Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Inside The Blogger's Studio: Or Why Hobbits Should Be Allowed To Play Notre Dame Football!

"The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need: My name in print. This really makes me a somebody. Things are going to start happening to me now..." -- Steve Martin ("The Jerk")

Um, or not.

"Rudy" is kind of like a Lifetime Original Movie ...for men.

So here is a shout out for all Notre Dame football fans here in Cleveland, Ohio. And, yes, I love The Ohio State Buckeyes, too (Hey, I said in a previous post that they were, in fact, the BEST team in college football last season, despite the rankings. OSU blew the Texas game, but if not for that, they played like the #1 team in the nation in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl).

In my defense, I'm Irish-Catholic. So in my household, Notre Dame football - and bartenders - are viewed as Gods.

But, come on, "Rudy" is one of the greatest sports movies of all time (behind "Field of Dreams") - and if you are one of the many people that HATES Notre Dame football, well, all I can say is this:

"He's shooting at the cans - He hates these cans!!!"

Friday, February 17, 2006

The 2006 Cleveland Browns: A Milk-Bone Menagerie or just another Spat on a Hot Tin Woof?

The id and I - Why do I suddenly feel like "Rufus The Egghead" of this Dawg and Pony show?

Marvin Lewis has earned a contract extension with The Cincinnati Bengals (even after a semi-cheap shot by a Pittsburgh Steelers' player left their quarterback, Carson Palmer, a crumpled playoff cripple). The Baltimore Ravens are floundering like a Lake Erie three-eyed fish out of water thanks to Brian Billick's inability to find a suitable quarterback to helm the reins of his newly revamped offense - and aggressively aging defense. John Collins has gone the way of The Dodo here in Cleveland, thankfully, leaving the door wide open - and unobstructed - for Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel to actually do their jobs.

Thank you, Cleveland: It's about time we let some talented outsiders work their magic here instead of fearing them like "the great plague" that a lot of the "pagans in power" in town would like you to to believe them to be.

Dan Gilbert of The Cleveland Cavaliers has come to town and brought high-paying jobs - as well as a hell of an exciting team - with him. Despite the fact that he inherited LeBron James, he is not greedily resting on his laurels. Dan Gilbert is committed to forking out the bucks to bring a basketball championship to Cleveland - and we here at The id and I thank him for that.

And even though their Orwellian farm system is in place, I'm sorry to say that The Cleveland Indians are not in the same happy space. Mark Shapiro is doing the best he can do with the financial "constraints" placed upon him, but he is still being chained to the Larry Dolan drain pipe when it comes to fiscal freedom and forced to make those "hard choices" that would make the victims of the movie "Saw" gangrene with envy.

Prisoner: "Why you-! If I weren't in these shackles...!"

George Costanza: "But you are, Blanche - You ARE in the shackles!"

But that's neither here nor there at the moment. We are tackling The Cleveland Browns like a drunken townie tackles Trent Dilfer at a local watering hole today. And I truly believe the Cleveland Browns are close to being a playoff team - even if the NFL and Monday Night Football believe the Browns are the "Not-Ready-For-Primetime Players."

They have a lot of important pieces on the football chess board. I'm willing to give quarterback, Charlie Frye, the benefit of the doubt (despite the questions about his arm strength). Hell, people questioned Joe Montana and his "arm strength" all the time - but it's the little things that matter when it comes to the position of quarterback.

A lot of "critics" have second-guessed Jim Tressel, but his Ohio State Buckeyes have won a National Championship - and last year's team was arguably the best team in college football, despite the final outcome. I would love The Cleveland Browns to draft A.J. Hawk or Santonio Holmes - but Hawk will be drafted before the Browns can pick and it would be foolish for the Browns to draft another wide receiver yet again (although Santonio Holmes is going to be a great NFL player).

Whatever the misguided case, here are some early sample picks I would like The Cleveland Browns to consider when they are drafting in the first round this April:

  1. Chad Greenway, LB Iowa
  2. Jimmy Williams, CB Virginia Tech
  3. DeAngelo Williams, RB Memphis
  4. Nick Mangold, C Ohio State
This is an exciting time for Cleveland sports! All I can suggest is you let go of all those ghosts from the past and enjoy the ride, sports fans! Although, I have to admit, the pompous notion of "The Cleveland Indians Television Network" has selfish greed - and disaster - written all over it.

And, finally, I'll leave you with a scene from "Lost" where they ponder whether or not to push the "Doomsday" button:

John Locke: "Jack, why is it so hard for you to have faith-?"

Jack: "John, why is it so easy for you to believe-???!"

"Thumbing your way to Vegas, dirty, and dreaming like you're outta control. Save your tears and laughter, because this is the ride - and this is the show."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Crystal Pepsi Generation: Just Add Pop Rocks, Chill, and Serve

"Wake up kids - We've got the dreamer's disease. Age fourteen - They got you down on your knees. So polite - You're busy still saying please..."

