of the late '90s hated Romanowski’s play on the field.  That is, of course, until Romanowski became a Raider in 2002 and helped lead their defense to the Super Bowl. Then his dirty play was cool.

Beckham is appealing the suspension: A good move. He may get this reduced to a high-end fine, or at least be able to play this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, where he’ll be needed much more than the final week of the season against Philly.

Sucks for Beckham that the man hearing his appeal will be NFL board member and ex-Philadelphia Eagle (and NY Giant hater) James Thrash.

Also, most metal NFL player jersey name ever! It was so great that all of Thrash’s jersey numbers were around the early '80s as well.

Of course, he can’t touch this. This is just untouchable.

Bat Boys to Men

My friend Mike Buha texted me this screenshot of a tweet this week.

“Saw this on Twitter. Does this joke make sense? Who is that wrestler?”

Well, being a huge wrestling fan, I knew the answer to the last question was Sting.

But other than that, I was clueless as to the reference.

That was, of course, until I saw footage of this Carolina Panthers practice squad player walking up to Odell Beckham, Jr. with a bat.

The player's name was Marcus Ball, by the way. A graduate of Ball So Hard University. 

This incident was ultimately the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that this game needed to ultimately become what it was. Or the Mickey Knox “I’m a Natural Born Killer” speech before the inmate throws a chair through the TV and the riot begins.

By the way, dumb tweet, and what the fuck is a baseball bat doing on a football field, unless you’re in Oakland?

Do I insert a Sting clip here, or a Natural Born Killers riot scene?

Killers.

Exhile on Main Street

Last April, ESPN analyst Britt McHenry was caught on video bitching out a tow booth clerk.

Now, we’ve all been there, because obviously it’s the tow booth person’s fault we parked somewhere we shouldn’t have.

This incident totally threw a wrench in McHenry’s career, which was going great up until that point. If there’s one thing America loves, it’s a hot chick. If there’s one thing America hates, it’s a hot chick that acts like she’s a hot chick.

I’ve noticed her getting significantly less airtime on ESPN over the last half year. However, lucky for Britt, the Carolina Panthers' amazing, and potentially historic season might be the godsend she needed for her to get her career back on track.

ESPN is currently doing daily on-location reporting for all teams still in the NFL playoff hunt this late in the season. They’ve sent out a reporter to each city to cover the team and give updates at will. Lucky for McHenry, she drew the Panthers, arguably the most interesting team in football, and for sure the best. That said, McHenry has literally been on ESPN TV live from Carolina every day giving lengthy reports on the Panthers. McHenry really hit the jackpot with this assignment. I mean consider the other options. The Kansas City Chiefs, also playoff-bound, get zero coverage from ESPN. Literally no one cares about that team, including people in Kansas City, who are still celebrating the Royals winning the World Series.

If we learn one thing from McHenry, it’s that all hot chicks ultimately land on their feet. Let’s just hope she’s in heels at the time.

I Guess?

One of the most underrated things in the NFL is the anomaly known as the “Team Slogan.” Like “DA BEARS” in Chicago, or “Who Dey” in New Orleans. The majority of teams in the NFL aren’t lucky enough have one. They’re hard to come by. A couple have snuck in recently: “Who Dat” in the early 2000s in Cincy, and of course, Seattle’s equally-as-annoying “12th Man.” However, we may have seen the birth of another one in 2015: “You Like That!” Spearheaded by Washington Redskin team leaders Kurt Cousins and Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton, “YLT” is becoming all the rage in DC.

Now the Skins are a stellar .500 on the season.

However, there’s reason to celebrate out there. Not only does a division title loom with a win this weekend, but the Skins in 2015 may have found their most legit QB in decades.

Kirk Cousins has had a hell of a second half for the Skins. He’s statistically beating out several A-List QBs in QBR, including Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson and even Aaron Rodgers. And yes, Cousins is in a contract year. When you legitimately haven’t had a big-time undisputed QB since Mark Rypien of the early '90s, it’s likely Cousins will get a massive deal in the offseason from the Skins. As for RGIII, the Skins are done with this dude. He'll ultimately be traded in the offseason to what will become the new-look L.A. Rams.

Also, don't forget to send Happy Gilmore his royalty check, Redskinners. 

Deathblow

So, “You Like That” nation is probably ready for this Saturday’s game in Philly.

As I mentioned before, if the Redskins win in Philly, the clinch the NFC East.

The Eagles are reeling right now, coming off of a beatdown by the Arizona Cardinals.

Obviously, the Eagles failing to be competitive this year falls back to head coach Chip Kelly and the culmination of all the decisions he’s made in his tenure. He’s purposely rid himself of all the offensive weapons he received upon taking over the team. The first one of Kelly’s transgressions, and arguably the most unpopular, was him letting DeSean Jackson go to Washington.

This is the game DeSean Jackson has been waiting for since he was driven out of Philly, and more than likely a game/situation he’d thought he’d never see. He will be playing in his ex-team’s stadium with the mindset of torching them, clinching a playoff birth for his current team, and potentially putting the final nail in the coffin of Chip Kelly’s era.

I look for Jackson to have the most focused, possessed game of his career this weekend hell-bent on settling a score with a coach he never cared for.  

Are You There, St. Louis Fans. It's Me, Frank Costanza.

"You think you can keep us out of L.A.? 

We're moving in lock, stock and barrel.

We're gonna be in the pool. 

We're gonna be in the clubhouse. 

We're gonna be all over that shuffleboard court. 

And I dare you to keep us out!"

St. Elsewhere

Thanks for warming the crowd up for this next section, Frank. 

Did anyone else get a weird vibe in the Rams/Bucs game Thursday night like I did?

It was almost like we were watching a funeral where everyone was gathered around a closed casket at the gravesite as it was being slowly lowered in to the ground, and no one was sure if there was a body inside.

Could this have been the last home game ever for the St. Louis Rams? We all know that some team will move to L.A. during the offseason. We’re looking at either the Rams, Raiders or Chargers. With a potential multi billion-dollar stadium in the mix, L.A., much like New York’s MetLife Stadium for example, will need to have two teams to justify it. Given the fact that the Chargers and Raiders are in the same division, it might not make sense for this to happen without realigning the divisions. The NFL really can’t have two teams in the same division always playing at home and the other away every week. Not to mention the owners would lose millions of millions in the two games a year where the two teams have to play each other.

If we did, in fact, see the last St. Louis Rams, three things are for sure:

1) The picking up of a new QB this offseason, who ultimately I feel will be RGIII. I think everyone agrees that Nick Foles isn’t a long-term answer, and you definitely can’t take that schlub to L.A.

2) Todd Gurley ultimately become one of the faces of the NFL. He’s a beast of a RB that would fit right in to the glitz of L.A. Almost like an Eric Dickerson 2.

3) St. Louis football fans saying “fuck it” and just focusing on the Cardinals for the rest of their lives.

 

Losing Skid

Friday: I decide to go see Skid Row at the Portage Theater in Chicago on Saturday.

Saturday: Skid Row cancels. I don’t go to the show.

Sunday: I watch the Bears lose for the third straight week, a game I would have been too hung over to get up for had I gone seen Skid Row the night before.

Monday: The morning paper.


Breaking Bad Meets Breaking Benjamin

And finally this week.

Every couple needs a great couple name, or they won't last. 

I dub thee “Aaron Paul.”

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL YOU FOOTBALL FANS FORCE-FED BASKETBALL THIS FRIDAY. I feel your pain.

Pick of the Week

Skins+3 in Philly 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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