Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mission Accomplished: Part 2

I guess the decorators were a little hasty setting up for the end of season press conference. You'd think they would have learned from what heppened to the last guy who rented that banner.

PS: I rule at photoshop.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Your Ombudsman is Getting a Little Nervous

When the sun rises over Toronto tomorrow morning we will be but two short weeks away from the first game of the Bills in Toronto series. Given what little time we have left I've got to be honest with you, I'm getting a little worried about how we're going to pull this thing off. For some inexplicable reason we have yet to see a meaningful groundswell of support for the games. The ground may be a tad puffy (most likely from all the rain we've had) but even the most optimistic spin doctor at Rogers would be hard pressed to honestly label it swollen. As of now there are plenty of seats still available indicating at least some hesitancy by the local populous to circle the wagons around the Bills. This is all rather ludicrous. What else have we got to grasp on to people? The Blue Jays? Are you f-ing kidding me? The 2008 Jays play with the intensity of a mixed doubles tennis team after a three martini lunch. Today's game, a 3-2 loss, was a perfect illustration of how little the team cares and how increasingly difficult they are to rally around. They had 13 baserunners and scored just twice. Two times they managed to get runners to third with none out only to leave them there. It was quite simply, disgraceful, yet completely in character for this bunch. There are teams that suck because they can't hit, or they can't play defense, or they can't pitch. The Jays don't even have one of those convenient excuses to hide behind. While they can't hit very well they, at least theoretically, have enough firepower to scrape together the three runs a game it would take for them to win much more often than they actually do. What they do have is an unprecedented ability to leave runners in scoring position after getting them there with less than two outs. Not even FEMA can strand people like the 2008 Jays can. I'm not sure there are stats on this but if there are I'm positive they would reveal that this year's Jays squad is the 1927 Yankees of not winning games that are being handed to them.

I was at last night's game and came away with nothing but indifference towards the "home" team. My instinctive nature to cheer for the team has been overwhelmed by just how unlikeable this collection of mediocre, underachieving sloths are. I'm not sure this has ever happened to me. Over the years I have supported some truly awful sides but I can never recall actually writing off the team. This Jays team has achieved what their late-1990s Jays predecessors, the playoff-less Leafs of the last few years and the 3-13 2001 Bills failed to do. That is, to make me not care. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but apparently it is. Right now I would trade Alex Rios for a couple arms. I'm not using the colloquialism for pitchers when I say that. I would literally trade him for some random body parts as I believe him to be that useless.

Well that was a wordy aside, though I do feel better having gotten that out so thank you for sticking with me. Back to my original train of thought, the Jays are clearly not worth your attention or your entertainment dollars. What does that leave you with this summer? The outdoors? Monsoon season has made sure to ruin that. The theatre? A big thumbs down to that. Save yourself the money, go buy the greatest hits of some mediocre act form the past thirty years and string together the song titles with some half-baked segues. You'll have your very own Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys or whatever equivalent crap Mirvish is pushing these days. Friends and Family? That's what Christmas break is for. Travel? Fuel surcharge this, Robert Milton! Nightlife? Don't forget your bluetooth earpiece and gold chains, you big douche. Golf? The average round in the GTA now takes seven and a half hours. Maybe you have that kind of time, the rest of us have jobs. Taxidermy? There's very little money in that anymore. Ultimate Frisbee? Now you're just trying to make me angry!

There are clearly no alternatives. Its quite evident that all we have going for us is the arrival of the Buffalo Bills in our crummy little town. We must embrace them if for no other reason than to make our city look a little less bush league than it actually is. We have to buy about 120,000 seats this year to sell out both games we've been honoured with, a target that we are still well short of. Buffalo, a town with less than a third of our population and a median household income less than half that of Toronto, has sold around 525,000 Bills tickets for this year. Adjusting for higher ticket prices here and the fact that that sports fans in Buffalo have twice the heart of their Torontonian counterparts still leaves us about half a million tickets short of what should be expected of us (taking into account population size, income levels, ticket price and our fairweather nature). This has been an embarrassing display so far.