These long, cold, harsh winters are really starting to grind on me (and not in the good stripper kind of way). I'm beginning to feel like Tolstoy - just without the talent. I guess I'm supposed to care about The Winter Olympics - but I don't. Even if they try and "jazz it up" for the kids, I'm still not buying what they are selling. I guess I'm supposed to be intrigued by "bad boy" Bode Miller skiing downhill drunk - but when they starting passing out gold medals for "half-drunken blog posting" then, hey, maybe I'll give a damn. I'm selfish that way.

So after my usual Sunday morning ritual of faithfully watching "The Sports Reporters" on ESPN - with a giant frosted mug of Coca-Cola Zero in one hand and TV remote in the other - I began to click around the cable stations only to discover a startling fact of "X-Files" mystique and importance ...there was no football on today!!!

And then another startling factoid suddenly dawned on me: I HAD NO LIFE.

I mean, sure it could be worse: I could be wandering around Home Depot on the weekends chatting it up on my cell phone or something like the rest of the George A. Romero zombies. "Hi, honey, it's me. Yeah, I'm at The Depot now. Okay, well, look - I'm coming up on the insecticides aisle now. Okay, yeah, I'm standing if front of the insecticides now. So what kind of Raid should I buy-? The lemon-fresh scented or the potpourri-? I don't know, which kind do you like better-? Well, look, we have to make a decision here. Honey, are you there...? Yeah, I think the signal on my phone is breaking up. Yeah, hold on. Let me move over to the toilet seat aisle - maybe I can get better reception over there... just hold on ...HOLD ON!"

Oh sure, maybe attending late-night "frat meetings" at sports bars on weekends, over beer and and an endless pile of buffalo wings with my buddies, isn't the way to go either - but a guy's got to have some fun. I mean, just look at that Gordon Gekko fellow from the movie, "Wall Street." His dad dropped dead from a heart attack at the tender age of 46 schlubbing electrical supplies "for The Man." When you hear stories like that from fictional film characters, it just kind of puts things in persepective, you know?

I mean, I'm not a total good-time Charlie Sheen. I have hopes, dreams and ambitions ...that extend beyond the 4 pm - 7 pm happy hour at Slam Jams. Hey, as a matter of fact, I just bought some stock (as in "the stock market") in Buffalo Wild Wings last week - How "adult" is that! I'm saving for the future - as well as giving me a good excuse to "check up on my investments" - every once in a Blue Moon or so.

Sure, I like my fair share of TV ...and beer ...and video games - but I'm not a total stool sample! I am seeking "gainful employment" as we speak (um, type/read). Just last week I applied for a laundry list of jobs: Assistant Writer for "Saturday Night Live" ...Covering the Cleveland Indians' beat (and the Larry Dolan deadbeat) for The Sporting News ...Curator of The Superman Museum (that hasn't been built yet). See, I'm not adverse to real work - I just don't like it. And I've worked in my fair share of sweatshops, too - but I can't go back to that. I'm too pretty. I wouldn't last a day in there! So sue me: I'm the Morris the Cat of job seekers, okay-?

I've even thought about going into business for myself: Like opening a detective agency (Blue Moonlighting, Inc.) with a spunky network newswoman who is down on her luck. One day, she'd walk in my office - scared, confused, looking for help. But little would she realize that after she opened that door, and walked into my office ...that she would also be walking into my heart. I'd solve her little mystery for her, we would later laugh about it on the outdoor patio at some Bohemian cafe, over Appletini's or something pompous like that, and then we would come to grips with the painful realization that together, hey, we made a pretty damn good team.

And it would be a LEGITIMATE business, people! It wouldn't be like one of those hard-to-believe detective agencies like you see on "Hart to Hart" or something, where the Harts just happen to stumble across a murder mystery week after week. It's not like a dead body will be "falling out of the trees" everytime Greta Van Susteren and I attend a polo match or a baby's christening or the Governor's ball or something. We live in the real world, after all...

So as I lay on the couch, with the covers half over my head, I go back to searching for some meaning in my life - as well as something decent on television. While on my exotic travels, I stumble across something called "PBS" this snowy Sunday morning - before narrowly making my escape from it's twisted clutches!

Oh, PBS - Now I know why they DON'T put video cameras in funeral homes!

But, hey, what do I know, huh-? I wouldn't know "Capote" from "Chipotle" at this point. So, to each his own, I guess. Life is a journey. Drink it up!

"Championed by a soulless media misleading - People unaware they're bleeding. No one with a brain is believing. It's so sad you lost the meaning. Never knew it anyway. Human nature's so predictable - I'm a fool to do your dirty work, whoa, whoa!"

Tonight's music featured on "The id and I" included "You Get What You Give" by The New Radicals and is available on The WB.com (or not).