Johnny Football

Bet you can still get through that thing to someone’s brain.

Jefferson, are you injured or are you hurt?–James Caan, The Program

Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.–Joseph Heller

A few years ago, ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown used to do this bit where their assorted chuckleheads would sit around reviewing the biggest hits the NFL’s weekend action had to offer. At the soaring crescendo of each smash, one of the giggling ninnies would shout “You got JACKED UP!!!” And everyone would dissolve into further paroxysms of laughter.

I’m not going to tell you that I knew what was being displayed on the TV was morally reprehensible back then. Quite frankly, I’ve never been on the vanguard of moral consciousness. I was recently shocked to find out that beating your pets is not only frowned upon, but deeply taboo in almost every social circle. This late life come-to-Jesus moment does nothing for Rascal, who’s still smarting over my intemperate outbursts.

The point, if there is one, is that the arc of the moral universe seems to be about as long as my patience with animals. Everyone I know is getting gay married these days, weed is damn near legal, and slobberknocking hits are now, if not wholly condemned, quietly enjoyed in the privacy of one’s home (like samizdat or BBW porn). Strange days, indeed.

Yesterday, the NFL settled a major lawsuit filed against it by former players who claimed the league had failed to protect its players in the face of mounting evidence that concussions were making them permanently stupid or crippled or sad or worse.

Let’s talk which side got JACKED UP.

Let’s talk sports…

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You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.–Donald Rumsfeld

That line, besides being a viciously subtle slap at this great nation’s servicemen and women, also contains a great amount of wisdom. Rummy’s lines had a way of doing that (known knowns, unknown unknown, gnome noams, etc.). For instance, today the sports world stands on the precipice of two wars. And as we survey the looming battlefields, sabres drawn, guns loaded, war analogies wild and unkempt, we face the very real prospect of going to war not with the army we want, but the army we have. Namely, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Manziel.

But go to battle we must. Our nation’s sports, all teetering precariously on a foundation of absolute hypocrisy, threaten to come crashing down. We are aghast at the mere presence of performance enhancing drugs. At least, that’s what some dude at GNC told me. And while we believe in the free market reflexively, we do not believe a 20-year-old should share in the fruits of his labors. These are the motivating paradoxes of our current sports age and they are threatening to unravel right before our eyes. Isn’t this exciting!? It’s like when the Berlin Wall came down and the kid in your class brought the little pebble and he said “Look, this was the Berlin Wall.” And you squinted and shivered at the mere sight of such an important artifact but, seriously? You wanted to beat that kid in the face and take his history rock.

Let’s talk something other than that jerk kid and his cool commie gravel…

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Johnny Manziel

Too funny. So it seems that a certain unnamed (very) recent Heisman Trophy winner from a certain unnamed “college” down south of here got a gift from the Ennis P.D. while he was speeding on the 287 bypass yesterday. It appears that even though the OU defense couldn’t stop him, the City of Ennis P.D. is a different story altogether. Time to grow up/slow down young ‘un. You got your whole life/career ahead of you. Gig Em indeed.

I meant to say “allegedly” speeding, my bad.

– Judge Lee Johnson of the Ennis Municipal Court (Texas), commenting on Facebook about Johnny Manziel’s recent brush with the law on the judge’s home turf. Some legal experts believe Johnson’s behavior was unethical.

“There’s winners and there’s nothing else. I don’t give a sh*t what those pinkos over in Russia say. You want to be a loser you go live in Russia. I’m not a loser. I’m a winner. I’m an American. Who wants to be John Wayne? Who wants to grab a root and hang on? Who wants to get a mean on? Get a mean on son.”– Coach Hisler, Johnny Be Good.

All I could think about last Saturday, while Johnny Manziel was breaking down Alabama’s vaunted defense, was Johnny Be Good. It’s one of the worst movies of all time, and it starred the assistant principal from Breakfast Club as a football coach, the nerd from Breakfast Club as some kind of great football player, and Robert Downey Jr., who wasn’t even in Breakfast Club. The soundtrack had the eponymous Chuck Berry song redone by Judas Priest, and also included a track from Ted Nugent. There are cameos by Jim McMahon and Howard Cosell, and the whole enterprise comes off as an indictment of the 1980s as one wildly implausible football scene piggybacks on another. To be strained would be a slap on the wrist for credulity in some of these scenes. I mean, this film is a trainwreck in every meaningful way.

It’s probably my favorite movie ever.

Let’s talk sports….

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