If we're to put some lipstick on this pig of an effort we must turn things around in a hurry. So pony up Toronto! Buy a ticket, grab a Marshawn jersey and we'll see you on the 14th (or even the kickoff party the night before at Dundas Square - Jim Kelly will be there). Don't worry if you don't know anything about the team or how to act at a football game. That's what I'm here for. I'll fill you in as we get closer to gameday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Open Letter to Jason Peters

Dear Jason,

I've taken care of pretty much everything. The Marshawn thing went away, that BS story I circulated about James Hardy allowed him to fall to the Bills in the second round and the bone in Poz's arm has been replaced with an unbreakable material which hasn't technically been discovered yet. Everything has been set in motion to get you guys back to the Super Bowl and...wink, wink...make everything right again. Your holdout is the only lingering issue. So do me a favour, report to camp. I've waited too long for all this. I'm really looking forward to the...you know. Sweet Me, do I actually have to spell it out for you? The econd-say oming-csay.

I've done everything within my power but even I can't make up for the loss of an All-Pro left tackle. Kirk Chambers seems like a nice guy and all but Jason, lets be realistic. The guys a bit of a turnstile. I'm not sure that's the right word as the Hebrew term is difficult to translate and the Aramaic translation probably makes even less sense. I think it loosely translates to a "retarded goat herder with poor footwork". Regardless of what language we're speaking, he sucks hard. Not to put too much pressure on you Jay but there's a fair amount riding on you completing the puzzle here. If not, Belichick may win again. Trust me you can never count that bugger out. Him and I have been going at it since the dawn of time. You have to hand it to him. The guy never gives up.

So in summary, get your ass to Rochester and make nice with the brass. I'll make sure you get yours. Remember, who loves ya? That's right. I do.

Regards,

JC


A letter from on high to Jason of Arkansas regarding the end of a holdout

Friday, July 25, 2008

Run from The Hills, Run for your Liiiiife!

...and that's why you haven't heard anything from Jacob Dylan in the past few years. We knew Bowie was pissed but none of us thought he would have gone that far. Don't let the androgyny fool you. That MoFo's a stonecold killer. He craaaaazy!

***

The other night I was at home watching TV with Mrs. Holt. A commercial came on which completely dumbfounded be. Some douchebag was sitting on a patio with his flakey-looking ladyfriend as she yammered on about something on her cellphone. Two cute girls walked by. Instead of leering at them in the respectable traditional fashion he, being the douchebag, takes his little mobile gadget and snaps a picture of their respective asses as they passed. He then receives a message on that same gadget consisting of a random collection of letters and exclamation marks apparently indicating his mouthbreathing lunch companion takes umbrage with his actions. Cue product logo and slogan. My initial reaction is, am I supposed to know who the Hell these people are? While clearly I am aging rapidly and with every diaper change am drifting further away from whatever it is the kids are into these days, I'm not yet my Dad. I have some sense, at least, of who pop culture's major players are, or at least I thought I did. It was brought to my attention that the douche and douchette in the ad were Brody Jenner and Lauren Conrad. These two, as most of you probably already knew, are "stars" of The Hills. Here is a picture of them at a bachelor auction. They're the couple sitting to the left and right of A-Rod.



"Psst, hey A-Rod. Even I think you're a douche and I'm wearing a hood indoors"


As far as I can tell, The Hills is a reality show that showcases the useless offspring of some very wealthy somebodies in and round Los Angeles. The general plot seems to be based around who can spend the most, do the least, look the most whorish and generally destroy any hopes for a generation turning into anything more than a bunch of useless tits who's emptiness of their souls is only surpassed by the size of their sunglasses. I gleaned this from some very cursory internet research as well as what I've witnessed of the young people that frequent my local Starbucks. They appear to be emulating their role models extremely well. They have finely honed the skills of sitting around a table, carrying on inane conversation and putting away $7 coffees all whilst operating multiple mobile communications devices. You know when old people harken back to the "good old days" when people "knew the value of hard work" and had to walk to school "uphill both ways while being fired on by the North Koreans and the Jerries". I now know exactly what they're talking about. As a father I yearn for the days when kids had "Head of the Class" and "Back to School" as examples of how to live right. Okay maybe not Back to School, unless you were an aspiring platform diver. Hell, compared to things like The Hills that glorify sloth, snobbery and vapidity I'd be happy with Paris Hilton as Charlie's big sister. At least that waify tramp works!

I have now figured out who these asswipes are. What I still can't figure out is why they are being asked to endorse anything. While I was growing up one of the more prominent endorsers was Michael Jordan. The power of his endorsement was best illustrated by the catchphrase "Be Like Mike". This is the basic messages of all endorsements boiled down to its simplest form. Drink this beverage, wear this show or use this tax planning service and you will, in turn, be like whomever it is that endorses that product or service. Throw out the problem gambling and philandering and you can see why someone would want to "Be Like Mike". By the same token the world would be well served if people strive to be like Tiger, Spuds McKenzie or the "Where's the Beef" Lady. Instead we are being told to "Be Like this Douche"! Take pictures of some chick's ass when she walks by! Don't talk in complete sentences! Lunch with your friends rather than hold down a job! Be an embarrassment to your decathlete father! Clearly society is doomed.

...or is it.

Bills training camp opens today. Maybe a playoff run from everybody's favorite team will get us turned around as a society. Just look at the slogan written on the hat of Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay (or maybe it's Schobel....or Denney....all you white guys look alike).




Adversity Introduces Us to Ourselves. Now that's the type of message I want little Charlie exposed to. Its also the sort of thing I want to hear from a Bills team that has introduced us to plenty of the aforementioned adversity over the years. To me, it says this is the year (and sorry for the shitshow so far this century)! Reading that gives me a great deal of confidence for the 2008-hopefully 2009 season. If, on the other hand, I was a Patriots fan I wouldn't be so confident after seeing the condition (or lack thereof) their quarterback showed up to camp in.


It sure looks like an offseason of sharing meals with a supermodel has been unkind to Mr. Bunchen. Hey Tom, cigarettes and Veuve does not a training regimen make. Try to mix in a bit of protein or Stroud and Poz will snap you like a twig. If I close my eyes I can almost hear that sound. What sweet, beautiful music it is...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Unfamiliar Taste of Victory

...so how did I know she was lying? Well, if she were a real unicorn she wouldn't have ordered the duck. They're vegeterians. Everyone knows that.


***

What more can be said about our victory that hasn't been said already? Unless you're being held captive in a remote Colombian jungle you've most likely heard the news that we won our softball championship last night. What? They got out!? They haven't said anything about me have they? Because if they did it's totally made up. I had nothing to do with that. Anyways, it was a nailbiter but in the end the good guys won. Stay tuned for details about the parade route.

So I ask you this, is it entirely ridiculous to celebrate victory in an 8-team rec, co-ed slo-pitch league like it's the World Series? Is it absolutely lame that I woke up this morning with a smile on my face due to the fact that we emerged from a grueling 10 week schedule as champions? Is this just an admission that middle-age is approaching and that a meaningless victory in a meaningless league is all we have to grasp on to?

I say, not a chance. Despite the league we play in not being much, at least we won. We emerged as the victors amongst the also-rans, the tallest midget, the best English dentist, the toughest guy in Il Divo. As much as we all try to downplay the competition element of these games you can only do so much to fight human nature. Regardless of the level at which the sport is being played there is an innate need to end up victorious. When you get on the field you want to win and when you do, it feels really good, no matter what the circumstances are. On the flipside unless you're Vince Carter, it hurts to lose and, thankfully, we didn't.



Whatever the contest, its always better to win (even if you're a ginger)


The stakes are raised when there is a specific reason to dislike the opponent. In this case there clearly was. This bunch of douchebags which would have turned even the most easy going person into a rabid partisan. Beyond the usual chippiness that always comes out in championship games, of which both sides were equally guilty, there were other reasons to root against this other team. Firstly, these silly jokers brought music to the game. Instead of acceptable softball fare they inexplicably decided to go with some sort of generic dance mix. It seemed to be a type of club music that had been stripped down of any sort of actual bass. If there's such thing as Christian Instrumental Dance Music this was it. Secondly, someone on their team (or more likely a couple on their team) brought their young child to the game. The game started at 8:45 and went well past 10:00. My Dad instincts immediately kicked in when I heard this poor child, who was clearly up well past his/her bedtime, bawling on their bench. Clearly this was an important game but at some point your duty to your child overrules your duty to your co-ed, recreational slo-pitch team. Next game find a sitter or stay at home, jerks. The softball Gods frown on bad music and bad parenting. When you think about it, the result wasn't really all that surprising.

***


I'd just like to end with a quick Hapy 4th of July to everyone South of the Border. I'll do so with a visual tribute to America. Enjoy.